Archive for June, 2012

I Desperately Need a Beadazzler

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

I desperately need a Bedazzler.

This is how the whole saga began. My sewing group is doing a wardrobe challenge. Members who choose to participate will try to make a coordinated wardrobe–slacks, tops, jackets, skirts that can be mixed and matched.

So we took a fabric store road trip on Thursday. Now you’d think that if you went to a fabric store, you’d find fabric. Well, you will, but around here quilting fabric dominates the fabric stores. It’s not as easy as you’d think to find good fashion (garment) fabric.

Our main stop was at Fabrications in Richland. They have lovely designer fabric and super helpful clerks. At the store my friends encouraged me to think outside my comfort zone–to think about a print! To think beyond my usual fashion guru LLBean.

I purchased some very nice cotton/poly twill in olive brown. Ok, so cotton/poly twill is not very unusual, but this was a beautiful quality. I’ll make slacks from it.

But what to wear with it? My slacks tend to be black, navy and khaki. I wear blue, yellow, green and purple shirts. Mostly blue. And all plain colored. (No, it’s not a dress code. I’m just in a rut.)

Yellow looked great with the olive brown, but I was challenged to try a print. I purchased a rayon knit with a sort of abstract print in olive brown, navy, tan, white and mauve. Whoa! Nothing else like that in my closet! This fabric will be a t-shirt.

Since I might make a jacket as well, I decided to cruise through Kohl’s, Penney’s, and Yonker’s today to check out what might look good. Oops! Wrong season for jackets.

But there were lots of t-shirts in prints. And that brings us to the Beadazzler. The t-shirts were Beadazzled! Sparkle City! Major bling!

You’d think that a person who has as many beads as I do would have Beadazzled clothing. Nope. That I’d sparkle. Nope. That I’d wear bling. Nope.

LLBean is not Bedazzled and neither am I.

I need to get out of my wardrobe rut. I need to be Bedazzled. I desperately need a Beadazzler. Anyone have one I can borrow?

Quilts for Twins

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

What would you do if you received an email message to members of your family that Niece was expecting identical twins?

Of course, that same day, you’d email the female members of your family asking if they wanted to join in a group quilt for the twins. Er, two group quilts.

But being a sensitive person, you’d title your message, “Read Niece’s Message First.” You’d want the good news to come from Niece, but you would be so excited that you’d want the plotting and scheming to begin right away. So that is what I did.

Since we were all busy with Thanksgiving and Christmas preparations, we decided to delay active production until after the holidays. By then we’d probably know the gender of the babies and we could choose fabric to suit them. And at Christmas, three of the five of the family plotters and schemers would be able to shop for fabric together.

During our Christmas holiday together time, three of us picked out quilt fabric. We chose a floral print in two colorways–yellow and orange. These would be our focus fabrics. Then we picked out some blue, red, yellow and white to go with it. The green was added a bit later. We laundered, pressed, and cut our fabric so each of our five participants would have plenty of fabric to choose from. The fabric was then sent on to the participants.

Our only plan was to have two sampler quilts with 12 nine-inch blocks. Each participant could choose her own blocks and colors, as long as the yellow focus fabric was in all the blocks for one quilt and the orange focus fabric was in all the blocks for the other quilt. Many of us used Block Party by Marsha McCloskey as our reference book. We’ve used it before, and it works well for group quilts.

I was the only experienced quilter with no real job so I volunteered to assemble and quilt the quilts. The quilts were finished in late April, a couple of weeks after the girls were born.

If you look at the quilts, you will see that some of us made the same block twice in different colorways, and others of us made entirely different blocks for each quilt. That’s one of the things that makes this sort of project fun. These are the sixth and seventh quilts that various groups of family members have made for this generation.

The quilts were delivered in early June to the adorable babies and their tired, but amazing, parents. One great-aunt got to hold them both at the same time.

What Are You Going To Do With All Those Beads?

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

All these Delicas and bugles?

All these hanks of beads?

And these 20 tubes of 11/0s, 10/0s, 9/0s, and cubes?

That’s what she asked me. I didn’t ask her, but I did wonder what she was going to do with those two sets of 1950s salt and pepper shakers.

What we’re both doing is increasing our net worth.

This is the way I figure it: Say, for example, that the beads were priced at $100. But at the 70% off sale, I only paid $30. I’ve increased my net worth by $70.

Early this morning I had a one hundred dollar bill. Now I have $100 worth of beads and a fifty dollar bill and a twenty dollar bill.

Early this morning I had $100. Now I have $170 worth of extremely valuable stuff (money and beads). I’ve increased my net worth by $70.

Had I been thinking more clearly, I might have relieved Dr. Mathematics of all his cash before he had a chance to peek into the going-out-of-business bead store. One quick look, and he decamped to the public library across the street. With more cash, I might have increased my net worth even more.

If the phone is busy when you call, don’t worry. I’ll be on the phone with NPR for an interview on economic theory.

Crackpot All-Together Week

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

by Nancy

It’s recently come up in several conversations with other Crackpots that we don’t yet have a plan for any crackpotty activity/sewing day during All-Together Week. While a lack of planning is generally a good crackpotty thing, occasional planning can be helpful too. So, what thoughts do Crackpots have? Any things you want/need to do that would be more fun in the presence of other Crackpots? Do we want to make a charity quilt or bring our own things to work on? One suggestion which has been made is to do a Crackpot workshop on applique – how to do it, what the various methods are, etc. I plan to bring this unfinished object, which needs to be quilted because I have found that I am much more productive in quilting on Marty’s machine than on my own. I think this is due in equal parts to her superior machine and to the lack of people/housework which pull me away from quilting when I am at her machine. But I don’t necessarily need to do my quilting during the Crackpot Quilting Day if there are more interesting activities happening. Ok, Crackpots, discuss.

Fun with Scraps

Friday, June 15th, 2012


By Nancy

After I finished piecing a quilt the other night, I felt like playing around with scraps a little.  I had a bunch of 1.5″ yellow strips, so I decided to try piecing a string heart block. The dark blue background fabric was in my stash.