Tu-Na Quilts: Tu-Na Likes to Shop at Thrift Stores

I’m planning on linking each Thursday to the I Like Thursday Parties hosted by Lee Anna at Not Afraid of Color. There are so many things I like but I want to keep my posts shorter so I’ll focus on one thing that I really like for each of those posts. Look for my “I Like” posts each Thursday.

  1. I like shopping at thrift stores!

 I like—I mean I really like—to shop at thrift stores. I’ve outfitted most of my Arizona kitchen with quality finds from the many thrift stores around here. The Phoenix metro area has over 75 Goodwill stores alone. I haven’t been to all of them yet but I’m working on it.

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Call me old-fashioned as I don’t use a computer for designing blocks or quilts but I got really excited when my husband found this new graph notebook for me. Since it was half-price day, I only paid 74 cents for it (they round down).

Besides, Goodwill, there are many other thrift stores, too. In fact, I live within 25 thrift stores in a 10 mile radius of my house. 

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Look at this wonderful TV tray table. My AZ sewing group is offering a class on turning these tables into portable ironing boards. Finding this one was a big plus. Cost: only $5.

 

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At a whopping 15 1/4″ x 22 1/4″, it will give me a large surface to press blocks. Plus look at how the legs lock into place creating a very sturdy pressing stations that won’t collapse on me.

My husband shares my joy and we’d rather snoop around a thrift store than go to a movie.

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Here’s three yards x 90″ wide each of 100% white (my cost was $1.98) and unbleached cotton muslin ($2.49). I’ll use the unbleached as backing for selvages for my sewing chair in my North Dakota house. I have no idea what I’ll use the white for yet but give me a moment it’ll come to me. The 100% cotton blue with white dots is 1 1/2 yards. Again, I have no specific use for it so I am open to suggestions. I did leave behind a black and white polka dot and have regretted it since.

He shops for Hawaiian shirts and I shop for things I need, some things I don’t, and that one thing that keeps eluding me—not sure what it is but as soon as I find it I’ll be able to stop shopping.

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I saved the best for last. Here’s 2 1/4 yards of Holiday Magic designed for Exclusively Quilters ($2.44) and 1 yard of Alexander Henry in black and white (99 cents) .

Up until recently, I have never found any good quilting fabric at a thrift shop. And then it happened—all these quilty finds found all in one day. Now I can hardly wait to get out again.

What I Learned Today:

  1. I love a good deal. I mean I REALLY LOVE A GOOD DEAL. That’s why I like half-price days.
  2. I am still shopping for that one thing I really need/want but really don’t know what it is yet.
  3. I make no distinction between what I need and what I want.
  4. I even shop at thrift stores and regret not buying something even when I could have had it for half-price of practically nothing.

Question: Do you shop at thrift stores? What’s the best deal or item you found there?

 

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Tu-Na Quilts: Keeping Those Rotary Cutters Sharp

7aaMy Mama Always Says: Where years of experience and bits of quilting wisdom guide me on my quilting journey.

My Mama Always Says: “They (rotary cutters) are sharp.” 

At least they should be. Through the years, I’ve found that some fabrics (or maybe fabric finishes) seem to dull the blades faster than others and I seem to be changing those blades more often than I want. A sharp rotary blade makes cutting so much easier and faster. But what can one do if no new blade is at hand?

I’ve been sharpening my scissors for years by snipping thru aluminum foil. 

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To sharpen a scissors quickly, just snip thru a sheet of aluminum foil a few times.

 

As I was cutting the 1.5″ squares for my postage stamp quilt today I said to myself, “I wonder if my rotary cutter blades can be sharpened in the same way?”

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A sharp blade makes the cutting job easier and faster.

 

So I grabbed some foil and gave it a try. I laid the foil on the mat and made several cuts with the rotary cutter.

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I should close the blade too before laying it on the table. This open blade has become a bad habit for me. After all, my mama’s advice also pertains to preventing an accidental cut from an open blade.

 

Sure enough. It worked. I am now sure I can prolong the life of the blade by using this method to sharpen it. Maybe you can too.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Aluminum foil will sharpen rotary blades as well as scissors.
  2. My Mama is very wise.

Question: How do you sharpen your scissors and rotary blades?

Linking to:

Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl for Tips and Tutorials

Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

Myra at Busy Hands Quilt for Finished or Not Friday.

Beth at Cooking Up Quilts for Main Crush Monday.

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Tu-Na Travels: One More for the Road

Some of you may be wondering, what happened to Tu-Na? It’s been about a month since I published a real post. But there have been pictures, lots of warm Arizona Christmas yard decoration pics to prepare us for the Christmas season and then lots of pics of snow from North Dakota to help welcome in the New Year here on the blog since then.

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I just have to include a pic of the cactus in our yard. It was a volunteer growing too close to our concrete driveway so my husband transplanted it last spring to this corner of our yard. When we left in May, it was only the size of my thumb.

 

I’ve been very busy with flying to North Dakota to spend Christmas with family and then flying back to Arizona to get away from all that snow. I had to enjoy those beautiful and unique Arizona Christmas yard decoration pics I posted on this blog each day from Dec. 13th-Dec. 25th like many of you did—from afar. We left AZ on Dec. 15th.

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When we returned in November, it had grown to this size. Pretty amazing. We have no idea what kind it will be when it’s all grown. It kind of looks like I stuck a cucumber in the ground but I did not. This cactus is a bit flatter on two sides. Our neighbors have cacti but nothing that looks like this. Any ideas? 

 

Christmas was a busy time with holiday preparations, being with family and getting more snow. My husband, myself, and all of our kids and grandkids (16 people total) were all snowed in together for a blizzard on Christmas Day and the following day. And then the digging out began. If you haven’t seen some of that snow and ice, I posted pics here on the blog each day from Dec. 26th to Jan 1.

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So here’s one more pic of a cactus all decked out in his little hat for the season. My husband and I are proud as parents of this little guy and wanted to show him off to you.

 

We flew back to Arizona January 1st just in time as the snow was starting to fall again. They received another 10 inches after our take-off making their total snowfall for the season at 52 inches so far. 

Since the first, I’ve been busy touring Arizona showing our German exchange daughter and her boyfriend all the wonderful Arizona sights from the Grand Canyon to Tucson. Once I am rested and caught up with housecleaning and laundry, I’ll be back to posting more regularly including the pictures of my recent Modernitional bear paw quilt finish and the story about our German exchange daughter and how she came to us and why we won’t let her go.

What I Learned Today:

  1. Scheduling posts is really easy now that I learned how to do it.
  2. I enjoyed looking at those sunny Arizona Christmas yard decoration pics as much as you did. I’d forgotten which ones I scheduled so some were a surprise. I had many more pics of decorations that I could have posted but did not.
  3. I need a bit more time to rest and get back into the groove than I did years ago. I guess someone probably calls it aging: I call it relaxing at my pace.
  4. I am way behind in posting. Look for lots of new posts to come.

Question: What are you working on today? I’m sure it’s more interesting than the laundry and housecleaning that I am doing.

Linking to Lorna’s Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social. Button on the sidebar.