Tuesday, October 27, 2009

New Goodies

This weekend I was cleaning when E took the little gray dog for his morning walk. He returned later with this adorable little quilt. It's all hand quilted and the woman selling it told E that it was made by her mother. It always amazes me that people can give away/sell handmade gifts. Perhaps it wasn't her style, but I guess I'm too much of a packrat and/or too sentimental to give away something that was made specifically for me. I often find myself purchasing handmade items (quilts, afghans etc) at thrift shops and garage sales even if their color scheme isn't my taste.
Maybe I'm crazy (ok I know I'm crazy), but I know how much time and love when into making them and I'd hate to think they'd get sent to the dump. So to save them from an uncertain fate...they come to my house, which is exactly why I need a bigger place. Something with a space for my craft workshop, so I can finally hang all of these "misfits". I'm not sure exactly what I will do with it yet, since I don't have a studio, but I'm happy to have it.
Here's a kona color card that I received in the mail from Karen. Her etsy shop North Country Quilts is here. She has a great selection of moda's precuts, some beautiful batiks, and a large selection of kona cotton solids. Now that I have the color card it will be much easier to purchase online and know the the "tangerine" I ordered from Hancock fabrics is WAY too bright to use on the front of the Halloween wall hanging that may or may not be finished in time for Halloween.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Take This Job and Shove It!

Let's just say that my week was absolutely miserable. The job I started Monday turned out to be a NIGHTMARE. The people (who only spoke Hebrew because they knew I couldn't understand what they were saying), the work itself (which was nothing related to HR, which was the job I was hired to do), and the office itself (which didn't even have a bathroom...think using a key for a public restroom in the hall. I was basically treated like a secretary/personal assistant to 15 people (which would be fine if the pay was much more and that was explained to me in the beginning). I should have known when I asked for a job description and there wasn't one, or when I realized they didn't ask me for references, or perhaps when I was offered the position an hour after interviewing (I guess I just thought "man they must recognize how uber talented I am and want to scoop me up"). Which of course is probably true in some respects since the job was so encompassing and complicated that they would need to hire 5 different people to handle all the crap they were delegating. But enough of that...it's all in the past. For the first time in my life and very happily I must confess, I resigned from a job (and after only 5 days).

In happier news, I took my licensing exam on Saturday and I PASSED!! woo hoo. Now I can officially add LMSW to my name. I wasn't planning on taking the exam since my major was social enterprise not clinical, but I think in this economy having another credential can't hurt, right?

So here's what I've been working on this week. Bella's mittens by subliminalrabbit. I found the pattern on ravelry and immediately fell in love. I have to admit I don't know anything about the Twilight movie they were inspired by, but I really love how quick they work up and how professional they look. I don't know how long the first one took since I didn't know very much over the week, but the second one is working up much faster. I always save the thumbs for last, I guess that's because it's the part I like the least, well that and weaving in ends.

Monday, October 19, 2009

One of These Things is Not like the Others

Ok none of these these are like each other...In a logical time progression order, I give to you my weekend.

Banana Bread bought at a rest stop in upstate New York, delicious and moist, yum!
Artichokes (deep fried with blue cheese and buffalo dipping sauce and sauteed in garlic and butter with parmesan cheese) I waited in line for an hour and 20 minutes to get these delicious treats. Luckily there were some friendly ladies also enjoying the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival who kept me company. Shout out to Loraine if she's reading, and no my shih tzu is not a humper:)
Here are a few sheep at the sheep and wool festival. I wanted to take one home but had a strange suspicion my little gray dog wouldn't like them very much. He already has to show the kitties who's boss and doesn't need any more competition for mama's love.

And...a kangaroo! I saw kangaroo's last year at the festival and one of them had a joey, it was the most adorable thing I've ever seen. The owner of the kangaroo told me all about joeys and her farm last year, it was fascinating.
And on Sunday's trip to Fiesta Grill we drove by this adorable little hair salon selling...Doobies? Umm...it was right next to a police precinct so your guess is as good as mine. If anyone knows what a doobie is please please write me, I'm dying to know.
That's all for today. It was a long first day at the office, but I'm so thankful to have a job.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival

So I've been looking at all the beautiful quilts listed on Park City Girl's Blogger's Quilt Festival for a few days now and just noticed that the deadline to take part in the festival is tomorrow. So without further ado... I give to you Mardi Gras
The pattern was based on bento box by Tracey Brookshire. I didn't actually have the pattern so I just made up my own measurements. I purchased all of the batiks for 40-50% off at a local quilt store when I was living in Boston. At first I wasn't really sure I liked them, but when I was finished I was really pleased with the result. Normally I would choose a much more subdued color palate, but I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone a little to make this quilt. It was my second "bed-size" quilt and was quilted on a long-arm machine by Debbie Allen in Utah. The quilting was done using an all over pano and variegated thread (the last photo shows the detail the best). When I first put the photos of this quilt on flickr another quilter said I should name it Mardi Gras because of all the bright colors, at the time it was unnamed, so the name stuck.

