Monday, June 25, 2018

Sewing Bonanza!

I found another yard sale bonanza last Friday: a liquidation of an entire sewing room. Dozens of large tubs of fabric, thread, zippers and buttons, all sorted and labeled! 

I bought ALL the thread and buttons, some fabric and zippers, along with notions, plastic storage trays and a rolling storage cart. Over 330 spools of thread, 105 cones of serger thread, about 50 zippers, 72 yards of fabric, and THOUSANDS of buttons. Most of the fabric was apparel blends, or I would have bought more.

I've been doing happy dances all weekend, thinking of ways to use everything.  It's like winning the sewing lottery. I am energized, happily merging this wonderful find into my already well stocked studio.  I shouldn't have to shop for thread or buttons for a long, long time.

Thanks to LeAnne for the opportunity to keep part of her mom's sewing collection alive and useful.  My space will need to be reorganized to fit everything in, but that's half the fun. My husband is trying to decide whether or not to reinforce the floors on this end of the house.

Do not question 
the size of my fabric/thread/button stash...
unless you think it should be bigger!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Lydia's Ladder

Lydia's Ladder

Today's quilt is my smaller version of one of Granny Rose's old quilts. It features 12" Jacob's Ladder blocks in a square 42" finished size. I used Accuquilt dies to cut the pastel prints, which went together quickly. 

This time I chose the backing/binding fabric first, then picked coordinating fabrics from my collection for the front blocks. I thought a lot about her while working, so I named this one Lydia's Ladder. I copied her quilting as well, using the Baptist Fan pattern. I did not hand stitch, but adapted the design for machine quilting on my Janome.

Baptist Fan machine quilting

Granny's original handmade bed quilt was being used as a furniture pad to wrap around things that needed protection. I rescued it from the basement of her daughter's house, even though it was stained, tattered and torn, probably past restoration. The fabric looks like feed or flour sack prints along with shirting and dress prints. I may use a few of the intact sections to frame or make pillow covers, so it will live on as another Useful Remnant.

Original Jacob's Ladder by Lydia Rose

Antique quilts have such a soft, worn quality to them from being well used. They were lovingly sewn by hand or on a treadle machine, washed hundreds of times, dried on a line in the sun, then folded into cedar chests to be passed on to relatives. They hold stories that we can only wonder about. For instance, I think this was one she made, but I can only guess. Her church quilting bee group shared fabric and made quilts together, so everyone may have stitched on it. Or it could have belonged to her mother since it was so worn. A labor of love anyway, passed down to my mother-in-law, then to me.

Will today's quilts will even last that long?  I hope they do, and that people continue to love them.  

“Quilts reward study. They can look great from 20 feet across the room, and then you get closer and there are little dramas. It doesn’t have to be intricate. It can be simple. It just has to be authentic.”  
Ken Burns, film maker and quilt collector

Monday, June 11, 2018

Sunrise, Sunset

Pink, orange, yellow are the brilliant colors of sunrise and sunset, ruby red grapefruit, juicy oranges and tangy lemons. Nature's beauty provides inspiration for art in this 40” square quilt that shouts summer.

Using drunkard's path die from Accuquilt, I sewed contrasting blocks into 9” squares. Perfect cuts and notches made stitching the curves simple. Quilting was done with serpentine stitch in pale yellow thread across all seams. Tangerine dots made borders and binding. Backing in a 1990's fruit print from my collection repeats the circular pattern.

Once done, I had another Useful Remnants quick design idea. I cut chisels (another Accuquilt die) from the leftovers to make a coordinating pillow cover. Arranging them into two braids, I sewed the strips, then quilted in a free motion loop pattern with light yellow thread.

Everything starts with a sunrise,

but it's what we do before it sets
that matters. K. McGraw

🌑 🌑 🌑

May every sunrise
bring you
May every sunset
bring you

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sea Cross

Last month, I gave a hint about today's quilt. 

Sea Cross

Sea Cross is made from the same fabrics as Poolside, and I don't know which one I like better. What a fabulous color combination! This one is made with Accuquilt's churn dash block, but the fabrics are arranged to focus on the center cross.

This smaller 39” square quilt is made up of nine blocks in navy and pool green prints, separated by white 2” strips. It's framed with a border using 2” x 4” patches. The backing features the same aqua chevron fabric and quilting was stitched in white with a triple swirl pattern.

That's what I love about quilt design: the same block can look totally different once you change color and pattern. Now you know why I make so many quilts!

Addicted to fabric? Me?
Glad there's no 12 step program for that.


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