Back to reality

This was my view for the last 4 days. Today was (unfortunately) back to reality.

Only 2 weeks 'til my real vacation...


More process details

I've made amazing progress on Erica's tee-shirt quilt. Of course, I worked so quickly that I didn't take pictures of it. Nonetheless, I still wanted to stay true to my process pledge so I'll blab a bit here about it (and promise to post some pics soon).

When you last read about my progress, I had backed the tee-shirts with muslin and double-sided fusible. Someone asked me to tell more about the fusible but you'll have to forgive me because I threw the packaging away before I wrote down what brand I used. Sorry! Anyway, it comes in a 5 yard roll and I got it at Michael's. Of course, they don't list anything on their website that is remotely similar so I suggest doing a bit of Googling. Next time I won't be such a moron and will make sure to provide product details. Anyway, I have this awesome striped fabric that I cut into 2 1/2 inch strips to frame each tee-shirt. There are many ways to do sashing; I typically sew in vertical rows and then sew the columns together. I attached sashing to the tops and bottoms of each square (which measured about 14-15 inches each) and then sewed them into 3 columns of 4. The tee-shirts were firmly backed with the muslin and fusible so I made sure to use a heavier needle in my machine than usual. I also decided to go with polyester thread instead of cotton as it seemed to work better going in and out of the tee-shirt/muslin/fusible sandwich. I found that some of the sticky stuff on the fusible kept getting on my needle so make sure you clean yours off once in a while and obviously to toss it when you're done with this type of project so as to avoid sticky goo on other quilts! After finishing the sashing, I pin basted and decided to just stitch-in-the-ditch for the quilting, around each tee-shirt. This way, the whole quilt will always be nice and crinkly, not to mention will highlight the tee-shirts. I need to make my binding which I usually do on the bias and will be attaching it using my machine. I like to have a nice sized strip showing so I cut the fabric into 2 1/4 inch strips, then attach all the strips together on the bias. I also need to make a little label for the quilt. I think I'll be going pretty basic and will be handwriting it and then attach it using some of the left over fusible and white fabric. I've been really bad about labeling my quilts but that's only because I want to design my own label using Spoonflower fabric and right now I'm too broke to do that.

So it's off to craft a bit more. Was at work and running errands until just a little bit ago so hopefully I can squeeze some quilting in before dinner and the evening fatigue sets in. Still need to send out a few job applications and get some more things together for my beach weekend (HURRAY!).

Oooo, and it's restaurant week here so my sweetie, sis and 2 friends are livin' it up and heading to Le Cirque on Friday. Yay for $35 meals at crazy-fancy-expensive restaurants. Mmmm...

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde



I'm actually not a great whistler, nor a great singer but whenever I'm sewing, I'm usually listening to something (I've also been known to have the TV on but I've been doing that less and less lately). I have a pretty eclectic taste in music so it could be anything from Otis Redding to Pink Martini to John Mayer.

Here's the deal with JM: yep, I know he's kind of a tool. But I still love his stuff. My freshman year in college I went to see him at this little venue on South Street in Philly WAAAAAY before anyone knew who he was (and before he slept with ditzy pop stars and got too many tattoos). My friends and I totally stalked him after the show and ended up getting a picture taken with him and getting him to sign a set list that I stole off the stage. Definitely one of my favorite college-years memories.

And I swear, this song will make you smile.



Are you a list maker? It's sort of absurd how much I enjoy making lists. I have a ridiculous amount of notebooks, all with old "To Do" lists, lists of fabric to get, books to read, etc.

This was today, fueled with plenty of iced coffee and homemade chocolate chip cookies:

1. Post office to mail off stuff to Leanne, Greta, and Laura, my lucky giveaway winner!
2. Library - new beach book on hold just in time for this weekend
3. JOB SEARCHING (this may as well be written with a permanent marker)
4. Erica's quilt
5. Stuff for my shop

Hope you had a productive Monday!


A special day

Happy birthday to Nelson Mandela, my hero AND to my sweet dog, Louie!


Lessons Learned

1. If you use colored chalk to draw lines for quilting, make sure after you're done quilting you wash the quilt as soon as possible. Leaving it to sit lets the chalk set in. (Hopefully a second washing with stain treatment will do the trick!)

2. Trust your instincts, but also do your research! I was determined to find two-sized fusible/interfacing to bond the tee-shirts for Erica's quilt to muslin - and I did! After spending too much time on the internet, I figured what the heck, I'll try Michael's and low-and-behold they had a 5-yard roll of two-sided fusible that's typically used for applique work but works PERFECTLY for this. I highly recommend it as the tee-shirts look awesome! I contemplated trying out just stabilizer and cutting out the muslin but I've used it in the past and not been happy with how the fabric moves. Now, bonded to the muslin, it has great movement and I think will be wonderful in the quilt.

3. Don't be afraid to try new things. Like embroidery, South African style (especially when you love all things South African).

Other things going on:

~ More baby quilts for the shop
~ FINALLY going to finish one of my quilt tops that's been lying around. My sweetie were talking about our vacation (about a month away!) and we were discussing the beach and how his uncle always brings a great beach quilt and wouldn't it be nice if we had one too? Well, soon enough we will! One of my quilt tops is slightly larger than a twin sized quilt which is PERFECT for the beach. We found cheap batting and backing and I'm going to baste/quilt it up lickity-split before we leave. Yay!
~ Loving my volunteer days at the refugee organization (hopefully job opportunities will come soon!)

