Friday, June 6, 2014

DEAR JANE

This is not a "I am not breaking up with you" letter.  I am not a big traditional fan, and I'm big on modern quilting but something about all these small blocks seems meditative.

I had a vague plan of something, and then I came up with this to be my color scheme.  It's a Photoshopped picture - supposedly of the Farie pools of the Island of Skye, which was sort of um.. ganked from a photo in New Zealand from what I can tell via my pal Google.  But I'm working my way through my color scheme pins on Pinterest, and it seemed time for this one!  Just to be clear, I fell in love with this version of the quilt two years ago and am finally starting it.


Then I suddenly went with dark navy blues instead of turquoise water and now I'm randomly going along.  Admission - I hit save on the above color scheme, and save as, in my $50 EQ Dear Jane program, and it said "screw you" and didn't save anything.  I just got lucky and pasted this one into Paint so I had a copy of it and I'm going with it.  Seriously, I hate you EQ.  I am smart and computer savvy.  I have done things you haven't even imagined in your mind, but nevertheless I am rendered idiotic at your stupid quilt program. Boo. Boo.

So navy blue for the innards, printed out the rest of the first half or so of the rows patterns, I have to get my double wedding ring further along so there is room for this stuff to go up on my quilt wall, and to resist starting anything new for awhile...

3 blocks left on the blues, some of them have taken 2.5 hours, and I'm getting practice in applique.  Daytime pictures to follow!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Purple - All About Hair

Random non sewing post -
Still damp, but yeah!

It looked insane in bright light, I swear
I dyed my medium brown hair Clariol Natural dark auburn for my entire high school existence.  I've dyed it since - my ex-husband traded massage with a hair stylist who cut and highlighted my hair a bit, and my current husband LOVES it when I dye my hair orangish or bright red.  I'd mostly committed to going grey naturally.  (seems to be going very slow cause I was smart and didn't have kids...)  early May I gave into peer suggestion & dyed my hair a Feria power red. It's odd, I live outside Seattle, but was self conscious about my GLOWING RED HAIR everywhere I went.

After a conversation with a friend about the bleaching and dying of hair in unnatural colors, and why I'd never done it (frankly, I'm LAZY and the thought of getting it cut more than twice a year, let alone touching up roots once a month makes me grumpy), she said she had a friend bleach her hair which made it easier, and I go to my sister's house the next day and she had the supplies and offered to bleach my hair!  Truthfully I've wanted white and lilac hair for a long time but was let's just say.. "open" to a variety of fun colors.

after bleaching
My sister never stopped having interesting colored hair.  I'm a mousy brown so most of my non high school dying consisted of trying to make my hair darker and richer.  I actually spent the afternoon comparing my sister's hair to a lovely variegated ball of orange yarn.  I don't know this *sounds* like the best compliment but it was, hair dye can so often leave you with a blanket monotone color.  After bleaching, my hair was orange strawberry blond (is that a thing?) and it was interesting to see that dyed it with a commercial dye, bleaching led only to blonde at the 1/4" of my roots. Texts to relevant parties suggested I not dye it purple and leave it as it was...

And I did, for over a WHOLE week and... then my shipment from ULTA arrived with a couple Jerome Russell hairdyes in purple and violet that were on sale  *squee*.  I tried a variegated ombre approach solo and the results were nice!  Somehow I haven't even felt out of place with it - it didn't hurt that I went out gaming in Seattle last weekend and ran into two other people with purple hair within 5 minutes. 

The reason I can tie this into my blog is because my hair looks SO GOOD with the pinks and purples in my Birch Bay Quilt. The light in my bedroom is atrocious and I'm not only too lazy to dye my roots, but too lazy to go take it into a room with more light to take good pictures (and frankly, while I can justify rolling around taking selfies on my bed, it seems too contrived to go do it on the hardwood floor!) My bleach supplies from Sally Beauty supply arrive later this week, so I guess I have to suck it up and do touch ups so wish me luck!

FYI, this is my pep talk to those of you who are interested in trying something different.  Ask a friend or sibling, trade services, you can always dye it back to normal if it doesn't work for you - but sheesh, I'm 42 this month and I can't believe I waited so long!


Saturday, May 31, 2014

It's my new machine!

I'm posting about my new machine.  I named her Molly.  I might change her name. Regardless I will probably forget whatever I named her, like I forgot what I named my Mustang.  I don't forget much, but made up names for inanimate objects seems to be my Bermuda triangle of information.

You see, it's my birthday this month.  I get weird about my birthday.  Presents make me nervous but I want to give myself a present cause I like me, so 4 weeks before my birthday when life was going BADLY I sorta caved.  I'd wanted a non-lowest tier machine for a long time.  I had a couple Juki's in my amazon list but couldn't justify the price .  During a sobby phone call to my husband about the stress of getting through the day while my garment sewing machine made me tug my double wedding ring blocks over the feed dogs inch by agonizing inch I expressed an early birthday present would make my life not suck, because despite myself I still love sewing and want it to be pleasure, not pain.

He told me to go for it, and even though I don't do spontaneous... I did..  I'd found this Brother PQ1500S on Amazon that I hadn't even registered before.  I read one details blog review on it.  The review listed it's pros and cons.  Even though one con was difficulty to replace the bobbin/can't see the bobbin without a clear screen, and thats important shit...I hit buy (did you guys take advantage of Turbotax offering an extra 10% on your tax return if you got it through amazon?  I did, so you know, it seems like it's free right?) and a few days later it was here.  I read the reviews after...

blurry lights off cell phone picture
Things I am dinking with - it seems set up for cones and short spools.  I have half a straw on the machine because when I used the thread cutter it was sending Auriful spools bouncing off of the thread holder.  There's this nifty apparatus for holding spools on but Aurifil is too tall for it? Tinkering with the thread cutter, when the tension is right it leaves enough length, when its not I have to rethread a lot (trust me, it is probably user error.) Even with the same thread above and in the bobbin, it's tricky getting the tension right until I figure out where I'm going wrong.


