Weekly Roundup – Week 2

Welcome back! The plan I think is to cover both what was accomplished last week and set up goals for this week (what a delightful way of doing things). I’m continuing to daily track in my planner (Quilter’s Planner – I love this thing, highly recommend, not an affiliate link) and while I missed Tuesday’s daily tracking because I was out of the house for most of the day, sitting down early Wednesday allowed me to write down what I accomplished at the very least. So, here goes!

Last week’s planner spread


I found another job and applied for it on Wednesday! I’m going to keep looking, but I feel mostly okay about it, mainly because they’re looking for someone bilingual which gave me the opportunity to submit my resume in German and the writing in English.
As far as blogging goes, obviously I continue to be on track. M is looking at redesigning my site, which would be a big win for us both – something he can use in his portfolio, and a facelift here. Stay tuned, if it happens, it will be an interesting shift I think.
This week: I need to apply for another job. I’ve started looking at new themes for the blog – my job is content and design, his job is making it happen. This feels like a bit of a long burn, but we’ll see.

Sewing: I needed last week to finish one cow and baste one quilt, and if I did both of those I was allowed to cut out a new one. Well, not only did I finish one cow and baste one quilt, but I quilted that one and bound it off yesterday. It’s hang drying now and I’m REALLY happy with it. It’ll be off to its new home this week!

I finished up the fourth cow in the nine cow series, and she was in honor of Justice Sonia Sotomayor. I’ve continued to worry a bit about how this might be interpreted, but the reality is that they are meant to honor and not mock. So far, we have cows honoring Florence K. Murray, Sandra Day O’Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and now Sonia Sotomayor. I have 5 more to go and we’re starting to get to the point where I can start assembling rows. I’m excited to see how this quilt turns out!

The quilt I finished this week was a retirement gift for a former boss and friend. I used the pattern “Homecoming” by Lo & Behold Stitchery and checked out the hashtag on Instagram for some palette inspiration. I chose a teal, yellow, and grey palette because I wanted something reminiscent of the organization where we both worked without being blatantly those colors (they will forever remind me of middle school, and pass). The effect was absolutely perfect. I quilted it myself on my Bernina 570QE (aka Bettie) using straight lines. The long sections are quilted at 0.25″, 1.25″, and 2.25″, the offset sections are quilted at 0.125″, 1″, 1.625″, and 2.375″. The corners are echo quilted triangles at 0.5″ intervals, and the two tiny grey sections have offset 0.5″ lines and 0.5″ echo quilted squares. I think this might be the first time I’ve actually sat down with a ruler to mark quilting lines and while it still wasn’t perfect, it came pretty close! I do anticipate that I’ll be marking lines for quilting more often, and I am definitely hoping to break out my Bernina Stitch Regulator at some point soon to practice, since I think the cows might get more of that one!

Homecoming quilt – ready to baste!

This week: I’ve cut out a Grow quilt (pattern from Suzy Quilts) and am hoping to get at least the blocks pieced. I am working on cow number 6, and I am planning on doing the backing and basting of another quilt – the Knitted Star I finished in December. The little one it is for is due in a couple weeks, so it would be nice to get it out soon!

Ahead of schedule! Depending on how well I stick to this goal, it may have to turn into its own post. I have a page dedicated specifically now to a quick update of rating each book and where you can pick up a copy. Note that I don’t have affiliate links, and I’m going to try to stick to independent bookshops for links.
I finished “The Alienist” by Caleb Carr on Tuesday and I highly recommend. I found it extremely gripping and surprisingly not as graphic as the show (was it a TNT show?). If you love a psychological thriller, this is a book for you, and apparently it’s a series, but I haven’t picked up any of the other ones.
Thursday’s finish was “Step Aside for Royalty” by Eileen Parker. Another recommend – I was correct that it was going to be a quick nonfiction read. This is a memoir from the wife of HRH Prince Phillip’s private secretary (Mike Parker) and goes up to about the conclusion of the Princess Margaret-Peter Townsend affair. It’s notable that most of the scandals from The Crown are absent here, but there is significant detail about other pieces of royal life that surprised me. Overall a good, light read and worth the few hours to get through it if the British royal family is something that interests you.
This week: I’m reading “Mr. Murder” by Dean Koontz. I’m enjoying it – it is unsettling in a good way!

Mostly on track! Monday: 30 min power zone ride, Tuesday: 10 min restorative yoga, Wednesday: 45 min power zone ride, Thursday: 30 min power zone ride, Friday: Stretch, Saturday: nothing, Sunday: 45 min power zone ride.
This week: Week 3 of Discover Your Power Zones program. I also want to maybe try to run one day.

