Thursday, May 5, 2011

One Thing Leads to Another

(That could well be the theme of my life, right there.)

It was all going so well.  I was attaching the final border to my black and white quilt (after having set it aside a couple months ago), and it wasn't until I did the final backstitch at the end of the long seam that I realized I had run out of bobbin thread.  And not just recently either, but way back about 45 inches ago, just a short ways into the seam.

Don't you hate when that happens?

So I got up and walked away.  Went upstairs to use the you-know-what and grab my water bottle, intending to take a break from sewing and go walk on the treadmill.  Until I saw my camera and had another idea.

Can you just develop ADD in mid-life?  Because I swear...

I talked myself out of a blog post last week where I was going to, in a very organized fashion, tell you about the status of my unfinished projects, lest you think I can never finish a ding-dong thing (and I am beginning to wonder myself).  But since blogging would chew up a chunk of time—time probably better spent trying to complete one of said projects—I scrapped the idea.  Until now.

But this is far from a linear post, if you hadn't noticed already.  Which, by the way, according to the test linked on Elizabeth's post today, I am mostly left-brained but a good bit right-brained as well, and my dominant characteristics are the left-brained "Linear" and, by contrast, right-brained "Random."  

If you've been reading this blog for more than two weeks, you probably figured that out already.

The point is, with my camera in hand, I went back downstairs and started pointing it around my sewing space to perhaps show you, in pictures, the status of some of the projects in the works.  I actually tidied up my room, believe it or not, a couple days ago, so this is about as good as it gets.  Organized chaos, you might say.

Here's the table to the right of my sewing machines, stacked with some of the fabric stash.  There used to be a color order to this scheme, but as you can see, that system did not take, long-term.  My system seems to be, "I know it's here, give me a minute and I'll find it."

There's the cute jelly roll (in the ziplock) of Sherbet Pips from Sarah's giveaway.  I DO have a plan for it—this pattern, Basket Case, from Cluck Cluck Sew.  Bought and downloaded and waiting in the wings for my next whim to start a new project while in the middle of 10 other ones.

Do you see that Alexander Henry "Heath" fabric there on the table?  Here's a closeup.

This was supposed to be the backing for the black and white quilt, but the online fabric store goofed.  I ordered 3 yards and they sent 1.  I emailed them about the error and they said the fabric was completely out of stock, they didn't know when it would come back in (if ever), and I could keep the yard they sent me for free.  Um, okay.  Since then I've tried to find it elsewhere but have been told it may be July before it comes in.  So I've ordered Plan B fabric, a black and white paisley, and it should be here any day.

Not that I'm going to rush right into finishing it or anything.

On the "design wall" above the table is this really old block I found in my mom's things.  It's kind of wonky and falling apart, but it must have had some meaning for her to keep it so long.  I needed someplace to put it after I pressed it, and since I don't really use the that space for anything other than a flannel-covered pinboard, there it went.

A little south of the table is a rolling cart full of thrifted plaid shirts, cut and folded, for a dozen or so scrappy projects living in my brain that may or may not ever see the light of day.  On top of the cart is part of a pile of scraps Jenny sent me (the rest of them are on the futon and in the laundry room).  They are destined for a string project of some sort.  Just don't hold your breath.  Oh, and underneath the scraps is everything for a cute Christmas table runner that I didn't get around to last Christmas, but mark my words, it will be done well before December 2011. 

Continuing to turn counter-clockwise from the sewing machines, is this veggie wall hanging (and PhD project) that I should have had done in March.  Ready for basting and quilting (I even have the batting there), and I can NOT bring myself to do it just now.  I've even practiced the quilting pattern.  One day I'll get mad at myself for all my procrastination and knock the thing out.

Speaking of knocking something out — HULK HANDS!!!  

These glorified boxing gloves make growl-y Hulk noises when you hit something like, "HULK MAD!"  and "DON'T MAKE ME ANGRY...YOU WON'T LIKE ME WHEN I'M ANGRY!"  And yes, I bought them for myself from the toy department.  I took them over to show my friend one day, and every time I drove over a bump, they growled and threatened me.  Who was over her Hulk Hands by the time she got home?  Annoying, is what it was.

More fabric (and scraps) piled up that I am playing with.  I have a general plan, but have determined it will require the purchase of some pastel solids to make it all work.  I am deliberately not buying them now.  Too many other undone things already.

The H2H quilt top, another thing to be quilted.

Here is my futon.  I hate the thing, but it serves as another place to hold my junk, and Norm won't let me get rid of it.  There's my Sudoku quilt top on the left, to be finished.  Next to it are three electric menorahs and some other random stuff in the white bag to be sold on eBay come fall.  Oops, make that four menorahs. I forgot the one I took out of the box.  

