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Sunday, November 26, 2017

Penchant for the Past

My newest acquisition a sewing basket ($8 Goodwill bargain) was taped up when I bought it, so I could only guess at its contents but it rattled and was heavy, so let's take a look.

No stork-neck snippers or Weiss scissors. Here are the best of the contents, such lovely sewing ephemera.

I have been entering fabric-related giveaways for some time now and have finally won a bundle through Flit and Bloom. I will highlight its contents when received. 

Pattern of the Day is a Retro Butterick '48, the season for this type of formal gown. 

My machine sewing and quilting projects come to a screeching halt around this time of year. I did indulge on some Riley Blake fabrics in a collection as a companion quilt to my vintage four patch in my bedroom. 

What did you splurge on for yourself this year? 

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Clean slates, bucket lists and Ornament a Day on IG

I know I am in the crafting minority but by year's end I will have completed all of my WIPs (works in progress). I kept procrastinating on finishing a Christmas quilt, when I decided I liked the backing better than the quilt top. I pulled more Christmas fabric from my stash and added to the backing from recent additions of mystery quilter shown below. The weekend thrift shop finds were quilt books eye candy and some seed packet fabric blocks with matching material.
I have just fallen out of love with this flimsy (shown here). Maybe it needs more, maybe it needs less - I may give it away next month on my Countdown to Christmas. 

What better time to refocus, destash and concentrate on one amazing quilt. My plaid fabric pull is waiting patiently for me to spin them into the Storm at Sea pattern. 

The destash was to get rid of the uglies. As I gain newer, prettier thrifted material, I go back to my stash and take a hard look. This culling was the greens and marginals. Olive green, not one of my favorites and those funky remnants where the colors are too bright or strident, off they went - to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 

My Just Be statement quilt has been submitted to the California Chapter of AARP for their caregiving art contest. There will be a panel of judges comprised of volunteers and AARP staff. I will know next month if my interpretation will be included in the exhibit.

I have been thinking it is time to create my Bucket List. Quilting was one of the items I had always wanted to do and have been thoroughly enmeshed in for the past three or so years. 

Mr. VZ mentioned last night, should he recover from his undefined illness, that he wanted to get horses again (he had them years ago). He has the tack, the fences, the room to accommodate that type of livestock. I, on the other hand, have never cared for livestock but as a child dreamed (begged my parents) of having a horse. It was not in the cards as it was just too expensive a hobby for a middle class family. I would have also had to board the horse some distance from where we lived. This is one childhood dream I hope I can realize.

Another bucket list item is to return to Paris. I toured Europe when I graduated from high school. It was a month-long 8 major city whirlwind with kids from all over the United States. For my hopeful return to Paris, I want to take an excursion boat along the Seine River, have dinner at Le Meurice and speak fractured French.

Thrifting, my favorite pastime, produced two sets of gloriousness. First, a Julia Klein Western jacket and 4 fun CDs, already ripped to my laptop
I snagged this Russian nesting doll seconds ahead of another fan. Another thrifter spotted her in my hand and asked if there was another one. There is a retail tag of $39 and the thrift shop tag of $3. She is beautiful, I will cherish her and give her a good home.

The fabric is the third round from a thrift shop in Jackson, California. I talked to the manager and this is the last from mystery quilter who bought some beautiful fabrics some 16 years ago. Fabric lines such as Moda and Robert Kaufman. The selvages are dated 2001.

Back to the Julia Klein jacket, when I saw the buttons, I knew it was worth $4.50 (and more, to me). Inside higher quality jackets are extra buttons and this jacket had one. It is an exact match for one on a Western jacket (some 30 years old) that had been missing one button. It is complete again. 
If you are in the Instagram neighborhood and want to play along with me, I will be posting an #ornamentaday beginning December 1.  Look for me under tamaschen, hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Gypsy hanging curtain

I have been laid up at home recovering from a surgery. In an effort to entertain myself with low impact projects, I finished two quilts and embarked on this gypsy hanging curtain project. I think of it as gypsy because I envision beads and bangles, dark and romantic. 

I say "low impact" because I think quilting on a domestic sewing machine should be an Olympic sport! A lot of energy goes into wrestling with the fabric while holding it in place with special gloves.

Earlier this year, I acquired a stack of thrifted velvet and mixed fabric precuts. I experimented with stabilizing the thinner fabrics so they would hang correctly when sewn together with the heavier fabrics. 

After I sewed together the precuts, I added a remnant border. Then I was stuck. None of my remnants or yardage made the curtain "pop!" I ventured to my nearest retail fabric store and bought the three items I needed most, the border fabric for the front of my curtain, cotton batting for a queen sized quilt and some grey and beige thread. Total cost of the project - $45 in retail fabric.
I went a totally different direction for the backing of the curtain, it is more Run for the Roses. I had this swatch of large scale horse head fabric and then I pulled out the two florals. A marriage was made! The Western flavor border fabric rounds out the hidden horsey effect. 
This is really when I am at my happiest when I can bring together remnants, supplement with some retail fabric, for a quick and easy addition to my home. 

Thrifting update: On my venture out I also went to thrift and found one of my top 10 must-have purchases cashmere *sings the word* Orvis sweater.  I love everything about this find, some of the best things are on the racks that have just been rolled onto the floor. Orvis is a high end brand and there are no flaws. There were also fabric remnants, a new with tag Izod shirt, Sandra overblouse, a poodle applique and yes, a random back of a Maine Coon's head. 
And .... fabric finds! Just as I suspected a fabric hoarder had donated and the remnants are just now processing through the thrift shop.  
I am fleshing out my Countdown to Christmas posts. Join me December 1st for that fun event! 

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday at crazymomquilts and Scrap Happy Saturday - Dark Days of November at

Friday, November 3, 2017

Pattern Queen

I tell myself I have enough vintage patterns but then I find more, the retro graphics being so delightful! Like this undated Vogue special design. *sighs*

I finally had the chance to bring home more from my mom's estate cleansing. Things that would only be important to me like iron-on crewel patterns and embroidery thread. In the tin containing those items, I found this completed one. I have decided to incorporate it into the backing of a completed fan quilt top project. 

Just Be Quilt is finished but because it is an art competition entry, the only part I can reveal is my first attempt at a hanging sleeve. I think I did ok. 

I wanted this to be as close to professional work as possible. My binding needed improvement so I watched this Fat Quarter Shop tutorial, starting and stopping it at crucial points during the process. I utilized all of the steps up to the machine binding reverting back to French binding because I felt like I had more control over it.

Wounded Warrior quilt is next up for binding but since I did absolutely none of the piecework I may not post it as a final.

I can't continue to put off finishing my Christmas quilt with cardinal cornerstones, first posted here. It is ready to quilt sandwich up, my oldest work in progress at a year and six months.

Gonna be brutal again and destash any fabric or projects that are marginal. My next piecework project I am chomping at the bit to start is the Storm at Sea pattern with plaids. My post highlighting those quilts here.

Hello from Tigger and Eyore, ushering out October and on to November.