Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday.

The wonderful thing about quilting, and quilt blogging in particular, is the fact that we're all in it together. I'm really liking being a part of this online festival thing, because it's given me an excuse to look at stuff other people have done, without even having to sift through quilters with hugely different styles than mine. I click on a quilt I like, and it takes me to the maker. I can tell them I like it, just as they can tell me they like mine.

I'm so glad lots of people like my quilt. There seems to be much agreement that cheerfulness is a good thing in a quilt, and hey, everybody loves a rainbow.

Today's top of the day isn't quite a rainbow, but it's a cheerful little thing nonetheless. I was soooo not on the mood to do it today - I stalled and stalled till about 3.30, even though I had to start work at 5.30, and then, after a bit more blog reading, decided to suck it up and do something.

Someone had mentioned doing their line quilting by pretty much covering their top in strips of wide masking tape, and sewing down along the gaps. I'd always done a neat, regular top to do my quilting to, and then pieced a crazy back and aligned it diagonally, so the seams didn't have to line up. But if I used masking tape to get my lines, I could crazy piece a top instead.


I really like it in it's funky retro colour scheme, but it was kinda cheating, using a big bit in the middle like that. I got it done in an hour and a half before I had to go to work, so when I got home tonight I did it a back as well.


The bits on the back are a lot smaller, because I only had little bits left, and I had to add a few more fabrics to fill it out. I'm thinking a bright blue binding of some sort will complete my rainbow and bring it all together.

I'm gunna try to do a "big" quilt tomorrow - 120 by 150cm ish. I've no idea how big today's quilt was - it's however big the bit of batting I had was, and it'll get trimmed down even further because it's not actually all that square.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Friday

Just because I got all sentimental about the rainbow quilt earlier doesn't mean I didn't still do another simple baby top tonight.


It's nothing amazing, but boy coloured baby quilts are tough. You can either spend a fortune on some funky designer print, or do something perfectly lovely but a bit bland for $6. I think I want to quilt it in a really bold blue cotton, I'm even thinking of doing some tests to see if I can quilt it upside down and use an embroidery thread in my bobbin for some special accents. I think that might make it pop.

I actually had this one almost completed before work tonight, but after I got home I got distracted by the frankly excellent idea of an online quilt festival, and then I had to go pick up my drunk (well, to be fair, only actually tipsy, but still not okay to drive) sister, and then I realised I'd missed Offspring last week and I needed to catch up before Sunday, so again, super late (it's 3am here in South Australia) night.

And then we come to tomorrow, which it actually is already but I don't let that count untill I've woken up. My plans include making lots and lots of scrunchies, since I like scrunchies, but I don't have another top planned. Sunday's is, since I have the day off and can commit to the bigness that it is, but for tomorrow? I still have the pink and brown pile, but I'm a bit ambivalent after doing 3 stack and slash quilts in a row. I'd like to do something that's only the size of the bits of batting that I have left (about 75cm by 95cm) so I'll probably have to do some math.

I guess we'll all find out in 24 hours, wont we?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bloggers Quilt Festival fall 2010 entry.

I had to think a bit about what I felt like entering into my first ever Bloggers Quilt Festival. Officially, my favourite quilt I've ever made is my Mingle Wonky Mini Quilt. But I looked through everyone else's, and my favourites were all spectral/rainbow ones. That make it a whole lot easier to pick one to showcase. This isn't the kind of thing I would normally do, but, if I'm honest, once upon a time, neither was quilting. I came to it via laptop sleeves, which I came at from laptop bags, and it's all a bit by accident that I'm now a quilter.

After putting in stupid huge amounts of effort to sew foam padded laptop bags with zips and pockets and handles and all sorts of fancy things, I realised that really, all you needed was a regular bag to put all your extra bits in and then a lightly padded sleeve for the laptop itself. I started sewing straight strips together to make the sleeves look pretty, but I didn't bother with super accurate cutting, or ironing the seams, or any fancy stuff like that. They were rarely more than 40 cm wide, so accuracy wasn't hugely important. But I was willing to admit, the straighter I cut, the smoother it was, and the nicer it looked.

So, one day, for no reason other than an excess of money, I bought a rotary cutter. One of the $10 ones from Spotlight, because I didn't take it seriously enough to get one of the expensive ones. All their cutting mats were in inches though, so I got an A4 sized one for $3 from Cheap as Chips. I set about cutting all my fat quarters into 10cm squares, that I could then reassemble into the outsides of laptop sleeves*.

The next Monday, I found out that Spotlight were having a quilt show/competition on Thursday. I decided, that since I had all these lovely 10cm squares cut up, I would make a quilt. Only a little one, since I only had 4 days, and I was new to this whole thing, but hey. A real quilt.

I had a top pieced by mid Wednesday, so I went in to get batting and backing. I got wool, since that's what I was using for the laptop sleeves, and I got full width, since I could cut the edge off for a few more sleeves. Then, I found out that actually, it was next Thursday.

Damn. 20+ hours of sewing in two days wasn't a necessary as I had thought. Mum said I should make it bigger, so I decided I'd fill out the whole batting. I had run out of some of my fabrics though, but I got some more, and chopped up old part-done projects as well. That's why there's some fabrics that are only at one end.


Technique-wise, it's a bit shoddy. The border/binding is just the backing folded round, so the in the ditch quilting, which sometimes is aside the ditch quilting, isn't set in at the ends, and I used a different colour cotton for the top and the bottom, so it shows through on the back occasionally. There's a lot of squares that now I think I should switch and, despite the fact that they're different kinds and qualities of fabrics, I didn't prewash them (because they were never intended for a quilt) so now I'm scared to get it dirty. It's on my bed, with other quilts on top of it, but in the morning before I make my bed, I can see all these little rainbow patches in the gaps between them.

When I move out of my parents house, into a place with walls big enough to hang a single bed quilt, I'll probably feature it on a wall, but for now, I like it like it is, a secret rainbow quilt just for me.

*I haven't made a laptop sleeve since.

Letters to people, places and things...

Dear Baybcat, it's been a week. Come home please. I miss you.

Dear the writers of White Collar, I'm sorry it took me so long to get around to season two, but my internets didn't get big till this week. That's not actually what I wanted to talk to you about; if you've killed off Mozzie I'm gunna come over there and beat you up.

Dear USA Network, fix your website. Streaming video should not use that much processing power. Also, there's a problem with your audio, but since the ads sound fine, I think it's shoddy sound recording, as opposed to the player's fault, for all that it has it's issues. Also, if you're gunna play adverts before EVERY video clip, get more than 3 of them.

Dear laptop power cable. Just stay in the damn hole.

Dear blog readers, I got the top finished. I also made two headbands for bandanna day tomorrow. But I only have one picture.


