Sunday, June 17, 2018

Hippy jeans and media access

At $2.50 - who cares if it was mass produced?
Did my route of 4 secondhand shops and found yet another item on my thrift shop bucket list, a pair of embroidered-leg jeans. Coldwater Creek brand, reliable and well-made. Thrown in for good measure was a small painting, a Charter Club Hawaiian print shirt and some quilt blocks. Grand total spent - $12.
Thrifting treasures

I learned through another Sacramento blogger that, as bloggers, we could apply for media badges for early access and entrance into the California State Fair. I was all over that. I am more than curious to know where my quilted wall hanging the-encounter-abstract-in-fabric will be displayed.  

I have a long history with fairs - I can't hide the fact that I love them! I love the smells and the energy. Cotton candy and scones are my foodie downfalls. 
1962 Seattle World's Fair
My mom had this slide marked as "Poodle for Miss Peep Show"
I'm the little gal next petting the poodle, my brother next to me
I may have more of these retro fair images hiding in the next group  of slides I brought home on my last visit with my mom. 

Pattern of the Day is a 1960s Advance pattern.

The sleeveless version is my usual work look for summer days that reach 100 degrees. The forecast calls for heat and more heat in our Northern California climes.  

Are you a fan of the fairs? 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Curved piecing and other observations

This pre-cut kit of batik fabric is my entry into curved piecing. These fabric pieces are even notched and mystery quilter left detailed notes along with the instructions. 

My sturdy 457 is good for piecing but not for quilting. Course, I have been pushing it by using a standard foot and other sewing machine transgressions.  

Picnic quilt is in pinned basted stage but I am waiting until my Brother machine is repaired and tuned up. 

My attempt at abstract in fabric was not a state fair acceptance. *shrugs* I don't regret that it sports matchstick quilting. I will use that technique again for another quilted wall hanging. 

Update to post: So I believed all weekend that my entry wasn't selected, come to find out it earned an honorable mention. I'm in the fair after all!  

Pregnant doe captured on trail cam

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Every Quilter Needs a Rack

How's that for a post title? A quilt rack had been on my thrift shop bucket list for some time. Sturdy and well-made it will hold three full-sized quilts. There are heart cutouts on each side. Hospice half off day meant I scored that and the following items:
Priced at $8, I paid $4
Another fun, obscure thing I collect are fortune teller toys and Tarot cards.
Muffy on the right joined Fortune Tellers
Barbie and M&M
Back to the quilting aspect of the finds, quilt and other books, fabric and looks to be the beginnings of a doll quilt.

What I am now calling the picnic quilt with pineapple and My Little Pony backing is in the basting stage. I am patting myself on the back for using less than $20 in retail fabric and the remainder from my stash. 

This quilt is destined for the spare bedroom/fabric stash room.

Next on my list of things to find secondhand - a quilt ladder.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Encounter, an abstract in fabric

Participating once again in the Art with Fabric Blog Hop hosted by Alida at For these hops, she organizes fiber artists, mainly quilters, to interpret art with fabric. 
Measures 60" x 50"
When I first committed to this project, I had already picked my inspiration, The Encounter by Afro Basaldella, an abstract oil on canvas from 1954.

The first stage of creation was free flow, ignoring the rules of quilting by sewing the fabric on top of each other in a raw edge applique. The fabric skewed and my sewing left a lot to be desired. 
Hot Mess
I let the project sit for a month and when I returned to it, it wasn't as bad as I thought. I am sure I am not the only one that wonders during the creative process "will this work?" or "what the h**l was I thinking?"

Don't laugh but when I did the first draft, I didn't see the image only the shapes and colors. What do you see in Afro's painting?
The participants, who have done amazing things with fabric, are listed below:

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 

Wednesday, May 23th, 2018 

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

If I didn't bristle against rigid rules, regulations and procedures, I would have patiently paper-pieced the thing. But, no, not me, I slapped it together in an ADD sort of way. 
Pre-trimmed, marking quilting lines for matchstick method
The white panel board you see in the image above is the same one I wind the front and backs onto for pin basting. I had wanted to try the matchstick quilting method and this seemed the perfect project since I left so much raw edge fabric to be tacked down. 
Backing, glad I used the same fabric for the pole sleeve.
I also watched this Fons and Porter tutorial to create the sleeve.

Detail of the faces in fabric.

I've entered her in the California State Fair, not in the quilting competition, but in the fiber art category. I think fairgoers will fall in love with her! 

6/11 Update to Post - She has earned an Honorable Mention and will be on exhibit during the fair's run Friday, July 13th through Sunday, July 29th. Hope you Northern Californians can go and see her in person. 

In my first image of this post, I had to make deadline so half of the piece is bound, the other not, the sleeve wasn't tacked down and it hadn't been washed. The fraying and texture can be seen in this image.
Final entry

Now is the time to visit the other participants in the hop and their amazing interpretations~

Linking up with Amanda Jean at for Finish It Up Friday. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I am an ADD Quilter

After suffering through a dearth of nothing in the thrifting realm, mystery quilter came through - here are my $5 fabric finds this week, some yardage, a precut batik kit originally marked $40 (lovely fabrics) and other blocks shown below. 

