Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aww, pretty...

Packages from fabricshack are great just becasue there's so much in them. They squish in 9 yards for you, so there'll usually be a couple of quilts worth in each package. Mine today had: This bundle of gender neutral solids for Meagan's baby.

Four of the solids in this pile (supplemented with a couple of stash - It seems that the pink/orange/yellow combo is something I'm really feeling right now)

A half yard each of these Spirit fabrics.

And a few randoms. I got 2 yards of the wonky check, but I wish I'd bought more than just 1 yard of the blue tye-dye. It was clearance and they don't have any more :(

Anyway, after I'd pawed over them for a bit, I decided I'd try a new zipper pouch design, just because my brain was quite insistent that it would work and I wanted to check. It did, but of course I made the turning hole a bit small and trying to get it right side out was like it was giving birth to itself. And when it was out, the doctor said "congratulations... it's...

...an ipad cover..." and everyone was like, well, this is awkward, since we don't own an ipad. So we don't know if it actually fits an ipad, only that it's 26cm tall and 19cm wide, and that's how big wikipedia says an ipad is.

More importantly, the opening is 19cm wide, because I used one bit of zipper looped around instead of two sides, and I curved down the other ends (this was the bit I wasn't sure about but it's come up great) so it doesn't have the tabs at the ends that so many tutorials insist on. Which stop the ipad from getting in, even if the rest does fit perfectly.

On tomorrow's to-do-list: hunt down an ipad, ask if I can borrow it for about 35 seconds.

Monday, January 30, 2012

I'm sorry, tummy.

Turns out that if you eat 2 kilos of strawberries in as many days you end up with a belly that could be confused for one containing a 4 month old foetus, as well as the related tendencies to lean back slightly into your weight, say "oof" a lot and rub the underside of your belly. I was told today by a co-worker that were it not for the fact that I hadn't shut up about strawberries all day, she'd think I was pregnant.

I'd love to see that in the maternity ward. The doctor'd be all like "congratulations... it's a... strawberry!" and we'd all make excited noises and start whipping ourselves up some cream.

Anyway, tonight I finished downloading the entire series of Scrubs so I've been watching that and since it was too hard to concentrate on actual sewing and new TV, I decided to make a start on the next batch of monsters.

Only five cut out, but an achievement is an achievement, and anyway, I could only find crappy scissors.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Here's one I prepared earlier...

It's a good thing I got the top for the Sunset quilt finished yesterday, because apart from my roadtrip to the Portland Strawberry farm this afternoon, I haven't really done much tonight. Browsed ebay and eaten strawberries, mainly.

And yeah, they are my feet at the bottom.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Favourite Things

DVD commentaries. Cookie dough. Long hot showers in the wee small hours with the music cranking and really bad singing. Plaiting my hair so it'll be curly tomorrow. Early 90s music. Good fuel economy. Really sharp scissors. Videos on my phone. Headphones that clip on the outside of your ears. Using cushions as mousepads. Mechanical pencils. Writing bogan parody versions to songs. My new RM Williams shirt. 100% cotton sheeting. Showing the ladies at Spotlight a voucher on my phone instead of actually printing it. Stubby holders. Spare batteries for my phone. USB extension cables. Columbines. Yarn dyed checks. Cold cans of coke. Spontaneous roadtrips. Strawberries.

Spontaneous roadtrips to strawberry farms. Tommorow. Looking forward to it.

Friday, January 27, 2012


So today was Australia day. Yay for a day off work and/or double time pay for all my fellow Aussies who didn't already have the day off anyway, and for everyone else, especially those of us who aren't really listeners of TripleJ, well, the sun was shining, so that was good.

Today I decided that I wasn't gunna push myself to sew, because my mojo's still up in Adelaide somewhere, I think, and I was hoping that maybe by not pushing it, I'd just somehow spontaneously feel like finishing off the sunset quilt.

It didn't work. I downloaded about 40GB of TV shows, sorted all my hardrives, installed every useful piece of software I could think of onto the new computer, went down the river, hung up some "slow down" signs cause it's boat like a dickhead season down there and I helped my Dad reinforce the jetty (which is falling apart because everyone's boating too fast and their wake is bashing our houseboat against the jetty.) Yay for power tools.

Speaking of Dad and the new computer, guess who's the most excited about it? Not the Mum whose birthday it's for, or the little sister who also gets listed as a recipient, but the completely computer illiterate dad, who is nagging every day for me to set it up in the longe already. He likes to have all the photos as a screensaver (basically making it into a 20" digital frame) and plans on "learning the internet" now that the screen's big enough for him to see it all on.

The other thing I did today: set it to create a restore point Every. Single. Day. Quilts are tougher to accidentally destroy, but they won't stream youtube videos for me.

And on a completely random note, I strongly advise NOT eating an entire bag of Columbines in an afternoon. My tummy hurts, but at least my bin is pretty, from all the wrappers.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I've been in denial about this, but it's time to admit it.

My new doona is really really warm. I'd say it's too warm, but the truth is, it's warm enough. It's all the quilts that are on top of it that are too warm.

