Sunday, February 27, 2011

Can I have a do-over?

While the market wasn't a huge sucess, I'd rather do it again tomorrow than go back to the real job.

That's right, my holidays are over. My room is not clean because my shed still hasn't arrived, but I went to Adelaide 3 times, attended the Lake Charlegrark Music Festival and sold some stuff at the Mini-Me Market.

So it's a 75% success rate, and I was let down by Templetons.

The market was an interesting thing, very different to the Library market before Christmas. Lots and lots of people when it opened at 10, but mainly women with basketballs shoved up their tops and people carrying little tiny babies. When you're selling something based on medium sized children going "I want that one," toddlers who can't really talk yet aren't the kids that get you sales, but I still sold 4 of them. And Casey pre-bought Randy and Helen picked one out for Bob tonight after the market. In better news a lady put a deposit on the Modern Grace quilt, so it's nice to know one will be going to a good home in the next week or so. Helen did really well with bibs, which is good because I think she spent about as much as she sold there - I only bought a little purse pouch for $10 purely because I loved the fabric, an impossible to find Japanese linen. While I'm a champ at spot the Moda/Kaufman/Riley Blake/Miller fabric, hand printed Asian fabrics aren't my area of expertise. Even if I could find out what it is I doubt I could get any, so it's just a beautiful little bit of fabric that happens to have already been made into something. Saves it sitting in my stash I suppose.

Around lunchtime people stopped coming and didn't really start again, so we were all packed up by a bit after 2. Shops are open Sundays down here so I went to Spotlight and got a little bit - Well, a lot if you count the 9 metres of $2 fabric I got to stash as backings. Other than that I got 12 quarters to make another two of the mini versions of Stairways to Heaven, because I want to show them in non-matching fabrics. I'll write the instructions up for the little one at some point - it needs a 20cm cut of 6 fabrics and ends up about 90cm square, so it's great for a quicker project. But it really doesn't need solid or even matching fabrics, just two of each colour, with enough similarities in the pairs to make definition between the colours so you can see the zigzag. I'd show you, but it's still out in the car.

So tonight I'm going to chillax in front of the laptop with some TV shows. And my 4th serve of icecream for the day.

Stairways to Heaven Quit top Pattern

So here we go with pattern number two: The Stairways to Heaven quilt top. This is a pattern for the top only.

I have made this with two designs of fabric in 3 colours each.


Final size, if you make it using the imperial measurements, is 52.5" by 60" so it's a decent lap blankie or full size cot quilt. It uses 1/2 yard of each of the 6 fabrics, and has 4 blocks left over. Other than that, you'll only have some selvedges and ratty ends remaining. These first measurements use a quarter inch seam.

So, you take your 6 half yards and cut them into strips selvedge to selvedge. You'll need two strips measuring 5.5" wide and two of 3" wide from each fabric (there should be less than an inch left over)


Then, you take your strips and sort them like this. Assign each colour a number (I have gone Pink -1, Green -2 and Blue -3) then pick one design as (a) (spots/dark in the picture) and the other as (b) (stripes/lighter in the picture)

Pair:
1a wide with 2b narrow.
3b wide with 2a narrow.
3a wide with 1b narrow.
2b wide with 1a narrow.
2a wide with 3b narrow.
1b wide with 3a narrow.


Strip piece them all together then press your seams flat (doesn't matter which way, since these seams wont connect with one another).

These are actually in upside down order - oops.

From each strip cut 5 squares 8" long, so you have 10 of each.


Arrange the squares as shown in the picture. If you keep them in the order as above, you should be able to start with your first pair (1a+2b) in the bottom left corner and work your way up from there in the above order.


Diagonals 3, 4, 5 and 6 will each have one more square than necessary, which can be used for piecing on the back or to make a 15" square pillow.



Assemble the squares into a quilt top.


Quilt however you like - I plan on quilting straight lines either side of the main seams and on the large-rectangle side of the block piecing, but do whatever floats your boat.

If you live in metricland, like me, you'll need 45cm of each fabric; cut each one into two strips 8cm wide and 13.5cm wide, then after sewing cut them into 20cm squares. If you sew all this the same as the above instructions but with 7.5mm seams, you should get the same quilt but about 4cm smaller each way.

Good luck!

Intermisson.

You know what can completely ruin an evenings productivity?

A quite good movie.

I was gunna quickly finish up the big stairway to heaven quilt before I packed up the stuff for the morning but I haven't. My movie fortunately only has about 20 minutes to go, but I'm a bit worried my battery wont hold out, so instead of carrying between the lounge and the machine I'm tethered to the damn powerpoint.

Okay that was a good twist before a good ending. (Hopefully) back in 20 with the pattern and finished result.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I blather. But I'm not the only one.

Today my favourite thing is communicating with the world. 100 years ago, back when phone numbers were a single digit, only the very privileged could talk to someone who wasn't in the same place as them, and that person had to have one of the few telephones too. They couldn't be too far away, and if you were down here in Australia, you didn't really have much hope of getting through to overseas.

Now, not only can anyone anywhere talk to pretty much anyone anywhere else, we have so many new and interesting ways of doing it. We can call them, just as they could 100 years ago, but we can do it from the car, we can do it walking down the street. We can send them an SMS, or an email. We can facebook them or put out a tweet or, of course, we can blog. 

This is, loosely speaking, my third blog, after two highschool ones that generally existed for the purposes of whinging about my teenage life. This is probably better, since it has a bit more of a purpose, but my insistence on posting every night means there's a lot of drivel in there amoungst the good bits. I'm sure this has alienated some people, who would prefer a quilting only blog and lots of pretty pictures but no matter. There's plenty of them about, because whether people acknowledge their liking of it or not, the free spread of information and the ability of the common person to post their thoughts for all and sundry to read has had a wonderful affect on the world we live in.

If nothing else, it gives us something to do when we wake up, when we take a break, when we go to bed, and when we have better things we really should be doing.

