Monday, May 03, 2010

Window into Working Motherhood

Imagine that while taking a test — which you're doing finally because it is the only time you get to actually think straight because it is finally quiet and you're able to take the test — you are having a sensitive part of your anatomy pulled, tugged, hit, squeezed and bitten.

This is why mamas need a Mother's Day, and back rubs, and meals cooked for them, and houses cleaned, and gift certificates for spa days! Believe me, I am looking forward to the day when mother's efforts are recognized. Part of me wants to just spend the day in bed sleeping without having to do anything baby related. But the truth is, I would miss her.

For the past several months now, my morning routine has been to get up and work around 8am and finish sometimes around noon. I don't use child care; this is partly out of personal choice but also a little bit of necessity. There just isn't a good reason, or a good place to take her if I wanted someone else to watch her for a few hours while I work, so I work and take care of her at the same time.

Usually this isn't a problem, I think, because I have years of practice at multi-tasking and being over-extended and am good at it, but every once in a while — by this I mean once every 2 months — she becomes a nearly unbearable handful.

I think that right now this is related to her being in full on teething mode. She sprouted her first tooth 2 weeks ago. She's a classically 'easy' baby temperament-wise so it really stands out when she fusses. And, OMG, it got so bad one day I put on my gun shooting ear muffs. I use them when I run the blender during papermaking. And sometimes I put them on her when I have to have her nearby while I make paper. I felt bad putting them on just to drown out her fussing, but I just could not work, on a deadline, with all the fussing. I had tried everything else up until that point.

And an amazing thing happened when I put them on.

The distraction stopped her fussing immediately.

She stayed quiet for quite a good amount of time while she studied my new appearance. Phew! What luck. The dogs have been helpful distractions for her, but they're not reliable. They don't perform on command. And I sympathize with her teething discomfort. When I have had endo-related pain I can be a real grump too.

I shall have to log this general 'distraction technique' to memory and bust out other forms of distraction as needed later. Working motherhood is definitely an exercise in creative problem-solving on the fly.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Every Picture Tells a Story

There's so much I could say about this photo. It speaks volumes to how my life has both changed and stayed just the same.

Also, I have been informed my blog is full of great stuff to plagiarize. I suspected this, but the kind people at Term Papers just let me know. Great..... so I don't know what to do about that besides put a warning up on my most-trafficked posts and hope profs can catch plagiarists.


Maybe since I don't have a lot of spare time, I'll just have to start plagiarizing myself. I have a lot of really good, but old, posts buried on this blog after all.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Huge Week: Developmental Milestones Galore

Phew! What a week. Baby Field Notes must have finally flipped whatever switch gets flipped when a whole new cognitive system comes online. All in the last week we saw some big developmental milestones.

It started with sitting herself up from lying down on her back and then later that afternoon I felt her first sharp tooth emerging from her gums. The next day she took her first steps while holding onto my hands. Previously she only 'walked' by me moving her legs for her. She seemed to like the sensation and accomplishment of moving forward in spite of the great physical exertion. Physical therapy is hard work! But no way did expect that in just days she would be stepping forward on her own. The first time she bent her knee, lifted her foot up and set it down in front of her I was surprised. I thought it was just a fluke, like the day she said BIG, but then she did it over and over again, for twenty feet! And then she kept stepping — more that night — and has been doing it ever since.

And then just today she clapped her hands together. When I noticed I exclaimed to Mr. Field Notes who told me she had actually done that yesterday while we were all out on a stroller walk. Yesterday. It has been very exciting around here the last several days!

It is amazing to me both how slowly — and how quickly — human development progresses. Being a primatologist, I am anxiously awaiting her first attempt at grooming. That will be super exciting. No one, as far as I know, has cared to note when that starts happening for humans, and it's not something I've looked into much for other primates, but I do recall somewhere that either Jane Goodall or Anne Pusey has noted when young chimpanzees first start to groom others. I see signs that Baby Field Notes is getting ready to groom. She notices smaller bits of stuff on the floor and has the fine motor skills now to pick up small things, like a tiny leaf, for example, so I know physically she could do it, but I am not sure she yet has the cognitive capacity to intentionally 'clean' something.

