Featuring much more ~ quilting/sewing and general mischief making.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More Americana and the contents of the mystery box

Sometimes I shop at a certain online thrift retailer. For some odd reason, I just had to have mystery box of fabric/sewing items from the other side of the continent - New York. Got this lovely for $20 but the shipping costs were $68! Say what? I got caught up in the bidding (I know that never happens to anyone else). But after I unpacked the box, I realized I had more than enough value for my money, beginning with one of my favorites - sewing ephemera.

The bottom of this image is the inside of the Army and Navy Needle Book.

I did see some of what I bought at the online auction, like the fabric.
The fabric was encased in a king-sized bedding plastic carrier with a variety of colors, some fat quarters still in original packaging and the selvages dated 2009.  I would estimate at least $150 worth of fabric.

A pair of vintage Wiss fabric scissors (love them! worth $25-$30), a package of buttons still on their placards, paints and some beads.

Another bag of sewing goodies included wooden needle holders, thread, needles, snaps, loose buttons and a scissor snip.

These are the fabric swatches of mystery quilter creations.

Pattern of the Day is one of the 6 crafting patterns from the mystery box.

Have you ever bought something from an online auction and either regretted or applauded your decision?

Friday, February 17, 2017

The April Alternative Challenge

I am going to do this!  Host an April challenge at http://aprilalternativechallenge.blogspot.com/

SIGNUPS WILL BEGIN IN MARCH 2017.  Date to be announced.

Join me in this weekly challenge - suggestions for posts, choose a letter to highlight during that week.
WEEK 1:  April 2-8 - any topic, any letter beginning with A through G
WEEK 2:  April 9-15 - any topic, any letter beginning with H through N
WEEK 3:  April 16-22 - any topic, any letter beginning with O through U
WEEK 4:  April 23-28 - any topic, any letter beginning with V through Free Pass. 

Link up, just once, but there are rules, (sheesh) here comes the legalese part. I, as the one and only moderator, reserve the right to remove any and all links that include the following:
Adult Content
Advertising of any kind
More than one link to the participant's account(s)
Other random and arbitrary rules I decide at the last minute.

Pretty please keep it Family Friendly and post the 4 times during AAC.

The main point of this challenge is to be able to meet new bloggers by visiting the linkup page.  It is not so much what you write but that you participate.  We want to find you - and you want to be found!

Come on, join the Alternative!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

A bucket list furniture find and the pre-basting update

I had always wanted a rocking chair but not a huge one with arm rests, now I can check this item off of my thrift shop bucket list.

I usually pass up furniture and I nearly passed on this chair but when it qualified with that, the lot of violin music, two quilt books and a couple of My Little Ponies for less than $25, I bit. There is some damage to the bottom slats but I think they are fixable. From the label on the seat, it looks like this chair originally hails from Oklahoma.

I grab all violin sheet music for when I retire and will have the time to play and perform again. When I did buy music from a retail store, I remember how expensive it was then.

I was delighted to find my new-to-me rocking chair fits perfectly with my small scale sewing machine setup. Eventually, I will reupholster the chair pad.
As promised, the pre-basting update: I am beginning to think this is a wise choice. I would get so frustrated by puckered backings and crawling around on the floor trying the smooth the thing out that it was heading into the Unfun category. 

I've taken over part of the man cave (aka the garage), the work bench and two long pieces of lumber so I can baste this Vintage Four Patch. I am using a long running stitch with some old cream colored Woolworth thread. I saw one online tutorial where the quilter suggested a herringbone stitch. Maybe that stitch would hold better but it seems like a lot of effort.

The publication Quilts from the Civil War will be one that I actually read rather than just look at quilt pron. It appears to be well written with interesting examples of quilts from the civil war period.
Ending with an image from the 1963 Woman's Day Book of American Needlework.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Is pre-basting a necessary evil

Vintage Fabric Quilt has now become a Vintage Four Patch because there is now more current fabric in the quilt than vintage. With this explosion of color, I plan on doing a grey and white print binding.

This Riley Blake Designs Happy Flappers jelly roll purchased retail had all the right colors but nearly all the wrong moves as the cutesy owls are facing the wrong direction for my purposes. I had entertained the idea of doing a piano key border but my patriotic quilt is calling to me.
I bought enough fabric to use either one as border, backing or both. The binding is already prepared from the remnants of mystery quilter.

I have decided to pre-baste this Vintage Four Patch. I watched a couple of YouTube tutorials and used the materials I had on hand,  pieces of lumber long enough to roll up the quilt top and backing, and a table long enough to unroll the quilt as I hand baste it.

Supposedly, with this method, you won't get the puckers on the backing and you can start quilting at any point.

