Wednesday, 28 July 2010

It's all over now, Baby Blue

Yes, the lovely Ms Scurvy was correct!  I ran into her at lunchtime, me looking variously bedraggled and smart, (bedraggled because it rained pretty much all day and I popped out at lunchtime with no umbrella, and smart, because I delivered my first training today, a whole 15 minute chat to some new starters, all about the wonders of what we're doing on our Project. Wanted to look professional, even though I've felt completely frelled all day, but anyway, it seemed to go well, they laughed at my joke [singular, didn't want to go overboard], answered my questions and asked one or two of their own, so that's all good...

Anyway, there she was, with the very lovely Goodnight Irene in tow, and so we had to stop & chat - and I told her that unless she commented, I wasn't going to give out the prize!

So, she did, and I will.  3 lovely pinkish lavender bags for her mother, on their way.

More news on the quilt:

I have matched up pairs & quarters for the pies, and with only a couple of changes, this is what I think I'm going with.  These will form the four corner quarter pies:

These are the whole pies:

These are the half-pies:

  And there is still one to be photographed; I wasn't very happy with the final combination of one pie:

so it's gone completely & I've substituted some nice oranges - but it's not pressed, so I'm not sharing.  

I've only sewn one whole pie together so far, but it didn't take very long, and the next big choice is what the backing fabric is going to be - My Lovely Ma has suggested a very light grey, which could be good, or I'm thinking a very small blue spot?  Suggestions welcome!

And now, dinner.  I'm having a toasted sandwich - we know how to live it up here in Golightly-land!


Sunday, 18 July 2010

Busy, busy

Today I swept the floor in the Small But Perfectly Formed Room.  Not a common occurrence, as it's only only me who goes in there (or more importantly, cares what it's like), and this is what I turned up:


Oh well.  I didn't even bother salvaging the pins or that peg.  Straight into the dustpan & into the bin.

Then, I made a doorstop, from this nice book:

Sewing in No Time: 50 Step-by-step Weekend Projects Made Easy

Interestingly, it's huge.  I don't what where Emma Hardy lives, but maybe the doors in her house are ginormous?  

It's about the size of four house bricks stacked two on two, and her recommended filling is doll-stuffing, then dried beans.  Hmm.  I quite like the fabric combo:

and clever use of accenting ric-rak, but I don't need something that big.  You can tell that I got bored with trying to fill it up with wadding about 1/3 of the way through.  Shame on me.  Seemed a bit wasteful, I thought.  I made a calico bag & filled it with washed sand for the weight, then realised that I'd only left a turning hole, so I had to unpick the whole seam to shove the f****ing thing in there.  Much swearing ensued.  Anyway, it was an interesting experience, trying to hold up the weight, line up the sewing machine & stitch all at the same time.  Where is my other arm, anyway?

Remember how I said I wanted a challenge?  Some weeks I was in Cottage Quiltworks, trawling, as you do, for fabric, and  they had a finished version of an amazing quilt hanging up in the store, but the pattern wasn't available unless you were doing the class.  You know, those really accessible classes that run Monday to Friday?  

Bah, humbug.  Anyway, when I was back in there on Saturday, trawling for fabric, as you still do, I saw the pattern for sale.    I have decided to make this my first patchwork quilt.  OMG.  Be careful what you wish for, young Luke.  Hmmm.  This is the pattern:

And of course, I've decided to make 72 different quarter-pies, rather than do it simply & cut out a whole square, then but it into four, then cut off the curly bit.  This way, though, I get to use 72 of my favourite fabrics, and here's some combos (by no means finalised, so don't be falling over with shock!):

Anyway, there's a common theme, and there's a prize of 3 lavender bags for the first person to correctly comment what it is... although having a quick review of these photos makes me realise it might be hard to get.  However, perseverance is rewarded, so have a bash!

And that, for me, is it for now. I have to go & listen to the hypocrisy of politicians now on the news.  Hah!

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Just for the Peppermint Penguin

This is what the seam in the lining of the boot bags looks like when finished:

Not too shabby, methinks.  You can't even tell where the turning hole was, and I guess that's all good!

It's Sunday morning, Mr G is wrestling with the washing machine (our 17 yo Hoover Electra 540) & I'm still in my PJ's, trying to find some inspiration.  I've been through all the whiz-bang new sewing books I own (you know, '999 reasons to sew again', 'I've reinvented the spinning wheel and you should all be grateful', and my all time favourite, '300 ugly and useless things to make with little or no fabric' and I can't find anything I really want to make.  

