50% Less!

There is so much clothing thrown away around the world the practice just has to stop. Fast fashion and trendy styles are killing the environment. One way each of us can help this world problem is to be creative and find uses for what is thrown away. I purchased this gorgeous sweater the other day at a thrift shop. My intent was to reclaim the fabric in it to give it a second chance. One less sweater in the landfill.

After first disassembling the sweater into parts, it was time to put it through a first fulling. That simply means that using water, soap and agitation the sweater weave will close up and shrink in size. The fiber label on this sweater said it was 88% wool. I took a gamble that the woven stripe areas were the other 12%. It was a gamble that paid off. It shrank about 50% and resulted in a thick wool fabric.

I can’t wait to use this gorgeous wool in a project and not waste even one tiny piece of it.

My Rescued Bernina is Mended

I rescued a Bernina 1031 two weeks ago. Can I say it was filthy? It had been dropped and jammed the bobbin winder and the tension could not  be adjusted. But is was really really cheap so it followed me home to my sewing machine hospital. (Even though Ron tried to stop me!)

I love a challenge. I rarely give up on a machine that is worth saving. It is a last resort to ever part a vintage machine out. Without a really long story I repaired the tension but had to remove both the outer and one of the inner shells. The bobbon winder requires removing the mother board and I decided not to do that just now. I have my homemade bobbin winder that I use to wind all my bobbins so repairing this one just isn’t important now.

I think I am going to love this machine!

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Silk, Silk, Silk!!

A quick trip into Goodwill today yielded a silk wedding dress! Nearly all wedding dresses I find are polyester. So, to find an all silk custom made dress is a real treasure. Even the lace overlay and bustle are silk. I’m not a lace girl but who knows how this will get used?  And the best part is they had thrown it into the costume category so it was only $10! I have big plans for this pile of silk!

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Studio Additions Making My Life Easier

Taking time to clean and toss/giveaway in the studio that will make my life easier. While in Alabama last winter a trip to the Habitat for Humanity Restore yielded commercial dishwasher cup trays for $1 each. They made perfect units for my large cones of thread.

image My next addition is purely for my comfort. Sold for home manicure and hand treatments, it is wonderful for my arthritic hands after stitching. The heat is adjustable. I slip my hands in the pockets , relax and enjoy a little quiet time.

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Its time to finish a few pieces to jury and the commission for White River Hope is coming along nicely.

thinking of winter and warm quilts on the bed

Every year the small town across Bull Shoals Lake has town wide garage sales. Its been OK sometimes but other times it is either the dirtiest stuff you’ve ever seen or someone buys commercial things and sets up a show room…not my idea of good sales. It was cold and rainy on Friday and Ron and I had some work to get done at home so we waited until Saturday to go across the dam..

The first place we stopped didn’t look like much but I spied a large jar I thought would be useful in the dye room so I hopped out while Ron kept the motor running…remember it was COLD!  That jar was plastic so it wouldn’t do and I thought it was a wasted stop. Then I turned around and under a table was a bin of…….QUILT TOPS.  Not vintage yet, but probably from the 90’s judging by the tiny floral calico fabrics used.

The lady said her mother was the quilter and she has over 200 finished ones. She begged me to take the quilts for $20 for the entire box. I didn’t  take the time to look closely because they had to be worth a few dollars each, right? I whipped out a 20 and the lady stuffed some strip piecing templates, rotary cutter and mat and sewing machine attachments in the box. What a deal.

The box had 5 tops in it. 2 were king size, 2 twin/full and one baby. The twin/full ones could benefit from borders to make them queen size. I decided to keep this one and have it quilted. It has a modern quilt look to it. My friend Susan Berres is going to help me baste it. Then I should be able to quilt it on my Sunshine 16.  There is nothing as cozy on cold nights as a cotton quilt!

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