Saturday, November 28, 2009

Please Stand By

There is so much that I need to address here, but my family - that is, everyone but me - has been contaminated with a horrible cold, and they are all unable to fend for themselves. Thus, I am fending. The house is a mess, I haven't had a shower in days, nor much sleep, and I won't be able to do anything the justice it deserves.
So, let me at least say some things quickly:

Erin: Thank you. You are awesome. Go read her blog, y'all.

Anonymous: Please take my post in the spirit it was intended: the joke was that of all the comments I have ever received, that was the harshest. See, it's funny, 'cuz it wasn't harsh at all, really. Does that make sense? I wasn't really offended or hurt by it AT ALL. (Oh, and I wish I could post every day, hon, I really, really do. Maybe in 20 years when the kids are out of the house)

Leah: I AM going to get to it, I swear. God, I suck.

Sorry. It's hard to type when I am crusty with kid snot.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The consequences of freedom

My improv blocks thus far:

And this is what the process has done to my cutting table:

Now, in the picture, my pins and rotary cutter are out in the open, but that has been a relative rarity in this process. I have nearly severed a digit countless times just today, so chances are I may qualify for our accidental dismemberment insurance policy soon!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Commedia dell'quilte

Ever since I realized that a few people were actually reading this blog, some on a semi-regular basis, I have been anticipating the arrival of my insane, hateful blog stalker. Not because I assume that I will achieve such heights of notoriety that I will inspire obsession the way Justin Timberlake and oh, I don't know, Charo do. But those of us who troll the net often enough know that it is a magnet for the, um, socially impaired. Not having to actually face the individuals with whom they wish to interact allows them a certain freedom of expression they might not otherwise indulge, and because they are also cracked out, this expressiveness tends to be somewhat hostile.

So, of course, I post pictures of myself giving the camera the finger. It's like I'm trying to coax my insane blog stalker out of hiding. But I suspect that "Anonymous," who commented, "Nice thimble - time to move on," is probably the closest I'll get. Sorry, Anonymous, I'm just a crazy rebel! You never know what profane, sacrilegious shit I'll come up with next! Like this:

Okay. It's not exactly profane or sacrilegious. But it is ugly! My oldest daughter likes to design quilts with me using markers or colored pencils and graph paper, and most of the time I can pretend that we just don't have enough fabric on hand to make it, but this time we did, and she knew it. it's not very big, maybe 30x30 or so, and will make a nice quilt for her stuffed animals or something. But, man, was it a bitch to make. I've decided that I just fucking hate triangles. I wanted to make a pinwheel quilt, and even cut all the pieces for it, but when I started making the pinwheel blocks, realized that each block was going to have a rock hard lump in the center. I tried pressing the seams every way to Sunday, but nothing made much of a difference. How would I quilt that? With a jackhammer?

So, still bored with the square and rectangle constraints of my usual quilts, I decided to go improv:

A perfect 6x6 square, all in yummy batiks, all sewn slapdash and hodgepodge and lackadaisical. I LOVE IT. I can't wait to make a whole quilt this way; it's so freeing and fun and fast, and that was too many f-words, but you get it. Fucking fabulous.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Too artsy?

I've been asked for a head shot.

Do you think this would be okay?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

From the inaugural issue of Table Runner Times

Big thanks to everyone who voted in the last post, as well as to all those who have joined in over on Facebook. I'm sure most of the people who have become fans on FB have commented here before, and I know you only as QuiltFreak298 or BitsyPookums or something, only now I'm seeing your real names and thinking, "Who the hell are you?"

My second article, entitled "How to Make a Simple Tote bag...Not!" (and the "...Not!" was an addition by the editors, I must inform you) is in the current issue of Quilter's Home, for those of you who haven't sworn to never pick up another copy so long as you live so help you GOD. AND I have just been told that they are printing a third piece in the February issue! I'm very excited about that one, because I had a blast writing it. I just hope somebody is still reading the mag by that point. I also hope that they'll get my goddamn name right by then as well. If I could ever learn to applique, I'd put it on a pillow for them.

This weekend, I decided to tackle the table runners my mom requested that I make for her. She only expected me to use a single fabric for the front and back, but I really wanted to piece it; otherwise, where's the fun? I searched for a table runner pattern that would be simple enough for me to handle and would be easy to increase to the size she needed (72 inches!). Finally, I just got out my graph paper and made a pattern myself.

