Posts Tagged ‘fabric’

Edited -scroll down for a picture of the special tape.

Last week I made a quick trip into Seattle ( Puyallup, really) to go to the Sewing and Stitchery Expo. Billed as the largest in the country, though somehow I don’t really think that’s the case, it’s pretty big. However if you’re not in the market for a big ticket embroidery machine, then you can easily move fairly quickly through the booths. 
That is, if you don’t look for fabric, either. 
Which means that of course I need to look through any and all booths that have fabric. Not just quilting cottons, but wools, silks, linens, and beautiful cotton shirtings and lawn. And I always peruse any notions. I leave out any of the trendy customizing items, like the rhinestones, paintsticks, and the embroidery. 
There is a vendor that has trims – vintage, imported, beautiful buttons, in every color and style. All organized by color and displayed on pretty shelves and tables. I dream of bringing the entire booth home with me.  But this year I left it all there. I also left behind some amazing wools – both cashmere and vicuna – the softest wool ever and the most expensive (which sells for upwards of $2000 per yard, though the salesperson told me I could have it for a steal of about $95). Well, no.
I did buy some fabric – two pieces of lightweight cotton lawn
 and    Also a cute piece of  semi-sheer dobby type shirting: .
I bought one piece of Kokka linen 

All of these are destined to become blouses. Now to decide on patterns; here are some of the candidates. I think it’s really funny that in three of these patterns, the one I’m liking is the version in yellow.     
      Yes, I know that two of them are dresses; I’m just thinking ahead a little.  

The other big score was a tape measure that I’ve been looking for for at least thirty years: it has one inch markings at each end. This is such a simple thing that I’ve been stumped as to why no one made one until now. That alone was worth the trip.  

ETA: here is a pic of the old tape ( white one ) and the new one –    because I’m a garment sewer, I wear a tape around my neck all day. I invariably grab the wrong end – the one with the blank / 60" and have to fumble to quickly grab the correct end -with the one inch. Now, either end that I put my hands on is the right one!

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sewing, what else?

 There is sunshine this morning! eta: computer issues forced this to be posted this evening instead- yay for auto-save!
 This should do wonders to elevate my mood. I’ve been pretty beaten down feeling this past week or so, and it’s harder when I look outside and it’s reflective. Stormy. Cloudy.
This teenager stuff is hard. I don’t remember it being so hard the last time around ( doesn’t mean it wasn’t, though ). No doubt because I was younger, ya think?

I’ve been sewing, but not as much as I wish ( read: teen drama). Not on what I want, anyway. But, I’m pretty close to being done with the ‘have to’s’ for other people, and I can then get back to my stuff.  
I made two dozen leaf blocks for a guild block exchange over the weekend. 
      I took them to guild on Monday, and came home with two dozen different blocks ( same pattern but other fabrics) from the other twenty-three participants in the swap. I’m not excited – this is so not my type of thing. Now I need to figure out what to do with them. I think that project needs to sit on the back burner for a while.  

I really want to finish both the selvage quilt and the little dresses quilt. I’m trying to decide on the backings for each. I have an idea for the selvage quilt, but need to order the fabric. And my current thinking on the dresses quilt is to use lots of reproduction thirties fabrics. I’ve now got all of the 99 blocks pieced and embroidered with their little hangers – hooray!      
I really love them       ( If I had a bolt of this fabric I would be in heaven )  
I will be doing a ‘quilt as you go’ on it – each block will be individually quilted ( so it could have a variety of fabrics all over the back ) and I could use the fabrics from my stash. I think I’m selling myself on the idea. I already have the sashing, so……… guess I better get the ‘have to’ sewing done and finished. 

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quiet time

 After the drama filled weekend, I have a few days to regroup and do some sewing. All the Richards left yesterday to points east, camping and fishing for the next several days so it is quiet here.
The weather is finally looking like summer, the Tiger is itching to be driven, and a pile of summer sewing has been waiting to be started. I have a couple of skirts cut out, three dresses in the ‘want to make’ pile, as well as a few pair of pants. Can someone tell me why it’s nearly impossible to find full length ( not capris )summer pants? Even ankle length would be okay, but they’re no where out there that I see. 

