Friday, December 31, 2010

Once again, all the blog titles I wanted have already been used.

I realised when I woke up this morning that I had gotten so distracted by new episodes of Time Team last night that I completely forgot to do a blog post.


Crafternoon got a bit distracted by a trip to the movies to see Gulliver's Travels, which was quite good, and then, since I was in town anyway, I figured I'd do all my running around. So I bought hot pink shirts, and went into Jagga Jagga, and talked to the man about getting them printed, and bought clothes, and booze, and food, and an esky for tonight, and I went to Spotlight too but I only spent $10 on a heap of eyes and a very cute red fabric with little birds on it, which doesn't match anything in my stash but which I think will make nice headbands.

After that - is a crafternoon still a crafternoon if it's held in the evening? Crafterevening doesn't have the same ring. And silly me had only taken the terribly not-fun task of cutting out the patterns for monsters. I got bored after 6 or 7, and gave up. And I got a blister on my thumb.

I used to love scissors. Helen called me SaraScissorHands when I was little because I was always always using them. But for the last 6 months I have been spoiled by the existence of the rotary cutter, and it's blister free method of chopping fabric into little bits. But I'm willing to concede, it's useless for cutting around the fiddly little bits of a small plushie. So am I really. Once I have picked a craft I can really only temporarily stray from it. Doing a couple of monsters in their entirety would probably be easier, but I still feel that it's more efficient to cut out all the bodies, then do all the faces, then make all the damn things at once. It just feels quite uninspiring to me at the time, especially since they're all ones I've done before.

No time for crafting today, since it is new years eve, and much fun/feralness/dunkenness/ boganness is to be had. We are boating from Donavans to Nelson thisafternoon. I have 16 cruisers and two ruskies. And a cute new esky, which is the exact right size for 18 premix bottles, which worked out well.

So, since I won't be in range of an internet :( till tomorrow night, Have a Happy New Year everyone. Personally I think that statement is a bit far-reaching, and we should all settle for having a lovely Saturday, before planning a lovely Sunday, just like we do every day, but what the hell. Every day should be nice, and we shouldn't only be saying that on December 31st.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dude... Sweet... Dude... Sweet...

I really need to stay off the Vistaprint website. Everything I get off of it is the epitome of pointlessness, but gosh darn it's cool. Today I got two keyrings, a notepad, post it notes, a cap, a stamp, some little magnets and a big one you can stick to your car. All printed with our silly little "Save a horse, ride a lawnmower" logo*.

Yeah. You're all jealous you're not members of the Lower South East Ladettes. Logo by me of course, on my funky touchscreen, prone to overheating computer.

I should point out that we went with it because the boys wouldn't get us South East Pisshead Association shirts. But ours is so much cooler, because we have a proper custom logo as opposed to their silly picture of a ute. We're gunna get the logo printed on hot pink polo shirts. Might see if I can get that sorted tomorrow. Because... I don't have to work for the rest of the year! And I probably should get on with it, because it's two weeks till the Harrow BnS ball.

Before that though we have Crafternoon III - Crafters Never Sleep, and then NYE on Friday. I'll be going to Nelson with my bogan homies, and I don't start work till 5.30pm on Saturday, so that's plenty of time to recover. Some big days ahead, but I can't go to bed, since my Time Team episodes finished downloading today while I was at work. And I've loaded them onto my tablet to watch so my laptop doesn't overheat, and it's much too awesome of a setup to tell it to stop. Which is a problem because I've loaded seven hour-long episodes onto it. And I'm only onto the third. And it's after 2am already. And I need to be out of bed by lunchtime at least because I need to pick up Kelsey at 1.30. The name of Crafternoon 3 is surprisingly apt.

I know. My life is too awesome for words.

*which is an adaptation of last years NYE celebratory shirt logo (the big lady in a floating inner tube), and in honour of Big and Rich's excellent song Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Crafternoon II - Keepin' on Crafting

So today was the epic sequel that everyone's been waiting for. I had planned to go to Lincraft before I picked up Kelsey at 1, but then I didn't get out of bed till 12, so that didn't happen. Lucky me she needed buttons too so I still go to go to Lincraft.

Even though I was only gunna get one bundle, I ended up getting 3. These are the two I brought home - the third I bought because I was suffering from Getitforestheritis, a horrible affliction caused by the knowledge that Helen's making a retro tickertape quilt for Esther, and an uncontrollable desire to unnecessarily help. I have no idea what I'll do with these though, since I don't really have a design on the top of my head of a 16 fabric spectral retro quilt.

Since I've no plans yet for that, I figured I'd get started on one of the other ones. The purple, green and blue bundle I assembled ages ago seemed to be preferred to the pink, white and brown bundle, so I went with that. I only got as far as cutting my big squares before the girls went home, but I got stuck in while they had tea, and it all came together around 8pm.

Ah, the joys of photoshop. This is cobbled together from a couple of photos because I took the photo at Helen's right after I'd finished, and I didn't have a stool to take it from. Here's a real life photo.

I got home about 10.30 but unfortunately, the speedway was still on. Tonight was the start of the season and because we live so close, it's annoyingly loud. I haven't gotten anything done since I got home (not including the consumption of yet more mini pavs with whipped cream) and I'm not planning on it, and tomorrow will probably be a washout too since I'm back at work.

More money = more fabric though, so I suppose I don't mind. And it's my last shift for 2010.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interesting... (or maybe not...)

I just posted in a comment that I have 5 USB sticks, two SD cards and a transflash in my handbag. This is interesting (to me anyway.) Four of the USBs (one on each keyring and two more) are 4gig and the Smiggle one with a ball maze on the back, which my little sister bought for me in Queensland is a 2gig. One SD card is a 4 and the other is a 2, and the Transflash is a 4 as well. So not including the Transflashes in my two phones (a two and a one) I have 28gig of data storage in my handbag.

Our pretty much useless home computer only has 20...

I have another two transflashes - and 8 and a 4 - for my tablet computer and three 2gig SD cards spread between my camera and two palm pilots. And I have two 750gig external harddrives that I know the location of, since there's another couple that have been lost to the mess of my room, and the tendencies of my father to drop trees on our storage sheds.

Not sure that there's a point to this, I'm just a bit shocked at myself. It's possible, just maybe, that I have enough.


Anyway, back to being a craft blog. I took my laptop to Crafternoon I - The Craftening (tomorrow will be Crafternoon II - Keepin' on Crafting) because I had to start work at 4 and knew I wouldn't get to really do much, so I figured instead I'd take the opportunity to pimp Helen's blog. I also got my neat 16ths cut for the first of my 3 bundles, and, tada!

The colouring looks quite strange in the photo, but I like the look of it in real life. That's the problem I suppose with taking photos in the middle of the night from directly above while standing on a chair, and it's why most of my final photos are of quilts lying on the grass.

There's also a big boo-boo in this quilt, but I think it's hard enough to see that noone will notice it. That's the great thing about this design - very few points have to line up, and the pieces are big enough that you don't notice when some of them are 2cm bigger/smaller than they're supposed to be. Yes, I could have shrunk them all down to the same size. But I'm lazy, and when it should only take two hours all up, you don't wanna add another 25% onto that fixing a piddly mistake.

