Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Cleaning house

It takes exactly four hours to clean this 1 bedroom apartment. And in the 1 1/2 weeks since the carpet people shampooed my carpet, my cats have shed a vacuum cleaner container full of hair. And some people say my cats are lazy and don't do anything? Hey, if there was an Olympic contest for shedding, they'd win the short-hair category paws down!

Went to Wally World because they have a 30 day supply of my allergy medicine for $6. Near the medicine area there was a small skinny Asian girl, around 9 - 10 years old, wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed "Give me chocolate". Now that is a sentiment I can agree with. So after I got my medicines I headed over to the chocolate area to stock up on some Ghiardelli's. She was already there, of course, enthusiastically educating her bemused parents about the various chocolates. This old penguin can appreciate folks who know the important things in life, of which chocolate decidedly is.

Downstairs trailer trash continues being trailer trash. The (illegal) daycare kids she is paid under the table to watch are leaving trash all over the place and she never budges from in front of her television where she is watching the telenovelas at high volume in order to police the tykes. She treats her patio like a redneck treats the front porch of his trailer house, complete with sofa with stuffing poking out of the cushions. AGH! The only good news is that the "Affordable Housing" voucher people don't last long here, so I'll get another trailer trash neighbor downstairs soon enough. In case you're wondering, landlords are required to set aside a certain percentage of apartments for "affordable housing" here in order to get a building permit, it's a deed restriction that goes with the deed forever even though my apartment complex is on its third owner, and there's a whole mini-industry built around certificating and vouchering the lower-income folks who qualify for the "affordable housing" apartments. Oh well, at least it's just one apartment being trashed, not the whole complex. But now I understand why low-income housing projects always look so trashed. I'm sure she's a perfectly nice human being, but pride? Nope, she ain't got none of that.

One of the things I've figured out about The Mighty Fang is that he has no fear. None. Nada. Whatever I'm doing, he's underfoot (or worse) trying to "help". He just "helped" me make my bed, to the point where I had to pick hi up bodily, put him out in the hall, and shut the door. WHich brings up an other issue. My grandmother sewed quilts. She must have sewn over a hundred quilts between age 55 and 70 which she slowly gave away over her last 15 years of life. If you remember the photo of the cats on my bed, you may have noticed the colorful quilt. That is not one of her quilts. I have a couple of her quilts, but they are carefully stored in my closet because they are irreplaceable and cats tend to be hard on quilts. Still, I want a quilt on my bed because, well, because. Even if it isn't one of hers, it's right. So anyhow, I need another quilt. The cats have pretty much shredded the one on my bed. But I checked out a few places where you might expect to find a quilt, and nada. Does anybody know where to get a reasonable-priced quilt somewhere in the San Jose area?

And now I lay me down to sleep...

-- Badtux the Meandering Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 5/21/2007 12:29:00 AM  


I quilt. Even the wall hangings for me take several days, using a machine. It longer, of course, when I do it by hand.

Quilts and reasonable price don't really go hand in hand, in my experience, unless they come from a third world country via Wally World or Target.

But I am confident that if you go to craft fairs in your area, you may find one. Check the newspaper or do a web search for church bazaars or craft fairs. You can probably get a tied quilt inexpensively. You can also check into quilt shops and either take a class to learn to make one yourself or negotiate there with someone to make one for you. You're also welcome to negotiate with me, but even at minimum wage for per hour it'll be frightful costwise. The supplies alone will probably be $200. How do they do it so cheap in craft fairs? Buying cheaper fabric at Wally World or in bulk to half the cost of supplies and only tying instead of actually quilting.
# posted by georg : 21/5/07 4:20 AM  

You may want to try, e.g., (clearance section). They often have quilts for <$30 for all sizes. We use them for furniture covers because we have 4 Schnauzers that can do a number on fabric when they are hound-rounding and scratching "nests" or whatever they're called.

PS: Thanks to you, "snarky" has taken on new meaning for me, thus making it one of my favorite words.
# posted by Falco : 21/5/07 8:25 AM  

Well, I wouldn't know where a crafts fair would be here in the San Jose/Silicon Valley area. Maybe I should check Craigslist.

As far as costs go, my grandmother belonged to a quilting group that, along with going on wild and crazy outings (beware the silver-haired quilters of mass destruction!), bought materials in bulk, though many of her materials for the top were scraps from making dresses and such. She also bought remaindered/scrap fabric from fabric stores, whatever they had, though the fact that she got to the city to go bargain-hunting only once a month made that a little less important a source of material (it was an hour's drive to get from her home in the country to the nearest small city, so she made an all-day outing of it when she did it, including visiting all the relatives who'd moved to the city). I have no idea how long it took my grandmother to make a quilt. She used a sewing machine (she started sewing because her family needed clothes, not for fun, and saw no reason to make the job harder than it already was), and spent a couple of hours a day at it. At one time she took up crocheting but after turning out a few lumpy hats for all the immediate family (I still have mine, it works great for camping trips to keep the ears warm while cooking breakfast), decided that was too much work and quit doing it.

Mostly she quilted in the afternoon while her own mother was taking her afternoon nap. When her mother finally had to enter a nursing home, the quilting slowly died off until in her early 70's she quit entirely, saying that her fingers were just too stiff from arthritis to make it fun anymore and besides she already had a lifetime's supply of quilts for the family stacked up in the corner of her bedroom (her lifetime, that is). I think we auctioned off one of her last new quilts for a church group in 1985, it ended up going for over $500 even in 1985 dollars... so yes, I'm aware that a good quilt is NOT inexpensive :-).
# posted by BadTux : 21/5/07 8:37 AM  

I like buying quilting fabric at the local quilt shops- trying to support the buy local thing. Same thing with the batting, although I get Hobbs when I can, because they have a LOT of charity stuff they will help out. When the mill was damaged, they kept all employees on at full pay until the mill was re-opened for instance, and I have to adore their morality. So while I pay more for supplies, I sleep better for it. And yes you might see craft fairs in Craigslist- or even quilts mentioned there. You could probably post there you're looking, and get lots of interesting offers.

My current project is almost done- a wall hanging in the style of the Guicciardini quilt protraying scenes from the story of Tristran and Isolde, 1295 Sicily, linen trapunto stuffed with wool and embroidered, by hand- two months to do, and that's really fast. :)

My next quilt will probably be either for my second oldest nephew or for my best friend's new baby.
# posted by georg : 21/5/07 9:08 AM  

"Reasonably priced" and "quilt" are usually connected with a "not". My second husband had both mother and grandmothers who madly quilted, and they did some wonderful pieces. I envy the folks who own the Good Stuff.

# posted by Scorpio : 21/5/07 3:59 PM  

I'm a blonde quilter...not your typical quilter I guess. I own few rare type quilts from the 1800's that aren't family related. I do have quilts from a great-great grandmother that my grandmother worked on too. I'm so afraid of something happening to them. If you have a Gottschalk's or Macy's...maybe even Penny's...they should have something for you. They aren't quality mind you like homemade...but they will do nicely and it won't matter is the cats go crazy on it. Mervyn's too I believe.
# posted by sumo : 22/5/07 12:53 AM  

Hmm. Macy's. I didn't think of that. We have a nice big one at the mall across from Santana Row. (Odd, I can remember the name of Santana Row, but not the name of the mall that predated it by two decades!). I'll give them a try next time I'm at the mall. I need a new pair of shoes anyhow (have worn the nubs off the bottom of my current New Balance running shoes, time for a new pair!).

-Badtux the Rapidly Waddling Penguin
# posted by BadTux : 22/5/07 1:27 AM  

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