Saturday, March 31, 2012
Oh well, tonight at least I didn't waste, because I made a backing for a forgotten quilt top.
It's very bright. I wasn't planning on doing something this bright, but it was bulk stash, and it doesn't matter as long as I'm finishing things and using up stash. Also, loving the warm fuzzy feeling of achievement. But that might just be indigestion. I'd forgotten too how much everyone liked the pink pavement quilt top.
Also, loving the $10 spotlight vouchers, especially the fact that you can use them 4 times over the 4 days. Today, I bought 10 fat quarters, already reduced to $2 each, so with the voucher it came to $1 each. Then, I doubled the size of the bundle with stash stuff.
I think I'll use this to make another of those random-rectangles-arranged-into-squares-done-up-in-a-basket-weave-type-design-and-set-on-point quilts. And maybe think up a better name for it.
Also this week I've been loving nuts and dried apricot, but when I say dried I mean really dried. Dried apricots on their own are nowhere near dry enough, and I have to come up with a way to make them as dry as the little bits of apricot in the mini snack boxes.
Kellogs mini-wheats are now only available in blackcurrant, but they're still quite delish too. Strawberry was better though.
Magnets of course, remain awesome. They always, always will.
But really, my absolute favourite thing this week (and last week too actually) would probably be bacon. Bacon is delicious, and quick, and easy, and I particularly like it in the middle of the night when I get home from work.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Speaking of, I'm already planning to run away the weekend after easter. It's my soonest available chance, and 3 weeks before Meagan's due, so probably my latest for a while. If Shay wants to catch up, I am willing to share my zippy knowledge.
And while I'm on zippy knowledge, (I'm getting good at segueing) I bought some more peeled cows (actually, I believe one of them is a peeled sheep) on ebay and etsy, so I'm gunna get a go at making the angst bag as it originally arrived in my brain, complete with raw edged zip sewing. It's the one kind of zipper I've never done before, but I figure that the leather won't stretch in the same way as cotton does. so it should sit nice and straight, and be thick enough to not catch in the teeth if it is accidentally too far over. I spent most of last night on etsy actually, with the initial intent of looking for a good gender neutral fabric to use for the quilt I'm not even going to make any more, but it didn't take me long to start looking at rainbow vintage flannels and embossed leather.
Not all segues are good ones. Well, that's not fair - these were good, but also quite expensive.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Question: do you think she's expecting a quilt?
If she knew what she was having, I would probably do her one. Girl quilts are easy. Boy quilts aren't that hard. But gender neutral quilts shit me. Green is my favourite colour, but I don't like the fact that is the gender neutral colour of choice. Orange is very in right now, what with tangerine being the colour of the year, but that hasn't filtered down to our Spotlight, who only got half the oranges in the new DS range (and none of the greens - boo), and oranges are especially hard to compare on a computer screen. What's more, soooo many fabrics, even ones that aren't girly, have flowers on them.
I'm not a big advocate of if I could do it all again-ing, but in this case, if I could do it all again, I'd buy a dozen bundles of the aqua, orange and brown mingle bundles, back when I could get them for $15 each. And then not only would I have the perfect go-to bundle whenever I needed a quick gender neutral baby quilt, I wouldn't be so worried about the fact that I haven't seen what is still my favourite quilt I've ever made in almost a year.
Cause I could just make it again.
I think I'd rather just find that one though.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
The trick it seems is to do it with one piece of insulbrite twice the length, and to just quilt with the fancy thread through the half that will become the outside, and then do plain quilting through the other half - quilting through two layers makes it incredibly boofy, and boof both feels odd in your hand, and means there are flat bits that the cold will penetrate through.
Tragically, I used all my velcro on my 4 goes at doing this. Will need to get some more, I guess.
Monday, March 26, 2012
But that was a whole eight dollars. If I'd spent a fortune on stuff especially to start it tonight, and then not started it, I would have been cross at myself. But since after leaving Spotlight I went to McDonalds and spent $8 on my actual lunch, it's okay.
Tonight though I did go a little bit shopping crazy - I found a website with some nice bag bits fairly cheap, and more importantly, fixed $3 postage worldwide, so I spent $40 on rectangle loops and sliders and a couple of swivel things and some magnet clasps that looked prettier than mine and were still cheaper than buying them individually, though not cheaper than buying the bulk packs of the slightly shoddy ones they have at lincraft.
Oh, and I don't think I mentioned this earlier, but I've finally ordered a Kona colour card! Hancocks sent me an email a few days ago saying they had them in, and that if I spent just $70 more they'd give me free postage.
