Thursday, 30 January 2014

Vintage Sewing Finds and Thrifty Jars ...

Hello there ....
Busy week here ... gathering stock ... sorting it out for weekend ...
and  some little gems amongst the everyday stuff.

I found this little bundle ... wrapped in old tatty bags at the bottom of a box of old linen ...
My heart skipped a beat ... and that old excitement starts to stir ..
ya know what i mean...
anyone who goes thrifting .. booting .. treasure hunting ... whatever you want to call it .. knows the feeling well.

It had been a sort of a mundane job .. lots of good stock but nothing ... really exciting ... then I pulled out this little treasure..

Some needlewoman .. somewhere ... someone just like us .. 
had spent time making herself this little 'Blotter' .. 
with pretty sprays of flowers ... 
I don't know who she was .. I don't know when it was ..

but ... I 'know' this woman ... she is all of us.

All of us who like to make ... and save .. and sew and make do ..
an ageless .. timeless ...activity.

This little book was with it ... I love this old rustic sort of embroidery .. and I've spent a good deal of time having a read of it.... amazing what you can learn .. there is always something to learn ... how can anyone say life is boring.

The designs in the book reminded me of a piece I did years ago .. I made it into a knitting bag for my mother. 
It has returned to me ... it was just stashed in the cupboard .. now Mum is no longer with us.
I remember so well the making of this ... stitching away when I was expecting my first son .. I had to spend time in hospital and it helped pass the time.
Gosh .. twenty eight years ago .. where does the time go ..

I remember thinking I would use up all the odd skeins of silks .. all the odd colours on it .. it was ideal for mixing and matching ..
always a thrifty mind ...!

The blotter has just been made ... as a kind of simple folder .. using some stiff cardboard ... simple yet effective..

It was stuffed with a whole stack of embroidery transfers .. from the 1950's I would guess .. a lovely collection .. many of them unused.

Pretty crinoline lady with a love letter in her hand ...does he love her true?

And some pretty smart soldiers 'Trooping the Colour'....

Very nice transfers ... I could be tempted to pick up my needle again ... 
But rather than just stash them away ... I will re home them 'sewing girls' will love them .. and I have tried a few on ebay.

In the middle of all this ... bags and boxes scattered throughout the house .. waiting to be sorted ..
Hubby P dumped a bagful of jars on the kitchen floor.

Now I have everyone well trained ... and a friend had saved his empties for me ... in return ... come jamming time .. he gets some returned .. filled with something nice .. 

So thrifty job for today ... I put them into some nice hot soapy water to soak.

I am determined to have a good stash of jars this next year ... mind you I can see the way things are going I shall have .. well .. maybe a few too many.
Not to worry ... I have a cunning plan .... this last year lots of people were asking me if I had any jars to sell ... and I noticed any that were for sale at the car boot sale were snapped up .... lots of folk into this grow your own ... jamming and preserving.
Of course you can't sell them for much ... but I do like to think I am helping with the recycling thing .. and any and all pennies are welcome here.

I go through the jars thoroughly .. any that look a bit dodgy .. lids a bit stained or rusty I put into the recycling bin ... but most of them wash up just fine ...
I like a nice sparkling jar ...

So that's my day .... what thrifty adventures have you had today?



  1. I love that knitting bag, it's truly beautiful and it must be well made to last so long.

  2. Wow , what a find , i wish i could embroider , that bag is so fabulous you are very talented , at the moment i am saving jam jars , anything plastic for growing seeds, i feel a blog coming on lol , what exciting interesting lives we live xxx

  3. I am beginning to think you and I were twins, parted at birth . . . What absolute TREASURE. I just adore anything old and sewing-orientated. The Jacobean embroidery is so lovely, and the Blotter. As for jam-jars - when someone gives me a big bagful, it's almost like having money, as they save the cost of buying jars for preserves (which I love making).

    Lovely post.

    We had a wheeling and dealing day out, the results of which won't be known for a while yet . . .

  4. Stunning knitting bag, you clever and very patient lady, all those tiny stitches applied with love....wonderful!

    I have just put a plea out at our environmental study centre for clean jam jars with lids please. I am hoping that this year we will be making and selling mixed lots of preserves from donated fruit and veg to raise money for the funds. Its a bit of a pain scraping the labels off sometimes... I am sure there is no need for all that glue!!! Karen x

  5. It's lovely to know that treasures are still to be found. I so regret all the stuff that was chucked out when my mum moved house and then later when the house was cleared......but you can't keep everything.
    I tried embroidery - but only once! - what a mess.

  6. I loved your find!
    pretty treasures to be sure.
    great score on the jars, what treasures are friends who save us money and give us joy with the exchange of useful things!

  7. I loved this post, made me remember embroidery that I have done in the past and now no longer own. So nice that you rehome all these lovely things, the original owners would be happy to know that.
    Pam in Texas. xx

  8. I love reading your blog. It's very comforting, and uplifting, and informative, and I am growing very fond of it. xxx

  9. Treasure indeed! That blotter is just beautiful ...

    Doesn't it annoy you greatly when labels won't come off? Why can't they use ones that just peel off. it would make recycling a lot easier!

    Have a thrifty weekend

    Love Claire xxx

  10. I collect jars too! I get a thrill when someone gifts me a Bon Maman jar lol it's better than gold!! This year I'm going to be all about beetroot. My Christmas stash has gone. Beetroot grows amazingly well for me and I like the way it shines in a well sparkly jar!

  11. Lovely sewing work, your mum must have been thrilled. I ran out of jam jars last year, and would have gladly paid for some. I ended up making lots of freezer jam instead,but it's not the same as a jar! I have to sort out some things for ebay, but I'm finding that on larger items, the postage seems such a lot to ask, that I wonder if anyone will buy the things.

  12. Big feeling of recognition when I saw the Jacobean embroidery book. We used to have one too. It was lovely. I am now wondering what ever happened to it.
    I always have too many jars. Just made some marmalade so not quite such an overstock at the moment....

  13. If you have trouble getting the label glue off jars, give it a scrape with a wallpaper scraper, to score it and then use some turps on a cloth. It worked very well for me. Did that yesterday on a very large Lyon's coffee jar. Wash in hot soapy water. Love the sparkly glass and bottle green lid. It's now my new tea bag jar.I really love your embroidered bag. The stitches are so crisp and neat. Beautiful piece of work.

  14. What a lovely find ! And there is something about it falling into such appreciative hands that makes the heart smile........

  15. I love that Blotter folder, what a find.

    A good way to get a few more pennies for your jars might be to make them some Mop Caps out of scraps of your lovely fabrics and finish off with a ribbon or fancy string. It might appeal to the more countrified buyer.

  16. I'm sure you already know that a squirt of WD 40 will remove the most stubborn glue from jam jars.


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