Monday, September 03, 2007

InStitches: August

Dear Donk,

I want to talk seriously about something here: Masking tape.

Masking tape and its unending usefulness in this month's project. When the pattern called for masking tape to mark out the quilting lines I shrugged my shoulders, gave the whale eye to the book and marched off to the garage thinking to myself, "Well, when it looks fucked up, I'll just say the book told me to do it."

I like to place blame elsewhere whenever possible.

When I sat down at the machine with the makings for two potholders (why can't I just make one? why make it hard?) and my roll of masking tape I did not have high hopes. But I also didn't have to spend one hundred years measuring and marking dumb lines on the fabric with my semi-broken marking pen, so I was willing to take a shortcut, if only because the book toldmeso.

Well, HELLO, it totally friggen works so much better! At first I was leery. Maybe the tape would fail me. Maybe it would somehow stop working and making straight guiding lines as I moved across the fabric. Maybe it would clog up my machine somehow (remember, vinyl? I'm still afraid). Maybe the adhesive would rub off on the fabric and then it would catch all manner of funk and become hideously ugly before I was even ready to put on the bias tape. Maybe the sky would fall.

And you know what? None of these horrible scenarios befell me or the potholders. The tape was a genius plan. GENIUS!

I made straight, evenly spaced quilting lines. Oh que milagro.

Do you know what is not genius? The marking and measuring and using of the half-broken fabric pen backintheday when we were making the Quilted Sleeping Mask. Do you know how much time this would have saved me?

So much time.

It was at this moment, when I realized how inefficient my first quilting project had been, that I got that icky creepy sneaky feeling that one gets as a child when one feels that they have been hoodwinked into doing something *fun* that turns out to be something *educational*.

You know.

Like playing a video game only to find out that, HEY! Why does the goose have to go from one room to the next making sure to get only the exact amount of eggs in her basket (My first computer was a Commodore 64, people, there weren't a lot of games)? This isn't right. They're making me do math here! Abort!

I was told there would be no math.

Anyway, that is the exact feeling that I got when I thought, "Hmmm...I wonder why we didn't use this method for the quilting mask. That would have made it wicked easy. I would not have hated that project oh so much. It would have been rad."

And then, "Damnit. I bet she was trying to make me learn. Damn."

So, whatever. I suppose I had to learn how to make dumb quilting lines the *proper* way, by using a big awkward quilting ruler on my too-small table with my broken (have I mentioned it's broken, because it is.) fabric pen leaving blobs of ink everywhere.

But now I know. And in the future I will be using only the Masking Tape Method for quilting. Because it's easy, I'm lazy and it involves ZERO math.

Ta da.

Also, let's talk big fancy winner of the month: Elemental Stitches

Because, come on, that is a fabulous fabric combination and an excellent execution. Plus, PLUS she had the balls to use contrasting thread to sew on the bias tape. Whoa - that is life on the edge, folks.

So, Ms Elemental Stitches, would you please send me your name and home address to finnyknits AT gmail DOT com so that I may send you your prize? Yes, thank you.

And, Donk, now that you're home from your travels, you can choose our September project. I plan to work on it while watching football because I will be watching football night and day thanks to the fact that we now have the Sports Package in HD and I can see every single NFL game (including stupid pre-season) AND every single MLB game.

Oh yes. It is ON.

Miss you,


  1. Congratulations to Ms Elemental Stitches--her project is awesome and I am so tickled that she is August's big winner.

    Your own project looks like a winner, too, and I enjoyed your little commentary about the quilting lines technique.

  2. AHHHH!!! I won! :) Yea!! I am so excited!

  3. Man, I really need to read a lot more carefully; I didn't catch the bit about the masking tape at all. In my defense, though, it *was* the sleeping mask that made me skip over the whole quilting discussion this time around. Not drawing those lines, I tell ya! Stupid stupid stupid. Thanks for the heads up, Finny! (And, again, I totally love you potholders. And Ms. Elemental Stitches', too.)

  4. How did I miss Elemental Stitches' project? I'm going back to the flickr group to look more carefully... your pie looks delicious by the way..

  5. Look at you go! Now I am kinda wishing I'd had the extra energy to find some masking tape and learn a thing or two. Your pie and your pot holder are simply perfect.
    As for Ms. Elemental Stitches -- bravo! I'll go through my book tonight and find something new for us to work on. I'm thinking the patchwork bag. Crazy?

  6. Isn't the masking tape the best thing. I have used it more than once since I first made these potholders earlier this year.

  7. Perfect stitching!!!!!!

    I think I might be sold on the masking tape now.

  8. junie - That masking tape technique, while I suspect it is a dirty sewing trick, is such a lifesaver for a ruler-hater like myself.

    melissa - yes, yes you did. and now your prize is on its way!

    meg - it's worth a read. try the masking tape. especially if you hated so much the measuring and marking from before. i'm all for shortcuts and this one RULES.

    lynn - yes, it was very very good :)

    kel - seriously, the masking tape - try it. you'll never do the line drawing BS again. SO AWESOME. PS I like the patchwork bag.

    tinker - I am going to use it all the time! Even on things that don't need quilting! so fun.

    lera - seriously. I am the laziest seamstress and when anything calls for quilting from now on, I'm using the masking tape. I didn't have to measure anything and all I had to do was move the tape over one row at a time. SO EASY. love.


[2013 update: You can't comment as an anonymous person anymore. Too many douchebags were leaving bullshit SPAM comments and my inbox was getting flooded, but if you're here to comment in a real way like a real person, go to it.]

Look at you commenting, that's fun.

So, here's the thing with commenting, unless you have an email address associated with your own profile, your comment will still post, but I won't have an email address with which to reply to you personally.

Sucks, right?

Anyway, to remedy this, I usually come back to my posts and post replies in the comment field with you.

But, if you ever want to email me directly to talk about pumpkins or shoes or what it's like to spend a good part of your day Swiffering - shoot me an email to finnyknitsATgmailDOTcom.