Starting over

I wouldn't really consider myself a perfectionist (despite being a Capricorn). I like a clean house but some dust here and there, even after the weekly clean, doesn't bother me. I'm not the most careful dishwasher (and constantly get made fun of for this by my sweetie/roommate). In all my crafting, you can usually find little errors - but that's what's makes them special! However, I've been staring at my latest completed quilt and have decided the binding looks crappy. So I ripped it all out. Yep, all of it. I realized that I cut the strip too wide in an attempt to make it easier to do machine binding for the whole process but it ended up coming out sloppy. So now I'm back to pinning it on and haven't decided yet if I'm going *gulp* hand bind the back.

Wish me luck.

Free motion

I've been working on a baby quilt (with no specific recipient in mind yet) from this pattern. It's so cute and very gender neutral with animals, all different colors, and an extremely soft orange flannel background. It's also been my second free motion quilt and I'm really getting the hang of it! I've just been stippling and while I was so nervous at first, once I got going I was fine. Here are some pics of the progress.



Ok, before I get back to real stuff (job search), wanted to send a wish list (and feedback prompt?) out into the void. I have a few ideas for new projects (a cover for my rolling file cabinet and some cute curtains for our bedroom) and would love to get my hands on One-Yard Wonders and Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts. Anyone have other suggestions for good crafting books?

Shades of gray

For some reason, I really love the combination of gray and raspberry. I'm thinking I might want to do a quilt in just those colors. I would use fabrics like these (the gray stack is from sewdeerlyloved's fabric shop on Etsy):


Virtual Quilting Bee anyone?

To any other quilters that are reading this - I'm looking to join a virtual quilting bee! Please let me know if you're hosting one and have openings or if you know of others! Feel free to comment. (After posting on the discussion page of Quilting Bee Blocks on Flickr, I've been in contact with one person who is interested in starting a bee. She, myself and one other person are in so far. Let me know if you're interested!)

We're really grown ups now

For everyone who has ever been young, broke, and living in one of their apartments/houses/etc. then you'll appreciate my post today. All through college I lived on campus, except for one semester spent abroad where I lived in a campus apartment. Since college, I've lived in two different apartments by myself, one here in the Big Apple and another one in DC during grad school. Now I'm in my third grown-up apartment, sharing a glorious 2 bedroom with my sweetie. Today we officially became grown-ups: we have our very own couch!

Now I know that you must be chuckling to yourself, as even I am, but you also know exactly what I mean. After countless futons, hand-me-down chairs, even a loaner couch from my landlord, neither of us ever had our own, brand spankin' new couch. And now, we have the first of two!

Our adorable loveseat from Macy's arrived today. The dog loved it immediately. While the couch was the highlight of the day, the rest of it hasn't been too bad! I found a few good job listings, had coffee with a college friend, and am baking cookies (how domestic!). I might get to squeeze in some quilting (check out my progress!)...



Got the part-time retail job - starting in less than two weeks! Here's to money and clothing discounts. :)

On a totally different note...

Those of you who know me well know that I'm a voracious reader. I'll be keeping a running list on this blog of books I've read in 2010. Finished my first book of the year!

Time for some yoga, lunch, more job stuff, then maybe some sewing...


On this dreary, rainy Monday, I'm going to start the week off with a positive, sunny attitude. I will hear (something) about jobs! We're getting our loveseat delivered! I'm having dinner with friends! Hurrah!
I'm thinking of new crafting ideas too. I'm totally in love with this new fabric from Jessica Levitt:

What are you excited about this Monday?


Home sweet home

I've been living in my new digs with my sweetie and Louie the Westie for about 2 months now and we're loving the space. Last weekend my mom was here and came up with an awesome new set up that we're going to try. The short story is we live in a typical NYC apartment (=bizarre shape) but loooove homey spaces so we're off to Macy's to order a love seat. We're still waiting on our custom sofa for our living room (note: we have a fabulous 2 bedroom duplex where the second "bedroom" is downstairs and is used as our living room).Being young, new roommates, and on a serious budget (read: MAJOR student loans) we're trying to be as creative as possible. We've been lucky enough to travel a lot to incredible places so our home is filled with souvenirs and quirky things. We fortunately also have the same taste in terms of decorating and furniture!

