All Things Andrea

All Things Andrea

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Today's Thrift Shop Goodies



I can never resist vintage linens, especially from the thrift shop - never!  Is this dear or what???!!!  Love it!!


Or, these adorable yo-yo armchair protectors!


Or, some cornflower blue buttons!


Don't they look like they were meant to be together!

:)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Pinterest Live!



My neighbor Alisha saw this on Pinterest - what a great idea!  She used her family's yearly Christmas photo cards to decorate the garland on her banister.


How cute is this?!!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!



Merry Christmas!
 
Click here for more info on these fun cards.
 


Monday, December 23, 2013

White Chocolate Peppermint Bark



I finally made this after sampling it on my sister-in-law's cookie tray a number of years ago!
16 oz. Nestle Premium White Chocolate Morsels
24 hard peppermint candies or 4 medium-size candy canes
Cover a cookie sheet with waxed paper, aluminum foil or parchment paper.  Place morsels in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave uncovered on high for 2-3 min, stirring ever 30 seconds, until almost melted.  Stir until smooth.

Place peppermint candies in a heavy plastic zip lock bag; crush with a rolling pan or the smooth side of a meat mallet.  Pour crushed candies into wire strainer.  Shake strainer over melted chocolate until all of the tiniest candy pieces fall into the coating; reserve the larger candy pieces.  Stir chocolate to mix evenly.  Spread chocolate 1/4" thick evenly on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle evenly with remaining candy pieces.  Lightly press candies into the chocolate.  Let stand about 1 hour or until cool and hardened.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter Wonderland Photo Shoot


I was installing some curtains for a sewing customer/dear friend this afternoon.  It had snowed a bit this morning, so their lovely property was the perfect setting for a spur of the moment photo shoot.  I felt a little goofy asking if she and her husband would be willing to climb up on step stools (in the cold!) and hold up this quilt for me to snap some pictures, but they were great sports about it!  I just wish I had taken a "behind-the-scenes" photo of them so you could see how we staged this!  :)
You can read more about this quilt here!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Getting ready...

 
 
for Christmas cookie baking and candy making!
 
:)

Laughlin Love

 
 
I'm supposed to be getting the house in order for Christmas decorating,

 
I enjoy admiring them every time I sit down at my kitchen table!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Today's Thrift Shop Purchase

 
 
I don't know why I'm such a sucker for these vintage sewing/needlework supplies.  I don't even know how to tat!  I have no use for these little balls of tatting thread....  I don't need any more "stuff"!  But, these were so pretty....  So reminiscent of an era gone by.  I always wonder about the woman such supplies belonged to.  What were her hopes and dreams?  What suffering and heartbreak did she endure?  And what wounds did her needlework soothe for her?   I also wonder if was she sad that at the end of her needlework days, no family member was interested in her hanging on to her tatting supplies....
 
Maybe I feel the need to rescue such things because I don't want the same thing to happen to me?

 
Anyway, in the meantime, these pretty balls of thread look lovely congregating together in glass jars, and they always bring cheer to my heart when I glance at them in my quilt room.  That's certainly worth $1.00, wouldn't you agree?
 
:)

Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to Me!

 
 
I was so excited to get these yummy threads in the mail today!  My mom always did my birthday and Christmas shopping for her and Dad, but after she passed away 10 years ago, my dad took up the mantel.  He faithfully sent me a $50 check for my birthday and then again at Christmas.  He always wrote "for fluff" on the memo  line of the check.  That endearing directive always gave me the freedom to purchase something special, maybe a little extravagant, but always something I wouldn't have justified on my own. I often purchased something creative, as my dad was a very handy, resourceful person.  I always looked forward to those special purchases....  
 
Now that my dad is gone, I decided to continue that tradition to keep his legacy warm and alive in my heart.  So, my "for fluff" purchases this year were the beautiful threads pictured above,
 
 
and these delicious Flower Sugar fabrics.  You can read more here about my purchases.
 
:)

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cleaning Vintage Aluminum Ware

 
 
I decided to take advantage of today's snowy weather to stay in and tackle "pressure washing" my growing collection of vintage aluminum ware.  An antique dealer somewhere along the way had tipped me off on the trick of washing them in the dishwasher (as long as you don't use dish detergent!!).