And I love that kind of challenge. According to the email I got, it's on it's way.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Not that there were any huge dramas - one of the cross stitch cottons ran out half way through a quilting line but I just magically joined the next bit up and kept going. I made the lining 5cm too big, so I just trimmed it down. I stabbed myself with a pin, but hey, that's what sewing's all about.
It's not perfect. It has it's faults. Some slightly messy lines, the stitching going completely mental when I just sewed on the tab at the end of the zipper.
Whatevs. It's nice. I like it. I think it's going to be liked. I can't wait to make myself a mini version in black with rainbow stiching.
*admittedly, it was about a 5 day turnaround, but I like my emotional rollercoasters like I like my real rolercoasters - fast.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
I did read something the other day about a lady from Adelaide finally claiming a $900,000 jackpot that she apparently got as a christmas present but never got around to checking, so maybe that was Shay, and she's bumped up her Hawaii trip without telling anyone.
It's a shame, that would make a fantastic favourite things friday post.
Anyway, yeah, I love a bitch session. I know it's a bit mean at times, and it amuses he how some bitch sessions are about how bitchy certain other people are, but on the other hand, it's a handy way of reminding ourselves that the human experience is pretty much universal, and we really are all in it together, even when we're not. So yay for having a whinge to an agreeable ear.
We got the custom batch of monsters finished tonight, and yay for that too, and also a resolute "If I say I'm going to do monsters in the next 6 months, slap me."
And the fantastically named "Angst Bag" (thanks Thea) is coming along nicely: the outside's all done, the inside's nearly done and then it just needs a zipper to join it all together.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Anyway, I'm watching Life again, because I have no idea how it ended. Actually, that's a lie. Despite not containing the words "Spoiler Alert" anywhere in the page, the Wikipedia article on the show gives it all away. But I'm cool with that.
So yeah, monsters are all pinned ready to sew tomorrow, at which point I can turn them right way out, stuff them and they can start making their way to their new homes.
Before I got started though I made a bag. Not a very good bag, since it was really only a mock up version of the bag that I spent a goodly portion of last night working out as I lay awake in bed, unable to sleep, but still.
It has a very pretty embroidered top which I like a lot a lot.
Which is made by winding half a skein of variegated cross stitch cotton onto the bobbin and sewing it from the underneath. I felt that it would work in theory, but I really wanted to try it out. You've only got 4m of sewing distance though before you have to put in a new bobbin.
Unfortunately, I made the flap too short anyway. But it's nice to know that it all works in theory, and that most of my maths was right (though I cut it a lining twice and got it wrong both times, so I gave up on lining it, zigzagged over the inside seams and used the fabric to set the zip instead)
But I realise that my problem with the lining was the confusion inherent in using a 30cm long see-through ruler and measuring 17.5cm as 13.5cm. Usually, my ability to read backward, upside down or mirrored words quite easily is a handy talent, not so in this case.
Still, the most important thing is that it should scale up nicely to make the bag I was angsting about the other night. I guess that's why I couldn't start it then; a better design was waiting to be thought up.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Is fault the right word to use? Is it a good thing or a bad thing that she believes in the tooth fairy? I believe that stories such as the tooth fairy are important, since it primes us as children to accept things that don't exist (like santa or the easter bunny) in preparation for the grown up things that don't really exist that we nonetheless have to believe in to be functioning members of human society, (like truth and justice)
But then that's a theory I got from the Discworld novels by Terry Pratchett, along with a belief that the most logical set up for tooth fairies would be some kind of franchise operation.
The internet seems to think about 10. But I think my internet either has some kind of separation anxiety going on, or either it thinks I'm fat, because whenever I go out to the kitchen, it stops working. It's fine if I go to the bathroom, or to work, but if I go to the kitchen, dropout. So clearly it's deranged, and not to be trusted.
Anyway, I guess my point is that I'm worried that my otherwise very smart little sister is going to be derailed into a life of Nigerian bank scams and fake European lottery wins because I fabricated some quite flimsy evidence that the tooth fairy exists, based solely on the fact that once upon a time I used to do all my as like the computer does instead of like a circle with a stick on the side, which is how Maddy thinks I write. If she falls for that, how will she be able to tell if that email from paypal is real, or a nasty phishing scam?
Ooh, hey, new justification for not giving them the good desktop. Yay!
