Monday, December 18, 2017

The Charming History of Chenille Bedspreads .. Peacock Alley

A few days back I was scrolling through Facebook posts and happened on one that I found so intriguing and ever so charming. It sparked my interest when It was about vintage Chenille bedspreads ... I don't know about you but I have always loved old Chenilles and even many of the newer ones that have made a resurgence in the last years..

In years past I found myself curious as to how they were made but never took the time to research it..

Thanks to the Old Marietta FB page who posts historical info about Marietta, GA and surrounding areas .. I'm not from GA myself but just a hop, skip and jump west of there but still in the south .. 

I think the original post from the OM FB page tells the history beautifully so here is their original post on the history of Chenille Bedspreads: ...

The World Capital for "Chenille Bedspreads"

Imagine: you’ve piled the family into the car and are driving south for a Florida vacation. You’re traveling along U.S. Highway 41 "Dixie Highway" in northwest Georgia, when suddenly both sides of the road become flanked by row after row of clotheslines chock full of stunning chenille bedspreads. Congratulations! You’re in the thick of “Peacock Alley.” And most likely you’re between Dalton and Marietta, GA.

1930s travelers often stopped and bought these bedspreads, and of the many designs adorning the spreads, the most popular among tourists was the peacock. Hence the nickname.

Sometimes the bedspread buyers believed their purchases to be examples of authentic American folk crafts, when in fact by that decade a well organized industry had formed around the tufted beauties.

Catherine Evans (later Catherine Evans Whitener) revived the handcraft technique of tufting in the 1890s near Dalton. Tufted bedspreads consisted of cotton sheeting to which Evans and (later) others would apply designs with raised “tufts” of thick yarn. These tufted bedspreads were often referred to as chenille products. Chenille, the French word for “caterpillar,” is generally used to describe fabrics that have a thick pile (raised yarn ends) protruding all around at right angles.

By the 1920s merchants had organized a vast “putting out” system to fill the growing demand. They established “spread houses,” usually small warehouses (or homes) where patterns were stamped onto sheets. Men called haulers would deliver the stamped sheets and yarn to thousands of rural homes in north Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. Families then sewed in the patterns. The hauler would make another round of visits to pick up the spreads, pay the tufters (or “turfers,” as they sometimes called themselves), and return the products to the spread houses for finishing. Finishing involved washing the spreads in hot water to shrink them and lock in the yarn tufts. The tufted spreads could also be dyed in a variety of colors.

The participation of farm families in this industry provided badly needed cash incomes and helped these families weather the Great Depression. It also produced fortunes for some. Dalton’s B. J. Bandy (aided by his wife, Dicksie Bradley Bandy) was reputedly the first man to make $1 million in the bedspread business by the late 1930s, but many others followed.

Also in the 1930s such companies as Cabin Crafts began to bring the handwork from the farms into factories. The bedspread manufacturers sought greater productivity and control over the work process and were also encouraged to pursue centralized production by the wage and hour provisions of the National Recovery Administration’s tufted bedspread code. These new firms also began mechanizing the industry by adapting sewing machines to the task of inserting raised yarn tufts.



1934. Mrs. Ralph Haney poses for a photograph in her kimono. The peacock design was made of chenille.


I hope you enjoyed learning about the History of the Chenille Bedspread as much as I did .. and if you are in or Near or from GA ... be sure and hop over to the Old Marietta, FB page HERE and be sure to like or follow their page.  

I would have loved to see all those Chenille Bedspreads flapping in the breeze on clotheslines heading down the Dixie Hwy... Wow what a sight that must have been and every wife and mom must have pleaded for the hubby to stop if for no more to see, touch and  dream of owning one and for those that could take one home I'm sure it was absolutely treasured .. I think that's why we find so many wonderful pieces of the past such as chenille bedspreads in such amazingly good condition.. that era wasn't a throw away society and their earnings when spent on a special items meant they took care of it and treasured it ..

Here's to treasuring Beautiful Pieces of the Past ..

