I want a snow day!

Seriously, am I back upstate? We've gotten a fair amount of snow here - and it's still coming down! Remember how great it was to have a snow day? We had so few when I was growing up. That's what happens when you live in a place that has winter from November through April! I remember learning to drive (one January way back when) and there was about 2 feet of snow. We called it "bumper driving!"Anyhoo, unlike the kids who go to NYC public schools, I have to go to work today (actually already went in for a training this morning and will be heading back for a real shift this evening). But in the meantime, I'm home in my sweatpants, cuddling with the dog and admiring the snow. I think it's time for lunch, Project Runway from DVR, and some knitting*.

For now, here's a crafty-themed wishlist! I've been eyeing all the beautiful stitchery over on Flickr and I guess it was only a matter of time before I jumped on the embroidery bandwagon. Thanks to John for the encouragement! Once I have a little more money in the bank, I'm going to get myself some supplies and start stitching! For now, here are some delicious craft-related wants...

Sublime Stitching by Jenny Hart (though her website already has awesome instructions - free!)

And eventually, for when I get good enough, this ADORABLE pattern by Aneela (sold in her Etsy shop!)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the "Little Folks" line from Anna Maria Horner. I think I need a quilt made of just this and some bright Kona solids

Yummy cashmere yarn by Lobster Pot (from Purl Soho)

*Knitting is my absolute favorite craft. I've been doing it for over 10 years and like to think that I'm pretty good. My newfound love of fabric has sort of monopolized my crafty activities lately (and this blog!) but I assure you, there are many yarn projects currently on the needles. I promise to devote an entire post soon to my knitting projects and adventures.



I need a moment

...to vent. I try not to make this blog too much about my personal life (though I guess that's sort of the point of a blog, huh?) but right now I just need to spill.

I finished my master's degree in May from a very good school in a very good program. I have a nice resume with numerous experiences, credentials, etc. And yes, I KNOW, the economy sucks right now. But I'm so unbelievably tired of this ridiculous process of job searching. I am very organized and methodical and devote a lot of time to it but it's been NINE MONTHS. ARGGG.

I am very well aware that things could be much worse. I have wonderful supportive friends and family, a roof over my head, food on the table, and health insurance.

But I hate feeling like the last 2 years of hard work were a waste.


OK, I feel better. Thanks for letting me whine. I promise I won't do it often. I'm going to go bind a quilt and listen to This American Life.


OK, after this I SWEAR I'll actually get to it. But these are a few goodies I've been eyeing...

Sigh. Maybe after a few paychecks...


No other word for it. Just busy today. Mountain of laundry. Stack of job listings. Dinner (?). More emails (guess I wasn't really caught up).

This stuff will have to wait...



1. Caught up on emails. Finally!
2. Took Louie to small dog park where he met a HUGE bichon, a TINY yorkie puppy, and another Westie named McDuff (amazingly awesome name).
3. Tried to be brave and pick up a roach carcass (we're talking monster size) in the downstairs bathroom but just swept him next to the traps in the shower instead. Maybe he will serve as a lesson for all others that come near.* Yech.
4. Stippled baby quilt. Pondered what to do on borders and realized regardless, I need to buy red thread.

How is it 4 pm already?

*Yes, I know. I live in NYC so there have been and will always be roaches. Gross.



I'm slowly going through my stash and am loving the idea of fabric swaps! Check out my Flickr for my available fabric!



As a new quilter, there are a MULTITUDE of techniques to master. At every step, there are little things to pay attention to that will add up to a pleasing final product. It's important to select fabric that coordinates (sometimes!), crucial to accurately cut (VERY important and the hardest step for me), and then layout and sewing itself. One of the more commonly used techniques in quilting is triangles and it seems that are a gazillion different ways to do them. Rachel seemed to have the most straight-forward way of doing half square triangles so I decided to do those. While my corners don't match up in all the places, I'm pretty happy with the results. At first I wasn't sure the colors would work but I definitely think a certain kind of mommy will like this:
...or maybe not. Every few minutes I go back and forth between hating and loving it.

