Tag Archives: vintage sheets

Projects with Vintage Sheets

It is no secret that I have this crazy love of vintage everything.  I have posted many times about different thrifting trips where I have found little vintage treasures. It is fun to find uses for some of these little pieces. My sisters know of this passion of mine. Last month my youngest sister was cleaning out her in-laws house as they prepared to sell it.  She set these measuring cups aside for me, knowing I would want them. They are worn, bent and dented and I love them.

My collection of vintage sheets is quite large at this point. I often cut them into fat quarters and bundle them for sale in my shop. Last summer I made a queen size quilt and two throw pillows for the sewing room/guest room.

Two weeks ago I was cutting fat quarters and bundling them up for the shop when I realized I was amassing quite a stack of sheets. In an effort to use some of the scraps, I thought it would be fun to make a bunting with torn strips of the scraps I have from my sheets.  My plan was to hang it somewhere in the booth at the quilt show I worked earlier this month. I am not sure if you noticed it but I had it hanging around the table I used for cutting and transacting sales. Look at the table on the left in the picture below.

After cleaning up everything from the show I hung the bunting from a little shelf above the guest bed in my sewing room. Doesn’t it look cute with the quilt on the bed??

At about the same time, I decided to make a pair of pajama pants with one of the yellow sheets. The sheets are usually very soft as they have been used and laundered. I used a simple pattern, Simplicity 3935, to make them. It takes about as long to pin the pattern and cut the two pieces as it does to stitch them together. They are so, so comfortable. Here is the front – yes, they are a little wrinkled. I am not much for ironing my pj pants.  😉

Now the back side – which looks much like the front!  I put a little label on the inside of the back waistband so I would know which was which.  Otherwise, you don’t know until you put them on backward and wonder why they don’t fit right. Ha!

Mostly I like to lay on the guest bed and marvel that my pj’s match the quilt. Not really though…

I do love the soft colors and patterns in these sheets. While I only list fat quarter bundles in my shop, I do sell whole sheets if someone wants one to back a quilt or make something like my really cool pajama pants.  If you are ever of a mind to do this, email me and I will send you pictures of what I have available.

I want to show you a fun gift I received for Mother’s Day. My daughter somehow downloaded the logo to my business and had coffee mugs made for me. What a great surprise.

Aren’t these cute?? I just love them!

Just one more thing.  I have been following a series that my friend Mari is publishing over at Academic Quilter. She is on a tear organizing her sewing room, purging unused books, patterns and tools, and going through her stash and getting rid of fabrics she doesn’t want. She has been publishing these wonderfully inspiring posts with all kinds of suggestions for taking this project on. The posts are well written and divide the projects into manageable segments. I have to be honest and admit that to this point, I have only read the posts and wished I was doing the work. It has been so crazy lately and I haven’t spent the time to implement her ideas and suggestions. However, maybe you will have the time to take some of the ideas and put them to good use! Go check it out, if you haven’t already joined in.

Linking to some of my favorites – check out the list at the top of the page, under Link Ups!

Stash Update

I have had some really good luck in the thrifting department lately. Of course, this was just after making the vintage patchwork quilt!  When I saw these on the shelf at our local shop I decided to add them to my collection.

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I love the colors – especially the one on the far left and the green on the far right.

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Even if I don’t use them right away, they belong with all the others I have collected. For those of you that might want a piece or two of these, I have cut some fat quarters and added them to my  shop. Sold as single fat quarters or a bundle, they are a bargain.

I also spotted a bundle of blue fabrics that I couldn’t pass up ($5.00 for the bundle… What quilter would pass that up?). These cuts are 1/2 yard to one yard each totally over five yards of fabric.


Moving on to fabrics a bit more modern, I received my order from Green Fairy Quilts. Honestly, they ship faster than any shop I know. It always amazes me how quickly I receive an order from them. I got two large pieces of Kona,  one in Fig Tree Cream and the other in Stone. These will be for the wedding quilt for my nephew. (I really need to find a name for this project!)  Since I was shopping, and since there was a sale, and since I have never, not even once, bought any mini charms, I chose two packs.  Once of Chic Neutrals by Amy Ellis and the other is Black Tie Affair by Basic Grey. They are both really nice lines and will be fun to make a mini or table runner with.

