Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tissue Pouch Tutorial...

This is a cute, super easy little thing you can whip up in 5 minutes. All you need is 15cm of off the bolt fabric. A fat quarter can also be used, but you will have scraps. From your 15cm strip, cut 2 pieces 23cm long, one piece 40cm long and 1 piece 15cm long. Pretty much all that will remain is a bit of selvedge. 

Take your two 23cm bits and lay them right sides together. Mark the middle line lengthwise, and measure 5cm from each of the short edges. Sew the 5cm along this line and back at either end. Try to stay on your first line of stitches so that it can be folded apart. It should look something like this.

Fold the two pieces apart so that it becomes a double sided piece with a hole in the middle. Sew either side of the seams and the hole.

Take the two remaining pieces and fold them in half lengthways. Hem the fold.

Layer the 3 pieces, Split piece first, then the short piece to the right with the raw edges alligned with the raw edges of the split piece, and the long piece on top in the other direction. If you have a preference for which part of the design you want on the outside once it's completed, it should be facing in.

Sew around the raw edges. Double check (you can just peek in the split) that all layers of fabric have been sewn in, and then trim and overlock or zizgaq densely over the raw edges. The neater they are, the easier it will be to put tissues in.

Flip the long piece of back right side out. Push the corners out firmly.

The easiest way to put the tissues in is to zigzag them a little so they dont bend as you're pushing them in. You'll want a bundle about 1cm thick, and still neatly folded.

Put them in and flip over the short end. I always give it a bit of a shake at this point to settle the tissues so they lay a bit flatter.

Pull the top tissue through the hole. It's roughly the same size as a real tissue box and they feed through just the same. When you run out, just flip the short end over and pop in some more.

These are great for bags (handbags, gymbags, nappybags), in the car or for keeping next to your sewing machine, perfect for when you're cleaning out the bobbin case and the lint gives you the sneezes :)

Big thankyou of course to Babycat, for being a tissue pouch model, and Honeycat, for not.

Please Hold...

Just wrote my first mini tutorial, but I have to go to work now and I don't have time to do the photos that it needs. I'm also not sure how to post it - whether I just do it as a regular post (probably, it's not a very big or complicated thing - I can do them in about 5 minutes) or as a proper PDF download thing. There's no pattern to print so scaling doesn't matter; although I have of course written it in metric it would be a super easy conversion for the imperialists amongst us (Hi American reader! I see you! :) to convert it.

Only a short shift tonight, thankfully, as I really need to make some progress after 2 days wasted staring at numbers.

There's the photos for this (for which I will have to make at least one, which usually leads to me making 3 or 4, because of the OCD), and a bag for one of the girls at work's portable DVD player (though I need to find my foam for that one) and I really need to make some more progress on the boat quilt cover, which has sat sadly in the corner since being basted Saturday night.

And the purple quilt has been ignored for over a fortnight now and I'm feeling guilty about that, and I'll probably get the math sorted for the mini quilts while I'm at work and be filled with a burning desire to start as soon as I get home.

Although what will probably actually happen is I'll accidentally go into the lounge at some point, become entranced by the warmth of the fire and the brain lull of primetime TV, and my night will be ruined.

Random shit and stuff...

In no particular order...

Last week we got our toilet replaced and I'm still not too fond of the new one - especially its flush. It seems almost violent, especially as it ends the half flush, as if there's some big medieval drawbridge inside of it slamming shut. Or maybe it's just me.


Tonight at work I did a 2 minute bit of math that I should have done Saturday night and saved myself two days of angst about the fact that I had suddenly become unable to do quilt math. Basically it goes:

tqs:1 side
neat16th is 418cm2
based on 19x21final
18av. neat16ths
one side needs
22 neat16ths
or 5 1/2fqs
to fill
22 neat16ths (5fq)
to make to 4by5 (tqs84x95)

I tend to abbreviate quite harshly when I'm doing math at work so noone understands it but me... tqs is total quilt size and a neat16th is 3cm less in each direction of what I can cut four of from a fat quarter. I have 4 1/2 fat quarters for each side, but I need at least 5 per side, which will get me an 84cm by 95cm quilt, with almost exactly the same setup as a cot sized quilt (but 4 and 5, instead of 6 and 8) Great. So now what?


I got a little envelope of fabric I bought from Etsy in the mail today, but silly me thought I was starting at 2.30 even though it's a Monday, when I always start at 3 (Tracey, who does the day shift on smokes needs to stay back for a half hour one day a week to get her 38hours) so I rushed to get myself lunch and to work instead of taking it to show Helen. Actually, I didn't even get it out of it's plastic, I only took it out of the envelope. Still, even that little tease was enough to put a big grin on my face when I was heading on my dinner break, prompting one of my co-workers to ask what lewd thing I had just been remembering. She seemed a bit disappointed when I said that I was only happy cause there was fabric waiting for me in the car. But it was a good night at work, and Simone and I went to Maccas afterward, because the "cheap" chickens only got down to $5.45 tonight. On a good night they are $2.18, but maybe we were a bit busier than we realised in amongst the planning of a Woolworths musical, the bitching about various exes and the massive sugar consumption.

But anyway, the fabrics are gorgeous; 3 Erin McMorris, 2 Michael Miller including the mushroom stripe which is a massive print (now that I've zoomed that word, it has become one of those ones that looks like it's been spelled incorrectly, even though it hasn't been - I think it's because I've trained myself back into going I've instead of ive) and the fabric that has turned out to be my favourite, which is by a company and designer I've never heard of.

It's called Wild Thyme and is by Carolyn Gavin for P&B textiles. And even though I have a preference toward more carefully drawn designs than this usually, my heart has recently been doing flipflops for anything that features bright colours on brown. I'm having my 70s throwback time, and everyone, including my bank balance, will just have to deal :)


I spent US$70 on fabric.com last night. They had 10% extra off on the under $5 fabrics, and I saved myself $9. I got about 16 yards too, including at least 3 of the Robert Kaufmann Autumn Nutmeg I already have a fat quarter bundle of, and a current season Michael miller bird fabric, which at $9 per yard, before postage, is pretty pricey by my standards.

I guess my bank balance will just have to deal :)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

How to plan a cot sized quilt using metric maths...

Even though the battings I buy are 50" by 60" I still do all my actual math in metric. In metric, these battings come out to about 152 by 127cm. Ish.

I'm a big lover of fat quarters. I have tubs full of them, since they're not only practical, but often cheaper than buying off the bolt, if you do your homework, and look around.

As a result, most of my designs are fat quarter based. BUT, not all fat quarters are created equal.

Put simply, METRIC fat quarters are better, by about 10%. By better, I mean bigger. A fat quarter from the big box at Stitch and Knit (my local specialist quilt shop, where precut in store fat quarters are $3 each, which is great since off the bolt is usually $20 a metre) is about 55x50cm, whereas a fat quarter from America (be it from eBay or as an imported precut bundle at Stitch and Knit) is usually 55x45cm. A cot sized quilt uses at least 12 fat quarters. Add up the difference and that's over one full fat quarter of fabric less.

Earlier quilts were a bit more wasteful with regards to the design, the cutting and the layout. The retro quilt uses the equivalent of 16 fat quarters, with half of 4 of them not actually included in the quilt. The blue green quilt uses 14, and left a good batch of scraps in its wake. By the time I got to Ester's quilt I had my math down pat.

