April 12, 2018


I’ve written about my bestie, Andrea,from Bosom Buddy Bags for years. She designs hand-bags, floral arrangements, and much more. She’s had some big changes in her life – foremost, her first grandchild – and is scaling back. She and her husband, whose family owned the Stieff Silver Company, are having a sale on Everything But The House! And some of her gorgeous silver and collections can be yours. I thought I’d share some of my favourite selections from the sale with you.

Sterling silver bull, bear and penguin.image

Mackenzie Childs flower arrangement with hurricane. Someone, not mentioning any names, designs for them.image

Kirk-Stieff Red "Cloisonné Embassy" Flatware. This was the first set of silver I bought for myself.


Assorted silver, including some made for the White House.image

Silverplate Chinese Fortune Cookiesimage

Five Stieff Pewter Washington Camp Cups… or julep cups!image

Edwardian-style containers. Line with moss and use as centerpieces!image

1,850 Lincoln Wheat Pennies! Glad I didn’t have to count them!image

Salt & Pepper shakers and Cigarette Urns. PERFECT for tiny flower arrangements!image

Stieff Christmas Ornaments and Perfume Atomizersimage

The sale goes on until Monday, April 16th at 8:15 p.m. Eastern Time. Bid early and often!

April 2, 2018


If you have been reading Pigtown*Design for any length of time, you might have noticed two things: I love auctions and I love old quilts. I’ve written about the intersection of the two here and here. Saturday afternoon, I realized that I didn’t really have anything on my schedule – a rare event – so I checked the schedule of a country auction that I attend every few months, and found that they had an auction beginning in about 45 minutes, just about the length of time it would take for me to drive there. I also saw that they had some old quilts up for auction, so that cemented my decision to hop in the car and head north.

There were two auctions being held simultaneously, so you can imagine the cacaphony in the building. One thing I like about auctions, other than the sheer excitement of them, is that you have the chance to look at each item and examine it carefully for marks, flaws and craftsmanship. Another thing I love is the absolute randomness of what’s up for auction. Since this was a country auction, there were more building and farming tools than china and silver. But that really wasn’t an issue.

This particular auction, and I am not revealing my sources, does not auction the items in any particular order. The “runners” just grab things off the shelves and take them to the front of the room to be sold. So, I really had to pay attention to watch for the quilts. I actually lost one because I was moving between the two auctions and had just walked over to the main side when they were hammering down one of the quilts. So irritated at myself. But I learned my lesson quickly and stayed put until they’d all been sold.

Because the auction is in Amish country, most of the quilts were clearly hand-stiched, and not done on a machine. And because I had examined the quilts before I bid on them, it was easy to discern which were commercially made quilts. Another set of quilts that I’d bought previously had been authenticated by the county historical society and each one had a cloth tag verifiying that it was handmade in the county.

Here is the real find of the day, and I am assuming you’ll realize why I had to buy it! Funnily, there was also one, clearly by the same maker, that was all L’s! I skipped that one. This is the better side of the quilt, and I am toying with the idea of cutting it up and making pillow covers from each of the big squares. Tell me if I am right or wrong to do this.image

I love this one! It has such a great pattern and you can see how much thought went into it. The slight differences in each of the squares delights your eyes.image

By the time I won my third quilt, the runner was laughing that I would never get cold! I told him that I got this one because it reminded me of the Maryland flag, which is quite distinctive. I also love how it’s been quilted in squares to reflect the main pattern.image

maryland flag big

The final quilt is machine sewn, but I loved the pattern on one side of it. They actually had the darker side displayed and so I was pleased to be able to check it out and find the brighter side.image

When I was hanging these out to be photographed, I noticed some stains and spots and they smelled like a smoker owned them (gag). In my past experience, I have had very good luck in cleaning them in the washer on a very gentle cycle. I usually soak them first to loosen the stains and then when everything’s finished, I hang them on the clothes-line to dry, using lots of clothes-pins to the weight is evenly distributed. If one seems particularly fragile, I will put a sheet on the grass and lay the quilt on that to let it dry in the sun. 

Some of these might end up on my Etsy site, since I don’t have enough beds in my house to use all of these!