November 11, 2017

Romanticizing the morning commute

by Decemberbaby

We’re living at my parents’ house this year, while our house undergoes extensive (and expensive – I always wonder how often those two get misheard as each other) renovations. Yes, after so much deliberation we’re finally gutting our little bungalow, adding a second storey and an attic, and completely rearranging the main floor and basement. It’s exciting and I want to tell you all about it, but not today.

Anyhow, as I was saying, we’re living at my parents’ house this year. Normally we’d drive to school – at 8 km, the distance is too great to be able to bike there. Living with my parents, though, puts us a mere 2 km from school – and so we bike as often as we can.

If you’re one of my two loyal readers, you know how I feel about biking. Imagine how exciting it is that three of my children can finally ride their own bikes. I have to say, the bike commute is something I’m really going to miss when we move back to our own house.

Despite their initial complaints (“I’m tired!” “This is hard!” “It’s too far!”), the children can now do the 2 km ride with no complaints and without stopping… on a good day. On a bad day, the ride is 25 minutes of whining, stopping, crying, kicking, screaming, complaining… On our most recent (frustrating) ride to school, Mr. December looked at me and said, “Remember this when we’re back in our own house and can’t bike anymore. Don’t romanticize this biking to school thing. This is terrible!”

I actually don’t mind that the ride is sometimes more an exercise in frustration than just exercise. One of our parenting goals is to help our children develop some serious grit. As often as I can, I like to tell them, “It’s okay that it’s hard. You can do hard things!” I like to remind them, as they pedal right up the incline at the end of our street, that they used to have to get off their bikes and walk up that “hill.” I’m hoping that this contributes to a growth mindset, where the kids see that with repeated practice the morning ride becomes easier, and more good than bad.

But every day, easy or hard, good or bad, we start the day with physical activity, fresh air, and a tour of the neighbourhood where we greet the same faces day after day. It’s awesome even when it’s not, if you know what I mean.

And I have to say, it makes my heart feel very full every time I see this:IMG_3062

Or this:

IMG_2997

And yes, those photos were actually taken en route to school. Aren’t we lucky to have such a picturesque route? I’m going to miss this – and I’m not romanticizing!

 

 

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October 9, 2017

It all makes sense now…

by Decemberbaby

1985. I’m five years old, and my family keeps remarking that I have “no zitsfleisch” (literally, “sitting flesh”) – I simply can’t sit still. My teacher remarks to my mother that I’m paying attention… to everything except the lesson. My mother asks the teacher to ask me a few questions about the material. Turns out I’ve heard it all. Mum figures I was bored.

1990. I’m becoming more out-of-sync with my peers, socially speaking. I don’t have many friends. It often feels like the other kids are being rude or mean to me. At least I’m excelling academically. I’ve learned to sit still, but something is always moving – usually my toes, tapping out a pattern inside my shoes.

1997. I have friends now. I’m still a good student, except in math and chemistry. As equations get longer, I can’t seem to do them properly. I understand how it works, I understand what I need to do… but somehow I get derailed and end up with the wrong solution. The only time I can succeed at math is when my dad sits next to me and keeps me focusing on the next step. In the end, I drop math. I’m still tapping my toes.

2001. I’ve done a couple of really cool things in the last few years: I wrote and produced an album of original songs; I ran a half-triathlon (and came second in my age class). The album never got anywhere – I didn’t really bother promoting it at all. The triathlon was a one-off: fun to do once, but I felt no need to repeat it. I’m bursting with creative ideas and often can’t wait in meetings – by the time my turn to talk comes I’ll surely have forgotten what I was going to say because of the twenty new ideas that have flashed through my brain in the intervening minutes. My apartment is littered with half-drunk glasses of water and cups of tea – every time I put my drink down and do something else, I forget where I left it… so I go to get a new one… several times a day.

2005. Despite my amazing memory for names, numbers, and trivia, I tend to forget a lot of things. Leaving the house involves a few false starts: Oops, no keys. Oh, my sunglasses. Where is that cheque I had to mail? I’m great at organizing systems, but not so good at keeping them organized. I’ve learned enough about myself to know that I have lots of good ideas – it’s the follow-through that I’m terrible at. I joke that I’d rather build a new table than clean the one I have.