Hello world :)

P.S. Since you're all here, quick question on commenting etiquette: how late is too late to post a comment on a post? I tend to not if more than a day has passed, or if a post has been done since, since it could seem weird and stalkerey, like I'm going through your history like an obsessed fan. But then I feel bad about not having commented, especially if I've been away from a comment-able internet (ie. not my phone) for a few days. Thoughts please?

Ergh.

Do you know what I'm thinking of doing now? The dishes.

The goddamn dishes.

I never do the dishes, unless I've just made muffins. But Mum is in Adelaide, and I have run out of good knives.

Most of the mess is of course, Casey's. Last night she cooked lasagna, and so most of the dishes have that annoying meat/pasta/tomato crust on them. I don't think I'll do those ones.

And now, segue to some monster mountains.









Actually, it's just one mountain, from three different directions. It's not the most efficient way of photographing them, but it looks quite cool nonetheless. Casey has decided she will have Randy, who is named after the pub-name* of one of our friends so that she can give it to him. Still, that's 21 monsters remaining for the market on Sunday. Big thanks to Helen for helping sew them up tonight.

And now that they're all done, I'm between projects and thinking of doing the dishes. I'd love to get started on my big stairways to heaven quilt, and I bought the fabrics for it today (I've gone for pink though, instead of the orange, because it's not potentially for a boy, it's for me. And I like pink) but I told myself I would only do boy or gender-neutral quilts this week for the market. And I'm sticking to it, for tonight at least.

*So when you're at the pub you go "Hello ladies, my name's Randy. Nice to meet you." And you raise an eyebrow and look all smooth as you shake their hands. At least, this is what happens in their heads; it's much less suave from our vantage point.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I did the monster mash...

So this 13 are all done except the hand sewing.


I've named them all already, and I'll probably head to Helen's tomorrow night for a hand sewing sesh.


I spent most of the evening doing the faces for these guys. Amazingly, I really really enjoyed it. Last time, doing the monsters before the market was very much not fun. I don't know if it was just that it was so last minute, or because I had to sew the faces on instead of painting them, but this has been nice. I haven't painted since highschool, though I've wanted to, and although this was just simple shapes in black and white, it was fun.

So that's good. But, I gotta admit, I spent quite a bit of time thinking about quilts.

No shame in that.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

300th post. Statistically quite likely to happen after the 299th...

Over the last week or so, the pressure of the 300th post has been getting to me. I'm aware that a lot of people get all excited and do giveaways and stuff for milestone posts, but, I post every day. Sometimes twice. 300 posts have been done in just over 9 months, and 9 months of blogging seems nowhere near as impressive as 300 posts seems.

I had actually considered just deleting some old posts, and staying at 299 for a while that way. There's a lot of rubbish ones there, mainly I think because I post every night. I know I don't have to, but a) it just seems easier than having to catch up on stuff I've missed and b) there's always the risk that I'll stop posting altogether. And anyway, I like to be reliable.

I had considered putting up the instructions for the Stairways to Heaven quilt, but I feel bad about the fact I haven't taken any pictures, or even made one that matches the pattern I'll be putting up. But on the other hand, you're all quilters. You all know how to do it, and you don't need to be hand-held through the whole process. Surely you can work it out yourself if I just give you a nice big pile of maths to start you off?

Maybe I over-wrote the first one, so this one just seems a bit wishy-washy in comparison. I'm going to hold off, simply because I'd like to double check what I've written by making it to the instructions. There were a couple of things I missed last time that the re-making of the quilt for photos helped me spot. I'm also not gunna bother with the options I put up for the last one. You're all big girls. You know how to be creative. Go and create. All you really need is the math, and that's what I'm good at.

So, what I've decided to actually do is review my initial objectives, and see how I've done over the last 300 posts.

Posting toy patterns - (hangs head in shame) This was my main reason. I had just started to make quilts, but I had also just discovered the Toy Society, and there weren't that many good toy patterns linked to from their site. As you might have noticed, I like doing patterns. It's a thing. It means I'm under less pressure to actually make something good myself - I don't need to be precise and meticulous in my actual creations, because I can work out how to do it and then get other people to do it properly. I was making quite a few flatbears at the time, which were pretty much inspired by the summer traveler's tutorial, but, to my mind, done right. Theirs is probably much easier and quicker, but I have lovely neat seams. And then I came up with some sea creatures, and then monsters. I've got a really cute design for an elephant drawn up, and another one for a bird, but even I haven't gotten around to actually making them yet. What's more, my attempts at sending pictures and info into The Toy Society never eventuated in anything: I did a couple of drops but the people who found them wouldn't have been able to trace them anyway, because they never appeared on the site.

And now, I have to make my monsters myself.

Bitching about the Ex - Not so much anymore, since I got over it about a month or so after the blog got started. I hadn't even though of it as a reason I started this blog, but it's there in my first post.

Improving my typing - This has very much worked. I still need to look at the keyboard as I do it, but I'm very quick and my apostrophes are always in place. Before I started blogging again I was all lower case and would rarely punctuate beyond a full stop, but things are better now.

Staying off of eBay -  You'll probably all be a bit disappointed to to discover that this has worked. I can understand that if people are at the computer to blog they might decide to look on eBay as well, but I blog instead of eBaying. Early last year (particularly months 2-5 after the breakup) I became a teensy bit obsessed with eBay. I may not have had a boyfriend, but thanks to US 99 cent, free postage items from China, I was getting a little something in the mail every day. I would trawl my fantastically set up saved searches and pick one or two things a day to buy myself: I was probably only spending $20 a week, which is two trips to KFC, but it was quite wasteful. Now I had a blog, I figured I could spend that on fabric instead. And I did. But now, I'm so far ahead of myself in big plans I've pretty much stopped. The only new ones I've come up with recently that I haven't immediately created are my bucket-list big rainbow quilt and a hypothetical Central Park quilt, that I'm having to convince myself over and over again is only hypothetical. And I've got the blogosphere to go to every time I talk myself out of buying it on eBay. Which is every second day.

