Wednesday, February 29, 2012


They look even cuter with pupils.

Unfortunately, it seems that my sharp pointy scissors don't really have sharp enough points so I've given up after half a dozen cause it's too hard. Looks like I need new scissors too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Monster Mash

On a completely unrealated note, it was photo day at Grant High School today too.

They at least (hopefully, though you never know with east-enders) had their eyeballs. I'm not sure where my collection of safety eyes is, so I'll have to go and buy some more tomorrow.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Hi Ho (Hum)

Well, my holidays are pretty much over. In 10 hours time I'll be back at work, for a 9 hour day, no less. I think that the first half of your first shift back should be holiday-paid too, so your first day back is a half-day, to help you ease back into it.

And yes, I know it's only been two weeks, but they've been a fairly full two weeks:

I learned how to make shoes, culminating in spending the last two days wearing a pair I made.

I quilted a mid-sized quilt, and the binding's 3/4 done too, but I've run out of pink thread.

I made (as in, fully completed) two baby quilts.

I'm about half way through 25 monsters.

I made three skirts.

I pieced and quilted a pillow case.

I cut and began piecing a 4th quilt.

I went to four parties, and a country music festival.

All in 17 days.

Worse, I feel like I'm really starting to build momentum, like if I had another week off I could fully double that output. Though I will confess, both weeks I had a Monday/Tuesday slump, so maybe I'm just imagining it.

Anyway, no photos of the grey version of the peach spotted skirt I made yesterday, because it got vomited on by Anna's dog. Luckily I had packed the peach one too, in case of something like that happening, so I just switched halfway through the night. And then my shoes really did coordinate with my outfit, since I'd made them in the same peach fabric.

I realised last night too that the skirts really really needed to have pockets (I kept putting my phone down and freaking out 30 seconds later), and even though it took me a bit of thinking today, since I hadn't done pockets in a long time, I eventually got them worked out.

Not that you can see them in the photo. The fabric is a very lightweight poly-cotton blend, that I don't love the drape of as much as the rayon, but which I love the retro browns of. The crinkle made it hard to cut straight too.

I spent a couple of hours tonight sewing the faces to the monsters, and I've found that the keys to raw edge applique are to have your machine on the slowest stitch speed, and do something else every other hour, lest you go blind and/or insane. All the black around the eyes and the big smiles is done, now I just need to do the whites of the buck teeth and then the associated mouths.

In between the two hours spent turning fabric in circles watching a needle bob slowly up and down, I cut all my HSTs for the blue and grey quilt I bought for earlier in the week.

And it seems the key to correctly cutting an entire quilt is to only use new fabric that can be replaced tomorrow if any mistakes are made. None were, and after my second hour at the monsters I laid this out.

And I'm so in love. Here it's laid out at 1.4 by 2 metres, but there's pretty much 4cm of seam allowance for each block, so it'll become quite a bit smaller. That's the worst thing about HSTs, you lose 2cm in the 45 degree seam and then if you sew with a wider allowance so it's easier to do neat points, as I do, there's the same gone again. Still, it's going to be at least 1.6m long, and that's nearly as long as me, so it's plenty big enough.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I'm not sure what I'm trying to say here...

The different sciences tell us different things. Physics, for instance, tells us that every atom has a current state, and that its prescribed future state, and the state after that, is fixed to the point where, if you could chart the position of every atom in the universe, you could then calculate what every single atom will do and then do again, until eternity, and you would therefore have predicted the future.

But computer sciences point out that even though processing power will continue to increase at an expenential rate, it will never reach the point where it can chart the position of every atom in the universe before said atoms have moved, simply because it too will be comprised of those self same atoms, so maybe it's easier to just let the universe run as its own computer simulation, and we'll see how it ends up simply by letting it happen.

Certain branches of philosophy on the other hand, state that reality does not exist except as we percieve it. Indeed, certain psycologists and even biologists will agree with them on this point, since so much of what we feel we are receiving from our senses is either extrapolated by the brain or even flat out invented. What we think we see, we might not see, and really, reality is as we percieve it, and we percieve it from within, each of us telling a different story of what did, and what will, happen. None of them are necessarily right or wrong, since we only ever see them from within our own brains, and even factual innacuracies can be glossed over if you believe hard enough.