A big thank you to Amy for hosting such a wonderful festival. With so many talented and inspirational quilters, I look forward to looking through each of the entries.


Ask and Ye Shall Receive...Good News and Finished Projects

Finally, finally I have a job! Woo hoo I'm so thrilled to be among the gainfully employed again. I received an offer yesterday from a financial consulting company to be their Administrative and Human Resources Manager. I start Monday and I'm very excited about the possibilities.

Here are a couple of projects I've been working on. The first one you'll remember from a few months ago. I couldn't get a decent photo in color so here's one in black and white:
Pattern: Telemark Pullover by Erika Flory-a pdf can be found on ravelry for free! Modifications: Made the collar and arm and waist bands in seed stitch. Made the sweater short sleeve instead of long. It sort of reminds me of a polo shirt.
Cotton Fleece in a chocolate brown colorway
Size 8
I love how quick this knit up (despite the fact I put off the sleeves for months). It's a well written pattern and makes an adorable little sweater. I would say it runs a bit small though so I would recommend making at least one pattern size larger then you normally would need.

And a candle mat I made for my grandmother for Christmas

Pattern: Inspired by a pattern by Barri Sue Gaudet
Modifications: I didn't actually have the pattern, just saw one and decided to buy the materials to make one using my own guesstimates about how big the berries and flowers should be.
Wool Felt and embroidery floss
Other:I'm really pleased with how cute this came out. I think my grandma will really like this since her whole kitchen is strawberry themed. It took forever to stitch around every little piece, but it was a good project to do listening to tv on the couch.

Off to clean up the apartment a little, since next week I'll be working:)


Thursday, October 8, 2009

I won! I won!

So today I sat on the couch for most of the day sort of feeling bad for myself. I'm getting frustrated since I still haven't had any luck in my job search. I know the economy is bad and yada yada, but I guess I was sort of hoping all the money Obama promised would go to social services would add some jobs in my field. Anyway...so I'm sitting on the couch pouting and all of the sudden I notice my phone is blinking...an e-mail... a slight glimmer of hope that perhaps an employer is contacting me to set up an interview, but no...even BETTER!

I won Karen's give away. I've been reading her blog for a while and admiring her "Dear Jane" quilt, so I decided that it couldn't hurt to enter, just in case. I'm not usually one to win contests or giveaways, so this is indeed a pleasant surprise, and perhaps a sign that things are going to get better. So, here's a shout out to any hiring managers in the greater NYC area who might be reading and have an job opening for me (who knows, maybe I'm on a lucky streak, right?)

And a BIG thanks to Karen for making my day!! Stop by her blog and check out her projects, you'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Christmas Quilt is Complete!

Overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I love the red and white combination and I was able to use up a bunch of fabric from my stash. The only think I needed to buy was the backing (Kona Cotton:Snow). Luckily I saw a post from a fellow craftster member who mentioned that Hancock Fabrics was having a huge sale on Kona Cotton (52% off to be exact). I purchased 10 yards of snow and a few yards of other colors to make use of this wonderful bargain. Unfortunately they were out of many popular colors (which I didn't find out until I placed my order and got a call from customer service ugg). What I really need is a color card so that I know what I'm buying and don't have to guess what papaya "really" looks like. The shipping took a long time too, but I guess for 52% off I should stop complaining. I only wish there were a Hancock fabrics closer than 150 miles away.

I didn't use a pattern for this quilt, but was inspired by this quilt that I saw on flickr (of course). The stars are just 5 inch squares cut into triangles and arranged accordingly.

All of the quilting was done on my juki using a walking food and straight lines. I used Signature cotton quilting thread in a variegated red/pink colorway. The stitches aren't as perfect as I'd like, but it wasn't too bad for my first try at more "complicated" quilting i.e. I didn't just use painters tape this time to make a grid. Batting of course is warm and natural, for that well worn crinkly look. Binding was a bit smaller (2.25")then I usually make since this is a smaller size quilt. I actually rather like the 2.25" and might start using it on all my quilts.

I haven't made a label yet (I know I said I'd be better about this...bad bad i know). I was so anxious to get it binded and in the washing machine I couldn't force myself to make up a label.