Saturday, October 13, 2018

Violet blue block and unicorns on the way

October color prompt for the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge is violet blue. I took put together this 9 patch with remnant materials that came through thrift. Hard to believe there are only two months left in the year. 

For this month's block, I wanted to do a unicorn and found a few examples I could loosely follow. I wasn't able to complete it in time for this month, am hoping for next. 
Going along with my upcoming unicorn block, I found this framed unicorn cross stitch. A $2.50 find I couldn't pass up. 

The new belt for my Morse arrived in time for weekend sewing. I finally purchased a Supreme Slider, touted as a nifty quilting tool to aid in free motion quilting. 

The Art with Fabric blog hop is coming up next month. I have a quilt top patterned after a 1960s abstract art composition. Here is the scheduled lineup:

Monday, November 5th, 2018

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018
Lee Anna:

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Ending with this unicorn mask spotted at SPCA Thrift in Sacramento.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Zombie bride refashion

Spooky lead-off image
The first part of my zombie bride refashion came from a kit, a $2 thrift shop find. Much to my dismay, the costume had shrunk overnight (or I am not a medium-sized costume wearer). So I thinks to myself, "I've got this, I can just refashion a dress," and off to Thrift Town I went.
Lovely lace gown $11 TT 

I removed the sleeves from the kit costume and affixed them to the gown (pinned in this picture).  
Next, I sewed the overdress portion of the kit to the gown. 

I will update the post after Zombie bride meets Zombie husband. We are having a fall event at work, I am acting interim social committee coordinator. 

In the meantime, my kitten didn't know what to make of my costume.
Zombie bride with Susie the snake charmer

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Golden Threads Quilt Show

MLQG's 7th Quilt Show Golden Threads took place the first weekend in October. 
The event was split between two small venues in Sutter Creek, California. Lighting was challenging for photographing quilts.

There were a couple of raffles, a few vendors and a silent auction.
Kathy Allen, a featured quilter, presented on her Modern Scot Patchwork. 

Thrift shop find of the day - this angel, Italian ceramic from 1971, marked $1 and in the half off holiday items. I also found some other Christmas items I will highlight in December. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

Painted Ladies and Thrift Shop Interior Redesign

Done in counted cross-stitch. My latest thrift shop find now hangs in my front room. Hard to photograph with it being under glass, it is even prettier in person. It has found its forever home. I could see this piece hanging anywhere in a house. 
Paid $5.50, signed in thread by Cindy 1991

I belong to a group on Facebook called Weird thrift store finds that need to be shared and one topic that came up was:

Is anyone besides me fond of rearranging things in a thrift store? For example, if I see two blue objects on a shelf together, I'll add another blue item or two next to them. I once located several heart-shaped items (figurines, dishes, etc.) and put them together in a little display on a shelf as I was wandering around shopping. X>D I wonder what the employees thought when they found it.

Seems there are quite a few thrift shoppers that like to rearrange things: 

Hey...thrift store interior redesign is a legit hobby...we have healthier minds when we attempt order from chaos. 

My daughter, adult, set up a nativity scene with Buddha.

One time several years ago in a local GW and got bored, I rearranged all the bins of stuffed animals according to species.

Hello my name is steph, I'm a thrift store rearranger. it started when I found misplaced pieces that OBVIOUSLY belonged together on the same shelf.

I sat of the floor at Goodwill and grouped the like yarn together.

30 odd years ago when I was 17, I volunteered at a local nonprofit thrift store. It was there that I met a woman who would become a lifelong friend. The first day we worked together we grouped the shoes by socio-economic status. It was then that I knew I had found a best friend. 

There’s a scam thrift store in my town called “Bibles For China.” All of their employees are volunteers who are under the assumption that the proceeds are used to smuggle bibles to the heathens.My parents worked there.I used to go in and create sacrilegious displays to hear my folks claim Satan was attacking the store.

I chimed in and revealed that I rearrange items in thrift shops. Mainly to get a picture to post, but sometimes things just belong together. 

If you are on Instagram, I am posting as tamaschen for month-long prompts posted by Mrs. Brimble. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

There's a new machine in my life

As you progress into fiber art crafting/quilting, you discover it is nice to have more than one sewing machine. There are some sewing machines I just plain out WANT but can't justify the expense. Part of my challenge to myself is to keep this craft as inexpensive as possible. Buying the majority of fabric secondhand is one way and finding vintage sewing machines is another.
$38 with case
I squealed when I saw the baby blue color. I didn't even open the case all the way, I just drug/carried it to the front from the back of the store where it had been hiding under a table. This guy is heavy! I couldn't test it as one of the cords is deteriorated and needs replacement. The light bulb is intact, there is no rust and the belt looks to be in good shape.