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Finally, I was lucky enough to win a giveaway on Instagram a couple of weeks ago. Brooke (@sillymamaquilts) hosted a giveaway and I won a charm pack of Pixie Noel fabric, designed by Tasha Noel. This line is adorable and I am happy to have this little win to play with. I will have no trouble using this sweet charm pack up on a fun holiday project.

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Clearly I have lots to work on but the wedding quilt is my priority for now. These other bits will just have to wait for a while.

Vintage Heaven

It’s finished! The bed in my sewing room is currently sporting a gorgeous quilt made of vintage sheets that I have collected, thrifted and received as gifts over the past two years. I love it and the springlike, feminine look it brings to the sewing room. I am calling this one “Romantical” which is how one loyal reader described it when I posted last week. What a cute word.

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Quilting this  went so fast since I did straight line quilting on both diagonals of the quilt. Because I was stitching across seven inch squares, it was not a problem to just eyeball it. No marking made for very fast stitching. For a short time I considered quilting only one of the diagonals. But it was finished so fast and quickly became evident that it really wanted to be quilted in both directions.
After receiving such helpful input on selecting the binding via comments on last week’s post, I went with the pink striped binding. I debated cutting the binding strips on the bias since I had enough fabric to do so. But that would have created some waste so I decided against it. Look at it though! It looks great, especially next to the squares of the same fabric. I had another one of those fortunate occurrences when the fabrics line up just so, as though I worked diligently to make it happen. But you and I both know me better than that. Happy coincidence!

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Do you see the sweet backing I used? It was a queen size flat sheet that was brand new. The little floral is so pretty and works well with the binding too.

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My quilt model and I went outside to take some photos. It was mid-afternoon and the sun was a bit too bright. The pictures are fun even though the colors of the quilt look a bit washed out.

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My model was in rare form so I took advantage.

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This was such a simple and satisfying project. Having a quick finish like this has left me in the mood to tackle something that takes a bit more thought. My nephew is getting married in September so I think a quilt is in order for him and his bride. I have a couple of months to work on it which is plenty of time. I have two stacks of fabric pulled and I keep deliberating between them. I’ll show you the pull once I make some decisions.

Thanks to all who left comments on yesterday’s post about social media. It made for good discussion. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, check it out and let me know your thoughts.

Linking today with my favorites, Amanda Jean over at Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict. Links to both can be found at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

Vintage Patchwork Quilt

For the past several years I have kept my eye peeled, looking for vintage cotton/polyester blend sheets. They show up now and then in thrift stores. It takes some time to build up a collection because many of the pieces that are available are too worn to use. But if you are patient, it is possible to find pieces that are in new (still in the packaging) or like new condition.

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My collection has finally grown to the point where I had enough variety to make a large quilt with it.  The photo above shows the majority of my collection less just a few pieces that I bought after taking the picture. (By the way, if you are a lover of vintage sheets, I have many listed in my Etsy shop. Take a look.) I was a bit concerned that I didn’t have enough change in value with these pieces but it has worked out well.  The overall look is very soft and feminine.  I decided I would make a simple patchwork quilt, which is definitely my overall favorite quilt. I originally cut 9″ squares but they looked way too big so I trimmed them down to 7″ squares, a much better size. Created some waste but I am glad I cut them down. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen some pictures of this project in process.

It was quite a feat to lay them out and get the balance that I wanted. At first I tried to just generally group the squares by colorway and make it flow. That didn’t work. The colors are not defined, or saturated, enough to get a good result. Picking up the squares and trying again, I organized them into diagonal rows with the same fabric in each row but still sorting by color. This was much more effective and it was the look I liked best.

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This picture was my guide so I could be sure I was sewing patches together in the correct order.

It really didn’t take very long to get the top assembled. Once I did, I decided I would also make matching pillow cases for the quilt. (I used a very simple pattern from the book Home Sewn that I reviewed last week.)

