Saturday, June 29, 2024

Another Starturday

 This is the third Starturday that I don't have a new quilting project to show. I am sure we share a mutual disappointment. I have excellent intentions but keep finding myself drawn to the same old projects. Here the Marmalade quilt from Kaffe's Quilts of Grandeur book has all its blocks constructed. I just put the blocks up and haven't yet moved any we'll see how many quilts don't get started while I dink around moving blocks around.

And its been a couple of weeks since I've been to a massive quilter's estate sale. Of course, I still haven't finished showing the fabric from the last one. Here are the hunks of yukata cloth that came in the bin. It turns out I already had the grey, blue and white fabric on the far right. I bought it on a trip to Berkeley, CA sometime in the early 80s.

And yes there will be another fabric giveaway on July 1. This is part of the package that went to one of the winners from last month. As I recall she asked for "unexpected children's fabric." I may have leaned a bit heavily on unexpected.

Last but not least, here is the sky from last Starturday. I looked outside and saw this and ran outside to take a photo. Happily, as a young child I was told that the white fluff in the sky is called "clouds" so I was only moderately stunned by the beauty, not panicked. 

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Unfinished Projects

 I discovered a few unfinished quilting projects in the estate sale bin...although to be fair, I don't know if these projects were completed and the plastic bags were extra pieces or an unfinished project. The package of fan blades had some sections sewn together by hand, each using different techniques. I sorted the blades by fabric and expect to harvest them into postage stamps and/or spools. But then again, a charm tumbler quilt might be in my future.

Some of the fabrics seem to be actual vintage 30s while others are 30s reproductions. But a lot of them are calicos from the early 80s.

And this was a total surprise...Kaffe fabric half-square triangles. I think they are intended to be 2.25 inches unfinished, but I suspect they would need to be trimmed to 2 inches for uniformity. I have an extreme allergy to half-square triangles and these are too small for me to harvest.

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Miniature Sidetrack

Maybe it's a compulsion, maybe I'm making another spool quilt. As you might notice, I usually work with bright, wacky fabric, so when I encounter reproduction fabric/small prints my mind thinks mini spools (1.5 in finish). 

Inside the plastic bin of fabric I showed in the last post was a small baggy with these scraps. These are now spools, postage stamps and bits for the bit bin.

In the context of seeing the photos from the estate sale, the bin was a tiny bite of the apple.

And this photo shows her fabulous book collection (completely staked out by a book reseller), more fabric and yes, a bin of "scraps" under the table. There were at least four of these bins.

In looking through the fabric chunks and scraps in the bin, I recognized a lot of fabrics from the early eighties, back when the selection of cotton fabrics was quite limited (relatively). So there was a lot of "historical or reproduction fabrics" but there were also a lot of fabrics with a history of their own.

Monday, June 17, 2024

Weekend Bender Recovery: Fabric Edition

When you see an empty bin like this the day after an estate sale, you know that you not only over-indulged, but binged, sorting through too much fabric all at once.

When I go to a quilter's estate sale, I often look for the scrap basket...the container under the cutting table that takes the off cuts, failed projects, misplaced blocks etc. In contrast, this was more of a seamstress's estate sale and there were several miscellaneous tubs of fabric. It was very crowded so without digging into them, I just picked one and bought a mystery bin (of course within the context of knowing the quality and range of the extensive stash).

And let's start with first things first. As of today, I think this is my favorite hunk of fabric in the bin.

Here are most of the hunks of fabric in the bin that were similar to the giraffes. The largest piece shows birds transforming into fish and the selvedge says "Copyright Escher Heirs 1980."

A typical quilter scrap bin has scraps in squares and strips, but this had much larger hunks from a fat eighth to a fat quarter yard.  These were the yellow, green, red and pink hunks.

Here are the purples and blues and a weird tulip fabric (that I already have a yard of!)

Here are the browns (and grays). And so far, I have shown about a third of what was in the bin. Another third of the bin was Japanese fabric which I will show tomorrow. Not shown are holiday-themed novelty and solids. There were also a couple of deconstructed men's plaid shirts (who would do such a thing?).

