Friday, April 26, 2013

So, BUT So...

Look, two in a row! (SHHH, don't tell you that I wrote this as part of yesterday's post and it was so long I broke it up and scheduled this one.  I'm NOT currently in The Big City getting tires put on my car and doing some shopping.)

I'm currently working on a project (see? that's what I'm doing right now!) that will possibly take into the next century to finish and I have banned myself from doing other projects until it's done because it's like motivation to get it done.  Except I'm not so sure the ban is working.

I got a serger for Christmas and I LOVE it but I didn't know much about how to use it, other than to finish edges.  Then, I found an AWESOME class on Craftsy done by Amy Alan called Beginner Serging (that I got on sale!) and I have totally fallen IN LOVE with my serger.

I put the class on hold because I don't have the decorative threads I want for the last two projects and began planning my living room curtains.  I had fabric left from the pillows I made, some brown canvas from another project, a burgundy canvas I'd bought for something else and then changed my mind about, and lots of fabric samples from a friend that was organizing a drapery shop and was getting rid of the outdated samples (or something like that).  So, I had lots of little pieces and some bigger pieces of many different but coordinating fabrics and I wanted to make a larger piece out of it.

(The remainder of this post is an odd cause and effect repetition that started out unintentional and for some reason, I can't stop.)

So, I decided to try my hand at quilting.  (Something along the lines of "I can sew, how hard can it really be?! may or may not have gone through my head.  I plead the fifth.)  Not really quilting, actually.  Piecing a quilt top that I have no intention of turning into a quilt.

BUT you have to be crazy superwoman perfect with cutting for this to work out.

So, I cheated.  I bought a 12 1/2 by 12 1/2 inch ruler.

BUT some of the samples were not that big.

So, I decided that all pieces should be exactly 12 1/2" wide and the length was just whatever.

BUT some of the samples were not even that big.

So, I had to sew pieces together and then cut them into the base 12 1/2" wide size.  Since my serger was all set up and I am now totally in love with it, I just had to use the serger to make the squares.  I'm not sure what was up with the tension (I suspect I didn't have one of the needle threads all the way into the tension disk, Amy would be so proud I figured that out) but when I went to press the square, it had a faux flatlock
(the link is a real flatlock) look.

BUT it looked really cool.

So, I decided to go with it.  Anyways, I did this to a HUGE pile of fabric. Until I thought I had enough squares.  Some were very simple (12 1/2 by 12 1/2 brown canvas, for example), some a little more busy (12 1/2 by 12 1/2 floral, stripes, paisley, etc., for example), and some a little complicated (the whole "sewn together" ones).  Then I laid them out on the curtain panels I was using as a base size and also plan to use as the back lining.

BUT I was a few short.

So, I went back to the cutting.  I laid them all out again and got them how I wanted (colors fairly evenly spaced, not too plain or too busy, not too visually heavy in spots, between each curtain and each "stripe" of the curtain) and sewed those squares together.

BUT I had used my serger for something else (before I made the rule about not doing anything else until the curtains are done!) and now it was serging regular (no threads showing on top when I pressed the piece.)

So, I played with the tensions until it looked the same (added a page to my Stitch Book! Amy would be so proud!) and sewed all the strips together.  This was incredibly tedious.  It turns out not everything was EXACTLY 12 1/2 inches no matter how careful I tried to be.  I actually had to pin things.  And be specific.  It got done though, somehow.  Then, I laid them back on my liners to start deciding where to put each "strip."

BUT then I realized three across was not quite wide enough.

So, I went away and may have cried a little.

BUT that got nothing accomplished and really want to finish them.

So, I came up with a solution.  Using the "main" fabrics (the ones I used for the pillows plus the burgundy and brown canvas) and my 3 by 18" ruler (I did math first, but I was pretty determined to make it work with a ruler I already had so I didn't have to do special measuring) I cut enough fabric to make 2 skinny strips to go between the 3 fat strips.  And then I sewed all THOSE together into strips.

BUT then I couldn't decide how to arrange them all, especially since it was hard to see all of it at once because nowhere in my house is really big enough to put four curtain panels down on the floor at once without moving furniture.  Plus I was being super indecisive.

So, I took the whole project up to church one Saturday night and had a couple youth girls help me place all the strips. I was excited at this point, thinking I was surely more than halfway done.  (Somehow, I can't seem to remember that I'm basically making my own fabric and, once that's done, I actually have to turn that fabric into the curtains still...)  "We" (read "someone else came up with this idea and I'm totally taking credit") were super smart and realized we could roll the fabric strips up in the curtains to keep everything in its place.  I took it home and, even though it was late, rolled a curtain out, intending to start sewing strips together.

BUT I realized that the strips needed to be slightly larger than the liner and the fat strips were just a hair too short.  And since it was rather late (and I truly want them to be as long as possible), I decided to add length to the fat strips instead of taking length off the liner.  It may have been a moment of insanity because I feel compelled to continue now.

So, I added the length and sewed one skinny strip to one fat strip before I couldn't keep going.  I rolled it back up so it wouldn't get destroyed laying on the floor, fully intending to work on it again Sunday.

BUT I didn't.  And then Monday was the first day of the Bible study I started having weekly at my house and I wanted my whole house to be clean to make a good first impression (so that I could subsequently slack off).

So, I cleaned rather than crafted.  I hate those days.  Which is probably why my house is never disgusting but it never all clean at the same time.  Tuesday I had time to sew.

BUT my house was actually clean and I didn't want to mess it up! (Also, I was exhausted because April has been a bat-crap-crazy kind of month and I'm thinking things are speeding up instead of slowing down!)

So, after several days (or, you know, maybe a week, who can be sure?), I began again.

BUT I only got as far as finishing the "fabric" for one panel and then I fizzled out again. : )

I'm blaming the fact that I wanted to switch quickly between my serger and sewing machine and that it was too hard, but just tonight Robert helped me hang the corner shelf that frees up more desk space and allows me to run ALL THREE machines at once (if I were so talented) so, in the future, that can no longer be an excuse...

Branalyn