Notions and Needles and Thimbles … Oh My!

sewing basketIn 1934, most women and young girls had a sewing basket full of necessary notions for sewing and quilting. A handy basket usually sat next to mother’s chair where she could pick it up and patch a few holes or sew on buttons in the evening while the family was settling in for the night. Young girls would pester their mothers for hand-me-down sewing supplies, gathering their own growing collection for needlework.

These baskets, often containing the latest needlework project, were easy to carry along to quilt guild meetings or local quilting bees.

What items filled up these baskets or tins? Most contained an assortment of the following:
Straight pins     
Pin cushion      
Tape measure  
Possibly a needle threader        
A sock darner 
Pieces of muslin or feed sack material   
Scrap fabrics   
Possibly quilt patterns, often cut from the local newspaper        
An assortment of buttons, snaps, bits of lace or rick-rack, & spare zippers

What’s in YOUR sewing basket?



  1. My sewing basket is all over the room. I remember my mothers. As a child, it was full of the most interesting pieces of this and that. You have got me wondering what would have been in my great grandmother’s. I am trying to learn about her and even going to Tennessee next month to walk where she did. I guess I need to do some more historical research.

    • What fun Ann! What a fun trip, going to walk where your grandmother walked. I’m sure she will be with you in spirit each step of the way.
      I see you did your Q post on quilts too! (peeked while I was at work, so didn’t have a chance to reply from there.)
      Have a wonderful weekend in sunny, beautiful Southern California!

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