Her babbles are getting more prolific now too:

We've heard some ma-mas and some da-das but not for the specific parent. I half expect her to say Yuki or Katy before Mommy, honestly. Those dogs continue to entertain her, and her them. Yuki, the slightly smaller, younger Newf is her BFF. Katy is interesting too, but not nearly, and I think isn't nearly so because she is more stand-offish. Big K is just harder to get to know!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Best Bunny Ears Photo, So Far

This is the best I could do given the time; it was a tremendously busy week! What worked out... taking the dogs for a big walk, making them wear the ears, even if only for ten seconds at a time, repeatedly for the last couple of days — and dangling pancakes as a reward. They'll do a lot for a pancake! Making them tired first was the biggest help.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One Tutu + 3 sets of Bunny Ears: Is a card-worthy picture possible in 3 days?

I need a strategy for dog and baby wrangling, stat! I've got this crazy idea to take a charming photo of Baby Field Notes sitting between her two canine companions, the three of them sporting bunny ears and her in a tutu. I'm aiming for Shoebox greetings level cute saturation here! What could be more drool-worthy than the world's cutest baby in tulle flanked by two Newfoundlands in goofy hats?

And I need a strategy. Getting everyone looking at the camera at the same time is going to be the biggest challenge, I think. But it might actually be getting the dogs to keep the bunny ears on long enough to get to that point! This afternoon I started to get them habituated to having the ears on their heads and made good progress with Katy, the older one. She's naturally more agreeable than our younger Newfy pup, Yuki. I may have to give up on Yuki, she can be stubborn. Intractable, really.

As far as getting them all to look at the camera, I can only use a squeaker so many times before they either start drooling too much or get too excited to hold still. Getting Baby Field Notes to smile instead of stick out her tongue will be another challenge. That's one of her favorite things these days.

I've also got to figure out where to do the shoot. I'm thinking outside since that'll give us the best lighting. I'll need a backup plan for indoors though, in case it's too cloudy, cold, or wet. I need a backdrop too, like a big white sheet or something, which I don't have... hmmm.

Whatever photo we end up with, I am sure that getting it will be hilarious.

Above, Yuki eyeballs Katy's new cranium accessory.
I wonder what she's thinking.

Monday, March 29, 2010

We have a talking ape now! Baby's First 'Real" Word

Today Baby Field Notes said her first 'real' word: UP.

Previously she has said 'BIG,' which blew me away because, a) she's a very quiet child who doesn't really babble on and on so we've rarely heard vowel and and even fewer consonant sounds, b) was late to giggle, c) was only about 8 months old, and d) perfectly enunciated the word: BIG. It really surprised me. She's certainly heard that word a lot, what with two enormous dogs keeping her company!

This time was different though, because she used UP in the right context, intentionally, and along with the right gesture. When she said BIG it probably was unintentional. I think she was just experimenting with her tongue and mouth and voice. It wasn't in the right situation, at least not without making up a story, and wasn't coincident with any meaningful gesture, so it really can't be considered language.

But what is language? It's complicated but you can glean a lot from this excellent discussion, if you click here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Work: A topic I rarely talk about.

My wheels have been spinning for some time now about what to do about my nearly complete lack of zeal for my current job and whether I can or even want to have a full time job in academia ever again.

That's pretty heavy stuff for any night, let alone a Saturday night. My how life has changed. And, having a baby certainly makes all of this a lot more important than it was before.

It means I can't just willy-nilly up and quit my job because I no longer find it fulfilling. It also means I can't just go out and get a different one without making some major decisions that are potentially life-altering.

I have some ideas on what I could do within the capacity of my current job to make it temporarily more fulfilling, which feels good. I feel like I have at least identified a problem and have come up with a way to go about fixing it that may actually be feasible. Unfortunately the more expedient way of solving the problem would never fly with the higher ups and would severely compromise my position if I even brought it up. So, I really, really like having a plan that could work.

It's totally exciting.

I hope my proposal is well-received and that it will result not only in some more pay for me but more importantly, more fulfilling work that affords me more flexibility and more creativity while simultaneously producing a higher quality 'product.'

Now that I put it that way, it seems ambitious.

Maybe it is, but I need a change. I cannot just up and quit my job, for a number of reasons, so I have got to find a way to make it more fulfilling — and meaningful.

Oh — and I don't know what I think of it yet, but I also came to the realization recently that I am 'over' primates. I just have not had any interest in new primate research or even in talking about existing primate research.

