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Friday, January 31, 2020

A Month of No-Sewing and Challenge Violations

This appears to have been my month off from sewing projects. The Babylok is still in the shop. It may be a no-sew February too.

We finally had a semi-warm January day that was clear and dry. I did some of my annual clean out the garden beds tasks. Deer had been nibbling on the sturdy artichoke that survived our intense summer heat. I moved that plant and the rhubarb into the greenhouse. They both take up way too much room but I want them to survive. I want to climate control the greenhouse this upcoming season. We have to replace panels that were blown off during a storm. Next, we will wrap the exterior of the greenhouse in visqueen so we don't have them blow out again.

I violated my own challenge, not once but twice. But it did prevent me from buying unnecessary fabric.  
I knew I was missing yellow/gold fabric in my stash having reorganized it at year's end. I really struggled with this $2 purchase. First violation occurred on 1/12. 

The second violation occurred on 1/25. Not usually a fan of pink fabric, this pattern looked retro to me. I had to have it, AND included with that was a nice piece of blue/green upholstery fabric. I opted for the $1.50 bag of fabric, rather than the $8.49 bag that was in my cart. 
Sharing these images sure to make you grin.

I am kicking around the idea of selling more of my projects. 26 works in progress in various stages of completion. It is almost too much for me. I have entered craft project overload. I may be knocking off projects on my list by noting "sold." I just mailed out a batik kit to one of my buyers that I had recently unearthed in my tub of shame. 

A discouraging development in the quilting realm - I had found a longarmer who was establishing herself by offering affordable long arm quilting services but after building her clientele, her prices doubled. I am grateful I was able to send 6 quilts to her, all done in different quilting designs. I will really have to save up to get that specialty quilting. Back to cross-hatching and straight line stitching.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Thrifty Business

I am sure someone has that as their blog name, today it is my post title. Having watched a few reseller's videos, I have heard the term  "sourcing." They are sourcing for product to sell. I can't quite bring myself to say 100% of what I am buying is for resell. 

This weekend was a good example. Long ago and far away, I gave away a waffle maker. I loved making buttermilk waffles. But in my 10 year long quest to drop extra poundage, I gave up things like waffles. Now that I am holding steady at a good weight, I found a $7 Singer waffle maker that looks rarely, if ever, used. 

I will list 2 of the 4 books I bought for $8. Singer Sewing Book with the white book cover was pub. 1969 and the one with the blue cover in 1953. I absolutely cannot part with Doris's '53 book AND that amazing certificate and ribbon I was surprised to see when I opened the front cover. To make room for the new book from Doris, I pulled a few to list for sale. Trying to keep to my 5 new listings each week goal. I have 25 active listings now.

I have never bought Kaffe Fassett fabric but I have seen it highlighted by other quilters. The photography in the book is stunning. It is not all that bright, bold fabric shown on the cover. There are some downright gorgeous fabric compilations. 

My $1.50 Goodwill bag of cosmetics turned out to be a bonanza! 4 nail polish, 1 full bar of soap, a few body lotion, some badly-needed cuticle creams and oils, and even a Cars DVD. This particular Goodwill is always overflowing with items almost falling off the shelves. 

Upgrading my plates to include this numbered 99 cent one. That green and blue upholstery fabric shown more than once in background? Well, we will talk about that on my January 31st post.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Craft Project Denial

I had teased one participant of the American Patchwork & Quilting 2020 UFO Challenge that she had the courage to list all of her projects. She had at least 3 full charts, maybe more. 
I knew I had more than 12 projects. In fact, I have at least 26. I added back a project from last year's list, my bonus item at the bottom of Chart 1, The Americana. I only have this source image from a quilt magazine from the 1970s. Look at those magnificent blocks! One quilter termed projects such as this - Quilts in Waiting.
Then came my second chart where I included two new projects that were born this year, Grandmother's Flower Garden on Steroids and the red Vintage Vignettes quilt. 

I listed ALL of my needlepoint projects - 7. I included another bonus item on Chart 2 of the plaid quilt. If I feel particularly frisky when I start that project, I will attempt the Storm at Sea pattern. Otherwise, it will be minimalist, piecing together the remnants as they are then squaring up to a final bed-size. 

I have found another challenge where I hope to have at least one entry for prizes. At Persimmon Dreams
The host provides the inspiration block, January is a 9 patch. Quilters then have a year to link up a completed quilt for potential prizes. Minimum size is 45" x 60" and must be compiled of 80% scrappy remnants. 

