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Monday, February 19, 2018

It's Too Cold to Quilt!

We've hit a cold snap in Northern California. While my sewing room is cool in the summer, it is downright cold in the winter. 

I have two works in progress. I was able to piece together the beginnings of this baby quilt top. I need both border and backing fabric. This was from an entire bag of thrifted remnants, the four-patches being precut. 
Baby quilt top
I have downright stalled on this red and cream sampler. It too needs supplemental fabric before I can quilt it.  
Linking up with Em at: 
Lean pickings in thrifting this week. I did a circuit of 3 shops on Saturday while one of my favorites was moving into bigger digs. 

Posting my trio of ceramic rabbits, we are ready for spring to bust out all over!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

I went to Ladybird's Thrift Town

The Del Paso Heights Thrift Town is a favorite of mine. One of the best of that chain in the Sacramento area. It is in a sketchy part of town but then most of these thrift stores are. They do have the nicest staff, I'm one of their regulars.  

I took my son to see the Ladybird, the 2018 Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture. While I love Sacramento, my family not so much. They tend to stick around the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. He didn't understand the movie, course it is more of a chick flick. I laughed, I cried, it was great.

Because I have lived and worked in Sacramento for some 20+ (coughs while saying it) years, I was the only one in the theater that loudly guffawed at some of the lines.

Here was one such exchange:

Christine McPherson: I hate California. I want to go to the East Coast. I want to go where culture is like New York.
Marion McPherson: How in the world did I raise such a snob?
Christine McPherson: Or at least Connecticut or New Hampshire where writers live in the woods
Marion McPherson: You wouldn’t get into those schools anyway.
Christine McPherson: Mom!
Marion McPherson: You should just go to City College. You know, with your work ethic just go to City College and then to jail and then back to City College and then maybe you’d learn to pull yourself up and not expect everybody to do everything.

There were many others, but the one above in particular was a gas since I am a Sacramento City College graduate (with honors!) and haven't landed in jail yet ...
The director Greta Gerwig nailed it for words and phrases typical to some East Sacramento residents. 
Sacramento used to be known as the City of Trees but someone in their infinite wisdom renamed it America's Farm-to-Fork Capital. I guess food being more interesting than foliage.

On to thrifting news -

On this TT visit, I scored three sweaters, two of them cashmere *sings the word* and some yardage for $15.  But not just any yardage, this particular fabric fits in perfectly for borders and sashing on my current WIP, a red and cream sampler for the Quilt Qwazy Queen's blog hop next month. 

If you happen to pop in to Thrift Town on El Camino Avenue, then grab some chow at Beto's Taqueria right next door.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

40 Things About Me

These 40 things posts are so much fun - one of the bloggers I follow posted her so let's take a whirl at mine.

1.  Do you like Blue Cheese?
Yes! In fact, a wonderful memory associated with that salad dressing is having it at the Anaheim Disneyland's Plaza Inn.

2.  Have you ever smoked cigarettes?
Yes, and still do if I can get away with it.

3.  Do you own a gun?
I do not own a gun but the Mr. does. We live in a deeply rural area so a gun is a necessity, mainly for critter control. He found a rattlesnake in the garage last week. 

4.  What flavor Kool-Aid?
Not so much Kool-Aid as Tang with strawberry Kool-Aid. Total and complete sugar overload.

5.  Do you get nervous before a dr. appointment?
No, no reason to be.

6.  What do you think of hot dogs?
Not a big fan, but if I do eat one I go for kosher Hebrew National.

7.  What is your favorite movie?
For some odd reason, it is Die Hard. I have watched it over and over again when it comes on TV.

8.  What do you prefer to drink in the morning?
Coffee, hands down. I am a Seattle native after all ...

9.  Can you do a push up?
Maybe one or two, I'm not known for having core strength.

10.  What's your favorite piece of jewelry? 
Right now, it is a custom set diamond ring my mother gave me. (NOT a hand model)
11.  Do you have a favorite hobby?
That one is apparent - quilting and all that is related to it.

