Thursday, 4 April 2013

Putting the P.L.A.N. into action ...

I've been having a devil of a time with this blog.  For months, MONTHS, I couldn't upload pictures which is why this post from January is now being posted in April.  But I'm posting it anyway because it wasn't a case of neglect; just a case of writing stuff and then not being able to post it.  Pah ... more to follow shortly.

I hope that all of you are having a very good 2013 so far.  This is a picture of the Play-doh exploits of my nephews at New Year.  As you can see, the year got off to a good and creative start.  The squashed figure lying down is, apparently, Batman and the other thing is a tortoise.  My niece wasn't keen on me having any to play with so the piglet in the background is what I could muster with the blob I was given.  It's a bit pathetic I know but I did enjoy having a muck about with the stuff. 

Aside from the usual new year issues – boilers breaking down, car lights going kaput etc - Project New Year is fully underway and I’m determined to get an Etsy store up and running.

Last week I sat down and made a list of all the things I’ve got to do to fulfil my resolutions.  I do love a list.  A plan makes me feel like I’m taking charge rather than lurking vaguely in the way of opportunities, hoping that they find me. 

The plan includes the usual type of things – modernise the blog, take better pictures and start getting more thorough with images of the things I make (e.g. tutorials etc).  I’ve got to overcome my fear of technology and embrace the idea of getting photographs off my camera to edit them instead of using them as is from the Blackberry.  Finally I’ve got to make some stock to sell on Etsy.

With that in mind I drew a template of a purse yesterday and then had a bash at making it.  As you can see this one is too long (or other options are: (i) the bottom hasn’t been made fat enough or (ii) if it was longer it could be a retro glasses case) but I think it’s on the right track and it’s fixable.  There are a few things I’ll do differently next time – start sewing further up the sides at the outset to neaten up the outside edges for example, either make it bigger or smaller so it's either a cosmetic bag or a coin purse  – but it’s a decent start.
I’m also working on a design for a knitted hat/headband/turban style whatnot; and finishing off the hand quilting on a baby quilt - this is made of organic wool felt blanketing for the back (on which I'm hand quilting) and then brushed cotton fleece from the Village Haberdashery. 

Front of the quilt

The hand quilting on the back
In due course, the Etsy shop will take shape.  Although probably not for the next few months.  At the moment, I'm stuck on names.  Do I stick with Modern Margo or think of something else?  Lots of things to ponder before I get stuck in but I will get there slowly...

Hooray for overlocking

I bought an overlocker before Christmas.  Nothing says thrift like buying presents for oneself.  I went to John Lewis and hey presto I had a lovely little Janome 9200D overlocker clutched in my happy paws.  It's an entry level model so great for someone new to overlocking.  My concern is that, a bit like my Janome 525s, which is a fantastic machine, I may outgrow the overlocker before it has come to the end of its natural life.  Anyway, that's what eBay is for and then I have the joy of looking into a new machine in due course, and preferably one with a long-arm option for quilting because I'm rather limited with the size of my quilts at the moment. 

Anyway, that's hardly the point.  John Lewis offers a 45 minute lesson into threading the blasted thing.  I would say 45 minutes of furrowed brow thinking - those machines are NOT easy to thread.  Even with the apparently colour coded guide, all of a sudden another threading point would loom out or, worse, be crucial but be tucked inside the belly of the machine.  I suddenly could understand why the kit came with tweezers (the sort you normally have for cake making or, I imagine, removing sutures from a resected aorta or similar).  Those looming bits, they weren't always colour coded. 

After two attempts it was threaded and actually while it is initially perplexing, once you've done it a couple of times it does make sense.  The end result is so neat and lovely that it's totally worth it.

Also, is it wrong to be slightly in love with a storage solution.  Or a "so wrong it's right" sort of love?  How amazing are these and they're in the sale.  Too too lovely.