Ain’t no place I’d rather be

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Sorry for no blog yesterday after I said I would! Things here are at a more break neck speed than normal. This week is insanely crazy.
Here is a sampling of the week:
1. Birthday for a 5 year old and ALL that entails.
2. A houseguest. Who is awesome and pulls his own weight. Cleans up and even dressed Duncan for school today. Great to have him here and another person in the house just kicks it up a notch.
3. Mom arrives today. Another bonus. And having Gamma here excites the boys another notch. In a good way. Its just another notch.
4. Vomiting cats. A trip to the vet needs to happen.
5. Dog has mystery scab and bump. Another trip to the vet needs to happen. I am NOT taking 2 cats and a ninety pound dog to the vet at the same time.
6. Fall Feast on Friday at school. I was told yesterday that Angus needs to wear, (read I have to make) an Indian costume. Do NOT get me started.
7. I am volunteering (?) to help in Duncan’s class for the Fall Festival.
8. Need to make and decorate cookies for Angus’ class for his birthday on Thursday.
9. Need to make and decorate cookies and FED EX them for someone else’s birthday.
10. Need to scrub and clean house, yard, children, myself.
So here is a picture of part of the quilt top that will be come a quilt called Tennessee. Not great light today, but we won’t let that stop us. Maybe I should have called it Kentucky with the horses but Tennessee is what came to mind. Tennessee Walking Horses probably is the thought that flitted across my brain.
Also, I just got email that my yarn for the Perfect Sweater shipped from The Fiber Gallery ! Yippee! Of course it is Cascade 220 and I chose color 2411, CafĂ©. I received excellent customer service from The Fiber Gallery. They special ordered the color for me, extended The Perfect Sweater price for the whole bag (I told them that they didn’t have to and they did anyway!) and were super nice and very communicative! They get my vote for a great shop. If we still lived in Seattle they would be my LYS!

Cherry Blossom

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Again, a week in blogland has slipped by. But they have not really slipped by at Chez LWIM. I have been sewing my behind off. I have four 4! four! quilt tops ready to get borders, bindings and be quilted. Why this frenzy of quilting you ask? The ever generous Rachel put out a call for warm things for her neighborhood/town that has many people living in tents or half a house thanks to Katrina. And, get this, she has offered to deliver them from door to door, or tent to tent, or shelter to shelter. You get the idea- let’s get these people warm!
So I have a friend/neighbor/touchstone who is starting her longarm quilting business and she wants to get better at using her new longarm. (I promise to give you the full 411 when she has a website, and say a prayer…a b-l-o-g.) So, I also really want to learn to quilt and become better at sewing. A plot was hatched. We would put our heads together and some of our fabrics together and make quilts for people who had felt Katrina’s wrath. But where to donate them? Then Rachel put out her plea and we snapped to attention.
See how ingenious it is, I get to learn quilting/sewing technique from a master (though she would, in her ever so humble way argue that she is not a master. Pshaw!), she gets practice on her new machine and we get to keep people warm. Perfect.
Last week we had a meeting of the minds and figured out which fabrics went together and bundled them accordingly. Each bundle becomes a quilt. Then we figured out the mechanics. We realize there is a time factor, so intricate piece work was really out of the question. Also, we wanted a simple pattern that we could replicate in all sorts of fabric. So we decided on the nine patch using 9.5″ squares to finish at 9″. With squares this size, things go really quickly which is just great! Seriously, I cut the fabric Thursday and sewed it, row by row (not in patches) yesterday and finished it today!
So, this week I hope to show you a new quilt each day.
This one, Cherry Blossom, is just crazy. (In the photo all the colors, especially the greens are very washed out.) I mean I love bright colors and wear them often. Acid green? Adore it, wear it. Orange, ditto. Fuschia, you bet! This bad-boy is LOUD! And for me to say that is very rare. I alternately love it and can’t quite get my brain around it. And it is huge-81″x81″.
Tomorrow I will show you a slightly smaller quilt called Tennesee.
Oh and someone is turning 5 on Thursday. Very exciting and very heart-filling. Five!
Tomorrow we are going to Tennesee!

