So it’s only appropriate that I spend most of the day working on the beginnings of my Halloween Costume. I am a terrible procrastinator, and if I wait until the last minute it will never come together, so I’m starting now. So costume party on Halloween, need something to wear. Now the party I am going to is going to be attended by what one might call … mundanes. muggles. ahem. normal people. So I wanted a costume that could serve me later at nerdier functions – but I didn’t have to explain who I was to everyone. So at some point, I decided to do a steampunk Joker. Now I realize I may have to explain “steampunk” but at least with the green wig and the unmistakable makeup, everybody would know I was the Joker. And with that the costuming began.
So I bought this corset. Made by Damsel in this Dress, this is their Vixen model. I bought it because I basically thought it was versatile for all my pirate / steampunk / renfest costuming needs. And it is orange. I haven’t really decided what I’m going to wear underneath – right now what I’m leaning towards is a turquoise button down.
I haven’t had a whole lot of time to sew or work on any quilts this week because of work stuff, but today I got my first package from a Supply Swap that I signed up for. I really need to get my flat rate boxes so I can send mine out before it’s too late. I’m pretty pleased with this one though – I love the potholder pattern, and check out that green cow fabric! I will probably use these fabrics on my curtain project.
I am not really sure what I’m going to put in my two swap boxes, I’ll probably dig through my stuff tonight and figure that out.
So I finished my charm quilt that was the first project for my Quilting Quickly class over at craftsy.com. I wound up breaking it up into nine patches because I thought it would be way too busy otherwise. There’s only one huge problem that I didn’t notice until about twenty minutes ago, and that is the fact that the middle square on the bottom row is about a quarter inch too large for some reason, and the sashing doesn’t line up. But hey, at least it’s done right? Also I opted on piecing together the longer horizontal sashing. I’m hoping that it won’t be too noticeable, but my lack of ability in cutting long straight lines made using the pieced jelly roll lengths a good idea.
After it’s all said and done, and despite that one issue, I actually think I learned some things on this very basic project, and if nothing else, it gives us a quilt to work on when we take our long arm classes.
So I had plans to get this one finished today. Got all the rows sewn together, and was excited to shelf it for something more interesting. But when I started the horizontal sashing, I found out that my rows were a half inch longer than WOF. Which means that I can’t use the jelly roll I had ready. So its going to have to wait until I can get more white because what I have in the Stash of Doom™ is not long enough either. Boo.
This little quilt was deceptively difficult, when it came to fabric arranging. There’s two spots that annoy the living bajeezus out of me – the polka dots that are touching each other in the first block of row three, and how there’s polka dots right next to each other in the second and third blocks of row four. By the time I realized it, I really didn’t feel like ripping seams anymore so I just let it fly.
I don’t have a picture for this post – mostly because I didn’t sew at all this weekend. Saturday we got hit with the tail end of Tropical Depression Helene, and the lights were going on and off, and I was in no mood to sew anyway. Since Katrina changed everything back in 2005, August usually is surrounded with a certain amount of weather anxiety for me. It’s always there in the back of my head – I’m always calculating the hurricane plan. If I can make it past Labor Day without being waterlogged – I will count this year as a success.
So right. I didn’t sew at all. I also couldn’t really work with the lights going in and out – so I didn’t make much progress there either. Mostly I just snuggled up with the pets and read. It wasn’t the worst way to spend a rainy Saturday.
This evening though, I definitely have a date with my sewing machine. I want to get all my 9 patches done for my Charm Square Quilt. I manged to assemble 3 blocks this morning, but tonight – IT WILL BE FINISHED! My mom finished hers yesterday, so now I’m the one who is behind.
Also as a sidenote – I was invited to a Halloween Party last night, so that is an upcoming project that I have to start thinking about. I’m thinking something steampunky, just because that is fun – either a steampunk Mad Hatter, or The Joker. I am leading towards the Joker because I saw an awesome cosplay of one last week. It was a whole lot girlier than I would do it – but it gave me lots of ideas. I will probably be making everything except the corset / bodice piece. I do have all the hardware to make one somewhere in my closet – but I lack the sewing expertise…serious foundation garments are WAY above my pay grade.
I blogged pretty regularly from 2000 – 2006 or so. I had a pretty good readership, active readers and commenters – certainly plenty drama to keep them coming back for more. But honestly, A LOT has changed since then. Everybody seems to want to be a blogger rock star, to make tons of money with their posts with sponsors and give-aways etc. And readers expect that too I think. It’s sort of overwhelming, for someone just starting. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want readers, but I honestly don’t know how one does that without being a blog that is a job. I don’t want my blog to be my job. I certainly am not talking about anything that I can monetize, because I’m a newbie quilter, and a mediocre photographer. What I want is my blog to mark my progress as a quilter. I would like visitors and an online community to talk about what is going on in my quilt life too though.
So can a blog be successful being a personal homegrown thing these days? Without offering free stuff, patterns or organized activities? What marks a blog’s success anyways? I don’t know, but I am pretty good at talking to myself so I guess it doesn’t matter much, really.
Well, I mentioned earlier that I broke the Lug’s computer last week. Well, the new computer arrived yesterday, and a friend came over to help him put it together. I’m glad that is mostly resolved, but we still haven’t found a great place to put his new computer – his last one was a laptop. Right now it’s sitting in front of my desktop machine, which is okay temporarily but it’s not going to work forever. I don’t really work a lot from my desktop, although I was thinking about moving back to it during the day for work. I don’t know. We’ll figure something out. Maybe put him in the closet in the sewing room? I think that would be fine when I’m sewing and he’s on it – but what about when we raid and are gaming together? Blah. Annnyway….
So this is my first project for my Quilting Quickly class. Using 5″ charm squares I’m making 9 patches and I’m going to sash in between with white. For a bit I was thinking red, but there’s a lot of red in there, and I don’t want any squares to bleed into the sashing. Maybe I’ll put a red border on it when its all said and done. We’ll see.
But I am really trying hard to do everything right. Nesting the seams, matching the points, yadda yadda. It’s funny though, I’m not having any trouble at all matching the points and getting the seams to lay flat on my Sparkle Punch project – but this one is giving me trouble. Which is really kind of frustrating, because even though I’m self taught – I’ve kind of been doing this for a while now. This shouldn’t be hard!
Weekend to-do list:
Well before I start sewing – I need to do work work. So that comes first. I have a site migration and template buildout. Both are pretty pressing, but they are paying me early ( for some reason I don’t know ) for the migration so that will probably come first.
As far as quilting goes First and foremost I need to finish my Sparkle Punch top. No excuses. It needs to be off my design wall and ready for basting. Serious. It needs to be done.
Number two: the 9 patches for my Charm Square Quilt project for my Quilting Quickly class? Need to be done. The sashing can wait until next week, but those blocks will take no time and need to be assembled. Actually, I might do that tonight while the Lug is putting together his new computer.
There’s something else I really really need to tackle, but I just really don’t want to do it. My fabric stash is a giant mess, and I can’t find anything in it. It’s awful. Everything needs to be pressed, it all needs to be organized, and I don’t have any room for any of it. See Below. Not pictured is a very large suitcase, and a big rubbermaid full of fabric. Ugh.
Lastly – I wanted to kind of explain where I want to go with all this business. Right now, in my quilting I am working towards developing a skillset, and trying to get all the technique down so I can move towards a more fine art approach to quilting. My background is in art and design – and I want my quilts to eventually become a more personal body of functional artwork. It goes a bit deeper than that really, into a discussion art vs. craft, and why so much creative work – seriously hundreds, thousands of years of pieces made by women’s hands are dismissed as “craft”, or as something lesser. But that is really a long discussion and rant for another time when I don’t have my workday breathing down my neck. I need to get to it before the natives turn on me….
Besides the Sparkle Punch quilt and the mysterious Secret Project™, I have an embarrassing amount of unfinished projects floating around here. They’ve been looming over my head recently, and I really really want to put some of these to bed.
This is one of the first quilts I ever pieced together. My cousin was pregnant with twins, so when I heard the news I immediately pieced together two matching baby quilts. Unfortunately she miscarried, and I was too heartbroken to finish them. Now almost 3 years later, she has a 1 year old and a newborn – so my mom and i are dusting these off for the “New Baby” and the “Old Baby” The other one is further along, with borders and we basted it – so its ready for quilting. I want to get this one at least that far before the end of the month.
This one is embarrassing. It’s a pattern I got off of Moda Bake Shop, started last winter for the birth of a friend’s baby – I made a noob mistake and thought it would be a good idea to quilt this with invisible nylon thread. Which was very hard to handle, and I gave up midway through. Maybe he’ll get it sometime before he gets married. Bleh.
This one also was one of my earliest projects, and honestly I just took on too much too soon. Made of beautiful batiks my husband hand picked, it’s a giant quilt that is in the middle of being hand quilted. It’s pretty much overwhelming – and in the summer months its unbearable working under it. We’ll revisit this one come fall, I can’t even look at it in August.
And last but not least, my Grandmother’s Flower Garden. My project that I work on when I’m traveling, or when it’s not really convenient to be at a sewing machine. Working on this is just very relaxing to me – and I’m okay with not finishing it until I’m old and gray…because honestly, it will take that long. Currently I’m out of the fabric I’ve been using for the borders, so it’s on hiatus for the time being.
Last but not least, I thought this bolster pillow cover would be a quick project to make me feel like I’ve accomplished something. WRONG. I didn’t make this from a pattern, and planned on having one end solid and the other drawstring. I seriously have no idea how to get that end cap on there without ripping out the stitches of the sleeve that makes up the body of the pillowcase.
So let’s see – what have I been up to?
This Sunday the Mom came over and we worked on The Secret Project™ for a while, and she also brought me a new quarter inch foot – so that was cool. I managed to make some progress on the Sparkle Punch quilt, but not as much as I would like – there’s all kinds of drama afoot from all directions. Families = Crazy. Yep.
And my big box of scraps came in the mail yesterday – there’s some highs and lows in there. A lot of woven countrified plaids – meh. And quite a few tweeny novelty prints – blah! Of course this only led me to take the most offensive of the bunch and add it to my scrappy HST collection. Only one clearly says “Hannah Montana” after everything was sliced and diced, so I guess it could have been a lot worse.