Sew's Spot

"Sit up, join up, stir it up, get online, get in touch, find out who's raising hell and join them." Molly Ivins

Friday, August 17, 2007

New song: He's a Fuktard in a ragtop Beemer...(Singalong)

Pick a tune - any tune. I don't care. Lyrics follow:


You're a fucktard
A fucktard in a baby blue beemer.
You're a fuctard
and your momma should have swallowed.

You're a fucktard
A fucktard in a ragtop beemer.
You're a fucktard
Have you never heard of a turn signal?

You're a fucktard
A fucktard in a BABY blue ragtop beemer.
You're a fucktard
And I feel much better for having written this song.

Epiphany moments...

I screwed up my childhood. I realized this the other night on my way home from work. I was little miss goody-two-shoes, religious, well-behaved, (sorta), not into smoking or drinking or drugs or even chewing gum in class.

And I started thinking about... Keith Richards. And Steve Tyler. And Mick Jagger.

I could handle the ugly bit. Really. But I should have gone wild and drunk like a fish, got addicted to heroin and all that...

Healthy as horses, the lot of them, and here's me with the wonky ticker and the spazzed out knee and bad back. Bah. So much for the rewards of a life well led.

(Shaddup Lea)

Tying a string around your finger works, but only if you can remember why the string is THERE. I've got a little ring of paper around my pinky finger, with the word "BROOM" written on it - because I need to remember to buy a broom. My old broom has become nasty in the extreme and all the straw bits are raggedy and sticking out at strange angles. Harry Potter would be appalled at it. So I need to get a new one, but I have forgotten to buy one on the way home from work for the last week, so today I think I will remember - the paper ring is TRES annoying.

So tomorrow is the picnic. I need to see if I can find some "won't sink into the mud" shoes to wear. Remember to pack my umbrella. And bug spray.

521 days

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Work and Mystery Quilt Correction

ACK - TYPO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Color C should be 1 1/2 yards... not just one yard. Flog me. I have typed badly and feel like crap about it. It isn't the end of the world, but... Bad me. Bad, bad me. I need to proof read these things more than just the once!!!

Ok.

Mea Culpa - I beg your forgiveness, Mysterious Quilters.

Now, off to work. This weekend is our company picnic. Um. I hope. I actually like our company picnic. Good food, people get to bring their families, fresh air, sunshine, fresh lemonade, bingo with prizes, bees, yellowjackets, ants.... Ah, dining al-fresco in August!

I like that about this place. Well, I like a lot of things about this place. For one, the owners are some of the most HONEST businessmen I've ever encountered. I don't feel as if I should be ashamed of where I work - which I have felt at some previous jobs. I don't feel as if the owners are out to fleece the customers, the vendors or the government/tax folks. They play fair. This is also something not common in business.

Anyway - the bank statement is balanced, the dread credit-card statements are all done, and I just have to push some checks into some envelopes and make a few more journal entries and I'll be in excellent shape for tomorrow. Oh, and I have to type 2 manual checks. Accounting. "As Boring As They Told You It Was."

I had a terrible encounter last night when I got home. I found a bug on the tomato bush. It looked like a Tomato Hornworm - but... it was all covered all over with these little white things that looked like baby maggots. A few of the small white things had fallen to a branch below it as well. *GAG* *PUKE*

I grabbed my trusty rusty garden shears and my trusty rusty spade, and the 2-year-old packet of Sevin. Dusted the living HELL out of the plant, it looks as if it had been through a sandstorm - then cut the leaf off with the disgusting bug, tossed it in the corner, cut off the infected branch below (losing 8 baby tomatoes in the process... grrrrr)and also tossed that in the corner and then poured bleach over the entire mess and followed up with an application of "Round-UP" on top of the bleach.

Fucking bug better be dead. And all his little "friends" too.

*shudder* I couldn't bring myself to do what I USUALLY do to tomato hornworms - cut them off the branch and then smash them with the trusty rusty spade - because I was afraid the maggot things would fly up at me.

Ok, I'm getting a little sick in my mouth again thinking about this. Time to get back to stuffing checks into envelopes.

522 days

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

It's not the heat...

It is, in fact, the humidity.

Take a deep breath - you'll drown.

I love where I live, I just am not overfond of most of its weather - however, that is part of its charm, as it gives one something inoccuous to bitch about. Right now the humidity is my bane - in a few months it will be the sn*w. *shrug*

Oh hell. Lunch is over - I'll get back to y'all later...

523 days

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Darkness at Morning

Woke up bright and early about 6:00 a.m. after a rough night. Tossing and turning, and really nothing to worry or kvetch over - just waking up and thinking "I need to roll THAT way ->" every 1/2 hour or so. Meh. Anyhow, maybe *I* was bright, but the world was not. It was dark, and thundery. Except for breif explosions of light, followed shortly thereafter by more thunderys.

Sooooo, I got up, took the shower, wrapped up in my robe and took my glucose reading... and the lights went out.

