Thursday, May 31, 2012

Help?

So I've been thinking lately that I should become a wino. I should get home, break out a comically oversized glass, and get sozzled while talking about "notes" and "body". It's mainly TV's fault - everyone looks to be enjoying themselves while they lounge about drinking wine and having big talks, solving the worlds problems, or organising dastardly schemes. Plus, it sounds better to be having a couple of glasses of wine than pretty much anything else, and certainly the term "cider-o" kinda sucks. And I think it would also help with me being a shitty philosopher - I don't think it would make me better, but it would at least give me an excuse for being a bit shit at it.

And then today GenQ had a link to the manifesto of the Straight Stitch Society. 

  1. Life is hard. Sewing is easy.
  2. When the going gets tough, the tough get sewing.
  3. Sewing is cheaper than therapy and easier on your waistline than chocolate.
  4. Don’t make it if it’s not supercute.
  5. Don’t let anyone talk trash about your sewing skills. Especially your mother.
  6. Sometimes a glass of wine really does improve your sewing. Or at least your attitude. Same difference.
  7. A strategically used curse word can make you feel better when you need to get out the seam ripper. But only the first time. After that you’re a potty mouth.
  8. No matter what happens, remember that it’s only fabric.
  9. If someone asks “Did you make that?” say “Yes” proudly and leave it at that, no matter how much you fudged along the way.
  10. Sewing Straight Stitch Society projects will make you thinner, younger, and richer. You’ll see. 
See! even the quilting world wants me to become a wino!

Problem: I don't like wine. This may take some work.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Me: a work in progress.

Hopefully my existential angst for the quarter is over - I'm feeling better today. It's probably a combination of things: catching up with a friend I haven't seen enough of lately, a new watch coming in the mail, getting my bags from the weekend back (including the flannelette bundle I bought at lincraft Rundle Mall)


Marveling at the wonders of cyclonic vacuums (Shay, they use centrifuges, and centrifuges are interesting) Finishing season 3 of Buffy, devoting a bit of time to laying backwards over one of the big balls at the gym (when your thoughts are every which way, hang upside down for a bit, and they'll pool in the top of your head)

And knowing that if I keep on being glum, then I've got no hope of ever being awesome enough to rock shoes like this.


Okay, I might never be. But there's no point in not having a go, right?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Woe is me

I think that one of the big reasons I've been crocheting instead of sewing is that it doesn't take any time to set up. To sew something, I have to get the fabric, iron it, cut it, clear space around the sewing machine, and then when it's finished I have to pack it all up again. To crochet, I find a needle, guess some numbers and start. It also helps that I can sit in bed and re-watch White Collar in it's entirety while I do it.

I'm so excited that it's only a month or so now till the next season starts - I watch a fair few TV shows but it's probably my favourite. I always thought I would make an excellent con-woman: I can lie pretty well, fake sincerity with the best of them and I'm an excellent painter, even though I haven't done it in over half a decade, but I'm pretty sure that if I had to I could forge an artwork or two. Also, I could pretend to be whoever I wanted to be, and I would love that. I get angsty about all that life out there that I will never live, the books I will never read, the movies that I will never see, experiences I will never live through. I got genuinely sad tonight when I said "see you later" to the lady in the foreign callcentre and realised that only will I never "see" her later, I'll probably never talk to her again. 7 billion people on this earth and I'll never talk to even 0.001% of them. There's a whole world out there, backed up by 200,000 years of human existence, people thinking great thoughts, learning amazing things, and life's too short and too mundane to learn them all.

Plus, I'm quite lazy, and tend towards whatever is safest, and warmest, and usually also the most rainbow or the sparkliest. First world problem-ing, yet again: "woes is me, my life is boring, and I'm too lazy to make it more interesting"

Thank god for escapist TV, and a job that lets me sleep in till lunchtime.

Monday, May 28, 2012

In the meantime...

