Saturday, October 21, 2017

Two? That’s Plenty!

Sometimes when we start out on Friday mornings, we make a quick stop at Taco Bell so I can pick up the bite of breakfast I didn’t have time for in the rush of getting everything done. (Dog park, then feed pets, then dry my hair if it’s raining, which it was, then change clothes from park duds to something I'm willing to let KK see me in, then get all the addresses in the GPS, then…) Usually it really is a quick stop, but not this week. There was a grandpa and a teenage girl who needed a verbal tour of the entire breakfast menu, which they had to think about for a while before deciding what to order. Then there was another grandpa who was quite deaf, so he took a while. Then me, and I took less than a minute, but then had to wait for everyone else’s food to be prepared. Finally we were off to our first estate sale on the south outskirts of town, arriving perhaps five minutes after they opened instead of a few minutes before.

Alas, the delay was enough to cost KK something she saw in the Craigslist pictures and wanted to buy. See the silhouettes of the two skiers?

Already gone. Dang it. I fared better, scoring three that I like.

Then we overheard one of the sale helpers telling someone that all the quilt fabrics were out in the studio. Our ears stood up, and we headed there.

Oh my heavens. I have seen nirvana, and it is having your own large studio to work in. Sigh. Maybe someday. When I win the lottery. I have never bought a lottery ticket, but I'm sure it doesn’t change the odds by much.

Fabric was selling for $3 a pound, and fabric can be heavy, but the ladies who were shopping seemed thrilled. And it was an amazing collection. There were thousands of pieces of quilt fabric, and a variety of notions. I love finding good notions at a bargain price, and picked up a package of fusible tape that will be useful. 

And I'm thrilled to get a much larger cutting mat than I've been working on.

Five bucks seemed reasonable, and this is probably the mat sold at a chain fabric store for $70. In any case, Millie likes it.

Though this collection of fabric made my stash look pitifully small, I was determined not to buy much. When I found the stack of Japanese prints, I picked out several pieces for future play

as well as the cutest chicken fabric ever, and stayed within a pound limit.

Isn’t this one pretty?

I spent longer in the studio than KK, and eventually found her back in the garage sitting at a table (demonstrating the comfort of the chair) and chatting with other shoppers and the cashier. When we were on our way again, she said that one of the guys she had talked to said he was from New England, and while he seen red leaves and yellow leaves on the trees here, he really missed orange leaves.

We were indignant! Don’t get me wrong, I loved seeing New England and the beautiful fall colors, but we spend half our time these days exclaiming about trees. all over town they are magnificent, especially with all the dark green fir and redwood trees to set off the brighter colors. We spent the rest of the day pointing to trees as we drove and declaring, “There! That one is definitely orange!” I rather suspect we may do it the rest of our lives. Can’t you see is in thirty years, propping ourselves up on our canes and yelling, “That one is pure orange, I tell  you!”

Our second stop was clear across town, an estate sale, though not inside the house as they usually are. There were things in the garage of the Sixties house with the huge yard, and in a barn off to the side as well. KK found a long stand-up shoe horn in a box of dollar items in the garage, but the guy said it wasn’t a dollar and someone must have moved it there. So she handed it back to him and we headed to the barn. Which held an amazing assortment of junk and was very ill-lit. I pulled my flashlight out of my purse to peruse the tables. KK spotted this knife stone, which I had mentioned I wanted.

I have no idea how old it is, but look how worn down the sides are.

I might have been interested in the Bernina serger (I've never used a serger and am curious) but it was $150. Too much for mere curiosity. Then in a box under the table I found some fabrics, and thanks to my flashlight found this needlepoint that I'm imagining I can use in some way

as well as this absolutely gorgeous fabric.

My hands told me it is wool challis, and when I did a burn test it appears to truly be wool. I think even the selvages look classy.

There are about two yards, and it cost a dollar. Even if I never do anything but pet the fabric it will be worth that. Hmmm. If I have any left after making a shirt or something, perhaps I could make a stuffed bunny with the remnants…

When we emerged from the barn, we got into conversation with a relative of the lady who had lived there. He told us she is 92, has all her marbles, still drives, and recently moved to Capitol Manor, a local retirement mecca. We started talking about the age of the house, and he was telling us about some of the features of this one. Perhaps it was our enthusiasm for mid-century architecture that led him to let us go in the house for a few minutes. I wish I had had the nerve to take a picture of the view from the living room(it seemed so tacky to whip out my camera) – a long vista off to the east with vineyards changing to their fall colors and an emerald green field of something like rye grass. It was stunning. It gave me the same feeling as this painting by Charlie Baird. 

We spent so long at these two sales that we didn’t care much when we couldn’t find the third on my list. The address did not exist. I rechecked the Craigslist ad later, and it turned out there was one address in the title line, but in the address by the map they had transposed two digits. You can guess which one I had used. But no matter, two sales were just the right number!


  1. The very blue Japanese fabric looks very similar to some I have. I have a book on Japanese quilts. They are very beautiful. I was trying to make one but got distracted by other things. I must get it out again. xx

  2. Great finds on the silhouettes! Oh fabric is such a lovely thing to pet!!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

Pin It button on image hover