But here's the proof. I was buying two or three things a day. So far this year? 6 things. SIX!* And only one of them was a 99c saved search thing.

So, all up, that's a 50% success rate, 66.6% if you disregard #2. I'm happy with that, and you never know: maybe after I've done these monsters I'll put up some patterns, so I don't have to make any more.

So happy 300th post everyone. Here's to another 300!

*OMG, my x key won't work if I hold down the shift key as well. It works fine on it's own, and I can capslock and it'll work, but... that's just so weird...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wowee.

Tomorrow will be my 300th post. I'm glad it's not tonight's, because I'm feeling a bit disjointed.

I'm worried about my beautiful little boyf, who fell over and knocked his baby teeth back in. I'm similarly worried about Helen and Steven, who I suspect are feeling even worse than Bob.

I suspect Esther is stressing too, because she'd be getting less attention than usual, and that would damn near kill the poor girl.

I've done an imperial pattern for a scaled-up version of my uber-gorgeous Stairway to Heaven quilt, and I need to convert it to metric so I can make it and take the photos to go with it.

This is mainly a scam to give myself a reason to make it again, but big and for me. It's 3 yards of fabric for the top, and leaves some blocks for the back. It comes out to about 130cm by 150cm, which is my usual big-quilt size.

I've spent most of the day doing the faces for monsters. I've used fabric paint instead of sewing faces on, which, if I'm honest, has been just as much work. Well, it's felt like it, but I've gotten 13 done today, which is more than I had for the last market. I just need to shorten the backs of the bigger safety eyes, and I can get to assembling them. But I'm feeling good about it, because there's still a week till the market, and this is advanced forward planning by my standards.

Channel 11 shows Mork and Mindy at 12.30 on a Monday night (maybe other nights too, but I've only seen it on Mondays.) I'm loving it. The peace-and-love vibe, and a wardrobe I'd kill for. Which, admittedly, isn't very peace-and-love, but nice clothes are nice clothes.

I've just finished season 13 of Time Team. Don't worry, I have plenty more.

What I don't have much more of is stuffing. I hadn't realised until I checked today. I'll get some more tomorrow.

And maybe a half yard of each fabric to do-over my quilt (but not this week, because I have more monsters to make)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Home: it's wherever your clean undies are.

I am home.

It feels nice. To just be able to chill, to no longer have the pressure of trying to enjoy myself and have fun in crowds of people who are also under the expectation of having fun.

I had a couple of issues, mainly the stupid tooth and a nasty bout of indigestion. Turns out hot cross buns aren't great at sopping up the alcohol in your tummy.

I had lots of fun though, especially today, since the weather was quite good considering the earlier outlook. I even got sunburnt, but that's not so good*. We sat around an esky and pretended it was a firebucket (it's fire-ban season), and talked about random shit, and there was seven of us in the back of a landcruiser, having a tickle fight. We drove home in a convoy, and my little car with it's four-pot 1.5L engine not only kept up with, but on occasion thrashed the considerably larger V6 competition. I got to 6000 RPM. We three girls took off our tops and drove alongside the boy's ute, honking and waving, but they didn't even notice we were down to our bras. We sang loudly and badly, and stopped at the Dergholm pub for a couple of hours on the way home. We mocked the way the exhaust on my sister's boyfriend's ute hung so low it dragged on the ground, making sparks every time he hit a bump. And we got home, and had a cuddle with our Mum, and brushed our teeth, because I'd only taken those silly disposable things, which aren't that good. They were a free magazine sample though, so I should have expected that.

On the crafting front, the swag quilt paired with the big brown pillow quilt (you haven't met, but she came from Target for about $15, and the has a cover so she turns into a big pillow. She has a twin, who is Casey's) was excellent, but I'm not sure that flannelette was the best option for the pillow. I don't have flannelette anywhere in my bed, and it felt a bit weird.

I had the swag in my little $10 tent, which I'm glad about since it drizzled for a few hours in the early morning. My tent wasn't that watertight though, so it dripped on my pillow a bit. Still, that's better than actually getting rained on, I'm sure you'll agree.

I'll gunna have an off night from the sewing, since I have to get into monsters tomorrow, which will involve a lot of getting stuff out and cutting curves with actual scissors, and painting on facial features and setting eyes, which is a change from squares and straight line sewing.

In the meantime, I'll be chillaxing in front of Time Team Season 13 if anyone wants me.


*Only a little bit on my nose; I suspect I wont peel so much as flake and my nose does that usually anyway. But I'll have to put up with a day or two of sweaty nose, and I hate that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yeah.

As you read this, I'll be off having a wow of a time at the Lake Charlegrath music festival. Well, actualy, I'll probably be cold and wet at the Lake Charlegrath music festival. Actually, since most of you are morning readers, I'll probably be either curled up in blissful sleep in my swag under the lovely swag quilt or wondering why the hell the sun's so bright and why someone's hammering inside my head, at the Lake Charlegrath music festival.

I have my alcohol. I have many coats. I have two tents (in case one blows away) I have my swag. I'm wearing my older boots, because my new ones were too lovely, and I couldn't find any nice gumboots in the mount yesterday. Which made me cross.  But no matter. I'm at a music festival.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sha la la la la la la la la la lah te da, lah te da.

So, while everyone else in the blogosphere has been having a sewing night, I've come home early from Dero-oke at The Federal. Not to sew, but because Dad was pissed. He does that, though not usually at The Federal. We have our own bar, at home, from where he doesn't need to be driven home. But no matter.

Ive decided that in spite of our Favourite Things Friday hostess with the mostess already doing my topic, I'm gunna do it too anyway. I've spent the last two hours singing badly in a room with other people who are singing badly, so I don't care. And it's not like we're showing up in the same outfit, just quite similar ones.