2015. I have four children and am now responsible for organizing 5 (sometimes six) lives and schedules. I miss a lot of things. Double-booking myself is a frequent occurrence and I usually just hope that someone else will cancel and it will magically work out (it often does.) I’m often late. I forget to do things that need to be done. I’m terrible at imposing (and maintaining) structure and routines for my kids. My husband is frustrated with my constant failure to remember and follow through. I’m frustrated with myself. What is wrong with me? While reading a book about how to help my child who has been diagnosed with ADHD, the penny drops. I speak to my psychiatrist who assesses me and says, “well, looks like you have ADHD.” What a relief – it’s not my fault. I can work with this.

2017. Things have improved tremendously. I’ve stopped berating myself for being inconsistent and careless. My husband understands now and helps me develop better systems so I can remember and get things done. I’m still terrible at implementing routines at home, but I don’t beat myself up over it anymore. My toes are still tapping and I still have abandoned water glasses everywhere. I still find it extremely difficult to maintain focus on things that are hard for me, and I still get distracted by minutiae – but now I can see it happening and get myself back on track much more quickly. I’m still bursting with ideas. Nothing has really changed. Everything has changed.

I’ve heard it said that “labels are for clothing, not people”; but I disagree. Labels come with care instructions – and I definitely needed some of those.

 

February 2, 2017

Night owl seeks 6 a.m.

by Decemberbaby

I thought this day would never come.

Oh sure, I’ve aspired to be a morning person my whole life. The early morning is so peaceful and calm, not to mention the beautiful sunrises. But I’ve never managed to keep it up. A week here, a couple of days there, and the exhaustion would hit me hard enough that I gave it up.

Until now.

The only difference that I can see is my mindset. Waking up later is not an option anymore; the same way that 8:00 used to be my cutoff wake-up time because otherwise the kids would be late to school, 6:00 is now my cutoff wake-up time because otherwise I’m just not as nice a parent or as effective a person as I’d like to be.

So how did I do it?

Mostly once I made up my mind that I have to wake up before everyone else I was able to force myself to follow through. But a few tricks have helped me:

My alarm doesn’t yell at me or blare music. Instead, I hear the sound of chirping birds, soft at first, then getting louder. It’s like slowly waking up in the woods – I can lie there and laze for a few minutes, but it’s hard to resist getting up. (Note: this doesn’t work for everybody. My mum tried it and said she woke up in a good mood for the first week, and then she started waking up thinking, “Shut up, birds!”)

I never thought my penchant for reading fanfic on my phone would help me become a morning person, but here we are. I usually read for about 20 minutes before I even get out of bed. I find that the light from the screen wakes up my brain. A few articles or some chapters of a story, and I’m awake enough to get up without hurting myself.

I get dressed right away. I arrange all my morning clothes – including socks and underwear – one one hanger that hangs on the door handle of my wardrobe. I can (and usually do) get dressed in the dark. It’s quick – no decisions, no searching for the perfect socks – and once I’m dressed I can’t get back into bed.

When I leave the bedroom, I close all the doors to the bedroom hallway and then turn on every light in the kitchen, living room, and dining room. It helps me pretend that it’s not still nighttime.

And then… then my time is my own for at least half an hour. I blog. I stretch. Sometimes I clear my desk and pay and file the bills. Some mornings I start a pot of oatmeal on the stove. I get important things out of the way before my day really begins.

(Hot tip: If you have to call a customer service line of some kind, do it around 7 a.m. Nobody else is calling at that hour and you’ll spend exactly zero minutes on hold. It’s magical.)

Is all this worth it? You could ask my kids, who’d probably tell you that now I wake them up with a song and a snuggle instead of by shouting, “Get UP! We have to GO!”; you could ask our violin teacher, who would tell you that the kids’ progress has accelerated since we started practicing daily before school (after school practice was a fight); Or you could ask me.

I like myself better when I wake up early. By 9:00 a.m. I’ve already accomplished something beyond getting the kids to school. I’m so much more productive when nobody else is awake that my morning half-hour of work can easily cover an hour or more of daytime effort.

And that’s a really good thing, because holy cow, am I exhausted. I’m going to need a nap.

 

Are you an early riser? An aspiring one? An unapologetic night owl? Share your tips, if you’ve got any, in the comments below. If mine stop working I’m going to need more in my arsenal.

December 21, 2016

Oh, hang it all…

by Decemberbaby

I’d forgotten how insane the first two years of a new baby are. I mean, really insane. But the little one is almost two now, and suddenly I have time to do projects AND blog about them!