 
I washed them on the high heat and heavy duty setting I normally use, but I'm wondering if I should have used a lower heat setting, as I think they darkened a bit....

 
But, they're still perfect for storing and organizing sewing notions and fabrics,

 
exactly what I had envisioned for them all along.
:)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Kale Sighting

 
I had to laugh at this fabric sighting today while shopping for fabrics for a Christmas quilt I'm eager to makeKale has become quite popular in the gardening/food world these days, and it's popularity has now overflowed into the fabric industry!

If you need some ideas on what to do with kale, click here for lots of recipes from Martha Stewart.  And, click here for a few recipes from me as well!

Here's to kale!
:)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Today's Thrift Shop Purchase

 
Couldn't resist adding another piece of vintage aluminum ware to my collection,

 
especially when it only meant parking with a mere $2.50 out of my wallet!

Introducing....

A new quilt blog!
Beginning December 6 (my birthday - how providential and significant is that??!!), I took the huge leap to see if I can somehow make a living in the quilting world.  (It took until now to work up the nerve to post this!)  Yes, I quit my job....   EEEEKKK!  (No, I did not get fired!!)  Am I crazy??!!  Uh, uh, uh, I very well may be....  (Some days I'm terrified of that possibility!)  But, I just can't let another month or year go by without giving it a shot.  It boils down to this - I think about quilting 24/7.  Seriously.  I have been eternally frustrated with my search for an employer that can celebrate and use my creative skills, gifts and abilities. And, I was tired of feeling guilty about not being able to buckle down and fit into the traditional work world.  Then, it finally dawned on me that I should quit trying to squeeze my square peg of a person into all the round-hole careers that are out there, and create my own way of making a living.
Yes, I've tried this type of an avenue before and failed.  Several times, in fact.  And yes, I'm petrified that I won't be able to pay my bills and will have to come crawling back to some employer and beg them to hire me even though I really don't want the job.  But, this time it feels different....
Worse case scenario, I fail.  I FAIL!!  Is that the end of the world?  I think not!  Worse case scenario?  I do believe I can live with that!  And just maybe I need to remember that failing is sometimes the very stepping stone that gets us to where we're to be.
In the meantime, I'm going to explore.  Throw my hat in the ring.  Do some networking.  Give some avenues a try.  Take even more risks.  Work at something I give a rip about, something I believe in, something that changes people, something creative that honors and images my Creator, something I want to do.
I probably am crazy to invite you along on the journey, especially a journey where you could possibly watch me splatter onto the pavement vs. a clean dive into the swimming pool, but I don't feel like doing it alone.  And, just maybe, it will inspire or encourage you to do something crazy too - you know, that pesky thing that has been plaguing you too.  Please, please join me - I don't want to be the only one out there taking these crazy leaps!
A few DETAILS:
Click here for the link to the my new blog.  I plan to chronicle the journey as well as write about all things quilting (and spare those non-quilters of you out there all those annoying quilting details you would rather not read on my All Things Andrea blog).
What prompted all of this craziness?  Well, a number of things.
First, a revelation that I had returned to full-time work as an Administrative Assistant in the traditional work world out of fear that God wouldn't/couldn't provide for me.  Once I admitted/confessed that, heaven seemed to crack open in terms of God's guidance.
Second, reading In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson.  What an amazing book....  And even more amazing was God's timing in allowing it to fall into my hands.
Third, the LCBC sermon series Greater.  Truly amazing.  (And yes, God can and does speak to His people via a sermon series that can be watched via an iPad while laying in bed!)

Fourth, the pending possibility that I might be terminated by my employer for refusing to get a flu shot, got the ball rolling in getting me to think about alternative employment opportunities.

And fifth, just when the crazy idea of quitting my job and pursuing a quilting business came to mind, some other doors started opening, doors that I could have never orchestrated or even imagined.

So, the main thing I'm exploring at the moment is the possibility of a longarm machine quilting business.  I still don't know if it's feasible for me physically or if it's even something I would enjoy doing.  It's a HUGE decision and a big commitment.  But, it's the next step in this process of exploration.  So, I'm busy working on my blogs, stitching quilts to get ready, networking with other quilters and longarmers all over the country.  And, checking into the possibility of studio space in town.  In the meantime, I have the luxury of being able to fall back on my sewing and alteration work to help with some of my bills. 

