Sunday, September 2, 2018

There is always something to be working on

September Red Violet
I had so wanted to finish a quilt this weekend but my usual machine went sideways. For some reason, free motion quilting is beyond its capabilities. Perhaps that is a good thing, as it is hard on my wrists too. 

Quilting provides many different activities one can do during the creative process. You can be cutting the fabric to the lengths needed, patchwork piecing, squaring up the blocks, assembling the quilt top, sewing together the backing, putting together the quilt sandwich, basting, quilting and binding.

I chose to do piecework. This is a test block for my daughter's quilt. The finished size is 8" but when I refine it (and do it correctly from the pattern book), should measure as a 12" block. That quilt has more of a fall palette. 

Half off day at Hospice thrift was a romp. The contents of the box totaled $6.50, with two genie glass containers (already filled with the colored pebbles), a set of Hawaii ornaments, a record, two books and a pair of shorts for my son. 
I have been working my way through my fabric remnants, cutting them into 2-1/2" squares. This activity will result in two quilts, one a watercolor (or color wash) and the other a leaders/enders. 

What fun things have you been working on?

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Colts quilt

Just in time for the football season, a man-sized lap quilt!
Center piece was free motion quilted
When the Mr.'s daughter dropped by for a visit, she brought some remnants I could make into a quilt for her and her husband. She wanted grey and white with the Indianapolis Colts fabric. No amazing shots in the wild for this one, too hot outside. 
The quilts I give to friends and family are part of my legacy. Here is a link to a well-written post leave-quilts-not-fabric.

She chose a cotton batting and said she wanted "soft," to me that meant flannel backing. I had finished my last few quilts that way and it is fast becoming my preferred method. I figured that type of fabric would be half off this time of year and found the perfect one, tie-dyed horses and a smattering of plaid. 
Winding the backing onto the baseboard
The binding I used were 2" precut strips from a Coastal Beacons quilt kit. The finished binding looks more like piping when it is cut that small.  My upcoming quilt also uses pieces from that kit I purchased thrift. 

Updated post to link up with Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts for Finish it up Friday.
Smoked duck ringed with fruit salad
Veering off subject and onto food and tablescaping, for years, I have wanted a set of china. If not a set, then dinner plates. 6 Noritake Belmont dinner plates in perfect condition ($1.50 a plate) came home with me earlier in the month. I also found the tablecloth secondhand, buffet length priced $100 retail, for $1! I added 7 white fabric napkins, shown in the top of the image below, to my budding tablescape.
I listened to this 5 record set of Hawaiian music while quilting,
well worth the $2 paid for it
There has been a lot of thrift shop visits but not a lot coming home with me. I am still focusing on art work, linens, and now records. Clothing is always on the list, if not for me, then for others in my family.

Sharing a Tom Jones video  - just because I'm a fan!

My next project is the picnic quilt, pin basted and ready for quilting. 

Linking up with lizzielenard-vintagesewing for Free Motion Mavericks, I've got that bit of center piece that was free motion quilted. 

Friday, August 17, 2018

It's my Blogiversary! Seven years and still going strong.

Hideeeho internets, it is my Blogiversary. This show on heels began on August 2011. 

My initial posts highlighted thrifted finds and fashion combined. I then linked up with bloggers of a certain age modeling their ensembles, mine always secondhand. I also participated in online writing and photography challenges.

A few years ago, I moved into the quilting realm and posted the possibilities one could make with thrifted fabric. Now, I participate in linkups, mainly fiber-art related. 
Second version
This being my first attempt at the layer cake quilt block, I again Tami revised it. farm-girl-layer-cake-block-quilt While farm girl's block included more detail, I stripped it down. The 2018 Monthly Color Challenge August prompt was yellow/orange. 
First version
This is my newest favorite block. This has been a great challenge for me because I have the freedom to create these specialized ones. I find them either posted by other quilt bloggers or in quilt publications. 

As I have become more discriminating in my fabric purchases, I splurged and bought the 2 volume set of Dating Fabric, A Color Guide, by Eileen Trestain, Vol. 1 1800-1960 and Vol. 2 1950-2000.

Linking up with patternsbyjen for the August Color Challenge linkup. 

My latest passion is listening to vinyl records while I quilt. The Mr. said he thought I had lost it when I purchased this portable Victrola.

Best retail buy in a long time, only cost $40 on sale. I had been looking for a turntable at the thrift shops but never found one or was priced too high. 

Mr. VZ offhandedly mentioned, "Did you know there are records in the cabinet?" Mind you, we have lived together for nearly 15 years and I don't go through his cabinets. I wasn't getting my hopes up because the Mr. does not enjoy listening to music like I do. What I found there astounded even me. A treasure trove of late 1960s and 1970s albums. 