Crosses

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Well, sheesh! What a completely whirlwind couple of weeks. The kids tag teamed me and Duncan was home sick the first week, then when he went back, Angus was out for a week. A wee bit trying but, the rewards were so so sweet.
Angus spent a lot of time with me in the la-BOR-a-tory, otherwise known as Mom-Mom’s Magic Sewing Room. The origin of the latter name is this: last Christmas Hubbalicious gave me the most beautiful couch you have ever seen. I mean this couch is so fantastic that it should really not be in the same house with small hollering boys. It is enormous and silk. So I wanted the children no where near it. I told Angus that it was Mom-Mom’s Magic Couch. I then proceeded, with a completely straight face, to tell him it was Magic only for Mom-Mom and that if anyone else touched it, they would SHRINK in their sleep. Growing big and strong like Daddy is a big priority around here, so the prospect of shrinking scared him away from the couch, seriously. In the year we have had it, not only has Angus not touched it, he warns visitors to not even go in the room where the couch is. I put a similar fear in him about the la-BOR-a-tory. So he never goes in without me and LOVES it when he gets to.
He cried when he had to go back to school because, and I quote:”But, Mom-Mom, I reaaaaaaallllllly want to help you in your Magic Sewing Room”. Okay, how cool is that coming from an almost 5 year old boy?
The real capper in the realm of sweet rewards was when Angus, the Polar Bear (of course as a knitter I have kids that don’t wear sweaters without lots of coaxing), looked up at me and said:”Will you make me a quilt please Mom-Mom? So we can cuddle under it with the kittens.” Sure, honey- I will make you a million quilts until my fingers bleed, because you are so stinking cute. And why not just take the keys to the car while you are at it.
Here is the borderless top for the crosses quilt! 598 squares people! WoooHooo! And really this is my first quilt. I am pretty pleased. Now, to finish it! Ah, there’s the rub!
And the arty-stained glass look:

Toddler Garden

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Here is a picture of a small garden I made for the Toddler Playground at the Boys’ school. Duncan’s teacher was at a loss as to what to do to replace the overgrown strawberry patch in the playground. She asked for my help and in about an hour, we had it all done.
It was great fun as she gave me freedom to do whatever I wanted. I went to the nursery and came out a few minutes later with enough for a small (4×4) garden. I built it based on what I thought two and three year olds might like. It is based on texture- waxy, furry, spikey and smooth. It is really designed to be touched and, well, mauled.
Now, they have asked me to design small garden plots for the Pre-Schooler playground. I think they are the perfect projects. Big impact, little work and the kids get a garden. How great is that? Very fun.

What is it?

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Some of my people have recently been in Amish country and brought me this. I had never seen one, but now that I know what it is and how to use it, I LOVE it. Basically, it is a tube of fabric filled with fragrant stuff: cloves, cinnamon, etc. That you use as a trivet to put your teapot or hot pan on. Then your whole kitchen smells autumnal and warm and cozy. Like I said, I love it…..but I have zero idea what it is called. Any ideas?
Plus, don’t you love the fabric? It’s like floral camo. Makes me happy.
If you know what this is called, lemme know. I am hoping it has some fancy name, but given that it is Amish, I’m thinking, not so much.

She just couldn’t help it.

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The Hubbalicious and I have a deal. He wants to get me what I want and he despises shopping in stores. So instead of forcing him to slog through stores and pick SOMETHING that I might (or more likely might not) like we have developed a system. I find what I would like to receive as a gift for Xmas, Birthday or just because, send him a link or purchasing info, he buys, they gift wrap. (Thank God because when he wraps it loooks like the Unibomber did it.)
So we all know about my Magpie obsession. I found this on Ebay and told him I might like it as a gift. H-I-N-T! So, the sweeheart that he is, he ordered it. I saw a package waiting by the fence today and practically sprinted in the cold rain to pick it up. Then I saw the Customs Form with “Knitting Yarn” listed as the contents and I well, er I , er, ripped the bag open.
Honey, please forgive me.
Mmmmmm, mooooore maaaaaagpiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiie.

