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Saturday, February 29, 2020

I am benefiting from Grandmillenial Style

I had not been a fan of the vintage sewing machines I had collected. Even after oiling and coaxing, I could never get them to work (I have 3 of them). My two-month sewing hiatus came to end when I pulled out the cast iron Franklin I have had for quite some time. With my Babylok still in repair, I was highly motivated in learning how to use it. Luckily, I found a YouTube video on threading it (I never would have guessed the way it is done) and did a short snip. I will be doing more videos because there are so few on vintage machines. 

The Franklin had been oiled and all parts were in working order. I promptly created a flimsy with my plaid wovens. I will finish it with a scrappy plaid border. I may add another border to the side, pushing it into king-sized.
The threaded Franklin
Tub o' Plaids
My two-month hiatus also gave me a new patience in rehabilitating a retro quilt block. My first attempt was unsuccessful, I didn't cut the pieces large enough. It was also around the holidays so I had other things crowding in on my time and attention. 
I decided to go with gray, rather than cream. I was so pleased with myself. It is not perfection, but it means that series of blocks that I bought thrift will finally comprise an entire quilt top. I was one block short of 20. 
I trimmed them all to 15" square. Some had to be rehabilitated by adding fabric, others were a little larger so I had to trim into the stars. 

HGTV featured an article grandmillennial-style-2020-design-trend-pictures. Part of that trend is bringing back "knick knacks," with a style described as those who love "wicker, chintz and needlepoint." The majority of the items that I have for sale are needlework kits. My newest up for sale is this 1984 Autumn Bouquet kit by Creative Expressions. 

I will be out "sourcing" later today and picking up an automatic bobbin winder since I can't figure out how to do that on the Franklin. 

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Orphan Block Organization

I underestimated my sales for 2019. My total was nearly $400. Not quite my $500 goal but a good run at it nonetheless. Luckily, I hadn't sold too much, the collective sales tax came to $30. I have applied for my seller's permit and have my federal EIN, so everything is in place. The latest 3 things I have pulled from resell, a Jurassic World mug, a Jurassic Park plush and a nine-patch quilt kit. All three I have decided to keep. The nine patch blocks I didn't really want to sell.
I tried hand quilting. What a disaster. I didn't get very far, since quilting is my least favorite part of the creative process. I kept thinking, "this is going to take forever." I dug deeper into my sewing/craphting hoard and found orphan blocks that I was able to separate into 2 lots shown above. 

I will have to buy a portable sewing machine at some point. The Babylok I have is too heavy to haul around to classes. One class being offered that I can't take advantage of right now, is a Storm at Sea sew along - on my retirement bucket list. I want to do that pattern in plaids. 

The flu knocking me out of my thrifting game for the past two weeks meant I made up for lost time. Eight thrift shops in two different counties. I did good though, I only spent $10, with finding one needlework kit for resell. 
I slipped up a couple of times last month on buying remnant fabric but this month I have held firm. I will purchase quilt tops or orphan blocks if I find them. I also want to upgrade my fabric to collections. I will still keep an eye out for vintage linens. 
These last two items were things for me, a $1 coat length sweater and a $2.49 pack of Pokemon cards. None of the cards are  collectibles, but there was at least 1 Pikachu (my fav). 

I am still buying Christmas CDs whether I decide to keep them or sell them. Vinyl is at the top of my list too, very excited to have found the 1963 recording of The Giants of Jazz and the Getz/Gilberto record that I already have as a CD. Love it!
Wearing my I Love Vinyl t-shirt today

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Month 2 of no machine and down with the flu

Seems the part that is needed for my sewing machine hasn't come in, so I have written off this month too for progress on anything. I wouldn't have the energy for it this week having the flu. I get the flu shot every year and haven't fell ill in a number of years. Seems this second wave got me.

Even in my flu fog state I was able to repair my cat's bed. I did get the bed from thrift and I so liked the top fabric. The backing to the bed was hardly what you would call material and had begun to disintegrate. I had some heavy cotton, upholstery grade material I cut from template the pieces of the previous backing. It was a quick and dirty job, the stitches far from perfect. It may have gotten a little lumpy on restuffing. I then hand quilted the center bed portion.

Since I am down to hand stitching, I really need to turn my focus to my needlepoint in progress, or hand quilting a smaller quilt that has languished for months on end. 

I might try to list a couple more books for sale. None of my recent listings have sold. 

I did bump into a guy at a Goodwill who was using an app to scan for books. Seems he was buying for Amazon. He said the app for $40 per month but that it paid for itself. He seemed to be buying books in the health and fitness realm. He did say it was a lot of work. I get that, because for all the time I spend at thrift shops, sometimes I find nothing. 

Anyhoo, I am official now, I applied for a California seller's permit AND have a federal EIN. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Digging Deeper into the Sewing Studio

I uncovered another quilt project and two more needlework kits. I have one needlepoint landscape I completed 40 years, I don't think I need two others. My favorite medium of art to display are original oil or acrylic on canvas, sometimes watercolors. 

Moving up a step in the reseller ladder. I started charging sales tax. I believe I have to get some kind of license in my state. I have moved my stock from here, a corner of my spare room, to a shelf in the basement. 
Arrangement 1

Arrangement 2
One touch I add to my buyer of needlework packages, I use fabric remnants as packing material. It has helped me to focus on those things to sell that I know such as needlework kits, quilt related items and certain publications. 

I continue to average 5 listings per weekend. This weekend was my first that I am shipping out 3 packages on Monday. Getting these coffee blocks listed on Ebay for adoption. 

I started saving my listing templates. My next step is to purchase Quickbooks. I love to run reports. This will be great to see what my true profit margin is, I am kind of guessing right now. 