Last year we started doing Suzuki violin with the three older kids. Then I got violin envy and bought myself a cheap violin so I could play along with them during practice. And then I started to miss my viola, so I reclaimed it from my brother (he borrowed it in high school) and traded it in for something smaller (I have no desire to repeat the tendinitis I had in high school). So now we have four violins and one viola, and that’s a lot of cases to keep out in the living room.

Have you ever noticed that the stupidest things can keep you from doing a task? Like, the garbage can needs a new bag but you don’t really want to put one in, so you leave the cheese wrapper on the counter for the next person to deal with?

(What, that doesn’t happen in your house? The Mr. and I are going to have a talk about this…)

Around here we call it “friction” – the annoying little things that are a deterrent to doing things right. Having a laundry hamper with a lid is friction. Having to stand on a step stool to reach the healthy food is friction. Having to open your instrument case, remove the instrument, attach the shoulder rest, and remove the bow – you’d better believe that’s friction.

As any Suzuki parent will attest, it can be enough of a challenge to get your kids to practice their violins. And frankly, even I would sometimes choose not to practice – even though I love playing my viola – because I only had a minute and it would take more than half that to get my viola out and ready to play. So I started thinking about ways to store the violins so that they’re ready to go, easy to see, and still safe from bumps, scratches, and dry air. And I started thinking about how violin shops display their instruments, and after some googling and some more thinking I built this:

violin-case-open-2

Can you spot the viola?

It started life as a BONDE storage unit from IKEA. We’ve had it for 12 years and have used it to store wine glasses, serving platters, candlesticks, menorahs, and basically anything that wasn’t ugly enough to put behind closed doors.

But now it’s a violin display case. Because it has a door, the violins can’t get knocked or scratched when they’re hanging there. Also because of the door, I can humidify the air a bit so the instruments don’t dry out and crack. And because the door is glass, we can see the violins hanging there, whispering “play us… play us!”

Do you need one of these? Well, then. Roll up your sleeves and gather the following:

  • 1×3 dimensional lumber, length determined by the side of your cabinet and the number of instruments being stored.
  • several wire hangers – one hanger is good for two instruments.
  • some narrow wood lath or wood moulding, same length as the board (one for each side)
  • finish nails
  • carpenter’s glue
  • wire cutters
  • pliers

So here’s how I did it (in about 10 minutes.) First, I took a piece of 1×3 lumber and drilled holes into the side. You’ll have to measure your instruments for best results, but I found that a spacing of four inches between instruments works well for the children’s violins (1/16 to 1/4 size) and six inches are needed for a full size violin and 15″ viola. So measure those distances on each side of the board, and using a narrow drill bit, drill holes into the sides. The holes on both sides should line up with each other.

Next grab some plastic-coated wire hangers (we get them from the dry cleaners), cut off the twisted and hooked part, and straighten out the rest with your pliers. Cut a length of 12″ for each instrument you’ll be hanging. Then shape the wire into a rectangle (about 3″ on bottom and 3 1/2″ on either side), with the cut ends forming the top of the rectangle.

Partially fill the holes you drilled in the 1×3 with carpenter’s glue. Place the two cut ends of the wire rectangle into one pair of holes (one end on either side of the 1×3) and press them as far in as they will go. Hold them there for a moment so that they stay when you let go. Repeat for as many hangers are you need.

Theoretically you should be able to stop here. But I’m paranoid about my instruments, and so I added a strip of 3/4″ moulding to each side of the board (I used both glue and nails) so that the wire cannot be pulled out of the board. I recommend doing that.

Finally, you’ve got to attach the hanger to the inside top of the cabinet or shelf. I was able to take the shelf out and install the hanger while it was on the floor, but you might have to do this inside the cabinet. If you do, get someone to help you hold it up straight while you screw through the board and into the top of the cabinet. I used 4 screws and it’s quite solid.

violin-rack-closeup

The bottom line here is that in one fell swoop I’ve reduced the number of excess wire hangers, used up some of my scrap wood, and made it extremely easy to just pull an instrument out and play it – even for a short minute or two. The kids practice more, I practice more, and the living room looks just a bit more sophisticated.

If only all of life’s friction points were this easy to eliminate…

violin-case-closed

Case closed.

 

November 13, 2015

Better living through chemistr- I mean, manual labour.

by Decemberbaby

Wood pile

See that? It’s my new antidepressant.