Now, it's a damn good thing I work with words and didn't become an accountant or an architect or something, because it's not 72 inches; it's 76. Still, I'm pleased with myself for having come up with the pattern on my own. And I'm well aware that there is nothing even remotely difficult or even original about what I came up with - the miracle is that I managed to concentrate long enough to work out the details. Considering the number of toddler tantrums I have endured over the last three days, it's a wonder I have managed to dress myself properly and maintain a modicum of personal hygiene.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wherein I reveal just how bored I am today

I can't quite believe I'm about to just blurt this out, but it's been killing me for weeks, and I really need you all to weigh in. And I mean ALL of you: lurkers, time to man up and leave just one eensy post. NO WAIT. I'll make it even easier. Just click a button at the end of this post. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, as my girls like to say.

I want to start a quilting magazine.

NOT a print mag, not yet, anyway. I don't have that kind of cash laying around, and if I did, I certainly wouldn't be here on this ratty-ass couch blogging about it. No, an online magazine, with articles, interviews, tutorials, videos — the kind of content I always wish I could find, but never do. I want to have a repository of the best instructions to be found online for beginning quilters. I want to have ideas and patterns for quilts that people can actually make. Sometimes I look at quilt mags and think, "This is just quilt porn." All pretty and airbrushed and alluring, but not real.

I want it to have a sense of humor and a sense of style. I want it to celebrate imperfection and encourage experimentation. Mostly, I want it to be a good read.

I have a long way to go before I will get to where I want to be with this project. I will need to save (or raise?) some serious cash to pay someone to help me design and set it up. I will need to get lots of fellow bloggers on board to help me with content (and those same bloggers will have to be willing to work for free). I will need my children to become more self-sufficient and less likely to demand that I watch intently while they pick their noses.

But I also need to know if such an effort would be worthwhile. So I am begging you, even if you have never commented here and have no intention of ever doing so, even if, like me, you are generally an anti-social semi-hermit who hates participating in ANYTHING, please answer the poll question below anyway. One click is all I am asking.

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Call it anti-social networking

I'm embarking on a little experiment, and I'd like you to join me. I've been on Facebook as just plain old me since earlier this year, but I just recently started a Bitchy Stitcher Facebook page. If you are currently on Facebook, please consider becoming a fan of The Bitchy Stitcher and leaving a comment.

Back to bitching soon!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My day -in poor photography

Amy over at A Commonplace Life had an exquisitely beautiful rant the other day about hating Martha Stewart and her bland, unreasonable perfectionism. This also led her to think about the people who write to her, convinced that she is also some sort of uber-martha type, making every little thing that goes into her kids' mouths from scratch while looking gorgeous in her perfect house.

Ain't none of us perfect. I'm willing to bet even Martha walks around with a booger on the end of her nose every once in a while.

So, Amy has started a blog-ring type thing called Moments. It's just about keeping real life in mind when you post, but for me it's kind of a way to try to document and maybe even celebrate some of the chaos in my life. And also, since I am spending most of my time editing and not sewing, it gives me something to blog about for the next week.

Behold, my work space:

From The Bitchy Stitcher

From The Bitchy Stitcher

Yep, I work in the kitchen. What was intended to be my "office," part of the basement, has been taken over by sewing. We put another desk in the bedroom where my husband keeps his office, but I can't look out a window there, and what good is an office without a distracting view?

There are always wadded up tissues near me because I have a perpetual runny nose. Though the girls have an "art table" downstairs next to my sewing area, they prefer to use the kitchen table as well, so the markers and crayons and Play-Doh all migrates up here. Always a plastic cup with Dr. Pepper. Always a empty container of something unhealthy to eat. A dying plant. And my stippled table runner hidden under it all.

I sit here and hack away at other people's writing, wishing I was quilting, wishing I had the capacity to deal with all this clutter, wishing I was Martha Stewart. But also, being glad to be doing work that I love, to be raising two strong, healthy girls, to have a husband who gets me and loves me.

I guess that's why I'm posting this today. Sometimes, even a bitch needs to remind herself that her life is really pretty good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

For sale - cheap

For sale: one small demon. Answers to the name of Devon, as well as BooBoo (when she's being a baby), FiFi (when she's in the form of a kitty cat), Movie Stah (and yes, its "Stah," not "Star"), and Peerpipe (when she's a doggie. I have no idea.). Excels at screeching, screaming, throwing things, and saying, "No." Will deny the sun is shining on a beautiful day or that it is raining during a downpour. Refuses to change clothes, wear a jacket, eat food, take a nap, go to bed, take a bath, or sit on a potty. Impervious to all forms of bribery, cajoling, tricks and any parenting "techniques" you might read about online or in a book. Survives on milk and Goldfish crackers. Occasionally will smile or sit in your lap to read "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus." Ten cents or best offer.

She's the one one the left.