*I have to think very, very hard about what I did last week.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Couple my newfound unwillingness to start anything with an apathy toward binding anything, and I'm a bit stuck. The monsters have provided an alternative, but I'll be honest, I'm not a lover of machine applique, and the fact that they need it is what keeps me from doing them more often. I find I'm better at starting something if I use freshly bought fabrics (probably because they can be replaced if it does all turn to shit) but I still get worried about the amount of money I just spent on them.
Still, there are things that need making, and tonight I sucked it up long enough to make a strap. For a bag, which was a bit too much to ask of myself tonight. It's for a gift, so I want to get it right. Except I haven't actually decided what it's going to look like yet, and that's never been a good start to a project. Hopefully it'll be a quiet night at work tomorrow and I can sort it to my liking. I'm using new fabric at least...
Oh, and last night's post was #700. I knew it was coming up, but I forgot to check exactly when, and now we've missed it.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Monday, March 19, 2012
So anyway, I could barely stand, let alone sew, for most of the day. I know, theoretically, that it's better for you to eat something as soon as you get up, and get outside and moving, but I just don't want to. I just want to nap a bit more, maintain horizontality, and maybe be sick a little bit. The alternative makes you feel better sooner (I know that from BnS balls) but when you're feeling shit, you may as well wallow in it.
I didn't get started sewing till 9, but I've managed to do all the faces on the custom monsters, and I've sewn and turned the arms too. Five of the eight new monsters have horns. Horns are popular, it seems. Hard to turn those little points, but I found a bobby pin.
It's been a bit weird to be making pairs, but it's not the first time - I made a matching set years ago for one of my friends from work's sons.
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Friday, March 16, 2012
Blergh. I know you can send a top off to be quilted; I wish I could send off my quilts to be bound. I've worked out probably the quickest, neatest method imaginable and it still feels like it takes forever. One day I might time them both, and see which actually takes longer - the quilting or the binding. There's so much faff to binding, there's cutting and pressing and pinning and folding and turning and sewing really carefully.
To that end, tonight I trimmed my edges, zigzagged them together and cut the binding strips. Just doing that took 20 minutes, and I haven't started the complicated stuff yet.
I need a binding fairy.
Thursday, March 15, 2012
I've taken out the prints with other colours in them, taken out the solid blues, added a lighter grey and some more DS blues. Apart from the solids, there's three non-DS fabrics in there - the black, grey and white hashed fabric, and the two greys with dots, which are actually the same fabric. I used the wrong side on the original, and I'm going to use both the wrong and right sides on this one. There really aren't that many grey fabrics to choose from, but I'd like to do this one bigger again, so I'll keep an eye out.
I also went to Lincraft and Stitch & Knit today to get some more monster fabrics.
The purple spot is a flannelette, and it and the two batiks came from Stitch and Knit, the blue hashed one was from Spotlight and the other two dots were from a mixed Lincraft bundle, which was half price.
Meagan and I had a bitch sesh after work so I don't get home till 1.30, and then it seemed like a good time to change the background on my phone. I like to use photos of fabrics, and have decided to go with the plaid from the Teddys Garden range.
Dammit, now I want to buy more.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Normally, I quilt on the horizontal and/or the vertical. Straight lines or wavy ones, but really, in a maximum of two directions on the one quilt. Which means that I can do very intricate pieced backings (often leading to arguments over which is the back and which is the front) as long as they are set on point, or at least, much nearer to a 45 degree angle, because this way I don't have to match up any quilting lines. But this design has quilting on the diagonal too. Both diagonals in fact, in different parts of the quilt. So pretty much anything I pieced would have to either line up perfectly, or else be cut on some really weird angle, in three different directions, so it didn't line up anywhere.
And because I'm lazy, both of them seemed too hard, and because it's only 120 wide, I went to spotlight in my lunch break (they were kindly open till 8 tonight, and had 30% off everything) and bought a really really really nice cotton chambray that was 140 wide and only $7 p/m. And you know me, I love a yarn dye, and because this was navy and white it looked grey, cleverly making the backing both grey and blue at the same time.
Having resolved that issue, I got home tonight, basted it all then quilted it.
Pretty quilt lines... I must confess, looking at solid backs makes me want to do something whole-cloth, even if it's just wavy line quilting in a rainbow variegated thread on some black.
Yet another thing to add to my to-do pile. It's getting pretty big.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
So tonight, I had quilt appreciation night.
A fancy way of saying that instead of sewing, I curled up on my bed (with my pretty new quilt) and watched Big Bang Theory.
Monday, March 12, 2012
I'd done a test version with just the lines drawn on the other night and nearly finished it before I realised I was doing it all wrong - trying to sew it like I'd sew a lined pouch with a zipper instead of constructing it like I used to make laptop bags with the top flaps. So tonight's version worked much better.
I still have to sew a clasp into it, and I'm considering maybe making the gusset go the whole way around as opposed to tapering off to a point just beyond the corners, because they're a bit messy. That photo is actually stuffed, well, It has my spare phone and car keys and a lip gloss and a pack of quick-eze in it, which is pretty much everything, except for money, that I need for a night out.
I think next time I'll do an edged handle too, because the black kinda vanishes. I considered using piping on all the edges, but I got lazy.
Still, as a proof of concept, coloured in with fabric markers, I'm pretty pleased. Next one I'd like to try one of the side zipping ones with two handles, but I think tomorrow I should try get that grey and blue quilt backed.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Saturday, March 10, 2012
Tomato sauce is pretty good too, as are facebook groups and spontaneous sewing gatherings.
Lipsmackers which are comically oversized amuse me, as do magnets, when you try to stick them together the wrong way. I am easily amused.
And realising that you made your test bag all wrong is a bit annoying, but then when, 5 minutes later, your brain points out that you know exactly how to do it, since you did it this way all the time about 3 years ago, well, it's a nice feeling to know that it will all be better next time.
Friday, March 9, 2012
But it's all sewn now (not pressed, but yay progress) even though it didn't get done till after 4am becasue I got distracted by youtube.
Damn you youtube!
Thursday, March 8, 2012
It worked. But my clipping it up didn't, really. I need more coathangers (what look like the across seams are sewn.the down ones aren't, but the threads between the strips are still attached, so it's like a big net at the moment)
And I've started sketches too.
Bag with flap won't need a zip = yay, but single handles make me sad.
And now that I'm going to bed, I'm not going to draw any more bags till after all those seams are pressed out, at the very least. And pinned too, preferably.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
That's an actual, physical bag.
And dammit, I want one.
Thing is though, on the backs they've left them black. I suppose, technically, since it appears to be a 2D object, the back shouldn't matter. The angle is important when it comes to "looking" right, and since it's really only meant to be seen from the one direction, not going to any effort on the back would seem somewhat logical.
However, if I'm going to pay $70 for a bag, I want it to be double sided. I'm pretty sure that it would be possible to have the design reversed on the back. I'm pretty sure that you could put another zipper on the back too, even if the pocket was completly flat and attached wholly to one side of the gusset. I'm pretty sure that I could make something similar, but a bit smaller, and double sided, and I'm not totally sure about the "side pockets" on theirs, I think I'd ommit those. I really only want one to use as a pub bag, because I live to mess with the minds of drunk peeps. Also, I love my regular handbag too much to replace it fully, even though the magnet clasp is broken. How the hell can you even break a magnet?
Making a double sided, half size version of this is going to be my side project, that I basically spend all my time thinking about. It may even finally get me spoonflowering.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
It's a lot easier to do a shuffle when the HSTs are still HALF square TRIANGLES. Once they're a whole square, it's a lot harder, since you've got to be happy with the position of both fabrics. And when I look at old quilts, it's never the slightly off points that get me, rather it's the positioning of the various fabrics, especially if they're randomly placed. But there has to come a point where you go, "Suck it up Sara, and just start sewing the goddamn thing already."
And since it's pretty much all new fabrics, if it all turns to shit I will simply sacrifice another $30 of my moneys and buy all the fabrics again and start over.
|The little yellow guy looked like a Bee Gee before He got the massive arms. Now he doesn't.|
|Spotlight now has cartoon-style safety eyes. Only used on one monster, and I'm still not sure about them.|
|The little guy with the purple horns is purple on the back too, but the back of his horns is green.|
|The fabric of the big guy was horrible to use because it was so lightweight and shifted like crazy when I was trying to sew it.|
|The centre lady is the only monster so-far to get a name - Rosa (der)|
|Possibly father and son?|
|The problem with double sided batiks and nearly-but-not-quite-symetrical body shapes is that sometimes you get them half pinned before you realise it's back-to-front.|
|These two are toats my favourites.|
Only a couple of them have been handsewn though.
Monday, March 5, 2012
Some of these guys have amazing teeth. I'm jealous. But most of them have no depth perception (having only one eye) so I guess, you win some you lose some.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Because you sew and turn out and stuff the arms first, and because monsters are under no obligations to conform to the ratios we find pleasing in a person, often their arms are longer than the boddies they have to be pinned inside of.