Instead of a quarter inch seam allowance, I use 7.5mm, which is closer to 3/8ths of an inch. This means a bit more wastage with regards to visible use of fabric, but a bit more security, and much easier (metric) math. This is because 7.5mm doubled is one and a half centimetres, whereas 6.4mm (a quarter inch) is a much more difficult to calculate and measure 1.28cm. Try using that in all your calculations, or cutting that accurately, and your brain will promptly explode.

So if the allowance is 7.5mm, and each actual seam (which is made up of two bits of fabric) is 1.5cm, then a block with one seam each way (which is most of my designs) will need to be 3cm bigger in each direction than it's finished size (1.5cm for the inside seam and 1.5cm to join the block to its neighbours)

An 8 block by 6 block quilt with a final size of 152 by 127cm therefore needs 48 rectangles of 22x24cm.

You can almost exactly cut 4 of these from an American fat quarter. And if each block has one join in each direction then from 12 fat quarters you'll have 48 blocks measuring 20.5cm by 22.5cm. And when they lose 1.5cm each in their coming together, their 19x21cm size will make a quilt top 152x126cm, assuming you've set them long side 6 across and short side 8 across.

If you have, you'll need to trim the batting by 1cm on one side. If you've done it the other way...

...Have you maybe considered some other kind of craft?

Now I just need to do some similar math for a baby blankie of 85 by 105cm. That's what I'll be doing tonight. Metric Math. The best kind there is.

Shleepie Times...

I have been ironing for 3 hours.


Anyways, as well as that, the boat quilt cover has finished being pieced and has been pinned to the sheet it will be sewn onto. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be harder than actual quilting, because there isn't the batting inside to hide all the bumps, but hopefully the fact that I have washed (and therefore one assumes, shrunk) the backing sheet but not the actual fabrics will mean that any problems will go away after the first wash when the top pulls itself tight and the backing stays loose.

When I went into Spotlight today to get some end-of-bolt wadding I had put aside yesterday, Helen happened to be there, and she was nice enough to pay for it for me, as a thankyou for Ester's quilt. It's one metre of 85cm wide and 80cm of the 3.15m wide, which I'll chop into 3 bits giving me enough for 4 little snuggle rug style blankies. I want to see realistically how much cost/work goes into one that size, and I think it would be a good chance too the try out some new/ more difficult stuff on a small scale, but no so small that it's unusable.

Anyway, I'm falling asleep and Babycat is trying to climb onto the keyboard. It's time to call it a night.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Time to call it a night...

I was so right about the guy on Law and Order. I'm just awesome that way.

Got some more done on Dad's quilt - the blocks have been paired and the pairs have been pinned together to sew into strips tomorrow.

What a nice looking pile.

Here's the bits all out on the floor right before I pinned it.

The angle is horrible because it's quite a bit longer than what I usually make is, and I couldn't fit it any other way.

If I have one criticism of this quilt, it's that I didn't choose fabrics with enough definition.The plain colour sketch of this quilt looks really vibrant, with the thinner bits making the big bits pop, but the design is a bit lost in the similarities between the fabrics. It's a complaint I've made about a lot of quilts in books, and it's something I've so far not had trouble with, but I think it's mainly because of the line I'm using - trying to keep with the fish theme, especially this style of fish theme, left me with really limited choices. It looks better on the angle, when your eye is following the lines the pattern makes, but still.

We are our own harshest critics.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bored Already...

I'm 2/3rds of the way through the ironing of the first string piecing.

I fucking hate ironing.

PS. that dude on L&O:SVU is sooo shifty...

I've got a lovely pile of fabrics here, Diddley Diddely Dee...

Here they are all sitting neatly stacked, Bum Bump Bum...

So they're all neatly cut and stacked ready to string piece tomorrow after work.

Which I have to be at in 8 hours.

Gah. This whole starting at the same time as normal people thing fucking sucks...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A small sense of achievement.

Casey decided she wanted to fall asleep on my bed tonight so I had to stay out in the lounge getting stuff done. I'm still not feeling it, which is why I had to push myself to 2/3rds of the cutting.

Dad's quilt, obviously, that being the one that's currently top of the list. All the skinny lines are cut (7.5 x 21.5cm to make a 6 x 20cm stripe) as well as the green backed fishes (15.5 x 21.5 to make 14 x 20cm block) leaving the fishes on light and dark blue still to be cut.

The main difficulty with the fish is that half need to face one way and half the other. I couldn't quite manage to do it with the contrast fabrics, since 13 is not a number that divides well and there was no way to make the bits fit without at least one of them having a weird seam. But I have 3 times as much of the fish fabrics, even though technically I only need twice as much.

Sure, this generates heaps of scraps, but I don't mind. I'll feel better if they all face the same way, and I have enough to do it.

I also came up with a nice little story for the fishes. But first, there's a reason for a story.

Dad was shitfaced last night but fortunately everyone else was still up too and he couldn't really focus on upsetting any particular one of us (except Maddy, who was cross that he wouldn't shut up and let her sleep. It's a school night.) The only problem he could pick up on with what I've been up to lately was that the fish on the fabric didn't look scared enough. Any fish in or around his boat, he felt, should have a look of terror on their faces, because he would be coming to get them.

The Odyessea fishes on the other hand, are happy (well, expressionless but prettily patterned) so I've decided that they are the souls of all the fish he's already caught, in a fishy heaven.

Yes I know I don't believe in the ideas of souls or heaven or any kind of afterlife for that matter, but how the hell was I gunna make some cartoon fish look scared huh?

In other news, fabric in the mail day.

I had had a good feeling it was gunna be today.

I've got a US$45 cart waiting at fabric.com, half of which is more of the Nutmeg Autumn fabric that I got in that bundle, and there's still that money in the paypal account (believe it or not, I haven't actually been doing much internet spending, what with all the real world spending I've had to do) and in the past I've gone with a rule about not buying more through an unknown channel until the first lot is here, which it is. So I could get it, and wait a month (this lot took 34 days) for it to get here.

Or I could get something else that would get here a bit quicker.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


But I'm still not feeling it. It's too cold, too wet, too miserable, and my bedroom is too messy and my cats too psychotic for me to really achieve much in the way of sewing.

My stubby holders are still just little piles of fabric, there's still clothes on and around my sewing machine that need to be organised/washed/put away, and even if I was feeling motivated enough to sew, I'm not feeling motivated enough to clean.

To make myself feel better though I got the designing done for the boat quilt, because silly me has decided that I can get it done in time for Father's Day. That said, I'm going for uber-easy (2 pieces per 20cm), and we all agreed that it would be better to do it as a quilt cover than as an actual quilt, since it's a boat, and therefore too freaking cold to use a little thin piece of bamboo to keep yourself warm. Good news is this means that instead of having to wrangle a big bit of wadding through the machine, I can just in the ditch it onto another piece of fabric. Bad news is it means I have to do buttons or press studs for the closure.

Here's the design as a plain colour concept.

And here it is with the fabric, although as ever the patterns aren't to scale.

There will actually be about 10 fish in each big block. The final size is about 1.4mx2.2m. Ish. Each square is mathed at about 20cm, and I have a seriously boofy single bed quilt that's 145x215 that they can use for it.