Until a few weeks ago, I had never wielded an axe. But we had these two trees in our yard that had to come down, and given how much I love wood fires it seemed prudent to keep the wood. Unfortunately, the arborist wasn’t willing to go as far as splitting the logs for me.

That’s how I wound up on Amazon, buying an axe.

It arrived two days later. I had watched a youtube video and read a few articles about how to split wood, and so I ventured out into the backyard to get started on my woodpile. I set up a large stump as a chopping block, cleared the area around it of tripping hazards, and picked out a couple of good-looking logs to be my first victims.

I’ll spare you the blow-by-blow (pun intended.) Instead I’ll just tell you that the entire time, I felt like some Hollywood princess on a reality show about trying to live like pioneers. The axe bounced. The wood toppled over. I chipped off tiny little pieces of kindling when I’d really been aiming for the centre of the log. After an hour I was sweating profusely and my arms were shaking. I had split a grand total of ten logs. It felt good.

I definitely had that post-workout high. And then there was the satisfaction of doing something productive and useful (something I could actually physically point to and say, “that wasn’t there before, and now it is.”) It was so unlike the feeling of completing any other household chore. You know that feeling? “Look at that clean floor! I just mopped it and it looks so goo- oh. It’s okay, honey. I know you didn’t mean to spill the entire bottle of juice (sob).”

In psychology 100, we learned about “learned helplessness.” Scientists put puppies in a box with a little divider. Once the puppies were settled on one side of the box, they were given a mild electric shock. The puppies moved to the other side. At this point, the control group was left alone (only receiving shocks if they returned to the first side of the box) while the experimental group was given shocks no matter where they moved. It didn’t take long for the puppies in the experimental group to just lie down and give up. That’s learned helplessness: the feeling that whatever you do, nothing will ever change. And learned helplessness is a factor in clinical depression.

So much of our work is cerebral, ephemeral, or both. It’s easy to feel like what we do doesn’t really make a difference. There’s so little concrete work in our modern urban lives. That’s why I’ll be heading out most mornings to swing an axe, chop some wood, and achieve a better life through manual labour.

October 4, 2015

The Summer of K

by Decemberbaby

My, it has been a long time. Is it St. Swithin’s day already?

*crickets chirp*

Right, I forgot. I’m old now, and Simpsons references just date me. Younger people than I just gape incredulously when I explain that yes, The Simpsons used to be extremely funny. Point being, we’re all getting older.

This summer saw an amazing milestone for K: she made friends with a girl on our block (note: this is amazing because we don’t go to the local school.) I immediately let her know that she could walk to her friend’s house by herself as long as she let me know when she was leaving home. Thus began the Victoria Day long weekend (third weekend in May, for my non-Canadian readers.)

Since that weekend, I’ve become used to the shouts of “I’m going to K’s house!” (yes, K’s new best friend also has a name that starts with K, which is quite similar to our K’s name. Think along the lines of “Layla and Lyla” and you’re on the right track.) It has become normal to have K’s friend at our dinner table or in our backyard. Their bikes kept each other company on our driveway. Toys, crafts, and even clothes went back and forth.

It was a major parenting milestone for me, too: the first time one of my children could spend all day entertaining herself independently. K would leave the house and return with her friend, then yell, “Eema, we’re going biking in the cul de sac,” and leave again. An hour or so later I’d hear the door and shouts of, “we’re just getting a drink and a snack!” and the slam of the back door as they ran out to the treehouse. It was idyllic and nostalgic and simply wonderful.

Since the summer ended, many people have commented that K has matured so much since last school year. I see it too. What was the catalyst? Was it the close friendship with K? Or the knowledge that she is trusted to navigate a small part of the world by herself? Is it that she can, in a small way, manage her own social schedule without relying on adult availability? Or is it all a coincidence, a constellation of events made possible by her increasing maturity?

It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I seem to have, at times, gained a kid and yet at other times to have lost one; what matters is the joy of watching my first fledgeling spread her wings just a little bit; what matters is the bicycles on the driveway, and the closeness between the girls who ride them.

Bikes

April 12, 2015

It’s good to have a goal.

by Decemberbaby

Instant gratification is nice. Working hard towards a goal feels good in its own way, but there’s something fun and exciting about being able to start and finish a project in the same hour.

