Vintage Tablecloths

Sharing vintage tablecloths ~ and other vintage treasures that capture my attention. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hitchcock's Birds, Hazel Atlas Apple & Free Tablecloths!

What do Hitchcock, Hazel Atlas & Tablecloths have in common? 
Nothing!  But I feel the need to share all three of them with you.

Mr. Retro was letting Doyle out and hollered for me to grab my camera & come outside.

This enormous group of birds had landed in the field.
Here they are taking off again & then overhead.
  Smallish black birds, barn swallows?

I'm sure you've all seen Hitchcock's classic movie, "The Birds".

They flew over the house to the back yard and landed in the Pecan tree.
It was amazing to see, but also kinda creepy ~ in a "Hitchcock" manner.

Okay ~ let's get to the treasures!

So I already had the Chartreuse Hazel Atlas (Platonite glass)
fruit & salad bowls.... 
Finally found the large matching Apple serving bowl!
I paid $10 for it, a lot by my cheap standards, but a great price
 for this bowl on the vintage secondary market.
Finally, my thrift store tablecloth story.....
  Was at a local thrift that supports a women's shelter ~ providing a safe
haven for abused women and their children.  So I'm browsing and spy some vintage tablecloths.  Saw they were printed and started to get excited.
When I checked them out they were extremely yellow with big
 brown squares where folded,  shabby too, one with a hole, BUT at the
 bottom~BINGO!  A New Orleans souvenir, which normally sells WAY too high
for this thrifty collector, but this well-used & stained one had my name on it, LOL!
 All 4 tablecloths had seen lots of use, but I had to rescue them. No prices on
them, so I took all 4 up to the cashier to ask.  She started to look through and said:
 "OMG! These are terrible, they should have been thrown away instead of being put out. 
 I can't sell these."  My heart clenched.  I told her I wanted to buy them anyway.  She replied, "Oh, I couldn't accept any money for them, you can just have them."   WHAT???

They may be shabby/cutters, but it was still a thrill. So, I made a cash donation
(that she gladly accepted) and skipped home with my smelly tablecloths.

Here they are after their first soak and wash. I should have taken a "before" photo,
but their smell forced me to take them directly to the washer for a soak.

The Jazz band graphic is politically incorrect, but was common in the "Black
Americana" style tablecloths produced at that time.  I believe the tablecloth is late
1930's to 1940's.  They are highly collectible today.
This strawberry design is the one with a hole, on the inside red border.
I'm going to try and work some magic with a fabric mender
and will show you my results when I do.

Beautiful tulips and ribbons.

  Fun fruit squares.

 Not a bad score for free, ya think?

Hate the winter doldrums, so I've been doing some crafting, which makes me happy.
I made this note card for my Mom (pre-Valentine's Day card), whose name is "June". 
The cute page is from a children's book.  Pretty cute,  I think she'll like it!
Are you doing any Valentine's crafting yet?
 How are you holding up this winter?  Miserable and bitter cold here
tomorrow,  & over most of the country I think.  I hope the
"power gods" are with us and the electricity stays on.
Stay warm & safe friends! 
Partying with:
(Not too much Pink here, but the gorgeous pink tulips tablecloth works!)


  1. You raked in a great haul! For free to boot!.
    No crafting just yet, but I think my fingers are itching to get started.

  2. Really cold here too. I'm sitting by a fire writing New Year's notes to friends and checking in on blogs now and then for a break. Cute Valentine's Day card for your mom, and the tablecloths went to the right home. Glad they were rescued.
    Happy New Year!

  3. Wow on the tablecloths and I love the New Orleans cloth so much. I lived there for many years and this is just fabulous not matter the condition. Glad you rescued them!! The Valentine's Card is precious and I'm sure your mom will love it. Hugs!

  4. oh my! So many birds! Yikes!

    Love the fruity table cloths! Yay!

    I have the big green apple bowl and used to have the 2 of the little yellow ones but they broke. :(

  5. Oh, what beautiful tablecloths!! Love the strawberry one!! Have a lovely week! xo Heather

  6. What a treat to score the tablecloths for free! They don't look too bad either. The strawberry one is my favorite! I love the sweet card you made your mom and I'm sure she will too!

    Blessings, Vicky

  7. How great to get those cloths for free! They don't look bad from over here. :) The NOLA one is so much fun and I love the strawberry one.

    What's your temp in VA? We're hearing about lots of snow and cold for relatives in NY, NC and MO. (I'm too ashamed to say what the temp is in Los Angeles and will just keep my mouth shut.)

    Hope your power stays on and you're keeping warm and cozy!

  8. Some of my most beautiful tablecloths started out in the worst condition! It's amazing what a good soaking can do. I would have happily paid good money for any one of those beauties. So excited for you, Pam!


  9. Gotta love "free" and the first one is very cool! I've been making Valentine cards today. Stayed inside where it's safe and warm!

  10. You must have been smiling all the way home!

  11. WOW! You are so lucky. I was just going to comment on the background of your blog with the strawberry design and now I see it's a whole tablecloth! Just wonderful, enjoy.

