Thursday, August 04, 2022

Economy Block and Large-Scale Fabrics

Recenlty I decided to take out and use the stash of Asian-themed fabrics I'd set aside.  Many of them are large scale, so I wanted to feature them in a large-scale block.

I'm really happy with how the blocks have turned out.  I've used up almost all of my fabrics, and this will be a throw for Michael.

I'm doing hand work these days, so I haven't sewn the blocks together yet, but they're ready for me to get the itch to sew by machine.

I paper pieced this block, which may seem silly to some, but I like the precision of paper piecing, and I enjoy the process.  I used these Lori Holt foundation papers, which come in various sizes--I've previously used smaller scale paper foundations of the same Economy Block.  I recommend them, they're easy to use and the 12" foundations offer the option to make more or fewer rounds.  And you can't beat a 12" block for a quick-to-finish block for large scale fabrics.

Monday, August 01, 2022

More Thrift Store Finds

I consider thrift store shopping to be a recreational activity.  There are a handful of places I stop at regularly, and sometimes I leave empty handed, but sometimes I strike gold.  I like the adventure of thrift store shopping, but I also consider keeping things out of the landfill and reusing existing items vs. always buying new to be a good ecological practice.

I recently found this charming little vase.  It's unusual, I don't think I've seen anything like it.  It seems to be of mid-century vintage, my favorite, and I love that the vase features a book, and that the woman is reading.  I keep this vase in my sewing room/ office, and I like the contemplative spirit it projects.

One of my local thrifts always has fabric--many don't carry it for some reason.  I've bought a few remnants of various fabrics there, often because they're vintage, but I recently got this major score.

I bought a jumble of fabrics in a bag for $3.49.  I recognized that they looked like fat quarters in trendy colors, but I didn't know if any had been cut into or not.

They turned out to be a pristine fat quarter bundle of Riley Blake fabrics from a few seasons ago.  I checked online, and these typically retail for about $65, so I got an amazing deal.

 This may be one of my best thrift store fabric deals of all time, and I look forward to using these bright colors in some of the baby quilts I make for donation.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Ribbon Skirt

A young friend recently asked me to sew her a ribbon skirt.  Ribbon skirts are culturally significant garments for Native American women, as this article explains.  I was very happy to sew for her.  She chose a beautiful green batik fabric as well as the ribbons, and she specified their order and placement.  She wanted a simple skirt, though other examples, like the one Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland wore for her swearing in, can be quite elaborate.

 My friend chose this pattern for the skirt, which she wanted to be on the narrow side.  She also wanted a longer skirt, and I was able to lengthen the pattern.  

It was such a simple thing for me to sew up this skirt, and I was glad to help my young friend realize the vision she had for her ribbon skirt.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Crewel Embroidery

I've always loved crewel embroidery.  It's sort of the textile version of paint-by-numbers, a little mindless, but also satisfying.  Embroidering with wool makes for a quick project, although I started this one early in the pandemic, put it down, and just now finished it.

I think I bought this kit on EBay, it's from 2007.  The heyday of crewel is probably the 1970s, but you can find plenty of vintage and new kits online.

After I finished my embroidery, I auditioned home dec fabrics for the back and for the front edges so I could size it up to fit a thrifted feather pillow I had.

I love how cheerful and bright it turned out, for now the pillow is on a chair in the living room.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

A Row Quilt, and a Non-Row Quilt

I whipped up this row quilt from some coordinating leftovers.  It was so quick and easy, I tried to group another batch of leftover strips to do a second one.

But these strips made for a more lackluster grouping, so I decided to make blocks instead.

Star blocks are so cheerful, especially for a baby quilt.  I press my squares in half on the diagonal en lieu of marking them with a pencil, and add them to squares for the star points.

I mixed up the yellow background fabrics, and even went further into stash to find enough for the blocks for this small quilt.

Another top is done!  I love the yellow and aqua combo.  This one will get quilted and go into my donation pile.


Monday, June 20, 2022

Vera Neumann


I love all things Vera, mid-century designs by Vera Neumann, the iconic American designer.  Some people collect her scarves, but I have a weakness for her napkins. If you love her too, check out this website with many images of her fresh and modern designs.

I was so happy to run across this bundle of Vera napkins recently at the Goodwill.  I love the big orange flowers.

I put them on my design wall with a set of brown Vera napkins I already had.  Wouldn't this be a nice quilted table cover or small quilt?  On second thought, I decided to just use the napkins as they were intended.  It doesn't look like any of the orange ones have ever been used, and I think they'll look nice with my blue and white dishes.


This pair of napkins in my collection, on the other hand, are fraying, and I only have two.  I think they'll be a nice table runner interspersed with some small pieced blocks.  These will go into my future projects list.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Crumb Quilt

Crumb quilts are one of my favorite kinds of scrap quilts, and I keep a drawer of small pieces and wait for the inspiration to strike.

For this one I especially liked using up triangle bits to add some interest to the squares and rectangles.

I pieced this quilt in 12" blocks, which I think kept me on-task.


The finished top is 36 x48.  I may decide to add a  border later.  I had a lot of pink scraps, which I think makes this quilt especially cheerful.

 The bits drawer is almost empty.  For now.

Economy Block and Large-Scale Fabrics

Recenlty I decided to take out and use the stash of Asian-themed fabrics I'd set aside.  Many of them are large scale, so I wanted to fe...