A headband is just a headband. Well, two headbands. Made especially to fit my head, but still giving me a bit of a headache. I'm not a headband girl, but I'm even less a bandanna girl. But it's bandanna day, so hey, it's only a short shift. I typed that initially as shit. I'm supervising, so it probably will be.

Dear universe, I promise I'll do the two tyred top in two very different prints one day. Maybe it's trying to separate the colourways in my brain that's giving me a headache.

Dear Headband, Sorry I blamed you. We'll see tomorrow night if I take it back.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So it'll be a "two tyred" top in two days this time...

I got a bit bored with the 6 fat quarters quilt tops and decided to be ambitious and do a two tyred one instead.

Unfortunately, I finished my 8 hour shift with a very nasty tummy ache, and then got distracted looking for Casey's Christmas present, and then got distracted looking at perfume websites. I know you wont know how it smells to you try it on yourself, but well, even then I wont know. At lease online it will tell me what it smells like, useful information that's rarely available in shops.

Back to the point - I'm not gunna get it finished. It's blocks, which have twice as much sewing as a 6fq top, so I'm feeling proud of the progress, but it's late, I am tired, and I have another long day tomorrow. This top can be shared over the two days, which prevents me from having to come up with another mystery top. I had 3 more tops planned for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, but nothing for tomorrow. So it's kinda a good thing.

Here it is now, anyway.


They're very rich colours, so it's probably not really kiddie, but I'm trying to get some more mature looking ones done too, more as examples than to sell.

Tomorrow though. I'm gunna feed my face for a bit, then go to bed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top a day #2

If I'm honest, the main reason for this top a day thing is that it's a bit depressing to just do a post that says "still no good news."

If I have a quilt top, even only a little one, that's something, right?


Once again, 6 fat quarters, and even better, these were from the $1 discontinued basket at Spotlight. So, whole quilt top - $6. And using $2p/m fabric for the backing and the binding, we come to a total cost (since 1 metre of $15p/m of batting fits 2 of these wide) of under $20.

The problem with the cheaper stuff is that it really does need prewashing. It washes up surprisingly soft - not smooth and silky like the expensive stuff, more like a worn down flannelette, but it does shrink a fair bit in the process.

I've got another dozen or two in the dryer now, as well as the backing and binding for this and the green one. I had kinda planned to get a head start on tomorrow's top, but then, I had also planned on doing the blue and brown one, and I'm not sure whether I still feel like doing that one, or whether I might do another two tyred one in some red and green fabrics I've had forever. That sounds christmassy, but it's not really, since they both have lots of flowers on them, and I have over a metre of each, so I might be able to do the whole quilt in just the two fabrics.

But I am working 8 hours tomorrow too, so we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A top a day...

Even though it's late, I got the first of my "top-a-day"s done.


It's such an unusual assortment of fabrics, and the placement is almost completely random. A couple of the greens look really brown in this picture, but they aren't.

Current size is around 95x100cm, but the pattern confuses your eye about the shape.

Didn't take very long, since the 2 sews per block were in the same direction, so it didn't need any trimming. 

This was made from 6 American fat quarters, and I'll need 1m of fabric for the back, and 35cm for the binding.

Tomorrow I'll be doing a green and purple top.

PS. I'm planning on trying to get one done each day for a week for a week.
PPS. Still no news on Babycat.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Piccies

I promised pictures. As ever, they're not brilliant, but the things in them are :)


Fabric is from the Amy Butler Ginseng range, and I think it might actually be home dec weight. It was $2.50 from fabric.com.


I love how crinkly it has turned out. I think it will do one with all the cuts the same as the square one up, 3 across from the bottom right. That seems to stand out as a nice angle to me.

I've started on the blue and green one.

The good and the... well, nothingness, really...

Still no sign of Babycat, but tomorrow is Monday, and I'll be calling all the vets and the pound, and hoping for the best.

Did at least get some good news today - BJ is fixed! Hurrah, and even more hurrah for the fact that it is only costing me $900 (last time it was about $1700) on the proviso that I buy something Japanese, soon, and never bring a Mondeo back again. Seems fair enough.

I've been using an Astra for the past few days, and well, it's certainly not "the one". It has very uncomfortable seats, and windows that you wind up by hand. It goes like stink though, which is nice, but if I'm spending twice as much, I want it to be twice as good. This is simply not. I should also point out that it goes like stink compared to BJ, who accelerated at a pace not dissimilar to continental drift.

After working all day I did some prewashing and ironing (I'm comfortable now with not prewashing the more expensive fabrics, but the cheaper stuff from Spotlight definitely gets prewashed.) After the success of yesterday's quilt I've remembered how much I missed the stack and slash quilting I used to do, so I've sorted out 4 bundles of 6 fat quarters each, and cut them into neat16ths (two bundles are 23x25cm, one is 22x25 and one is 23x24) ready to slash when I get to them. Two are boy colours (well, there's a blue and brown and a blue and green, in flower-free prints) because I'm worried that I don't have enough boy quilts.

I don't start work until 5.30 tomorrow night, which is good, and since I realised tonight that the icky feeling I've had all day is probably just indigestion, I doubt I'll be calling in sick like I had considered. Still, the late start means I should at least get one top done before work.

Also, I the weather is nice, I promise I'll take some photos.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Where has my funny gone?

Still no sign of Babycat.

I'm getting quite glum about it, no so much that she's missing, but more that she's not here. She makes me laugh. She does stupid things. She tries to pull my necklace off. She falls off things. When you walk along she runs behind you and tries to jump up your leg. It doesn't work, but she tries.

I love Honeycat, but she's nowhere near as funny.

To cheer myself up I decided I would do a bright, happy quilt. It's in the wash now. 6 hours from first cut to in the machine, and that included eating and going over the mitered corners by hand, because they were, frankly, a bit crap. It's 105x85cm ish so it's only little, and I didn't piece the back which saved me a huge amount of time. Top is 6 fat quarters out of a Lincraft bundle, all reproduction fabrics, including a yellow that's also in the original Retro quilt. Back is some random fabric I got from Spotlight a few years ago, a rainbow mosaic-y print on white. Binding is something purple from fabric.com, that I used because I wanted the thing finished. Blue would have looked better, but I couldn't find anything nice.

We're off to the show now, to see the fireworks and replenish our fairyfloss stocks. It's also country karaoke tonight, but I'm not sure if I feel like it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

No Luck thus far...

Babycat still hasn't, shown up, but I'm not really sure what I should be doing about it. I have checked the highway a hundred metres of so in each direction from our house. I have asked the neighbours if they have seen her. I have checked all the sheds and cars, and up the trees. What should I do next? I'm under the impression that I should call all the vets and the pound, but it seemed a bit premature to be doing it today, and I don't know which (if any) of them are open over the weekend.

I can't tell if Honeycat is worried or not. Sometimes it seems like she is, but other times it's like she cant be bothered, and I think she's more worried at times when I'm actively looking, so maybe she's only worried at my worry.