What's the point of this post? Well, physics says it was inevitable, computer sciences says it was possibly a waste of the processing power of the desktop to simply type it up in a practically ancient program like notepad, and psychologists and biologists will say that I only precieved the creation of this post, and that it's possible that the physical universe about me that I feel it was typed doesn't actually exist at all.

Thing is though, life will go on, no matter what, real or not. Even once we're dead, the universe will continue to turn (though not the universe as we perceive it, unless we have moulded enough minds to see the world as we do, and even then, not exactly) since, whether or not we loose that 21 grams at death or not, there's plenty of momentum behind it already. Shit's gunna happen, no matter what, and once it's happened it's inevitable that it would have happened, and all you can really do is carry on.

For the record, yes, I am about 6 ciders into the night, feeling philosophical, and no, noone has died. But, in much the same way that it does every instant of every day, tonight, our lives changed irrevocably. Tomorrow will never be the same as today was, but that's life. And now that that's been spell checked, I'll be out in the bar living said life if anyone wants me.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I did so much sewing last week and now I'm nearing the end of this week (and therefore my holidays) I'm getting a bit disappointed about how much I didn't get done.

Still, today at least I didn't do too bad.

I made a skirt.

Which I will be re-making tomorrow in the same fabric in the grey colourway - it's a rayon that was on the clearance racks at spotlight for $3p/m and it's so soft and drapey and beautiful, and because it has no stretch it sews like a dream. 60cm cut of it's 144cm width, sew it into a circle, hem the bottom and put some wide elastic in the top, and it's done. I made a belt for it too, just grey homespun with a little cumberband buckle, but I've chopped it up ready to re-do it tomorrow with interfacing.

The reason for the clothes making is that it's one of my my sister's and one of my best friend's birthdays early next week, which means parties this weekend. Becky had family dinner tonight and is having a big piss up here tomorrow night, which I will be leaving after an hour or so to go to Anna's. Becky is getting a Spotlight voucher and instructions to buy herself at least 3 metres of quilt fabric, since after the bag I know she'll decide she doesn't really like whatever fabrics I pick for her. Anna is getting a potential quilt too, since apparently her Dad's buying her a swag, but since I don't know the actual size I just made her this.

I bought the fat quarter packs a while ago when they were on clearance for $6 each, so I've cut them to their biggest square (44cm) since squares are easy and used the strips from the edge to do this, since pillows really only come in one size*. And then I chopped the leftovers of that into 3cm on-point squares, and sewed her a card.

It's not much, but today I sewed everything I needed to sew, and went to the pub for a bit too.

*okay, yes, there are Euro pillows and bent pillows too, but regular pillows.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Those monstrous eyes...

Before I do monsters again, I think I need to get myself a BabyGo or a Cricut - my poor thumb has been rubbed raw from cutting all the little circles for eyes. The main problem is how thick it is - I fuse together some white quilting cotton with white wool felt and then another layer of webbing to fuse them both to the face. And since if you draw on the fabric or the webbing it bleeds through when you iron it, there's the layer of paper too. A single layer of cotton isn't enough to cover the print and the wool tends to pill, which shits me, so this is pretty much the only way to get the finish I want.

Still, fusing down the faces is the least production-line-y bit of the process, and therefore one of the bits I like better. What were just shapes now have personalities, even though they don't have eyeballs. One of them appears to be a reincarnated BeeGee, and one of them is shrugging without having shoulders. That's quite a talent.

I also seem to have mainly single-eyed monsters - possibly because I went with bigger eyes this time (easier to sew down) and less eyes also means less cutting. Still, I like one-eyed, since it gives the impression of monstery-ness even though most of them are four-limbed creatures same as us.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Once upon a time, I could quite confidently throw together a bundle of fabrics, safe in the knowledge that the quilt that came out at the other end would be wonderful. Now, in the words of Eric Carmen, those days are gone. It takes me a day, maybe two, sometimes as much as a week before I'm sure of the choices I've made. Lately I've even been needing to chop bits up before deciding if I like them or not. What's worse is that back in the day I was mainly doing nice simple stack and slash quilts, that were solely about the fabric choice, without even a nice pattern to distract from a bad choice. And yet, most of them turned out pretty well.

So here's what I'm currently angsting over.

