April Flea Market Finds

Here’s the current stash reduction report (through today):

  • Used the last month: 3 yards
  • Used Year to Date: 8 yards
  • Added in the last Month: 25 yards
  • Added Year to Date: 57  yards
  • Net Used for 2012: 49 yards

The reason there was such a huge leap in what I added this month (I have to justify this) is because there was a big sale on fabrics and I purchased a bunch of half yards to use in my quilts.  I also have to take 1 yard of fabric to my monthly sewing circle and I will need at least 20 more yards for the duration of the club (so I am all set for the next two years!).

I haven’t been as productive in the sewing room as I would like.  I’ve done a lot of traveling and the spring weather makes it difficult to stay inside.

Antique Spool Chest – Front

Of course, I always have time to go to the thrift store and flea market and have some great finds to share with you this month!  The best find this month is this antique spool chest.  Make of oak (I think) with 4 drawers.  It is small enough to set on a table.

Antique Spool Chest
Antique Spool Chest

I have a  huge antique postcard collection – it’s a hobby I had when I was younger, so do keep an eye out for good postcard bargains.  Most of the good cards are at least $5 these days (I remember paying 50 cents for the same cards 30+ years ago), so I don’t usually get them.  However, I find a treasure trove of some Thanksgiving and Valentine cards (some of the harder holidays to find) and got the whole lot for $2!

Antique Postcards

This is a great old tool carrier –  probably from the 40’s.  I may put some plants in it, or wash it off a bit and arrange some mini quilts on it.

Antique Tool Carrier

This is a sweet little handmade basket.  It is signed by the maker and was made in 1980 – so it is over 30 years old so it qualifies as vintage!

Handmade Basket

Here is a real find – some vintage Hawaiian fabric from the 1950’s.  There is enough here for me to make making shirts for my husband/son and a sundress for me.  Family picture time!

Vintage Hawaiian Fabric

There were some good book finds this month.  I usually find one or two sewing/quilting books each month (note, I will never have time to read them all), and they are always fun to look through for ideas and inspiration.  This month there were a ton of books at one of the stores – someone must have been doing some major spring cleaning!

Stack of Quilt Books

Finally, the treasure of the month is this special seashell toilet seat!  My son saw this and had to have it – he is obsessed with sea creatures.  What he doesn’t know is that I am re-doing his bathroom this summer with a Hawaiian theme.  This will be a perfect match!

Seashell Toilet Seat

Hope you are having a great spring.  Keep it Thimble!

March Flea Market Finds

Here’s a smile for you – my son holding up this love bug mask and saying “Hello Spring”!  How can you resist?

Hello Spring!
Hello Spring!

I had some good luck with flea market finds this month and found some great knick knacks.  I’m not sure what this first item is; it is some type of souvenir tray from Florida.  I think this might be for carrying drinks?  If anyone knows, please tell me!

Souvenir Tin
Souvenir Tin

This is a handmade Raggedy Ann doll.  Her face is hand embroidered and she is stuffed with fabric scraps (very old-fashioned).  I figure she was probably made in the 60’s or 70’s based on the fabric used for her dress.  I plan to make a new dress for her from my plethora of fabric.  She looks perfect sitting on the school desk I found a few months ago.

Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll
Handmade Raggedy Ann Doll

Here is a wooden bread box.  It needs a bit of cleaning (there are crumbs in it), and I may end up painting/distressing this.  It would make a perfect sewing box – especially since you can see your project through the window.

Bread Box
Bread Box

When I saw this piece with the handcarved star and the little drawers, I had to have it! According to the signature on the back, this was made in 1986, which makes it 26 years old – so it just qualifies as being vintage!

Handmade Drawers
Handmade Drawers

Lastly, here is a very clever tote bag.  This is made from a paper-pieced quilt block that shows a girl jumping rope.  Do you see how her rope is actually the handles of the bag?  Also, I love her braids!

Jump Rope Quilt Block
Jump Rope Quilt BLock

Good luck with your flea market finds!  If you find something fun, let us now by posting in the comments.

