Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm seeing stars!

All those little triangles finally came together and I have completed sixteen stars for the APQ project. Yay!

The next step will be to add the background fabrics for each one. I'm looking at a variety of apple greens. What do you think?

Block 15

Block 16

Saturday, August 22, 2009

APQ Progress

So there seems to have been an explosion of triangles on my design wall this week. I am down to the last three stars and have hit a bit of a wall. There are some fun fabrics that I have yet to be able to work into the design. Try as I might I can't seem to make them work.

But I think the star on the left may be about finished, so that leaves me only two more to go. I can't stop now, so I will just have to press on. No pun intended

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


This is what you get when you combine a restless dog and a pile of Aunt Donna scraps.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Evolution of a Block

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Making Good Neighbors

Quite a few weeks ago, new neighbors moved into a house in the next block. Ours is a very short street, so I have been neglectful in going down to introduce myself-until today. They are a cute little couple, even if they did go to Mississippi State. They were hosting both sets of parents for a late lunch when I stopped by. Seems today was one mom's birthday. I won't be too much trouble though seeing as how I can't find my M flag anywhere. That's for Ole Miss, if you were wondering.

I decided to make them some of that delicious homemade lemonade that Gwen made back at the Fourth of July. Didn't want to purchase a new container as my neighborhood is all about the recyling. So I took a clean and empty cranberry juice bottle and added my own labels. Pretty cute I thought. And I used my newly purchased Juicit which made quick work of those lemons and the one lime I had.

2 cups fresh-squeezed lemon juice
juice of 2 limes
6 cups filtered water
1.5 - 2 cups sugar

Heat the water up just enough to melt the sugar. Start with just the 1.5 cups as you can always add more to taste. Let it cool completely before adding the fresh juice. Let sit overnight in the fridge. Just before serving, for looks add back some of the reamed out rinds that you stashed in the fridge, too, with a little sugar tossed on them.

I have been making lots of progress on my APQ project as you can see. Had to put a section of each star up on the design wall so I wouldn't duplicate a pattern too much. I now have eleven stars and think I might just shoot for the full sixteen as the pattern shows. It will make a nice size for the bed if I do that.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

WLYS, Part 3: The Finds

So finally you get to see what I brought home from the sale. I spent a total of $20.50 the whole day, excluding food. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Fabric is not something you see a lot of on this route. But I did manage to find four yards of a 36” wide brown foulard print from the 50’s. So cute with the pink, orange, and aqua.

I couldn’t resist the sweet little giraffe even if he did have a small chip on one foot. I have a soft spot for little animals.
4 yards of vintage fabric: $5.00
1 ceramic giraffe: $1.50

Gwen had instructions to be on the lookout for two Westmoreland grape pattern milk glass sherberts. I grew up eating ice cream out of these and found four of my own at a flea market years ago. Then I inherited the six from my childhood making ten total. So I have wanted two more to make an even dozen.

Believe it or not, Gwen had looked from the top of Ohio all the way to Crossville without any success. But then she spotted them at the same stop where she found her bracelet. We were both excited about that. And then I found another one for $1.00 in Dunlap.
3 Westmoreland sherberts: $7.00

Peggy said she thought I was headed to blows with this woman over this Christmas dish towel. At a certain point it becomes the principle of the thing. It had a store price tag of $1.23 on it and was obviously not old. When I asked if she would take a dollar for it, she said $2.00. Said it was 100% Irish linen and over 40 years old. I pointed out that the sewn-in tag said “Made in China” of 100% cotton. And the store tag had a barcode on the back. So she says $1.50. I offer $1.25 saying the price on it had been $1.23. She’s exasperated and says it’s just $1.50. I figure she’s been sitting in the heat all day and just wants to close up and go take a shower before hitting the bed.

Spotted this measuring cup with a full handle and clear markings. I don’t care for the newer stick handles.
Christmas dish towel: $1.50
1 cup Fire King measuring cup: $5.00

Sometimes you run across things that you didn’t know you wanted. Such is the case with the two kitchen appliances I picked up for next to nothing. At the invitation of a well-spoken 4th grader, I checked out a booth of odds and ends that looked left over from the last yard sale. Everything had been reduced to the same low price, so even if something didn’t work, I wouldn’t be out that much.

I have to admit these items were pretty grungy. The electric juicer looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned after the last use. Otherwise both seemed to be in good shape, no cracks or missing parts. So I took a chance and paid the young man. Got them home and discovered to my delight that they both work. Put soap and hot water to them to get the first layer of grime off and finished the cleaning with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. (If you don’t have one of these, you should get one.)
Proctor-Silex Juicit: $0.25
Sunbeam immersion blender: $0.25

So there you have it. My account of this year's World's Longest Yard Sale. Maybe next year we can hit the southernmost portion of the trip from Chattanooga down to Gadsden.

Spending the day with friends buying stuff you could live without while driving through a really pretty part of the country: priceless

Monday, August 10, 2009

WLYS, Part 2: The Hunt

One man’s trash is another man’s trash eventually. And you see lots of stuff typical of a true yard sale on Hwy 127. So it takes a keen eye and a little time to spot the authentic gems.
Most of it is easy to pass up, but sometimes you see things that just make you stop and give a second look.

