Friday, July 31, 2009

Beginner Quilting Class: Recap and Class Show and Tell

It feels good to have accomplished a goal I set for myself for 2009. I finished my quilt top, and have started two other projects in the meantime. I did learn a lot in this class in regards to the basic construction of a quilt top and all that is involved in making something wonderful out of fabric. I also learned that a happy quilting teacher is one who is loaded up on sweets and desserts....LOL.

Mostly, I learned that if I stick to my guns, and not let myself be influenced to make rash decisions the outcome is very much the same. I had a lot of insecurities going into this class to say the least. I had not sewn a stitch in nearly 20 years, I had a new to me machine that was about 30 years old and I was not familiar with it at all. I was intimidated from the start by the quilt top itself, and was sure this was way to advanced for a beginner. Top that off with the constant hammering of me needing a high dollar machine to be able to sew quilts...well, it was a tough go.

I kept the memories in the back of my head that during my teenage years, I did sew a lot, and was pretty good at it too. I kept in mind the memory of my grandmother who was a fabulous seamstress and she never "out sewed" her machine. In fact, the thought of spending $3000.000 on a machine I am sure would have never crossed her mind. I was surprised at how much and how often my grandmother came to mind during this process, in fact when I would be discouraged the most, I found her there, in my mind sewing on her machine in her dining room just as I was. It was almost like she was nudging me along. I have never missed her more than in these past seven weeks, but also never have I felt her so close at the same time. For that, I am most thankful and would not have missed this experience for the world.

By now, I am sure you are sick of my quilt...but one last time, here is the finished top....just so you can see just how different all the quilts were that were made during this class by the ladies who struggled along with me. It is amazing to me to see how they are all different.

This is the quilt made by the little lady on the right, the one who did purchase the Bernina 440 and if you have been following along, remember that story of frustration. She had never sewn a stitch in her life. Wow..what an accomplishment.

This one is very pretty too. The lady who made this one has two dachshunds herself, much like mine and we had a great time in class. Of all the ladies, I felt a deeper connection to her....maybe because of the dogs.....

Here is the quilt made by the lady who lived in another state. Bless her heart, she changed her fabrics so many times it was really sad. I love how it turned out, but she did not. I did learn that some people are really hard to matter what. I think her quilt turned out very pretty.

This one is so warm and pretty. The lady who made this one wanted a warm, fall theme. She used pinewood fabrics and dark warm colors. I sorta wish I would have gone this route so I could have put a quilt like this at our cabin, I may have to make one like this one, I really think it turned out great.

Our great teacher, insist we can quilt these quilts. He is going to teach stitch in the ditch technique for the quilting. I am still not going to do it. That is not what I want for my quilt, even though I would love to learn the way to do that, the use of a walking foot, and how to do the binding. I started a baby quilt, photo below, and if he will let me quilt this top instead of my large quilt, than I think I will to that, if he will not let me, well...I'll just have to learn it on my own. We will see next week. I am really not going to stress out over quilting that top, it is too big and I know it is too big for me to tackle.

These are my disappearing nine patch blocks. I used the tutorial Roslyn posted on her blog...Thanks for this great tutorial, I hope I did this correctly. I made large blocks out of the smaller blocks, I am going to use blue for sashing around the blocks, then add a border. I will post a picture when I get the top put together and ready to try quilting it. At least, it is a more do-able size project to start with.

I am so thankful to all who have followed my journey in making my first quilt top. Thank you for all of your valuable input and advice and suggestions. Your thoughts meant a lot and was a wealth of wonderful information. I am hooked now....really. I will post off and on about projects I am working on, if you are inclined to want to read about them.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Hello Everyone!! Welcome to this weeks segment of Vintage Thingies Thursday. Thursday is the day to showcase your vintage treasures and to share your special things with everyone. If you are visiting and would like to join us, please do. It is very easy!

To participate, all you have to do is:
(1) do a post about something vintage.
(2) Visit all the participates and leave a comment.
(3) Link in with the link at the bottom of this post, please use a perma-link to link in with, that way, anyone can refer back to your post if they can not get to it on Thursday.
(4) Be sure to refer back to my blog so everyone can see who is participating today, and if you like include the VTT button in your post. Please be sure to have your post up before linking in.

This week, I want to continue showing you some of my great Goodwill treasures I found last week. Like I said before, it was almost like a little old ladies house was packed up and taken to Goodwill. Can you imagine my excitement when I discovered all of these vintage figurines on a shelf? Thrilled is an understatement.

