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)!
It seems like I just put the finishing touches on my last quilt, but here it is the end of May and I haven’t touched a bit of quilting cotton (or quilting linen for that matter) in the six weeks since I completed it.
It’s going to be a quiet summer around here; I haven’t spent much time in the sewing room and that won’t change any time soon. To some degree, it’s lack of inspiration. I have plenty of unfinished quilts that need work, and ideas for new ones, but none are screaming at me to work on them.
I have played with knit fabric a little bit, and learned that my collection of washi tape makes for great pattern weights. The dress was actually completed in one four-hour session last weekend and worn this week, however I haven’t yet taken photos.
A couple of iterations later, I’ve fitted a modified Simplicity 2890 to me and have the busk and bones on order. Don‘t get too excited. I have nothing to wear it under, and nothing planned. I just felt like making a corset.
Even if I had a burning desire to work on any of my current quilt projects, plenty of things outside the studio have devoured my time. I taught a class for the local chapter of Girl Develop It, which aims to get more women involved in programming and development.
I’ve been arranging flowers. And designing stationary.
Really, a multitude of things, so this may be the Summer of No Quilts (title case assures proper gravitas). Have no fear as I assure you there are plenty to come this fall and winter.
In the month’s time since I last posted, my friend Katherine awarded me the Liebster Blog Award. Hers has been a staple of my RSS feed for many years now, with an eclectic mix of posts about jewelry (she makes fabulous math-inspired things, including the beadwork for my Full Adder brooch [unblogged] that is the only completed part of that steampunk costume I was going to make); feminism (and women in STEM, a subject obviously dear to my heart); book reviews; writing; being an ex-pat first in South Korea, now in Sweden; and nerdy things (among other topics).
I may one day have the time to fulfill the rules of the award and comb my RSS feed for other small blogs worth reading (I’m sure there are many, I just don’t keep tabs on how popular they are), however today is not that day. Regardless, it’s much appreciated, Koba.
Spoiler alert: the storms in our county last night didn’t do any major damage to our house, my partner just thinks he’s funny. Yesterday evening was rather fun, in a “I miss midwest thunderstorms and they appeared in NY” sort of way. We stopped to grab dinner last night, mid-errand running, and got stuck at the restaurant while crazy wind, rain, and hail swept through the area. It was beautiful outside until about five minutes after we walked in the building.
Carl hadn’t looked in my sewing room for a while (though knew it was a mess), but I’d left the door open when we left, so when we got home, he saw the mess it was and said “have you seen your sewing room? There’s major wind damage in there!” Ha ha ha. Funny, honey.
It looked like this:
At this point, I think I’ve posted more photos of my room being a total mess than clean. Probably because 70% of the time, it is a mess, although usually not this bad. In my defense, this is during that “it gets worse before it gets better” stage of reorganizing for the umpteenth time. Those piles of fabric in the foreground are organized scraps from my scrap bin, which was overflowing and is now quite well-contained.
Not as non sequitur as it seems, here’s what’s on my wall right now:
This is a hand-pieced block that my grandmother gave me two years ago (along with the fabric she bought for the quilt) in a bag of various sewing things. She had finally, after 20 years, admitted that she was never going to take up quilting and knew I was hooked. After she passed away last summer, one of my sisters and I also inherited some additional craft supplies (mostly she took the yarn and cross-stitch things while I stuck mostly to the remaining quilting stuff).
My grandmother’s house was always clean, and while she loved collecting, she never seemed to hold on to things that she didn’t have space or use for. This block is on my wall right now to remind me of that as I clean out my sewing space, destashing and tossing things that I don’t need. The hardest part was sorting through the two bags of things that came from her supplies… rulers that I never used because I prefer the brand I buy, quintessentially late-80s calico fabric, a printed cross-stitch/embroidery kit for a quilt top, and more.
But she didn’t give them to me for safe-keeping, she gave them to me to use. And in her honor, I sent most of it on to other people who will use them, keeping the things I do want to use like this block (but not the remaining fabric), a pair of minky quilt kits that will be great for her future great-grandchildren (whether mine, my sisters’, or our cousins’), a couple of cross-stitch kits, and crochet hooks—the latter two crafts she taught me growing up which I’m hopelessly inept at now but plan to find time to regain those skills.
