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Popular posts from this blog

it's not that hard

Over the last couple of weeks, I've reread a lot of self help and motivational literature in my library. Most of it falls in the category of "shortcuts, get rich quick, wealth without effort." Some of them have good ideas, but no depth behind the ideas, as if the author lifted thoughts from somewhere else. But I found one author who seems to be the real thing: Brian Tracy.
Granted, he has a lot of books out there, and a lot of the messages are very similar, so I'll just focus in on what, for me, is his best work. It's a little volume called "No Excuses!" The theme of the book is self-discipline. There are really two deeper messages, though: Deep work is it, and deep work ain't that hard.
I won't go into quoting a bunch of passages and trying to sell the book. You can pick it up in most discount bookstores for six or seven dollars, and it's easy to find in electronic or audio form. Instead, let me just explain how I see these two messages embed…

strategic sewing

Enough diversions into the theory of motivation and how the mind works -- let's get it working!!

Trying to take a more strategic approach to sewing, I spent some time looking for a somewhat smaller bag pattern than my current one. Don't get me wrong, it's a great pattern, but it's larger and very hard to cut the pattern down. I found Kwiksew 4093 to be a very good, strategic choice:


This pattern supports two different size bags, both capable of a quilted "patchwork" look. The quilting doesn't just happen on the front, it can be extended to the sides and strap, as this diagram shows:
The pattern pieces are neat, with seam allowances assumed but not marked, which allows me to more easily reconfigure the parts. I can create:
a purse made from a single piece of fabric (if the pattern is symmetric along the grain), a quilted patchwork, or a standard front-back-gusset arrangement, all by combining pattern pieces before I cut.

In addition, this pattern uses a muc…

Summer Vacation

I took the summer off. Not sure exactly why, except that I couldn't find the perfect gusset.

That might be the strangest summer vacation story I ever heard, and I haven't even told it yet. But bear with me.

In case you didn't know, the gusset is the strip of material that gives a bag width. See Google for more on this. Making a really nice bag means sewing around the curve in three dimensions. That's hard to do, so most videos today demonstrate box corners, which make the bag round with a kind of rectangular bottom.

Box corners are weird to me for several reasons. First, you get these floating, short seams at the bottom. Second, these short seams are hard to sew straight and even, so they often look seriously homemade. Third, the top and bottom of the bag aren't the same shape, so there's some difference in how the bag feels – and carries – from bottom to top.

But mainly, I don't like it because it feels like a cheat. I know some people like these kind of b…