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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Art streak continues

My thrift shop finds of signed artwork do not come without effort. At work, I routinely check 3 within walking distance on a weekly basis. At home, there are 4 more thrift shops. When I visit relatives, there are another 2. One of the largest in the foothills is Snowlinehospice in Placerville, California. That is where this beauty was found, rang up as $3 under "general prints." 

I discovered the lighting was perfect propped in front of my dashboard! This was also in a rolling bin with other framed pictures. This year I have decided to take the time to dig through the frames and pictures. I have been greatly rewarded with a find of an acrylic on canvas and now this print. 

As I do with my clothes, I am going to do the same with my artwork. Rather than think, I have too many pictures already, I will just upgrade. If I tire of it, I can just donate it back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 

Saturday's stops meant running into a donation of silver, plates and platters, all manner of silver. Either an antique store went out of business or it was someone who collected it. I picked up this faux pitcher and am deciding whether to polish it.

Looking back, I realized that I have found quite a few amazing art pieces. Of course, they have to pass the "gotta love it" test. If you don't love it, why buy it? 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Five Quilter Revelations

While I am not part of a quilt guild (I would love to be), I consider myself to be an active, participating member of the online quilter community. I have discovered it is a deceptively complex craft. 

Revelation 1: 
I do not like doing intricate piecework, also known as paper piecing. I prefer applique. The subtle difference is with piecework, you are sewing multiple pieces of various bits of fabric together to create the end result. With applique, you utilize an image or letters printed on fabric, perhaps stabilize, and then applique on top of fabric. 

Revelation 2:
The busier the pattern, the less I like it. I have posted before that I like the Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell pattern. But when I saw the black and white version of it, well, it is circus gone wrong for me. 

Revelation 3:
The busier the quilting, the less I like to do it. While some dense quilting is amazing, I find free motion quilting to be utterly exhausting. 

Revelation 4: 
I am happy as a pig in mud when I can combine orphan blocks and fabric remnants into something warm and wonderful. I will readily admit I combine secondhand and retail fabric. The majority of my stash is thrifted. 

I have learned don't quilt with thrifted thread. I will still do piecework and hand-stitching with secondhand stuff but not quilting. 

Revelation 5:
Fabric and the collecting of it can be addicting. I haven't figured out why yet. Perhaps it is the possibilities of blindingly beautiful creations? I do know I have no compunction in giving away ugly fabric. I am not going to try and "work it in." There are just too many pretties that can be combined into something wonderful.  

Switching gears to the subject of hand-stitching, as mentioned before I do love my cashmere sweaters. A recent thrifted purchase was this orange hooded vertical design brand cashmere with front pocket panel. I knew there were condition issues with it having 6 or so moth holes. 

A hole too big to mend
Moth hole covered with cute applique
Trail cam photo of Hollywooding doe, we have quite a few images of her. She seems to enjoy being photographed.

Do you have any quilting/sewing revelations? 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Statement Quilt Fail

A few months ago, I entered a Statement Quilt in an art competition hosted by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) with a special emphasis on the challenges faced by caregivers and those seeking care in the LBGT community. While I am none of those letters, it did not preclude me from entering. I did not win. I question whether I should have pieced the letters rather than appliqued them but in the grand scheme of things, it probably didn't make any difference. I am curious what type of piece and methodology won the competition.

Will I make another Statement Quilt? Most likely not, but for the time being this one keeps me warm at work. I turn the letters on the inside and enjoy its warmth.

Turning to a manageable challenge, I am following along with for the 2018 Color Challenge with January's color being red. How perfect is that? I decided to tackle some red and white blocks for a sampler. Here is one of those blocks. Combined with my monthly blocks I will try to highlight snippets of Sacramento public art (one building-side painting you can see in the far left of the image). 

Next month's color will be blue - lawd knows I have more than enough blue fabric so that won't be a problem.  

Pattern of the Day is a sweet one from 1964

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

If you are interested, signups are now open for the Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop focusing on UFOs finished and possibly traded.

Have you ever made a Statement Quilt or would you?

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lap quilt for me *sings the word*

Most crafters will tell you they give away or sell most of their creations. It was about time I made a lap quilt for myself. I finished quilting this at year's end opting to cross-hatch. Binding usually takes me a few days because I hand sew while I watch TV. Most of the fabrics used in this quilt were the result of a seamstress friend's destash.
I purchased the entire end of bolt on the red flannel, almost but not quite covering the entire piece. It is the second time I have used a flannel for a backing and think I prefer it for winter quilts, giving them some heft.

As has been my practice for the past few years, I have been able to find thrifted cashmere sweaters for $10 or less, especially around this time of year. The five or so I have purchased recently require minimal mending, closing a moth hole or two. I then send them to the dry cleaners with some being de-pilled. 

My new project is a going to be a sampler, constructing blocks to supplement the three shown below. There are pieces of blocks and varying sizes of precuts. 

It fits in perfectly with the January Color Challenge at I will be posting a block creation on Instagram as tamaschen under #2018MonthlyColorChallenge. Of course, further detail on my Red Sampler progress will be posted here.

There are two June babies due of co-workers on my team. I will make both lap quilts at the same time. Those go together quickly and easily with minimal quilting. 

Since it is a red kind of day, Pattern of the Day is from 1967.

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Artwork for the New Year

I was hoping my go-to thrift shop for artwork would come through and I wasn't disappointed. After I had made one pass through the shop, I decided to take one last look at the framed art and saw this piece in the corner. Just $18.50, it is a signed oil on canvas. I cannot make out the artist's name. The paper backing has been torn off so I am unsure who framed the high quality piece. I am totally and deeply in love with it. 

Fabric was also wheeled onto the floor so I swooped onto the bag that contained prints. Amongst the remnants were these contenders for a Pantone 2018 quilted entry. 
We purchased trail cams last month and here are the best images.

Deer nose and eye closeup
Since I love patterns, sharing one from 1970.

2018 holds more quilting and sewing projects, trail cam photos, a couple of blog challenges and continued mischief. Cheers to the New Year!