Some of these fabrics have been in stash since I started quilting. It's a huge variety - therse's some from the early Fabric Traditions bundles at Spotlight, before the quality turned to shit, there's some from Lincraft's mixed bundles, there's some mid 2000s Moda, a bit from the remnants bin at Stitch and Knit, a couple of bits of one of the  the new DS ranges and some random internet purchases too.

The plan is to cut them into 20cm squares and HST them into another, quite a bit more random version of the second baby quilt I made for Meagan.

Probably the middle one on the left.

As well as that bundle, today I bought some (well, a lot) of the new DS line, which went on sale today. Unfortunately, our store didnt get a very complete selection of the range - none of the greens and only about half the oranges, so I had to add in some solids when I (naturally) got angsty about having the blues and oranges together.

I'm bummed about the orange especially, because I'd love to do an orange quilt. Still, we're apparently going to Adelaide sometime late March so I might be able to find the rest then. These are 20cm cuts, and there's two more lighter oranges and two more darks, and that would give me almost enough to do the 7 by 9 quilt (top row) which is at least a decent grown up couch size, so I could use it instead of fobbing it off on a random child.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I devoted most of tonight to cleaning my room.

Well, I say that, but really, I devoted most of today to standing about my bedroom with my hands full watching Long Way Down, or staring at my fabric shelves coming up with new ideas, and moving my clothes around. Still, my room looks a bit cleaner, mainly because the clothes are in the cupboard and/or the laundry.

And once I had performed the nasty task of re-compressing the mess after it'd been magically expanded to fill the whole room and, worse, cover the bed I was wanting to sleep in, I sat down at the machine for two minutes to have a got at this little prototype.

Two birthdays this weekend, and both of them are getting quilts I wont have made - Becky because she always seems to have a problem with the fabrics I choose so I'm giving her a Spotlight voucher and instructions to buy at least 3 metres of quilting fabrics with it, and Anna because she won't be getting her swag till after her birthday, so I don't know how big a quilt she'll need for it. I figure a tiny quilted card is the solution, and I wanted to see how my machine would go with the card. Great, as it turns out, except the bobbin ran out half a square before the end.

Oh well, it was only the prototype.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


When I was little, Helen used to call me Sara Scissor Hands.

Tonight, I used scissors for about 3 straight hours, and HATED it.

I missed my rotary cutter. I tried mixing up the scissors, so they weren't constantly rubbing on the same places on the same fingers. I tried big scissors and little scissors and scissors somewhere in between.

I now have a flat pack* of 26 monsters ready to be faced. I think it gets a lot more interesting once you start giving them faces - that's when the personalities come out.

*These are fantastic for keeping all the little bits together and flat - they're an A4 case about 1.5cm thick that are meant for keeping paperwork in - usually found in the stationary aisle.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Next Generation....

Tonight, I couldn't be bothered doing real sewing, so I watched a lot of youtube videos and cut out some more monsters instead, only now I have a blister on my right index knuckle from the scissors. Ow.

To which the correct response* is "shit story, needs more dragons."

And while I don't have more dragons, I do have this.

Maddy's first ever quilt. It's only little - they're 10 cm squares from the hundreds I still had left over from the very first quilt I made, but no matter. I pulled out the other good-condition machine the other night for her to use without the foot (just turning the crank by hand) and she'd made herself a couple of simple shape cushions with my help that night. Today though we got up after our 6am hometime arrival from our spontaneous country music festival adventurising to find she had made a freaking awesome SpongeBob, without a pattern, out of some of the felt we bought at Spotlight on Friday.

Unfortunately, I think Mum's hidden it to keep forever and ever, so I don't have a photo.

With that I concluded that she was probably grown up enough to start using a foot pedal, but the one I used to use was still broken, so we had to send Dad out to fix it.  And then we had to gaffa tape a pencil sharpener underneath it so that it woudn't go above a certain speed.

And no matter how insistent I was that we maybe just piece some cushion covers first, she wanted to do a quilt, so I haggled it down to a little blankie that we could use as a mat or for one of her toys. It seemed like a lot of hassle to iron out our seams, and I also figured it would be an easier bodge job for me at the end if they weren't, so we chain pieced it in it's entirety and just pressed the seams to one side. And since I hate having to bind stuff that I've sacrificed my good fabrics and many many hours to, I just put the backing on right sides in and told her to sew around it, and we'd leave this one without any batting.

