Friday, April 9, 2010

Sewing Supplies from YesterYear

Many years ago my grandmother gave me a sewing basket of supplies that she no longer used or needed. I don't recall exactly all that I received, but I do still have a few of the items.

Grandma Rose gave me lots of pins and needles. I don't have many of the pins any more as they became bent or dull or rusty. I do still have some of the needles and I wanted to show them to you. Most of them are packaged in their original packaging which is what I find most interesting. Needles today are not the same quality as they were from way back when. Here are a few packages....note the pricing...5 cents, 15 cents.

And here is a package of home repair needles. I don't use these as they are too heavy duty for what I do, but you just never know when you may have the occasional need for something like this.

Back in the day, many businesses gave out gifts to their customers, normally around Christmas time. The gifts they handed out were normally useful items that had their business name imprinted on it. Needle cards were a popular item and here are three the same. These cards have varying degrees of damage to them and some contain more needles than others. The one that is open had the most needles in it and even came with a needle threader. That was missing from the other two cards.

I have a hard time these days finding good needles. While at my local quilt shop the other day, Angie showed me these straw needles and said that she likes them. So I thought I'd give them a try.

Another item in my Grandma's sewing basket was these two thread boxes. They are hard plastic. I don't use them as the thread spools I have today don't fit well.

You can see on the cover over on the left hand side that a business was giving these out to their customers and had their business name stamped on it. I like the name that is embossed on these boxes...Tidee Maid Thread Box.  Gosh, I wish businesses gave out cool gifts like these still.

And here is the sewing basket Gramdma Rose gave me. I use it these days for storage.

All in all I think that many of the sewing supplies from that time in life are pretty cool, and some things I enjoy having and I suppose there are some things I'd like to have, not that I can think of anything at the moment. But I will admit, that I do like the time-saving tools we have these days, such as rotary cutters and more.

How about you? Do you have any great sewing items handed down to you or that you've purchased? What are they?


  1. What fun. My mom had a sewing basket like that one...even same color.

  2. What a great post! I have a real liking of old timey sewing notions. I received some similar items from my aunt's mother when she passed away. I even got several sets of those home repair needles. They look fierce! She also had some drafting tools (t- ruler and some sort of compass)and lots and lots of needles. Most needles are for quilting and all seem fairly similar in size. Lots of tailor's chalk,some straight pins, and pencils for marking tops. It was fun to sort through and I even got a really useful Tupperware container with a sliding top. Bonus!

  3. It's fun to see your collection. I have some too and collect the old round baskets that had no lining. I like the connection with the past.

  4. What a great post! I have lots of items from my Great-grandmother and both of my Grandmothers and I cherish all of them. My favorite is the buttonhole attachment that I have from my Grandma Dove. That thing makes perfect buttonholes.

  5. No sewing items, but paint brushes and artists' markers that were passed down from my Grandmother. They are mostly unusable and I finally tossed the markers a couple of weeks ago because they were too dried out to use anymore, but the old paint brushes are still in the studio as a tribute to one of my biggest creative influences- my grandmother. :D

    Neat post, Terry.

  6. I also have an assortment of treasures from my Grams and Great Grams. My favorite is a thimble that was my Great Gram's. She was a quilter and there is a small hole where the eye of the needle wore down the thimble. It is my go to thimble and every once in a while the needle slides through the hole and reminds me of my Great Gram. Love the sewing basket. The true treasures are the memories! Have a great week.

  7. I have some supplies from my mom's sewing history - I've been keeping old spools of threads for just basting thread, but now I see I can use the wooden spools to make BOOKS! *S*

    I use straw needles now for all my binding jobs and a few other things. I like them. They are very thin and mallable. The more they look "bent" the better they are. *S*

    Oh, and I have all mom's crochet hooks - she used even those tiny ones with crochet thread.

  8. Learning all the time . . . please educate me: what are straw needles??


  9. Oh, I have a thing for those old needle kits, and have collected them with the thought of putting them together in a frame one of these days. And wooden spools of thread...who knew they'd be obsolete?! perhaps you can put together a shadow box sort of display with your grandmother's sewing items -- what a lovely way to remember your grandmother and honor your sewing link to her!

  10. My Mom has handed down some amazing silk saris, as well as a the most wonderful bobbin case. Not to mention that she is the one who handed down her love for sewing to me, as well!

  11. Hi, just enjoyed your blog on several pages of this and older posts, beautiful creative quilts and talk. Labors of love and enjoyment for the creator and the viewer. However it was not labor to just sit back an enjoy.

    I am also a quilter and use faces and recycled materials in my quilts, I will be giving a talk on this to a large group of quilters who are more traditional this Tues.
    Been working hard getting ready. I don't want to change there minds I just want to show something quicker fun and pretty result.

    I found an old rug hook in my mothers sewing box, I made a good many hooked rugs from rags with it also. Other things in the box, and I leave it except for the hook to just open and enjoy.

    Thank you for the visit

  12. Very sweet "stroll down memory lane" with Grandma Rose's things. I really liked that.

    auntie jude

  13. Terri, thanks for leaving your blog site for us to read, it's a great blog. Check our facebook page on Friday to find out the winner of the Blog-of-the-Week!

    I love this post! What a trip into the past, little treasures covered in nostalgia and the longing for days gone by. Thank you for sharing, keep up the beautiful quilting.


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