Value of Vintage
-FOLLOW ME ON INSTAGRAM, COMMENT ON THIS BLOG AND YOU WILL BE ENTERED TO WIN A FIVE POUND COLLECTION OF YINTAGE BUTTONS, FABRIC, AND TRIM. (Lots oof batiks!!!) Winner will be selected randomly on April 30 and announced on Pink Tulip Quilting’s IG account. Winner will have 24 hours to respond to Pink Tulip Quilting until another winner is selected.
On April 22, 1970, I was a 17-year-old high school student from Royal Oak, Michigan. I spent the day with a few friends in Detroit at an inaugural Earth Day event located near Wayne State University. Quite a crowd was gathered, the event was important to us. In Detroit, we had witnessed (and still witness) the impact the auto industry had on the environment throughout the state. Michigan was also home to Dow Chemical in Midland, Dow not only had environmental implications statewide but also was a known source of Agent Orange, napalm, and Agent Purple used in Vietnam.1 So we went to Detroit to listen to speakers and music. It was exhilarating that so many showed up and we were hopeful we would have an impact soon.
Fifty-three years later we still have a long way to go. Our dreams of clean air and oceans have been put on hold for other issues and to preserve perceived financial stability. If you celebrate Earth Day, you must also support efforts to maintain the environment. Part of that responsibility is ensuring your vote counts. Get to know your legislators, know where they stand on the environment. The League of Women Voters has a source to judge a candidate. Please note that President Biden announced on April 10,2023 the most significant legislation for environmental integrity ever will be presented.
In the meantime, we do what we can to lessen our impact and part of that is to ensure our creative efforts do not burden the environment negatively. There are options we have as creatives:
- Organize scraps for use later or as giveaways to other creatives. Quilt guilds can be great at this effort, saving fabric or batting scraps for the members to choose from at meetings.
- Select creative items at estate sales or secondhand shops. Repurpose and reuse!
- Sell or look for unused blocks, quilt pieces, even yardage on Etsy or other shop venues.
- Look in your closet–donate items or repurpose.
- Become an expert in vintage or special products and provide services to price collections.
In addition to repurposing and salvaging vintage, I try to lend a voice through my fiber collage, art and poetry. My fiber collage focuses on endangered species as shown in the pictures below.
It is important to know the value and history of the items we use. For the last 20 years, there has been a propensity to discard too easily. My grandmother had lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s and kept the frugal habits from that era. As a seamstress she kept scraps which eventually at 13 I started to use in crazy quilts. She also would remove buttons on clothing that were destined for the rag pile. (Yes, we had cloth rags instead of paper towels) I inherited her button collection and also added to it.
I have vintage fabric offerings at my Etsy site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PinkTulipQuilting. The quality of many vintage fabrics is superior to some fabric offerings today, especially those companies which are looking to cut costs. Most vintage velvet, corduroy, flannel, muslin and many cottons have a better quality. Many of my Etsy customers who purchase vintage fabric want to remain true to the period if they are repairing or completing vintage quilts. Vintage fabrics will match the color ways of whatever era when working on a quilt to repair or complete. A new friend is sending me a quilt top from the 1980s; the fabric I select will be as true to the colorway I can find and hope to find some vintage to finish this treasured qult.
Button collections can hold significant history and treasure. I have found glass buttons, mother of pearl and celluloid buttons, military buttons, old Levi buttons in found button collections. The National Button Society (NBS) https://nationalbuttonsociety.org/ provides information for any button collector. NBS was founded in 1938, with many state and local button clubs forming soon thereafter. Their website provides instruction on how to care for and create with buttons. Additionally, they have a button bibliography.
The Mattatuck Museum in Connecticut has the Waterbury Button Museum. Waterbury had several button manufacturers in its history and the museum has over 10,000 buttons displayed. Iowa has the Muscatine Pearl Button Museum. Muscatine, Iowa was known as “the Pearl Button Capital of the World.” Companies manufactured more than 1.5 billion mother-of-pearl buttons each year. South Carolina has the Dalton Steven’s Button Museum which displays all the items Mr. Stevens covered in buttons including a hearse and an outhouse.
Currently, I have a significant collection of vintage buttons and fabric, some posted on Etsy. Use coupon 20PINKTULIP to obtain 20% off any item in my Etsy shop April 15-30, 2023. Please comment on this blog what you are doing to lessen your environmental impact, comments and an IG follow will each be an entry to the giveaway of five total pounds of a combination of fabric, buttons, and trim from Pink Tulip Quilting.
I will end with my poem, When We Listened To The Wind
Take me back to the days when we listened to the wind
When our lives followed the stars
And we rested by the waterways
When we recognized healing herbs
The deer in the forest
and the birds nested nearby
Take me back to where the sun alone lit life’s events
and a day’s work was determined by the breeze.
Let simplicity replace indulgence
Let nature be our mentor
Let the moon be our teacher
Come with me, let’s follow the clouds.
Don’t forget to comment in order to enter contest to win the giveaway.
Please visit the other Earth Day bloggers listed below. A special thank you to the Sewing Scientist for coordinating this activity, please support our efforts by commenting, participating and letting us know how you practice sustainability.!
@sewingscientist @megankoshurba @seamrippersociety @srbracelin @pinktulipquilting @tjwrightquilts @danamillerfiberarts @createdesignmake365 @sassystrawberryprintco @gingerberryquilts @littlebitsalove