Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Sundry 11-8-15

We went thrift store shopping yesterday and saw some awesome things.  Things I did not buy, but captured in pictures for us all to enjoy. 

This was a beautiful old Dresden of what looked like feed sack fabrics, hand pieced and quilted, nicely matted and framed, for only $2.00.  Two dollars!  And yet I picked it up and set it back down.  What is wrong with me?!  (Don't answer that.)

I always check out the framed art in hopes of spotting a vintage paint-by-number.  Although no PBN was to be found, there was an impressive black velvet Indian painting!
I call him Chief Blue Eyes, a/k/a the "Chieftain of the Board" (or Bored?).  Ain't he purdy?

He had a fairly hefty price tag of $30, commensurate with his larger-than-life size, I suppose.  Alas, I left him there on lookout...though I'm not quite sure where he's looking.  Northeast?  Mind those Pilgrims, buddy, and keep an eye on that strabismus, too.

Moving on to the Christmas displays, this cute little vintage blow mold reindeer was hanging out.  All lit up and nowhere to go.  We debated giving him a home on our porch for the season, but ultimately passed.  Only ten "bucks" and it came with two allen head wrenches, for reasons intriguingly unknown.

The "ugly Christmas sweaters" and other holiday garb were in good supply.  This vest was so blingy bad, it was good!  I tried it on, but it was a bit too big. 

This one was interesting.  A fuzzy sweater featuring cute teddies wearing...fuzzy sweaters?  It made me laugh, and that's always a good thing.

Coming out of the store, we spotted this car in the parking lot.  

Holy Cheesehead!  This guy is obviously a Fan, with a capital F, for the GBP!  Gotta admire the creativity, dedication, and attention to detail that "Dan the Packer Man" put into his sweet ride.  

And pretty soon, here came Dan!  Who, unlike us, had actually bought something at the thrift store, and happily chatted about his car for a bit and posed for a pic. 

* * * * *
In my own creative space, I am getting ready to quilt this piece, which will be a holiday wall hanging.

We have had a beautiful fall here.  I've enjoyed watching all the trees in the neighborhood change colors and shed their leaves.  The silver maple in the backyard is always the last of ours to drop.  I lay on my back on the deck today to capture a picture, looking up.  I kind of like the upside-down perspective, but it's pretty either way.

The light has a wonderful intensity this time of year.  That's some consolation for the shorter days, I suppose.  
How are you spending these fleeting days of fall?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Finally Finished Tea Towel Challenge 2014 Quilt

Hoo boy, this has been a long time coming. I finally finished the Tea Towel Challenge 2014 quilt!

I had the flimsy sewn together way back in May 2014.  Nevertheless, at long last, here is the whole enchilada.  Quilted, bound, and hung on the wall last evening, right before the trick-or-treaters started ringing the doorbell.

I was a little stumped as to how to quilt it (it waited a year and a half...ya think?), but once I decided to finally put my nose to the grindstone, I knew it would require a bit of quilting in the ditch for starters.  So that's where I began.  

As things proceeded, I started to get a better inkling about the quilting.  I'd scribble down ideas as they occurred to me.  Funny how that usually happened while I was in the middle of something less than creative, namely my day job. 

Some doodles worked, others not so much.  It's why they make seam rippers.  Thankfully, there wasn't a whole lot of stitch-picking, just here and there. 

In the end, I determined that, overall, less was more with the quilting.  I didn't want to cover up those chickens in the center of the tea towel with anything that would detract, so I followed a lot of the black outlines around the chickens and then filled in with quilted scallops, squiggles, lines, and loops to approximate feathers, etc.

I sewed some tiny yellow beads in the chicken breast areas, for lack of a better idea how to quilt that particular space.  And just for kicks, I put a bead in the center of each eye as well.   The beads make me smile! 

For the quilting in the eight orange and green blocks in the outer border, I used a few different shapes characteristic of George Briard designs:  Spirals, leaves, diamonds, and an orange peel kind of thing (click to enlarge).

The feathers/leaves were loopy quilted.  A close meander filled in the yellow background around them.

I'm definitely doing the happy dance about this finish—with Sarah and the gang at Can I Get a Whoop Whoop!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Things in Motion

I went a little crazy at this week.  I was thinking about making a quilt I'd bucket-listed a couple years ago.  There are only three colors in the quilt: green, red, and a neutral background.  So I went online fabric shopping, looking for something that grabbed my fancy, and came upon "Essentials Cosmos."  Hello, gorgeous.

