Quilt for a friend: blue & green stripes

I finished a quilt for a friend, first one I’ve made with an actual binding.  A couple months ago he was going through some especially difficult times, including moving into his own apartment during a difficult break-up.  I made a small lap quilt for the couch in his new living room.  It was put together six weeks ago except for the binding, and then I set it aside during the Organizing Challenge.

I haven’t given it to him yet.  If you’re seeing this, I hope you like it!  I’ll deliver it next week.

In real life the greens are more turquoise-y.  I’m having trouble resizing the pictures, so will wait to post more when they’re not 1.4 MB each.  I’m going out of town until next Wednesday, and I’ll be without an online connection.  I haven’t gone that long without the intertubez since, I don’t know, 1998?  How did people live like that????

March 26, 2010. Tags: , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 5 comments.

Still here, just haven’t posted

I haven’t posted in awhile, I know, and I don’t have any pictures of any awesome stuff to show.  During the past few weeks I cleaned the house and did some thorough organizing, inspired by my lovely sewing room success.  I even bought some organizing tools, like a bookcase and wire shelves for the closet, and I made a Kleenex-type box for corralling plastic bags in a drawer.  (Step 1: Cut a hole in the box.  Step 2:  Put your junk in that box.)  Tonight I worked on handsewing a binding on a quilt for a friend.  A few more episodes of “Felicity” and it will be done, and I’ll take a picture then.

Otherwise, I probably won’t post much in the next few weeks.  Come back later though, I’m not gone forever, just for a little while.

March 22, 2010. Words. 1 comment.

Fish tank upgrades

I added a couple plants, some large rocks, and a piece of blue porcelain to my aquarium this weekend, thanks to a box from my mom.  She just dissembled her large fish tank after giving away the scores and scores of guppies that were reproducing astoundingly fast, and sent me a few items to add to my 30 gallon tank.  A second package the next day contained baggies of fish food, which was actually perfect timing because I had just run out of flakes the night before and was going to have to go to the pet store to buy more.  Get out of my head, Mom!

She’s done stuff like that before, too.  A few years ago I was on one of my grapefruit kicks and was lamenting — to others, not to my mom —  my lack of grapefruit spoons.  You know, the little pointy ones with a serrated tip.  Maybe two weeks later I opened my birthday package and in addition to the gift out fell a dozen grapefruit spoons.  “Thought you might use these, I had too many anyway” the note said.  It was really weird.

My fish tank has four adult guppies and a handful of babies of two ages.  I’ll be getting a little school of neon tetras this week, and they will be known as Seamus, both individually and collectively.  I accidentally offed the last ones when I used ich medicine based on the package dosage directions, when it turns out that tetras are super sensitive to that particular medicine and half the regular amount is the max they can tolerate.  After the Incident, I sent a text message saying, “I killed Seamus.  All of them.”  I’m hoping for a better outcome with the new Seamus.

March 14, 2010. Tags: , . Pictures, Words. 2 comments.

Minor refashioning

I decided to go through my closet again, this time with a strong will.  I realized I needed to do this when I wore a little brown jacket that I used to wear a lot and enjoyed, and this time I found myself pulling at it all day and just didn’t feel good in it anymore.  I’m not sure what changed — did I change shape?  Are my tastes different now?  Was it always bad and I didn’t know?  When it comes out of the laundry, it’s going in the giveaway pile.

The first blouse I planned to get rid of is a paisley tie-neck blouse with little ruffles on the front.  I’ve worn it a few times and while I like it in theory, the long curved hemline has always bothered me, and I didn’t enjoy tucking it in.  I do like the rest of it though, so I decided to cut off the bottom and re-hem it.  It took two tries and it’s not as crisp as I like, so after a test drive or two at work it might still go in the giveaway pile.  I might also cut off the long ties.

Before                                                                      After

I shortened the sleeves on a gray cardigan made of a thick t-shirt-type material.  I liked it with the original 3/4 sleeves and almost didn’t cut them, then I decided that I already own 7 cardigans with longish sleeves and I should add something different.  There are a surprising number of buttons on this one.  The designer must have really been concerned about it coming undone at inopportune moments.

Before                                                                       After

The last one didn’t even involve sewing, I just sliced up the front of a boatneck tshirt to make it a casual button-less cardigan.   Last night I went out with a large group of friends to celebrate another birthday and I did the same thing with a different black shirt from Goodwill that I never wear.  I explained that I wanted to bring something for warmth if we sat outside and also would be ok if it didn’t make it home with me.  “Are you planning on taking off your clothes tonight and forgetting them somewhere?” I was asked.  No, I just didn’t want to have to panic if I set it down and forgot it.  Good thing, too, because I hung it over my little purse when I took it off inside and the cardigan slipped without me noticing, and when I realized that it fell it had already spent some time on the crowded bar floor being walked on so I let it go for lost.

Before                                                                                       After

Looks like I should add a nail in my lovely sewing room to hang clothes for pictures, instead of using the closet door hinge.  I have a blank spot on the wall that would provide a nice clean background.  Still don’t have nails yet though…

Update: The paisley shirt doesn’t make the cut.  I wore it to work and I still don’t like the hemline, it’s too short and just not awesome like the rest of it, unfortunately.

March 7, 2010. Tags: , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 3 comments.

Ice skating is hard

We went ice skating for my friend’s 29th birthday yesterday.  We all wore party hats.  The last time I went ice skating was in the mid-’90s, on an outdoor field flooded with a hose in Minneosta.  The freshly Zambonied ice was a lot more slippery than the outdoor ridged surface.  Or maybe we just lose our natural ice skating abilities as we approach 30?  I fell only once, when I was simply standing by the boards talking.  It took me a moment to get back up, and my friends “helped” by taking pictures.  We also staged some fancy figure skating shots with off-camera assistance.

I like my new green puffer vest, and this was a perfect place to wear it.  $3.50 at Goodwill, 50% Off Saturday.  Come to think of it, I bought the jeans at Goodwill maybe two years ago too.  Purple cardigan is Target, ice skates were uncomfortable rentals, and party hat is from the dollar store.  The orange sticker was our ticket to use the ice.

March 6, 2010. Tags: . Pictures, Words. Leave a comment.

Refashion: Asian dress to top


At the swap party in January there was an Asian-style black dress that looked terrible on everybody present, all in unique and cringe-worthy ways.  The owner of the dress had purchased it at a consignment shop and hadn’t even taken the tags off because she realized she just didn’t have the right shape to wear it.  Because nobody has the right shape to wear it.   When the dress went unclaimed at the swap, I decided to take it to see if we could find redemption together.  And yes!  I turned it into a top for a friend.


I had her try on the dress last week and I pinned it in various places, just like a real tailor.  Several days later when I sat down to make it, I couldn’t remember what the pins meant.  Were they for the bottom hem?  The top of side slits?  Marking nothing and just holding it up to be shorter?  Why had Past Self been so cryptic?  I decided to wing it and see what happened.  After cutting a foot off the bottom I realized I had planned on making a tunic-length top.  Oops.  No harm done, she likes it and I like it and I even  have enough material left for something else I have in mind.

March 2, 2010. Tags: , , , . Pictures, Projects, Words. 4 comments.