I took some bags to the salon in Ilwaco, and the owner was thrilled with them. She asked for a coat like the one I had on    but finding more of that same fabric is a challenge. There are some similar ones, so I guess I’ll do some more searching to see what I can put together.
Of course I really want to make a trip to Fabric Depot to look for alternatives. Have I mentioned that the fabric shopping around here is horrid? I think I have a nicer selection in my studio, but right now I want more linen and a few contemporary prints that I don’t have. The two quilt shops that are nearby are just that, and at this point there is really nothing at either one of them that I want. The typical prints, a few ‘theme’ fabrics ( outdoorsy, beachy, cat-quilty-lady, animal-y, baby ) a handful of batiks, but nothing that is beckoning me to come back for. Almost no contemporary large florals, no retro, just blah cottons. That is a mixed blessing – I don’t really need to spend the money, but I don’t want them to go out of business either. Of all the shops that are within an hour of here, only one has a great variety of prints that I could easily go broke over, and that’s the farthest away in Cannon Beach. 

Time to open up the doors, put some music on, and start sewing. 

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 Back to sewing some. Finally. 

Because I couldn’t resist, a few yards of this arrived yesterday   from Fabric Depot.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I wanted a whole bolt of this print.  I hate it when I have something I like so much that I don’t want to cut into it. Those are tiny pins! And dots? beads? balls? I don’t know, but I’m in love.  Maybe I should just order another five yards. Of course this called for a review of suitable vintage patterns. A dress. I’m not sure which one yet.

Also new is this bag that I just finished.   It’s smaller than the other messenger bags that I’ve made, but still roomy.  I got the embroidery    from www.urbanthreads.com/  . I was looking around there with Richard6 – he wanted some stuff on a jacket, and I ended up downloading a bunch of things. I’m not sure if it’s a keeper or not,  maybe  it’s to sell. There is a salon here that wants me to bring in some bags and stuff. Maybe there, or on etsy. We’ll see.

It’s birthday season – I feel like there are so many right about now, and I need to get some things made. I’ll be pondering just what to do with my pin fabric while I’m sewing.  
This weekend Ryan and Gretchen are coming out, and it’s the huge peninsula-long yard sale – exciting stuff! 


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 One of the things that I love about sewing, or creating anything in general, is that it puts my brain into motion. The more you do, the more ideas that come. I’ve been working on a list of things to put into my etsy shop, and the list keeps growing. No sooner do I start down one path, begin one project, then I get an idea for something else that seems like a ‘must do’.

So far, the list is sort of like this:

dresses / clothes sewn from vintage patterns ( mostly ’50s )and changed / updated a little –  using modern fabrics 
do I even think about using some of my treasured vintage fabric?

aprons; I have some ideas that I’ve not seen out there at this point

baby quilts – I do have two listed to date

appliqued wall pictures  and patterns to make them

lingirie – slips and stuff out of some of the silks that I have

little origami fabric kimonos – I’ve gotten several listed, and some over on ArtFire as well

soy candles using the cut down wine bottles

bags and accessories

children’s clothes

dog stuff  

housewares – napkins, dish towels, placemats

I’ve been looking through boxes and boxes and boxes of fabrics ( god knows I have them ), and with each box I open there is at least one piece in that’s the perfect thing to make *________* with. Which leads me to the pattern drawers, and searching for the right pattern. I make notes, pull the items out and set them to one side. Repeat. repeat. repeat. It seems like what I’m creating is piles of projects, and I don’t know where to begin. No sooner do I decide on one thing, I get the perfect idea for another.  My brain feels really scrambled and confused right about now. 
And I know this sounds really crazy, but what I want to do is go to a fabric store and wander about. It’s a really calming thing for me to do. Things there are usually in some sort of order, and it’s just in my comfort zone. All of the textures and colors is just good for me. If only there was a good store within an hour’s drive.
In truth there are a couple little things I need so, I sort of have to, but I’ll have to settle for what’s in Astoria, which is not much. 

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I picked Richard up from the airport on Wednesday afternoon. The world here is all good again. The weather has been beautiful ( but chilly ) all week which made it a wonderful trip into Portland.
Sunny was boarded for the first time; I left her for overnight while I drove into the city; sort of as a trial. Things went well, and since it was so nice out we walked the mile or so to pick her up. When she saw Richard I thought she might wiggle into pieces. We came home along the beach so that she could run off all of her pent up energy. It’s nice to know that we now have an option of a spot close to home to leave her on occasion.

