Busy, busy, Busytown

busytown

Courtney LOVES Richard Scary’s Busytown. Or ‘Huckle,’ in these here parts. She loves to read it and she loves to watch it. Did you even know it was a show? Apparently it was. And, sadly, Courtney’s cycled through the 97 episodes at least 97 times. She LOVES it. 
So the other day I was in Whipstitch, where Deborah is liquidating her fabric, and I was lamenting at the tiny selection that they have left. While I’m super pumped about the sewing studio and the zillion classes they are going to be offering, I’ll miss rolling around in the fabric. Or something. I mean, um… Any who… They still have Busytown fabric in stock in the store. I mentioned how much Courtney loves Busytown and the lady there says, “well, I just happen to have this premade bundle here.” And low and behold, there was a 5 yard bundle that included a little panel.
I didn’t really have a plan but I knew that whatever it was, Courtney was going to love it. 
I’m not sure what it’s measuring but I knocked this out in no time. It’s crazy busy but it is Busytown so I’m not going to worry about it. And I’m not going to look at it much. What I love about this quilt though is that because I didn’t spend a great deal of time on it, I can work on free motion quilting and if I screw it up, I won’t cry for long. I’m going to start with a couple of pillows from the leftover red and yellow fabric on the outside before I try quilting the quilt itself. 
Courtney’s super pumped though. She keeps asking me if I’m done and can we put it in her room, on the bed, and can Elmo’s family live on it. That doesn’t sound like much but that’s HUGE in these here parts. More to come when I get going on the quilting!!

Moving along

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Life continues to move along in our little house. Fall is coming, school is in full swing, the chill in the air makes me want to run, and my kids are getting bigger and bigger by the second. Patrick is evolving by leaps and bounds, literally as you watch. Courtney is having a tough time but we’re working on it and when she’s good and happy, she’s so amazing. And those days when Patrick and Courtney are both awesome, those are the best days ever. They’re playing together, they’re laughing and happy, the imaginations are never ending and the laughter is infectious. Those days, they’re the best. I just can’t wait for more of them.
I’ve written more at my new site, SewHub.I haven’t really “launched” the new site yet as it’s missing a few key items so we’ll consider this a “soft launch” for the 4 people that are still reading this.

Wedding bells

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I realized the other day that I never fully wrote about the quilt that I made for my brother and his new wife. So, here you go. You are WELCOME.

I can’t lie, I was pretty thrilled with how this quilt turned out. I had originally bought a charm pack (48 5×5 squares) of the pezzy fabric, not really knowing what I was going to do with it. I knew I wanted to make the happy couple a quilt and decided to dive on in. I went to my local fabric store and we found a great mermaid painters canvas by Michael Miller (read: blue) fabric to go with it. I cut all my squares in half and joined them with the blue (sort of) and decided that the quilt wasn’t big enough. So I bought ANOTHER charm pack, more mermaid (read: blue) fabric and did it all over again.

I wasn’t really thinking about the amount of ironing that went along with this project. I basically cut each square into quarters, joined them with more quarters, sewed the squares into rows, and sewed the rows together. And all of that would have been FINE, if I hadn’t had to iron all those damn seams. That was a TON of seams. Anyway…

I really wanted the back to reflect some kind of loving tone. Because the front was so crazy in color and I wanted the X and the O (a hug and a kiss) to really pop, I went with a grey for the back and a white for my letters. I was THRILLED with how they turned out. I mean, THRILLED. I hadn’t ever done and X or an O but it worked out really well.

I had originally picked out a herringbone fabric for the border and after I cut all my binding and ironed that too, I decided it was just too much. I even consulted Paul for his input, just to make sure it wasn’t just me. It wasn’t, it was too much so I went with the yellow.

It may not show but I really spent a lot of time on the layout of the quilt. Even though the front is VERY busy, I wanted to go with something of a “sun”, happy feeling. If you look at the quilt from a distance, you can kind of tell that the yellow is in the center with the orange branching out into sun rays, so to speak. I then quilted the center as a circle with straight lines coming out from there, again as a sun. It didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, and of course after I finished the quilt, I read a book on another way to achieve the same look with better results. Go figure.

