Monday, June 23, 2014

The Cool Tool

I'm am a big fan of tools -- tools that make life easier. My favorite tools are sewing tools -- of course! When I was at an estate sale the other day I was leaving the house by way of the garage and checking out the garage merchandise on my way to the checkout, not really expecting to find much to interest me in said garage. I spied a little grungy corroded tarnished tool that caught my attention. I walked on by (just like the 60s song -- picture me breaking out into song here because we sang this song when I was in 7th grade music class). After making my way around the garage, picking up a plant hanger, putting it back down, I made my way to the cool tool table and picked up the cool tool.  $2. OK - I still have no idea why I think it is cool, but on pure intuition and a $2 gamble I picked it up and headed to checkout. While there a woman confidently told me it was a seam measuring tool.  heh heh.

I am home now and have cleaned up the cool brass tool with a little brasso. Here it is! This is 3 photos of the same tool at different positions. I would hope my crazy quilter friends might see the instant attraction that I had to it. Looks like I need to get the rest of the brasso off of it. lol. I might have blended the photo a bit too much too because I see a corner sort of just fades away. Ha ha.

Anyway, I looked up the tool on the internet to see what it was and lo and behold it is a Combination Paper-Cutting Tool, Rule, and Dafting and Measuring Tool that was patented in 1924 and granted in 1928. It was meant to be an advertising gimic for businesses - they would have this tool made up with their business name on it. Mine was from the Indianapolis Paint & Color Company.
Photo from

Further research found a site trying to sell it for $125.00. A bit more than I paid for it. Of course, that doesn't mean I could get that much for it if I tried to sell it, but it is hopeful. Apparently there is a market for antique tools. I will play with it for a while to see if it is useful and if it doesn't pan out -- to ebay it goes! I can buy a lot of stash for that kind of money! But, it could be wonderfully useful -- measures angles and lengths, has holes for even marking of seam treatments. Think of it's value in marking triangular CQ shapes ...

Friday, June 20, 2014

Button Nirvana!

This week I went to an estate sale. There was nothing particularly special about the sale and I wasn't thrilled while I was there, but when I got home... I bought a button jar that didn't look very exciting -- I rolled it around and looked inside and there was only a few that looked remotely interesting. I almost bypassed it, but instead of being the usual $8 or $10 for the jar it was only $2.00. I thought that even the few remotely interesting ones would be worth at least that so I bought it. When I got it home I pulled out a pan and dumped out the buttons. I could scarcely see a button I wasn't interested in! How did that happen? They are mostly very old -- some even in the victorian era. I am thrilled. I have to spend some time to clean them up because some are very dirty, but here is a preview of a little of what thrills me. Some yummy shell buttons. I love thes things.  Also think the buckles are pretty cool.

 This little guy is apparently a fable button and may be from the 1890s. It is a stork with its bill in a wolf's mouth. I saw similar items for sale for $10 online.
 I am not particularly intrigued by this one except it was on sale online for $9. Apparently it is a 10k Modern Woodmen of America 50 year lapel pin and is collectable.
If I can sell them I can go out and buy at least 9 more jars of buttons like this one. Ha ha -- if I could ever find one this cheap again.  (-; There are many more, but I have to clean them up and this requires research and care.