Monday, May 11, 2015

A little vintage shopping and ................... a few hexagons

One of my all time favourite things is to jump into our old tin lizzie and go for a drive with my significant other and see what pot of gold lies at our rainbow's end. There is always some quirky place down a country lane which needs to be explored. Sometimes there is nothing to tickle my fancy BUT sometimes there is so much treasure to be found, I can hardly contain my excitement.

A little over a week ago was one such day. Meandering over undiscovered hills and down dales brought a few exciting sightings.

At one little shop these pretties were unearthed.



A soft as soft pure wool blanket of the prettiest green, a lovely white tablecloth and this pretty coloured, large doily. They were all bargains. I think I will fashion the doily into a round cushion embellished with a few flowers.....(of course). Oh, and there was a length of sweet 1960's floral fabric. These blues are my all time favourite!

Then lo and behold at another strange li'l place where  teeny tiny bugs seemed to reign supreme was this gorgeous frippery!


Yes, this gorgeous embroidered gal was just hanging out, waiting for me to take her home. "Waa-ll aah do declare.......isn't she beautiful?" As ever, the handiwork on this southern beauty is amazing. Indeed the embroidery on the back is as perfect as the front.



She of course is going to hang out with some of my other ladies that lay dilly-dallying in my dowry of cloth.....waiting.....waiting....for me to fashion them into a pretty, which another generation can enjoy. All these embroidered beauties vary in height from about 24 inches to 36 inches. They are all exquisitely stitched! The southern gal on the left is embroidered on what was once a coverlet emanating from the 1930's. These pretty ladies are just dripping with oodles of sugary, syrupy southern charm; don't you agree?? I can never resist bringing a southern gal home with me when I happen upon one.

THEN........not I......but my husband, discovered this piece-de-resistance, an old Bernina Minimatic 707 sewing machine. Be still my beating heart!!



I know, I know....how on earth did I miss this little beauty. Alas, my engrossment was fixed on all these embroidered and crocheted pretties. Aah yes......vintage heaven.



Can you understand why I might have been a li'l distracted? Though these pretties are all neatly arranged and you can see in an instant what is on offer, I prefer to dive into baskets burrowing deep, deep down to the bottom in search of pretty embroideries. I find scrunched up and rumpled embroidered pretties usually are a lot kinder on the purse than those starched, neatly displayed pretties such as these above. None of these pretties came home with me......my large southern belle was a lot cheaper than any of these.

BUT.....back to the 'find of the day', my Bernina sewing machine. I have always hankered after a Bernina. Many of those who "are in the know" swear Bernina machines are one of the best machines one could purchase. This model was produced in 1971 and would have been a sought after acquisition in it's day. This particular machine, with an electronic foot control was the top of the line model for 11 years.

It is a solid machine with a very small free arm width, which is brilliant for sewing little children's sleeves, pants, cuffs etc. It is certainly making my life so much easier when tarting up children's clothes. When the free arm isn't required you just place the little table back. It is a teeny, tiny sewing machine......'tis so cute (that is of course if a sewing machine can be deemed as cute).



I must say I am enjoying stitching with this mechanical sewing machine. This machine has only had one owner and was only for sale after her passing. It has been serviced diligently every year and I must say it purrs like a kitten.


This machine truly has the most meditative and soothing sound, with the most beautiful straight stitch; with perfect tension. It's whirring sound takes me back to my childhood where I would sit and watch my mum sew on her Singer treadle machine. A sound which always seemed to be rather akin to a comforting and reassuring hug.

Though this machine only has eight stitches in it's bag of tricks I am finding I don't really need much more as I have my Janome 6600 to turn to for all those other sewing jobs. My poor old Janome is feeling her age....after all she has been in use every day of her life for the past ten years, both by me and oodles of children who walk through my front door! I suppose 10 years is not venerable for a sewing machine but I have demanded a lot from her and have put her through oodles of stress. She is a grand old girl but she is feeling a little weary. I am actually in the process of purchasing another sewing machine. I have my eyes on a new Bernina but as they are expensive I need to do a lot of research. Pray tell, what machine do you use.....or indeed what machine would you recommend?

