Thursday, April 29, 2010

Musings From an Almost 35 Year Old.

One of my earliest childhood memories is of looking through a kaleidoscope. It was a grey, overcast, winter day. The kind where the snow is wet and it's no fun to be outside. I was sitting at the front window waiting for my father to visit me on Christmas day. I was waiting anxiously for a flash of yellow to burst through the tumbled grey tones of the kaleidoscope. I waited a long time. And when his dingy yellow car finally appeared (not nearly the sparkle of colour I had been hoping for), hours late, my Christmas present wrapped in a black garbage bag, I remember being thrilled beyond belief. He didn't stay for long, leaving me disappointed and abandoning my mother to assemble the million parts of the barbie van he had given me. In one shape or form that scenario has repeated itself for every Christmas and birthday that followed. The anxiety, waiting and disappointment that is.

I share this memory with you not to be a colossal bummer, but as a personal realization I have come to. Even though I am hours away from being 35, an "adult" already for many years, somewhere deep down, I am still that 4-year-old kid on Christmas. We all carry some crap with us from our childhood. That's not to say the crap should be used as an excuse for not getting on with things, but it's interesting that over 30 years later, I still feel that same anxiety around Christmas and my birthday. I want so badly for these holidays to be perfect, for them to go as planned. I try to find the perfect gift for everyone. And now as a parent, I try to make sure my kids have good memories of their first Christmases. In reality, all I've wanted all these years is something 100% out of my control. I've wanted my father to go back in time and not disappoint the 4-year-old me. To not leave me waiting. To not break my mother's heart as she saw me left disappointed that he didn't stay longer. To not treat my feelings so casually.

Now that I have my own children, I just shake my head, because I don't understand doing that. I can't even register behaving that way towards my own kids. But maybe the 4-year-old in him has left him with his own pile of crap to muddle through. My job as a mom is to not let my crap affect my children. At 35 years old, it's time to let go of some of my crap and move on.

So tomorrow, I won't wait for his call. Instead I will
Enjoy my friends and family
Embrace my birthday girl, my Cameron
Thank my mother for doing such a terrific job raising me
Give my inner 4-year-old a hug and tell her "it's all good, one day this won't hurt you so much"
Drink a glass of champagne to celebrate the next 35 years to come

Happy Birthday to me. And Cammie.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Early Autism Study: Take THAT Autism!

I have many, many days when Autism knocks me on my ass. I'm candid about it on my blog, because it is important that people know that having a child with Autism is really, really, REALLY hard (and families dealing with Autism get just about zero support from the Canadian government, be it Federal, Provincial, or Municipal). But to be fair, I also I have days where I rock the world and show Autism that I am not its bitch, and that at the end of this journey, Team Maxwell will prevail. Today was a good day.
Cameron has been participating in the Early Autism Study at McMaster University. I initially signed her up to participate because I was paranoid that she too would have Autism, and I wanted to know as soon as possible if that was the case. She visited the lab at 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year of age. Today was her 2 year check-in. Every time I bring her to the lab I worry that they are going to see something I have missed, tell me that while she appears normal, she is actually on the Autistic Spectrum. Each time I am wrong.
Today she was videotaped playing with an array of toys. When Max was put through this test he found one toy and played with it for the entire time. Cameron moved from toy to toy, playing appropriately, showing the toy to Brenda, the study coordinator, checking to see if I was paying attention. She loved it when Brenda blew bubbles for her, and yelled "BUBBLES" and when Brenda waited before blowing more bubbles, Cameron requested "more bubbles??" unprompted.
When Brenda showed Cameron the helicopter toy, Cameron went and found the propeller and returned it to Brenda each time it flew in the air, following its flight with her eyes. She also did table work with Brenda, imitating sound and motion by copying how Brenda was playing with cars, planes, pretending to smell a flower, pretending that a wooden stick was a flower and smelling it too.
The funniest part was the pretend birthday party. Brenda and the baby wore party hats, but Cam didn't want to wear a hat. She went a little too far with the pretend play dough birthday cake and licked the play dough resulting in a blue chin. Turns out Cam does a great Smurfette imitation.While Cameron was at the lab this morning, Max was getting observed at daycare by the Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) from the school where he is enrolled in JK for the Fall, and a member of the Halton Autism team. I spoke with her this afternoon about how it went and I'm happy to report she was very positive about Max. The next step will be to meet with her, the school's Principal, the Autism team member, Max's lead therapist Nicole, his Resource Consultant Liz, and myself to talk about the Fall and what Max needs to make this successful.

