Whimsical and Homespun Art Creations with a Little Rural Living Thrown In

Friday, June 24, 2011

#1 Log Cabin Quilt Block ~ SBS

Time to start the Skill Builder Sampler by Leila over at Sewn by Leila.   (Click the picture on the side bar if you would like to participate.)  My tools for quilting are minimal, so I hopped over to Jo Ann Fabrics online to purchase some much needed supplies.  Luckily, most of the items that I needed were on sale.  I have been wanting a larger 24 x 36 inch rotary mat but didn't want to spend that much money.  As I clicked on Jo Ann's homepage, there was a little box that gave a code for 50% off my highest regular priced item.  Yay!  Now, I finally have a decent sized mat... :)  I also added to my rulers, got a rotary blade sharpener, and a gripper for holding my large rulers.  Now if I had only remembered the sewing machine oil... Hmmmm, guess I'll have to make out another list. LOL   Hey, they sent me a coupon code for free shipping on my next order of $35.00 or more.  ;) 

I picked out some fabrics from my over flowing stash.  These are the main colors that I would like to work from.  Some of the block designs will probably need a few additional colors that I will pull out when they are needed.

Hard to believe how time flies when you are trying to lay out a quilt block.  Thank heavens for the digital age.  Each configuration had its own picture.  (I find it easier to judge the blocks up on a screen.)  My front runner was color coordinated with repeating fabrics.  But at the last minute, I changed my mind and created a  random configuration; although, I did try to keep the darks separate from the lights.


What was the reason behind my method of madness?  I decided to let go of my nit picky ways on this block and just let it happen.  My personal tribute to the days when you had to make due with the limited fabrics on hand and just create.  I can be such a perfectionist when it comes to my drawing (and I could see it beginning with my previous block formations), so I made a conscious decision to make myself let go of the reigns.  I won't promise that it will ever happen again, but it was definitely a new experience for me.  The fun thing is that I will always think of that when I look at this block.  How cool it that ?  :)

Oh... and see the little block.  Well, that is what happens when I use a cheap ruler to mark my 1/4 inch seam allowances.  By the 5th and 6th block, I was losing ground rapidly, and the fabric was not lining up.  So I decided to stop where I was at, remeasure, correct the mistake, and start all over.   It was definitely worth it.  I felt like I had won an award after completing this block.  

Best of all my block came in at 12 1/2 inches square!!  Can you believe it???  I feel an incredible amount of pride and have learned so much about myself and quilting with this block.   It makes me happy to be learning a new form of art.  Onward to block #2... the Nine Patch.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Adding to the Flock ~ Chic Pincushion

The places you can visit in blogland seem endless.  There are some extremely talented and wonderful people sharing of their thoughts, talents, and adventures.  If you watch my sidebar, a good way to meet fellow bloggers is during a blog party.  Yes... there are giveaways during these parties, but the best part is all of the talented individuals that you get to meet from around the world.  One such party was given by Sew, Mama, Sew .  They host their party twice a year (next one is in December). 

It was during their week of fun that I added immensely to my blog roll and met the fun ladies over at Chic-n-Stix.  They make some cool and sassy chicken pincushions.  These hens come with their own personal name and Chic-n-Stix label.  I immediately fell for the retro colors, sassy attitude, and crazy feathers on top of their heads.  I know, I know... most of my loves involve primitive items with subdued colors, but there is this wild side to me that can flip over these fab colors of the past.  Maybe I should blame it on my childhood of the 70's or my love of vintage fabrics.  More than likely, it can be traced back to that wondrous day when a little group of crazy critters were introduced to TV land  by one of my all-time favorite artist's Jim Henson. The critters that he created were called Fraggles, and they were the imaginery inhabitants of the series Fraggle Rock.  Their swishy hair, bold colors, and adorable personalities have stuck with me to this day, but more on those little guy's in my birthday post that will be coming up next month... Back to the Chics!

