Featuring much more ~ quilting/sewing, fashion and modeling thrifted ensembles, making mischief whenever I can.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Spooky Steampunk lap quilt

I have been preparing for this hop for months - once the Eerie Nights hostess announced the theme, the criteria being to make something new and show your go-to Halloween décor hosted by Amy at sewincrediblycrazy.blogspot.com.
For my spooky steampunk lap quilt, I first bought some retail fabric since I had absolutely none in my stash. I also asked a quilting co-worker if she had any remnants from a Halloween quilt kit (and she did, some purple background Mr. Chillingsworth). I also found a quilt-along with some free patterns at flyingparrotquilts.com, link to her Epic Halloween quilt. One of the patterns I snagged was the variable potion bottles, my first attempt at paper piecing. Potion bottle attempt number 1 is the one between the skeletons, with corrected the lotion bottle top in the final. Attempts 2 through 4 are in order, my technique improved by potion bottle number 4 in the lower right corner.

While the freezer paper seemed a good idea in theory, my little scraps kept slipping around off of the plastic side of the paper so I ended up just pinning the main piece and working around that. My lotion bottle tops turned out a little wonky but I decided to leave them like that.

Also worth a mention, I bought an 80/20 quilters batting at one of the discount retailers and it is just HEAVEN to work with. It was described as "preferred by hand quilters for its easy needling and smooth drape," and they aren't kidding. I didn't have to fight with it putting together the quilt sandwich. I had to use very few safety pins and no basting spray. I just smoothed out the layers with my hands and it stayed put! What a relief.

From paper piecing to pebbling, the style of free motion quilting I chose for the colored squares courtesy of mystery quilter's donation here. While I love the look of the pebbling, it was exhausting work. I would do a square at a time and take numerous breaks.

Here is the schedule of those participating in the hop:

October 20th

October 21st

October 24th

October 25th

October 26th

October 27th

October 28th

Linking up with the following blogs: quiltingismorefunthanhousework

Quilting is more fun than Housework
Needle and Thread Thursday (can't get the logo to post)
Finish it Up Friday (can't find the hop logo)

Fall and Halloween being my favorite time of year, I have plenty of decorations, some of which have been highlighted on my blog in years past and worth a revisit now. 
These guys I believe are former McDonald's Happy Meal toys - I love them, they are forever keepers.

These resin figurines I snagged at a retailer at a deep discount after the holiday.  They reside on my windowsill for the month of October.

While the kids were growing up, we would always make a Halloween dummy to sit out front on the porch.

Re-posting this image from Fabric Therapy's post on the eye-candy-from-2016-aqs-chattanooga quilt show by Nancy LaPorte from Prattville, AL. Love the theme she chose. This is the type of detail work that I aspire to.

Pattern of the Day is an undated Butterick.

And a giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

What are your go-to decorations for Halloween?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hanging with Mrs. Brimble

So glad I found an Instagram challenge during October through mrsbrimbles.blogspot.com.
I am posting daily at https://www.instagram.com/tvonzalez/.

The big reveal to my Spooky Steampunk lap quilt will be on October 20, Day 1 to the Eerie Night Halloween blog hop hosted by Amy at sewincrediblycrazy. A sneak peek of my creation will be on Mrs. Brimble's Day 5 prompt of "I Made This."
While I usually highlight baby dolls from shopgoodwill.com and their messed up mugshots, Bozo provides enough creepy for today's post.  He is an inmate at shopgoodwill.com/auctions/Vintage-Mattel-Talking-Bozo-Doll.
For my audience outside of the U.S., there have been reports of creepy clowns lurking around in cities across America.
Not the time to read Stephen King's book It.
Just enough weirdness to give you nightmares?!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Vintage Fabric and an IG challenge

National Sewing Month continues with sewing related thrifted finds for an even $7, two $1 mystery bags of fabric, the image above chock full of vintage precuts. Thank you to Unknown Quilter. The find also included a jar of buttons, thimbles, thread  and the Pattern of the Day pictured below.

Mystery bag of fabric No. 2 were some preassembled and pieces to assemble. I am betting made from same fabric in bag no. 1.

And, on to other news - I have found an October Instagram photo challenge over at mrsbrimbles.blogspot.com.