Here are just a few.
On cleaning vinyl, I learned best to use no chemicals. There were all sorts of gadgets designed to clean the records but the quilter me thought, "clean and cloth, why not use batting?" It worked perfect. What few dust smidges I missed were picked up by the stylist brush on the arm. 

Music from the late 1970s to present I have ripped to my laptop and backed up on an external device. 

So thank you all of my followers and to those that have stuck with me through all of my blog's iterations. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

I took the summer off

Admittedly, I didn't take all of the summer off because there was working in between it all. I did take time to just do nothing. There was no heavy-duty quilting, no summer college course, no summer novel reading. When you "do nothing" there is also nothing to post for the internets, so even my blog suffered.  

Page view tallies intrigue me. I do know when I don't linkup with a certain quilt blogger, my page views plummet. That linkup blogger took the summer off too. Yet, a couple of days ago I was hovering around 50 page views per day and then it shot up to 400! I can never figure out what is going on. I assume someone has pointed others toward my blog or mentioned me somewhere. 

I could attribute my summer attitude to our never-ending heat along with the addition of smoke from the Northern California wildfires. Being an escape-to-the-outdoors type of person, I languish indoors protecting my lungs and other organs affected by PM2.5 (particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometers). Link to the Environmental Protection Agency's

My newest passion is learning to cook Chinese food from the Joy of Chinese Cooking. My first attempt was cashew nut chicken (one of my favorites), didn't turn out stellar and it would have helped if I had all of the ingredients *guilty smirk*

There are no good Chinese food restaurants in my area so I decided to learn how to cook this type of cuisine. It was the same with Thai food - none of those restaurants in the rural county where I live. 

I did start free motion quilting this past weekend on the Indianapolis Colts lap quilt I should be able to post as a final in the next couple of weeks. Lots of quilting in store for me as I have that and another quilt sandwich in the queue. 

Have you been experiencing a lackadaisical summer too?

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Sewing Machine Block and I captured a cashmere

July color in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge is yellow/green. I chose this print along with a Tami-revised sewing machine block. I somewhat followed the pattern posted at amyscreativeside, and linked up at I made the block more difficult by adding the brown border. My first attempt reminded me of the puppet Ollie.

Updating post to linkup at for the July Color Challenge. 

I had hoped to make it in to the Fair awards ceremony but spent the morning feeling punk and having car trouble so it wasn't meant to happen.
I felt as undetermined as this painting

I also captured a cashmere and silk skirt at Goodwill. Very happy finds for me. 

Posting some summer Patterns of the Day
Marking quilting lines for the Indianapolis Colts lap quilt and listening to shuffled music on my laptop. 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Piggy Bank Savings - Money for Quilting Challenge

While most of the time I post on how I spent my money, this time I am linking up with a challenge at Val's Quilting Studio on how much money I saved ... to spend on fabric. Such an ulterior motive! 
I am hoping by this time next year, I will have greatly reduced my remnant fabric stash. I want to retain laser focus on projects and do my best possible work. I don't want to crank out quilts just for quilt's sake. 

Thrifting update: newest find another quilt rack. This one, tall and narrow, holds a thrifted fan quilt and a Pendleton blanket. My lead crystal lamps hold court in the background.

I have also been tidying up my collection room. I was sort of embarrassed to find a vintage Christmas doll in the back of my curio cabinet. She will show up in my lead off post in the Countdown to Christmas. 
Crocheted Yosemite Sam
Heading back to the California State Fair tomorrow for the crafts division awards ceremony. Hope to have some fun fair pics to share. I am already planning my next year's submission. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

I spent the morning at the California State Fair

And you know where you could find me - at the Craft and Fine Art exhibitions. With my media pass, I signed in and entered the fair via the media center. I was able to photograph these superior creations without having to battle the crowds.
So well organized!

This one I believe took a First Place.
Applique puppy in batik
Ethnic and dramatic
Jaw-dropping precision needlework on this piece
I knew there was a Steampunk category
so I was particularly interested in this exhibit
This piece you have to see in person
Done in counted cross-stitch
Whimsical and Wonderful
You can see why it took First Place - Applique Quilts

My piece is hanging in the display case to my right

The Sacramento summer heat is oppressive so I am wearing as little as possible. I know a gal isn't supposed to wear a hat inside but I am matching my creation's hat she is wearing. Thought I would look the "artist" part. *grins*
Award of Merit for this oil painting
Lots to see and do and there is something for everyone at the fair. What I didn't find was jalapeno jelly - so if anyone finds that type of vendor, let me know! I will be back at the Fair next week.