Even though I had a fun weekend, it was also incredily long, and I'm soooo glad to be home to my real bed.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Things I love when I'm drunk

So, it's not even 2am. That's very early by my standards. But I'm calling it a night, being responsible and shit. I mean, I only got 5 hours of sleep last night, and I had a 5 hour drive today (not that it wasn't enjoyable or anything, but a 5 hour drive is a 5 hour drive, and a 5 hour drive is tiring) and I'm only little, so the 5 drinks I had in 4 hours, which is 7.5 standard drinks all up, is enough to get little old me kinda drunk. And I feel guilty, since Jeffy put makeup on me and everything, but unlike a regular ball, where I paid my $120 and ought to get my money's worth, I didn't really pay all that much tonight: I bought a round, and then 2 more drinks for me, and then I got KFC, which was next door to the pub, and therefore fantastic. So, if I wanna go to bed (and I do), I can.

But in the meantime, more goodness. Because just because there's alcohol in your life, doesn't mean there isn't goodness too.

I love my sister, and Jeffy, and Jamie too. They're pretty much always there when I'm drinking, and that regularity, and that predictability, is reassuring. The sun will rise tomorrow, and Casey will be there when I'm feeling drunk. Yay for both, except when the sun is shining in my eyes while I'm driving. At those times, only yay for Casey.

I love my friends that aren't here too. I miss them, a lot. Thinking back to the last time when I was at the Woolshed, with all of them, which would have been 8 months ago (cause Meagan didn't know she was pregnant yet) when we were all so close, and since then we've all drifted apart (Anna doing mornings now, Meagan off on maternity leave, Brenton and I being too busy in our own departments to ever really talk) but that doesn't mean I don't miss them, and miss talking to them. I'm still friends with all of them, I don't think any less than I was then, but life has gotten in the way. But I love them all.

I love the fact that our motel is about 20m from the pub that we were at tonight. And the fact that there's a KFC between the two. If there was a fabric shop in there as well, then I would be pretty much set up for life, but oh well, I can do that tomorrow.

I love MmmMmmMmmMmm by the Crash Test Dummies. Because, well, it's so freaking weird, and it makes no sense, in much the same way that life does, but it sounds good in your ears.

I love chewwys. I'm on Wriglys Extra Strong Mint with Cleaning Granules at the moment, and I love them. I didn't think of myself as a mint chewwy person, but since the other week when I had a cold, I can't get enough of them.

I love cider. I don't know why, it's possible that it's just because I also love apple juice, but under no other circumstances would I drink rotten apple juice, so maybe not. I know that spirits are a better idea than drinks with a higher volume to alcohol ratio, which, for someone like me who doesn't consume much in the way of liquids apart from alcohol, is better for the bladder, but I'd rather drink a cider than do a shot of vodka. Maybe because you can hold onto a glass of cider for a while, whereas a shot of vodka is all gone very quickly, and then people expect you to have another drink, and then you get even more drunk.

I love looking around this motel room and seeing how much stuff I've made. That bag, that cushion, that quilt, that bag, that bag, that beanie, that bag, that skirt. Craft is a funny thing, so often you can feel that it's pretty pointless, and just an expensive hobby that leaves you with nothing to show, but when you can have a quick glance around and see 9 things you made, being actually used, well, that's a nice feeling.

I love the dress I'm wearing tonight. I brought with me a couple of options, because I wasn't sure what to go with, and I decided to go with the simpler, more classic green dress, as opposed to the pink mullet-skirted ball gown, so I can save that for an actual ball. Probably a good thing too, because I saw girls tonight wearing mullet skirts in a non-ironic fashion, and I felt bad for them, because they don't realise what I bad idea that mullet skirt is. Also, the green dress makes my boobs look nice.

I love my wireless internet stick. I pay 30c a day, but it's nice to know that when I'm away, it's there, ready to help me blog, and listen to 90s music via youtube.

I love the possibilities that tomorrow holds, and the fact that, even if tomorrow falls short of them, it will still have been a very interesting day, that I'm glad I will haven gotten a chance to experience.

I love that I am the kind of person that finds everything interesting. 

The thing, I guess, is that life is really really interesting. Sometimes, we don't care, and sometimes we're too busy to notice, but occasionally, I suppose we have to leave the party early, once we've acknowledged that we've had our fun, and go back to our motel rooms, listen to a bit of Pearl Jam, and concede that, even when life seems like an endless rush, we still need to find the time to think about what's good, and what's missing, and if there's things on both those lists, find a way to take them off the latter, and raise them up on the former.


"... I know I was born and I know that I'll die, the inbetween is mine..." - Pearl Jam (I Am Mine)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Favourites List

Getting that "vibe" that you really should go to the op shop today, and finding a half dozen brilliant things.

Mini Sausage Rolls from the OK Pie Shop.

Being the only one home in our end of the house.

The music of the late 90s and early 00s.

Looking for shoes and finding yarn.

Making clothes without a pattern, because if there's no right way, then there's no wrong way either.

Having an "ironic" hot pink mullet skirt.

And a backup dress just in case the so-bad-it's-super-freaking-awesome mullet skirt is too ironic for tomorrow night.

Finding a full bobbin of the colour you want.

The fact that bacon tastes better cold.

How I don't have to shave this week, because I got a wax last week.

The Vacuum Sealer.

Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen.

How clean my fingernails are after I wash my hair.

Lists. Writing them, crossing stuff off them, leaving them home; list are brilliant.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Crossed some stuff off my to-do list.

It took me about 4 hours, but it may just turn out to be the single greatest thing I've ever made.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Coulda Shoulda Woulda

There's so much stuff that I should have been doing tonight - sorting out a dress for the weekend, a couple of half finished bags, working on the most epic road trip CD of all time, washing my hair, things like that.

Instead:


I really like using two threads at once, I like the challenge of picking two that will work together, without any real knowledge of what to expect. The variegated ball is a 70% acrylic 30% wool blend, the cerise a 50/50 cotton and acrylic. I'm back on the decreases now, still just making it up as I go along.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's a shame rainbow has only two syllables... it would work better in song with three.

So today, before my doctor's appointment I got my rainbow beanie/beret finished.

As evidenced by the last selfie, I'm not great at it, so I figured I'd take pictures on my bed head, as opposed to my actual head.


I think from the top/behind it looks like a gobstopper when you break it and look at all the layers


I wore it to my doctors appointment, where I got all chopped up (I've got a hellova lot of bandages for a 1 1/2cm incision) and the doctor recommended I give Bricanyl a go, if Ventalin was doing nothing to stop my cough. I did, but it didn't help, and the side effects of the Bricanyl are somewhere between being quite drunk and having had way too much coffee - an odd combination of tense and jittery and kinda dizzy and woozy, with an inability to concentrate. It's not been fun, and I'm back to work tomorrow, which is equally sucky.

Hopefully tonight though I get to sleep a bit earlier: I was up till 6am coughing, and since mum was working at The G till 3, she came in last night offering to take me to the kiddy ward at the hospital, since I last sounded like that when I was 4 years old.

I said no. Their wi-fi probably isn't all that great.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I've put this off for a while out of indecision but time is running out, so here it is, my entry into the Blogger's Quilt Festival.

I was a bit torn between a few quilts - the quilt I made for my best friend's baby was my first choice, because it features both rainbow and HSTs, and they're my two favourite things at the moment. And then there's my most recent quilt (well, quiltlet really) a crazy-pieced ode to my favourite mathematical equation. But it's still not bound, and the lack of energy I'm stuck with due to a nasty cold I've got at the moment means it probably won't be any time soon. In the end it was that same cold that led to my decision - I'm going to go with the quilt that I've had wrapped around me for the last two days, making me feel warmer and better-er.




I did the bulk of this quilt about two months ago, over the course of about two weeks. Having finished the top, I angsted over piecing the back, eventually deciding not to. I usually piece my backs at a diagonal, so that I don't have to match my quilting lines, but I had decided to quilt alongside the seams of the top, and they run at a diagonal too. Fortunately I happened to find a lovely blue-grey chambray that was 145cm wide.


And, having quilted it, I left it, trimmed and unbound, for quite a while. Binding is my last favourite part of a quilt, but I made the binding and put it aside for the right moment, which came about a week ago, when I felt like sewing, but my current project was at an awkward stage, and it seemed good to do something boring to get a run up before tackling something tough.



It is, in my opinion, pretty much the perfect size quilt. It was small enough to quilt pretty easily on my little old machine, but it's big enough to cover me from neck to feet when I'm laying down, and wide enough that when I wrap it around myself, it reaches halfway down my legs.

I've already assembled another grey and blue bundle to re-make this quilt someday, as well as a pink and brown bundle, and a green and orange bundle.

And now I'm off to sleep under it again :)





Ironically whinging post.

Most nights, before I go to bed, I click on the bookmark for the latest xkcd comic. They only update 3 times a week but I press the random button a few times, just to see which of the thousand or so comics pop up for me. It's kinda like a weird fortune cookie/horoscope type thing.

Last night:

Having a positive attitude is almost tautologically good for your mental health, and extreme stress can hurt your immune system, but that doesn't mean you should feel like shit for feeling like shit.

I know that it's actually about his girlfriend having breast cancer, which is a whole lot worse than having a stupid cold, but the mouseover text (I put it as the caption) seemed to ring particularly true. At the end of last night's whingey post I considered hashtagging firstworldproblems onto the end of it, so everyone knew that I knew that I was being whiny and pathetic, but it got a bit too meta, and I already have a headache. Thanks to this though, I'm gunna feel shit. I'm gunna roll with feeling shit. I'm gunna shove tissues up my nose, drink Demazin like it's cordial, pop Panadols like they're smarties, sit in my electrically blanketed bed and watch all of season 1 of White Collar tomorrow. I'm gunna take my sick days, like a normal person would, and in a few days time, my nose will stop running, my eardrums will stop popping every time I blow it, and I will once again be able to bend over without feeling dizzy. This will happen whether or not I spend tomorrow in bed, but I may as well make the best of a snotty situation.

Oh, and the stunningly pretty yarn I bought to crochet myself a beret with is 100% wool, and not quite as soft as the cotton or bamboo I would like it to be.


#firstworldproblems.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Pathetic whinging post.

I have a cold.

I woke up feeling okay, even managed to get in a half hour of actual sewing before it hit. Since then I've had tissues shoved up my nose whenever I'm alone and I've been shooting back Demazin like it's $4 shots night at the pub (including saying "nostrovia" or sometimes "za vas" as I do it)

Worst of all, it's my full weekend on, and, short of throwing up all over a customer, I don't have much chance of getting to go home sick tomorrow. Like Sundays aren't bad enough when you're feeling good.

Maddy was home from school yesterday (with "sniffles") so I assume I've gotten it from her. Only good thing is I made a doctor's appointment for Tuesday for something unrelated so if I'm still feeling crap I'll see if I can at least get a few weekdays off work. I don't even remember the last time I had a sick day, but then, I also don't remember the last time I felt this sick.

I can only hope all the cough meds make me fall asleep instead of lying about feeling sorry for myself for the next 4 hours.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Favourite things (in bold)

Friday! It's a pretty good day, what with how I usually don't have to work and all, and today it was my last day off till next Saturday, and since I'm driving to Adelaide then, and back the next day, I'm not sure that it counts, so it kinda felt like today was going to be my last day off in forever.

But I got to go see this guy again.


And if I had to pick one actual favourite, it would probably be him. But I don't want my pseudo-nephew to grow up in a world where he can only have one favourite thing, so let's have more.

In honour of our hostess with the mostest, I'm going to go with some very mundane things;

The scroll button on my mouse. It is the unsung hero of all the input keys. While everyone's all rightclick/leftclick/spacebar/enter I'm just leisurely scrolling up and down. Using a mouse without one is horrible, and I feel that laptops would be greatly improved if they had one as well.

Those pop-up lids on drink bottles. You can open the drink with only one hand. And your mouth, obviously. But rarely am I laying on my other mouth. And they're less likely to spill all down the side of your face.

Little watchband adjuster tools. So much easier than trying to shove a pin into the little holes with a pair of pliers.

Chocolate Croissants. Croissants, with chocolate bits on top, and chocolate ganache inside. $2.40 from the bakery section at woolies.

Don's Salami. I don't know why it's so much better than Han's, but it is.

Getting your waxing done by a friend instead of a professional stranger, because the converstion is much better.

Having really long showers on days when it rains, because that's the whole point of having a rainwater tank.

CD burners. Remember when, to make a mix tape, you had to do it in real time? I do, but thankfully only barely.

Finding a fabric at lincraft that you've been looking fo the likes of on ebay for months.

Paying half price for it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Babies, Trucks, Crappy Poetry and Head-Devouring-Moss.

Meagan had her baby (around 4.30pm, Thomas James, 8 pounds 1, 51.5cm) and cause he's a boy, I'm getting started on my "if it's a boy" quilt - based on this pattern called On The Road Again, since her fiancee is a truck driver. It needs a fair few changes though - the bonnet is too long (trucks have shorter heads here - many have no bonnets at all) and the gap between the truck and the trailer is too big and in Australia semi-trailers need to have at least 3 axles, so there's not enough wheels for it to be road legal.

And that led to this:

Scanned copies, so I can draw all over them.

Which led to this:

Trucks are big,
Quiltmath is hard,
If you expect a rhyme,
You'll be disappointed.

Having done the basic math, if not the cutting layout, I spent the rest of the night sitting in front of the fire crocheting. I even finished a beanie.

Unintentional crimes of fashion. Whatcha gunna do?


It looks horrible - like a killer moss is eating my head. Still, it helped me get a good idea of how much decreasing to do to get a nice curve, and since the next one I've started is using a fluro-pink and white 8-ply, I have somewhat higher hopes. I mean, you've gotta love a fluro and white combo.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brrrrr.

It's so cold here tonight. Bordering on too-cold-to-function. My phone says it's 4 degrees out, and I know that there's plenty of places about that get way below that, but I'm used to the mount's 8-15° winter temps. 4° is the temperature my fridge is set to.

So this is, yet again, another night of me not doing anything. I am too cold to function, so I'm gunna try for an early night, and put my phone on loud, just in case I get a call. Because any minute now, my best friend Meagan could be squeezing out a baby.

She's already 12 days overdue, so they induced her tonight, but since the baby hadn't been in any real hurry before this, I figure it could be a while.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

More pictures in place of actual crafting...

Another day, another night spent not really feeling like crafting. It may be the crotchet's fault, since I can do that while watching youtube and BBC news guilt free. You can't tell for looking at it, but I'm totally making something there...


Fortunately, earlier today I decided to get out and take a few more photos out at the woodshed. For some reason my camera was absolutely refusing to flash, so the ones in the actual shed all came out dark at the top. So I shifted out to the big bits of wood outside.


And discovered the fundamental flaw in making quilts that feature a lot of white. Curiously, the really white side (above - remember, this is all the one quilt) was fairly clean, which meant I could spread it out nicely...


..but this shot isn't so much "trying to be artistic" as it is "positioning it so the two big stains don't show."

I've re-washed it, so it's good again for now, and I chucked the green quiltlet in with it, to see how the poly batting washed up. Honestly? You can hardly tell the difference between washed and unwashed. It looks fine, but I like the way a cotton quilt suddenly becomes super massively crinkly when you take it out of the dryer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Because I haven't done anything exciting tonight, either.

The Blue and Grey HST quilt, bound and washed, chilling out in our incredibly photogenic woodshed. I'm thinking I might photograph all the quilts I still have out here over the next few weeks.
Detail section of the back of the math quiltlet - I sewed the first night's work with white cotton, because the only black thread I had was poly and I didn't want to risk it melting, knowing how much ironing I had to do on it.
What I've been doing tonight: crocheting in my unique, cackhanded way. Clarification: I'm not a lefty, instead, I'm SOOO righty that I can't even have the thread wrapped around the fingers of my left hand, because it all gets tangled and stuck. I'm going to try make myself a beanie, when I get to the point of decreasing, I'll just skip a stitch occasionally.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A sign from the universe...

Today, I did nothing very much, and tonight, my internet is chucking a hissy fit and won't let me post. It's like it was meant to (not) be, or something...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I've had a fairly big day:



I bought some fabric.

Half price, and then another $40 off of a $100 spend meant this $200 pile cost me $60

I bound a quilt.

I realised last night that it's easier to try out tricky stuff If you use boring stuff as a run up. I'd already made the binding, so it just needed attaching.