What's more, because I went seriously overboard on my fabric buying, there should be enough for some pillowcases and a couch throw too. And that should get me out of having to get him anything for Christmas.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why yes, I am procrastinating...

I have 3 hours till I have to go into town. My internet is capped for the next two days so at least I can't dither them away looking at blogs. 

I need to...
Dry my hair.
Find my work clothes.

I should...
Tidy my room/sewing area.
Do some more work on the purple quilt.
Do some more work on the selvage stubby holder.
Start planing the fathers day fish quilt.
Clean all the mud and dirt and stones and grit out of my car.

Babycat is chewing on the towel around my hair and pulling it off. It'd be cute, were it not really annoying.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sort-of-Normal Service Resumation (if that's even a word)

I didn't get to go shopping,the night was simultaneously good and bad, and I'm still (literally) a little bit blue.

If I was a good little craft blogger I would have come home and got straight into finishing the purple quilt, or redux-ing the selvage stubby holder, but I feel like seven types of shit, all stacked on top of one another, and with a couple more types sitting around the bottom because they slid off.

I did get myself enough selvages cut and trimmed to make 2 more stubby holders (with the lines going up and down instead of around) but then I was trying to put them in order and Babycat jumped on them, so I gave up.

Now I'm watching Psych DVD commentaries and trying to muster up the energy to either go have a shower (which would involve having to stand up up for 20 minutes) or clear all the stuff off my bed (which would involve having to lift/move/organise stuff, and, also, stand up)

I'm onto my last unwatched commentary (I've already watched the last one (first) because that commentary was the sole reason I bought the DVD) so once this episode finishes it would be a good time to get into other stuff, but... 

We'll see how I'm feeling in 30minutes I guess....

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Normal service to resume shortly... please hold...

Well I'm currently at the Longerenong BnS ball, which, kinda confusingly, is being held 25km from Longerenong, in Kalkee... Because they were barred from the old venue after last year. I don't know what happened there, because I was home being normal, but I suspect they tore up all the grass doing burnouts, which is why this year we are at a racecourse, where its all white metal/gravel grounds and less greenery to be regrown.

Frankly, its all a bit boring. Becky just arrived, which is a bit weird since she left before us yesterday, so one would have assumed she would get here first, but casey and I have been here nearly 3 hours.

As a result, here I am on the internets. I've got the car charger (though the lappy can muster about 4 hours of use on battery and I full charged it overnight at the motel) and the telstra USB internet thingie, which is being a bit irrational, and only giving me edge signal if and when it feels like it.

Also, because its being surprisingly sunny, you could dam near fry eggs on the touchpad, which is in the sun. I touchscreen anyway.

Anyway, the deal had been pretty much that I would drop Casey off and go back into Horsham (about 15 mins drive) for some shopping. But now she's all worried that if I leave there wont be anywhere for me to park when I get back.

But the actual ball doesn't start for another 6 hours. I have no drinking to occupy my time, and I'm going slow on the lollies so I don't sugar crash before I get started. So far I've had one packet of jelly tots and 5 raspberry twists in 3 hours, and that's about as fast as I want to go for now.

So, do I wait around bored or go into town and potentially lose my carpark. I dunno. Local time is about 1.30, so, assuming shops close at 4 like they do in the mount, I'm needing to decide in the next half hour or so.

I think I might see if I can get anyone to protect my space.

Friday, August 20, 2010

It's all downhill from here...

I didn't get around to making a second stubby holder, because I got a bit caught up finishing myself a ball gown.

Cinderella didn't have to stay up till 2am sewing her own dress. Lazy cow.

Okay, so I didn't have to do most of it. I bought a dress off eBay a while back, and all I actually had to do to it was take it in at the bust and shorten it by about 10 cm.

What did keep me up was my doona style underskirt, for extra warmth, boof and swish. Basically it's 4 layers, the bottom and top are flanellete (warmth) and the middle two are tulle (boof and swish.)

So that's all I've done. Well, that and empty out my car and refill it with a million billion blankets and a swag. And an esky. And enough food to feed a small army. And 18 bags of jelly tots.

So now all that needs doing is a quick, curse word inducing leg wax, a 3 1/2 hour smokeshop shift and a note to Maddy about catfood.

And then I'm off till Sunday night.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Does it look like I care?

Yes it's naff.

Yes, my time would have been better spent working on a dress, or going through my wardrobes like my sisters were doing.

But... It's a stubby holder, which one needs for both road trip and B&S balls, both of which I'm attending this weekend, and it proclaims to any other quilters I may encounter that I too am one, and just maybe I will meet someone who will look at my stubby holder and go "oh, you quilt too?" and I will explode with happiness.

Because it's only a prototype it's a bit shoddy in places (mainly the base) and it's a bit too tall and a bit too tight, but because it's 2am and I just did it, it's quite possibly the best idea I have ever had.


PS. if I work out a better way of doing it, that doesn't involve an hour of hand stitching, I'll probably do a tutorial.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I got up at 10, fed the cats, checked to make sure the internet was all still there, by which time the cats were fed and back on my bed, so I curled up next to them and had a nap. 

Now it's 12.30 and I have work in less than an hour. Till 10.30.

Ergh. Waste of a day :(

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


After pushing so bloody hard for the past few days, my crafting has pretty much fallen into a practical, not pretty heap. 

Today, I altered my jeans.

Tomorrow, I will repair Casey's jeans.

There's no plans to start quilting till I get back Sunday afternoon.

Well... No real plans.

As well as the 2 battings (which I will get back to) I bought a pink woolen baby blanket kit. It's only 80 by 120cm, but then it was also only $8. I'm thinking I might use that for my tickertape, cause I'm feeling uber-lazy, and I could get away with no batting.

But not right now. Not only am I gunna be too busy driving myself bonkers trying to sort out this weekend, but Kelsey has all my scraps for hers.

Anyway, back to the batting - I went and got it and then at the post office I got a spend-$100-and-get-$40-off voucher in the mail. So instead of buying them today I should have waited till Thursday and got 4 of them for $60, instead of 2 for $40. 

Can I be bothered doing that though? Taking them back and then buying more? I'd feel bad but I'm fairly sure that Nikki or Sarah would be fine with it. Davina would have a bit of a bitch, but then, she's a bit of a bitch, so meh.

What I should be doing is working on a dress for Saturday night. I bought a ballgown on eBay a few months ago and if I don't get around to anything else, all that needs is a 30 second take-in at the boobies, and a half hour attaching of an extra underskirt. Or I have the dress that I wore to the work Christmas show a couple of years ago, although that's a) too freaking awesome to risk being ruined by food dye and b) a lightweight summer dress that's not really suited to being worn in 10° weather. But this time, I wont be forgetting my awesomest fur coat, that I got for $15 at the Salvos and wear as a big up-yours to PETA, who euthanize animals rather than re-home them, and think sheep should die of flystrike, because it's natural. Also, It's deliriously warm.

But still, I cant wear just a coat. Last time I wore a 3/4sleeve top that was once a dress, and a big boofy bubble skirt that was also once a dress.

I like chopping stuff up.

But I have a nice dress pattern, that's very low cut, that I can shorten into a top and pair with a big boofy skirt (full of nice warm layers and good at hiding the fact that I have pants on underneath. I get cold.)

