Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sorry.

I feel kinda bad that you all got really excited about my invention, but really, when I said I was the only one who needed it, I was telling the truth. Sorta. What I meant was, it's not something any of you guys will need. The most awesome thing about it in fact, is the way it demonstrates my thought process.

So here's the story. I've been getting a bit sick of lugging my laptop back and forth from the machine to the lounge so that I can keep watching whatever it is that I'm watching. I finally got my android tablet back after not one but two sisters decided they wanted to use it for a few weeks, so I thought, Hey, I'll watch stuff on that.

Problem is though, it doesn't stand up. I had a look a while back for plate stands, since they'd be perfect, but I couldn't find them any where. I had a go at elastic banding it to a photo frame, but the tension caused the plastic to crack. And then, last night, it came to me.


The Sausage Stand.

Basically what it is is four 10" bits of ribbon, sewn together into two tubes with a small narrow base connecting them, and stuffed. Original version had 6 bits of ribbon making two fat tubes instead of one fat and one narrow, but this doesn't get in the way of the very bottom of the screen like that one did.


You put the tablet in between the two tubes.


Front to the lower side
.

The cushionyness on the back holds it up.


And you wiggle it to a bit of an angle, and hey presto. Totally portable squishy little sausage stand.

I will admit, the corners are a bit inelegant, but hey. While everyone else is buying shmansy stands for their tables, I made mine from 50c worth of ribbon and a bit of stuffing.

My brain is the bomb. :)

I remember now...

Remember how I had a big whinge the other night about how much I hated doing backings but how I kept on doing them anyway to challenge myself and explore new things and keep myself from getting bored? Turns out I was wrong. This one's only half done (well, the blocks are pieced, which took way longer than it should have because I got distracted by a bloody brilliant invention that no-one but me will ever need but which I'm gunna make a proper version of tomorrow anyway) but it's So. Freaking. Gorgeous.

I wish I had the courage to do something like this for a top. I probably will eventually but this will do for now. I'm glad I decided to do this tonight rather than start the next mingle quilt. I might have missed the magic.

Photos tomorrow when it's all done :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stop judging me. I know you're doing it.

So I use Schmetz needles in my machine most of the time. Have for ages, even before I started quilting. My machine was probably chucking a hissy fit one day and someone probably told me to try the expensive needles. I'm a sucker like that. But now that I'm a quilter, there's another reason I keep using them, other than the fact that they're really good.






They're German, and they call them Stepp-Nadels. And I'm so in love with saying, or even thinking those words. Especially in a German accent. Stepp-Nadels is so, so much better than "machine quilting needles". So much better. And that's why I don't buy the cheap ones, even though these are $9 a pack. It's worth it, just so I can say (or even just think to myself) today, I got some new Stepp-Nadels. There's some Stepp-Nadels in my handbag. I used my 15% off coupon on Stepp-Nadels.

I'm such a child sometimes. Stepp-Nadels. (tee hee hee)

I'm thinking...

Progress has been made with the room sorting, though after spending half the day at it and being maybe 1/3rd done, I'm way past ready to call it a night. Six tubs of random stuff, including two tubs of fabric, have been moved to the shiny new shed. There's 3 tubs still in my room - Two are holding up the extended arm of my sewing machine cabinet, and one has my to-be-backed-sometime-soon quilts in it.

Obviously because of the pulling apart of the room, I got no sewing done today whatsoever. I have however come up with quilt #49, and it's going to be my third quilt in Mingle - this time in the purple, green and brown colours.


There's not really any math to this one, and I hate to say it, but there will be waste - not like me I know but I'm going back to one of my very early patterns, actually, the block is the same as on the 3rd quilt I made.


Except that the inside of each star will be the one fabric, and so will the outside of each star, and I'm gunna do it bigger than the three by three shown there - my original retro quilt was 3 1/2 by 4 and I'll be doing it that size.

I'm going to either quilt or make backings for two more quilts, and then (and I hope it's soon) get started.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Done. Sorta. Just.

Sometimes, you've got to suck it up and tell yourself "Look, if you do it tonight you wont have to do it tomorrow."

Sometimes, that's enough to get it done, if not done well.

The colours don't look this horrible in real life, I promise.

Whenever I piece my backings, I like to do so on a diagonal, so that I don't have to match my back to my front before I straight line quilt. If the alignment is meant to be wrong, it doesn't matter if it's a little bit too much or too little wrong. A regularly intersected line is as well quilted as an echoed line. As a result, I'm quite cross with myself for putting that horizontal line smack bang across the middle, but really, right from the beginning this was always going to be a bit demented - as the queen of pre-planning and quilt math, you would think I could have realised before I started that if you align your four big triangles to the corners of a rectangle, they wont meet in the middle and so maybe that's not the best plan. By tonight it was very much a case of "just do what needs to be done to get the damn thing quiltable" and I did. Just. It's a good thing I do wide bindings, especially on the back, because there's some places where it just doesn't fit.

I solemnly promise and swear to think a bit more about the back of the next quilt I do, before I start hacking into the fabrics.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hooray!

I think the thing that annoys me most about pieced backings is that they are a completely unnecessary evil. They're not like bindings, which you have to do, and so I always get part way through and wonder why the hell I'm doing it. I don't have to... I've got plenty of full width fabrics I could use. I could be doing plenty of better things instead.

But I keep on deciding to do fancy pieced backs. For reasons I can never remember when I'm part way through. Something to do with constantly challenging myself so I don't get bored, or, more likely, making me appreciate my lovely geometric repeating patterns.

Because I never do them for my backs. I always go for some crazy random angles and piece as you go techniques. Which are so very not me. Which probably explains why I got halfway through tonight and gave up. But hey, progress, remember? And I got the monster patterns scanned and posted, and even managed to fit in a little self indulgent icecream and Mythbusters.

I hereby declare tonight to be a resounding success! To celebrate, here's an advertising banner that popped up tonight alongside my emails:


Hooray!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Make your own Monster Mash.

The night is young (ish) but this isn't a proper post, it's just some bits and pieces of monsters. Heads, Bodies, Arms, Legs and Horns, most of which are interchangeable. The pictures are big - pretty much A4 size, so they will all fit together as they are, but feel free to scale, stretch or skew to your hearts content. Add extra arms or legs, use a head as a body or vice versa. Monsters are meant to be unique.

There's also a few mouths at the bottom, but all you need is something round of about the right size and to add some teeth. Give them as many or as few eyes as you want to too.

When I make these monsters, I sew and stuff any extremities (arms, legs, horns etc, and don't stuff your body pieces super firm, it's much easier if they're still squishy) and then sew them into the seams of the main body part - you line your body pieces up right side facing and tuck the pieces in so that the open end of the arm or leg is sewn closed between the edge seam of the body pieces. Sometimes this can be a bit difficult. If the arms extend into the crotch area (they often do) then sew the arms into the sides and also down and across the bottom of the legs/feet, then stop, shift the arms so they're more in the legs (they need to lay as flat as possible while you're sewing them into the seams, otherwise they end up pointing in all sorts of weird directions) and then sew around the crotch. If you have arms or legs crossing over, sew them one at a time with the other one shoved out of the way.