12.  Do you have A.D.D.?
Yep, I readily admit it. 

13.  Do you wear glasses?
Yes, and I buy a new pair each year, this year's being a Lindberg.

14.  Who was your childhood idol? 
Hmm, I watched A LOT of cartoons as a kid, so it would have to be

15.  Name three thoughts right now -
What treasures will I find thrifting today? How will my interview go tomorrow? When will I be able to go on vacation? 

16.  Name three drinks you consume regularly.
Coffee, Diet Coke, and Cranberry/Pineapple juice.

17.  Current worries.
Mr. VZ and Zipper VZ (our dog) health problems.

18.  Current hates.
Discourteous drivers. One just had to get in front of me on a merge so we could wait in line at the light for 15 minutes. Why?

19.  Favorite place to be.
At home. I live in a beautiful setting studded with oak trees and a 360 degree view.

20.  How did you bring in the New Year?
I was asleep.

21.  Where would you like to go? 
Paris, Chile, heck pretty much anywhere in first world countries.

22.  Name three people who will do this questionnaire.
Anyone who wants to repost their own answers to questions, please link in the comments. 

23.  Do you own slippers?
Yes, and I am partial to Haflingers. 

24.  What color is your shirt?
A tan cashmere sweater.

25.  Do you like sleeping in satin sheets?
No, not a fan of satin.

26.  Can you whistle? 
Yes, and loudly just between my teeth, without having to put my fingers in my mouth. 

27.  Where are you now? 
On my break, at work. 

28.  Would you be a pirate? 
Oh yes! I would be a baddass wench of a pirate, skilled in saber rattling and teeth nashing. 

29.  Favorite candy?
Cotton candy which I only treat myself to once a year at the county fair. 

30.  Least favorite chore.
Vacuuming. I just hate it. I can't stand the sound of the vacuum cleaner.

31.  Favorite food.
Grapes. Hands down. I eat them nearly every day.

32.  What's in your pocket?
I wear pocketless pants ...

33.  Last thing that made you laugh?
I laugh easily and often, it was probably something posted on Facebook.

34.  What is your favorite animal? 
Hm, I am both a dog and cat person. Guess I will have to opt for a cat since I've sang the praises of my Maine Coon many times. 

35.  What is your worst injury? 
Would have to be when I impaled my index finger on the sewing machine, then had to pull it out because the machine froze with the needle imbedded in the first digit.

36.  How many TVs in your house? 
Just one that is gigantic.

37.  Worst pain?

38.  Do you like to dance?
I love to dance - any form, any style. 

39.  Are you parents living? 
My dad, rest his soul, now gone over 15 years. My mom just celebrated her 90th birthday on the 8th. 

40.  Do you enjoy camping? 
Camping, no. Glamping, tolerable. 

So that's my 40 Qs and As. Join in the fun, do a list of your own and linkback here in the comments!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Fabric pieces and free books

I made the rounds of my usual thrift shops and spent about $5 on fabric remnants. 
Some actual yardage
Quilter's cut pieces for patchwork
This is how the fabric pieces were packaged, so it is always
a surprise when I get them home.
The small ziploc in the front contains some lovely yellow pieces I am going to incorporate into my YELLOW block for March for the #2018MonthlyColorChallenge.

To add to my thrifting happiness, these three books were freebies. I am a cartoonist so I will read How to be a Successful Cartoonist. The craft book images will be shared on my Countdown to Christmas - these are the types of retro books I look for those posts. The Splenda cookbook will be a great reference. I already cook with that product because the Mr. struggles with diabetes.

Posting a Pattern of the Day from 1974, the same publication year as the Holiday Decorations book.

Finally, here is a link to a site with Vintage sewing patterns.

