21 August 2012

Last Bit of Freedom/WIP

Sadly, this is my last day/night of freedom before this semester from hell begins. I'm expecting the worst, but hoping for the best. I will officially be teaching 15 hours of classes, and working 28 hours per week at my local Scuba shop. Once you add in prep and grading, this is going to be one beast of a semester.

I can do anything for 4 months.

...Anything but not quilting, that is.

I keep reminding myself that it will never be as bad as my last semester of grad school. That semester, I was teaching high school biology full time, teaching my 4 normal Astronomy labs as a TA, taking 4 classes, writing my thesis, AND co-directing the Vagina Monologues. If I can finish that with any semblance of a grasp on sanity, I can teach 15 hours and keep my other job.

Just in case I do start losing my mind, I have already come to terms with the fact that I might have to cut back my hours at the scuba shop. I do not want to do that, but winter is the slow season there anyways, so it wouldn't be too horrible for any party involved.

Now that I have gotten my "dear diary" mess out of the way, I can begin talking about my actual WIPs for the week. All of the old ones are still there. It seems like I am horrible at finishing projects. My goal of using these WIP posts as an accountability device does not seem to be attainable.


First things first: Potholder Pass! I am a little proud of myself for this one because we only received our secret partner info today and I have already finished my potholders! Procrastination is my best motivator. Well, technically, they still need to be bound, but they are pieced, quilted, and cute!

My partner requested Halloween themed potholders and coasters. No sign of coasters yet, though. Here is a horrible picture so you can see the fabrics and Japanese X Block pattern I used for the potholders.

My next WIP is something I am working on for my boyfriend who brews beer. Tasty, tasty beer. I love everything about home-brewing, but the amazing smell has to be my favorite part. This weekend, he is trying something new called all-grain brewing. In order to do this, he needs some kind of boiling liquid resistant but still permeable bag.

He did some research and found material that others have used to make such a bag to avoid buying an expensive, mass-produced version.

The fabric is 100% polyester voile. Apparently, people use this stuff for curtains and fancy dresses. I have no idea how to pronounce it. What I do know about voile is that it frays like crazy, it is nearly impossible to cut straight because it is so fluid, it bunches when you sew it, it should be sewn with a French seam, and it is difficult to iron.

Wow! I sure do know a lot about voile!

The bag that I am making has to fit inside a giant pot. So far, I have double hemmed the edge that will be exposed, and have sewn the cylindrical portion up along the selvages to avoid French seams. I forgot to trace the diameter of the pot to cut out the bottom that will be sewn on with French seams, and the material is too movey (sure, that's a word) to measure accurately. So I will get the diameter another day and finish it up in time for brewing on Sunday! Yippe! Here is a picture of one of the cylinders. (I'm making two in case something horrible happens.)

I have also made a teensy bit more progress on the wedding quilt for my friends. I strip pieced these initial bits that will eventually become half of the block. The other half of the block will be opposite the sashing and will be two squares of different fabric split by sashing to form another rectangle. This cute little "rainbow" shows the first halves pretty well.

Here is a mildly more close-up shot of the fabrics. I am loving these fabrics together.

Well, that actually feels like more progress than I was expecting to make this week. Now I am going back to my hole for more semester prepping!


  1. I just finished my PhD, and I'm teaching my first class this fall while working another job, so I totally understand where you're coming from! :)

    Your potholders turned out great!! I am thinking of doing that block for a bee I'm in. It seems very versatile!

  2. Wow you have LOTS going on! The potholders are very fun. And the wedding quilt will be amazing.

  3. Sounds like a busy few months ahead of you! Wish you lots of luck with it all (and hope you manage a teeny bit of quilting in there for sanity's sake!).

    Nice job trying out the voile (I have no idea how to pronounce it either!) and the wedding quilt is looking lovely so far!

  4. Oh my goodness, how are you still sane with that workload?! Kudos to you!! I had to hem sheer curtains in a similar material although a bit thicker/coarser. Pain. In. The. Ahem! I feel for you!

  5. Yay for other science teacher/quilters!!! I hope you find the time for your fabulous projects this semester. Thanks for linking up with WIP Wednesday's.

  6. Hope you get to do all you want....I just love your fabrics...stunning!!

  7. Whoa! That *is* a semester from hell! Good luck with everything. Make sure you take care of yourself so you don't get sick. At least those fabrics are FABULOUS together :)

  8. Your dear diary entry reminded me of when I had a full-time job, a PhD to write, and a boyfriend (now husband) abroad with a lot of commuting involved - it was knackering, but I made it through! It is amazing how much you can achieve! Just make sure you rest! Love your WIPs

  9. I definitely didn't realize you were in grad school too! (I'm in a PhD program for chemistry). That sounds like a whole lot going on and hopefully you'll be able to make it through and sewing will keep you sane!