The reason I'm working on baby quilts (no babies here and don't actually have any pregnant friends - I know, I know, I'm so young) is because I've been thinking about selling some through my shop in Etsy. I think it would be a great way to a) practice quilting - duh! b) use up some fabric since pretty soon my sweetie will go crazy with all that we have in our tiny apartment c) make some moolah (ugh, my sad little bank account!) and d) meet other great people who appreciate quilts!

But I'm *gulp* nervous and afraid no one will like them or buy them. I'm not usually an insecure person but many areas of my life are so unsettled now that the anxious monster keeps rearing its ugly heads.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Hugs?

Mutual obsessions

The virtual world of knitters, quilters, sewists, crafters, etc. is HUGE and I'm loving being a part of it. It's pretty awesome how connected you become with these people, never have met - and probably never will! - them. I also love how people offer fun stuff like tutorials, tips, and giveaways. Right now, Heather is having a fantastic giveaway on her site. Be sure to check it out.

More real world stuff to do before crafting begins. Will post more later...


Practice and Inspiration

I'm very new at quilting but am definitely ambitious about trying new techniques. With the two bees that I'm in, I'll be able to sharpen my skills and try new designs. I've been doing some playing around lately as I've been reading blogs, tutorials and joining Flickr groups. Here's some of what I've done so far.

This was the continuation from my previous post where I started paper piecing using this tutorial. I really like how this looks and could see how a quilt like this would be beautiful! I'm not sure if I'm going to make a whole quilt or maybe just a pillow?

This was my go at Oh, Fransson's! Map of the States tutorial. I just used scraps to practice so the colors aren't exactly pretty but I wanted to try it before deciding to do a whole quilt like this. I think it's a go!

My sweetie LOOOOOVES the Olympics so since it's started, we've basically had the TV on whenever events are on. This is fine with me because while I like the summer ones better, there's been some very exciting moments so far. (And who DOESN'T watch figure skating?) It's also made us want to be snowboarders! I'm not sure how this will actually go since I'm not very athletic and my sweetie (who is athletic) tends to have kluzty moments so...we'll see...maybe next winter. But I do marvel at the sport! Not to mention those awesome pants that Team USA wears meant to look like distressed jeans. How crazy is that!? Leave it to me to want to try something, especially because it has cool clothes...


Happy Heart Day!

As my sweetie and I sit here together on our new couch, I hope you're enjoying time with the ones you love too.

On another matter of the heart, Bumble Beans has started a wonderful project: collecting house blocks to make quilts for this awesome organization, Basics Inc. An organization that helps familes emerge from homelessness, she's collecting blocks to make quilts featuring this adorable pattern. I'm going to make a few and hope that you'll do the same.

Happy Valentine's Day!

(And nope, we haven't really moved from the couch. Woohoo!)

Join in here.


So far

Today so far... (as the snow does in fact accumulate)

Yum: chili, fresh sourdough, tea & honey, homemade chocolate chip cookies

Humming along: Pink Martini, Angelique Kidjo, Alicia Keys, Regina Spektor

Doings: searching this and other ones like it, snuggling with my buddy

Still on the agenda: crafting, waiting for sweetie to get home (hopefully early!), more winter wonderland...

Snow day?

After growing up in Upstate NY (read: snow on Halloween, school open with 4 feet of snow, etc.) I'm not really intimidated when the weather services all predict that lovely fluffy white precipitation. I will admit that yes, DC has been POUNDED but up here in the Big Apple, all the hype was a little silly. Take a look...

I think Louie has the right idea...

Off to do the day's regular activities. Enjoy the snow!


How much would you pay?

There's a lot of scavenging that comes with quilting, particularly for hard to find or out of print fabrics. One such designer that is always in this category is Heather Ross, as almost all quilters know. Some of her prints from "Lightening Bugs and Other Mysteries" go for $40/yard on eBay.

