Charlotte’s blanket

This post was a long time in coming. And when i say long, i mean loooong. She was born in december!!  But I just got word that the gift was received and loved (phew!), so now you can see it.

Her parents chose the “all you need is love” bedding set and painted her room a soft blue with a dab of orange.


I wanted something to match, so I went with “sherberty” colors. I had started the throw before her birth day, hand embroidering all the hearts and cutting out all the blocks.



I had even started sewing it together at my psuedo moms house since I didnt have a machine at the time, but, well, my creative mood strikes in the middle of the night so i rarely went over there to complete it.

I had made one of these before, so I pretty much knew what I was doing (one day, Ill post it in Lost Treasures). In theory, it is a simple project. I measured and cut exactly this time, so that my corners would match better. Regardless, I failed at that. (Even after pinning a lot of pins, it still got unequal by the end of the rows.)


I also failed piecing it together in several regards. Lets just say I used my seam ripper almost as often as the sewing machine. There is one piece misplaced, what I like to call a little game for Charlotte and her family to find;) In reality, it was too late by the time i noticed it and i was not going to undo half the quilt.

For the rag look, you go around all the edges and clip them, being careful not to clip a seam. I happened to clip two seams, but no big deal, as I could hand stitch them back together. Right? HA! What I had thought was two seams turned out to be something like 77 seams clipped, because of the way the material was folded to clip, i was clipping farther with the bottom part of the scissors than what i was seeing on top. I sucked it up and re-did almost all the stitching with the machine. Something i like to call super quality with reinforced seams;)


So, I washed it, right? And then like, all these holes appeared. Nothing to do with my clipped seams that I painstakingly corrected. No, I blame it on the sewing machine tension, something I am still learning how to adjust. Some of them were really bad, as you see here:


So back to the sewing machine, with newly adjusted tension. Oh, and washing it made all the little lint pieces stick everywhere, so it didnt look as nice and new as it had prior to the washing.

I had needles break, threads snap, and bobbins jam. I ran out of thread at one point. I wanted to truly start all over and burn it in my dumpster, just dont tell Charlotte that. But boy stood by and supported the torture that this gift became. The most upsetting part was that after all that hassle, I just did not want it to fall apart after Charlotte received it and washed it. So when I realized that at every intersection of heart square corners, the seams were loose, I about lost it. But i returned to an old quilter’s trick of tacking with yarn. Although afraid that after one more wash, it would be my luck that the yarn untied itself, I tried to remain undaunted. Thankfully it worked, even if the neat little ties became little white puffs.


Although it is the most problematic project to date, I learned SO MUCH. I learned about sewing machines, needles, tension. I learned how to tackle different problems. Hell, I am an expert seam ripper now! So even though it did not turn out as beautiful as I had envisioned it, I put my love into it and came to grips with its faults and love it. Here is my favorite part, a little something something for personalization (the purple lines are from a fabric marker and has faded).



So here it is, in all of its misshapen glory. First, the bottom:


And now the ragged top:


nyny day 4

This didnt actually occur in New York. A few years back, i met a chica named Ruthy on my fieldschool in Peru. She happens to live in New Jersey so we coordinated a day during my trip here to get together.

Carrie took me on the subway early in the morning on her way to work so she could help me get a ticket at Penn Station. Once that was done, we parted ways and I found myself in a giant train station without a clue as to what to do. But I managed, even if new yorkers are assholes, and made it to Woodbridge, New Jersey in one piece.


Ruthy and her bf Juan picked me up and we had breakfast at The Reo. Its one of her favorite diners so i had to check it out. I got a yummy yummy belgian waffle with strawberries and whipped cream.


We drove through Perth Amboy a little, because thats where she grew up. We stopped at a marina for a short time and got back on our way.


