Thursday, April 26, 2007

The littlest bits

I'm way, way tired today---it's been an incredibly long week, and I'm getting a cold--but I wanted to post pictures from the work I've done over the past seven days or so. Saturday and Sunday I worked on a collage I've been planning for a long time; it's all Astrid, and I'm very happy with how it came out. Elliot wants one now.

Last night before bed I embellished a nightshirt for my sister's birthday (I don't think she reads this, so I'm not ruining the surprise.)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bamboo update

I can't remember the day for sure (it's been an extremely long and tiring week....), but the bamboo jersey I ordered from Wazoodle finally arrived on Thursday. It's beautiful---but I'm not delighted with how long it took to get here, or with the very vague tracking information I got from Wazoodle (on the same day I got the box, their website still said that my order was "in process").

Now I have to figure out the best way to wash it (it's a ten-yard jersey tube). I thought about cutting it into smaller pieces, but I don't know which patterns I'll ultimately use it for--and I don't want to waste any. I also have a feeling that washing a ten-yard tube could wreck our washing machine....I think Threads had a tip a couple of years ago about good ways to wash major yardage. It'll be fun to look through my old issues (maybe tomorrow morning, when I'm home with Astrid--she has a cold and tummy virus).

Somehow I managed to sew three skirts (and about six quilt blocks) this week. I have no idea how I did this. I am a lunatic. (But the skirts look great!)

I know when to say when---I do!

I finally got to some *way* overdue spring cleaning this afternoon. Back in January, I bought an exercise bike and put it in the dining room; almost a month ago, I bought a sideboard and china cabinet from IKEA, but, of course, I ran out of spring break assembly time before I was finished with the sideboard. In the meantime, my overstuffed backback got emptied onto a corner of the dining room so I could use it as a carry-on when we went to Boston. (Really, it's more like my bingeing backback threw up in the corner....what *wasn't* in there? Some highlights: five tubes of lipgloss and lipstick [neither of which I wear more than a few times a year--I'm a Carmex devotee], two pairs of black socks [one clean, one dirty], a sympathy card I never mailed to a mourning colleague, four different kinds of cough drops, unlabeled CD-ROMS for my office computer, two little tubes of toothpaste [one was probably five years old]....).

By Friday (my birthday), even our dining room table was covered with junk mail, birthday cards, baseball cards, toys, dishes. When I got up this morning, I knew it all had to go.

I spent probably six hours cleaning one room. (About 90 minutes of that involved finishing the IKEA sideboard so that I could load it up with game and photo boxes--I'm so happy with how it came out! All the drawers and cabinet doors are solid and smooth-running.) Here's the big news: I threw away all of my rug-braiding stuff. I haven't worked on it in a long time (I suppose I could go back through my blog archives to figure out when I left off, but why?), and I realized that, in spite of my initial success, it wasn't coming out so well. It looked like a polarfleece canoe--not a bit flat, and, unlike cotton or wool, it couldn't be blocked when it was finished (I didn't think of that when I started it). So I tossed both the rug and the polarfleece strips I'd already cut. I was in total tossing mode; I recycled whatever I could today, but if I had to think for too long about what to do with something, in most cases, I just got rid of it.

I didn't feel great when I tossed the stuff, but when I told my husband, the first thing he said was "You'll definitely get a blog entry out of this!" And I have.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Pieced or strip-pieced....doesn't make a big difference!

We're back from the Popular Culture Association convention in Boston--we had a very good time with our kids and with my sister Lora's two sweeties, Sam and Lilly--and now I'm semi-overwhelmed with all the work I have to do this week. Being Easter Sunday, however, I'm trying to honor the spirit of the day by not doing a ton of work. I also made a point of sewing for a while (and I hope to sew some more tonight). I'm almost through with the fourth block in the crib quilt I'm making. The design I chose alternates 16-patch blocks and pinwheel-shaped blocks; I've started with the 16-patch ones. They seem to be going pretty fast (ask me again next week, and the week after that, and.....). As careful as I've been to make keep my seam allowances identical, though, there are still places where the corners don't line up. This makes me mad. And, given the way I work (as fast as possible, mistakes be damned), it's not like I'm likely to get a lot more precise as I go along. I suppose I can say that these quilts are an honest reflection of my true personality.....

Before we left for Boston, I ordered a *lot* of black bamboo jersey from Wazoodle, and it hasn't arrived yet. I've never ordered from Wazoodle before; I expected them to be as fast as At least this time, they're definitely not. (I was a bit worried that the package had disappeared from our porch, but their website says my order is "in process.") I want to make myself a bunch of cool summer shirts, and possibly some pajama shorts for Elliot. It's not like I am ready to sew any of this stuff, but the space between the impulse purchase and the gratification of holding the cloth in my hands is a bit wide for me. (Actually, this wasn't an impulse purchase, as I've been web-shopping for bamboo jersey for a couple of months--I just didn't plan to buy as much as I ended up buying--but I got a considerably lower price for buying ten yards at once.)