So, today I kicked Autism to the curb. We'll see how tomorrow goes, tomorrow.

If you are interested in finding out more about the Early Autism study - click here.

If you would like to support Team Maxwell in the Autism Speaks Walk For Autism and get a very cool t-shirt, click here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

TMI Tuesday: My Best *Ass*ets.

As my birthday looms closer and closer, I find myself trying to figure out how in some ways it feels like I blinked and this year was over and in other ways it feels like it lasted a decade. I started going over pictures from the last 12 months when I found this picture and I thought - holy crap look at those **Awesome German Milkmaid Titties**!!Then I looked down at my reality. No longer breastfeeding, my breasts are no longer worthy of hoots and hollers on the streets. They now fall into the category of "more than a handful is too much". I'm totally okay with that, in fact, I actually prefer them at this more manageable/handful size. But damn...those ta-tas were pretty f*cking spectacular if I do say so myself.

This leads me to the main point of this post: What do you consider to be your best physical asset(s)? I used to think mine was my breasts, but I think it's probably my butt. Yeah, definitely my butt. I'd post a picture here, but it's hard to do it justice without dropping my pants, so you'll just have to trust me - I have a great ass.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mental Health Monday: If It Makes You Happy.

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about "stuff". Not necessarily deep or heavy stuff, (though honestly turning 35 in a few days has me scratching my head, wondering where the time has gone??), but "stuff" in the physical sense. I often think the saying "the best things in life are free" is a pile of crap, but maybe it isn't. When I take a look at what really makes me happy, most of it, you can't put a price tag on.

Every morning when I drop Cameron off at daycare, I stop and look at this beautiful cherry blossom tree. I take a deep breath, take a moment and enjoy it. There are pictures of my kids, videos my friends make, quilt fabric, a barbapapa figurine my friend Jennifer brought me from Paris, my good luck Japanese Maneki Neko cat, and the generosity of others towards a cause I am passionate about.
My favourite gifts are ones that my friends make, be it a cd they pour their heart and soul into, a sketch in a notebook, or a knit shawl in the perfect shade of red.
I framed Cameron's art and hung it on the wall of my powder room so it is the first thing I look at every morning. It reminds me how lucky I am.
And when I see Max close his eyes, and enjoy the wind in his hair, at peace for a moment, that makes my heart swell with joy. These are just a few things that make me happy. What makes you happy? Are they free?

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Best Gift You Could Give Max.

Today is Max's 4th Birthday. It's also Scott's 29th birthday (for the 7th time). So, happy birthday to my two favourite guys!

As you all know, my son Max has Autism. You may not know that 1 in every 110 children and 1 in 70 boys is now being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. 20 years ago it was 1 in 10,000. Scary shit, I know (first hand). You may have a child with Autism. Or a family member or close friend. Maybe there is a kid on your block with Autism. Heck, you may not know anyone with Autism but be deathly afraid of one day having a child of your own who ends up being diagnosed with this devastating disorder. I know I was.

Scott, myself, and many of our family and friends participated in the Toronto Autism Speaks Walk for Autism last year and were thrilled to raise over $5000 to support research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for Autism. We were blown away by how generous our friends, family, coworkers and readers were. We're hoping you'll support us again this year.

Trust me I know times are tight for everyone. But I'm still going to ask you to support us if you can. $5. $10 or $20. Whatever you can spare - it all makes a difference and we appreciate every single penny.

I'm going to up the ante this year. If you donate $50 or more, I will send you one of our walk t-shirts. And if you join our team and walk with us, you'll get one automatically, regardless of how much you raise (we would love to have a sea of green shirts at this year's walk!!). While I'm at it, let me thank the talented Christopherr Mendoza of Designmojo who donated his time and talent to design this year's (and last year's!!) shirt for us. We will wear them proudly.

The best birthday gift you could give Max is to support him by sponsoring Team Maxwell in the Autism Speaks Toronto Walk For Autism. Thank you in advance! Remember - every penny counts!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Max is Registered For JK.

And then I barfed.

Wait. Let's back up a bit.

I was supposed to register Max for JK back in February. While I wish I was "just kidding", JK actually stands for Junior Kindergarten. In our public school system. I'm not sure when my baby turned into a boy on me, but here we are and once again I am faced with making really important decisions on Max's behalf.

