Sunday, May 29, 2011

Holiday weekend treasure!

Memorial Day weekend is the official start of Yard Sale Season for me, and D and I kicked it off this year by heading to a 40-family yard sale in Lancaster, PA, where the pickings always seem to be a little more exciting than they are at home.  

(I'm especially loving the blue rosebud cotton print that you see in nearly all of the pictures below!  There's enough of it to make myself a pair of summer pajamas...)

Those big needles are called "Jumbo Jets."  The little ones beside them are size 17!

Yard-sale notions are practically free! To heck with Jo-Ann Fabrics! 

That big hoop is 17 inches across -- huge!  I'm going to use these to make a wall display of my favorite fabrics.

I love vintage greeting cards. Six different kinds in this box!

A souvenir tablecloth with cocktail napkins. I don't really know what to do with this, but I thought it was interesting-looking.

I have so much fun on these adventures, and I am so lucky to have a husband who enjoys them too (even if we did end up with a copy of Men In Black II.  Ugh.)  Thanks for a great day, D!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Planning a Vintage Linens Quilt

This is what happens when the vintage linens pile gets a little too large in my fabric closet.  I had in mind a yellow-and-orange quilt, but the green insisted on coming for the ride. 
My plan was to do a strip-style quilt like the one in Patchwork Style.   Somehow, though, I couldn't visualize a vintage-linens version of that.  I checked out another Make Good:  Crafts + Life book, Natural Patchwork, but nothing there moved me either.
Fiddling with the yellow-and-orange linens didn't help.  I remembered that Anna Maria Horner had some free quilt patterns up on her blog, and I went to take a look.
 The Folk Dance Quilt was intriguing, and I wondered if I could pull it off with the linens I had.  I printed it off and began yanking things off the shelves and swapping them around.
This would give me the chance to use patterns I had thought would never see the light of day!
Playing with colors and patterns is so much fun!  I can't wait to see how they look in the zig-zag patchwork.
Having done all this, I am thinking rather guiltily of the *ahem* four unfinished quilts (plus two wool blankets) on my shelves -- so I hastily remind myself that it is the process for me, not the product, which is most satisfying -- and also that I try to spend some part of every day on a work-in-progress, and so do in fits and starts get things completed.

What a joy to start a new quilt! and with my beloved (and overflowing stack of) vintage linens!  What a joy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Potato-Chip Tea Towels

I have been sitting on a bunch of feedsack material for several years now -- I think I bought it when I was getting ready to paint the studio and was planning to make my own curtains.  Then I found the pretty eyelet curtains that are still hanging from my windows and tucked the feedsacks away. 

Recently, I noticed that my kitchen linens were in rags but was reluctant to buy new ones.  I went to get some plain white birds-eye cotton to make dish towels, but the feed sacks caught my eye.  What good were they doing anybody in my fabric closet?

Enter Potato-Chip Tea Towels, so called because you can't make just one.

I followed the dish towel pattern in Linen, Wool, Cotton, omitting the zig-zag stripes and adding mitered corners to the hems (which I needed to learn how to do, and am so glad I did)  after doing about a few towels without them and getting annoyed at having to stop and pick out stitches at the lumpy ends.   My favorite thing about these towels is the hanging loop detail -- I plan to put up hooks in my kitchen so I can put them on display!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

(Not too) swift

Yeah, I should have known that I was not going to be winding yarn without ending up with a kitten in the swift. The title of this post, of course, refers to me, not the cat, who managed to navigate his way around the contraption pretty, um, swiftly.
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ten Things: Three

I am a poet.  At the moment, my poetry is dormant, but I have made a decision to wake it up.  Look for it here. 

I wrote pretty good poetry as an elementary-schooler, pretty typical (read: angsty and obscure) poetry as a middle-schooler, and pretty decent (if somewhat controversial) poetry as a high-school student.  My eleventh grade teacher was a wonderful mentor, and I was published multiple times in the school literary magazine, Pen and Ink -- admittedly I was literary editor my senior year, so there was some serious nepotism going on there.  I spent a summer learning about the ins and outs of life as a poet at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts, and I wrote prodigiously in my journals and read constantly.

To start off, here's the last poem I remember writing:

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ten Things: Two

Although I haven't done it in many years, I love to make pysanky -- Ukranian Easter eggs.  That is one of the reasons I am trying to clean out and sort my world.  I want to go back to this absorbing and challenging craft, and try some new adventures(such as hand-dyeing wool, yarn and fabric) in a more organized, well-defined space.  I think that, as a crafter and artist, I am at my best when I allow myself access to many different media, but concentrate on just one or two at a time, flowing from project to project as my mood dictates.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ten Things: One

A friend blogged recently with a challenge to post ten positive things about herself that had nothing to do with a particular demon she had faced in her life -- that her readers might not know about her.  I was most impressed with her response, and I would like to respond in kind.  I am going to do my post a bit differently, however -- I am actually going to do mine in ten separate posts, and focus (in keeping with this blog's theme) on creative aspects of my self -- so here goes:

I love to read and write poetry and was literary editor of my high school's literary magazine, Pen and Ink, during my senior year.  It has been a long time since I wrote regularly, but I am thinking about ways to get started again and how this blog might help me do that.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Meet the newest member of our family!