So some of the quilts have to go. It's making me a bit sad, because of all the quilts I've already got in storage, and the idea that even more of them are going to go unused is bumming me a bit.

Good thing my bestie's preggers - I hope it's a girl so I can fob dozens of quilts off on it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Other things...

There were quite a few things I was considering doing tonight:

I thought maybe I would go to the gym. 

Or finish the top of the sunset quilt.

Or watch The Guild DVDs that I bought myself for my birthday about a month ago from amazon.com that finally arrived today. 

I went and bought an ethernet cable so I could set up all the important stuff on the desktop (first post from it!)

I'm going to write myself a handy reference guide to all the quilts I've made and how many and much of what kinds of fabrics I need for next time I'm in a shop and don't know what I might want to make. I could have worked on that tonight.

I'm going to write a parody of LMFAO's Sexy and I know it. An Aussie/Country/Bogan version. I should have started weeks ago, had it done in time for Australia day on Thursday.

Instead I went to maccas with Meagan and Brenton and taked about random weird shit till after 2am.

BTW, this isn't a complaint, merely a statement of fact. I had fun.

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's still mah birthday! (sorta)

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I was the kind of person who always, always had a spare ethernet cable on hand. But circumstances changed, I lost a boyfriend (how careless of me!) and gained a life and somewhere along the way, and far, far more carelessly, I also managed to misplace that special spare ethernet cable, along with it seems, all of the ones that I used to actually use. Fortunatelly, it's an annoyance as opposed to an actual problem.

See. today, for no immediatelly apparent reason, I bought another computer. A desktop this time, an ex-rental I got, complete with a monitor and a keyboard and mouse and slightly shoddy speakers, for $250. Officially it's a combined birthday present for Mum and Maddy (whose birthdays are next weeked and the one after respectively*) but really, I just wanted something I could shove some extra ram into and use as a workhorse whenever I needed some video footage ripped. IN the meantime, it's also a handy monitor for me to watch movies on (I set it up in my room while I get it all sorted) though like I said, the speakers are a bit shoddy; currently picking up quite a bit of interference.

Only problem currently is the lack of an internet connection, something that could be rectified in under a minute if only I could find a damn ethernet cable.

Anyways. It's well after midnight now so it's no longer officialy my birthday - a cousin suggested I should do birthday boxing day (though here in South Australia it would be birthday proclamation day) but I've just decided that it still gets to be my birthday till I go to bed. Which means of course, that it's time for the birthday wrap up post.

I started the day by going to visit the lovely Shay for birthday breakfast chats, finally meeting her husband (who I apologised to re. all that fabric) and her two dogs, who are roughly the size of small horses. There was a cat too, but she seemed less interested. I got a lovely sewn card and a spotlight voucher, which has of course already been used.

While I was aiming for a few more, I only managed 3 stores today - Munno Parra, Clovercrest and Gepps Cross. I of course also went to Allingtons too (tried on a couple of shirts, marveled at how cute I am with wavy hair, got into an argument with myself over whether or not it being my birthday was an excuse to be up myself and left) but didn't buy anything.

Quick store review: Munno Parra is the biggest store in SA. It's freaking huge. Their range of quilting fabric wasn't truly epic though - I was most impressed by their range of prima solids (our store has about quarter, I think they had them all) and the fact that, unlike the mount which has a 1m minimum, they let you buy however much of the clearance fabrics you want. So even though we've got all these fabrics down here, the chance to get just a bit of each was very good.

Clovercrest is Shay's local store, in she picked a damn good suburb to live in - this was by far the best of the three for quilting fabrics. Most importantly, they have lots of designer fabrics for $12.95p/m (minus 30% off plus 10% for my birthday), something we don't get any of out here. It seemed to be completely random - Last time I was there I got a heap of flourish, this time I resisted buying a heap of the pink colourway of  mingle, instead buying this lot, which should do an entire pavement quilt, front back and binding (hopefully)

Only bad thing about that store the lady who served me cut to exactly the centimetre (which pretty much guarantees that at least one of them will have less than I asked for) and she was a bit rude.

Gepps Cross is where I was set to work if I had moved to Adeliade. I'm glad I didn't: their range is a bit dissapointing. Two of the fabrics in the above bundle came from this store, and I also bought 4m of a green stripe flannelette that should make some nice gender-neutral backings.

These came from a mix of the stores, and are really just stash, cause I thought they were pretty/funky/cute/useful/it's my birthday stop juding me.

I was on my way down to a 4th store when I cam across the Radio Rentals that has the big clearance bit downstairs, and the advert in the paper yesterday had some really nice laptops listed, but they were pretty much all gone because it started yesterday morning. But mum had been talking yesterday while I was installing her new printer (what I was going to get her for her birthday, before she went and bought her own) about how she was just going to throw out our old desktop, since we haven't turned it on in about 3 months. And fair enough, it's a) ancient and b) shit, but I think that, much like a landline even though we all have mobile phones, a house needs a desktop even though it's got some laptops. And it's running great, I've test run some video files, and typed all this up in notepad... but since I can't find an ethernet cable, it's not online.

Yay for USB sticks is all I can say.

