Oh this beast turned out so simply and complicatedly adorable. I love it. Yes, it has some funk and whoopsees! But, for the most part, it is just grand. And warm. And I feel like the build up to this project completion and post should satisfy my blog quota for at least three months.

We have been sleeping with it even though it wasn't done for a few weeks. The binding sewing was eye-bleedingly tedious but, I have to admit, it is lovely and beats machine-stitched binding. See how I get all quilt snobby and uppity now? I deserve it. I quilt. I hand-stitch a million yards of binding.

The pattern I designed is super simple. No baskets or holly hobbies or even diagonals. It was still a lot of work just to get the corners square. And, I am not just saying that. This whole business of exactness is not my strength. I am used to sewing on a lick and a promise and that behavior doesn't fly in Quilt World. And, for the most part, I am proud to say those bastard corners are square yo. I for sure have a new crazy appreciation for the real Quilters out there.

This all started when I realized that I never ever prioritize our bedroom. The place where I sleep and wake. Where Margot was conceived (too much info? deal. true.). Where I was in labor for hours, where I regularly cuddle with any combination of the mammals in my household. When I do a shiquat (wish I knew how to spell this...my Italian brother-in-law uses it for a quicky clean) on the house for dinner guests, all the random stuff is piled in my room. We don't dust our room. We rarely vacuum our room. We don't change our sheets often enough. We don't have dust bunnies in there. We have dust elk.

So, I decided I'd start with my bed. The tj maxx score was fine for a few years but I wanted a special, cozy, sexy covering for me and my man at night. Last year, I took a sewing class and learned very useful information that gave the necessary (misguided?) confidence to sew a quilt. The quilt colors were inspired by the pillowcases I made in that class. It took me a million hours to decide on the size of the quilt, the size of the squares, the number of fabrics, the picking out of the fabric, the binding, the composition. It took me a million hours to cut out the perfect squares and assemble and press.

And then the back side was slightly nightmarish because the size I picked for the quilt is larger than two widths of fabric selvage to selvage (like I had planned. ahem.) but the shenanigan evolved into a happy mistake because the border rocked but then I totally messed that up by not buying enough fabric but I had *just enough* of some fabric from the other side to polish the turd and make the corners...and...it actually turned out prettier than if my original fix for my original idea had been realized. yessssssssssssss.

The putting together is hard. I had my perfectly square front and my perfectly square back and my batting and laying those puppies in a stack is no small feat. A martini didn't even help my clarity. I used the pattern on my giant rug as a guide, smoothed and smoothed the layers and pinned the pehjesus out of it.

When sewing I felt like Queen Margot must have felt at one of her obligatory balls. For the love of all things holy that it a lot of cloth to schlep around.

This book I love and refer to often. This video saved my life for the binding even though I hand-sewed instead of machine-sewed the back side (and she makes it all look like it is as easy as eating macaroni and cheese when the reality is that you are dealing with a tsunami of fabric and a toddler demanding your attention). This video saved my life for the tying. This video rocked my world regarding knot tying (!!!).

Two distinct yet conceptually connected sides.

One for the earthy, effervescent, sun-kissed spring and summer months of peas from the garden, breath-taking dips in the river and one, sultry air-exposed leg resting atop the covers:

One for the the hibernating, introverted, frost-kissed fall and winter months of root vegetable soup, rich wine with dear friends and laying spoons all night with a partner, kid, dog and two cats:

And, naturally, it is best when wrapped, cuddled, nestled and used. (About that maraca: My chicken refuses to let go of her stripedy maraca. She keeps a firm grip on the instrument during all manner of daily activity such as eating avocado, petting Alice, driving to the museum, sleeping in her crib. And so the maraca is, of course, played with in The Quilt.)


nah nah nah nah

nah nah nah nah
hey hey hey
bye bye Bush.

hello Obama.
my dreamboat.

I was considering writing about how my my man, kid and cat took turns vomiting all day yesterday and that I was personally puked on three times, but today trumps everything.

Oh this man. Oh his vision. Oh my hope. For my generation and my bug's. Even rhea and puke can't keep me from that ninth cloud.

We watched the whole thing at the museum this morning over a mimosa potluck. And then we watched Obama's speech again on youtube. At first, while watching the millions on the Mall, I was thinking why the hell am I not there? but then, I just plain loved where I was. With my incredible co-workers in our contemporary art museum in a cold, smallish western Montana city. And, well, I pretty much swelled and welled the the entire morning.

Tonight, our non-puking family unit went to a party at a friend's house. And, Andy and I wore our wedding attire. LOVE my man in his suit. Some might say we were overdressed (in Missoula it isn't uncommon for folks to wear jeans to a formal attire affair). But, it just somehow seemed appropriate for a variety of reasons. To tell ya honest (that is what Andy says) I wanted to wear my dress and I politely asked Andy to not make me go to a party without a date in a suit and he lovingly obliged. My dress hasn't come off of that hangar in nearly four years and still has mud on the hem and is a *scosh* pitted out. I loved my wedding and I love my dress.

First, I was psyched it fit. Second, I didn't care that all of the crowd was not in wedding gowns. Third, I had a giant zit exposed by my strapless number and whatev. There really is a whole new security that comes with 30ness and I am almost 31 so I am like way more mature than 30. I nearly dropped my man and kid at home post-party to join some ladies downtown, but, a few hours sipping champagne and gallivanting about on icy streets in my wedding dress was all I needed tonight. Yes, 30 is different in other ways too...Although I did hang with my lady friends and sing karaoke until 1:30am on Saturday night at the VFW.

