Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Patriotic quilt finished

I had hoped to finish this patriotic quilt prior to Labor Day and I am right on schedule. This project began in January putting-together-preassembled. What delights me about this one is the top and binding are entirely of thrifted fabric from one lot, the backing purchased retail. I suspect mystery quilter made the strips for this quilt in a jelly roll race.
Son's quilt is finishing up to be a close second. It is a king-sized quilt. I've got two sides left to bind.

Caregiver's Day was 1/2 off at hospice thrift with enough batting to finish a cubicle cover fall project. I will highlight it when I'm done.

an entire bag of extra loft batting and *sings the word* Vintage fabric.

This lump of loveliness is all usable fabric. The "gingham" labeled in the picture with tag is yardage cut in 1964.
I qualified as a caregiver because the Mr. had a medical procedure and I was home for the day. Uninterrupted hours of hand stitching result in getting things done!

An upside to taking sewing projects to a waiting room surgical center opens conversations with others where you might not have found a common interest.

The doctors and nurses also loved looking at my work in progress. One doctor commented, "Way to make great use of time!"
Do you take hand sewing projects along with you?

Linking up with Kelly at myquiltinfatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sing a Song of Singer

Putting together the pieces of a $1 bag of premade squares and two borders from mystery quilter produced this layout.

In my first layout, I put the four patch dark brown pieces together as the centers in the square but it didn't have the same playful feeling of this combination.
These two small chicken print remnants will become appliques or perhaps corner pieces. I did the fabric pulled fabric from my stash to add to the fabric that came with the pieces.

After skittering around with buying the wrong manual and parts for my vintage Singer, I discovered I have not joined the Featherweight club after all. The machine that I have is a 15-91, otherwise known as the Farmer's Wife machine.

My skooling on the care and feeding of the Singer continues. I am a big fan of YouTube and found a comprehensive cleaning tutorial here. In addition to the oil I had already purchased, I bought lubricant for the motor and grease for the gears. I had hoped to post a video showing the machine at work but the bobbin tension is giving me fits right now. I am going to take it and the American Home in cabinet one in for repair.

I always underestimate the time it takes to complete a quilt but in a good way. After my Brother sewing machine returned home and AFTER I read the manual, I was ready to complete the binding on my son's quilt. Not only did I do that, I completed quilting on my patriotic quilt. That one went quicker on completion because I decided to keep the quilting uncomplicated. I have found that more thread equals a stiffer quilt and that might be all fine and good for a wall hanging but not so much for a cozy lap quilt.

Finally got my EBay account up and running again, so I can list items I have been meaning to sell. I am going to group the collectibles together such as a MAD comic book along with a MAD card game - both unique items.

Do you like working with premade fabric pieces?
Linking up with Em at Em's Scrapbag for Moving it Forward Monday.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

I have succumbed to the Singer featherweight's song

I had been watching a Singer featherweight on a certain online auction site but when I saw the bidding top $300, I knew I has out of the game. For some reason, I just knew there was a Singer featherweight for sale at hospice thrift. She was calling to me. It was half off day, so priced at $100, she was mine for $50.


I had already purchased machine oil after bringing home my Brother machine. Featherweight was oiled following a chart Oiling_and_Lubrication_Points_for_the_Singer_Featherweight.  I've got her pegged as a 1951 221 edition (experts, help me out here). She is missing the bobbin casing and bobbin. Most likely she is in for a trip to sewing machine repair to supply any missing parts. I cannot wait to sew with this vintage machine.

I was watching one of my favorite classic movies, The Rainmaker from 1956, with Katharine Hepburn and Burt Lancaster, filmed in black and white but since colorized. I saw a detail in the movie that only a quilter would notice. Katherine's brother pulled a quilt top from her hope chest to keep Burt Lancaster warm since he was staying in the barn overnight. She also clutches the top and spins around with it at some point in the movie. Why do I bring this up? Because it is only a quilt top not a quilt. Here is an image of her wrapped in it.

As promised, I chose the most interesting contents of a $2 sewing basket purchased thrift. In 1984, a Mrs. J.P. Werner participated in a fabric butterfly exchange for a quilt pattern.


Pattern by Ruby Hinson Duncan

She included the written directions, the participants and possible quilting patterns.