As for presents, I spent the voucher Shay gave me (thankyou!) and the money from Helena and Mum and Casey and Nanna Joy, and then tonight when I was nearly home I stopped in to see Anna who couldn't come this weekend becasue she's got the flu and she gave me this.

And then when I got home I got a message that said "Oh, and look inside the box" so I did.

I love columbines! Unfortunatelly, so do my sisters and my mum. Fortunately, there's about 5+ bags of them in there.

*Yes, we do all our birthdays about a week after one another. That's enough time to recover between them, but gets them all out of the way nice and quick.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's mah Birthday!

If I'm honest, I've never been that huge of a fan of my birthday - I spend most of them waiting for the 23rd to roll around. My 18th I worked 9-5.30 (though we did have a lovely party in the lunchroom) and my 21st we had dinner at my nans. I can't remeber any of the others, though I recall spending one waiting half the day for the RAA man to come and jump start my shitty old car.

Anyways, yeah, I'm not really a birthday person. Nonetheless, it being after midnight, it's now my birthday according to my drivers licence - I won't consider myself to officially be 24 till after 7.45am.* In the meantime, Im chilling in my motel room after a lovely drive up to Adelaide and going to get chinese twice tonight (once as soon as I arrived and again just as they were closing, 3 1/2 hour gap between)

The last time I was staying at the Granada was the night before Myponga BnS last year, and Casey and I made jelly shots in our room. Tonight I've just eaten lots of satay chicken, watched a really sad movie on showtime and a lot of amusing clips on youtube (yay supplied wifi!). I put my carton of banana milk into my washed out coke bottle so I could shake it up nice and frothy, but that's the extent of my motel-room culinary delights.

Probably for the best really.

Tomorrow I'm just gunna go with the flow, see how many Spotlight stores I can visit in one day - I'm going for 6...

*after the horror of being shoved through a cervix, I was never up and about that early again...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's random good stuff Saturday!

Okay, so that title isn't as catchy as it's real name, but oh well! Yay for stuff! Yay for the word Yay! Yay for the excalamation mark!

Yay for calling the computer mouse a remote. I haven't had a mouse in a very long time, and It's a habit I've aquired out of nowhere and I can't shake. Ironically, my old laptop DID have a remote, and I never used it.

Yay for the moments when the math comes out right. I spent about 4 days on my latest maths, just going over it again and again, forwards and backwards, in both measurement systems, because I was convinced it had a fundamental flaw somewhere, but I've cut my pieces and they're all fitting back together again.

Yay for $5 shirts from cotton-on. Boo for pretty much everything else from cotton-on, because it's really not my kind of fashion.

Yay for hot pink denim shorts from the kids section at Target for $8.

Yay for pronouncing Target Tarjay because it makes you sound posh.

Yay for Chocolate Almond clusters, made at home by me, so that they have more almond than chocolate.

Yay for the kind of lazy-consumer world we live in, where I can buy blanched almonds instead of having to boil them and naked-ify them myself.

Yay for coloured pencils. Any yay for back to school specials time, when coloured pencils are cheap.

Yay for the fact that it's my birthday on Sunday.

Yay for the fact that tomorrow (well, today, after I've done sleeping) I am going all the way to Adelaide for the sole purpose of getting chinese food. For my birthday. I'm also available for cathing up, fabric shopping, and randomly recieving presents. And I kinda want to go to Allington's too, cause pawing over boots makes me happy even when I don't buy them.

Yay for the fact that my new laptop lights up like a christmas house when I press the capslock button. I used to never notice on my old one, and I'd have to re-type stuff all the time cause I'd pressed it accidentally.

Yay for Daemon Tools, a handy bit of software that lets you trick your laptop into thinking it's got a DVD even when it doesn't.

Yay for having the next lot of little bits all lined up ready to chain piece.

Yay for having a new cutting mat. Yay for Columbines and fairy bread and lettuce. Yay for little plaits in my hair. Yay for checkered shirts with the sleves rolled up. Yay for magnets and glitter and varigated thread. Yay for extention cables. Yay for graph paper and bubble wrap and gaffer tape. Yay for spare phone batteries and roadtrip CDs that stay playing in your car for the next month.

Yay for being happy, knowing it, and then clapping your hands.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Sunsets. It looks like sunsets.

So today I went into Spotlight with the handy $10 off vouchers that Helen got but I didn't, and bought myslef some more pinks, purples and oranges. Unfortunately, despite giving me $10 to spend on whatever, they didn't give me that much in the way of whatever (by which I mean solids) so I had to get a couple of tonal prints. Still, they're pretty good at reading as solids, so one must forgive.

I also bought needles, because since I'm not spending actual money, I figure it should be spent on stuff I don't want to have to spend money on. I'm okay with spending money on fabric - that's what money is for. But spending money on machine needles and pins is almost a waste of it - if it was up to me, the government would subsidise my new stepp-nadels. Or at least let me claim it back on tax.