Practicing my free motion quilting skills in preparation for the Eerie Nights blog hop next month. My quilt in progress is Spooky Steampunk inspired.

I am auditioning fabric for my son's quilt. He has asked that I avoid pinks and florals. Avoiding the floral prints will not be easy because the majority of my fabrics are florals. I am basing layout no. 1 on those four teal blue cornerstones (from my $1 bag o' fabric listed above), blue/purple batiks and a fish print fabric from the Hawaiian shirt hoarder.

With my thrift shop find came Pattern of the Day from 2010. I am in love with the Alice dress!

What dreams of Halloween are you having?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Shades of green

Finally found some clothing (and a dolly for good measure) at one of my fav spots - Thrift Town. A couple of months ago, TT gave out a coupon packet and the one for September was spend $15, get $5 off. I took full advantage of that picking up a pair of black jean shorts for my son, an Anne Taylor black skirt and chartreuse shirt for me, this Ireland Madame Alexanderkins and a couple of retro patterns. 
I somehow managed to pick up items in each of the color tag categories (with discounts ranging from 50 to 20 percent).  MA Ireland's apron and hat will receive a dose of bluing to bring out the white.

I have shed a few pounds on my NO butter/bacon/fried/sugary lifestyle change which means replacing my thrifted wardrobe. One of the beauties of wearing secondhand clothes is you don't have to calculate the cost when you send pieces back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 

After the Anne Taylor skirt returns from the dry cleaners, I will model it for you. The garment has excellent "drape" (as we like to say in the biz).

Concluding with two Simplicity patterns from 1967
(wearing the green ...)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Batiks and Batting

Once a large influx of sewing related items and material comes into the thrift shop, it is a sure bet more will eventually process through. Having checked back at the thrift shop of my last best sewing-related finds, my $8 snagged batting and batiks, mystery bags of fabric, two 1970s patterns and a tiny tea set.

I have always loved the batik prints but they always seemed to be priced in the high range ($15 or more a yard). Unknown quilter sent through mystery material bags 1 and 2 - precut and ready for my use. 

I do wonder when these amazing fabrics come through - what happened to mystery quilter?  Did she lose interest in the craft? As a nod to the donor, I try to use at least one of my newly acquired fabrics in a current project.

I am reveling in the fact that it is National Sewing Month.
Sharing an image from The Complete Book of Sewing (pub. 1945).

Patterns of the Day - two Simplicity from 1962

Thursday, September 1, 2016

National Sewing Month

In celebration of National Sewing Month, I have located a few giveaways for those feeling particularly lucky.

Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber blog is hosting month-long giveaways http://fatquartershop.blogspot.com/

Diary of a Sewing Fanatic promises month-long giveaways.

Pamkittymorning giveaway - Fat Quarter Shop has generously supplied a FQS Curated Bundle of Buffalo Check Carolina Gingham from Robert Kaufman as a prize to one of my fine blogging friends. 

C&T Publishing (Your Home for Creative Quilting and Sewing) is hosting a rafflecopter giveaway http://www.ctpub.com/

Well, we're giving away not one, but three books, plus three fat quarter bundles to match!  Because I Love You SewPerfect Patchwork Bags, and Sew Home are the prefect complements to a Moda Country Orchard Fat Quarter Bundle, a Moda Compositions Basic Grey Fat Quarter Bundle, and a Dear Stella Desert Bloom Bundle. Enter here: a Rafflecopter giveaway. Open to US residents only; winner will be announced one week from now on the blog. 

Who knew there was a sewing fiction genre for books? Carole at frommycarolinahome has highlighted a few books on that theme.

Those who quilt and sew really are busy all year long making magic with material and thread. While my focus of late has been quilting, I do look forward to using one of my many patterns to make a fifties-style dress.

Which brings me to the Pattern of the Day, a 1960 Simplicity 1570, I'll take that aqua-colored one!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Crime and what does it have to do with me?

While I rarely write about my work and have recently taken some side trips posting about Pokémon Go (no fear regular readers, quilting and fashion posts will soon return), there are some observations I have made after reading page upon page of California criminal appeals. 

What you read or see in the news is just a small portion of the detail related to violent crime. It is heartbreaking and there are times I weep for the victims as I read the statement of facts for accuracy. 

