25 of 52….Making Space

On Wednesday night, I decided to build myself a studio, and I started before 7am Thursday.

The first step was dividing my current bedroom into two sections by rearranging. I finished tidying the bedroom side this morning.

I am well pleased! Next up, the studio side.

It looks like a six month project, I know, but I’ll have a usable space here before the day is over.

24 of 52….Reading Causes Trouble

So, it all started with this book:

It ended with bringing this antique sewing machine out of my room and into the common area. It was my grandmother’s and possibly my great-grandmother’s.

And then the folding and organizing of fabrics.

When I’m ready to sew, I’ll bring the tall table out of my room to serve as a cutting and pressing station, if the project is too big for the sewing machine table fold-out.

Now I need to figure out where to mount the design wall! See, I told you reading causes trouble!

23 of 52….Shit got done

Warning, many pictures ahead! It was a very productive weekend.

Project 1: Run seams around the edges of this top to prepare it for the longarm.

Project 2A: Rip out these 15 year old lines of quilting to prepare this quilt for the longarm. The backing could not be saved. I’m not heartbroken, it was just polyester sheeting.

Project 3A: Self-bind my first quilt.

Project 4A: Bind this quilt in a fairly normal way.

Project 2B: Piece newly acquired backing for 15 year old quilt.

Projects 3B and 4B: Wash and dry the completed quilts.

Project 5: Self-designed top for Kudzu. Step 1:

Completed top:

Project 6: The eternal scarf. I’m on the last stripe.

22 of 52….Questionable Decisions

This past Saturday morning, I went to Patti’s and had a lesson on the long arm.  If you haven’t used/seen/heard of a long arm, it is a huge sewing machine on rails that allows you to quilt.  You use it by standing and basically driving the machine across the quilt.  It’s a bit like drawing with your whole torso.  And it’s FAST.  I quilted these two in about 5 and a half hours, and that included a break to go to JoAnn to buy backing for the second quilt and eat lunch at Burger King.

Guys, that first quilt, the one that was so katty-wompus that I doubted whether to even quilt it?  Yeah, it’s quilted, and I totally won the “can this quilt be saved?” game.  It’s the first one you see below.  The second is the jelly roll race quilt.

I’ve left these photos large  so you can see the detail.  You may notice that I broke all the rules in quilt number one.  The quilting is not evenly spaced. I crossed over my own quilting lines with wild abandon.  And.  I LOVE the way it turned out. Love it. I like the second quilt, too, but this crazily quilted first one? Love.

For this one, I tried to use the same basic quilting motion and be more regular. I avoided crossing the lines for the most part, but made a few because I like the way they look. As I was quilting this one, I realized the error in my thinking that the backs of quilts are just additional space for piecing. No. The backs of quilts are there so you can see the quilting, which gets lost on the fronts. I’m not going to be backing my quilts with quilts. I’m going to back them with backing and quilt the crazy random loopy life out of them in somewhat visible thread and I am going to enjoy driving that long arm all over my quilts!

I took some time this morning to decide other things, like what I want to teach the kids this summer and how far I need to get on various crafty goals to feel caught up. It’s a lengthy list for my 12-20 days off. We’ll see how it goes.

And my final decision for the morning was…I’m breaking up with this scarf over the weekend. I’m going to finish it or be finished with it, because I have been knitting on it for 3 months, it’s over 10 feet long, and I am so over garter stitch right now! I’m over 4/5ths done, and well into the home stretch. I think I can make it. But regardless, sometime during this weekend’s crafting retreat, I’m going to be done with this piece.

21 of 52….Updates

Not much has happened since my last post, except that my energy levels have bumped up again with the elimination of almonds and grapes. Yeah, that means wine.  And since malt is also off the table, no beer either.  It’s been a dry 10 days for me, and I really don’t miss it.  I feel good and I’ve lost another 1.5 pounds.

I’ve added occasional pasta and a decent amount of dairy back into my diet with no adverse effects thus far.  Pasta Alfredo anyone?  I ordered that at a restaurant last Friday, and ate from it four times over three days with no ill effects.  Yay me!

Crafting has consisted of knitting.  I am still working on the same never-ending scarf.  I plan to work on it until it is done, with the  exception of two pre-planned weekend quilting adventures.  However!  I am in charge of my craft time, and there are no rules, only suggestions, so we’ll see.

I did not write 10,000 words this month, but I did write more words than I had in a minute, so I guess that is a win.  More importantly, I started thinking about blogging again.  Bigger win.

Okay, that’s it until next time.