I have been sewing the 'frames' of some hexagons on my little Bernina, that I have been preparing for yet another scrappy hexagon quilt, and it has been such a joy. Yes, I am in need of some hexagon therapy....another hexagon quilt is going to live in my humble abode....just because I don't have enough!!!

As some of you know, I go into a state of apoplectic shock when my beady li'l eyes spot a hexagon. To me there is nothing quite like a hexagon quilt. I love the higgledy piggledy nature of a hexagon quilt. I love that there is no rhyme or reason to the scrappy makeup of these quilts. I love the fact that oodles of disparate fabrics are thrown together with a myriad of colours and designs. Yes indeedy......love, love, LOVE hexagon quilts!




Normally, when I stitch a hexagon quilt I would sew all the hexagons by hand but as this fabric is 100% cotton, and cotton's DNA tends to have a perfectly behaved disposition, I have decided to machine stitch around the frames. I will then stitch all the hexies together at the back, by hand. If I have piqued your interest and you would like to have a bo peep at some of my other hand stitched hexies, I wrote a post waxing lyrical of all things hexagon, way, way back when..........here.



Yes indeedy, I am so thankful this old girl caught the attention of my husband. Wasn't he a sweetie to say "you really, really need to buy this beauty"! Such a discerning man is my husband! AND....she was only sixty smackeroos.....so I am a very happy gal....delirious with great joy actually! I might say if I hadn't purchased it, another lady was ready to pounce and whip it up into her arms and head for dem dar hills! I actually thought she might do me some harm and I would be no more....but no, I live to see yet another day....or indeed, to sew another hexagon or two!


So.........'tis toodles from me. I will be in hexie heaven this week as I have oodles more hexagons to stitch. Soooooooo much hexie love!! Wishing you all the most wonderful week!




38 comments:

  1. Kim, I love this post! The Southern Belle embroidery is wonderful! These Southern ladies remind me of a vintage china pattern with Southern Belles. You really got some great buys but the sewing machine is the BEST! I know the lady that cared for that machine all her life would be thrilled to know that you are enjoying it. Your hexies are so pretty. Is the pattern you use as your blog background called Cathedral Window?? Oh, and lastly, I love the blue vintage fabric. Hope you have enjoyed a great day. xo

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  2. Vintage heaven indeed! Oh my.... I think I stared at the lovely linens for way too long, my friend....is 7 minutes too long to simply look at doilies and linens??? I think not :)

    And your sweet hexagons! You are a woman of talent and charm, dear Kim. You truly make some of the most beautiful things! Can I come sit at your feet and learn how to make your delighful creations?

    And finally.... your sewing machine! Oh, what a charm! I can just picture the two of you beauties working together :)

    Have a wonderful week! Hugs!

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  3. KIm, what lovely finds! I love embroidered dish towels. Once we get all moved in, I can hardly wait to haunt the yard sales... That pastel doily is gorgeous!

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    1. Thank you, Gina. Your embroidered dish towels sound lovely. So lovely to have your visit!

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  4. Hello Kim,

    What a find with the Bernina sewing machine, from what I have heard from people who own Bernina's the earlier models are amazing and last so well. So you will get years more use from yours. Can't believe that Southern Gal you found the detail in the dress is amazing. Good luck with your hexie project.

    Happy days.
    Bev.

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  5. p.s. Crinoline Lady is the name of the vintage china with Southern Belles!

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  6. What truly gorgeous finds! And the hexies look lovely - cannot wait to see them all together. I just love Crinoline Lady embroideries. And you new/old machine looks wonderful. It is so true that the machinery from the past will just last forever, if cared for. I doubt whether you will find a sewing machine from today still working in 40 years time!

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  7. Your Bernina is a wonderful find - your husband knows you well. I've heard good things about Bernina but the price.....so this minimatic is the perfect stand in for now and will handle small projects beautifully. Great embroidery find too!

