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Friday, September 18, 2009

Talk of quilts...

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I may inadvertently become a good hand-quilter. Three things can be blamed for this. The first is obvious...I embroider by hand and have for years. I trust my hands. Then come the second two points.

The first of these points is that I'm lazy. Since I'm dragging my sewing machine to work several times per week and my other 2 sewing machines need parts, I don't want to pull out and set up my sewing machine every time I want to use it. The 'punishment' for this kind of lazy is that I have to do things by hand. You can see how this punishment pains me...I mentioned years of embroidery by hand right?

The second is odd. I don't trust sewing machines. I've used them since I was 14. Almost all the women in my family use them. My grandmother's a quilter, my mother's a seamstress...and yet I lack the natural talent with a sewing machine and inevitably it goes haywire on me and I can't troubleshoot. Combine this with the fact that I use old machines (they break down), my fear of the new machines (a computer? In my machine? After years of experience with Windows, I know better than to trust a computer.) The irony of course is that I use Windows, and I'm on my PC all the time, and I trust it more than I trust "one of them new-fangled computerized sewing machines". Honestly, if I can't troubleshoot an old-style machine (I lack the magic touch), how on earth would I handle a new machine? The ones at work keep beeping at me. They can tell I don't appreciate them like I should...

In fact, the only reason I'm using a thimble (I NEVER use a thimble!) is because a sewing machine attacked my finger yesterday when I was trying to move threads under the foot (it wasn't even sewing) and everything was fine and dandy today until I pushed the needle into my quilt top and the back end went right in the hole created yesterday by the sewing machine needle. Do you know how many nerves must be connected straight to the pad of that finger? I'm guessing "all of them".

Now that you know about my crippling fear of motorized needles, I should probably let you see what I'm stitching together, huh?

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This is the Drunkard's Path. Did you know that this quilt square was used by the women of the Temperance movement? I didn't either until I started googling to figure out how to lay out these blocks to put them together (there are many variations, but I'm stuck with the traditional I think...I'm too lazy to undo the center square to do something different). I had no idea why it was called the drunkard's path before today, though I'd guessed it was due to the way it looked assembled.

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I'm also putting this together for a class I'm teaching. Of course, the center strip is crooked and the bottom strip isn't much better, but if you'd seen how these fat quarters started, you'd realize I at least tried. They were crooked as all get-out. I don't know how that happens...oh wait, yes I do. There's no selvage edge on these fat quarters. I don't know how they were cutting them, but wow. Just wow. I imagine there's a lot of very crooked wasted fabric on that cutting room floor.

In less lazy and/or fail news...

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Almost done with my homework for Sunday. I need 8 inches of sock so I can teach students how to make heels and gussets. I have 7 inches, so it looks like I'll be done in time. WHEW. Considering everything else I've had going on this week, it's a miracle I got it done and I'll have to do it all over again for Thursday's class.

Also, I taught a granny square class. They've changed the yarn requirements for the class several times but I had the materials for the old class, so...

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This is Lion Brand's new Wool Ease Thick & Quick. I have to say I'm not a fan.

My opinion can be taken with a grain of salt, however. I'm not a fan of chunky yarn to begin with. It doesn't help that I had one color so I had to pick colors that went with it, and I don't like any of the colors. It also doesn't help that the colors look like insulation (what with all the flecks of other color in them), so I'm all itchy just looking at it.

I'm not a real fan of all the new colors I'm seeing though. The mustard yellows and weird oranges...it's all too 70s. I'm all for 'natural' colors but it can be done well...and it can be done in a way that leaves emotional scars. I was born in the 70s. It left emotional scars, okay? That's all I'm saying...

I haven't really been updating but I have been working on craft stuff every day. It's kind of cheaty because I get paid to work on craft stuff every day, but I am throwing in my own colors and ideas as well.

1 comment:

ladyofthelog said...

My personal experience with sewing machines is that if they are cast-iron behemoths from the 1950s, I can fix them easy-peasy; if not, I'm fucked. So, commiseration from this quarter. ;)