Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tax Time !@#$#@!!!

Guess what kids - it's tax time. Adding up all the expenses, tracking down receipts, making sure that all the government required forms are all in one spot...but you know what is the hardest part of the whole process? Trying to figure out which software to use.

I have a small quilting business out of my home. But the variations in how the software treats a home business are HUGE! I have no employees, it's just me. I DO take up a large part of my home to do my quilting/sewing - and now knitting. But all the tax forms are written in governmentese and designed for larger businesses. Translating industrial manufacturung supply language to yards of fabric and skeins of yarn is tricky.

So I spent last night preparing, getting everything together and totaled. Now I'm on a mission to pick the software. In the meantime, I might just go knit...heard there's a yarn sale a couple of towns over (does milage count if you're in pursuit of a sale???).

Monday, January 25, 2010

if you don't get the beginning right...

The rest isn't going to magically perfect itself. This past weekend I worked on my new quilted jacket, one of those where you use a sweatshirt as the base and then do the flip/sew technique to cover it with the fabric of your choice.

A couple of life lessons:

It was recommended to start with sweatshirt that's slightly large on your body. 2 good reasons - it will shrink a little with the stitching/quilting; you'll be wearing it over other clothes as a coat, so you'll need room for the other garments. They did NOT say to start with a sweatshirt that was HUGE on your body. It doesn't shrink that much.

Hard to tell on this picture - but there's about 5 to 6 inches from where my armpit actually is to where the armpit of the jacket is. I have room for half a body in there, not just clothes. The same goes for around the jacket. In the picture, I'm wearing it over another large sweatshirt and I can still pull the front and overlap it by 4 to 5 inches. Probably should have tried to adjust all of that when I did the side seams - but I know next to nothing about garment making - could you guess?

Next life lesson: If it sags and bags and you're using it as the baseline for a straight seam...your seam will follow the bags and sags.

Note the intriguing slant to the right side. And the slightly chopped off left side. For some reason in my frantic effort to finish this in a day (which might have been a bit ambitious for a non-garment maker) I thought once I got the binding on - everything would look okay. And believe it not - I did cut 2 inches off the length of the sleeve. Still covers most of my hand...I'm must be a lot shorter in person than I am in my mind.

The back is nice and straight tho. If I just back into rooms and then face the wall I can get away with wearing this. And actually at quilt shows that might work. I could pretend I was talking to a friend in the lobby as I entered the showroom, then immediate turn to face the quilts. As I got through the vendor aisles, I'd just have to keep a totebag full of purchases in front of me. I think I could make that sacrifice for fashion.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

On to the next part of my life...

Good morning...this entry isn't about knitting or quilting - tho they may get mentioned. This is about life changes. I'm just about done with my job with the payphone company. I've only been very limited hours for the last few months...but I really hate finally cutting the tie. This job was really a home to me. I found friends there and work with databases that I really enjoyed doing. What a concept - having a good time at work!

I've moved on to full time at the hospital, and I've already made friends there, but I don't know that it will ever be the home that the phone company was. There's a lot to be said for small business where you really do know everyone in the shop. It's more painful when things take a downward turn, but that feeling of closeness is treasured.

I'll miss them all...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Well, it's the new year, and I don't feel a damn bit wiser or older...but I DO feel more organized. I hit the sale on plastic bins, etc. at Fred Myers and I've tackled the quilting room. Seems like more and more yarn is drifting into the quilting room and it has to be contained or it breeds over-night. I swear to God...I didn't buy that much wool, so it must be breeding on its own.
Anyway, first order of business was some shelves...move things up off the floor. Second order was bins.Also bought a little case with drawers for holding quilting thread and bobbins. Bought 2 big bins, one for roving, one for batting. Those bulky items need containment...they both tend to s-p-r-e-a-d out if you're not careful.
this corner used to be just a mound of batting trimmings. I won't throw them away as they can be pieced together to make a batt big enough for your project..but while you're waiting for the magical point when you have enough...they get a little unruly. Now they're contained. The other corner of the room still needs a litte work, there's some containers that need sorting through, melding and tossing, but it's greatly improved...
Note the tote bags hanging from the doorknob...those were all full of yarn that has now found happy homes in plastic bins. So it's still a work in progress, but so much better than before. I can walk all the way around the frame now. And to celebrate, I got Casey's school colors quilt on the frame. It's going to hurt to give this one to him as I've fallen in love with it. The colors are just wonderful. This is a picture of it on the design wall...before being pieced to gether. I'll post a picture of the finished project once it's all quilted.Sooo, it's Sunday evening and I've worked hard enough for the for some knitting and tv viewing.

Happy and Safe New Year to you all.