Saturday, July 25, 2015

My fabric diet

I began this year with an oath with myself to attempt to buy less fabric. My rule was only solids, prints that are on sale -- specifically, less than $8 per yard -- & vintage fabric. I feel like I've been doing pretty well. I've stayed away from my favorite online stores & when I do visit, I only look at what is deeply discounted. I've also not been going to many local quilts shops or big box fabric stores.

As with my physical health & eating habits, I want modest fabric acquisition to become a way of life, not a strict, short-term program -- no fabric fasting, just manageable buying that I can comfortably live with.

But, like my wise friend, RachaelDaisy, says, "Moderation in all things, including moderation."

I've been to 2 quilts shows already this year: QuiltCon & the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival. Seeing quilts that get one's creative juices flowing, then visiting vendors' booths, with their arrays of fat quarters & half yard cuts -- Buy x, Get the x+1 Free! -- well, it's just too hard to pass up! At QuiltCon, my haul was pretty small. Vintage-looking colors & prints were speaking to me that day.

I did more damage at the KCRQF. That day, brown was calling to me, as well as birds & brights to go with them.

Then a trip to a favorite store, perhaps my favorite store in the whole world: Fabric Recycles. I can't explain it, but those 60s-70s era bright calicoes make so very happy. So, again with the brown, then a large cut of cobalt blue with sweet, tiny posies. And to top things off, 2 baggies of these square-ish shapes. The semi-pinked edges make me wonder if they were remnants from a garment manufacturer. The previous owner had drawn squares on the backs of them all but had not done any cutting.

I wonder what she was going to do with them?
I wonder what I will do with them?

Monday, July 20, 2015

Unexcused absence

Where have I been?

No place exotic -- well, Kansas, which I like, but I would not call it "exotic". I went to visit my MIL. For fun, we went to the first ever Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival. Organized by 16 area quilt guilds, the KCRQF has been in the planning stages for at least 2 years. They put on a great show! A good do-able size -- not too big, not too small -- lots of great quilts, lots of vendors. MIL & I went together on Saturday & on Sunday, took our 13-year-old granddaughter/niece, our Next Generation Quilter! She was especially intrigued by the Bargello quilts.

Back at home, I rested from the 14-hour drive by catching up on work, housework, etc. Then, after a few days, I caught Shug's cold -- I coughed & snotted for about 2 weeks, very tedious & tiresome. I was itching to sew, but had no energy. Finally back in front of a sewing machine, I continue to plod away on the hummingbird stars. I like the block, but am not enjoying *making* the block -- it is fiddle-y & fussy -- so I'm going to make fewer than I had originally intended, then add big, wide borders. I've decided how I want to quilt it -- now I'm excited to get it done!

And geese, there always seem to be geese.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Topping the top chart

When I was a pre-teen & young teenager, the local AM station (WHB, the World's Happiest Broadcasters, dial Seventy One-derful on the dial) put out a weekly list of the top 40 singles. 45 rpm singles, do you remember them? I used to get mine from a rack at the drug store that was next to the TG&Y that was next to the grocery store my family went to. They kept a pretty good selection of singles & there on the counter near the record rack would be that week's WHB Top 40 -- a list of songs with that week's ranking & where they had been the previous week. On the back would be the lyrics to one of the songs. And because you can find anything on the internet, this is what they looked like:

Anyway, what was my point? Oh! The tops I've been sewing up made me think of WHB's Top 40. (My mind works in mysterious ways.) Not quite 40, but my stack is growing.
And not just tops, backs too!

Monday, June 15, 2015

More rain

Crafturday dawned dark & dreary -- 100% chance of rain, flash flood warning, blah, blah, blah.

But it was a fine day to spend stitching.
I had the urge to add borders to the loud, medallion-y thing I started a while ago. The floral fabric is a satin weave & was starting to fray, so I wanted to get it sealed in a seam. Nothing really new here, I just sewed on some borders I had auditioned earlier.