Here's to hoping.

It's not that I want them, you see, but....

This time it's Spotlight who are having the 20% off sale and giving me shopping angst.

Do I need more fabric? No. Note however that this didn't stop me from making a US$55 cart on fabric.com, though this was mainlt becasue the refund for the camera came through so there's $120 in my paypal account waiting to be spent. Oh, wait, I'll get the new Psych DVD.

All bought. There's still $70 there, but at least it's now a less burny-hole-in-pockety amount.

Anyway, back to the Spotlight dilemma. Obviously I'm already pretty overloaded with fabric - with the exception of the purple quilt fabric, most of what I've been buying lately has been either backings or for non-quilting projects. So the only thing I really need to stock up on is battings.

I've been using bamboo lately and loving it. I got 6 little ones for $17ish each from Lincraft and I have 2 left. At Spotlight, the cozy cotton ones are normally $25, so they'd be $20 at 20% off.

I'm not sure how many to get, if any. The two I have left aren't much, when you think of the rate I'm going at lately. Even if I slow down, that's probably really only a month or so and they're gone, and I'll need more. And they're not something I can pick up on eBay for the cheap, because they're big and bulky and cost a heap in postage.

The only other one I've done with the cozy cotton was Maddy's, and I cant really remember if I liked it or not. I'm loving how much Bamboo clings, but I think the cotton was a bit thicker.

So I don't know. Maybe 2? And then hope someone has something on special soon?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Woop Woop...

I gave up at about 3.30am after my bobbin got stuck and my brain melted. I had 6 more lines to sew and then the binding to do but I just couldn't. I hit my wall and went to bed. But don't worry though, I completed it today with the sheer force of my awesomeness.

No pictures sorry because it's currently in the washing machine, and I need to go to work.

Esther got chopped out about lunchtime, so she beat the quilt by a couple of hours, but, assuming mum remembers to bring it to me at work so I can take it up to the hospital tonight, I will have done it in time for the first meet.

I wish I'd just been brave enough to put the flowers on the back now.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Complete lack of motivation...

I'm struggling. The backing of the blue green quilt (my first pieced one) came totally naturally, but this one took me over an hour of laying out bits, moving them next to other bits, doing some math, disregarding, shifting again, over and over, till I worked something out.

I think I've got it all worked out now, so I have to go and sew.

But there's some diagonals. So I'll just be hoping for the best.


The backing fabric that Helen chose is in the machine, along with some other random green bits that needed doing too.

To be honest, it's not what I would have chosen. It's a green with some very sparse peach and grey swirls on it, and even though it's very nice, it's a different shade of green than the green on the front, and being a bit OCD, that makes me twitchy.

I should mention though, that with regards to quilting at least, for me OCD stands for Over-Cautious-Disorder. I get really worried that something will fall apart, or that someone will notice some other little fault of part of it that isn't quite right. It's why I double sew my bindings and use an almost wastefully wide seam allowance. It's why I unpick 1/4 of what I've just sewn and ironed because the pattern that I never intended to put in there in the first place is wrong. It causes me to go and re-buy half the fabrics I've chosen because they're not quite exactly right and what if someone notices?

I'm fairly sure that noone, at any point, is going to ask me why the fabric on the back of someone else's quilt is a fairly cool shade of green when the fabric on the front is a very warm green. But if they do... It was the pregnant lady. She picked it.

To be fair, it goes quite nicely with the binding, and we did choose it in about 15 minutes, having only been to 1 store.

With regards to the back piecing, despite the fact that it's getting cut out in just 18 hours, I'm still not being told what is coming, so instead of the pretty flowers (because we are thinking girl) it will be the little stars on white in red, black and blue as well as a pastel blue stripe that came in the mixed bundle from fabric.com (because it might be boy)

And if it is a boy, and there's flowers on the back, and someone even looks like they might mention it, I will spontaneously explode from embarrassment.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Lunch break...

Of course, now that I look at the photo (after I've string pieced and ironed out my pairs) I can see my glaring mistake.

Probably no-one will notice it. I was trying for random - well, actually, I was only concerned about not having a row of the paisley going up or down.

If you still haven't picked it, its that all the paisley blocks form a diagonal line with their outer sides. Except for the red ones :(

Actual unpicking would be 6 pieces. That's not as bad as I was expecting.

I'm running way ahead. I may as well. I will feel better about it.

Also, the test swatch of the purple quilt boofed up nicely, so I wont be bothering with more quilting. Here's how it's at currently.

So I only need to trim the edges and bind. Nice feeling :)

Progress report - 4am.

The purple quilt isn't finished, but I'm hoping the quilting is.

I planned to quilt across the seams and leave it at that but the top is a bit loose on a couple of the rows.

So, as per usual, I've done a square and chucked it in the wash with my work clothes and the fabric I'm using as binding for the Make Life baby quilt. Hopefully it will boof up, reassuring me that the quilting I've done already is enough (please please please) and I don't have to do some more across the blocks.

Also, even though I said I wasn't gunna, I made a start on the Make Life quilt. It's up to what I've referred to as quarter blocks since doing the retro star quilt, because each one was one quarter of the star block. So really, all I've done is reassemble my cutting from this evening, giving me the 48 blocks to arrange into a quilt, to match one of the patterns or otherwise.

I did a test to see if the staggered design would work with the blocks being the same colour on both sides 

It does.

I also had a play with a scattered design too.

Which also works. So I figure I'll be having a play around with the real thing tomorrow at some point.

Speaking of tomorrow, dad seems insistent that he will be getting me up at 9. I've put up with this whole "don't do stuff late at night" shit for the weekdays, but it's not applying tomorrow. It's a Saturday morning. If I had said I was going to be out till 3 partying, he would be actively encouraging me. Hell, he goes out and gets shitfaced 3 nights a week, so what the fuck is so bad about me being considerate, and only taking up the whole living room once everyone has gone to bed? Would he rather me be spraying fumey basting spray when Maddy is in there? When food is being cooked? Would he rather me fighting with Mum and Casey over bench space so I can have some room to press my seams, while they spread out cooking?

He whinges when I take up the floorspace for basting. And he whinges when I stay up late so I'm not in anyone's way.

But he doesn't whinge about the fact that Becky owes him, me and mum HUGE sums of money. Or the fact that Casey spends as much on alcohol and nights out with her friends as I do on fabric.

Staying up late on a Friday night to get shit done. It's not the worst crime in the world.

Friday, August 13, 2010

So... projects...

Got called in to work today so I'm quite glad I didn't pull the all nighter. It's also put me a bit behind, so I've decided to stop and sort myself out before I push on.

My crafting to do list.

Finish the purple quilt (little bit of back piecing, basting (will be cheating with spray) quilting and binding.) Optimistic ETA is tonight, more realistic is tomorrow.

Helen's baby's quilt. Design is done and big squares are cut, but that's about as far as it's gotten. I need to check when I'm working next week, but I'm hoping to have the top pieced by Wednesday or Thursday. The binding arrived in the mail today but I'm still not sure what I'll be doing with the backing. Spotlight has some sheeting in there for $5 per metre, but it's either pink or blue, and it's still 3 days till I find out what it is.

Ball gown. We leave for Longernong Friday night after I finish work. I have plenty of backups, but the current pattern looks fairly easy, so I should be able to pull it together in an hour or 2.