It was at this point that the kids from next door came over and asked if she'd like to go out and play, and therefore it was also at this point that she became a real quilter.

Because it's not finished, and is therefore her first real WiP.

*This is a response to pretty mych anything in our house.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


I am drunk. I am at the lake charlegrak country music festival. I have snuck off to hide under a tree because I have terrible terrible heartburn. It hurts. Finding out that my ex cheated on me hurt less than this heartburn does. I've had two zantac and two quick eze and still it hurts. Ow. On the other hand, Meagan liked her quilt, ergo life is good. Except for the heartburn. Actually, its receding. I'll be okay in a couple of minutes. Except for the twig poking me in the arse. As I sit under a tree.

Favourite things 4am Saturday

Men's vintage wrangler watches.
Cider. Pref Bullmers Pear, but Strongbow Sweet will do.
Wavy line quilting.
Road trips.
Writing stupid poems.
Over-ear headphones.
Varigated thread.
Miniature anything.
Orange mentos.
The way the washing machine makes quilts look about a million times better.
Tie Dye.
Maccas at 2am.
Knowing that something's a bad idea but doing it anyway.
White metal roads.
New moons.
DVD box sets.
Internet on my phone.
Wendy's Mint Madness ice cream.
Yarn dyed stripes.

Gender neutral prints.
CD burners.
Electric blankets.
Pretty buttons.
Ebook readers.
Bumchange tins.
Finding cider in the boot of the car.
Lying on the trampoline at night.
Staring into the abyss.
Saying goodnight to the abyss and going to bed.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It is possible that I am sewing too much. 

Last night my dreams were full of me having to hurry up and do whatever it was I was doing (stealing chewing gum from a hospital(?), smuggling my inflatable horse out of my hotel(?)) so that I could get back to sewing some more. And then this afternoon I found myself thinking, after I had gone to Spotlight to get some binding, that I wanted to go have a browse at Kmart, even though I didn't actually need anything, and when I asked myself why, I had to admit, grudgingly, that I was stalling on going home, because there was yet more sewing to be done.

Really, apart from going to the gym last night, and then to see Meagan at maccas, all I've done all holidays is sew. And yes, I know that was the point, and yes, Baby Shower gift is all done now, But I really really had to stop for a bit.

So while I was at Kmart, I bought a novel, called The Girl in the Steel-Capped Boots. It was... well, it was everything I thought it was going to be. Cliched, mainly, but that's not to say I didn't enjoy it. Main character, a newly graduated engineer, gets sent out to the edge of nowhere to help 350 blokes build a big jetty, overcomes all their sexist prejudices to win the affection of all and the heart of the gruff, sexy, mysterious head of the company that owns the jetty. Yay!

Still, for all that I knew the ending by page 24, it was a nice three hours away from the machine, and, time suitably taken off, I got to binding.

But, a step back in time. Had my internets not chucked a hissy fit last night, I could have shared with everybody the tribulations of Baby Shower Quilt #2.

See that missing triangle? It is supposed to be blue stripe. But you can only get 8 triangles from a fat quarter - not a problem with the red spot, since I had a spare 3 metres of it, but I needed 9 of the blue too. I had a similar stripe that I had put in there, but it was more aqua, and too close to the green, and I tried a red and blue spot, and a yellow stripe, and a blue check, but I didn't like any of them.

Solution? Change the direction the stripes faced and drop off the corners.

My first ever octagonal quilt. Bound in a yellow, terracotta and blown stripe that I absolutely adore for it's unashamed retroness. Backed in a red and white narrow seersucker stripe I had originally hoped to use for the front, but was too crinkly after washing. About 105cm at the wide bit.

And there's the back for the bright baby quilt - more HSTs.

I'm really loving HSts at the moment, clearly.

But which one do I actually give to Meagan? She said when I showed her the big bundle of pastels that she liked the idea of having a very babyish quilt, so that she could put it away when the baby got a big bigger in order to bring it out when it got a lot bigger. But she also liked the bright bundle, because it was bright.

I don't know.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


In much the same way that three times seems to be the limit for unpicking and resewing a seam, three times is also the maximum number of times I'm willing to reboot my modem at 4am...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Meagan: Don't look.