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Sourcing is what it is called now

On my circuit of thrift shops, there are 4 my area and I decided to hit them all. This is a first, in all the years I have been doing this, to find vintage fishing lures. I love them! My best finds have been when a certain hospice thrift roll the racks onto the floor. The lures and tackle box flew off that rack into my hands. 

I will give the lures to the Mr. on Valentine's Day. I want to display them on the stairwell leading downstairs. 
Stop number 1, $1 clothing meant I grabbed Talbots red cordouroy pants for me, 2 flannel men's shirts, a few fabric transgressions that I now regret. The third image is the fabric I was able to use from the $3 bag. 

Stop number 2, I splurged on pins for me and some glassware (not shown).
Stop number 3, was a freebie quilt pattern, a fabric remnant and a unopened stitchery kit for $1.
Stop number 4, I took a gamble on a $2 bag of finished granny squares, another fabric purchase violation of a red plaid and a couple of CDs.
I have a favorite reseller in the YouTube world, Jason Thrifts. There is an upcoming episode I even set a reminder to watch. 

Friday, February 7, 2020

Yeti Or Not, Here I Come

Steampunk Yeti in the Wild
Updating the post to showcase Steampunk Yeti. Abdominable is a  thrift shop rescue. I keep a box of steampunk/fantasy stuff I have found secondhand. I included the tarot cards pulled if anyone wanted to predict the Yeti's future. 
Switching gears to saving money and reducing debt, I have two new fixes in that direction. 

The first was buying a "new" purse. A few years ago, I bought a Coach handbag at full retail price. It was a few hundred dollars. I am not a purseaholic. I only buy one purse and use it for many years. I love the way Coach constructs their bags so I lurked on an online auction site until I found one. My winning bid: $33.

My second fix - I had been buying face moisterizer at the cosmetics counter. You spend $40 and get a small lotion bottle. I discovered suntan lotion for faces, a fraction of the cost of the lotions and potions. 

Sequeing to January trail cam best of images.

Reselling update: Vintage needlework kits and quilt kits are selling. What I am listing this week, a vintage 1989 BHG red plaid hardcover cookbook, a set of coffee mug quilt blocks and perhaps more of my needlework projects. 

I found a thrifting group on FB that has posted a challenge - Return of the Thing from the Thrift Store Creative Challenge No. 9, Yeti or Not, Here I Come! 
Not my creation - made by Vinylnation
I am grounded in my quilting/sewing arena, and have WAY more crapht stuff than the good lawd allows. This challenge sounds like so much fun! The rules, Tami summarized, are as follows:

Create a finished product featuring the Abominable Snowman (well, that is the one I have chosen) or Yeti. The sky is the limit on presentation and medium. You are encouraged to LOVE what you create. The project time frame is 2-8-20 to 2-21-20. Main items should be thrifted. Avoid spending any money. Creepy is cool. Must have a before/after photo, process photos even better.  

You will need to join that Facebook group to view the Yeti creations. 

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Half Off Days are sooo much fun!

I was able to catch the first day of hospice thrift's half off weekend sale. Grabbing what I could, I reviewed my purchases and put half of them back while waiting in the long line. My $10 total included a couple of Christmas CDs for resell, a bag of buttons, an apron, and this entire outfit, including hat. It all just seemed to go together! Can't make out the label on the hat, sweater is Possessed Clothing Company, wrap-around double layer skirt unmarked, the black leggings, ankle socks, and BCBG Girls heels are part of my regular wardrobe. The outfit was a splurge for me and so appreciated. I have been working hard trying to reduce unnecessary purchases and focusing on reselling. Being "good" can be tiring. 

Close up of hat and wrap around skirt
Linking up with Patti at

Quilting update: 5-1/2" squares cut for the 30s repro 4 patch quilt. One advantage to this hobby, when you can't sew, you can cut fabric, or complete a binding (I hand sew mine). I have two quilts in to the longarmer awaiting their return to me. 

I always seem to have lots of blue fabric (4 blue print blocks). Those irregular pieces at the top of the image I will use to create cornerstones. It really is great progress when you have moved into the preparing the fabric phase. 

Now I can watch the Super Bowl guilt free knowing I am have made forward movement in my personal challenge. 

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Here we are into February

30's reproduction fabric
I will have this project precut and ready to go prior to month's end. 
Feedsack(ish) prints
American Patchwork & Quilting 2020 UFO Challenge number for this month is 9. My intended project has morphed into a 4 patch 30's repro. It was in my feedsack project bag. I completed a mini last year. Since I am entering month two of my no-sewing Babylok in the shop, I began preparing the material. I separated the feedsack from the 30s repro and will be piecing the blocks similar to the ones shown in my bed-sized quilt.

Reseller's update: Confirming what I had seen posted by others, my holey lot of cashmere sweaters sold. Some crafter will upcycle them into something wonderful. 

Trying my hand at selling books again. The Mr.'s lot all went unsold, being a test of whether they would move or not. It really is tough to say what is on trend. When I buy a bag of books, I grab anything that might be interesting. Six are now listed for a total of seven being offered for sale.

All of my remnant fabric has now been corralled into 2 drawered containers. Going through my quilt project bags, I had yet another project bag that included completed quilt blocks and a Moda jelly roll. 
Lot of coffee blocks for sale

Entire lot of blocks, coffee block pieces, including my fabric pull
and a Moda jelly roll
How many coffee block quilts can a person make?  For me, just one and even then it is way down on the project list. Why not release the rest into the world so someone else can appreciate them AND recoup some of the money invested? 

It really feels good to sell some or parts of my projects. Ultimately, I would like to have all of my remnant fabric used up and I can then buy fabric collections. Or, if I keep finding completed blocks at this pace, I won't have to do any complex patchwork piecing. 

Not sure what progress I will make on anything tomorrow because it is Superbowl Sunday!