One Man’s Trash…Giveaway!

One man’s trash…is another man’s treasure.

Nowhere is this more true than in our circles of quilting friends and acquaintances. My homet0wn guild had a little garage sale at its April meeting. I’ve been looking forward to it since February! A while back I started a garage sale box, and into the box went anything in my sewing area that I wasn’t attached to any more. There was quite a variety.

trash1 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

Needlebook and pincushion: cute and useful, but I have lots of these.


trash2 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

UFO center panels: these were interchangeable in the center of a long, skinny quilt in a picture frame. No longer my style.

trash3 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

More center panels, no longer useful.


trash4 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

A table runner UFO from really cool fabric—which matches nothing I own.


trash5 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

A baby quilt that appeared in Quiltmaker, now it's a UFO. I'm hesitant to get rid of this one.

trash6 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

A sample block made for a quilt design of mine that later appeared in Quiltmaker.

trash7 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

Framed photos of quilts that I found at a garage sale in Parker, Colorado years ago. No longer my style.


trash81 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

Does this really need explanation? It could a blog post all by itself. Entitled "Projects Gone Bad.'

trash9 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

Just in case the first picture wasn't scary enough, here's a detail.

I feel compelled to add here that the teacher in whose class I started this project is an amazing art quilter who does fabulous work. Her name is Pamela Allen. When she does it, it’s cool. When I tried it wasn’t. I think that just means you can’t speak in someone else’s voice—you have to find your own. This was definitely not Pamela’s fault.


trash10 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

A "blended" quilt top from ages ago. Looks like mush to me. Hesitant on this one, too because I paid a small fortune for the silly kit.

So those were some of my contributions.


trash11 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

But now to the fun part! You have to see what I scored at the quilters’ garage sale!

trash12 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

I’m pretty sure I missed some great stuff because I was busy taking pictures when I should have been shopping. Nevertheless, I found some treasures.


trash14 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

A perfectly awesome book by Ringle and Kerr for two dollars!

trash15 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

Really fun vintage pamphlet with 15 quilt patterns!

trash18 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

Vintage cross-stitch blocks, 4 for $1. See how great they look with some of my reproduction fabrics?

trash16 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

Three funky blocks like this for 25 cents total. Way cool fabric in the center!

trash17 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

This is my favorite of the vintage fabrics in these blocks. I love it!

trash13 One Mans Trash…Giveaway!

And the Mother Lode, the Holy Grail, the be-all-end-all Deal of the Day: 42 vintage Four Patch blocks for a whopping $1.50. That's less than four cents apiece.

Because, and here comes the best part of all, you won’t believe what I made with these babies over the weekend! It’s a quirky, fun Bonnie Hunter-style quilt top with a boatload of unpredictable fabrics that all tie together in the end. Stay tuned, and maybe it will show up in Quiltmaker next year.

I have started another box of quilters’ garage sale goodies. Leave me a comment by midnight April 24 telling what your dream find at a quilters’ garage sale would be, and I will pick a winner, who gets the entire contents of my latest box (and I promise there will be some good stuff in there). The winner is comment #33 from wordygirl. I hope she enjoys her “stuff”!



About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

74 Responses to One Man’s Trash…Giveaway!

  1. Deb says:

    Love the idea of others junk as my treasures We had a sale at Guild like this and it went over really well! I love working we others work!

  2. wordygirl says:

    Thanks so much! What a fun way to start the week, watching for a surprise in the mail. It is raining here in Oregon again, but you’ve really brightened my day!

  3. Cassie D. says:

    I love finding quilting books and fun unique fabric at sales. I also really love flannel fabric and almost can never say “no” to it. I can’t believe how lucky you are to have a fun guild like that to do this for you guys! I love most of the things you gaveaway too!

  4. Deanna S says:

    I bought a Thimbleberries Block of The Month Kit, fabric & pattern for $50 at a quilters garage sale at a guild meeting. We also had silent auctions as a guild fund raiser that were so much fun. Quilters are so giving! Thanks for the give away…

  5. Carol B says:

    I would love to find antique quilts for low prices.

  6. Winona says:

    I would love to find a good older sewing machine in a cabinet. I have one, but you can never have too many, can you? LOL You found some good stuff.

  7. Karin says:

    Fabric, vintage notions, anything having to do with the needle arts – that is what I always look for at garage sales. I have never happened upon a quilter’s garage sale, what fun!

  8. Billie K says:

    I wished I had a dream find. I don’t go out much, shop online, and enter giveaways….those are good finds.

  9. Faith says:

    My dream find would be vintage pincusions – any size, any color! Faith.

