Wednesday, September 30, 2009
I'm only there for the lunch trade and there was repeat business from the day before.
Maybe I can stop worrying for moments at a time. :-)
Monday, September 28, 2009
My tools are the same as every other quilter...rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat, scissors, sewing machine, thread, fabric and batting. My results make me happy ... sometimes more, sometimes less.
Recently though I have become convinced that I'm not a Real Quilter. Its not how many quilts you make or how many ribbons you win or how many classes you teach that make you a Real Quilter.
What makes you a Real Quilter is why you replace your tools. Sewing machines wear out, rotary cutter blades get dull, fabric gets used. This can happen by using them for quilting or by other sewing activities. There is one tool that I have had to replace in a manner I have found out that that separates the men from the boys... so to speak.
That tool is the cutting mat.
Qulters use cutting mats with our rotary cutters and rulers to cut multiple pieces of fabric. My mats get ruined, not by rotary cutting fabric to make quilts but by other activitities such using them as table top protection when using a screw punch, staining small pieces of fabric and other non-traditional uses. When I have abused a mat enough that I fear for using it for its intended use I replace it with a new mat.
Real Quilters do not abuse their mats in non-traditonal ways.
They actually use it up by cutting so much fabric for quilts on it that it wears out.
Yup. They run their rotary cutters over it so many times that grooves form in the surface, the guide lines disappear and the glossy suface gets dulled.
Here's a shot of a Real Quilter's mat that's just about ready to be retired.
No other activity that I can think of, except cutting fabric for quilts, would get a mat into this condition.
Next time I see a quilter with a mat like this I will not thoughtlessly pity them for their apparent inabilty to afford new equipment but, instead, be in awe of the amount of cutting that has been done on their mat to get it in this condition.
How many yards of fabric were cut on this mat to make these grooves? How many quilts were made from this fabric?
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I am intrigued...or simply sleep deprived.
The major food draw today was that I brought BBQ from Sweet Sadie's (ribs and brisket).
This is my effort from a Moda Scrap Bag that will end up as a tote bag for a special friend.
According to the maker the petals will end up going right off the edge of the quilt past the binding... I can't wait to see how she solves that construction issue.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
- sock yarn (and the first half of the pair you are working on)
- two sizes of double-pointed needles - one in use and one extra (0's and 1's in my case)
- long skinny crochet hook (for ugly repairs)
- waste yarn (just in case)
- a Knit Kit (includes a tape measure, scissors, stitch markers, row counters etc.)
- yarn needle (I keep mine in the Knit Kit)
- a photocopy of the pattern (so I don't destroy my original pattern)
- a pen (or pencil)
- sock needle holders (as shown here)
- a CPAP mask travel case to hold it all
A CPAP mask travel case? People with Sleep Apnea use machines to help them sleep peacefully through the night. These machines come with a mask and a travel case is usually included. The incomparable Ms. J. discovered that her travel case was perfect for holding small knitting projects and gave me one that she no longer needed. I use it for my sock knitting and it is the perfect size.
Here is my latest sock project all tucked up and ready to go.
If you have a knitter on your Christmas list for this year you can put together a little sock knitting kit like this for them with little or no cost from found or excess materials in your own stash. Just find that friend wth Sleep Apnea and ask for an old travel bag and add:
- sock yarn
- double pointed needle
- tape measure
- stitch markers
- row counter
- copy of your favorite free sock pattern
- crochet hook
- yarn needle
- CPAP mask case
- bling for the zipper pull
- sock needle holder (sold in pairs so you can give away the extra one from your order)
Put a bow on it and you have a wonderful present for a knitting buddy.
Monday, September 21, 2009
It is not a well maintained or well travelled road and seems, many times, only travelled by dump trucks and people like me taking a short cut.
Anyway, today as I was taking this weird little road I came upon a sight that almost took my breath away... about twenty, young, tanned, well-muscled, young, male, police recruits in tight shorts and dark glasses were stopped on the airport side of the fence beside their bicycles taking a water break.
I couldn't stop and watch or take a photo but I did slow down... a lot.
I think don't think Homeland Security would understand why a middle-aged woman would want to sit at the end of a runway of one the busiest airports in the country just to enjoy all that masculine beauty ... but I so wanted just to sit and watch.
Now let's get our minds out of the gutter and get back to the serious business of our real lives and welcome Autumn back into our lives.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Some leaves are beginning to fall, though most won't, I got to wear jeans without sweating the other morning to walk the dogs and run some errands, and I am turning into Martha Stewart for a few days.
I have had a revelation.
When the seasons turn, I turn into an imitation Martha Stewart for a few days.
Like, I carried a market type basket with me from room to room today as I collected, sorted, put away and disposed of random things that were scattered around. Not for long mind you, but I caught myself doing it this afternoon.
And then I found myself a couple of times through the day going out into the front garden to pull weeds. Just a few minutes at a time and by the end of the day the garden was weeded. How Martha (or even Fly Lady) is that?
