Tuesday, February 28, 2017

eBay: the art of the snipe

Here's how I win things on eBay. It's called sniping, and there is software that can do it for you, but I've always done it manually. The images are screen shots from an auction I won yesterday.

With less than two minutes remaining, I prepared my bid, but did not submit and confirm it until the very end. That would've alerted the bidder to my presence, potentially triggering a bidding war.

The eBay system allows you to set any high bid amount you want, and raises bids by smaller increments depending on the leader's high bid. So, I prepared my bid at $168.52, submitted it with less than ten seconds to go and my leading bid turned out to be $26.

The other bidder's high bid was $25, which is why the system registered my bid at $26. Then, time immediately ran out with no other bidders. My $168.52 bid was overkill, but that's how sniping works. The only thing that can foul it up is another sniper, and it's been known to happen. Just be careful when setting your high bid, and make sure you can cover it if things go horribly wrong. If I'd gotten the quilt for $150 rather than $26, I may have grumbled a little, but it still would've been worth it.

Usually, it's Game over! And that, my friends, is the art of the snipe. I had paid for the item before the other bidder even knew what happened.

a favorite from Honolulu

Here's another scrap quilt from Honolulu. This one is among my favorites. I love greens and blues.

It was a top when I found it, and Gail Weiss added the backing and binding, another job well done! The vintage blue Hawaiian binding fabric came from a shop in Kailua. The piece is 34" x 44" and includes a nice variety of bold, floral print fabrics. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

find the lucky shamrock!

Do you believe in the luck of the Irish? If so, you might want to head over to Antique Alley in Portland, and check out Case #F-3. For a limited time leading up to St. Patrick's Day, this lucky shamrock pin will be available for sale. It was made some time around the 1950s and is green enamel, about one-inch in size. In very good condition. Even if you're not Irish, nothing says "Kiss Me" like a four-leaf clover. So, go get it while it's still there!

Antique Alley is located in the 42nd Street Station at 2000 NE 42nd Avenue in the Hollywood District of Portland, Oregon. The shop, which boasts 100 dealers, is open Monday through Friday from 10am-6pm, Saturday from 10am-5:30pm and Sunday Noon to 5:00pm. To visit the web site, click here.

another scrap quilt from Honolulu

scrap quilt from Honolulu, c. 1975-2017

Here's another one of the finished quilt tops from Hawaii. Gail Weiss did a nice job finishing this one. We looked at the bindings on some other quilts, and found good inspiration.
this quilt was the inspiration for the binding
One quilt in particular, a Broken Dishes with a wide floral print binding was the inspiration for the binding on the top.

the inspiration binding
The binding was made with fabric applied to the front and machine stitched. Unlike a lot of bindings, it was not wrapped around to the back.

great job Gail, you nailed it!
Gail nailed it. The maker of the top would be proud of the finish. It was relatively quick and painless, but specific. I like this type of work to be in keeping with the period and style of quilt, and I like to include the finish date and person who finished it.

Worth the effort to finish, it is an eye-popping piece with lots of bold Hawaiian fabrics. Here are a few of them.

There are two more tops from the group, and I will photograph them at some point during the week, so stay tuned...

open for business

I am in case #F-3 at Antique Alley, 2000 NE 42nd Ave., lower level, Portland
Originally I planned to move in to my display case at Antique Alley on March 1st, maybe the afternoon before. Yesterday, I found myself ready to go, so I went for it a few days early.

First, I had to clean up the case a bit. Initially I liked the color of the green paper lining the case, but when I got a closer look, it was a bit run down and there were hooks all over the place.

First I removed the green paper and most of the hooks, and put in three sheets of decorative, blue and white contact paper. I only used about an inch of the contact paper adhesive along the top edge, and a few pieces of Scotch tape to secure the sheets in place.

That way, it should be easy to remove later, even though I'd be willing to bet the future tenants will want to keep it. Looks nice. I cleaned the shelves with a little Windex while I was in there.

My car was parked outside and everything was in boxes and organized. I think it took less than 30 minutes to move in, and most of that was fussing with things on the shelves so everything could be seen easily. If people can see the price tags, it's less work for the staff.

Everything but one item fit in. That item was an antique shelf. It was only going to be for display, and I could've figured out a way to get it in, but it was going to be way too much effort. So I brought it back to the car and continued unloading everything else.

Antique Alley is located in the lower level of the 42nd Street Station, 2000 NE 42nd Avenue in the Hollywood District of Portland, Oregon.

This treasure trove of antique and vintage collectibles boasts 100 dealers with everything from German beer steins to Hawaiian shirts. Antique Alley is open Monday through Friday from 10am-6pm, Saturday from 10am-5:30pm and Sunday Noon to 5:00pm. To visit the web site, click here.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

scrap quilt from Honolulu

Hawaiian scrap quilt, unknown maker, Honolulu, c. 1975-2017, 46" x 61"
This cheerful Hawaiian scrap quilt came from a vintage shop in Honolulu. It was one of many great pieces I found during my vintage shopping spree on Oahu in January.

When I first picked it up, it was an unfinished top, one of four or five tops needing simple finishes for display. In that regard, they would become time-span pieces, but they would also be much easier to exhibit.

I asked my friend Gail Weiss if she would have time for the job. Lucky for me, she said yes. First, we sat down together and looked at several examples of Hawaiian scrap quilts in my collection. Most of the edge finishes were done by machine, and they varied from pillow-edge to applied binding to reverse facing.

Gail and I enjoyed looking at the various edge finishes together. Details matter, and I felt it was important to finish these tops the way they might have been finished by their original makers. It was specific, but nothing fancy.

Of course, there would be a few creative decisions, but we made sure to shake things up a bit. One top would get an applied edge finish but no back fabric. The foundation fabric was too interesting to cover up. Another top would be backed with vintage muslin and bound with some blue Hawaiian fabric I got in Kailua.

A third top, slightly larger, needed a binding. Luckily, I discovered a beautiful piece of vintage Hawaiian fabric online, and it arrived quickly.

I was happy with the finish on the first one when I picked it up yesterday, and I think Gail enjoyed trying something different. It got a pillow-edge or knife-edge finish because it didn't really need anything more.

pillow-edge or knife-edge finish with top stitching
The others are now done and I'll see them some time today. I will make sure to post photos during the week, so stay tuned...

Thursday, February 23, 2017

throwback thursday: just last week

Show & Tell @ the PMQG February meeting, photo by Matthew Stovall
Last Thursday I went to the Portland Modern Quilt Guild meeting. It had been a while since I'd gone to a guild meeting, and I felt guilty because I missed the Northwest Quilters guild meeting earlier in the week. My excuse: I was waiting for this spectacular quilt to arrive.

Portland Modern Quilt Guild meets at a church, so it was a fun piece to bring for Show & Tell. I enjoyed looking around at everyone as they gazed at the quilt. Their eyes were wide, even though it was late and the meeting was almost over.

Northwest Quilters also meet at a church, so I will have to remember to bring it for Show & Tell there next time. It's one of the most intriguing quilts I have discovered. I wish I knew more about it.

Joyce Gieszler was visiting yesterday. When she saw the quilt at the meeting, the imagery struck her as two congregations joining together under one roof. That's an idea worth investigating.

There's a lot going on under that big rainbow roof, and indeed there are two buildings. Could they represent two churches and two congregations joining together?

What churches in the Lancaster region of Pennsylvania merged around the turn of the century? Now there's a question! I'm not sure how to go about answering it, but maybe it will lead to an account of this quilt. Somehow, somewhere, someone must have had something to say about the quilt.

Seek and you shall find!