Because of the already stuffed bits you then have to turn out, make sure you leave a bigger turning hole to fit them through. This also goes for the use of big glass eyes.

Clip your curves. it doesn't matter so much with the outward ones, like at the ends of hands and feet, but for your inner ones, like necks and crotches, it's really really important. Really.

Most importantly, have fun with them. It doesn't even matter if they have differently aligned arms or one leg shorter than the other. It's a monster, and they're like that, you know.



Should just point out, that when you click on the pictures, they should open up to be full size JPEGs, about 200kb each. Right click and save or print or whatever.

I scream... you scream...

Thank you all so much for your responses, I did some more asking around at work tonight and got way more left on tops than right on tops. Just want to clarify that I do mean fingers fully interlocked as well, and a change to the opposite meaning a full shift for each finger into the next gap. Unfortunately I can't take a photo, since, well, my hands are clasped together and I can neither hold the camera or press down on the shutter button while demonstrating. Bugger.

What I've decided I want now is a room full of very small children (maybe 2 or 3 years old) so I can see if they've got their preference already loaded or if they're cool with whatever. Is it fixed, like being left or right handed, or is it something you pick up in your earlier days, and then your body becomes accustomed to it? I'd also like some full upper body, arm and hand x-rays, to see if there's any minute differences from one side to the other, so that one way fits better than the other. But I don't really see myself getting either of these on an "I'd really quite like" basis, so I'll just have to go on asking random people.

Moving on, today before work I drew up nice A4 sheets of monster patterns so I can scan them in at some point in the near future, but not just now because it will wake up Barry. Then work, which was quite fun since we turned off half the lights for Earth Hour, and that make it feel exotic and interesting, even though it was actually a boring Saturday night. Then, since Casey was in the lounge and I didn't want to interrupt her snoring with the sound on my laptop as I worked on piecing some backings, I sat in my room and hand sewed my felt lobster demo and watched Mythbusters. It's taking a very long time, but I have a lot of Mythbusters episodes.

Hopefully around work tomorrow I can get these patterns scanned, write up some instructions, make a heap more progress on this lobster and maybe piece one of the simpler backs on my really quite long list. I bought more pins today so I can start basting if and when I do.

Or maybe I'll just eat icecream and watch more Mythbusters. That might happen instead. I got some of the good icecream today too. Actually, I might go get some now. 2am is a perfectly good time for icecream. Any time is a perfectly good time for icecream.

Friday, March 25, 2011

So, um, this is a bit weird, but...

So I know I'm a bit late but work, and spaghetti night, and the pub, all got in the way. Bastards.

I really like thinking about stuff. Important stuff sometimes, like economics and world hunger and the key to happiness, but usually pointless stuff. My current unimportant question requires a wee bit of back story.

In South Australia, numberplates for the last 30 odd years have been alpha numeric* - 3 letters and 3 numbers. They started off beginning with R, then S, T was only for trailers, U, V, W and X, with Y being for trailers one the Ts ran out. They didn't bother with Zs (don't know why) and once all the Xs had run out, they changed to being an S, then 3 numbers, then 3 letters, now starting with A. But with the old set, ambulances had special AMB ### plates. What I want to know is, did the DMV issue S###AMB plates? Or did they keep them for the new ambulances? I don't think they would have more than 1000 ambulances in South Australia, so surely as one is retired it can give it's rego to another, but if I see a plate with an AMB on it, I'm assuming ambulance, and getting out of the way. But that may just be me. If anyone has an SA plate with the letters AMB, which isn't an ambulance, let me know.

My long term thing I think about a lot is even more pointless. And I've been thinking about it on and off for well over a decade. And you can all help give me even more to think about it.

Step one. Clasp your hands together, with your fingers interlocked.

Step two. Note which thumb is on top, left or right. My left thumb is on top.

Step three. Tell me which it is, as well as if you are left or right handed, and if you are male or female.

Step four. Get the same information from your husbands, kids, parents, neighbours, colleagues and random strangers on the street. Tell me that too.

Step 5. Think about it.

This may seem like the most pointless thing in the world to worry about. It probably is. And although I've been asking people since the beginning of high school which way they clasp, and saying hmm, and then asking if they're left handed or right handed, and then saying hmm again, I've never found a correlation, or written my findings down. But with your help, I will have even more to think about. I may even get to draw a graph.

I like generating graphs.

*P.S. I know all this from observation. I really like number plates.

FML. I've lost my ability to shop.

Some days I'm just really really dumb. It started with a typo in the last post's title, which, probably, none of you noticed. And then, today, I went to Spotlight to get red felt to make a tutorial version of Alan, and red cotton, and stuffing, for the new Alan and Kelsey's version of Charlie. And I bought... none of them. They had no red felt, so I got purple, and matching cotton, and then I completely forgot the stuffing. I then went to Lincraft, looking for red felt, got some, but completely forgot the cotton. And the bloody stuffing, which I needed way more than the felt or the cotton. Bloody Hell!

I'm blaming work, since I got suckered in to going today. And tomorrow. My two consecutive days off, which the unions say I have to have at least once each 10 days, have gone. Buh bye. And not only have I lost my sewing days, I've also lost my one true ability - shopping.

Since I can't shop, I've concluded I can't really do anything useful today. So I've been watching Mythbusters, and eating massive quantities of chocolate.

I'm still good at that, at least.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Whoops. I need to lay of the TV shows...

I've just watched 6 straight episodes of Chuck. And as a result, all I've made tonight is Kelsey's stubby holder. Which I can't show you till Friday, cause, it's for Kelsey.

What I can show you is the fabrics I bought today.


The bottom four are to do the back for the mingle twist quilt,  the top ones are for yet another mini stairways quilt. I'm a little bit addicted, I need help.

There's double of the green spotty, cause that's for the Charlie I'm making for Kelsey.

Congrats on getting out, girl. May the diet coke be with you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

He can't bite your finger - he's go no mouth.

I just spent the last hour sitting on the loo, playing jawbreaker on my palm pilot.

I might be willing, for one night only, to admit that the people who think I'm wasting my life, may just have a point.

Thankfully, one wasted hour does not a wasted day make. Instead, in one day I made:


Ellanor





And Alan.

And then, after tea, I made these.


Which is handy, since I've lost the one I took up to Adelaide. It's probably out in the car. Please note the Jim Beam can isn't mine, it's just all that was in the fridge.

I love the idea of selvedge stubby holders so much better than just about anything else made of selvedges. For a start, you need so little - the blue one, where I've shown some fabric as well, used 11 bits of 10cm selvedge, as well as the backing fabric with selvedge attached to be one binding and a coloured selvedge as the other binding. But better than that, it's so much more out-there than a selvedge quilt or a cushion. Because lets face it, anyone who's in your house to see it probably knows you're a quilter anyway, whereas a stubby holder, getting out there in the real world, will let you be recognised as a quilter by other quilters. People you may have known for ages but neither of you knew the truth about the other. It's like a secret symbol.

