Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Because I forgot to post about these fuckers

This is a repost of my actual entry to the BQF, and the epilogue to this story here. If you want the middle bits of of the story, as well as a whole lot of swearing about postage companies and a touch of feminism, it's over where I posted my actual entry: my tumblr, saraquilts.

So, long story short, some friends in America decided to go to a Supernatural convention, I’m stuck on the other side of the world in Australia so I couldn’t go, then I had the bright idea of making a fan quilt à la the Ron Swanson. Then I procrastinated for 4 months, only to face a mad rush to finish them in just over a week and get them shipped to be there on time. Yes, them. I made 3. I’m not sure if it’s coincidence that my favourite character also resulted in my favourite quilt, design wise, but I feel that these were the 1200 squares that came together the best.


Unfortunately, I got a bit carried away with the shading so unlike the nice simple easy-to-adapt-to-pattern, 5-colour Ron Swanson, the Sam Winchester quilt has 11 shades of brown in it (The Dean and Castiel ones ended with 14 and 13 shades respectively).


The design process involved screenshots, photoshop, lots of time spent trying to get the colours on the monitor to match the fabrics in hand and the program PC Stitch, which I highly recommend to anyone who’s thinking of making any kind of pixel art quilt. If you love it, it’s worth the $50. If you just want to have a play around, the demo version does everything but save, and that’s what the printscreen button was invented for. It also involved a lot of pain medication, but I think I’d rather recommend regular dental hygiene over having teeth pulled.

This quilt now lives in Austin, Texas, while the Dean Winchester quilt lives in Atlanta, Georgia and the Castiel quilt lives… I don’t know, actually. It’s been donated to charity to be auctioned off, so hopefully it has a nice life somewhere when it gets its new home.

I entered this in the original design section but I wonder if I should have entered it into the art quilts section. idk, thoughts?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Okay, kinda a little bit dead.

Remember back in MAY when I said I was gunna make quilts?
I procrastinated. 

Remember how I said they had to be in America by September? 
It is September.

Now, these fuckers have 1200 pieces per top. I'm gunna blame my procrastination on the fact that my laptop was in a truly terrible state*, and noone wants to try designing on something that takes 5 minutes to open a file in photoshop. I’d designed the first one, and got a top made, but the other two just weren’t working (though I ordered some fabrics based the requirements of a design I didn’t love, in a fit of misguided optimism) and I slogged through attempts with about 6 different reference pictures to no avail. But then I got a new laptop, and I could use photoshop again, and make the designs work. I ordered more fabrics, and some spoonflower labels before that, and waited. 

When the labels didn’t arrive on their due date (the 26th of last month), I worried. Then a couple of days before the solids were due to arrive (I was hoping for the 5th), with the labels still nowhere to be seen, I discovered I had my due date wrong. Not only was the post office not giving me what I needed, but I’d fucked up all on my own too. They needed the quilts by the 19th, not the 26th

On the one hand, I accepted my fate. Got over it. It wasn’t possible. No more worry. I agreed to work an extra shift that weekend after all. I made plans to go out and get drunk afterwards.

On the other hand, the universe had had my back on this one thing – Spotlight happening to have the one exact shade I had incorrectly ordered. So it came down to: if the solids got here by that Friday, and I could organise some kind of express courier to get them halfway around the world in a week, it would be possible. Not necessarily a good idea, but a doable thing. A thing that I could do. Possibly.

The fabric came that Friday. I still had a full quilt top and a half to do, as well as making the backings and doing the actual quilting for all 3. I timed my steps along the way:

Cutting:                      3 hours
Sorting:                      4 hours
Chaining:                    4 hours
Pressing:                    2 hours
Pinning:                      2 hours
Sewing Rows:             4 hours
Pressing blocks:          1 hour
Assembling:               1 hours
Backing:                     2 hours
Basting:                     .5 hours
Quilting:                     4 hours
Binding:                     3 hours

And even considering what I already had done, I worked on these for over 60 hours in the past 10 days. I cancelled on the going out and getting drunk thing, but I still worked 36 hours too. Oh, and uni, though I gotta confess I did the summaries I had to and ignored the rest. And...

Tomorrow I need to get up really early and call the DHL people and find out who I need to drop the box off to so that they can send it for me. Like, 7am early. The kind of early I’ve been going to sleep at (cause you don’t do secret projects in the middle of the day).

The nice man on the phone when I rang to check on Friday said that if they got it Monday afternoon, it would get to Dallas by Thursday. That’s the goal.  

*To be fair, I spilled hot chocolate on it.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

#NotDead (Sherlock Style)

First up, Hi, #NotDead :)

Next up, don't worry that you've missed out on a sea of epic quilts during my hiatus - I have made like, 3. One I made while drunk. The other I gave to its recipient before I remembered to take a photo and the other one is the reason for the "like" earlier on in that it's still in bits, the nephew it was being made for turning one in a fortnight. But whatever.

Because I am a crazy person, as well as still working 30 hours a week and doing foundation studies full time online at uni this year, I've just committed to making THREE 1200 piece pixel art quilts. Like I said, crazy person. They need to be in Georgia, USA, by mid September. I have done the design work on one so far in an epic, 7 hour, hate filled flurry that resulted in me getting 4 hours of sleep last night. I need to move quick, because this is the kind of project that will make me uuuurrrrrggggghhhhIgiveup if I don't see actual results soon. And I have a wedding and a 10 day honeymoon (bride and groom not invited) and school and work and a social life and at least two large scale scavenger hunts* between now and then.

Tonight I will do the counts for the first one and order the Kona. Prelim maths suggests a need for at least four and a half metres for the top alone, with a final size of 1.35x1.8m. Thank fuck it's in solids - even at $8 a metre these will probably cost me around $100 each, and that's before long arming. 

All this being said, I'm thinking I might actually just Beyoncé the damn things. Of course, saying that I'm doing them means they aren't a true Beyoncé, but then again, this isn't an album that will go multi-platinum with no advertising whatsoever. This is just some quilts. But I'll try and at least do some write ups for me to drop after the fact, including a tute on the actual design of the quilts, since that's the bit that is actually difficult. Y'know, if it doesn't make me smash myself over the head with a laptop before then.

*I've just remembered that I also made a quilt out of socks for a scavenger hunt last year but technically it wasn't a quilt, it was just socks sewn together (the definition of a quilt being batting sandwiched between two layers of fabric and sewn through) but I don't think the people running it really knew that much about quilting because we got the points even though it was technically only a sock quilt top. I slept under it at Longy BnS last year. Good times.