Have you seen those surveys that the big quilting websites occasionally do? The ones where they ask you what type of quilter you are, how experienced you are, what fabrics you like.

I'd like to add a couple of questions to the bottom of that, because I think we'd all like some insight into how anal we are compared to all the other quilters.

Firstly: how far off does a point have to be before you will unpick it and do it again? This question needs to be asked twice too I think, since it's different for prints and solids. Prints I'm usually cool with anything up to 3 or 4mm, but solids it's less than 2mm. I think that's reasonable. 4mm is surprisingly large.

Secondly: how many times are you willing to unpick a seam before you just set the whole damn thing on fire? And does this number start off small and get bigger (as you've put in more effort and therefore care about finishing it) of start big and rapidly shrink (as you lose patience and your head explodes)?

I ask because tonight, everything turned to shit. My maths was wrong (shame), my very first piece I cut was 5mm too small, I did the HSTs perfectly but then as soon as it came time to sew together the squares, I sewed along the wrong side, realised, unpicked them, sewed them again, pressed them, discovered the aforementioned wrongness in the maths (each small block was 3.75mm too big), unpicked it again, trimmed them all down, sewed them all back together again, pressed them, realised I really shouldn't have trimmed the medium sized blocks too, unpicked them, sewed them with a narrower seam allowance to make up a few spare milimetres, pressed them and ease sewed them to the now only 2.5mm too big large squares. At this point, the universe clearly realised that it had taken the joke a little bit too far, and let me finish the rest of the quilt in peace.

Thank god it's a) really pretty and b) what should be a really quick quilt. Had I not screwed up pretty much every single thing it was possible to screw up, I think I could have almost had it done in a bit over an hour - as it was it still took under 3, and there was a lot of unpicking to be done.

It's pretty small, about 1m by 1.1m. Baby sized.

Tomorrow I have to come up with a back for it. There's still quite a bit of the green and both blues (maybe a fat sixth?) and there's the half metre of purple I decided to not use. I might do all cool colours on the back, and I'm going with grey for binding.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Do other people get pin finger? Or are they smart enough to own and use a thimble?

Anyway, I obviously pinned too much last night (shoes get kinda thick) and now the tip of my index finger is all sore and it hurts too much to pin anything.

So, naturally, to ease my sorrow, I went shopping. I was looking for a red and white stripe to add to a potential bundle and found a nice one at Stitch and Knit.

That solid is an off-white. It looks yellow. Anyway, once I'd added the red stripe, I had to take out a blue and a green, because they didn't look right anymore. So I made them into a new bundle, which coordinates very nicely with some John Deere fabric I bought for a backing.

But it seems a bit boy-ish. As does this bundle of Groove fabrics I bought at Stitch and Knit - They were $10p/m with a 30cm minimum cut.

But really, I've got 5 days to make a gender neutral baby quilt and a sea of fabric-choice-indecision. So after I'd given up on making bundles and auditioning maths, I packed up for the night, before spontaneously deciding to sew together some of the HSTs that have been hanging about since I cut waay too many making the big pinwheel quilt. 

I've done some tentative maths, and I need more white. Which means I'll probably accidently buy lots yet again.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Shoe proof and progress.

Tonight I did something I've never done before: I made something according to the pattern.

And, even though it worked, and the pieces fit together with an eerie precision, it still wasn't the result I was after. And so I was going to give up for the night when I had another look at one of last night's failures, which had a perfect toe but an incredibly muffed up heel (I was having a go at just using a straight piece)

And since I was using an old piece of lace to measure my curves because I couldn't find any string, I got to thinking how nice that toe would look in some old faded denim with just a piece of lace across it. And even though I don't have any old denim, I had a few pairs of old RM moleskins that I had removed the badges from, and thought maybe it would ne nice to have a go with them.

And it turned out lovely. I came up with a new heel curve after looking at the brown spottly ones, since it got kinda baggy on the pinkie toe side - I narrowed it and gave it a curve at the base, and it sits really well on the white shoe.

Only problem is it's about 2cm too long for me. That's why I've been constantly refering to it in the singular - The top of the second one has all been assembled but it's not attached to the heel, so I'm going to try to shorten it, and if that works, I can just make one more to match it.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Shoes cont.