My tip, for anyone who wants to make monsters of their own, would be to sew them once, over the edges that have arms or horns in them, and then shove the arms well out of the way and sew the groin area. If you try to do it all in one hit, the position of the arms can get distorted, and they'll be pointing in all sorts of weird directions.
Also, the movie RED is very enjoyable, and good for watching while pinning monster bodies.
Saturday, March 3, 2012
Its yay for stuff time, but with a difference. Instead of being at home in my bed, with my sewing, I'm at booby-ella, our family's shack at Racecourse Bay. I'm chillin in my swag, in a room full of teenyboppers who all agreed they were bored and should go to bed, but who haven't shut up since then. Still, I've had a surprisingly enjoyable evening with a group if people I wouldn't normally like (rich, private school 17 year olds) who've been incredibly welcoming to my 24 year old formerly-public-schooled self. It may just have been because I had booze, but they all seemed genuinely warm and friendly. So yay for that, for starters.
And as I mentioned before, yay for my swag. I'd had out in the boot for a few weeks after Charlegrak and it was totally handy when it came to sorting out what to bring tonight. Honestly, I filled an esky with cider from the fridge, and my swag was already in the boot and so was my gym bag, with a handy change of clothes. Yay for my gym bag too.
Yay for jeans as well, especially super comfy ones I've had for ages. I didn't realise it till today, but with all the hot weather while I was at holidays and now being back at work, it's been about a fortnight since I've worn them.
Yay for sharp scissors, even though they stab you in the finger. Yay for safety eyes, because they're easier than sewing on buttons. Yay for polyfill for its smooth consistent stuffing properties.
Yay for grey. Its all of a sudden my new favorite fabric colour, and I've been looking at lots of greys on the internet. Yay for the blue and grey quilt, even though its barely started, because I can feel it's going to be awesome.
Yay for HSTs. Did I yay them last week? Possibly. My feelings towards them haven't changed. Much like with miniatures, where half the size means twice the awesome, a quilt with HSTs looks twice as awesome as one with squares.
Yay for the bottle (bag) of water in my gym bag, which tastes way better than the rainwater here.
Yay for mini sausage rolls.
Yay for blogger on my phone.
Yay for not working fridays.
Yay for being warm and cozy and comfy and contented. I'd make a fantastic cat.
Friday, March 2, 2012
Well, I say started. I pushed the tip through the fabric and straight into my fingertip.
See that tiny, tiny spot on my fingertip? Look closely, it's tiny. It's been 14 hours and it hurts like hell. I'm a little bit of a sook, in case you haven't noticed. But I appear to own the world's sharpest, pointiest scissors, and they only cost me $7, which seems pretty good value...
Anyway, tonight after work I got the rest of the eyes done, I got all the little arms and horns sewed (all 62 of them) and I snipped all the inside curves and turned them all inside out and I've stuffed 30 of them, but I've run out of episodes of Long Way Down to watch and also, it's 3am.
Just to amuse myself, I've strung my little rope of arms across my fabric shelves - if you're going to mass produce 62 tiny arms, leave them in a chain together, because it makes them much easier to turn right way out and stuff. And you can hang them on your wall.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, here's Casey's poem:
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Tonight, I have spent 4 hours mathing out a number hunt for my sister and some friends to do for a hen's night this weekend. They have hired a bus and are going to some local country pubs, where part of the challenge is to write down some numbers and add them all up to work out what the answer is.
I'm quite confident none of them read this blog. The answer is boobs. Or, more to the point, the answer is 58008 upside down on a calculator. It's also the bride's nickname, and it was an easier number to work toward than 10,032,012 which is the date of the wedding, and our original plan. We roadtripped it a couple of weeks ago to find some numbers and I had to work them all together. And then I had to write little poems for each of them.
I don't even get to go to this hen's night. I'm working. I don't even get to go to the wedding! It's one of my sister's best friends, she's the maid of honour, we run in the same circles and go to all the same BnSs and bonfires, but I'm not invited.
It mak'a me cross.
Actually, I haven't done all the poems. I've done ten, leaving Casey with three, and even though they're the last three on the trip, they would seem to be the hardest. How exactly does one write, in four lines, the 2nd and 4th of which rhyme, that in the pokie room at the Bellum there's a machine called the Enchanted Forest that has "Aristocrat 540" written on it and we want them to write down the 540 and add it to all the other numbers?
Casey gets that one. She's lucky I like her or she'd've got them all.