Farmhouse Blessings .. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Looking for a fun One of a Kind Christmas Gift ?

Merry Christmas Y'all .. 

I can't believe we're only a few weeks away from Christmas I'll tell you the older I get the days and weeks and months just fly by .. I think I've heard that a time or two from my older family members as well .. By Golly they sure were right .. !

Well if you haven't found that special gift for that special someone .. I just though I would share some of our newest Farm Girl Fancies Upcycled Flannel Shirt / Jackets  just in case it might fit that certain someone you've been looking for just the right gift ... 
We have a variety of sizes and colors and each piece we design is a true One of a Kind .. with special attention to the details .. so here's a few sneak peeks .. 

For more detailed photos and sizes be sure and visit our Etsy shop HERE

Warm Winter Blessings ..

Saturday, December 9, 2017

New Farm Girl Fancies ...

Coming to our Etsy shop tomorrow Sunday December 10th .. 

We will be listing all new Farm Girl Fancies Upcycled Flannel Shirt/Jackets

We have had requests for sizes XL - 3X .. we will have 6 available in those sizes as well as sizes Sm through Lg...

Have a Beautiful Evening 
Merry Christmas 
Sweet Magnolias Farm !

Monday, December 4, 2017

New Additions and a quick revamp to the shop

It was a busy Monday for us .. how about you all ? 

Today we spent the better part of the afternoon at our shop space. We took in all sorts of new vintage goodness and did a little revamping to our shop displays that were looking a little bedraggled after items have sold and left either empty spots or left the display lacking .. 

And as I said adding more vintage goodness to the shop space ..Here's a bunch of photos for you all to enjoy and if you're local be sure and hop on down and visit our shop space or run or drive or take the bus .. LOL .. whatever makes you happy and bring a few friends while you're at it !
 we recently sold out of our Pendelton, Irish Wool and Plaid Throws ... so I was thrilled to find a few more .. along with a vintage green and cream floral bed blanket with original tags .. A vintage Montgomery wards Western Field Stainless Thermos .. The cutest Plaid Flannel Purse .. a cool Western snap front Pendelton shirt and so much more !
If you love Kitchy and Colorful .. we have some fun pieces .. 

I'm Loving one of our newer pieces .. the Apple Jack 5Cent Candy Box ..

And we are getting down to the last few of our Biddies Valley Eggs Boxes .. original never used from the 1950's ..

Our Vintage Buffett got a whole new look today ... it's full of vintage Whites .. We have a beautiful 8 pc place setting of vintage white Scalloped Restaurantware ..  and some gorgeous vintage white pitchers.. or if you've been looking for those hard to find Ruffled Milk Glass Cake Plates .. we have a new one into the shop today !

And .. Some fun Christmasy Goodness

And Lastly .. new to the shop today is this stunning cocoa brown suede leather duster Coat with Ruffled trim ... size Med..  and in pristine condition ! Would make an amazing Christmas gift !

Or come check out our Farm Girl Fancies Upcycled Flannel Shirt .. We have a nice variety of color and will be adding more this weekend !

Well that's a walk through our shop space hope you all enjoyed it .. be sure if you're local or passing through Ozark, MO on your way to or from Branson, MO to stop in at Camp Flea Antique mall just off the Jackson Street Exit and come see us Space #777 ...

Until next time..
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and 
Sweet Farmhouse Blessings 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

A little bit Personal and A Whole lot of fun !

Good Sunday Morning to you all .. !!!
Merry Christmas !

Well it's been said before and I guess it's time to say it again .. it's been a long time since I posted here on the blog .. truth is I think I just went through a time when I didn't have a lot to share or the words to share a post ... I started several sitting in draft and would come back to add to the few lines I had written and the well was dry ... they sat there for months and finally I deleted what few lines were there. 

