A Crafter's Life, Thrift Shop Adventures

Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find!

I shared in my post Shameless “Thrifting” that I learned to enjoy searching thrift shops for cool donated fabric. Recently I had a fabulous thrifting fabric find, and let me share the story of how I ended up coming upon a wonderful fabric deal at a local thrift store.


Off the Wall, and Out of My Life

Mondays are my day off and this past Monday I decided to take in some donations to our local Humane Society Thrift Shop. I wanted to donate a couple old art pieces that were no longer bringing me joy.

One of these pieces for donation was a large poster of a photograph by David Lorenz Winston called “Solitude”. This framed poster featured a solitary tree in a wintery landscape. I loved this poster for its austere beauty and how the stark palette gave the eyes a rest in my otherwise colorful walls hung with quilts.

I had this poster hanging in my entryway for years and then I took it down for awhile and put up an art quilt in its place (and stored the poster in the closet).

Then, after being hurt by the betrayal of several friends that I had treated with an open and kind heart (a couple new local friends and one old friend), I took the art quilt down and put the “Solitude” poster up again.

This time the poster was on my wall not for its austere beauty but to represent how I felt – that I needed to just draw into myself (and close my heart) as I obviously could not trust those I thought I could trust. I saw solitude as a way to protect myself.

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A week ago, I decided it was time to take this poster back down and put the art quilt back up. I have had enough of feeling like I have to draw into myself and protect myself from people.

Also, as I mentioned in the post Buttons and Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I, I recently listened to the audiobook The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

The Second Agreement is:

Don’t take anything personally

The author discusses in depth in the audiobook what this means in regards to relationships and how when someone has an issue with you, it is really about them and their issues within themselves. A quote from this book sums it up nicely:

Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. – Don Miguel Ruiz

Although I had read this before in other “self-help” books and sort of knew this intuitively, for some reason I was ready, while listening to this audiobook to hear this message.

So the poster came down from the wall, and I have moved on.

(and I decided never to have this poster on my wall again, so it was time to donate it)


After the Donation – A Treat!

I dropped off my donation at the Donation area on the side of the Humane Society Thrift Shop and thought “I wonder if I should just take a quick peek inside…”

Wandering over to the “Crafts” section, I noticed a package of fabric bundled in an old curtain/linen package. A dull looking Christmas-like fabric surrounded a bundle of other fabric which was obscured by a sea of blah paisley Christmas colors fabric (which also appeared to be low quality fabric).

I noticed the thick package of fabric said $2.50. I tried to peek to see what was wrapped in the paisley fabric but they had the package well sealed. I put it back in the bin I found it in and walked away.

Then a little voice told me – “go back and get it, it is only $2.50 and if all the fabric is terrible you can re-donate it”. I figured a donation of $2.50 to the Humane Society was worth feeding my curiosity of what was inside. So I bought it, and the moment I got out of the thrift shop I hurried to my car to open the package.

I was pleasantly surprised! Inside was approximately a total of 8 yards of different cool fabrics in various sizes. The fabric included many high quality fabrics from lines such as Moda, Hoffman, and Alexander Henry.

What a fabulous thrifting fabric find! It sort of seemed to be my reward for letting go on the art that no longer brought me joy!

Here is my $2.50 treat of fabric joy!

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Did not take a photo before I opened the package but here is the empty package with the price (you can see it was wrapped in an old curtain or linens bag)
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The Score! Fabulous Thrifting Fabric Find! (At the top of the photo you will see there were also some scraps to add to my scrap collection, ha!)

 

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts

Buttons

I just wanted to randomly post about one of my guilty pleasures in life – buttons!

I did not to intend to collect buttons, my button collection just sort of crept up on me…

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Trying to be organized with my button collection

I am not sure how it began but I remember as a little girl playing with my grandmother’s button jar and being fascinated.

Then, many years later, my love of buttons was rekindled when I started making miniature kimono wallhangings and wanted to embellish them with interesting buttons.

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Miniature Kimono with an antique button

I began picking up interesting buttons here and there – from craft shows, from shift shops, antique shops, and from a bookstore.

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Card of antique buttons picked up at a used bookstore

I was even lucky enough to have a friend who let me raid her old button collection in search of cool buttons for miniature kimonos.

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A couple of these buttons were raided from my friend’s antique button collection

This past May, my friend Dana, who was my “secret quilt sister” at our annual quilting retreat, surprised me with an “Vintage Button Jar” as part of my gift.

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The jar contained lots of fun buttons such as the ones below:

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Some cool large buttons courtesy of my friend Dana

Upon returning home from the retreat I attempted to cram my entire button collection into my new “Vintage Button Jar” but my collection was overflowing from the jar.

