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Saturday, September 28, 2019

Winnowing down the precuts and 4 questions in quilt composition

While I was organizing my stash, this project emerged. I also have another project bag of black and white fabrics to supplement it. A quick quilt top or a good start on the beginning of one since there are 12 completed blocks to work with. 
I had accumulated 12 small ziploc bags of precut fabric. At first, I was just going to thrift them all back since there seemed to be a lot of uglies in the bunch. I ended up keeping 4 of the 12 bags that contained hst cornerstones, feedsack and animal novelty prints. 

I really do appreciate mystery quilter's work. If I can't use the fabric, which was around 80% of these last precuts, I send them back to thrift. Most times I am buying from hospice thrift so I feel it is a good cause too. 

Wish there was more of this intriguing print. It is a small remnant with some sun damage. 

Looking forward to a quilt show in my area next weekend. 

I am auditioning fabric for the borders on Gypsy Wife meets Jelly Roll quilt. It is a crucial stage in the composition of a quilt. So many decisions such as:

1. Do I make it darker or lighter? The border fabric will pull out the colors you want.
2. If you choose a novelty print, then the border will likely be larger to show off that fabric. 
3. If you choose solid color borders, what size should they be? Are you setting off the novelty print with accent borders? 
4. Do you want to miter the corners? If you are working with plaids, it could be a nice detail. 

Once borders are completed, the binding is the icing on the cake. It too can take a quilt in either a darker or lighter direction. Striped fabric used in binding can look stunning. 

It takes time to decide on the right combination of fabric, especially when you are using remnants. 

Monday, September 23, 2019

Gypsy Wife meets Jelly Roll

While I missed National Jelly Roll Day on September 21st of having a finished quilt, I had the germ of an idea for a quilt top. I had a couple of partial jelly rolls and completed quilt blocks in 12", 11", and 10".

This was the quilt that was beckoning me. I happened to have one extra day and I put my foot down and devoted the afternoon to sewing. This came together really fast. It is going to be a very pretty quilt. Mystery quilter should be proud of how I used her orphan blocks. 

In the Gypsy Wife quilt pattern, there are vertical strips of fabric, with the blocks offset from each other. 

My process on this was to sew together 6 strips from the jelly and then fit it to the 12" block. I made the 11" and 10" blocks 12". I really am rogue quilter and "wing it" when it comes to perfect measurements. I just take the strips and square them up after I sew them all together. As long as the blocks are squared up and the fabric squares up at the finish, I'm happy. 

I haven't checked my stash, but I may have to spring for some retail border fabric to complete this quilt top. 

Linking up with Kelly at for:

Needle and Thread Thursday

Wendy at for the~

Saturday, September 21, 2019

More blocks and precuts

I went to my usual go-to places for weekend thrifting to 1) hopefully replenish resell stock and 2) buy thrift things from my bucket list. 

One of the things on my list was a wardrobe organizer, scored (new in box) for $5 at a half off shop. Surprisingly, I have more clothes than fit in my closet at home. Shocking, I know. This organizer will house all of my summer shifts. 

Best find of the weekend, this donut print shirt and black and white blocks ($2 for 12). I also found another bag of precuts. If I could git to gitting on sewing time, I could chain piece a bunch together. The problem is I have been cutting into my sewing time by sleeping! 

I continue to post on Instagram as tamaschen for #secondhandseptember and in October there will be the prompts from #mrsbrimblesboodaily. 

I know I am supposed to working on my daughter's quilt, but I am chomping at the bit to put together a quilt top from these premade blocks. It is interesting how projects beckon you, like you are at their command. 

Promising myself to study that Atomic Starbust pattern. I also picked up a book at Goodwill, Contemporary Quilting, Exciting Techniques and Quilts from Award-Winning Quilters by Cindy Walter & Stevii Graves, pub. 2005.

Lots of fun events coming up in October, my fav month of the year. A quilt show combined with a wine tasting walking tour at the first of the month. The last of the month will find me up in the Pacific Northwest. I can hardy wait!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sewing Time Measured in Vinyl

Hello to my Russian audience, your views have overtaken my American ones. This has happened a few times before and I am not sure of the source but whoever loves me over there, mucho love back! 

Finally finished! My composition quilt aka art with fabric blog hop started in 2018. The inspiration was this 1954 Composition painting by Greta Freist. 
While my last quilt based on a painting was done in raw edge applique, I actually pieced this one. When I finished the first round of piecing, I had a decidedly long creation that was fit only for a wall hanging then made the decision to make it bed-sized. 

I used numerous colors of thread in matchstick quilting. 

I have also been loosely participating with the FB group, American Patchwork & Quilting in their UFO Challenge. At the beginning of the year, we listed a project per month we hoped to complete by year's end. I had originally intended to create another quilt based on a piece of abstract modern art, but I hadn't finished this one. So it became my number 10, posted for the month of June in the challenge. My first quilt completion for the year under this challenge. 

