elettaria: (Default)
1. D got us a game that's basically a Penguin rip-off of Trivial Pursuit. It is most fun. He rolls doubles at least one time in three, though, which is defying probability. They're not the same numbers, and I'm using the same dice and don't get this. Any theories?

2. How the hell have I managed to burn two fingers rather nastily through an oven glove when taking a baked potato out of the oven? We can't see any damage to the oven glove. One finger blistered rapidly, and despite generally avoiding it because the side effects are so crappy, I've had to take fairly strong codeine for the pain. Harrumph. I have a gorgeous quilt that I've been slaving over all cut out and ready, and now I can't sew for a few days.

Ways of seeing

Tuesday, 23 March 2010 12:10 pm
elettaria: (Beech leaves)
I've been thinking about seeing, and how people with disabilities are part of the social construct of looking and being looked at.

Children look at things and people with unmalicious curiosity, before they're taught by adults not to stare. I think that not staring is primarily about maintaining boundaries and privacy (eye contact is usually taboo on public transport, where you may be pressed so closely to strangers that you can feel the contents of their pockets), but staring is also about wanting to look at something unusual in order to understand it. We don't give real training in how to look at something we find unusual or threatening, and are left with the options of staring invasively or refusing to look. Read more... )
elettaria: (Turtle quilt)
For anyone remotely artistically inclined, or anyone who can work out things like how the water looks when a turtle is swimming through it, I am currently working on the quilting design for my turtle quilt. Post about it here, and scroll to the bottom to see what I think is rather a nifty quilting pattern, though possibly it may need adjusting to better reflect the slipstream or what have you. Also, if I say it myself, there is great prettiness to be viewed. I have no idea how I'll quilt the head, flippers or border just yet, mind you.
elettaria: (Fish baby quilt)
I bought a Husqvarna Emerald 118 in December, but so far I've only dared try it once. Unfortunately, both the manual and my quilting books assume you already know how to use a sewing machine. I made a pathetic phone call to the shop I bought it from, where a quilter on the staff walked me through a few basic things such as threading the machine and got me started. I practised for a while on my own, and was completely puzzled as to why most of the stitches didn't come out as they should, despite following the chart carefully in all ways. The straight stitch and zigzag were OK at least.

I then left it for ages because I was a bit scared of the thing, and so dopey from an M.E. relapse that I couldn't hit the bin with a teabag, as we say in this place. [livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea is away on a training course from this morning until Friday evening, giving me an ideal oppportunity to have my sewing stuff out for a few days, so I was brave and had another try. This time I ignored Presser Foot J and so forth, fished out a quilting book and leftover fabric and wadding scraps, and tried doing some proper quarter-inch seams. I'm veering off a bit at the start and end of pieces, but since I'm planning to keep piecing by hand anyway I'm not too bothered about that, I can practise. I successfully shortened my pyjama bottoms. The line is a bit wonky in places but it's black on black, no one will notice. Next I need to work out how to sew on stretchy fabrics so that I can shorten all those sleeves which are too long (the joys of being a short-arse).

After that I decided to try quilting, the main reason I bought the machine. Read more... )

Two quilts finished

Wednesday, 3 December 2008 08:58 pm
elettaria: (Rachel's Star)
A month or so ago, I finished the purple quilt for [livejournal.com profile] eye_of_a_cat. The story behind this one was that my boyfriend's mother gave me some matching fabrics last Christmas with peacocks on them. They were lovely but not my cup of tea, so I decided to make a quilt for [livejournal.com profile] eye_of_a_cat as a congratulations-on-finishing-your-PhD present. A few months later, she ended up house-sitting her PhD supervisor's peacocks and had many amusing stories to tell, so quite by chance this quilt ended up being very apt. You can see the quilt reclining in its new habitat here, and my photo beneath the cut. It's the third quilt that I made.

Purple quilt )

For my second quilt, which ended up put aside for a while and which I've only just finished quilting, I was inspired by a fish quilt I'd seen in a magazine and raring to try Ruth McDowell's freezer paper method. My cousin is planning to have a baby, so I designed a fish baby quilt. The background is this fabric, which meant that the background templates had to be very carefully placed on the fabric. The piecing, appliqué and embroidery took 2-3 days each. My cousin's still in the planning stage of having the baby (last I heard they were sorting out egg donation), but my lovely herbalist/aromatherapist is due in January, so I'm going to give her the quilt tomorrow.

Fish baby quilt )

Everything was completely hand-sewn. Larger images may be seen here and here.

