January 13, 2008

There's work, and then there's "work"

"Work" interferes with life. Just when I'm getting excited about some fabric or a pattern, or how close I am to finishing something, it's time to go off to work. Damn work. Or I've come home from work and am just too darn sleepy to do real (quilty) work efficiently or successfully. Yesterday, however, was a little different. Yesterday was one of those occasional Saturdays that I work and while I was kept later than normal, it was a fairly good day. I met my partner afterwards for coffee at our favourite fair trade/organic coffee house, Just Us Cafe and had a delicious soy cappuccino with a piece of scrumptious cherry pie - I LOVE cherry pie. As we walked home along Queen Street passing fabric and bead stores - there are tons of them but few with quilting fabric - I stopped in to a couple to buy some Gutterman's white quilting thread. Can you believe that in the "Fashion District" of Toronto not one of those stores had the thread I needed? What craziness. Mac Fab has a wonderful selection of threads (and great upholstery, drapery and clothing fabrics) and that's usually where I buy thread - or Fabricland - but they are in the other direction along Queen and I thought surely, some other store will have white cotton Gutterman thread appropriate for sewing cotton fabric. Nope. I only use cotton thread to sew pieces together - I always keep in mind the caveat that when the seam is stressed, thread that is stronger than the fabric will simply tear the fabric. I'd rather have the seam go than the fabric. So, I came home empty handed.
After dinner we were watching tv. Now, we don't get or want cable or satellite tv. We just have our regular 7 local channels and if we can't find something on there, then it's time to find another activity. Saturday nights suck for tv watching here. Suck. Nothing of interest on at all last night - except for a couple of old movies on TVO, both of which we had seen. I kept the damn thing on, though, until my partner asked if I was stuck. I turned it off and whined about what to do and he, very smartly, said "Haven't you any unfinished sewing projects you could work on?" Say what, now? As a matter of fact ...This is a piece I began in early December - obviously a very simple piece.

I had thought of making cat & dog quilts both for my own cats, but also to sell for Christmas. I quilted it by machine along the squares, but the foot on my machine doesn't seem to have alot of pressure and it is extremely easy for pieces to wander somewhat - which is what happened on this. So I wasn't happy about that. I sewed the binding onto the front and was going to try what I've seen Eleanor Burns do on QuiltersTV or Quilters' News Network (when it was free), and that is to sew the other side of the binding down also by machine. She lines it up just so and the stitches end up being just at the stitching line on the front of the piece - hidden somewhat. But try as I might, I kept drifting too far over and the stitching line would end up 1/8" away from the front binding - a glaring mistake in my eyes - or I would go right into the binding itself. I just couldn't get it right. Each time I tried and I made mistakes, I unsewed the damn thing and finally I just put it on a pile and left it. Until my partner asked that question.
I finished the binding - mistakes be damned - here's one (mistake, that is):

I love the fabric I used on the back.You know how in the late fall, early spring, even sometimes in winter, those weeds in the fields in the country or on wasteland have tiny little dried flowers or seeds that are rusty coloured and beige and yellow? Well I love that. I love nature's flower and plant arranging. And this fabric looks just like those little rusty, yellow flowers at the ends of long grasses.

Coincidentally, I had the day before sorted out some of my fabric "drawers".

Oh, and here's a picture of one of my cats, Lenny, keeping my quilting chair warm for me)

And I came across a few little pieces I had put together back in the day with the possibility in mind of teaching basic quilting classes. There was one piece I really liked that uses a lovely green leaf print, but it wasn't well-executed. I had made them all with very small pieces - 1" square, which is small for me - and in this one piece the hst didn't match up that well. But I still liked it. So last night I pulled that out of a pile, ironed it out, found more of the red that I had used in it, and whipped it up into a little cat sitting quilt ... or something. I put two layers of poly batt in it and tied it with cotton and metallic embroidery threads. I left some of them long in case the cats wanted to play with them. I like it. Even with all it's mistakes.

Then my sister called and said that she was starting to make all natural herbal healing balms and shampoos for pets and would I be interested in helping her get the word out? Yeah, I said, but wait ... work already cuts into my quilty work time if I take this on too, when will I ever quilt? Oh heck, I'll figure something out.
Keep your foot on the dogs.

P.S. I've had such a hard time formatting this post that it's driving me nuts! If anyone can point me towards some help, I would greatly appreciate it (I haven't found blogspot's help very helpful)

1 comment:

Kay said...

Hi Sherri, I been crazy with understanding how the formating works with these blogs and getting mine to be the way I want it too.

Finally, in desperation, one day, I did a google search for html tutorial and found this site to be very helpful and easy to understand.