I love monkeys. I really do, but I am not in love with them anymore. As you can see, I definitely need a change. Unfortunately, this temporary solution I have concocted is only temporary....... what to do, what to do.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Construction Quilt - Finished

Made this one for my nephew's birthday, using scrap fabric and some construction fabric I found on etsy. He's three, and I don't know if blankets are really his speed still, but he loves construction equipment, so hopefully he will 'dig' it a little bit.. eh, I might have to go find a truck or something to go with it.

I had been wanting to make a quilt for my nephew, Jackson, using the Michael Miller 'dig it' fabric for a while now, but I wasn't feeling particularly inspired with a design, so I just chose a design similar to one that I bought on etsy for Little Field Notes. I had to offset the letters of his name to get them all to fit the space I set aside for them. That wasn't part of the plan, but it fits in more ways than one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sapporo Snow Festival

For a week in February, the northernmost island in Japan hosts a fantastic snow festival. The sculptures made of snow are a highlight. Some are enormous — even larger than this one. I haven't been to the festival yet myself, but Mr. Field Notes' dad has been a number of times. He shared this photo and I thought it was so neat I had to share it too. The detail in the leopard's spots and the orangutan's cheek pouches is awesome. It's estimated that 2 million people visit the festival. Here's a little insight into how the massive sculptures are constructed: how to make
a giant snow statue.

In Japan, as here too, it won't be much longer before festivities culminate around a different occasion — the appearance of the spring blossoms — something that is an even bigger event in Japan than this snow festival. I haven't been to Japan yet for the plum and cherry blossoms, but I think this year, Mr. Field Notes and I might have to break out the sake boxes and furoshiki we got in Japan and make our own mini party under our plum tree.

In anticipation of the spring, I've started farting around with a new spring line up for my etsy store. There are a lot more plantable paper offerers on etsy and the competition has had an effect on my sales. It's mostly fine, because I would rather hang out with my gorgeous daughter, but I do need to keep creating or I won't be able to keep buying nifty things on etsy! To that end, I recently received some new paper punches, an ume (plum) flower shape and a sakura (cherry) flower shape. This is what I've decided to do with them (the first one is an old hydrangea shape):

I need better photos and a prettier assortment of colors, but it's a start. I'm not sure, but I think I will offer them as a DIY wedding package, one that is very affordable (under $25). What do you think? I'd love some feedback...!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

NEW: Flowers made out of paper that grows!

Spring comes quickly around here, and with the tops of the bulbs already peeking out of the ground, I have a limited amount of time to develop my new line of recycled paper products before planting season is here. For a few years now I have been making 'plantable paper' in my spare time, mostly custom requests from people who are getting married. Plantable paper is embedded with seeds. As the paper biodegrades in soil and water, the seeds sprout and grow out of the paper. It's a really nifty way to give seeds and also makes a perfect, inexpensive favor to give away at weddings. Over the years I've been asked to make butterflies, hearts, cones to hold flower petals, printed table place cards in various shapes and most recently — 200 paper flowers. They are going to be placed in little pots along with a smaller paper butterfly and flower. Soon this years flowers will be growing from the scraps of this project. In the meantime, I am putting them up for sale as a new regular item in my store on etsy. Happy planting!

Friday, February 12, 2010

I have a baby APE!

Why it took me so long to realize this, I have no idea. But, I truly do have a baby ape. For the past 2 days as we leave the bedroom, Baby Field Notes has reached toward the mobile hanging from the overhead light. She's had her eye on this thing since the day she came home.

A couple of years ago I admired it in a shop in Japan. It's not really intended for babies, it's just a cool little doodad that I liked and brought home. It matched the bedroom, so I hung it up there. Eventually it just faded to the background.... until Baby Field Notes moved in. It caught her eye, being black against the white of the ceiling.

And now, finally, she's developmentally able to gesture to get lifted up to touch the end of it. There's a little bell there. When she realized she could make it make noise, she came unglued. So I've been lifting her up so she can make its bell ring. Well, today she grabbed hold of the little bell and would not let go. I had already lifted her up several times so I was getting tired. I think I made her feel off balance when I hoisted her up the last time and that's why she latched onto the bell so firmly.

When mama's unsteady, better grab anything close... branch, vine, mobile. I thought she was going to take the whole light fixture down with her. Babies are stronger than they look, afterall, and for good reason too. It wasn't all that long ago geologically-speaking, that young apes were able to hang on to mom all by themselves.