Cats are more difficult to fathom than dogs. And everyone seems quite insistent that they do this - go off for a bit and then come back. But does that mean I shouldn't worry?

I have spent the afternoon piecing a quilt top out of 5 fabrics I bought from Stitch and Knit. I've no idea what they are, but they're blue and brown, with a little bit of green, yellow and cream. It should end up about 120cm square, and I'm thinking of quilting it on the diagonal. Not that I have any fabrics picked for a back.

I have a lot of bundles at the moment that I've only really sorted out a top for. I might be stockpiling them for a while.

New Bag...

So tonight, after wandering around town spending money all afternoon, I decided to make a bag. It's loosely based on this, but with all different sizes and pleats going in two directions, and the handles set in the seam and the sewing not very good. I'd show you a photo, but, while I have my camera, I can't find the SD card. And so I cant get the photos to the computer.

Another thing we cant seem to find - Babycat. I saw her around 10.30 this morning before I left for work, but noone's seen her since. Of course we used to lose her all the time, but that was when she was a tiny little wriggling thing, not a real cat. We've checked the road and there's nothing squished, so we figure she's gotten herself stuck somewhere, but since it was dark by the time I got home, there's only so much looking you can do.

Alternatively, since it is Thursday, she's probably down the street menacing old ladies with her teenybopper friends. But I too was wandering around town half the evening, and though I did see a few cats, none of them were Babycat.

I'll wait till midday tomorrow to start worrying. She's a big girl.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Freelance Internet Wrangler...

So my sisters were on A Current Affair tonight. Becky trying not to show her underwear and Casey snogging some dude with dreadlocks. Of course, the ACA website wont let you save it, but nor will it let people outside of Australia watch it. As the freelance internet wrangler (I'm not sure why) I've been asked to please get it, so that the rellies in England can see, and we can have it on DVD as well. I've found a program that can do it, but of course the demo wont let me download the whole thing, and most of the free versions I've found have viruses. I'll get there eventually, but the only worry is that I start at 11 in the morning. I've been going for 2 hours now, and have half of it. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Stupid Bloody Tuesdays*

As I said earlier, it's been a big, long day.

Dad dragged me out of bed early to help Casey and Becky clean out the house gutters. Then they pissed off down to Nan's to see if these long lost relatives that have come for a visit are worth schmoozing with. Apparently they arent, but still. This meant I was home without any means of escape and Dad made me mow the lawn. I had been making good progress on the Nutmeg quilt top, not racing through it by any means, but cruising, and stopping to mow the lawn killed my flow.

Geoff the mechanic called at lunch time, and apparently what's happened is the engine has got hot (there were always problems with the temp gauge, reading fine for a little bit warm then after halfway to hot going back to cold) and one of the cylinder heads has warped from the heat, and that's letting in water. Car should be fixed by Friday, which is good news in that if it takes less than a week to fix, it shouldn't be too expensive. I don't think I'll keep it though, at least not for long. It still has 10 months rego left though, so I think I'll say that I'm gunna use it for another 3 or 4 months, so that I can get plenty saved to get a brand new car, and not a Rio like Dad is suggesting. There's a 2002 Civic in Gazzards for a bit under 10k, but I'd rather a new Swift, for 18ish.

When the weather cleared up I went to take some photos, and realised, they don't really work if you've had them folded in cute little bundles for a few weeks. So I ironed them, and by then the clouds had come back. I got the nutmeg quilt to the point of being 3 big strips to be joined together before the sun came back and I had another go. I took a heap hanging from the wall of the pergola, but even with most of the creases ironed out, they still have nasty shadows on them. As a result, most of the photos have been taken with the quilts lying on the freshly mown grass. It may as well have some use, right? Then I figured I may as well do photos for what's missing on the page of completed quilts, so I pegged out Maddy's, the BlueGreen and the big rainbow and took photos of them on the clothesline, since they were all crease free from being on the bed. The retro quilt was still in the washing machine though, so maybe tomorrow for that one.

Everyone else gets home about now from school and Nan's and just as I'm about to get back to the last 2 seams on the Nutmeg quilt, there was a massive crack and then the sounds of destruction...


It doesn't look that bad in this photo...


This was our storage shed.


Now under a tree. A really big tree. Probably the biggest on out block, before someone let Dad near a chainsaw on a Tuesday*


So we had to spend half the afternoon pulling most of it off and putting it on the pile (I don't have a photo of the pile, but if there's less wind tomorrow night we'll be burning it. It's very big, look for the glow...)


See those tubs in there? Those are mine. They're full of wool, and half done projects, and books, and bags, and fabrics. You cant see the other 4, that got crushed, or the garbage bags full of wool, a couple of which burst.

Hoo-freaking-rah.

Anyway, we stopped at this point, so there'd be something left to show the insurance man, but I have a nice graze up my arm from where a stick fought back (I threw it on the pile, and it bounced) and Casey got eaten by various things that made her neck and arms all blotchy. Good times.

Tomorrow though, we are going into town at lunchtime, Nevile is going to let me pick a car (I've already picked. I want a Swift) and I am going to drive it across the road to work, where I will stay till late, hiding from any manual labour that's taking place at home.


*Tuesdays. Although Australia Post says more things get delivered on a Tuesday than any other day, Tuesdays in our family are bad, since Dad starts his socialising/drinking week on a Wednesday. So Tuesday is the day when it's been the longest since he's had a drink, and he's usually grumpy, and, apparently, shouldn't be in possession of any powertools. Tuesdays in our house are best spent, well, at the post office, I suppose.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Completed Quilt list has been updated.

It's turned into quite a big day. I've taken some photos, updated my list of completed quilts, almost finished the Nutmeg quilt top, got good news about my car and chopped up some tree. Now I'm gunna go have a nice long shower, and see what floats to the top of my priority list for the night.

This time, the lack of photos is not my fault...

Today after the earlier post, I sucked it up and started cutting. And I would very much like to show you how far I got, and how it's gunna look, and hop pretty my little piles of ironed out piecings looked, but blogger is having a doozy and wont let me upload images.

Sorry.

For the record, it's just the pink batik, but bigger, and I have done the diagonal joins and ironed them out (all 72 of them) and paired these off and string pieced them, but they haven't been ironed out yet.

I'm guessing at there being at least 3 hours more work in the top to be done tomorrow, but I'm not working so it should be okay. I don't think I'll rush into quilting it (not like me I know) because I'm just not sure what I want from it. there's no more room on my bed and it wont match anywhere in the house - I think it might end up being an "adult" display quilt, as opposed to the little ones which are more kids and babies colours. Which leaves me unsure how to quilt it, and what to do on the back.

When I finally get around to going to spotlight for some pink cotton, I plan on doing the batik quilt with 2 straight lines either side of the seam. Depending on how that goes I'll then work out what to do with this one. The other problem is thread colour - whatever I pick, green red or cream, is going to stand out on 3/4s of the blocks.