There were a couple of sketches,

And numerous transfer patterns.





Just sharing some sewing goodness this Saturday night and linking up with Beverly for anything-goes-pink-saturday-august-5-2017.

Friday, August 4, 2017

It's my Blogiversary

And I'll post if I want to. Six years strong and still going on. I really enjoy this platform. I am never at a loss for posts with my fiber art interests, college attending tendencies, living rural and working urban smack in the center of Sacramento. Never mind that four thrift shops are within walking distance from where I work and five are on my route up in the Sierra foothills.

A little backstory to those new in my audience. This began as a thrifting blog. I then rebranded (don't you just love that word?) as a fashion blogger modeling thrifted fashion. I met other fashion bloggers in person and online that I still follow to this day. Many have moved over to Instagram and have abandoned their blogs.

I rebranded yet again a couple of years ago and stopped modeling thrifted fashion and purchased Sally Stand In, a vintage dress form just my size. I love her, she has taken up permanent residence in my sewing room.

That rebranding also included taking up an interest in quilting. I have always wanted to quilt but was way too intimidated by the craft. I would love to be able to bounce things off a guild but my time and location don't allow that at this point in my life. Luckily, I had some sewing background so I wasn't totally in the dark and Youtube videos came to my rescue when I would get stuck on a certain element (binding a quilt comes to mind - which direction does the material go when I get to a corner? I've finally got it down now).

Other side interests include vintage dolls and clothes patterns and sewing-related ephemera.

I've bumped into a giveaway at http://www.royalvintageshoes.com/vintage-shoe-brands/royal-vintage-shoes-footwear for $175 to purchase on that site. I am especially enamored of these 1940s white vintage oxfords.

Another link, unrelated to the rest is the discovery of this custom woodworker, designer/maker of Asian influenced furniture and home décor saikiwoodwork.com. I'm in love ~ *sighs*

With another hot weekend in store, I will be continuing my inside activities of quilting and scanning images onto my laptop.

What new loves have you discovered online?

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Dress collage pattern

My newest OMG I want to make this piece of fabric artistry is the Dress Collage Pattern by Laura Heine featured at myquiltingloft.com.

Found her during the monthly FabHopShop. Fabric and a skirt and fashion all in one. My life is complete. I adore that newsprint background but I might opt to do the fabric skirt pieces rounded rather than square.

Speaking of patterns, Maddie over at badassquilterssociety.com had a recent post about content theft, quilting patterns in particular. I guess some groups take a pattern, strip off the creator's signature and then circulate. Boy, that's a tough one, I know I can draw pretty much whatever I see so I never buy patterns. I've only done one paper pieced quilt, the pattern was free and I ended up winging it anyway. Freezer paper+Tami=frustration.

I cracked the Top 15 of local Sacramento bloggers at http://sacramento.cityvoter.com/best/local-blogger/local-flavor/sacramento hoping to make the Top 10 next year.

When I am not thrifting for myself, I am thrifting for others. Salvation Army saves the day with the best pricing and sales, Levis button fly jeans and Faded Glory shorts both for my son - $4 total. I find that Salvation Army and the hospice based thrift shops have the best pricing.


My Brother sewing machine is back in its rightful place. Maybe this time I will read the manual before actually using the machine. I will be concentrating on finishing up a few quilts I started this year and last.

Do you enjoy working with quilt patterns?

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Keeping the clothes horse happy

One of the things in life that makes me happy is thrifting. It is an escape from troubles, the realities of life and the drudgery of work. Sally Stand-In comes to my rescue again continuing with my Summer Shift Stravanganza thrift shop find of this Petite Sophisticate plaid dress ($8 at Goodwill).

Where else can you spend $2.50 and get a darling Cabi paisley skirt and a pillow form? I know this Mountain Mist brand from their quilt batting (love their products - not a sponsored post). The pillow form I will use to make as a companion to the Shabby Chic wedding quilt here. I kept a couple of blocks along with some matching remnants.

Keeping the clothes horse happy - with thrifting I can add to my wardrobe without carrying a large credit balance at a major retailer. Something I did in my younger, more prosperous years. I can't understand why more people don't shop thrift but it is all good for me if they don't.  