It's been a long year full of twists and turns .. good and bad just like everyone else .. To start off with the Good News my Dad has gone well over a year without any medical issues .. now that's worth celebrating cause every time I drive by the local hospital my tummy flip flops and that feeling of dread comes over me at having to return .. So I am Very thankful that he is doing so well .. !
I'm also thankful for my Sweet "Flossie" dog ... In March of the upcoming year she will be 2 years in remission from her AIHA .. (auto immune hemolytic anemia) . She's doing amazingly well and not on any meds just a good wholesome hand made diet and supplements. I'm thankful for her being well too .. it was such a horrific illness she lived through.
I'm also thankful that we finally made it to our new home sweet home State of Missouri. We went back and forth 2 yrs back between moving here and TX .. then had to go back to CA for near a yr for my Dad's medical and then finally got to come back to MO for good. 
When we first got here we had an idea of what we wanted in a home in our heads ... but as we looked for homes and realized our needs, our desires , and what reality for our everyday life was the picture we drew in our heads and hearts continued to change over many months time. Moving to an entirely new state in and of itself is quite a life change then trying to figure out if you want to live out from the city .. on how many acres and what size house etc etc etc .. wasn't as easy for us as it is some I'm sure. Then Prices were higher than we anticipated and the housing market was and still is moving quickly and to be honest we are not the kind of people to make split second decisions for heavens sake I can take 3 or 4 days just to decided If I want to buy a shirt .. and then still end up returning it after I talk myself out of it LOL ! so Buying a home is a super big deal to me its a huge financial responsibility that my parents and I will have to deal with together and then if life goes on as it does I will be left with when they are gone from this earth. 
Well we made some mess ups this year and didn't move quick enough on a few homes and on a few others even when we tried to move quick there were others that were there before us and got their bids in which were excepted .. so all in all we lost out on about 5 or 6 houses either due to us not moving quick enough or them selling before we ever got a chance.
Truth is we got tired and discouraged so although we've kept looking we decided we needed a break .. and we are praying that the New Year will bring a new opportunity for us in homes .. I think we finally have down what we would like and what realistically will work for us ... it's not much different than where we started out but refined a bit. So please pray that the Lord will bring us the right home and we will have eyes to see and the strength to move swiftly when it comes. 
Thus I have had so many people writing when we will sell our towels again ... well when we get a house is the answer.. right now we are currently in a small apt. and I just can't use my commercial machinery which is buried in storage anyhow in a place I rent. So as soon as the house arrives ... yes all of our home goods line of towels, runners, placemats etc .. will return ! 

I read a book many years ago that when God has you in waiting mode and you're learning the lesson/s he's trying to teach you .. to keep working to keep moving forward ..not to sit and do nothing ... so this year as many of you know I opened a shop space at our local antique mall .. and it's been a good choice to have made. It got me started again after a long hiatus and helped me find the joy of working at something I love once again ... 
I also opened a new etsy shop .. "So Sweet Magnolias Farm"... to offer some vintage, antique and some handmade items that I can create here in our tiny apt.  I think those 2 choices have been 2 of the best I have made this year because it got my hands, mind and heart busy again at something I very much love to do .. and it reiterated that we need a house with a good size space to work cause this is the work not only I love to do but also my Mom .. we love working together .. and this is and will always be what we do, unless God truly changes our path. 

So that's the update on my personal life that I have had so many of you inquire about in as small of a nutshell as I can put it. And I'm honestly a fairly private person .. so I try not to bore everyone with my personal life to often but for those of you wondering I thought I would share this one time. And yes when we get a home I will share that too. 

For now I'm having a whole lot of fun with our shop space which I'll share more about in posts to come, and I'm enjoying keeping my new Etsy shop filled with loads of vintagey and handmade goodness ..  
Our newest fun is upcycled clothing... We are offering currently our "Farm Girl Fancies" Upcycled Flannel Shirt/Jackets .. which have been a great seller the last few months .. I'll post a few photos to share with you all below .. and I'll make this the end of my post today since it's a lengthy one .. and I'll be sharing more often now about our shop space, my new listings on etsy , and as always my faith in God ... 
Sweet Farmhouse Blessings ..