Dunno. problem for another day. Bedtime now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Midday shop.

I know it's early (by my standards) but after Helen's comment I decided to buy a couple of things I've been considering for a while.

This iron is so cute.
And it's teenie. I think I can get away with using it in my room next to the machine - just iron out the end of the seam and keep sewing. It's touted as being great for getting inside the little places on bags, so I suppose that too.

And, for Helen and I to co-use, this book.


I'm not really one for patterns. But apparently it's more about tips and techniques in the context of patterns, so that you can apply them to whatever it is that you're making. Also, it has a big bit about interfacing, which is handy for Helen, since I then to just stack stuff up in there till it's how I like it, which isn't the most practical way of doing things. My only concern is that her site features lost of pretty fixings, and I'm more of a fabric-and-zipper-only bag maker. Or well, I'm buying it to adapt anyway.

The site also has some very nice free patterns and tutorials, so Helen, I suggest you go there.

Angst.

It's been a good couple of days for finishing things off - The blue and green baby quilt got bound, the pastel baby quilt got done, and the baby-quilt-from-two-yards-of-fabric got a back, quilted and bound.

Next step, learning how to name quilts.

And taking some photos too would be good, but I might wait till I can borrow Helen's house again. Also, I'm not sure where my camera is.

Anyway.

Casey and Becky made it home alive from the BnS, but only barely. By all accounts it would not have been a good ball for me to attend, not least because the people parked next to them were taking peoples things and throwing them into the fire. This would have made me set fire to them, and their cars, and I probably would have found out their addresses, probably by the use of some fire related torture, so I could go and set fire to their houses too. I get cross easily, and yes, my responses tend to be disproportionate. 

Also, Becky has trashed her ankle again, but she gets no sympathy because she was silly enough to get her cast removed after only a week the first time she fractured it. Jessie on the other hand does get sympathy, for falling down the portaloo stairs and removing both her knees and the top layer of flesh on one of her thighs. That will be hurting now that the alcohol has warn off. And Casey has some kind of bug so she's all chucky, and so I'm glad I stayed home, because if I had gone I would be covered in blood and sick, and under arrest for multiple counts of murder and arson.

That said, if I was, I wouldn't be angsting so much over my next quilt. I've kinda had my heart on doing the nutmeg one now that it's all here, since it's been a while since I've quilted for planned personal use, but I just cant make up my mind on the design. I made one in paint, but the shades and the scaling are all wrong on the digital versions of the fabric, so it looks munted. It's a version of the pink batik, but with the diagonal in the centre instead of offset.


I've rearranged my order too since then, so it's a double graduation - it goes through the red/orange/green/black cycle twice, which I think will look a bit better. But since the colours are nothing like on the screen in real life, I'm not going to bother doing it again. Alternatively I can it like the original BlueGreen quilt, with the half bordered squares. Or do a wonky squares in boxes. Or a million billion other things.

The really ridiculous thing is that this should be one of my least pressure quilt tops. The seller has a heap more of these bundles so if I don't like the finished product I can just buy the fabric again and have a do-over. But I worry that that will put me off the fabric, so I'm sticking with loving it while worrying about it.

If it all becomes too much, I can make a start on Bob's quilt. 5 fabrics, super easy design, already sorted, stress free quilting.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It could have gone worse...

Channel 7 is airing EuroTrip as it's late movie.

I should be embarrassed to admit that I love it, but I'm not. It's just such an awesome movie. But it is seriously cramping my sewing style. When I was watching Catch Me If You Can I was quite happy to come an go. Even though I've seen both films before, this film makes me want to stick around.

So, I'll blog now instead of later.

First of all, obviously, I didn't go to Birchip. But the weather is shit and they were up at 6 this morning getting ready to leave, and I stayed in bed till 11. That alone justifies the decision.

So after I dragged myself out of bed, mainly just to feed the cats because I could have happily kept sleeping, I quilted the pastel quilt and then Mum asked me if I wanted to come into Nanny's where they were going to be building a shed. Even though Bob was sick I thought maybe Helen might be there, since Nanny had been looking after Esther while Bob was with the doctor, and even if she wasn't then someone could drop me to her place, since, frankly, I'm not much of a shed builder.

So I took in the part done quilts and any fabric I've acquired since the last show and tell, which is a fair bit since it's been a while since I've been to visit, and after playing with the baby for a bit, Steven offered to look after the babies while we went shopping.

He's awesome like that.

So we took the part done quilts to Spotlight, and I got enough to fill in all my gaps in binding and backing, as well as a heap of blues and browns so I can do another boy baby quilt like the one I did for Levi. Well, actually, nothing like that, but the same kind of colour scheme.

A heap of the fat quarters were on clearance for a dollar each, so I got a half dozen, of them, and a whole lot more metreage. I only spent $40 of a mental $60 budget, so I'm happy with my restraint.

Mum came and picked me up after we'd had tea, but the shed's only half done so she'll be going back in tomorrow. 

So far I've basted and trimmed the pink batik quilt, finished the pastel quilt and made and part attached the binding to the blue and green quilt. If I can escape the clutches of the movie (it's nearly finished) I'd like to get the binding completed and a back for the two-fabric quilt made. 

Tomorrow, I need to go back to Spotlight. I need a pink cotton to do the quilting for the batik quilt. And I still have $20 of my budget to spend.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

It happened!

While the readership of this blog is nothing compared to some of the more established ones out there, I consistently get 2 or 3 dozen hits a day. Originally, most of my readers were in Australia (like I am) but in the last month or so the number of overseas readers has shot up - this week I have 3 times as many hits from Americans as I do Australians - And it's got me wondering about my content.

I have about 2 dozen blogs that show up as being followed, and another 4 or 5 that I have bookmarked because there was no follow button on their page, and I couldn't be bothered cutting and pasting their address into dashboard. Almost all of these blogs are Australian.

Originally, I made a point of following only Australian blogs. Slight reasoning led me to believe that local blogs were more relevant to me than ones with plenty inspirational content but not much I could relate to. I like blogs where the weather was the same as at my house, and where the school and public holidays were at the same time. I especially like blogs where they talk about the towns that Daniel Gibson, (who does the South West Victoria late weather bulletins) mentions on the telly (Foxs Lane). I liked any blog that was set in a town mentioned in the Bond Homes jingle (RicRac and Narioka). For an international blogger to be added to my list they needed to have a quilt making style that really matched mine. I was less interested in their day to day posting, more interested in what they had made.

Which makes the notion of international visitors odd for me. I never really thought that I was blogging for anyone, let alone people who use different money than me. To be completely honest, my thought process was something along the lines of "I need to improve my typing. I shall blog." And now people read this, and I worry that they're bored by my car issues and baffled by my fascination with the Aussie dollar.