By the way, sorry for not being around much lately, and not getting back to people on stuff etc. The ME's being entertaining, but that's nothing compared to the fun I'm having trying to find an electrician so that we can have the overhead lights in the living room/kitchen working again.

Two quilts finished

Wednesday, 3 December 2008 08:58 pm
elettaria: (Rachel's Star)
A month or so ago, I finished the purple quilt for [livejournal.com profile] eye_of_a_cat. The story behind this one was that my boyfriend's mother gave me some matching fabrics last Christmas with peacocks on them. They were lovely but not my cup of tea, so I decided to make a quilt for [livejournal.com profile] eye_of_a_cat as a congratulations-on-finishing-your-PhD present. A few months later, she ended up house-sitting her PhD supervisor's peacocks and had many amusing stories to tell, so quite by chance this quilt ended up being very apt. You can see the quilt reclining in its new habitat here, and my photo beneath the cut. It's the third quilt that I made.

Purple quilt )

For my second quilt, which ended up put aside for a while and which I've only just finished quilting, I was inspired by a fish quilt I'd seen in a magazine and raring to try Ruth McDowell's freezer paper method. My cousin is planning to have a baby, so I designed a fish baby quilt. The background is this fabric, which meant that the background templates had to be very carefully placed on the fabric. The piecing, appliqué and embroidery took 2-3 days each. My cousin's still in the planning stage of having the baby (last I heard they were sorting out egg donation), but my lovely herbalist/aromatherapist is due in January, so I'm going to give her the quilt tomorrow.

Fish baby quilt )

Everything was completely hand-sewn. Larger images may be seen here and here.

By the way, sorry for not being around much lately, and not getting back to people on stuff etc. The ME's being entertaining, but that's nothing compared to the fun I'm having trying to find an electrician so that we can have the overhead lights in the living room/kitchen working again.

Note for me

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 06:35 pm
elettaria: (Rachel's Star)
http://www.quilt.com/Bernina/Bindings.html

For anyone who cares, S (my lovely and utterly crazy support worker) and I managed to baste the bedspread quilt this afternoon, on a floor space smaller than the quilt. This is a major victory.

Note for me

Wednesday, 19 November 2008 06:35 pm
elettaria: (Rachel's Star)
http://www.quilt.com/Bernina/Bindings.html

For anyone who cares, S (my lovely and utterly crazy support worker) and I managed to baste the bedspread quilt this afternoon, on a floor space smaller than the quilt. This is a major victory.
elettaria: (Default)
Look what I made! )

I delivered it to the synagogue on Friday evening and it was received with a round of applause and much gratifying marvelling over it, especially the apparently wondrous fact that I hand-sewed it in just over a fortnight. I hope they work out a way to use it as a wall hanging for the High Holydays, they could really do with having something that looks a bit more Jewish in the church that they borrow for those services. Don't get me wrong, that Unitarian church is lovely and as churches go, it's relatively unchurchy-looking, but still, it's a church rather than a synagogue.

In other news, not only am I absolutely bloody shattered from spending four hours at synagogue (I'd forgotten how excruciatingly uncomfortable those chairs are), but I have what has been described by Gerald Durrell as a "rich, bubbling cold" and I want none of it. On the other hand, I've discovered that Potter's Life Drops (tincture of chilli, elderflower and peppermint, very useful stuff but HOT) go well in peppermint tea, and even better when you leave the used peppermint teabag in for the next cup and add a licorice teabag. Electric heating pads are also wondrous things.

I am also rather bored. Audiobook recommendations, anyone? You can see the books I have access to here.
elettaria: (Chocolate teapot)
Look what I made! )

I delivered it to the synagogue on Friday evening and it was received with a round of applause and much gratifying marvelling over it, especially the apparently wondrous fact that I hand-sewed it in just over a fortnight. I hope they work out a way to use it as a wall hanging for the High Holydays, they could really do with having something that looks a bit more Jewish in the church that they borrow for those services. Don't get me wrong, that Unitarian church is lovely and as churches go, it's relatively unchurchy-looking, but still, it's a church rather than a synagogue.

In other news, not only am I absolutely bloody shattered from spending four hours at synagogue (I'd forgotten how excruciatingly uncomfortable those chairs are), but I have what has been described by Gerald Durrell as a "rich, bubbling cold" and I want none of it. On the other hand, I've discovered that Potter's Life Drops (tincture of chilli, elderflower and peppermint, very useful stuff but HOT) go well in peppermint tea, and even better when you leave the used peppermint teabag in for the next cup and add a licorice teabag. Electric heating pads are also wondrous things.