Now, when you only need three fabrics in a quilt, you need quite a bit of each one, as you might imagine.  I've been sewing scrappy for so long, I'd almost forgotten how much yardage actually goes into a quilt.  But I went ahead and ordered what I needed, had a moment of excitement followed by what did I just do? but then recovered my equilibrium.  Until I got the emails.

Email #1:  "Your order has shipped!"  


Email #2 (90 minutes later):  " has issued you a refund of $8.42."  

Um, why?  No explanation.

Email #3 (three hours later):  " has issued you a refund of $16.84."  

Now I'm really confused.

So what, I wonder, will come in the box from  Will I get all of my order?  Sure hope so, but right now it's a mystery.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I made a sample of the block that will be in the new quilt, except the background I'd cut for the sample didn't seem quite right.  Enter Plan B:  I made a strata of neutral strips/strings and cut my template from that.  Much better! 
If this block looks a bit familiar, it may be because it's a variation of the Thoroughly Modern Lily block.  Sandi had drawn it up in EQ around the time we were finalizing the TML pattern, and it was love at first sight.  I'm excited to be able to start making this quilt soon—hopefully.

I decided my sample block needed to become a holiday wall hanging, so I made some corner triangles of "made fabric" to set it on point.  It was an afterthought to add the narrow stop border, but I really liked it with vs. without.  Of course, then I had to make all of my "made fabric" triangles a little bigger.  

It is now basted and ready to quilt, but I have things ahead of it in the quilting queue, so it'll have to wait a bit.

In other endeavors, I made a quilt backing for the 16-patch and X blocks (aka "Goodnight Irene") quilt from earlier this year.  Here is the back, draped over the ironing board (and other things).

I needed to make the backing it just a bit larger, so I inserted a strip using many of the remaining hand-dyed fabrics from Vicki at Field Trips in Fiber.  I'd used the brighter hand-dyed fabrics in the quilt top, but the fabric for the backing lent itself to the more muted tones.  Every bit as gorgeous, and very autumnal, too.

Now that top and backing can go on vacation to the long-arm quilter, along with the Scrappy Mountains Majesties quilt top.  Things are moving, and that feels good!

Thursday, September 24, 2015


My apologies for the paragraph of gobbledygook in yesterday's post, if you saw it in your feed reader or the post was emailed to you.  I know next to nil about HTML coding, but apparently my attempt to put an "arrow," in the form of typing a left-facing caret followed by a dash, totally screwed up the text that followed it. Who knew two little keystrokes could produce so much WTF?

I corrected it immediately on the blog, but that doesn't correct what went out in the feed.  And I don't know how to correct the feed.  I'm not even sure I know what a feed is.  Except this:

The horses say, "Hay!"
I am busy with work today, but hope to have a few minutes at some point to finish a backing for a flimsy from a few months ago.  Then I'll have two quilts ready to send off for long arm quilting.

After that, I need to "Feel the fear and quilt it anyway" (TM) for the two I have pin-basted.  Will start with the ditch quilting and hope that helps me over the hump.  Baby steps.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Final Countdown

That sounds ominous, doesn't it?  Well, let me put your fears to rest by telling you it's simply the title of the '80s song I'm hearing in my head right now.  You know, the one by the band Europe?  (Click the link to share the same ear worm.  It'll be fun!  And OMG, the big hair!  The makeup!  Tight leather pants!  And the pyrotechnics!  It's a wonder the stage didn't go up in flames from all that Aqua Net.)

Why The Final Countdown?  Because I'm about to show you the last two of the 17 kennel quilts I made with scrubs.  Seventeen!  Which is also the median age of female Europe fans circa 1986, and yes I just made that up. 

Small, medium, and larger kennel quilts.  Papa Bear, Mama Bear, and Baby Bear sizes.  But, you know,  for cats and dogs.

You know what else has a strong '80s vibe?  The colors in these quilts.  Think Miami Vice and My Little Pony.  Hot pink spandex pants.
So here are the final two quilts that I finished last week.  Working with what was left of the scrubs and pilfering from the scrap pile at the end of the cutting table.

These ended up about 28 inches square.  The backs:

And here is the final countdown, a quick review of all 17 kennel quilts made over the past year.  Cue the keyboards and pyrotechnics!  Feel free to head bang!



All I had left in the end was a plastic Walmart bag about one-third full of small scraps, and a few odd pieces of solid colored scrub pants legs. 

I tied up the bag of scraps and put it directly in the garbage (which went to the curb that very day, no possibility of retrieval).  The pants legs I cut down to workable size and put them under the kitchen sink to be used as rags for dusting, etc.

Rock on!