Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Lifetime of Fabrics

Update: I have received a comment on my blog by an anonymous person - thank you! - which may be of interest to some: Here it is: 'For your Aussie friends, 'Turn Back Time; The High Street' is on tonight ABC 8.30pm.'
Hope your week is going well...
I've been busy today, mostly with laundering vintage fabrics and the ironing of lots of antique linens. There's been time for a few small projects too, such as some sewing (what's new?!) and this...

I forget to mention this original painting that was given to me by Michele at the vintage jumble. I had admired it at the start of the sale, but Michele and I both agreed that ideally the painting needed re-framing, as its original mount had suffered a large amount of foxing over the years. Not keen to take on yet another project, I decided not to buy it! ? - I know...not a wise move! ;-))
But, as I was packing up at the end of the day, the painting appeared amongst my boxes. Michele had very kindly given the painting to me! - So with a need to do justice to this generous gesture, I had a look through my workroom supplies, and I found this old black Victorian picture frame...

The black wasn't going to be right for the painting, but the size was good, so I first gave it a coat of green paint.
The painting and board was then trimmed to fit and secured safely inside the frame with pins and brown gummed tape. I find it so easy to talk myself out of projects such as this, but it doesn't always take very long, and the end result can be very satisfying.
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Yesterday, I was given the opportunity to join two gentlemen who were in the process of clearing an old cottage. Sadly, a 96 year old lady had passed away and the job of emptying her home had to be done. This was particularly poignant for me, as the lady was the same age as my Nan, who passed away last month. To see the contents of this lady's home being looked through and sorted into saleable items was very sad, but I hoped that she would have been pleased to see that the items that I came away with, would be put to good use and be enjoyed by future generations.
I was allowed to buy all of the fabrics throughout the cottage. Although she was clearly not a particularly, financially well-off lady, she did have some pretty textiles here and there, which she must have enjoyed using throughout her home to add colour and pattern to the windows and alcoves.
I was also able to buy some colourful pinnies and head scarves.
There were also wool blankets and tartan lengths.
The fabrics themselves ranged in size from small cushion sized squares, to large curtain lengths. Some appeared to be unused. They ranged in age from around the 1940's up to the 1970's, I would say.
I've photographed some of them, roughly travelling in order from the earlier ones, up to the later 70's examples. Some are quite iconic designs of their time - I thought that you might like to see...
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I think these oyster satin finished fabrics will make beautiful bedroom cushions when combined with antique lace.
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Aren't these two fab? Large lengths to use in a retro or contemporary home.
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Quality bird printed fabric by John Lewis.
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Hope you enjoyed taking a look!
I've been making a lot of cushion covers over the last couple of months, as these seem to be what is selling for the moment...I like to make generous 18" square ones (in pairs if I have enough fabric), but I am beginning to realise how quickly my supplies of vintage fabrics are going down, now that I am cutting into them so regularly...So its always encouraging to know that there are still lovely usable lengths out there, awaiting discovery.
Take care,
Niki x

12 comments:

  1. Sad but happy story, I am sure the lady would be delighted to think of her beautiful material being given a new life and being loved again. You can almost see the decades in the patterns, how wonderful that she kept so many. I really love the faded tulips.
    Perfect frame for a lovely picture, you've brought it back to life.
    Carol xx

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  2. I love what you have done with the picture. Is it going to be for sale? Beautiful fabrics, I'm sure you will make them into some wonderful items.

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  3. Sad about the elderly lady who died but nice to know that her items will soon be re-cycled into some lively stuff. There are some really lovely fabrics there.
    June.

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  4. I always think, and hope, that the previous owners of the antiques I buy would be happy to know that someone who cares so much would be the new owners of their things. I have a hard time at estate sales because I always get caught up in the emotion of it. But that doesn't stop me...

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  5. What a fabulous collection of textiles, Niki. Those 70's patterns hit so close to home, as I think many of us can remember those days quite well! Those oyster curtains will be perfect with lace, as you said!

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  6. LOVE your picture and well done on the fabric haul.Am sure she would prefer someone who loves the fabrics to have them than just dumped like many peopel seem to do.Great score (drooling here)

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  7. Thank you for your blog comment, like you I had a "lucky find" this week. You have some wonderful fabrics there. Happy sewing! xx

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  8. So sad when people pass away - going through their things can be so heartbreaking. I read a novel recently in which there was a character who did so in his job as a house clearer and there was something the character expressed that really stuck with me; that going through the bedside tables is the worst as they are often full of the person's favourite things or the last things they touched.

    Hope that isn't too macabre a comment! It is lovely to think that you will be able to give a new lease of life to these fabrics and carry on their story.

    Jem xXx

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  9. Deborah12:13 pm

    Hi...didn't mean to be anonymous this morning with the heads up on the Turn Back Time show on Aussie TV. My daughter commented for me on her phone while I was driving us somewhere.
    Just watched the show and it was great. It looks like Thursday at 8.30pm on ABC (channel 2) will be it's regular timeslot in Australia.
    I kept watching for your shop!

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  10. The picture looks amazing in the frame now it's green.

    I love the fabrics from the house clearance, just goes to show that vintage is best! :)

    Bee happy x
    Have a delicious day!

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  11. Wow - those fabrics are lovely and so colourful. Its good that you are putting them to good use - would hate for them to have just been thrown out. Great blog by the way.

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  12. These fabrics are just gorgeous Niki.
    I think the lovely lady who had them would be pleased that they will at last get their airing:0)

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Thank you for finding the time to visit me...
Niki xx