Keep it Thimble!

Two Pillows – Finally Finished!

First off, here’s my monthly stash reduction report for February 2012:

  • Used the last month: 4 yards
  • Used Year to Date: 5 yards
  • Added in the last Month: 2 yards
  • Added Year to Date: 32 yards
  • Net Used for 2012: +28 yards

As you can see, I had a much better month then January, since I actually used more fabric than I bought.    My overall net went down by 1 yard, so surely by the end of the year my net fabric used will be running in the negative (that’s the goal).

Wool Rabbit Throw Pillow
Wool Rabbit Throw Pillow

I also had time to finally finish two pillow kits that I’ve had for at least 4 years!   The first is a cute little wool bunny – perfect for Spring. This kit is from a LQS (local quilt shop), and I think the owner of the shop drew the bunny pattern.  This is wool applique on top of one of those colorful cotton dishtowels.  The trim is a cream colored fringe that sets off the pillow perfectly.

Fourth of July Pillow
Fourth of July Pillow

The second pillow is from a Crabapple Hill pattern (I think it was a freebie pattern she offered a long time ago).  It is stitched with Red, White, and Blue perle cotton.  I love the fireworks!

What projects have you been able to complete this month?  What are you working on for Spring?

Keep it Thimble!

January Flea Market Finds!

Back by popular demand – Flea Market Finds!  At the end of each month I will post some of my better “finds.”  Some months I do really well, other months I don’t have much luck!

This is a cute little house box I found at the local thrift store.  It is handpainted and the colors work great with the vintage red,white, and blue color scheme I have in my sewing room.  The roof lifts off and you can store treasures  inside.

Little House Box

Next up is an antique school desk.  This one is in exceptionally good condition – only one piece of gum stuck to the bottom!  This particular model (Model 101) was manufactured by the American Seating Co. in the early 1900’s.   There is an fascinating history of theater, school, and bus seating on the American Seating Co. website.   The frame is made of steel and the seat flips up for easy storage.  This may go in the entranceway – the perfect place to sit while you put on or take off shoes.

Antique Schoolhouse Desk

There is a store in downtown Apex called The Rusty Bucket owned by Pam and Mack Thorpe.  They carry all types of antique and primitive items and I go there all the time to see what “new” things they have.  I was lucky enough to be in town last week when they hosted “The Gathering”, a huge sale that featured all the wonderful antiques that Pam and Mack found when they went “pickin'” in some old barns.

Barnwood Cupboard

The biggest thing I bought was a wooden cupboard made out of old barnwood.  I needed something like this for the house to add some height to my living room.  I’m not sure how old this is, but it definitely has some authentic distressing and works great with the other primitive things in the house.  This thing is very heavy and so once I find a place for it – it won’t move!

Vintage Flag Trunk

The last thing is my most favorite find (sorry Barbara, you can’t have it!).  It’s a vintage trunk with an American Flag carved into the top.  There are 50 stars on the flag, so I assume it was made in the 1960’s.  It is made of a nice heavy dark wood, and there is a tray inside that lifts out.  Not sure where this is going yet, but I am sure my decorator (Liberty Rose)  can help me figure it out!

In other news, I have a few sewing things I am working. I will also be posting a tutorial next week for a fun Valentine’s project.

Keep it Thimble!

Christmas All Through the House

It’s official, we are ready for Christmas.  The decorations are hung inside and out.  A little bit more shopping to do and then I will be ready!  My son contributed to the decorating as well by putting a wreath on his friend “Wickid Jack” (his spelling of “wicked”).

Wickid Jack's Christmas Hair

This year we have two trees – a traditional green one in the front window and a white and blue one in the den.  When we got married, my husband started a tradition of having a white tree with a different color each year.  We’ve repeated some colors, but so far we’ve had blue, black, purple, and pink.  Next year I think we should do red!

Traditional Christmas Tree
Vintage White Tree

In the entryway the little elves are ready to help Santa for Christmas.  By the fireplace, a snowman is ready for a snowball fight (although my son pointed out that snowballs aren’t usually blue).

