Sunday 29 November 2015

Technical Difficulties...First World Problems

Is there anything more frustrating than not knowing how to make a computer do what you want it to do? If only I had more experience with all these gizmos's and gotta-haves; I have just enough knowledge of computers to make me dangerous and not quite enough to make me efficient. The world might well be at my fingertips, but its the curse words on the tip of my tongue that are glaringly obvious at this moment.

I have always blogged using my Samsung tablet, but this morning it was downstairs keeping the Robot company so I decided that I would attempt to write using my new laptop; a whizzy new thing that is loaded up with Windows 10...which I might add is a beast of a learning curve for someone who is still thinking in Vista terms. Because I am an Android user and all my "stuff" is linked to my Google profile I wanted this laptop to default to my Google settings. I know there is likely a simple way to make this thing do just that but do you think I can figure out how to get rid of the seemingly default "@hotmail" user settings? I can chose my Google account, but I can't make it default. Clearly an equally forceful troop of Gremlins possess the Microsoft world as they do the Google world...damn Gremlins, foiling my every attempt to make this mornings blogging an enjoyable experience. If my laziness were able to thwart my stubbornness I'd have gone to the basement to retrieve my tablet an hour and a half ago. But, here I am typing for the first time on my laptop; virtue seized, but not rewarded.

All I really wanted to do was tell you about the Maritime Modern Quilt Guilds sew in yesterday. The Enabler hosted it in the top floor sun room at her condo building that overlooks the Bedford Basin...what a view! I stayed up way too late the night before watching the Robot work its magic on Ellies quilt and didn't get much of a chance to prepare anything really new or exciting to take with me so, on my way out the door I put the Metro Twist pieces that I had been working on in the Jack Daniels tin, tucked in Voodoo Duck and took off.

I decided that I would totally wing the placement of these with wild abandonment (think shaken AND stirred) I tossed all the pieces into two big bags that I could reach into sewing together what ever units came to hand. I sewed and sewed...I even pressed the center seam of the finished blocks open! Surprised? Yah, I was too...try not to wet your pants, sometimes I do things properly but I do complain the whole time.

The result? 25 finished blocks of pure random delight and a fabulous day chatting with the peeps from the guild. I love these ladies. We covered a lot of topics yesterday...everything from the working in the justice system, the price of fabric, the importance of having a job that "works" for you, new babies, secret Santa gift exchanges, the hopefulness that Canada seems to be feeling with our new government and the importance of chocolate chip cookies that bend with out breaking. You know, the big stuff!

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Betcha Can't Make Just One...

Such was the case with the Noodlehead cross body bag I made a couple weeks ago out of some cargo shorts belonging to Not-So-LittlePurpleBoots...

That one "zombie-fied" bag led to an almost identical second bag which led to a trip to the thrift shop...more cargo pants and belts please!
  **if you're careful and creative you can get 2 bags from one pair of men's cargo pants but I suggest you start with a size 30 or larger if you plan for two.

That in turn led to a trip to Avonport Discount Fabrics in the Valley...because I needed denim needles and a few certain lining fabrics...some of which I've used already...

Somehow these super-cute Christmas fabrics managed to follow me home, not sure how that happened?! Or when I'll find time to use them...

And, no trip to Avonport is complete without a root through the Kona remnant bin...


All of these steps led to this...

5 more bags looking all cute and ready for giving and about that many more in the wings. Good thing "I like" repetitive sewing... *snort*

If you're looking for a fun idea for Christmas prezzies to gift that won't break your piggy bank, have a huge impact on landfill or take a tonne of time this just might be what you're looking for.

But be warned...they're addictive.

Monday 9 November 2015

The Kinda Quick Curve Ruler

The Quick Curve Ruler came into the house a couple years ago,  a souvenir from our Ottawa/Hamilton family road trip in March of 2013. I saw it at The Running Stitch quilting shop near Ottawa next to an oh-so beautiful sample quilt and just had to have it. You know how those "had-to-have-it" things often play out, right? Often, at least in my world, I figure out pretty quickly that I was wrong and the highly coveted "latest and greatest" sits and sits.

Such was the case with this Quick Curve Ruler. Everytime I opened the package my eyes crossed and I quickly put it back in the drawer and slammed it shut! Gah, so confusing! I simply couldn't focus on the instructions,  too much text for my ADHD afflicted brain to compute. Then my little Maritime Modern Quilt Guild offered up a workshop using this ruler last I pulled it out, dug out some fabrics, loaded my stuff and Voodoo Duck in the Jeep and off we went!