I've knitted scarfs, gloves, jumpers, cardigans, lace, beanies, neckwarmers and suits for dolls. I've embroidered tray cloths, cushions, samplers, collars and Christmas decorations.  I've cross-stitched samplers, bell-pulls, nifty little bags, pin cushions, hand-towels and bibs for babies.  I've mastered the fully lined box pouch, the zippered flat pouch, the boxed bottom make-up bag and the pencil case, I've made felt dogs and fabric dogs galore, I've made birds from that lovely and oft-stolen pattern from Spool Sewing, boot bags, shoe bags, lingerie bags and lavender bags, aforementioned Christmas decorations and far too many frogs to even discuss, and I want a challenge!   


Saturday, 10 July 2010

These boots were made for walking...

Actually, I've been waiting for the storage fairy to come along and fix my boot storage problem - I confess to owning two pairs of knee-high winter boots, and although I have a pair of inflatable inserts, they don't keep the dust off, amazingly.  Amazing, too, that we even have dust, being such good housekeepers like what we is.  

Anyway, I finally got the message and made not one, but two, bags to store the boots in, in fabrics I've been hoarding (surprise).   Because I didn't want to use these fabrics on something I wasn't going to see again, the boot bags were the perfect solution:

They take four pieces of fabric measuring 60 X 30cm, and I like to make mine a little differently to the norm - I cut out the four pieces, then stitch a top of facing and a bottom of lining, stitching the ribbon in at this point.  Then I make a big long tube, sewing both pairs of top & bottom together, leaving only a turning space in the bottom of the lining.  

Then I turn it right sides out, stitch the hole closed & then push the lining inside the bag, wrong sides together, press, and top-stitch round the top.  This way, you don't have to try & close a hole in the top where it's going to be visible, because nobody turns out the lining to inspect it (well, certainly not in my house!)...

The other news is that Mr Golightly has made me a lovely new set of cubicles in the bottom of my coat cupboard, taking a relatively useless space and turning it into something extremely useful:

He's cut me four holes in the back of the cupboard for umbrellas, which always fell down and landed on your feet whenever you opened the door, and five cubbies for shoes - one for a pair of short boots, and four for ordinary shoes, which currently sit on the floor in the bathroom, causing you to risk life, limb and broken ankles in the middle of the night.  

Marital bliss ensues.


Friday, 9 July 2010

Steak vs mince

I started writing a post this week about our lovely new PM & the tribulations faced by people who give up everything they own, have ever known or ever loved, and spend days in a leaky unseaworthy boat in the hope of starting a new life free from persecution... and how ironic it is that her parents were able to up sticks and make a new life in a country of their choosing, at a time of their choosing, bringing their dignity and their possessions along with them... and now she's denying people, whose situations are far worse than "her health will suffer if you don't move to somewhere warm" (let's try "we don't like your religious beliefs so we're going to rape your women and kill your children and you have no recourse" or "your skin is the wrong colour, so you can't go to school", or "you eat different foods to us, so you can't have a job", for starters) the same opportunity.  It is not a crime to seek asylum in another country.  Guess we can't say that too loudly or too often.

I didn't finish it, because my moral outrage was too strong to let me think straight.

In addition, I am well and truly over this week.  My wonderful new job has a few glitches in it, and for the first time since changing jobs, I wonder if I've done the right thing... maybe I jumped too quick?  

Ah well.  On the good news side, Doc Rosie got her birthday present, the beautiful Julia Froggie, but in light of the above... maybe she'll need a name change?  My Taiwanese customer got her 60 lavender bags and apparently was very happy with them, which is nice, and I made bits and pieces that didn't rate photographs... and I found out that Eckersley's Arts and Crafts supplies has a huge selection of ribbon, so I bought a few metres:

There's something inherently beautiful in ribbons, I think... here's some I already own:

Is this a fetish, do you think?  So ephemeral, so fleeting but so functional, so useful and so beautiful.  Reminds me of William Morris's exhortation to "Have nothing in your house which you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful"...

It's nearly as good as being a fabriholic!

And so, gentle reader, it's nearly time for bed, so... ciao for now!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Doncha just love a wedding?

Some people I know and love got married in 2002....

They had some ups and downs, moved to London, separated, and spent some unhappy time divorced and apart... and then, last week, to the happiness of everybody who knows them, got remarried:

Screen shot 2010-06-29 at 11.39.36 PM

Wish we could have been there... but I made them a pair of happily married frogs instead:

who will be going off to London tomorrow.  

Ain't love grand?