I called the school in our neighbourhood and spoke with a very nice woman about our unique situation. Much to my surprise, she didn't cringe when I told her Max has Autism. In fact, there was a process set up for her to follow, and the school has a little boy with Autism in their Senior Kindergarten class this year. They were even making accommodations for this child from a scheduling perspective (a relief for me considering Max is in therapy every afternoon). All I needed to do was come in and fill out some forms, bring copies of birth certificates and property tax statements to get him "officially" registered to start this September. No biggie. The Special Education teacher called that afternoon and introduced herself. The ball was rolling.

It took me 2 months to go in and fill in the paperwork. And when I finally did it, I somehow "managed" to forget to bring all of that important documentation they required. I didn't return with that paperwork for another 3 weeks (and 2 calls and an email reminder from the school admin). After officially enrolling Max in Junior Kindergarten, I came home, felt light headed and went into my bathroom.

And then I barfed.

So here we are where we started.

The Special Education teacher is observing Max at daycare with a member of the Halton Autism team next Wednesday. They need to determine what his needs are and how they can best support him in the classroom. He will definitely require a dedicated EA (Education Assistant). At this point I'm not sure what other resources will be made available to him.

This is really happening and I couldn't be more stressed out about it. I know that if we decide Max isn't ready we aren't tied down to having him go to JK. I know that Max has shown me he can handle a surprising number of new situations, that he actually thrives when he is around other children.

But this is the real world, with real kids and adults that won't necessarily understand Max. Sure there will be people in place to watch out for him. It still scares me. It is a reminder that I can't protect him forever (like in this picture back in June 2009). I want to be able to shelter him from mean kids and ignorant adults. I want to keep him safe. But I don't want to hold him back.

Max deserves a chance to show us what he can do. Many people believe children with Autism should not be integrated into the public school system. They think they should be kept in environments that cater 100% to their needs. I get that. Many children with Autism are not able to function in an integrated environment. I think it's worth a shot though. We just have to be okay with backing out if it isn't what is best for Max. At the end of the day, that is all that matters.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bana Nah Nah.

Whenever I look at pictures of Max and Cam I notice the same thing. She brings out the big brother in him. It doesn't matter if they are getting along or fighting like honey badgers, their relationship is one of typical of siblings. Cameron loves her big bro and we often joke that she is his pint sized shadow. She gives it as well as she takes it and she doesn't give a rat's ass that he has Autism. To her he is just Max. I kind of think that's a beautiful thing.

With that in mind, I thought I'd share some very cute pics of the kids from last weekend. They are sitting patiently at the kitchen table eating bananas (also known as Bana Nah Nahs).

Max: I'm not sharing my banana with her.
Cam: Where is my banana? Did you forget about me mama?Max: Hey look, it's SEE food.
Cam: I'd show you my SEE food too except I don't have any banana!
Max: If I smile really big will you stop taking pictures mom?
Cam: Pictures! Pictures Pictures PICTURES!
Max: What are you looking at?
Cam: Mama, Max is picking his told me not to do that, how come he gets to?
Max: Nom-nom-nom
Cam: Nom-nom-nom (keeping an eye on Max to make sure she stuffs her face just like him)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Little Night of Respite.

Anyone with young children will tell you that getting a night away takes a bit of planning and of course, a lot of luck. Those of us with children with Autism will tell you it also requires the stars to align, a full moon, and the help of family and friends. Taking a night off for respite is very important for caregivers. For me it is the glue that holds me together when my stress starts to get to me.


Monday, April 19, 2010

The Cost of Autism Therapy, The Price of Hope.

Ever the procrastinator, I left getting our tax paperwork together until this past Friday. For my friends south of the border, the tax deadline isn't until April 30th in Canada (my birthday - yay for me! happy effing birthday!). It isn't quite as simple as telling "the man" how much I made this past year and how much money they have already eeked out of my already small pay cheque. Now that we have kids there are daycare costs to submit. Now that we have a child with what is defined as a "disability" we have therapy costs to submit as well.

We spent $52,041 on Max's therapy in 2009. If that made you gasp, picture me breaking a sweat, feeling dizzy and lightheaded and trying to convince myself that the chest pains I was experiencing upon adding up the pile of invoices on my kitchen table were merely symptoms of an anxiety attack and not my heart giving out on me. The Canadian government (be it Federal or Provincial) did not contribute one dime to Max's Autism Therapy last year. Not one. His name will not reach the top of the wait list for funding until at the very earliest, summer of 2011. He will be over 5 years old at that point. In case you didn't know, the key window to treat children with Autism are the years between the ages of 2 and 5. Yes, once again, government at its finest.