First up is New Folder (2)*


It lives on the far left of my desktop, and contains my current favourite music. When I'm liking a song, it goes in there, when I'm not so fond of it any more, it comes out again. All the other mp3s live in Music once they are organised, or ALBUMS if I haven't gotten around to them yet. I have no main website I get my music from, so it arrives with a million different file name variations. My mp3s are titled first with the artist, then a dash, and then the name of the song. I would fight to the death to avoid having itunes installed on my computer, but fortunately all I've had to do so far is not buy an ipod, iphone or ipad. This has been much easier than fighting to the death, thankfully. But it does mean I need to manually name and attach information to all my tracks.

My beautiful little car has an mp3 CD player. This means that I can fit about 160 songs on a disk. I'll make myself a new disk every 2 weeks or so, or if I have a road trip or other special occasion. Weirdly, when you make an mp3 data disk with Nero, it puts them in a sort-of alphabetical order, randomly selecting about half the songs and putting then on a-z, and then putting the other half on a-z after that. I don't know why. It is what it is.

Currently, my favourite songs are Little Bird by Kasey Chambers, Salisbury Street by John Williamson and Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley, which was in there a long time ago, and then went out, and is now back in after I heard it in Liz's car on Adelaide trip #2. But that's no real indication of the contents of New Folder (2) at any given time. Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis has been in there for over a year, there's a half dozen songs by Lena, the German winner of last years Eurovision contest, quite a lot of American country music, and a fair bit from the 70's too.


In spite of my fondness for Dero-oke (or Country Karaoke, or singing in the car, or the bath, or on the toilet, or wherever) I'm not in the slightest bit musically inclined. I can't sing very well, or play any instruments. I can chop down an mp3 so it makes a better ringtone, but that's about it. Still, I may not know music, but I know what I like.

It can be found in New folder (2).


*the original New folder lives on the very top right corner of my desktop, and contains, amoungst other things, all the pictures on this blog.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Love.

I am in love.

I want to have a baby, so that it can have this quilt.

I can't really keep it just for me, since it's too small to be practical for a full sized person and I already have one undersized quilt hanging on the wall.

Nonetheless.

I'm actually considering folding it in half diagonally and wearing it as some kind of crazy, Gaga-esque cape.

I honestly think it's the most beautiful quilt I've ever made.

It's properly, classically beautiful. It would look nice in a white loungeroom. There is nothing cutesey, or odd, or out place on it or about it. It is balanced, and classy, and dignified, and beautiful.

And, as ever, I've taken terrible photos and it looks nasty.

Does anyone have a white loungeroom I can borrow?

No? Well, these will have to do for now then.



It's in the washing machine now. I didn't quilt it particularly densely, and I'll probably iron it once it's done, because it's a bit like the pink batik one, and there seems to be a kind of sleekness to it that doesn't sit quite as well with the crinkly quiltiness of most of my others.

I'm calling it "Stairways to Heaven," because everyone loves a powerballad, like I love this quilt.

Gender Neutral Progress.

A half an hour ago when I was finishing up my quilting, I wrote in my brain an absolutely brilliant blog post. Now that I'm packed up and in front of the laptop I can't remember any of it.

Anyway, lets just look at the pictures.


The tickertape quilt is all finished. This was taken before it went through the machine, and it needs quite a few threads trimmed now, but I'm letting it air dry, and I'll do it once it's dry, because they're still clinging quite badly.

The reason the binding looks especially shoddy is that I did it like the tickertape. Flat binding, sewed to the back first, and then folder over and sewn, and trimmed down with the pinking rotary cutter. I quite like it, because it means it's all alike.


I had hoped to get a second quilt done today as well, but I only got the top done. It's fairly teensy, about 95cm square. Totally cute though.


I've still got to piece a back with my leftover bits (I used about 20cm of each of my 25cm cuts) and quilt it, but I'm already a little bit in love. To the point of considering making it again, double size, as a second swag quilt. Same fabrics even.

But much to be done before then. Still, yay progress.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

There. Happy? Good.

So today, to make you all happy, I went and spent about $60 on fabrics.

Actually, it was more to cheer myself up. I woke up feeling crap, my lower right wisdom tooth is making a break for freedom, and all the travel has caught up with me. So I went shopping, but instead of just going to Spotlight to just get some bright neutrals to pair with the tickertape fabrics, I ended up drifting, going to too many shops and spending too much money.

First up was spotlight. As well as some solids and some batik dots for the tickertape I got these.


The far left yellow was $4 clearance so I got 2 metres, the yellow dot has been designated as binding so I got a half metre and the rest I got a quarter each. I figure that together they're fairly gender neutral. That's something I'm gunna work for this week, along with boy stuff.

The other fabrics I got at Spotlight have already been used, and I've packed up the unfinished quilt for the night.

I went to Stitch and Knit because Mum had left her chequebook across the road and I went to pick it up and, well, I was there anyway. I only spent $10, on random offcuts.


But when I was there I saw some velcro - it was too expensive but it reminded me I needed to go and get some cheap stuff for my selvedge stubby holders. So I went to Lincraft, and there were some new bundles there. So I got one of those. And some velcro.


While I was at Spotlight I also got a pinking blade, since Helen said her scissors were a bit crap. I must say, it's quite weird to use - it's hard to line it up and if it doesn't cut through quite right, you can't just go over it. You need to do a whole new cut. That seemed like a lot of pressure. I learned the hard way that it can't cope with as many layers as a straight cut too, but fortunately it was on a solid that I had plenty of wiggle room with.

Honestly, I haven't loved doing the tickertape. I arranged my bits in neat rows and just sewed from side to side, but my lines have ended up a bit wonky in places, and I have caught a lot of corners under. Yes, it's very quick, what with it not needing to be pieced and quilted separately, but it felt like a chore, with all the corner tucking I had to try to concentrate on. At least the flannelette backing clung to the batting, so it didn't bunch up on the lower layers.

