Featuring much more ~ quilting and sewing, fashion and modeling thrifted ensembles.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Alice has gone Steampunk for the Mad Tea Party 2016

It has been a couple of years since I participated in the Mad Tea Party hosted by Vanessa over at http://afancifultwist.typepad.com/.  This hop is loosely based on Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
This here is a story about a doll named Alice. She made a journey from the land of shopgoodwill.com but she got lost in transit. (sung to the Brady Bunch theme song). She showed up the day before the Mad Tea Party.
Effanbee had been waiting for Alice.

But Alice had fallen down the rabbit hole again and this time she went steampunk. Effanbee went to look for her friend Alice and she went steampunk too!

When they both returned to the Mad Tea Party, there was homemade strawberry rhubarb pie waiting for them.
Link to 2013 submission and my late submission 2012 edition.  Each year there are some amazing fantastical tea partiers.  Look in the comments section and the sidebar of the blog host to visit those participating.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Summer Sensations blog hop

Summer Dolly Quilt project

Front and back, measures 21" x 21"
In my quest to find summer blog hops, I stumbled onto a blog by Marian at seamstobesew.com hailing from Italy (first quilting blogger I have "met" from that country) who is hosting:

The rules for the hop are -

You must make something new. No old projects or previous projects. If you have a UFO that needs finishing that fits the bill, that’s fine, but please make something new.
Keep it small and fast to put together. In the summer time, most people want to be outdoors, but still like to get in a bit of sewing time. So make us something that you would use during the summer, whether it’s a picnic basket ruffle, cover, picnic items, baskets, placemats.

The schedule for Summer Sensations…

July 21
July 22
July 25
July 26

I chose to make a summer dolly quilt to fit in perfectly for the upcoming Mad Tea Party post (see badge on my sidebar). These remnants were in a bag of thrifted material I believe were combined for a banner. To be able to repurpose someone else's partially completed project is so rewarding.
Here I have organized the fabric. The strips were sewn together for the binding. I cut 4-1/2" by whatevers strips for the quilt. I decided not to OCD-it by fixing the sizing of the units from the fabric pieces that were previously sewn together. This was a quick and easy project I completed, including French binding, one late afternoon.

Sometimes less is more and a simple patchwork will do. I was inspired by Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts with her a-simple-summer-quilt. Since this qualifies as a "finish" I am linking up with her Finish It Up Friday. I guess this type of project is also called a "mini" so I also linked up with Kelly at myquiltinfatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.

Last weekend hospice thrifting meant snagging this $1.50 mystery bag of fabric remnants.

And what a nice surprise, some pieces that could easily be the major part of a quilt. I will finish those squares and give them a new life.

Part of this hop is a giveaway - the prize is a $25.00 gift certificate from the Fat Quarter Shop
Each giveaway starts at midnight of the day it's featured and ends at 11:59 pm of the same day.
All giveaways are during the Easter Standard Time Zone.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posting a Pattern of the Day from 1954, a romper for this Summer Sensations blog hop!
Hoping you are having a Sensational Summer!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Upcoming hops and events

I am part of the Pokémon Go crowd - well, not so involved that I stampede in Central Park to catch a Vaporeon (players of the game know what I am referring to), link to that video. I walk during my lunch hour and this game fits in perfectly with that activity.

I will be featuring a small sewing project on Friday's post, but in the meantime, if you are so inclined, here is the schedule of upcoming Summer Sensation hoppers:

July 21
July 22
July 25
July 26

In between that sewing, quilting crowd is the 2016 Mad Tea Party on Saturday, July 23rd, that I have linked up with after a two-year hiatus. The hostess has the most fantastical garden and fantasy-like creations - you won't want to miss her and all those that have linked up at afancifultwist.typepad.com.

Fashion linkups will resume when our weather is not so blasted hot. It is no fun layering on the clothes in this type of heat ~

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Got myself in a blogspat

In my enthusiasm to share my latest quilting project, seems I violated an unwritten blog hop rule of placing a linkback in a comment.  A blogger, who shall remain unnamed, emailed me that she was none too happy "but let it slide" until she saw I had done the same with others in the hop. My comments were deleted as inappropriate, taking away the other bloggers' moment in the sun.