Tonight I got home and a got chop happy. This is probably the biggest variation between the metric and imperial maths I've ever worked out, simply because I did it backwards this time - instead of doing myself a lovely bit of number-crunching and then adapting it for the internet, I did the imperial math first (because I liked the idea of having the "scraps" be exactly the same size as half a charm square*) and then pretty much just picked random numbers for mine, since I would be cutting up actual fabrics for the scrap pieces anyway. I don't think I've really ever used 13 as an important number in a quilt before, but mine is all 13s and 6s and there's a 29 thrown in there for good measure too. But it all fit when I did it with my numbers and I'm fairly confident that the inches will fit too. It consistently comes out to 42 inches, and that's not quite as wide as fabric is.

Anyway, since this pattern is laid out by eye rather than by design, I got my nice neat little 6cm squares and laid them all out in a six by six grid and shuffled them about till I liked them. When I was fairly happy I squished them all up on top of one another so they made a tiny tiny version of the quilt.

 And once I'd taken myself a layout photo,

I remebered I had macro focus.

And a damn good one at that.

Of course, since I had something I was happy with, I figured I'd play around with the 6x13cm rectangles, and had a go at a more graduated layout.

And now I'm really not sure which I prefer.

Thoughts? (keep in mind that the random layout shows a 1cm square of the fabric whereas the graduated one shows about 6x4cm. They will be rectangular, and have a small rectangle of contrasting print in the off-centre)

*I have very few scraps. I can't be the only one. I also like things to coordinate.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I think it's nice how the single most tiring thing you can do, more tiring than running a marathon or organising all the vidoe files on three harddrives, is changing a doona cover. Because once you're all done, yay! there's a bed to lie down on.

Not only did I cange my doona cover tonight, I also changed my doona. I had been sleeping underneath two coverlets bought from woolies inside the one quilt cover (and another 7 quilts on top of that, but they're not up for discussion right now) but when we went to the Aldi in Portland there was a quite nice looking doona there so I bought that. It's much lighter and loftier than the previous one (two? in one?) but I like a boofy quilt, so that's good. And all the ones I've made are on top of it giving it plenty of weight. Yay! (and sleep)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


So today in my luchbreak I went to Sotlight cause I suddenly remebered my best friend is having a baby in 4 months. And while that may seem like a long time away, lets not forget the trauma of the last quilt we had to rush to finish before the baby got cut out, or, for that matter, the late nights of last week making Casey's quilt. Not to mention the fact that the due date has already been moved forward two weeks, and she doesn't even want to know herself what she's having, let alone tell those of us who have, let's say, been asked to make it it's first quilt.

I think, if there was a chance there was a tiny penis growing in my belly, I'd want to know. And I'd want to tell people. Everybody. I'd just go up to random strangers on the street and go "tee-hee, I'm making a penis, right now," But then, I can be a tad immature. That's why I make quilts instead of penises babies.

Anyways. I went and bought some solids, cause solids are a) easy and b) cheap. Or well, most of them are. This is the pile I picked, and I should point out that they're actually a lot more muted than they look - more like intense pastels than actual brights.

But two of these fabrics are not like the others, and two of these fabrics just don't belong (on the shelf with all the other $6.95p/m fabrics.)

The brown, it turns out, is a "tea dyed linen" which means it's $7.99p/m. That's not too bad, though I'm a tad worried it's either dyed with actual tea, and therefore going to stain everything when I wash it, or going to shrink way more than the cottons.

And the yellow, which looks and feels just like all the others (but was the only solid yellow quilting fabric they had) was grown organically, and therefore costs a whopping $14.95p/m.

As for what I'm actually going to do with it all... I've no idea. I've handily re-worked the math I did for Casey's quilt so I can do it much more efficiently by using printed scraps in the middle, but I think that it works best with a tonal range as opposed to a spectral one. I've picked some purples/pinks/oranges to have a test run with tomorrow night.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


So I've had my new (old) laptop for a few days now and we're going okay. Sure, Vista double and occasionally triple-checking if I want to do stuff is a tad annoying, but all I have to do is pretend I'm my mum and I feel the urge to install codecs or updates or add-ons drop right away. And yes, the touchscreen doesn't actually respond when you touch it with your finger, but I can still scribble myself a quilt pattern in paint using the pen, so that's okay. And while I haven't gotten used to the little nodule in the middle of the keyboard that you're meant to use instead of a touchpad, I've plugged a mouse in and that feels quite familiar, after using one with mum's laptop for the last month.

If I could work out what I actually want, I would buy it in a heartbeat, cause a lot of what goes on with this laptop isn't really what I'm looking for. But since I don't know what I'm looking for, I'll concede that what I'm looking at isn't doing too bad of a job.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Feels like home...

I am home. I am slightly sunburnt and a bit achey. I am tired. Very tired. But I had a hell of a lot of fun. And so did our first-timers apparently, since they both seemed pretty keen for the next one.

I spent a lovely bit of time this morning chilling out here, on a rock in the middle of the Glenelg river.

Of course, at this point (right next to the ball site) it bears no resemblence to the river we went down to for a swim later thisafternoon. It has to travel for 150km, pick up a bit more water and carve itself a lovely big gorge through the limestone before it becomes the Glenelg river I spent my childhood upon, but damn the bit of it that passes through Harrow is pretty.

