Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
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
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.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Cider. Pref Bullmers Pear, but Strongbow Sweet will do.
Wavy line quilting.
Writing stupid poems.
The way the washing machine makes quilts look about a million times better.
Maccas at 2am.
Knowing that something's a bad idea but doing it anyway.
White metal roads.
DVD box sets.
Internet on my phone.
Wendy's Mint Madness ice cream.
Yarn dyed stripes.
Gender neutral prints.
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
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
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
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.
Monday, February 13, 2012
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
Saturday, February 11, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Thursday, February 9, 2012
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
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
Monday, February 6, 2012
Sunday, February 5, 2012
Saturday, February 4, 2012
|Me, Casey, Glenn and Lisa, 16th Nov, 2005, Vansitart Park Playgrounds. Blowing off school with my sister, my bestie and his girlfriend.|
|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.|
|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.|
|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.|
|The Blue Lake, 14th Nov 2007. I was trying to be "artsy" with my framing.|
|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.
|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
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
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.