Friday, May 20, 2011

Vintage fabulousness!

I went to the Winnetka rummage sale last Thursday. For those who don't know the area, Winnetka is on the 'North Shore', which is comprised of wealthy towns containing amazing houses. Not McMansions, but older, gorgeous houses with a ton of character, are all different and all really, really pricey. I left my house at 4:45am, met up with my boss and headed to the sale. We separated at the door and hit the various 'rooms'. This is the most organized rummage sale I've ever seen, and the nice part is that all the money goes to charity. I hit the linen room first and got a couple of retro table cloths, some fun vintage sheets and Pottery Barn valances for my bathroom.
Next was the pictures room, where I picked up some amazing vintage frames, which will be painted shabby chic-like for the vintage slate chalk board material that I got a few months ago.
The slate is from an old school and the doors were a score that Ashley found for me. I've been wanting to make an old door headboard for my purple and green spare room for a while now. I'm thinking one will be a daybed and one will be the headboard.
Then onto the vintage room (I stumbled across it, I had no idea this room existed) where I found the find of the day, possibly year.
Check out this quilt!!!!
It's an all velvet log cabin, in a modified barn raising pattern. The velvet is hand pieced to a cheesecloth like muslin. But the piping and backing were machine sewn. Look at that spring green! I'm in love.
The front is pristine.
The back, not so much. The backing is silk and greatly deteriorated.
It also came with a matching pillow, which was obviously used more than the quilt as it's a quite dirty.
The woman in the vintage room was willing to come down on the price for it, so I offered and she accepted. It was such a great deal that the woman who checked me out was ticked off. Since I know nothing about velvet quilts, I'm going to have it appraised and find out how to handle it appropriately. I think it's going to end up being framed somehow.
After the vintage room, I had a few bucks left, so it was on to the garden room, where I got the cute little bunny.
He was too cute to pass up for 2 dollars.
 I found the retro sprinkles bottle w/the old glitter in the Vintage room. I thought it was fun that it was from Skokie, near where I grew up. I passed on the naked Peter Pan doll though. He still had his hat at least, since it was molded to his head. He looked a little evil, if you ask me.
And if you can believe it, I then went to the sewing room and stocked up on some great wool tartans, one of which actually had the tag from the mill in Scotland. I had to pass on the 5 yards of navy wool though, which about killed me, but I didn't have enough money on me.
Since I still had a few dollars left, I went into the Hall of Woman's Clothes. I wish I had a photo. It was a massive hall, with tables, end to end, piled taller than me with clothes. I hit the skirts table and scored several Pendelton and 'made in England' 100% wool skirts! And they were $2 each. I about squealed with joy.
And after all of that, we were back home by 10:30a.m.!
Since I was in Arlington Heights, I went to Quilter's Destination, where I was just going to have a look around. Riiiiggghhhht.

They had the Riverwoods Pedal Pusher Panel, designed by Pearl Louise Krush as well as the matching button and bead embellishment packet. It's so sweet and summery that I just couldn't pass it up.
I'm planning to cut off the bird house part, embroider the bike outline, bead the flowers and border it for a little wall hanging for my cube at work.
I had about an hour to kill before lunch with DiscoJen and her son, so I also stopped at Touch of Amish, where I happily ran into my quilting friend Linda! It was a lovely surprise. They had some killer retro Halloween fabric they were kitting up, the Spellbound line by Renee Nanneman. The bats in the fabric were fab. And this border print would be great to just quilt up individually as a table runner. I'm a sucker for Halloween fabric.

As if that wasn't enough excitement for one day, after lunch I weeded a bit  and by 2:00pm I was so exhausted that I took a nap.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to know you are a quilter

My cousin Ashley is a quilter but just doesn't know how to quilt yet. How can I tell? She's started collecting fabric and brings it out just to gaze upon it's wonderment. I've found that the true quilter is the person who is planning their 2nd and 3rd quilts while they are still cutting out their first ever quilt. Ashley has a very good eye for fabric, and we make a great fabric coordination team. We were at Material Girl in downtown Crystal Lake last Saturday night for a little get together and she found this wonderful Alexander Henry print hiding on a bottom shelf:
I found a great Essentials magenta by P&B to go with it:
Then I was looking at it that evening at home and decided it needed another coordinate, and I found an Amy Butler stripe from the Belle line. I could not believe how perfect it was!
This is also a really good lesson about thinking outside the line. The fabric line that is. I love the coordinated fabric lines put out by the designers and manufactureres as much as the next quilter, but looking elsewhere for coordinates can bring really your fabric combo to a whole new level and make your combo pop.
What will this become? I'm so glad you asked! It will become a Heather Bailey Smarty Girl bag, sans the ruffle, but with all the extras, like I made for DiscoJen for her birthday this year!
smarty girl bag
This will also be a birthday present, but I'm not saying for who, in case said person is reading this.

