Category Archives: Life

It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

Happy 2014 everyone!  I’ve been fairly absent for a bit here.  First, trying to get Ryan’s Christmas present finished.   I almost made it on time!  Then catching up on the corporate books.  I don’t recommend a 5 month absence from those.   Ugh.

At the end of it all, he got his gift before New Year’s Eve, which considering all of the hurdles I cleared to do it, and the fact that I started it WAY too late, I’m accepting of.

I’m told that the significant other is often the last one to get a quilt.  Not in Ryan’s case.   He actually managed to get the second ever quilt I’ve made.

Continue reading It’s for you – not me – and other lessons learned

High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Ergonomics Part 2:  In the last article, we discussed why we need to pay attention to ergonomics.  Now I’d like to talk about some of the ways we can do this.

Most of the time, it’s little changes that we can make that are inexpensive, or even free.  Sometimes we can trade cost for a little sweat equity.

If you’re having trouble putting your finger on the cause(s) of your ergonomic pain, I suggest that you have a helper take a photo of you when you’re working at the machine(s) and then you can review your posture.  You’d be amazed at what you can pick out from a photo.

Continue reading High Enough – Ergonomics in your sewing room

Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Ergonomics Part 1: (This post ended up far longer than I’d intended (yeah, shocking, I know!), so I will split it into 2, and offer you part 2 tomorrow.)

Lately, I’ve noticed that I hunch a lot when I sew.  This is on the longarm or at the domestic machines.   The result of this is that I “hurt” and I can’t sew for long periods of time.  So I thought I’d talk today a little about ergonomics, both at the stand up and sit down types of machines and your cutting table. Continue reading Back in the Saddle – Take care of your back

Bad Seamstress Blues – Patchless darning is the same as free motion

The day I went to post bail for Lucey, it happened – riiiiiippppp.  Oh No!  My favorite jeans!  I’ve long since passed the age (and lost the figure) where I feel like I can get away with wearing ripped jeans, but patched jeans, especially form fitting ones are so uncomfortable.   I’ve used every sort of patch I can think of and they all leave a bump where they are and seem to chafe a little.  The best one to date though was a scrap of batik fabric.

The longer I quilt, the less I seem to be willing to “sew” – and that definitely includes darning – but not having an unlimited clothing budget means I don’t get to just throw out what has fallen apart at the seams or self destructed somewhere other than a seam.

Today, I want to talk about how to make darning a little less “horrible” for us quilters.

Ready?  Pretend you’re Continue reading Bad Seamstress Blues – Patchless darning is the same as free motion

Been a Long time – a new quilting studio!

For the last several weeks, I’ve been virtually absent from both any sewing projects and the Internet.  Other than answering urgent emails and the occasional post on the QB, I just haven’t been dedicating the time.

Why?  I decided to reorganize the basement.  Previously, it was a dumping ground for everything we didn’t want to look at anymore, but didn’t have time to get rid of.  There were 15 years of company and personal financials down there.  There were 16 parts sewing machines, 9 sewing cabinets, our old TV, actually, our last 2 tvs, and all manner of other things.  In addition to this, the webserver that serves archaicarcane.com to you lives down there, as does my very neglected wet darkroom.  All of it had to be put in order, and fast.

Why?  As some of you know, I created a space crisis in the house.

How?  I traded up.  No, not Ryan.  😉

I sold the Juki and frame and put that money toward a brand new …. Kangaroo! Continue reading Been a Long time – a new quilting studio!

I remember you – all of my pop culture references in one place

I’ve been meaning to do this post for a bit.  In fact, you may have seen me accidentally post it a month or so ago in its unfinished form.   A few times, I’ve alluded to the fact that many of my posts have a pop culture reference in the titles.  This is a list of those posts and links to their references on youtube.

And no, I don’t expect this to be one of my most popular posts at all. 😉

This one is more of a “Get to know me” post than a “let’s get greasy with Tammi” post.

Uh.  That sounded less weird and less vaguely creepy in my head….

There’s a lot of diversity here for a number of reasons.  Continue reading I remember you – all of my pop culture references in one place

Into the Labyrinth – quilt top is complete

This marks a real milestone for me.  A quilt I planned from the beginning.   One that needed to be a particular dimension, and had a destination from the outset.

Probably 9 months ago I said I wouldn’t make another quilt “as big” as the out of control lap quilt I did around Christmas last year.  Looking back, I think it’s because I didn’t love the quilt.  I don’t think I even liked it to be honest.  I found the piecing tedious and fiddly.  I found the repetition “offensive” to my eyes and mind.

I still don’t love it, but it is true when “they” say that quilting makes it a different quilt. I do enjoy the “homeyness” of the FMQ that I did on it, now that it’s washed.

My cousin, Jo said that we’d have to get me piecing, but I was happy just quilting on the frame.  I just kept thinking back to my “first quilt” and couldn’t get interested in that experience again.  Of course eventually it happened – I ran out of things to quilt.  Now what?  Continue reading Into the Labyrinth – quilt top is complete

Socialite – AA gets social!

Today, while perusing the site stats, I noticed that we’re suddenly getting a ton of hits from Facebook, Twitter and other sharing places.

A great big “Welcome!” to our new readers!!  This is so exciting!  I’m a closet introvert, but I just love that what I’m talking about is important to you, and I look forward to your comments and our discussions!

I humbly thank you very much for sharing this site with your friends.

In case you’re interested, here are our top 5 most popular articles as chosen by you, my lovely readers!! Continue reading Socialite – AA gets social!

Is there life out there?

I found this post yesterday while going through my drafts.  It’s about 4 months old, but I thought it still worth posting.  🙂  Today, the garden’s a disaster area – the rhubarb overtook everything, the zucchinis may have routed it finally, the tomatoes are enormous, the peppers are hot as h… well you know, and our Oregamint* is going like gangbusters.

*Oregamint.  What happens when you plant Oregano and mint too close together.  It seems that they might be cross breading, because some days I can’t tell which one I’ve picked.  Makes for some weird Mojitos and spaghetti both.  Works fine in salads though…

May 5, 2013

Yes!! Finally, yes.  Winter hopefully has taken its last kick at us, with the 4 – 6″ of snow we got on Monday (Ryan was driving in a whiteout while the radio stations were reporting “light flurries”), I’m officially so done with Winter, I may up and move if I see any more flurries in the next 6 months.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for tenacity, but I think it’s time for spring.

What better way to show that spring has arrived, and “life” is out there, than spotting these in the garden?

Continue reading Is there life out there?

You’re the Inspiration – Seeing it in everything

A few weeks ago, I attended the Festival of Quilts in Edmonton.  The quilts were breathtaking.  For a newbie like me, possibly a little intimidating too.  I know I should be inspired by them and I think I was to a large degree but there was definitely a note of intimidation there too.  I must keep reminding myself that I’m new to this.  I can count the time I’ve been quilting in months, not years.

While I was there, I took advantage of the fact that there were vendors there I wouldn’t normally see, and snooped like crazy.  I am really proud of myself, I managed to make it out of there for less than $60, with two books and a handful of business cards for companies I may have to be in touch with.  Continue reading You’re the Inspiration – Seeing it in everything