Update on my new sewing machine, I have it up and running and it is like learning to control a stallion. This Brother PQ1500SL is fast! One slip of the foot and you are off the races. I had read that in one of the reviews but it was something to experience for myself. It really does purr and right now I am just chain piecing, once the Vintage Four Patch is basted, I will test out its quilting capabilities.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Putting together the preassembled

On Superbowl Sunday weekend I had the good fortune of stumbling onto a mystery bag of fabric at the thrift shop that contained all of the precut and partially sewn fabric for a patriotic quilt. At first I thought I had a completed binding but when it turned out to be 70+ inches for a fabric strip quilt, I quickly went to work. My daughter helped me measure the strips while we sort of watched/listened to the football game.

The strips for the borders and binding were also precut. The Mr. really likes this flimsy, it does seem to be more masculine than feminine. What is nice it is outside of what I would normally pick in fabric - colorful, floral and girly. 

I had never had so much fun putting a quilt top together, more than half the work had already been done. I can see why quilters buy kits.

One of the ladies here at work is expecting a baby - that gives me an excuse to do another crib quilt. I might try a different pattern this time. I already know I am going to use the Tigger strips from my newly-found fabric of this past weekend. Since she and her husband do not want to know the sex of the baby, I need to keep it neutral (no Hello Kitty for this one).

I also splurged and bought my first jelly roll from a retailer. Around the first of the month, I visit all of the retailers that participate in the fabshophop, fabric retailers that offer prizes when you find the hop shop "bunny." It is a good way to see new fabric offerings and hopefully win prizes (not a sponsored post). I spotted a jelly roll that will provide a perfect finish for my vintage fabric quilt I have in the pre-basting stage.  

Blog challenge news - It remains to be seen whether I will participate in the AtoZ Challenge this April. The rules have changed, it appears the Team want to rely more on social media posts, rather than a master list on the website. I understand their reticence about the master list which topped over 2,000 participants last year but it is my main source of finding new blogs AND how others find me long after the challenge ends.

Linking up with Lorna at sewfreshquilts
Sew Fresh Quilts

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Monster High love and the mystery quilter

This is my first thrifted find of a Monster High doll ($2) and I am absolutely in love with her! She has streaked hair, one blue eye and one green eye and Frankensteinian-healed incisions on her face, throat and limbs. Her arms and legs are fully articulated and her dress is cutting edge. Her previous owner added sloppily painted fingernails. Sharp-eyed doll lovers might find it ironic that she is sitting atop a Madame Alexander box, but her greenish-tinge skin tone matched the MA blue box perfectly!

One of the thrift shops I frequent is next to a semi-wooded area and I spotted some mini daffodils, probably smelled them first - they are so fragrant. I rescued the handful from the rain that had drenched them into the ground. Luck would have it the thrift shop also had a daffodil vase with daffodil etchings. It was included my $8 Tami thrifting total.

My hyacinth are blooming. Behind them are broken pieces of white and blue thrifted plate.

Salt shaker sleeping cat poses on fabric mystery bags 1 and 2. I just can't resist these vintage trinkets. Kitty now resides in my kitchen window.

Mystery bag 1 - 3-1/2" precuts. A little Winnie the Pooh and rodeo thrown in for good measure.

Mystery bag 2 - It looks like mystery quilter made a homemade jelly roll. There is also completed binding. I am going to have fun putting this muted patriotic quilt together. I could question why quilter(s) are getting rid of this type of material ... but I won't go there.

Sally Stand-in sports the Jones New York jacket (nwt), elegant with its quilting and crème color. It looks the bomb on me with my hair coloring. It is headed off to the dry cleaner for a freshening up.

Pattern of the Day is a one piece Muu Muu from 1967.

Upcoming blog events:

This blog hop will have featured quilters/sewers, giveaways, with an emphasis on works-in-progress or sewing room setups. This will be a blast for those featured and for those just stopping by.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Patriotic Precuts and the Sewing Room Setup

An $8 thrift shop haul resulted in a bag of patriotic precuts.

Thank you mystery quilter!
The rest of the lot included a 2017 California Nature calendar, a Stephen King compilation of short stories, tin full of embroidery thread and small hoops, and fabric.

It took me longer than usual to set up the new sewing room because it is bitter cold right now and the downstairs, delightfully cool in the summer, is downright brrrr in the winter. I also had to figure out how to partially assemble and adjust the new sewing table.

Another thing keeping me from my somewhat frantic quilting pace is the Mr. is very ill and has been for a number of months.  Rather than sequester myself in my sewing room, I have been keeping him company while we binge watch Netflix.

Showcasing Sally Stand-In who is wearing her permanent "housedress." This garment is best for modeling, not wearing, as it is made from a heavy, scratchy knit. What I love best is the fabric pattern and the gaudy rhinestone buttons. This beauty was a $1 thrift shop find last year. The story behind it and other garments that came into the thrift shop is a woman collected vintage, highly unusual clothing but most of it had not been properly stored and had water damage. I can only image what the other outfits looked like.

Pattern of the Day features, yes, you guessed it, a housedress from  1960.