I'll finish and photograph it tomorrow. Hopefully the weather stays nice, I can finally get around to doing those outside photos I was hoping for last week.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I've let myself down, and I've let you all down.

Not only did I not buy any fabric on my third trip to Adelaide in a week, but I didn't even go to a fabric shop.

I know. I'm a massive disappointment.

But it was a lovely drive home, once I'd distracted Mum with an illegally downloaded movie. Seriously, unless you distract her, she whinges more than the eight year old.

There is something worse than a small child saying "are we there yet?"

A woman in her late 40s saying "I'm bored now. Are we there yet?"

(I love you Mum)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So, Um, Yeah.

So I'm home from flying visit number two and I'm off for flying visit number 3 in about 5 hours time. This one will be even more flying than the last two - Dad is buying a ute in the city and we're taking him up in Taylor and coming straight home.

Well, we might stop for a shop. Again.

Today I got myself to Allingtons and bought another pair of boots,


and also to the Gepps Cross Spotlight store, and honestly, I was both disappointed and relieved. The quilting fabric selection was TINY - smaller than here in the Mount. This was the store that I was gunna work at, and there wasn't even a sea of pretty prints for me to hang out in.

Okay, so maybe that's a bit harsh. I found 10 fabrics I liked that I hadn't seen in the Mount, but I was expecting a kind of quilt fabric nirvana. Back when I was working at the local store we sent them all our discontinued fabrics while they were setting up, and I took that to be an indication that there would be a million billion discontinued fabrics there for me to snap up.

These 5 were $8 a metre each.


There's plenty of black and white and red fabrics for that piece to go with, and I'm harbouring hopes of doing an all-yellow quilt sometime soon.






Owls are apparently very in right now. Annoyingly these were on rolls so they didn't qualify for the 20% off they have at the moment, even though the tag said it was quilting fabric. So they were $12.95 a metre.


Another fabric I think will make a cute gender neutral tickertape. I want to get some pinking shears at some point, because I think it would look better. I suspect I wont get around to the for a while, what with all this holidaying I'm doing on my holidays, but I can still hope.

I got a swag for my birthday so I wouldn't have to sleep in the back of the car. But I'll be doing that tomorrow anyway.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Take Two...

So I'm back in Adelaide again and trying to decide between pushing for the north tomorrow (Allingtons Outpost to look at boots and Gepps Cross Spotlight to see what my life could have been like - and buy fabric) or waiting two weeks till I'm back with the car and can go during the week.

Next time I come up will be in a few weeks with the parents when they go to the caravan and camping show. Dad's gunna do the actual drive to the city and then once they're there I'll have the day to myself. And my beautiful car.

I am pretty much a lone wolf when it comes to shopping. I am very stop/start, moving very quick at times and stopping without warning. I do weird loops and revisit stores/sections I've already covered. I don't shop well as part of a team, and I get very fidgety if I have to wait for someone to look at something. I'm totally comfy doing the taxi thing - I loved doing the bus thing in Darwin but they're much more confusing in Adelaide. And I have a fairly limited window of time (certainly too small for public transport)- 10 till 1.30. But they are both on Main North Road, so it might be doable.

I'm gunna be brave and go for it. Wish me luck.

Aww, pretty.

You know how some nights it just seems like too much effort to go to bed? Because your stuff is strewn everywhere and you have to pack it up, but it's all out now so you might as well just carry on what you're doing? Not to mention the fact that you'll also have to go brush your hair, put on your pajamas, make sure the internet is still there and hasn't changed too much while you haven't been looking, sort out anything you'll be needing in the morning and go to the loo and set your alarm...

My life has basically been this, over and over again. I'm feeling it quite intently tonight, since I just washed my hair, and it needs drying, and I still haven't got myself sorted for tomorrow, and I need to wake up in 5 hours time to leave for Adelaide, but all that seems like too much effort just at this minute, so I'm blogging.

My favourite thing today is rainbows. Today there was a lot of rain, so I couldn't take any pretty photos of quilts on the grass. The sun hid behind the clouds, so it was up to the post office to give me a rainbow instead.


Thanks post office. I like it a lot.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I have come far, and achieved much...

Even though I'm still hating on binding, I'm feeling good about the fact that tonight I finally finished the half done binding on the first beigey-greeney-browny disappearing nine patch and I did the binding on the swag quilt as well. They're in the wash, so I should be able to get some nice on-the-grass photos tomorrow.

Shay will be pleased to hear that I made a quilt top earlier today. Helen will be pleased to know that it's for her, and that's why I didn't come over today.



The same really big disappearing nine patch as Kelsey's, the blue green and the one I finally finished the binding on. What can I say? It's quick and easy, and since the new fabrics (I also swapped in the brightish green) fitted in so well, I figured I may as well get the top done. No immediate plans to get a backing sorted - After buying the two metres more of the birds for Helen I can't find the 2 metres I bought for this.

I guess that's why I'm cleaning my room (or as I'm actually calling it, putting the mess in new and interesting places)

In other interesting news, I'm returning to Adelaide this weekend for reasons I can't entirely fathom. There was an offer, I said yes. Hopefully Kelsey's coming this time, and we can run amok. Though I have realised that there will be three of us in the back. I suppose it's a good thing two of us are skinny.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mwah Ha Ha *strokes fluffy white cat*

As promised, jealousy inspiring photos of recent acquisitions.

Only one of these fabrics is new, the top right stripe. I needed something to fill in as the 9th fabric for Helen's quilt and I got a few options, but I think this one jelled the best.


These were the other contenders, and I may still swap them in.


As well, I got a heap of pretty blue and green and grey ones. These are all quarter cuts (the above ones were too)


The top two are from the same range as a couple of the fabrics I got for my birthday, in variations we didn't get locally.


I really should have posted a picture of them earlier.

My only other quarter cut was this.


No actual plans, but it would make a damn cute tickertape.

Onto the half metre cuts.


