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sakon76: (Sakon)
Jazzy dozing on his playmat. Squiddle working on his fine motor skills (aka playing with playdough aka learning that no matter what colors you smush together it always ends up hideous brown). Both stockings done save for hanging loops and nametags.

Onward to victory!
sakon76: (Sakon)
Today I'd planned to be a running-out-and-about day, as the weather has finally cooled a touch (meaning highs of 89 instead of 97) and, indeed, I did run about a little this morning - to the community college down the street to register Wonderful Husband for Squiddle's fall classes since the website started throwing fits after I got myself registered but before I managed to get him registered, and to Aldi to get Squiddle a booster seat for the dining table at home.

But then we came home and had lunch and before going out again (to a couple thrift stores and the grocery store that has pomengranates on sale this week), I poked at a link I came across last night:

Stash Less.

And you know what? I decided I didn't really need to go browse the thrift stores for my day's entertainment. I've been alternating reading the series of articles with sewing up some stuff instead. I finished off this month's blocks for Block Lotto. And have seamed up two of the four flannel crib sheets I cut out earlier this week from fabric I bought at Costume College.

(They're a matched pair of very girly pink paisley flannel crib sheets. I asked my son if he thought it was pretty and he said yes and hugged it and tried to take it away to cuddle. Ah, for the expected-gender-role-unconsciousness of a two-year-old.)

(And, yes, I'm sewing flannel crib sheets in a heat wave. Crazy much?)

Which actually segues me to another point: yes, I've been making a lot of crib sheets lately. This is not just because I'm pregnant and in about six months will be moving Jazzy from bassinet to crib and thus have two boys in that size of bed, but because...

...my little sister is also expecting, and is due in January. Bonus is, my mother had informed her that she was the last hope for a granddaughter, and she has indeed stepped up to the plate and is having a girl! Yay, I get a niece!

(I have been holding off on saying ANYTHING about this until she sent out the announcement. But that is done so I now feel relieved of that particular restraint.)

ETA: Pushed through, and got all four sheets plus one pillowcase done. I put rickrack on the pillowcase since there's no contrast band. Does anything else scream "homemade" quite like rickrack? :)
sakon76: (Sakon)
Both pillowcases finished, and binding half sewn onto quilt. Did prenatal yoga this morning (have missed the last two weekends due to Comic-con and Costume College). Am trying to scrape together the energy to do anything more today. The to-do list is simple, but consists of several items. We shall see if I succeed.

ETA: Allietare-by-Moonlight quilt DONE, and in the washing machine together with its pillowcases. Pics to be taken maybe tomorrow? About half of my list for the day knocked off; the rest is all outside stuff and may also be dealt with tomorrow.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Have the binding all cut and sewn and pressed, ready to go on the quilt. But I've also spent part of this evening falling prey to one of the classic blunders: how to make two matching pillowcases out of three fabrics, none of which I have enough of?

Answer: piece the contrast bands.

(For those who wish to know, this is the pillowcase pattern I use.)
sakon76: (Sakon)
Two more crib sheets and one pillowcase sewn up this morning. I also dug out a piece of pre-quilted fabric (hot pink on one side, bright orange on the other) I got in a random grab bag and cut it to the length of the pad on the changing table. I figure I'll sew binding around the edge and a bit of elastic across the width to make it wrap, and it can be a reversible changing pad cover. Since currently we just wrap bath towels around the thing. The pad's not a standard size, so we were never really able to buy covers for it, and I already have this fabric, so why not experiment...?

My feet, ironically, feel fine this morning. But my calves are still killing me from all the Comic-con walking. And one shoulder hurts. I'm basically taking it easy and hoping the sundry aches and pains of exertion heal up by Friday.

ETA: changing pad cover experiment seems a success! (All the stuff I've been sewing is currently in the wash, so we'll see how much shrinkage happens in the dryer.) And I found in my stash some fabric that didn't look too bad with the remnant of the third crib sheet, so I did up one more coordinating pillowcase. Three new sheets, three new pillowcases, one changing pad cover, and ten yards of fabric from my stash actually used up! And I have enough elastic for another crib sheet and another pad cover, but for the former I'll wait and see if I need to adjust the pattern fit any, and for the latter, I haven't got any more prequilted fabric on hand, so....