Just look at this array of goodies. I knew these were old, but it was not until I got home that I discovered one of these is a real gem. Can you believe that there is not a chip, flea bite, or crack in any of these little sweet figurines?

I just love this adorable little Asian girl. The back of her, is open, almost like a little vase of some kind, however, I am not going to use her for a vace. I love the details of the piece, she is so delicate looking.

Here is the markings on the bottom of the cute little Asian girl figurine.

Look how sweet these two are. They are marked on the bottom, Japan. I love the little sweet girl carrying the parasol.

This is a cute little girl, I am thinking this might be a small planter, but it is really small. I was thinking more like a toothpick holder would be more like it.

Here is the underneath side of the little girl with the watering can.

This little couple is just that...small. They are about 3 inches tall, and are very sweet. They do not have a marking stamped on the bottom.....

....but this is the stamp on the back side of them.

Now, this little lady is a real deal. I picked all of these figurines up because they were marked $1.00 and I knew they were vintage. Can you imagine the price? No, me either. I did not really look under the price tags until after I got home to remove them. This little lady is about 8 inches tall, in pristine condition and a real beauty.

Look what was underneath the price tag....Made in Occupied Japan. I was super excited. I know this did not mean much in days gone by, but today, I think it makes it just a wee bit more valuable and might even increase in value just a bit in the future.

Now, many of you asked about the coupons in THIS post. Let me explain what I was talking about. It is a frequent buyers card. All Goodwill stores have these, you may have to ask for it, because they do not readily pass them out around here. For each $10.00 you spend, you get a stamp, when you fill the card, your next purchase is $10.00 off. Believe me it does not take long to fill a card if you visit as often as I do. The key is to remember to get them to stamp it at each visit, they will not stamp the card if you forget at the check-out.

One more tip about Goodwill shopping, many of you said you never find things at your stores, and I do experience that more times than not. But if you have a main store where the main distribution center is in your area, you will find better things there by far. I find lots of furniture, antiques and more things that interest me at this store than any of the newer stores. Check your Goodwill website and see if there is a store attached to the main office or distribution place in your city.

Well, that is it this week, I hope all of you have a great weekend and have a great time treasure hunting if you get the chance. Happy Vintage Thingies Thursday everyone!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Beginner Quilting Class: Quilting Is Much Like Sports!!

I bet ya' did not see that one coming did you??? There was no quilt class this week, the last class is the show and tell class and it is next week. I decided I wanted to finish up this quilt top and be done and all ready for class next week and not be stressed. Yea, like that happened. Not. I did finish up the top, but it was not without mishap.

Now, back to the post title. As I worked on finishing the quilt top this week, it occurred to me, that quilting is very much like sports. If you are confused....I'll tell you how I came to this all happened when I was having the worse day of quilting yet.....seriously, that day, I never wanted to see this quilt again. Ever.

Quilting is very much like Football....if the players are not lined up just right, the officials call off-sides and the play is stopped. If your rows are not lined up just right in quilting, well, you are stopped in your tracks and have to rip seams out, and start again. You know, I never really cared much for football.

Quilting is very much like Soccer......Some get a kick out of quilting, others not so much. Soccer is a high energy sport, draining you once the game is over. Quilting is much like that, with all the measuring, cutting of fabric, measuring again, you can feel drained once you have finished this step of the process. You know, I never really liked soccer all that much but I am now, running to the fabric store for more fabrics to start a new quilting project. Like soccer, some steps may be draining, but I am getting a kick out of doing it.

Quilting is very much like Basketball....the players run back and forth down a court sweating buckets of sweat trying to make the right plays. In quilting, part of the process is the ironing, and that causes me to sweat buckets. It is hot and you can work up a sweat gliding that steaming iron down the ironing board trying to press the seams just right. You know, I never really cared for basketball..and still don't.

Quilting is very much like Golf....The oldies are still the goodies. The great golf legends like Nicholson and Hogan are hard to beat. In quilting, the vintage designs and vintage fabrics are much like the old golf legends, very hard to replace in today's world. You know, I have never played golf, but I do enjoy vintage designs. And those vintage designs and fabrics put a swing in my step!

Quilting is very much like Track.....or more specifically, like the track star who works and works, rounds the last bend and stumbles and gets passed up at the finish line. In quilting, that is how I felt this week...almost done with the very last row of stitching, I could see myself coming around the bend to the finish line...guess what? My bobbin ran out.....yep, I felt like a track star!