Reselling update: 26 listings, made my goal of at least 5+ weekend listings that include: Batik quilt kit, stitchery kits, a book and 3 CDs, and some yardage. I have a better camera than when I first listed fabric so we will see if that makes a difference. 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Real Vacations and Being Whomped

This is so Me. I haven't taken a "real" vacation in 5 years. Most of my paid time off is for taking care of others with a sandwich variant between an aging parent and an unhealthy partner. Such is life right now. In my future, I am sure I will be able to travel to a couple of places in those travel posters. 

I have been organizing image folders and have one entitled "Web Pics" lots of fun stuff, sharing some now. 

Love that Trisha Frankland quote. I have mentioned ugly fabric before. Poor things, behind the door when pretty was handed out. I don't keep that fabric. Sometimes I make a mistake when I purchase fabric lots, such as these. They are not moving, sure a few views but no buyers. I will most likely have to send them back to the Great Thrift Shop Beyond. 
Tried to sell an Asian-inspired fabric collection and that also ranked poorly. I'm not too upset about that one because I do have as one of my "unlisted" want-to-do projects a Chinese lantern quilt with that fabric. 
This being a low key 3-day weekend, I want to get an apple pie in the oven and pull yardage to list for sale, among other items. 

Kitchen cabinets have been slowly but surely, cleaned, lined with contact paper and organized. We have been having an unusually cold winter that keeps me inside. 

Ending with an admission, I had every intention of listing this Princess MLP I bought for $1. She now resides in my collection room. A forever keeper. 

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Yelling, lurking and reselling

This foggy weekend's focus was books and records. My 1958 Patchwork publication by Averil Colby arrived. 
And I found the follow-up book to Quilting for People Who Don't Have Time to Quilt. I am in that "still" category. Can't wait to get back my Gypsy Wife Meets Jelly Roll quilt currently in to the longarmer. I chose clamshell quilting in a dark brown thread. It is a pattern that I would NEVER attempt myself. I know I have a tendency to rush and sometimes I can't hold my arms completely still to do ruler work. I so prefer doing uncomplicated patchwork piecing or sewing together orphan blocks made by mystery quilters. 
Records included a few of Glen Campbell's and this Greatest Hits of Dave Brubeck. Dave is a jazz pianist who grew up in the city where I live now. When I found this, I may or may not have said loudly, "I found a Dave Brubeck!" 
With the Babylok in the shop and still recovering from my injury induced hexagon-cutting marathon, I have been sidelined from any progress in the quilting arena. 
My thrift shop lurking has paid off again with the purchase of this needlepoint kit for $3. This came from the same lot as the retro quilt blocks. This massive craft-related donation has been months in being released. Once priced, it doesn't move on the floor for another few weeks. This, I saw in the pre-pricing area and hoped I could get to it before anyone else. My first intent was to resell it, but decided it should join my project holder. 

January is an interesting month in thrift where nearly new clothes or even those still with their tags, land. There are also boxed gift items and, of course, discarded Christmas. 

Moving on to my reselling topic, what seems to still be selling is Christmas items. I am on holiday burnout right now after creating some countdown to Christmas posts, decorating, baking, all that stuff. A break is certainly in order. I have been buying like a maniac though thrifted Christmas CDs. Priced around a $1, I have an inventory of 50 to sell. 

I am a small potatoes store
I try to list 5 items a week, sometimes it is less and average a profit of $100 a month. Currently, I have 17 listings with an average price of $20. I recently sold a lion head door knocker I bought retail some 30 years ago. Don't need it, gotta sell it. My reselling is underwriting my thrift purchases. Admittedly, I am buying more with an eye for resell too. When I do buy for myself, I think, "these few dollars add up," and how hard it is to recapture on a resell. I end up putting back more than one item before I head to checkout.

Are you divesting or investing in more stuff? 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

It is that time of year that cashmere comes my way

I can count on the fact that in January, cashmere sweaters are donated to thrift and I am the lucky benefactor. This apparently new cashmere was $5.99. I am wearing it to work on Monday.
It was a particularly bad year for moths, even eating through the Mr.'s cotton work shirts. So I've gathered all of my moth-eaten cashmere sweaters into a bundle and listed them on my favorite auction site.