Soiree Quilt. For Me, so I'm not sure when.

Boat quilt. All here but not designed yet.

Toy patterns. Ill get there eventually.

Progress report...

I told myself I wouldn't post anything until I had at least finished the top, and then when I had finished the top, I figured I'd press on with sorting out the batting, and since this quilt is a) more lofty and b) less clingy than the bamboo I'm used to I decided I'd baste in the ditch before I got the backing sorted, so I could at least turn it over.

So now I'm halfway through doing the backing, only having stopped because I was feeling a little faint from hunger.

Not sure on how or when I'll be doing my actual quilting - tossing up a bit between pulling an all nighter to get the damn thing over and done with and going into spotlight tomorrow and buying basting spray again - I haven't used it since the first quilt, which was wool - bamboo clings so much you hardly need baste. 

I basically have one strip of big squares to quilt and iron, then its joining my 2 strips of squares to my big bits and the back is all done. Quilting thus far (basting) has been a bit of a bitch, as this quilt is not only loftier but also larger than the bamboo I usually use, so I'll be struggling down in my slightly cramped bedroom space - The big rainbow quilt was done in the lounge in the wee small hours when I could do furniture shifting and have more space.

I think I'm gunna stop. Well, not just now, but once the back is done and pinned down to it.

Then I will either sleep or make a start on Helen's baby's quilt, which I've cut down to it's big squares (well, rectangles technically, I wanted 22x24 but have had to settle for 21.5x24 because of all the washing machine fraying) and need to do the two slices within it.

Due to a lack of response with regards to design, I've picked number 3 because I liked it and #2 equally, but #3 is a bit easier to do because both the sides are the same colour.

Actually, scratch 3 paragraphs ago. I'm beat, and going to bed. I've got tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Purple plans...

I finally got around to putting in order and pinning the last 4 strips of the purple quilt, but I'm stalling on the sewing because of how much of a drag the other 6 strips were.

Granted, instead of having an old episode of Psych or Top Gear on I had new Big Bang Theory DVDs playing and that took up way more of my attention and slowed me down, but still... Sewing the strips was a massive drag.

The main reason I quilt over other kinds of sewing is the massive sense of achievement you get when you accomplish part of it. Usually I can stop for the night having done a whole lot of string piecing and feel good about how much I've gotten done, and the next day I only need to feel iron out all of my seams to get the same warm fuzzy.

But this purple quilt, in spite of the fact that I've tried to make it as quick as possible, feels really slow. It might be because I stopped for only 1 day between finishing the bluegreen quilt and starting this one. Or maybe it's because my parents are home, and its not as relaxing around here as it was a couple of weeks ago.
But, I have tomorrow off, and I've only got one Big Bang DVD left, which I'll be watching tonight. So no more of that to distract me, and hopefully, the top should be all done by tomorrow night.

Then it's piecing the back, which should be easy as its 2 strips of 23cm squares either side of the big bit.

And then quilting, which will be interesting as I'll be using a real actual quilt instead of batting. Because of this its going to be fairly spaced - I'm sewing over the seams on the across so that's about 20cm, if that seems too sparse I'll do through the middle as well. 

But that's for Friday.

Name change...

An unable to sleep, middle of the night net sesh has revealed there's an actual real one sock productions, who are a .org. As a result, I've decided to add me an L.

Also, I'm doing me a new logo, and Lone looks better than One.

I wish I could just fall asleep.

I'm hungry again.

Helen's Choice

A note to remember - these prints aren't to scale. For real, there will be about 3 rows of dots on one of the narrower pieces.

Me personally, I'm not totally keen on the first one. It's identical to the Soiree one in the last post, but it really needs matching prints to work right.

The middle one is a lot more complex than the last one, because each block has the 3 fabrics, whereas the last one has 2 fabrics per block. But because of this the second one looks more scattered (even though it's not), and maybe that's a good thing.

Helen's choice.

The Pinnacle of Awesomness (thus far...)

On a sliding scale of things, the weather is shit, work was mediocre and this here is effing brilliant!

It might look like I have finally mastered Electric Quilt, but I haven't. This was done, like most of my designs, in paint, but for the first time ever, I'm using a single line of fabric, or more specifically a single Moda line of fabric, and you can download swatches from their website. Then its simply a matter of printscreening your file explorer page so they're all nice and small, chopping them up an wallah! Proper looking quilt design. No more plain colours pretending to be patterns they're nothing like. 

Granted, in real life there will be way more repeats of the design per square, but my laptop has a fairly small screen, so you have to make do. But those are the actual fabrics, in the actual colours, in the actual places.

I'm totally squeeing right now.

What I should be doing instead of squealing like a fat kid who's found cake is working on finalising the design for Helen's baby's quilt. Since that's made from a single line of Moda as well, I'll be doing it the same awesomeness-resulting way, but instead of being the nice 3-designs-4-colourways setup of this one, its a bit of a mix and match. Loosely, there's the 4 colourways, but the designs are a bit higgledy piggledy, so the same repeated graduation certainly wont happen.

Unofficially it's due on the 16th, but I'm sure it wont matter if it's late. We're both trying to do the commit to finishing one thing before starting the next thing, thing, and my aimed for completion date for the purple quilt is Saturday sometime, and there's no way I could do a whole another quilt in 2 days.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Let's be seeing how it goes...

Just discovered Blogger-In-Draft. It's a bit weird, but weirdness seems to be the theme of the day, what with Honeycat randomly deciding to go apeshit at Graham (the dog) because it's a bit cold out, and he was wearing a doggie jumper. At least we figure that's why. Maybe she just had enough of his whiny, more of a scaredy-cat than the actual cats attitude. 

So the main thing about this blogger in draft is that it has this little stats tab at the top. And that little stats tab tells you all sorts of interesting things about the people who read your blog, like what operating system they have (only 1 mac so far) how they got to your blog (one of them searched google for kaffe fassett - my only mention of him has been a diss... they must have been dissapointed...) where they are from (4 from China, one each from Latvia, South Africa and Israel) and all sorts of other random shit.

Thus far I've kinda made a point of not splashing this around much, which I suppose is reflected in the fact that I have 108 viewings (38 of these can be assumed to be me as 38 of the views were done with Firefox). This is all still just ramblings with very little in the way of useful content, unless you are Helen and would like to know how my quilts are going, or Simone and want moral support in your war on Louise, which you cant post openly about on Facebook because other people from work are on there (I'm with you sweetheart)

But, eventually, I'm gunna get around to scanning in my toy patterns, cleaning them up in the computer and writing a tutorial for them, so that maybe the world can find something useful here.

Not today though, as I now have to go to work for 9 1/2 hours.

Big freaking gah.

PS. noticing that this blogger in draft doesn't randomly change my font to whatever it feels like when I stop typing for a minute... if it can deflect Babycat keystrokes as well, I'm in love.


I cut the squares I did last night.

Turns out it was only 8 slices, and I could have done it in the credits of an episode, were it not for the fact that I need to be ready to pause it to read that bit at the end.

I finally got around to taking some photos of the new arrivals

That's 30 whole centimetres of fabric. I didnt include the nasty ones, which was about half of the random mixed bundle, but no matter. A couple of them were nice, and they bought down the average price, which is always the important thing. The bottom few are from eBay, for the ungrateful man's quilt.

