Friday, March 27, 2015

Stitch in Time Antique and Gift Mall

Entering the large brick building now labeled Stitch in Time Antique and Gift Mall in Millerstown, Pennsylvania, I imagined this space as it must have looked years ago. I saw a large open room with rows of sewing machines. A woman sat at each one, her head bent over her work. One section of the room would have had read more
a long table standing ready with stacks of fabric for the cutter, always a man, to begin making cuts with his electric cutting machine. A manager’s office complete with telephone would have been in a corner. Many don’t remember these times, but I do. I visited the one my husband worked in the 70s, and I heard the stories of when his father managed one in the 50s and 60s.

Those times are gone. Very few factories remain in Central Pennsylvania. Where once products of all kinds were made, the empty buildings have become craft malls, antique shops, and secondhand stores. Each one has a flavor of its own, as does Stitch in Time.

When I first arrived at Stitch in Time, one of the women waiting on customers at the cashier’s desk answered my question about taking pictures by directing me to Pat Reichenbach in the first booth. I had to wait to talk to her and couldn’t help overhearing as she kindly instructed an older couple about the advantages of chalk paint and showed them some furniture on which she’d used the paint. When she finished with her customers, I explained my mission. Pat gave me permission to take photos, and I moved on.

All the floors of Stitch in Time have nice items, but my favorite is the main floor. The old-time atmosphere is preserved with the high ceilings, squeaky wooden floors, and wide open stairway beside the main entrance. The past owners left a wide center aisle, but built individual booths to the sides. Those stalls contain a wide variety of merchandise among which are cards, braided rugs, decorative tinware, country-style kitchen accessories, candles, 
and high quality antiques.

After browsing on the first floor, I went down to the basement where I was again taken back in time by the vintage crocks, beautiful glassware, embroidered linens, old signs, and wooden benches. Refurbished trunks for sale stood at intervals down the center. At the far end I found a wood worker’s homemade creations. Lawn ornaments brightened up this floor. 

Having reached the other end, I climbed two flights of narrow winding stairs to the top floor which offers the most modern products. The craftsperson in me immediately felt drawn to the multitude of scrapbooking supplies. Many other things caught my attention, but I especially remember the wind chimes, porch flags, decorative boxes, and Willow Tree Angels.

Yes, Stitch in Time is worth a visit. They offer a delightful selection of gifts, antiques, and fun things to look at!

Here is their website:

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