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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, similar to 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:

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

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!