So now I need to think of something to do at Keepin' on Crafting, the sequel to this Summer's smash hit "The Craftening" (because sequels to blockbusters tend to come out on Boxing day, and the public holidays this year are weird)

I think I'll go to Lincraft beforehand, since they still have 30% off, and maybe get another 8 f/q bundle. Then I only need to de-stash one more and I can make another quilt top.

Hopefully not fucking up this one. Even if it is only a little bit.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Do I write too much?

I didn't realise it till I'd gotten home and had my ice-cream, but Helen was right, it has been a very long day. Expensive too. But my pay packet next week should be massive, thanks to four double time and a half hours, eight time and a half hours and three you don't have to work but we'll pay you anyway hours.

It's the best thing about this time of year really. And what's more, because of the timing of it all, I'm still managing to not work new year's eve or most of new years day (5.30pm start) but I still get plenty of bonuses (I'm doing next monday too, so I'll be getting double and a half again)

Anyway, shopping. Since I thought noone was at Helen's when I went there (for future occasions when everyone's out in the backyard, we need to set up some kind of secret home/not home sign) I went straight to Spotlight, but she appeared there not long after. My total spend was about $65, but luckily, that's right about what I got in money and Spotlight vouchers for Christmas. So that would have worked out well, but I'm not super keen on one or two of the fabrics now that I'm home, and I think I'll have to look at replacing them. But it's okay, turns out that the special is on till Tuesday, so I'll be going back tomorrow. And maybe Tuesday as well. I got 3 quilts worth, minus backing for one of them and the binding another, but still, even once I get that we are still only looking at a total cost of about $35 (that includes my super cheap $7p/m batting) per quilt. And not a little quilt either; I'll get around eventually to explaining the pattern I'm doing right now, which uses 9 quarters to get a 120x140cm quilt. It's a bit simple, and it uses quite big squares, but it's very quick and much more economical than a fiddly little thing with all those seam allowances.

After Spotlight (it took a while) we swore at the Kmart photo boxes for some time, had some lunch, and got kicked out of as many shops as they closed as we could. Which was only two. We need more practice. Helen thought she was dodging visitors but when we got back to her house they hadn't even arrived yet, and when they did, they didn't seem very interested in my fabrics at all.

There's no helping some people, I guess.

Bob threw a tantrum when I had to go to Woolies for coke, but the diet stuff is kinda like kryptonite for me, so it had to be done. Tea was yum (I haven't had potato gems in ages) and the babies went to bed, so Helen and I got stuck into patterns.

After the hoo-rah with the work christmas show top, I was thinking how glad I was that I hadn't moved away and done a course of fashion, because I so wasn't into it any more. But if this keeps up it wont be long at all till I am an expert in baby clothes. I wasn't a huge fan of Helen's sewing machine, but then, it wasn't mine. And I stuffed up the cuffed hems, but we chopped them off and it looked fine as just regular flares. Oh, and I should mention in context that they were just practices, made from bright green gingham. From a pattern I traced from some corduroy jeans she's never really worn. We'll need to increase the butt room on the next pair, and I've just realised that means we need to shorten the length of the inside leg on our altered pattern (which I will need someone to remind me about tomorrow), but things are looking good. Not that anyone can see them looking good, because at 10pm you don't think of taking a photo of the baby while she's doing a test fitting of the pants, but we'll get there

If you have a size 0 baby in need of some funkadelic pants, we are the people to call.

And if you want photos of completely unnecessary purchases, this is the blog to visit.

This baby would have been one of the best $2 I ever spent, but I only had a dollar on me so Helen paid the rest. It fits one metre of fabric, but it's not a particularly effective storage solution. It looks so amazingly funky though - I would love a briefcase sized one, but I'm fairly sure those clasps don't come that big, which is an epic shame.

There was a different fabric in it than the blue solid at the bottom, which I bought a while ago, but I like that much better, so that's one less I have to replace tomorrow. I've bought a pink (that's almost exactly between the two shades in the flower) to use as a binding, but only because the lack of orange fabrics at Spotlight borders on the criminal.

There are a few crossover fabrics in this bundle, but for this one I want the contrast fabric to be the yellow instead of the pink (I only put it in the middle this time to show off the tulip print). That brown there is spoiling it for me quite badly though, so it needs to be swapped out.

Actually, I've just had a thought... what do we think of this Erin McMorris being subbed in? I have a yard of it that's been stashed for a while now after I got it on ebay for about $4.

Helen has nominated this as the quilt she wants for her birthday so I guess it's up to her. Here's the back fabric:

Which I'm also considering cutting a strip of and framing for Mum. They look nothing like Barry, but the green ones are exactly the same colour as his crap, which I have fortunately managed thus far to keep him from doing on my quilts. Quilting with birds is even worse than quilting with cats*, unless they're pretty printed-on-fabric birds.

This is my final bundle, and actually, I picked all the other fabrics because I'm so in love with the yellow one. But now I'm not sure that it fits.

The idea is that the whites are the big squares, the blacks are the half squares and the yellow is the little squares (they were the brown ones on Kelsey's quilt) but I'm worried that in the chopping I'll get some that don't really have much yellow in them, and they'll get lost. There were a couple of others in the range but I think they've sold out, which is a shame because I seem to recall they were a more even pattern. There's no rush though - I might find something I love weeks from now but that's fine, I doubt I will have started it anyway.

Crafternoon tomorrow (but I have to be at work at 4 - sob) so I'll be choosing between pants and cutting, probably of the first set because I'm quite in love with their retro-ey goodness - I'll need to find some blades if I take that route though because mine have gotten damned blunt.

Do I write to much? In my defence one of my main reasons for starting a blog was so that my typing would go back to being good, and it's certainly done that. But I do tend to waffle on a bit sometimes, and for that I apologise. With an s, because that's how we roll down under.

*It's damn lucky that blogger in draft is so excellent at saving-on-the-go, because this blog post has been exited out of by Honeycat three times now...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Words. Lots and lots of words.

It's now much more like my normal posting time, and I must say, it has been a lovely day. Sure the 7.30am wakeup sucked pretty bad, but I was back in bed within an hour till my usual wakeup time, and perhaps Mum is right about single serve pavlovas being called that because you only need to eat one, not three, but oh well. Everything between was good. Lunch at Nanny's tasted good, and Dad's decision to not go to Shayne's till 5 meant we got to sit around and gab about random shit for much longer than we otherwise would have. Even going to Shayne's wasn't as bad as I had feared, mainly because Casey was there already with her boyfriend Jamie and her bestfriend (and Jamie's sister) Jess, so I just went out and laid on the grass with them, before having a quick chat with everyone and coming home. And it was the coming home that was the best bit, driving too fast down back roads I've sorely missed this year*. And randomly, though of course he didn't recognise my car, (I recognised his, because I always thought it was stupid) I crossed paths with the ex for the first time in a long time, but instead of making me sad, I felt really really good. I was tearing along at speeds I wont state lest someone tells my Mum, listening to good music, taking a road only because I felt like it, not because I had to go see my boyfriend because he couldn't be bothered coming to my house to see me.