Back to patriotism for this post's conclusion. I never knew there were flaglaws until I took an art class where the teacher placed the student signup sheet and a folded flag on the floor in the way. After the fact, I realized I should have picked up the flag and placed it reverently on a shelf.

I had posted the YouTube video of the FedEx man rescuing a flag from a crowd intent on burning it, but it keeps getting pulled from that website.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Best of the bunch and first fine art find of the year

Best thrifted find of the weekend - 18 nearly complete pinwheel quilt blocks with the sample to finish off the lot.
Thank you mystery quilter!
I can combine last year's finds of bow-tie cut pieces and sunflower fabric for a fun summer blue and yellow quilt. It will be a super quick put together.

Thrifting averaged $15 a bag for the two shops I visited, picking up numerous books, half early 1960s-1970s publications.

Best of all, there were clothes, much needed clothes to replace the larger sizes I had sent to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond.  Alfred Dunner sweats, Coldwater Creek black pants, Fabrizio Gianni brown stretch jeans.
I also indulged in fabric and some lotions, 2 bags of Barbie clothes, half of the homemade were unfinished and there was a Ken as the model for the patterns. Thinking he and his half-finished clothes will eventually end up on Ebay.
Best of the bunch from the Barbie bags were these three pieces of doll clothing and two doll quilts, one pictured below.
Sally Stand-in is modeling two more of my clothing finds, a lavender button up long sleeved Foxcroft shirt and a lined Eddie Bauer brown wool maxi skirt (new with replacement button still attached).  The cute detail on this is the placement of a zippered pocket around knee high.
Pattern of the day features maxis from 1972.

Sunday's thrift shop find, a delightful 10-year old giclee print ($5.50), not quite vintage, has joined the artwork in my collection room.

This print had an easy fix of replacing the hanging wire and taping up the torn paper on the backing. A certain hospice shop open on Sundays has been a constant source for me of fine art finds and I love them for that!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

The lengths I go to for vintage fabric

Since I purchase retail fabric for most of my quilt backings, I've come to know some of the current ones. They are wonderfully color coded and perfectly matched and you consumer quilter pay a premium for that.

Being the thrift shop commando that I am, one thrift shop that I frequent supports the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).  There was a packet of fabric remnants priced at $8 but I wasn't willing to pay that since it looked to be mainly uglies. Half off day rolled around and I decided to snag the collection. The hidden fabric gems were worth the seam-ripping effort. I have come to cherish these vintage fabrics as unique and special. Funny enough, I don't mind ripping the seams of fabric I want to use in another creation. I find it calming but when I have to rip seams of something I have to redo, I engage in Angry Seam Ripping or ASR.

Here is the thrifted fabric, along with a hinged jar purchased for $6.  As an aside, I use hinged jars to store pasta and dried beans. I purchase the new jar seals at a local kitchen specialty store.

I never did highlight the free motion quilting I completed for the Trailer Quilt Log Cabin Style. While I made more than a few mistakes in the log cabin squares - I used too much blue, the squares didn't end up how I intended them to be (rookie error), it was my first real foray into free motion quilting, I now appreciate the effort I put into quilting each square.

I did not stitch in the ditch so it truly was free motion quilting.

Back to my original idea, I enjoy "hunting" for my supplies and that fits right in with reusing, reducing and recycling.

How do you feel about vintage fabric? Do you prefer to work with only modern?

Monday, January 9, 2017

I destashed the uglies

A sneak peek of the Vintage Fabric Quilt top and backing (nearly finished). I made the mistake in another creation of cutting the kitty cat panel into small borders when it really presents best in one piece. I will put a teal polka dot border on the top of the backing.

As promised, I destashed my uglies aka my ugly fabric. I filled an entire paper grocery bag full of fabric.

My quilt journey started with amassing over 40 xxxxl Hawaiian print shirts and processing them into workable material for piecing. I made a number of quilts from the fabric but have since lost the inspiration to continue along that vein. I did keep a few of the pretties, just in case.

We had a heck of a storm on Sunday here in Northern California. I took off work the next day to avoid flooded streets and roads. Part of errand running included thrift shopping plus a $10 credit on points earned so my day's haul was $11 and change.

There is an Ugly Christmas sweater with amazing detailed beading (to go up for sale in a few months) a cornflower button up shirt, a fun t-shirt and a doll ($1.25 on sale) for steampunkage. There is quilt publication of Favorite Applique Quilts but best of all, Scrapcrafts from A to Z.  I plan on doing another sewing-themed (loosely based) group of posts for the A to Z Challenge in April. I'll look over this book to see if it will work for my purposes. The gray floral fabric turned out to be a circular table cover. The small orange labeled packets contained pieces of costume jewelry. 

We've been staying warm and dry - now I need to concentrate on setting up that new sewing room!

Linking up with Leanne at shecanquilt.ca for: