Monday, February 27, 2017

One Dollar

I don't know about you, but I LOVE estate sales.  I don't know what it is about them, but maybe it's the chance to take a trip back in time.  You never know when you'll see toys you had when you were a toddler, or clothes that you wore in high school.  Other people's stuff triggers all kinds of memories.  And when some of those positive triggers are for sale?  Well, guess who grabs them up and takes them home?  That would be me.

I'm like a magpie.  When I see something I like, and the price is right?  I bring it home.  Doesn't matter if I need it like another hole in my head, I get it anyway.  I have a big house, right?  har har, not so much any more!!

Anyway, on Saturday, we swung by an estate sale.  They had all kinds of fabric items on a table in the garage.  There, in a grocery bag, were some wool blocks for a crazy quilt, all embroidered, and ready to piece together.  I flipped through them, and asked, "How much?"

Well, when she said, "$1?  For all of them, not a piece?"  I said, "Sold!"  and then found a second bag with another 5 or 6 blocks.  She threw them in for free.

They're a bit musty, so they're outside airing.

All of the fabrics are wool, with the exception of a strip of navy blue polyester put into two blocks.  I'm not sure why the maker did that...maybe she ran out of wool?

In other news, the first iris are thinking of blooming.  Stay tuned, because once one pops, the rest can not be far behind.
Not much sewing going on around here, but I have been trying to dig out a path to my sewing machine.  Goals are good, and all that!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

No Place Like Home

I spent the bulk of last week in SoCal, settling my dad back in his home.  Long story, and we're not at the end.  We're trying Home Instead, which appears to be an answer to prayer.  If only he would stay home to let them in to help around the house.  (He tends to go AWOL.)  I spent hours clearing out cake mixes from 1999, and tons of bug habitat.  I left it just begun, and am hopeful that they will be allowed in today, to finish the job.  ugh.

The yard is not what I remember.
The drought has taken its toll, and there are 70' pine trees that are absolutely and completely dead.  The oleanders lining the driveway?  Mostly dead.  The tangelo trees, my mother's pride and joy?  95% dead.  An acre of dead and dying 50+ year old trees, covered with spectacular new growth of bright green weeds, etc.  It is tragically beautiful.

While there, I spotted a needlepoint "tapestry" that I made for my mom in the early 70's.  I wrote the essay when I was in 7th grade.  She loved it so much, I ended up doing the needlepoint during the hours (and hours and hours) that I spent babysitting while in high school.
My dad sent it home with me, and it is now hanging in the guest room.  Lots of memories are held within that picture frame.  The teacher had a poster on his wall.  It was a black and white photo of a young dad with a toddler on his shoulders.  They were walking down a country lane in autumn, under a canopy of trees.  The caption on the poster was "Take Time."  Mr. Milne, our teacher, said, "Write an essay, using the poster as a prompt."  And so I did.

February's goal has been met.  I got my entries submitted to Best of the Valley 2017 by yesterday's deadline.  whew!!

And I guess that's it for now...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Old Quilt, New Binding

A couple of decades ago, I made my baby a Big Boy Quilt.  That baby is now 27 years old.  The quilt is 23.  My quilting skills have improved since 1993.

One thing that has changed has been the way I make binding.  When I began quilting in earnest, in the late 80's, I was told that single-fold binding was fine, double-fold was a waste of fabric.  I've since learned that if you are making a quilt that will see much use, double-fold binding is highly desirable.  It doesn't use THAT much additional fabric, and saving yourself from redoing binding is a win in my book.

I knew the quilt was faded, but just how faded?  I was surprised.
 I thought I still had leftover fabric, but the piece in my stash was actually a different shade.  I realized that once I'd cut the binding.  yikes.  Not sure it will work.  The color change is pretty dramatic.
 But when I sewed it on?  It's not that horrible, is it?
I finished yesterday, as the SuperBowl came to an end.  Perhaps it will see another decade or two of use.  It was well-loved, that much is certain.
 One thing that I am glad that I learned early on was that "All Quilts Need a Label."  I made this one with Micron pigma pens, back in the 90's.  Can you read it?  It says who the quilt was made for, why I chose the pattern, who made it, and when.  And then, at the bottom, I've added the additional history, which is the ribbon that it won at the County Fair.
My current labels are machine-embroidered in matching fabric and threads, but the information stays the same.  And if a quilt wins an award?  I make additional labels to attach on the back.  One thing is for certain:  Whether anyone is interested or not, my quilts carry their history with them, wherever they go.

And on that, it's time to get to work.  Happy Quilting!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

More Postcards

Yesterday I had about an hour in the studio.  First, I pored over lists and quilts, trying to decide what to enter in Best of the Valley Quilt Show.  I came up with 7 possibilities, all them wall-sized or smaller.  Not one "small" (72"-48" on the longest side) or large quilt in the bunch.  wow.  I really do need to reevaluate what I've been spending time on.  Most of my recent pieces have also been too small to enter in most national quilt shows.  I don't think I entered a single national show last year, which is probably the first time in 20 years that I've failed to do that.  Like I said, time to reevaluate.

I found the scraps I'd cut for more barn postcards, and decided to finish them, rather than toss the fabric.  You knew that would happen, didn't you?  I rarely toss anything.

The last quilt-related thing I did yesterday was to dig through my box of solids, to find the piece of twilight blue that I'd used in my son's Big Boy Quilt, over 20 years ago.  That quilt has seen a lot of wear and tear, most of which is in the binding, which is holey and shredding.  I washed the fabric yesterday, and perhaps today will press and cut new binding.  The thing is, the color is completely different from the current color of the quilt, but I am certain it is the same fabric.  Fade happens.  I'll post pictures on another day.  Right now, my dad is asleep in the room next to the studio, and I don't want to disturb him.  We'd planned to go south yesterday, but instead, he preferred to stick around.

One at a time.  That's how we're doing this.
Every day is a gift.

And on that, I'd best put in some time on the quilt show.  Goals are good!