Changing gears - These past few years I have grown to love Thai food. Where I live there are few stellar Asian food restaurants. This week I attempted Chicken Coconut Curry, a recipe I pinned, and it was delicious. My first thought was, "It smells like a Thai restaurant!" The yellow and red curry pastes are amazing.

Suffering through another weekend and an upcoming week of 100+ degree weather. Ugh.

What makes you happy? Are you an escapist thrifter also?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Summer Shift Stravaganza

I've added two more summer shifts to the clothing collection. Never mind that the Goodwill boutique is a block away which means I hit the door when it opens on my 10:00am work break. Sally Stand-In sports a tommy jeans dress. Having worn my second find of Lauren floral print (not pictured), I have decided it is better as a long shirt than a short dress.

Mamacita update - she LOVES her independent living center. She has a 1 bedroom/1 bad apartment, is safe and protected, gets 3 meals a day, bathing and cleaning assistance, and medication management. Assisted and independent living centers have come a long way. The idea of sitting in a wheelchair in a "nursing home" is what most people think of how the aged live. Oh, how things have changed. I know if and when I get to the point where I need living assistance, I won't hesitate for even a nanosecond.

I've discovered a couple of sewing/quilting related sites I'd like to share.  The first is hand-stitching-health-benefits, 5 ways hand stitching improves your health posted by Feather Your Nest quilting fabric. In light of that, I'll be hand stitching in my sleep!  

The second link is to quiltdash.com, similar to fabshophop.com where you visit online shops in sort of a virtual treasure hunt to win prizes. Course, if you are anything like me, you end up spending money because you find that Oh So Special fabric you just have to have.

This American Home has joined my sewing room. Soon I will found out if buying ($30) this vintage machine was a smart idea. Amazingly, there is an overlock stitch, the exact thing I had been looking for in a serger. While I am questioning the wisdom of my purchase, I have been reading about old machine pros and cons, here are a couple links:
http://malepatternboldness.blogspot.com/2010/03/top-10-reasons-to-buy-vintage-sewing.html
http://www.sewmamasew.com/2009/06/using-purchasing-an-older-sewing-machine/


Quite a few seamstresses and quilters use vintage machines, one being the Singer featherweight. While I have never run into one of those for sale in my commando thrift shopping, there is always that possibility. 

I haven't posted a Pattern of the Day in awhile so let's do that!  A 1964 summer Simplicity.

Do you own any vintage sewing machines or have one on your must-purchase list?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Going great guns

I was going great guns on quilting the patriotic quilt when my sewing machine went sideways. Actually, I had been having trouble with the bobbin casing with tangled thread so off to the machine shop it goes - with no backup machine at home. Grrrr Makes for a good argument on why one should have two machines.
 
My ironing board broke and needed to be replaced. I could have gone to a big box retailer and spend about $20 for the board and cover but I opted to buy one thrift. So cool it is not only sturdy but a so-what-if-I'm-orange ironing board ($4.50).

A NWT Hard Rock café t-shirt ($17.50, $2.50) was a delightful find. Peace sign t-shirts are high on my buy list.

My go-to for fabric and quilt books is Interfaith's Great Finds in Sutter Creek. There was a 1930s Milady sewing machine priced at $100, well beyond my budget. This batch hovering around my $8 total per shop visit was fabric and a couple of publications.
Having sent my son's quilt to a longarmer for quilting, I still need to find the perfect binding to finish the project. A sneek peek of the quilted middle portion.  

I also did another destash of the uglies, ugly fabric which wasn't really ugly so much as lower quality. I run into trouble when I use cheaper lighterweight fabric in my quilts.

I am also paring down my projects. I've previously revealed my ADD method of creating and have decided I need laser focus. I am neither retired nor do I have a lot of quilting time per project so marginal projects and even remnants from my finished creations were sent to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. I did keep a couple of blocks and remnants from my Shabby Chic Wedding quilt to eventually make a pillow for my niece.

In a takeoff from this post 6-questions-to-ask-yourself-before-starting-a-diy-project, I present:

Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Starting a Quilting Project.

1.  Are the instructions reasonable and easy to follow?

While I have never attempted a quilt kit, I have heard pros and cons. Precut, you just sew the fabric together.