What we do for love

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A couple (er, okay sev-er-al) years ago I made a quilt for Hubbalicious. Well it turned out to be a quilt top. There was muslin and there was batting and actually there was backing too. So it wasn’t just a top, but not quite a quilt. More like a fabric sandwich- there was no binding on it. Hubbalicious loved the finished parts and has been very patient. But I know that it bugs him that it is incomplete. So I ripped off the backing- I wasn’t crazy about the fabric and truly bought it because it was there, it was a stop gap measure. Note to self: buy it because you or the intended will love it, or at least really like it-not because it is there. True, finished is better than perfect but used is better than finished and shoved into a closet for all time.
So when the Hubbalicious was a little boy, he wanted to be an astronaut. He really, really wanted to be an astronaut. So as a special thing between us and a big “I’m sorry for being such a butt-head for taking years to finish this” I found this fabric at Cia’s Palette. A word about this Cia’s Pallette. I have ordered from them twice and received excellent customer service both times. They were out of stock on a pattern I ordered and they contacted me within an HOUR to tell me. the first order, they were a yard short on a fabric I ordered and they called me to tell me and ask what to do. Plus, they send a swatch of fabric with your order! Go see them, they are awesome and are all about customer service. I am a freak for great customer service. Cia’s Pallette will get my business again!
Back to the quilt- This fabric for the backing is something I would have never bought for myself. But I did it for Hubbalicious. He loves it and got a huge chuckle out of it. And I like the thought of his sleeping and dreaming under the stars and planets. Maybe he will finally get to go to to outerspace, if only for a moment.

Here is my in-progress Crosses quilt. I redid the colors and the patterning and I am very happy with how it is turning out. But boy do I need a proper design wall. More sewing after the small hollering boys go to sleep, which I am hoping is SOON!

Also, big news from the Potty Front. Duncan is now ongoingly asking for his diaper to be removed so he can use the training toilet. I am really crossing my fingers as he is JUST two and a half and you know the rumors about boys and potty training. But you would be amazed about what comes out of that little two and a half year old body, especially the part that hit the floor, not the potty.
What we do for love continues to amaze me.

For Your Amusement

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Pictures of sewing trim onto kitchen valances are pretty boring in my book, so I rooted through the archives and found this picture of Mr. T & me from my college days. Hopefully this will bring a smile to your face and I have done my good deed for today.
Off to pick up one small hollering boy from school and then take the other small hollering boy to the doctor. Then more sewing!

Sunday Snapshot

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Silly title for a pictureless post, no? Here is your blog snapshot of Saturday/Sunday. Every Saturday night Hubbalicious and I go out for date night. Rain or Shine, we have date night and really look forward to it during the week. Doesn’t matter what we do or where we go- we just take about six hours and get out of the house together. Usually we go to the local pub and play cribbage, laugh and just be together.
Last night, in the middle of date night there was a work emergency for Hubbalicious. Much furious typing into the smartphone and much forehead smacking over the situation. I was absolutely fine with it, it is the nature of the beast and bound to happen every once in a while. The emergency carried on into today so I had to be on call. Usually Hubbalicious takes the boys out all day on Sunday and I get to do whatever I want. Love that. He is a mighty fine man and a great dad.
So, no knit-out today in DC. If you went, please post pictures! Next year.
And when Duncan woke up from his nap, he was howling from fever. It seems to be better now, thank you Motrin! But it is looking like no school for him tomorrow.
I did get a couple of hours to work on the Halloween decor. Very spooky and very cool. I love Halloween and intend to raise kids who love it too. And I had enough time to make some chicken and white bean chili. Yum!
Hopefully after the boys go to sleep, I can get some work done on the quilt. I am having a lot of fun doing it, but I think next time I need to use squares that are bigger than 3″.
Also, last night was the party in Texas- I sure hope it went well, I haven’t heard yet. Thank you to Emily for your offer! It was extremely sweet and appreciated.
Tomorrow, quilting, and picking some scarf patterns for gifts. Drat! I may have to go to the yarn store!

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