Friday, September 23, 2016

Thoughts and Boughts

As I peruse my past posts I noted it was over a month ago that I had physically produced anything quilt related. In my August 10th post I blogged about finishing my Orange and Grey quilt but I have not worked on another since. Of late, my blog hardly merits the title DianeLoves2Quilt. I still do love it I just haven't done it! I am sewing sporadically; I have made pillowcases with my sister and I have finally - finally - started those master bedroom drapes I have been promising my husband I would. Those drapes are a candidate for another post topic in the future, but do not qualify as being quilty. But I continue to shop and enjoy the varied quilt related activites around me.

The last weekend in September is almost quilt immersion in Pleasanton, the town next to mine. The local nursery, Alden Lane, hosts an outdoor quilt show much like Sisters, Oregon but in a garden setting and not as extensive. I will be going there tomorrow, Saturday. There is also a quilt, craft, and sewing show this same weekend in one building of the county fairgrounds. The show admission is free and I've gone each year it has been there. I went there yesterday to browse and bought a few items that caught my fancy. My husband usually accompanies me but he had a schedule conflict and I went alone. I kinda missed him being there but it is still sort of a mini-social outing. Some of the vendors I see every year; they recognize me and we chat. I also crossed paths with a few ladies from my Handiquilter Longarm club and a member of my quilt guild so I was hardly isolated.

One vendor, in particular, was pretty special. It was the vendor from whom I bought my custom sewing room cabinetry in 2003, in February and April thirteen years ago, and I still recognized him and his wife. They are Unique Sewing Furniture based in Wyoming. They hand delivered the furniture to my home in California. I was their first cabinetry experiment in a white wash and now it is part of their line. I told them I had a blog and I'd bet their furniture was in it. I would send them the link. As you might imagine, my blog  contains  pictures of what I am making and those items inevitably cover the furniture I made it on. When I got home, I snapped a couple pictures of my sewing machine cabinet and cutting table. Obviously I did not stage and clear them for a photo session and the setting sun of the afternoon does not supply ideal lighting but here they are, still in great shape; they do not look beat up after thirteen years and are continuing to serve me well. The sewing machine cabinet has a large hinged area that I can put into service either down for more floor space or up for bigger projects and surface area for storage. The chair is shortened to match my 5'3" height.

The cutting table has two hinged surfaces. I usually keep one up and only raise the other when cutting backings or battings. It rolls out from the corner when I want to expand it and walk fully around it. The two long drawers pull out from either side. I keep it pushed into the corner when cutting so it does not "roll" away from me as I push forward with my rotary blade. Yes, I could engage brakes on the wheels but a corner position is so much easier and allows more space in the room for the majority of the time. It fits a large Olfa mat just fine.

Here is the obligatory part of my blog post where I describe  and share my show purchases with my daughter. First are two patterns from Twisted Scissor Quilt Shoppe. There are some stores that are not that big but you just seem to have the same tastes as the owner. This is one of those stores for me. The dress pattern on the left has elastic on the straps and a big bow on the bodice, medium bows on the pockets. The made up sample was really cute. With three granddaughters this is likely to get used. I bought the pattern on the right for the long pocket storage unit. I think, it will be useful in the sewing room for tools and gadgets that are best kept handy but often get lost under the project of the moment. The placemat in the lower right corner with its curved access pocket is really clever, also.

Also at the Twisted Scissor I found these two 1-yard cuts just as I was leaving the booth. No, I do not know what I will use them for but I could not leave them behind.

The Rabbit Hole Quilt Shop always has good quality fabrics at very discounted prices. I bought this one yard stripe for potential use as binding. I love striped binding and this one is so cheery. The Christmas tree mini-print I think I can press into service as white or light colored blocks or components in a Christmas quilt. It will add interest and is not too, too busy. The pink and red tree decorations add just a dash of color without being overwhelming. I bought two 1/3 yard cuts of it. I  really do not need any more Christmas fabrics, but this will be a good blender. Note that it sports two happy tones of green as well.