Quilting is very much like need more than one player to play the game and the word Love is in the scoring. In quilting, you need more than one person to successfully help you hold your quilt top up before you can take a picture of the finished product. That's right, Love is the key to scoring a perfect shot with the my team players and the sacrifice and sore arm muscles it took for me to take a perfect picture. You know, I have always enjoyed tennis...maybe because of the love part and the partners you play the game with.

Yes, I have decided quilting is very much like sports...You set your mind on a goal, strive to achieve your goal, make mistakes along the way, realize practice makes perfect and in the end, feel like an Olympic champion with your accomplishments when you reach the finish line. So the next time someone says I'm not athletic or don't like sports...I'm going to tell them of course I'm athletic...I quilt!!

Well, this is the finished top and I made a few changes along the way..

~~The nine patches in the corners should not have been there. I did not want to make any more rail fence blocks, so I substituted the nine patches which I already had made. No telling what Leo will say, because he told me to finish off with the rail fence....Well, it did not happen.....
~~The small border was supposed to be green, not blue. In fact, I had already purchased the green fabric, but I really did not like the way it looked once the top was finished so I purchased the blue instead. I like it much better.
~~The first picture that shows things not lining up, is just the reality of it. I was so tired of ripping out and starting over I just left it alone. This is really the worse of the blocks not lining up. In fact, most all do line up fine but about 8 blocks, I decided I could live with it, I was not going to rip anything else out. Now, I just need to figure out how to correct this with the nine patch and snowball blocks.
~~The biggest challenge of all was the fact I insisted on enlarging this quilt from full size to king size to fit our bed. Boy, did I make some dumb mistakes along the way, but I know what not to do next time. I can not even believe I thought I could do this with no problems....sometimes my goals are much higher than my abilities.

I guess next week we will discuss the finishing class. I don't know if I am going to quilt this myself or not. I may hire someone to quilt it and finish it for me. Can you tell, I am tired tonight, and the thought of messing up with the quilting part of it and having to rip out is more than I can even think about...we will just week. Really the size of this is hard to work with and to think my very first quilt is this large and trying to quilt too, I just don't know about that.
Any suggestions from you guys on the colors for the back fabric and binding? What do you think about the nine patch blocks in the corner? Does it look OK like that? Of course, it's a little late to be asking your least on the nine patch blocks in the corners.

Next week, in class I am going to take pictures of the different quilts the other ladies made. I would really like to show you the different looks with the same quilt design using very different fabrics. It really is amazing to see.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Hello Everyone!! Welcome to this weeks segment of Vintage Thingies Thursday. Thursday is the day to showcase your vintage treasures and to share your special things with everyone. If you are visiting and would like to join us, please do. It is very easy!

To participate, all you have to do is:
(1) do a post about something vintage.
(2) Visit all the participates and leave a comment.
(3) Link in with the link at the bottom of this post, please use a perma-link to link in with, that way, anyone can refer back to your post if they can not get to it on Thursday.
(4) Be sure to refer back to my blog so everyone can see who is participating today, and if you like include the VTT button in your post. Please be sure to have your post up before linking in.

This week, I have found some amazing finds at Goodwill. It was not like I needed any of the treasures I came across, but most definitely I needed them just because. Please tell me you get that!!

I swear it was almost like someone cleaned a little ole' ladies house out, boxed it all up and sent it to Goodwill. Once at Goodwill, the treasures were waiting patiently for someone to love them again. Well...there was just no problem with that...go figure.

Consequently, I was there two days this week loading my cart up. Literally. Once again, time constraints this week has caused me to do a quick post, and I will have to save the real goodies for another week. *sigh*

I don't usually buy glasses, but when I saw these two juice glasses, I snatched them off the counter. They do not have a scratch on them. I don't collect anything Snoopy, but he sure is cute and so are the glasses.

Best part, is the date.....1958. They are in excellent condition, just like they had been sitting in grandma's cabinet and never used. I may not use them either, I would hate to break one or scratch it up considering its age. I paid $1.75 for the pair of these juice glasses.

Look at this little gem. I remember as a kid,in the 60's, these cups being at McDonald's. My mom has always been a coffee drinker, and I am sure she used a cup like this long ago before everything turned to paper and cardboard. I have not seen or thought about them in years. It is in excellent condition, no scratches or dings at all. This was tagged at .65 cents.

