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Finally! This quilt took quite a while (and these pictures bite ... but they're the best I've got today), I made such a point of making every seam match up just right and each seam really straight in an attempt to improve my technique. The sewing machine was giving me fits again, but with lots of TLC it did the job. The quilt is finished and I love it. The fabric that started it all is the Chinese Kids print from Michael Miller. M and I saw it at our local quilt shop and fell in love ... madly in love. The pretty little pink and blue floral print reminds me of Cath Kidston for some reason and just makes me smile every time I look at it. Instead of quilting it with a straight stitch I used a wavy stitch and am very happy ... it keeps the fabric from laying really flat and gives it a "fluffier" look. I was hesitant to stitch through the kids, but decided that since I had no problem cutting through them I should be okay sewing through them ... and I was. This will go in my shop in the next few days.

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I thought I'd also be done with this quilt by now, but I still have half the binding left to stitch, which should be done this evening. I'd planned to do it at work today, but I was busy getting famous (oh, not really ... but maybe a teeny tiny wee bit on television) - the video news segment is on the right. I posted more about that experience on the Ditto Kiddo blog.

My iron is back to "like new" after cleaning it with Easy Off Oven Cleaner. I haven't used it yet, so I'm not sure what leftovers might drip out of it, but it looks really sparkly. The carpet will survive too. I'm going to buy a rug of some sort to stick out from under the wicker couch. I could just move the couch but I have a thing about things being in exactly the right place, and each piece of furniture in the family room (maybe even the whole house) has a "right" place ... and having it moved might upset the balance of the whole wide world. Or maybe I'll throw caution to the wind and move it 6".

The sailor has returned home - happy and exhausted. Hopefully I'll be able to share some of her pictures soon. She had a great time ... as we expected and is now getting ready for high school to start on Monday. First day of "real" school since first grade. Funny things we've learned so far ... she has no idea how to open the lock on her locker because she's never had a lock, and we have no idea what we're supposed to buy for a backpack, again, because she's never had one. She is excited about school. Me, I'd be a nervous shy wreck, but not her ... she's ready to jump in and never look back. I'm so proud of her.

The other kids will start school Monday too and I'm not the least bit ready. Seriously, we haven't even cleaned up their school work from last year or had them reviewed for last year yet. My whole plan for this year is to just go by what the other kids did at the same age ... figuring since we've already done everything once or twice we should have the books to do it again. Last year this plan backfired and we didn't start some subjects until about 6 weeks after the others ... because we had to wait for our book order to come in. Oops. Is it obvious that we're not very rigid homeschoolers? Yes ... the furniture has to be in exactly the right place, but the education can be done by the seat of our pants. Weird, but I think it's good ... much more fun and relaxing for all of us, and with our work/sailing/life schedules flexible is pretty important. Ready or not ... we will start school Monday ... it's funny, but we look forward to school starting as much as everyone does, because giving them schoolwork/something to do is much better than the bored, restless bickering and horseplay that's been going on the last few days!

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