I got the outside lights up on Tuesday afternoon, and started to put up the tree. It came with colored lights attached, and after looking at it for a couple nights I still didn’t like them. So, last night we spent a few hours removing all of them, and I restrung plain clear ones. But I need one more string to finish. grrr. I found something to do with the burned out outdoor lights: A little color in the big pots that are planted with the other kind of bulbs and looking bland.

Richard brought me home my xmas present. I had asked for him to go to a couple of fabric stores in search of any wool melton / coating ( it’s sort of like felt, but all wool and really thick and wonderful ). Not only did he go to three stores( ! ) but he got exactly what I wanted.This beautiful pile of thirteen colors in 1/2 and 1/3 yard cuts: . I am one lucky woman. I’ll add these to a few that I already have; I plan on doing a few larger applique projects. Of course I want to cut into them right away, but I need to finesse my designs first.
In Portland I went to Fabric Depot – big sale – and got a few things. I thought it was pretty interesting that they had lots of beautiful wool suitings, but virtually no coating like what Richard brought me from southern California – where almost no one wears a heavy coat.

There’s lots to do outside, and since the weather is good………..
We need to clean up from the storm, and a lot of woodcutting is in order. I can see my future.
It’s looking pretty good.

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They’re ripening! Blueberry season has begun. Yesterday I went with a friend and picked for just an hour – and got a full can, which is about four pounds. The bushes are loaded, and we found a small area with a lot of ripe ones. But the majority of the farm is still a week or two away, I think. So, this means that I will be picking for a few weeks, at least. 
 here is a tiny bit of the farm – it is connected with a cranberry farm as well.
And this is where you weigh and pay     Inside there are the cans to put your berries in (with ropes to sling around your neck so you can pick hands-free ) , the scale to weigh them, and boxes to take them home in. A little notebook on the table is for you to write down how many pounds you picked, date, $. The blueberries are $1.75 a pound – not sure if that is really cheap or not, but they are huge and juicy and it’s fun, so it seems good to me. It’s all an honor system – and in the fall there are bags of cranberries there for you to buy. I’ve never seen anyone there who appears to be running the place.
Today I am going to try a new pie recipe, and we’ll have dessert with the neighbor ( whose husband is going to make a dessert as well ) that I went picking with tonight. 

I found a great tool? this morning that allows you to see a sampling of fabrics on Etsy –  picked by color range. This could be a great design tool for quilting, to get ideas of things to put together, or alternative pieces.
give it a try.

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(food, fabric, family, furniture, fence )

I made a trip to Portland to return the old dining set to Kirsten. We had a great visit, as always, but, as always, it was too short. While there I went to Powells Books – a rare treat. You could easily get lost for a day in there.
After leaving Powells – I drove by a interesting sort of food court downtown. On a vacant city block, there were over a dozen food vendor trailers set up – sort of like at the fair, but with normal food. Soup, bbq, crepes, salad, sandwiches, coffee, etc. complete with Port-a-potties & picnic tables. It looked to be the spot to go for lunch or early dinner in the middle of the busy downtown area. I saw this same concept again on Friday driving through the Hawthorne district, but with fewer vendors. Its as though Portland is getting into it’s version of the street food thing. 
The plan had been to hit up several vintage furniture shops along Hawthorne. I didn’t make it past the first one. Lounge Lizard was bigger than I expected, and a great shop. The folks there couldn’t have been nicer.  I ended up with a sofa in the truck to bring home. So, the other shops will wait until next trip. Portland has several, and the prices seem to be way more reasonable than in Seattle.  From there it was the obligatory stop at Fabric Depot ( sale!).  A few more stops on the way home – part of which was in some crazy driving rain! 

Ryan came out for a couple of days. We went to the (not so ) Garlic Festival. Generally lots of crap, with one or maybe two booths reflecting the garlic theme. Who thought this was a thing for here? In Gilroy, sure. Ocean Park? Someone tell me why they don’t have a crab, or a cranberry festival here. Where you could get a real flavor of the area. It seems like I should write a letter to the peninsula toursim board and to the paper. 
Speaking of the paper, there were two things in the Sheriff’s Dispatch Reports this week which caught my eye:

June 14
At 10:03am, a woman reported that her toaster oven was missing and she thinks it was taken at the same time her $10,000 was taken.
is that where she was keeping the money???
June 17
Fraud and theft of a house was reported at 10:50 am.
tell me how you steal a house.