We have a bunch of really special things around, one of which is an authentic Denyse Schmidt quilt for our bed that my mom bought us as a housewarming present. She got it on super sale on a discount housewares website. It's GORGEOUS and the dog is definitely not allowed on it. Oooh, and my sweetie's favorite colors are blue and orange (Syracuse alum).

Speaking of discount websites, I got my daily email from One King's Lane today and this rug was for sale - doesn't it look just like a Denyse Schmidt quilt?!

Anyway...so glad it's Friday even though my sweetie has to do some work this weekend. This was a pretty lame week for the job search (read: not much came up). Still waiting to hear about part-time retail work AND if I made it to second round for a real job (fingers crossed!!!)

Happy weekend!



It was a quiet day spent at home today. I know that I personally like it when bloggers post with pictures so I've obliged you readers. Here are images from my day.

Louie asleep on his new (well, not really new but sent from Grandma's house) beanbag chair. He loves looking out the window (Westies need a "job").
New quilt project = yay. Lots of cutting = boo.
My not-so-bad machine binding job. Originally I wanted to half machine half hand sew this binding but then realized that I would never have the patience to hand sew it. Fortunately, after the last quilt's binding difficulties, I learned and made my binding strips bigger so the machine sewing went better than expected (pics of the finished quilt will probably go up tomorrow - need to trim threads and such).


Hope, Help and Heal

As someone who is personally and professionally invested in international affairs/conflict resolution, I'm amazed at the beautiful response of people around the globe doing what they can to help Haiti. If you're able, please find a responsible and transparent way to give. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Clinton Bush Haiti Fund (yay bipartisanship!)

Also, the lovely ladies behind Craft Hope have opened a shop specifically to benefit Haiti. All proceeds will go to Doctors Without Borders. Support handmade AND help those in need!


A little bit of this, a little bit of that

I'm in sort of a random mood today. I think all this chilly weather is getting to my head (though it's practically a heat wave with the thermometer hitting 37 degrees here in the Big Apple). My sweetie's parents had the right idea and escaped.


1. The pipes in our apartment building are making a weird noise. It sounds like a washing machine gone wild but after calling the super he informed that in fact, it is the pipes and they're working on it. Just hope the wall doesn't explode (and I can still take a hot shower!)

2. My sweetie and I have perfected a chocolate chip cookie recipe after catching a tip on the Food Network: make the dough and refridgerate for a few days. I promise, your cookies will taste amazing! (The ones we made last week are all gone.)

3. I started free motioning on my crazy Tina Givens quilt. It's a lit
tle scary but also exciting. I'm just doing horizontal waves across the whole thing. Even after just working on a little bit, it already looks really neat!

4. 36 hours until I'm a year older. Yikes.

5. The apartment is looking better and better. I got this nifty cleaning device for the blinds in our place and it seems to help. A little. Sadly
, our couch is still (gulp) probably a month away. Oh couch, if only you knew how much we're anticipating your arrival. We're tired of sitting separately in a too-small La-Z-Boy and awkward disc chair (but the dog loves it).

6. I finished my first sweater of the season! It was the one I mentioned a few months back. I still need to put the hooks and buttons on it but I promise I'll take a pic as soon as it's completely finished. Woohoo! As for now, I'm working on this one in black:



Happy New Year!

I hope you rang in this new decade with style. Hard to believe it's 2010!

I will follow the general pattern of resolutions - of sorts - and other thoughts on starting fresh. Since I feel like I just had a fresh start (new city, new apartment, etc.) I'm mostly trying to focus on simple things and actually attainable goals.

1. Keep a positive attitude and take things day by day. This mostly refers to my continual frustration with finding a full-time job in my desired field. It's been - and continues to be - very hard for me not to get discouraged and frustrated about my current unemployed status. I'm also trying not to be upset about having a part-time job. Sometimes this is what needs to be done. I need to just be thankful for all the good things in my life - there are many! - and keep my chin up. Something will come along.

2. Learn to cook. Or I guess I should really say learn to cook better. I actually have a pretty good repertoire but there's always room to learn and improve.

3. Read a greater variety of news sources. This is just my nerdy self wanting to be more informed and well-rounded.

4. Run. (When it's not so cold.)

5. Develop new projects/ideas/products for LittleOliveBranch. This includes maybe quilts, sewn accessories, and knitwear. Hurray!

6. Simplify.

What are your resolutions? What are your hopes for the coming year?