Sunday, October 18, 2015

Completed: 4th Terminus quilt

The quilt is done and has been out of the house for over a week. Success.

This is the first quilt I have "finished" the quilting for and put through the wash. Yikes, what a heart attack! I was not prepared for the state it came out of the wash in and almost burst into tears. Turns out A) quilt batting holds a fuck ton of water and B) light colored fabric is SUPER transparent when wet. Thankfully one of SF's little mini October heat waves helped shed the water and the fabric returned to it's opaque state upon drying. Those first couple moments though... All the track stitching was done in red and while I clipped the threads, I didn't trim them back as short as I should have. Which meant that veins of red creeped out from the tracks when it was wet and all the character portraits had spider webs of black thread behind them.


I'm shocked to say the quilting process was rather fun. And this is the first time I've abandoned the use of a frame and just quilted in my lap. Would not do so for the primary stitching lines that holds everything in place (yay for having a quilt frame for that!!) but for the "filler" stitching, it worked well. While I continue to swear that "the next time" I'm shipping the damn thing off to be machine quilted by professionals, I do find it to be quite appealing to add custom stitches specific to the quilt design. Used masking tape to help guide the lines, and that proved to be very useful. Have also used masking tape to guide applique sewing (because I suck at pinning), so that stuff is turning out to be a vital to have on hand.

The bare minimum Quilting

The back of the quilt was more complicated than it needed to be/should have been. For some reason I thought "Wow, this is waaaay too nerdy looking! It needs a stealth mode where you can flip it over and it doesn't look so... silly." So I did some minor slap-dash squares in a variety of fabrics. The rushed sewing job (and non-cotton fabric types) meant that it didn't lay perfectly flat, which became most noticeable when the quilting chased down all those wrinkles and pinned them in place. Oh well. This will be yet another flaw lost in the sea of detailed-stuff-going-on. On the up side, the station stitching clearly shows through the back of the quilt which I find to be quite fetching. Makes the effort of hand stitching such details more worth it.

Quilt Back

And now, don't make fun of me, I'll confess I've started a sample square as a proof-of-concept for next quilt*... Poor Adam was a bit sad to see the 4T one leave- it's one of the few I've made that was large enough to cover him. So we talked a bit and kicked around a very Adam-specific idea that I'm pretty excited about. And again it's overly complex, very specific, will take forever, and will probably require hand quilting... I'm so excited!!

* I have not forgotten that I've plans for another 4T quilt for another individual! But that one actually requires the game to end before I can start on it so this one is... like... an exceptionally complicated palate cleanser...

Quilt Top

You can check out more photos over at the Flickr album.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Winding down

So I'm fast approaching the 3 month mark of being unemployed and things are winding down here. I've already begun the process of finding new work- have applied to a number of places already. Am targeting Nov. 9th for a start date. Fingers crossed that I can a company that both interests me and wants to hire me. Am never able to escape that Woody Allen joke "I'd never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member" in terms of work though...

Yet another sunset photo

In terms of the things winding down: I'm excited that most my projects/goals/objectives of this hiatus have been met or are very near the finish line. Other than claiming I was going to do TWO quilts rather than just one (because I'm an idiot), I feel I've done an excellent job of scaling my ambitions to my expected available time. The quilt is essentially done, just needs some more superfluous stitching and a wash. The books are going to be finished come hell or high water. I've learned to cook chicken a number of ways (some of them even fast and easy!) and feel rather confident I could prepare a "meal" on the fly now after work without excessive stress or research. I've got 3 branch libraries to hit and then I'll have tackled 'em all. I had an excellent run of 5+ mile a' days there and don't feel guilty or bad that I've slipped back down to a steady 3 miles a day because I want to, you know, DO THINGS during the day and walking takes a hella' lot more time than initially anticipated.

(I dehydrated a hard boiled egg. I DO NOT ADVISE IT)

I guess the main let-down of this whole extended vacation was I failed to advance my drawing skills. I had hoped to tackle landscapes and I've made not a pinch of progress on that these 3 months (or past 10 even- it was one of my few resolutions this year). I also failed to attend any sort of fitness bootcamp nonsense thing, which I never really seriously considered but had always faintly hoped I'd do given sufficient free time. Maybe three months just wasn't "sufficient" enough, 6+ months off and I'm sure I'd get around to it...

In terms of other, just general awesome things:

  • Saw the whole blood moon eclipse thing. Happiness.
  • Went to the SF Super Hero Street Fair with company. Had a drink even! Danced with Santa. Was swept off my feet by random silver spandex man and made very happy. Good times.
  • Finally took another stab at hard crack sugar. It went better this time. I am emboldened.
  • Suko and I have not yet abandoned archery. This makes me proud of us.
  • I got a calligraphic letter from Katie in the mail, and it wasn't even a reply to something I'd sent. Just outa' the blue. So nice!
  • Enjoyed opening weekend at the Petaluma corn maze. Highly recommend it.