Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Insomnia, Insanity, & a Meltdown

Well, to be honest the title covers it.

Those that know me, know I suffer from allergies, asthma, (the two prior are a short trip to bronchitis), and occasional insomnia.  I've been up since 0700 yesterday.  Thank you steroids!  It does give a person a lot of time to think and get things done.  Perhaps sleep is overrated.  Remind me that I said that next week, when I collapse from getting off the steroids, if you can wake me up from my several day slumber.... The case of bronchitis is not that surprising.   We've had one case of pneumonia, a couple of cases of bronchitis, & one that won't go to the doctor, so who knows what the hell she has had for the last two weeks.  Did any of these people stay home from work?  HELL NO.  Thank you very much.  Grrrr....  I should go kiss everyone of them and give this back.

Onward....Okay, I had a major melt down over my guild.  Well, not really my guild.  I got sucked into something, and I was a pawn on the chess board.  An unwitting one, but I played my part.  Well, I got angry.  Mistake #1.  I threw a hissy fit on the guild Facebook page.  Mistake #2.  I publicly announced I was quitting the guild.  Mistake #3.  Yes, I was an idiot.  I admit it.  What can I say?  I think I covered it all.  For a while there, I felt like I was back in middle school or high school.  I hate that kind of stuff, and I got sucked right on into mess.  I was always in the "out" crowd at school, and didn't make many friends.  I had acquaintances.  Now I remember why.  All I can say is that once burned, I'm done, not twice shy.  I am more of a black/white kind of person.  I don't really do shades of gray.  I'm Sheldon off the Big Bang with a little bit of Leonard, but not enough. (Yes, I am the one they force on vacation to get a break from and am lost because I don't know what to do with myself away from work that long.)  I don't understand people & I don't fit in.  Fact.  I know it.  I am an acquired taste, and not many get into my "inner circle."  Wait, what inner circle.... ? Well, I covered that.

Insomnia also plays into too much internet shopping from surfing the web too much when I should be sleeping and desperately wish I wish.  IG Destash is EVIL.  Not really, but to say I am in big trouble with my Darling Husband (thank you for letting me live after my last destash experience.)  I won't even repeat what he said when he saw the e-mail.  Darned shared bank acct & e-mail acct.  Any way..... I am a fabricaholic.  I need a 12-step program and a support group.  I am now banned by said Darling Husband from Destash, the LQS, and any fabric buying.  Thank goodness I have a stash.  Sew My Stash 2015, I am now fully in with you.

Well, 0430 and the DH has woke up.  Off to play in my fabric.....

No, there was no real point in this post.  I just wanted to say what I had to say.  Do I care if anyone reads this?  No.  Why do I blog?  I have no idea.  I'll blame insomnia and too small a house and no sewing room.  That's my story and I am sticking to it!

Later!!! I'll be back and you have been warned.....

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cutting Modern Fat 8ths

I haven't posted in a while.  Life takes over.....  In a fit of insanity at our guild, I volunteered to help run the swaps along with Yvonne Campbell (Quilty Dreams, formerly, That's Sew Creative.)  The guild had done some Fat 8th swaps and the diagram posted confused me, and come to find out, I cut my fabric in standard fat 8ths, which measure 9"x 21."  A modern fat 8th is actually 18" x 11" (or approximately 11" depending on the width of the fabric divided by 4").  

I know I can't be the only person confused by the diagram posted to use for cutting modern fat 8ths, so I thought I would give putting up a diagram to cut modern fat 8ths a try.  So here it is:

How to Cut Modern Fat 8ths

First trim your fabric to a 36 inches and do your best to make the cut perpendicular to the selvage. My LQS cuts generously, so nothing is ever cut to 36" or even straight.  I do appreciate the extra inch or so (Thank you A&E Pharmacy).  This is what you will have:

One yard by WOF.  

Now, cut your fabric into two 18" x WOF.  

Now you have 2 pieces of 18" x WOF.

Now measure the WOF.  If the WOF is 44", you will cut 11" sections.  (if you are like me, and your fabric isn't 44" for the WOF, measure the WOF.  Say the WOF is 42".  Divide 42 by 4 = 10.5"  Cut your sections into 10.5" sections instead of 11".)  

The final product.  Modern Fat 8ths 18" x 11" (or maybe a little less than 11" if your fabric wasn't 44" for the WOF.)

This is my first attempt at a tutorial, so please be kind.  I don't claim to be an expert by any means.  I'll be the first to admit that I am not a great quilter, a modern quilter, or a traditional quilter.  I am a learning quilter.  "I am what I am," in the words of Popeye!

Hope this helps!!!


Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year and Goal Setting.....

I have several goals this year.

One goal is to start blogging more. In my past,  I was taught goals can't be vague.  Goals must be measureable and obtainable.  My goal for blogging is once a month.  Anything more than that is icing on the cake.

The problem:  I volunteered to be the swap coordinator for my quilt guild.  My friend Yvonne Campbell at That's Sew Creative is my partner in crime.  Then we are doing the January program on our first swap item, so we have been a little busier than we planned.

And I thought I volunteered for the EASY spot....... ha ha!!!!

Officially, the Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild can be found here:

My next problem my blog post....

Here's my first blog post of the year!  The one I wrote for the guild!  I'll try to put another one up later this month!!!!  If you live in the Northwest Panhandle of Florida, come join us the 10th of January for our meeting!!!!

January and February Swaps 2015

I am Cricket Harris and with the help of Yvonne Campbell, we will be arranging the swaps for this year.  

As a reminder, January's Swap is a F8 low volume swap, maximum of three different yard cuts.  Don't forget the meeting is this Saturday, January 10th!!!

Bring your yard of fabric cut into F8s, each yard in an individual ziplock bag, and label the outside of your ziplock with your name.  At the meeting, drop your fabric off in the designated place.  Before you leave, you will receive your ziplock back with an assortment of F8s.  For those still needing to cut your fabric, here are the instructions posted earlier in the blog by Wendi Mihalik, last year's swap coordinator.

Cutting Modern Fat Eighths

1.  Press your fabric to remove the center crease.  Do not remove the selvages.

2.  Rotary cut your fabric lengthwise through the center.   This results in two pieces, each measuring approximately 22" x 36".

3.  Cut each 22" x 36" piece in half again lengthwise.  This gives you four pieces, each measuring 11" x 36".  

NOTE:  Solid fabrics are sometimes milled to wider widths than prints.  Be sure to measure the width and cut equal quarters.

4.  Cut each 11" x 36" piece in half crosswise.  This gives you eight pieces, each measuring 11" x 18".  A modern fat eighth.  

As always, if you have questions regarding the swap, or this tutorial, you can email me at cricket at superiorinhomecare dot com (M-F between 7 to 4:30) or harr703 at cox dot net anytime.  Your best bet is to text me on my cell phone or call me on my cell phone.  I am on the guild roster.  

February's Swap and our meeting lands on Valentine's Day!!!

For February, we are going to do a "Sweet Pouch" swap.  It will be a drawstring bag with a sweet treat for your partner.  This will be a blind swap.  You will only know who you are making a bag for, and not who is making one for you.  Sign ups at the bottom of this post and close Saturday January 17th.  I will assign partners on Sunday the 18th by the end of the day.  

There will be a program on this bag at the meeting on the 10th of Jan. I will be available after the meeting if you have questions or would like assistance in making a test bag.  Materials needed, in addition to the normal notions, to sew a bag:  

- 3 fat quarters
- 2 yards of ribbon, or 1/8 yd fabric
- Coordinating thread
- Interfacing if you want to use it: enough for 2 cuts of 12.5" x 10.5" 

This is the lined drawstring bag we will be using for the swap.  The tutorial for the bag can be found on the blog, In Color Order by Jeni Baker.  

The only thing we would like is for the bag to made by the general pattern and finish close to the dimensions of the bag in the tutorial.  For example, you can piece the main fabric section of the bag, as in this tutorial:

If you want to make your bag striped, the tutorial is here:

All these tutorials are from Jeni Baker's In Color Order blog, so please pop over and let her know what you've made and maybe a "Thank You" for the tutorials she worked so hard to give the quilting/sewing community.  

Hope to see you at the meeting!


Yvonne & Cricket
Swap Coordinators

I didn't fall off the turnip truck yesterday.  I was taught, work smart, not hard!!!

Until next time, (you've been warned!)  I've got to take my snarky focus to work!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

I've been really quiet lately, but I have to admit....I've been locked out of my account.  While I am admitting things, I need to pull my foot out of my mouth or perhaps my fingers off the keyboard!

Anyhooo.  I was digging through my newly acquired stash, and ran across the block I was so upset about.  The one that was called, "Civil War."  Well, the darn thing is civil war fabric in the middle.  While the person I heard was correct, I wish she would have shown me my block and explained my error.  It would have been better than over hearing the comment, but she was right.  Live and learn. Tip of the day, don't buy fabric for a project when you are tired of looking at fabric, flustered, and just want the heck out of the store. The nearest bolt of fabric will look wonderful, whether appropriate or not.