Santa's Elves
Little Snowman with a Snowball

Santa is perched on some antique quilts, next to a basket of gingerbread men!

Ho! Ho! Ho!

An antique grain scoop is the perfect place for some holiday foliage!  This will be hung on the wall tomorrow – after I get the nails from the garage.

Grain Scoop

Last but not least, the fireplace holds lots of little Santas and Snowmen.  Most of the items here were made by me – can you guess which ones?

Santa and Snowmen

Keep it thimble!

Flea Market Finds

Time for another edition of Flea Market Finds!  I’ve been finding a lot of treasures over the past few months at thrift store and flea market, but haven’t had a chance to post them.

Antique Star Quilt - 1

The first one is a old quilt I found at the local Goodwill!  This is made of old feedsacks and features a pink border.  There are a few holes here and there, but overall it is in good shape.  Not sure what I will do with it yet, but it is a nice addition to my collection of old quilts.

Antique Star Quilt - 2

Next is a set of tin dishes I found at one of my regular thrift stores.  The large pan with a lid is an old lunch pail – it reminds me of the lunch pail that Pa Ingalls used in Little House on the Prairie.

Antique Tin Dishes

Another great Goodwill fins is this this cute little teddy bear is a cookie jar.  His badge says “I Love Kraft Marshmallows.”  It was released in 1989 and looks fantastic in my kitchen.

Kraft Teddy Bear Cookie Jar

The last treasure is a vintage sewing box from the flea market.  As an added bonus, the box was filled with some old wooden spools, trim and zippers.  It has a few scratches here and there, but is in overall good condition.  It is the perfect size for carrying one of my wool crazy projects!

Vintage Sewing Box

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Keep it thimble!

Crow Pillow

Renee Plains is one of my favorite designers and I have been meaning to make a project from her “Bird In the Hand” book.   This little pillow attracted me because it was small and featured needle-turn applique – a technique I’ve been wanting to try for awhile.

Crow Pillow

The original project features the word “Bird” across the top, but I change mine to say “Crow.”  I also made the linen square in the bottom left larger and embroidered the word “buttons” – I thought this added a nice touch.  Finally, I added a few french knots on the strawberry so it looked like it had seeds (the lighting is not so great so it is hard to see the berry agains the red background).

Sharon at Liberty Rose was kind enough to show me the basics of needle-turn applique, and it is really isn’t as difficult as it seems.  I do agree it will take some practice to get good at it so that my appliques look nice and have tiny stitches.  However, if I can learn how to do it well, it will save me a lot of time!  I have done both the templar/starch method (tutorial by Suppose Quilt Boutique) and freezer paper method (tutorial by the Golden Thimble) and find these both to be time consuming since a lot of time is spent “prepping” the shapes before they are sewn onto the background.

Both of these methods are easier for newbies to use since they eliminate a lot of the guess work of how much of the edge you need to turn under before you sew.  One reason why I really enjoy wool applique is because you can just cut and stitch – no extra steps to get the shapes ready – so projects can go pretty quickly.

Also, I have been doing a major clean out of my sewing room and will be having a crafter’s/quilter’s yard sale in a few weeks.  I plan to sell off part of my stash and other miscellaneous crafting supplies that I haven’t used for at least a year.  If you are interested in finding out the details, please email me (email link in the upper right of my blog).

Keep it Thimble!

Sewing Room is Coming Together

It’s been pretty hot here the past week or so, and unfortunately our AC stopped working 7 days ago.  The repairman is coming tomorrow – as you can imagine this is a very busy time of year for AC companies and we had to take what we could get!  The upstairs is about 90 degrees right now, so needless to say I haven’t spent much time in the sewing room.

However, I have been hitting up the thrift stores to get out of the house and enjoy someone else’s AC for awhile.  Good thing, I did!  People are doing a lot of spring cleaning right now and so there are some great deals out there.

Sewing Box - Exterior
Sewing Box - Interior

The first piece is a wonderful little sewing caddy that for any UFOs.  It’s a perfect fit next to my sewing chair – just haven’t had a chance to sit down with it yet.