Saturday, May 14, 2011


I've been crazy busy and slacking off all at the same time the last couple of weeks.
Ashley, Chris and I had a wonderful time w/our Royal Wedding watching breakfast. We all decided the chocolate croissants were fantastic, but messy.
I totally loved my pink feathery tiara. Ashley's was a Hello Kitty tiara, which was waaaayyy better than that awful hat HRH Beatrice wore. What was that about? Isn't Ashley all cute and perky for 4am? Poor Chris, I got him pre-coffee, and with the flash no less. He's such a good sport. I think it comes from having a ridiculous amount of sisters.
Chris provided much entertainment by filling in what we couldn't hear when the t.v. people were whispering to one another. Ashley is apparently a fount of Royal gossip too! The wedding was so different on so many levels than Diana and Charles. I loved the Diana-esk sideways glances William kept giving Kate. It was clear they love each other and understand each other.
Ashley and Chris brought their dog Lucie, who's a nervous-nelly, just like my Robbie. Robbie loved her! He followed her everywhere. Magic was a butt-head though. When she laid down on the dog bed in the corner, he went over to her and woofed at her to get out and she did. She refused to go back there again. Magic and I had a discussion about manners and how treat our guests. Well, I discussed, he just looked at me until I stopped talking, then bounced off to his next escapade. Not much phases the Magic dog.
Ashley got Lucie a lovely pink sparkly collar to wear for the wedding too, but she wasn't so fond of it.
The retreat was a blast. Pitti-Pat and I took our time getting to Janesville. I had left my purse at work, so we had to drive a half hour East before heading back West/North. And then the hubby took the van key with him for some bizarre reason (as I was driving the van to Janesville). I was running around yelling "has anyone seen my van key!?!" My cousin's husband laughed and said "you and Ashley are so much alike." When I called the hubby he said "just use your van key." I said all sweet and innocent like "You mean the van key that in my purse AT WORK?" He said, "Oh. Would you like me to turn around and come back?" Me, very sweetly "Yes, please."
So by the time we got on the road, we were already 2-3 hours late in leaving. On the way we stopped at a couple of quilt stores, had a lovely lunch, got lost in the farmland of Wisconsin because the GPS told us to go the wrong way....
My friend Bobbie asked me if I finished at least 50% of what I brought with. I wish!
I did get a fair amount done though. I worked on my 'More Serengeti' quilt. It's not a hard pattern, but it is time consuming. I'm a total type A about lining up my sashing across the blocks, so that adds to the time. The pattern is based on 'Gypsy Girl' from the book 'Fat Quarter Five' by Heather Mulder Peterson. I altered it to use 2.5" strips and assemble it differently than her pattern though. I have over 54 fabrics in this quilt now. When I started putting the fabrics together for it, I couldn't find decent animal prints anywhere. Now that I'm 75% done with it, they are everywhere! It figures, doesn't it?
The problem I'm having is knowing how many blocks I need to make it the size I want. It's set on the diagonal, and my blocks are a different size than the pattern, so I'm going to have to slap it on the design wall and see how big it is to decide how many more blocks to do. I have 38-ish done now, I think I'll need at least 48, but that diagonal throws me for a loop every time. I guess I can always resort to more borders if it's too small.
I also designed and made one bag. I'm beyond thrilled with it. It's a 'planets aligned' bag. It was meant to be. I had the all of the perfect coordinates for the Cath Kidston London fabric in my stash, which was a good thing because the laminate fabric is no where to be found. Not on the internet, not at any stores I called, emailed, visited, not any where! One store even contacted Moda for me, but they aren't making it anymore.
I have just enough of the laminate and London canvas to make 8 of these lovely bags:
I bought the little carriage charm from Cath Kidston when I ordered my umbrella. Isn't is sweet? I have it hanging from the key fob I put in the interior of the bag. I made the button from another London print I happened to have that's from Kokka.
 It's the perfect take along size. I've been taking it to work as my work bag. It makes me happy when I see it hanging in my cube. And look at my matching umbrella with it. It's just too much, isn't it? I freaking love it!
I lined one side with pockets, because you can never have too many pockets! I found that perfect lining fabric at Loose Threads in Milton, WI.

The weekend is a blur, so here's what else I remember after 3 consecutive nights of 4 hours or less of sleep.
Michele made this amazing quilt top:
I wish I had a picture of it w/the black setting squares. You can see it over on her blog. Along with photos of everyone else's projects that I failed to photograph.
PittiPat worked on things that I don't remember, then made a curtain by cutting down larger panels for her newly finished basement. You can see it in the bottom left corner of the first More Serengeti photo. Michele cracked us all up when she said  "You go Scarlett!" We picked out a gorgeous batik jelly roll and coordinates at Attic Quilts in Beloit to go on the couch in her new space.
DiscoJen made about a hundred outfits each for her 2 children in the first 3 hours, a couple of placemats, and then finished a purple and green pinwheel quilt whose blocks were put together about 8 years ago.
Pat Pot worked on a happy and oh so summery, orange and pink Bill and Weeks Ringle quilt.
Debbie started not one, but 2 You Go Girl Bags! Judy did two projects, but I seem to only remember the second one, a gorgeous blue and yellow monkey wrench quilt. Carol finished a very detailed, GORGEOUS quilt using the 3 Sister's Sanctuary  line (see Michele's blog for a photo) then she started a Christmas quilt. She was using a pattern from a country style book, but we all had suggestions, and ended up completely changing it. Patterns are really just suggestions anyway.
And last, but not least, let me introduce you to my new bag model, Kate! Yes, I'm calling her Kate after the new HRH, because I got her the weekend of the wedding, she's wearing white, and is ridiculously skinny!
I'm off to finish off the 6 London Calling bags that I'm in the process of creating.
Happy Quilting!