Monday, March 17, 2008

Serendipitous thrifting

recent thrift store haul

The thrift stores in California have been good to us. In fact, some of our scores have been so perfect as to be creepy. See the tablecloth under the rest of our booty? Well, does it remind you of this tea towel from Berlin?

vintage Bavarian tea towel

Felis Domesticus likes the tablecloth too, though you'd never know it from her usual grumpy expression.

a grouchy beast

An even better match to the tablecloth were these placemats that I found shortly after the tablecloth.

vintage linens

Really nice coarse linen, still in the original packaging! The only problem is that the label stickers leave some gummy residue—need to research how to get rid of it.

Nothing creepy about a well-matched set of linens, though. The scary bit is that while in Berlin I designed a quilt inspired by the the German tea towel that looks eerily similar to the tablecloth, which of course I hadn't yet laid eyes on.

Flower Patch blocks

These are just a couple of the blocks that I've been whizzing through the machine. Same basic colours and layout as the tablecloth, see? Did I peer into the future and design a quilt based on linens that had yet to find me? Bizarre. The only thing that seems to rival the number of pink and orange table linens we've found is the number of pink and orange quilting fabrics out there. It's a great colour combo, but who knew it was so prevalent?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Shop hops, guilds, and quilt shows

stack of fabric from the shop hop

Over the last couple of months, I've been getting in touch with my quilting brethren (sistren?), taking advantage of having a car to investigate the wealth of quilting stuff going on around the area. I finally joined a guild, for starters, which has been good fun despite the demographic discrepancies between the other members and yours truly. The quilt show circuit is in high gear this weekend, with three shows to choose from within two hours, I hit a more local show a couple weeks ago, and last weekend was a big shop hop that sent the Other, Hortense, and me skittering across Northern California.

If nothing else, it was a good excuse to see towns we probably never would have passed through, but naturally fabric was the main draw. I'm finding that the shops with livelier staff tend to have livelier prints, which seems like it couldn't possibly be true—further investigation is in order. So here's the haul:

fabric from the shop hop

Now that I look at it, though, I notice that one of the best fabrics we found—another cityscape print—didn't make it into the mosaic. And fiddlesticks to that, since it would have filled that ugly white hole at the bottom. Anyway, the Other is becoming quite well trained and spotted the pink and orange prints for a machine-appliqué quilt I'm working on. The green and yellow fruity (ahem) fabrics were in fact purchased at his insistence, as all my yammering about fabric seems to have rubbed off on him. He actually begged for lessons on the sewing machine the other day! I would like to say that I'm thrilled to share my love of quilting with him, but instead I'm consumed with fear that he'll raid my stash. After all, as a guild member pointed out the other day, we don't buy fabric for us, we buy it so no one else can have it. So stay back, Other! Don't think I don't know the exact yardage of everything on my shelves! Don't think I can't sniff your greedy fingers rifling through the stacks! I'm watching you.