Bookshelf with Removable Shelves

Here is a cute little shelf I found at Goodwill.  Each shelf can be removed and used as a tray.  Also, the little “fences” around the shelves can be removed for a different look.

Mr. Peanut Cannisters

No sewing room is complete without a bunch of containers for all your sewing treasures!  Who knows what will actually go in them, but they sure look cute.  First is set of Mr. Peanut jars from 1980.  My grandmother used to go through these peanuts like crazy!  Who knew the jars would become collectibles!

Vintage Rooster Cannisters

Next is a set of wooden canisters with roosters on them.  These were very popular in the 1950’s.  I think there was probably a fourth canister (a larger one), so you had one each for flour, sugar, coffee, and tea.

I have such a good time seeking out these bargains and treasures – wish I could do it full time!

Keep it thimble!

Lunch Bags and Ballet Bags

Miraculously I finished both the ballet bags and lunch bags that I posted about last week!  I was pretty pleased with how both projects turned out, but also glad I didn’t have the pressure of sewing deadlines!  The next big deadline I have is getting ready for the Porch Sale in October (more details later).

Lunch Bags

Heather Bailey’s Jack and Jill pattern is very cute, but the bags were not as simple to make as I thought.   And since I was making two bags at the same time, any missteps I made were multiplied by two!   Laminated fabric was used for both the interior and exterior  – this is a medium weight fabric that is lighter than oilcloth, but sturdier than cotton.  It was very easy to work with – and I had no issues with cutting or sewing with it.  I did have a teflon foot which made the fabric slide very easily through the feeddogs.  If you don’t have a teflon foot you can also use the walking foot.

The pattern instructions were clear enough in most places, but I think she may have missed a minor step when you have to cut out the fabric for the side tabs.  Easily remedied, but it slowed me down because I spent a few minutes looking for the missing step.

Lunch Bags with Accessories

The thing that is most confusing is keeping the top and bottom oriented correctly on the top flap.  The finished flap works just like a brown paper lunch bag – you pinch in the sides and fold over the top twice.  Velcro secures the flap, so precise placement of the hook and loop strips is important.  You must also stay on your toes when sewing the lined flap to the bag body so you don’t sew it in upside down.  This is very easy to do – take it from me :).  I spent about 30 minutes ripping out stitches since I didn’t realize my mistake until three seams later!  Thanks goodness I didn’t make the same mistakes on both bags.

Once finished, I added in a plastic sandwich holder and small soup-thermos (color coordinated, of course).  The teachers loved them!

Ballet Bag for Pointe Shoes

The second project were the ballet bags from my friend April.  I plan to post a tutorial about how to make them in the near future – so stay tuned!   The cute thing about these bags was the monogram in the lower corner.  You can use the iron-transfers for the craft store – there are many styles and colors to choose from.

Pink Ballet Bag

Keep it thimble!

Home Decor

It’s been a busy few weeks for me with work and travel (and prepping for potential travel) and it’s really cut into my sewing time!  Thankfully it looks like summer is going to slow down and I will have plenty of time to hang out in the sewing room!

Charlevoix – Minnick and Simpson – Moda Fabrics

Speaking of sewing room, I am finally getting ready to re-decorate it.  This has been one of the last rooms in the house to get any attention and now it’s time!  The color scheme is going to be around the fabric above – it is from Minnick and Simpson’s Charlevoix collection.  This fabric will be used for valances and then other fabric from the line will be used to make chair covers.  The walls will be painted a light blue (exact color TBD).

Shower Curtain – Pattern from Moda Bakeshop

Finally, for the downstairs bathroom I am going to make a shower curtain.  I found a great pattern for making a shower curtain out of layer cakes on the Moda Bakeshop website.  I am using the same fabric in the picture above (Clermont Farms – Minnick and Simpson).  In addition to the shower curtain I am going to make some hand towels by making ruffles, prairie points and other embellishments from the left over fabric.  Should be a lot of fun!

Keep it thimble!