I make mine velcro up, because it's easier than trying to sew around or closed. Except I get most of it done and can never find my bit of velcro. I need to go buy some more tomorrow before work, so I can go make Kelsey's.

I need to get some fabric too, now that I've tested my new dinosaur/dragon pattern (perfect in every way, except I need to not stuff the arms so much and make sure my feet are at the same height) so that I can make a proper version for Kelsey. Charlie will probably stay living with me and Ellanor (whose design needs a bit of work - she has very bad cellulite) and Alan, who I think will maybe be my first ever toy pattern put online, since he seems pretty perfect too. I'm gunna suggest though - don't do him like I did, interfacing batting to his fabrics and sewing him with it attached so there'd be enough padding in his tail, spending 45 minutes slowly turning him right way out, then hand sewing his lines on and stuffing his head. Use felt, and sew him right side out. It will be about a million billion times easier. Even with the hand sewing.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It just keeps on coming...

So it's back to the grind. I started work at 2 today, but after 3 days of pre-9am wakings, I did a proper sleep in. Got up at 12. Had a shower. Got to the post office with just 20 minutes before work, having not yet had lunch.

There was three blue cards in the box. No actual mail, just 3 blue package cards.

Now I know I was expecting a pack from fabricshack.com, since I'm a complete sucker for their $7 postage. Their fabrics could be terribly overpriced, and I'd probably still go "yes, but fabricshop.com would charge me $45 to post that fabric" and I wouldn't even be lying to myself. There was a pack from ebay too, but I wan't expecting that one for a week or so, since Australia Post have really slowed lately - apparently it's customs holding everything up but I don't care, if you used to be able to get me my fabric from America in under a week, you should still be able to. It's just I no longer expect you actually will.

The third pack was a heap of Cocky's Circle books I bought on ebay for Maddy but had completely forgot about. This happens a lot to anything that isn't fabrics.

So, (not including the books) here's what I got.

First up is the binding/possibly part of the backing fabric for the Soiree Header Quilt.


It's actually from the range Summer Soiree, which has nothing to do with the actual Soiree line, in fact it's from a completely different manufacturer, it's just that it happens to have pretty much exactly the same colours. I've shown half the width of the fabric there - Those stripes are fat. This was an eBay one, and I bought the last 3 yards the guy had left.






The orange smudge and the purple smudge are from the eBay guy too, while the yellow and the pink are fabricshack.com. There's a yard of each. I'm buying a lot of solid pinks in the quest for the perfect one. That one's a Benartex.


These are half yards and no joke, the pink in this one (Bright Pink - Kona) is exactly the same shade. The brown spotty fabric and the blue and green geometric are eBay.


I got a half yard each of the second colourway of Nutmeg. I've got a project going in the first colourway which I need to make a back for soon. Not sure whether I'll use these for that or do a completely new project with them. But that's the joy of stashing, right?


More central park. More laying out and cooing. Half yards. I'm thinking I could maybe do the zigzag with prints instead of colours, but I'm not sure.

Of course, all of this is wonderful now that I've got to take them out and fold them how I like them and coo over them and take pretty pictures of them and show them off, but it wasn't as much fun at work this afternoon, knowing they were out in my car waiting to be looked at.

Because I was busy cooing I didn't make Kelsey's dinosaur/dragon toy tonight, but I have tomorrow off (Yay!) so that's my only plan.

Except for maybe some more cooing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"...Dah dah, duh duh duh dah, duh duh duh dah, duh duh duh dunnn..."



It was a day and a bit ago in a capital city 
approximately 4 and a half hours drive away,
when a young country lady went to a fabric 
store to meet someone she'd only 
ever talked to online before...

Sorry. The geek in me couldn't resist, especially after the last line of Shay's post. So here's my side of the story.

I left the backpackers early - about 9.30. I was hoping to be there at 10.30ish but I had no idea really how long it was going to take. The guy at the backpackers charged me 30 cents to print out another "Save $40" voucher, but you don't have to be a maths whiz to work out why I didn't mind that much. I got there a bit before 10, and then realised I only had Shay's home phone. I went in anyway, got completely overawed by the fabrics, and... well, I may have stood there open mouthed, possibly with a little drool hanging out, or maybe I went into an immediate fabric pulling out frenzy. I had a half dozen on my pile when I got an SMS from Shay, but by the time she got there, the pile had had to be moved to a bench with a little more structural integrity. It still insisted on toppling as soon as you stopped looking at it for a second.

Some backings - both 1m, the orange is standard 112 wide quilting and the green is a 144 wide cotton poplin.
You know what Shay's like on her blog? Well, in real life, she's pretty much exactly the same, except you can hug her. My pile was pretty comprehensive before she arrived, so I was quite happy to sit on the floor and do some maths for her while she picked some. It was for Bec the Sarcastic Quilter's pink version of the paper piecing quilt, except with 36 blocks instead of 20. So fabric requirements of 1.5 yards per colour, divided by 20 and then times by 36 came out to about 2.7 yards. Then, while Shay did some indecisiveness, I got properly stuck into some of the toughest quiltmath I've ever faced*. I've refined it since then, and some measurements have shot up once I actually read the information so far as to why extra is good, but really, I've just done it for the fun of the math. I know many of you think there is no fun in math, but if you poke and prod them long enough, the numbers really do dance.

They had some Flourish, which is what I used for Kelsey's quilt. I got a half metre of each.

Shay's assertion that it took two trips to the counter is not entirely accurate, as I had already dumped a couple of rolls there before she arrived, so it was technically three trips. Nor did I rugby tackle any little old ladies; a discreet turn while holding a long roll of fabric, which hits them in the guts and winds them would be more my fabric-store-fighting-style. But sadly it's not the first time I've had a little old lady come up to me and say "whatever do you need all that fabric for dear?"

Why doesn't my local store have any Riley Blake fabrics? There's a half metre of each.
It was all I could do to not wet myself as she went back to her friend and said "Ooh, she's a quilter. But not from around here" And then about a dozen women started talking about me while I was not 5 feet from them. They're just jealous.

Various other half metre cuts.
The ladies behind the counter called for some reinforcements. When I was working at Spotlight we probably would have fobbed them off to the furnishings counter.

Random 25cm cuts.
As always, but the time it was all cut, the pile that made all the ladies chatter was disappointingly small.


Just under two hands high once it's all folded neatly. But that's 10.5 metres there, and it cost me around $80, so I'm pretty pleased with that.

Shay wanted some browns too, so we went to the Lincraft up the road too. I got a couple of books for Kelsey to have a go with, but no fabric. Shay doesn't have a Lincraft card, so I scanned mine - it probably earned me enough points to go buy her another repro bundle from the local. We most have both psychically known we were going to get some stash from the other - Shay has given me my first ever charm pack.


Of course, I have no idea what to do with it.


So I've just laid it out and cooed over it for a bit.

After Lincraft we went to the KFC across the road and gasbagged about anything and everything for over an hour. I didn't eat my chips, because by the time I was done laughing and talking, they were cold.