One booth was selling a kit for making an advent calendar. I told myself no more kits and besides I already have a lot of Christmas fabric. At another tiny booth not far away I found I could buy just the numbers alone and so I bought two packs for two families. I will supply the other part of the calendar from my stash.

At the Fabric Chicks I bought two kid oriented panels. One is for a cloth book with a construction theme.

I am not revealing the entire panel for this, but who could resist those kitty eyes peeking out from beneath her pink bonnet? I think it is destined for little girl sized bed pillows.

The Fabric Chicks also had a jelly roll of the Moda fabric line Coral - Queen of the Sea. I love the coral and aqua color combo and already have the mermaid panel to sew up for each of my three granddaughters. I passed on it though. I have a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop online and felt I should use that up first instead of investing more money. I was feeling quite virtuous and guilty at the same time. I do feel a desire and an obligation to support the brick and mortar vendors.

My final purchase of the day before leaving the show was really quite frivolous - two cards of buttons, a bit pricey but oh so cute.

I have some lime-green, white, and black chicken fabric in my stash that just screams out for the buttons on the top row.

With three granddaughters I am sure I can find a use for pink and purple funky looking buttons.

When I went home I searched the Fat Quarter Shop online to buy that jelly roll. They were sold out. I should have suspected. They do sell out quickly. Silly, but I couldn't sleep last night because I really wanted that jelly roll. My husband said that he would drive me back to the show when it opened, drop me off so that I did not have to pay the $10 parking again, and wait for me while I ran in and did a commando raid with the Fabric Chicks vendor to get the prized Jelly roll. What a guy! I fretted. Would they have sold it before I returned?

Nope! I scored! First thing this morning my husband did drive me back to the show. I did run in and made a beeline straight to that booth. They had not one, but two left and I bought both just to be safe! Can any one else relate to this?

OK, enough show socializing. Let me now do a bit of online socializing at Let's Bee Social #143.


  1. Ha ha! I wondered if you'd gone back! I love that dress pattern, and those buttons do look pretty great next to the fabrics you've selected. Do you know what you want to do with the Jelly rolls? or is it just a love so strong you couldn't leave them there? It's good to know Unique Sewing Furniture is still out there making furniture!

    1. I have several books (if I can locate them) that give patterns for quilts and throws from jelly rolls. That is why I bought two rolls.

      Alternatively I will use part of them in making another Mandala. To jog your memory see and

  2. Sounds like you have been enjoying a lot of quilt related events - even if you haven't had a chance to sit and sew for a while. Looks like you have found lots of nice new supplies to get those creative juices flowing once again. Thanks so much for sharing about your adventures!

    1. I find it helps when I get a bit down about not getting into my sewing room to remind myself that there are other fun parts of quilting - like blog comments. Thanks for visiting and reinforcing that thought. But then I bet you "paws" to reflect often. "Bear" with me on that pun!

  3. Lol! Absolutely! I have two Coral layer cakes to make my granddaughters bed quilts! Love the coral aqua combination!

    1. I have three of those mermaid dolls to sew up for three granddaughters from the same Moda Coral line. I have already done two of designer Hsu's Lil Red dolls. One was fun. Two was routine. Haven't had the enthusiasm for a Third... even though the third time is supposed to be a charm. Why did I do it to myself again for the mermaid. I suspect she will be easier since I will have 6 fewer legs to stuff. That was the hardest part about Lil Red Riding Hood doll. Her clothes and wolf pet were a cinch but those twelve slender appendages to squoosh stuffing down into were a real challenge. You can see my struggles at
      Hope those bed quilts come out great for you. The colors will sure be enjoyable to work with.

  4. Looks like you brought home some beautiful goodies! I really like the green and black dot buttons! Your sewing cabinet and table are wonderful!

    1. I am excited about the lime green combo. The chicken fabric was set aside for a chicken-themed quilt but now that I have buttons to match, I might make a little girls dress or even a toddler boy shirt. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  5. you have made a good use of your sewing space for sure - like you I had to have some adjustments - the opposite of you I am taller and so my work table has a crank on it that can raise the table so when I am cutting I am not hunched over and when I sit it rolls back down so I can sit at my chair in comfort.