Dec 31, 2013

D225&6: Making do and doing

If only there was a day created for every idea.

I need new clothes.  I don't like shopping.  It's hard to shop with a little person because your thoughts are often interrupted.  Worst still, if you're sleep deprived, you tend to make odd decisions sometimes.

Today, for instance, I had the presence of mind to return a transparent top to Target during the sales.  But I didn't try on either of my replacement purchases.  Why?  Because it's awkward with Bub in tow, but I should've done it anyway.  When I did get a quiet moment at home I tried on this tunic and remembered how coat hangers lie...

Was I going to return this one too? Nope. How likely was I to wear this? Not very.  It's problem for me was the waist, which was cinched with an inch wide elastic and, for someone who isn't particularly tall, it just made me feel shorter, and dumpy.  It slipped to my natural waist, creating this vague ballooning around my ribs, but adding no shape or anything.  (Why Target? Why?)

And then it occurred to me! I can remove the elastic! A quick check to make sure it was attached at the side seams, and off I went.  The worst that could happen? I'd wear it less than I otherwise would and it goes to the charity bin in very good nick.  First world problems.

Clockwise: inside snip made near pocket top, elastic drawn out; as much elastic pulled out as possible towards one side seam; snipped; elastic pulled through as much as possible, scrunching the fabric to the other sideseam, and snipped; a pin marking the amount of elastic remaining.

My plan from now on is to pick something I can turf for each thing I buy.  Further to that, there're some things I don't wear very often and I'm going to try updating them so they can go another round.  It can only improve my skills, at the least, and I promise I won't put them in the charity bin in a unwearable state ;)

And then there are all the THINGS!! This quilt! The bag I want to make my mum for her birthday! The quilt I need to finish! The other one I want to start! The unfinished activity board that's fast becoming useless! Ugh! Where are all the days??!!

Complete: Bench seat cushions

These cushions were made with 5cm thick foam from Clark Rubber.  I used medium density foam, which is not the longest life span but is firmer.  Each cushion was 49.5cm wide x 55cm deep and cut in the shop.  

Each cushion was covered in a close-fitting calico cover that was hand stitched shut.  The cushion cover fabric was from Spotlight.  It's a furnishing fabric, in a cream bone colour, with a long spacious gumleaf matelass√© pattern.

Dec 27, 2013

D224: Where was I...?

That's right: MORE!

Another full set of colours cut out, plus two each of the greys and light blues, and (hopefully) enough whites to match.

Dec 24, 2013

D215: MORE!

Little squares have been sewn, pressed, cut and pressed...
And I need more! More patterns of more colours!

D216-23: And now, for something completely different.

Oh Christmas.  What else can inspire silly aspirational gift projects in the time-poor.  Nothing, that's what.

So, my MIL had mentioned a desire for some seat cushions, some time ago, and I'd thought it might be a nice gift.  I had nothing else coming to mind.  At some point, about a week and a half ago, I asked my FIL if he'd measure up the seat, just in case this worked out...

I coincidentally had a need to be around Nunawading, so I dropped in on Clark Rubber and had some foam cut... And soon afterward I happened to be able to shop at Spotlight without Bub, which is an opportunity for good decision-making, so some fabric was bought (way too much, but oh well).

Then I made a pattern...

I covered the foam in calico, being careful to not squish it.

Before I knew it, I'd found enough time to make a prototype and cut out another cushion cover.  From a not-so-promising beginning, I've come through to bringing the machine along to the inlaws' to sew up the remaining covers.  This meant I couldn't surprise my MIL with it very well, but that's not a big deal.

The only real misfortune: yesterday, for the second time ever, I broke a needle sewing over a pin!  This was very frustrating, as everyone was out and I had a few hours to myself to get it done, and then - BAM - thwarted! It took me a while to regroup after that because a piece of needle hit my eye and had me rattled for a bit.  

Today, while Bub was occupied by family, visits to the pool and pottering around, I finished them off. Hurrah!  A proper post about them later, but here's the short version: both MIL and I are very pleased with them. Right now, however, I'm Christmassing.  

Wishing you and yours a safe and happy holiday season. :)

Dec 5, 2013

D214: Sad face

The first three squares sewn up,
and all are slightly crooked.
I really do want a new machine.

This makes me sad becuase I love my Bernina 807 minimatic.  It has lovely design lines, it has history, it has tenacity.  My mother bought it second hand from the high school, who'd gotten it second hand too.  It's a fourth-hand machine.  It's been good to all of us.  I hope it is good to Bub in the future too, should she want it. To me, it has gravity.

But it is loud and heavy (that's about 10kgs of the gravity).  It has only six stitches, which have served me well for a long time and I've sort of prided myself on that.  But a scalloped stitch on a hem for Bub would be nice. 
And now I'm quite sure that the foot and the feed dog aren't working together.  It may be that a service could right that problem, that there are gears or a belt worn enough to slow something down, but when I put it all together...

I want a new machine  :(

On the other hand, I now have a preferred Christmas gift...    ৻՜:)

D213: Chipping away amongst it all

So I made that cake last night so there was something for my folk when they visited for lunch. Too rich! Too rich! they said.  Oh well, more for us!

According to this, I'll be making quarter-square triangles (QST), not half-square triangles (HST).
I've been double checking my method for making up the QSTs.

I am planning to make up my QSTs by sewing two squares together, right sides facing, then cutting the sandwich into four triangles (squares when unfolded at the seam) by slicing corner to corner twice.  I'm hoping that what I've got will be sufficient for a cot quilt, otherwise I'll be wishing I'd discovered this HSTx8 tutorial before I began cutting:

There is also this tutorial for HSTs. I watched it with the sound off and it still made great sense, it's that good.

I also really like this tutorial, which also works without sound. Isn't video grand?

Four per square is not bad and it has meant I've clipped small portions off my scraps rather than using whole pieces.  There are some fabrics that wouldn't give me an 8" square, so all is well.  My only concern is not warping the pieces when making it up, but that's something to be careful of regardless of your grain direction.

D212: Industry

Today's creativity was in the industry.  I made a beef/carrot/potato mash and a chicken/leek/arborio rice risotto, both for the freezer, plus a chocolate cake. The knife hit the board at 8:40 and the dishes were done by 10:10pm.  Not bad for me and my distracted brain.

Unfortunately for Hub, the cake didn't come out till 10:40 or so, too late for supper.  Then half of it disappeared to play group. Aw.  Don't worry, more baking on the horizon, Hubby! 

Dec 2, 2013

D211: Getting traction

A bit more planning.  Think I'm ready to break ground!

Update: 9 colour ways, four prints in each, and a white square for each of those will give me about 134 squares. Or something.

Dec 1, 2013

D210: Getting a run up

I feel my mojo returning.

Baking is not yet on the cards, but fingers are itchy...

Seriously thinking of asking family for $$ to go towards a new machine for Christmas.