In spite of the chips, it was pretty much a perfect day. I went to Marion on the way to the hospital to see if I could find a cable to play the laptop through the big telly, but noone had one, so I went to the Big W and bought my work shoes again. I went and got satay sticks, again, for tea, and I watched Tangled and drew up some soft toy patterns, while Kelsey sewed a cat and Areysha (not positive on the spelling, but Kelsey's roommate) felted a ball. I may have used up all the nice weather for my perfect day, because today was quite grey, and a bit drizzly. But Kelsey wanted some felts before I went home, which seemed like the perfect excuse to go to the Melrose Park Spotlight store.

25cm each of the top three and 1.5m of the rainbow diagonal. Small world - I was served by someone I went to primary school with.
And then, because my work shoes had only been $15 this time, I went to another Big W, to see if I could find them again. I did, and I also found this.


Doesn't look like much, and it was in amongst some real rubbish, but look:


Good find for $3 huh?

Even though that was my last bit of fabric bought for the trip, I still have the fabrics I got on Friday from Rundle Mall to show you.

These are fat sixths - weird cut I know, but they were a cute bundle for $10, minus what was saved with the voucher.
This is the rest of what I got from Spotlight - A metre of the yellow which never arrived at our store, as well as the brown batik and the rainbow flowers and leaves on brown, both of which I bought on the last trip too. There's a half of the two pinks and the green spot, and I got 20cm of the buttons for Helen, cause they're cute.
And a smattering of Lincraft purchases. 30cm of the cats and the pink stripe, and whatever was left on the bolt of the grey/brown check, which, again, I already have a heap of.
And now I'm home safe, with no money and more fabrics I need to find room for. But I still have 3 more satay sticks - I was waiting at the restaurant at 5pm for them to open so I could get some to bring home. It meant I did some driving in the dark, but so what? The thunder and the rain kindly waited till I got home and unpacked my car, but it's getting pretty heavy now.

I guess a whole lot of fabric isn't the only thing I brought down with me.


*Bec, if you want some more precise amounts, I may have them already worked out for you. They're not uber precise - I've basically worked out triangles to cover the long point and left the other edge with some right angled overhang. But I've kinda guessed your measurements, so it could all be a bit skew whiff.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Change of plans.

So I'm still in Adelaide. Kelsey's dad got here about 4 and said I could stay with them if I wanted. And Kelsey seemed to be enjoying the company so I stayed too.

Now, what I should do next is tell you all about my day. But I'm worried it will be a bit of a spoiler of Shay's big post tomorrow. Suffice to say, she isn't a creepy old guy in a trench coat, but is instead everything I was expecting. Nice and funny and completely ready to blame me for all her fabric purchases. I've devised a cover for her "Yes, but you should see how much Sara bought" though she's probably worked that one out for herself. When all the ladies in the line start gossiping about "what ever can that girl need all that fabric for?" you know you're shopping right.

But now I've run out of money (Though to my mind, still having a couple of hundred is broke - I like to be covered for any emergencies that crop up) so it's a) a good thing I didn't go to Lucindale and b) a good thing my car is full of petrol, and very efficient. When I filled up today it read an average of 6.1L per 100km, and that was the city driving as well as the distance stuff. $33 I put in, I filled up in Naracoort, which is about 100km past my house, so it's probably used about 30 litres for the whole trip.

Which meant I had more money to buy fabric. So I did.

Life: it happens whether you see it coming or not.

Firstly, I'd like to say I skulled 3 drinks in 30 minutes, so this will be even more rambling than my post about driving.

Secondly. I'd like to thank Kelsey, the Bitchin' Rock Star from Mars, for calling me upon request, and allowing me to escape from Darren, who's English, and thinks Australia is 30 years behind England, and that all immigrants should be shot in the head. Except him, since he's thinking about staying here.

Thirdly, I've written my first ever nice letter on blog #3, go write a letter, to the barman. It too is drunken and rambling, but, if I say so myself, quite sweet.

I've also written a letter to the guy in the beat up Supra. That's the usual mean Sara though.

Soooo...

Um.

Well, first actual bit of blogging is stuff that I forgot. I realised by the time I got into town (I met the 'rents at maccas before I left) that I'd left my frozen bottles of water, meant to keep my esky cold, in the freezer.

Then, shortly after I bought ice at Tailem Bend, I realised I'd left the 3-way 12v splitter in the van of love. I was gunna put 2 GPS devices head to head, and see which one was better*, but instead I stuck with mine, which performed flawlessly in every respect except it took my straight to the Clipsal parking and grandstands when I said I wanted to go to Rundle Mall. I just kept heading in what I thought was the right direction, and it kept on recalculating, and we got there fine.

The other thing I forgot? Um, well, the kinda important save-$40 vouchers that Helen printed out for me. They're at home, in a neat pile with the mail that's for us girls. Bugger. But Helen has forwarded me the email, and the backpacker place appears to have some kind of printing setup, so I should be fine.

Next is the story of my day. The first two and a half hours of the drive kicked arse. I have burned possibly the best beginning-of-roadtrip CD in the whole of human history. But then, right when the roads turn brown, I got bored. I sent Mum some SMS's to that effect, but she was unmoved. Seems it's only okay to be bored if you're in the passenger seat and have some handy movies to watch**

After Tailem Bend I got psyched again. Taylor was having a bit of a strop though The Hills on the way home last tiome we came up, but this time she was great. I even saw a BnS ute, and we were both at Longernong together last year (I didn't recognise it, but it had the sticker). So that was nice. After my GPS took me to see all the Clipsal parking lots and the back of some grandstands, I went to Rundle Mall, the plan being to spend $100 on fabrics at the Spotlight there and use a voucher. I did, and I did, but they're in the car, so no photos tonight, sorry.

I also got myself some lollies (guinea pig poo - I assume they have a real name but they're the little pink pellets from Darryl Lea) and bought some felt chocolate making kits from Morning Glory, which is a toats*** cute shop near the big food court that sells Japanese stuff.

After I found Taylor (it took some time, since where she was parked said level 2 on one side and level 3 on the other (it was level 2) I went to Burnside Food and Wine Noodle Bistro, which has possibly the bestested food in the whole entire world. It's so good, I'm gunna drive home in the dark tomorrow night, so I can have it again. Satay chicken sticks, 3 for $5.90. I'd pay twice, three times that much. They are so freaking good. I ate a double serve of them in the carpark of the Burnside Shopping Plaza, since I had to go there and get myself some coke (and Kelsey some diet coke)

The only bad thing about these satay sticks is you can't eat them while you're driving.

Then it was off to Kelsey to make some felt chocolates. I stayed till about 10, which is after visiting hours, but meh. We're rebels without a clock.

I love her. She's so beautiful. If I could dump the contents of my brain into her, so she could see all the great things I see, I would. I used words tonight, but they aren't quite expressive enough - tomorrow I may try interpretive dance. We talked to Helen on Skype but I forgot to put the movies on her laptop. Must remeber that tomorrow. She made 3 felt chocolates and I made two, but in my defence, I was using felt coconut.