  10. Teresa Weaver says:

    Love, love, love garage sales! A quilter’s garage sale would be a dream come true! I would take anything quilt related because they’re all treasures. I love repurposing stuff that other people don’t want. At guild, I have a reputation for accepting others’ leftovers and turning them into nice quilts and totebags.

  11. I love “saving” old quilts! I feel like I am part of their history. I also can’t pass them up {or vintage embroidery} when they are selling them so cheap!

  12. Jeanne says:

    My great find at a quilters garage sale would be a featherweight in wonderful condition for a little bit of nothing. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. Diane says:

    This is great! Would love to be the winner of all this stuff

  14. Pat Stokes says:

    I found a smelly old box of gorgeous lightweight upholstery fabrics that had obviously been in someone’s basement to use “some day.” I paid $3. I took it home, aired out the fabric, and turned it into a really pretty wall quilt. Then I took the quilt back where I bought it and left it for the women who lived there. I had fun thinking about the person who saved the fabric finding something made out of it.

  15. SewLindaAnn says:

    I keep waiting to find that large unopened box of vintage chenille bedspreads in all different colors. Of course they are in mint condition! I love garage sales, those prices were fabulous! I scored a bag of vintage zippers a couple of weeks ago. Love it!

  16. Linda Illes says:

    My dream find at a quilters garage sale would be a long arm sewing machine. I can just picture a family inheriting all this stuff and having no interest. What a find that would be!

  17. JoAnne Turnbull says:

    My dream would be to find more polka dot fabrics! I’ve manage to “collect” over 800 different ones so far.

    I am intrigued with your guild’s “garage sale”. Would you please tell us just how it works? Do you donate everything to the guild and then prices are put on the items? What a terrific idea!

  18. Sharon says:

    You got some good finds there! At a quilter’s garage sale, I would love to find a reasonably priced cabinet for my serger to fit in. Oh, and maybe those couple of AQS contest books – New Quilts from an Old Favorite that I missed.

  19. sandra parsons says:

    I loved the baby quilt you made, so pretty! I dram of “finding” an antique quilt top one day! :)

  20. Manuelita White says:

    I would love to find a working reasonable priced treadle sewing machine. I learned to sew on one with my mom who passed away 5 yrs ago. I find myself getting more and more nostalgic these days for days gone by. I feel like I have a bit of my mom back!

  21. Suzanne Montgomery says:

    I found 5 circa 1920 quilt tops. One was a double wedding ring in excellent condition, an Ohio star in good condition, the rest are in fair condition. I repaired and added borders where necessary and they are at the quilter’s. She has three completed and I can’t wait to get them back.

  22. Diane says:

    I had surgery for cancer in 07, some construction in my house, plumbing trbls. my carpenter through some of my things away. Id take anything you want to give me and appreciate it.

  23. Denise says:

    I’d have to say my dream find at a garage/yard sale would be old feed sacks. My Mom has some from her mother (who raised chickens to sell the eggs). The chicken feed came in the most beautiful sacks. My quilt on my bed was made by Grandma and Mom. Grandma pieced the top, and Mom sandwiched it with warm flannel and tied it. It’s beautiful and I love it.

  24. Doreen says:

    I would love to find some 4×6 pieces for an I spy quilt or a jar quilt, with rocks, insects, marbles etc for boys and bright pinks, greens girly things for girls! just dreaming!

  25. Merrily Abels says:

    When I was able to be active in quilt guild my “garage sale” score were blocks that were able to be finished into dolly quilts. Future garage sale score would be the ultimate dream of a long arm machine or even a wonderful Grace frame.
    Thanks for this opportunity!

  26. Dawn says:

    I am addicted to fabric (as all quilters are) and would love to find great material for my stash. Books are always great and I collect old thimbles for my mom who taught me to sew. Can’t wait to see what you do with the 4 patches!

  27. ellen k says:

    found some cool stuff today, actually. I took some pieced blocks from a purple /green quilt, I v’e been meaning to try that myself, so now I have a head start. then some cool batiks, and other brights she had. 2 1/2 yd blue batik was the SCORE! all for $2.5o, oh and a Lenox candy dish, sweet!! she wouldn’t sell the pastel top, it would hve been great to embrioder :(

  28. Jen says:

    My dream find at a quilter sale would be a vintage top! Or some old top period. I would also love to find some Bonnie Hunter books. I still need to buy some! Oooh, or some Sunbonnet Sue blocks. Thanks for the cute giveaway!

