Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Quilt, childminding, rant

So I promised I would go into a few more details on making that awesome mammoth quilt for H, and I will, right now!

So it was born from my determination to create something for the wife to take to uni that involved lots of photos of some of the loveliest times we'd spent together. This felt particularly important to me, because she often creates beautiful memory books or collages of photos for people which have huge sentimental value, and I felt it was about time she had one. Also, I wanted to give her a present that really meant something. I already had the few little bits for her - clear nail polish; a book containing the word 'akimbo'; a tin full of carrot cupcakes (the recipe for which will be posted on here at some point); and some new socks. But all these bits, whilst having meaning, weren't really a big deal. And I wanted something lasting that she could keep with photos of us from some of the happiest moments. I'm such a sentimental flannel, aren't I? I wanted it to be different to the things she always did for people, though, because it wasn't about just copying her thoughtfulness, it was about showing her how much I cared. And, since I had such a big pile of sewing to do yet, it made sense to plonk a huge project at the top of the pile and give myself just four weeks in which to do it!

At first I thought I would have to order fabric printed with the pictures on it, since I had tried printing onto fabric and found that whilst it worked fine, it washed straight out. But when I looked at the cost of ordering the fabric to be done for me, it was ridiculous. To get different photos it looked like it was going to cost me 40p per cm, and I wanted pictures of different sizes, some as big as 6 inches square.

One of the 6 inch squares

Then I found this product that lot of blogs seemed to refer to when printing pictures onto fabric at home, Bubble Jet Set. So I order some and gave it a go, following the instructions on the bottle and advice from various blogs and websites that had experimented with it. It basically involved soaking your fabric in the Bubble Jet Set, allowing it to dry and then ironing it onto freezer paper and feeding it through a inkjet printer. Once you'd done that it needed hand washing to set the inks completely, and you had your pictures. I was actually really impressed with how it came out; it was just like fabric to the touch, soft, pliable, and the pictures looked really good, especially for something done at home.

I experimented with colours in the pictures to make sure they looked their best once they went onto fabric. This involved doing sheets with tiny versions of the pictures on to ensure they would look their best when I printed them in full size. I'd already done all of my setting squares and made the rest of the squares as far as I could without the pictures, which was just as well, because the process of getting the pictures onto fabric took quite a while. I did a few at a time to get it done faster, but it was the most time consuming part of it. I was very aware that I had a deadline, although i finished it about 10 days in advance of the deadline, which was brilliant.

I tried to vary the sizes of the photos and the way they looked to keep it interesting!
 I made the back from 3 colours: the brown of the setting squares, the cream for the background, and one of the teal shades. I then used teal thread and created a label for the back at my mum's suggestion. It simply said whom it was for and the date that it was made.I think it worked out pretty well, even if it was a little wonky in places!
  I then quilted it all together, and created a binding for the edge from some of the fabrics I'd used in the main part of the quilt, randomly mixed up. I did a decorative wave to sew the binding into place, because it's a safer option than trying to do invisible stitching with a machine. I chose the wave because I'd already used it in quilting on the border of the quilt, as well as some little hearts down the sides. And with that, it was done!

It meant a lot to me to do it myself for her, and put the work in. my mum kindly offered to help out, because it was a lot to do in four weeks, and we were both aware that I hadn't made any quilts before at all (!) but I told her that I wanted to do as much of it myself as possible. It was my work that had to go into, my love. And I achieved what I wanted to: I made a quilt that I felt was incredibly meaningful, at least to me, and every stitch that went into it was done by me, every part of it was done by me, right down to sandwiching the layers together and the ironing of every seam, even all the hand washing of the photo fabric! It truly was a labour of love.

The colour of the water after every hand wash
So that is the epic saga secret of my first quilt!

Other news I have is of the childminding I did. I enjoyed it immensely, and I managed fine the second week on my own, although i missed H a bit during nap time, when in the first week we had joked around and read aloud from books and just generally frolicked in our usual way. But the lovely couple I was childminding for really surprised me. I was aware that I was childminding for them because they had recently got a new childminder but she was on holiday almost straight away, which was when I was filling in. but the lovely couple said that the children had been so happy with me looking after them, and that the couple had been so pleased with the arrangement that they would like me to continue childminding for them for the rest of the academic year!! How about that! I naturally said 'YES!!!' and so they have just given the new childminder four week's notice, which means that in four weeks I start a new wonderful job looking after two beautiful children!! I can't wait, although it probably means that I'll have to leave my current job at Currys. But I don't mind, because the childminding will be more enjoyable, more fulfilling, and more valuable to me come next September! So yeah! Though I never expected it, I'm absolutely overjoyed at how that's panning out so far!

My last point today is a bit of a rant. I was out shopping with my dad this evening, just for groceries, you know, and he loaded the shopping into the car and I took the trolley back. The trolley bank was a bit messy, with trolleys not slotted into each other and taking up a lot of space, so I naturally sorted them and tidied them and slotted our trolley in and left it looking neat. About ten seconds after I'd done so, we were pulling out of our spot and a lady nearby took her trolley to the bank, seemed to be pushing it neatly into place, then left it unpushed in. What on earth!! She made it messy again all for the sake of saving two steps forward!! I do not understand! I had literally just tidied it up, it would have been no extra effort to put her trolley in neatly, but no, she was too lazy to take the two steps it would have taken to put her trolley in neatly! How rude! If there's one thing I cannot stand it's people who do not put their trolleys back where they belong neatly. It is unbelievably rude to just abandon your trolley, be that right where you parked int he middle of the car park, or at an angle in the trolley bank. It just shows laziness and ignorance and a lack of courtesy for anyone else. It's actually selfish in my mind. I had just made the effort, right in front of her, to sort the trolleys out and line them up again, and she had just made my work completely pointless. An adult woman, mark you, because adults are generally the ones doing the shopping that requires a trolley. How can they expect children to have good behaviour when they don't themselves? And how dare they complain about young people's behaviour when their own is so bad! It actually makes me really angry, because it is plain and simple rude. And because it's a rudeness and a laziness over something tiny! It takes almost no extra effort to do the right thing in this, and yet people still don't. It just really irks me is all!

That's all for tonight!

Love love xx

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