It's shallow enough at this point for cars (well, high riding ones) to cross and even though it was a bit slippery, you could walk through the bits where you couldn't jump form rock to rock. Later on there was people actually swimming in it, but we decided we would just come home and go for a swim in it a bit further south, though I didn't end up in the water - Jess spent so long getting in that the sun had fallen past the cliff and it was getting a bit nippy.

I've already had an hour or so of nap time earlier on but I think it's about time to add to it. Electric blanket, big fluffy pillows, come at me!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I'm at a BnS...

Posting from my phone, cause I managed to get rid of both of the annoyingly persistant boys that wanted to take me back to their swags, and instead I'm nice and comfy in my own, chatting with ball-virgins-no-longer Anna and Jamie. It's a lovely evening...

Happy times :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Yay Stuff!

So, friday. Well, Saturday now, obviously, since my timing tends to be a little skew-whif, but still, that means favourite things.

I had been thinking that what I would put as my favourite thing this week would be my sheer unadulterated awesomeness, since I managed to design, piece, quilt and bind a quilt for my sister's birthday this sunday in just 3 days, but then I realised if I was as truly awesome as I thought I was, then I would have decided to get started weeks ago, and I'd be getting in some sleepsies before the BnS ball tomorrow night, instead of sitting here having just finished. I'd have also remembered to take a photo before I put it in the washing machine, and I wouldn't have made that cutting error as I was finishing the binding.*

So, other things.

The fact that mum is worried about the ethical implications of my messing around with her netbook and using Daemon Tools to convince it that it has a DVD player when it doesn't just makes me laugh. "But you're lying to it..." she goes, while telling me that it's silly for me to feel bad about the death of my old laptop.

My phone. Still. Three months on, I'm still loving how it just does stuff. No faffing or fart-arsing about. It does everything I want it to do, except maybe print me money.

Having a real laptop again. Sure, the fact that it's running Vista is really irritating, as is the fact that the touch screen only works with the pen, but as a stop-gap till I decide what I actually want it's excellent. Look at me, blogging away on it. Nice keyboard, too.

The "slow" button on the foot pedal of my sewing machine. I thought it was pointless the first time I saw it, but it was very handy tonight, stopping me from rushing the binding and making a(nother) mistake.

Being indecicive about which ballgown to wear, because it means I have the kind of life where I a) occasionally wear ball gowns and b) have enough ballgowns to have indecision between them.

Having a CD burner. Saying "I need a new CD" and going and making one.

Oh, and the fact that I'm going to a BnS ball tomorrow night, and I'm taking along one of my best friends, who's never been to one before. Toats exciting!

*Fourtunatelly, although it shit me, it really only added about 5 minutes of work, and about half of that was just me despairing.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Progress is, um, progressing. Casey's quilt top is assembled and the lines of quilting have been done either side of the vertical seams so tomorrow it should only take me an hour or so to fill it in and I can get on with the very nasty job of binding.

Progress on everything else BnS related hasn't progressed at all.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Remember when I said yesterday that it was a bad idea to try do any big sewing projects in the same week as a BnS ball?

I kinda forgot is was my sister's birthday this weekend.

Well, not really forgot. I know it's on Sunday, but my brain didn't really reconcile the fact that it was her birthday this sunday with the fact that it's her BIRTHDAY on SUNDAY.

My brain is dumb sometimes.

Anyway, I remembered remembered this morning and so I figured I'd better get on it. I haven't actually made Casey a quilt yet because she has an amazing ability to be both very picky AND very vague - she's always very specific about what she does and doesn't like in what you're doing, but then she'll go "Can you just make me (insert whatever here)... I don't care what colour/fabric/width/shape..."

So where does one go with that? Well, I've started with the back, which is the two yards of half-naked-cowboy fabric, added an altered version of what I was planning on doing as a top to test my new back arrangement and sacrificed to the cause a quite nice collection of solid Konas in the green to purple section of the spectrum.

The colours in this photo are all wrong. The purples are way darker and those yellows are actually greens.

Not yet actually assembled, but I got the math done, the colours picked, the fabric cut and the blocks sewn in 5 hours, so I'm happy to stop now.

If it looks like a bit of an off shape, it is - since I'm making this top as something to have on the other side of the back, which is what's actually featured, it's the same size as the back, ie long and skinny. 105x175 is what I've mathed to, which is about 42x70 for those of you that think imperial. I considered shortening it to make it a bit more or a normal ratio, but one of the girls at work pointed out that a long quilt can go across the knees of two people, so I took that as a decent reason not to chop it up.

It'd be a shame to lose any more hunky man-ness than I need to.

In related news, and in celebration of Harrow BnS being only 3 days away, this video made me laugh.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I was never any good at puzzles.

So tonight I was at the gym and the episode of Buffy I was watching was one I never really liked so my mind was wandering and then I remembered the pink pavement quilt. And how it was sitting, unbacked on one of my shelves. And I couldn't quite remember - was that 120cm wide? Could I try out my new backing for that?

