I know what you are thinking. Maybe new fancy shoes, a new sewing machine or a big stack of fabric. But you would be wrong. Our definition of a good gift does change over time. There was a time when jewelry was the only answer to "What is a great gift that will make the angels sing Hallelujah?"
But the new great gift I just bought for myself is a new washing machine.
But this isn't a washing machine for doing laundry. Angels don't sing over a laundry washing machine.
Angels are singing because I now have a washing machine in the dye studio! Surely you can hear them. It's a beautiful sound and a beautiful sight.
Let me tell you, it's very difficult to find a washing machine that lets you control the water level. The one I got is this GE-Made-In-The-USA-model. It has some weird feature that doesn't let you soak as long as I will need so I'll unplug it when I need to do an overnight soak (every week). These appliances that think they know what I need better than I do are supremely annoying. But I should be able to trick this one into doing anything I want.
Glorious, isn't it?
Since I had to run power and water for the washer I also added an outlet on the front wall so I could move my fridge and microwave (for making soap). The basement is a little spare in outlets and I previously had 4 things sharing outlet space. Now everything can stay plugged in.
I don't think my life could get any better.
It's not a pretty space but it is very functional and I can't wait to start dyeing some new things today.
I've been thinking about doing this post for a while but it became relevant when I was working on the sailboat postcard. I needed thread for the edging and wound up checking all of my thread stashes to find the perfect matches.
I'm pretty sure that I have more thread than fabric and I'm A-OK with that. I hate starting to quilt a quilt and not having just the right thread to go with it. Thread is like crayons. If you can afford it are you going to buy the Ultimate Crayons or the 8-pack? You are buying the 152 ultimate pack that includes glitter and metallic crayons.
Well, let's start with the fancy metallics, glitter and other special threads. These are in a cabinet right next to my Brother sewing machine (where I make postcards). Like many of my threads, several are in the original wrappers but they were there when I need them! But there's nothing there for my postcards.
Next stop is these 2 drawers of mostly acrylic threads. These are under the Brother table and I use these a lot on postcards but it runs fine on the longarm too. Many, many years ago there was a website called Lunn Fabrics that sold hand dyed fabrics. Debra and Michael now design batiks for one of the fabric lines. They also sold this thread and when they went out of business they sold off the remaining inventory at deeply discounted prices. I bought over 50 cones but, seriously, this was so inexpensive that I'm sure I've gotten my value out if it now. The colors are beautiful and the sheen is wonderful. But none of them matched my postcards. Down to the basement.....
Nothing in the Masterpiece collection matched. I primarily use this as bobbin and piecing thread.
I used a variegated poly threads on the front of the cards but didn't want a varigated effect on the edges so no Rainbows or King Tut. These days I use these threads primarily on charity quilts where I do an all over pattern. I'm using up a lot of King Tut on the veterans quilts.
The threads I use most often for quilting are these polyester (not shiny) neutrals and I'm glad I have lots not choose from....but not for these cards.
I expected to fin the matches here in either the So Fine or Bottom Line collections but no!
How about the solid polyesters? I love these threads and use them a lot. But no matches here either and I'm running out of options.
Back upstairs I have another cart of thread next to the Juki. The top drawer has my piecing threads. The second drawer has some heavier cottons that are used almost exclusively on postcards but this wasn't what I was going for.
Years ago when I was primarily sewing garments some online store had an amazing price for Mettler thread and I bought every possible color. This supply has come in handy so many times and I consider it one of my best purchases ever.
That was doubly true when I made these postcards. Look at those perfect matches!
I love my thread collection and wouldn't trade it for anything. I think I'd give away all of my fabric before I gave away the thread. It's my ultimate crayon box just bigger and spread all over the house. At least they don't stain carpets when they are accidentally smushed.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.
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