IMG_6741The bed is going to be so pretty when this is finished. Not sure if you remember but I also made a few throw pillows last summer and they use many of the same fabrics. What do you think?

IMG_6742This quilt is a bit of a monster. I’ve only ever quilted one other queen size quilt and it wasn’t easy. I think I will quilt this with my walking foot and do straight lines on the diagonal, running both directions. That should be a manageable approach.

Julia was so kind as to help me layer this on the floor. It was much easier than doing it alone. I had a brand new sheet that I saved to use as the backing making this an incredibly affordable quilt.

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At this point, I have a quilt top finished, basted and ready to go. Hopefully, I will get it done soon as I want to put it back on the bed! Want to throw in a vote for binding? I am thinking of using the pink stripe that I used for the pillow cases. What do you think?

Linking to my favorites this week. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

A Vintage Week

The week has come and gone. It started with a Monday holiday (Martin Luther King’s birthday) which always makes the rest of the week go by quickly. Monday holidays also cause me to remain in a state of confusion for the rest of the week, wondering exactly what day it is. At any rate, it’s nice to be looking toward the weekend.

I was focused on my Etsy shop this week so not a lot of regular quilting was accomplished. I had two custom orders which are finished and shipped off. I also decided to cut into a pile of vintage sheets that I have been collecting and get those listed in the shop. For the past several months I have had my eye out for vintage sheets whenever I was in a thrift store. As the pile grew, it became clear that I don’t need to keep all of it. Sheets are large! I decided to cut some into fat quarters to list.

There are some really pretty sheets to be found.

IMG_20150123_2797The florals are so sweet and feminine. I try to look for flat sheets as opposed to fitted. The fitted sheets can be a bit worn but the flat sheets don’t take the abuse and are often in great condition. Vintage sheets are almost always 50/50, cotton and polyester. I haven’t quilted with them yet but have a plan in mind. Jeni Baker of In Color Order has posted about some really cute projects she has done with vintage sheets and I am using her work as inspiration. I like her use of stripes with the florals. I haven’t found any stripes yet but my eyes are peeled. They will show up!

IMG_20150123_2800The three in the picture above are my favorites so far. Especially the middle one. The colors are just gorgeous. If you’re interested in working with any of these, check my shop. I bundled a few sets but if you see colors you want I am happy to create a set of the pieces you like. This week I sold a few sets to a young woman who is making bunting flags for her wedding this coming spring. The venue is a rustic barn and I think the flags will be adorable. Hoping she will send me a picture when she gets the buntings finished up.

Moving off topic a bit, I found a pile of vintage magazines this week when I was in a thrift store. They are a blast to read. Not sure what I want to do with them but am so enjoying looking through them.

Kind of a risque cover for 1965!

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Take a look at the upper right corner of the Look magazine shown below. A “hot dog” diet? For real? I couldn’t help but laugh. Just in case you want to try it, the article suggests that you eat three hot dogs per day with all the trimmings (mustard, onion, relish and bun). This diet allows you to add a beer or coffee and suggests you add a glass of tomato juice or a piece of fruit for added nutrients.  They estimated that this would be equal to about 900 calories a day and if you follow this diet for a week, you should drop a pound per day. 900 calories a day? Three hotdogs for seven days?? Ugh, 21 hotdogs? Nutritional insanity circa 1963!

IMG_20150122_2775Check out these ads for cigarettes. Print ads for cigarettes were banned in January of 1971 but wow, prior to that they were on every other page.  Love this one. So glamorous. Except, why does he get to go swimming and she has to settle for wading and wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt? No fair.

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I don’t think I like the way this guy is checking her out….

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This guy is the epitome of sophistication.

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Finally, I leave you with this chart showing average income and spending for a single income family of four in 1973. I found this interesting. (My apologies for the crummy copy. I was being lazy so I took a picture of the page rather than scanning it.)

IMG_20150122_2771Have a great weekend everyone!!

Linking to WIDTW at Sew Stitching Cute and Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash.