Thursday, March 29, 2012

I’m Really This Blurry. It’s Been A Life-long Trial.

Now I’m just posting bad photos to annoy Oonaballoona.  Honest.


It’s not because I can’t figure out why my camera keeps not focusing correctly.  Or because I don’t have the patience to take more photos.

No.  Really.

Anyway, that’s my second version of Ottobre 5-2011 #9.  As previously seen here.  I extended the sleeves and added a 2” cuff.  It’s super-comfortable, if nothing else.  The fabric nice too, although I have not one clue where I got it.  Probably either FabricMart or Emma One Sock.  Or maybe Golden D’Or.


Speaking of which, The Husband and I had to go to DFW yesterday and had some time to kill.  So I thought I’d swing by Golden D’Or and see what goodies I could come out with.  I was expecting to spend maybe $100. 

I spent $32.  Including tax.  It was a disappointing trip.  Whoever buys their fabric must be a Spring or Autumn because I literally could not wear about 90% of the colors in that warehouse.  If I wanted to look, you know, still alive.  (If you’re a Spring or Autumn and you live near DFW you should head on over to Golden D’Or.  Beaucoup oranges and light browns and weird yellowy greens.)

Basically I bought some black knit tulle and some white knit tulle (which is hard to buy online because you never quite know what people are calling “tulle”).  That’s a nice staple for making future knit tops with mesh overlays and whatnot.

I also bought 3/4 yard of this knit:


Look familiar?  I’ve been infected with Lemonade Mouth Disease.  (That’s silver/grey, by the way, not green or blue.  It doesn’t photograph well.)

I’m planning on making another knit top with some kind of mesh overlay on the yoke and sleeves.  Of some sort.  I have the tulles to do it.


-snort-  get it?  I “have the tulles”?


Just shoot me now.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lemondrop? Lemon Pie? Lemonade… Mouth? Really?

I set the goal on The Evil Monkeys’ wall hanging of making one block per day .  So far I’m only two days behind, which I think you’ll agree is astonishingly good if you know me at all.  I’d forgotten how much fun it is to sew something colorful that doesn’t require, you know, the ability to think coherently for more than ten minutes at a time.  Saying that, I haven’t really been thinking very hard about the fabric combinations, other than to sort of generally have an even mixture of lights and darks… It’s possible the lack of thought used in this project could show badly when I’m done.

I have worked out the setting I want to do (I think) and it only requires 24 blocks… so I’m more than a third of the way there.  Of course, then there are the border blocks… but they’re just straight lines, I should be able to whip up two or three in the time it takes to do one of these curved blocks.

It’s a theory.  Go with it.

Blocks 2-9.  This is going to be one busy quilt:



TLo has decided that this is the “Lemonade Mouth Quilt”, because the (slightly nauseating) Disney movie “Lemonade Mouth” is her current favorite highschool-kids-dancing-around-and-singing-for-the-purpose-of-overcoming-injustice-and-unpopularity movie. 

As opposed to Star Wars… which is just her OBSESSION.  (On the plus side, we no longer have to worry about what will happen when she doesn’t get her letter to Hogwarts in 3 years.)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

100 Years Old. That’s Right. Born In 1912.

I look pretty good for my age, right?

Don’t answer that.

So check out this fascinating little piece of photographic history that was running on BBC News online today:

Prokudin-Gorskii 1

Prokudin-Gorskii 2

Prokudin-Gorskii 3

Prokudin-Gorskii 4

These color photographs are 100 years old.  I’m completely fascinated by this.  Not only do they bring to life a past that is frequently difficult to imagine from grainy black and white photographs, but the actual process invented to create them is brilliant.

A coffee table book was produced in 1980 with Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii’s photographs.  I wonder if the print quality was any good.  I may have to check into it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

This Is The Reason Why…

…I never wear short sleeves.

‘K, so in typical fashion, once I had decided I was taking a break from garment sewing, I immediately felt a compelling need to make a shirt.  Although to be fair, I do need some shirts.  Definitely.

So taking into consideration several suggestions (one of them really persistently vociferous… I’m looking at you, Angie A.) to give short sleeves a chance, I decided to make Ottobre 5-2011 #9. 

5-2011 #9

Mostly because other than the short sleeves, it’s basically the perfect style for me and really only the sleeve issue had kept me from making it before.

And I was pretty much right.  Even with the sleeves jacked up (which they definitely are-- the hems stretched waaaay out).

