Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bodice of Dooooom!

The bodice of doooom!  My co-workers say it's Easter colors.  I suppose that's true... but NOT a finished product!  Just the test bodice.  Strangely enough, I kind of like it.  It's growing on me - a little like mold, sneaking up and settling in. 

The lining material is stuff we had lying around the studio - heck, everything in this is stuff we had lying around the studio!  I know it will work for workshops, which is all I require of it.

But I do like the bright and cheery colors of it.

Other than that, I've been cutting out skirt panels.  I have two skirts, both circle skirts.  The underskirt is two shades of yellow, the overskirt green and blue.  And trimmed out the ears.  My goodness how they are going to be trimmed!!  This is by far the most trim-laden character I've yet to play.  Oh, Penelope.... how bright and shiny you will be!

On the quilt front, I'm still a little stalled on Boston Molasses Flood.  My weekends are now officially GONE, which only leaves me weeknights.  And since I am still working on costuming... well.... um.  Yeah, excuses, excuses.  I'll get back to it soon.  Really.

We put bird feeders out this week - finally - and filled them with bird seed.  The blue jays love the peanuts, and we're getting hordes of little birds.  Little Attila the Hun birds... invading from everywhere!  The weirdest thing was not the squirrel sitting in the middle of the bird feeder - that's normal.  No... we looked out a window this past weekend and saw a cat picking up a peanut and chomping down.  ?!  Do cats actually EAT peanuts??? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bodices and writing and sewing and stuff!

This past weekend I made a bodice for faire this year.  This isn't the final version - more of a test version, in similar but entirely inappropriate fabric.  (Her colors aren't quite so vivid and certainly not PINK).  It's not done yet, as it's not been bound at the edges and doesn't have grommets yet.  When all that's done, I will have a completed test bodice to wear... sometime.  :)  It seems - in some ways - a complete waste of time to make a full and complete bodice that I may never 'really' wear.  I could fit it to myself without all the work.  Mostly.  But I couldn't tell how I could move in it, if I could do all the things I want to do.  Nor could I tell how the real thing - made of very similar outer material - would stand up to all those things.  So, the full bodice. 

I find myself doing versions of the same thing in my writing.  It may just be a scene to get the writing flowing, but it needs to be coherent and consistent - or I can't necessarily tell how the characters will interact, and so forth.  Even if I never use that scene, it exists in my head as a 'oh, okay, remember that time when?'   I know more about my world, more about my characters, and more about my writing.  And maybe that's what it's really about - finding out more about me and what I expect from myself - both for writing and for sewing.

Both the 'real' bodice and the 'real' story will take time.  But both will be better for it - stronger, more precise, and far less likely to fall apart on me!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Writing again!

Inspired by a friend, I have dipped back into the waters of writing - well, really more of a full plunge.  Even through everything else in life, stories and writing seem to be a constant for me.  Due to not-enough-time syndrome (also known as Shay is too lazy to make time for sewing, writing and house-cleaning all at the same time), I haven't written anything more than a story idea or a note to go back and fix something in an old story. 

Rather than be sad and mope about it - I am going to DO something!  Check it out - - The Fourth Writer's Platform-Building Campaign.  Hah!  So write I shall, once more! 

Nervous?  You bet!  Between sewing for faire and for a friend and working on Boston Molasses Quilt, can I pull out my writing brain and send it forth to do what needs to be done?  (I really need to lay off the Lord of the Rings movies for a while - they make my brain think in strange ways,  I have a lovely mental image of my brain on horseback, riding under the banner of the Rohirrim). 

Here goes nothing.  And everything.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quilting and costuming

A friend said recently that I was the only person she knew who both quilted and made costumes.  Apparently, most (at least in her circles of friends and acquaintances) do one or the other, but never both.  I jusr smiled and said something along the lines of "I guess I'm just unusual," which is fine.  But I wonder... am I?  Are there really that few quilters who make costumes (and by costumes I really don't mean no-sew or little sew Halloween costumes.  I mean clothing from another time period, I guess) and that few costumers who make quilts? 

Right now I have a full yeoman woman's garb to make - bloomers, chemise, bodice, two skirts.... and still find a straw hat to go with....  and I am working on quilting Boston Molasses Flood and planning my next quilt (Texas Daycare). 

Took a break this weekend to go to First Monday Trade Days in Canton with a group.  Half of the group had never been.  There was much walking, some shopping, and much fun.  Several of us bought things for our characters at Scarborough Faire, and those that didn't bought other stuff.  I came home with a blue flying goat made of metal, a dachsund cracker holder with a spreader for a tail, and several other small things.  There'll be more trips to First Monday, I know!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fabric in general....

Tonight I will get BMF on the quilting frame and get started with the hand quilting.  Yay!  And I am pleased with the back - I think the pieced actually doesn't look too bad.  Moreover, I think it will grow on me until I more than like it.  So that's all good.    The next quilt is perking in my brain - I know what fabric I need, I know what I need to do (and this time I will be more careful about measuring for the borders and back!).

And in preparation for Scarborough Faire this spring, since my new character is a weaver, I have started weaving.  I sincerely doubt that I will ever get into it enough to make my own fabric (not to mention that the looms I have are so small it would take a lot of piecing and joining to make a piece sufficient to sew), but it's interesting to watch the weaving go together.  I can now (in theory) go from raw wool to finished piece of clothing.  I find that fascinating - the whole process of sheep (or plant) to clothing. 