Hearting the Soiree bundle, no longer in its proper order now that I've picked some to do something with. Maybe. The top 12, three designs in 4 colourways each, will probably be used to make the same design as what I'm gunna do for Helen's baby. Maybe.

Currently, it's being attacked by Babycat.

In other news, I'm currently experiencing the single worst cheese overdose of all time. Freaking time of the month food cravings. Maybe some fabric shopping would make me feel better.

Monday, August 9, 2010


Not only did I only have to do 4 hours at work this afternoon, stuff arrived!

Lots of stuff!

So much stuff that I've gone and done a Kelsey, and, after cooing over it and neatly folding all of it, put it away because it's just too much to deal with.

Tragically I haven't instead picked up the purple quilt, which I really should be doing as I'm stuck with a 9 1/2 hour shift tomorrow and will therefore make no more progress till Wednesday if I don't get started tonight, but...

...well, I started the season 2 DVD of Big Bang. I wasn't gunna, but it seemed the thing to while I was folding them and now...

...look, there's only 2 episodes left on this disk, and maybe I'll go out to the lounge and do the next bit of cutting then...


Sunday, August 8, 2010

I shleepie...

Came home after an hour at Azza's party... The music was too loud, the sound quality not great and neither was the playlist choice, and with a few notable exceptions, the boys had bad hair and the girls were too big for dresses that were too small.

Got home to season 1 of Big Bang on DVD, watched the first disk (about 2 hours) but only managed to sew 3 of the six strips of the purple quilt. A bit lazy but a lot has been accomplished today, and it was silly to ever expect it to be pieced in a weekend.

Tomorrow I will be (hopefully) sewing at least 1 more strip before work, which mercifully is only a 4 hour shift, then I will drop the tickertape bits that I forgot to take in today off at Nanny's so that Kelsey can pick them up. Then, if all goes to plan (ie. dad leaves me alone) sewing the other 2, ironing them out, working out where the hell I'm up to and cutting the next lot. I bought more fabric than I needed of each, because I tend to underestimate the backs as well, And I'm not sure how I'll be piecing it yet. Or when, since it's back to doing closes after this weekend.

In the meantime, I need to put some new Psych onto DVD for Tegan, whose usual supplier is on holiday and is therefore behind 2 episodes, and do some sleeping.

Since it is 2am already, and I need to get up in time to do 20 minutes of sewing before work, this will have to begin soon.

After I've cleared off the bed.

Damn this outfit choosing mess...

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Post Crafternoon, Pre Whoring...

Had a big crafternoon at Helen's, made some decent progress on the purple test quilt (3/4 of the top cut and pinned, all of the rest of the fabric washed and ironed ready to go) and had 2 fast food meals for the day (usually only have one.) Showed off the retro and bluegreen quilts, and stunned people into indecision with my huge array of 10cm squares.

And now, instead of getting stuck in further while watching the Big Bang DVDs I bought with my massive tax cheque, I have to, according to Casey, go "whoring"

Azza from work's birthday party is on tonight. She doesn't mean real whoring, just going out and acting slutty while not actually being slutty at all. It's a Casey thing. I'm not feeling it, as once I have started on a quilt it's go go go, but she is being insistent.

Guess who's not getting the purple quilt?

Wooooo! Tax Cheque!

Got the BlueGreen finished late last night, but worked all afternoon and haven't had a chance to wash it yet.

Discovered that doing a smokeshop close is an excellent opportunity to get your Quiltmath done - just get some of yesterday's reports form the recycle bin and do your sketches and calculations on the back of them - you pass the time, look vaguely like you're doing something important (keep it all in code, then say its shelf layouts) and don't have to do at at home, when you could be doing something more important. Not the quilt though, (which is a test using the cheap cotton quilt you bought at target as batting and are hoping works well, so you can go back and buy a lot of, because they are $10 cheaper and a lot bigger than the regular quilting batting) cause it turns out you needed 1.25m of each fabric, not .75m.

But its not so bad, because my tax cheque is here! Why doesn't firefox want me to spell cheque like that? Ah, Wikipedia says that Americans spell it "check." Silly Americans.

So, I will be off to spotlight in the morning to redeem my $20 discount for spending $80, buying .5m more of each of my 4 purples, as well as .8m of something for binding, 2m of something for main backing and .6m of 2 contrast backings for the piecing. As I'm making it out of $4/m clearance fabrics, that will be waaaay not enough to make the $80 total, (it comes out a bit over $20) but I can fill out the other $60 with stuff I don't really need, because my tax cheque is here! And it's really big! And even after I spend $500 on my car's rego which I have timed brilliantly to take advantage of my tax cheque) its still heaps!

In other news, I discovered that the Jelly tots sold in specialty stores in Australia are different to the ones in England, ie. they taste shit, and I'm hugely bummed about this fact, especially as my sister just bought me 5 bags. Basically the difference is they they are all artificially favoured, and even though I may have said that 25% fruit juice is way fruitier than I remember, at least it is fruity, whereas the bag I opened last night tasted like plastic. Also a bummer is that the seller I bought the last lot off of says that the combined postage discount is a mere 20p (about 35c) per 8 bags, which is a bit of a rip off, so I have emailed the other seller of jelly tots on eBay, who have no Australian postage costs listed, to see what they can do for me. I've asked for 36 bags.

And I've just remembered that I have an Aunt (Liz) holidaying in England right now. Sweeeeet.

Okay, she's been facebooked. I believe it's late afternoon over there, so here's hoping.

In the meantime, it's a craftalong at one of my other Aunt (Helen's) house tomorrow afternoon. I'll take the retro (which is in dire need of a wash) and the blue/green (I'll put them in together in the morning while I go shopping) as well as the make life bundle, and we can work out how big she wants her baby quilt.

Finally, as well as my nice big tax cheque, I got a 4 fat quarter bundle in the mail today, not much compared to what I'm waiting on, but at least it tided me over for the day and stopped me dashing down to spotlight before I'd done my math.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Finished the quilting, and liking it very much. It's so much more ripple-y than the others, and that's totally what I wanted. It hasn't even been washed yet.

Even close up, where you can see than not every line has the same tautness, or wave length, and that some of the seams have been pulled off line a bit my the machine, I'm loving it. I wish they were all a bit baggy, instead of just some of them.

So I got it all trimmed and started pinning the binding to it...

Fuck my life.

Looking forward...

I've almost finished the quilting for the blue/green quilt, and, unusually, I'm already looking to the next one.

Thus far, I've pretty much just pushed myself to get to the end of whatever quilt I'm doing and then, once it's finished, taken a while to get stuck into the next one. The design part is the hardest part for me, because it's all most people see. Noone's going to notice that there's a point that doesn't line up, or that the waves on one row of quilting are longer than the ones next to them. They'll look at it and go "why did you decide on snot as a colour scheme?"

Because it's a quilt for me, and I fucking like it, okay?

This time however, with 12 lines of wavy quilting left to do before I get stuck into binding it, I'm starting to think about my next project.

There's 3 main options.

Mama Jan's quilt. Needs to be done eventually, and is all neatly cut and bagged ready to go. But it's going to be very dull piecing, and then we get to trying to fit the panel, and then there's quilting it, which will be a first in that I'm using an actual quilt as the wadding, which is waaay thicker than even the wool I've used in the past. and I still haven't worked out how I'm going to quilt the panel.

