To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
The more exact a vision of quilting I have in my head, the more Murphy’s Law takes effect, as evidenced by my current project.
I started with a grid in a plus in the very center of the quilt, planning to continue that motif throughout the other blocks.
I quickly realized that it is time consuming, mind numbing, and not the texture I really wanted. Since it’s the center of the quilt, it can be a bit special, so I left it in place, then switched to alternating between straight (or as straight as I can do with an FMQ foot) lines and curly lines.
I also had grand plans of using a machine quilting motif designed by Tula Pink to go with this Saltwater line (sold on Urban Threads) quite a few times on the quilt. Here it is from the back, where it shows up more clearly.
I’ve managed to get two sewn completely, had to rip out half of one of those, and now have another half of one to rip out because my machine doesn’t seem to be happy with this plan.
So, my plans are changing again, stopping with this third one, once I managed to fully stitch it.
I think I’ll finish off the background quilting with a nice, simple wave that I’ve used before. I don’t think much can go wrong with that. At least, not unless my FMQ foot keeps acting up, as it has also done throughout this process.
Dearest Murphy, a respite would be most appreciated.
Costumes and I have an interesting relationship. I love the idea of them, but can’t seem to manage any sort of follow through. My sewing past is littered with half-finished costumes (Devil in a Blue Dress from a couple of years ago comes to mind). They become odd, unfinished creatures never to escape balled up stasis in dark corners.
I didn’t even bother starting one this year, and have no plans to dress up tonight. But, while searching the other day (unsuccessfully—where the heck did it go?) for a corset I made a few years ago, I came across one of my very first corsets that has somehow survived a few moves and purges.
I present to you Lulu’s Corset:
I don’t remember much about this corset, if it can be called that. I was 16, I think, when I made it, and going through a short phase of gaming mostly centered on trying to play Final Fantasy VII and the newly released Final Fantasy X. I decided that I wanted to be LuLu for Halloween that year.
Here’s Lulu (standing):
So, I started with the corset. The front is a textured woven of unknown fabric type. The back is pleather, which was also going to be the main fabric for the rest of the costume.
The lining is a rather nice menswear lining I found in my step-mom’s stash. There’s Ridgeline boning involved. And shoelaces. And hot glue to attach the grey ribbon, which says “Calvin Klein”—I really wonder how I got ahold of that.
And a cheap poly zipper closure.
In other words, what on Earth (or in Spira) was I thinking?
I’m not sure which pattern I used. If I had to venture a guess, I might say it’s a modified M4861 (the McCall’s “Renaissance” bodice/corset pattern), but I’m not sure that it was actually out back then. I might have (heavily) modified some other pattern of unknown origin, a strong possibility being the out of print Simplicity 5843 that I made (and finished!) the year before (the instructions for which I just found in a bag of ancient scraps), although that would be heavily modified, and I have no idea why I would add the side lacing to it.
Also, notice how it (sort of, in so much as it probably does anyone) fits? That’s current me modeling it. Either there is a whole lot of ease provided by the side lacing (possible, although it’s limited by the short shoelaces). Or, it never actually fit 16 y.o. me, seeing as I was about 40lbs lighter back then. Perhaps that is a clue as to why I never finished the costume. I vaguely recall working on the skirt, but whatever I accomplished there is lost to time (or possibly lurking in a dark corner of my parents’ closet, ready to attack at any moment).
I’d like to think that I’d make some better choices for construction now, but then again, it was a Halloween costume, so I suppose anything goes.
What horror stories do you have in your sewing past?
My original intent was to show you this project again only after completely piecing the top together. But instead, I’m going to point out my major math/planning fail. Last night, I finished piecing the HSTs for the Impressions Baby Quilt. Don’t they look nice on my design wall the piece of batting I hung on the wall?
But looking at my desk, I still have all of these:
Which is many more pieces than the four or so I expected to have after planning this all out extensively. (So, this could be worse—I could have been short; extra fabric’s not bad, right?)
How many 6″ squares can you get out of a fat quarter? The correct answer is nine. For some reason, my brain was dead set on believing it was only six. And so, when I planned this quilt out, I did so with the idea that I only had six squares of each fabric (or 12 triangles).
The result of that belief was that I had to get creative with my color scheming, since I didn’t have quite enough yellow to continue the diamond patern. I was going to eek out the quilt top and scrappy binding with naught but a few slivers leftover from the twelve fat quarters I started with. I even had to piece together the small triangles for the four blocks that have three pieces instead of two (the ones that comprise the points of the heart).
In reality, I have enough yellow to get much closer to my original plan and make at least one doll quilt to boot. I didn’t even need to piece those other triangles from the leftover strips.
I’ll be whipping up more HSTs with the leftovers now, and swapping out some of the squares on the design wall before piecing the top together.
At least there will be a doll quilt out of it all? (I do so like having that extra small quilt for the baby I gift the larger one to.)
Have you made serious mathematical errors before? Does your brain get stuck in an erroneous “this is the right answer” mode?
I feel like I’m stuck in a cycle of “meh” projects—ones that are sufficient, but not awesome. This is another one of those, and I think all the blame lies on the blackboard cloth element.
The quilt club is transitioning to having members make their own name tags this year. So, in order to give new members a bit of a grace period while still allowing them to have something with their name on it, I am making up a few new member name tags to lend out at meetings. At first, I was just going to make a window into which we could slip a bit of paper with their name on it, but then my imagination got away from me and I decided to try out Chalk Cloth.
Then, my wallet brought me back to my senses and I went for the off-brand blackboard cloth available from the local JoAnn, since I only needed an eighth of a yard or so and the LQS only carries the expensive stuff in one yard cuts. That might be my first problem?
But anyway, I put my embroidery functionality, some twill tape, and a few charm squares to work last night, and ended up with what could be a pretty cool project:
But notice all the yellow dust staining the edges of the fabric? Well, prior to sewing, I primed the cloth according to the directions (rub chalk on its side both vertically and horizontally, wipe, repeat, wipe (repeat again, for good measure), and you’re good to go), but somehow between priming it and finishing the sewing part, it became unprimed (with no heat or water involved).
So, I tried to reprime, but it just doesn’t work as well once it’s all put together.
So, I don’t know if I should continue in this vein or not. Perhaps I’ll try breaking the chalk so that it’s shorter, wash out the stains, and try to prime just the middle of the cloth.
But in theory, it is a pretty cool badge that can be worn around the neck, or have the strap tucked in and be pinned on instead.
I have another three weeks to play around with the idea. We’ll see what happens. (Also, I should probably get around to making my own…)
Do you have any experience with using Chalk Cloth or blackboard cloth?