If you’re going to be passionate about something, be passionate about learning. If you’re going to fight something, fight for those in need. If you’re going to quest something, question authority. If you’re going to lose something, lose your inhibitions. If you’re going ot gain something, gain respect and confidence. And if you’re going to hate something, hate the false idea that you are not capable of your dreams. – Daniel Golston


Call me crazy

As temps near 100 degrees (again!) here, I find myself craving some knitting. I know, I know, I must be completely insane thinking about heavy fibers in this intense heat, but I just can't help it! All this quilting (which I LOVE) has gotten me in the mood for my true craft love: knitting. As soon as the thermometer hit 70, I pretty much put my woolens safely away but now I'm regretting it. Seeing this gorgeous shop makes me want to pull out my unfinished projects and pick up where I left off. Not to mention, I have a pretty incredible collection of knitting books/magazines and there are some that I'm eager to try out. I'm also thinking that a knitting project would be a great thing to take along to Maine for my vacation (even though we're driving, lugging my sewing machine and all necessary accoutrements is out of the question).

So am I crazy? The dog seems to think so: he eyes me skeptically as I tell him I'm going to head into our storage closet and dig up some knitting. Then he sighs and lays his head back down on the cool floor under my desk.

Good thinking, buddy.

The only normal people are the ones you don’t know very well. – Joe Ancis


The Process

I hope that everyone had a great holiday weekend! We had a nice, relaxing few days here in NYC. It's been insanely hot (and it's still going...right now it's near 100!!!) so we didn't spend as much time outside as we would have liked (man, I wish I had a pool...). We did, however, venture down to check out the newly opened Brooklyn Bridge Park. Here are some shots from our spot on the lawn:
All this hot weather keeps me inside doing crafty stuff. My mom bought me some sketching pencils and a pad. As I've been quilting more and more, I feel like I'd like to expand my own creative endeavors. I think it would be really fun to design my own logo, labels, etc. Will keep you posted!

I've been commissioned by a coworker to make her a quilt! She has a whole bunch of old tee shirts from her college sorority that she never wears but can't bear to part with, so she's been wanting to turn them into a quilt. When she heard that I make quilts, she asked me if I would make one for her - of course I agree and I'm thrilled! We've gone back and forth, coming up with a simple but really cute design. She has 12 shirts, which I'm going to sash using a really pretty striped fabric from Dena Design's "Monaco" line after cutting them into blocks. I'm going to back and bind the quilt with matching fabrics too. I'm so psyched to get started on this! In keeping up with Rossie's Process Pledge, I'll try to blog about this along the way.

General design of Erica's quilt. Not sure what size the blocks are going to be but I'm estimating that the whole quilt will probably be about 60" x 60" (she wanted a large lap quilt.)

For the sashing!

For the binding...
For the backing. Yum! She's from Florida - doesn't this remind you of beautiful ocean waters?

I purchased all the fabric for Erica's quilt from Fabric.com. Usually, I like to buy from small, independent businesses but I got all of this for a great price. Aaannnddd.....I snagged some of Jay McCarroll's hard-to-find "Woodland Wonderland" which I LOOOOVE! Check out what I got (for less than $4 per yard!):
And last but not least, I've been admiring this line recently and decided to get myself a yard of my fave print from it:

So as you can see, I'll keep myself busy for a while.

Only 37 days til our Maine vacation!

On another note, I've seriously considering relisting all my bags that didn't sell last summer in my Etsy shop. They're adorable and I wasn't really advertising much. I'm thinking now that I've been out in the virtual community, I should try again (but my ego is a little bruised!). What do you think? I'm also going to keep making new bags, quilts, etc. Thoughts? Suggestions? Hugs?

Stay cool, everyone!

Why compare yourself with others? No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you. – Unknown


My very best favorite

Since I've been slacking on my end-of-post quotes, I thought I'd devote an entire post to my all-time favorite quote.

Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity. ~ Gilda Radner

For those who live in the States, Happy 4th!


Where did the day go?

Why is it on the days that you don't have to work, time flies much faster? Seriously! I just looked at the clock and have no idea how it go to be 7:30. That's not to say I didn't get a lot done today, but still. I had many more things on the list, most importantly pictures upon pictures to show you all! But now it's late and the light sucks. Call me cheesy but it being the 1st of the month (um, we won't talk about how ridiculous it is that it's JULY), but I was doing a little reorganizing/cleaning/etc. including taking stock of unfinished projects (quilting ones, my knitting ones are too high to count...). I realized that I have 2 large quilt tops just hanging out in my cabinet! One would make a perfect picnic blanket. Too bad I'm not Wonder Woman (not to mention, out of batting and too broke to buy 5 yards of fabric for backing!) or else I would finish that sucker up and me and my sweetie would have a nice new quilt to use this weekend (which will hopefully be filled with lots of park time). Another one is made of all Kaffe Fassett fabric, featuring these big gorgeous purple flowers! I also have 2 baby quilt tops (but those were more recent so they haven't been laying around unfinished for that long) and more ideas cooking. Not to mention the never-ending hexagons that I can't seem to get enough of... Thanks to G and L for helping beef up my scrap stash! Who knows what those little shapes will become but I can't imagine myself sewing a whole stinkin' quilt of them by hand. Props to those of you who plan on doing that, though!

So now that it's getting even later and I've babbled on and not even shown you any pictures, I may as well go watch some DVRed Top Chef. And pick a project to work on... ;-)

And the winner is....

Number 50 is.....LJ! Congratulations!!! I'm going to shoot you an email in a bit here to get your address.

Thank you so, so much to all that entered. It's been so fun reading your comments and I tried to respond to all of you if you left your email address. For those of you that are new to my blog, I hope that you stick around. :)

That's all!

The giveaway has officially closed! I'll post the winner later today. Thanks to everyone who entered! :)