I see a lot of sewing machines come through thrift and I check them all. I have made a few machine purchasing errors in the beginning and have since sent those back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. I have learned mainly about Singers since that seems to be the dominate machine for vintage here in the U.S. Now, I will be learning more about the Morse line of machines. Here is a neat video on it:
On auction, I had been eyeing an orange Husquavarna in its case. 
But total cost would end up to be around $200-$250 and a tune-up for $100-$150. The expense on the Morse will total $150-$200. Of course, both machines would hold their value once repaired and maintained. 

My neatest find of late - this collection of embroidered red thread squares. I think a red plaid would look adorable with these. 

In any craft, you revel in what truly makes you happy. I am at my happiest when I can create a quilt top loosely following a composition from a 1960s artist. With the Art with Fabric blog hop coming up next month, I am halfway through my first flimsy. It is my intention to enter this quilted wall hanging in next year's California State Fair. My second quilt top I would like to base on the start-with-a-square concept. I would really have to step up my free motion quilting game, I am hoping the Morse will be an easier machine to work with.
What makes you happiest when you are crafting?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Party on with the Picnic Quilt

This was first named wallflower quilt because that is how I think of pale yellow or gray fabric creations. Next name came to mind was Picnic Quilt because I intended it on being a large square, but it ended up being a twin bed sized or large lap quilt. 

Linking up with amyscreativeside 
Linking up with crazymomquilts for Finish It Up Friday (monthly linkup)
For the backing, I went "all me" using pineapple print and My Little Pony flannels. I am an adult MLP fan and thought "why not?" use that remnant fabric to finish off this quilt. I had all sorts of difficulty at the quilting stage. I thought all the blocks had squared up but Nooooo, and the gray thread I chose was lackluster. When I switched to dark blue thread for quilting on the diagonal, it was the right choice. I thanked for posting her diagonal quilt finish. It caught my eye because it was a serpentine stitch but my Singer let me work only in straight line. This is an end of summer quilt that I am keeping. Because of the flannel backing, it has some heft to it. It was an experiment of combining color outside of my comfort zone. It is neither a masterpiece of piecing nor quilting, but when everything came together - it was like a symphony. 

Since I am finding pieced work and nearly finished blocks in my thrift shop wanderings, I am merely sewing those pieces together and supplementing from my stash or retail fabric. 

I went a little over thrifting budget to buy this Pfaff serger ($22.50). This item has been on my thrift shop bucket list for some time now. I grabbed it when it was being rolled out for sale. At the very least, it is threaded which I have read is half the battle with these machines. 

Finding entire quilt kits means I have done very little piecing this summer. This Coastal Beacons set has supplemented two quilts and a quilt in progress so far. 

One quilt challenge I wanted to complete this year was the Pantone color of the year but ultra violet was my undoing, I had none of that in my stash. Here is a link pantone-2018-challenge-winners with a heavy  emphasis on matchstick quilting and modern design. 

Participating in the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge has pushed me into making pieced blocks. I had promised my daughter another quilt. I made one for her a couple of years back but it is an early work fraught with numerous mistakes and questionable fabric color choices. (Link here quiltorama.) I will be posting my progress on this quilt in the weeks to come. 

The Art with Fabric Blog Hop is happening again (a twice yearly event) in November. That motivated me to finish the picnic quilt so I could begin my creation. The one thing I want to do is incorporate a solid color and I chose Kona's Caribbean blue. I do know I will be doing matchstick quilting again - it really makes a wall quilt pop!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival, Entry 1

Apologies to my audience on this re-post but it has to be a new one for entry into the Blogger's Quilt Festival. I am furiously binding my picnic quilt for a second entry into the festival, will I finish in time?

This is my Indianapolis Colts Quilt, first posted here.  I began with less than a yard of scraps from the Mr.'s daughter. 

The backing was flannel colts and a plaid. 
Link to event
It is interesting that as a I gain experience quilting (now nearly 5 years under my belt), that my tastes have changed. In the beginning, I was easily wowed by anything and everything that was posted by quilt bloggers and pinners. As you develop your own technique, you gain a discriminating eye. Ya'll know what I mean, that experienced quilter is going to see right off that your points don't match and fabric meant to point one direction heads off in another. 

I greatly appreciate when other quilters post about their travails and struggles with certain quilts. It seems some projects go together easier than others.  

Finally, I am eternally grateful that those experienced quilters didn't criticize my early work. Some of it was a hot mess but hey, you've got to start somewhere ~

Now go and visit all of those other wonderful fiber artists!

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 will have more of a fall palette. 

Linking up with Jen at for the September Color Challenge.  

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.