Today I made 4 pairs of slipper shoes from four different made-by-me patterns, and athough two pairs are quite wearable, they're still a bit too slipper-ish for me to be happy with. I went into Spotlight and bought some vinyl for the soles which I'm liking a lot, as well as a few 20cm cuts to make my test versions with. I know it would seem more sensible to use old stash fabric, but I always worry when I use something from stash, especially on a single fabric project like these are, that I will need it's coordinatey brilliance later on, and my brain will be all "I know we have the perfect thing... what is it...?" and then I'll search for half an hour before remembering that I used it to try make some shoes that turned out not-quite right. And that would be terrible.

Better to just buy $10 of new fabrics, and save myself the angst.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Late, as usual.

Just one favourite thing this 5am Saturday.

It's a working phone handset you plug into your 3.5mm headphone jack on your mobile. I bought my sister a blue one on the same order and now have to buy 4 more for friends and relatives that want them.

Just type "retro mobile handset" into an ebay search if you want one - I paid $15 and got free postage, but I've since seen cheaper ones.

Friday, February 10, 2012


Tonight in the car on the way home I decided that what I really needed to do was sew myself some shoes. Most of the free tutorials were baby shoes and those that weren't were, for the most part, just scaled up versions, and I want something that looks less like an overcomplicated sock and more like a shoe. I really dislike most of the flats you can buy at the moment, simply because they don't cover your toes, and that makes me really cross. So I had a look on etsy for some patterns - no doubt I'll change them anyway but it seamed easier to pay the six bucks than waste time measuring my shoes. 

I have gone with:
And hopefully tomorrow when I wake up (first day of holidays: squee!) they'll be in my inbox waiting for me to have a go.

Also while I was looking on ebay I found this pattern:

Which I don't need to buy since it's blindingly obvious. But what's also obvious (to me, anyway) is how awesome that would look if you gave it a green zip and surround and pink sides. Watermelon pouch!

I may need to buy some black sequins for seeds.

P.S. the potato and gravy offensive seems to have succeded so far in staving off the sore throat. What's more, today sucked in a Thursday way (ie, late night shopping really busy running behind staff are hating on one another war is imminent kinda way) as opposed to a Tuesday way.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Have any of you seen the latest episode of Castle? I was wondering if it was possible for 42minutes of televison to erase the pain of the week of Tuesdays. Actually, I was thinking that maybe the new episode of White Collar could do it, since Sara's back, and you gotta love a character that shares your name. But the 40's noir flashbacks, narrations and funny accents, coupled with my ability to work out what was about to happen (on average, just early enough to say out loud, to myself, "oh, oh...") made for an episode I was very nearly about to wake siblings up to watch at 2am.

And a quick catch up on the progress of the week of tuesdays: Dad made me help him rake up tree-bark and leaves and my throat's doing that horrible "pre-sick" thing, two days before I go on annual leave.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 3 of the Week of Tuesdays.

Last week was blue week. We wore blue at work and generally had a good time. When you work in retail, casual days are the best, because you get to be a ninja. Customers think you're just like them when you're not behind a register, and when you are behind a register (especially if you're one of the few and/or the only one in casual) they feel bad for you, assuming for whatever reason that it's so desperate in store that they're forcing employees to come in in casual and help out. It's lol-worthy. Last week was lol-worthy.

This week, not so much. I've been refering to it as "the week of Tuesdays" after the fact that bad things always seem to happen in our house on a Tuesday.

On sunday I was hungover and I lost a battle (but not the war!) against microsoft copyright protection and my wallet broke. Unrelated incidents.

On Monday I spent 2 hours going around the mount trying to find a replacement wallet. I pretty much failed, eventually buying an iphone hardcase because I like hard shell cases. It'll suffice for now, since I'm not much of a cash carrier - I really only needed it for cards and bum change. Then I went to Red Rooster and got denied my request for 8 nuggets (apparently now they can only sell me six) before going to work to find that Meagan has neo-natal classes now on mondays, so she's switched nights. I got Maccas on the way home, and they put mayo on my wrap. I hate mayo. Also, I couldn't use my kitchen or my bathroom, since handymen were coming in the morning.