Non-Goal Things:

M came home Thursday afternoon sicker than I’ve seen him since his second dose of Pfizer. And possibly actually sicker than that. He stayed home Friday and was starting to feel significantly better Saturday, so we ran out to the bakery and did a couple errands before coming back home with a paper for me. By Saturday afternoon I was starting to feel sick (mainly dizzy, but also queasy) and there is the reason I missed a workout. Fortunately, it did not turn into whatever he had but it still knocked me out Saturday afternoon and evening.

Because he’d been sick, we skipped fun dinner this past weekend and are hoping to pick it up this coming weekend. We’re planning on a cheese ravioli with a fancy meat sauce, so we’ll swing through the farmer’s market and the Markthalle this week to get the good stuff for it!

We’re also working on finalizing details for our trip to Dubai next month. We have our flights, we’re looking for a hotel, and then we need to finalize our plans for what we want to do and when. We’re not super structured on vacation, but when you travel with celiac, you do have to do some significant planning ahead for meals. We are hopeful that the…more well off clientele in Dubai means that I’ll be able to get good food, but we’ll see. Fingers crossed this isn’t a France situation.

Once we get home from Dubai, we’re hoping to get a pup and then plan a trip to Italy in March with said pup. I’m going to apologize now for the absolutely ridiculous amount that the pup will likely feature in photos once we get one. He’s going to be adorable.


Huh.  Somehow, it’s been a month since I last posted.  I do have four posts sitting as drafts, and I will get to posting them.  I promise.

It’s been an eventful month.  One of my best friends from Germany came to visit for a week, which was so much fun.  We did some touristing during the week – I worked on the move while we did the National Museum of American History and the National Museum of Natural History.  American History was a lot of fun with her – Europe does American history in broad, broad strokes, so it was really exciting to talk to her about the details, and how history has influenced culture and current events here.  I also took a few hours to take her up to the Hill and introduce her to a staffer friend of mine.  He was able to give us a great tour, including a fantastic extra stop at the Speaker’s Balcony!  As many times as I’ve done the Hill tour, that was the first time I got to do that!  Her last day here, M and I took her up to the National Cathedral, and then over to the Zoo.  We were expecting some massive crowds, especially when we saw that they didn’t have the pandas out in the yard (that pavilion is TINY), but they were doing really great crowd control and the pandas were more active than we’ve ever seen them.  I got some fantastic pictures.

Oh, and M and I were pretty cute too.



After the zoo, M and I took her out to Wolftrap to see the National Symphony Orchestra perform with Sarah Chang.  Immediate reviews on twitter were pretty glowing of Sarah Chang’s performance, but I have to be super honest, we weren’t that impressed.  Don’t get me wrong, she was good.  But there wasn’t anything terribly special about her playing ability.  All in all, it was a great week, and I was definitely sad to have to take her to the airport Sunday morning.  I DID manage to also get her addicted to embroidery while she was here, and I sent her off with a bunch of scraps, floss, needles, a bag to put it all in, and a mini quilt for her to embroider.  Because it’s not a vacation at my house unless you also sew. 😉

Beyond that, it’s just been busy.  Work has been crazy hectic, M started a new job and has been stressed out beyond belief, I started marathon training, and I’ve also been trying to stay on top of swaps AND also put together a travel set for BFF.

BFF found out last month that she’s going to be doing her PhD at Max Planck in Germany!  It’s SUCH a big deal, and I am SO proud of her.  I mean, I love Germany.  It is an amazing place, and I’m so happy for her to get to know the country.  I’m also so so proud of her for pushing forward on the grad school dreams.  Max Planck is a huge deal.  I can’t get over it.  BUT, I’m also heartbroken that she’s moving halfway around the world.  We don’t see each other very often – she lives in Boston, but there’s something to be said for the ability to call her in the middle of the night, or the ability to jump on a plane and be with her in an hour and a half – it’s not cheap, but $300 here or there isn’t the end of the world at the drop of a hat.  This is the end of an era, and I’m crossing my fingers that she gets WhatsApp the second she gets a cell phone over there so I can at least text her.  Because otherwise, I might lose my mind.

Obviously, since she’s leaving, I had to make her a travel set, and it needed to include every bag/wallet she might ever need.  So, I started with a Weekender Bag, and then promptly lost my damn mind.  A Wherever You Go Wallet, an Open Wide pouch in each size, a Jane Market Bag, a Manicure Kit, a Travel Kit, a Document Wallet, a Luggage Tag, a Wet Bag, a Bobby Pin Pouch, a Hair Tie Pouch, a Jewelry Clutch, a Toothpaste/Toothbrush Bag, and (theoretically) cord keepers.

Not all of these things are done yet, but I’m making decent progress.  Not great progress for flying to Boston for our last hurrah in less than 24 hours, but I don’t need to sleep tonight!