Helen's Baby's quilt. This is the one I'm doing with the make Life fabrics, which are all washed and sitting safely in a ziplock bag. I've got 12 fabrics, so it's gunna be smaller than what I've been doing lately, which is 15. And 12 might be too big. I might ask Helen on Saturday how big she thinks she want, whether a little thing would be more practical for a newborn or she'd rather something bigger for when it gets a bit bigger. So it's a hold on that one, even more so because I'm still waiting on the fabric I will use as either the backing or the binding, depending on how big it's gunna be. I've no idea how long it is till she has it either. Must ask that too.

Tickertape test quilt. I bought 5 metres of white flannelette at lincraft's half price thingie, and even though I need to use a couple for a warm underskirt for a ballgown, That leaves me with enough to make a mini tickertape quilt with the rest at double thickness. I think I'd like to make a special thing for the trip to Longernong, which is in about 2 weeks. I'm thinking I might piece some of my collection of 10cm squares together and cut them into a longhorn for the middle, and then tickertape around it, though I'm not sure if that's completely not in the spirit and I should tickertape the longhorns in 1 colour and the rest in another, so it's more subtle. This is my favourite option, as it's new and interesting, but that could change in a couple of days.

Still nothing in the mail today, and I'm starting to get a bit despondent, even though I know that there's 25 metres making its way to me in a big arse box, as well as a bundle of soiree, and another box with 10 meteres in it which, like I assumed, was all in one box, and which should be shipped fairly shortly as it was paid for this morning. It ended up coming to US$38, which is a bit cheaper than I recall it being (somewhere in the $50s I think) so that's good, but not good enough to warrant doing it as often as I would obviously have liked to. I think it comes out to around AU$6.90 per yard, which is good, but not magical. Oh well, it's probably for the best. Also on their way, though I'm not expecting them soon, are 2 pouches for the boat quilt, though I'm not sure that I can be arsed making it for him now. He's being a jerk about Babycat, and no amount of broken glasses apparently are going to change that.

Day off tomorrow and I'm planning on spending a goodly deal of it in town, away from home, trying not to spend too many moneys as the big tax cheque still isn't here. I need to send the camera back to the lady, hopefully pick up many goodies at the post office, spend some more time talking to Vodafone's computer before being randomly disconnected, and... something else... I cant really remember what.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Umm, how bout no..?

So I finally got an email from shipito last night saying that they had received my packages. All 3 of them. But then I went to the website and there were only 2. But there should only be one, and since they are both exactly the same size and weight, I'm thinking there is only 1.

What's more, they initially said it would cost $120 to send them, which is almost 10 times what it should be ($13.95 for a flat rate envelope)

If I lived in America, I'd set up a company especially for foreigners who wanted to buy fabric. I would fold it all neatly into seven yard bundles and put it in flat rate envelopes, saving everyone hundreds of dollars. And since I'm fairly sure I could do a bundle in about 10 minutes, I would only charge about $4 per package, as that would earn me over $20 an hour.

It's a good business opportunity for someone in the US. And I would give sooo much business to anyone who offered it.

In other news, I sent off an email to camera lady saying I would be returning it. So another big wait for the inbox, as well as the postbox.

Waste of a day, and a waste of money...

Today, probably bummed at the fact that there was nothing at the post office for me, I bought a new phone. It's a Nokia 6220 classic, it is 3G, it has a 5mp camera and, most importantly, GPS.

I'd been considering it as a replacement for the old dash for a while, because I cant seem to find anything better than the dash at a decent price, and the dash is starting to show its age. Not that I ever really use it, but it lives at the bottom of a very full handbag, and for some reason lately it has been refusing to send messages when it gets turned back on, which shouldn't matter as I never turn my phone off, but does matter as I often forget to charge it, and it goes flat because of this at least once a fortnight. The SMSes start working again after a few off and ons, but I know it's only a matter of time before it's done for good. So, planning ahead, with the 6220 a massive 40% off (that's about $80) I bought it.

It's locked to vodafone, but its only a $20 unlocking fee after 6 months, and I figure the dash can hold out that long as my actual phone. In the meantime, I'll put a super long expiry on the phone and use it as a GPS - since I already have a Nokia charger in my car for my sisters' phones it should work out well. And at $120, it was cheaper than the dash, and that's only 4 months of ownership (4 and a half if you include unlocking) by my rules of a dollar a day, before I can get a new one if I change my mind. Or Becky steals it.

I have price/usage rules for lots of things. Big ticket items (anything over $100, includes phones, cameras, laptops etc) cannot be replaced until it has been used for as many days as dollars it cost. Little things (clothes, jewellery) must be worn for as many hours as dollars spent. There's and amendment to this rule too - the hours can also include time spent altering. So, if I buy a shirt from the salvos for $3, I have to spend at least 3 hours trying to change it before I can give up and throw it out. As a result of these rules, I have about 20 pairs of jeans (at an average of $7 each I need only wear them for a day) and twice that many long sleeve shirts. Oddly though, I usually wear them the day after I get them, thus filling their commitment, and then put them in the cupboard and go back to rotating though my 3 favourites. But those 3 have evolved over the years, so it's not all bad.

What I really need to do is come up with some similar sort of rule in relation to buying fabrics. So far I have these rules - $3 for fat quarters. No more than $10 per yard after postage is added and spread through the purchase. If you're gunna pay more than $15 a metre, you better bloody love it, or bloody need it. But these rules don't really have any effect on sewing time, or completed project useage time, which as good, as I've not done much in the way of completed projects lately.

No sewing today after work as I cant seem to get up the motivation for the quilting. Actually, I cant get up the motivation to clear around the machine, as there seems to be a bit of a pile up.

Only fabric purchase of the day was another $60 of fabric for dad's boat quilt - there were 2 sellers who each had about half the fabrics I wanted - the first had them 20% off last week and the second 26% off this week, so now I've got all the fish from the Odyssea range, as well as 2 lots of shells and 1 lot of bubbles, and that's enough for the whole quilt (probably single but maybe double) and backing too (well, if I do double, maybe the piecing of the backing, and I'll get a $3 blue from spotlight).

Tomorrow I'm only doing a short shift at work so I ought to be home in time to achieve something, and as always, I'm hoping there will be a massive box of fabrics at the post office waiting to be bought home and looked through. If there is, I don't expect much in the way of actual work to get done.

Randomness for the day... all this playing with the new phone takes me back to the last time I was trying to get a new phone sorted, which was the $30 Virgin one I got for Maddy for her birthday. That was back in January, or possibly the first week of Febuary, and the weather was fucking gorgeous. I've said a few times how little I remember of last summer, since I pretty much blocked it out due to ShitGoingDown. But I remember that afternoon, sitting in my warm car in a t-shirt, talking to the nice indian man on the phone as the sun went down, and then I went to Fasta Pasta and gave it to Maddy.

I am sooo ready for it to be warm again. Sooo ready.

Monday, August 2, 2010

And a real post too...

I did some free motion tests. They didn't go well. If I had to pinpoint a reason, I would say the foot does not go down far enough to get a good hold, making my movements super jerky. If there was more loft, this wouldn't be a problem, but it is.