And I finished piecing the math quilt.

I quilted it too, but it didn't photograph well.
I also did some other shopping, ate quite a lot of food, had some spontaneous visitors, took about 1000 photos (I'm gunna write up properly how I do my binding) and, as I said above, I've quilted the math quiltlet - just boring, evenly spaced vertical lines. I've cut the remaining rainbow fabric into strips to bind it, and a bit of fabric to make a hanging tube.

I'm pretty happy with my efforts.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bravery

Do other people write their blog posts in their heads while they're doing the sewing, only to get to the computer an hour or so later and find that it's all gone?

I had some brilliant thing going about throwing off the shackles of fear, and I was going to lead us all into a mighty revolution of zip setting, curved piecing and working with stretch fabrics. It was going to be a brave new world, but maybe some other day.

It came from an honest place though - tonight, I was brave. But first I finished the top of the Every Which Way quilt.


I ended up getting a slightly bigger bit of batting anyway, since I like to pull my tops pretty taught over the batting.

And once that was done, I decided to get into something I've been thinking about doing for a while, but have been too scared to have a go at.



It's not paper pieced. For that, you press to the sides, and I like my seams split. So I drew all my shapes on some paper, cut them out, traced them onto another piece of paper with .75cm seam allowances and then sewed them together freehand. There's currently 42 pieces there, and it still needs the brackets and the radical sign (The √ square root symbol) and the borders and such.


In case you were wondering, it's going to be the equation you use to work out how big your squares are if all you know is c - the length of the long side of your half square triangle.



I can highly recommend being brave though. After all, it's only fabric, and you might do a really good job with it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Favourite Things Everywhere

A couple of nights ago I paired together a four-patch block with a quarter-square-triangle block (is that its actual name?) and quite liked the results. And today before work I picked 4 colours on my Kona Card (Pear, Mango, Peacock and Taupe) and did some very basic preliminary maths, figuring that I could get a baby quilt from 50cm of each and a decent lap quilt from 75cm of each. And then, because it was Thursday late night shopping, I went to Spotlight in my meal break. And they had 50% off all their quilting fabric (till Sunday, apparently).

I'm putting favourite things in bold. It's 5am Friday now, and that seems Friday enough for me.

I only got 50cm each of the solids I picked, and the green is the only one that comes close to it's Kona counterpart. The orange is more melon-y, the blue more aqua-y and the grey - well, taupe is a light brown.

Back at work tonight, and I got some huge angst going on over my quilt math. How do you calculate how much bigger you need to make a square if you're going to make it into quarter square triangles and sew them back together? Is it two lots of your diagonal seam width (because if you did a half square triangle, and then did it again in the opposite direction, wouldn't it get the same amount smaller both times?) or is it only one (because each seam is measured one way, just like they are with the regular four patch?)

Turns out it's only once (yay knowledge!) but I only found that out by actually doing it, and having all my blocks be 1.8cm too big. But I took a pretty picture of my trimmings with Instagram.

Doesn't it look like delicious, rainbow linguine?
Because I got held up trimming, (and also with reliving the music of 1999 on youtube) I didn't get all my blocks sewn together, which is why in this photo, none of the points appear to match up. My batting should fit exactly to the top once it's all joined together, but at the moment, it needs 6cm of overlapping.


I'm calling it Every Which Way because even though they're not technically arrows, they kinda look like them. And once I see one of them as an arrow, I start seeing them all as arrows, pointing in every direction. I just don't know what good stuff they're telling me to pay attention to next.

Based upon the position of this on the floor in the lounge, the green is pointing to the kitchen, where today I ate some delicious chicken rice, the grey is pointing to the couch, where tonight after work I had garlic bread and watched the season final of New Girl, and the blue points to my bedroom, where I'm currently sitting on my bed eating some cadbury fingers.


Maddy (little sister) claims the white ones "changed her life" which is probably a bit superlative, but I will admit, they make my tongue very happy.

And there's a slew of things to keep the rest of me happy while my tongue's occupied, from books on my phone to clicky pens to nail clippers to funny, funny tumblrs.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

For Science!

The worst thing about going to the post office right before work is that you then spend your entire shift wanting to go out to the car and open up your packages.