To top it off my kitchen table, the home of everything that I can never find is now empty of all random bits of paper, empty packets of stuff and old receipts... so clean I can actually eat off it ... with room for other people to join me in an actual home cooked meal... which I made tonight .....which included grilled lamb chops......
before I start saying things like...
it's a good thing....
or start pronouncing herbs with the 'H'.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
I hope your weekend is going well and that you are not drowning in all the rain I have been having around here.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
At my local JoAnn's store today, in the display for Halloween decorations, there were cute Halloweeny dogs that burst into the 'Who Let the Dogs Out?" song (not the full verion) every time someone walked passed them. No on-line pictures of the dogs but imagine something like this in a house of three little wiggle bottomed doxies trying to turn themselves inside out trying to get to it and tear it apart.
Do not buy this product for me, do not buy this product for yourself, do not encourage this behavior... but they are awfully cute! Check them out at your local JoAnn's (in the US only).
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
On August 3 of this year, just a little over a month ago, a Major in the Army started posting on the Web about a project to send packages of sewing and knitting supplies to him for distribution to Iraqi women, for themselves or for their small businesses.
As of today he has received 500 of these packages and, in a short while, he will receive another nineteen (yes, 19!) from members of the Kingwood Area Quilt Guild.
Here's how this project blossomed here.
On last Thursday evening, after the monthly Guild meeting where one of the members mentioned this project , three of us started discussing the possibility of participating in the IBOL project. One of us voluteered to send out an e-mail to several others announcing a packing party set for this morning, the last day possible for mailing thiese packages before the Major returned to the U.S.. I know I passed it on to a few others and I gathered boxes and the right customs forms.
I get a lot of sewing and craft supplies given to me to redistirbute to others so I looked through them to find any appropriate items. I also had a trunk load of supplies from the Guild garage sale on Thursday night. With what was in my trunk, what others had left over from the garage sale in their trunks, what others brought to our packing party and other bits and pieces, here are the statistics of what we did with little prep but with great determination and a lot of sweat:
- Total number of packages packed and sent = 19
- Total weight of packages sent = 116 lb.
- Total cost of postage = $227.05
- Number of active packers = 5
Special thanks to the men at Starbucks who gave us money for postage, the woman in line at the post office who us $6.00 for postage in honor of her husband who had fought in Iraq, the incomparable Janetta and Lish who always come through on these projects; Marjory, Sue, Rebecca, Dee and Mary Jean for their cheerful spirits and willling hands; and the many others who unknowingly contributed to this project with their donations. An especially big thank you to the staff of the United States Postal Service offices on FM1960 and in Kingwood for being extremely helpful to us by giving us great advice on choosing the right boxes, customs forms and giving us great instructions on how to fill out those six part forms.
Congratulations IBOL Guy for a great project! I will be looking forward to seeing the final count.
Monday, September 7, 2009
- Rip a 5 1/2" strip of fabric off each of the selvedge (finished) edges.
- Rip off the 1/2" selvedges
- Rip three 2 1/2" strips and sew them into long strips by folding the long raw edges into the middle of the wrong side, fold again en-casing the raw edges and edge stitch both long edges . Sew decorative stitch down the middle of the strips for additional strength.
- Hem the bottom of your apron by folding the bottom edge to the wrong side about 2" twice and secure with a decorative or straight stitch a couple of times.
- Hem the long edges of your apron by folding the edges to the wrong side about 1/2" twice and secure with a straight or decorative stitch once.
- Fold your apron in half the long way and measure out from the fold approximately 5 1/2" on the unsewn end. Mark with a pin. From the unsewn edge measure down the sewn edge approximately 11" and mark with a pin. Fold you apron along a diagonal line marked by these pins and cut along these lines. Unfold your apron, fold over these edges individually approximately 1/2" twice to the wrong side and sew down with a straight or decorative stitch.
- Take two of the three strips made in step 3 and attach one at each junction of the diagonal edge and the side edge on the sides of your apron. Really sew it down securely and cover the raw end. Trim the unsewn end neatly and tie it in a knot.
- Using the remaining strip from step three, cut it into two pieces, one about 7" long and one the rest of the length. String your D-rings onto the shorter piece secure the cut ends together.
- Fold the remaining unsewn edge of your apron (the top) over twice to the wrong side approximately 2" securing one raw edge of the long strip on one side and the edges of the shorter strip with the D-rings on the other side.
- String the long strip through the D-rings, adjust to fit around your neck. Trim the long strip, if you would like, and knot the raw end.
I like tying this style of apron in front so I can hang a towel off the ties in front. I also have a tendency to just use the ends fo the apron as a towel. I did not add a pocket but that is a personal preference. You can change the length to suit your taste. If you are making this for someone else, leave it long and they can always tie it shorter like you see waiters do in wanna be fancy restaurants.
I used many sources on the web as well as my own stash of purchased aprons to fiure out this design. If you can't figure out my instructions this is always the incomparable Martha Stewart as a source of all good things.
One other thing... this pattern will work well for canvas though I find canvas a little inflexible for hand wiping.
Time to do some cooking!