At the very least, we have to come up with another $50,000 to $60,000 to get Max the therapy he will need in this next key year of his development. I have no idea where this money will come from. I have decided to cancel my trip to the BlogHer convention (what the hell was I thinking anyway? lol...), and I am hoping we get a decent tax return. I am planting money trees in our backyard. I am praying. I am contemplating how badly I really need both my kidneys. I am looking at my beautiful boy Max, knowing that I have to figure this out, because he is my everything and I will not sleep at night if he is not getting the therapy he needs to have the best chance at a wonderful life, when he needs it in these key early years. I will not fail my son, even when the Canadian Government, The Provincial Government, our Premier, and MPP have dropped the ball for all children and families suffering from Autism. It's too bad they seem to have zero foresight on how much it will cost to support these children when they are adults with Autism, unable to support themselves and requiring round the clock care for the duration of their lives. When will they ever learn. When will they ever learn.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Parenthood: TV Drama or Reality TV?

When I heard there was a new TV drama starting up called "Parenthood" all I really thought was "oh, cool, Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls is back on TV, I'll have to check it out!". I actually managed to catch the first episode (total fluke) and as the plot was laid out, it became apparent that one of the story lines was going to be about a family "coming to grips" (see me doing air quotes with my fingers sarcastically) with their son being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. I was tempted to turn it off and never watch it again, my feeling being that I ride this Autism roller coaster every damn day and I don't need to watch it during my time to relax. But the siren song of Lauren Graham lured me in (and the ever sexy Peter Krause) so I decided to give it a few shows before I made the call.

Funny enough, the character with Asperger Syndrome is named Max. Go figure. I've been asked if I see any similarities between what is being portrayed on the show and my personal experience. Our Max was diagnosed with Autism at 32 months old, so we are really living a different reality. The Max on the show is quite high functioning whereas we really have no idea where our Max will end up on the spectrum. I certainly have high hopes for my little guy, but only time will tell. What did hit home is how overwhelming it is when you first start out. Everyone has advice, well meaning parents tell you what you should do, what doctor you should see, have you tried this diet or this B12 shot? Read this book? Seen that documentary? You are bombarded from all directions and you haven't even asked for help yet. It's completely nuts and when I look back on the last year and a half I wonder how I managed to stay out of the funny farm (I'm guessing it was full and my family just didn't have the heart to tell me).

I remember someone emailing me the "Welcome to Holland" poem, thinking it would help me get perspective on having a child with special needs. After I read the poem, all I could think was "Fuck Holland, them and their wooden shoes". I still feel that way today, especially now that I have a neurotypical child. Raising a child with Autism sucks. It really does. It is heartbreaking and painful, it eats away at you and breaks you down. It tests every single one of your relationships to the fullest extent possible - be it your spouse, your best friend, parents, siblings, employer, whatever - nothing is left untouched. I've had some people suggest to me that I love Max just the way he is and that they are sure I wouldn't change him for the world. That's complete bullshit. Yes, I do love him the way he is, but if I could wave a magic wand and make him not Autistic I would do it in a hot second. Life is hard for us as Max's parents, but it is way harder for Max. I wish more than anyone can understand that I could lift this blanket of Autism off of my little boy and let his full sunshine light the world.

Back to the show though - because that's where we started. I like it, and I'll keep watching. Not for Lauren Graham or sexy Peter Krause, but for Max's mom "Kristina". I see a lot of my experience in her. She feels woefully inadequate on all fronts, can't seem to make anyone happy, and has lost her identity somewhere in the shuffle. She's doing her best to keep her head above water and keep on keepin' on. I feel for her, and I'm rooting for her. Telling her it will get better, hoping for myself that it gets better too. Next time you watch this show and you get to turn it off after the hour is up, remember that for a lot of families, this isn't a TV Drama, it's our personal Reality Show, and we don't get to turn it off, and we don't win a million smackers for getting through it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Travel Tuesday.

I don't travel a lot. Not right now, anyway. I hope to travel more often in the near future (with and without my kids). I have recently started writing over at as Autism TravelingMom. I'll be posting there weekly, writing about my adventures. I'm looking forward to documenting our journey and sharing what works, doesn't work and making recommendations on how to travel successfully with a child with Autism. So, come on over and check out my first couple of posts - my intro and an ode to my Camry.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mental Health Monday: The Tale of the Tike's Trike.