Admittedly, this is not my first blogspat. A few years ago I accidentally linked up with a romance writer's group. Rather than embrace that I was someone outside of their circle, I was roundly "kicked out" of the hop.

One of the reasons I note "making mischief whenever I can" under my description. Seems I can't avoid getting myself into trouble.

Another unwritten blog hop rule for some are only linking to that hop and not combining hops.  You won't know you are in the wrong until you receive a strongly-worded email from a bloggess.

Thankfully, the fashion blogging group are not so, shall we say anal about the rules (or lack thereof).

Hope I haven't turned the entire quilt blogging community against  me, I don't want to have to go quilting rouge ...

Morale of the story, be careful of who, what and where you decide to link up with, blogspats are never any fun.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Christmas Quilt with Cardinal Cornerstones

What do quilters do when it is 100 degrees in the summer? They make quilt blocks (at least that is what I do) with the goal of making as many gift quilts as possible. This is the fun part - the piecework and constructing the quilt tops. This one will be a keeper and act as my template. Scheduled for a third quarter finish, #FALQ3TamiVonZalez.

I so loved the look of cornerstones in my last quilt, I wanted to do it again. I had just enough material for the bulb and wreath borders that came in a mystery bag of thrifted Christmas material I purchased earlier in the month.

I have been loosely following the Down Memory Lane pattern shown at the open book. The fabric to the right of the book are the beginnings of the outer borders.

This was the first layout testing the pattern. I had only completed 12 blocks at this stage (at the end of the 4th of July weekend). I purchased retail the cardinal remnant and brown/burgundy fabric for the sashing.
Thrifting over the 4th of July weekend produced this $6 thrifted lot with a Canada souvenir plate and some fabric remnants. 
My souvenir plate wall is coming along. I am buying plates of locations that have significance or where I have previously visited.
When I said I was using the fabric for quilting, one thrift store employee mentioned that a couple had come into the shop and the husband was complaining that his wife spent over $200 a month on retail fabric for her quilts and she was going to have to curtail that activity after her retirement. While I adore retail fabric, it is just not an option for me and the majority of my projects. I will supplement my stash with fabric on sale and retail material for quilt backings.

I have changed my comment settings, hoping it will be easier for those who stop by. 

Linking up with the following:
shecanquilt for Scraptastic Tuesday and 2016 Finish-A-Long and crazymomquilts for Finish It Up Friday.
Ending with touch of retro Christmas

As an aside, I have been nominated again this year as Best Local Sacramento blogger - please vote for me! #SacAList

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Let's talk uglies

The uglies I am referring to are the fabrics that are, well, just plain ugly. I recently organized my fabric remnants by color and got rid of my uglies - sent to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond.

I am certain other quilters/fabric artists do this. I mean you can only hide so much of the uglies scrapping them out. Here is a perfect example of what I consider to be uglies offered through shopgoodwill.com. That poppy fabric I think is the best of the bunch, but the rest - uglies.

If you have any blog hops or challenges planned, please leave a comment with the info or email me at tvonzalez at gmail.com.

Ending the post with baby doll mugshots, tore up 1 and tore up 2. Both inmates at shopgoodwill.com. (Yes, I spend way too much time on that website.)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bibliophile alert and the challenge's end

Challenge prompt: "Have you read Gone with the Wind? Do you want to read it? What books do you read? What books have you read that you recommend? What books do you not recommend or will you not read? Give us your list of thirty books." 

My quilt-related thrift shop acquired publications. My favorite is Successful Scrap Quilts with my least favorite being the Georgia Bonesteel series (sorry Georgia). One would think just a couple of these books would be good enough, but surprisingly, I have found some tip or trick or pattern that was different and unique in each of them.

I was going to try and attempt a 30-minute free write, one of the choices of these prompts. I began a rant on politics and then deleted it (as interesting as this election has become here in the U.S.). Religion and politics are two topics I try to avoid in conversation and in the blogosphere. I also know that I don't like reading long, drawn-out blog posts unless they are humorous. I don't think I can be that funny for 30 minutes. I also type incredibly fast so I would end up posting a novello ya'll would have to slog through.

