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Is it Sunday already?

24 Jul

So yeah, this week.

Have you ever had one of those weeks where everything just comes together at just the right time, in just the right way so that almost everything you wanted to accomplish gets done?

Me neither.

This week was no exception. Here’s what I wanted to do:

1. Get the house cleaned up. (This is always on my list – but it’s such a mess now I can barely breathe.)
2. Get both girls’ rooms all done (as per my list.)
3. Get the leftover garage sale stuff out of the garage (finally) and out to a variety of non-profits.
4. Get back into my “cook dinner nightly” routine. It’s probably generous to call it a routine. How about “effort”?

Here’s what I actually did:

1. Played about 20 steel-cage-death-match games of Words with Friends.
2. Got some of the girls’ rooms done – I’m close, though, so look for that post this week.
3. Saw the final Harry Potter for the second time.
4. Ate a lot of take-out. Except for the night I made sandwiches.

We did pick Beans up from camp today where she very obviously had a great time. She is tan and happy and bursting with stories of taking early morning polar bear swims in the lake, campfires and mountain biking. She also brought home two weeks worth of laundry.

Laundry aside, I am just so happy to have all my babies back home. Of course the bickering has already started. Every kids should go to camp, if only so we parents can re-discover all their sweetness over again. Let’s face it, sometimes the things we adore about our kids – their laugh, their smile, their unique way of singing or telling a story – gets lost in the un-done chores, the sibling spats and all the rushing around that seem to consume life these days. I feel like I appreciate them all so much more now. I’m hoping it will make a slightly better mom – reminding myself what it was like when they were away.

I never got a chance to actually photograph her quilt – which I finally finished – because I was so pressed for time I was actually sewing the binding on as we were driving to camp. Did I mention I get car sick? Good times.

Her arms were too tired to keep holding it up. I guess roasting marshmallows can really tucker a girl out.

And then there are the dogs. If I had a nickel for every time I said “No Charlie!” this week, or grabbed some errant item out of his mouth (like my brand new vacuum, for example) I could hire someone to teach this dog some manners. I have two other dogs who are very well-behaved but Charlie – ugh, I don’t know what it is with him – he’s a hellion. No joke, he was standing on the kitchen table this morning. Eating a bagel.

What. The. Hell.

And here’s what happened to the pizza box. I was out of the room for no more than 90 seconds:

Maybe I should start making my To Do lists shorter. Or maybe Charlie needs to go to camp!

Am I the only one who has had weeks like this? Or a dog like this?

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My Super Fast Stacked Coin Quilt

4 Jun

Whew! I actually got it all done! I guess I can’t be completely impressed with myself since the “baby” this was made for is seven months old now, so this will be more of a play mat than a blanket – but better late than never, right? RIGHT?

I didn’t use any pattern for this quilt, I just sort of winged it. “Winging it” is an overriding theme in my sewing, actually. That’s why I’m a huge fan of pre-cuts. I always feel so intimidated by yardage and FQ’s – all that putting colors together – I find that so challenging. I can do it, don’t get me wrong, but what is easier than ordering a little charm pack and whipping together a super simple quilt in a day (it was really two half days, because a whole day spent sewing is an indulgence my children will not abide – oh, no – they have NEEDS. Like food and stuff.)

I started with a pack of 42 charm squares from Love U. by Deb Strain for Moda. Then I took all the squares and cut them in half into the “coins” keeping an eye on the directional prints. Then I chain pieced them in to pairs that I randomly put together. I really mean randomly – I find I can spend way too much time thinking about pairings if I let myself. I believe they call that over thinking.

For the front of the quilt, I made 3 columns of 21 coins each. Again, randomly. I went with 21 so that the sashing could be cut across the width of the sashing fabric. The sashing strips are 10″ wide on the outside, and 3″ wide on the inside – those are the finished dimensions.

I used the remaining coins to piece the quilt back. Both the backing and the binding fabric came from a crazy super sale at JoAnn’s. The charm pack came from The Fat Quarter Shop, but I don’t see that particular one there anymore.

I pieced the front and the back yesterday in a couple of hours, scribble quilted it this morning before anyone else got up and then stitched down the binding at baseball today while sitting on the bleachers.

This is what was under the bleachers:

Kids and puppies. Does it get any cuter? (The puppy is a little less cute today though, since he chewed the cord off the vacuum cleaner. Luckily, it was unplugged.)

Finally finished…

28 May

Let me remind you what my sewing room/office looked like before:

Let me just say: this is the type of mess you have to put some effort into. I had to force myself not to clean up a single thing after six or seven projects. It wasn’t easy. Please note the wounded Webkinz on my little pressing table. In real life, he’d be dead now from bleeding his little beady stuffing all over.

Now for the after. After what? The removal of yard and yards of fabric to the “garage sale pile”, tossing of general crap, and the thinning of my assortment of patterns. It feels good to get rid of things. It feels even better to look forward to working in my newly cleaned space. Hallelujah!

(Sidebar: I love that quote on my desk. I really believe that everything does happen for a reason; that we are meant to learn from everything that happens in life – whether it’s amazing or crappy or seemingly mundane. And I love that om frog!)

Having my space clean will absolutely get me moving on finishing up some of those undone projects.

Probably.

P.S. The Webkinz didn’t survive. His next of kin (kinz?) have been notified.

About that road to hell…

28 May

I hear it’s paved with good intentions. I know mine is. My home is filled with half-finished projects. Some of them are even 90% finished, but I just can’t seem to get over that final hump. When I finally do, I think “Why the hell did I wait so long? That didn’t even take 10 minutes!”  It’s bananas.

Case in point:

I made my daughters Amy Butler’s Gum Drop pillows from this pattern. No problem – I started them and finished them within a couple of days. Then I started my son’s. It’s been literally 99% done for, uh, six months, at least. All I had to do was stitch up the seam that was left open so it could be stuffed. I suppose this says something about how much I despise hand sewing.

Finally. I feel so badly for taking so long, especially since he’s clearly loving it now.

I have three other works-in-progress that I haven’t made much headway on:

(This is a crazy nine patch. Flapper picked out the colors to match his football team – does that give a hint on how long ago I finished this one? I used the tips I found here.)

(These are Amy Butler FQ’s, made from a Turning Twenty pattern – found here. I probably made this one over a year ago.)

I don’t think it’s unusual for people who quilt to have tops waiting (and waiting and waiting) to be basted and quilted, but since the red and blue one was made for my son (again) I feel a little bit badly. The other one is for Beans, my middle daughter. She is a world class nagger. She’s probably asked me a bajillion times when I might finish it (so she can wad it up and cram it in her closet – but that’s another post!)

And this one:

These are on top of half a dozen garments that are in process.

I’m going to make an effort to move forward on these projects in the coming weeks – even if it is at a snail’s pace. Now that I’ve told the internet about my slacker tendencies, I have to. Right?

UPDATE: I was wrong. I admit it. The tomato cages were upside down. I fixed them. I haven’t told my hubby he was right yet, though.