So there she was, my little ape hanging on for dear life, wobbling while I was trying to figure out how to get her to let go without being able to pry the bell out of her hands myself.

I forgot what I did, but not the lesson learned: Don't do that again!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Totally Easy Quilt - A good one for prompting geography lessons!

This quilt is an absolute cinch to make. For about $20 (on etsy) you can buy the world map fabric. You will also need some red (or yellow, blue, whatever you like best) smooth minky fabric and some batting. I recommend looking at your local Joann's and buying it when you can use a 50% off coupon. You'll need 2 yards of minky or other fabric for the backing.

Just pin the three layers, stitch along the lines of latitude and longitude using a clear presser foot (no free motion foot needed), start in the middle of the quilt and work your way out. When done with all the lines, fold over the minky, pin and sew it down (I did the binding by hand because it looks nicer especially when you have minky bindings). I used black for the lines and red bobbin thread.

Voila! The finished quilt is about 32 x 56 inches — large enough for a play mat or lap quilt. And best of all, you can use it to start all kinds of fun talks about the world for years to come.

I plan to sew fench knots onto the places Baby Field Notes visits. Another idea is to sew them into places I'd like for her to visit and then take them out when she has, replacing the knots with a different colored thread. I've got a few places on my list and I am sure she will add her own. Today I fell in love with Krabi, Thailand after seeing my friend's vacation pictures. Picture white sand beach along crystal clear turquoise water with not a soul in sight. Just you, the fish and the ocean breeze — I'd go tomorrow (and leave BFN with one of her grandparents so the Mr and I can enjoy ourselves!)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

First Gift Quilt - Finished!

Made mostly from 'Paula Prass Flights of Fancy' fabric I purchased on etsy, this one took me from Fri-Monday to finish last weekend. The thing I really like about quilting as opposed to other projects is that I can pick up and set it down easily. I'm not inclined to set down projects. I prefer to just barrel through and finish but with a baby around, there are distractions galore and they cannot wait.

One time, however, I was so determined to finish a part of one quilt (the blue-green one) that I figured out how to nurse and rip seems at the same time while sitting at my machine bench. It was awkward and uncomfortable but I got both jobs got done. And this week I managed to nurse BFN while sitting on the floor of her room working at my laptop while taking a phone call. Babies are the reason women were forced to become excellent multitaskers.

Although baby and I still prefer to NAK (--> cute Nursing @ Keyboard onesies designed by my SIL), I'm finding that I'm becoming much more at ease with not NAKing. And most of the time BFN moves from NAKing to SNAKing, it's a relief. She falls alseep in my lap and then I can, maybe just maybe, move her still sleeping, still nestled in the quilts I've bunched around her to support her, to another place so I can get up ..... and get back to quilting, or take a shower, or make lunch for myself, etc. I've got a gallery of saved pics of her lying on her bedroom rug in all different arrangments of her cozy quilt coccoons. They're amusing. I'll have to make a gallery of them sometime. So, this particular quilt — in its nearly finished form at the left — is my first quilt that is a gift. I used the free motion foot to embroider a message on it along one edge and 'wrote' the year too. That was fun. It turned out much better than I expected. Have you ever tried to write while moving the paper instead of the pen? Hard! Try it with a sewing machine.

Learned a couple things with this one too. My seams met much more closely and I had almost no need to rip out seams because of bunching. I have changed my technique for prepping the layer for top quilting. If I start the free motion stitching in the middle of the quilt and re-stretch and re-pin as I move out toward the edges, I've found everything stays much more taut. The other thing I'm doing now is using safety pins to keep the layer together. They don't fall out and get lost as I move the quilt around.

My best quilt so far, I think!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Baby's 'First' Meal

Yuki has appointed herself to a new 'job' — cleanup duty for baby meals. She is so eager that I've decided we need a mealtime protocol, mostly to manage her enthusiasm. I am not a germaphobe regarding the dogs, and they have already given little Baby Field Notes lots of kisses, but they're not exactly welcome all the way through the meal. I am aiming for a good cleanup at the end and maybe some spot cleanups here and there when I say it's okay. Hopefully it won't take too log for all of us to get on board with the new program. She already knows how to back off on command, and when there is food involved, Yuki is very eager to 'perform' so it probably won't be long before she demonstrates she's learned a new word: Cleanup.