Anybody know "Lady of Spain?"

How about a spot of tea?

Sit a spell, won't you?

Nell racked up over two dozen swanky swigs by the end of the trip. Chocolate milk and orange juice just taste better when you drink them out of one of these.

Gwen is an experienced yard saler and thrifter and can quickly sift the treasure from the trash. So when she spotted this great collection of bakelite jewelry I knew she was going home with a new piece.

If I had had $75 to spare, this would have gone home with me.
Do you know how hard these are to find?!

Someone's holding out hope.

Cast iron skillets, milk glass, totem poles, traffic light. OK.

This was the most charming quilt. Had the back story with it and everything. I was pleased the picture came out clear enough to copy the pattern. The M square is under the note to the left and had musical notes. I guess they didn't need X and Z.

I wish I had a wall full of these.

Anyone need a celadon pedestal sink?

How about a sweet rocking horse or a travel trunk for your dolly?

Peggy and I found this remarkable display in downtown Dunlap, Tennessee. The woman selling these things is from Florida and had bought the house that belonged to the yard just so she could set up for the sale. Unbelievable. Nothing more than $2. Just odd pieces of dinnerware and drinking glasses. Peggy found a tall ceramic coffee pot for...$2.

I couldn't resist putting together a collection of odd dishes for the fun of it. But I didn't end up purchasing any of them. Don't need any dishes at my house. I just thought they looked nice together. I wasn't the only one taking pictures at this stop.

Next post, you get to see what I brought home.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

WLYS, Part 1: The Trip

The U.S. 127 Corridor Sale, otherwise known as the World's Longest Yard Sale (WLYS), is held for more or less four days each year beginning the first Thursday in August. Originally started in Jamestown, Tennessee, it has grown over the last 22 years and now spans an impressive 654 miles from Gadsden, Alabama, to West Unity, Ohio. I'll direct you to this link for a little more info on it's history. You should read it. It's interesting.

Yesterday my neighbor Peggy and I drove up to Crossville, Tennessee, to meet up with friends Gwen and Nell who had been on the trip since Wednesday starting on the north end and working their way down. Traffic in Crossville was not fun, but it is the nature of this sale at times.

Vendors actually camp out next to their stuff. We spotted more than one screened tent with a blow-up mattress inside.

Some locations featured vendors offering cool relief from the relentless heat. Gwen and Peggy couldn't resist.

At this point Gwen and Nell left us to head on home as Nell had plans for a week at the beach beginning today. But Peggy and I continued on, stopping wherever we thought there might be something of interest and a shred of daylight left by which to see it.

I have done the portion of this event from Crossville up to Covington, Kentucky, once before. If only I had had a blog back then. I could have entertained for days with anecdotes from that adventure. It is where I found one of my Snoopy goodies jars.

Peggy and I took the section of 127 between Crossville and Chattanooga, a long, straight stretch of highway at the bottom of a valley between two high ridges of the lower Appalachians-lots of open fields and rolling hills and the occasional cluster of yard sale stands on either side of the two-lane road.

I found it difficult to take pictures from the car. Even when Peggy slowed down, my ineptness with the camera thwarted my artistic intentions.

Eventually we would stumble upon this typical scene - a big sign directing us to undiscovered treasures and lots of cars parked all around.

We found this charming fellow in a park in Dunlap, Tennessee, as we were circling the block. I didn't get out to read the plaque on his neck, but I imagine he was carved with a chainsaw.

As we made our way back up the mountain toward Chattanooga, this was our last view of the valley. It really was hazy, so I hate that this picture doesn't give you a better idea of how amazing this was.

We had intended to take the route on down to Gadsden even in the dark, but the maps did not help me navigate a tricky turn and it was getting late. So we decided we would take the quickest way home, but first some dinner.

Missing a turn proved to be a good thing as we found this pizza place called Crust. They boast a cracker-thin crust and they delivered. We asked for a margherita pizza with tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and basil. As we were waiting I spotted the cook come in the front door carrying a huge handful of fresh basil. They have their own garden right out front by the sidewalk.

The pizza was delicious and just what we needed. And on the way out, of course I had to take a picture of the basil. Those plants are about two feet tall. We hit home right about midnight.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Piece Perfect

Sometimes working with templates can be tricky. And if you don't transfer the marks, you could be sunk before you even begin. And sometimes - it all just comes together to make perfect larger triangles out of several smaller triangles. It's a beautiful thing.

Now if I can keep it up for the rest of the project!

Here are a few combinations I put together today on the APQ Project.

Tomorrow, I will not be available to sew as I will be setting off on a day of the Hwy 127 Corridor Sale, otherwise known as the World's Longest Yard Sale. My neighbor and I are meeting up with a couple of friends who went all the way to the tip of Ohio Wednesday night to take it on from the top down. Even if we don't find any bargains, we're going for the fun and adventure.