What I can offer is advice you have probably seen - most likely also given from law enforcement. 

Be aware of your surroundings - that includes walking, jogging while listening to your iPod with ear plugs, better to be "unplugged."

Women - do not go to bars alone, ever.

Arm yourself and become proficient at using a weapon.  Seems counterintuitive for those calling for gun control but there is a reason, there are very bad people out there that want to do you harm - more out there than you could possibly imagine.

Lock your doors and absolutely don't open them for strangers.

Women - if you are with a man that is not the father of your children, do not allow yourself to become impaired in any way, it is usually during that time your children will likely be victimized.  Do not leave your children alone with a man, only after he has proven himself to hold you and your child's interests foremost. 

Gang members hold allegiance to their gangs, not to their partners, and will do harm to their own women if the gang decrees she has "done something wrong."  I have read more than one case where a gang member's woman, pregnant with child, was terminated in the most horrific way. 

Of course, the tendency is to think, "It will never happen to me or my family," and with Godspeed and good luck it perhaps never will, but take a moment to think of those who have suffered, say a prayer for them and stay safe.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pokemon Go update

Things I have learned playing what I like to call the "walking game" aka Pokémon Go are:

Feed those critters raspberries for easier catching them all. Seems Pokémon fall in love (either with you or the raspberry) and it distracts them while you launch pokeballs at them. 

If your "bag is full" dump the potions. I have yet to use them, so you can stock up on pokeballs and great balls (no, not of fire ...)

If you haven't evolved your pokepets yet, after you have transferred a few to the Professor (you don't need 18 paras), you earn candies. These candies go toward pokemon evolutions. When the pokemon evolve, it doesn't seem to be a very pleasant experience for them. Some make odd noises after evolution that sound something like a bark, sneeze or hiccup. It cracks me up.

In your bag of items there is a lucky egg, save this puppy for evolving all of your pokemon that have enough candies.  The lucky egg earns double XP for 30 minutes. 

On your pokemon tab there is another tab called "eggs" so you choose the 5.0 km ones (ignore the 2.0 ones) and choose to incubate them. After you have walked awhile, this will count toward hatching them. My latest hatched baby was a Magnemite.

I spent the weekend on the California coast and there I found numerous "water" pokemon like Magikarp and Staryu. All the more reason to hang out at the beach!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pure thrifting to prepare presents

I am on a fabric and quilt-related "roll" when it comes to this month's thrifting. Hospice thrift produced these items for $6.75.  Batting ($1), mystery bag of fabric ($2), Christmas paisley 3 yards of fabric ($2), a bag of lemon/verbena soap ($1.50) and mystery bag of cut fabric squares ($1), the lot at 10% off.

Mystery fabric of pre-cut solid squares solved the binding problem for my brother's retirement quilt (to be revealed when finished), the WIP is on my Instagram feed under tvonzalez. I am going to chain piece the squares together.

The $2.00 mystery bag of fabric revealed this sunflower collection. I am sorely tempted to bump my Halloween quilting project to make a small sunflower creation.

Pattern of the day presumed to be one from the 1940s, undated Simplicity 3553. I had to leave the thrift shop sticker price on it because it lifted off the image.

One of the items on my thrift shop bucket list is a retro dress form. I passed one up a couple of years and have been kicking myself ever since.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Monsters and Mugshots

Pokémon Go players - my newest discovery is Incense that lures wild Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. While it didn't attract any rare or unusuals, I did throw pokeballs during my lunch hour while sitting on a park bench. 

I hatched a couple of eggs, earned some type of 3 egg hatching medal but still don't know what to do with it.  I also powered up and evolved a few of my Pokémon. Again, I don't know why, just seemed like the thing to do. 

On to Instagram, as noted in my previous post, my newest social media move. Having completed an incredibly fun challenge with a quilting group, my next group of daily prompts originate from thesitsgirls.com beginning September 15th.

While not the most inspired prompts, it will be interesting to see what the other participants come up with. Maybe I can throw some mischief into the mix and create an uproar.

Ending with baby doll mugshots, because sometimes you feel like a train wreck by week's end.  These three inmates are currently offered for sale on shopgoodwill.com.