Therapeutic Nine-Patch, better photos this time

Here’s (most of) the whole thing — as much as Jerry could get with his arms fully extended above his head without standing on a ladder. It was COLD outside today so we weren’t out there for very long.

Here’s a closeup of the backing and binding so you can see the quilting design a little more easily (since the thread contrasts with the back).

A folded-up view (I love love love pictures of quilts like this for some reason, and the dirty porch is even better against the crisp and clean white of the quilt):

And a darkish one so that you can see the quilting from the top better. I only quilted in the white squares, leaving the patterned ones raised. LOVE the simplicity that it gave to the finished piece. I have a tendency to quilt very densely so it was a refreshing change not to do that this time, especially since this one very definitely didn’t need dense quilting.

Quilting View

I’ll admit that I’m a bit skeptical of how well a mostly-white quilt will do in this house. I tend not to use white at all because of the dogs and the kids dragging quilts everywhere. But that’s what laundry detergent is for, right? I just hope it continues to be well-loved. Helen is very excited that I’m finished with it.

Kinda prissy for me, but…

Moda Chez Moi 9-patch

Originally uploaded by messygoat

During rehearsals for Sweeney Todd I needed to have a project that I could work on that would keep me from getting too consumed with the negativity that was so pervasive in that show. I had tried to knit, but that wasn’t enough — I needed something that appealed even more to my tactile side. I needed to be handling fabric.

I needed it to be simple, and something that I could stop at any moment for my random scenes that were scattered throughout the show (I was on the stage in a lot of scenes, but never for much more than about 45 seconds at a time except for my last two when the plot twist was revealed).

I found this pattern at the Moda Bakeshop and had the perfect fabric to use for it.

I cut squares of fabric from leftovers of a diaper bag that I made for Jerry’s sister, and matching squares from a white-on-white print. During rehearsals I’d pin the sides together, and then I’d come home and sew, cut, and press them. Then I’d pin through the next rehearsal, and come home to sew, cut, and press.

Four rehearsals later I had all of the blocks made, and I was in a much better place emotionally.

I layered the quilt a few days before Christmas and quilted it on December 25 and 26 in a bit of a frenzy.

Tonight, I finished sewing the binding on this lovely lap quilt (that Helen has been BEGGING for as soon as she saw all of the blocks on the design wall in June). I’ll take photos of the whole quilt tomorrow in natural light, but I wanted to share with you a picture of the quilting that I took last week.

Interesting that Helen has been asking for this quilt; usually she doesn’t take much notice of the things I make, but her interest in this one has been consistent. Last night she snuggled under it with me while I hand-sewed the binding on, and kept reiterating that she really loved this one and pleasepleaseplease could she have it. So I guess it’s hers.

Pretty nice start for a new year, to finish a quilt on the very first day. I won’t be able to keep up that pace, but it’s exciting anyway.

The AliceBot 5000

Tonight after dinner I informed the girls that the television would remain off until the main level of the house was clean “to Mommy’s satisfaction” and we were all going to work together.

The first order of business was to get the laundry put away, so I handed the girls stacks of their clothes and sent them downstairs. They sorted them on the floor in the playroom and then put the clothes away. Alice came back upstairs and found me folding more laundry, and stood very rigid and spoke in a monotone:


So we started calling her AliceBot and she was a monotonic robot slave for about 45 minutes, calling us MommyBot and DaddyBot. She threw away trash, swept, raked the carpet (yes, we have a carpet rake — we have dogs with foot-long hair), vacuumed, put toys away, put sofa cushions back where they belong, everything without complaint.

Helen, on the other hand, was WAILING. Partly because she gets out of control emotional every time we ask her to clean and partly because I think robots scare her or something. She was in hysterics every time we’d talk to each other in robotic monotones. So we started calling her DramaBot, which just caused more wailing.


(I wonder if we called her the Robot Princess if she’d be more receptive. Will have to try that.)

It was finally cleaned to my satisfaction and then we had to turn the Bots back into little girls so they could have their showers and go to bed.

I am SO totally going to enjoy this AliceBot phase while it lasts. She was FUN, eager, and hilarious. That is a seriously funny little kid.

Mommy Yes Day

Alice crosses the monkey bars

Originally uploaded by messygoat

Today was Mommy Yes Day — I tried to say Yes to the girls as much as possible. So when they wanted to go to their school and play on the playground, we went home to grab jackets (which they didn’t wear) and my knitting (which I didn’t do) and my camera (which I did use a lot), and played for over 2 hours.

Alice went back and forth across these monkey bars a bunch of times and was very proud of herself, so she asked me to please get a video of it so Daddy could see. Then as SOON as we got home, she ran up to ask Daddy if he’d seen it yet. Patience is not her gift, clearly.

Mommy Yes Day wore both girls out, though — Helen had a meltdown around 4:00 and Alice came home and passed out.

More photos will be posted in this blog entry — the girls were both posing for me a lot — if you’re reading this on a reader — click through and you can see them. The light was perfect.

Helen Girls
Alice Helen