Practicing Pintucks and Intuition Pays Off:Great Thrift Store Finds

This is the chest of drawers in my bedroom.  My husband wonders why he can’t put his t-shirts and socks in it.  That’s because it is storing my quilting fabric.  I have to empty at least two of these drawers to make room for baby clothes.

Why not pull the fat quarters and use them to practice some embellishment techniques that I have never quite mastered?

Right now I am practicing pintucks and other tuck variations, a technique I often find annoying as the results on garments can often go wonky no matter how carefully one has marked.   I also grabbed an Eleanor Burns quilting manual, pulled some compatible pieces from the chest, and began working up the material a few quilt blocks at a time.  I made as many blocks as I could out of my first little stack of material, and I have my next set sitting on the corner of my sewing table. 

Quilting is such a nice break from garment sewing and gives you some perspective.  After finishing the one Monkey’s Wrench block I wondered why I have been putting off sewing a pair of capri’s, already cut out, just because they have a pocket detail with which I am unfamilar.  If I can piece a quilt I should be able to handle that pocket.

My pintuck experiments and quilt blocks. The one with the red squares going diagonal is Jacob's Ladder and the one at the top right is Monkey Wrench. I also made two other blocks of the leftovers, they aren't formal quilt patterns, but I will use them somehow.

Wednesday morning something just told me to go to my local thrift store.  Intuition paid off.  I originally needed some more sheeting for practice muslins.  That’s the reason I told my husband I was going.  But I just knew in my gut that today better offerings were to be had. In the craft aisle I found several sewing patterns specifically for nursing moms! Wow!  I have never seen nursing patterns before and I am eager to sew up some practice pieces.

Patterns for nursing moms! I am so amazed. I have never seen such patterns before. To make the find even more joyous, all five are uncut and sold for a quarter. 🙂

I also found a set of curtains with adorable trim which will be extra special on one of my daughter’s dresses.  I might even use the clear nylon as lightweight interfacing.  A few more patterns turned up in the craft aisle, and I am dismantling the bathing suit top for the bra cups inside.  

My pile of thrift store goodies. The pile of fabric in back is not from the thrift store. Banasch's had a 50% off sale and practical me bought fabric for school uniforms. It is hard to believe, but in July I am going to have to start thinking about getting my daughter togged out for school.


Altogether a very satisfying thrift store run.  My total expenditure $9.06.  The fun I had, as the credit card company broadcasts – priceless.




4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Steph
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 07:13:42

    Wow, that’s a great approach to using up scraps. Love love love the Jacob’s Ladder. Quilting is so relaxing, it’s the same thing over and over, not at all like garment sewing.

    Like the pintucks, too. It’s funny how we can trick ourselves into believing that investing time in playing around is a waste, but it definitely makes for better sewing in the long run.


    • Sewista Fashionista
      Jun 20, 2011 @ 13:11:09

      Thank you for the compliment! I love Jacob’s Ladder pattern too. I even like the Biblical story for which the pattern is named where Jacob, who has wronged his brother Esau through trickery, is fleeing his home and uses a stone for a pillow one night and dreams of a ladder reaching from Earth to Heaven. Jacob sees angels moving continuously up and down this ladder. God reassures Jacob that He has a plan for his life, but unbeknownst to Jacob, in the next chapter he will experience firsthand trickery such as he did to his own brother. Very interesting story. I wonder if the pioneer women thought of all the parts of the story as they sewed up the blocks.


  2. Sister
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 18:35:02

    Very cool quilt blocks! And I’d call that haul you got at the thrift store a smile from God. When stuff like that happens to me, that’s what I call it. (I wasn’t going to write that because I didn’t want to offend if you weren’t religious, but after your Bible story I figured I was safe.)


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