I've got about 24 hummingbird stars made. I am following Missouri Star Quilt Company instructions for this block. It is like quite a few patterns & how-tos you see these days -- that is, it is unconcerned with having the fabric's bias on the edge of the block. I have to tell you, this is hard for me to do, goes against my grain, if you will. I think many who do this use lots of starch. I am reluctant to do this because starch is made of corn & bugs like corn. I have a constant battle with silverfish & I don't want to actually entice them with food. Anyway, you can see a bit of ruffling on the edge of the blocks, but I think (I hope) that will not be noticeable when I quilt it.

And in a jiff, half of this quilt is quilted. Not my best work, but fairly consistent overall.

It turned out that the weekend's weather was not as bad as it had been forecasted to be. I even got out both days for a walk.
But -- wait for it -- now we have our eyes on the Gulf because Tropical Storm Bill is out there.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Pandora's closet

Actually, not Pandora's closet, just my closet.
It doesn't contain the ills of the world, but it does contain a LOT.

In the corner of my sewing room there is a piece of furniture that was formerly used as a chair. It is now the base of a mountain of fabric, quilt tops & backs, basted quilt sandwiches & more fabric. I was rather hoping to return it to its original function, so I began tidying. I gathered things I was not going to get to any time soon; I pushed towards completion several things that were teetering on the brink of being done. It is very subtle, the uninitiated eye might not see the difference, but I think there is a slight decrease in amount of chaos in the room. (Though the chair is still not a chair.)

When I was rearranging things in the closet, I pulled out a summer, battling-less & backless, quilt that my Mom bought for me many years ago. Sadly, I don't well remember the details of when or where she got it. I have a vague recollection that she found it at a neighborhood garage sale, sometime since Shug & I have been married. I also vaguely remember not being all that pleased with it -- the appliqu├ęd ladies were not my style &, at the time, I was not fond of the fabrics. But I love it now & wish I could thank my Mother for getting it for me.
Thanks, Mom, I love it! And I love you!

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Rain, rain, go away

Thank you for your very kind emails about Shug's & my safety.
Yes, we are safe & dry -- unlike others in our area -- property lost &, much worse, lives lost.

Regarding the weather, Enough!!!

Shug & I grew up in Tornado Alley, saw our share of brutal weather: blistering heat, softball-sized hail, towering clouds with that sickly greenish light, blizzards, ice storms, sub-zero temperatures, etc, etc, etc. But I had never seen rain like it rains down here on the Gulf Coast. It doesn't seem physically possible to rain as hard as it does here. They say that at one point on the night of the News-making Rains, it was coming down at a rate of 1 inch in 5 minutes (2.5 cm/5 minutes). They say that this May was the wettest month for Texas since they've been keeping records -- for our county alone, official measurements from 10 to 20 inches. They say that approximately 35 trillion gallons fell on the state this month.
And -- now is the beginning of the 2015 hurricane season. {sigh} Please wish us good luck.

Thank you again for your kind questions & comments. I see I've not just made virtual friends with my little blog, but really real friends.
Thanks & hugs to you!

Monday, May 11, 2015

No news

I continue to muddle along in my sewing room, with little to show for my efforts. I have all the blocks made for two tops, but am just not in the mood to put them together. I keep pulling out more WIPs, adding to my to-do list & adding to the mess on my sewing table. I did manage to make 10 pillow cases for my Guild's charity. If you have never made pillow cases, you should; if you haven't made any in a while, make more! They are so satisfying! Easy, quick, pretty -- and they are great stash busters!

Even though the calendar says Summer is still a few weeks away, it is SUMMER! here already. The AC has been running for some time now. We've gotten quite a bit of rain -- good, we needed it -- but it also bumps up the humidity & the mosquito population. The good news is: the magnolia are in bloom! Flowers as big as dinner plates, petals as big as my hand. I wish I had a scratch & sniff blog so those of you unfamiliar with their scent could smell them -- their fragrance is subtle, slightly sweet, slightly citrusy, completely heavenly. As they begin to fade, they look like leather.