I am also rather bored. Audiobook recommendations, anyone? You can see the books I have access to here.
elettaria: (Rachel's Star)
And I've just posted about it here, if anyone wants to have a look and suggest how to quilt it (go on, it's a poll, everyone loves polls). I've been working on it on and off for the last two weeks and am rather proud of how it's turning out.
elettaria: (Rachel's Star)
And I've just posted about it here, if anyone wants to have a look and suggest how to quilt it (go on, it's a poll, everyone loves polls). I've been working on it on and off for the last two weeks and am rather proud of how it's turning out.
elettaria: (Triffid geranium)
1. [livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea and I are getting addicted to stuffed peppers. My usual recipe involves rice, sautéed onion, vegemince, bit of tomato, and various different seasonings (last time there were raisins, pine nuts, garlic, and spices that focused heavily on the cinnamon side of things). For those of you who don't know how to stuff peppers, you cook up the filling, slice the top off the pepper as a lid, cut away the seeds, stem and so on, shove the filling inside, plonk the lid on, and stand them in a pyrex dish with about 1/2" water round them, proceeding to bake them in the oven for 20 min or until the peppers are starting to blacken nicely. Any recipe ideas for variations? What other veg are happy to be stuffed? I haven't stuffed an aubergine in years, although I recall it as being a bit more hassle.

2. I had a chap come to the door the other week doing a market research survey on attitudes towards environmentalism in the home. I answered various questions about recycling, light bulbs and solar panels (yep, very likely in a 170 year old B-listed building, where I don't even live on the top floor), and then he came to the question, "Do you think there are too many foreigners in the UK?" Has anybody got a clue what that question was doing in there?

3. My local library directed me towards Calibre, a free audiobook postal lending service for people with sight problems or other disabilities which make it difficult for them to read. This is very cool. You have to tick a box to confirm that you are happy to receive X-rated books, which means anything that mentions the existence of sex at all, as far as I can tell. I mean, I, Claudius is listed as X-rated. And the novels don't even have Patrick Stewart strutting around being a sexy sadist. (No, really, he was hot in the miniseries, and also looked surprisingly like a younger Richard Gere.) Also I've caught them putting phrases like "Homosexual practices" in the book descriptions, which is raising my hackles. It sounds worryingly like a warning.

4. Does anyone know how I could find out what this plant is, so that I may look at other photos of it and turn it into a quilt design?
elettaria: (Triffid geranium)
1. [livejournal.com profile] ghost_of_a_flea and I are getting addicted to stuffed peppers. My usual recipe involves rice, sautéed onion, vegemince, bit of tomato, and various different seasonings (last time there were raisins, pine nuts, garlic, and spices that focused heavily on the cinnamon side of things). For those of you who don't know how to stuff peppers, you cook up the filling, slice the top off the pepper as a lid, cut away the seeds, stem and so on, shove the filling inside, plonk the lid on, and stand them in a pyrex dish with about 1/2" water round them, proceeding to bake them in the oven for 20 min or until the peppers are starting to blacken nicely. Any recipe ideas for variations? What other veg are happy to be stuffed? I haven't stuffed an aubergine in years, although I recall it as being a bit more hassle.

2. I had a chap come to the door the other week doing a market research survey on attitudes towards environmentalism in the home. I answered various questions about recycling, light bulbs and solar panels (yep, very likely in a 170 year old B-listed building, where I don't even live on the top floor), and then he came to the question, "Do you think there are too many foreigners in the UK?" Has anybody got a clue what that question was doing in there?

3. My local library directed me towards Calibre, a free audiobook postal lending service for people with sight problems or other disabilities which make it difficult for them to read. This is very cool. You have to tick a box to confirm that you are happy to receive X-rated books, which means anything that mentions the existence of sex at all, as far as I can tell. I mean, I, Claudius is listed as X-rated. And the novels don't even have Patrick Stewart strutting around being a sexy sadist. (No, really, he was hot in the miniseries, and also looked surprisingly like a younger Richard Gere.) Also I've caught them putting phrases like "Homosexual practices" in the book descriptions, which is raising my hackles. It sounds worryingly like a warning.