After entering for their Chic giveaway, I could not wait and clicked into their Etsy shop to pick out my own personal Chic.  It arrived quickly and here is the box when I opened it.  They were sweet enough to enclose some business pens that just happened to match the colors of my Chic.  How fun is that?!   LOL  

I dug through the crinkled shredded paper, and there in all of her glory was my super cool Chic, Dana Disco!  She came with her own card name tag with the date of when she "flew the coop" .   Look at those wild "Henson-esque"  feathers that she is sporting!  She is one funky Chic!! LOL

Her body is full of rice, so she is a nice weight.  I am really reluctant to stick her with that first pin; but after all, she was bought to be my sewing room pal.  I have a strong feeling that we are going to have some really wild times ahead of us!   ;)

I couldn't end this post without giving a big thanks to Jennifer over at Taken Patiently for the wonderful yarn that I won!  The generousity of the blogging community is amazing.  I look forward to have a chance at participating in the next giveaway.  Just keep your eye to my sidebar for links to parties in our blogging community! :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Flea Market Treasures ~ Thrifty Finds

Not much of a haul at the flea market.  I think it was partially due to having town garage saled the day before! ;)  The weather was cool, damp, and threatening rain.  With conditions like that, I have a tendency to walk at a speedier pace.  But even in the worst of weather, I was still able to find some items to pack into the Jeep.  :)

I found a tub of some old cotton floss and 3 yards of the most beautiful variegated gold  fabric with leaf imprints.  I paid $2.00 for the floss and only 50 cents for the fabric.  :)

The ladies that I purchased the fabric from had bought several totes from an auction.  Most of the inventory was cross stitch and quilting.  They had sold most of the fabric, but there was a tub of DMC floss sitting at the table.  They were asking 25 cents a piece.  The woman's daughter was anxious to be rid of the sewing inventory, so I asked how much it would be for the tub and brought the pile home for $4.00.   DMC floss is getting pricey in the store, and I was thrilled to get over 75 skeins.  I am not picky about the age of the floss, since a lot of the my kits are vintage.   

I want to do my first quilt by hand, so this quilting hoop will come in handy.  It was new and unopened.  The asking price was $15.00, and the lady took $10.  I was excited to get it but wished that we didn't have the long walk back to the Jeep!

I didn't get a chance to take a photo of my last purchase.  Two vintage army wool blankets.  One was very heavy and gold in color, and the other was green.  My mind was not set on purchasing them until the seller shouted over that they were $5.00 a piece.  Yay!   For that price, they could be used for batting, foundation pieces, or backing on a future wool project.  The bag that they were in was heavy, and of course, we were at the farthest point in the flea market from the entrance.   Who says that you can't have fun and get great exercise at the same time? ;)  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Dr. Seuss is on the Loose ~ Fabric That Is!

Although I have only started making quilts this year, I have been obsessed with fabric for most of my life.  The designs, colors, and textures are a world of fascination to me.  My love of fabric covers vintage, modern, novelty, floral, solids, and well... pretty much everything. ;)  I love them all.  But my heart skips a beat, when they combine my passion for children's literature with cotton!   No guilt of adding to the stash after seeing these fabrics.  "The Grinch that Stole Christmas" based on the book by Dr. Seuss and brought to us adoring fans in cotton by Robert Kaufman Fabrics, is simply perfect.  The gorgeous red and green fabric depicts the Whos sprinkled randomly in black singing.  The fabric, pictured in between those pieces, is a panel with the illustrated scenes from the famous book in brilliant crisp colors.  If you visit Kaufman Fabric's website here , there are several  free quilt patterns.   Scroll down the page to see the free quilt pattern entitled "Merry Grinchmas Panel Quilt."  They offer the instructions for this wonderful panel cut up and incorporated into a quilt.  Their design is so eye catching and full of fun color that I immediately had to buy some fabric for the future project.   