I've spent a while lately thinking about my end of year post, and even though there's still 6 days to go, I'm in a good mood now. I had thought it would be silly to celebrate this year as the year of being single, when 19 of my 23 years have been. I was gunna go with it being the year of blogging, but I've had various blogs over the last 6 years, so it's not that new. It was the year I became a cat owner, but since I didn't really get a choice, it's more like the year I got adopted by a cat. It could be the year I embraced my boganism, but then on the other hand, I got a Suzuki Swift, and you can't fit a five-poster to it, or fit a swag in the boot. If I had to pick one single item to define me, I'd probably go with my necklace, since I haven't really taken it off since I got it, and it is one of a kind, but then, it's an RM Williams longhorn, so it's back to the bogan again.

Ultimately, I think it's the year I met me. When you're in High School you're too busy being someone for everyone else - your teachers, friends, parents, whoever. When you're dating someone, you're being someone for them. I had thought I was waiting for him to be ready to move with me, but maybe I was waiting for myself to be ready to stay.

In the past I would look back at myself and think "gosh, I'm a completely different person now" whereas now I can look back and see that actually, I've been the same person all along, I just didn't know it yet. And now that I know who I am, and I'm comfortable with where I am, I can spend next year looking at where I want to go. I still don't know what I want to do with my life, but actually, I've got a lifetime to figure it out.

This time last year I was expecting a lot from 2010. I had a long term, serious boyfriend, we were looking at houses in Adelaide, I was a good chance at getting into my course, things were looking good. 

It didn't turn out the way I expected. 

It all turned out different, but then it also turned out even better.

Except BJ. That still makes me sad.

*I can't help but think that if BJ and I had still had a reason to drive too fast down back roads, he would have stayed in better condition, but then I'm probably confusing the way a car stays in good condition with the way a human body stays in good condition. I know I should work out, but there's an eBay to be browsed.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas Again!

I had planned on waiting till the wee small hours as per usual but I've made it home safe and my chips are in the deep fryer, and I have a few spare minutes.

Unfortunately, these photos are terrible. Hanging on the line photos really only work if you've just taken the quilt off the bed, because the wrinkles really show. But Kelsey, the recipient, my cousin and follower of this blog, has it now, and maybe it will appear on her blog. Which I can't find, because blogger wont let me backtrack unless she comments. So instead of directing you there to read her story, I'll have to sum it up here.

Kelsey has been in and out of hospital for a while now with anorexia. We worry about her because she's so beautiful and funny and we don't want to lose her. She's been to crafternooons and working on a tickertape quilt and making felt food with Helen. She's been in hospital this week and Casey decided last weekend that we should all get together and try and film a concert like we used to do when we were kids to send up because we thought she might be stuck in hospital over Christmas, but I was working every afternoon so I wouldn't have been able to be involved. That's why I decided on Monday to make a quilt for her, and the fabric couldn't have been more perfect. Not only am I a stupid huge fan of the retro, but even the name is perfect. When we think of flourish we tend to think of the noun (from google dictionary: A bold or extravagant gesture or action, made esp. to attract the attention of others) but actually, there's a verb too: (of a person, animal, or other living organism) To grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, esp. as the result of a particularly favourable environment.

Honestly, I can't think of a better way to sum up what all of us want for Kelsey. For her to be happy and healthy. And if the favourable environment was in Adelaide, I bought an overnight post bag to send it. But it was at home, and hopefully, that's even better.

Merry Christmas Y'all.

Work was very quiet and dull (I spent most of my shift checking the use-by dates on the impulse racks. There was a lot of out-of-date stuff.) Afterwards we went and looked at the christmas lights. Maddy fell asleep in the car, and Mum and I put out the presents. After everyone went to bed I wrapped the last of mine and put them out in the lounge, then I went online looking for this so I could post it.

And then I spent 2 hours going through 1-640 of 838 comics, so now it really is 3am. And no, I didn't break out the sewing machine today.

The strange thing though, and I think this most Christmases, is that for most of the world, it's not even almost Christmas. The west coast of America for instance, hasn't even opened for business yesterday morning yet. They've still got at least 15 hours before Santa comes, and by then I'll be trying to conceive escape routes and wishing I had moved away.
Last year was the first Christmas since I was a small child that I truly enjoyed. Sitting in the backyard around a fire, Wikipediaing information on sphincter valves because my father and uncles were drunk, and wanted to know. There were no fights, no shouting matches, or everyone accusing everyone else of trying to one-up each other. It was lovely. 

I hope that wherever you are, and whenever you get around to it, your Christmas this year is as good as mine was last year. And that mine is too.

Friday, December 24, 2010

3 days. Or late nights rather...

Either a day late, or a day early, depending on which way you look at it, the quilt is in the wash.

First, quickly, let me reiterate, I hate binding. It shits me. But I did the best kind of binding I know (which only really works if you echo quilt all the seams), where you make it so the binding extends about 7mm further on the back than it's sewn line on the front. You fold your binding under and pin it all down, and sew the first line using a zipper foot from the top, right up against it, then you flip it over, reverse the side your needle is on (it doesn't bunch with the zipper foot, I don't know why) and sew from the back. If it's less than the width of the foot, you go in a bit, if it's more you can either keep level with your last seam or drift out a bit. It doesn't really matter, and you can be guaranteed that you wont have any missed spots. From the front it looks like the echo seam of all the other blocks, from the back it's a nicely double stitched wide binding.

Still, it took me as long to bind it than it did to piece the entire top. So, hatred.

Anyway, I don't start work till 4.30 tomorrow, so as well as taking plenty of pretty photos for everyone to get to look at on Christmas day, if I can find some eyes I'll have a go at Bob and Esther's JellyBabyBears, and maybe also make myself a case for my tablet.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

That is very good news...

Well, I'm not as far along as I had planned, but since I had planned on being finished, that's not a surprise. Thankfully, some good news I got today means I no longer need to be finished by 2pm tomorrow, so I rode the wave of backing angst instead of freaking out and rushing into something I could very well now be regretting.

When I got home from work I laid it all out on the floor and thought that it was kinda boring. I love all the fabrics individually (the main fabric, even though it's not a great tie in with the others, will be re-bought on boxing day so I can keep some of it's retro-ey goodness) but together they didn't seem to mesh, and a single pieced diagonal line seems a bit dull compared to all of the fancy stuff I've done. So I got out a couple of other fabrics and laid them out on top, and how I had them laid out looked really nice. But nothing like this:

Which is just some rainbow shapes on a pale blue background. But my idea was that I could just do wide strips of different lengths and widths, laid out on a bit of a diagonal, and the stuff that got pushed out over the edge when I put in the coloured bits I could use to make up the width needed for the backing. But I got all angsty about it, and decided to go have a shower to think it over, and when I came back to it, I decided that even though it was really cool, I wasn't sure how well I could fill out the missing space, if I would need to use lots of little messy bits, and that it was better just to go with the original plan. Which of course took ages anyway, so instead of the quilt being in the washing machine ready to put in a post office box tomorrow, it's basted ready to be quilted tomorrow.

