Wednesday, January 26, 2011

not quite as exciting as that OTHER clearance sale

I just spotted this in the 50% off section on

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?  Shudder.

Now this one.
There's something...I dunno...anatomic about it.

Also, I'm sorry for subjecting you to this particular flavor of neurosis that lives in my brain.  I guess it's similar to that thing that happens when you get a new car. All you see are Outbacks or Jettas or Vues. It'll be over soon. Promise. *uncrosses fingers*

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Daylight savings my a**

I work full time, and that means between November and, oh, March, I'm never home during daylight hours except for Saturdays and Sundays. Totally inconvenient when you need to take photos for a post. I'm in Indiana, and we only adopted DST a few years ago. I LOVE being on EDT in the summer. It totally rocks (except for those few weeks in June when it's light until 10 o'clock and, as a consequence, I'm up until 1 or 2 AM  But that's a small price to pay.) I just wish we didn't have to change the clocks back come November.


Today was a great day. it's 6PM and i'm still in my jammies. My husband is in NYC, and the sun was out for the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, so I got some major stuff done. That is to say, I took gobs and gobs of photos. 300 or so. 

I also had a bit of quiet time to sit and stew about a couple of swaps I'm in on flickr. I signed up and was admitted to both the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap* and the Doll Quilt Swap 10.  The way it works is that you answer a few questions about your likes and dislikes and your skill level, and then you're secretly assigned another sewist for which you'll make something fabulous that suits his/her taste. Meanwhile, a secret someone is making something for you. If you're really on top of things, you make a photo mosaic to help inspire your partner. 

*for those of you who don't speak quiltlish, a "mug rug" is an oversized coaster made from fabric. it's a wee quilt that you can put your mug and perhaps a little nosh on. cute. 

Here's my inspiration mosaic for the Scrappy Mug Rug Swap:  
scrappy mug rug swap inspiration board

And for the Doll Quilt Swap (AKA DQS10). 
DQS 10 Mosaic

It's fun and VERY serious business. This is my first time in both swap groups, so I'm keen to make a good impression. 

I'm in design mode. During this phase of the swap, I cyber-stalk my assigned partners to get a feel for their likes and dislikes. In the case of my Doll Quilt Swap partner, it looks like we might share a brain, so designing something that she would like was totally easy. The hardest part was narrowing it down from the half-dozen things that sprung to mind originally. Here's what I'm planning. 

DQS10 - sketch

I've always wanted to make some wonky stars, and I've never found the time. Lo and behold, my secret partner's profile indicates s/he's a fan...voila. Idea born. 

The Scrappy Mug Rug swap is a bit more of a challenge because my secret partner and I have dissonant likes and dislikes. After a couple of weeks of utter paralysis, I've transitioned to action mode. I've thoroughly combed her favorite photos, and I've taken a look at everything she's created herself. From there I made a list of MY favorites from her favorites and her posted pics, and I tried to find a place where our tastes intersect. 

She likes blocks on point. I like blocks on point. 
She likes meticulous patterns with a modern twist. I like lots of "whitespace".  
She likes bold primary colors. I like rainbows. 

4 sheets of graph paper later.
Do you like argyle, partner?

Argyle. I'm totally stoked with the design, and I'm even going to try hand-stitching the orange diagonals so I don't have to fuss with trying to piece a teeny strip down the middle of these blocks. Did I mention a mug rug is around 5" x 8"? 

I planned ahead today and took enough photos to support about 100 posts. We'll see if that holds me until March 13. Only 48 days to go (i added a nifty countdown timer to my nav bar  ---->). 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

flu season

I have _so_ enjoyed hearing about your own fabric mishaps after my cholera post yesterday. My favorite so far is this one, courtesy of my pal Celeste. She calls it "flu virus overtakes red blood cell." 


I'm totally feelin' it. Especially after some quick google image searching.  

Thoroughly disgusted, I am. (that's "bird flu," btw.) (also, sorry.)

Anyone else have something revolting to share? The gates are open. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

cholera and other misfires

A few months ago my book club read The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. Looks nice enough, right? Innocent.
Perhaps it's a mystery? Ooh, a ghost story? Something thrilling, certainly. Well, a thrilling mystery it is, and I will tell you this for free: it's about cholera.

And it changed the way I view fabric.