As far as planning quilts goes... I am now 21 behind.  I think.  Until this evening, when I think I will be 22 behind, because there's another one working its way up from my hindbrain....  I need to sew faster!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quilt frustration

Boston Molasses Flood is fighting me all the way.  Entirely and whole-heartedly.  My measurements are off, and I don't know how I managed.  I barely got enough fabric for the borders (but did), and failed miserably in purchasing backing material.  I got half as much as I needed.  HALF.  Seriously??

But all will be well.  I managed to find more of the same fabric, so I can piece the backing together.  But this quilt is getting more and more frustrating.  I know this, too, shall pass.  And it shall be a lovely quilt.  I just have to get there!!

And I need to work on garb.  And clean house.  And... and...

Oh, and exercise.  Seriously.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Of quilt patterns and such

To the stage on Boston Molasses Flood wherein I have to start quilting.  (Have to... more like get to!).  I knew going into BMF exactly what pattern I wanted to quilt.  And then changed my mind.  About seven times.  And now I am down to the wire - and I THINK I know what I want to do.  Since I am hand-quilting everything (not nearly enough money for a longarm quilter, which is what I so much want!), I am making choices.  And in all honesty, my original idea wouldn't have stood out at all - not just wouldn't have added anything, but wouldn't have really shown at all without WAY much work.  And if I really want to do so, I can add it afterwards.  Don't think I will, though.

So, now I am down to stitch in the ditch for most of the quilt, and borders featuring newspaper headlines and information about the Boston Molasses Disaster.  I know it will look good, but there is a part of me that mourns the loss of the original quilting plan.  *shrug*  I know it will be all right, maybe even better this way.

As far as quilts go, though... I have plenty of ideas.  I am up to 24 in my notebook, and I've only finished two... BMF is #3.  I'm getting further and further behind!  One of these days I want to take a day off from work and just... sew.  Quilt.  Piece.    Until then, I will toddle along as I've been doing, working at a randomly decent pace.  (I'm not complaining, just commenting.  I can't do more than I can do in a day!)

Soon enough (like this weekend), I start losing my weekends as far as sewing quilts.  Scarborough Faire (my home renaissance faire) starts getting into prep time soon, which means costuming and character work and all that.  And hopefully living chess match.  We shall see!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Boston Molasses Flood and Ostrich Stroganoff

The newest quilt in the works id the Boston Molasses Flood quilt.  I've finally got all the slivers pieced together and am in the process of stitching diagonals...  With luck, I'll have the top completely pieced by Saturday afternoon (once I get the material for the borders and such...).

The borders will also be brown - I haven't decided what fabric, but it will be a solid or tone-on-tone.  Then will come the fun part - quilting!  I've already figured out how I will quilt it - I just have to find the right picture and such.... more details on that later.

There is another color variant on this one that is done in blues - haven't started that one yet.  Might take a while to get to it, but it will happen eventually.  The blue variant is "Isaac's Storm," after the 1900's Galveston hurricane.

I am hoping to have Boston Molasses done before faire starts (well, before workshops start in earnest) because once faire happens, my sewing time drops dramatically.  Costumes, etc., have to take precendence. 

Other than that, we're settling into the house well.  I made ostrich stroganoff this weekend - easy to make!  I found ostrich at our local Central Market - love that store.  We also bought elk, but haven't done anything with it yet.  Anyway, the ostrich was very tasty, but I had strange nightmares afterwards.  Since I'm having leftovers today for lunch, we'll see if it's the ostrich that does it!  :)  Tonight's dinner will be a stir-fried chicken and veggies in a light cream sauce. 

I do wish the Texas weather would make up its mind.  It is supposed to get up into the 70's today.  In January.  *sigh*  I don't know WHAT'S going on.  Neither do the plants.  My lime tree has blossoms.  It's probably going to be unpleasantly surprised by the end of the week. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Long time no bored

We're moved, we're in, we're mostly tidy.  And now I have the luxury to be bored again!  (And I have been, in brief spurts of time).  So here's what I've been up to.

1. Planning quilts.  I am now 19 quilts behind my designs.  I need to sew faster!

2. Making a Winter quilt.  It's simple, but I like it.  It's a very basic one, and the photo doesn't quite do it justice.  The background fabric is white with white dots of varying sizes that look like snow falling.  Quilted on the diagonal-ish - I wasn't too concerned with straight lines, because what little I know of snow, it doesn't fall in straight lines when there's even a breeze.  The trees are appliqued over the quilting.  Bound with plain white, and it's done!  I am pleased with it.  Just need to hang it up so the few little wrinkles will fall out.

3. Valentine's Hearts - aren't they cute?  I have a limited space to decorate for work, so I am making a bunch of little stuffed hearts for Valentine's Day.  I will put them in a nice clear glass vase that sits on my cabinet.  I am considering attaching numbers to them and having a stash of goodies to dole out by numbers... ("Here, draw one!  Oh, number 5 - that's x.  Here, have x!  Happy Valentine's Day!")  We'll see....

Other than that, it's been attack the overgrown shrubbery at home.  The house was unoccupied for a time, so things kinda... well, got out of hand.  The honeysuckle in particular!  So we're chopping honeysuckle and cleaning up the gardens and such.  No pictures there yet.  Maybe later.  It will be all pretty when we're done.  And I am looking at getting a birdbath and more bird feeders to attract the birds.  Yay!