4. Does anyone know how I could find out what this plant is, so that I may look at other photos of it and turn it into a quilt design?
elettaria: (Gay penguins)
I've just finished reading Carol Shields' Happenstance, a novel written in 1980 which features a woman who is attending a quilting conference in Philadelphia during the course of the novel. During this conference, a psychology/art history lecturer who has obviously never picked up a needle in her life gives a Freudian interpretation of quilting which is even funnier than the Freudian analysis of Alice in Wonderland in Atwood's The Edible Woman. Apart from being hilarious, it does give a great example of what happens when academics get too far away from the reality of their topic.

Quilting Through the Freudian Looking-Glass: A New Interpretation )

Joking apart, I'd be interested to hear what other people think about textiles, gender and meaning. Working with fabric is a sensuous pleasure, and I've seen a few rather sexy quilts, though generally not the traditional geometric patterns discussed above, not to mention that quilts are practical things and often intended for general family use or for children. (My grandmother, on the other hand, made a number of weavings which are quite ridiculously vulval in shape.) I'm keeping an eye open for literature which discusses needlecraft, for example Atwood's Alias Grace which manages to combine quilting and murder, Susan Glaspell's short story "A Jury of her Peers" which combines the two even more strongly, or Donoghue's Slammerkin, this time about dressmaking and, er, murder. (And sex!) There's a lovely Carol Ann Duffy poem I've managed to dig out again (a former tutor ran off with my copy of the volume it's from, The World's Wife) on Penelope ).

I occasionally wonder how someone could have done what Penelope reputedly did: promised that she would remarry when she'd finished making a tapestry, sewed in the day, and unpicked her work at night. I can't think of anything more frustrating than constantly destroying your own work, never allowing it to progress - and tapestry is slow, slow work, you might cover a few squares inches in a day. Perhaps she would unpick a part of the tapestry, then sew something different in its place, so that the work was constantly shifting, motifs leading to first one thing then another? A lovely image for multivocality.

cross-posted to my journal, [livejournal.com profile] quilting and [livejournal.com profile] literary_theory
elettaria: (Gay penguins)
I've just finished reading Carol Shields' Happenstance, a novel written in 1980 which features a woman who is attending a quilting conference in Philadelphia during the course of the novel. During this conference, a psychology/art history lecturer who has obviously never picked up a needle in her life gives a Freudian interpretation of quilting which is even funnier than the Freudian analysis of Alice in Wonderland in Atwood's The Edible Woman. Apart from being hilarious, it does give a great example of what happens when academics get too far away from the reality of their topic.

Quilting Through the Freudian Looking-Glass: A New Interpretation )

Joking apart, I'd be interested to hear what other people think about textiles, gender and meaning. Working with fabric is a sensuous pleasure, and I've seen a few rather sexy quilts, though generally not the traditional geometric patterns discussed above, not to mention that quilts are practical things and often intended for general family use or for children. (My grandmother, on the other hand, made a number of weavings which are quite ridiculously vulval in shape.) I'm keeping an eye open for literature which discusses needlecraft, for example Atwood's Alias Grace which manages to combine quilting and murder, Susan Glaspell's short story "A Jury of her Peers" which combines the two even more strongly, or Donoghue's Slammerkin, this time about dressmaking and, er, murder. (And sex!) There's a lovely Carol Ann Duffy poem I've managed to dig out again (a former tutor ran off with my copy of the volume it's from, The World's Wife) on Penelope ).

I occasionally wonder how someone could have done what Penelope reputedly did: promised that she would remarry when she'd finished making a tapestry, sewed in the day, and unpicked her work at night. I can't think of anything more frustrating than constantly destroying your own work, never allowing it to progress - and tapestry is slow, slow work, you might cover a few squares inches in a day. Perhaps she would unpick a part of the tapestry, then sew something different in its place, so that the work was constantly shifting, motifs leading to first one thing then another? A lovely image for multivocality.

cross-posted to my journal, [livejournal.com profile] quilting and [livejournal.com profile] literary_theory
elettaria: (Chocolate teapot)
Several weeks ago:

I went to bed and D stayed up to work on the computer. After an hour or so, he heard me call from the bedroom.
Me: D--? [First clue that I was asleep: we usually call each other by nicknames, not our real names.]
D [wandering through]: Yes?
Me: I want to ask you a question.
D: ...yes?
Me: *mumble mumble*
D: ...?
Me: *mumble mumble* it's about stitch sizes [turns over and continues sleeping]

Then last week I apparently was concerned about small squares of fabric, again while sound asleep. Last night we were talking about something to do with the duvet, and I ended up using the word "border", which didn't really apply to the duvet but does happen to relate to what I'd spent hours sewing that day (four foot long seams, huzzah!). I was half-awake for that one, I actually remember it.

