Handsewing averted

I finished the quilt!  And thanks to a few hints and tips from Dancingstar I managed to do it without a single stitch of the dreaded handsewing (for which I am truly thankful, because it was a really long way around that binding even on a machine – if I’d had to do it by hand, it would have taken me weeks!)
I’m quite proud of my efforts:

I’ve had the kids staying with me for a few days – Brother and SIL were going up to Blenheim for a wedding, so they dropped the kids off with me on their way through on Thursday night (I took Friday off work), and picked them up again on their way home on Saturday afternoon.  It’s the first time I’ve had all three kids to stay on their own, and it went really well – we had loads of fun, they were (mostly) really well behaved, and I was utterly shattered by the end of the visit.  We went swimming (even though the city council chose that day to shut down all the hydroslides and outdoor pools at Jellie Park for some reason), explored Riccarton Mall, made popcorn and watched a DVD (in lieu of going to a movie, because there was nothing showing that the boys wanted to see that was age-appropriate for Niece), played Playstation games, and of course, spent many many hours playing Minecraft.  And Niece and I even fitted in a visit to the playground and feeding the ducks while the boys were still fast asleep on Friday morning.
Things I learnt:

  • Distances increase exponentially when walking with children.  Jellie Park is a very long way away.
  • When you haven’t been swimming in years, even mucking around in the learners’ pool with a 4 year old uses a lot of muscles you forgot you had.
  • The learners’ pool is very shallow, and is very sore on the knees every time you forget that fact.
  • Jellie Park is a very very very long way away when you’re carrying home a 4 year old who was so tired she fell asleep over her lunch after spending the morning swimming.
  • The best way to get an overtired but determined not to miss out on anything 4 year old to go to bed is to pretend that everyone is going to bed straight after dinner because we’re all so tired (yawn, yawn), wait 5 minutes after her head hits the pillow until she’s fast asleep, then return to playing Minecraft with the boys.
  • There is no effective way to get the boys to go to bed.  It’s easiest just to give up and go to bed yourself and leave them playing Minecraft.  They’ll either eventually put themselves to bed, or they’ll fall asleep at the computer.
  • The best way to get the house tidy at the end of a visit is to tell the kids they can’t play Minecraft until their sleeping bags and camp stretchers are folded up and put away, their bags are repacked, and the breakfast dishes are done.  Suddenly they become super-efficient workers!
  • The downside of utterly spoiling the kids by letting them eat takeaways and junk food for every meal is that you have to eat it too, so by Saturday night you’ll be seriously craving a salad.

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  1. Yay! Quilt looks amazeballs! Totally trying that one out when I get through my PHDs (Projects Half Done) haha yeah I know, like that will happen any time this century. but you really did do well and I’m glad I was able to help. Need any pointers on the next project??? I have OODLES of ideas just waiting to be used!
    As for the things you learnt, yep, yep and yep 🙂 BTW… is ‘learnt’ an official grammatically correct word? I always thought it was but I keep getting told its not. Insight?

    1. Well, as a linguist, I’d tell you that anything you say as a native speaker of English is by definition correct grammar for your idiolect* 🙂
      But in terms of what’s more generally considered “correct”, it depends on what country you’re in. “Learnt” is correct in most varieties of British English, but American English prefers “learned”. The grammar of NZ English and Australian English usually falls somewhere between British and American English (plus a few unique features of our own), but Australian English tends to be a little bit more American than NZ English. So while “learnt” is correct in NZ (though “learned” is also acceptable to many people), it may be that Australians find “learned” more acceptable than “learnt” (ok, so now I want to survey all my Australian friends and test my theory…). And of course, these things change over time – it’s likely that older Australians and NZers will have a different distribution of “learnt” to “learned” than younger people (my guess, given the patterns of immigration and the influence of the media, would be older people will use “learnt” more often, and younger will use “learned”).
      Sorry, this seems to have turned into an essay! It’s always dangerous to ask me questions about language 😉
      Short answer: you’re right, but so are they.
      (*idiolect = like a dialect, but specific to one person)

  2. ooooh… I just worked out how I am going to do this AND use up some of my offcuts before Mt “this will be useful someday” goes into full avalanche mode. Its so perfect I don’t know why i didn’t think of it before. But I have to ask what width were the strips you started with?

    1. 2.5″ strips. It’s a pretty small quilt (it’s for a baby, after all), but I’m sure the pattern would repeat nicely for a larger one.

      1. Perfect 🙂 I use a lot of Fat Quarters for standard quilts but cutting 9 standard squares usually leaves a strip of fabric from the bottom that is somewhere between 3-4 inches wide depending on how well the FQ was cut in the first place. I have been making some random stuff from these strips now and then but generally I have a large collection of very random fabric already in strips that now have a purpose. Yay you.

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