Morning. Tuesday morning. The actual Tuesday in the week of Tuesdays. There were guys coming to install a new oven and get rid of the old bathroom vanity and replace it but through my sleepytimes and my closed door, it sounded like they were removing it with a hammer. And maybe light explosives. Loudly. During what is, for me, the middle of the night. I was a half hour late for work (actually, this Tuesday 4 weeks ago I was late too. I have 4 week rolling roster and my brain has obviously remebered it wrong) and we were a tad understaffed. When I went to the post office, instead of a funky new phone case or a bag of fabrics, there was a speeding fine. From Victoria. 106kph on the highway. There should be an exception for South Australians. I was under MY speed limit (110), isn't that more important?

Tonight, in spite of the fact that it is the week of tuesdays, I had a go at quilting the sunset quilt. I bought a spool of varigated pink a week or so ago so I filled the bobbin with hot pink thread for the back and threaded this expensive stuff through the machine.

Guterman Sulky Cotton 12 doesn't work well as a top stitch thread... Actually, it goes okay so long as you don't stop. If I could quilt the entire thing edge to edge in one smooth movement I'd be okay, but I can't, so I'm not.

On the bright side, It's very easy to unpick.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I like zips.

Size 7 (standard chunky) zipper from Spotlight is available in black, white, navy and cream for (I think) $1.99p/m.

If you buy a zip around pencil case from Neds it costs you $4 and you have to do a bit of unpicking (but they use a very long stitch length, so it's very quick) but you get 2.5metres AND it's in pretty colours.

From this:

To this:

You only get 2 zipper pulls per pencil case, but they have rainbow ones with lots of short zips for $3 and you get about a dozen pulls from each of them.

Be not afraid of the zips, people. They can be your friends. 

Except the ones with the metal teeth. They chip your fingernails.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Even blogging is too much.

After 4 not-particularly-fun hours, I'm sick of computers.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


22 years ago, Bon Jovi sung that he "...don't know where I'm going, only god knows where I've been...."

These days, it's not just god, but anyone who can follow your places tagging on facebook.

As for me, it went: Work, Home, The G, The Commersh, The South Aussie, The G, Shads, The G, Shads, Maccas and Home.

Weird fact: when I'm drunk, I can't feel my nose.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I need a supersoaker.

Tonight I had a look through an old harddrive, and if I'm honest, what I found ranged from amusing to horrifying, and that was just in the photos. 

Me, Casey, Glenn and Lisa, 16th Nov, 2005, Vansitart Park Playgrounds. Blowing off school with my sister, my bestie and his girlfriend.

I haven't even looked through the documents yet, though fortunately back in high school I password protected quite a lot of files, and I can't remember any of the passwords 7 years on, so that at least ought to protect me from reading the musings of 17-year-old me.

Me, 16th Nov, Vansitart Park playgrounds. After mucking about for a bit, we got fish and chips for lunch, then walked to coles and bought a bulk pack of icypoles. We couldn't eat them all, so we gave the rest to random kids.

Still, it's left me feeling a bit bummed and nostalgic and, frankly, irritatingly existential.

Out the front of the 2nd driveway of our house, 19th Nov, 2005. This was the week my camera arrived in the mail - A no-brand 8MP I bought on ebay for about $80, when to by a 4MP locallly was a massive, and expensive, deal. It took beautiful photos in sunlight, but was a piece of crap indoors or at night.

I'll be honest, I don't really know what I'm doing with my life - I live in an eternal now that I am, for the most part, pretty okay with.

Sunset from the back shed, 1st Feb, 2006. Possibly the only bad thing about working evenings is that I no longer get to take a million photos of every single sunset.

Did I think I would have done more with my life by this point? Well, frankly, I'm not sure. I have a really shit memory of everything except song lyrics and credit card details, but then I'm often unconvinced that reality even exists, and go through life in a bemused state of wonderment that life seems to be pressing on without me really doing much to facilitate it except eating and pooing.

Ignore the date shown - Mum never set the date on her camera but I know it was 22nd Jan 2006, because it was my 18th birthday.

Do I now, at 24, have a pressing urge to get out there and do something?

The Blue Lake, 14th Nov 2007. I was trying to be "artsy" with my framing.

Well, not really. Even though, in the words of Five for Fighting, I've "only got a hundred years to live..."