A handy little bit of math (4 large blocks, 6 lines of quilting in each, each way) tells me there's technically only 48 lines of quilting to be done. And binding of course - I thought today how excellent it would be if I could fob it off on Helen but then I remembered I'm quilting either side of the ditch, so it will look best with the second row of stitching on the back of the binding. And then I thought, "Oh no, I don't have enough binding fabric" but that's okay, because I have time to get more tomorrow now.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


For those of you considering taking up spontaneous quilting, beware. It's not for the faint of heart, or those who like getting to bed early.

Nonetheless, spontaneous quilt top is finished. I cut the neat 16ths before work and did the rest in a bit over two hours, so I'm feeling good about that, especially since it's about 120x145cm (I haven't done an actual measurement, but that's what the math says) No photos sorry till I've done some in-depth research into the IP addresses of you readers, because it's a Christmas present, and I'm not sure who's lurking. But the good news for the rest of you is, you only have to wait 4 days for photos.

Lots to do tomorrow before I start my 8 hour shift, and then even more after.

Yep, I'm back to being a proper nerd.

Frankly, I would rather I had bricked it.

Instead I had to install MioPocket, which contained a trial version of Bejewelled 2. Now last time I had Bejewelled 2 I became quite badly addicted, and it needed to be uninstalled for my own good. This version only lets you play the first 7 levels of anything, but have you played level seven of Adventure? As someone who doesn't exercise, that's the highest my heartrate's been in a long time. So now, instead of making a rush quilt with my new fabrics, I've spent the last 2 hours playing it. I still haven't done all the other nerdy stuff that needs doing on it either, but at least I have got it to read the e-book files that I actually bought it for.

This is the first time in a long time that I've missed having the ex around. Because it means that instead of getting a real reason why I can't do something, I have to go to google, and searches like "can I just take the ROM from the v50 and Frankenstein it into the x10?" don't get much response.

Logically, I don't think it would work, because of chipset compatibility and other silly things. Frankenstein was probably just fiction, and since you'd have to chop up real people, you can't really test out the theory. But I've got a spare v50, and as far as I'm concerned, you'll never know till you try.

Helen, I may require the use of your husband to talk me out of this.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This, that and the other...

So my tablet got here today and I've spent most of the night playing with it. I've installed MioPocket over the silly onboard OS without bricking it (yay) but it's taking forever to load anything, so I think I'll be fiddling for a while yet. I wish I could just put the same version of pocket PC that I have on the others onto this - it's older but it does everything I want it to. It's a shame that that's not how these little buggers work.

I also got a dozen fat quarters in the mail today - flourish by for STUDIOe

There are a couple of doubles in there, but I only paid $26 for the lot. I really like them though, and even though I've got a full week of work ahead of me before christmas, they are making me want to get into doing another quilt. I still haven't decided on a backing or binding for the other one yet so there's no progress there, and Bob's quilt is still rolled up on my little pile ready to be quilted (with the Autumn Nutmeg quilt, which also hasn't got a back yet)

Fortunately, I'm all done for Christmas, with the exception of making two jellybears for Helen to give to Bob and Esther. If I had to do any more than that I'd probably chuck in the towel and say I didn't wanna do it. Christmas that is.

I'm kinda amazed at how into Christmas some people are. I guess 22 isn't prime Christmas age. I have made a headband out of some Christmas fabric and that's about it, if you don't count the spending of hundreds of dollars on present and the resumption of binge drinking.

Speaking of alternate reality party me, in the truest traditions of party photos, most of them were blurry, over flashed, and too close to the face to use. This one is kinda blurry, and still doesn't really show you much of my top at all, but at least I look fairly nice.

I wish I knew why my eyes always come out as brown in photos, when they're blue in the mirror. And I wish I knew how to fix it in photoshop without making myself look demonic.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Since about four this afternoon I have had 8 passionfruit cruisers and 3 passionfruit ruskies. They're basically the same thing, but the ruskies are cheaper and not as nice.

The work meeting was dull, I wasn't allowed to drink there but I took in a couple and Simone and I had them while we waited for our lift.

I'm a good girl, not drinking and driving.

If I was a large male, I suspect I wouldn't have even been over the limit. But, being a 45kilo girl, I got mum to take me. I should have gotten her to get me KFC, cause I'm hungry now. But it was 3 hours ago. 

Amazingly, even though I have mint madness icecream, I'm not in the mood to eat* it. I want some hot food. I believe a kebab is traditional but I'm thinking either mashed potato from a pack or maybe baked beans.

Thankfully, I don't start work till 5.30pm tomorrow.

*for whatever reason, I wrote drink and didn't realise until I did my final read over. Maybe I am a bit drunk.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My feet hurt. Even though I was wearing my boots.

It was a really really fun night. We crossed the road to maccas, demanded country music, danced badly and were the last ones to leave. I had 6 drinks (4 cruisers, a glass of wine and a Jamesons and coke) over 7 hours, which is kinda soft. But since normally I usually give up after the second one, having gotten a bit of a headache, I'm feeling like it was a satisfactory warm up for tomorrow.

I don't actually have any alcohol sorted, and people are planning on arriving around 11, which is when I'll still be asleep. Noone will mind if I leave for a bit, but I'm worried they might block my car in.

And now I need to stop typing and put on some quite loud TV, because my sister's boyfriend is staying over.

Expect me to be much more incoherent tomorrow night.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I shall suddenly turn into my father...

I'm so glad that I'm taking up drinking again. It's probably this whole dressmaking thing that's driven me to it. 

I still don't have an outfit. I think I'll just be finding the one I wore to Jess' 18th. That was really nice. Though I'd be wearing it with jeans, so it kinda defeats the purpose of waxing my legs today.

That drove me to drink too. Oww.

But yeah. I having not drunk in 4 years, I have some catching up to do.

Friday, December 17, 2010

A gift for the whole family, except dad, cause he's bald...

My bank balance is upsetting me. It's a vicious cycle. The more down it gets, the more down I get.

So tonight, instead of doing anything interesting, I've been doing something practical. For whatever reason, I have to get a present for my sister Becky twice (once as a normal, me to her Christmas present, once as Secret Santa within our group of friends) which hardly seems fair given that I don't even really like her that much. So, with the depressing bank balance in mind, I've made a whole heap of tie on headbands - basically 8 or 10cm cuts of a whole heap of stash fabrics folded in half and sewn. There's already a lot of them around the house, so hopefully this will just be absorbed into that lot, and I think that within a week or two they'll be fair game for any of us to use. My favourites though are mine already, and I guard them fiercely.

Good news on the dress front too, I found the pattern that I used a few years back to do a work Christmas show dress, so I'll be trying to do that tomorrow. It's a long one though, maxi style with a fairly full skirt, so I'll be needing quite a bit more fabric than I have - bad news for the bank balance I'm afraid, unless someone can lend me 4 metres of a mid-weight black* satin?