Once I got to Cannon St Backpackers (where I'm staying) I found out that reception had closed at 8.30, despite the fact that the website had allowed me to list my arrival time as 9pm. I figure this was shoddy web programming, and went back to the car to have a look on the internets. It said that if I didn't stay I'd still get charged the $58, and that pissed me off. There's a bar attached to the backpackers, and I formulated this conversation in my mind.

Me: (Asks for  a drink, depending on stock and price)
Bartender: (Gives me drink) Hi, where are you from?
Me: Mount Gambier, down south.
Bartender: So are you here for Clipsal?
Me: No, I'm here to visit my cousin in hospital, but I stayed late there and now I've got here the Backpackers is closed
Bartender: Did you have a booking?
Me: Yes, Sara Hosking. Should be a twin room, with about $58 to pay?
Bartender: Ah yes, Here's the key. $58 please.

And, do you know, it went pretty much excactly like that, except the drinks were passionfruit Cruisers ($4.50 each), The room still had $58.50 to pay and his part was spoken in a Kiwi/Maori accent. Which is all jolly good.

Then, because Kelsey had said she'd buy me $15 worth of Raspberry Twists if I hooked up with a backpacker, I had a couple more, until Darren (insert Duh Duh Duuuh here) started talking to me. Darren seemed quite nice at first, talking about Manchester United (AFL is still a whole week away, so I can overlook, for now) and the ability of a true English breakfast to cure a hangover but annoyingly, it wasn't long before he started talking about how Australia was 30 years behind England (something to do with their economy being better, except they had recession and we didn't, and the fact that out beer is stored in fridges, and theirs is stored in (some kind of hand gesture that apparenly means something 30 years ahead of fridges)) and about how immigrants to England should all be taken out and shot. Except that he'd just talked about emigrating to Australia, but apparenly this is okay because he's really into politics and he did a bit of an engineering degree and he's diesel mechanic. So that makes it okay. I sent a "help - please call me" message to Kelsey and she kindly obliged - I could have faked it but I wanted to share the horror. After all, it was her fault. She's kindly offered $7.50 worth of Raspberry Twist for my efforts. I've accepted.

And now I'm in my room, eating the rest of my chicken and cheese from today in a hope that it will ward off any hangover in a better way than Darren's English breakfast could.



Tomorrow, I get to meet my first "person off the internet" - Shay, I very much hope you don't turn out to be a creepy 50 year old man like everyone expects "people from the internet" to be.


I don't. This is what I think people from the internet are like.






I'm aiming to leave here before ten and head straight to Clovercrest Spotlight (429 Montague Rd, Modbury), or if you wanna do afternoon, message me and let me know.

*in my mind, when you do this, they start talking to each other "No, don't listen to that bitch. It's the third exit. Trust me."
**I hope she reads this.

***toats is a word that gets used a lot in our house - it's short for totally.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Road Trip Day!

I'll be honest. right now, as I'm typing this, it feels like Thursday night. It's actually 2am Friday morning, I should be in bed, but my CD is burning and if I can get this done now, sweet.

I've been tossing up whether to stick with my favourite thing this Friday, or revert back to just liking everyday things. I maintain that it's the key to happiness (you should have heard me try to explain to my Mum tonight how cheese was the answer to all the ills of the world) but it is Favourite Things Friday, not Stuff I like cause it makes me happy even though it's quite mundane and insignificant but even so I think we should appreciate how great it is that we live in a world where we have access to (insert thing here), Friday*.

So, an actual favourite thing. Except, today it wont be. Today, it will leave me stiff, and achey and exhausted.

There's a one in four chance that as you read this (so long as it's still Friday somewhere in the world) I will be doing it. I'm anticipating about 14 hours of it over the course of the next two days.

So my favourite, and least favourite thing? Driving. I'm torn between "I get to drive all the way up to Adelaide on my own!" and "Ergh, I have to drive for 5 straight hours tomorrow. and then drive some more in the city. Ergh."

15 months on, the thing I miss most about my ex is the 30 minute drive to his house. Back roads, with really good bends, which were never ever policed and could be driven at slightly ridiculous speeds, especially the 4km flat straight. At night with the moon and the stars, and the music on loud. Now, I have to make do with the highway; no bends, lots of cops, 60 and 100km speed limits.

Tomorrow, for 5 hours, I have control of the music. I can talk to my car without anyone in the passenger seat looking at me like I'm weird. I can say "Swift" every time I see one, which, surprisingly, is a lot less in the city. I can stop where I want, go where I want, take corners at what speed I want without someone criticizing me. It will be me, and my girl Taylor, for 500 fantastic kilometres.

By the time you read this, I could be there. I could already be hating driving, and parking, and the fact that Taylor doesn't ride quite as comfortably long-distance as BJ did. But just now, looking forward to it.

I'm stoked. I get to go for a drive.


*and lets all be grateful that it isn't, cause I don't know that all that would fit on a button.

I've probably forgotten something...

I have packed my food. I have packed my craft. I have packed four GPS devices, so that even if three shit themselves, I'll still be okay.

I have charged up my phone, started downloading Rango and decided that I will drive with my work shoes on, but leave my boots in the passenger footwell so I can put them on when I reach the city.

I have decided to skip going to Lucindale, because I have two pairs of boots, and I can only wear one at a time*, whereas a quilt can use as many fabrics as you want.

I have six vouchers, but only plan on going to two Spotlights. I've asked the internet for BigW stores, so I can buy my work shoes again, for when this pair dies.

I have gotten my emergency internet connection back off of Mum. And the laptop's car charger. But I need to get the three way 12v splitter out of the caravan of love.

Now I need to go wash my hair, set the laptop to encode Tangled so I can drop it off to one of the girls at work in the morning, and go to bed.

Obviously, as ever, there won't be a lack of blogging while I'm away. The internet is everywhere, people, even if my phone refuses to post to blogger. That's okay, I can turn it into a wifi router and post from my palm pilot.

Should I take one or both?

Yeah, both. Adelaide, here we come...


*okay, yes, I could put one from each pair on each foot.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

I very nearly went to bed without doing a post...

My laptop is working very hard right now to encode a divx file to a DVD. Poor thing is running at about 95°c right now, so I'm typing this up on palm pilot #2, because I don't want to lose the place I'm at in the ebook that's running on palm pilot #1. For the record, palm pilot #1 still has all the silver on it's power button. Other than that, they're identical.

Anyway, tonight, since I was feeling guilty about my complete lack of crafting progress, I bound the pink, orange and brown mini Stairways to Heaven quilt. Not that well, if I'm honest - my worries about bias cut binding were completely founded. I don't have one of those top-and-bottom-feeding feet that some people are massive fans of; well, I do but I think it's munted, since a) I'm not a massive fan of it because b) it doesn't feed at the top. It moves up and down, and gets in the way of me being able to grip and pull the fabric through. I just use a 40+ year old foot, polished smooth by literally miles of fabric. It usually works pretty good, but, to noones surprise, the fabric stretched and bunched and generally acted annoying. I've chucked it in the wash, so it should look better when it comes out, but I'll stick with straight cut binding, thanks.