I measure my sewing time by vinyl length. When the record stops, it is a forced break to get up and flip the record over or put on a new one. If I have listened to one or more records, I know I have made progress. One of my fun finds was this 1976 recording of Disco Duck.
Magic of the thrift gods - another Marjorie Baer find of a necklace. The exact same Goodwill but months later. Couldn't believe my eyes that I found another of this San Francisco jewelry maker.
Reselling update: 5 more items were listed, including a twin-sized quit top. First test of a textile like this. If it sells as well as expected, I may have found my retirement business. 
I could do simple patchwork like this. It is pieced fabric in the center with large piano keys and green borders, then a repeat of the center. 

Here is a definite thrifting splurge, this Regulator 31-day clock. In my previous life, I collected clocks. I even had a cuckoo clock purchased in pieces restored. But back to this clock, I figured priced at $32.50 with a $10 discount coming, it was a buy. 
I think it was marked as missing parts because I think the key had slid deep into the clock. When I got it home, the key slid down and I was able to wind the chime. Funny enough, the moment I hung it on the wall, I noticed it was already set to the correct time. That meant previous owner must have wound the clock before donating it. I think you have to wind them once a week. 

While I had a major pep talk with myself over this purchase, I am delighted with it. She keeps perfect time and I love the sound of a wind-up clock. 

Linking up with Cynthia at quiltingismorefunthanhousework for:
Quilting is more fun than Housework
Moving it forward Monday at

Wednesday Wait Loss at
Needle & Thread Thursday at

And, Off the Wall Fridays at
Creations by Nina-Marie

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Sometimes the best things in life are free

Mexican pottery kitty was outside in the free bin at my last stop of 4 upcountry thrift stops. Her face was a little beat up so I used a black sharpie oil pen and some acrylic red paint as fill in. 
I was also successful in my purchasing for resell more fabric combinations and some fabric. Bag 'o goodness in the left of the picture go into my stash.
Mystery bag 1 contents - durn there are only 2 pieces of those amazing blue/beige borders. 
Mystery bag 2 contents (top center) precuts in flannel
Mystery bag 3 contents (front center) 26 blue/red blocks and 34 dark green/burgundy/pink blocks and companion fabric. 
The last two are going up for resell, those and some pins. I ended all but 3 listings for the books. Not a good seller. My 60 day total is nearly $200. That is $200 I didn't have before. I would be thrilled if I averaged $100 a month. 

Because I am just not in the mood to model, Sally Stand-In is wearing the Tommy Hilfiger knit dress with bell sleeves that I scored for $5.50.
I have got to git to stitching because I have one quilt in the hand binding stage. I want it on my bed before we get a cold snap!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Follow up to weight gain is not inevitable

Not being a diet/fitness blogger, occasionally I blog about diet and fitness because it is very important to me. In reference to my post title, I did a post two years ago about weight gain and diet here. At that time, I had lost some weight from 150 lbs. to 130. Now, after taking a few runs at it, I am now down to 125. Five pounds doesn't seem like much, but it is. If you are measuring by underwear size, it is one size down. Ultimate goal - 120. 

I began lifting 5 lb. free weights when I turned 40. I had no interest in having "gramma Tami" arms. You know, the upper arms that have flappy loose skin. I am happy with my arms and my legs, now it is the core that needs attention. 

I also chose to go on a restricted diet related to my gall bladder. The word "restricted" seems a little harsh, I have tried really hard to cut down on fried foods and beef. 

As an aside, I also had clickety clack knees. As I have lost weight, there is less of that pressure on my knees, carrying extra weight too much for my frame. Less clickety clacking. 
Segueing to sewing - it is National Sewing Month! If you are on Instagram, I am participating in the prompts from Thrifty Mum for #SecondHandSeptember as tamaschen

I also found a Facebook group the Up-cycled Cloth Collective that features all sorts of creative ways to re-use textiles. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

September is in the air

September means a respite is in sight from the summer heat. At least another month of uber hotness. October can be a warm month too in the Sierra Nevada mountain range but at least you can feel fall in the air. 

I went live with 8 more listings on Ebay, mainly textiles and some costume jewelry, items I had at the house. I haven't even cracked into the collection I have in storage (did I just admit to that?). I don't pay for a storage unit (that wouldn't make any economic sense). These are items I have at another house where my adult children live. I so admit I am a hoarder in recovery. 

I am feeling better about my WIPs and fabric stash. I have slowed on buying remnants. Thrifts shops are pricing fabric closer to retail, so why buy it secondhand? Back to my WIPs, other than the scrap fabric, I have 10 project bags. Eight reside in the basket, the others are the atomic starburst quilt and my daughter's quilt (must be next!). 

There is some satisfaction in pairing things down. I will admit I can go overboard in getting rid of things. I pulled two poetry publications from my last round of listings. I had listing regret. 

Just when I got rid of one leaders/enders project, I inherited another. Half off at hospice meant the 8 ziplock bags of 2-1/2" precuts were only $1.25. Can't sell them so I will keep them for awhile. It is nice that they are precut. If I ever advance into a business related to quilting, I would invest in a fabric cutter. 

So glad fall is approaching. Cooler weather will mean my attention will turn back to the greenhouse.