  29. VickiT says:

    My dream find at a quilters garage sale would be Dresden blocks. That would be such fun to see how others have made them OR even better, a great sewing machine with a longer throat than mine so that I could learn to do quilting myself.

  30. Brenda says:

    I would love to go to a garage sale where someone had just bought a new machine and it just happened that her old one is so much better than mine with not to many bells and whistles. I want some bells and whistles.

  31. Colleen says:

    any type of vintage blocks – quilted or embroidered would be a find! thanks.

  32. Kathi Miller says:

    I want to find a Featherweight for $25 from someone who doesn’t know what they have! I hear stories about people finding these treasures for cheap, cheap, cheap but think it’s “urban legend”. I finally gave up and bought a Featherweight for $300-400 several years ago but I still look at garage sales and flea markets for another one at a bargain price.

  33. Ann says:

    I would like to find the “Two Color Quilts” book for dollar or two, and of course fabric. A vintage quilt would be great too.

  34. kathy h says:

    My dream find would be a ruler that I don’t have and some fat quarters that would all go together. And some really cute buttons.

  35. Gale Lavers says:

    My dream find would be a featherweight sewing machine in working order for under fifty dollars. A girl can always dream…

  36. Gidget says:

    Yard-saleing can be so much fun, when you find something good you feel like you have hit the lottery! I love finding really old books and material of course!

  37. Cory says:

    I love a good garage sale too. Thank you for sharing pics of your loot with us. I would love to win your trash. Take care and God bless, Cory

  38. My dream finds are old buttons and wood bobbins – the pin type. And some penny rug remnants.

  39. LisaT says:

    Well, I suppose it would be my dream to even find fabric. I look for it but never see any. I also look at yardsales for embroidery design – dont find those either. Or buttons, buttons are good additions to folk art quilts. Thanks!

  40. Bev C says:

    You found some great items, I get a lot of items from our local garage sales and Good Sammy’s shop. I would love to find a whole roll of batting, that would make my day.
    Happy days.

  41. Sunnybec says:

    Hi you got some good stuff from the garage sale. We have a huge Vide Grenier (translated Empty Attic) in July it lasts all day…. guess who will be there for most of the day LOL. I doubt this is open to International (as soon as anybody mentions “box” it usually means only USA but I have commented anyway.

  42. wordygirl says:

    Those precious cross-stitch blocks are my dream find. Hooray for you, and thanks for the giveaway.

  43. Rita Goshorn says:

    what a way to have a garage grab! haven’t been able to go ‘saling’ for awhile, so would love to win a bag of stuff!

  44. Debra says:

    My dream find would be some heather ross munki munki scraps beacause I started quilting way after these were available!

  45. MarciaW says:

    My garage sale finds would be a complete working Featherweight sewing machine for a few dollars – and every fabric that Denyse Schmidt and Heather Ross have ever designed / released to market. Plus a dozen feedsacks for my mother. And, a lovely pieced unfinished antique quilt top. I dream big. Thanks for the giveaway.

  46. Carol in E TN says:

    I would love to find vintage blocks I could put together to make a quilt. Also trims, lace etc. Thanks for the giveaway and way to go with the 4-patch blocks!!!!!

  47. Nancy Sue says:

    I’d love the brown “tossaway” fabrics, the uglier the better. I have no idea why I like the browns, while others may think the fabric, drab, or depression :) Oh, and maybe a 1960ish sewing machine. Doesn’t have to run, as I just need to fill the need to tinker with belts, and screws and lions, and tigers, and bears….oh my!

  48. I think I am just nuts for fabric. anything fun. Vintage, surprising! You name it. I did find a great length of Flea market fancy at a thrift store a few months ago! That was wild!

  49. New hand dyed wool fabric would be my idea of a find, lol.
    I love fabrics and books, so just finding quilting things would be a thrill.


  50. Deb says:

    How about a bolt of Kona white? I’d definitely love to find fabric at a sale. I did find a set of 6 quilted vintage placemats at a yard sale years ago…love the fabrics in them. We had them on the table tonight and it brought back the memory.

  51. valerie says:

    My dream find would be a fat quarter bundle of Wuthering Heights by Moda. I wish I had a quilt guild that had garage sales, what a fun way to purge the things you no longer want or need and find some new treasures. Looking forward to seeing what you made from your four patches.

  52. Mystica says:

    We have very very very few garage sales and I have never gone to one in Sri Lanka!!!! but these finds are fabulous and if you are allowing overseas entries, please count me in.

  53. DianeH says:

    I love sewing notions like vintage thimbles and scissors but fabric is always great to find.