Today before work I went to Spotlight and spent up on 20% off crafting supplies - I got a half dozen sculpeys for $3.20 a pop and some whole kits for air dry animals that were the same. And a sewing kit for a cat that's toats cute, and some bright tapestry wools and 20cm of tapestry... whatever you call it. It's not what I'd call fabric, but, you know, the stuff you tapestry on to. I'll draw some patterns on some and leave some blank. I considered going to the toyshop too - they usually have some cute kits but it was nearly 2.30 and I had to go to work.

Damn work, cutting into shopping and crafting time...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On Top Of Spaghetti...

Quilting-wise, I'm finding it quite hard to get motivated this week. It could be that I'm getting masses and masses of internet and a new reset date, and as usual I'm desperate to use it all up before it resets a week early, so I'm downloading and watching new shows at a feverish rate. Or it could be that I've limited myself to quilting and binding, and boy is that a downer.

Good news though, Lincraft sent me a $10 voucher, though I'm gunna wait till thursday to use it just in case my beloved 8fq bundles go on sale next week. You never know. And Spotlight sent us out a Spend $100 Save $40, just in time for me to take it to Adelaide. I might even get Helen to print me a spare or two (did you know you can do that? if you get the special vouchers emailed to you, you can just print out a many as you want!) Just in case I feel the need to go off at more than one store. I've found 6 in Adelaide, though Gepps Cross has been established as a bit shite, Melrose Park is apparently all homewares and Munno Parra and Noarlunga are a wee bit out of my way. Still, with just Rundle Mall and Clovercrest, that's a 200% increase in apparently quite good Spotlight stores in Adelaide compared to the Mount.

See what I did there? That's how you make maths your bitch. You can make the numbers say whatever you want if you try hard enough. What I want them to be saying is "your dinner is ready" - they do this by sitting on my oven and reading 12.05. 3 minutes to go.

Apart from cooking myself some spaghetti, all I've really achieved today is one of my usual overwritten lists. I'm the queen of the lists; big, expansive ones with sub-lists and a tendency to get lost within 15 minutes of being written, but that's okay cause then I can write another one.

*short break to eat spaghetti*

*back, but with the meatball song stuck in my head, despite the fact that I have my spaghetti without sauce*

I've hung onto this list for nearly 3 whole hours now, which is jolly good, since it's got some useful stuff.

Up the top: "sculpey/fimo!?!?"

Because when you're not sure what crafts people want to do/have the tools/skills/space to do, sculpey/fimo (whichever I can get cheaper, since it's kinda the same) is the answer. Even if they don't have an oven, I can bring it home and bake it. I need to look up some easy tutorials online, but I think it's a winner.

Somewhere in the middle: "how to smuggle contraband into rehab???"

I'm not sure. I've heard others are doing it and I'd appreciate some tips, but so far it's either put it into a real coke bottle, at which point it goes flat, or be sneaky, and change the packaging on a regular bottle. This would seem fairly easy, but the bottle lids are different colours. So it will take a bit of pre-planning.

Down the bottom: "What in-cinema movies? Take on lappy or put on tablet? test formats on tablet. Would Bill have a projector? need speakers. What's policy on illegaly downloaded movies playing on the walls of government buildings? Is scoffing cinema food inappropriate? - stop in penola on way and get lots of raspberry twists"

The little writing is my sub-listing. As for the whole actual bit? Dunno. Last movie I downloaded for Kelsey (Black Swan) she said creeped her out. I'm thinking Gnomeo and Juliet and maybe Rango, if I can find it in the next couple of days, unless I get a request.

In other news, since it's stuck in my head, it may as well be stuck in yours too

On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese.
I lost my poor meatball, when somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table, it rolled on the floor,
And then my poor meatball, rolled out of the door.
It rolled in the garden, and under a bush,
And then my poor meatball, was nothing but mush.
The mush was as tasty, as tasty could be,
And early next summer, it grew to a tree.
The tree was all covered, with beautiful moss.
It grew great big meatballs, and tomato sauce.
So if you eat spaghetti, all covered with cheese,
Hold on to your meatball, and don't ever sneeze.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Big Plan Progress (because there hasn't been any other kind)

While some people used the public holiday to achieve a whole lot, I... didn't. Quilting-wise at least. I got the binding made for the two Mini Stairways to Heaven quilts. The one for the pink, orange and brown one is my first ever binding cut on the bias; I know it's recommended and all but it just seemed like an awful lot of work, and I've always been worried that it will stretch as I try to sew it on. That is a discovery for another day though, since I'm really not feeling like binding tonight (though really, at what point in the last nine months have I ever felt like binding?) The only reason I cut it on the bias anyway is that it was a stripe going across the fabric, instead of along. I know, weird right? So I figured, what the hey, it was only $2 a metre, may as well try something new and interesting, so I can at least know never to do it again, and it's only a small quilt so the horror wont last too long.

I'm so pathetically pessimistic when it comes to trying new things. I'm like an old lady "back in my day..." and "things just aren't as good as they used to be..."

One new thing I will be trying this week is going to Adelaide by myself. I've driven up there plenty of times, but always with family or the ex-boyf. It's only for one night, and I've organised it so I can stop at the Lucindale Field Days on the way, for all that I won't really have any money to spend if I'm gunna do a Spotlight crawl while I'm up there.

The boys went up this weekend to do a pub crawl. I'm going up on Friday to do a Spotlight crawl. I maintain that my unique, oddball attitude makes me interesting and hip, whereas theirs simply makes them hungover.

Of course, I've picked clipsal weekend, the weekend when everything is so much harder than it should be. But I've found myself the only unbooked room in Adelaide, in a backpacker hostel, and I've got 3 GPS devices (my spare phone has one, there's one that lives in my glove box and I'm gunna take Mum's too, just in case) to get me around traffic awkwardness, and I've spent an hour or so today on google maps, finding roads I can and can't take, and craft stores to stop at.

Truth be told, the circuit is disappointingly small, (which I know is a good thing for me, it's just that I was expecting something much more city-ruining) and in completely the opposite direction from Flinders Medical, which is, Spotlights not withstanding, why I'm going. To chillax with the other total freaking rock star from mars*, smuggle her in some contraband (that would be pepsi max) and perhaps have a crafternoon without any craft. I'm thinking I'll take up all the monster templates, and we can browse the internets for a fabric (or maybe pick something from my shopping adventures) and draw up some faces and I can do it all on the machine when I get home. Or I can break her out of rehab and we can shop together. What's their policy on illegally downloaded movies?

In the meantime, work, and quilting and binding. Ergh, meh and ergh again. For once, bring on the exciting new adventures.


*Actually, that should be the other way round. Charlie Sheen ain't got nothin' on Kelsey.

It felt like I was achieving a lot, but...

So my much anticipated (okay, only by me) attempts at free motion quilting occurred today. And, unsurprisingly, the reality didn't quite meet expectation. Hardly surprising on an almost fifty year old machine, but hey. I can move the fabric smoothly, or I can keep my needle speed constant, but I can't seem to do both. Also, the tension was totally weird, but it is in need of a service at some point in the near future.

