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Thread: what is this?

  1. #1
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    what is this?

    Can anyone tell me what this is? I was told it was a old quilt frame but I can't figure out how to put it together or how to use it as a quilt frame ... HELP!Name:  curtain stretcher.jpg
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  2. #2
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    I think it looks like a curtain stretcher. If there are little "needles" to hook the hems of the lace curtains onto, then it is certainly that. I have one in my attic. I am 70 yrs. old and helped my Mother years ago do the curtains. She would wash them, starch them in bluing starch to whiten them further, then we would put them on the frame, needle by needle. I think it sets up like a frame, with the legs on the ground behind it to hold it up. Sometimes if it was a windy day and the curtains were not dry, we would move it inside until they were dry. It was a little time consuming but they really looked nice at the windows later on. I was thinking too, you could use it to baste a quilt, but I believe you woud have to put a person on both sides of it. It would be better then getting on the floor to baste a quilt. I think I am done basting them on the floor. Try to put it together. It will look like an easel. Have fun.

  3. #3
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Yes, I think it is a curtain stretcher also.
    Nikki in MO

  4. #4
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    I thought maybe it was a measuring tool that surveyor's use - but I don't really know.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bunniequilter's Avatar
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    Wow, have never heard of a curtain stretcher.
    Quilt outside of the box!

  6. #6
    Junior Member jokir44's Avatar
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    Yes, curtain stretchers. And if you back into those needles you surely know it. As a child I did that. As I got older I helped attach the curtains. You get poked-lots. We had to watch the wind when they were outside so the frame didn't blow over.

  7. #7
    Super Member amyjo's Avatar
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    yes, curtain stretchers. I have two sets upstairs, my MIL used to do her curtains that way. Me, I washed and slightly dried and hung them back up. No stretching for me.

  8. #8
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Oh gosh, yes curtain stretchers. I remember them well. Dangerous items!

  9. #9
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    I've never seen curtain stretchers but have seen and used jean stretchers..they were placed inside the legs of the jeans and expanded to fit the legs and then the pair of jeans were hung on the line...it really did the job, very little ironing was needed..of course, this was before everyone had a clothes dryer.

  10. #10
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    Oh, yes, oh yes! Every spring, the lace curtains had to be carefully laundered and then affixed onto the needles of the stretcher and left until dry. You could put multiple layers on at one time too. And the little children are not to touch the precious curtains or the stretcher. If the little girl has been very ill and is left home on Sunday morning with Daddy while the rest of the family goes to church, she might pull at the rehung curtains so as to look outside. The Daddy would tell her "leave them alone, do not touch the curtains.." If the little girl doesn't listen, the Daddy gets terribly angry and shuts the little girl in a closet. The closet is very dark and the door is oak and little hands find a brass curtain rod and she commences to beat on the door with the brass rod. The Daddy hurries to the closet, opens the door and sees the little girl, blue in the face and frothing at the mouth. To this day, the little girl still cannot stand to be confined in any way. If the weather is anywhere near nice, the front door is open, when nobody is around, the bathroom door stays open....get the picture? The Daddy appologized for many years, even until his death. You see, Momma had just rehung those lace curtains after the washing and starching and stretching and the Daddy knew the Mommy would be angry if they were messed or mangled. The little girl is 80 now.
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  11. #11
    Junior Member janceejan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yooper32 View Post
    Oh, yes, oh yes! Every spring, the lace curtains had to be carefully laundered and then affixed onto the needles of the stretcher and left until dry. You could put multiple layers on at one time too. And the little children are not to touch the precious curtains or the stretcher. If the little girl has been very ill and is left home on Sunday morning with Daddy while the rest of the family goes to church, she might pull at the rehung curtains so as to look outside. The Daddy would tell her "leave them alone, do not touch the curtains.." If the little girl doesn't listen, the Daddy gets terribly angry and shuts the little girl in a closet. The closet is very dark and the door is oak and little hands find a brass curtain rod and she commences to beat on the door with the brass rod. The Daddy hurries to the closet, opens the door and sees the little girl, blue in the face and frothing at the mouth. To this day, the little girl still cannot stand to be confined in any way. If the weather is anywhere near nice, the front door is open, when nobody is around, the bathroom door stays open....get the picture? The Daddy appologized for many years, even until his death. You see, Momma had just rehung those lace curtains after the washing and starching and stretching and the Daddy knew the Mommy would be angry if they were messed or mangled. The little girl is 80 now.
    I am sorry bet the little girl doesn't do lace curtains either........
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Diet Dr. Pepper in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"

  12. #12
    Super Member mjsylvstr's Avatar
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    wow..did this thread bring back memories......as jokir44 mentioned......your fingers did get pricked a LOT........

    Maybe today, you could use it as a holder for a design wall..the heavy felt could fit right onto the needles and felt is thick enough to almost cover the tiny needles... .thus the pricking might lessen....just a thought.

    bunniequilter........you must be of a younger generation !!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by mjsylvstr; 02-04-2013 at 05:39 AM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Conartist1945's Avatar
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    OMG! What a walk down memory lane! We had one as well

  14. #14
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    It's a curtain stretcher. Pricked my finger many times on one. Definitely not for quilting.

  15. #15
    Super Member PolkaBabe's Avatar
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    My first thought is a curtain stretcher. We had one when I was a youngster. I remember helping mom put our curtains on it.

  16. #16
    Member PensyDutch's Avatar
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    Yes, it definitely is a curtain stretcher. I still have one in my closet. I have used it on lace curtains over the years many times.
    Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.

  17. #17
    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
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    Yep, curtain stretchers.
    J J (jbj137)

    I am a G.R.I.T.
    G = girl R =raised I = in T = the S = South

  18. #18
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    Yooper32, I feel your claustrophobia. Dads don't know squat about babysitting, do they? At least back then. Why didn't people just iron their curtains? They do have a low setting.

  19. #19
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    I cast another vote for curtain stretcher. Used to help my mother do ours.

  20. #20
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    I've never seen them either. I learned something today. Interesting!

  21. #21
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    I have never seen or heard of curtain stretchers. I learn something new every time I am on this forum!

  22. #22
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    We had them too. Mother would wash them by hand, starch stiff as a board. You couldn't iron them, they would be crooked and ugly. So you measured the curtain before you washed them [I think]. Starch them and put them on the needles or nails every half to an inch. They were beautiful, but what work. We couldn't touch them either. Woe to us if we did. Sure couldn't pull them back from the window. We couldn't put the window up and no air, and no fan. I don't know how we made it.

  23. #23
    Senior Member TeresaS's Avatar
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    wow I have learned something new!

  24. #24
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Yep, looks like a curtain stretcher to me too. I used to help my Mother put them on the stretcher, what a job !!

  25. #25
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    I have heard of curtain stretchers, but never saw any. Definitely know about jean and pants stretchers, wringer washers, blueing etc. but not curtain stretchers. I even know about my Dad's babysitting- one Sunday after Church when Mother was preparing lunch- about 3- r yrs old. I had very long thick hair in long ringlet curls, or braids through the week, but curls on Sunday. My dad was resting on the bed, and I found some scissors and sat on the dresser stool in front of the mirror, and cut one side of my hair off up to my ears, before Mother happened to come in and stop me from cutting the other side. She asked my Dad why he let me do that - his reply "I was just watching and going to see if she really would" lol. Mother was not happy at all. A young HS girl at Church played the piano, and I thought she was just "it" and wanted to do everything like her - she had long hair and had just had it cut very short, so naturally I thought I needed mine cut as well. Kids are strange and like Art Linkletter always said Kids "Say and do the dardnest things"

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