Working away on a red/cream sampler for an upcoming Quilt Qwazy Queens blog hop. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Blue blocks and let's talk a little quilt terminology

Color of the month for the 2018 Monthly Color Challenge is BLUE. I originally made this block for my sons-quilt, having seen the pattern here at  I don't think the quilt block designer gave it a name, I think of it as "windowpane." Sacramento public art in the background.
12-1/2" block
10-1/2" block
As I have mentioned before, quilting is a deceptively complex craft. To add to that complexity, quilters have created phrases and terms to describe their methods and process. 

Leaders and Enders - starting and ending chain piecing with 2-1/2 squares, that combine into a 4 patch, 8 patch and so on, until it reaches the desired size for a Postage Stamp quilt.
happyquiltingmelissa - link to tutorial and image of her quilt

I was so inspired by this project. 2-1/2" is the absolute smallest you (I) can feel comfortable sewing together. Here is my container of remnants I have culled from the larger pieces. They represent an amalgamation of all the quilts I have made, including those I have given away. I will be chipping away at cutting these "postage stamps."  Who knew it would be so much fun? 

Stack and Whack - This method involves "stacking" print fabric and cutting 8 sections at a time (usually one cuts 4 at a time) and then "whacking" or sewing the solid cut fabric to the printed stacks. - link to creator of method and tutorials

I did a scrap reorganization with the following categories:
Florals and mixed/odd prints
Mixed colors

I have also been hoarding Asian-themed fabric for a few years now. I think I finally have enough for a creation.

Another upcoming project is this Seed Packet quilt. This one will piece together quickly because some pieces are preassembled.

My goal is to have as many quilts as possible completed before the middle of May so a relative, who is visiting then, can choose between them. 

Do you keep completed crafts/quilts on hand to give as gifts?

Saturday, February 3, 2018

We interrupt this program

Blogger All Out Celebration - my art streak continues!
Granted, at the turn of the New Year, I decided to concentrate my thrifting efforts on finding original artwork. A lofty goal? Yes. Worth every moment of slogging through marginal to downright bad creations (some of which will appear in my Weird and Wacky post in the upcoming April Alternative Challenge).

This 40 year old oil on canvas has some condition issues but who's to complain when the price I paid was $5 (half off day). Even after a good cleaning the frame was stained and the hanging wire falling off, so I removed it. The signature reads "Collins 1978."

The painting could use a good cleaning. It appeared as though it had been stored on the floor because there are tiny mouse scratches on the back of the bottom of the frame. 

I really am in awe of the incredibly amazing artwork I have found. Kisses to the thrift shop volunteers who don't know what they are pricing. If I amass enough of these gems, I may be able to sell them all and cruise around the world in my retirement. *grins* 

Tidbit for leetle quilting friends, at the same shop, my $1 bought some more patchwork pieces. I see another quilted cubicle cover in my future!
When I find artwork that I know I will cherish and enjoy for years to come, it is such a good feeling. It is hard to describe. 

If you are a thrifter, do you experience that happiness when you find something you have been looking for?

Friday, February 2, 2018

Hearts and such

With Valentine's Day right around the corner, I supplemented a heart-pieced remnant from mystery quilters here and a 50 cent bag of pieced remnants (shown below) from hospice thrift marrying well into this cute quilted cubicle cover. At first, I had my doubts about this piece because I used an incompatible fabric for a backing. Also, I had been used to working with cotton batting and was using up some polyester batting. I didn't mark my quilting lines either, I wanted to finish this quickly so it would be up before the 14th. 

I get such a kick out of seeing where my blog audience is from - seems I have recently added visitors from two new countries (to me) Africa and China. How exciting is that? Virtual hugs to all of my audience.

Kitschy ceramics call to me "take me home." A recent find was the Japanese-made garden girl ceramic on the left.  She matched my garden girl ceramic on the right.

I upgraded another piece of artwork - this time trading out one giclee print for another. Both are seascapes, both priced around $5, but the brighter one is heading back to thrift, while I am keeping the moodier 1967 piece.
Bold and bright - but too much
Vanguard Studios 1967 keeper
Linking up with Amanda Jean at crazymomquilts for Finish it up Friday.

Sending virtual hearts and flowers ~