Here is the bottom of the cup, is a Fire King. Love this. I did find some of these on EBAY and the price ranged from low to extremely expensive. So who really knows what it is worth, I just like it.

I am not sure what exactly this is. I am pretty sure it is made out of milk glass. It is a glass tray of some kind, but I don't really think it was used for cooking.

Here is the back side, it has a grain look in the glass and I really thought that was pink swirls in the glass, but after looking at the pictures on the computer, it may just need to be cleaned better.

I really love this little dish. I am going to put it in my sewing room and maybe hold sewing tools or something in it. I love the scalloped edge and the feel of the glass. There was no stamp or marking of any kind on this piece. I paid $1.00 for it.

And if you noticed the yummy tablecloth in my photos today, that is one of my favorites. I found this on eBay a few years back, and I just love the soft colors.

Thanks for stopping by today....if you have something you would like to share, please link in and join us!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Blue Monday : Thrifted Nightstand Makeover

It's Monday already, and a Blue Monday over at Smiling Sally's blog. Sally host Blue Monday every week, and this week, I have something to show you!

My daughter, Alisha who is off at college, recently moved into a new apartment. She needed a nightstand to put by her bed, and we could not find anything she really liked for a price I was willing to pay. I suggested my go-to place to have a look around and see if we could find know the place....Goodwill.

Here is the cute little table which was a Goodwill find. This matches her room perfectly, and is in great, solid shape. Look closely, there is blue on the top of the table. Isn't it so nice to find the perfect thing when you are looking for it? Now, do you think we purchased this in this condition?

There is lots of blue in Alisha's room, the comforters and curtains are a light, ice blue. I think it is a very calming color for a bedroom. One more glance of the cute little, let me show you how it all started.

Not so pretty table found at Goodwill. This was the only one we found that might work. I convinced my daughter we needed to get this table, and not to worry, it would be adorable when I was finished with it. I think she might have been worried.

The table was painted black when we bought it, dirty, and here is a look at the top, which was not bad if you like looking at something that reminds me of school desk tops from my youth. I don't think Alisha was to keen on this idea.

Nice retro drawer pull. Nothing too cute about faded gold on a drawer pull. I was not concerned at all, after all I had spray paint to take care of this problem.

First, I sanded the table and drawer with medium grit sandpaper. Then wiped clean. Using some spray primer, I gave the table a good coat of spray primer.

I did not spray the tabletop, only the table itself. We purchased some oops paint in a chocolate brown from Home Depot. Great deal on a gallon of paint, only $5.00.

Here is the table once the paint dried. Two coats of paint was all this little table needed.

Sophie stopped to pose. She knows when the camera comes out, if she poses sweetly, she may get a treat or two. She decided not to waste the opportunity, and stopped to pose. Sophie would like to ask the good people if they see how the color of the table matches the velvety brown color of her eyes?

Now, it was time to tackle the top. Using scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, and a paint brush, I Mod Podged the top of the table to match Alisha's room.

Even the drawer got a little glam. This is such a super easy project, and turns ordinary finds into something really cute and functional and very inexpensive.

Here is another view of the top. I did a collage on top of the table, and I like the way it turned out. I put three coats of Mod Podge on the top and side of the table top to seal it well.

I was glad to see the old school desk top disappear. Don't you think the new top looks much better than this old wood grain look?

Here is another close-up of the table. You can see the light blue in this photo much clearer. If you look closely, you will see the cute little blue birds.

A little left over Rustoleum paint we had on hand changed the way the knob looked too. Now it does not have the Asian flare, and looks much better after I covered up the tarnished gold knob.

Here is the table in Alisha's new room. You will not believe the cost of this particular project.

Table: $7.00 at Goodwill....but I had a $10.00 coupon so the table did not cost us anything.
Paint: $5.00 at Home Depot - used oops paint.
Scrapbook paper: - $2.38 from Michaels

I had everything else on hand at home for this project. Not bad for $7.38. It is amazing what you can do with a little imagination and a little elbow grease.

Here is another shot of Alisha's room. My mom bought the shelving unit for Alisha for Christmas a few years back, she has saved it and we just now put it together. It really is cute and matches the table really well. If you will notice, the curtains are a teal blue. There is also a blue bear on the shelf, and the upper right corner is a glimpse of a blue wall hanging.

I hope you enjoyed this little makeover project. Remember next time you see a not so cute furniture piece and it is structurally sound, just think of all the possibilities of turning it into a real treasure.

Have a great Blue Monday everyone!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...