  54. Lynne says:

    Love your garage sale goodies :-)
    What would be my ultimate find :-) Lots of lovely older range repro 1800′s scraps. I would sneak a bit here and there into my scrappy quilts and be in heaven.
    Enjoy Easter and your garage goodies

  55. Rita W in Kearney says:

    I love guild garage sales (and silent auctions). My “dream find” would be vintage fabric to partner with the box of orphan blocks I bought at an estate auction. Old and frail blocks; but clean and 64 of them!!

  56. bingobonnie says:

    first off, I do not want to be drawn for your box of goodies – no offense but I’m in the purging mode around here too myself ;)

    I just wanted to say that my guild also held a garage sale for our October meeting last fall and I came home some $300 richer! ;) I still brought home more than I would have liked to but it was worth my time to participate!

    Those scrappy 4pathces are the best bargin of all!!! Lucky you – can’t wait to see what they have “grownup to become” in a future Quiltmaker – when it appears I hope you’ll write about finding them at your garage sale! ;)

    Love from Texas! ~bonnie

  57. The absolute dream find would be some hand appliqued Baltimore Album blocks. I really want to make (quilt) one, but don’t have the time to do the hand work. I have found some lovely vintage Rose Wreath blocks that I have put into a wall hanging.

  58. Sandi P. says:

    Well, if you are really talking ‘dream find” how about a long arm I could afford. Of course it would also have to come with an extra room on my house and lessons, but you said dream. LOL
    Seriously though – somewhere out there is the perfect fabric to do sashings and borders for the first quilt I ever started. I stopped quilting for awhile and now that I am at it again I want to finish this quilt, but 7 years & two moves later none of the fabrics in the sampler quilt are still available, but there has to be something to work with all those buy as I worked peachy fabrics.

  59. Linda says:

    hankies, or pre cut fabrics, or pre stitched cross stitched blocks or…..well, someone else’s garage sale is maybe my treasure! What a great idea!

  60. Fun! I love finding great quilt kits at a bargain price at a quilter’s garage sale. Fabric, it’s all about the fabric. Thanks for the fun giveaway!

  61. Suz says:

    I’d love to find some vintage fabric or some old doileys!

  62. Jalene says:

    What a lovely idea, Diane! Thank you so much for this opportunity.

    I think my dream score would be a variety of fat quarters and lots of patterns to inspire me what to do with them. I’d also love to find some great books that would walk a novice quilter like me through the complete process. And, if I can still dream, I’d love to find some kits having to do with star patterns ~ I really seem to be drawn to them.

  63. Jocelyn says:

    My dream find would be a copy of Kathleen Tracy’s first quilting book “American Doll Quilts” which is out of print. How fun it would be to shop at a Quilters Garage sale!

  64. Kathie Bugbee says:

    I have wanted a singer featherweight sewing machine and I always think I might find one at a garage sale. My daughter, who has not sewn more than 5 times in the last 10 years, found and bought one 4 years ago!!! Needless to say, I’m still looking :)

  65. Ariane says:

    I would love some charm squares that I could add to a scrappy quilt. Or some vintage fabrics. So fun!!!

  66. Karen A says:

    I’m always looking for vintage stuff- fabric, trims, wooden spools, and buttons.

  67. Trudy L says:

    Fabric, fabric and more fabric! I have been using up my stash, so I don’t have large cuts left anymore.
    I’d love that book to go with one I just got from the Sharing Table at our guild; love it!
    Batting would be nice, too!

  68. Katy P. says:

    Would love to find some Hawaiian quilt blocks already completed and ready to be put together!

  69. Toni Anne says:

    If I recieved a quilters garage sale box, I’d love for it to be full of fabric. It could be large pieces or small maybe some completed blocks. Maybe a Schnibbles pattern. Thanks for letting me dream. ;>

  70. Pat V. says:

    I would love to find some funky blocks like you did with the too cool fabrics!

  71. Esther says:

    What a fun idea to have a quilter’s garage sale! My dream would be an unopened, pristine Bernina, but realistically I would love to find some completed Ohio Star blocks.

  72. Lisa Marie says:

    Well, that Kerr & Ringle book looks like a dream find. And fabric, for me unique novelty prints would be the best.

  73. Jo Anne says:

    My dream find would be a sewing table or cabinet for under $50.

  74. Jillquilts says:

    What goodies you got!! Love it when quilty items can be repurposed and passed on to someone who will love it!

    I think that my dream find would be scraps that someone has already cut down to size and pressed so that they are ready for use… much like the 4 patches you scored! Or books from obscure authors that have fantabulous patterns for scraps. :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>