So we will talk books. Yes, I have read Gone with the Wind - in my teen years. In fact, most of my heavy duty reading was done as a teenager. I devoured at least a book a week, no light reading either, the majority of them were the classics. Rather than list those recommended, here is a link 50-books-to-read-before-you-die.

My reading of late has been college textbooks and doesn't leave much time for recreational reading. Of the books I would recommend that aren't on the 50 books list are (with the proviso that I was VERY MUCH into the horror genre for a number of years):

The Stand by Stephen King (I have read both the abridged and unabridged versions)
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty. This was the first horror book that I ever read (at a mere 12 years old), and what a doozy. The book is infinitely more frightening than the movie (I know that is saying a lot).

I also like to read alternative publications from the 1960s. These types of books are extremely difficult to find, at least in the second hand shops.

I was so glad I could participate in this challenge. Even with my online college class, I was looking for a way to stave off boredom and Kathleen came to the rescue. Thank you to those who have visited me. Stay tuned for more fun and games in the months to come.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The train on track 29

Challenge prompt: "Have you ever ridden a train? Write a post about a train. Tell us about a train ride you have taken or one you'd like to take."

Mom and me in the last car of the Nut Tree railway, Vacaville, California, July 1969.
I have ridden Amtrak and one of the routes on my bucket list is Cascades route from Seattle to Vancouver. It is one thing to see it driving but another to see it from a train perspective.

The kids loved the Sacramento to San Francisco route (which included a bus leg) because they could move around the car and visit the loo whenever they wanted. Taking the train is great for excursions with mid-to-older aged children.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The games people don't play anymore

Challenge prompt: "There are 28 dominoes in a full set. Do you like to play dominoes or games? What are your favorite games? Tell us about a time you played a game with friends or family."

Board games are a casualty of internet-based technology. Why pull out a board game when you can go online and play any number of games, complete with sound effects?

Thrift shops reflect societal changes. What types of things are coming through or being donated? Board games, CDs, large heavy pieces of wood furniture, to name a few.

One of my favorite games was Trivial Pursuit. I am a font of useless information and was always successful on my Trivial Pursuit team. As a child, we would play Candyland, Operation, Checkers and, as I grew older, Monopoly (the shortened version where you would divvy up the real estate between the players).
I enjoyed playing board games. We would gather with friends or family and call a night of it. I think the reason we stopped doing that is other interests and activities have made a bid for our time and attention.
Do you still play board games?

Monday, June 27, 2016

27 sentences and how to survive on a State worker's salary

Challenge prompt: "Write about any subject but you must write exactly twenty-seven sentences, no more, no less."

How to exist on a State worker's salary, low compensation with retirement benefits deferred?
My no. 1 is shopping for clothes thrift. While I love retail and had an ongoing love affair with Macy's (they loved me when I was spending $200 a month on clothing) in the go-go 90s when money was plentiful. M and I are now once or twice a year lovers when lingerie is running low or needs to be replaced.
Find food at the farmer's markets. Luckily, we have a weekly farmer's market this time of year and there is one vendor in particular tucked away in a corner that cuts prices to the bone.
Buy day-old bread. Another find at the market is day-old specialty bread. This week's purchase was a seed bread with cranberries for $2.50.
Buy in bulk. A vacuum packer is your friend.
Bring a lunch. I know, a no-brainer but when all of the surrounding restaurants are calling out to you, "try me, try me," it is tough to pass them by.
Take public transportation. While not an option for me, I know many who do.
Carpool with a co-worker or other State employee. The agency I work for keeps a list of those interested in carpooling.
Live downtown. Many of the State agencies are located in and around the State capitol within walking or biking distance.
Live with a roommate. Easier said than done.
Work a second job. There are those who work the night shift at the arena and there are others who work at the tax agencies during that season.
It is not impossible to exist on a State worker's salary. It forces one to be inventive and to think twice about purchases, which is a good thing anyway. 
Are there any cost-cutting measures that you employ?  Do tell!