After installing the baby seat in our Bakfiets today, I took a look around the garage and noticed that I still had a bucket of PVC pipes and parts left over from a different project. I had intended to use it to build a bike rack for the kids, but I didn’t have enough of the right connectors for that, so I built this instead:

DIY soccer or hockey net no instructions

N has been really into street hockey lately, and R likes kicking a ball around, so I’m hoping this net will inspire some pickup games.

Want to make one yourself? It’s very, very simple. You need:

  • PVC pipe – 2 of each of the following lengths: 40 inches, 32 inches, 15 inches
  • PVC connectors – 6 elbow joints, sized to fit the above pipe
  • Netting – I used plastic netting that is sold in the garden centre, but use whatever you like. You’ll need a piece that’s at least 48″ wide and 48″ long.
  • Zip ties – these are sometimes called cable ties. Anyhow, pick up a bag of light-duty ties (should be about 50 in a bag.)
  • A pipe cutter for PVC (not expensive at all, or you can have the pipe cut for you at the store.)
  • Scissors

That’s really all you need. I feel like it’s a simple enough project that you don’t need a step-by-step tutorial, but for those spatially challenged folks among us, here’s a diagram of where everything goes:

DIY soccer or hockey netHappy building! I’m going out to play.

April 10, 2015

Loving the iPhone

by Decemberbaby

Those of you who are still with me (yes, all five of you) might remember my dilemma over moving up from a dumbphone and iPod to an iPhone. Well, I finally took the plunge, bought a used iPhone 5, and discovered that I had nothing to fear. Well, not much.

I got a pretty small data plan which allows me to check maps and such when I’m out and about, but doesn’t do much else without WiFi. At $35 a month, it’s only $5 more expensive than my previous talk-only plan. So on that score, it’s all good.

Now, as for my fear of using it all the time and not looking up from it: Since I’ve disabled most cellular data on my phone, there’s not much I can do with my phone when I’m out with the kids. I haven’t even installed Facebook, and I won’t. Frankly, the only time I pull out my phone when I’m out with the family is to check the time or use the camera.

Ah, the camera. I used to be the kind of parent who rarely remembered to bring the camera, and thus missed out on some very sweet moments. Not anymore. My phone’s built-in camera is actually better than the digital camera I was using before, and I use it all the time. Score one for the iPhone.

The very best thing about my phone, though, is the way it helps me externalize my brain. Let’s face it: four kids aged seven and under, including a newborn who doesn’t sleep through the night. Left to my brain’s own devices I forget all kinds of things. Appointments get missed. Follow-up never happens. Tasks fall through the cracks. But with my external brain – er, I mean, iPhone – all I have to do is push a button and talk to Siri:

“Siri, remind me to check on the brownies in 35 minutes.”

“Siri, schedule Dr. E at 9:15 a.m. next Wednesday.”

“Siri, show me my overdue tasks on my to-do list.”

And Siri does!

She also phones people for me, takes dictation, and tells me how long it will take me to get to my next destination. And she remembers everything I say. I think I’m in love.

Long story short: I love my iPhone. It makes my life so much simpler, less frustrating, better documented, and just better all around. If you’re fearing the smartphone like I was, take heart: it’s just an external brain. You get to decide how to use it – and how not to.

March 25, 2015

The more kids I have, the more organized I get.

by Decemberbaby

It’s been an eventful five(!) months since my last post. Most notably, I had a baby. She’s beautiful, magical, sweet, everything a baby should be, really. For those of you who have difficulty keeping track, I now have four kids.

I get a couple of different reactions to my large family. Generally, religious people (of any faith) say something along the lines of, “what a blessing!” or, “isn’t that wonderful!” while the non-religious seem to favour, “you really have your hands full.” It’s a fascinating dichotomy which I’m sure reveals some deeper societal tendencies, but I’m too sleep-deprived to think any more deeply about it right now. If you can draw conclusions and articulate them, please share with the rest of us by leaving it in the comments.

But I digress.

I’ll let you in on the secret to having four kids and not going completely insane: organize, ritualize, and build infrastructure. And having some help, either paid or grandparents, doesn’t hurt either. But I can’t tell you how to make that happen, so I’ll elaborate on the first three.

Organize:

Every person in our family, adult or child, has a binder which contains all of their official documents, all of their health information, school reports (for the kids), extracurricular information, tax information, and – for those who need it – sections for speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc. Everything gets filed in these binders so that everyone knows where to look for the important stuff.

