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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Opening Day Should Be in April

Friday? March? Really? The season isn't long enough already? Let's not wait for the first Monday in April. Next thing you know, they'll introduce some stupid rule to let another player hit for the pitcher. Oh. Yeah. That stupid DH rule.

Well. At least the Reds are playing at home. Some traditions haven't been throw out. Yet. Versus the Brewers. Not a made-for-tv matchup. I realize that. And the game isn't on ESPN. ESPN, you suck! Who cares about drawing a large audience? I'm a REDS FAN! And like the other five Reds fans in Nebraska, I can't see a Reds game on tv. EXCEPT ON OPENING DAY! Thanks, ESPN, for screwing up the entire start of the season for me. You suck!
I'm going to drown my baseball sorrows by watching a triple-header. And while I watch, I'm going to work on my Baseball Bucket List. The baseball Fan's Bucket List, 162 Things You Must See, Do, Get & Experience Before You Die, by Robert Santelli & Jenna Santelli. I know I can check off a bunch of them. I've seen Major League and The Natural, collected baseball cards, kept score, owned a glove. And more from the list. And today, I'm going to document those. I'm going to remember Pacific Coast League games and learning to keep score in high school. I'm going to make some plans to read some baseball books. I'm going to wallow in baseball, since I can't watch my beloved Reds play.

Play Ball!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Transfers and Toasters

Recent finds include DuBarry 1268B, which is a set of nautical themed transfers, Advance 722, Appliance Covers and Simplicity 2328, toys.

Nautical motifs in the ever popular red, white and blue combination carry a sporting note on bathing suits, blouses, beach ensembles, daytime frocks, accessories, and children's garments. They make a decorative design for pillow tops, drapes, etc. Doesn't that pattern description say it all? I want to wear a frock or a beach ensemble!

I love patterns for covering kitchen appliances! Never mind that I have never owned a rotisserie, I've always had a hand mixer because I yearn for a Kitchen Aid blender in a fabulous color and I buy potholders because I love their fabric, not because they match anything in my kitchen! Isn't the fabric fab?

I always save the best for last! According to the pattern, these are pillows, not toys. Simple to make playmate pillows! So cute! I may make a couple of these before I post this pattern for sale!

On Being Expensive

This past weekend, I spent quite a bit of time preparing a quote for Potential Client. The project was to make and quilt a quilt designed by Potential Client, plus write pattern instructions for said quilt. After I submitted my quote, I was told that it was four times their budgeted amount. There wasn't THAT much wiggle room, so we parted amicably, me thinking Potential Client's budget was unrealistic and Potential Client thinking I was too expensive.

Was I too expensive? I checked in with Experienced Quilter Friend to see if my estimation of time to piece a complicated block were within reason. It was. I reviewed my calculations. My time estimates are reasonable for sewing the quilt blocks. Ditto for assembling the top.

Quilting calculations are easy using my standard charges for custom quilting based on size of Potential Client's design.

Writing instructions for a pattern is HARD and time consuming. Don't think so? Here's what is involved: Write instructions. Edit for clarity and order. Edit for simplicity. Edit for spelling. Add illustrations? Check instructions (best done by someone OTHER than the writer!).

Here's what goes through my head to write instructions for a simple 9-patch: Start by choosing fabric. Nine patch is best with contrast, so a dark & a light. Let's see, I want it to be 9" finished. So each square has to be 3" in the finished block. Add seam allowances, which means they need to be cut 3.5". I need to show a block diagram. How do I draw that? Black & white will be ok. Maybe I can find a color image somewhere online. Ready to write?

1. Choose 2 fabrics, one dark, one light.
2. From dark fabric, cut five 3.5" squares.
3. From light fabric, cut four 3.5" squares.
4. Arrange squares as shown in diagram.
5. Sew, pressing toward dark fabric.

Writing and editing those 5 lines took me about 10 minutes. What you see is the final result, all cleaned up and ready to use. Are you ready to try writing instructions? Try this at home: Write instructions for sewing a Y-seam block. How long did it take you?

I expect to earn a reasonable wage for my time, based on my experience and skill level. I'm willing to ask for it. And I'm willing to walk away from jobs that don't reward me for what I bring.

I'm easy, but I'm not cheap. I don't think that's a bad thing. Rant over.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Extra Bits and Pieces

Vintage pattern collectors often find bits and pieces in the patterns. An extra tissue piece, unlabeled cut-offs from a skirt, cloth cut and pinned to a pattern piece. We always hope that our pattern is complete, but sometimes the extras are as much fun as the pattern! I love finding old newspaper with vintage patterns. Sometimes there is an entire page, usually the newspaper has been used to cut a pattern. If I'm lucky, the printed material on the newspaper is sewing or clothes or quilt related. If I'm really lucky, it is dated! I have a couple examples of these to share today.

A newspaper pattern is always fun to find tucked inside a pattern envelope. Sometimes they go with the pattern, sometimes they don't. This one didn't! Because the dates rarely are on these pieces, I find clues in the ads and stories. This bodice pattern has ads for summer clothes. Blouses for 57¢! Summer purses for 77¢! Did someone make a summer blouse?

My next newspaper lined the bottom of a box of vintage sewing items I found at a yard sale. The newspaper is The Columbus Ohio Citizen Journal, dated Jan 1, 1965. The front page of the two-page spread includes stories of Vietnam and the 1964 Men of the Year. Inside, more news, plus the tv guide (three channels!) listings for the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. AM Radio listings: Farm Time, Dick Clark. You could listen to Dateline RFD on WLW-700, Book in Review and Bookstall on WOSU-820.

I saved the best for last! The back is a full page Lazarus ad. Along with ads for lamp shades and original oil paintings was an ad for a White console sewing machine for $84. Make monthly payments of $5. The sewing machine was also available as a portable, complete with case for $64. A related ad for wool fabric with rayon-tricot bonded linings included line drawings of Vogue 1305 (dress), Vogue 6238 (jumper-skirt) and Vogue 1434 (suit). Lazarus, 5th floor.

I don't remember the patterns that came with these two newspaper pieces, but they evoke childhood memories of Lazarus, of 1965, watching the Rose Bowl Parade. What fun!