In my quest to be Quilter Extraordinaire, I flirt with the idea of making a Gypsy's Wife quilt - but then I come to my senses.

2.  Are you comfortable with the time and the cost of the project?

Any quilter can tell you, quilting is not a cheap hobby, from the cost of the machines to the fabric itself. Time, well heck, who doesn't have plenty of that?
 
3.  Will you be able to perform the tasks? 

Thankfully, I know my own limitations and when it comes to curves and points and all that, I'm just not top rung.

4.  Do you have the space to do the project? 

If you are talking design wall - no.
Long arm quilting machine - no.
Work bench - no.
Did I already take over part of the basement for my sewing stuff? - yes.

5.  Will you be okay with a wonky looking finished item?

Well, there should be plenty of proof of that in Pinterest fails. As quilters we already know there will be mistakes. Sometimes there are deliberate mistakes. Earlier this year I finished a deliberate wonky wall hanging so if its wonky, bring it on. 

Do you analyze whether you should proceed with certain projects or do you just begin them and wish for the best?  

Friday, July 14, 2017

IG and me

I am back on Instagram (as tamaschen). Photo challenges are so much fun! I just finished the 14 Days of Summer 17 and am continuing on with #brimblesummerlovin prompts that continue into the first of August. The challenge details can be found at http://mrsbrimbles.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-photo-challenge.html

Before I got into a snit and deactivated nearly all of my social media accounts, last October, I participated in a challenge with Mrs. Brimble. It made for some interesting prompt interpretations (by me - such as "conkers") since Mrs. B resides across the pond in the U.K.

A most exciting discovery happened when I was packing mom's stuff for her move to an independent living facility. Each time I would visit her (I live out of state), I would concentrate on one room or one cabinet then clean and organize. I never had the chance to look at what she had stored in her cedar chest ... until now. What was found was a fan quilt top, most likely given to her as a wedding present in June 1949. If not then, it had to be during the 1950s as the quilter in the family passed away before I was born. This quilt top matches the fabric in a doll quilt of my mom's, I am sure it is the same quilter.


I am thinking of sending this gem to a long armer and for the first time utilizing a wide backing.

The 12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop has started with fabric artists listed at the inquiringquilter. Seeing their creations will be a nice diversion from this summertime heat - for us over 100 degrees all weekend.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Ides of July

Hello all, here we are halfway through the 3 months of official summer. I have yet to see a beach or a body of water and I doubt it is in my future.

Earlier this month, I arranged for my elderly mother to move to an independent living facility. While she is still quite independent, she is increasingly unable to walk without assistance. Her 30-year tenure in a comfortable mobile home park has come to end.

Things I would recommend if you are in this position or will be facing a situation like this:

Move quickly. I think the speed in which we made the change was of the essence. Since mom already had the facility picked out that she wanted go to, that was half the battle. Papers were signed and the move went forward in one week. 

She still thinks she can drive. I am most perplexed by this state of mind. My mother is 89 and can barely walk. The car is being sold since she will be transported everywhere by either the facility or her friends.

Once the decision has been made to make the move, have someone present at all times. What I mean is that friends, neighbors, acquaintances, not-so-well-meaning people come out of the woodwork. Those people, the not-so-well-meaning ones will strip the place if you let them.

For the spouses of honorably discharged veterans that go into care facilities, there is a VA pension as a supplement to income. I've completed the paperwork for my mom and have hired a service to submit the application.

Those are my tidbits of wisdom. 

On the Mr. VZ front, the newest wrinkle is a diagnosis of lesions on his spleen and right now, we don't know what that means ...

I hope to get back to my usual quilting, thrifting and general mischief making.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Doing my patriotic best

I am hanging with the mamacita up in the Pacific Northwest during this holiday. I decided it was little Ginny's time to shine for this post. She was a thrift shop find last month.

A fabric find from E Street Thrift was blocks, border and more for $1. I have been shying away from buying preassembled blocks because they just don't "feel right" to me - like I should be making them myself. But this packet 'o quilt goodness will turn into an amazing quilt top.

Other sewing-related finds included this $2 basket chock full of Aunt Martha's embroidery transfers, I'll highlight the contents in an upcoming post. 

I am also participating as tamaschen in the Instagram 14 Day of Summer mini summer photo challenge hosted by Our Pretty Little Girls & Wife Mommy Me, #14DaysofSummer17. Today's prompt is "America."