Also during my night as a Patsy Cline and Madonna super star, I received a sweet handbag gift from my dear friend. The clutch is beautiful and went magically with my gown.

CHEERS to a new life for us all (although, Mr. Obama, I understand it will take time and while the entire universe is hoping you can fix all the ickiness that festered and rooted over the last decade, I know you are human, although at times I wonder. But still, I heard your message today: It is my responsibility too. It is our collective effort that will sucker punch those roots as if they were leafy spurge on Mount Sentinel).


blog love

One pretty incredible thing I hadn't counted on with this whole blog business is the relationships I have because of it. I just plain adore my blog pals. And their crafty, hilarious, kindred, rich, fabulous, inspiring -ness. People I didn't know before March of 2007 and people, who, really, I still don't know, as in I haven't heard their actual voice, but do know in this raw and lovely way. (And, for the record, blog pals, all of those words that link to those women could have been interchanged. You are all crafty, hilarious, kindred, rich, fabulous and inspiring to me. Thanks.)

So, a little shout out to a few textile objects that are now in Missoula, Montana instead of other warmer states because of the Incredible Blog Pals.

This little hat for my little chicken on her first birthday from Kelle and Kelly, my sisters on the Atlantic.

And, this sweet creation to warm the cockles of my heart and cold Montana neck from Finny, my sister on the Pacific.

Funny thing is two of these women have something in common that I am only realizing as I type: they are the only two people to whom I have secretly given peach butter (cause my man objects to sharing the deliciousness). Finny won it and Kelle turned thirty. But Pacific received a bag of orange goo with a lame apology note from usps. Atlantic got it in tact. Fin, owe you one.

Anyway, as I sit in my orange cushy office chair on a Friday night with my girl's cozy noggin and my cozy neck, my cell phone forgotten at work and martini within reach at my computer, well, shucks, I feel lotsa love and admiration for all of you out there. Cheers to a three-day weekend and a brand spankin' new president on Tuesday.


and my man paints

Andy is this incredible artist. And oh so modest. And that means his wife with the blog and boasting-about-her-man inclinations can brag.

He has explored all manner of media and come to the sweet conclusion that he prefers oil paint, masonite, paintbrushes with a tiny few hairs and deep concentration on asphalt, clouds and chrome. He paints the I-90 corridor and some meandering highways just off the path we so frequently travel.

Having grown up in the scenic and tourism-centric town of Red Lodge, he intimately knows Rocky Mountain sunsets and bugling elk. And oh so bored by the traditional western recreations of this beauty, he turned his attention to contemporary Montana. The grit, serenity and beauty in the informational and industrial highway through the Big Sky. He paints I-90 because it represents our evolving culture. He paints I-90 to explore his place as an artist, husband, snowboarder, father, fisherman, electrician and human in this vast and steady landscape of Montana.

He expends so much time and love in the studio. And there are his precious paintbrushes languishing without place and a toddler who enjoys tossing the expensive devices like mini javelin. And, he has this bad habit, or at least I think it is a bad habit and really that is what matters, of leaving said paintbrushes all over every single surface of our house. And so in the spirit of gift giving, I sewed him a nice little case that cares for his precious brushes and also alleviates spousal dispute. Good gift, eh?

I am quite proud of my holiday gift. I mean, jesus h he is hard to shop for. There are only so many ski socks, chocolate bars and pg tips a girl can get her guy. The polka dot number is all faced with flannel so it can stand up to manly handling. And, it rolls into a tidy bundle for when he travels to Greece and Argentina for lectures andworkshops (some day? hope so).

And, it has handy little hanging dealie bobbers so it is all out of reach from grasping toddler types.

I hatched the plan over the course of several weeks but actually made the whole thing after 10pm on christmas eve which not seem like a big deal to you crafty, perfect sewer-types but I had definitely imbibed in a large meal and wine and at friend's house and am more of a there's- always-the-seam-ripper type and was still able to make this purt near perfect little case. AND, he liked it and finds it handy.


happy new year y'all

On this first day of 2009, I am full of hope. A new president, a new one-year-old, new baseboard, new appreciation for all the small stuff that makes up my life. Including this here blog.

I usually write under the assumption that nobody is reading and I rarely speak to readers when I blog because what if there aren't any I am am just all throwing all these questions and thoughts out there and nobody responds? Then I'd feel super lame. But today, at the beginning of all this new excitement, I am wishing you, dear readers, an abundance of laughter, vibrancy, love, creativity and inspiration in 2009. Why am I breaking my silly rule? Because I do know you are out there and I need you to know how much I get from you...whether you comment or email or just say something while in line at the grocery or never say anything at all...I love that my words sometimes resonate with you and want to tell you that your words and your presence in this whole wide world affect me in this profound and really unexpectedly wonderful way. Thanks for that.

This blog is taking me places I hadn't expected and I promise some thrilling new dig this chickness this year....starting with a postcard set. They will be ready for purchase and shipment by the end of January. You may e mail me at digthischick at gmail dot com if you'd like to receive notice when they are available.

The postcards feature my photos of Montana homegrown goodness and a very charming backside. They are oversized at 5x7 inches and have darling little rounded corners. A set of five for $10. Why, that's nothing at all.

xo, dig this chick
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