Baby Field Notes, like Yuki, has really leaped whole hog into solid foods. There's no such thing as partial pig with her. She has gone so gung-ho for solids virtually overnight that it's kind of hard to believe that just 2 weeks ago she was gagging on food. Now she gulps with gusto and is so interested in solid food that I am a little worried she is going to wean herself too soon. I want to continue breastfeeding her for 2 years, at least. Not only because it is good for her, but good for me too. It is so good for me that my goal is to keep lactating until menopause. Crazy, isn't it? I just hope she doesn't make me start pumping all the time. It is not nearly as pleasant as her doing the work, lol.

So far we have done really well with making our own baby food. We've got a food processor to puree anything we'd want to give her. The purees get poured into ice cube trays. They can be popped out and put into freezer bags and then defrosted one by one, or in BFN's case, 2 or 3 at a time, as needed. It is easy, cheaper than buying jars, and easier on the environment because it creates less waste.

So far, she's wolfed down cream-of-wheat, squash, applesauce and bananas, and kidney beans. The beans were the first solid food we gave her that she swallowed. We had been trying rice cereal but she wouldn't have any of it. Then one night while I was eating a dish of kidney beans, rice, barley, tomatoes, onions and chicken (an awesome mix!) I decided to give her a small taste off my finger. She took it readily and seemed to especially love the squished beans. And why not? They are delicious. And these ones were a little spicy. I don't know, but maybe she liked the spicy food more than the flavorless rice cereal. Who could blame her?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Six Quilts Down, 6 to go!

Yesterday I finished quilt number six. I really don't know where I find the time to teach myself something new. It must be somewhere in between work, sleep, breastfeeding the baby, cleaning the house and mopping up after the dogs. This one went smoothly for my first quilt not using square edges. I think I did pretty well with lining up the seams, B+ anyway.

I have 2 more using this design in the works and 4 others planned. A while ago, I bought fabric I liked on etsy and didn't know what to do with it until now. For the next two I am thinking about doing a new pattern for the top stitching. I don't know what yet, maybe a vine and leaf pattern. Up to this point I've only done a 'stipple' pattern for the top-stitching part so doing something else will be a huge challenge. I am going to try to draw the pattern with washable pencil so I have something to follow along while I'm stitching. The only hang up will be whether I can use the pencils on the fuzzy fabric I'm planning to use. I've decided it would be easier to move the fabric along if the fuzzy stuff was on the top rather than bottom while I stitch. That might help prevent some of the need to rip up seams, I think. It will be an experiment anyway.

Baby Field Notes loves all of the quilts. I use them to prop her up while I feed her and then when she finally falls asleep I can scoop her up in her quilt cocoon and lay her down still sleeping, snuggly and warm.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finally - Uproarious Laughter out of Baby

We have waited a long time to hear genuine giggles from little Field Notes. She has laughed out loud, LOL, but never anything remotely resembling giggles. We've made silly sounds. We've played peek-a-boo and made goofy faces. We've tickled her belly, under her chin, her arm pits. We've laughed ourselves silly, hoping that would get her going — yet nothing. One time I got a single 'heh' out of her by kneeling over her and panting like a dog.

She's 6 months old. You'd think we'd get some giggles out of her.

Then finally last night, while Mr. Field Notes had her facing forward in one of our baby carriers, she started giggling almost uncontrollably while he tossed french fries to the dogs. What tipped her over the edge was when Yuki snapped at a french fry and bounced it off her nose.

I so wish I could have instant replayed it. The giggles didn't last nearly long enough!

Those two newfs are going to be the center of her world, I have a feeling. The first time she smiled was when I told her "Here come your sisters!" when Mr. Field Notes approached the car with the two big girls so we could all go to the dog park together. Then later, her first laugh out loud was when I panted like a dog. And now, dog-induced giggles.

I love it.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Magnetic Felt Food - 'Peelable' Cantaloupe Slice - Pattern!!

Ha! Here is my stroke of felt food genius - a piece of cantaloupe with rind that can be sliced off. The peel is held to the fruit by magnets that are completely concealed. I use the tiny but super strong neodymium ones. They are also lightweight. (Okay, in all honesty, it was Mr. Field Notes who suggested a fruit slice with removable peel. He's smart, too. It's just that usually he takes my good ideas and makes them even better, not the other way around. But the funky crust and cantaloupe part was all mine, neener neener. (We're not competitive with each other at all, the Mr. and I......)). Yeah, so enough about us — onto the cantaloupe.