Next to that is a pair of my daughter's scrub pants I'm supposed to be taking apart and using as a pattern for making her a new pair, the fabric for which is the dark blob on the far right sideof the futon.  There is a vintage muslin sheet for a backing and some vintage turquoise gingham for who-knows-what.  More scraps, and in the other white bag are the two quilt kits I found at Goodwill a few weeks ago.

On the wall above the futon is Dolly the dummy's working wardrobe of aprons.  Too bad she lacks arms (and a brain) so she could do something to help, instead of just looking cute.  

The lighted chili peppers serve a purpose.  They are plugged into the same surge strip as my iron, so if I turn out all the lights as I'm leaving the room and still see the chilis lit up, it means I probably haven't shut off the iron.

Check this out.  I bought this handbag at Goodwill, no real clue who Kate Spade was at the time.  Found out she's kinda famous for her bags, but after seeing her website, I am 99 percent sure this is a knockoff.  I don't think she ever did kitschy pinups.  Anyway, I still like the bag a whole lot for the ten bucks I spent on it.  Will I take it out in public?  Probably not.  It makes me smile though.

And that wooden wavy looking thing there next to the purse is a cypress knee made into a lamp.  I was with my mom when she brought it out of a swamp in Louisiana a long time ago.  We took it home and she boiled it to soften the bark, stripped it, varnished it, and made a lamp.  I love it.  I would love to find one of those 1950s drum shades for it, instead of the one that's on it.

Okay, I've rambled on too long.  I will get that quilt top done tomorrow! 


  1. I can't remember what you said at the beginning of the post but I loved it .. I am sure you can catch ADD as you get older .. I wish I had a sewing space. I have a sewing closet. I am longing for the day I pull everything out .. and keep it out and work on all these different things at the same time ... I think my favorite thing in your post was the chili lights. Fortunately for me, my iron turns off by itself.

  2. Love the idea about the chili lights. Glad to see I am not the only one with lots on the go.

  3. Much ADD happens here! You are not alone:) According to the test, I'm 53-47 left brain. I'm a fence sitter apparently.

    I'm really impressed by the ring necked pheasant! One of my brothers used to be big into pheasant hunting. I'm also digging that cypress knee lamp and the fact that she finished it herself. Awesome!

    Thanks for the tour! Looks a lot like my house:)

  4. What a fun post! So nice to get a glimpse of all your projects in the making (and the thought processes behind them). I actually think that ADD is a valuable characteristic when it come to quilting. It shows we are inspired.

  5. LOL you made me laugh out loud. More than once. Good luck getting something finished today.*grin*

  6. LOL. I had a weekend like that last week. When the 'l was I going to have a finish!! All this fabric in semi-sewn state, in my bomb of a room, was irritating to no end. I cleaned up, hid projects, and I am a one quilt girl- at least until next week. ;) Love the chili peppers!

  7. You had me chuckling from beginning to end. From the sewing and then realizing the bobbin thread was gone(I do that all the time!), to the chili peppers on the wall helping you to remember to turn off the iron (clever). Nice tour of your studio;)

  8. GEEZ, who can't relate, huh? take some deep will get there!!

  9. Im going to ask the burning question-why do you have 4 Menorahs?

    Aisde fron the fact I nearly busted something from laughing so hard I loved this little jaunt into your sewing space.

    We should all be so lucky as to develop your brand of ADD. There's some great projects in there. I hear your frustration on the backing for the black and white quilt. Im currently chasing a 5 year old Aunt Grace print and it appears there isnt any more left on earth...

    Thanks for the tour (and yep I love the chilli idea too!)

  10. ADD...yes!

    There is a very similar fabric in Clothworks newish Night & Day collection. I have it in my shop.)

  11. That Heath fabric caught my instantly in the first photo! Too bad you can't find more!

    Your chili idea is brilliant, with 4 cats and 2 dogs (all geriatric) I can't leave anything laying around lest it get pee'd on or slept on leaving a big mass of fur. I guess you could say they keep me neat, tidy and organized!

  12. "A creative mess is better than tidy idleness."

    Although it makes my sewing studio (aka living room) look like a giant mess, I know where all my stuff is in my stacks and piles. I thought about cleaning it up yesterday as a sort of Mother's Day gift to myself. Unfortunately, I ran out of daylight before I got to it.

    The hulk hands are hilarious. And did you paint the picture above it? I'm certain my aunt did one as a paint-by-numbers. Obviously a copy of the original.

    And lastly, good idea with the iron. I have sort of the same system.

    xo -El


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