The Rag Bags

I was at Goodwill last week.  I was shopping my usual rounds…check for childcare toys….check for sheets for charity quilts…check for fabric and anything else that might be interesting.  As I made the rounds towards the fabric I saw a could rag bags.  Hmm.  Since I’ve been doing so much work in the garage cleaning and sprucing up auction and thrifted finds, I’ve used many of our rags.  I thought I’d take a look and see what was there.  I debated…which bag looked better.  I really only needed one.  The bags were $5 each…not bad for all the rags in there…

Then I looked closer at the bags.  The bag on the right had lots of receiving blankets in it.  Kayla uses them for her Lutheran World Relief Layette project.  Hmm.. Wait.  Check the other bag out.  There are embroidered towels in there.

I ended up buying them both….

I was so excited to get them home.  Through the bag with embroidered things in it I could see there were embroidered dish towels in there as I could see one with a day of the week on it.  Do you think there might be a whole set in the bag….oh if there was, wouldn’t that be a find.  WOW…it’s all I could think about all the way home.

The second I got home I grabbed the two bags and ran into the house…I wanted to know what was int here.  I opened the bag….this is what I found….This stack of dish towels.

I started sorting them out…there’s FRIDAY.  I had never seen this “poodle” design before.  I had FRIDAY so I started digging some more…..


Ahhh…there was SATURDAY.

I knew there were more towels in the bag….oh WEDNESDAY.

…and there was SUNDAY.

But that’s were my luck ended.  Not other towels of this design.  Ah.  (sad face)

Also in the bag were these two towels.  Both had a couple spots on them…The one on the left is different kinds of specialty breads.  The one on the right is cuts of meat.  These are both topics that Kayla covers in her foods classes she teaches to her high school students.  I called her and asked if she wanted them for her school kitchens.  She happily said YES!

Then I found this embroidered towel.  I was confused…Look at the word “DISHES”…it is backwards.  I was sure I had the wrong side of the dishcloth….

Nope this was the back side.  The lady who made them must have transferred the design wrong.  Still she persisted and finished the towel.  How precious.  Now days, people would have thrown it out.  Me, I love the make do efforts on her part.

Here’s one that matches that says bowls.

After everything was sorted, I wasn’t sure what to do with it all.  Kalissa told me she thought I should mark the matching ones and sell them at our upcoming sale.  She suggested that being they weren’t complete sets that I simply mark them appropriately with a price that reflects that.  To the left with the pitcher on them are four from a set.  The flower and bowl one are individual ones but nice.  The four days of the week ones I package together.  I don’t know if anyone will buy them.  I priced them cheap enough…$2 each I think.  Where can you get a nice dish towel for $2.


I ended up keeping this stack.  They are mismatched but fit me perfectly.  If the others don’t sell, I’ll adopt them too.

Hopefully I’ll be able to use them.  Does anyone else have trouble using embroidered dish towels?  I love them but HATE the thought of messing with some ladies work.  I’m kind of happy that the ones I kept have already been used….then I don’t have to be the one that dirtied them first.  (Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way!!)

I got a nice stack of hand towels.  They don’t match but are perfect for childcare kiddos.  We never have enough hand towels and I don’t mind at all that they don’t match.

I did get two nice wash clothes…again for childcare…and I got six receiving blankets for Kayla…

Oh, I did get rags too.  (wasn’t that that I originally bought the bag for???!?!)

Well that’s the saga of my rag bag from Goodwill.  How fun.  I have always been a sucker for grab bags.  I used to beg and beg my mom to let me buy one.  This was about the best grab bag that’s I’ve even gotten.  Silly I know…I’m so happy I get joy out of the silliest little things!!  I don’t need a fancy vacation…just a Goodwill grab bag for me!

P.S.  Hubby lost his phone somewhere out in one of the fields he was in on Sunday.  He called and asked me to go and get another for him.  I dropped everything and ran to town to get one.  I ended up stopping at Goodwill with the hope that maybe…just maybe there might be another grab bag of rags and maybe…just maybe in that bag would be the rest of the dish towels to complete my days of the week.  Sadly, there were no bags.  I even asked at the counter if there were any grab bags of rags in the back.  Sadly, nope.  Oh well…I feel better knowing I tried to reunited all the dish towels.

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18 thoughts on “The Rag Bags

  1. Penny

    Score! Great bargains at rag prices! Somehow I don’t consider the dish towels especially the embroidered towels rags! Me too, Jo ~ I’ve received several hand embroidered dish towels & just cannot use them!

  2. Carol Lorraine Stearns

    I love your thrifting and so happy to hear that you quilt and sew for Lutheran World Relief! So do I and I love Quilt day at the church twice a month. I also started going to Arts and Crafts where we make things to sell and I bring home stuff. Some of that stuff is going to our goodwill, or maybe I should send it to you? We cut the tops off of kitchen towels and make the holder that goes around a cabinet handle to sell to raise funds. For your embroidered towels, you could cut them into squares and make a quilt out of them!

