Sunday, April 20, 2014

new addition to the pack....

We had a spring surprise last week that has thrown a wrench into my quilting plans...

a local animal rescue group called "Stinky Kiss" was given a terrier puppy and we were lucky enough to adopt him!  So meet my new quilting buddy - Watson!

He is only 14-16 weeks so we are dealing with lots of chewing and house-training.  So far he and the cats have come to an agreement.  Brownie spends lot of time with him...he behaves her better than me!

We almost have him on a schedule so I hope to be stitching again soon...

Thursday, April 03, 2014

American fabric update...

About a week ago I posted about some new fabric being made entirely in the USA.
(a few more vintage thimbles from the action last weekend...my friend stayed for the entire auction and bid on these for me!)

Well my order arrived this week and yesterday I ran some through the wash.  Here is what I thing (my opinion only....)

1.  The colors are really nice.  Slightly softer than Kona.  No bleeding nor fading after a washing in warm water with regular detergent.

2. The weight is a bit lighter than I expected but is ok...somewhere between Kaffe Fasset double shots (lightly woven) and Kona solids (dense weave.)  It did :thicken a bit during the wash.  It would work well for paper-piecing or applique (but not the base/bottom piece of applique.)  I do not think I would use it for a back nor a binding.

3.  There is shrinkage...a lot!  Almost an inch for the width and length of a yard piece.  This isn't a problem but is nice to know when you figure out how much you need.  Also that is more than most current fabrics so if you mix it unwashed with others it may cause more puckering/wrinkling after the quilt is washed than you expected.  (since I wash every piece of fabric coming into the house this isn't a problem.)

Today I'm going to iron these and do a test run in a paperpiece block.  let you know how that goes!

Got a great book in the mail...

So want to get up to Boston for the exhibit!  If you love lots of photos of quilts this is a book for you...I only have one little tiny "issue" and that is the color choice for some of the print...made it difficult to read a few pages.  That is such a small thing when you see all the wonderful quilts though!  Everyone is sure to find some inspiration on these pages!(heck they had me at the cover!  just hit me...the new American fabric line has all the colors in this quilt!)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Auction finds!

I did get to go to the auction Saturday and I'm glad I made the effort!

This woman had more thimbles, boxes, thimble boxes even, and other sewing items than I've ever seen in one place!  (It made my husband very nervous.  "You are only getting one thimble, right?" he asked.  Silly man!)

There were however many folks there for the sewing items and several aggressive dealers bidding so I didn't come home with too much.  Happy (?) to say I stayed within budget even with the cake dish I couldn't resist!  (crystal is going for such little money how could I not bid!)

The auctions here are not nearly as organized as the ones I went to in England.  The auctioneer was sort of making lots as he went along just keeping them within the cosigner grouping.  This works well for the dealers but for those of us who just collect it means we go home with some things we don't plan on.  Some, like the German needle barrel, are a happy accident...others not so much!  I mean do I really need two walnut shaped thimble cases?  hummm...obviously the woman who collected this stuff would disagree since she seemed to have at least of half-dozen of everything!

All in good fun.  It did wear me out though.  Glad we had home-made New England Fish Chowder and banana bread left over from the day before so I didn't have to make dinner!

I did however pull out an UFO to try and get a quilt out to the folks in Washington who lost so much n the mudslide last week....have the back ready just need to get it quilted, bound and shipped.  First however, I need to get Goldie out from underneath it! (can yo spot the "quilt" tail!)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Rainy day in Georgia-lina

South Carolina Peach Blossoms...
It is spring here but it is cold and wet!  I want to go to an country auction tomorrow but it is cold and wet!  Last time I went when it was like this we "mud-skated" across the field...I felt bad for folks trying to carry large pieces of furniture to their trucks!

