Wednesday, October 22, 2008

More Sewing. And More Tantrums

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today has been all around awesome. Don’t get me wrong, Ardyn was still onery and throwing tantrums at the drop of a hat, but we made it through.

Of course we had her Dermatologist appointment. I was able to talk to my friend Carrie in Alaska on the phone for a while around lunchtime, while she is home recovering from shoulder surgery. She has a two year old so it’s great to hear her perspectives on things like potty training and how she deals with a 2 year old with one arm. He he.

Ardyn’s appointment went well, although the tantrums in the waiting room were quite interesting. We ended up waiting outside the waiting room in the hallway until our turn. I also had the pleasure of sitting on the floor of the handicap stall in the restroom changing her diaper because there was nowhere else to do it. Ugh. No public restroom is complete without a diaper changing station. Seriously. The dermatologist took one look at her and said “It’s Eczema” just as I predicted. So we got some bath oil and a prescription for an ointment called – oh crap, what’s it called? I want to say Mimzy but that’s a stupid movie. Moxy? No. Something like that. The pharmacy had to order it and it should be in tomorrow and I am preparing for a heart attack when we hear something like “your insurance won’t cover this” and I already had them order it and well, you can just envision it.

So after the doctor visit, despite her tantrums (and the tantrum she threw the LAST time we had to wait to have fabric cut in JoAnn Fabrics) I decided to brave the obvious disaster ahead because I wanted fabric damn it! Not Wal-Mart Fabric. I wanted to go to a fabric store and be amazed and confused and enthralled by all the colors and textures. I want to make her a combination blanket and quilt for her toddler bed to match her room. I want it to be warm enough that she doesn’t need an additional blanket, pretty enough that she doesn’t need a coverlet and it matches her décor, withstanding enough that I am not worried about washing it at the drop of a hat, soft and cuddly, and inexpensive. Those are a lot of demands, so I decided to make my own. I have the quilt and such that came with the crib set, but it really does not match AT ALL with the new room and it matches the baby room and we just needed to do something Cool for the big girl room.

Now mind you, I had no pattern. I just took measurements of the toddler bed and guessed at how much fabric I would need to make some time of joined block “Quilt.” Something without the quilting was my plan. I ended up picking fleece for the colors, softness, warmth, durability, ease of sewing, and COST… it was all 50% off or 2.99 a yard this week. Whoo-Hoo! And can you believe it! I bought FOUR colors for the front blocking and I used all but seriously like a 5 inch strip of each color. Talk about perfect estimates! LOL. I also got a striped fleece for the backside. Something fun. It could be reversible but I really just want her to see something fun under there. I am worried that I might get the room too busy, what with all the patterns and bright colors, but the walls are white, so it should turn out okay.

I also got a 27 inch (huge square, fluffy) pillow form that I intend to cover with some plushy fabric that I bought on sale also today. The pillow form was on sale for $9.99 (way cheap) and then I got it for 50% off with my coupon, so awesome. $5 for a floor pillow? Sure thing. I know that Ardyn and I will want something to sit on when on the floor and this is perfect. I grabbed some elastic to make her sheets with, and I am prepping the twin sized sheet set that I just took out of the package tonight. I can’t believe I am going to cut up a brand new sheet set. LOL. It makes me worry that I will screw up. Knock on wood… I don’t screw up too often.

Tonight Lisa stopped by to see the new room in progress. I bought a bunch of yarn a long time ago from Joann to make a blanket to match for the twin bed, and gave it to her a while ago because she is super crochet-chick and devotes not only more time to it, but actually finishes a project. So she was talking about the cool weather being “crochet season” and came over to see the room and be inspired to create something fabulous. I am not sure if she left inspired, but I always like to see her anyway. She got to see the rug and bedding and stuff.
After she left, I set in with designing a simple block “quilt” on graph paper, and then colored it according to what fabric I had. It ended up with 54 squares. 6” finished and 7” with seam allowances. I cut out all the squares (Thank God for the person who invented a mat and rotary cutter) and then Ardyn and I went to the basement with my graphed “map” of the quilt and I blocked it all together on the serger. Of course with one strip left to put together, the serger started acting up on me. It does this thing that I thought I had figured out. It somehow gets snagged and the right needle ceases to stitch properly, and I have this long straight line of thread that sits on top of the fabric and isn’t being included in my chain. For a while I was able to rethread the needles and it would fix itself, and I could even snip the long thread in the middle of stitching and it would correct itself till I could get to the end. Now rethreading needles is not doing anything.

Seriously, I ended up rethreading the entire serger (ugh) from scratch three times, until I wanted to scream…. And it was still doing it. I know the culprit is that right side thread, whether it be upper or lower, I can’t pinpoint because I rethreaded the whole serger. I can’t see where any spool isn’t feeding equally, and I dusted the whole thing off (fleece is really really fuzzy.) I ended up piecing the last strip and the rest of the patchwork top together on the sewing machine. So the whole top is completed. I am so thrilled. In some ways it’s perfect. In other ways it isn’t fancy enough and I know any quilter would go “whatever” but I have looked at it long enough that I am just indifferent to it. Hoping tomorrow night to put the fleece back on it, and not sure if I am going to stitch in a few places to secure the layers together like a quilt, or let it be. My current plan is to sew it right sides together on three sides and then turn it, and then apply coordinating blanket binding to the topside after sewing together the raw edges to close it. I have the blanket binding that I put on the edges of the matching pillowcases, and I think it will give the bed a soft and comfy look that will not look as stuffy as a quilt.
As for the serger, I am tempted to call Singer tomorrow, but since I just have a cell phone I will have to carry the serger upstairs in order to do it. Not that it’s heavy, but what a pain in the ass! (the cell phone has no reception in the basement.) So even with the Serger problems, it took me about 3 hours from start to finish, designing, drawing, cutting, piecing, and joining the strips to finish the entire front. Not bad at all for a first! I have made quilted pillow fronts in like 15 and 20” sizes, but this was a first of anything else.
I have of course taken pictures and it is KILLING ME to not be online right now to post them to share. I hate writing this and having to wait to post everything. How Droll.
Have a great night.

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