  3. Ruth

    I used the embroidered set of towels my mom made and gave me. Then when they were full of holes I cut off the embroidery so I could make a small wall hanging out of them…eventually I will do this.
    What fun you had going through those “rag bags!”

  4. Kim

    The grab bags were filled with lots of great finds and I also have a complete set of embroidered towels which I use to cover bread baskets or line a cute basket with goodies for a pot luck or such. Its hard to find good rags to use for shop towels or washing windows, you made a score

  5. Nancy Cohen-Tomases

    Hi Jo!
    I would love to buy the poodle towels from you. My friend collects poodle items and would appreciate them. Thanks Nancy

  6. Roxanne

    I love dish towels and my big poodle. Would happily buy the poodle dish towels now or if they don’t sell. So cute!

  7. JudyB

    I love embroidered dish towels! I don’t have any problem using them as it’s what my Grandmother/Mother wanted, but I have a terrible time throwing them away after holes and stains develop.

  8. Brenna

    My 97 year old grandmother recently moved out of her home. I was the recipient of several sets of embroidered towels. I’m fairly positive they had been in the chest where we found them for well over 50 years. I use the towels – what else should I do with them? They could sit in a box for another 50 years, or I can get a good decade of use out of them. It’s that, or my granddaughter finds them when they’re cleaning out my attic, at which point they’ll probably be falling apart. :) Someone I don’t know made them, but I’m going to appreciate her hard work hanging from my oven handles as long as I can.

  9. Joanne

    I thoroughly enjoy buying and using embroidered items at sales. I think of the person who did the work and smile. I enjoy the connection to another generation. My friend’s mother always put her embroidered pillowcases away “for best”. I use every embroidered pillowcase and towel i find.

  10. ColleenM

    Jo, you are not the only one who doesn’t want to use her “good” embroidered dish towels. I recently decided to start using the ones I made for my “hope chest” over 40 years ago!! What was I keeping them for? For some relative to throw them in a bag and donate grandma/aunt colleen’s silly dish towels to the Goodwill after I’m gone?! Nope, not going to save things for good any more.

    I have seen single embroidered dish towels for $5 each at craft sales. You should have no problem getting $2 for them.

  11. Lorraine

    Score! I used to buy those hand-embroidered towels at a convent for $26 for seven. After seeing all of the stuff my Mom saved “for good”, I have no problem using and enjoying handmade items. Otherwise, it will just end up at the thrift store!!

  12. Diane Schotl

    I’m one of those that uses up nice embroidered dish towels that have been gifts. Love every minute of using them. Decided several years that what I leave behind maybe no one will cherish so why not enjoy it myself. I did save my mothers embroidered towels after she passed. I had been using them but put them away and they are going in a quilt I’m going to make for myself. It’s a memory quilt I’ve want to make for myself for some time now and one day coming soon will get going on it. Memories of my life.

  13. Beth

    Hey Jo – I thought the poodle’s were very cute – did a quick search – thought you might like to see some of the other days of the week. https://www.etsy.com/listing/617395115/sale-vtg-days-of-the-week-kitchen-towels?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_b-home_and_living-kitchen_and_dining-linens-dishcloths_and_kitchen_towels-tea_towels&utm_custom1=113d149c-a4b7-4e82-befc-9a930325db80&gclid=Cj0KCQjw9LPYBRDSARIsAHL7J5nIXjX6nhFznro5PZzhBU8HUfYB-tMLRHL0FedoUEXMjvQRJOoUEuwaAoXyEALw_wcB

    I even found what I think is the hot iron transfers !! https://www.etsy.com/listing/610092251/cute-poodle-days-of-the-week-tea-towel?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_b-craft_supplies_and_tools-patterns_and_how_to-patterns_and_blueprints&utm_custom1=113d149c-a4b7-4e82-befc-9a930325db80&gclid=Cj0KCQjw9LPYBRDSARIsAHL7J5m9gIcrI0J1dKG5Ht-mwnYPXp27HpCDj-83zkB1QpK_sSR1oiKyg-UaAg8yEALw_wcB

  14. Susan the Farm Quilter

    My grandmother had a set of the days of the week dish towels that were new – she just had to save them for good – so I got them and I use them all the time! Just like our quilts, I don’t want them to be saved for good – please, love them to pieces!

  15. Susan

    I have to admit that I would have felt just as you did. I can’t believe those things in someone else’s hands might have actually *become* rags! I’m so happy you rescued them and gave them a better fate!

  16. Lace Faerie

    I love those old towels, they are the softest most aborbant towels! I keep thinking I’m going to order some from Lehman’s and embroider a set for myself!

    For my bridal shower Mumum, my maternal grandmother, gave me a set of embroidered pillowcases that she received for her bridal shower. I’m going to guess her grandmother made them for her. She never used them. I take them out and laundered them and pack them away about every ten years. I think that now that we have an empty nest and a guest room, I’ll put them out to be used.

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