First we set up a display of pearl buttons, the old fashioned kind made from clams and mussels from the Mississippi River. Making Pearl Buttons was a huge industry in Iowa from around 1890 through the 1920's and peaked around 1916.
Also in the case are a couple of Singer sewing machines. My Aunt Mary Ellen's 1954 model and a wonderful 1882 fiddleback that is in the Museum collection.
On the middle shelf are a couple 1956 issues of The Workbasket Magazine, probably the earliest sewing and needlecraft magazine. Publication began in October 1935 and was in print for over 60 years!
Recently I found out that some of the redwork patterns from Workbasket have been digitized for embroidery machines and I was so excited to find a copy of Redwork from the Workbasket by Rebecca Kemp Brent. I stitched up a redwork sewing basket from the book and put it in my mothers old green metal and cork embroidery hoop.
Take a look at that wonderful red and white Eight-Pointed Star quilt from the Museum collection! All hand made, probably between 1880 and 1920. The star blocks are about 8 inches.
Next to the large cabinet is a smaller one where we put some patterns from the 1940's, some photos of old Ashland, WI fabric shops from days gone by, and on the bottom my grandmother's pincushions and other old sewing notions. Two of the pincushions are little dogs, and the tongues are pull-out tape measures. So cute!
There are some of my small quilts in the background to brighten up the display and on a quilt rack along side the display case are a couple more quilts - In the Library design by Debby Kratovil, Patches & Pinwheels design by Bonnie Hunter, a Log Cabin American Flag, Broken Dishes design by Kathleen Tracy and one of the 1905 reproduction doll quilts from the Bloomington Historical Society.
They also picked my Carpenters Star quilt with music themed fabric and put it near the piano from the 1800's that is being restored. The museum volunteers have been raising money for the project and finally have enough to get the restoration started.
If you're in the Ashland, Wisconsin area any time, stop in to the Museum. It's in a little storefront right on Main Street. And if you're there between now and the middle of May, come take a look at the vintage sewing display! Be sure to tell the Museum Curator that I sent you. She's my daughter, and I couldn't be prouder of the work she is doing in Ashland.
Reproduction quilt patterns for the 1905 doll quilts will be available in the gift shop.