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  8. Hello Kim, I love all your new acquisitions, mechanical & otherwise :-) I totally know what you mean about the pricing of vintage linens when all the work is done & they are displayed beautifully ... much more in my price range if they are screwed up in a basket to sort through & then launder yourself. Your hexies are gorgeous ... you have inspired me to have a go myself ... shall go back & check out your post on them. LOVE the colours & fabrics you are using. Have a great week busy sewing hexies x0x

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  9. Excitement in deed!! You have me reading this post as fast as I can with excitement ringing in my own ears. WOW! Did you ever hit the jack pot!
    Your husband is quite the shopper. :-)
    Now for those doilies... Oh oh oh they are my love!
    What a great way to have them displayed, makes for easy looking.
    Embroidered southern belles are my all time favorites, I too would have taken her home with me.

    Kim, this was a delightful post. Thank you for sharing all your treasures with.

    Have a beautiful week sewing all those hexagons.
    I love it!

    Joy! Debbie

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  10. My my! How organised are those doilies!
    have to say I get a little smile delving into the bottom of a basket of vintage doilies and linens...
    LOVE your hexies :)
    Have fun with your Bernina....I learnt to sew on one of these at school.
    Tilly x

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    1. Well weren't you a lucky girl to sew on such a machine at school. Thank you for your sweet comments, Tilly. 'Tis lovely to have you visit!

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  11. That's a clever way to display all those lovely doilies! They don't make sewing machines like that any more so I'm not surprised that it sews well. Your hexies are charming!

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    1. It seems to me there are a lot of things that aren't made like they used to be.....or is it that I am just getting old. ;) Thanks for visiting Ann and thank you for your sweet comments!

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  12. I except the original owner of the machine would be thrilled to know it had gone to such a good home. I love the hexies, such gorgeous colours.

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  13. Amazing finds. Such a lovely collection of vintage pretties and a Bernina too! So lucky that your husband saw it and pointed it out. I have a Janome 525S, which was inexpensive and very basic but has served me extraordinarily well for years. From time to time, I ponder upgrading but I'm never sure what I want - something more industrial with just a straight stitch and bigger throat or a bells and whistles with alphabet variety...and then the question of whether upgrading a step or two will have much benefit or whether to save for years and go all out...Were money no object, I've never heard anything but praise for Berninas...I'll be interested to see what you decide :)

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  14. What a fun post! I think you got a great bargain on your new sewing machine - and how great that your DH spotted it. A few years ago my DH did the same thing and insisted that I come home with a yard sale 50's-era Singer machine and even forked over the princely sum of $5 for it. I was thrilled just to have her to 'pretty' up my sewing room (she's green) and it was a total shock to discover that she sews beautifully.

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  15. I stopped by here on the weekend to read about your incredible finds and your hexies, and southern belles, and then I drifted off to see your hexie quilts etc etc, and then forgot to actually comment on this post! Your new sewing machine is so cute! I wonder if it was originally meant for a child's machine because of its tiny size. It's amazing that it works so beautifully. I'm glad you're going to get a lot of good use out of it ... sewing machines should never sit idle. How good of your husband to encourage you to buy it ;) Like you needed much encouragement. As I mentioned I was reading about your quilt-as-you-go hexie quilt, and think this may just be the thing for a wall quilt I want to make for my dad's room at his retirement home. I want to make a quilt, but was unsure of what pattern to use. Being able to make one away from the sewing machine might be the solution to actually get this thing done! Thanks for your post on that! Enjoy your week :)
    Wendy

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  16. What lovely finds and a Bernina too! The hexies are beautiful, Kim!!

    -Soma

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  17. WOW what a find in the sewing machine! isn't it great that its being put to good use again! and you certainly are doing that :) LOVE all the beautiful hexagons you've made! wonderful post! :)

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  18. That was a MAJOR find for your dh to bring to your attention!!! Bernina's are the best..... I have a couple of very vintage Singers but would LOVE a Bernina. None has come my way yet. As usual you got my juices flowing with all the gorgeous vintage finds. You always say you want to go flea marketing with me.... well KIM....... I want to go with you !!!!

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  19. Kim! You are killing me over here with all that hex goodness. So pretty! I too as you know come to a screeching halt whenever I see a hex. I have often asked hubby if he might build me a hexagon shaped house. Think of all the windows! Alas, I still live in a box........
    Hugs to hubby for finding that machine and insisting you buy it. I'm glad no harm came to you.
    Happy Stitching!!!

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  20. What a great day with wonderful finds. Good for you, Kim!
    I love the colourful hexagons!