We are trying to get the fence finished – however the weather isn’t cooperating. We have all but one post in, and if it quits raining we may get more wire up. Here’s a couple shots of the project so far:
     The goal is to be finished up soon, as there is company coming ( the Richards ) and they’re bringing their dog. It’s an issue with two dogs here, so if we can finish…………     Looks like they will arrive on Saturday.  Richard only has two gates left to build, and  there is still some figuring of a couple of details.

Time to get to work, I suppose. The sky is lightening up.

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some days

things are just good. Some days I don’t fret about life, and just go about doing things I need to do. I took a leap and washed the windows of the past two weeks mist and the huge accumulation of pollen. ( usually this results in rain inside of 24 hours  – so we’ll see ). I spent the rest of the day cutting fabric into fat quarters, a tedious job for sure.
Richard worked outside, as the weather was pleasantly warm – somewhere in the upper sixties. Somewhere in there he felt inspired to make this:  sort of sculpture from some of the few rocks that are here.

When he had called it quits for the day we grabbed something to drink and took a walk to the beach. It still amazes me that there’s no one there a lot of the time. Sunny got to run, a lot. There were few birds on shore, but then – the pelicans started to go by. The first group numbered around 75 or so. They are  beautiful to watch soaring just above the water. Then I spotted another group coming our way – this one was three times larger.  They were more spread out, and some would sort of circle in an area. Sunny attemted to chase the few low flying ones and got only wet. šŸ™‚  I left this message: though the only ones who’ll see it are looking at it now.

Flowers are blooming everywhere – the poppies are coming back strong  and the peony that mom gave me ( from my grandma’s ) is blooming  – it will go in the ground for next year.  The tomatoes, herb pot,  and hanging baskets are doing well ( fertilizing really works! )        The rhodendrons are blooming all over – including the once-sorry one outside of my sewing room window (thanks again to fertilizer) in a pretty ultra-pale pink. I will need to move a few things that I planted last year – I’m still deciding where they might do better.

Some days are really good.

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If you sew or do any sort of craft you know what that means. Soooo much stuff and it’s getting the better of me, so again I’m going through boxes and clearing out fabric, beads, craft supplies and patterns. If I had a hundred boxes of fabric a year ago, ( and I did  ) I never mentioned the pattern stash. Yipes. Working at a fabric store does things to you. You can’t help but collect. Like several others, when remnants came along you almost couldn’t pass up the great deal. And our boss allowed employees to purchase ends of bolts at absurd prices.
But the pattern discards were like the holy grail. Every month, each of the four major pattern companies revise the selection – new ones are added monthly ( with new catalogs to reflect the changes ) and every three months they need to pull out the ‘slow sellers’ ( or if it’s a good seller but they need to update the envelope the old one goes away and the new one gets a new number ) to make room for the ever changing stock. The companies don’t want the old patterns back, only a count of what you pulled out of the drawers ( which they credit the store for ). The store agrees to not sell them. Which means that they’re free to the employees. Free. Take what you want.  At the time I was doing a fair amount of dressmaking on the side, and just sewing a lot in general. Ultimately when the store closed, I bought two large pattern files, and they are 3/4 full with patterns, and I’ve whittled them down some, but now it’s time to get serious. I don’t need a bazillion wedding gown or children’s patterns anymore. Or suits.  In addition to all of those patterns from the 90s, I’ve collected vintage patterns for a long time. I’m guessing I have a few hundred of them ranging from the thirties to the sixties. But,  its time to weed those out too. Lots of them came to me in various ways – a friend would find a bunch at a flea market, or I would buy a ‘lot’ cheap on ebay just to get one or two that I wanted.
So, yesterday I listed a bunch of possibly ‘collectible’ fabric on ebay ( and have to finish up today ). Then through the week a bunch of cottons will be cut up into ‘fat quarters’ (18 x 22" pieces ) and bundled up to be sold on etsy  and artfire  –  I’ll list the patterns and beads and misc. supplies in those two places as well. And a box of fabric to go to my niece keeps growing.
All this purging is mentally exhausting. Trying to decide again and again and again to keep or toss – bleh. Then I have to take the pics and describe each piece the best I can.  The weather has been drizzly over the weekend – so it’s good work to do. 

As far as the fence project goes, Richard gave me some time off. He’ll work along on it and I’ll help when he needs it.  The weather has cleared up and we will again get into the 65-70 degree range. We have nearly reached the equinox – but have over 15 and a 1/2 hours of official daylight and it’s light until nearly 10:00 pm.

Here’s to good weather, longer days, and wish me well in this big de-stash effort!

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