Turns out, the answer is no. I made it be 135cm side, and repeated maths were stating quite insistently that the widest my backing could become was 145cm, and while 5cm is technically the width I trim my fold-over-bindings down to (I like a wide binding) I wasn't positive that it would still be 5cm after I'd quilted it all, so it looks like I might still need to make a new quilt top anyways.

What I can show you however is how you do it. You need 210cm of 112cm wide fabric, with about 6cm of selvedge cut off, since you need to do both sides. This is shown here as a piece of paper 21x11cm, which is why the points of the diagonal aren't right on the corners. I haven't trimmed that imaginary selvedge off.

You cut each of those 45 degree lines and shift the triangles to the other side. They don't have to change direction or anything, just put the top one at the bottom and the bottom one at the top.

It's pretty much the lamest tangram ever. It's now a 145cm square though, and that's the important bit. And all your seams are at a 45 degree angle to the ones on the front, meaning you don't have to match anything up when you're quilting. The only bad thing would be that the points on the corners will make it bulky at the part where it's already got extra layers at a fold-over binding, but given the amount of trimming I do on my corners anyway, I think it'd turn out fine.

I'm bummed I'm not gunna get to try it properly for a bit, but I know better than to try and make anything non-urgent in the week before a BnS.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Doing it backwards.

Today I came up with a fantastic method of turning 110 cm wide fabric into a 120 cm wide quilt back, plus a spare 20 cm so you can do it as a fold-over-binding, AND it's all on point so you won't get big bulges in your fold-over-binding.

Unfortunately, I don't have a 120 cm top that I can quilt in one direction and do a fold-over-binding on. But I've done some maths for one.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rainbow Pants Monsters.

I had a look through my scrap bag tonight because I figure I should start thinking about the next batch of monsters rather than cramming them into a frantic 3 days come early February. Also, I was at the salvos the other day and found some fantastic handmade (the sewer had problems with the tension on their overlocker. They're not the only ones) rainbow batik pants for $3, and I think they'll chop up into some really lovely monsters.

Back to my scraps, and I was pleasantly surprised. I'd had a rummage when I was doing the last lot of monsters, but there was still a fair bit of decent stuff in there. Lots of narrower bits too, I noticed, about 10cm wide, so I drew up some more skinny monsters to use that stuff up. And while I was drawing, I sketched out a couple of four legged shapes, because most of them are a wee bit humanoid. Mainly because it's the easiest to make, but I should stretch myself, and four legs is only a little bit harder than two, whereas four arms is a surprisingly large amount more work.

I think the thing I learned most doing the last batch (other than "don't decide 5 days before christmas to make a dozen monsters really really quickly for the facebook crowd") was that I really like long arms. There's going to be a lot of long armed monsters in the next few batches.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tooooo Much.

Do you ever have one of those days where you think to yourself, "Um, I've drafted too many different blog posts in my head, and now I don't think I can cohesively link them all together or choose which one to use"?

Also, I've been up since before 8, and yet here I am, at 2am, still keeping my normal nighttime hours. Probably resulting in even less cohesion, if that's at all possible.

Right, first things first. Last night, after sitting on a haybale pondering humanity, I got up, had a bit of a dance, and when the music stopped, we all went back to the van of filth to settle in for the night. And then a boy appeared, and even though I didn't actually want him, I still wanted to try. I think it's a bit like how my dad goes cray fishing, even though noone in our house eats crays. Except instead of ending up with cooked crays sitting in the fridge, staring at you with their dead, beady little eyes every time you open the door, I ened up with a boy, who I had been being affectionate towards, and who was reciprocating, and then I realised, oh, that's right, I don't want a boy. I have no real use for one, and they're not even selling for about $80 a kilo, making them handy barter should I want to get on someone's good side.

Awkwardness. But catching boys is fun; funner certainly than catching crayfish, where you have to go out on the boat, and you get all wet, and there's sharks and stuff. And yeah, awkwardness, but drunk boys are even more suggestible than drunk girls, so I got rid of him eventually, no hard feelings. 

Still, we were all (and when I say all, I mean the four of us, including the 8-year-old) up till well after 3am, meaning we were still pretty bleary eyed when we got up this morning and went to maccas in Portland. We also went to Aldi, which was less impressive than I thought it was going to be (except yay for honey wheats) and some little cheap stuff shop that also happened to have some quilt fabrics in it. Slightly random, but there was a few nice Riley Blake's amoungst it, so I got a half metre of these two.

At $15 a pop it's cheaper than most of the stuff at Stitch and Knit and about the same as most of the regular priced Spotlight stuff.

We stopped at the strawberry farm on the way home and picked ourselves a few kilos. And then when I got home I ate at least a half a kilo. Delicious, but it has given me the farts.

And I completely forgot about it yesterday, what with going to the rodeo and all, but I got some fabrics from Stitch and Knit. They're from Fresh Air by Chez Moi, and it's quite an old line - so old it's not even on the United Notions website any more.

I'd bought a couple of half metres a few weeks ago from the $12 box to use in a pavement quilt and so I got some fat quarters of the few prints that were still available. It's not my usual colour palette but I think it's nice - I'd like to try to use a tan brown or a mustard yellow* or something for the sashing instead of white, but I haven't decided yet. I might just go with a beige.

