Monday, April 25, 2016

Vintage pattern weights...

This is the little box of vintage pattern weights I found on Ebay recently.  I spent about $30 to get them, but I love them and will definitely use them...unlike a few gadgets I have bought for quilting in the past.

The modern pattern weights I have seen are little bean bags, which are fine (made by Dritz), but I already had six of the white plastic ones, which I love.  This is what the Dritz variety look like.

With my larger blocks, six pattern weights were just not enough.

I received my first set of white, plastic, "vintage" pattern weights in the early nineties as a wedding gift from someone who thought I would use them in garment construction (as if I make garments anymore...).  

They didn't grab me at the time...I even lost one of them in our reclining chair when I opened the package. I put the remaining five away and the sixth one remained buried somewhere in that chair for over 20 years.  

Then, I realized how great they were for applique prep! 

I finally turned the recliner over last spring before selling the recliner in our moving sale, pulled the Velcro'd fabric panel away from the back of the chair frame, and dug around in there until I found the was like hunting Easter eggs! 

What's lurking in your furniture? 

I found the missing pattern weight, $1.28 in change, and 8 cat toys. I still had my sweet Weasley then, and he was thrilled with "new" toys, as was I.

If I had been at a garage sale, I would have looked over this little box of "gems" just thinking it a travel box for a bar of soap.  My original set of six came in a baggie, not a box.

I have a few that my friend Bruce made for me that work pretty well, but something a little heavier is needed for some blocks.  I don't know what is inside to make them so heavy for their small size...BB's, lead fishing weights, pieces of Jimmy Hoffa.

If you are looking around on eBay, Etsy, or your favorite online used stuff site for this same sort of thing, I had luck searching for "vintage pattern weights."  One day they are there, then not, then another set is kind of weird!

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. I had some of those weights at one time when I made clothing. Seldom used them and gave them away a long time ago. I can see them as being useful in quilting.

  2. Teresa, I have a set of vintage weights my dad made for my mom when she made clothing for everyone. These weights are made of (I think) brass, in both round and hexagon shapes. They are heavy and will definitely hold down any applique piece. I am going to have to try it since I, too, no longer sew clothes. Thanks for the idea. I look forward to reading your blog.

  3. I came across a box of four in a weird spot in the house just the other day. SIL had been going through some of MIL's things and I guess she set the box out thinking I might could use them. Does look like a soap box. Do you need more? Not sure I'll ever need them.

  4. The chair! We had that same chair many years ago. I have never used the weights in either quilting or garment sewing but I do love sewing gadgets.

  5. I never knew about these weights and I've sewn garments for 50 years. LOVE the new blog header!

  6. Gosh, very interesting, I didn't know those sorts of things existed!!! When I attended a Yoko Saito class a few years ago she had a vintage iron to use as a weight.

  7. Loved reading todays post, especially about how you found your lost weight and the happy cat with his new toys - the Jimmy Hoffa ending made me smile :)

  8. I well remember those weights although I never used them. I followed my mother's example and used dinner knives instead. They didn't cost anything and I just had to remember to clean them when I returned them to the kitchen! I too, got a chuckle out of the Jimmy Hoffa reference, guess our ages are showing :-)

  9. Ditto for me and having them for garment construction. Of course I don't have them anymore either. What a good idea to use for applique patterns.

  10. Teresa, can you explain how you use these pattern weights for applique? I have a set of pattern weights that are hard plastic weighted rings, not bean bags, that I got from a drapery workroom supplier about 10 years ago. I have been doing some needle turned applique using the Piece O Cake vinyl overlay method, and I'm using my pattern weights to hold the vinyl overlay in place over my block while I lift up one edge and slide applique pieces in place before pinning. Is that how you're using your pattern weights, or have you found a different use for them? Yours look smaller than mine, but it could just be the photos.


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