There are a few quilts I'm interested in but mainly I want to check out all the sewing items.  She had a huge collection of thimbles - the real type.  Nice silver ones at the show last week were running $100 and up.  I have two antique thimbles that I bought at auction for half that and they work great for me...and they would be easy to carry across the mud field!
Class handpiecing block...in progress but so far loving the points!
I tried to explain to my dear husband that a thimble is to a quilter as a putter is a golfer...he has ten putters in our garage.   And since I am back to doing some hand-piecing I'll get more use out of the thimble than he will those putters...

And here is a glimpse at some of the new additions to the "stash."  The large Blue Hill orange backing is for my Halloween applique quilt!  Just need to sew on the borders and it will be a finish!  Having the back ready is a real incentive....

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Can you believe..more fabric!

After two days of rest from the quilt show trip I am "almost" human again.  Amazing how a little trip like that can wear you out!

Plus I had lots of new "stuff" to get into the house.  I did a lot of damage at this quilt store - The Cherry Pit - in Tennessee.  Really a nice shop with fabrics they just don't carry in shops near me.  More on those goodies in a future post...

One exciting piece of news - cotton solids are being produced locally again!

 I drive by fields of cotton and shut down mills on a regular basis and am always saddened that we are forced to buy fabric from overseas when the raw materials are so close.  Well we now can buy cotton grown in the south then processed, woven and dyed in South Carolina!  I just ordered a few yards to check them out...have my fingers crossed that I will love them!  Now if I can just convince a local quilt shop to carry them...


Monday, March 24, 2014

Pigeon Forge Show

Had a great time up at Pigeon Forge at their annual quilt show.  It was my first time at this show.
Three of us with Cindy Blackberg...
Five quilters from my sewing group went up and stayed in some condos less than a mile from the show.  I was even able to spend some time Bonnie Hunter on her off time (she taught 7 classes in 5 days!  That women is a true super quilter!)
Paula and Bonnie with the Bonnie "cruise quilt!"
As usual I did a lot of damage in the vendor area.  I found a old/new favorite -Lakadaisies (www.lakadaisies.com)  I spent a good part of last night digging through the vintage materials looking for the perfect (or not so perfect!) tablecloth, feed-sacks, and laces so I can start my Christmas quilt!

As usual I stocked up on items that are difficult to find in our area - reproduction fabrics and hand quilting/sewing supplies mainly.
Cindy's railroad crossing quilt
I took the Railroad Crossing hand piecing class with Cindy Blackberg.  Learned I had developed some bad habits with my hand piecing...with I had taken the class before I made the Russian sunflower quilt!  Maybe I would only have twice as many blocks as needed instead of three times!  (maybe that is shy I loved this appliqued sunflower quilt!)

There was more hand quilting at this show than I had seen in a long time.  The quilts themselves were a real mix of truely amazing to just plain fun!

This one of a Middle Eastern street scene was one of the incredible ones...

the maker said she focused on improving how she depicted hands...


I'd say she did well!  (can you tell I loved this quilt!)


The Quilt Appraiser Ribbon (no, I didn't work this show) was given to a quilt made using Bonnie Hunter's Log Cabin Pineapple Pattern.

More on the show later...I still have lots of unpacking and laundry to do!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Roadtrip ramblings!

I'm off the Pigeon Forge this weekend to see the Mountain-fest Quilt show and to hang out with some quilty-friends!

Brownie with "her" blocks
This Brownie "guarding" the quilt blocks...I'm still playing with some woven themes..some are better than others!  I think the one in the above photo may end up as a donation quilt...not loving it...
Dobby wondering "why the pink?"
This blue woven however I am happy with!  Need to work on a fun border...

And when I get back from Tennessee I have another project waiting...

decided to do a "pizza" raised bed.  (Guess this giving up Pizza for Lent is taking over my brain!)  I have all the lumber to do the raised be and talked with my yard guy to get the soil delivered.  Guess my role is to plan, watch, and harvest...oh, and buy the plants and cook with them!  Not bad....btw...does the  raised bed plan in the photo have you thinking "quilt!"  hummm.....