And unsurprisingly, new fabric doesn't so much inspire me to create, as it inspires me to sit about and fondle new fabrics.


Some cute little farm animals that will probably end up with Meagan's baby, whenever it decides to get here.
 
Some lime greens I'd bought to go with the bundle of lime green fabrics from the new DS line, but the spotty one is too bright, so it's just going into stash.

Pinks and Greys to go with a couple of other fabrics from the same line, and some grey to go into the blue and grey re-done quilt.

My favourite fabric - they had 3 yards left but it was a 1/2 yard cut and a 2 1/2 yard cut, but I don't care. The diagonal stripe for binding on the white-sashed-nine-patch that's still hanging on my curtain.

Some organic cottons I bought mainly because they were only $5p/y.


And if you'll remember, postage was $22, fabric.com seemingly having finally gotten their ridiculous overcharging sorted.


Look up the top.
The scientist in me now insists we buy more stuff, just to see if the low postage cost in relation to real-world figures was some kind of statistical outlier. Seriously guys, I'd be doing it for the science*.

*And I request all my fellow Aussies buy something from them too - the larger the sample size, the more accurate our findings will be. If husbands/children/credit card statements complain, tell them it's for science.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Something.

I was going to get straight into sewing, but it was the final episode of Castle tonight (only for the season, thankfully) and it was so good I had to watch it twice.

But I got a bit of sewing done, making a start on another quiltlet, or possibly just a large, technically incorrect, orphaned block.


I rotated that bottom four patch again because I didn't like the fabric with the dots connecting with itself on the bottom edge - it's the more prominent fabric in the real world, though on my computer screen it looks to be the floral. I guess what I'm wondering though, is is it still a mistake if you thought about and did it on purpose? It's not technically correct, as I said before, but that's only the case if it's meant to be a repeating block. It was, initially, and the fact that the HSTs repeat themselves gives the impression of it being a mistake, but I liked it better this way, and I'm sticking with it.

But I'd kinda like to do a whole quilt with it repeating properly, in solids, cause I think it'd look pretty damn cool. Even two colours.



Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sometimes, the internet makes me cross.

I've never liked tumblr. Not only is it spelt dumb, but a lot of people who use it pretend like they're actual bloggers, when really, all they're doing is re-posting pictures they've found on other tumblrs, with occasional twitter-length posts about how they don't have girlfriends. Yes, there are some brilliant ones out there (if you can read textfromdog with a straight face, I will send you stash) but so much of it just an endlessly reposted waste of server space.

Nonetheless, tonight I got one, because, as I mentioned the other day, Instagram doesn't like Picasa, and since it makes me cross when other people spam up my facebook news feed with Instagram, I'd not only have to get a sword, but also fall on it, if I started doing it too. So it was a choice between Tumblr and Twitter, and since Twitter falls off the face of the internet after a fortnight, I went with the longer lasting of two evils.

And longer is right. It's taken me 45 minutes to get it set up and the first picture loaded. And all I wanted to do was show everybody a picture of my empty box of chocolate.


Gah. What a hassle. 45 minutes is almost half again on the time it took me to do tonight's project.


I suppose the proper name for it would be a pram quilt, or a car-seat quilt, but since they are both a bit dull, I'm going to call it a quiltlet. It's a bit under 50x75cm, so it's about a sixth the size of my usual quilts, and I just sewed around the edges and turned it right side out before quilting it, so no binding.


It's also got polyester batting, something I'd never used before. Spotlight had all their bags of precut poly batting for $3.99 last week, so I bought 3 queen sized ones, figuring I could use them for bags, or for cushion covers, or just let Maddy use them for her quilting endeavours. But I'd also used it under the lattice quilt, so I could take some photos without the darkness of the lino underneath, and so that I could roll it up without getting creases in the top, and the trimmings were the right width, so I went for it. I was only using random bits from the stash, and I told myself I wasn't going to spend more than 2 hours on it (all up, including cutting, it took an hour and 45 minutes) so I figured, even if I turned out horrible, it wouldn't be too much of a waste.