  12. Score!!! I'll have to get your soaking/washing secrets for some oldies but goodies I have.

    I got an embroidered quilt for $1.00 once when the cashier saw what terrible shape it was in.
    It makes me wonder what gets thrown away every day ....

  13. Adorable and free! It's a win-win!

  14. I'm so happy for you! Those tablecloths were meant to be rescued by you for sure!
    Don't you just love when something fun and unexpected like that happens?
    Well, we have been around -40 below here in MN with the wind chill! You pretty much can't be outside for any real amount of time, and schools have been closed statewide!
    Crazy cold! Hope you're staying warm too!
    Erica :)

  15. Oh wow!! Love your big score on those table clothes!! Love the green one and the beautiful tulips!! I haven't been thrifting in a little while and this makes me anxious! lol. Such a sweet little card for you mom! I have started a little Valentine crafting and I got my pink and red yarn out yesterday :) Have you started crochet or knitting!?! Those birds are crazy! We've had something like that here before, more in the summer though, and it's so strange to see thousands of them and they are so noisy too! :) Neat that you captured them in some photos!! :) Hope you're staying warm! Doyle is welcome to come play in all the snow!! :) xo Holly

  16. What a great score! It looks like they're cleaning up nicely. My mother had the fruit squares tablecloth when I was a kid growing up. Your photo brought back lots of memories.

  17. I forgot to comment on the birds. There are several places in and around town that you can find birds congregated like that all winter. The first time I remember seeing the phenomenon was about 20 years ago, when my daughter was a teenager. There was a small copse of trees at the entrance to a new shopping mall, and the trees were literally black with birds. The mall has been torn down, but the birds still fill those trees this time of year. As many years as I've witnessed this, it's still amazing to me to see so many birds in one place. Several years ago, the city tried to figure out a way to scare off the birds, but they never came up with a solution.

  18. Gorgeous tablecloths!!!!!

    That Hitchcock movie still gives me the creeps!!

  19. Wow, great score! Who could even think of throwing those away, even in "well loved" condition?!? So glad you rescued them. Stay warm!

  20. You lucky lucky lady! They were waiting just for you to rescue them! Stay cozy! I love Hitchcock. Way back when we used to have adult-only Halloween parties, we had a Hitchcock theme one year. Chris and I came as the characters from Rear Window. He was in a wheelchair all night.

  21. Oh my those birds are awesome! A bit eerie too, like you said. Glad you found the matching bowl and those tablecloths have your name written all over them. What a score! The condition looks great after you worked your magic.

  22. We saw a swarm of birds like that recently too (I think it's called an irruption), it was crazy looking! I love all your new tablecloths, so glad you rescued them! A few pieces of history, right there. Take care - Dawn @ We Call It (History & Home Party on Tue-Fri)

  23. Holy cow, there must be a gazillion birds in that picture! Yes it sure does remind me of that movie...LOL I love, love, love your tablecloths!! The strawberry and the tulips are my favorites!

  24. You have done very well on your goodies. I like them all, but love the different table cloths.

  25. Happy New Year Pam!
    Wow, your New Year has started off great! We have Starlings that flock like that here in Ohio, so it's pretty common, but the eerie thing is they seldom even move when you come outside or make loud noises...they just sit there and look at ya. Then all of a sudden you just hear wings flapping and a whooosh of air when they're done lookin. Love those tablecloths...that strawberry pone is my fav matches my kitchen. have fun using em!
    Thanks so much for brightening Rednesday

  26.!! I don't ever really worry when I do find vintage linens, and I can usually get them back to almost new with soaking them!! Love your finds, you were really lucky...and to think they were going to throw them away! I think I would have told someone to call me next time they want to throw away some old tablecloths and you'd be happy to make another donation!! Happy VTT!

  27. What a great score on those tablecloths! I am always on the hunt for them and find the best deals at yard sales. I haven't thrifted once this entire year. all 10 days of it!

    We were just talking about the birds at our house too! 100's of gigantic, black crows. Something weird with the birds this winter!


  28. Love those table cloths. I've had my eye out looking for some too. But you won't be happy with me - I want to make some pin cushions out of one. I have been crafting too, isolating in my home but the snow is melting today with rain. Going antiquing with my hubby today! I'm excited! I desperately want to get to Valentine's crafts but I still have a few Christmas things I wanted to complete first. Have a great week! Loved seeing your finds.

    1. Hi Patty! I have no problem with that. I've cut and framed some, have a vintage tablecloth purse and a tote bag, and just cut a less than perfect vintage napkin to use for Valentine crafting. There is nothing wrong with upcycling and reusing. I leave my few MWT (mint with tag) tablecloths are they are, they are like fine art to me. Would love to see your pin cushions. Have fun antiquing!

  29. They look like Starlings..(Hide your feeders)..Not my favorite birds..We usually see that in late summer/early fall...Love your table cloths...


Your comments make me smile! Thanks.