The Pants Project: Beginnings

My brother-in-law, Matthew, was an avid lover, wearer, and apparent collector of vintage plaid pants. These pants were such a staple of his personality that they even merited a mention in his obituary. I think that there were only two occasions when I saw him wearing any pants that weren't part of this collection: his wedding, and mine. Therefore, when I was asked to make a quilt out of part of his pant assemblage for my sister-in-law, it was a weird sort of honor. When we saw her this weekend, she gave me two great garbage bags full of plaid pants (and a couple of shirts) so that I could get started.

A portion of the pants in my posession - I've already cut up a few pairs.

Now, I have never quilted before. I am a novice sew-er, but I'm not planning (and she's not expecting) anything fancy. Probably just squares, possibly rectangles. So, armed with this book, the internet, some quilting tools, and an army of plaid fabric, I hope to make a decent quilt.

Tan terry-cloth shirt on the left, pirate t-shirt on the right. Matt wore both of these often.

Here is what I know: I'm going to use the pirate shirt graphic as the centerpiece. I may use the tan terry-cloth shirt fabric as a border for the centerpiece, and might use squares of it for the corner squares, as well. I am trying to salvage as much fabric as I can, but also the buttons, fasteners, and zippers. I'm collecting one of each type of fastener and maybe a few pockets to make a little book or mini-quilt for my nephew (similar to the ones with velcro, buttons, etc) to practice his motor skills when he's a bit older. I started cutting into the pants yesterday, and for now I'm just cannibalizing the fabric and making it into more-or-less rectangles. Once I got the hang of where the best places to cut and how far to slice and such, it went fairly quickly. Each pair results in a tidy little pile of four pieces of fabric, like this:


...and I'd guess that there's 3/8 to 1/2 yard there total. How big of a quilt this ends up being will depend on how much fabric there is when all the cutting's done, and at that point I'll probably come up with measurements and sketch up what the finished product will look like.

In the meantime, do you have any quilting tips for me?

25 Things...

...about me in the form of random facts, habits or goals. This one has been making its rounds and has been done by many, many other bloggers. Since I'm bored at work this morning, here's mine:

1. I freak out if I inadvertently touch mold. I have to wash my hands, immediately and repeatedly, upon contact.
2. There is a Swiffer Duster in my car for the express purpose of cleaning the dust off of my dashboard.
3. Jennifer Aniston annoys me so badly that I am unable to watch anything with her on the cast. Ditto Kate Hudson.
4. When I was eight or nine, my aunt took me to get a corkscrew perm that resembled an afro in practice. There exist professional photos of me immediately after getting said perm in a denim cowgirl outfit. With fringe, natch.
5. Until my pre-wedding Mary Kay makeup lesson, I was unaware that the idea behind multiple eyeshadow colors in one package was to put one on the eyelid, one on the brow bone, and one in the crease.
6. I won the school spelling bee in fifth grade, then made it to the second round in the Alaska State Spelling Bee by correctly spelling "jauntily."
7. I was supposed to have been named "Roxy," but my mom changed her mind after I was born. I have wondered whether/how my life would have been different if I wasn't named Amanda.
8. Sometime in the last few years and without any good reason, I began to be disgusted by and therefore unable to drink milk.
9. I get nauseated when I enter hospitals. Any hospital, anywhere. Nausea. This was especially problematic when I worked in a hospital for a few months, but it never did subside like I hoped it would.
10. One of my biggest fears is to be smelly. I take great pains to ensure that I never stink; and if at any point I do smell bad, I am mortified for days.
11. While doing anything on the computer, you might find me spacing out and placing the cursor at the exact middle of a word or phrase, or aligning the mouse arrow in corners or edges of things on my screen.
12. As a kid, I used to enjoy playing library, video store, and office. By myself. The first two "games" mostly involved alphabetizing any and all books or videos I could find and arranging them in a pleasing manner, then creating a check-out log, assigning account numbers, and finally, checking out books or videos to myself. "Playing office" included talking on an old phone to no one, making forms, scribbling a fake signature on notepads, and "typing" on one of these, which made sounds just like a keyboard. Not terribly unlike my current office job, really.
13. If you leave the shower curtain open after showering, I just might kill you.
14. I constantly crave, and could eat any/all day, a tomato-corn salad and cheese fries from a specific restaurant in Anchorage, Alaska. One day I will attempt to replicate their corn vinaigrette for home consumption.
15. I love and use my Kitchenaid stand mixer more than I thought possible, and probably more than I would feel comfortable expressing in mixed company. It averages out to be more than once daily, I'm afraid.
16. At my peak, I had fourteen piercings. I only wear seven now, though.
17. I collect postcards and buttons (of the sewing variety, not the pinback type).
18. I have the horrible habit of cracking all of my joints, multiple times daily. All of my dad's family does this, and it's probably where I picked up the habit to the degree I have it.
19. I still have nightmares about The Wheelers from Return to Oz.
20. I was in the school orchestra for three years during 6th through 8th grades. My chosen instrument was the cello, but I lived in fear of having to play a solo because I was really horrible and could barely play, much less tune, my instrument. In the eighth grade I took two periods of orchestra to avoid having to take P.E. and still did not improve. I subsequently gave up the cello.
21. I abhor the phrase "my other half" in reference to someone's significant other. You are whole. Your significant other? They're whole, too. You are two people, not halves of one person. The phrase is just kind of TMI for me, especially when used by people I don't know.
22. I started wearing Dansko Professional clogs in high school and am virtually unable to wear other types of shoes, now. I have no idea how shoes besides these are supposed to fit and look, and what you're supposed to wear them with. Danskos go with everything. Done and done.
23. I think that macaroni & cheese in spirals or shapes (Scooby Doo, Spongebob, et al) is more satisfying than regular macaroni.
24. I am a typography nerd and troll DaFont.com on a regular basis to download fun new fonts.
25. I worship at the altar of Ikea like it's my own personal god. I will go through hell for the chance to spend a few hours there buying cute, cheap crap.

Your Bones Got a Little Machine

This, I think, is the third in a series of lazy weekends during which I only get dressed about once over three days (I don't work Fridays, so every weekend for me is a three-day). I haven't been sick, just feeling rather in need of a life hiatus and to watch an unhealthy amount of television in my pajamas (the video games aren't helping my desire to hang out at home, either).

This weekend, we kicked it off by breaking in our fancy new antenna (prior to buying which we got absolutely no TV reception) and watched Ugly Betty and Private Practice with the rest of the U.S. and not online days later, as per usual. In addition, we watched Total Recall, Die Hard, Righteous Kill, lots of Arrested Development, and The Goonies. Oh, and some Sopranos. See? Unhealthy amount.

I suppose that I'm selling myself a little short by proclaiming this a do-nothing weekend: I also did our taxes. We ended up with a refund, and a celebration was had by all.

Last night on spur of the moment we decided to go to a hockey game, which is our second since I last posted about them. It was a perfect way to get out of my head, and included three (!) fights, some delicious nachos, and a 6-0 win.

So, for lack of any other notable updates - talk to me: Have you done your taxes yet? What do you do when you're in a funk and feeling lazy? Got any movie suggestions for me?