The top two are part of a range we got locally, but these are my favourite of them and we didn't get them. How unfair. The loveheart trees match a panel of baby stuff I bought on fabric.com and was considering using for Esther's quilt (a long time ago.) The green umbrellas are bloody cute. The brown I picked because I want to do something brown one day, and the green because I think it would make cute monsters, and it was $6 a metre.


The stripe (60cm) and the blue (1m) came from Lincraft, who are still doing their 50% off fabric sale. I'm considering the stripe as a binding for the Soiree blog-header quilt, and the blue goes quite nicely with some of the fabrics from above. I think if Lincraft did 50cm minimums on their sales I would have bought a lot more - 60cm was all they had left of the stripe. The other two are Riley Blake fabrics from Spotlight, and make me cross that we don't get them in the mount, since they do consistently cute fabrics. The middle one with the flowers is one of my favourite fabrics ever.

All up that lot cost me some bum change over $100, and there was another $20 worth of bird fabric that I need to take to Helen tomorrow. In the meantime, I'm having an early (by my standards) night.


*Obviously I no longer have a cat, and if I did, it wouldn't be a fluffy white one. They shed something chronic, and no fabric would be safe.

Tired.

We are home safe, and, if I'm honest, I'm ready for bed.

How do y'all do this morning thing? I just cant.

Still, even though I'm thinking of bed, I'm also thinking I want to get started on clearing out my room. I'm 3 days behind now, and the boxes are out in the car. I'm also wanting to have a sortie of my new fabrics, put them with others and hope that they slot into the holes in some other projects I'm thinking of.

There's also the new project that I thought of on Monday, that I'd LOVE to make a start on. But, and this will sound a bit odd, I feel it's a quilt that should be made in the middle of the day. It's not a horror movie quilt, I just imagine it having a lot of back and forth from the kitchen where I iron to my bedroom where I sew.

Maybe because of that I should wait till my room's a bit more sorted in the hopes of ironing in my room. I dunno.

New episode of White Collar should be here in an hour or so. I'll fartarse till then, hopefully at least get myself unpacked and fabric-orgainsed.

Photos coming soon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jeez, have I really been awake that long?

My feet are killing me.

My boots are far and away my most comfortable shoes (since my only other shoes are my work shoes which are quite uncomfortable and a pair of $8 granny shoes from kmart that are like wearing socks with a cardboard insole) but putting them on at 6am and wearing them till 10pm is bound to make your feet ache a bit a huge bloody lot.

That said, I'm so hugely forgiving. Because they make me a million billion times cooler than I actually am. The way I feel about myself, the way I walk, the way I act is just, better. Especially in the city, strolling about in cowboy boots and my jeans, feeling awesome having done not absolutely nothing fashion-wise, while perfectly coiffed little fashion plates wandered past looking pouty and unhappy.

I'm just loving being me, and in the city I stand out a bit more as me. In the mount I'm just another happy girl in jeans and boots, today I was the ONLY happy looking girl in jeans and boots.

Very nice feeling. Good to be me.

So I came to the city to protest, and although I'm not totally au fait with regards to protest sizes, I haven't seen any on the news lately where the protesters couldn't fit on the pavement, and where they had 60 (yes, sixty) really big trucks with quite loud horns to back them up. There was much "what do we want"ing going on and I must admit to repeatedly thinking "for someone to give that poor man a butter menthol" because you couldn't really hear him at the end. But there was speeches and fist waving and quite a few TV crews, but we weren't in a very good spot because I'd been to the pub with the boys beforehand, and arrived from the wrong direction (ie, the direction of the pub). As you do.

Afterwards we went to Rundle Mall, and I of course went to Spotlight. I wasn't planning on getting anything much, since I'm trying to cut back till I get my room and stash sorted out. I left the store with absolutely nothing (I posted the previous post from my phone while waiting in line) because my pay doesn't go through till 6pm, and I only had about $50 left. I was planning on getting it all cut and put on layby so I could just pop in in the morning, and pick it up (I really don't mind paying the $2 layby fee) but they concluded that it would be easier to just leave my piles there and I could get them cut first thing. This of course is a massively bad idea, since I'll undoubtedly end up picking way more, and it's at about $90 already.

We decided to have a quick stop off at the casino before going out for tea, and because I'm a loser I immediately thought... ooh, that carpet pattern would make quite a nice quilt... but you're not allowed to use cameras in the casino and my surreptitious phone photo is hideously blurry. That's okay though, it was enough for me to draw it up in paint.


Those colours, while nasty, are roughly accurate. *shudder.* I have much prettier fabrics. What's more, it's two quite simple blocks.


I lost $2 on the pokies (I'm really not much into electronic gambling) but I think it was worth it. Patterns usually cost about $20 don't they?

After I insisted we go to my favourite restaurant in the whole wide world (Burnside Food and Wine Noodle Bistro) when we got there they were shut. Don't open Tuesdays (sob). But two shopfronts along is Royal Thai, and they're quite good too. Then, for reasons I don't entirely understand, we went to the Pancake Kitchen for dessert as well. Not only are my feet swollen, but my belly very muchly is too.

So tomorrow, me and my bitchin' new shirt* (excuse the mirror photo)...


...have to head back to Spotlight and get that fabric, and maybe see if we can find something in lime green for tomorrow's protest. This is a little one for the Flinders Uni Eating Disorder clinic, and I was gunna wear my fab green stripey jumper, but it might be warm again.

I wish my bitchin' shirt came in green.


*just so everyone hates me, it's a kids 12. Normally I go a 14 or a 16, but it was the biggest they had, and it was so bitchin', I couldn't not get it. Thus the top buttons not being done/doing up. But that makes it look even more bitchin'

P.S. I just want to give some thanks to my emergency internet connection, formerly of the box-of-everything in my car. Couldn't have done it without you buddy.

