Thursday, June 19, 2014


I love Wisconsin, but I'm not from here.  I grew up in Indiana, and my family and I lived in Ohio, before moving here 24 years ago, in the summer of 1991.  All that summer, we kept seeing signs around the neighborhood for rummage sales.
We thought it was funny.  Rummage to us foreigners was a verb, as in, "She rummaged through her closet, looking for something she could still fit into."  On the signs, and in the newspaper, it was used as an adjective, and even as a noun, as in, "They really have some great rummage."  My favorite new word (after bubbler) was Rummage-o-rama, which was a big event held every so often at the fairgrounds.
Of course we had similar sales in Ohio and Indiana.  We called them yard sales, which makes perfect sense because they were held out in the yard.  A friend and I used to go "yard sailing" with our young kids.  (Where else can you buy a kid a toy for 25 cents?)  There were also garage sales, which were the same thing as yard sales, except that the sellers had an actual garage and so were snootier.
Whatever you call it, I love it.  It really appeals to my bargain hunting/recycling side.  But it can take all day to hit all the rummage sales in the area, and sometimes you don't find anything beyond baby clothes, bar stools, and VHS tapes.
Unless you go to a special fiber arts rummage!  Which is where I got the loot pictured above.  And below.

The picture at the top of today's blog is of most of the things I bought at the annual rummage sale at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts last Friday.  The items for the sale were donated, and then sold to raise money for the museum.  The immediately above picture is just the fabric.  Yards and yards of cotton fabric, from small scraps to several yards long.  Some items were priced separately.  Most of this fabric I stuffed into a bag for a low, low price.
There was also yarn!  This is 100% wool, destined to make hats, mittens, socks and sweaters this fall.
My eyes glazed over after a while, but I did manage to find 3 books.  They had hundreds.
The basket blocks are OLD.  There are 30 of them.  Three of them are basted, ready to applique.  The other 27 are finished.  An amazing deal for $10. (Of course this adds to my project list.  But it was such a deal!  And the blocks are an unusual pattern.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.)
I overheard this exchange at the table of fabric, while we shoppers were stuffing our bags.
Shopper One:  "You know, we women are gatherers.."
Shopper Two:  "Really?  I just thought we were hoarders."
All Shoppers:  (laughing)
In my opinion, we're not hoarders if we USE what we buy.  Or at least pet it once in a while.
I've already used a small piece of my amazing loot, as the binding for this little lap quilt:
The center of the quilt is made of squares I bought at a quilt show rummage table a couple of years ago.
Can you see the seams in the big purple floral print?  I had to use one other square to make this one big enough.  This is how our foremothers coped.  Works for me.
Here's the purple binding.  It was a Fons and Porter print from several years ago.  Now it's washed, cut, and put to good use.  Plus the scraps are trimmed and in the bins.
This little quilt will probably go to a nursing home patient, where I hope its colors cheer her day.
Most of the fabric pieces and scraps I bought at the rummage sale will go into my charity quilts.  Some pieces are even big enough for backing.  I also made sure to get some bright colors for the quilts I make for kids.
There is nothing like new (old?)  fabric to stir up new ideas. 
Many thanks to the museum volunteers who run the sale, and the generous people who donated the items.
Happy shopping, and happy quilting!

1 comment:

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