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  21. Oh my Kim, your hexie have certainly put a hex on me! lol! I am making a hexagon quilt, but I am using a half hexie ruler. The cheaters way of making hexies. There is a seam down the middle. I love how you've edged yours and I must check out your instruction post! Love your gal on the linen. The other day my cousin gave me a runner that has a gal on each end. There is a small stain. Have you got a good way to get them out? I usually soak in BIZ. Haven't tried it yet. Do you have some fabulous idea to do with yours? What a score with that Bernina!
    hugs,
    Jann

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  22. Great post, beautiful hexagons!
    Greetings.:*

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  23. Oh how you do make me want to take time out to sew! But alas, I must live vicariously through you and your lovely blog. But I'll know just where to go for inspiration when I'm ready! I'm happy for you about the lucky Bernina find. When I do sew, it's on an older model Kenmore given to me when my 35+ yo Universal finally gave out. An off brand but a great one purchased from a family friend that owned a shop.

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    1. It seems to me the 'old' machines seem to run like a dream....they don't make them like they used to. Thank you for your comments, Cynthia....you are very sweet. I hope you are having a lovely week. xx

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  24. Amazing sewing machine, what a lucky find- nothing like that here and nothing like the doilies either, I do look though. Lovely hexies, reminds me that mine are still awaiting attention. sigh.

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  25. Oh I'm trying to keep my beating heart still too!!!! Bernina!!! I remember sewing
    with those at school and at home. They are wonderful. Now wonder you went into
    orbit when you found all those treasures, I would be too. Love your hexies as well.
    Great finds.
    Cheers, Anita.

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  26. oh my goodness what a gorgeous post full of everything I love. Old Berninas and vintage fabric and lace. I also love that blanket. I bought a new sewing machine last year and was planning on a Bernina, but the man at the shop put me off. He said they are no longer made in the same way and he felt weren't as good any more, so I would definitely look into it before spending the many, many pennies you will need to get one! Julie x

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    1. Oh I didn't know that about modern Berninas, Julie. Thank you for your helpful advice. The purchasing of a new sewing machine is fraught with indecision. Thank you for your lovely comments. Kim xx

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  27. Oh what lovely treasures you have found and a Bernina too! A quality sewing machine! Love all the neat and colourful hexies and what a vibrant beautiful quilt ithey will be made into by you!

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  28. Kim,
    Well as soon as you hinted at liking lace in the message you left on my blog, I knew I had to check you out. This was a great post and I must say that I share your excitement when finding vintage doilies. I am somewhat obsessed with vintage linens and have quite a collection. Some I plan to use in sewing projects and others are too nice to cut up so they are displayed throughout my home. I love your hexagons and would love to try some of my own. The piece of blue fabric is a treasure! I would love to get my hands on that. Thank you for stopping by my blog and introducing yourself. So nice to meet you and I will be following your wonderful blog!
    Linda
    Mysewwhatblog

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    1. You are very kind, Linda. Thank you for your lovely comments. It is lovely to 'meet' a kindred spirit with a passion for collecting gorgeous vintage doilies. I look forward to visiting your lovely blog to see what you are up to. Kim xx

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  29. Looks like you had a feast for the eyes in these shops, how fun... isn't your hubby just the sweetest for finding that machine for you :) I just love your hexagons, I don't know that I have seen them with a border like that before, that is such a neat look, can't wait to see it completed!

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  30. Visiting you back from my blog and when I clicked over I fell instantly in love with your blog because of the banner! Just fabulous! I used to sew way back when and have lost total interest (except for tiny jobs like my café curtains!) but I was completely engrossed in your post to the end. I have never tried to make a quilt but I love to see what others do. Thanks for visiting as it turned out to be a treat for me to visit you!

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  31. I really need to sart sewing again....I still have my singer that the hubs bought me 30+ years ago. Right now I am emerssed in knitting, but you reminded me how much I love fabric!! Your excitement is contagious and I love that your hubby joins in!! Pretty finds!!

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  32. Congrats on the Bernina! I have my grandma's 830 which she got in June 1972 the same month I was born. I love it, but retired it a few years ago after 15 years of heavy sewing and quilting with it. Unfortunately, I could not afford to replace it with another Bernina. :0(

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