P.P.S. Helen, unless you let me know that you want more, I'll get you two metres of the bird fabric okay? They still have a heap left up here.
I am at rundle mall spotlight about to buy $90 worth of quuilting fabrics. Apologies to anyone taking february off but my store isn't as big as this one so I'm making the most of it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

So I got the okay from the will-be-eight-in-an-hour years-old sister, and at 6am (!) tomorrow morning I'll be leaving for Adelaide. As a result I wont be staying up till quite late sewing the excellent new project in my head, even though I bought the fabric for it today. Not sure why not, since the drive is right when I'm usually sleeping, and I've heard that the Holden Caprice has an excellent ride and very spacious back seats. What's more, Kelsey isn't coming anymore, so I wont be missing out on her fantastic witticisms if I have a nap.

What I have done tonight however is make Maddy a cute notebook cover as a birthday pressie, and turn a pair of flares from the salvos into normal bootcut jeans.

I also packed a change of clothes and sorted out my car foods, but I don't know that that's blog worthy.

So the rally is around the 1-2pm time frame, and I've no idea what's happening after that. Probably shopping. But I'm open to ideas and offers of icecream, if they're forthcoming.

Wednesday is the protest about the closure of the eating disorder unit at Flinders, and it's homeward we go after that.

I got something done!

Swag quilt is quilted!

It only took seven episodes of Bones: roughly five hours. Granted, a lot of them were spent watching Bones. But progress is progress.

Actually, I only finished piecing it less than a week ago. That's not such a bad turnaround, but it's felt like a very long week with not much achieved.

Now I need to try go to sleep as quickly as possible, and hopefully wake up before Maddy goes to school in the morning so I can have a talk with her.

I have to ask my soon to be eight year old sister for permission to attend two protests in as many days. How odd life can be sometimes.

I also need to ask my bank balance for permission, but that's fairly normal.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard...

Although I haven't actually gotten around to blogging about it yet, I'm currently on a massive milkshake kick. At least one a day for the last week, sometimes two. But because I usually make them in the middle of the night, when everyone's asleep, I needed a much quieter way than getting out the electric hand mixer.

Fortunately, there was an empty jar* in the dish drainer the first night I decided I really really wanted a milkshake. So I loosely half filled it with mint choc icecream, put some milk in too and shook it really really hard. Then I took the lid off, popped in a straw and drank it.

It was damn good. But a couple of days later, the jar disappeared. I switched to something plastic, which was also fantastic, and what's more the lid was easier to get off than the metal lid on the glass jar, which was a bit of a bugger.

Then the other day I had a daytime milkshake. Mum was quite surprised that I was using a jar, because "you can get proper ones, you know"

So she did.


I suppose, if you're just going to drink it out of the cup, it's a much better shape. But seriously, who does that? You need a straw to blow bubbles, and do the slurping thing at the bottom that irritates everyone. What's the point of a milkshake otherwise? But on the other hand, it's twice the size of the jar. Meaning you accidentally make twice as much milkshake as you need, and then you feel ergh.

Like I do right now. My advice: save yourself $3 and the icky feeling, and use an old jar.

In other news, you know those people that can bend spoons with their mind?


I can do it with my icecream.

It's okay though.


I made** it better.


*500g homebrand cocktail onions.
**Which is good, because I didn't make anything else today. Except the milkshake. Obviously.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Disclaimer: Slightly political. Read at own risk.

If I ever think what I've written is even slightly preachy, I will delete it. Being preached at is one of my absolute least favourite things, and, since I'm all for the "what goes around comes around" theory of everything, I make a point of not doing it.

Today though, things are a bit different, I have myself a soapbox, and I'll be hopping up on now.

My name is Sara. 23 years ago I was born in a hospital at the top of a hill. With the exception of probably an accumulated 6 months or so on holidays, I've spent my whole life around that hill.

That hill is Mount Gambier. Obviously, it's only a very small mount. It barely deserves an ain at the end. But the city surrounding this little mountain is home to around 24 thousand people. Another eight thousand or so live in the surrounding towns, making it the largest regional centre in South Australia.


According to wikipedia, the Mount's major industries "are agriculture, forestry, trucking and tourism." Wikipedia is wrong about a lot of stuff, but they're right on this count. We have lots and lots of farms with plants and cows too. Mount Gambier has more truck licenses and truck registrations per capita than anywhere else in Australia. We also have two of the big three trucking companies (K&S and Scott's). Last night it seemed like every second customer I put through was a tourist. And nearly 5000 people's jobs are tied to the local forests, which all on their own make up about 40% of the local economy.

This map doesn't have all the place names that the other one does.


But you see all those dark green bits? They're pine plantations. There's one about a kilometre from my house. You can't really come to the area without passing through them. That's how you know you're home - the asphalt on the road turns from red to blue, it gets colder and there's pine forests everywhere. Hayfever is really bad but pinetrees, growing them, cutting them down, turning them into woodchips, and board, and toilet paper at the local mills and factories, are so very much a part of this area.

The State Government owns these pines through Forestry SA. But they have decided that in order to fund election promises and keep the state's AAA credit rating, they may sell these forests to investors. Currently, Forestry SA has deals in place with the local mills and the toilet paper factory toward Millicent to supply them with wood. Most of what is grown in this area, having been planted some 37 years before by local people, cut down by local people and trucked by local people to local factories is then processed by local people. The value of the local pines themselves is only half their potential value, and that value could be lost if the pines are sold to foreign investors, who then simply take the logs overseas, where they can be processed in their own countries at lower cost for greater profit. With no cheap local logs to source, even more mills would close down, even more jobs would be lost.

A lot of the people I went to school with have moved away to the city. I was going to be one of them. But luckily for me, before I did, I realised, this is my home. I am far too local to leave. I find it sad enough that people who want to move away do so, but the prospect of locals who want to stay having to move away, because the jobs aren't here for them, the money isn't here for them, the services aren't here for them, it breaks my heart a little bit.

I go about my business in the Mount with the most powerful sense of this is where I am supposed to be. This is my town. This is my home.