Tonight, at about 11.30, it hit parity, or actually $1.0003, for less than a minute. According to xe.com, it's dropped back 0.9cents, to around 99.1 now. The Autumn Nutmeg bundle, of which I plan on eventually buying a lot, is listed at US$14.99, which eBay is currently converting as AU$15.05

This is a complete lie, because Paypal is usually 2c worse than the official exchange rate (it's how they make money) but eBay says that any displayed conversions are based on the official Bloomberg rate. Whatever.

Anyway, I'm excited. So excited I spent the night flitting from news site to news site, instead of sewing. This happens sometimes. Also, the fire is lit, since it's freaking cold here in spite of the fact that it's allegedly spring, and it's warmness is intoxicating after spending 8 hours this afternoon in front of an open door on the smokes counter.

The girls asked on the way home if I was sure I didn't want to come. One of the boys we were planning on convoying with has decided he will now be leaving at 9, instead of 10 like they had all planned. Casey got upset about this, and I was sure. My ten (very tiring) closes in a row are over, and what I need now is a couple of days spent bumming about at home, not traveling across the country stressing about more things.

I have sewing to do. But first, I have sleeping to do.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Would you look at the time...

Today, I went to Spotlight and bought 25 metres of fabrics. The whole shop cost me $90, but $20 of that was on thread.

I was only overcharged by $6 this time.

Casey told me that if I was going to go to Birchip I would have decided already, so I'm not going. I would have liked to, but she's right. I need to prepare for these sorts of things, I like to be organised, but because of work and a lack of transport I haven't had a chance to get organised.

Also, at day 9 of my ten-closes-in-a-row, I'm starting to run out of... well, everything.

Except, oddly, inspiration. I came home from work, hella tired and running on fumes, and planned myself 3 new quilts. And not single range ones either, big bright ones with fabrics from all over. The pink one has Spotlight, eBay, fabric.com and Stitch and Knit fabrics in it. And then, because I was so keen on getting started on them, I decided to get cracking on... the one I started yesterday, in fabrics I never really loved, that I started making before work to test out a design before I did it in fabrics I really liked.

At first, it wasnt going well. Half of the blocks were already done yesterday before work and the other half were nearly finished, but when it came time to assemble them the cats decided to sit on the bits, and I went "I can do this without putting them out. It's only 2 sets of pairs..."

Wrong.

Well, not entirely. It is two sets of pairs, but they are not subsequently laid out on top of one another, they must be staggered. I didn't realise that until I'd unpicked and re-sewn half of it, only for it to still be all wrong, so instead of being a 4 by 5, it's a 4 square.


Still, I really quite like it. Of course, because they're all in the wrong spot there's two vertical lines of stripes, but whatever. It's 4 am. I don't care anymore. The pastels are actually quite pretty.


I did the back too since I had the leftover 4 blocks, along with the strip of each I had leftover, and some of the brown and green from the same range.

I'm thinking I'll probably get some yellow to bind it in, since I'm out of these fabrics now (6 half yards were used - I might still have about 1/3rd of a yard between the green and the brown, but neither is enough for a binding) but that will be later, since I'm off to bed.

One more day to go. Then, instead of stressing that I haven't got everything I'll need, and being cold and wet and tired, I get 2 days off to spend hiding in my room sleeping and sewing. But I'm fairly sure that at least a  bit of time will also be dedicated to feeling bummed that I'm not off living it up like everyone else.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sadness. Again.

My box of stuff from fabric.com finally got here, and going through it took up the night that I was gunna spend finishing off yet another baby sized quilt top.

At some point soon I will have to start making them into actual quilts but not tonight.

What did happen tonight was that while I was at work, my parents got my car going. And while that should be cause for jumping up and down and cracking the champagne, it would seem it's not. What they're now thinking is that, since it's running fine once it gets started (the problem apparently is something to do with there not being enough compression to fire the cylinders to begin with) what they want to try to do is take it in to Geoff in the morning and see if it is indeed a crack in the cylinder head, in which case he can do this miracle fix thing that will temporarily seal it so that it will start for the next month or so, which means that we trade it in ASAP, because apparently with the lower priced trade-ins they then sell them off to wholesalers in the big cities, making it no-one around here's problem anymore.

Economically, they are right. There's no point spending over a thousand dollars to fix it up this time only to go and spend another few thousand on it next year when the next part of it blows up. It's better to cut my losses now, get 3 grand for it at trade in, and buy a whole another car that will last longer.

But it still feels like ditching a friend because he's got cancer. I wouldn't send one of the cats off to Adelaide just because of the vet bills. And I've had my car a lot longer than my cats.

Am I being pointlessly sentimental? Will this I-owe-it-to-the-inanimate-object mentality result in me eventually being smothered to death in my own house, one of those crazy old ladies who could never let anything go?

All that said I'm fairly sure I'll get a Suzuki Swift, unless Dad can sort out some super amazing deal on a Honda Euro for me. The Swift S is about 18k list price for a new auto one, but I might be able to get a still-in warranty used one, and anyway I suspect we will get it cheaper anyway.

My plans for tomorrow: spend a lot of time crying so that I get out of having to clean out the car that economics is forcing me to abandon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another quilt top...

Today I looked through some of the fabrics on my shelf, and I realised I have a lot of yard-long pairs. Because I like fabric that's cheap, but not crappy, I buy a lot of end-of-season fabrics, and that usually means I only get the 1 or 2 of a range that are left. And even though they're gorgeous, they don't usually go with anything else in my stash.

Case in point - these 2 fabrics.


I like them a lot. They're from the same range that I made the last 2 experimental quilts, but a different colourway. And for some weird reason, it's hard to find fabrics in lemonlime, turquoise and babypoo brown. So it was pretty much those two on their own. I've got a stripe that sortof is okayish I suppose, like, it'll do for the border, but if I was to put it with these two in the piecing it would jarr, unless I added a lot of other fabrics, and I can't be bothered going to that much effort.

So, clearly, it was time for some maths. I knew I could get a 100cm by 120cm top from 2 yards, since that's roughly how much I use when I do the three-fabric tops. But with only 2 fabrics, it's either a checkerboard design, or squares in squares.

I went for squares in squares.


And in another act of weirdness, I went for strip piecing. When I got home I started a timer, and I actually properly timed how long it would take to make the quilt top. I did a three-colour one in 2 hours, but that was completely cut and organised before I got started. For this one I had got my fabrics, ruler and cutting mat out, and that was it. Fabrics were still folded, blade was still blunt, iron was still in the cupboard. It ended up taking a bit over 3 hours, but that included things like changing the cutter blade, ironing out all the folds before the cutting, as well as less pertinent things, like feeding the cats, feeding myself, and rescuing Babycat from the spaghetti strainer*

But after 3 hours, I have this...


