Thursday, April 26, 2012

The last steps...

The last few steps for this blanket are:  serving the edges(it makes a nice, lasting finish) and then clipping all the raw edges on the right side of the blanket.  The clips are made about every 1/2 to one inch, I don't try to get them all the same because I like a more natural finish.
Here's the blanket after serging:
I typically round the corners to make it easier to serge.  The clipping is done like this, with the spring loaded snips in the picture, they're easier on the hands.

The last step is the one I don't have a photo of for this blanket, and that's washing.  When you wash the blanket with it's snipped flannel squares, they fray and make a nice, soft, raggy edge that's similar to chenille.  It also makes a TON of lint, which gradually decreases with each washing.  I keep trying to do the washing step at a laundromat, but that doesn't always fit with my day.  I didn't get a final shot of this blanket because I missed one row of clipping(thanks, Katie, for fixing it), and I was running a bit behind.  Here's the effect on another blanket:
So, that's it!  Except that Gabe has asked for one from my assortment of scraps.  It's really hard to resist Gabe.

Monday, April 23, 2012


This is my last blanket for an order for a friend of mine.  I'm just documenting the process.
First step is to cut out all the squares.  The squares are actually cut in pairs, but you cut both at once, so it's  not extra work to cut them out.  For this blanket, I'm using 180 squares, but I didn't know that going in so I cut out more like 200.  Here are the stacks of squares:

The next step I showed was the layout.  It takes quite awhile to get from the cutting to the layout, because each pair of squares needs to be sewn together with an X from corner to corner, like this:

Then, I lay it out.  This blanket is going to be a nine-patch, so I choose a pattern that I like and go to town:

Wait, I think that's only the top half.

After I have it the way I want, I pick up each of the blocks(groups of nine), number them, and assemble them, like this:

When all the blocks in a row are assembled, I stitch the row together.  Here are my first three rows:

There will be five rows of four blocks each.  Tomorrow I'll post the last couple of steps, and the finished blanket!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Philip's First Communion

April 15 was Philip's First Communion!  He was so excited & happy.  He even enjoyed taking up the gifts, and wearing a suit was a thrill for him.  After he came back to the pew from receiving Jesus, he prayed silently, then leaned over an whispered to me, "Mom, I feel so good right now!"  Congratulations to our Cutie Pie!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bad Flying Karma

I feel so bad for Clint.  Something happens EVERY time he goes anywhere.  Today's adventure:  His connecting flight was bumped up 1/2 an hour, so he was rebooked on an earlier departing flight from here.  The problem is that the airline didn't bother to notify him.  So he was surprised to arrive at the airport to discover that his flight was gone.  Oops.  I hope the rest of his trip goes smoothly.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


They've done it again.  One of them has finally done something that I just didn't see coming.  And this one will require a lengthy punishment and a great increase in vigilance, so it's the gift that keeps on giving.
I love them, but I'm exhausted.
Pressing on toward the goal, but a little more slowly.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Aaaaaaaleeluuuuia!
Note to self:
a three-year-old, and a three-hour-long Easter Vigil Mass don't necessarily go together just because they both have a "three" in them.  (He did great, all things considered, and I finally did get him so deeply asleep that even the incredibly enthusiastic organist couldn't wake him!)
Many blessings to all,

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Confession Question

One of my darlings:  "Mom, is wishing that someone was never born the same as wishing evil on them?"
Me(with a straight face): "Yes, it is."

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Lone Ranger vs. The Magnificent Seven

As a little girl, I was very loving and very communal.  Apparently, I really did believe that strangers were just friends I hadn't met yet.
Then my life got a little strange, I withdrew into a shell of my own making and decided that who I really wanted to be was The Lone Ranger.  I can do it myself, doggone it!  (Somehow, I always seemed to forget that even he had Tonto.)  No matter what happened, I could get through it.  On my own.  I'm strong enough.  Really.
I was reminded recently that Catholic spirituality has no room for Lone Rangers.  Even God is a community of love.  We aren't decanted from jars like the babies in Huxley's dystopia, we are born to mothers, usually in families.  And the Sacraments are all communal, they require at least one other person(the priest) and usually more: parents, godparents, spouses, etc.  We are all created for God, and because of that we are also created for each other.  And just in case we still don't get it, Jesus was born into a family.  He lived in a town.  He travelled around with his disciples.  Simon of Cyrene helped him carry his cross.  His mom, her friends(relatives?), and the beloved disciple stayed with him on Calvary.  He rose and appeared to still more people, then rejoined his disciples for awhile.  Now, he's at the right hand of the Father, and on every altar for each of us at least every Sunday.  Still feel like the Lone Ranger?
Check out The Magnificent Seven.