Finding patchwork pieces is my absolute favorite thing because one of the best parts of quilting is when the flimsy is finished. Of course, there is the final finish of binding but that almost seems anticlimactic after a top is completed. 

I have discovered that a person's personality is reflected in any creation they make, including quilts. I know my creative process is filled with fits and starts, distractions of my own making. I am an ADD quilter. I queue up projects and then the newest, next best thing comes my way *squirrel* and those other ideas, waiting patiently in the wings, are pushed again to the back. I chafe against detailed piecework and minutiae quilting. While I can appreciate the work involved, it is not my style. 

So what has bumped my Watercolor Quilt project? What I like to call Wallflower Quilts, those that are mainly light grey or light yellow. Mystery quilter made these light yellow blocks, some containing what I am sure are vintage fabrics. Some of these will be sent back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond because I don't think pale yellow is a good companion to black or red fabric. After squaring them up, I will have a Wallflower quilt flimsy in no time.
I am furiously quilting away to finish my State Fair entry which also doubles as my creation in the Art with Fabric Blog Hop post on May 24th. 

Monday, May 7, 2018

In Like Flynn

For years I have wanted to exhibit one of my creations at the California State Fair. In the early 2000s, I honed my craft as a painter of oil or acrylic landscapes or abstracts on canvas. Came to find out the painterly world likes its participants to hold MFA (Master of Fine Art) degrees and the like. Not gonna happen for me. 

As artists sometimes do with the medium they are working in, I moved from painting to quilting. As with painting, quilting is a deceptively complex craft. 

Recently, I have been participating in the Art with Fabric blog hop hosted by and while making this hop's entry, I thought, "Why not enter this in the fair?" I made the entry deadline by one day. 

This is so exciting for me, it was that easy to exhibit in the fair? I have struggled for years entering in the fine art category and being rejected. I haven't entered the fair competitions in over 5 years. 

This category is Fiber Crafts, Division 165 - Any Other Fiber Art (includes wall hangings). I didn't enter in the quilting category because then the "quilting" of the creation would be what is judged. We will see how my abstract in fabric will do in competition.

On to AtoZ Blog Challenge news - reflections. After taking a year hiatus from this challenge after participating for four years, it may be time for me to pull the plug.  

From the Challenge's peak of 2,000+ participants in 2016, it went to around 300 in 2017. In years past, there was a master linky list where you could see all of the participants in one place. This year the group opted for a daily Google sheet linkup. Sometimes the linkup was there, sometimes it wasn't. Then you had to link up within 48 hours (not always possible). 

While I don't do the challenge for page views, mine actually went down. I think my now quilting audience had no interest in AtoZ posts. 

AtoZ has jumped the shark. 
A term to describe a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity. Origin of this phrase comes from a Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped the shark on waterskis. This was labeled the lowest point of the show. 
via Urban Dictionary

Monday, April 30, 2018

Zipper Von Zalez

This here's a story about a lil dog named Zipper ...

We nearly lost this dog to some unknown illness last year. It began with her puffing up like she was pregnant. Oh, that would have been easier if she had been, but she wasn't.  

It appeared she wasn't eliminating properly (course there are coarser ways of saying it). She has always been a dog that engages in "intestinal indiscretions" as the vet has termed it. She will eat anything, critter poop, salad, fruits, you name it. In the muzzle, down the hatch it goes. 

When she fell ill, we were given the option of having her undergo surgery but the outcome would have been death. Open her up, find nothing, put her down. We didn't choose that option.  

We took her to the UC Davis Vet Hospital, specialists in the field. Some $4,000 later, they couldn't determine what was wrong with her.

Side note here - the Mr. had been feeding her Old Roy, a Walmart dog food that had been in the news regarding traces of pentobarbital having been detected (used to euthanize animals). 
She doesn't eat that dog food any more. 

She was placed on prednisone and antibiotics for months. She lost nearly all of her fur. We slowly weaned her off of those medications and have been supplementing her (now expensive) food with cooked lentils, pumpkin and chicken.  

It appears she has traveled that road to recovery and seems back to being a healthy, happy German Wirehaired Pointer. 

Thrifting update: $10 for the fabric and book lot. I love having these "eye candy" books. Sometimes I get ideas, like combining vintage needlework into a quilt. 

None of the fabric is particularly pretty but all usable. My second day's thrifting produced even more fabric so admittedly, I spent another $35 on remnants, precuts and (drum roll please) a brand new rotary cutter mat for $3.50. I had cut through my old mat so the replacement was timed perfectly. 

The Art with Fabric blog hop is coming up with my post on May 24.  I've made this massive flimsy (quilt top), ignoring traditional quilting, leaving fabric raw edge. More on my process later. I am hoping my experimentation and interpretation translate well to fabric.

Thank you for joining me for this AtoZ Challenge. Until next year~