Making: Miniature Mania

I adore miniatures. Maybe it's because I never got a Barbie dreamhouse...I don't know. I just love the look of a tiny little things.  Nothing makes me happier than a diorama!

I've been thinking about making some miniature quilts for awhile, but have been too distracted by making my big quilts. However, I came across the book, Little Lonestar Quilts by Lorraine Olsen, and was inspired! 

Little Lonestar Quilts by Lorraine Olsen

It combines three of my favorite things, miniatures, Lonestar quilts, and paper piecing. So, I pulled out my stash of vintage 1930's and 40's scraps and got busy. Here's what I've come up with so far.

I have learned that I definitely want to use dissolving foundation paper on the next little star I make, as I spent far too much time ripping out tiny wee bits of paper on this one.  Also, that if you try to line up a seam and have to rip it out more than 3 times, just live with a little imperfection.

I still need to choose what color fabric I would like for the background on this one.  I'm having a hard time deciding between a sort of linen look neutral, or a solid-ish purple.  What do you think?  I'd love suggestions!

P.S.  If you're miniature obsessed like me, check out my most recent favorite mini's: the miniature interiors of Sabinne Timm and the edible waffle furniture.

Making: Free Bee - May

I know, it's June already.  But, as usual, I'm running a bit behind on my Free Bee blocks!  The Free Bee is all about improvisational piecing and each month, the recipient of our blocks chooses a theme.  May's theme was picked by John from Quilt Dad and was based on the quilt totems of Erin Wilson.  Here's my block:

Free Bee Block for Quilt Dad
It's definitely not very pretty from the back.  I don't think my grandmother would approve!

Shopping: My Latest Obsession - Peppermint Tea Vintage

I live in California, but this summer, I'll be staying with my mother in Virginia as she recovers from some surgery.  Although I'll miss some things about my Berkeley home and studio while I'm away, I'm very excited about spending the summer in a hot and humid place (I'm crazy, I know), and I will also have lots of extra time for quilt making!   I've brought two huge suitcases full of fabric, borrowed my sister'sewing machine, and set up a temporary, but very functional studio for myself.

But, then I got sidetracked and I decided to open a vintage home shop on Etsy.  Let me explain.  Over the years, my mother has acquired quite a collection of collections.  Everything is gorgeous and lovely, but she needs to simplify a bit.  So, now I'm obsessed with my little flea market shop over on Etsy which is called Peppermint Tea Vintage.  My goal is to list 5 new things a day, and at that rate, everything might be on the site by the end of June.  Pretty crazy, huh?  It must be the humidity.

Every once in awhile I manage to tear myself away from the computer and get some sewing done, so in the next post, I'll show you what I've been making.  In the meantime, if you're interested, you can keep up with all the "decluttering" I'm doing around here on the Peppermint Tea Facebook page.

Learning: Vintage Quilt Inspiration

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to attend a vintage quilt sale.  These were not just any vintage quilts, but some of the traditional American quilts collected by renowned quilt collector and curator, Eli Leon.  I have been a HUGE fan of Eli Leon's books on improvisational African American quilting (you can order copies of his out of print work directly from him through his website), and was excited to see what he had for sale.  I was not disappointed as the gallery where the sale was held was was piled high with quilts.

Here are a few of my favorites.

I didn't end up leaving with any of these beauties, but I did pick up one of Mr. Leon's books and a wealth of new scrap quilt ideas!