Saturday, August 29, 2015

Tales of a Fabric Collector

This post isn't about me. Not really, but sort of. It's mostly about an experience. I do like  love fabric and I do have a "stash" and I am running out of room in my closet, but I don't consider myself over the top with my collecting. Not yet anyway.
Get a cuppa. This is a long read.
Have you ever wondered about what would happen to your sewing "supplies" if/when you die and can no longer hover over your precious collections? I have thought of this more than I'd like to admit. Anyone else? I'm thinking my family would just bundle it all up and give it to Good Will. I have no personal sewing friends, so my family would think to bag it up and give it away would be the simplest thing to do.
Well, last weekend, I went to a friend's house for a fabric sale to beat all fabric sales! Her sister-in-law passed away this past March after a brief battle with cancer. (Rest in peace, dear Sharon.) As time went on, her husband came across a pile or two of fabric hidden in various drawers or cabinets in the house. They'd be stacked behind books or dishes or cereal boxes. Sharon had a dedicated sewing room that was well stocked already, so her husband had no reason to believe that there was any more.
Well, he was wrong. Big time wrong. He ventured into her car and the trunk was jam packed with fabric. An extra bedroom was another place to stash her wares under the bed, in the closet, in the dresser, even between the mattress and box spring!
Now most of this fabric wasn't your run-of-the-mill JoAnn Fabrics or Hancock lines (not to demean their stuff...that's where I buy 95% of the time).  She and her husband liked to travel and when he'd go to a sporting event or off fishing, guess where she went? Yep, to quilt shops. And she'd buy lovely yardage of designer fabrics. Then she'd hide them in suitcases, bring them home and hide them again. Never washed, never organized by color or theme, but just stashed.
Sad, huh?
It took a group of 5 ladies 3 weeks to go through everything they found (and some may yet be hidden) to measure, tag and organize this beautiful haven. Once ready, it filled 4 large rooms of my friend's house. All set out like a shop with signage and baskets of supplies like thread (hundreds) , scissors (all shapes and sizes), rotary cutters (must've been 2 dozen of them), sewing patterns (from garments to totes to quilts), buttons(galore!), even a large basket of unfinished projects to be lovingly completed by someone else.
All was priced to sell. A 3 day sale starting at noon on Friday. I got there at noon. On Friday! I was at the back of the line amongst 20 other women all wanting the same things. We were met with hugs at the door, given a tote bag to shop with, and some verbal directions as to where was what, plus a bit of history on the situation. Sharon was a hoarder. Her husband needed to get his house back.
Fabric was measured and labeled by the inch. It was selling for 10 cents an inch. A fat quarter was $1.00. Quilt kits were marked Small-Medium-Large and was $12-$15-$18 respectively. Signs were posted on walls with categories and prices. Sharon's spirit was present and all was calm as ladies giggled and shopped and filled their totes (some more than one!).
This is what I came home with:
I spent a total of $103 on this treasure and didn't regret a penny of it. I barely made a dent in the piles within those 4 rooms.
My friend said there'd be a huge slashing of prices on Sunday of anything that was left. So, of course, I had to go back. (Quit rolling your eyes.) I filled another tote and brought this home for $32. Fat Quarters were now 4 for $1, all quilt kits were 1/2 price, and bolts of fabric were just $10. A hoarder's delight.
In the end, I hope Sharon was looking down on us and was happy that her family and friends were sharing her passion. Spreading her love of all things sewing amongst local ladies, while allowing her husband to see smiles of the recipients and gain back some cash... a very small fraction of the worth of this treasure.
Rest in peace, Sharon, and I do hope there are sewing machines in Heaven!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

100 Modern Quillt Blocks #1 - 15

Blocks #1-15
I am SOooo enjoying the journey of making these quilt blocks from Tula Pink's book. Knowing that each block is different and I am in charge of choosing the fabrics,
(rather than following a prescribed pattern), I am at ease and loving each step.
Here are Blocks # 1-5
plus a photo of Sophie! She is very camera-shy,
but insisted on sitting in on this photo.
Blocks #6-10.
If you're expecting perfection, you'll be disappointed!
I am a self-learner, never have taken a quilting lesson and
am determined to make myself into an official "quilter"!
Blocks #11-15.
I found a way to help  myself keep the strips organized.
The blocks need a variety of widths: 1"; 1.5"; 2"; 2.5"'
and several larger widths of various sizes.
So, I am keeping them in marks containers for easy grabbing.
As you can see, I have way  more than 15 blocks finished!
I'll be blogging about those in upcoming posts.
Thanks for the comments and suggestions to add more solids and tone-on-tone fabrics.
I took your advice and have added some!
That's what blogging friends are for!

Friday, August 14, 2015

A Quilt Along

A few weeks ago, I came upon this blog post  in my Bloglovin' feed written
by Michele at Crayon Box Quilt Studio

Michele and her friend, Katie, decided to stitch up several blocks from the Tula Pink 100 Modern Quilt Blocks book. They wanted to cheer each other on as they progressed through the book and then decided to invite readers to join in! I was immediately interested!
So, I went on a search to find the book on eBay and snagged one for cheap (meaning less than half price in the book store), plus it was brand new! While I waited for the book to be delivered by snail mail, I got to work on
choosing my fabrics.
I've been a Joel Dewberry fabric lover for a while and have collected several fabrics from his line that I loved. I pulled out the ones that coordinated well together:

*Please keep in mind that I am NOT a skilled quilter, nor do I have a lot of experience pulling fabrics for quilts!
I just know what I like.
Then, I went through my stash
 (no pictures of that, thank goodness...I'd scare you away) and found some non-Joel fabrics that I wanted to mix in.

OK, who's saying,
"Yee Gads!!! She's not going to mix all of those fabrics,
for real, is she?"
 If that was you, I heard you! :)
So, the piles all together looked like this:
I'm thinking I'd like to make all 100 blocks. Yep, I'm an over-achiever. I  may or may not put them all in one quilt. I do hope for some grand-babies one day...or several days, so this might be a good way to get prepared for that.

Anyhoo, if you want to join along with Michele at Crayon Box Quilt Studio, head on over and add your link!
New blog addition:
Since I'm a teacher by profession, I thought I'd add a note at the bottom of every post to let you know what book I'm currently reading.
For a long time, I've had
 The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath on my reading list.
 Published in 1963, it's an autobiographical novel of a young woman's journey with mental illness and eventually enduring a mental breakdown. I'm enjoying the book, but it is leaving me with questions that I'd love to have answers to. I guess that is one trait of a great leave questions in the mind of the reader.
What are you reading?