Sunday, September 12, 2010


It was a beautiful afternoon here in central Iowa—perfect weather for taking a stroll through a local antique fair with my husband. We were eager to go since there aren't many antique events in our area. We saw many lovely pieces of furniture. If only I had a place for this lofty cupboard in my kitchen. I'm always trying to find ways to squeeze in one more piece of furniture. I've even dreamt up ways to make room for an old cupboard in our upstairs bathroom by moving the clawfoot tub!

I thought the dark green glassware below looked so charming displayed in this antique pie safe—another piece I wish I could have brought home!

There was a surprising number of vintage quilts compared to recent past antique events in my area. I liked the creative way the first dealer displayed hers on a ladder. 

I decided to give this lovely red and green appliqué antique quilt a home. It was marked $20 and after my husband did some bargaining, I got it for $15. As you can see, it has some condition issues. The red fabric has disintegrated over time but I still fell for it and I think the overall piece is quite striking. It’s less-than-perfect treasures like this that have taught me an important life lesson—not to always seek perfection! After all, something doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. Some of the treasures I hold most dear are tattered and torn.

The dealer said it was from the 1930s but it seems to have some characteristics of the red and green appliqué quilts of the late 19th-century. Although I love studying quilt history, I’m no expert at dating quilts. So if any of you who happen to read my blog have any insights on it, please feel free to email me or leave a comment. No matter what its age, I think it's a treasure worth preserving. I'd like to eventually reproduce the pattern and make a version of my own.

As some of you regular blog readers might have already guessed, I’m a pincushion fanatic. I seem to gravitate toward any display of them. This collection of vintage pincushion dolls was a welcome sight. The little lady with the green scarf in back went home with me!

Isn’t this small vintage chicken feeder cute with the little gourds spilling out from its lower compartments? I went back to look at it a second time but couldn’t figure out what I would use it for.

I always enjoy sifting through old books. There's something about these well-read treasures that adds instant warmth to a home. Our library shelves are filled with them and I like to accent tables with stacks of small vintage books.

As a dollmaker, I can never find too much vintage trim. This vendor had a bunch of fun ones in addition to some pretty buttons. I found a bag filled with lovely grey and white ones to use on my pincushions.

I hope your Sunday afternoon was as pleasant as mine. It seems it was over in a blink of an eye and soon it will be back to work as usual.


  1. I'm so glad you left a comment on my blog, because now I know that I *must* become a follower of yours! My goodness, you not only grow gorgeous miniature violets, you're also a quilter, collector, gardener ... my kind of blogger, in other words. I've just started going back through your posts and am already quite charmed -- and more than a little jealous of the incredible vintage quilts you've found! And you make pincushions? Ohhh, I will be visiting here a lot!

  2. I am green with envy. Those pincushions are darling. And what a buy for that lovely quilt. I do not know anything about dating fabrics, but I tend to agree that it is older. Visit Taryn at Repro Quilt Lover and see if she could give you some help. The vintage chicken feeder would have been great at our cabin. Wish I could have been there.

  3. Thanks for sharing the antique show. Good thing it was in Iowa because I saw a lot of great collectibles. I'm always trying to figure out how to fit more vintage finds in my house. Another thing we have in common!

  4. WOW,I'm so excited over all these fab finds my heart is beating fast! Good thing I wasn't there in person,someone might have to give me CPR,lol. My goodness, I love that big ole cupboard. Kimber you sound like me, I too have ran out of room. But for some of these finds I would be willing to sell some of mine to make room. Thanks for sharing these treasures with us on blogland.~~Pam

  5. I am moving to Iowa- You seem to have a dearth of lovely finds in your state. Not sure your government would let me stay for longer than the 90 days but it's worth a try just to follow you around.

    You would never see that many vintage quilts together at an antique fair here in the UK.

  6. What a lovely finds! One thing I really miss is antiquing. We don't have great selection nor fairs like this in our area. I see you are getting a lot of beautiful inspirations from them. Very nice way to spend some time on Sunday.

  7. Oh, Kimber, what a wonderful quilt! The green looks a bit too "modern" for the late 1800's to me, not acid enough. One of the things I learned while researching antique quilts was that, just like these days, projects were started and then set aside to be finished many years later, so it's always possible something is from more than one period. Whatever the period, it's a treasure, and I'm so glad you found it!

  8. I love that red and green quilt you bought I hope you do make a quilt from it and sell the patterns!
    beautiful just beautiful


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