May. 31st, 2016 01:04 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
Squiddle's new children's-show-of-interest on YouTube is In The Night Garden. Which is harmless enough. But it's amusing that he's glommed onto Ninky Nonk, the train, as his favorite. His granddad, who is also into trains, has taught him well...? :)

There was a patch of bright sunlight early yesterday afternoon, so I was able to get the paint in the master bathroom touched up. Hooray for another task off the list! Now it only needs the handtowel hanger put in place, the base moulding installed and painted, and the shelving decided on and installed. In other words, the room is still nowhere near complete. :/ But it's much much prettier than it's ever been before, and fully functional.

I've also done enough quilt-sewing that I've gotten the need out of my system (I attribute this to the 218 half-square triangles I cut, sewed, trimmed, and still need to press), so my crafting brain has finally shifted over to Costume College sewing.

I spent time yesterday afternoon wrestling with FBA (Full Bust Adjustment) tutorials, and getting depressed over those, and have decided to just shelve the 1960s dress until I'm in the headspace to wrestle with its fitting problems. Instead I'm moving to the other outfits I'd planned for Costume College - Regency gear! I've changed sizes and shapes since my last foray into this era (or at least come to accept that what I had before, while well-made, did not actually fit me properly) so only a chemise is coming along on this journey into better-fitting outfits. Wish me luck. Step one: a bodiced petticoat, since a corset is soooooo not happening this year, for multiple reasons.
sakon76: (Default)
Ever since Bonnie Hunter started making tiny "H" blocks for an eventual quilt last year, I've been doing the same. After all, my maiden name (currently one of my middle names, according to my driver's license and passport) is also a "H" name. And just because I did the traditional thing and took on Wonderful Husband's surname when we married doesn't mean I stopped being a Huntsman!

A few days ago Bonnie posted pictures of the finished quilt top and it immediately shot onto my must-make list. So as I've been plodding along on cutting out pieces for the Allietare-By-Moonlight quilt, I've also been making a few more H blocks, as well as dealing with my bag of 1.5" squares and sewing up similarly-sized nine-patches for a somewhat more nebulous eventual project. Last night I pulled them all out and counted.

217 H blocks, 115 nine-patch blocks.

Looking at her pictures of the H quilt, which are for a queen-sized quilt, the setting is six by seven blocks, times four H blocks each... 168 blocks. Now, Wonderful Husband and I sleep in a queen bed, but we use a king sized comforter. If I made another seven blocks I could do an eight by nine setting... or I could do the queen quilt and use the extra blocks (and there are plenty of duplicate fabric ones) to make a baby quilt for someone I know who also has a "H" surname....

Must ponder. And while I can get on with putting the H blocks on point, since I don't know the next step of the measurements, anything beyond that would have to wait until Bonnie has time to write up and release the pattern anyway.

And, anyway, my goal for today is to clean and oil my trusty Singer 15, finish cutting out the rest of the pieces for Allietare-By-Moonlight, put some plants in the kitchen garden, and figure out a Full Bust Adjustment for that 1960s dress.
sakon76: (Sakon)
I finished the dust ruffle for the crib last night, as planned, and this morning changed Squiddle's sheets and hunted his pacis out from under the crib, and put the new dust ruffle on, and it looks quite smart. And not too long and dragging on the ground, either! Huzzah!

But the thing is, though it looks quite smart, it doesn't really go with anything. So today, between other things, I pulled out the scraps from the ruffle, and from the pyjamas I've been making him, and yanked a couple bright coordinating cottons off my shelves, and a handful of neutrals, and started in on Quiltmaker's Bitty Blocks pattern series for the year. So I've got twenty 3" bow tie blocks sitting on my desk before me, and plans to make a few more out of the other scrap fabrics when I cut out his next three sets of PJs, and similar plans to move on to the February block, baskets, next weekend.

Because I can never have enough crafting balls in the air, apparently. I have three quilt tops ready to quilt, at least two more that require a bit of patching, two sets of blocks for two other projects, and the tumblers project I'm doing as leader/enders.

Someone sit on me and make me finish at least one quilt before I start yet another project????
sakon76: (Sakon)
The online sewing community has lots of themed months to keep themselves going. Stuff like "Me Made May" or "Sew Indie September." For myself, I've decided that rather than sewing from independent pattern companies, September is Sewing For Squiddle month. Thus far, he's got three pairs of pyjamas out of it, and I'm now working on a new dust ruffle for his bed. Because the one that came with the cute monster-themed bedset was good when he was an infant, but is way too long now that his crib's been lowered.

It should have been an easy project. I have a cute dinosaur print fabric that proved to be too stiff for pyjamas, and it's all mathematical. Simple, right?

Except for the part where neither of my ruffling feet will work on my Singer 15.


So here I sit, listening to the sprinkles on the patio roof, endlessly pinning pleats in along two 52" sides and two 28" sides.

Patience is a virtue, I am told....
sakon76: (Sakon)
While at my parents' home this afternoon, I noticed my mother's current reading material is a romance novel titled "Keeper of the Heart." Which led to me wondering if the Harry Potter wizarding world has their own fiction novels. I mean, they have music broadcast programs, so they must have other types of creative arts as well, right? And I can picture it being a Quidditch romance trilogy - Seeker of the Heart, Chaser of the Heart, and Keeper of the Heart. Maybe with a fourth volume titled Beater of the Heart which fans agreed was Never To Be Spoken Of Again, It Does Not Exist. :)

The Squiddle had his second birthday yesterday, so I had invited the other toddlers from his playgroup over for a playdate. It was an incredible fizzle - only one was able to come, and she didn't stay for long. Alas. I'm blaming it on the heat (101 degrees yesterday) and have decided to just be thankful that it happened when he was two and had no comprehension of what was going on, instead of when he's like eight and would have a meltdown over his friends not showing up for a birthday party. After the party-that-wasn't, he and I went out to the back patio and he had a grand old time splashsplashsplashing in his wading pool. So that at least was a success.

I've also taken to sewing for Squiddle recently. At two years of age, he's wearing size 4-5 shorts! Buying pyjamas for him is useless, as they're designed for long skinny toddlers not long bellyful toddlers. So I pulled out Simplicity 1570 and have made him three sets out of quilting cottons so far. Because god knows I have too much fabric. And they look good on him, and comfy. Plus Wonderful Husband suggested that I use the serger for the interior seams, which I decided to give a try, and oh my it makes it go so much faster, not having to finish all those seams!
sakon76: (Sakon)
Laundry and dishes, more laundry and tidying.

sewing and machines )

cleaning )
sakon76: (Sakon)
Quilt is done. Have washed it twice now and can still see the chalk marking lines. Will spray them with Shout tomorrow and wash it again and see if that works.

All three Steven Universe shirts done. Interestingly, the shirt with the double layer of fabric for the star (because it covers a logo that showed though just one layer) rippled a lot less in the satin stitching phase than the other two.

Mending pile of fraying cloth baby wipes and my new-to-me blouse, all done.

Time for more liquid, then bed.
sakon76: (Sakon)
This afternoon, lacking the oomph for much else, I went back to work on the quilt I'm currently quilting on my mother's Singer 201. I got the upper tension dialed up to where there weren't great huge thread loops on the back, and it would work for a while... then snap. I rethreaded. I changed the needle. The thread is a brand new spool. I disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled the upper tension. Still the same thing kept happening. I checked the bottom tension and cleaned all the lint out of the (dropped) feed dogs.

It's frustrated me enough that I've ordered a new hopping foot and put the quilt aside for now. If, after it arrives, the problem persists, I'm taking the machine in to be serviced at a local sewing machine center that I know regularly handles vintage Singers.

The thing is, it sews regular seams just fine. It's just the quilting that the machine is throwing a hissy fit over.

So I'm switching to a project that involves regular seams. Namely, a Regency corset. I have two short stays from the Simplicity reprint of Sense and Sensibility's pattern, but I tried them on tonight and remembered why they don't work for me. Not only are the straps right on the edge point of my shoulders, but the cups are in no way big enough. My breasts end up squished behind the entire short stay, all the way to the bottom. I look at Jennifer Rosbrugh's review of the Laughing Moon pattern, however, and note that (a) she's about the same size as me, and (b) holy cow, the cups actually fit her right.

(Despite the fact that the Sense and Sensibility short stays don't work for me, the chemise in the same pattern does. I'm wearing it right now. So there is that.)

I found a few yards of quilting cotton I won't desperately miss, as well as some cotton cording, and tossed it all in the wash on hot to pre-shrink so I can do a test version. Then I'll order a few yards of cotton sateen, since although Joann's allegedly carries it, I can never find it in-store, and make a "proper" version out of that.

All this being for Costume College, of course. Packet stuffing is next month, which means I really need to start thinking about what I'm going to wear. Some people have been working on their garb practically since last College ended. I don't go to the Gala, so I don't need something fancy to wear. Last year I didn't wear any costumes at all! But this year I'm not going to be toting a pump and cooler for breast milk around, so I want to wear something pretty.


Feb. 9th, 2015 05:35 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
I must needs start changing bad habits into good. Specifically, the one where I pull a pin off my dish and stick the ball head of it into my mouth while I adjust the fabric to just where I want to pin it.

Because the 17-month-old Squiddle, he watches, and he imitates. And just as he needs to learn that most of Mummy's sewing equipment (pins, needles, scissors, machine...) are not his to play with, he also needs to learn that certain things (to date, pins and pens especially) are not to go in his mouth.

(When I judge him old enough, which the internet seems to indicate will be in about two more years, I will begin teaching him how to sew. On his great-grandmother's handcrank Singer. Minimal chance of sewing through his own fingers that way.)


Feb. 7th, 2015 10:10 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
Fabric toy bin #3 completed. OMG there is so much floor room in here again!

Also, the darning/quilting foot I won off eBay arrived today. So tomorrow I'll probably use my Babylock to finish off a couple five-minute projects, then put it underneath the sewing table it's on. I'll then delint, oil, and grease up the 201, move it so the (much smaller) desk it's in is front of said sewing table, and thereby have a nice large surface to support the quilt's weight as I shift back to free-motion quilting....


Feb. 6th, 2015 10:35 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
For Christmas, I asked for and received the book Baby Says Sew after it caught my attention at the bookstore. Some of the projects in it are too young for Squiddle (clothing, taggie soft blocks, etc.) but some are a little more timeless, such as crib sheets, changing pad cover, superhero cape/blankie, etc. Yesterday and today I've been working on making some soft bins from the book for his toys. I've completed two, and cut out the pieces for a third. (I just managed to eke the third lining out of the felt. Only had to piece one bit, and that in just a small area.) So now all 180+ of Squiddle's MegaBloks are in a Bob the Builder toy bin, which pleases my inner sense of appropriateness. The other completed bin is a bright alphabet buttons print with a color-matching floral lining, and the third will be a random pair of matching brights I pulled off my shelves.

Now if I can just attach those Ikea spice racks to the side of my desk for his books to go in, the office floor will be the tidiest it's been in over a year.

Catching Up

Feb. 4th, 2015 05:30 pm
sakon76: (Sakon)
Wonderful Husband and I celebrated our anniversary on Monday. Eleven years, hooray! We went to see Big Hero 6 before it left theaters, and very much enjoyed it. I think this is the first Disney film where I want the artbook not for cosplay purposes, but just for looking at the world Disney created. OMG, such gorgeous backgrounds and art and concept and everything!

I'm giving my mother's 201 a workout by piecing a quilt top on it. I've won an auction for the quilting foot I need, but given that it's coming from the snowed-in section of the country, it may take a while. A couple days ago I also found this tutorial, and it spoke to me. So I cut strips from all my green Christmas fabrics, and raided my box of 2.5" strips for more, and sewed them to various white/cream strips and cut and cut and cut... and still only had 362 of the 480 white/green sets I need. Grr. Back to more cutting and sewing, as needed.