Each child (well, not the new baby) has a “look at me binder.” It’s just a plain binder with plastic page protectors inside. Whenever they bring home work that they are especially proud of, it goes into a page protector in that binder. If there’s a whole pile of artwork or school work, I ask the kids to choose a few favourites to keep. Those go into the binder, and everything else goes into the recycle bin. The binder doesn’t require any annotation, creativity, or time, and yet it creates an archive of work that’s very easy to flip through and enjoy.

We write everything down. Corollary: if it’s not in writing, it didn’t (or won’t) happen. I have a chalkboard in the kitchen where I write down the menu for tomorrow’s breakfast (usually a smoothie and something else) as well as any important notes, like “remember to bring gym clothes for trampoline class” or “no lunches – today is pizza day.” Not only does it remind us of what needs to happen, it seems to reduce tantrums, too. Recently K suggested, “Eema, you should write down what’s for dinner on the blackboard, too. That way I won’t have to feel disappointed.”

Speaking of dinner, I finally got smart and typed out a 3-week meal plan along with recipes for every dinner on the plan. The recipes are written simply (so that one day the kids will be able to cook from them) and include serving suggestions and side dish recommendations. It’s all in one binder (yes, I love binders) in the kitchen, which eliminates the frantic scramble for dinner ideas and then for recipes. Of course, we often don’t feel like what’s on the plan, so we improvise, and then there’s a scramble anyway… but on days when I can’t think or decide, the dinner binder is a lifesaver.

And lastly, the smartphone. Yes, I caved and bought the smartphone I was so afraid of. Everything is on it – calendar, “to do” lists, random notes – and it’s like walking around with an extra brain outside my body, which is a good thing since the brain inside my body seems to have lost its sharpness for now.

That’s about it for being organized. In fact, that’s it for this post. Tune in next time, when I expound on creating rituals.

What organizational tricks can I learn from you, readers? Please comment and let me know.

October 28, 2014

Show Off

by Decemberbaby

It’s been a while since I showed you any of my creative work. I did some sewing last year, while I was off the blog, and have finally gotten around to uploading the photos from my camera. So, without further ado, I give you:

Gumdrops Quilt for K

K moved to a big-kid bed last year, and she needed a quilt or blanket for it. Setting a precedent for the rest of my children, I went ahead and made her a quilt to keep her warm and to mark this big step for her. She requested pink and purple, and so I gleefully dug into my scraps (I have WAY too much fabric) and found enough of them to make this:

CIMG3422

It’s a design called Gumdrops from the book Sunday Morning Quilts. The background is Kona White, the colours are scraps from previous projects, and the backing is…

CIMG3431

Well, it’s not anything quilters would recognize. You see, when we were vacationing on our island in the sun last winter, I discovered that a decent number of people on the island still sew their own clothes, sheets, and everything else. The fabric store I happened to walk into (a chain store with a presence in the nearby mall) had tons of fabrics at very low prices. They even had zippers for $1.25 U.S. each, which any seamstress up here will tell you is crazy cheap. I actually came back with a suitcase full of fabric. But I digress.

The backing is 100% cotton sheeting, which in practical terms means that it’s wide enough to make sheets for a double bed without having to make seams. K fell in love with the colours and the design and although her quilt was not on my design board yet, I agreed it would make a great quilt backing. As you can see from the photo above, both K and her stuffed cheetah agree.

CIMG3428

As you can see from the binding, once I got started using scraps I couldn’t stop. There are about 10 different fabrics that make up the binding, and I’m very pleased with how it looks.

As for quilting, I had some fun with my sewing machine’s embroidery foot and free-motion quilted the whole thing. At this point I realized that this quilt is a great design to “quilt as you go.” I’ll remember that for next time. Anyhow, I did a stippling pattern on the white background and quilted just inside the edge of each gumdrop shape for a raw-edge applique look. After repeated washings, I can tell you that the quilting has held up beautifully and the gumdrops’ edges are very attractively frayed. But I digress. Here’s the quilting from the back, which gives you a much better view:

 

CIMG3433 CIMG3434

Of course, no quilt would be complete without a label. It’s the last thing I sew on every quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CIMG3435

The quilt now resides on K’s big-girl bed. She takes great pride in spreading it flat in the mornings, and snuggles under it every night. A few nights ago at bedtime she hugged me and said, “‘Night, Eema. Thank you for my snuggly quilt.”