Here’s the front view:


Here’s even a close up side view, wacky hems and bad hair and bared arms and all:


Reasonable, right?


Then I pulled an Oonaballona:


ARRRRRRRRGH.  My eyes!  My eyes!  The horror!


This is why I will never ever no not ever wear short sleeves.


The End.


(vital stats: Ottobre Design 5-2011 #9, size 38 +1.5” FBA, lengthened sleeves 1”, reduced hem to .5”)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Bad Patch. Bad, Bad Patch.

So I started working on the Evil Monkeys' wall quilt.  And promptly remembered why I hadn't ever used this pattern before.  It is Evil.  Pure pure evil.  Which I suppose at least is appropriate.

But O.M.flippin' G.  Eeeeevilll.

Now, the points of Lady Liberty's "crown" are paper-pieced.  The first one took me... oh... about fifteen minutes.  Paper piecing is really, really easy.  And fast.

The rest of the block is patch pieced.  I spent roughly two more hours trying to get three patches sewn.  Well really, one patch.  I am not exaggerating.  Two hours.  Earth hours, not Jupiter hours.

Did I mention that the entire block is only 7" wide?  Yeah.  Seven.  Inches.  Those patches are small.  And curvy. And totally impossible.  Ha.  Like me. Sadly, unlike me they do not redeem themselves with witty repartee.  At all.

I should have known things were bad when the author of the pattern says in the instructions that it's "difficult".  But she also insists (and I'm talking INSISTS, IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS) that the paper not be removed from the points before piecing the curved patches.

She's a flippin' lunatic.

I tried five times to do it with the paper still on and had to rip it apart each time.  Finally I just threw caution to the wind (figuring how much worse could it really get at that point?) and removed the paper.  It went much better and after two tries I was finally successful.

Although I use that term loosely.


It’s supposed to be, you know, a square.

Only about thirty more to go.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Liberty. A Good Word For So Many Things.

No, today I’m not talking about Liberty of London, although clearly it is one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

aw02libe1040080d aw02libe1040046s ss06libe1040123a

I’m also not talking about Liberty Valance.  Or the man who shot him.


I’m not even talking about actual “liberty”, the concept of which I’d have to write a doctoral dissertation (or five) to adequately consider.  Apparently.  Good grief.

I’m talking about a quilt pattern.  One that I’ve owned for about 17 years.  That I’m just getting around to trying out.  This week.

And you thought my garment sewing was glacial.

The pattern is “Lady Liberty Goes To Hawaii” by Karen Stone. 

Lady Liberty pattern

She re-released this pattern when ElectricQuilt put out a digital edition of eleven of her foundation-piece patterns, but my version is the original paper-printed one that was going ‘round the quilt shops before... y’know… there were personal computers.

Seriously.  Before personal computers. Oy veys mir.

You see, a series of unrelated circumstances occurred:

1) the lovely Stephanie at Venus DeHilo made a fabulous version a few weeks ago. 

2) I just spent two weekends completely rearranging, refurnishing and reorganizing the Evil Monkeys’ bedroom, replete with new bedding.  It’s pretty funky and looks fabulous with their new double bed:

dwell duvet @

But they now have a very large wall over the headboard that is no longer hidden by a bunk bed. 

3) While rearranging/organizing/sandblasting the Evil Monkey Lair, I discovered that the Monkeys can wear all their spring and summer clothes from last year.  All of them.  Not one piece of clothing needs to be sewn. Not even Easter Dresses.  My mind fairly boggled at the prospect, let me tell you.


Three seemingly unrelated incidences.  Mulling around in my brain.  What to do, what to do?

Go fabric shopping.  Obviously.

That was obvious, right?



Truth be told, I’m feelin’ the liberty of a totally new, non-clothing related project. 

Now, if I can just finish it.  Cleaning out the closets this week pointed out in glaring technicolor just how many UFO quilt tops I have.   What an oppressive thought.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I’ve Been To Oklahoma. But I Definitely Wasn’t Born There.


It’s so good, that I actually couldn’t even decide what version to buy.  There’s the well-known Three Dog Night version (have it).  And then there’s the fabulous Ike and Tina version (have it).  Apparently my mom’s favorite local band (Big Loo) used to do a version that she’s actually been known to bribe them with hundred dollar bills to get them to play live (don’t have it). 

And then, of course, there is this:

(Have it.)



(Fine.  I know I said “Kashmir” was the best song ever.  Um.  Whatever. It’s not.  Today.)