Sews like BUTTER, I was able to easily do straight quilting, it doesn't turn my seam allowances the wrong way I'm saving 50%+ as I sew together my double wedding ring quilt sections.  It has 1/4" marking that seem to be accurate..  It has a great harp space and I doodled a bit to check out the FMQ and I didn't pull out my own hair while doing it!  Bobbins hold a lot of thread, even if it's hard to get to it (ps, I think it's a benefit to be left handed due to the bobbin set up) It has a super sexy knee lift - I did not know I could feel like  *that* for a machine, but yeah, it's my favorite feature so far.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Finishes & Spontaneous Starts.

So many in progress things (and so many finishes that weren't needing a blog post - I seem to get a kick out of making certain things repeatedly, go figure!).

I finished my king triangle quilt, one I started April 2013... the damn thing should be longer but eh....  Just in time, as the warm weather has made my husband eschew thick cozy comforters -  We are using two quilts, I'm using one of my lap quilts too. How the fuck did people used to get by on just quilts?  Maybe I read Little house on the Prairie wrong.  Maybe they used a goose down comforter they got at land's end under their quilts.  I have the series on my birthday wishlist, so maybe I can reread it and it will tell me how they didn't freeze to death each winter.

Er..OK, so I've decided to regain my voice, regardless of any of my mothers or mothers-in-law reading it or not! I do like to swear, tis true.  I also like taking crappy pictures and not worrying about it as much as I'd like, so this seems like a great decision.

I'm also working an a double wedding ring quilt which was on my quilt bucket list.  I  think it's going to be twin sized. I have a boyfriend who's mother got him one and seeing it reinvigorated my interest. I wish I had gotten my new awesome sewing machine before I started this.  1/4" seam allowance was just a vague marking on the old one.






I started a new bucket list project too, cause finishing things that are taking up room would be anathema to me.  It's a Dear Jane. I don't know why.  Well I do, its because I saw this here, loved the quilting loved the version of this quilt, it was one of my first 5 pins on Pinterest.

GO DEAR JANE! I'm excited about it, so far of the dozen blocks I've made I've had 20 minute blocks and 90 minute blocks. 5.5" with sashing Gah, 220 some blocks.  It hurts.  Nevertheless I don't have a day job so sometimes I can geek out on sewing for hours at a time. 


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lush Uptown, a Pillow For a Hunter.



This is just a pillow I made for my favorite Bambi murderer, I mean person who is OK with the fact that meat doesn't come from a grocery store if you really think about it.  As soon as I saw this print from Lush Uptown which seems to be a re-release from 2008, knew I had to make him something from it since he wasn't making it out for hunting :(

I thought it would be easy and fun to embroider around all the different paint by  number colors with a backstitch.

DONT DO THIS.



 I can't  say how many hours I spent just doing the bits that I did.  It's a hassle, all those little curves made my head and fingers ache.  I ended up FMQ more of it than I embroidered because life is short and I didn't want to die while still working on this.

The back is a paper pieced thing I put together, I won't admit how many problems I had with it, but uh... yay it's done!  I don't hate it overall, and screw it, maybe nobody ever made him a pillow before and he'll appreciate it ;) 

On the brighter side it gave me a chance to order a FQ of all the painter's palette prints which I'm a big fan of!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Embroidery of the Month

I've been working on SO many embroideries, and finally finished a few of them recently.  I am not sharing all of them cause there seem to be a lot of topless ladies in them and/or they are neat but not impressive in my opinion, but I wanted to share this one.


This is from an art piece by Magicomora at deviant art.  He's a Spanish artist who has a lot of cool stuff, if you like that sort of thing, which I sure as hell do. It's titled "Innocent Bomb".  I plan on doing a second one with pencils and oil pastels for a lot of the coloring to save some hours.  A young lady of my acquaintance requested one without a bomb in it.  I think that's just asking for Bambi, but I'm not going to argue semantics!


Sunday, April 20, 2014

Birch Bay Spring Quilt




I've been starting and making lots of things, as well as finishing plenty of small things, but I finally put together and finished my Birch Bay lap quilt from this shopping trip fabric buy.  And felt like writing about it, so here I am!

Not too much to say, it's prettier in person, one of my cats made it into a bed within minutes of the finish and me putting it down on the coffee table so I know it's a winner.





 Here is the truth.  I had to take it off my quilt wall mid assembly to take photos of something else and I didn't keep track of what went where so the rows did not go together in the way they were supposed to. Whatever, I don't care,  it's bright and cheerful and I have it wrapped around me this very moment.

I put most of my Heather Ross' Mendocino scraps in it since it matched the colors I was using which makes me happy, no more hoarding them in a drawer, I get to look at the mermaids and seahorses and octopi every day.

Backed with remants from the front & a vintage sheet.  The binding is Rashida Coleman-Hale's Koi in plusses.  I admit it, I love this print more than almost anything, already made a shirt out of it, want to by more yards so I can hoard it for no good reason except sometime the world might end and I'd be proud to leave a super awesome stash behind.

Main fabrics -
Alison Glass Bike Path in Chartreuse
Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Meyer Lemon
Kaufman Interweave Chambray in Sorbet
Denyse Schmidt's Chicopee Ladder Dot in Fuschia
Lizzy House Pearl Bracelet in Chat Noir
Moda's Comma in Black and Chalk