Our guilds PEI leader, Heather Jarmyn, is quite the master of the QCR and taught us what we needed to know to get our curves on. The night before the class I had precut my fabrics into the necessary rectangles required for the pattern "Metro Twist" and so once she showed the ruler in use, I was pretty well good to go. I am very much a visual/hands-on me, it works every time.

So I kicked off my boots and away I went.....

All the gals at the work shop were working away...each of us excited about the others fabrics and pattern choices. All of us pleased with our new found skills and curvy goodness. The temporary design wall gave us a spot to share our blocks...

The Metro Twist pattern calls for 160 curved patches that sew up into 20 blocks...that's  a LOT of repetitive sewing for someone who hates repetitive sewing...80 curves in one orientation and 80 more in the other ...b-o-r-i-n-g!!! That would have given me a quilt that measures about 40 by 55 inches. So did I stop there? Nope, of course not. I am a sucker for punishment. What the heck would that teeny weeny quilt be any good for? I didn't use baby appropriate fabric and you clearly cannot snuggle a springy thing in a quilt that would barely cover your lap, now can ya? So, I decided that I'd  make even more curves and add another row to the width of the quilt. Can I break that down for you? That's 5 more blocks which equates to another 40 curved patches...or 40 more reasons to pour some Jack down my throat.

So that's where I am. All those wretched curved patches are sewn & trimmed...and yes, the stacks are uneven in number of course because I cannot count with my eyes crossed and have the tendency to get carried away with my cutter.

One day, when my eyes uncross, I'll lay them out and stitch up a flimsy. Until then, I'll slam that had-to-have-Kinda-Quick-Curve Ruler back in the drawer.

Monday 2 November 2015

Mom! Can You Fix These?

This was the question Not-So-Little PurpleBoots had for me when he brought a pair of cargo shorts to me with a split zipper that refused to behave for him. I probably could have replaced the zipper, but it's unlikely that they would've fit him again next year at the current rate of speed he seems to be growing. So, "Nope! Sorry Bud, they're not worth fixing."

So they sat and sat, I hated to toss inner tree hugger winces a bit at the thought of tossing out perfectly good (and expensive) shorts. But without a working zipper what good are they really? Well, thanks to Google and according to this tutorial by Noodlehead I found out that I CAN make a purse out of them!

So that's exactly what happened today. Instead of heading to the boxing gym I headed to my sewing corner and knocked out this bit of cross-body-goodness in about 3 hours. Seems my avoidance skills are every bit as as powerful as my left hook! You'd think I would have cleaned up that giant mess of Kona Kandy off the cutting table, but geez, who's got time for cleaning when the zombies are coming! (This photo makes me think of #honestcraftroom on Instagram.)

I used the cargo pocket as the tutorial suggests for the flap, but pieced in the side pocket on the back panel as an extra little pocket. A gal needs all the pockets she can get, right?

When I was in Amherst the other week I picked up some Zombie fabric by Riley Blake. My pal Adrienne over at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts tempted me with hers and it just so happened that there was still some on the bolts at Mrs. Pugsley's Fabric Emporium. Not that Not-So-Little PurpleBoots will want this bag, but he really loves the Walking Dead series so it seemed logical that I used it for the lining. I placed the flap lining so that it could be read when the bag was open...the instructions on the fabric are invaluable to one's survival of a zombie apocalypse.

And would ya look at my bias binding? It pleases me to no end! Just in case you decide to give this bag a go I cut it at a 45° angle in 2.25" wide and pressed it in half. I then stitched it to the back with a quarter inch seam, pressed it, turned it, pressed it again and then topstitched it to the front, just like a quilt.

Clearly a pair of pants would have been better as there'd be a lot more fabric to work with...I had to piece bits together and improvise with the strap since there wasn't nearly enough fabric to make one...good thing these shorts came with a cloth belt! The Pfaff 4.2 QE  didn't flinch with all those layers, even sewed that heavy belt in place without so much as a hiccup; that machine is a workhorse! All that was left of the shorts was a small pile of scraps and a couple more pockets...and that my friends, seems like a more reasonable amount of trash.

How much fun is this? God, I love the internet! I might have to go for a root at the second hand store in search of more cargo pants. I have a hunch this might not be the last of these bags!