Also put the walking foot back on, and I'm not a huge fan of that either. I just don't see the point, when my pull feed method works fine for me, it's way less bulky and I don't strain a muscle lifting the foot up. But my second test makes me fairly sure I'm going to wavy line straight quilt the blue/green quilt. I did an around and around with the regular foot and it bunched up a bit at the tight corners, but on the top, not the bottom, which was annoying, as it would mean quilting upside down for a nice finish. So monodirectional it is, and real binding also.

But not tonight. Despite my day off, and lack of any real achievement (basted and tests done, when I was hoping to have at least started to quilt) I'm beat. I did get an entire book read today, as well as about 20 CDs copied for my father though, so it's been a big day mentally, if not physically.

Oooh, craftbloggers quiz...

1. Why blog? How did you start?

This is my third blog, not including the beloved facespace. The first was here on blogspot, and was made in about 2003/2004ish, and has since been lost to the mists of the internet. The second was a livejournal, where I hung about being emo, and now use to spy on old enemies who, since I didn't use it for about a year before our falling out, have forgotton that I'm still on their "friends" list and can therefore read anything they post. Mainly, I wanted somewhere to host the toy patterns I had every intention of sharing with the internet. Admittedly, this has not yet come to fruition but I found my book of neat copies of the patterns (as opposed to the scungey notepad paper ones I use normally) so now I've just got to work my way up to scanning them in, which is quite a big job as the scanner is in the big lounge, where I hardly ever go.

2. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?

Family (mainly 2 grandmas and Helen, my aunt) until I hit my teens, and from then, pretty much just making it up as I went along, with a little help from the internet. When I was in year 10 the craft class staged an uprising against their teacher and had me installed as her replacement, which was both a blessing and curse, as I had my fitness and leisure class at the time (we agreed that I would go for the 2 double (1 1/2hour) lessons a week and they could stick with their regular teacher for the 45 minute lesson, as that was when we did bookwork for f&l, and that got me out of the actual sports but maintained me a B- grade for the semester)

3. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?

The sewing machine is in the bedroom, but I have at least moved off my actual bed and now sit on a gray pouf that sat in my car boot for over a year, until I got dumped and my plans for it changed.
Ironing is done on the kitchen bench, and most of final design work is done on the lino, as is the basting. I do it in the middle of the night though, so as to not get in anyone's way.

4. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?

As discussed in my opening post, I came up with it the night before I started this after I stepped on a pin and took one sock off to see how much I was bleeding. I then couldn't be bothered putting it back on, and spent the night wearing only one sock.

5. Favourite medium to work in?

Fabric. Always has been fabric. Very into quilting at the moment but I have always thought of myself as a "soft engineer" - bags are probably my favourite but I also love working out the structure of a perfect garment. The way something that is not only soft but also very 2 dimensional can be transformed in to something that's almost 4 dimensions - the fourth being practicality as well as the usual up, down, out - is probably my favourite part of being a crafter.

6. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?

The website I copied this quiz from said "I like pottering around, I want someone to pay me to potter. I don't think that's too much to hope for." And I couldn't agree more. In my brain I would like to design fabric, but in the real world I'm a shit design drawer (person who draws, not something for putting cutlery in) I can only draw what I can see, not what I might like as a design on fabric, so that's never going to happen. I like the idea of doing this properly, being a craft blogger or writer, but I tend to get distracted and write instead about all the adorable stuff my cat has done today.

7. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?

Messy. And not even creatively so. I simply have way too much stuff, and not nearly enough space. I've learnt now how to not buy most of the stuff I don't need (overshoping was a massive problem for me as soon as I got an income) but the thing about crafting is that you simply don't know what you will need, so you buy it just in case. I've stopped buying yarns at least, since the cats chew through anything I try to knit. Still, my room is filled with some half dozen 55L tubs, and there would be twice that out in the sheds. Beads, yarn, fabrics, half done projects, notebooks, bags, toys, I have it all.

8. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own?

Bit of a toss up here. My handbag is my most used thing. As an achievement, to do the rainbow quilt as a first quilt, in 10 days, then to enter it into a competition and have it achieve moderate success, that's a freaking high achievement. The retro quilt is my favourite though, because to my eyes, it seems so "quilty". My laptop bag is a fully padded, fur lined, soft engineering triumph, though I never use it now because I never take my laptop anywhere (I used to take it to the ex's 3 times a week.) And the top that I wore to Jess' party last Saturday week, that's freaking awesome too.

9. Favourite food/recipe?

Cant really cook, though I will say that Inghams chicken strips need to be oven baked, whereas Golden Circle straight cut crunchy chips need to be deep fried. I also love coke, and lettuce, and strawberries (even though they give me a belly ache) and jelly tots, and milo on tea breaks, and fritz in the middle of the night.

10. Favourite colour?

Green. The green that the Huggies green fabric softener used to be, before they changed the formulation and it became mildly darker. You can also get it in the cheap embroidery thread at Spotlight, the one that isn't Anchor or DMC.

11. Star sign?

Aquarius, but not a horoscope reader.

12. Favourite place, landscape?

Anything I'm looking at at night through the windscreen of my car. Doing 100 on an empty highway, stereo blaring, the horizon beckoning... If I could write this from the drivers seat of my car, every word would be poetry. It's where I do my thinking, where my ideas come together. It is my only place that for the most part, is a place for only me. The thing I miss most about being single is not having someone who gets all your in jokes, or kissing, or hugging, or sex, or any of that. It's the excuse to go for a 20minute drive 3 nights a week.

13. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?

Get up around lunchtime. Interact with your family then, as well as with the shops and the post office. Work 3-11. When you get home, take an hour or so to have some food, relax on the internets for a bit. Then, you've got 4 solid crafting hours before you can go to bed for your 8 hours of sleep. NOTE: this only works if you are 22, and your parents work from home.

14. Favourite artists?

Blergh... Lila Tueler has designed 2 or my favourite ranges (Eden and Soire'e) does that count? Here's an alternative, I've never seen a Kaffe Fassett fabric I would buy. Even if it was in the $2 a metre clearance bin. I simply do not get everyone's obsession with his stuff. His patterns are way to busy for my liking, with too many clashing colours in too small an area, and his edges are not neat. This anti-Kaffe attitude seems to make me unique on the internet.

15. Favourite blog post/thing you've made/photo?

Blergh again... none really. Not till I get the flatbear patterns out on the internets.

16. Three words to describe you?

concentrated (not like orange juice, more like that I focus intently on whatever it is that I'm doing. I tend to scrunch up my forehead a lot)
off-kilter (if I say or do something odd, assume its an obscure reference to something you haven't seen and move on, otherwise there will be explanations. long, convoluted ones)
proficient (this might seem a bit up myself, but I seem to be lucky enough to be either good at most things or able to fake my way through them. The best tip I can offer is this - don't attempt something you will be no good at. This is why I play no sports, and am happy to chat inanely with customers while avoiding saying more than 2 words to management. There are some things I simply cannot do)

17. What do you like to do besides creating?

Illegally downloading episodes of American and British TV shows as soon as they have finished airing, which is usually 6 months before they air in Australia.
Playing with the cats.
Country Karaoke at Flannies every second Saturday.
Driving fast.
Shopping online.
Going to the post office.
Sleeping in.

this quiz was found at flowerpress.blogspot.com