Because the fabrics are so similar, there's not a huge amount of definition in the design. And while I've whinged about that in past quilts (the pink one in the same fabrics for instance) I like it in this one. Because it's only the two patterns, I can get away with calling it subtle. It's also quite unisex, though it'll be a struggle to keep it that way on the back. I have enough bits left to do 4 more squares, but I'm thinking that instead of attaching the second sides to the squares, I might just join them all together to make a long strip 15cm wide, and then I can put that through the middle of a solid for the back. As I said I have a stripe that sortof matches for the binding, since I really like a stripey binding, but it's colours are a bit more primary (a pastel blue, yellow and green) so it will have to be a narrow one, so that it doesn't conflict too much. I'm also thinking I wanna have a play at some point with the automatic hem roller foot for the Elna, but perhaps that's not the type of project to be trying these things out on.

Also today I went into Spotlight (to buy another ruler - I still can't find mine) and they had a heap of fabrics for $2 a metre. I only got 8 since Casey was waiting in the car, but I'll try and go back tomorrow for a proper look.

*to be fair, I think it was acting in self defence.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Gratuitous Cat Photo Post.

Is it just my cats that are completely incapable of sleeping in a way that you or I would perceive as normal?




There's a gap in there, in case you can't really see it. I've no idea how it could be comfortable, but hey, what would I know.



This seems similarly uncomfortable. Also not that this wasn't just her stretching - I have this photo from about 4 different angles (that make my room look even messier)

Babycat's favourite place to sleep however remains my laptop. Specifically the keyboard, but we will settle for a closed lid if that's all that's on offer.


Given that she's also quite happy to sit on it while awake too, I'd be guessing she's motivated by about 49% warmth and 49% attention seeking. The other 2% is that she actually wants to use the internets.


When did my adorable little Babycat turn into GlamazonTeenagerCat? She's probably on some cat-dating website looking for a boyfriend when I'm not around.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The top of the pink batik quilt is done.


And I really quite like it. But I don't know if I should use the dark shades to piece the back or just do a plain back. The original plan was to just assemble the big blocks of the other colours, so they'd fit on the diagonal, chopping off corners to fill in holes on the opposite sides. But the shades are quite different, and I'm not sure what colour to quilt it in, or what binding to use. So maybe a plain backing would be simpler. I'd still piece it a little bit - I have plenty of pinks, but it wouldn't be batik.

Decision will have to be later though, because I'm off to work. Again. but Simone is back form holidays, and it will be nice to see her again.

Rambling ramblyness.

On the one hand, I wonder why any of you read this. On the other hand, in spite of all the interestingness the internet contains, sometimes it can get hella boring. And when youtube has chewed up all of your bandwidth, an oft-updated blog can be a good few seconds of distraction. Or a few hours, depending on how rambly I'm feeling. Today it would seem to be very.

Anyway. Private discussion time now. Should I pull out of going to Birchip? There's a lot of reasons I don't want to go, but I'm not sure that any of them are a reason not to go. I think I still want to go. I don't know.

Reasons.


We will be leaving Saturday, and arriving late. Maybe an hour before the kickoff. Not much time to get ourselves settled; probably end up is a nasty corner miles from the toilets.

No massive support group. Granted, Longy wasn't a massive crew, but we were there early, had time to make ourselves a camp, with a fire, and definite claimed/defensible feel to it. Small group + arriving late = uncontrollable variables = me freaking out that I might start bashing people over the heads with bottles. I do this when I get stressed, and I don't care if the bottles contain drinks, whereas everyone else cries alcohol abuse.

I've kinda gone a bit off Jelly Tots. And after not being able to complete the final stage of the digestive cycle for almost a week after going to Rainbow, I've kinda gone off the idea of eating nothing but raspberry twists for an entire weekend.*

I wont have BJ. For over 4 years my car has been my safe place, and it is into him that I retreat when I've had enough of the drunken antics. And he wont be there. The van is not mine alone. I apparently get to sleep in it, since I do not own a swag, but still. Vera is not BJ. I do not feel comfortable having random, one sided conversations with her.

I just don't really feel like picking up. And there's not much point, as a non drinker, in going to a BnS Ball if I'm not going to find myself a root. I like Casey's idea of collecting randoms, but, well, I'm not that kind of person. She exudes confidence in these situations. I raise an eyebrow and step aside so as to not get covered in food dye. And then get picked up by one random, without even being offered a chance to sample the alternatives, and then, well, thinking about it, it all seems like too much effort.

My dress is in the shed. I put it in a bag and put it out there when I still had hopes of getting my room organised. So I'll have to go out and find it. I've no idea where my coat is, and it still has a big tear up the back, that I will have to hand sew back together, on account of it being real dead animal, and too much for the machine to be able to handle.

I will have to wax my legs. It's about time anyway, but still. I will have to find time in the next 5 days, around working a 35 hour week. It will hurt.

I will have worked 10 straight closes in the lead up to it. 63 hours worth. And because I'll be going away, neither catching up on sleep nor sewing will be getting done**

My cats went mental the last time I went away for 2 days. This was 2 weeks ago, and still their dietary habits have not reverted to pre-absence.

Entry is $100. Which could buy me a half yard of each colour of this in the stripe, the birds and the flowers inside the diamonds. And the postage. And some other stuff too, probably.

The guy I hooked up with at Longy might be there.

Reasons I probably will go.

I'm a sucker.

My Future Husband might be there.

There will be plenty of opportunity to frown disapprovingly at Becky.

I like the drive up there. Not just when I'm driving, but I enjoyed the last trip in the van while Casey was driving too.

I will have the nicest dress there.

If there's a guy in a pimp coat we can look knowingly at each other, and he will acknowledge that my actual fur coat is cooler than his purple-velour-with-a-leopard-velour-collar coat is.

Random people will come up to me and stroke my coat. Then I can imagine I am one of my cats.

If my funky new business cards get here, we can invent interesting fake names for ourselves***

The main reason I'll go.

You never know. It might be fun.


*this is a complete lie. But I do like being able to poop.
**sewing's not getting done anyway.
***but we will have to make sure we aren't wearing our name necklaces, because that would ruin it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hello, my name is Sara, and I am an xe.com addict...

I'm not a gambler. Most of my household is - They put bets on the horses when we go to lunch, or a game of Keno, or go and put $5 in the pokies to kill a bit of time. I'm not particularly good at it. I really only do one betting game - I invented it myself - called the petrol game. It's simple, you say "do I buy petrol today or do I think it will be cheaper tomorrow?" It's not a very complicated game, and since petrol prices rarely shift by more than 4c/L, you cant really lose more than a couple of dollars. And you cant play more than once a week, unless you have a Hummer or a Ferrari or something like that. Fuel consumption in the single figures prevents problem petrol gambling.