I promise to have more pictures once I get home from Boston.  In the meantime, I’m going to go grab a drink and head home to sew!

Sewing, Planning, and Running

I opted to skip the Freshly Pieced link-up this week.  I’ve been fairly horrible about taking pictures and not sharing them on instagram, so I didn’t see the point in re-documenting it here.

It’s been a kind of terrible week.  We got some news last weekend that I’m still trying to digest, and I’m definitely not okay with it.  But it seems that there’s nothing we can do.  It’s been killing me, and I took a day or so to sit around and feel sorry for myself, and I’ve been trying to turn the rest of the horrible feelings into sewjo, which has worked kind of well.  Usually, when bad things happen, I run.  I run out the anger and the frustration and the sadness and I get to go home without the ability to feel anything else.  Running usually helps give me some power back when I feel like everything is out of my control, but this is the one time it’s not going to work.  Everything that’s happened has honestly brought into focus the fact that we/I have no control, that we can do everything right and it still won’t matter, and there’s nothing that we can do to change it.  I want to run, I want to fight, but I feel so defeated.  And that will be the end of the vague-blogging.

That said, I decided to take the week off of running and just let myself exist and sew, which seems to be what I need.  It’s been unusually satisfying to create this week, and it seems that my soul is crying out to make beautiful things from little pieces.  Because I don’t have enough projects on my plate, I think I’m going to start working on a postage-stamp scrap vomit quilt.  We’ll see when that gets started, since I have a ton of other stuff that HAS to be done first.  You can see my WIPs on the WIP page by clicking on the pink menu button.

In the past week, I’ve finished the second handmade item for my SPD Fairy Tale Swap partner, made fantastic progress on the mini quilt for that, finished the Alison Glass Angel Mini and thread catcher, accomplished my June DCMQG Bee block, and added about 15 projects to my plate.  I need to do individual posts for the Alison Glass packages I sent, as well as for DCMQG, so those are coming.

I’m also on the hunt for my next planner.  For the past 6 months, I’ve been working out of a Kate Spade agenda (large, gold dots.)  I love it.  I love how it’s organized, I love the font, I love all the extra space for notes to keep track of my swaps, I love the paper, and I especially love that it’s spiral bound, but with a hard cover over the spiral.  Each month is color coded with the important stuff.  Last minute stuff tends to get tossed in in regular black ink when I’m sitting at my desk at work, but theoretically, each month is a different color.  What I don’t love about it is how the hard cover has worn.  My dots are faded, it looks dirty, and it’s not.  So, for the past few weeks, I’ve been researching hard.  And I’ve come to a few conclusions.  Some of these conclusions might insult some of you, and I’m sorry, but this is where I am.

1. I do not understand people who need 7 leatherbound planners.  If you need this many planners for your life, you are doing it wrong.

2. I do not understand the purpose of spending $60-75 on a planner and then using it as a scrapbook.  If you really want to scrapbook your life, there are gorgeous albums for that.

3. Why, why, WHY is it so hard to find a planner with a covered spiral at roughly the same size as the Kate Spade?

4. WHY does KS not make vinyl covers for her planners?  I mean, yeah, it’s $36 for the large one and that’s not breaking the bank, but I HATE that in 3 months I don’t want to show off my gorgeous KS planner because the dots have started to rub off.


6. There are not enough real-people review blog posts about planners out there.  I actually also feel this way about fashion, but that’s another blog post entirely.

I’m honestly down to one of two options.  I’m either going to re-order a KS planner, although I’m incredibly sad that the fun quotes each month are gone for 2016, and then cover it with clear contact paper to prevent some of that wear and tear.  OR, I’m going to suck it the fuck up and order an Emily Ley Simplified Planner in Pineapple when they are available in September.  I’m not super okay with either option, but I feel like there’s not much choice.  Thanks, universe.

And, finally, I’m in the process of trying really hard to reorganize my sewing space.  I’ve been using these fantastic drawers for my fabric, but I’m having a hard time keeping everything folded when I’m constantly rifling through them to find what I need.  And my blue and neutral drawers are about to explode.  They are stuffed full.  In addition, my notions are a disaster and I can’t ever find anything, and I don’t have a good storage option for my UFQs/WiPs.  I’m getting really frustrated with the mess, and I don’t know how to make it better.  I’m also really tired of having to cut on the floor or move my sewing machine off to the side of my table, which usually involves moving eight million other things in order to get enough space to move my machine and cut.  Basically, my space is a mess and I can’t function anymore.  I need some serious help.  Suggestions would be much appreciated.  We don’t have a ton of space here – M and I share a small bedroom as his office/my sewing space.  So, adding a table in the middle of the room isn’t an option (although I feel like that’s where I might be.)  Help.  Someone help me.