I am circling back around to finish up my patriotic lap quilt that I started in January of this year, on this post.

I so love my country and am proud to be an American!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Permanent ban from the Man Cave

After I took over the garage man cave a few months ago to baste a quilt on the Mr.'s work bench here, I was permanently banned after that. Too bad that gorgeous work bench is too large to bring into the sewing room.

I had to improvise. I wanted to pin my project rather than spray baste or hand baste. I was able to lay out the material on a open portion of our hide-a-bed. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do! That technique did not work out as well as I had hoped AND I should have learned my lesson by now of using a cheaper quality fabric.
The inferior fabric was more likely to pucker so I used a heart chain and stipple stitch to cover up my errors.

Shabby Chic wedding lap quilt complete. I used about $10 of retail purchased material, shown on this post. The rest of the quilt including the backing were all scraps on hand. 

When I make these lap quilts, I am amazed at how much fabric it takes. I have what you could say is a paltry stash, pretty much two tubs of small remnants and one dresser drawer of yardage.

Thrifting brought an armload of material and a quilting quotations book with thimble bookmark totaling $13. One quote from the book by Carrie A. Hall from The Patchwork Quilt:

Of all the things a woman's hands have made,
The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed --
The quilt that keep her loved ones warm --
Is woven of her love and dreams and thread.

My step niece will be so surprised!

Gardening and flower images will begin soon! After a multi-year hiatus because of deer and critter damage, our greenhouse is almost finished and I can garden again! We began last year with a kit from a wholesaler, then the Mr. fell ill for a number of months and has felt better these past couple of months so we could finish the project. Filling in dirt in the planter boxes now.

Today is my birthday! In celebration of that fact, I have added to the post a Pattern of the Day a Retro '43.

These three sundresses scored for a total of $20 from hospice thrift in Folsom. I arrived just as these donated dresses were rolled onto the sales floor.

A bit of hand sewing to complete a project, a bit of thrift shopping, taking in a few movies and dining with family, a wonderful birthday for me overall.

Finally, linkups with Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts for Finish It Up Friday and Beverly at howsweetthesound for Pink Saturday.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer bucket list

What better way to kick off the first day of summer than with a Summer Bucket List blog hop and linkup? Blogger Anne of spygirl-amb.blogspot.com is the host and posted her "clutter crime scene." I first discovered her with her 52 Pick-Me-up closet remix prompts and had fun with fashion posts. Since I've withdrawn from posts of me in thrifted fashion, I was pleased to see she was hosting a hop of another sort.

Grinning donkey was a contender for a Weird and Wacky post but just had to be shared here. This ceramic was so ugly it was cute - I resisted the temptation to buy.

I have usual quilting goals - to finish projects that I started. My college course will begin in August so no rest for the wicked.

Where my heart really lies is in some tropical location, listening to Latin music while people watching, drinking some frou frou beverage and slathering myself in suntan lotion, wearing a wide-brimmed hat, Ray Bans and a bikini I barely fit into.

THAT is my summer bucket list. Now I just need to make it happen ...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Quilts in Abstract

After entering the 2017 Pantone Quilt Challenge, I realized my error in going traditional when nearly all others went modern. Since I have a background in painting, abstracts in particular, it should not be that difficult to translate to the quilt medium. (Do I hear peals of laughter from those of the more experienced among you?) Perhaps quilting abstraction is something that can't be self taught? I will be ready for next year's event and the 2018 color of the year.

I've read that modern quilting is ALL quilting done in present day. I tend to think of modern as breaking out of the traditional block mold.

My newest quilt love is a scrap vortex low volume quilt at wombatquilts.com. This type of quilt would be a quick and easy summer project to complete.

This was the quilt I had in mind that morphed into the shabby chic wedding quilt. Now all of my low volume fabrics are gone - time to replenish the stash!

Visiting the momster in the Pacific Northwest where I left yards and yards of lavender print fabric from detailed on this post i-have-sabled. There will be a pink/lavender candy sweet project in the months to come.

Patriotic quilt finished

I had hoped to finish this patriotic quilt prior to Labor Day and I am right on schedule. This project began in January putting-together-pre...