And it may look like Molly and Buddy are recoiling in horror at all the fabric, but really they are huddled on a heated mat because their cruel staff turned off the heated beds in front of the picture window when outdoor temperatures went into the 80s. And with the house heat turned off they are fighting for their lives to survive indoor temperatures in the high 60s.

Friday, June 14, 2024

Funny, Ridiculous, Incredible

 Here are Molly and Buddy about 7 years ago when we moved to Portland. They were almost two years old and already world weary having moved across the country, lived in a hotel, then an apartment and finally their current address. At the apartment, Molly supervised children playing outside and when their screams got too shrill her ears would turn back. But she kept her focus.

Back to the here and now, I have finished going through the bit bin to cut bits into postage stamp pieces. I now have 1,500 postage stamps (where the design is going to be a checkerboard of  half print, half neutral). In my latest estimate, I need 2,500 postage stamps (print bits). I suspect that I will be able to collect all I need from this bin and won't need to pull out the bin of hunks (2.5 to 4.9 in).

And yes, my earlier estimate called for 4,000 or so print bits. I will keep making estimates until the quilt is finished when. I may be able to establish a more reliable count.

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Weeds, Errands, Driving: Not Enough Sewing

 I assume that being this ridiculous is harder than it looks. 

But today I put aside distractions and made some particular, I got the June fabric giveaways cut and packaged so I can mail them off tomorrow.

And two of the highlights of too much driving today was seeing roses in full bloom working as highway landscaping and seeing Mt. Hood come out of hiding (while having been there all along).

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

To Undo Excessive Saturation

 I am trying to replicate a quilt top I saw about five years ago in a quilt guild meeting. Like this was, it was made with .75 inch finished squares with a pattern/neutral checkerboard. I also remember that it looked cohesive. I'm not sure why it looked cohesive...maybe the colors stayed in the midrange.

And of course, I rarely have that effect when I piece everything somewhat randomly. I usually end up with a chaos quilt (that I enjoy every second making). So when a comment mentioned bright colors, I realized that I had gone through the bin and taken all the bits that make retinas burn. So today I went through the bin again and picked colors/patterns I don't notice. After that foray, the bit bin is reduced by roughly a quarter to a third. I also cut down about three hundred of those bits to the size needed for piecing.

And I'm heading towards a quilt that is roughly 60 inches by 80 inches, but I won't know if that's the right size until I get a look at it on the design wall.

And I do a fair amount of fussy cutting along the way...first when I reduce the bit to 1.25 inches wide and about two inches long.

After the bit is sewn to a neutral strip and ironed, I have a second opportunity to fussy cut when I reduce the two patch to 1.25 inches tall.

After I start sewing the two patches together, the fox and the squirrel should still have their ears, if they are lucky and I'm sewing straight.

Monday, June 10, 2024

Moving On Now

 To cut the 1.25 rectangles for the postage stamp quilt, I pulled out my box of bits. In theory, these are pieces that are smaller than 2 inches by 6 inches, the requirement to make a microspool. But really, they tend to be less than 2.5 inches. I rummaged through this box pulling fabrics that could maintain some kind of identity as a .75 inch square. Unfortunately, I estimated that I will need about 4,000 bits (at least until I discover an error in my calculation that means I have to use a lot less or a lot more.

I counted and stacked the cut bits then grabbed a box to store them in before an errant cat disrupted the piles with her tail. Instead said cat measured the box and determined that it is the right size.

The box was confiscated by the authorities...

Here are roughly 900 bits, about 3,100 more to go. And yes, Molly's tail is out of frame in the upper right hand corner ready to sweep across the cutting mat. 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

It's Sunnday

Of course, Sunnday is the day that one goes out and does Something Unbelievably Naughty/Nice. I chose to drive across town to a garage sale advertising a major fabric destash.