As a result, I've reverted to wavy stitch for today's quilting. Both mini Stairways to Heaven quilts have been quilted, and I might bind them tomorrow or I might leave them to sit unbound for a bit. Progress is progress though, binding or no.

I've decided I'm gunna try get half of the unfinished quilts done, so that's at least eight finishes. These two are a good start, and the black one has been basted so that shouldn't be too much actual work, though I still have to decide exactly how I'm gunna quilt it. And remember the Yellow and Brown Quilt from the first tutorial? That's still unquilted, and now the NAB Cup's finished the actual footy season is upon us, so I'll be getting onto that too. Then it's the retro twist quilt, the newsprint mingle twist quilt, Helen's birthday present quilt and the blue, green and purple disappearing nine-patch that made the cut, so they'll be getting done at some point fairly soon.

I've gotta do the purple quilt at some point too. But I'm in denial about that one and it's multitude of points just now. La la la la la not listening.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bitchin' (used in this context as a compliment)

So first of all, some good news. I commented on some people's blogs the day after I read them, and nothing bad happened.

Actually, later tonight I went to comment on a facebook photo that Ballarat Patchwork had up of a quilt in progress, but my phone randomly put the comment on someone else's post. But it was a photo that had only been up for an hour or so, so it wasn't the commenting delay that caused the badness, phew. Just a stupid version of facebook mobile.

Anyways, as I said yesterday, work, getting stuff ready for Boobs and Jordan's* engagement party and then the actual party itself pretty much completely robbed me of quilting time today. But, here's the thing, I'm capable not only of letting life be a procrastination from crafting, but also of letting crafting be a procrastination from life.

Thus, let me introduce, the Bitchin' Chair.


Bitchin', isn't it? Obviously I didn't make the actual chair - it's from Woolies, and they finally kicked into half price today. We've had them for ages (by we I mean Woolies; I work there) for $30 and I knew they'd get marked to half price at some point, and I actually got a junior to go stash me one because I was stuck supervising and I didn't want to miss out. Then, having saved $15 on the actual chair, I went straight to Spotlight to spend $16 on fabrics to make a cover for the chair.


Because that's how I roll.

It's a very simple thing - I got a metre each of the floral drill (same as my handbag and heavily featured in the swag quilt) and hot pink poplin, as well as some blue ribbon that I was gunna use to give it a pretty edge but which got used on the cake Casey made them instead. Laid the top fabric out upside down over the chair and pushed it into the crease at the bottom, drew a line in the crease and around the edge. Cut it out, and used the bit that was leftover to do the bit at the base. Sewed them together, cut pink into three 32cm strips, joined them together, folded it in half, sewed around the edge of the big circle. Add some elastic and voilĂ , Bitchin' chair.


My cover is completely removable so it can be chucked in the machine when someone spills alcohol on it and the chair itself has only one, teensy tiny fault.

It doesn't really fit into the boot of a Suzuki Swift. Probably not a problem for those of you who don't have a Swift, but Taylor and I are kinda tight now, and while I like to usually have a chair in the boot, it wont be this one.

Still, the fact that I won't always have immediately to hand the Bitchin' chair does not in any way lessen it's bitchin'ness, so it can be bitchin' at home.

Unfortunately, spending all my time being bitchin' got in the way of researching my big plans. I'll get on them tomorrow, cause they're bitchin' too.

*Boobs would be Steph Vine and Jordan would be Gordan Megaw.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Aaaaand relax...

It's quarter to three in the morning, and I've finally finished the back for the rainbow steps quilt.






I know it's a weird-arse angle, but all of my non-blurry straight on photos had white spots.

One day I'm gunna properly write up about the effort that I go to to piece backs - it always feels like more work than doing the top. This one involved piecing long strips (ergh) and then cutting them into diagonals with scissors (bigger ergh) and then filling the gaps by putting some fabric over the top, and cutting around it (really big ergh)

The tiny white spot on the edge is outside the size of the actual quilt top, now with borders.


I'm a bit worried that you can kinda see the batting through the fabric, but I figure it will go away once it's all wrinkly.

Tomorrow I have work (another ergh) but it's only for 3 hours (so it's a short ergh) and then I have an engagement party to attend, which isn't an ergh in itself, but does mean that I wont be spending the afternoon working on free motioning some cushion covers I'm making for the practice.

I'm looking at setting some big plans in motion too, but they'll require some big research/planning.

P.S. I had planned on going around and commenting on the FTF posts tonight, but I hadn't planned on it being 3am by the time I got to my laptop, so I'll have to go against my natural instincts, and comment the day after (duh duh duuunnn)

Friday, March 11, 2011

A smorgasboard of stuff...

Today, I'm gunna like a lot of things.

I like tissues, because I've had a cold for two weeks now and I've been through two boxes of them. I have a big snoz, and it can reduce a hanky to a quivering mess by the second blow, so tissues are it for me. We only buy kleenex, and I have backup stash upon backup stash for when we run out.

I like the $10 vouchers that Spotlight sends out sometimes. They're better than the $40 ones because you don't need to spend the $100. I usually buy something completely unnecessary because it's a bonus thing anyway, but for reasons unknown, I went with some basics I needed. I guess we all grow up sometimes.

I like DVD box sets. 15 hours of viewing goodness for the same price as a regular, 2 hour DVD.

I like firefox, because it has a plugin that spellchecks as I write. Which, ironically, doesn't know the words firefox, plugin or spellcheck. But which did tell me the correct spelling of ironically (two l's)

I like the sounds of living out of town. Birds and trucks on the highway. Sounds like home. (one of the birds is Barry, saying 'what ya doin, barry' over and over, but we can ignore him)

I like the huge dragonflys that are hanging about lately. I don't like all the crickets.

I like big puffy jackets that are like wearing a doona.

I like fabricshack.com, because their postage is cheaper and their service better than fabric.com.

I like good intentions. I'm at quilt #48 now, but 16 of them are unfinished (14 are just tops, the first purple quilt has been half quilted and given up on a bit and Dad's quilt cover needs assembling). So I'm gunna try and finish at least half of them before #50 gets here.

I like making promises I cant keep :)

I. Hate. Matching. Points.

I'm wondering tonight if we take printed fabrics for granted so much that they have become a crutch. That it matters less when our points are off, because they are lost in the design of the fabrics.

I'm wishing I was working with prints again. I don't care if they're a crutch. I'm in it for the math, not the having to perfectly match points.

I gave up on the purple quilt for the night. There are two many points, and not enough print to hide their badness. It's at nine patch stage, so there's technically only 8 lines of stitching remaining. But that's still far, far too many points.


Good news though; instructions still appear to be excellent. They'll just need to be accompanied by some paint diagrams instead of photos, since the cutting booboo of the other night means mine will only be as big as shown above.

