Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


February 8, 2011

I’m settled into my new place and just waiting until I get paid to treat myself to some internet service. I’ve been making do at cafes. A few photos out of context are all you’ll get until I’m hooked up!


Modern Home Goods

January 24, 2011

My inspiration collage:

When I was just a knitter and a blog reader I stumbled across the nifties made in a previous round of this swap. Modern Home Goods. It made me want to sew. it made me want to hoard all the beautiful scraps of the beautiful fabrics. It mae me crave adorable patchwork-and-linen sewing accessories. I feel like one of the big kids to have been let into this round. My partner is about to get washed in color and Russian Dolls.

Such beauty, such kindness

January 17, 2011

Part of my haul from the Modern Stash Quilting Bee. Shitdamn, I’m a lucky woman.

Real new beginnings

January 16, 2011

I find it odd to turn away from a photo-heavy posting habit in favor of only words. My camera is packed in a box because I am moving. On new years day my partner and I split. I feel so many things but relief and freedom seem to be highest on the list. I’m heartbroken that I’m not greeted by my marshmallow of a pitbull every time I turn my key. I’m basking in the fresh feeling of my old life.

My life, it turns out, fits in a SRO or Single Room Occupancy unit. It’s the sort of place my 14-year-old self dreamed of finding in my future hipurban life. In those days I was a brainy country kid discovering The Beats and Bob Dylan. I imagined torrid love affairs and art and endless cups of coffee and big ideas that could change the world. I craved intellectual conversations with my fellow globetrotting starving poets.

There’s a little less romance in the poverty for me now, but I’m largely the same dreamer. I love my little room. I love the quiet and the independence and the satisfaction of simple living. I even love the “bring your own tp” policy in the communal bathrooms. I’m about to be reunited with my books, my camera, and my sewing machine. Then, the real fun begins.


December 31, 2010

I feel immensely excited about a new year. 2010 was many things. The good was very good and the bad was, well, awful.

It was the first full year I spent with my true love. He had two major heart surgeries and many more minor procedures to correct a congenital heart defect. We moved in together which has been both hard for the conflicts and wonderful for every other reason. I nearly melted last week when my unsentimental lover said, “the best part of the day is when you come home.”

He’s a keeper.

I made things. so many things. I taught myself to quilt, and in a haze of pain and painkillers, my darling announced that he wanted to learn, too. It’s been such a fun thing to do together.

I lost an uncle and, on Christmas Eve, a mentor. I’m just beginning to wrap my head around losing Kevin. He is one of the precious friends I’ve had since moving to San Francisco and finding the most unbelievable group of hard-fighting, loving, passionate, activists. My political home is my whole life and Kevin will be missed by all of us, by the local immigrant’s rights movement, the educator’s union he organized in, and the special ed classes he taught.

I’m ready for a new year. I’m ready to make plans with my healing darling, to start grad school in the fall, to knit, to sew, to feed my hungry people, and to see what’s in store.

And on towards the new year

December 28, 2010

I’m very happy that Christmess is over. My favorite part is giving gifts and I’m still unclear on why my atheist ass should have to wait until teenagers have dragged themselves out of bed to do it.

All told, though, I had a lovely holiday. My darling and I went to his parents’ house in Tahoe for a few days. I got to meet his friends, who are the sort of loud country boys that take me home to my childhood in Vermont. I loved them and their trucks and their board games and beer.

Now we’re back in The City and ready for a new year. My resolutions? Last year was the year of the quilt. The year before was sweaters. This year I want to build my quilting skills and stash at the same time that I clear out yarn I don’t like from my knitting stash. I also want to focus on fixing my back.

Finally out!

December 11, 2010

Here’s my entry into the My Faborite Little Quilt Swap of flickr!


October 14, 2010

I’ve been a little distracted from making things lately.

It’s a good kind of distraction. She’s almost a year old, a blue nosed pit pull. Snuggly love.

What Must Be Replaced

September 5, 2010

My apologies for the lateness of this installment. It took a while to work out my method.

When I assessed the quilt for damage I identified 14 areas that needed to be replaced. Most of these were a result of the fabric shredding, a few places were because of stains. This quilt is 100% y-seams and none of the pieces seem to be standard size. Challenges.

Here’s my method, in painstaking detail. It’s based on a paper piecing method, which would be how I would approach making a quilt with this pattern.

Here’s what you need:

Good sewing scissors, needle and thread, tape, replacement fabric, and pattern pieces cut from cardboard for each piece of patchwork to be replaced. I traced a few pieces from various parts of the quilt, averaged, and made them uniform in size and shape. Most important were that the points of contact matched. Also, cut to finished size, no seam allowances.

They were cut with paper scissors. My Gingers used on paper turns into my Gingers used on eye sockets. That’s a different story.

Tape doughnut on a pattern piece, tape to wrong side of fabric, trim 1/2 inch around.

Then thread your needle, turn the pieces over, and tack the seam allowances down at the corners. I found that two tight nips into the same spot – catching both fold and surface – were perfect to keep it all in place.

The sharper angles of the petals needed a little more origami.

Lather, rinse, repeat. You’ll see how important it is to anchor the paper pieces to the fabric when you’re tugging things around and trying to keep the angles true.

Once you have all your pieces covered with fabric you can sew them together.

Hold two pieces with the right sides facing and take tiny nips above the paper.

Work around. Once one edge of a piece has been sewn to something you’ll have to work with it on the same plane as the rest of your work. Fine an efficient hand placement to keep everything stable. Also, cheat your thread around to the best place possible to sew things continuously. You’ll avoid gaps at the corners.

Aaaand finally

Now it’s ready to be placed into the quilt.

I snipped out the shredded star. That is Ginger-appropriate scissoring. With my quilt I had to walk a line between removing every fiber and not snipping the intact fabric and stitching. Luckily, the previous quilter found it necessary to knot off between each segment.

Once the damaged fabric is gone you can start at any point that looks good. Hold the new piece against the intact surface it will connect to and stitch as before. Pins or cardboard stabilization aren’t necessary here because you’re working against the long-ago creased seam. Make sure the points are lined up.

Work your way around. Stabilize corners and pop paper pieces out as soon as they have been fully stitched in. Any sooner and you’ll lose the clean line they provide. Once they’re out you’ll find maneuvering to be much easier.


We’ve been out

July 14, 2010

I just moved. I spent two and a half years in a fun little place in an active neighborhood with a clown car approach to roommates. After a few months of living in two places I finally moved in with my darling. He keeps fish and keeps gardens and I love the new digs. We’ve got cuteness spilling out of our room:

It’s still cluttered from the moving process but it’s ours. The vegetable garden is his. I’m as much in love with the garden as I am with the gardener.

It’s all zucchini and bush beans until fall.