*See the yellow of the bottom flower in the middle fabric? That.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Faking it.

I consider one of my best and most important talents to be my ability to fake it. Being able to blend into just about any situation is probably one of the best talents you can have short if having an actual superpower. With a weeks notice and about fifty bucks I can get myself prepped to sidle my way into just about anywhere. I can have the outfit, the attitude and enough knowledge to politely follow the conversation and make the occasional witty interjection. It's not entirely difficult; with wikipedia and ebay it's even easier than ever.

Getting into the country crowd is surprisingly easy with regards to the attitude and the knowledge, but quite expensive when it comes to the look. You know those cowboy hats you can get at cheap as chips or wherever? They don't fall for them. If you can't afford an actual akubra,  you'll be best to look for an old hat advertising a tractor dealership. And any old boots wont work, you need ariats at the least. These are people who probably own 5 shirts. But they've probably cost them $100 a pop. It's a hard group to fake your way into on a budget, and probably not worth bothering if it's only for a weekend.

But if your bestie is already in, and is about the same size, and is offering you a full and perfect outfit for the weekend, wouldn't you take it? The chance to slip seamlessly in without any hassles; I'd jump at the chance. But Anna is obviously a bit weird, cause she WANTS to look out of place next weekend. And while I get wanting to be individual and true to yourself, I thought the whole point of her coming was to get away from her life and into mine for a bit.

Maybe I'm being all judgmental, but I think she'll have a lot better time if she's not spending half the weekend convincing people to listen to her even though she's a city princess.

Tonight I'm at the Tirrendarra Rodeo, a curious blend of country folks who've travelled a long way to come see it (we drove about an hour) and all the locals who came cause it was on. And even though we're in the middle of nowhere, the locals are the ones who I think look yuppie, in their skinny jeans and flats.

People are interesting.

Go figures.

So, was last night an abject failure? Did I lie awake half the night, tossing and turning and worrying about all the stuff I could be doing?

Well, if it had been a two hour night, then yes, but since a standard night is apparently 8 hours, then well, it's not so much half the night as is was about 12.5%. On the other hand, though I was asleep by about 3am, I still slept in till 1pm. Go figure.

Anyway, tonight I'm going to bed early not as some kind of crazed experiment, but because I'm too lazy to actually do anything productive. Also, it's my one day off this week tomorrow, and I feel like actually doing something with it. Not sure what yet, but something.

I'll probably wait till after the end of next week before I have a proper go at changing my sleeping patterns... the schedule of a BnS Ball is pretty much the complete opposite of the early nights favoured by farming types, and much more in line with my current timing. Go figure that too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

This wont work.

This probably wont work, but I, Sara, am going to try getting into my bed right now in hopes of falling asleep at an hour (2am) which is, for me, very early.

I'm probably about to set myself up for 3 hours of lying here bored, but I ate some foods today that I haven't had in a while (sausage rolls, beef and mashies and hot cross buns*) so it seems to be the day for trying new stuff.

Wish me luck!

*they were available two days ago. In the next week, bags of the little easter eggs will arrive at our store and start going up on clip-strips at the ends of the aisles.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


So today, finally, a few days late I know, I came up with all that new years stuff. Last year, I went with keeping my phone charged and checking my junk mail folder. The first one saw slight improvements for a while, followed by massive ones upon the purchase of a fully bitchin' new phone, which I subsequently had to use as a computer when my laptop failed, causing the previously-going-well resolution number two to fall in a hole and die.

This year I am going with watching all of Buffy at the gym - with still about 130 episodes to go that means about 3 times a week. I'd also like to end the year with less WIP/UFOs than I started with, though I still need to do a count. I'm not saying I need to finish everything I start, and I've given myself a get-out clause in that I'm allowed to say to myself "no, I will never finish it, I therefore let it go" and either turf it or pass it on to someone who might*.

I'd like to go on more adventures. I had some good ones last year; Balls, shoots, the trip to Adelaide on my own, as well as the one with Meagan, Anna and Brenton. I'd like to go on more spontaneous ones, and especially more on my own. Just to take a day and go somewhere, pointlessly, see something and come home.

I'd like to eat with a bit more variety - I'm one of those people that eats about a dozen things. Chips, nuggets, chicken and lettuce rolls, cheese, plain beef or fish, spaghetti, donuts, lamingtons, strawberries and vegemite on toast. That's only eleven. Icecream. And that's pretty much what I've been eating lately. I need to eat more sausage rolls, or rice, or bowls of cereal, or roast spuds. My diet's pretty boring, which I think is why I fall back on chocolate and cheese so much, and I know it's mainly laziness that stops me from going to the extra effort of getting other foods, so I really should start getting over this.

I'd like a pet of my own. Since that cats left, Graham is still ignoring me, Logan (budgie) is still pooping on me and Nimrod (guinea pig) is still hiding from everyone and everything. I don't want a boyfriend but I still want cuddles.

I'd like a slightly more regular schedule, but not too far backward. 10am seemed like a good get-up time, I'd like to try to get back to that. Not tomorrow though. It's already after 3.