*colour open to negotiation, but I want to use a cotton print I really like for the waistband, and it's yellow print on black.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I could go naked... or get naked...

Now that Oprah and her little army of American tourists have gone home, I think it's time to ask; How about, instead of spending millions of taxpayer dollars and taking up countless hours on the news of them going "gosh, it's just such a lovely country" we just, I dunno, looked out the window? Seems pretty obvious to me that it's the best country in the world.

Anyway. Back to the point. No, I do not yet have anything to wear for the work Christmas show. I have firm plans about the quantities of alcohol I intend on consuming, and even firmer plans that I also be a little bit drunk for our unpaid Sunday night meeting, which is happening when I'm supposed to be having our friend's Christmas Day/Afternoon/Evening, and which I suspect will involve us all getting yelled at anyway, so we may as well make them be yelling at us for a good reason, instead of the usual incorrect and uninformed reasons they yell at us about. The teenyboppers are in, of course, and since it's the day after the work Christmas show, quite a few of the seniors are planning on powering straight through as well.

It's the silly season, after all.

What I do have instead, is this. I've made the new header too, but I've not yet put it up so you could all compare it to this.

I am in love. 

In the real world, the pale strips don't seem so pale - well, they kinda do, but the middle strips don't seem so dark.

I am in love.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm back on the books..,.

Tonight, instead of sewing, I did some reading.

I'm not a big one for Christmas traditions, but for the last 4 years I've read Terry Pratchett's Hogfather at Christmastime. You can watch the two part telemovie too, but it's just not the same. It was actually this tradition that led to the wanting a new tablet - I can't find my paperback copy and with the battery cover for the little palm pilot not staying on, I couldn't read it on that either. But I found an identical used one, going cheap since it had no charger and would have been completely useless were it not for the fact that I already had all the accessories and all I actually needed was a little bit of plastic about 3 inches square, and that at least was included.

So today I read Hogfather. I highly recommend it.

I've put a little bit over at my other blog, just because I like reading it so much.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The feeling of making a quilt is not dissimilar to the feeling of climbing under one...

It was such a nice feeling today to get up and not worry about having to sew stupid satin. It was so nice that I went back to bed after a half hour so I could do it all over again.

I'm cool like that.

But anyway. I pulled out the 6fq bundles I'd made to do mini quilts and had a go at pairing them with some metreage to see if I could work myself out a big quilt. And then I decided it was too much thinking for a Monday morning, and got started on a quilt I've been gunna-ing for a long time. Since mid August actually. And since I dont know if any of you read that far back, you might not have seen the story behind the page header.

Here's the thing. While I have no trouble installing a slightly shifty upgrade of Windows onto my Mum's laptop, I can't for the life of me work out Electric Quilt. Granted, I have a slightly shifty copy of that too (I think it's about version 5) but my complete uselessness with it makes me glad I didn't spend money on it. The problem I think, is that I am a proper nerd, so I use Paint. It might seem a bit less straightforward, downloading the .zip file of fabric swatches from Moda's archive, printscreening the icons and carefully cutting and pasting them into little boxes before assembling them into a jigsaw of perfection, but that's how I roll.

And the first one I ever did is the one you see above. If the words and the cute little sock weren't there, you'd see something like this.

This also has lines, but that should give you a better idea of what I'm actually doing. I've no idea why this has sat on my gunna pile for so long, since I love the fabrics and the design as it is above so much. It's looking different in real life, obviously, but the colours are so beautiful and rich, they actually remind me of these 4 pack food dyes. The blue especially, since it's almost the same colour as the little spots that have been on my boots since Longerenong.

Today I got as far as all the cutting (which of course I did wrong; if you cut it into 3 parts you calculate for TWO seam allowances, der) sewing the darker fabrics together and getting them ironed out. But since I also went on a tree stealing adventure with Batman, the Elf Princess and HighVis Girl (I'm not making that up) as well as doing a horrible nasty Monday night close (once we get the money out of the roof, I'm gunna set fire to that bloody airvac system) that's as far as I got.

But it was a lot more enjoyable than trying to sew a top.

And now, I have a confession to make. I bought one of those Tablets. $160 including postage, 7" screen, running Windows CE 6. It's not my fault, the guy reduced it by $35...

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'll be having a bit of a whine now, thanks...

Today started a bit shit, actually, with my fortnightly migraine choosing the small hours of today as the day to come say hi. I pride myself on very rarely throwing up and I find that the only time I do lately is when I'm in lots of pain, which would be for a random 3 hours each fortnight when the top front left side of my skull tries to escape. And because it's random, and not for very long, there's not much point going to the doctor, but at least I know it's over for a bit.

Anyway, I was feeling better by lunchtime, so I went into Spotlight and got some cottons to match the satins I'd picked, and they had 75% off Christmas, so I gave myself a $20 budget but then I only actually spent about $12 after the price of the cottons. A half dozen gift bags (I love gift bags) some hair ribbons and a little bundle of Christmas fat quarters was plenty.

Then, and this is weird for me, I came home and had a nap.

I am not a napper. Dad and Casey are dedicated nappers, but I sleep in late. Once I woke up (it was only for an hour or so, and I had to meet people in town at 8 for Carols by Candlelight) I felt worse, so it's very much not something I'd recommend. We didn't stay in town long either, so I guess I wouldn't recommend Carols by Candlelight either, but that's a whole year away now (for me at least) so not as relevant.

Finally, I got into the top. One of the pleats vanished while I was sewing, but instead of throwing in the towel (like I should have) I unpicked it, put it back in, and redid it. I have to say this fabric was a bitch to work with. If it was on facebook, I would unfriend it. It grips hugely with wrong sides together (like when you're trying to push out your edges smoothly to sew over them) and doesn't grip at all with right sides together (when you're trying to sew the rest of it)

Then when I did my halfway test, it looked horrible. Like, um, lead female character in a TV show going undercover as a prostitute terrible. The cut was fine, but the colour and the way it clinged in some places and not others; it looked trashy.

So, I randomly decided to hack up another old piece of satin, to see if I could use the same rough shape to do a draped neckline. I couldn't, but I randomly came up with a quite nice looking asymmetrical type top. Or, well, quite nice looking asymmetrical type piece of fabric pinned around me and also in places to my singlet. 

One of the few times I wish I had a bodyform. 364 days I wouldn't use it, but it would've come in handy today.

I noted the changes and cut it out in a green, and tried to do it again, but it wouldn't work. And that's the problem with satins. They're all different. The pink sewed and pleated and draped gorgeously, but when I tried to do it in the eggshell, it looked horrible. My random pinned top looked really nice (in the mirror, it was probably a bit horrible from behind) but when I tried to do it in something else, it all collapsed in a slinky, uncontrollable heap.

That's the great thing about quilting fabrics, and why so many of the clothes I made in the past were made from them. The way it will act is entirely predictable. One might shrink a bit in the wash, but any brand of quilt weight cotton will perform in the same way as another. It's so much easier. You don't need an entirely different set of skills to sew Moda fabrics as you do Free Spirit fabrics. A quilt patten will work the same with either. But that's not the case with two similar seeming satins. It might be perfect of it may be a big frustrating ball of slippage and swear words.