While wandering around on the Internet looking for fabric to coordinate with the "Grinch Quilt", I stumbled across Ready, Set, Snow by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda.  WOW!  The bold color palette and playful designs reminded me of a Seussian tale.  So, I bought two charm packs with the strong feeling that they might end up as terrific accent blocks.   I also stumbled across Kate Spain's "Flurry" for Moda, which can be viewed here .  It reminds me of vintage Christmas wrap.  Love It!!  That has been added to my wish list for now, while I save up some more "add to the stash" money! ;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

A Surrogate Chicken??

Do you remember the post on vintage nesting boxes, where I showed our hen sitting in a determined fashion on a clutch of eggs?   Well, she was sitting on three eggs at the time.  It was the perfect number, since we do NOT want to add too many possible hens to the flock.  I feel bad saying that she was a bad sitter, because she sat faithfully on those eggs throughout the incubating period.  But alas... no chicks. :(  Our rooster, who is a very handsome bird, is adamant on ending his families lineage with himself.  He is the sweetest guy, and we would love to see him reproduce, but he has made his decision.  My heart went out to the poor determined hen.  So after candling her eggs, my son took matters into his own hands.  Our other breed of chickens were laying eggs, too.  Their eggs were white as opposed to this girl's brown.  So what would happen if he was to slip a few of those eggs under the expecting mother?  Would she do a marathon sit to hatch out these?  I am happy to say that remarkable bird sat through some pretty hot weather to bring this wonderful little threesome to life.   Aren't they cute?!  :)   

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thrifty Finds ~ Town Garage Sales

I just LOVE town garage sales.  It is like a written guarantee that you will just have to find something!  So... I loaded up the Jeep:  travel mug with green tea, few snacks, medicine kit, light jacket (morning was cool), and ...oh yah, my son.  He decided to tag along. ;)   Yep, loaded up everything except for the map...  Rats!   Thanks heavens that I have been through this town's sales a few times, so no house was left unchecked.   It was threatening rain early, but it missed us and was a beautiful day.

Normally, I do not grab many baskets but fell for the rustic look to this one.  The bag of DMC floss was calling to me for 25 cents.  I never pass up a quilting book to read, and the soft baby fleece print was a steal for 2 yards @  $1.00.  There was more fabric available, but with an ever growing stash, I have to focus!  Do you think my hubby will believe me.  ;) LOL

I guess we know the answer to that one!  This was a one stop shop.  The lady was very nice.  I believe she teaches at the local school.  She tried to work it out so that it was close to $1.00 a yard and was nice enough to bag by holiday or color.  She marked the bundles in the middle really low, since she had turned the fabric into napkins.  They are extremely large napkins and look like they were never used.  Lots of fabric and assorted patterns for $1.00 a  bag.  Score!

My sister in law called me last Christmas looking for fiber fill.  I was out.  Shocking, I know!   But in my defense, I made a big paw print pillow for make cat, or I mean Santa did... LOL  I did have some rolls of batting, but other than that, I was tapped.  She couldn't believe it, but I told her that I stock up at garage sales and would replenish my stock then.  Here is my start.  Two bags for 50 cents.  How can you beat that??

Aren't these hand quilted table mats pretty?  *sigh*  I feel the need to ramble on about all the work that went into making these, but I will refrain.  The kind lady said that she just had too many in her house.  She said that it is terrible when you cannot even remember who made them.  Well, I was happy to help her out by taking them off her hands. :)

Now for the odd and unusual find... Black Rhea and small ostrich eggs.   It was a young man, not much older than my son, that sold these.   How could he know that I have been looking at these on the Internet to purchase?  ;)   He saved me some serious cash.  What a great way to find supplies and get a little exercise too!

My son didn't purchase a whole lot, but we had a fun day together and that was priceless.  I sprang for lunch at the local grocery store, and we ran into hubby on our way home.  He immediately looked into the back seat and wondered why I hadn't bought more.  Grrrr!  He's lucky that I didn't run back to the lady with all the fabric before she closed for the day! LOL