20 of 52….So what happened was

I basically eliminated the foods I am sensitive to by accident.  Because I am not sensitive to yogurt and other dairy, except for mozzarella cheese.  But I am sensitive to grapes, a prime ingredient in fruit juices and smoothies.  Grape juice concentrate anyone?  And I’m not sensitive to wheat or gluten, but I am sensitive to malt, which is an ingredient in most baked goods and grain products, along with processed meats. Also, shell–I can’t even.

Here’s the list of not-to-eats: crab, chia seed (what is this related to, because it’s not a food I eat?), clam, almond (great, I’ve been using this as an occasional milk substitute in addition to near daily mixed nuts), shrimp, grapes, mozzarella cheese, malt, cola (aka kola nut, so it wasn’t the corn syrup), and black pepper (what the actual fuck?  who can’t eat THAT?!?  Me, along with white and green peppercorns, but pink is okay).

I thought having results would simplify things, but I’m not sure that’s the case.  I’ll still have to read the ingredient list of everything I eat, only now I’ll be scanning for m-a-l-t, along with the infamous “other natural flavors,” “modified food starch,” and “vegetable gum.”

19 of 52….I Got Nothing

It’s true.  I got (basically) nothing.

On Sunday: I finished a book.  It was good, and took far too long to read.  I think it would have been even better if I’d read it quicker.

On Monday: I worked, went for an ultrasound, watched half a movie, knit, had a brandy and went to bed.

On Tuesday:  I worked, ordered 3 charm packs in lime green and black*, along with a pattern and template, cut 1.5 inch strips for my current quilt, watched half of a different movie, knit, had a brandy, went to bed.

On Wednesday:  I worked, knit, had a brandy, went to bed.  No movie at all.

Now it’s Thursday.  Probably gonna finish one of those movies, have a brandy, and go to bed.

I’m waiting on my food sensitivity results, which are currently processing.  I’m going to guess, based on the fact that I ate a slice of pizza on Monday and did not die, that I am probably NOT sensitive to all grains and all dairy.  Based on recent symptomology, I’m thinking soy, corn, and a nut or two.  I should have some sort of answer in the next few days.  In the meantime, I have not added foods back into my eating plan.  The pizza was a one-off, born of sad, tired, despair.  I was tired from a long day, and sad because my stomach was hurting AGAIN even though I had not had any forbidden foods.  So yeah, I pretty much said “fuck it.”  And that pizza was so good.  One slice.  So good.

See, that’s it.  (Basically) Nothing.

*Yes, I have a plan for the charms, and for the finished quilt.  No, I didn’t start with fabric in my stash.  I don’t have anything I think this recipient will enjoy.

18 of 52….Saturday Shenanigans

Yesterday began, as my Saturdays do, with quilty goodness. I started sewing strips to squares for the back of the last quilt I showed you. I got about half way done. I also took a few minutes to sketch out my basic plan, lest I forget what I’m doing.  It’s not exactly a beautiful picture, and probably not clear to anyone but me, but I understand it, and it’s safely tucked under the ironing pad so I can reference it later.  When I get to the machine again, I’ll need to cut more strips.  I can usually squeeze that type of thing in during week nights, so when next Saturday rolls around, I should be able to just sit down and sew.

Next on the project list was gardening.  The last of my indoor starts went in the dirt, including the okra you see on the right.  The peas were directly seeded three weeks ago, but they are so pretty, I thought they needed to be memorialized. We’ve got two 4×3 contained beds, a 4×4 plot in the corner of the house, a random mound in the back yard, a patch over the septic tank, and multiple containers, in addition to the two fenced gardens that we haven’t done anything with this year. One of my housemates is a plant genius, and she keeps me from disaster by reminding me of things I haven’t considered.  We are fans of the green and growing things!

This year, I’ve separated the squashes from the tomatoes, peppers, okra and cucumbers, since they overgrew and starved those things of sunlight last year.  I’ve planted the squash only with trellised beans this season, and we’ll see what happens.

I also did a bit of knitting on the Third Fourth Doctor Scarf, and I’m creeping up on halfway done.  Of course, now that Sarah lives in North Carolina again, she’ll have little practical use for a huge woolen scarf, but the point of Fourth Doctor Scarves has never been practicality, now has it?  But I tell you what, once I finish this scarf I’ll be looking for something to knit that isn’t mile after mile of garter stitch.

We ended the evening with Iron Man and popcorn for those that could have it.  I’ve started on a quest to watch the Marvel Universe movies in story order.  My track record for watching media is not stellar, but I keep trying, because I like to know what’s going on in conversations and memes.  True confession: until last night, I didn’t know who Tony Stark was.  Sigh.  Yeah, I pretty much live under a pop culture rock.


Here’s a gratuitous picture of my dog being a dog, because he makes me happy with his dogness!