The introductory video looked great but then I tried to load it...
for all 166 pages to load.
Then when I went to read something it appears that I have to wait again for each two page spread to load even if I load just the page numbers I want to read.
Then I need to enlarge each page individually so I can even read the page displayed.
Definitely not worth my time when most of the pages I reviewed seem to be advertising.
So, that's why I hate on-line magazines... long load time, hard to read th fine print and hard to find what you want to read.
However, in the interest of full disclosure, you may want to add an on-line quilting magazine to your internet favorites list, in that case head on over to Quiltposium and make your own evaluation.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
How things have changed.
The 2007 issue was so fabulous that I wrote a whole posting on it here. This year's is notable not for the clothes but for the articles. There was a book excerpt on being a prisoner in Iran, another on a wife's reaction to her husband's very public infidelity and a wacky one on exercises needed before you start wearing eight inch stillettos from Nine Ricci.
On the fashion front, the clothes were forgettable, the shoes are mostly ugly and unwearable, the purses can hold enough for a four day weekend and the boots look like hip waders. Not that all the shoes are ugly, the purses too big or the boots meant for fishing but that was just my overall impression.
There was one particularly weird pair of shoes that I can't seem to find a picture of on-line that I will now attempt to describe for you. Think of a typical Timberland style workboot, add a five inch wooden stilletto, replace the leather laces with cotton ones, the heavy leather uppers with crocidile patent leather and then remove the steel toe so your manicure will show. Can you even imagine anyone wearing something like this anywhere, anytime for any reason?
Two note worthy things did come out of this issue that I think you might want to take note of this season.
First of all there is a documentary movie in limited release right now of how the 2007 September Vogue issue was produced. I haven't seen it, just snippets, but it seems to be extremely well done and I am looking forward to seeing the whole thing.
Secondly, in a slightly disturbing sign of the times, September 10 has been declared as Fashion's Night Out. All over New York City stores are having shopping specials and many stores will be open until 11:00 PM. There will also be collection points to gather clothing for many needy causes. There will be special T-shirts on sale where about 40% of the proceeds will go to the national September 11 Memorial & museum at the World Trade Center.
One part about the shopping thing that I find particularly fun is that you can go to Barney's in New York and not only window shop but you also learn to knit. How cool is that?
On the other hand, I find it disturbing that fashionistas in NYC need a reason to go shopping. I'm in Houston and I don't need an excuse.
For a different look at the world go out and get a copy of Vogue magazine, or better yet, subscribe. At about $12.00 a year it is definitely a best buy and a very fun thing to find in your mail box every month.
I hope your weekend has been going well and that all you laborers out there will enjoy your day off tomorrow.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Its called Iraqi Bundles of Love and being organized by a Major in the Army to gather sewing related supplies for Iraqi women. The IBOL website gives lots of details but the basics are these.
Go to the post office and get a fixed rate post office box. The mailing cost is $11.95 for the military and $13.95 for standard domestic service for the same box. You will also need to get one of the white six part custom forms. Bring the box home, line it with fabric, fill it with stuff, fold the fabirc around the stuff it to make a bundle, tie it all up with ribbon or string, seal it up in the box and send it to: ALL DONE - ADDRESS DELETED
You must have this all done by the time the mail is picked up in your area on Tuesday. After that you risk having your package returned as the Major will be rotating out of Iraq soon.
Some friends and I are gathering Tuesday morning to stuff some boxes for this project at a local Starbucks if you would like to join us.
Or just go to the post office and get yourself a box and fill it up with some of your stuff. Most post offices have the boxes available on the counters even if the windows are closed. Then Tuesday you can take it to a window and finish up your transaction with the right postage and customs forms.
What a great way to pass on some excess supplies and help some women on the other side of the world put their world back together.
Won't you help?
After it was all over there were at least 30 business cards left by locals looking for catering services.
One sad thing was that one little old lady wanted to take food home with her and what she wanted was already sold out... she even offered to pay.
Best thing I think they have... Ribs! Of course freshly made cole slaw, potato salad, baked beans and chili were rigt up there as well. I also heard that the sausage was superior.
Now all they need to do is get the city/county /state happy about the set-up so they can open officially.
Then I can sleep again.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
- how to install toilet paper in those big two roll industrial toliet paper holders
- how to add nasty pink lotion soap to soap dispensers
- how many cleaners you can come up with in your own home to contribute to the cause of construction clean-up
- how much your adopted son inherited from your ex-husband in terms of the ability to keep good, clear financial records
- dogs do not like being confined in an office with a mad woman trying to balance the books and manage the inventory
- electricians can fall off their ladders in shock when the aforementioned mad woman turns the air blue with many, many curse words when they turn off the power for the the third time without warning while the mad woman is trying to back up her data.
Although the official opening will probably be put off for another week due to more inspections needed, there will be a lot fo free food and cooking experiments tomorrow for friends and family. If you wander by 2200 Spears Road and would like to eat, please stop by. I promise not to be a mad woman or to turn the air blue with curses.
I may even have pictures.
I am really missing my sewing time!