Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It beats heavy drinking

So, for oh NO REASON, I've been contemplating the various ways that someone, not me, might go about coping with massive toddler tantrums that seem to be happening on a daily basis, quite possibly the result of putting said toddler in daycare so that someone, not me, CAN HAVE A LIFE. My own almost-6-year old had her share of meltdowns everyday after I picked her up from daycare when she was about this age, but they were not as...rough? Horrible? Cataclysmic? Apocalyptic?

Okay. It's me.

The best advice I have found says to basically ignore the tantrum, because then they learn that pitching a fit doesn't garner them more attention or get them what they're screaming for. But how do you ignore a child who is not only screaming and crying and demanding something totally unreasonable, but is also clinging to you, climbing up your legs and holding on to your neck in a desperate attempt to get and keep your attention?

So, I'm thinking that next time, I'm either going to put my fingers in my ears, close my eyes, and go, "LA, LA, LA, LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!" or I'm going to channel all my anger and frustration into learning applique so that I can work on a lovely quilt with appliqued letters that spell out "FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, SHUT THE FUCK UP. P.S. I LOVE YOU. MOMMY"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Business opportunity!

You know how there are all these sewing machine/vacuum cleaner shops around and none of them have names that are interesting or creative? They're all names like VAC & SEW, or SEW & VAC, or they throw in some other random piece of machinery that they also sell and repair, such as VAC & SEW & FAN.

I mentioned this to my husband today, and he said, bless him, "Yeah, they should call it STITCH & SUCK."

Potential investors, feel free to email me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

"...then sacrifice it to Baal on an altar of Mountain Mist."

Thanks are due to Sandy who suggested I try a Warm Wishes pattern for my daughter's shark quilt. It just so happened that I bought just the right number and kinds of fabrics to make this pattern and the little bit that I've done so far tells me that it's going to turn out pretty good.


Now, before I begin this evening's rant, let me just say that I once again appear to possess less than the optimum amount of iron in my blood, and I am so tired I can barely see where I spilled my cocktail. Being anemic not only makes me physically sluggish, but it clogs up the gears of my brain as well, causing me to stare into the middle distance for minutes at a time when asked a question such as, "Where's the baby?" or "Why is the bath still running?" So, I'm not particularly quick-witted lately.

But at the time I started looking at this pattern, I was unaware that I was not running on a full tank of hemoglobin, because the fatigue had not yet set in, but it may be safe to say that I was already suffering from what is known as "muddy thinking" or "dementia."

Sandy was kind enough to link to some pictures of the quilts she had made (please see her comment in this post) as well as to the pattern, which had been created by Quiltmaker magazine and is still available free from their website. Sandy's pictures really illustrated how versatile the pattern is, and I was keen to try it, until I downloaded the pattern and saw this:

Now you may be thinking, "Oh, how lovely." But my Adobe Reader is apparently set on "stun" and when it opens the pattern pdf, it gives you this page at a magnification of 164%, which reveals that the resolution of the picture is about 3 dpi, and it looks like someone barfed up a bunch of Legos.

Now, I thought that a pattern like this would be pretty straightforward. Cut your focus fabric in squares of this size, make your other blocks this size, sew according to diagram, done. Instead, they give you this chart:

First of all, they tell you your yardage for each fabric based upon the picture, which, to my eyes, looks so jumbled that I don't know what the fuck they're referring to when they say "gold multi-print" or "cream/red multi-print." Then, they can't just give you the yardage for each fabric and THEN tell you how to cut them. No, they have to smoosh it all into one handy dandy chart so that losers like me can stare at it for a while before yelling at no one in particular, "Yeah, but what am I actually supposed to DO?" Honestly, I had to write it out on a separate piece of paper before it made a lick of sense to me.

But at least it wasn't one of those patterns that I keep finding in some of the quilting books that my mother brought me the last time she and my dad visited. I have managed to come across books like these still in print at the bookstore (bought one, too) and while I can see that they still have value for the designs and inspiration, it still makes me wonder that no one has thought to update them for the next printing. These are the books where there is no such thing as a rotary cutter. Where it is assumed that you are going to cut out all those little individual pieces by hand. WITH A PAIR OF SCISSORS. And, invariably, they have a handy photograph of someone doing just that, using a pair of shears that could also be used to trim hedges, it's so big. It makes me wonder if I could find a book that was old enough, if the instructions would begin, "First, hunt and kill a bison..."

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Lordy, lordy

I am fat.

I have grey hair that won't take dye.

My skin is all blotchy and sun-damaged.

Sometimes I am a great mother. Sometimes I fall far short.

I like to write things that make people laugh. Apparently, I manage to achieve this on occasion.

I hate broccoli.

I like to quilt.


To make this day even more special, I will be interviewing a local plastic surgeon as a last-minute assignment for the magazine. Because nothing says "Happy Birthday, you old bag" quite like listening to a woman who is Botoxed to the point of Cadaver on the Joan Rivers scale of facial immobility talk for 2 hours about how she always knew she was meant to be "a healer."

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In honor of shark week

So, um, yeah. I know I haven't been posting much, but that's because I haven't been sewing much. This entire last week was all about getting my youngest daughter acclimated to her new daycare, which she has done admirably, I must say. I got great advice from Ginny, who is a licensed daycare provider herself, and between her and the wonderful professional who now looks after my iddle biddle shmoopie every day, we made it through the first week without anyone clinging to anyone else's leg and crying uncontrollably. Though I certainly wanted to. No, the only difficulty was that after her first morning, I took her and her sister to McDonald's to celebrate and she has expected to do this every day thereafter. As soon as she sees that we are heading towards home and not The Source of All Joy, she starts whining, "Aw! I want Old McDonald's!" Later, she changed her tactic to casually suggesting that we go to "the Chicken Nugget Store." Two and a half, and already so much like her mother. I'm so proud (*sniff*)!

Today, in an effort to get some sort of inspiration for my next sewing project, I dragged my entire family on a trek to Rockville, north of D.C., to find G Street Fabrics. My mom used to go there when she lived in Pennsylvania and needed a better selection than what could be found in her little town, and it seemed like it ought to be a pretty good shop, but I was underwhelmed by the selection. I only saw a couple collections I recognized and they were old - other stores had already put them on clearance, and they were selling them full price. AND, despite information that suggested the contrary, they don't sell ANY Moda precuts. AND their fat quarters sucked. AND...well, that was it, really. I was just so disappointed.

But Number One Daughter has been itching to make another quilt with mom, and we did happen to stumble across something absurdly perfect, something that Harper and I couldn't not buy. I chose some solids to go with it, since there weren't any coordinating prints:

So now I need a pattern that is easy enough for me to handle (meaning only squares, rectangles, or half square triangles) and will show off the sharks well enough. Any ideas?