Well, that's it for me.  While it is Sunday, I have work to do.  Perhaps I will get it done and have some free time.  Not so sure about that....the husband is wanting assistance fencing.  I might want to really think about how fast I want to get my work done........

Until the next time I feel I need to have "hoof in mouth disease"......

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Quilting Should be an Olympic Event

I really think the quilting community should lobby to make quilting an Olympic event.  The amount of precision needed to make a quilt is amazing.  Have you really ever thought about it?  It hit me today as I tried to cut out 2.5" squares.  

Quilting requires precision from the beginning to end.  The pieces have to be cut exactly as directed.  Then the pressing, and I mean "pressing."  If you dare to iron, you have just shot yourself in the foot.  Take a piece of fabric with a directional print and iron it.  The print ends up being "wonky."  (Ask me how I know!)  Sewing requires an exact 1/4" or scant 1/4" seam.  One mistake in any of the process and everything gets out of whack.  I think quilting is an under appreciated art.  The more I try to quilt, the more I think I should find another hobby, but I am too stubborn to give up.  I do have one quilting "super power."  I can make an error so fast your head will swim, and as soon as I correct that error, I find a new way to make one!  

I think I am the only person that can cut something crooked with a rotary cutter, cutting mat, and quilting ruler.  I found a new method - PAINTERS TAPE!  My new buddy.  If I tape the fabric to the cutting mat, it does not slip around.  I only have to worry about not keeping the cutter next to the ruler and keeping the tips of my fingers.  I never have enough hands......

Well, enough of my blunders for the moment.  Don't worry, I'll be back with my latest mistake soon enough. The guild is having their new block of the month for the February meeting.  It is called, "Circle of Friends."  The tutorial can be found here: Emerald Coast Modern Quilt Guild  Kira does the tutorials, and she does an excellent job.  As long as you aren't me, the block should come out exactly as it looks before the tutorial.  

At our last guild meeting, we had a secret "little zippered pouch" swap.  The pouch my partner made was perfect.  I'm not able to put up pictures at the moment, but I am sure some will be up soon at That's Sew Creative.  

I had some pictures to post, but I can't get them from the camera to the computer.  I am learning this too.  I'll get the hang of it sooner or later.  (Most likely later...)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


As I said before, I have joined a modern quilt guild.  I know the staff at A&E Fabrics hate to see me coming.  I am driving them crazy.  With every bolt of fabric I take to the cutting table, I ask, "Is this modern?"  I am petrified that I will make something for a guild project that does not meet the definition of "modern."  

Well, the dreaded moment has happened.  Our block lottery was a modified churn dash with low and high volume fabric.  Low volume was to be the background.  I asked for definitions of high and low volume fabric and was told, "High volume jumps at you, and low volume fades in the background. "  I ran to A&E to select fabrics after the block was announced…..I went through my "fabric ritual" with the staff and selected my fabrics.  My blocks were done!  I really liked them….

Fast forward:  Guild meeting.  The block lottery was held, and all the blocks were laid out together.  A lesson was being given on what was "modern" between a couple of other guild members.  Here are the blocks: 

My block is the bottom right.  The description of it was "civil war fabric."  Yes, I overheard the comment.  It stung quite badly.  The brown jumped at me.  I had taken time to select it, I had asked if the fabric was modern, and even gotten help selecting a low volume background.  The experts had helped me.  CIVIL WAR?!  While I do agree, my block stands out like a sore thumb compared to all the bright colors.  I have been pursuing the questions, what is modern fabric and modern quilting?  I can't get a straight answer to those questions.  I have read the Modern Quilt Guild's definition.  It seems to box quilters in to a set of rules.  I was told modern quilting was " The rule is, there are no rules."  The comment hurt quite badly.  I considered quitting the guild.  Over reaction - yes.   The person had not meant it critically at me, she was just trying to explain modern.  I had the bad luck of being within earshot, and being the example of what was not modern.  

The bottom line is:  I am not quitting the guild.  The experience has freed me.  I am going to buy what I like from now on without stressing if the fabric is modern.  Keep in mind, I do know civil war fabric, depression era fabric, and most past eras of fabric.  I will do my best to pick modern fabric, but I am not going to be asking the staff at the store if my fabric is modern.  Those days are done.  If my block for the lottery does not "fit in" with the rest, I will give the winner my full permission to trash it. I will do my best to follow the guild rules, but it is not worth getting sick from stress.

Freedom has arrived.  It does feel good!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

New year, new experiences….

Another year has gone by in a blur, and a new one has begun.  I am working on new experiences, and getting "outside" of my box.  At the moment, blogging is the current new experience.  We shall see how this goes.