So, this project is one you can do yourself - choosing either the easy route (not peelable, no magnets) or the harder one. I've included a pattern down at the end.

6 magnets
felt in the following colors: light orange, lime/neon green, tan
thread: brown, tan and orange/yellow

It really helps if you can use a sewing machine to make the criss-cross brown stitches for the outer peel. It would be a big pain to hand embroider, but could be done. I get the felt in 8x11 inch sheets for 20 cents each at my local JoAnn's. I found really small, thin neodymium magnets for sale on etsy and used those for this project.

You can click on the pattern below and save it to print out and use to cut your own felt pieces. If you don't want to make a hidden magnet one that peels, you won't need the wider strip in orange, just the one in tan and the narrower one in orange. You can also use velcro instead of magnets.

I hid the magnets completely by sewing them in place between two pieces of felt, cut slightly narrower than the outer layers they hid behind. Basically, I sewed a little basket/nest of thread around them to hold them in place - at the top, middle, and bottom of the peel and the bottom of the fruit slice.

The hardest part is making sure the three magnets in the peel meet up just right with the three in the fruit. Even when they are oriented to attract each other, if they are a smidge out of alignment, they won't hold the peel and fruit together neatly. I used the force of the magnets to guide me.

I made an interior panel to hide the magnets in the peel by sewing three magnets inside little nests of thread in three places (top, middle and bottom) between two pieces of felt that I cut slightly narrower than the outer pieces of the peel that you actually see (the green and tan). Then I sewed this in between the green and tan piece. Next I made the interior panel for the magnets that are hidden in the fruit. I laid one of the interior orange strips for the fruit on top of the lime green side of the finished peel. I laid a magnet on top of that close to wherever the magnet was in the peel. If you get close, it will just slide into place, attracted by the magnetic force. Then I put the other interior piece of orange on top of it and picked up the magnet with the two pieces of orange felt around it and then fixed the magnet into place by sewing a network of thread all around it. I repeated this for the other two magnets in the peel.

I've admired a lot of felt food for sale on etsy and have never seen anything like this before, so I think I have something unique here. There are loads of other possibilities with this general style and technique, too. Watermelons, oranges, apples — just about any peelable fruit. Cool! And, more fun for a little one =D

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Third Way

There are two common ways quilters bind the three layers (top, bottom and batting) of a quilt: free motion and 'stitch the ditch.' But there is a third way, and for lack of knowing if there's an actual quilting term for it, I am going to call it faux appliqué. It involves stitching around one or more of the shapes on one side of the cloth, essentially outlining it very carefully. Since people affix appliques by stitching around their edges, I like the term 'faux appliqué.' It can be a great way to bind what might otherwise be a tricky quilt because it is very forgiving of different tension that can exist between the top and bottom layers of a quilt.

This third way takes about the same amount of time to sew as the other two methods, and may actually be less time consuming because it totally eliminates any bunching and subsequent need to rip up and redo seams. This method is best suited for cloth that has a neat pattern you want to highlight. For my quilt I chose to outline the giraffes on the animal print on the other side.

There are two ways to make quilt bindings too, and now that I've tried both ways twice, I can say I definitely prefer one. The method I prefer is to fold over one side of the quilt that has been cut slightly larger than the other (about two inches) and then hand stitch it to the smaller side while being careful not to sew through both sides. If you want a different fabric for the trim, a variation of this method involves sewing that two inch strip of cloth to the edges first. The other method, which I think is inferior (perhaps because I can't make it look good) is to sew on pre-folded, using an iron to make the creases, strips of cloth to each edge which you then sew onto the top and bottom of the quilt at the same time. It is a much faster technique, even with the need to go back over your work and re-sew where the two sides don't match up, but it looks uglier because it is impossible to perfectly line up the two sets of stitches where they didn't line up correctly the first time.

Even though I used the inferior binding technique on this quilt, I think Baby Field Notes approves of it nonetheless.

Eventually I will get back to academic blogging but there just hasn't been anything really exciting to write about in that arena lately! I will entertain suggestions though =D