Frankly, in this day and age, I can't justify spending that much on fabric. While it's lovely and yes, there's always a thrill to having something rare, it's just fabric and there are so many wonderful and talented designers out there whose fabrics make wonderful quilts.

It does appear, however, that we may all get another chance to get Lightening Bugs at a somewhat reasonable price: on Spoonflower! Check out this post from Heather's blog. Seems like we might all be able to get those cute fishies after all...

More bee blocks

I finished Sarah's blocks for Bee-Stitched (yay for our first month!) and I'm really happy with them. She wanted improv-style blocks with Erin Michaels' "Lush" fabric as the focus. I added some of my own stash and was amazed at how many of my fabrics coordinated. The colors were lovely and soothing and I can't wait to see how her whole quilt turns out.

This was my first attempt at improv style blocks. At the start, I was very perplexed about it all. As a new quilter, it felt so strange to not use a pattern. I struggled a lot and worried too much about how it would look. Finally, when I just started to "go with my gut," I found it wasn't actually that hard and I really enjoyed it! I will definitely be making my own improv quilt sometime in the future.



I woke up to a wonderful surprise: I sold this adorable bag from my Etsy shop! I've been a bad shop mommy, and have neglected my shop for a few weeks now. But that's only because I've been busy with other things. Not to mention, I've been stewing over new ideas for spring...
We didn't get much snow from this so-called storm that's pounding other parts of the East Coast. It's so funny - I move away from DC and they have one of the craziest winters! It's like I left my Upstate NY karma back in the District. Sorry guys!

My sweetie got saddled with another big project this weekend and had to head out to Queens today. I'm sad but we both knew that this first job would be like this. We deal with it because he's making decent money and it's only temporary. Still, we were looking forward to spending some time together this weekend! Hopefully he won't have to work tomorrow - too bad I will (but it's only for four hours).

So I'm going to be domestic today and cook and clean up a bit and of course do some sewing and knitting. Mmm, and I think cupcakes may be on the menu...

Oh, we did get some other wonderful news: our couch is FINALLY ready and will be delivered next Saturday, just in time for the Olympics. Yay! Ahh, can't wait! (It's the simple things, right?)



I've just finished the blocks for Margaret's quilt for Fresh Comfort Two. She wanted slightly wonky log cabins in teals and browns. I supplemented her fabric with a few scraps of my own. They're uncut (I'm going to let her do the final chop) which is why they're not the same size. They were a challenge but I'm happy with how they turned out and hope she will be too!

I should be getting the fabric from Sarah for the first month of Bee-Stitched. She chose improv blocks (fun!) using Erin Michael's "Lush" line.

A little taste

I will post more later as I plan to do some sewing this afternoon but here's a little taste of what my fellow bee members will be seeing in the coming months in their mailboxes.

All purchased from here.

Denyse Schmidt "Hope Valley" in New Day and
Jessica Levitt "Timber" in Breeze


Playing around and challenging myself

One of the reasons that I'm REALLY excited about the 2 quilting bees I'm in is that I'll hopefully get to try some new techniques. I really like the way string quilts look and after following this tutorial, I've been playing around to practice.

Next I'm going to try some log cabins - both wonky and regular. Off to check out tutorials...


Today (only the fun stuff)

(Fabric browsing, hanging with Louie, homemade chili.)


Another one!

Yep, I've gotten into another virtual quilting bee! My mom was in one but realized she doesn't really have time so she pulled out and I took her place. They've only just started and she's sending me this month's blocks today so I'm not behind. So excited! The blog for this group is already up and running so you can check out our progress here.

Time to start thinking of blocks and fabrics...

Weeeeeeee for a bee!

I'm so sleepy but just wanted to post that I'm SO SO SO excited to be part of my first quilting bee! Can't wait! And Sarah's fabrics for February look wonderful. Follow our progress here.