From the first mention of "rice water stool," something in my very full and overworked brain misfired, and my relationship with abstract prints changed. I don't know how, and I don't know why, but certain prints from very famous designers started looking like...well...cholera to me.

The first specimen. Notice the abnormal growth habit: green! Don't even get me started on the green and its mutations.

I'm lucky enough to have two of my sewing pals in book club, so I have plenty of moral support and companionship as I struggle with this aversion. Unfortunately, I'm not the only one who had a misfire. Val sees it, too.

You may recall that not long ago I had a delirious and maniacal texting fit during a clearance event at my LQS. I'd like to share another detail of that day - a detail that will only undoubtedly validate your thinking that I'm a bit of a lunatic. At least I'm not alone.

Val:    Hey, Linds!
Me:    VAL! You will never guess what they have on clearance!?!?!
Val:    Who is "they" and where are you?
Me:     I'm in the clearance room at Always in Stitches, and you will DIE when I tell you what's here.
Val:     TELL ME.
Me:     It's....I can't believe I'm saying this. It's THE CORIANDER. And there are tons of other prints. The chrysanthemums and the fans and there's a couple colors of the one that looks like cholera...and...
Val:      Wait. Which fans? Send me a picture. I hate the cholera and I don't want any, but get everything else!

The thing that makes me really giggle when I think back to this moment is not that we both knew exactly which cholera print I was shouting about. It's the other person in the clearance room. What must she have been thinking? Well, I know what she was thinking. She was thinking, "oh, shiz. i just dropped my wedding ring, and I can't get down on all fours because of my fibromyalgia. I wonder if this crazy, crazy screaming person will help me find it."  Still.

Cholera Brown:
and Cholera Blue:
Now, for the record, I want everyone to understand that I am FULLY AWARE (after the research I did 2 minutes ago) that cholera is NOT paisley in shape.  It's more of a...i dunno....what is this?

I suppose it's a shape that can only be defined as "vermicelli" in nature.

oh, wait! even better (or worse).

Somehow I can look at that image of actual cholera without issue, but when I peek back at that Asha Paisley I reach for the hand sanitizer.

Don't EVEN get me started on this one. Hives!

Friday, January 7, 2011

this is your stash on drama

I have had a totally overwhelming couple of days. Family drama, work stress, weather, traffic...the works. migraines. dark circles. I'm a hot mess, and not the good kind.

Somewhere in my throng of maniacal erranding this afternoon, I found myself with 30 minutes to spare, and I just HAPPENED to be a couple of blocks from my LQS. I popped in thinking I'd browse or just sit on the sofa by the cookies and breath in happiness for a minute.

So I took an innocent stroll back to the clearance room (YES! there's a clearance room! but it totally sucks. you don't need to go check it out. nothing good is ever there.), and just like Rachel Zoe, I die.

I lose myself. I black out. I am screaming, pulling bolts off the wall and piling them on the floor in a mountain I think I'm going to carry out to the cutting table.


I'm texting. I'm shouting. A woman drops and loses her wedding ring. I'm on all fours, both looking for it and also defending my mountain.

Ooh, look, Katie Jump Rope!

More texting. Garden Party. More texting. I can't carry it. I need a cart. I ask the ring lady to watch my mountain while I run to get a trolly from the front of the store. I'm suspicious.
I needed a cart

Now the cutting begins. Actually, there was just a little cutting. A few half-yards here, a yard there. And many "Gimme the whole bolt, Granny!" exclamations.

Honestly, I totally lost it. My brain malfunctioned. 8 bolts and 40-some-odd yards later, I'm looking at this stack and I'm starting to come to my senses.

Suddenly I remember that I resolved not to buy fabric in January. Granny has gone to the back room to get a bolt they haven't inventoried yet for me.

Granny: You want the whole bolt of this one?
Me:       No...I'll just take, um, 4 yards.
Granny: You sure? There's only about 5 here.
Me:       Oh, all right. But if anyone asks, I'll say you forced me.

Now this is why I love being a female. I proceed to say something about how my husband will flip, and Granny says, "I've got some plain brown bags under the counter. you need me to pack it in that instead of the normal one?"  She is totally serious.

At this point, we hug. I jump a little, even.

Also, there's a brown grocery bag on my front passenger seat right now. My husband is blogging at the kitchen table, and I don't want to risk it.