I bought some more solids today at Spotlight so I could have a go at doing it again, but now I've had to do all the points I'm less sure I want to. These are broadcloth instead of homespun, but the fabric quality is nicer than that of some of Spotlight's new range quilting fabrics. Which are gorgeous, as prints, and let down horribly by the weave, which pisses me off. I'd love to use some. But I wont. As for the will I/wont I do it again in the broadcloths, I haven't decided yet. Probably.

As for something I wont be doing again, the rainbow steps quilt.


The reason I wont be doing it again? Well, I think I got it right this time. Which is jolly good, as some of the points in this were a bitch too. But it did have a big advantage over the purple quilt - only half of the points are actual, point-to-point points. And of that half, about half of that I worked out so that they had a black pairing on one side, and when those points don't match, you can't see they don't, making it way easier than the purple quilt.

As well as some broadcloths, I also bought a half metre more of black to do a 10cm border. It's still going to be fairly small - it will come out to about 110 by 130. But that's big enough for me, and I don't plan on sharing. Even if Mum thinks it would look nice hanging on the wall.

It's hanging on my curtains now. It's really pretty. I'm thinking about doing a flower instead of the heart in the corner, but I haven't decided yet. I also haven't decided how to quilt it, but considering my backlog, I've got a fair while to decide.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I am the gonna bird*

Tonight was a gunna night. I was gunna start downloading the finale of White Collar and watch an episode of Burn Notice and start my seam pressing while it downloaded. But I started downloading it, got distracted by some webpages, sat on the bed and pressed random buttons for an hour. Then I watched it, and was really really disappointed, and went back to the internet to see if other people were really disappointed too. Some were, some weren't. But that's people for you.

I was gunna get one or the other of my two quilts finished tonight. I was gunna have some pretty piccies to show. I was gunna watch another two episodes of Burn Notice. I was gunna have some proper food for my late night tea, instead of a half dozen mini crunchie bars. I was gunna straighten my hair just before bed, so I could sleep away the static that develops.

I didn't do most of the things I was gunna, and what I did do I was disappointed by, but I remembered the word stealthy, which I think is one of my favourite words ever, though that might be Charlie the Unicorn's fault. There's an argument that haberdashery is the best word in the world, but it has it's opponents.

I'm gunna do better tomorrow. I'm gunna go spend that $10 voucher that Spotlight gave me, and I'm gunna finish at least one of my quilts, and I'm gunna write a better blog post tomorrow night.


*The Gonna Bird is a book that I had when I was little, but I usually spell it gunna, thus the variation between title and post. It's about a bird that's always planning on doing stuff but never follows through. As a result, anytime anyone does this in our house, I refer to them as a gunna bird. 

Today I am also a snuffleupagus, which, contrary to the beliefs of my co-workers, is indeed a muppet.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

So I have some advice for the day...

Please don't expect rational segues from me tonight. There's a twitch just above my right ear, and it's distracting me.

Let's start with some life lessons I'd like to share.

Don't sew two quilt tops at one. Even if you really really want one to be made right right now because it's really really pretty and you want to get the tutorial for the other one online as soon as possible. Especially, don't do two quilt tops with two different thread colours. Because it's hard to keep track, and you'll have random bits of black stitching on your purple quilt.

Even if it's your pattern, and you're super sure you know it back to front, keep referring to it as you do it, because your memory might be wrong. I didn't, and I cut my rectangles too wide, which is why my demo edition of the purple quilt is gunna be a quarter smaller - it's now three by three square. Good news though - the pattern is correct. I'm just stupid. Or congested. Let's go with congested.

Now to the Random Shit, because according to the words in the sidebar, this crops up a lot, and I'd hate to let those words down.

I took the day sick, so I could freely shove tissues up my nose, which, for completely inexplicable reasons, they don't let me do at work. Also, the thing that makes me cough the most is talking, which they say you have to do. But then customers get cross cause you're coughing on them. It's lose/lose.

I have a new least favourite thing. Fabrics that are meant to be 112cm wide but which are actually less than 105cm wide. I do all my math to give them the 7cm leeway, but any more than that makes me cross. Just as well I made my cutting booboo on the first strips I cut and the too-short fabric was after that, otherwise I probably would have gone spare. It was only a centimetre or so, but still. 1cm too little and I need to buy a whole another 20cm of fabric to cover it.

I want *something* but I'm not sure what. My big chocolate bar stash, that I got a couple of weeks ago, has disappeared, and I'm pissed. I want a crunchie, dammit. All I can find is a cherry ripe and some fads. Not what I want but it will have to do. Actually, I've just changed my mind on the fads. These taste like chalk.

The worst thing about blogging is that even when you say "right, I'm gunna finish up at midnight" there's still an hour or so for blogging. Longer if you're watching Burn Notice at the same time. But it's not like I'll fal asleep till at least 2am anyway.

I want another Jotter. I've had a few over the years and get quite attached to them, and then I lose them, or they get stolen, and I don't get around to getting a new one for a while, until I see one in a movie or TV show and then I suddenly want one again. Do you remember the exploding pen in the first Pierce Brosnan James Bond film? That was a jotter. None of mine ever exploded though.

I wish it was tomorrow night. Then I'd have the finale episode of White Collar instead of season 1 of Burn Notice.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New stuff.

I went to Spotlight today and got some fabrics - they looked fine in the store but not that I get them home I'm less convinced.






The bottom one is less blue than it looks in the photo and I'm worried it's too similar to the smudge one. As a quilt, it should look fine, since they'll actually go purple, burgundy, purple burgundy, but my fear is that you wont be able to tell which is which in the instructional photos. I had considered going with a very bold red, yellow, green, blue, but I didn't like the ones they had there.

For a completely different quilt, I've also worked out a plan using some of my rainbow of fabrics. I originally bought them to do a very bright version of the twist quilt I made from the Newsprint Mingle and also in some reproduction fabrics, but didn't get quite the right colours for it - ending up with no pink but two purples, so it couldn't do the full colour loop I wanted. As a result, this is a straight up and down colour graduation.


If you click on it you can read my instructions to myself - in spite of the fact I was going to do it with the same maths as one or the other of the earlier zigzag quilts, I ended up completely redoing it because I liked having all the edges be mainly coloured. It's only going to end up at about 97x 127cm though, so I'm considering giving it a solid black border as well - I think it's the consistency more than it actually being the colours that makes the edge look nice. And see the little heart in the corner? I plan on appliqueing it. Something I've never done before on a quilt. I don't know why I want to do it - I just felt it needed it.

I doubt this will ever get written up better than it is there - mainly because I don't think you could do it over and over again in a bajillion different fabrics like I have with the other ones, and I think a pattern should be open to that kind of design interpretation. Also, it's kinda confusing, since the top left 6 by 8 blocks are all the same, and then there's half blocks tacked onto the other two edges, which are all jumbled up in the cutting instructions. Still, it's purty, and I'll really doesn't use very much of my rainbow fabrics at all (only 8cm of each) so hopefully I'll get to it sooner rather than later. Not too soon though, since I'm feeling very run down by the-cold-that-will-not-say-die, and I'm gunna have an early night. By my standards at least.