Monday, February 27, 2023

Luck at the Thrifts

I've had some good luck at the thrift stores over the past few months.  I don't think I've done a post about these finds, but forgive me if I do repeat anything.

Actually, this first item came from a flea market several months ago.  One group of tables was piled with clothing and that's where I spied this beautiful red plaid shirt.  The tables seemed to be a family affair, so when I asked how much the shirt was, the man deferred to his tween-age son to answer with a price.  The kid said, "Fifty cents."  The father nodded.  Sold!

This is a big shirt!  There's a lot of usable fabric in this XL size.  And it looked like it had never been worn, with a lightly starched feeling and creasing like it was right out of the package.  A quality brand as well, Brooks Brothers.  Deal of the day!  It's so pretty, I haven't even washed and deboned it yet, but eventually I'll do that and add it to the shirt stash, along with another one I found at a thrift store, below.

I like the bright blue and turquoise check of this shirt.  I have no immediate plans for it, but it adds a nice variety to the stash.  I did use up quite a few shirts for the last couple of quilts, so I'm on the lookout for good ones, especially lights and brights.  

As far as actual fabric finds, you can see a couple pieces that I got the same day I bought the checked shirt.  At another store, I found quite a few good-sized pieces, including some John Deere fabric, the three pieces on the right side below.

I hadn't thought of making a John Deere themed quilt, but when I saw these, I decided maybe it was time to do that.  Dear Dad, who worked for Deere for 35 years, would have approved.

Now, I'm not a big jewelry wearer anymore; my pierced ears have closed up (might get them re-pierced), but once in a while I wear a necklace.  This one caught my eye at the thrift store.  Even if I don't wear the pendant (but why not?), the chain is nice and I could put a number of other pendants on it or wear it alone.  At under two bucks, it was a no-brainer.  Found another green and yellow fabric there, too.  It could become part of the JD quilt?

This gorgeous apron caught my eye.  Just look at that bright yellow gingham and the pretty embroidery.  It's been washed and pressed, and Dolly (my mannequin) is now modeling springtime itself!

I found a couple of boxes of handy sewing machine gadgets that will fit my old Singer and the one I gave my sister, too.  I already have most of the cams or discs (those dark circular do-dads) and many of the feet, but I don't think my sister has them, so I'll probably pass these on to her.

That blue and yellow floral piece of fabric was a cotton shower curtain, new in the package.  It has already been used as the back of a quilt.

I think that's about it for now.  I'm sure there were other things I picked up but they never made it into pictures, like the brand new camo pants hubby found for mowing lawn...whenever spring gets here.

Have you found any treasures at the thrift store lately?


Thursday, February 23, 2023

Two More Baby Quilts

The next two quilts I finished for my cousin were a smaller version of my Hole In The Barn Door quilt from last year and a smaller version of the Chain Linked quilt.  (Click those links if you want to see the full-size versions.)

She had seen those two quilts on my Facebook page when they were for sale in December as part of my "make room in the quilt closet" efforts.  As with the Ship Shape quilt mentioned in the previous post, the overall designs of these quilts appealed to her, so she asked me to make something like them, but smaller, for her newest grandchildren.  

Here is the Hole in the Barn Door quilt that I made for her.  It measured about 43 x 55 inches before quilting.  I forgot to measure it again after quilting.

This is where I will give the block construction details, because, yes, you may be interested, but also because otherwise I will forget.  I've often had to refer back to the blog for the specifics on how I did something, and I will probably keep having to do that.  I'm sure keeping a written quilt journal would be a helpful and handy reference, but I can't seem to be bothered to be that organized on paper.  I tend to scribble things down on whatever is handy and then toss it aside, or worse, jam it into a "safe place."  Unfortunately, experience indicates that after a couple of months, those "safe places" are indeed quite safe from even me!

So here are the details.  For each 10-1/2-inch block, cut:

  • Two 4.5-inch squares of solid color fabric (for HSTs) - trim HSTs to 4 inches*
  • Two 4.5-inch squares of background (i.e. white) fabric (for HSTs) - trim HSTs to 4 inches*
  • One 4-inch square of solid fabric (for center)
  • Four 2.25 x 4-inch rectangles from background (white) fabric
  • Four 2.25 x 4-inch string-pieced rectangles

*OR cut these squares 4-3/8" if you are careful about your scant 1/4-inch seam.  I actually ended up doing that, and there was no trimming necessary to make a 4-inch HST.

I just love the brightness of this quilt.  It has such a happy vibe!

Next, here is the smaller version of Chain Linked, which came in around 44 x 54 inches before quilting.

I followed the Chain Linked quilt pattern cutting instructions but decreased the number of blocks required, laying it out 5 blocks across by 7 down (20 tan bordered and 12 white bordered in my quilt).

Funny thing, as I finished sewing the last seam of this quilt top, I won the game of bobbin chicken!  That three-inch piece of thread was all that was left in the bobbin.  Because my Juki bobbin is hidden from view, I didn't even know I was playing, but I'm happy I won!

(Like my mug?  My brother can make one for you HERE!)

These quilts, along with the smaller version of Ship Shape, were mailed off to my cousin earlier this month.  She called me after she got them and said she absolutely loved them.  That's always so nice to hear!

To be honest, I wasn't sure about this quilt at first.  I had a fat quarter bundle of various graphic prints in the stash that were calling me, so once I landed on a combination of solids that would tie everything together reasonably well, I just started cutting.  

By the time the quilt was done, it had totally won me over.  Sometimes it's good to get out of your own way and just do the thing!

Linking to:  Finished or Not Friday! at Alycia Quilts and Can I Get a Whoop-Whoop?


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

You Have to Start Somewhere

It's been almost four months since I poked my head in here, and I'm not sure where to begin!

I guess, for starters, I'll tell you about this little quilt I recently finished.  

This wonky log cabin quilt came about as I was sorting scraps into piles on my cutting table after having made a crib quilt for my cousin from thrifted shirts.  She had seen my Ship Shape quilt on Facebook in December when I was offering it and a few others for sale.  My quilt closet was overflowing so I thought I'd try to move a few from my home to someone else's.  

I ended up selling three and generating some commission quilts in the process.  My cousin asked if I could make a baby quilt version of the Ship Shape quilt for her grandson, as well as two other baby quilts for her newest granddaughters.  

Here's how the "Mini-Ship Shape" quilt turned out. It's more like crib quilt size, about 46x55.

(Back side of Mini-Ship Shape; the center creasing is from where it was folded)

Getting back to the wonky log cabin quilt...  As I was saying, I was sorting through the shirt scraps from Mini-Ship Shape when it occurred to me to make some wonky log cabin blocks with the leftovers.  

I started free piecing strips, which I then squared up to 6.5 inches.  Pretty soon I had 16 blocks done, which I arranged on the design board like this.

I took a quick picture and posted it on Facebook where a friend saw it and messaged me to the effect, "Whatever you're making, I'd like to buy it."  What an pleasant surprise!  I told her it was going to be small as I didn't have enough scraps to make a big quilt.  She said that was fine; she wanted it for her young grandson for a picnic quilt.  Okay!

So I made as many blocks as I could from the pile of shirt scraps and put them together with a light gray sashing and border for a little quilt that ended up around 48 inches square.  I think it turned out pretty cute!

My friend said she'd like two more similar size picnic quilts for her granddaughters, done in whatever scrappy style I'd like.  I have one of the tops done and another is currently in the works.  More on those later, too.  I'm making good use of the stash and scraps.  It's been fun!

Linking to:  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a Fabric Addict