All of that is a roundabout way of saying I have strong-dollar angst. I remember last time it (the Australian dollar) got to 96c (against the US Dollar) and then crashed down to about 60c. It was around that time that I made my cheap jewelery saved search on eBay, and that's why it's set to a max of AU$1.30 - because that was about 99USc at the time. So now, with it hovering around 99c, do I a) buy up big on the assumption that it will suffer a similar drop in the near future* or b) wait until we reach parity and beyond, and then do my big shop? The newspaper today said that as long as the Chinese economy stays strong the Aussie dollar will stay strong too, but I really don't know anything about the Chinese economy. This is like petrol gambling, but with bigger stakes, and no controls to stop me from becoming an addict.

Maybe it's because I'm not playing the petrol game at the moment that I'm getting caught up in this. But my car goes in to the mechanics tomorrow, so here's to hoping it wont be too long now. And that the dollar stays strong.

*the last big drop was caused by the GFC.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

If you cant deal with spew, dont read this.

I haven't done any more on the quilt, instead unwillingly spending last night/this morning indulging in the twin pursuits of noisily vomiting and wishing I was dead. And yet, I'm still going to work in an hour. My head is about to fall off, and I can't eat anything because I'll just throw it up again (I've had 7 spew-free hours till now), but there's no spare supervisors to cover for me, and none of the managers are comfortable leaving one of the junior supervisor-trained staff on on their own.

But if anyone annoys me, if a customer says "don't you have any more registers you can open," if a staff member comes off their register, if a manager comes and tries to dump some more work on me when I don't even have enough staff to get our work done, I wont even waste time trying to cough on them so they get my germs.

I will just be sick on them. And maybe that will make me feel better.

Back to the news now...

I did my random fast food rant, trawled the internet for a while to see if I could find myself one of these (and yes, I know I already have a heap of those fabrics, but I want them all. And these. And these. And these) and, once a new episode of Castle had downloaded (I forgot that it was starting, so I have a few back-eps still to get) I got into the sewing on the next project.


While they aren't particularly good representations of the fabrics, they were as good as I was willing to find in paint, since I still cant be bothered with the hassle of EQ5. It's the Artesian Batiks I mentioned the other day that I said I was gunna do like the BlueGreen quilt, but, well, here goes...

The math for that says you need to start with 22 by 24cm rectangles. But, having not prewashed these fabrics (since it's all one range) there were no fuzzy edges gong to waste, so I managed to cut 22 by 27cm rectangles. They seemed a bit big, and when I drew it up in the computer, 4 rectangles across didnt seem like enough, so I doubled it and zoomed out one. That looked much better, but, when I got to the real world, of course the rectangles weren't a scaled down version, like you would get if you cut a piece of A4 paper in half, they were a completely different shape. Too rectangular in fact, to nicely fit another cut on their narrow direction.

Thus, a plan change to wonk. Not the difficult wonk I wrangled with while doing the obviously named wonky mini quilt, but a matchless wonk, where points can be ignored (well, wonky ones can) in favour of maintaining my sanity. Before work I cut and laid out nicely all my diagonal pairs so I could string piece, and the advantage of having multiple cutting mats is that you can sit one on top of the other to protect your nicely laid out fabrics from the menace of the babycat. They've now been string pieced, but it's late for someone who's cut back on the Commonwealth Games since Sally Pearson didn't get to keep (or actually, never even got given) her gold medal, so I'll be waiting till tomorrow to iron them out. I'm not in any real rush with this one.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Oh, how I missed you...

It's weird what you miss out on not having a car. It's not especially hard to get people to take you to the post office every day (though I continue to be disappointed) but I have very much cut back on fast food. I've been having the occasional Red Rooster, on days when I actually have cash, since it's on the way between home and work, but, for the first time in what feels like ages, tonight, I had KFC.

I love KFC. Its no exaggeration to say that, more than once, I have eaten it every day of the week. Especially handy is the fact that you can drive there from work in about 2 minutes, encountering no main roads or difficult intersections on the way. But that doesn't mean much if you don't have a car. Yes you can drive there in 2 minutes, but to walk would take about 20, due to the big hill in the middle, and it's always slower instore than it is through the drivethrough. So I don't. This I suppose, is good for my health and my bank balance, but it makes my tastebuds sad. Because KFC nuggets, good ones, that are crunchy on the outside, with the chicken in the middle being slightly dry, are one of my top ten tastes in the world. Good KFC chips, that have lots of salt, would also be up there.

I don't have a sophisticated palate. I don't care.

Damn you, Commonwealth Games...

I was ready to go to bed 2 hours ago but the Sally Pearson thing is keeping me up.

For those of you who aren't getting a little bit obsessed with the Commonwealth Games, be it because you're American, or not interested in sports, or protesting that it means we miss out on Good News Week and Offspring, Sally Pearson is a hurdler who we all decided we liked when she gave an interview at the Beijing Olympics that was a refreshing change from the usual scripted "I'd like to thank my sponsors" type thing - It was more of a "Did you see what I just did?" and Australia loved her for it.

Anyway, earlier tonight she was about to run the 100m sprint when both she and another runner false started. The other runner said that a moth flew in her mouth, and was allowed to run, and, because Sally's start was, I suppose, less false (0.071 as opposed to 0.07 - A false is anything under 0.1) she was still in too. Then she won, but other England and Nigeria are contesting, so we don't know if she has in fact actually, getting-the-medal type, won. 

This is bad for me, since I get upset when I don't know how things end. I much prefer American shows for this reason: if I get caught up in them on TV I can just download the next episode and resolve the cliffhanger. But this is going on now, and, although we aren't even guaranteed a conclusion tonight, I can't bring myself to go to bed until I know that there wont be an answer.

The Sydney Morning Herald website is saying that she has left the stadium, but does that mean I should leave the couch?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More big plans.

I've just washed my hair and I really should go dry it so it doesn't end up hugely feral but... well, the bathroom is a long way away, and I'll have to hold the hairdryer in the air, and it'll be heavy, and take more than 1 second, which is far too long, and, well, it seems easier to just sit here with a towel wrapped around it.

So, instead, some plans.

Bind the pink quilt. Shouldn't be too hard, binding is made, it's just a matter of getting some floor in the lounge room so I can pin it down.

Work out how to bind the blue and green quilt. For every join in the fabric, you lose 10cm (I join my binding on the diagonal). I have 7 pieces, with a total length of about 5.6m. the quilt is 4.4m around. That's 12 potential joins, and I think I need more than that to make it look nice. Or I can go buy something that works. I have a maybe or two in the next box from fabric.com, but it's still not here yet. I'll wait.

Make a quilt with the pinky-reddy-orangey batik bundle from a while back.


I've split it into lights and darks, and I'll do the lights on one side, using the same design as the bluegreen quilt, and also Esther's quilt, which I love but haven't done in a while. It needs more quilting usually, but I plan on quilting to the diagonally aligned back, in the dark colours. I wont do fancy blocks for this side, just cut the fat quarters into 4 neat rectangles and tile them, before trimming off the corners and matching them to their opposite sides. It's the ordered, sensible way to do a wonky pieced back, and I'm looking forward to it.

