Sunday, October 30, 2011

Back in the 70's

This past week I’ve been working on the t-shirt quilt for my niece. The top is almost done and Friday morning I met my SIL at G Street Fabrics to buy the border and backing. Almost done! I hope to get it to the longarm quilter by the end of the week.

Did you see Barbara Brackman’s post about patchwork clothing of the 70’s? You can find it here. At the end she asks readers to send photos of their patchwork clothing from 30+ years ago for a chance to win some of her Old Fashioned Calicoes fabric from Moda. I was pretty sure I didn’t have anything, but I took a look at the old photo album anyway. What I did find was a top I made of cheater cloth.  
This photo was taken in 1975 when I was 14 years old. I’m at a new amusement park in Virginia – Kings Dominion.
Notice the embroidery on my friends’ top and jeans. Did you embroider your clothing back then?

This got me thinking about my old pair of patched jeans. Look at these things!

Did I really wear them until they were this worn out?!?! These were my favorite jeans as a senior in high school. I don’t remember when I started patching them, but I do remember wearing them in college too. So, you may be asking – why in the world does she still have them?  Probably for the same reason I have every pair of jeans my family has ever worn out. I think I’m going to do something with them (she says sheepishly). And in fact I have started one of those patchwork quilts with the squares of denim and flannel and then you clip the seam and make a mess in your washer and dryer.  I’m still at the cutting up the jeans phase. I did finish a dog bed made of jeans, oh, and I have patched other jeans using no longer wearable jeans. All wearable jeans that we outgrow or no long want are donated. I just keep the ones with holes and I have quite a collection. Someday!


Here I am in my favorite jeans with my 1978 Mustang. By the time I was 17, I had saved $3,000 from babysitting and waitressing. I used it as a down payment on this car (purchase price of $5000) and paid it off over the next couple of years. Yeah, I was pretty good about saving, but can you imagine how much babysitting and waitressing a 17 year old would have to do nowadays to buy a new Mustang? Just looked it up on Edmunds - $22,000! BTW, I waitressed at Bob’s Big Boy on Rockville Pike in Maryland. I was the naïve 15 year old the older – and by that I mean 18-21 – waitresses liked to tease. It was a big eye opener for me!

Back to cheater cloth. Seeing the top I made got me thinking of this cedar chest. My aunt bought it in the 70’s. I acquired it 20 years ago. I meant to recover it and never did. I think I’ll leave it as is.

Yesterday afternoon we had a dusting of snow! Snow in October in the DC area is almost unheard of. And this morning we woke up to a hard frost. Good for my allergies – not so good for the mums.

My husband was a good sport and took me on a quilty outing today. I’ll share in my next post.


  1. Wow Maureen! Your pics are great! I love the one of the patched jeans! I've been saving all of our jeans since way-too-long-ago, thinking that I'd do something with them, as well! How funny! Sometimes I feel like such a hoarder! We never embroidered on our clothes, just drew thing with pen on our jeans! In 1978, my best friend had a Mustang....we loved that car....and we loved to cruise around in it.....what fun memories! And at 18, I was the naive waitress at HoJo's (Howard Johnson's), and yeah.....I got all the crap from the 'older' gals there, too! Too funny!

  2. What fun! I had a printed patchwork skirt - big front pockets with a HUGE yellow button on each pocket. I loved that skirt!
    Great pictures - love your car ;-)
    Thank you for sharing.

  3. I had a cheater cloth shirt in the 70s, but I don't think I ever had any real patchwork clothing. However, I have a 32-year-old daughter who loves retro stuff and she has been making patchwork clothing for years!! She even made patchwork corduroy pants for her nephew, my grandson. He looks very cute in them, but I don't have photos.
    I finally gave all of my "saved for a quilt" jeans to a friend who was actually making denim quilts. At least they will really get used now.
    And back in 1972 I was the 15-year-old waitress at the local Taco Time that all the older girls liked to tease, but luckily, not in a mean way.

  4. What a fun post!! I cringe at the clothes we wore!! I saved up babysitting money and bought all my school clothes. Nice car!

  5. so fun! loved the 70's photos! the hair, perfect.
    I want to make a tshirt quilt too one day.
    OMG too funny! I bought a white ford mustang in 1980, my first car, lol!

  6. Oh! Maureen, love the Mustang! love the patched jeans! Yes I do remember the 70's, we are the same vintage LOL!!!! Great photos, thanks for sharing them!!!!

  7. I love those patched jeans! I don't have any photos now of the clothes that we (my sis and I) embroidered on. I can't recall any patchwork clothes we made.

    I loved BB's post on the old calicos. I think the first quilt I made had quite a few of those prints in it! It's around here somewhere. . . .

  8. Ohhh, I'm having 70's VA flashbacks. In '75 as a teen I lived in Dale City (Woodbridge) and went to Kings Dominion for my birthday. And I was def. embroidering clothing at the time.