I've also started this year's jam-making. Thus far I've done a small batch of lavender pear jam, and one of chocolate pear jam. I have plans for a habenero kumquat jam batch as soon as I get some more lids. Giving jars of jam as Christmas presents neatly cut down my oversupply of half-pint jars, to the point where I'm raiding my mother's oversupply for this year's. ^_^ I also need to start another batch of sauerkraut going, as it turns out the Squiddle likes real kraut as much as I do. (Wonderful Husband is less on board with the lactofermented flavors thing. I'm working on him.)

Last night we went through Squiddle's oversupply of toys and winnowed out the ones he doesn't play with, and the ones that are too young for him, and boxed those up. There's so much more room in the office now! But I still need to make a couple fabric baskets for storing things like his Megabloks.

And, lastly, yardwork is slowly getting accomplished. I've pruned all fifteen rosebushes at our house, and need to find time to go over and do the ones at my parents'. Weeding of the kitchen garden is a slow, steady task, but at least I've finally tossed the contents of the weed-ridden pots, and tossed as well those plastic pots in less than great condition. I need to move my succulents up into bigger pots, and now I have some free. And I've started starting seeds. I've got three flats of two kinds of corn (one had weevils so I'm expecting a low germination rate), and another flat filled with soil, ready for other seeds to go in.

And that's the news from Chez Greenwood. How're you all?
sakon76: (Sakon)
Read Ysabel. Now have read both the books I brought with me, and finished 3/4 of the craft projects. I may ask to go back to the local craft shop, if it's not inconvenient, just to get something to do with my hands. Because I can only write in silence, and while I love my inlaws dearly, the television is always on. At the moment I've retreated upstairs to the guest bedroom to try to clear my head and see if I can find my words.

Yesterday's trip to London was mostly a success. I can report that Chipotle here is very nearly as good as the one at home, with just a hair's difference of quality. We did Hamley's, Liberty, Harrod's, failed at the V&A because I'd forgot to check opening hours, went to Trafalgar Square and saw the 65-foot Norwegian spruce Christmas tree, and took a look at the London Eye.

Squiddle, unfortunately, threw up in the sandwich shop in Harrod's, and again on the train going home. Other than those two minutes, however, he was in good spirits. He didn't have a fever last night, and has had no recurrences today, so we think it was just a tummy bug. And fortunately there were two changes of clothing in his diaper bag.

After hauling a stroller up and down stairs and escalators through London, however, we have concluded that handicapped access is a distant dream in the face of the Underground. Between three of us adults we were able to handle the one infant and pushchair. A wheelchair would simply not be possible.
sakon76: (Sakon)
My sleep pattern seems to be drifting closer to normal, which can be nothing but good. I've hit a roadblock on one of the stories I was working on and so shifted to the handwork projects I brought with me. I packed three, all "finish ups" from this year's Costume College. My Regency reticule is now done, so the next time I need a 19th century purse, I'm set. I also finally finished beading the two sample bags for the beaded fringe evening bags class I taught. There is a qualitative difference produced by running the beading pattern horizontally versus vertically, so now I can show that. And while I've been working with my hands, my brain has produced the solution to my writing block, so tomorrow I'm planning to switch back to that.

Wednesday we're going to London for the day, so I'm making a short list of places we want to go. Harrod's, Hamley's, Liberty of London, a quick pop in at the V&A just to see if they have a gift shop outside of the pay entrance, because there are a couple of books I want, and because I am a dork like this, tracking down a Chipotle in London for lunch, to see if their fare is of any greater or lesser quality than the branches back in the USA. (It happens. Ask my husband about the difference between UK and US Burger Kings, KFCs, McDonalds, and Pizza Huts.) Maybe also going to the London Eye? We shall see.
sakon76: (Sakon)
Got my grocery shopping for tomorrow (I'm doing my succotash, House of Blues' cornbread, and [livejournal.com profile] hoshikage's sweet potato biscuits) done. Have had lunch. Baby is napping. Time to sew! Current project is making Wonderful Husband another pair of pyjama bottoms. And I've started another quilt.

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