Yikes, should I have shared all this with you?  I think so....  I hope so!

There's a HUGE booming quilting industry out there, fueled by a new generation of quilters and swept along by Pinterest and the internet, unlike anything we've seen before.  I wanna be part of it!

 :)

Thanks for reading!
Andrea


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Quilting Inspiration

I'm so glad I took the time this afternoon to attend the Lebanon Quilters Guild's 7th Annual Exhibition of Quilts at the Lebanon Expo Center. 
 

I was so moved by this exhibit of Memorial Quilts for Pennsylvania State Police Troopers.  Here's an excerpt from the write-up posted at the exhibit:
 
"One of our [Lebanon Quilters Guild] community service projects this year is to make quilts to be given to the families of Pennsylvania State Police Troopers who have been killed in the line of duty.  The tops of these quilts are made entirely from reclaimed State Police uniforms.  In addition to the fabric from the pants, shirts, sweaters and ties, may other parts of the uniform are used.  The uniforms were deconstructed in order to salvage every usable piece, including patches, epaulets, pockets, waistbands, buttons, zippers, ribbing and interfacings....  Guild members have been meeting since January to deconstruct, sort, press and prepare the kits needed to make each block....  540 blocks will be needed to complete the project.  The goal is to complete 60 memorial quilts to be presented to the families of fallen state troopers as needed.
 
 
The quilts are so artfully done! 
 
 
Nothing went to waste, including waistbands...

 

... and zippers!
 
 
Here's a display of how one of the blocks was created.  (Notice the jar of buttons at the bottom - not a single button was discarded!)

 
As an alterations seamstress who has seen the inside of many a pair of pants over the years, I was touched by how much respect was given to even the inner waistband and interfacings.

 
Such a moving exhibit....
 
Now, for some more inspiration!
 
 
A very, very nicely done t-shirt quilt,

 
a wonky quilt with wonderful machine quilting,

 
this fabulous quilt, and

 
my friend's lovely quilt inspired by Bonnie Hunter's approach to scrap quilting.
 
:)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Today

 
 
I had the fun of machine quilting two of these foundation-pieced table runners for a friend!
 

Here's a close-up view of the machine stitching.
 
I simply stitched in the ditch around the blocks, outlined the foundation piecing, did a small stipple in the background, then a larger stipple in the borders.  I used Aurafil 50 weight 100 % cotton thread - it was the perfect choice since we didn't want the thread to overpower the little quilt.  (I use the 50 weight if I want the thread to blend in or the heavier 40 weight if I want the thread to make more of a statement.)  I'm really coming to love that thread for machine quilting on my Bernina as well as for piecing.
 

 
Here's another shot - couldn't resist taking some more pictures since it matched my front stoop so well.  It was the perfect quilt to work on at this time of year!
 
:)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Antiquing Fun

 
I had the great fun of antiquing with my friend Denise at the Antique Marketplace of Lemoyne today.  It's the craziest thing - I have often stopped in at the PA Fabric Outlet (entrance under the green awning in the background), but had never ventured a few yards down the street into the antique mall - how sad is that?!  It took Denise's suggestion for me to actually make it there today. 
 

It's a great place - lots and lots of vendors...
 

...in the old West Shore Bakery Building.
 


Lots of eye candy...
 
 
It was fun to see these Ironstone dishes that I had already picked up at the thrift shop a while back for a MUCH cheaper price.  :)
 
 
Love the idea of displaying this cotton crochet thread in a glass canister....   I have a whole box of thread that belonged to my Great Aunt Mary that I didn't know what to do with; it's been sitting in a cardboard box in my attic, waiting to be rescued!

 
It was hard to walk away from this dear vintage dressing table (in fact, I just may have to go back for it....). It would make a perfect little sewing table for my Featherweight sewing machine....
 
 
I love the whole industrial chic look.  This $495 cart would make a fabulous coffee table, but not at that price point!

 
However, this adorable fan did fit the pocketbook - love it!!
 
 
My friend Denise scored this vintage tablecloth in perfect condition for only $12 - quite a steal as these are quite collectible and getting harder and harder to find.
 
I'll post pictures of the vintage quilts and fabric finds later!