Depending on when you started reading, you may or may not know the story about our birthdays. Long story short, they are all squished into a one week span. That's a whole lot of celebrating to do in a small window of time, so we like to spread it out over a few weeks so it isn't so overwhelming. This weekend Cam got her first birthday present of the season, her very own (brand spanking new) pink trike. But we forgot to get her a helmet, so before she got to ride her trike outside, we had to go to the bike shop to get her something to protect her wee noggin.

She didn't want the one she's wearing in these pictures. Of course she didn't. She wanted to paisley one that only comes in adult sizes. Awesome over the top tantrum ensued, with me looking nonplussed and the employees of the bike shop looking impressed (and perhaps a bit concerned) with her vocal prowess. We somehow managed to pry her chubby little fingers from the paisley helmet and carry out of the shop all the while serenaded with her shrieking "my hat, myyyyyyyyyyyyyyy HAT!!!" over and over again. So much fun.

When we got her home she wanted nothing to do with her new helmet. She looked at it scornfully, yelling "noooooooooooooooooooo" every time I suggested she try it on. I finally won her over with the promise of a ride on her trike around the block.
She seemed like a natural. Feet on the pedals, all smiles. And then suddenly, not so much. One third of the way around the block she decided she was done with the whole pedaling business. So off she got. And she started walking home, abandoning her much loved trike on the sidewalk for me to deal with. Oh yes, she was mighty pleased with herself. I dare say she thought this was hilarious.

When I finally caught up with her and told our neighbour Irene what Cameron had done, she denied the whole thing, claiming she got a flat tire and was merely going for help. Nice.

Friday, April 09, 2010

There is Nothing Love Cannot Face.

I've been thinking a lot about "love" lately. Love of all kinds. As I sat on the couch last night, Max snuggled up next to me, I realized something. One of the hardest things for me about Max is that he is not able to show love in ways that I like receiving it. With Cam it is easy to know she loves me. Smiles, kisses, excited exclamations of "Mama, UP!!" and how very sad she is when I attempt to put her down, ever.

Max does not have the same expressive language that Cam has. He shows his love in much more subtle ways. It's in his smiles, the proud look he gives me when he masters something and sees how excited I am. It's his little body pressing into me as he sits on the couch next to me, it's his joyous laugh as I chase him at the park or run in front of him pretending that he is chasing me.

I wonder sometimes, how does Max need to receive my love? Have I been missing the mark with him, showing him love in the ways I like to receive it instead of truly considering how he can understand it, feel it. I imagine being here every day through thick and thin no matter what is a way that he knows I am one of his people. Squeezes and singing and stories and smiles. Knowing what he likes, and what sets him off, speaking "max", and seeing his beauty beneath the challenging behaviour are expressions of love he can process.

I think that maybe I have been a little selfish in how I love. I need to reassess how I am willing to accept love in my life. It can't always be on my terms. I suspect that truth be told, accepting love on someone else's terms is the truest form out there. Once again, I learn from Max.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

My Glamorous Life.

This is me on a better day. I don't look like this today. Not even close. The only reason I bathed today was because I was open to the possibility that one of my kids might join me in the tub. Max, who is super sick and only stops coughing when he is in the bath, decided to go for dip #3 of the day while I was washing my hair. I'm just happy he didn't pee this time. I say "this time" because yesterday, yesterday he peed. In my bath water. Yes, I know, tremendous.I took this picture with my BlackBerry this morning. Crap quality. We bberry users are in fact second class citizens in the world of smart phones. iPhone users have the good cameras, wicked apps, and coolness factor that we bberry users merely long for. But at least my phone isn't covered with fingerprints, so, I have that. Anyway, you can tell Max is really ill because he is actually looking to Cameron for comfort. She was completely taken aback and thought he was up to no good when he rested his big noggin on her legs. I had to explain to her that "no, Max isn't going in for the kill, he is sick, so be nice". She looked sceptical and I don't blame her given his track record.For the record, in case you haven't figured it out, my life is not glamorous. It isn't. Cameron on the other hand, she's got it going on. Glamour+++.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Beats 2010.

