Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What is this!

I stopped by an antique store in St. Joseph, Missouri yesterday. I found this. I can be swayed by low, low prices. The price was only $1 and I could tell it was vintage fabric. So I bought it, before really examining it. Now the big question is: What is it?

I'll describe it. It is about 2 feet long, with what seems to be a cardboard tube inside. Look how neatly the ends are finished, the fabric corners are held in place with snaps.

Unfurled, it is about a yard long. The tube is completely covered by fabric.

My first guess is that this is some sort of privacy shade. But I've never seen anything like it before. Have you?


  1. I suppose if a hand appliquér had this she would store her appliqué-in-progress-blocks in here.

    I've antiqued in St Jo a few times.


  2. Whatever it is, it's wonderful! This will be fun to think about.

  3. I've never seen anything like that either. But it would be great for storing flat handwork (I'm thinking embroidery of some kind?) The fabric alone is worth far more than a buck!

  4. Its an applique block holder. They are great for storing your finished blocks in so they don't get fold lines and also for the blocks in progress.
    What a find for $1.00

  5. I think it is for storing a freshly laundered tablecloth...with no creases. (I have one, but noy in a pretty print)

  6. My mother used to wrap her wet linens in things like this.. Until she could press them... Maybe? maybe not... great fabric though! Is it barkcloth?

  7. I call mine a Block Keeper .... used to keep pieces of blocks together, particularly for hand piecing, and for hand applique as already mentioned.

    Some have a pincushion on the end, and some actually can be opened so the pattern sheets can be stored inside.
    And not so much of the vintage .... though I gues mine is about twenty five years old!

    Judy B

  8. I thought it might be a knitting needle holder - but there would be no point in it being so long.

    A block keeper and storage for patterns - what a great idea.

  9. Have no idea but I love the fabric ! I would consider that I got a bargin. Maybe frame it?

    Take care-

  10. I have seen a knitting needle keeper like this. It is delightfully vintage :D

  11. What fun comments and ideas about this. It is not barkcloth, just regular weight fabric. I checked the end, it doesn't open and it's not stuffed to be a pincushion. Thanks for the input, it obviously had me stumped!

  12. Well, My grandma had one, and she kept the fancy table cloth and napkins in it. I got into big trouble once when I unrolled it, couldn't get it all back nice, panicked and rolled it up all creased. Wonder how she knew it was (three year old) me?

  13. It looks like a portable puzzle (jigsaw) pad that can be rolled up and taken with you so the family can eat off the table where the puzzle was being put together. I have seen them in their present incarnation which is felt but II think the idea is the same. It will be fun to find out the true purpose of this item !~!

  14. It's a Block Keeper. Here's a wonderful tutorial on how to make one.


  15. my great great ant had those she put her doilies in it so they wouldn't get messed up when they were in storage

  16. Janny Schoneveld-van BohemenApril 26, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    I have seen this in Holland.
    You change the babies diaper or nappy on it.

    Love your weblog with all the pretty quilts.
    Greetings from Holland.
    Janny S.