*I was considering that as a whole resolution in itself - to give up on things instead of deluding myself that I'll do it one day, leaving me burdened by yet another unfinished guilt trip of wasted time, effort and money.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lovin' it.

I've just realised it's been a few weeks since I did a random good stuff post. So here's one.

I love columbines. I love how long they take. As a scoffer of chocolate/lollies, I like that you have to take your time, lest you be left unable to open your mouth. I also prefer the ones in blue foil, for all that I know that there's no difference between them and the ones in pink.

I love demazin. I love how it makes me be not snotty, and how it comes with a measuring cup, and has a delicious vanilla peach flavour.

I love those little hair ties that are essentially a tiny, smooth elastic band. I never used to, when I had lots of hair, but now that I only have a little bit I'm going through them at a fierce rate. I need to get some more tomorrow.

I love all the public holidays there've been lately. $45 an hour, get in my wallet. Actually, that's not right, since I keep my money in my phone case.

I love my phone case. It's purple, and orange inside, and full of phone, and also money (see above).

I love the hot weather we've had lately. A lot of people have been poo-poo-ing it, but I think it's great. Except for how the roads are melting. That kinda sucks.

I love whitebait. You scoop them up, you chop their heads off and you fry them and eat them. They are tiny, fishy deliciousness.

I love that my youtube addiction has finally come in handy, entertaining me for the last 3 hours as I've copied some TV for a work friend.

I love that the first harddrive has finished copying and now I can set the second one to start (cause that one will probably take about 5 hours) and go to sleep.

I love sleep.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Warn. Your. Children.

Most of you are probably too busy having lives to know this, but if you play an MMORPG (those big online computer games) it lets you know if you've been playing it for a certain amount of time - a little popup ever hour or so to remind you that there's a world beyond your computer screen.
Why doesn't youtube offer this? I'm watching it on my phone - surely they could tell me after I've been running the app for more than an hour. Two hours. Three hours. Four hours.

Ah well, I hadn't made any progress on that quilt top in about 6 months... what's a few more days? And you would think I would have learned after I did exactly the same thing last night, except curled up in bed till 6am instead of standing at the kitchen bench with my cutting mat in front of me. It's still going right now. I've gone from Paley Panels to funny ads to beer ads to clips from the Melbourne Comedy Gala.

I actually came up with the term "Youtube Hangover" to describe it today. With people asking one another how they pulled up after last night, I was having to explain that I'd had 2 drinks, walked it off, eaten some delicious fairy bread, driven home at 2.30, gotten into bed... and clawed my way out at 11.30 after, confusingly, just 5 hours of sleep. But many, many Related Video tabs.

So please, for everyone's sake, lay off the youtube, kiddies. Just say no. 

Especially after the 4th hour.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

NYE lessons.

It's not that bad working till 10.30 NYE. There'll be very few customers, and most of them will be drunk co-workers coming in to say hi. If one of them is your manager, and she's drunk, ask her if you can slack off. Mine said yes...

5 inch heels are bad. Pretty, but bad. Mine were pretty enough, and only slightly bad enough, that I forgive them. This rarely happens with heels. I have a small blister. This happens often. Pack bandaids.

If you happen to be out and about on NYE with the only good friend of yours who would recognise your ex-boyfriend, at a distance, from behind, and you happen to both spot him in the same instant, laugh uproariously for the next 3 minutes. The kind of laughter you'd do if there was only 3 minutes worth of oxygen left in the world and you wanted to use it the right way. This may need to be explained to the guy you're with, who won't get why the slightly lame joke he just made got the best response ever.

Fireworks are pretty.

Groups of people (especially drunk people) are terrible at making decisions. It's much easier if you just tell them all what to do. Cheerful drunk people appreciate direction, especially if the directions lead them to more drinks. Grumpy drunk people should be left at the kerb.

Sad songs are good. "I know this room, I've walked this floor" from hallelujah, when walking past your old high school, slightly tipsy, in the middle of the night, is particularly good. Angie Hart's "Blue" is good no matter the occasion. Sad songs in the presence of one of your best friend's exes, when she's off making out with someone else and he's not over her, are bad. Except Angie Hart's "Blue" since it's about accepting being alone. Unfortunately, while it's very good, it doesn't have magical powers, so you'll still have to listen to him go on about how he can't get over her.

Holly Williams' "Sometimes" (I wish I was a fine wine, I wish I were a good drug, and hey if I were Jesus, maybe I could heal all of us..) would be a good song in this occasion. "Empty Chairs" by Don McLean is a bad choice.

Gutters are for sitting in while looking at the stars and quoting Oscar Wilde on facebook. This gives the drunker members of your party time to catch up.

Just because it was in the low 30s during the daytime doesn't mean it's going to stay warm into the nighttime. Pack a nice cardi, or you'll have to wear the hoodie in your gym bag. Pack a quilt too. Everybody loves quilts.

Oh, and if I could tell the world just one thing, it would be, that we're all okay. Thanks Jewel.

Happy New Year Everyone. It doesn't look all that different to the old one, but the fireworks at changeover time were pretty.