Happy Easter folks, for whatever it means to you. For many it is a day to go to church, be religious, etc. For us it is about the chocolate and musical instruments (as you'll recall from last year).It was a productive day. Max helped me make Apple Crisp for dinner at Nana and Bumpa's tonight. This is the first time he has shown any interest in my baking, so I really enjoyed having his help. He was mostly just curious as to why I was peeling and cutting up so many darn apples.
He figured I didn't actually need all 10 cups that I had prepped for the recipe. Good thing he's cute - his dad gets in a lot of trouble for munching on my ingredients while I cook.
Cam was not sure what to make of her limited chocolate Easter basket. I think she's looking for the big chocolate bunny she saw on display at the Nutty Chocolatier. Sorry kid, no such luck.
We dolled her up in a dress for Sunday dinner. Do not let this picture fool you, she threw a king hell tantrum when I wrestled her into those tights. She looks cute now, but I needed a glass of wine after I finally got her into this outfit. Kid can scream and squirm with the best of them. Yay for almost 2 year olds!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Zombie Fridge.

It started out like any other day. I shuffled into the kitchen, got the coffee maker going, and reached into my fridge for the carton of cream. That's when I screamed from the sharp pain of teeth sinking into my tender flesh and felt myself being pulled into the veggie crisper with the force of a dozen sturdy gremlins (the kind that get wet after midnight, not the cute and cuddly ones with bug eyes). I gasped in terror and staggered backwards, clutching my hand to my chest, holding onto my oven door for support. The fridge door creaked shut, slowly, mocking me the entire time and most certainly daring me to attempt to retrieve the cream once more. Needless to say, I drank my coffee black.

After my 2nd cup of coffee, I realized I was acting like a child. I mean, there couldn't actually be something living in my fridge. For sure I had let it get slightly out of hand, what with the questionable items in Tupperware pushed to the back of the fridge. And the squishy produce intermingled with its fresher cousins. Ummm...certainly anyone foolish enough to dive into any product without carefully checking the expiry date is a fool and I cannot be blamed for food poisoning merely because the product originated in my fridge, right? Yes, the dirty secret is out - when I did my kitchen overhaul, that clearly did NOT include le frigidaire.

On second thought, maybe we had reached a crisis situation (I'm guessing it isn't normal to get bitten by perishable items that have taken on a life of their own?). I prepped a garbage can, put on some plastic gloves, and prayed to dog that I would live to tell this story. Interestingly enough, the creature who had attempted to dismember me earlier was nowhere to be found. In its absence, it had left an awful stench though. A warning perhaps? After emptying the fridge, I realized this was a bigger job than I had anticipated. It needed a full scrub down. It needed bleach. It needed prayer and redemption.

BEFORE:No fewer than 3 hours later, my fridge was returned to its happy, clean, cool, calm, collected, creature-free self. We're on speaking terms again. It is filled with fresh produce and there is no longer a terrible smell wafting from its depths. But I have been put on notice and given a strong recommendation to pick up some of those new fresh food Date Mates labels from the lovely ladies at Mabel's Labels. Who knew my fridge was in cahoots with them?


Thursday, April 01, 2010

Crazy Quilt Complete.

Update: To see the complete process for this quilt, check out: 

The crazy quilt is done. It took me less than a month from the first cut to the final stitch. Yep, I know, I rock. I mean, if you can quilt and rock at the same time. I suspect Scott would say this is impossible, and Jennifer would say "hell yeah!". All I'm thinking is thank dog. Shout outs (hah! I'm acting like I'm a rapper or something) to my mom and Aunt Inger who gave me sage advice on how to tie this thing together from a colour perspective and also told me when to stop adding blocks. Good thing too, because I have a hard time knowing when to wrap it up and this thing could have gotten into acreage territory.
The part that I absolutely do not enjoy when it comes to quilting is the machine part. It's bulky and awkward and boring (see below). Plus I suck at it and I'm never quite happy with the end result. Enter my mom to save the day and sign me up for a machine quilting class at the Oakville Sewing Centre for my birthday and is also gifting me the required sewing machine attachments I'll need. I am guessing if I get better at it I might enjoy it more. Or maybe I just need a bigger bottle of wine. Or maybe THAT'S the problem...hmmm...
After I got sick of machine quilting, I hand quilted around the centre squares. It didn't take as long as I thought I would, because, I was thinking it was going to take FOREVER.
One of my favourite things about this quilt is the backing. I picked a super bright and cheery orange flower flannel. It made quilting this beast tolerable because you can't stay grumpy for long looking at this beautiful fabric. I have a feeling I will end up using it again some time. I wonder if it comes in lime green?? I used a combination of all of the orange fabrics for the binding which ties it all together really well.
I ended up staying up until 1am to finish sewing on the binding. Scott found me like this in the morning (notice the new haircut).
My best work yet for sure. Now onto the jelly roll quilt (which I finished basting last night). I'm going to quilt it by hand because I don't want to do anymore machine quilting until I take that class next month!