So now I keep the jar in my sewing studio to hold small packages and cards of special buttons.

img_2975Anyone else have an issue with buttons? Any secret (or not so secret) collectors?


Postscript

In an earlier post this week, Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I, I shared I recently listened to The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Well I am working on incorporating first of the four agreements into my life:

  1. Be impeccable with your word

I am not challenged in general of keeping my word to other and keeping my commitments to other people; but I do struggle with being on time to appointments with other people. So in essence I am not being impeccable with my word (that I will arrive at a specific time).

I am easily distracted and I struggle with getting out of the house and to appointments on time. I was very pleased with myself when on Monday I was early to meeting my friend at the coffee shop. I am tired an embarrassed that I appear to be “chronically late”.

Another area I struggle in regards to being impeccable with my word is is in keeping my word to myself! Keep my “self” commitments.

So  I am starting small (like going to bed on time, being sure to get out each day and go on a walk, making healthy food choices) to work on becoming impeccable with my word to myself. I plan to build up to the bigger commitments to myself which I hope include to do some sewing each day!

A Crafter's Life, Audiobooks and Podcasts, Studio

Revisiting Traditional Piecing: The Blocks Part I

This is a continuation to yesterday’s post – Revisiting Traditional Piecing.

In my previous post I mentioned the first set of blocks I made with the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by Connie Chunn (while participating in a Block-a-Month Quilt Club) were turned into a sampler quilt, Block Filmstrip, around 2008.

What I forgot to mention was that details of four (4) of the blocks in this quilt ended up in the book 1000 Quilting Inspirations by Sandra  Sider, Quarry Books (2015). It is funny that a a sampler quilt that I was not sure if I even wanted to finish around 2008 ended up as the opening series of “Quilting Inspiration” images in the book – images #0001 – 0004 of the 1000 inspirations!

Filmstrip and Book
Filmstrip quilt – four images 0001-0004 are featured in the book 1000 Quilt Inspirations
1000 Quilt Inspirations
Photo Credit: Quarry Books

In addition to four (4) images from Block Filmstrip, the book also contains images from four (4) of my recycled silk art quilts and are part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.


Making Blocks

Using the Ladies’ Art Company Block Tool by (2007), I have made eight (8) 12 inch blocks (finished size) using a fat quarter packet, scraps and yardage of Northcott’s Stonehenge fabric line, so far as I created a queen-sized sampler quilt to be given as a wedding gift to a young couple.

I made two (2) of four (4) different blocks from the Block Tool:

AIR CASTLE

AUNT ELIZA’S STAR

BIG DIPPER (I made 2 of the same color way)

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CHURN DASH

 


Thinking About Settings and Borders

In case you have not figure this out yet, I plan to set the blocks “on point” that is why they are all turned on point. I originally meant to photograph them in their traditional square orientation instead of this “diamond” orientation. Also I took the photos on the design wall in the hallway where the light is not the best. Life has been busy and I figure if I took time re-doing the photos then I will never get this post up, ha!

Next set of blocks, I will take better photos (smile).

In addition to wanting to set the blocks “on point” I have already started looking at different options for settings. I am currently looking through a book I recently borrowed from the library – The Quilt Block Cookbook by Amy Gibson (2016). There is a wonderful block setting option in this book called “Point Taken”. I am leaning towards that setting.

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

I am also thinking about what type of border I want and I have decided to make a pieced border. I want the quilt to be special and I think a pieced border will add a nice touch.

Looking through my collection of quilt books I came across an old book in my craft book library called The Border Workbook by Janet Kime (2006). This book has great ideas for creating lovely pieced borders.

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Photo credit:Amazon.com

More blocks to come (and better photos next time)!


Postscript

Traditional piecing seems to be what I need right now. My mind feels overloaded from my non-crafting life, especially related to my job in the healthcare industry. At the end of the workday and the end of the workweek I am feeling “all thought out” and was not inspired to create any art quilts.

Creating these blocks from patterns feels mediative, centering and peaceful. All I have to do is follow the instructions, cutting the fabric to the dimensions indicated and sew the pieces together.

I am also enjoying carefully pressing the different components of each block as I assemble them and trying to ensure the back of the block is nearly as neatly pressed as the front.

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The back of a carefully pieced block

While piecing the first couple of blocks I listened to a wonderful and engaging audiobook read by the actor Peter Coyote – The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz (1997).

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Photo credit: Amazon.com

The Four Agreements are as follows:

  1. Be impeccable with your word
  2. Don’t take anything personally
  3. Don’t make assumptions
  4. Always do your best

These seem logical and on the surface very simple. What makes the audiobook so engaging is the author’s discussion and exploration of each of The Four Agreements. Powerful and centering stuff to listen to and ponder while peacefully piecing my blocks!