Google tag

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Last day of June

June is always a sweet month for me, being my birthday month and all. I have two requests pending, one for a media pass at the California State Fair, and the other an analyst certification presentation at work. 

While I await these approval processes, here are some state fair approved images. The first is the demonstration gardens. 
My arugula has gone to seed so I've decided to plant corn. I'm using tomato cages to keep the cats out of the garden until the corn gets some height. 
The last three images are livestock mug shots from the state fair website.

While none of my creations were entered into the fair this year, I am shooting for the 2020 competition. 

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Singing the Hallelujah chorus

The American Patchwork & Quilting UFO Challenge reveals the prompt for July is

Which for me is my basket block quilt. I was going great guns on it around the end of the year and then switched to the prompt schedule.

After buying my Baby Lock machine, the log jam of creativity let loose and projects are getting finished. That is why I am singing the Hallelujah chorus. Still quilting away on the monster that is the art with fabric block hop quilt. Would love to have that one done in July *fingers crossed*.

Thrifting update: Well, first a declutter update. I did a clothes closet purge and donated a number of jackets. I don't wear a jacket unless it is downright cold or if I have an interview and neither one of those things happen very often. 

I moved my winter wardrobe to a family storage unit I have on another property. I have quite a collection of maxi skirts which the majority are too warm to wear in our California summer. California summers extend into October. 

Back to the thrifting score, it wasn't a huge lot of fabric like the box last week but they are pretty remnants that look to be all in the same colorway. I will put them in the project bag lineup.  

Now off to quilting and spinning the vinyl!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Big birthday milestone!

Not afraid to admit that I have made it to the Big 60 - now known as Level 60! 
Child of the 60s. 
I am the model on the right circa 1971
Teenager in the 70s. Parent in the 80s/90s, working/attending college in the 2000s. 

It has been quite a ride. With my mom alive and well at 91, I hope to have 30+ years to make my mark on this world. 

Thrifted fashion news:
From the blogosphere is a movement I have joined. A challenge at slow-fashion-summer-2019 described as "3 months, 10,000 people, no new clothes." 

In the summer of 2018, we took on a big issue: the (fast) fashion industry. With 2625 people across the globe, we didn't buy any new clothes for three months. And now we're back! Join us for the biggest crowd act to date and buy no new clothes during the summer/winter season of 2019 together with 9,999 other people!
The fashion industry has an enormous negative environment and social impact around the world. Did you know that it takes 2,700 liters of water to make your cotton t-shirt? And that fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world? It produces more greenhouse gases than international shipping and aviation combined. Time for action! Or better yet: inaction. We’re taking a stance and pledge to not buy any new clothes for three months! So, get creative - dig up your old shirt, trade your outfit in the CollAction #sharechain, or get your favorite pair of jeans repaired, because slow is the new black!

The fashion industry is responsible for enormous amounts of water consumption (32 million Olympic size swimming pools per year) and CO2 emissions (8% of global greenhouse emissions - and growing fast). If 10,000 people participate, we will save up to 360 million liters of water and prevent 1,4 million kilograms of CO2 being emitted. Also, textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, only after agriculture. Then there is the enormous waste creation (148 million tons by 2030) and land use (115 million hectares by 2030), and we haven’t even started on labor conditions yet...Enough numbers, time for action. Time for Slow Fashion Season!

The rules: you’re allowed to trade clothes and buy second-hand - just no new clothes. A great opportunity to get creative with the 80% of clothes that you never wear (if you’re anything like us).

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates on the Slow Fashion Season. For example, we’ll be launching the #sharechain - the largest online clothing swap of all times! Offer your last year’s outfit and trade it for someone else’s.

Quilting/sewing news - what a difference a machine makes!

I had been struggling along with a Brother quilting machine and the thing was down more than it was "up."  I broke down and bought a Baby Lock Jazz II. The only problem I encountered is because it is a new machine, there are no YouTube tutorials on running the thing. This my first Baby Lock so I wasn't used to their unique machine setup. Their written instructions and diagrams leave a lot to be desired. I am considering posting tutorials on the Jazz II because not everyone can take the classes. 

I was able to figure out how to thread the machine, after trial and error. One project finally to completion is the vintage fan quilt. I purchased the denim print wide backing from another quilter in my area, and had it professionally quilted by a longarmer. 

This quilt top has waited at least 75 years to come to fruition. It will now be used and loved. 

Next up is binding the Wedding Quilt after I receive it back from the longarmer. In the meantime, I am quilting Composition Quilt, a king-sized project I have been working on since last year and hope to complete prior to summer's end. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Singing the Baby Lock song

The sewing machine that I chose to upgrade to was the Baby Lock Jazz II. I am trading in my Brother quilting machine for this one. 
Image from the Baby Lock website
What I am doing differently is taking a weekend class on the new machine's operation. I also think online Baby Lock classes are part of the new machine bundle. 

Gardening update: It took me quite awhile to figure out this hopeful fix to this grapevine problem. If the birds didn't get the fruit, the raccoons and deer did. The deer would also decimate the vine, eat it down to the nubbins. 
Here you can see the backside of the greenhouse. Last year, I tried putting tomato cages around the vines. The year before that I tried bird netting. I have inverted the tomato cages to train the vines upward. 

