I have a weakness for antique shopping and weird thrift stores. I get it from my Dad, who will go out of his way to hit every random estate and garage sale he can. The man hasn’t discovered Craigslist garage sale postings yet, and when he does, you’d better believe he’ll be sneaking tools and odd ends into his barn.
I am not so much one to buy something because it “looks pretty”; I want everything to have a purpose. I don’t believe in having nice china or pieces of glassware that are only used on special occasions. So when I find something in an antique store, whether it be a home good, a vintage dress, or a piece of silver, it’s going to be used and well loved.
While walking around Sellwood thrift stores last week, I stumbled upon a vase filled with extremely tarnished silver spoons. Many of them had faces of presidents on the handles, and were obviously collected and hung on someone’s wall at one point. I noticed a few state spoons poking out of the glass mouth and sifted thru them until a perfect one fell into my hand.
I normally wouldn’t take home something like a silver spoon, but when I saw INDIANA emblazoned on the handle, I knew I’d be offering the shop owner a few dollars for it.
It was actually in pretty bad condition, with lots of scratches and so much tarnish I could hardly see the tiny state seal at the top. But a good cleaning and some silver polish has it (almost) shining like new.
It reminded me of another antique store purchase I made back in Indiana. A vintage quilt, which is hand-pieced but machine quilted. It’s probably from the 1930s or 40s judging by the fabrics, and we’ve used it for many picnics and lots of couch snuggling. It’s been used so much, in fact, it’s falling apart.
It’s not particularly spectacular by any means. Judging by the technique and stitches, it was probably someone’s first quilt, maybe even someone’s very first sewing project. But despite the wonky appliquéd circles, faded prints and almost non-existant binding, I love this quilt. I’ve patched up many places on it, but at this point there are areas where there’s nothing left to sew to; nothing left to patch.
So what would you do? Put it to rest and find another antique treasure? Or continue to love and use it until there’s simply nothing left?