If the politicians think they can sell it out from under me, they have another thing coming. Because there's another 20 thousand people who feel the same way. My home is not only my favourite thing. It's a favourite thing of most of my family, and so many of my friends.

Cold weather, blue roads and pine trees. I don't know that someone from the outside would even notice them. But that's how I know I'm home.

And there is no feeling nicer than being at home.

Bugger, Damn and Blast.

This morning, I got a call asking if I could come into work. Being a nice person, and of the hope that I might be able to use it as leverage to get more staff tomorrow night, I went in. Finishing at 4 gave am an hour to go to Lincraft and Spotlight, and get these.



There's 6.5 metres there, and it was about $25 for the lot. Then, as I was Heading to KFC for tea, I saw Casey and Steph's cars outside Flannies. So I went in. Then we went to the South Eastern for tea, and came home.

I started work on my Favourite things friday post, but it was kinda hard so I gave up when Casey suggested going to dero-oke at the Federal. It was even more dero than usual, so I spent a lot of it on facebook on my new phone, which is actually kinda a bit more difficult than my old phone. I run 3 programs (one to upload and comment, one to read other people's statuses, one to read any comments I get) and they all have some issues. I will keep looking, I think. The perfect app is out there somewhere.

So... Long story short... I've done no sewing at all.

Bugger.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nerd day.

Instead of sewing , I've spent the last hour drawing little squares all over an expanded version of the pattern for the swag quilt, in hopes of finding a nice point where you can cut it to an actual block to replicate and tile into a quilt.

I've come to the conclusion that it can't be done, and the next logical step is to have a bit of a strop.


That's not to say I didn't achieve anything today - my new phone is now running 3 versions of facebook, one of which works (for posting statuses at least - none of them efficiently read other people's statuses) I have moved over all my ringtones and discovered that I now struggle to use a directional pad after two whole days with the swirly ball thing.

I have tomorrow off, and I plan on putting down my phone, maybe going back to Lincraft for some more of that grey fabric (it was $3 a metre, people) and getting some quilting done.

Hopefully.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Whoopsie.

So, like, I know I wasn't supposed to, but when I went to Lincraft before work to get some zipper I accidentally bought myself 5 1/2 metres of fabric.

It was half price though, and most of it is lovely and bright.


I know what you're all thinking - that grey fabric is sooo not me. But interspersed with all the thinking about a really big rainbow quilt, is the desire to do something really nice and grown up.

How weird is that?

I also got 20 bag magnets for no reason except that they were $11. Which is much nicer than the $2-$3 each they usually cost.

And tonight, after spending and hour and a half of my shift at work calling Telstra 10 times* in an effort to help a customer with a $10 music voucher, I came home and made this.


Which has photographed really badly but actually looks quite nice.

One more day and then I have a day off. Then I have to miss the rodeo (though there have been offers to call in sick on my behalf) and then it's three weeks of holidays.

Very much looking forward to it.

*First guy was great, but got cut off. Next 8 calls went to the wrong department, no matter how many times I said "music" or pressed 5 and then 4, and not a single person in ADSL or wireless could either help or redirect me to someone who could. Tenth lady took 20 minutes to eventually inform me that because it randomly generates voucher numbers, it would inevitably re-create one eventually, which is why the voucher that got printed today is registering as being expired 2 years ago. "Tell the customer to go to a real telstra shop." You know what? It's ten fucking dollars. I've been paid twice that in the time I've been on the phone to you. How about I just give the lady another one. And why didn't I just do that in the first place?
This is why people should just download stuff illegally. By wasting my time, you're hurting the economy more than torrenting does.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

That really was a dumb idea...

I have spent the last 3 hours pressing, and cutting, and interfacing, and sewing and I really don't have anything to show for it. I haven't even finished the linings yet.

I'm making some more little purse pouches. I've decided to make a half dozen at once and it's taking bloody forever, because Casey was insistent they have the little card slots in the sides.

This is why quilt blogging is so much easier. In three hours I can have a whole top made, or at least laid out so the floor so I can take a photo. I'm hideously bored with this and I have nothing to show for it yet.

What's worse is that I decided to do this tonight instead of quilting the swag quilt for exactly that reason*. And I know that there's nothing to say I need to blog every day - indeed, I know of noone else who does - but it's nice at the end of the night, after having not said anything to anyone** for the last 3 hours, to spout out some words. They may be pointless, but at least I'm having my say.

I guess the thing is, to me this isn't really a quilt blog. It's just a blog about stuff I'm doing, or thinking about, and that happens to currently be quilts. More specifically, tonight what I'm doing is not quilting, and what I'm thinking is "I could be quilting right now"

Instead, I'm going to bed. When you start blogging to the tune of local car dealership jingles, it's clearly long overdue.


*Also, I had nothing to watch. Except a whole heap of No Ordinary Family, 3 seasons of Burn Notice on DVD and season 5 of Bones. Or maybe I didn't realise it at the time, but I wanted to do thinking instead.
**Except myself. And the fridge, and the iron, and my milkshake. And the sewing machine and the laptop and my shiny new phone which arrived today. Okay, I kinda just killed my own argument there. Here's a new one - the fridge has never even commented. Not once. So, new point, it's nice to spout words to people who care. (sing it so it sounds like the Barry Maney jingle if you've ever lived in The Mount)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday-itis

Some days, you achieve a lot.

Some days you don't.

Today was the latter.

I basted, but that was about it.

I also did a tiny bit of macrame. I bought the colours for the spectral quilt in embroidery cotton and I'm going to make them into a bracelet so I can have it with me in case I magically find some fabrics.

I worked out a full 18 by 18 version.


I'd need a yard of each to make it 210 by 210cm - queen sized. Maybe fabrics from this lady*. Specifically, from this colourwheel.


It's the only thing so far on my quilting bucket list. Apart from, you know, finishing all my WiPs and using up lots of my stash, but they don't count.

*Shay, just say no.