Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In which it will be 4 years before I have another post dated February 29

Happy leap year day...or something? Anyway, I've had to suspend working on my string quilt due to me not making it to the fabric store yet to pick up more cotton thread. Also I'm afraid positive that I will not be able to walk out of there with JUST a spool of thread...I mean, technically I do need some more solid white for the border of the string quilt, but I don't think I've ever left the fabric store with just a single yardage of fabric, either. And I can't just blow my income on random fabric anymore since I don't HAVE an income anymore.

However, I do have another project to work on. Even though we're in a tiny apartment, we have a decent sized patio, so for the last couple of summers I've been able to have container plants growing out there. After two years of having peppers die on me within hours of planting them, cucumbers succumb to powdery mildew no matter what, squirrels digging up my garlic because Seattle squirrels apparently need a stash of garlic to defend against vampires, and me accidentally managing to snap my tomato plants in half while trying to tie them to a stake (who DOES that???), I have a pretty good idea of what will be successful and what won't. Snap peas have always grown well, but last year I kind of had to cobble together a trellis for them.  This year I wanted a real trellis, but I couldn't find one that would fit my containers.

So the other day, Baby was FUSS FUSS FUSS so I drove to Fred Meyer, strapped her in our Ergo carrier, and began walking around. After about an hour of wandering around, I was ready to go, but she'd fallen asleep...naturally. Obviously not wanting her to wake up, I walked around for another hour until I noticed workers starting to stare at me as I hiked past (well, really, there aren't a ton of people at a Fred Meyer at 11am on a Monday...we stood out). I ran into the garden section, grabbed some wooden stakes, and bought them before finally driving home, then plopped Baby into her bouncer and busted out my husband's tools before realizing I had NO idea how to actually build a trellis. I managed to saw everything to the right size but I didn't know how to put anything together. Probably because I didn't really research or think of anything past "I want to build a trellis."

Orange Kitty shot up to 17lbs shortly after the baby was born. I think he is trying out outpace her growth. Grey Kitty is probably already over the 20lb threshold. 

I'm still winging it. We'll see how things hold up. Stay tuned for the next few months to see if the minute a wine tries to cling onto my trellis, the whole thing collapses and squishes all my plants.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In which I kind of stop procrastinating

Holy cow, I knew it'd been a while since I last updated, but not THAT long. Oh well.

Little baby orange kitty is now a bit more predictable with her naps, etc. Sure, I could do the dishes or vacuum or any of the other chores that have been woefully ignored for the last three months, but sewing is more important. I've been working on small baby-related projects for the last couple of months and it's as fun as it gets when you're making nursing pads and diapers.

These are super easy to whip up, even if slightly imperfect. If I remember, I'll make a tutorial next time I sew a pair.  Making these made me wish I had a serger, though.

I'm a cloth freak. I like using cloth things over disposable things (except toilet paper...some people use "family cloth," but REALLY, I'd rather just flush that stuff down the toilet. There are limits to my hippie-ness). Even in 2012, people seem shocked when I mention we're cloth diapering. When I tell them that cloth diapers come in super-easy snaps, velcro, and cute prints these days instead of pins and plastic pants, they say, "Oh, but doesn't that make a TON of dirty laundry?" Yeah, but I've noticed having a baby=more laundry regardless. That cute outfit I put on her at 9am is covered in spit-up by noon, and then at her 1pm changing she kicks her pant leg into a dirty diaper, then spits up all over the changing table cover AND outfit #2 AND me and then the cat pukes on the bed or something and there's a load of laundry right there. It is really no biggie to have to wash a load of diapers every other day on top of everything else, and this is coming from a lazy person who hates doing all chores (yeah, I'm like an overgrown 5 year old, I know).

I made about ten of these over the course of two months. Suffice to say I way overbought some basic flat prefold diapers, so I just converted some to this "fitted" type rather than buy more...can you tell I was blowing through my spare thread when I was making these?
ANYWAY, last week a friend came by with super-soft cuddle fabric (knowing that I am always receptive to gifts of fabric) and suggested I make a blanket for little Elly with it. I got all excited at the thought, then remembered the many unfinished projects in my closet. I pulled out the string quilt I've been slowly working on for a while and realized I had enough blocks to piece together, said "Cool," and finally sewed them together. Somehow I managed to sew the "top" four rows underneath the "bottom" three rows, but since it's a scrap quilt anyway, you can't tell (oh thank heavens). Then I went to sew on a border, but as I stepped on the presser foot, my sewing machine made that oh-so-subtle change in sound that made me stop, and look....and sure enough, I was completely out of white cotton thread. I NEVER run out of white cotton thread. I'm sure that a few months ago I made a mental note to buy more thread the next time I went to the fabric store, but then I had a baby and totally forgot and at that point it was 11pm and way too late to run out and grab more.

One of the nice things about not being pregnant anymore is that I can stand on a chair and lean over to take a picture without fearing that I will tumble forward flat on my face.

So the string quilt top is still in progress. My goal is to have it totally done by the end of March, because some friends may visit and it'd be nice to throw the quilt on top of the guest airbed. My secondary goal is to actually get around to updating this blog more...I've missed sewing and the blogging world. Sharing projects with the Internet allows me to step back and look at my projects with a critical eye to see where I could improve and such, and get feedback from others. It's nice.