While the garage sale ad said that fabric would be sold in quarter, one yard and two yard increments, I couldn't help but notice the scrap bins at the top of the photo.  And sadly, when I arrived there were only hunks, not scraps. So completely out of character, I got up the nerve to ask if there were scraps available for sale. And yes, there were scrap bags that had been forgotten and these were brought out in a box. And the very naughty part was that since I was standing by the cashier, I grabbed the entire box and the devouring hoard at the fabric tables never knew what they were missing. (And as you can see by the photo, the scrap bags were a selection, not the entire stash.)

Here are the scraps laid out. And yes, there was one pieced block...yikes! It's as neat on the back as the front.

And these are some of the hunks I saved from the devouring hoard, I mean fellow quilters, while I got up my nerve to ask about the scraps.

Saturday, June 8, 2024

It's Starturday!

 Starturday may be my favorite day of the week where everyone is encouraged to start a new quilt project. Here, I am starting an inflation-adjusted postage stamp quilt, where the finished stamps are .75 inches and the stamps alternate with a neutral background to reflect the longer time it takes for mail delivery.

And speaking of mail delivery, the winners of the June fabric giveaway are:

QuilterLaura who requests some red, white and blue for quilts of valor.

and Sally (not me) who wants unexpected fabrics that are fun to use for charity quilts.

They were informed about their win earlier in the week and I have begun to pull the fabric.

Molly decided that if I was going to use her for a photo backdrop her back paw needed a thorough cleaning.

I sew the postage bits to strips of the background fabric to make it easier and neater to sew. Then I cut them down to the needed size. The background strips are 1.25 inches wide and the postage bits are roughly 1.5 to 2 inches long.

Here are some more.

And that's my start!

Monday, June 3, 2024

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Peony

 Okay, in yesterday's post I mistakenly called a peony a rose. When the first comment mentioned peony, I looked at the photo again and realized the errors of my ways. 

My only defense (and a weak one) is that most peonies in Portland, OR tend to look like this. Drooping wet blobs kissing the mud.

But I was also curious about the color differences between peony and Kaffe rose, with the Kaffe rose showing highlights that veer to orange. Of course, this wasn't captured in the photo.. Also, you can see that the peony that pretended to be a rose, was now bowing its head like a true peony.

And coming back home I noticed this rose hiding in the hedges along the driveway doing its best Kaffe rose impression.

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Fabric in Real Life

 Last month I didn't post the fabric from the second giveaway. This was another random assortment chosen at the same time as the first one...that is, two fabrics drawn from each drawer. Cathy did post a picture of her winnings on her blog, but for reasons I can't fathom, the big cat heads were buried and barely visible. 

And I noticed this rose (yes, yes, its a peony) on my morning walk...and you'll have to take my word for it that it has the exact colorings as the rose in the Kaffe fabric for Marmalade. When I took the picture and saw it through my phone I was baffled because the coloring was a different hue of red altogether. So needless to say I couldn't bring it to the color I saw merely by tinkering with brightness. Molly suggested I try the "cataract" filter but I pretended not to hear her.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

June Fabric Giveaway

Recently I decided to use a sewing machine to sew bits of fabric together. I found it quite enjoyable and may even remember the experience from an earlier time in my life...perhaps last month.

This is the start of the quilt Marmalade from Kaffe's Quilt Grandeur book. I'm not certain why its called Marmalade except that it is more appetizing than "Tomato Soup with Blueberries."

But let's get into the fabric giveaway where you leave a comment on this blog post (and email address if you are anonymous or no-reply) telling me what fabric you would like. Unfortunately, Buddy is out sick and can't participate. He came down with a bad case of "foot in mouth disease." At some point he may learn not to gesticulate with his paw in front of Molly's mouth, but until then he will limp around with a supersized paw.

Now back to the fabric giveaway...On June 5, at 11:59 pm Pacific Standard Time, submissions are closed. Two winners are selected at random. I will notify the winners by email the next day, asking for addresses and clarification about fabric preferences.

Unfortunately, due to the high cost of international shipping, the giveaway is limited to the USA.

Previous winners may enter again.