And the fans.

And the computer.

IT WASN'T ME!!!

Bah. Power failure. Lovely.

So, I fumbled around on the dressertop for like 5 minutes until I finally located the small package of matches, and lit a candle. Dressing by candlelight - not precisely romantic, although it is a bit "Little House on the Prairie-ish". Amazingly enough, I did not put on my clothing backwards or inside out. Yay me.

Since I knew the power had failed at about 6:15, I finished up the morning chores (except for hair-drying, which was going to have to be au-natural), and decided that since it was a bad idea to open the fridge, what with the heat in the house and the no-power thingy, I would take myself out for breakfast.

So I had a lovely breakfast, lots of coffee, and I didn't have to do dishes!! And got to work actually just a smidge early - which was nice.

524 DAYS

Monday, August 13, 2007

Oh. My. Fucking. God.

Rove is resigning????

Can the Rapture be far behind????

525 days

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Mystery Quilt 2007 - Part One

This quilt will be a finished size of 72" x 72" (6 ft. by 6 ft. - slightly less than 2 meters square), a nice size for a throw that can be used for watching TV or as an additional covering on a bed.

The difficulty level is "beginner".

This week, I will cover some very basic things about quilts and quilting, and I will provide a list of supplies you will need. This is the week to assemble your supplies and "ingredients". As I am utterly useless with Metric, all measurements will be in inches.

First off, for the purposes of this series, What I refer to as a quilt is a 3-layer blanket-type covering made from cloth and a center "filling", and secured by either hand or machine sewing - or by a number of small tied knots.

Next, we need to decide on fabric. The most commonly used fabric for quilts is good-quality 100% cotton fabric, which has been pre-washed and ironed before cutting. The pre-washing takes out a good deal of the "shrinkage" factor, as well as making sure all the chemicals from the manufacturing process are out of it. If this is your first time making a quilt, it is a good idea to use this for your fabric.

It is possible to use other fabrics. I've worked with polyester blends, silk and other fabrics. The main thing to consider is that all the fabrics you use MUST be the same weight and fiber content. Do not use wool and cotton and silk all in one quilt. Keep it simple, keep it the same! If you combine things, you may end up with a quilt that only lasts through 1 or 2 washings, because the fabrics will pull and fight with each other, tearing the more delicate ones.

The filling or "batting" as it is called can be either store-purchased batting, an old blanket or any similar warm padding. The thing to think of here is that you will be either sewing through or tying through this, so it should be something you can work with. I suggest using the store-purchased batting for the first try.

Tools:

You will need a pair of very sharp scissors. The ones you use for cutting paper or opening packages in the kitchen are not going to work, you need more precision - if needs be, buy a new pair. I have a specific pair of Gingher shears that I use ONLY for sewing.

You might also want to get a rotary cutter and a mat. You need the mat if you use the cutter. While this is optional, I highly recommend it.

You will need 1 very good plastic ruler. These can be purchased at any quilt shop or fabric store, or at most craft shops. Get one that has markings on both sides, as well as nice lines that show inches, 1/2 inches and 1/4 inches along the length. This is mine - it's seen a lot of use and has never needed replacement.



Of course, you will most likely need a sewing machine. Not many are demented enough to piece their quilt tops by hand. This doesn't have to be fancy - or expensive. You'll only be sewing straight lines for the time being, and a basic machine can also be used for myriad repairs and other nice things.

You will need pins - both straight pins with round-heads, and a large number of safety pins.


Supplies:
2 spools of thread the color of your main fabric color (see fabric list below)

Sewing Machine oil (and the instructions from your machine on how to oil it when needed)

Sewing Machine needles Because you WILL break one just at the worst possible moment.

2 spools of Hand Quilting thread (if you will be hand-quilting)

1 package of quilt batting - preferably medium-loft. I use Mountain Mist batting, mostly because it is easily obtainable, and if I wish, I can use either 100% polyester, or 100% cotton. Usually the batting comes in 72 x 90 inch packages, which will work well for our purposes.


Fabric:

For this project you will need:

2 1/2 yards Fabric A
2 yards Fabric B
1 1/2 yard Fabric C
Backing Fabric



Fabric A will be the "main" color of your quilt. Choose something you can "live with". I suggest something in the middle of the light/dark spectrum.

Fabric B will be the main contrast - choose a color that goes well with fabric A, as it will seem there are almost equal amounts of these two.

Fabric C should be a contrast, but something that fades to the background. This should be the darkest color of the group. (Colors such as Navy, Forest Green, Burgundy, Dark Purple, Deep Gold or Brown would all work well for this.)

Backing Fabric - either 2+1/4 yards of 72" wide muslin (Calico, if you are UK), or 4+1/2 yards of standard width fabric. Fabric should have same fiber content as fabrics used in the top.


Wash all your fabrics (DO NOT WASH THE BATTING!!), dry them and then iron them flat. Next week we will begin cutting!

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