I'm gunna put this thing on the backburner for a couple of days. I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere, and it's making me cross. Maybe I'll try a cotton sateen, see if I can find the best of both worlds.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bloody Typical.

I came home from work. I cut. I pleated. I pinned. I got to my machine and had a look through my cottons in their little tray.

And of course, none of them even nearly matched the fabric I picked. The fabric that was way more difficult and slinky than the pretty pink stuff. And not as pretty.

I'll be sulking in my electric blanket watching how it's made if anyone wants me.

(Okay, but looking on the positive side, matching and pinning the pleats is the hardest bit of the whole thing, and that's over and done with at least.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Oh well...

I'm terribly sorry, but I don't have a stunning work Christmas show top to show you all. Casey had to go hang out with her boyfriend so she couldn't come to spotlight with me, but she suggested I try for "VE Commodore Green"

If I had a Commodore, it would be a VT, not a VE. But if I had a VE, it would be a ute. And it would be green. VE Commodore Green. But unfortunately "Atomic Metallic" (as it's called) isn't a colour that features heavily in the fabrics available from Spotlight. It isn't even available in a mid-weight, let alone a satin. So I've picked a half dozen other greens, pretty much every green-y satin-y fabric that was on clearance, but I haven't even turned my machine on today.

Instead I did ALL my Christmas shopping, which, silly me, including an all in one remote I decided to get for my Dad, but which I obviously had to program, because he's a bit useless with technology, and if I didn't I'd pretty much just be giving him a lump of plastic with confusing instructions*. Fortunately it all went well, unfortunately Mum sent me in to get another two and made me program them as well. So they're being used already, and it's one less Christmas present for Dad. At least Mum paid for the other two.

Then I got an urge to make chocolate almond clusters. So I did. And then I wanted second tea (it was about 11pm by this point and that's a good time for second tea), so I cooked a bag of fish. We usually eat it the day it's caught and Dad gives away the rest, but it was still nice at two days old. I suppose people buy it from the shops older, but I'm still worried that it's too old. It's not like it's been out of the fridge or anything, but still. It just seems weird. Like... buying a cat.


I've got a late start tomorrow so I can make progress before that. Yay progress.

*in twelve languages

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's getting better...

I made test top number two tonight, and I've learned all the lessons I needed to learn to do the final tomorrow. Slight strap change (not a big one, just joining at the back instead of the top of the shoulders) and slightly wider at the hips so it doesn't bunch up over my belly (that could also be something to do with the fact that I had a half tub of Mint Madness right before I got it finished*). Casey and I are going to Spotlight once she finishes work in the afternoon to pick a different fabric, but I might still do one in pink to wear another time. It looks nice.

*for the record, that's one of the little 5 scoop take home pack tubs, so it's just a large bowl's worth. With a full sized flake crushed on top. We asked the girls at Wendy's if you could buy one of their whole tubs, and they said yes, but it was "like" $50. If by that they mean it "is" $50, I'll be cleaning out one of our freezers to make room. It may seem like a lot, but I'm spending $22 a week on 3 little tubs already.

I might get fat.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

WB, mojo...

There is a singlet top from Kmart which I re-buy on end of season clearance every year. Some years are better than others - most years I have to pay $4 or $5 a pop (regular price is $10) but one year they got down to $1.50. With the exception of the hottest days of summer (I get sweaty belly, so I wear a proper bra instead) I will pretty much always be wearing one of these singlets. They are super comfy, stop my boobies roaming free* and look nice too, because of the little pleats at the neckline. The straps are not too skinny, the back is not too high the armholes don't open too far forward, and they are long enough that they don't ride up at the hips.

Clearly, they are the one true love of my life. 

Oh, and I cut one up to use as a pattern a year or so ago, and some of my favourite formal tops were made from it.

But naturally I can't find any of them now. I really need to clean my room out, but I'm under the impression I have missed my 3-month window of opportunity. Come March I can say I am Northern Hemisphere Spring cleaning, but that's still a while off.

So here's the test one I made before work today. I can't show it to you on, since it ended up slightly too small, and even though I got it on earlier, it took two people to help me get it off, so I wont be putting it back on just for a photo. (there's no zip, it's meant to be just an over and on thing, even without stretch)

It's actually almost the same construction method as my handbag, with the pleating on the outer and the lining, and sewn face to face before being flipped right side out. I didn't do the bottom, since it was only a test, and the shoulder join is a bit shoddy, so I'll need to work out an alternate method, but the theory seems to hold. I need to make the straps longer and everything else a bit bigger, and do my pleating a bit neater, and have a go at ironing the creases out/in as necessary, but I feel like my mojo has, like most of my tertiary-studying co-workers, returned home for the holidays.

Unfortunately what my mojo actually wants to do while it's down here is watch How It's Made, an utterly fantastic show on the Discovery Channel. I don't blame it. Tonight, episodes 3, 4 and 5: Toothpicks, Copy Paper, Toilets and Beer, among other things.

*but my boobies are pretty well behaved anyway, and almost never need to be bra-d in.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Justifying Procrastination 101...

I'm not gunna say my dressmaking mojo went and moved to Adelaide to study fashion design and construction at Marleston TAFE without me, because that would be premature, given that I only worked on sewing my mockup for about a half hour. I got the skirt part done which looks quite nice even in the nasty old satin I'm using for a test, but I wasn't feeling motivated to do ruffling and curves and slinky, un-ironed, difficult fabric, and then came bad news on the hot pink fabric front.

Casey says I can't use it. The top she's wearing is hot pink. And since it's a whole top and perfect the way it is, it's apparently up to me to change fabrics, because that's easier.

But it's sooo puuurty... Shiny and smooth and crinkly and sparkly all at the same time...

Actually, the whole thing is making me feel a bit weird. I haven't properly made clothes since January, and I definitely feel like dressmaking was something that Sara-who-had-a-boyfriend did, whereas single-girl-Sara is a quilter. It's all a bit ridiculous really, but looking at dresses on eBay took me back to a time when I was being someone who wasn't quite me, to please someone else, and I think that the clothes (yes, a lot of which were bought on eBay) were a pretty big part of it. Dressing to impress a boyfriend is different to dressing to feel comfortable and good about myself, and even though dressing up for a night out to hook a boyfriend is different to both of them, it definatelly feels closer to the former than the latter. 

But once I get over the feeling that this is taking me back 11 months, I'm sure progress will be made.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Dressmaking season...

For the next few days this will stop being a quilting blog and be a clothes sewing blog. At least, until I get frustrated and go back to what I'm good at.*

The work christmas show is in 11 days. Twelve if you include the day of, and the fact that I'm normally finishing outfits an hour or less before wearing. Starting 12 days out is massive for me. Starting 2 days out is massive for me.

Here's the thing though: this year, for the first time in 4 years, I am going solo.

And I am out to wow.