The quilted center

But all in all, I was really pleased with it. Someone said the other day that it’s easy to get lost in life and marriage but it’s harder to drift apart when you’re under the same quilt. I love that and it’s exactly what I was going for. I just hope the happy couple enjoys it.

Things in our house have been busy, which I suppose is no different than any one else’s home or any other day. The kids are crazy but in a good way. They’re busy and exhausting and literally eating us out of house and home. There’s been a lot more independent play, for both kids, and I love watching them create little worlds with dolls or trucks or crayons and paper. I’m really working with Courtney on respect and caring and being a good person. She asks me every 30 minutes if it’s time for Patrick to take a nap. It’s not. She just wants him gone. Not nice kid, not nice at all. If we keep really busy, we have good days. But if there’s nothing planned, our days suck.

I’ve been trying to get some sewing done but have been sucked into the Olympics instead. I try to ignore the internet and all the spoilers during the day, but it’s hard. I love the swimming and I’m SO my mothers kid when it comes to getting 100% involved in an event. I’m making sound effects and “eeking” and “oohing” and screeching away like I’m there. Which I’m not. But sitting in front of the TV is causing me NOT to sit in front of my sewing machine. And that’s not terrible but I’m never going to get SewHub off the ground if I don’t get off my duff.

Courtney and Patrick don’t start school for another month, where most of their friends start in the next couple of weeks. I REALLY need to find something for them to do, or for Courtney to do, before I lose my mind. I try to keep busy but I lack imagination and things to do with them. Unless we get up and out the door by 8:30/9:00 then it’s almost too hot to do anything outside. And let me tell you how often we get out the door by 9…

I think there’s no point to this rambling wreck of a post. Life goes on and I have a super hugely exciting weekend planned, which I hope goes super slowly and I don’t waste it away. But more on that Monday. Happy weekend all!

ROOMBA!!! (= LAZY)

Last week was pretty huge for me. Not only did I get my super fab new minivan, but I also ordered, and received, a Roomba. From Costco. I am SO cool. If you don’t know what a Roomba is, you’re missing out on coolness. And laziness.

See… First it started with the new dog. Trouble. He sheds. A LOT. Big. Huge. Black hair everywhere. Seriously. And I’m thinking, I do not want to have to spend time every day vacuuming. I just don’t. And won’t. And then I was watching a documentary Breaking Bad and the meth head had a Roomba. And it was so cute and quiet and was doing such amazing job cleaning up the meth mess that I decided a Roomba was perfect for me.

And because you didn’t ask, and no one gave me a free Roomba, here’s my review:

  • If you’re goal is not to have to vacuum regularly but you want a semi-clean floor, get a Roomba. It does a good job for where it cleans but it doesn’t clean everywhere. I mean, it is a robot and it has no idea about my floor plan so it misses some places. The grass clippings from my flip flops are still in the same place as they were 2 days ago. On the other hand, the 100′s of thread clippings under the sewing table are gone.
  • If you don’t care about your fragile furniture, it’s going to probably/maybe/eventually dent/scratch your chairs. The damn thing keeps crashing into the chairs but maybe if they never moved, that wouldn’t happen.
  • It’s LOUD. I mean, it’s not as loud as an upright vacuum cleaner but it’s not silent. Now maybe it’s just my model (the 550, which is meant for pets) but it’s going to drown out your kid in the other room who won’t stop whining. So maybe that’s not such a bad thing.
  • It doesn’t hold a lot of dirt. Or maybe it does but my house is SO dirty that I need to empty it more often than not. Forget this point.
  • It can’t climb stairs or up on my couch. It’s lazy too.
All in all, it’s pretty cool. It cleaned under the bed, which I’m sure hasn’t happened since we moved in. It did try to vacuum my foot and I had showered so I’m not sure why it thought I was dirty. But if I only want to spend the time vacuuming once or twice a month week, this Roomba is going to be my new best friend. It certainly encourages me to sit on the couch and watch it clean. Next up, teaching Patrick how to clean windows.