I haven't washed it yet but it seems okay - I suspect it will be a bit loftier than cotton, but I'm cool with that. It's a bit less clingy, obviously, but for something this sixe, I'm happy so far. The actual design of this one is very blah, but I might churn out some nicer ones for the facebook page.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Lattice Quilt - Cutting and Assembly Instructions

Having now done this quilt 3 times, I'm fairly confident that it's all sorted. The first one I was hacking up my fabric randomly, making it up as I went along, the second time was a bit better, and the third time it all came together flawlessly. The instructions for a quilt cut from yardage come to approximately 135cm, one made using a layer cake will be approximately 155cm, with a narrower border than shown.

If you are cutting all the fabrics yourself, first you will need 36 rectangles measuring 20x10cm (4x8") I cut these from 18 fabrics, and used the rest of the width of the fabric to cut a strip to make a scrappy binding, but it could be done with less fabrics - if you have twelve prints cut three of each, if you have nine, cut four from each.

From 1.8m (2 yards) of solid background fabric, first cut across the width of the fabric five strips 20cm (8") wide, then cut these strips into 25 squares, five across the width of the fabric.

Next, cut 2 strips 30cm (12") wide, then cut these into 6 squares, 3 across the width of the fabric. From the edges of the strips, cut six 10cm (4") squares.

From the remainder of the fabric, cut four squares of 16cm (6.5") and six more 10cm (4") squares.

Finally, cut your 30cm (12") squares and your 16cm (6.5") squares into HSTs.


If you are using layer cakes, you will need at least 18 squares of print (cut in half) and 34 squares of solid - 25 remain whole, six are cut in half into twelve HSTs and three are quartered into 5" squares.

Lay your prints out or up on your design wall to get a layout you like. I just put mine randomly.


Add the little squares in the corners.



Add the big squares in the gaps, as well as one at the outside of every print.


Sew the pieces together into diagonal rows and press the seams. There will be two pieces at either edge that wont be sewn yet.



Sew the rows into pairs with their neighbour of the same length. The centre row will remain on it's own. Press the seams


Attach a large HST to the ends of each row, with the right angle matching the edge of the printed fabric. There will be a slight overhang on the edge of the solid fabric. Trim this off after pressing. If you are using Layer Cakes, the opposite will happen - the triangle will not reach to the edge of the strip. The jagged edges left over by the original squares will be trimmed down after the top is completed.


Sew all your rows together and press the seams. If you are using Layer Cakes, trim the points from the edges - the squares in the corners should contain enough fabric to be trimmed to right angles at the same line as the low edges of the HSTs.


Sew the remaining four HSTs to the corners.


Tada! Very simple, Very quick quilt top.

I haven't yet made a back or quilted mine, but I'll update with some photos when I do.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Favourite things 5am Saturday

I had hoped to be able to get the tutorial for the Lattice quilt up tonight, but after I finished it, about an hour ago, I got a bit distracted by the all important staring-at-the-quilt-top-thinking step. It's still my favourite thing this week, but without a tutorial to go with it. Tomorrow night, hopefully.


I'm also loving Instagram, since it's hard to take nice photos of quilts at night in the kitchen. But I don't see why it can't just upload the pictures to Picasa - I know that one's owned by Facebook and the other by Google, but I think we should just all be friends.


I love it when I work out the maths well enough that there's very little wastage from my cutting. The pale blue of the background fabric started as a 1.8 metre (2 yards) cut, and that little pile was all the scrap leftover, including (mainly, in fact) selvedges and squaring up.


I love, partway through the pinning, realising, without intending to, exactly how much you would need to make this quilt using layer cakes. Answer - not much (34 neutral squares, 18 prints. The border would be narrower and the whole thing scaled up, obviously, but the only cutting would be the printed fabrics in half, 3 neutrals into quarters and 6 neutrals into HSTs, and then trimming it all square.)

I love a stripy binding.

I love now knowing how to crochet, even if, honestly, I don't find myself loving the crochet itself.

I love peppermint hedgehog logs, even if they make my arms hurt to roll them, and they look like poo.

I love the way the hands on my watch glow in the dark.

I love boiled potato with chicken salt. And a cold coke.

I love my electric blanket.

I love other stuff too, but I'm too tired to remember it.