Oops. I had to take a couple of months off sewing because of D moving in and then a shoulder injury, and I've been at it hell for leather for the last few weeks, I was so glad to get back to being able to sew again. My parents are visiting on Sunday and I want to have the quilt top finished by then. If D doesn't crack first.
elettaria: (Chocolate teapot)
Several weeks ago:

I went to bed and D stayed up to work on the computer. After an hour or so, he heard me call from the bedroom.
Me: D--? [First clue that I was asleep: we usually call each other by nicknames, not our real names.]
D [wandering through]: Yes?
Me: I want to ask you a question.
D: ...yes?
Me: *mumble mumble*
D: ...?
Me: *mumble mumble* it's about stitch sizes [turns over and continues sleeping]

Then last week I apparently was concerned about small squares of fabric, again while sound asleep. Last night we were talking about something to do with the duvet, and I ended up using the word "border", which didn't really apply to the duvet but does happen to relate to what I'd spent hours sewing that day (four foot long seams, huzzah!). I was half-awake for that one, I actually remember it.

Oops. I had to take a couple of months off sewing because of D moving in and then a shoulder injury, and I've been at it hell for leather for the last few weeks, I was so glad to get back to being able to sew again. My parents are visiting on Sunday and I want to have the quilt top finished by then. If D doesn't crack first.
elettaria: (Lobstrosity)
[livejournal.com profile] eye_of_a_cat and [livejournal.com profile] catnip_junkie, I've finished the cushions I promised you. Here they are, I still need to wash and then press them, so the Grape Basket in particular is very creased, just imagine it looking better. I couldn't press them before, I idiotically used water-soluble pen which would have been set by the iron. I couldn't get the colours to come out well in the pictures, but the Grape Basket on the left is in softer, more purply blues, with a smoky blue for the darker pieces and a periwinkle blue for the three bits in the middle and the backing piece. It's all in Fossil Ferns. The Bachelor's Puzzle on the right is in shades of turquoise and darkish blue, and it uses a batik as well as the Fossil Ferns, which is also used on the back. The bits of batik on the front are turquoise, but on the back it's a darker blue, a bit like royal blue only not that bright, with spots in turquoise, green and pinky-purple. Both cushions are 12".

I'm planning to make a quilt for the sofa next, and made a sample block to check I could do the design, which is a Carpenter's Square. This too will be made into a cushion and donated to someone, though I may keep it hanging around while I start piecing the quilt. It's in the turquoise shades again and will use the batik for the back. The block so far measures 16.5", I'll probably squeeze a 18" cushion into it instead of messing around with borders, especially since I don't have much fabric left.

OK, ladies, which cushions do you want each?

Pictures (not remotely to scale) )

P.S. I hate putting in zips.
P.P.S. SCREW "scant quarter-inch seams". *goes back to practising for the sofa quilt*
elettaria: (Lobstrosity)
[livejournal.com profile] eye_of_a_cat and [livejournal.com profile] catnip_junkie, I've finished the cushions I promised you. Here they are, I still need to wash and then press them, so the Grape Basket in particular is very creased, just imagine it looking better. I couldn't press them before, I idiotically used water-soluble pen which would have been set by the iron. I couldn't get the colours to come out well in the pictures, but the Grape Basket on the left is in softer, more purply blues, with a smoky blue for the darker pieces and a periwinkle blue for the three bits in the middle and the backing piece. It's all in Fossil Ferns. The Bachelor's Puzzle on the right is in shades of turquoise and darkish blue, and it uses a batik as well as the Fossil Ferns, which is also used on the back. The bits of batik on the front are turquoise, but on the back it's a darker blue, a bit like royal blue only not that bright, with spots in turquoise, green and pinky-purple. Both cushions are 12".

I'm planning to make a quilt for the sofa next, and made a sample block to check I could do the design, which is a Carpenter's Square. This too will be made into a cushion and donated to someone, though I may keep it hanging around while I start piecing the quilt. It's in the turquoise shades again and will use the batik for the back. The block so far measures 16.5", I'll probably squeeze a 18" cushion into it instead of messing around with borders, especially since I don't have much fabric left.

OK, ladies, which cushions do you want each?

Pictures (not remotely to scale) )

P.S. I hate putting in zips.
P.P.S. SCREW "scant quarter-inch seams". *goes back to practising for the sofa quilt*

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