Not that there's anyone at woolies I wanna date, but you never know. One of my teenyboppers on checkout may have a hot brother who will see me in one of her photos on facebook. And we normally share with some other companies, so why not feel optimistic?

While I was at Spotlight Sunday afternoon I bought 4 metres of hot pink satin backed shantung. $2 per metre and then 40% off with the voucher. It was all they had, otherwise I would have got 20. And tonight I've been cruising eBay looking for something to copy.

I very rarely use patterns. Through not fault of my own I'm very bony and knobbly. I weigh sub 45kg and have a curved spine which means that one hip juts out while the other isn't really there at all. And I refuse to pay $20 for a pattern which I will have to alter like buggery to make it fit nicely when I could buy a whole dress for $6 at the salvos. Fortunately,** I'm good at making up the pattern as I go along.

This would be super easy. 

Something along the lines of: Long strip. Trapezoid, runched at top and bottom. Small rectangle. Many layered big rectangles, runched at top. But I might need to break out the overlocker for all that runching. I'll be going longer too, in order to hide the nasty case of knobblykneeitis I have.

I also found this, which I really liked the shoulder and boobie cut of, though not in the tacky pleather it's in. eBay just looks for "dress" in the title and I haven't worked out a decent html command for but don't show me the tacky, slutty, you know it's not worth 50 cents, chinese tat. Still, that's why I look at clothes on eBay instead of buying them, and I think I could quite nicely copy this for the top and pair it with a straight cut, slinky, to the floor ballgown type bottom half.

And my pink fabrics drapes wonderfully, so it would look a million billion times better. And even though my spine is curved, in the left part of the picture, she's standing more wonkily than I do. Now that I look at it, top picture girl is doing it too. My default posture is a model pose...

Standing crookedly must be so in right now.

*I'm good at clothes too. But I can now damn-near-literally quilt in my sleep, whereas it's been about 8 months since I did clothes, and, like a pin in vintage fabrics, I've gotten rusty.

**and I was gunna move to Adelaide and do a course to become even more awesome at it, back before the rust set in, but if I had I would never have started quilting.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday. Market day.

I do not need another tablet.
I do not need another tablet.
I do not need another tablet.
I do not need another tablet.
I do not need another tablet.

I need to keep telling myself this. Over and over again. I need it tattooed in reverse on my forehead so I see it in the mirror, and written on my hands. I need to rearrange the keys on my keyboard so they spell this out. I need it scrolling along the taskbar.

Anyways, the market. It was stinking hot. Well, low 30s. I wasn't too bad except for me feet - I had sneakers on because apparently I have bunions, which is why I can't wear sandals, but Helen was really feeling the heat, and the car was like an oven when we put stuff in there at the end of the day.

The 8am wakeup was nasty for me, since I'd been up till about 4 getting the monsters finished, but that's just as well, since they were the biggest sellers. A couple of the other ladies who had toys said they were underpriced at $8 each, but they were made to be cheap things that people would buy, so I guess they achieved their purpose. I only brought 3 home with me, Alex, (dark green/blue dots, one eye) who I decided I was in love with and needed to keep, Weirdo (the really tall blue one) and Devon (the yellow one) 

About half of the tissue pouches sold as did a few of the random laptop sleeves I made about a year ago, but only one quilt to my Aunt Liz - The Retro Bright (#20) Still, that put total sales at about $190, and I had told myself that if I made $200 I'd buy myself a tablet.

That's cutting it pretty fine, and I knew that when we packed up for the day, so I demanded that Helen come with me to Spotlight (because she had another one of the $40 off vouchers, and she gets the addiction) and I figured if I spent some of it straight away it would be harder to convince myself that it was okay to buy yet another not entirely necessary computer. Helen went home after picking a couple of things and I put them through with mine after I'd picked it all - some more of the drill I used for my handbag (because I am in love) some more of the off white homespun (because it was cheap) and a lot of hot pink satin backed crepe, because at some point in the near future I need to make myself an outfit for the work Christmas show.

I'm gunna have a couple of days off from sewing though. Well, definitely tonight anyway.

Actually, I'm gunna go to bed early...

Like, right now.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Not looking forward to the morning part...

Some monsters (and part of a cat)

Big day tomorrow. Wish me luck.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I made her a long time ago and even though she was only meant to be a practice one, I never got around to making another. I probably should, since the only hard bit was the eyes on stalks, and her claws were a lot easier to set than some of the monster arms and legs I've been doing.
As for the colour, I'm not making this up, but a few days ago my dad caught an albino crayfish.

The one on the bottom is a normal one. They haven't been cooked or frozen or anything like that, it was just how they came out of the pot.

So it would seem that shellfish come in all sorts of colours.

It's still Friday somewhere...

It's been two weeks so I think it's about time I introduced you all. Everyone, this is Taylor.

Now I will be honest - I don't love love her, not yet. Not like I loved my last car, but then, I had been working on that love for 5 years.

She is a 2007 Suzuki Swift (hence the name) and apparently EZ S spec, though since Top Gear magazine wasn't publishing in Australia back then, I can't compare her specs with the ones on paper. The current S has side curtain airbags, which she doesn't, but they might have been added in the last 3 years.

We are getting along well, except for my complete inability to unconsciously operate the windscreen wipers, unless I'm under stress and trying to indicate. Her aircond is really good, important for this time of year, and she has a gorgeously tiny turning circle. She's also excellent at pulling away from the lights if I'm in the middle lane and someone is trying to unjustifiably overtake me on the turning lane. This is my biggest pet peeve when driving, and I think people who do it should be taken out the back and shot. Or at least, humiliated by a girl in a car with a 1.5L engine.

I plan on spending at least the next 5 years of my life with her, if not more, so it's just as well that I like her.

Progress Report - Monsters.

It's a bit later than usual so tonight wont be a long post - I've cut and faced 7 monsters, two of which have been finished but for the hand sewing. Honeycat however takes offense at my being up so late, and refuses to let me sew, alternately sitting around the machine, standing on my fabric, clawing at my fabric and clawing at me. So it's bedtime. 

If I finish what I've started I'll have 5 flatbears, 8 monsters and a crab, which is some little things.

I'd rather people buy the quilts though. I've run out of room to put them all.

Friday, December 3, 2010

After an extended bout of tech support for Mum, I got stuck into the Pretty Awesome quilt. I got it quilted, trimmed bound and into the washing machine before work. But since it was only just, I didn't have time to go to Spotlight and get vliesofix for monster eyes. And unfortunately, we don't stock it at woolies, so I've wasted tonight on eBay trying to tell myself I don't need (another) tablet computer. 

A 7" Android one with 2gig of storage and an 800mhz processor is not enough of an upgrade from the palm pilot (which needs a new battery cover) to justify spending $200 on, and a 10" Windows one is not enough of a size improvement on my already touch-screen laptop to justify spending $500 on. If there was a best of both worlds - a 7" Windows OS with a 100gig harddrive and 1.6gig processor, I'd absolutely get one. But there's not, so I'll just buy the palm pilot a new battery, since the uprated ones don't fit under the standard cover, and come with a bigger cover I can use instead.