Do some of the mini quilts I specially shopped at Spotlight for. These were bought especially for the purpose of making little quilts for markets or whatever, and most of the colours aren't ones I would use for me. I think they were all designed to come out at the 80x100cm size I was doing at the time, whereas I'm feeling more at home with a 100x120cm at the moment, but that's because I have arms and legs that are long and need to be covered, and my only regular access to a baby has cut back since I have no car. But babies do exist, and they only have little arms and legs so they don't need a big quilt. Which is good I suppose, because you can make a little one for them in a day.

Keep looking for more boy fabrics. Helen has picked some cute ones for Bob, so I know it can be done, and I have considered buying this bundle since I could probably wring 2 quilts out of it, especially since it's actually half yards, so I wouldn't need to put the same fabrics in 2 quilts. But I have no money.

Finally, I need to work out a way to keep the charger in the laptop. It keeps falling out whenever I move, or the cats walk over, or I type too vigorously. Fortunately it has a good battery, so as long as I realise before 3 hours are over, I'm okay.  

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A blog about nothing much, really.

The dollar is so good at the moment, and I very much want to buy myself lots more fabric, but I've already spent way too much today, without even having sewn any more.

All up, about $200, with $80 of that being the lappy charger that works but falls out whenever I move it, and another $50 being the vistaprint order that I really shouldn't have, but which, if it gets here before Friday week, will totally be worth it.

The rest was little random bits that, annoyingly, add up fast. Food for the cats, lunch and tea for me, some socks, a book, shampoo and a cute little bag: it's annoying how easy it is to spend money on things other than fabric and rebuilding an engine.

The main reason no sewing got done today was that my only real chance to get into town was with Casey, Maddy and one of Maddy's friends when they went in for a picnic at the lakes. They dropped me off at Centro after we'd been to Anvil and the post office, and I blew money and walked to Poppy's while the weather was nice. They stayed at the lakes till the weather turned, and by the time we were home it was after 3, and time to waste money on not-fabric-internets, before heading to work to earn at least some of it back.

How very dull. Some days are I suppose.

Whoops.

A multi-end power cable that fit the laptop cost me eighty freaking dollars!!! I can get a proper one on eBay for $17... But I really couldn't cope without a lappy for 3 weeks. And once I'd spent that, the seal was broken, and I spent money at Kmart, and the book store, and the Reject Shop. And then I came home, and there was an email form vistaprint, on the same day that my new business card/quilt tags got here, and well, I planned on only spending $40, but then I accidentally pressed the "with return labels for only $7 more", and then it added another $5 to my postage, and then I was cross, so I unsubscribed from their mailing list so it doesn't happen again. But not before getting us some completely awesome Lower South East Ladettes business cards (to go with the shirts we really should get around to getting made), a Kooky Couture banner (for if we end up doing this market thing) and stamp that's not gunna be relevant to anyone but me and Casey, which I hope gets here before Birchip next weekend, because we will LOL. and then go around stamping people with it.

A success, and a mayday call...

Worryingly, and for no apparent reason, my laptop appears to not be charging. I don't think I can deal with it dying as well as my car :( Hopefully it is just a problem with the power cable, and even more hopefully it's just a problem with the bit that goes from the board to the box, cause I can get another one of them for about $8. if it's the next bit along, I might have to get one of those interchangeable ones. I doubt it's a problem with the battery since that's still showing as being present and charging down. Hopefully it's not a problem with the plug input, or it will have to go stay with Helen and Steven for a bit.

Anyway. Over the weekend i had held a faint hope that maybe I could do 2 quilts in the 2 days I had off. As of last night it wasn't going well, with machine tension troubles, Paul Hogan and a major redesign holding me up. I got the two tops done, but it was 3am, and I wasn't as far along as I thought I needed to be.

Tonight... well, no, I didn't get them finished. But still, in about 36 hours (since I didn't start till after lunch yesterday) I think I did okay...



...since if you look closely you'll see that the one behind it is the top side of the other, because they've actually been fully quilted (something you cant see in those photos)


That's not a particularly good picture either, it being a blowup of the above photo, but at least it proves I'm not making it up. I have done essentially FOUR quilt tops, and quilted them together, in 2 days.

Now they're not that big - 98x118cm and 106x115cm, but still. I have done it all but the binding, which I have made for the pink one and rolled it into a nice bundle and all, but I'm tired adn it seems like a good place to stop, since I'm not actually sure what to bind the other one with. I was originally gunna use the blue, but I think it would look a bit odd from the back. I've cut 9cm wide strips of what I have left of the 2 greens, which comes out to about 3.5m of the light one and 2.1m of the dark one. I'd pu them together to do a pieced border, but I've no idea how. 

That's tomorrow's problem anyway. Tonight's problem, as of just now, is maintaining power to the lappy. The little box is cooling down, so I'm figuring it's not getting power either, since it's usually a good little hand warmer. So, if I can find it's original power plug, which had an American end (since I imported it) I can steal the adapter form the divx player (also imported) and use that till I can get into anvil to buy another cable. Byebye $8, and thankyou for not being a huge expense..

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Done for the night...

It would seem that, just because you can do the first quilt top in two hours...




...Doesn't mean you can do the second quilt top in 2 hours.




Especially when you change your design after you've sewn half of it, and then get a bit distracted by the Commonwealth Games on one channel and Crocodile Dundee on the other, and you're flicking between the two in the adverts, and it's hard to leave the lounge to go and sew.

Still, that's 2 quilt tops in one day, AND I didn't get started till about 4 this afternoon AND my machine's tension dial appears to have shat itself. Normal tension is at 5, I'm currently at 3.5 which is tight enough that the stitches aren't loose but not so tight that it bunches horrifically, but it's still bunching up a little. I have oiled, changed needles, screwed and unscrewed, cleaned the bobbin case, put the cotton on the other way (I'm getting desperate okay?) but still nothing. Where it's at now is bearable - you just need to leave a bit more space between the string piecing so that you can ease out the stitching. It does have an advantage though - it made unpicking (which I did a lot of at the design changing point in the pink top) a lot easier.

You can see the size difference with the overhang in each picture - the pink one ended up about 8cm wider but 4cm shorter. I like the blue and green one better since the difference between the fabrics is a lot more visible, and also the corners of the pink quilt are just sorted randomly because no matter what I did, I couldn't quite make it right. I would get 3 that matched, and then one would be really wrong, so I figured if they were all off I can call it random. I'll be doing the other side tomorrow, and I'm gunna make a point of using bigger pieces on the pink one, so hopefully the fabric patterns wont be so overwhelmed.

But that's tomorrow.