Sunday, October 25, 2009

Matryoshka Number One

I finally figured out a place to take etsy pictures indoors. This house is blessed with many windows, which I love. But it makes hanging things on the wall difficult. I have a wall of book cases in the living room compounding the problem. I worried that taking pictures on the green background would mess with the colors of the work, but it seems ok so far.

I think that I will make more of these, which is why I named this one One. So Two and so forth will be forthcomong.

Work has been so freaking weird. The administration is messing with our work and hours, we're switching over to computer charting, and they are building a new hospital across the street. Change is in the air, and it is making everyone tense. I like my current job, and would like to keep it, but there are rumblings that my department may be dissolved. I guess I can do any kind of nurse work, but I actually prefer to not think about changing jobs until I have to.

I'm actually not sure if I want to continue being a nurse. It is interesting, important work, but I long for a job that fills my cup rather than drains it. I don't know if there is such a job out there, or if the earlier sunsets are getting me down, or what. Guess I'll go sew something!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Mother in Law Quilt

I have friends, long together but never married. They refer to each others parents as "the out laws". As in, My mother-out-law will be here for the weekend.I, however, having the good luck to be attracted to people of the opposite sex, was able to marry my beloved, and thus I have in laws.

This disappearing nine patch, made with 10.5 inch starting size squares, was conceived on a Monday, pieced on a Tuesday, sandwiched on a Wednesday, and meander machine quilted Thursday and Friday. My husband left on Saturday, and gave it to her on a Sunday. I hear she liked it. I just used every damn floral I had, and figure finished is better than perfect.

Shown above is the poodle Magic, serving as chief quilt tester.

I am experimenting with using batting squares as foundation. This came to me as I was ripping off the three million tiny shreds of paper from a paper pieced spiderweb block. I know lots of people have good luck getting the paper off through various methods- I don't. I've shortened my stitch, folded on the stitch line, misted the paper lightly with water, you show me some site on the Internet with a hint, and I've tried it.

I have been making a ton of doll quilts- my dismal selection in my Etsy shop to the contrary- and that has used up a lot of batting, but not as much as I would wish. The idea of a cloth foundation bugs me. I don't have any ugly fabric to use up. I never buy fabric I think is ugly. The fabric is lost inside the quilt, not enough to serve as batting but still a whole nother layer of expense. Cheap muslin shrinks terribly, and unevenly, and they is a giant pain to iron after prewashing. I have so little time to quilt as it is, I hate the thought of it.

But, if I use the batting as the foundation, the batting is already there. I cut the batting into roughly eight inch squares. This is using up large quantities of those strips of batting left on the sides of quilts. I'm trimming the squares to about eight and a half inches. The seams are mostly fabric to fabric, although some of them have some batting caught in them. With a nice pressing, the seam is fine on the right side. The quilt itself will need very little quilting, as the batting is well secured. I'll use a flannel back for coziness, and to mitigate any places where the batting does not quite meet. This method doesn't need the backing cut into squares as the quilt as you go method does, and needs much less precision overall. I like less precision. I also like making strip quilts.

I've got a rail fence made out of strips from the top of my cutting table and the sewing machine- piecing as a cleaning method! I'll take pictures for next weeks post, but I'm pretty darn pleased with myself. Course, this could be one of those things that every one does, and as the Lone Quilter, I have just never heard of it, but I'm pleased with it none the less.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Book Review

Well, since I haven't managed the complicated cascade of making something-finding the camera-taking a picture-downloading picture-blogging, I decided I could manage a book review.
Love Soup by Anna Thomas is the best cookbook I have read in a long time.

The book has the warm chatty tone I remember from the Vegetarian Epicure, but is a much lighter cuisine. I have found more recipes that I want to make than I do not, and for someone who keeps kosher, is allergic to seafood, and has strong opinons about vegetables, that is a rarity.

I am going to make soup on my next day off. Yummm.

Today at work I was three nurses all at once. ( Two more nurses in my office down with the flu. We are speculating that they are pumping it through the air vents to infect as many employees as possible, and thus save some coin on purchasing vaccines.) I await with anticipation the pay raise I shall receive for this. What, why are you laughing?