Back to the quilt... and I think this one I'm gunna iron. I don't usually, being a big fan of the crinkly, but the batiks don't look as nice as most quilt fabrics do - they look more like scrunched up paper. The only other quilt I've ironed after washing is the all pink batik one, so I think it will probably be a trend.

I bound it in the blue version of the same batik, which is similar enough that you don't really notice it, but different enough that it doesn't just blend at the edge. I also managed to do it as a wide binding even though the actual cut wasn't wide enough - the good thing about the batiks is they hold their crease so well you can fold it unevenly and it will still work, whereas when I've tried it with regular fabrics they shift as you try and sew them because they don't have the stability of both the inside and the outside having been sewn down.

I went with a solid for the back not only because it was half the price, but because again, I didn't want one of the two fabrics drifting off into the rest. Also note the fact that my piecing is aligned to the front and it's quilting lines - it was the only way it would fit but it was a bit of a bitch to do. I'll take some more photos once I've ironed it, but the quilting lines up pretty damn well to the front and the back. On a couple of the across ones it is only a few milimetres or so on the right side of the seam, but still, I'm feeling proud. There's a reason I usually piece my backings at 45degree angles, and this is it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This is apparently my 200th post... Happy Bicentenary...

Today was something of a mixed bag. I got the pink quilt top finished pretty early on and tried to get into some monster toys, but my fabrics just weren't working for me. The white felt I got for eyes, which was the expensive wool/viscose stuff might I add, fluffed up and piled horribly before I'd even finished the first one. And the genuinely vintage velour I've been using frays something horrible, and then all the little bits of fluff fly off and magically end up at the back of your throat, so I've been sounding like the cat trying to get up a furball. I'll go back to using iron on mending patches tomorrow even though that means no more of the puuurty velour, but maybe that's not a bad thing.

After admitting defeat I had some icecream (der) and pieced a back for the pink quilt, basted it and I've done about half the quilting. So there's achievement there, but still not so much in the little things. Which I know I should be doing... But the universe keeps saying no.

Tomorrow before work I want to finish quilting this one and maybe bind it too, or at least do the front since it's not gunna be one of my wide, easy bindings, and maybe if possible get a back pieced for the Awesome quilt top - it's okay, I bought real quilting fabric so no more poplin wars.

I'll have another go at some more monsters after work, and more importantly once I have more supplies.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I just felt like it, okay?

Fortunately, I got to an episode last night that didn't need to be followed immediately by the next one, and I've decided to stop there until after the weekend. I could probably stop forever, since things seem to be going well and you could imagine that they all live happily ever after from this point, but the fact that there is more will nag at me, so I'll pick it up next week. In the meantime, channel 10 is starting season two of White Collar this week, and even though we don't actually have functioning TV in our house at the moment, it seems as good an excuse as any to re-watch it. Again. But because I've already watched it twice, I wont be getting so caught up in it, and I'll be able to sew at the same time.

Which is good, cause my to do list remains quite undone. I got Casey's bag finished, at which point she decided she did actually quite like it. No photo sorry because she's taken it and disappeared somewhere. Then, using the little scrap of fabric that was left I decided to make a matching little purse which worked okay (she liked it) but not great (I wont be blogging a photo or selling them at that quality) So I had another go, and actually that one was worse, so I gave up and went to work.

When I got home, I should have made a backing for the Awesome Quilt Top of Awesomeness, or had a look through the vintage fabrics under my bed to see if any of them would be good for making toy monsters, or made some headbands. Instead I decided that what I actually wanted to do was the pink version of Awesome.

Obviously it's still quite a ways short of a quilt top, but there's 36 blocks there. That's enough to make a 150cm square quilt, and I hadn't planned on going that big. I was going to do it 5 by 5, or about 125cm, but if I do it 5 by 6, it will be the same size as most of my bigger ones, and I'll have 6 blocks already pieced to go on the back. I'm not sure whether or not to push through on this one for the market or not - I don't know what other fabric I want to bind it or back it with - but I know that the reason I'm putting off doing the black version is that the poplin was so nasty to sew. It looks so very gorgeous, but I can't bring myself to work on it.

Hopefully tomorrow brings with it the desire to get some toys made.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oh God...

Casey has no idea what she's getting herself in for, trying to catch up on watching all the episodes of Chuck. It's completely ruined my chances of sewing tonight... it never ends... each episode rolls into the next and you can't go do something else or even go to sleep... it's horrible.

What's not horrible is my pretty little (well, it's getting kinda big) pile of tissue pouches.

Good blend of cool grown up, cutesy kid and even a few Christmas ones, cause I have a nasty habit of buying it in the post Christmas sales and I've never used it for anything, and it seemed like a good time.

Whoops, I got distracted and watched another episode.

I've only got 7 more. It has to end eventually...


Monday, November 29, 2010

All that progress that I was anticipating yesterday didn't really eventuate. I'm choosing to blame Casey, because I have to pick someone, and I've picked Becky so many times it's almost become a cliche.

First off, I went shopping. This is not Casey's fault, though she did ask where I was going and if she wanted to come, but when I said Spotlight she figured she didn't. If she had, things might have gone better.

So yeah, I went to Spotlight. Used #3 of the 4 vouchers. Got bobbins like I said I would, and some white felt for monster eyes, and some heavy weight fabrics for bags, which was on my earlier list but I couldn't find any I liked last time, and some smaller cuts of expensive fabrics to make a heap of tissue pouches, because they are awesome and I can make them quickly and take them to the market. Because Casey said they were cute.

So then I got home but I couldn't get to the machine because Casey was in my room watching Chuck. Now it's excellent that she's decided to watch it too, but since she's 2 1/2 season's behind me, she's likely to be in my room pretty much constantly in her quest to catch up. And she gets cross when I try to sew at the same time, which is especially annoying when she's also getting cross at me for not sewing her a handbag.

Basically she wants mine in navy blue with white polka dots. But the only fabric I can find that meets this description is a very lightweight poplin. And since most of my interfacing turns to crap, I like to only interface the lining and use an unlined heavier weight fabric for the outside. Today at Spotlight I found a very cute drill, navy blue with Japanese-y style white and red trees on it. Very cute. So I bought some of it, and came home, and started to make it into a bag for her. Lining interfaced, pleats measured out and pinned/ironed in, ready to sew. 

At which point she comes out and has a bitch that it's not polka dots. If she'd come into town with me she could have said that while we were shopping, and saved me some effort.

So I stopped work on that and started making myself another one.

I've added a magnetic snap, although not very well, since the two sides are at different heights, and it only looks that plump because I shoved the rest of the drills I bough today inside of it when I was tidying the kitchen. My only issue with it is that the handles aren't as thick or feel as strong as on the other bag, but I did have 90cm of fabric to make that one, whereas this time I only had 50cm. Still, it's cute, and I did a slightly better job on the sides this time, so I'm feeling the pride.

I also got a dozen or so tissue pouches 90% finished - I just need to zigzag over the edges, but doing that at night gives me a headache, so it can wait till morning.