Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Putting the Wheels in Motion

I have been putting the wheels in motion to start my new business venture. I have to say, I am really starting to get excited about it. I love the idea of running my own business and not reporting to anyone else but me. Tenth Street Textiles officially became a business on Friday when I submitted the paperwork for recording at the courthouse. 

I am busy working on a new blog, www.tenthstreettextiles.blogspot.com, and new Etsy shop, tenthstreettextiles.etsy.com. Bank accounts have been opened. Orders for materials have been placed. And I have even ordered some necessary manufacturing equipment - a Singer 201-2 from the 1950s. Built like a tank and can sew through just about anything I'll throw at it. 

This is going to be good. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shear Fun this Weekend on the Prairie

If you are in the area, don't miss Shear Fun on the Prairie this weekend. You'll find me in the Loom House.

To Hell in a Handbag

Over the years I've noticed that the circumstances surrounding my life have a funny way of dictating which path I will take, regardless of which direction I may think I want to go. For the most part I guess that it has all turned out okay. I'll admit I do tend to be a little bull-headed at times, so a higher power forcing my hand probably isn't a bad thing.

Plagued with chronic pain for the past year, I've had to reevaluate things once again. Since December I have been poked, prodded and probed more than I care to admit and so far we have determined I definitely have an autoimmune disease. Of course, being the non-conformist that I am, my symptoms do not fit neatly into any one category. For now it seems like both lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. That is until a month ago when I noticed my brain had taken on the properties of a slow-cooker. Most days I have a burning feeling along with building pressure in my head. It is maddening. MADDENING. The ENT specialist found that I have, "crazy-good, off the chart, dog-like hearing," but noted nothing that would indicate it was anything other than autoimmune issues. So I will soon add even more drugs to the fist-full of pills I am already popping every day. Of course, none of these drugs have side effects such as, "May cause extreme sexiness and euphoria."

The symptoms come and go and for the most part I seem to feel better in the evenings. I have realized I have to reconsider my work schedule. No matter that I enjoy the work, my day job at Main Street has to go. I need to rest when I need to rest and work when I am up to it. What I really need is to be self-employed. I really enjoy working with the shops and boutiques downtown. Our downtown is the third most visited venue in the county just under Klipsch Music Center and Conner Prairie. We are really lucky to have such a wonderful place for artists and makers to peddle their wares. So I've decided to become one of those makers.

I got the idea when I made a quicky diaper bag for my daughter, (she is becoming a foster parent and needed one in a hurry.)

She told me what colors she wanted in the late afternoon and before I went to bed that night I had the bag finished and ready.

Bags are fun to make. I think it might be because of the endless possibilities and fairly instant satisfaction--being a short-term project. I plan to start small, selling a few here and there until I get this whole brain burning situation under control. Eventually though my goal is to have a vendor space in one of the shops downtown. I figure if my body is going to hell, it might as well go in a fashionable handbag. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Giving a Quilt is Like Giving a Hug That Never Stops

I really have been busy working away in the studio. I've just been working on some really slow to materialize projects and top-secret gifts. I have been waiting to show this one for a while. As soon as I found out my coworker was due to bring a little one into this world I knew I wanted to use some 30s prints for a quilt. I found a photo on Pinterest of a quilt using this pattern. Sadly there was no link so I had to do some internet sleuthing to figure out where the pattern came from. Eventually I was  able to determine that the pattern name was X-Rated, which as you can imagine made the internet search far more interesting! So in the interest of helping out my fellow man, I am going to provide a direct link to Carrie Nelson's Schnibbles Times Two book where you can find the pattern--much safer that way.  I made my version of the small quilt larger than what the book called for to more of a crib-size quilt. 

I lined the back with a fun scotty dog print and my friend Michele worked her magic on the quilting. 

She always does such a fantastic job with her long arm, like in this Civil War throw I made for my son. The shape she used echoes the shape of the flower on one of the prints.

I picked this throw-size kit up at a quilt show in Tennessee a couple years ago. I kind of liked the quilt top when I finished piecing it but I didn't love it. The quilting makes all the difference in the world. 

I like the 150th anniversary fabric for the back. It helps make this a manly quilt.

A third quilt is in the process of binding. I hope by mentioning that here, it will push me to get it finished. I actually enjoy binding a quilt. It might even be my favorite part as there is such a sense of accomplishment with it.