At Snowline Hospice thrift, I got to fill a bag of books for $5. Ones that I will list are the Messiah vocal score and a retrospective of the 1950s-1960s. I really did just grab books, so the Impressionist Cats book was a delight after I got to sit down and look at it. Best of the quilt books is the spiral bound instructions for the Garden Quilt. There is also a Bible in the bunch, bound in soft grey leather, I considered letting it go but have decided it is a keeper. 
I did massive Christmas CD gathering, buying 25 at $1+ each. Even if I sell only 5 at $5 each, at least I've made back my original investment. Some are duplicates of ones in my collection that I know are a good listen. Was thrilled to have Cool Yule by Bette Midler replaced as NIP. The one I bought from thrift was scratched.
Christmas stuff is nearly put away. How is your 2020 coming along?

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Grandmother's Flower Garden on Steroids

I have injured myself crafting. It wouldn't be the first time. My first sewing-related injury was a few years ago when I did damage when I impaled my left index finger on a moving needle. 

I was wondering why my right shoulder hurt. After plunging into my second weekend of hexagon making, the hurt hit. I was using my right side for all of that cutting. Time for another break, either "read" my eye candy quilt books or work on a needlepoint. 

I have joined yet another quilting FB group, this one being JWQ (Just Wanna Quilt) Inventory Quilt Sew Along. Since I have already started my stash-busting hexi quilt, I fit right in with the group. 

Work continues on that quilt. Luckily, I had purchased this dark blue batik yardage and cut more hexis. Layout #2 I have re-named Grandmother's Flower Garden on Steroids. The hexagons are 6-1/2" on each side. 

I haven't decided on the fabric used as spacers between the flowers or if I will even need them. Really love the flowers. I may make two more dark blue ones to use as the anchor pieces. My design bed isn't big enough!
Here is one of the blocks with my hand for scale. I have to wear a wrist brace when I use a rotary cutter. 

As an aside, I incorporated a golden yellow flower. I heard once in my quilting beginnings that you should try and use gold accents in your quilts. 

Going through my batiks I found an unopened kit! Yahoo!! That one will be listed for sale. I don't even remember buying this one so it must have been stashed away for awhile. 

And these redwork squares which were squirreled away on a shelf went into a project bag for moi with some favorite red fabric.
Last step, for now, is pinning the flower hexis together for eventual block construction. 

Reseller's update: My test of selling coffee mugs, plush and used games, specifically Cadoo - FAIL (so far). Successes have been vintage cookbooks and unopened needlecraft kits. 

Thrift finds were this J.K. Rowling hardcover ($35 retail, paid $2) and a red plaid woven tablecloth. I just can't resist linens. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Cutting is done, layout has begun

I have settled on this palette of hexagons (6-1/2" on each side) for my colorwash quilt. 
I am not too sure about my first layout. This is as close to design wall as I get, the design mattress. As in any process, I am even questioning if I am going the right direction. Maybe light alternating with a dark hexis. I could rearrange them in an interpretation of a grandmother's flower garden.  
I really love that midnight blue color, I may incorporate more of that in this plan. 

Over the years, I have been more discriminating in my thrifted fabric purchases. Some of it isn't quilting quality, some aren't pretty prints, and some I have just lost interest, such as chintz and batiks.

As I use up my thrifted remnant stash, my focus will turn to buying fabric in collections. At first I skoffed at the prospect, but when I bought my first full collection of fabric, I was delighted. I have also learned that popular collections can sell out. 

Linking up with Jennifer at inquiringquilter for:

And Kelly at myquiltinfatuation for Needle & Thread Thursday. 

Ending this post with a Pattern of the Day, a 1969 Skater's outfit.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Cutting for the Colorwash Hexi

When I began my research on which pattern to use for my colorwash, there was brief mention and an image in introductory section of Colorwash Quilts of using floral hexagons. The author Deirdre Amsden credits a 1960 publication by Averil Colby entitled Patchwork. I've ordered it from my favorite reselling platform, Ebay. 

Now I have moved from those itsy bitsy pieces usually used in colorwash, to entertaining the thought of using rectangles (but hadn't worked out how to size them) to cutting hexagons. Perfect! That, I can wrap my creative head around. 

Cutting these hexis chewed up stash fast! I can get about 4 hexis per fat quarter. I am about halfway through the mountain. There are more creams and yellows to process. 

My plan for this one is to make another piano key border. As I am cutting the fabric, I am saving the pieces long enough to be strips for the keys. 

Linking up with Beth at lovelaughquilt for Monday Making.
Reselling update: I have 22 things listed right now, mainly fabric related. Dipping my toe into games, vintage cookbooks, and other random items. 

Ending the post with this visitor on New Year's Day.