And in that spirit, I cleaned out my scrap bin, throwing out unusable ones, organizing the rest. I culled my stash, selling books, patterns, and fabric at a recent guild meeting.
Now I just need to put everything back together again. And then finish up some projects, because half-finished projects aren’t of much use either! I think she’d be happy with that.
First, the grand total of my recent completed projects, Valentine Mug Rugs made of mystery-fiber pinkish fabric and a charm pack of Bliss that I honestly don’t remember buying (I have a charm pack purchasing problem):
Actually, there are eight of them in various stages of being bound (I proved with this project that I cannot bind by machine with any proficiency at all. At. All.), all with slightly different blocks on the left.
Have I mentioned Urban Threads yet? I can’t get enough of their embroidery designs. That’s where the “Make Things” crest came from in the above project.
Hint: if you ever want to get me a present, a gift card to there would be splendid.
We solved the electrical woes I mentioned in my last post, but I haven’t managed to put my sewing room back in order after I moved it all around so I could use the other outlet. I did get the giant box of trash out and new shelves built, though: baby steps.
And maybe my 2012 Saturday Sampler blocks (December’s still isn’t complete, but I also have all the other fabric for the top now). Is it gauche to take a sampler from another LQS to the retreat?
Then there is the EPP-project carrying bag that I started in November, but stopped once I got to the lining part and never went back to.
I have a star block that needs finishing by Monday—maybe I’ll take it, or finish it up before I leave. I have some swap blocks that need making before the beginning of March, so perhaps those.
In short, I really need to Make Things, and I have a lot of things partially made. And then I need to Blog Things, but that will hopefully come after said making.
Here’s a shot of all eight mug rugs before I packed them up. I did end up figuring out how to sew binding via machine on four of them, with the help of Steam-a-Seam basting. Not perfect, but I was out of time! The blocks all finished at 4″ (the rugs themselves were 5″×9.5″).
Including the binding and a charm on the back of each, I used all but four of the charms in the pack (with very nominal cutting waste of some).
Since I first posted about making the Steampunk costume, my plan has changed a small bit, but also really coalesced into something I think will be great when it is finished. What is helping me stay focused and not go too far out there (or grow this into something too large) is to focus on a couple themes. If an idea doesn’t suit the themes, then it’s taken off the table.
“Introducing the All-In-One Adventuress’ Wardrobe! All the Modern Adventuress needs to suit most every occasion in her travels!”
Can you keep a secret? I’m a bit of a closet Steampunk. I love the aesthetic. I like a lot of the literature. I mean, basically, if you take my love of Victorian fashion, computer science, leather, lace, the paranormal, and any number of intriguing anthropological and linguistic themes, you get Steampunk, like it was simply made for me. Although, with the exception of the fashion bit, the others might not be so obvious to hardly anyone. I live in my head sometimes.
Aside: speaking of literature, I’m biased, because I’m totally in love with the (now completed) series and have been since the first book was published, but if you like Steampunk, the paranormal, and absolute absurdity at times (packaged in extremely well-written prose), you needs must endeavor to read the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger (starting with Soulless—at least read the online preview available for the Kindle version). Go on. I’ll still be here when you’re done.
Is it just me, or has March flown by? Although I had two projects on my WIP list from last summer that I wanted to finish up by now, I haven’t even touched them, and probably won’t any time soon. I do have a short list for the next week (month?) or two, though—so this is about my madness, not anything else, if you were hoping for me to wax poetic about basketball or something.
Sorry friends: I’ll admit that this post is more for me than providing interesting or valuable content for you. I just have all these ideas in my head and need to get them down in one place! Some are vague because that’s how they are in my head and others are vague because I don’t want to spoil the surprise for you or their intended recipients. I know I talked about it before, briefly, but wow! have I become even more obsessed in the past six months.
These are in no particular order, really, but a numbered list seemed àpropos. I suppose the less vague (in my head) are at the top.
I’m working on a bucket list for quilting, more for my sanity to get it down on paper and out of my brain than for public consumption. The #1 item is to finish the myriad projects I’m already working on. Some are whiling away in boxes, some I am actively working on. It’s gotten a little out of control; I have eight!