Me, Sports Day, 13th Feb, 2006. Big Red, the bear I am laying on, was the mascot I made us - He was essentially a massive bean bag. We would throw epic parties on sports days, bring in heaps of food and drink and have a wow of a time - we once got told off for having "too much fun" - apparently we were not respecting the importance of the day.

Life is going to continue whether I know what to do with it or not.

Inside the Cave Gardens, 15th Nov, 2005. The actual day the camera arrived in the mail, and the 14th picture taken. Since then I've had two other digital cameras that I've used a lot, before moving to mainly using my phone now, but I don't think any of them have taken as nice a photos as this one did.

In the meantime, I'm just going to get on with living it as it comes.

Me, 28th August, 2006. Judging from outside the window, I think it must have been taken at Potters Point. Judging by the date, the car was Elsie (LC), the little corolla.

Missing this little guy.

Ralf, 20th Nov 2005. I still have this picture in my wallet.

And wondering what happened to this little guy...

I made him as a present for my then-boyfriend, and we always joked that if we ever broke up we would sell him on ebay (similar ones have sold for over $500) and split the profits, but I haven't seen any money, and I really don't think he deserves to keep him. I just hope he didn't get incinerated.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Indecicively definite.

It's very rare for me to have a go at a non-repeating quilt design, but that's what I did tonight.

First I did some scribbling on paper. This is rare for me, but it's back-to-school season, so I had some graph paper.

Then I put it into the computer for the colours. I had EQ on my old laptop but I never used it. I'm a bit unused to old-style MS Paint (mainly the fact that you have to go through menus to zoom) but it's still nice and uncomplicated.

Shift colours and diagonal lines on little squares for about 3 hours.

Write colours on little diagram.

Finally, work out maths. This is, as always, the easiest part. After 3 hours of colour indecision, it was so nice to get into the bit that had definite right answers.

You know what else is definatelly right? Day off tomorrow! Yay!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

First, I wasted 3 hours on etsy...

Due to sudden-onset-extreme-anxiety over the previous bundle not being gender-neutral-y enough, tonight I went back to fabric shack and ordered another 9 yards of solids - 4 1/2 yards of bright oranges, blues and greens as an alternative, 4 yards of very (really very) dark colours* for a quilt for me and a couple of quarter yards to add to the not quite gender-neutral-y enough bundle, because just because I'm worried that those dusky purples and reddish-browns are too girly, doesn't mean I'm not a girl, and would just maybe like the quilt for me. And that isn't the reason I'm doing this - If it was I'd instead be buying all the same fabrics as last time and making me and Meagan's baby have matchies. We'd be toats cute.

I'd suggest someone needs to take my credit card off me, but I didn't even have to get it out tonight - I know my numbers off by heart...

*angst = emo, emo = dark colours. Stop judging me. If I ever actually get around to making it it will be gorgeous, trust me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Maths. So much maths.

If it's hard knowing at what point a scrap is big enough to keep, it's even harder working out at what size a scrap is worth going to extra effort to make.

The quilt that I'm currently mathing out is for Meagan's unborn baby. Today I went to Spotlight and added 3 more solids to the pile, making a total of 15. Two blocks of each colour makes 30 blocks (a number I like because it's 5x6)

More to the point though, each of these blocks will generate a scrap piece measuring 3x7cm, but, if I cut the two blocks of each fabric at once, I can make a combined scrap of 6x7cm, and that seems like a useable size. But is it useable enough to have to warrant measuring out a 64cm long piece of fabric, and then cutting it into strips, when I only have a 57cm long cutting board and a 60cm ruler? At what price effort?

Well, actually at this price effort:

91x110 (aproximate number of square cm of fabric in a yard) = 10,010

6 (dollars, rough price of a yard of fabric) ÷ 10,010 = 0.0006 (dollars per square cm)

0.0006x6x7=0.0252 (price per scrap, each will be 6x7cm)

0.0252x15 (number of scraps) =0.378

Less than 40 cents? That's the value of the fabric I'm saving by going to all that extra cutting effort? I was wrong. That decision isn't hard at all. 

Want to have a go at working out the value of some of your scraps? I've forgotten how to use visual basic (sad face) but instacalc works fine too. Just change the numbers in rows 1, 3 and 4, and remember that number 3 needs to be in centimetres.