My first thought was to try pool noodles because they are flexible but didn't want it to look tacky. When I saw we had two packets of bamboo poles, I zip tied 4 poles together and zip tied the poles to  the green metal poles. 

We will see if my experiment works. Gardening is hit and miss, especially when you have to deal with competing animals. The Mr. doesn't think my fix will work as the deer can rear up on their hind legs to eat the grape leaves. 

Saturday, June 15, 2019


Finding bags of fabric at my go-to hospice thrift shop is always such a kick! The bags were $3.50 each and I bought a couple of  vinyl records to bring my total to $10, spending my $10 credit earned for a freebie day! When I first saw the coordinated set of the Dr. Seuss fabric, I thought it was recent. Imagine my surprise when the selvage listed it as 1971! Wow, almost 50 years old. I suspect some of the other remnants are retro also. Lots of images in this post for the fabricholic.  

I may try to sell this fabric collection. Anyone have experience in the resell market for vintage fabric? 

Should have just enough fabric
to recover this chair pad
Some feedsack
Quilters Circle
Derpy jungle babies
I think the story behind this and other bagged fabric remnants in  second hand stores is the seamstress or quilter has either passed on or has gone into assisted living. The relatives then give away the fabric because no one sews. 

And then there are yard sales! This one had 5 bankers boxes of yardage. She would have sold me the whole lot but I only bought the low volumes and feedsacks replacing my stash $20 for the box.

Damn near picked the same colorway
as the album cover art!
Greenhouse update: I continue to add plants to the greenhouse. I try to keep it to only edible items but wanted a couple of sunflowers. I also planted butternut squash, cucumbers and peppers. 

I am pairing down my vintage sewing machines. As I became acquainted with styles and colors, I have opted to keep the unusual colored ones.  Those being the mint green Singer and the blue Morse, both of which are on display in my studio. A pink and white/red combo are on my thrift shop bucket list. 

Doing research now on upgrading my sewing machine. Seems to be as you progress in this hobby, you upgrade your machine. My next post will reveal what I have chosen. 

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Four Thrift Shops Later and it's Time to Smell the Roses

Went thrifting in a different county and added to my vinyl record collection. I won't list those because I mainly look for 60s, disco, select 70s, some old time religion (Jimmy Swaggart, blame my Pentecostal roots), blues and jazz (both genres hard to find secondhand). 

Always on my hunt list is fabric. I passed by a bag of remnants at Goodwill. Priced at $4.50 it was affordable enough but none of it intrigued me. At my fourth and last stop, I found what I had hoped, not only fabric, but 81 nine patches at $1.99.
In that $1.99 bag was also more of the blue fabric, I'm guessing mystery quilter intended for the borders. That would have been a mistake. These blocks are already very pink and blue. I think a midnight blue or white to separate them might bring this all together. 

Mystery quilter also had three pages of detailed calculations, instructions and diagrams. I always wondered if I was a "fly by the seat of your pants" quilter, I'm sure of it now. I work out the quilt construction in my mind, working of course, with the physical layout. 

I want to practice my setting on point skills. That is a technique that you turn the block on its side. This would be a good project for that. One of my challenge quilts is the red basket blocks I purchased through an auction. My goal is to have it as next to perfect as possible. 

I am pretty much burned out on college. Attending for 8 years, online and evenings to complete an associate's degree. Well worth it, glad I finished. I have two classes I still want to take - Advanced Legal Writing and Modern Art. 

A milestone birthday is coming up. I will be 60 on the 25th of this month. It is time to smell the roses. I don't have to keep up with the competition any more in my career. If I advance another level in my job, wonderful. If not, it would be more than ok, because I value the people and place where I work. It would be hard to go to another department with all new people. 

As always, my interest lies in the fabric arts and fabric, there is just something about fabric! An upcoming hop on July 6 will be a fun one to visit, a year ago a few blogger/quilters linked up for the Piggy Back Savings Money for Quilting Challenge. 
We will reveal how much we saved and what quilting-related thing we intend to spend it on. 

Sunday, June 2, 2019

June challenges

Quilting challenge prompt for June is my Americana quilt, a big project with specialty blocks. Pattern found in a 1977 Quilt World magazine. This is more likely a project when I'm retired and have more years of experience with patchwork piecing.  

My daughter's Spice it Up quilt is next up in the queue. I am struggling with how complex I want to make it and my skill comfort level. 

Thrifting update: Half off at hospice, meant spending very little for an 8x8 glass pyrex dish, flat and fitted floral print sheets (washed in piping hot water), an "I love vinyl" t-shirt. 
I told myself I wouldn't but for $13, this pale green Singer followed me home. Eventually, I would like to display all of my retro machines on a wire rolling rack. 

The lightbulb was burned out and it took some coaxing to be able to replace it. I had a black dressmaker Singer that I scavenged for parts and then thrifted back. One of those parts was a working lightbulb. This machine sounds like it wants to work and is in great shape. I have lubed and oiled it and will see if it will unfreeze.