Next in line was the Jersey shore – we stopped at the Jenkinson’s Boardwalk and walked to the ocean. The beach was red flagged because of these monster waves coming in. A storm was due so the wind was pretty strong.

nyny_day_four14 nyny_day_four5 nyny_day_four4

Then we went through an awesome funhouse. I had only been in the county fair type houses, so a full time funhouse was neat. We got lost in the plexiglass and mirror hallway for some time (its quite confusing to not walk into the glass!), and transported a cat into a skeleton. Oh and we thought we lost Juan at one point because he went down a tunnel slide that we werent sure was really operational – it looked like the whole thing was going to rip off the wall, and we never saw him come out. But once we got down the stairs, we found him. He had been slinking through some teeny tunnels.

nyny_day_four7 nyny_day_four6 nyny_day_four8 nyny_day_four10 nyny_day_four11 nyny_day_four9 nyny_day_four12 nyny_day_four13

After that, we grabbed some subs at Glory’s and went to Ruthys house in Jackson. There i got to see her family llamas, a goat, her kitties (including the six toed ones;), a ferret, a bird, and two sugar glyders.

nyny_day_four16 nyny_day_four17

Ruthy then drove us to the Grounds for Scultpure. This was a massive park with all kinds of sculptures and landscaping. It was truly a beautiful place! Even if it did rain at times, but it never poured, and we were each equipped with umbrellas. Check out some of the cool stuff I saw:

nyny_day_four18 nyny_day_four36 nyny_day_four35 nyny_day_four33 nyny_day_four34 nyny_day_four32 nyny_day_four31 nyny_day_four30 nyny_day_four29 nyny_day_four28 nyny_day_four27 nyny_day_four25 nyny_day_four26 nyny_day_four24 nyny_day_four23 nyny_day_four21 nyny_day_four22 nyny_day_four20 nyny_day_four19

Next stop was New Hope, Pennsylvania. This was a pretty little town with lots of store fronts filled with unique boutiques. A lot of it was too expensive but it was still fun to see different things. One of the first things we saw was a sculpture by the same artist who had stuff at the Grounds for Sculpture! We also found this really really creepy shop that housed post-mortem things, like actual photos, caskets, funeral clothes, etc (more real bones and skulls). There was other stuff too, all things youd see in a horror movie.


nyny_day_four38 nyny_day_four39 nyny_day_four37

Lastly, we went to New Brunswick to meet up with some friends of theirs. This is also where Ruthy went to school – Rutgers University. She showed me the campus and then we went to Stuff Yer Face to eat. I wish I could have stayed longer but I had to get back to a henna party!


I arrived about an hour later than planned, and was directed on how to get from the train station to the subway and then to the apartment. It was bad timing coming in, as a concert just got out when I got off the train and so there were zillions of people going every which way. But i managed the public transportation system alone, and made it back safe. Carrie had prepared the henna the night before so it was all ready to go. I learned some interesting things about it – its henna + sugar + water + eucalypcus oil. Theres sparklies you can add to it, you can erase it, you can do different colors or darknesses, and you can gently coat it with sugar water when its dry to help it last longer. These are the largest tats i had ever gotten (its like 30$ at fairs for the back of your hand so i only sporadically ever do it). They are also the prettiest!


While she was working her magic, she had given me my own henna to play with. I am not so skilled of course, so getting the right holding position and the pressure needed for squeezing  was not an easy task to coordinate. My designs are not near as lovely :/


nyny day 3

My brother had an appt so luckily it was right next to Central Park. I explored there for a bit while he was busy. After his appt, we wandered through the park to get to some other area of New York. Here are some random photos from the park:

nyny_day_three2 nyny_day_three16 nyny_day_three15 nyny_day_three14 nyny_day_three12 nyny_day_three13 nyny_day_three11 nyny_day_three9 nyny_day_three10 nyny_day_three7 nyny_day_three8 nyny_day_three6 nyny_day_three5 nyny_day_three4 nyny_day_three3

So on this day, I walked through the park, the upper west side of Manhattan, hitting Midtown, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Herald Square, Koreatown, Williamsburg, Alphabet City, St Marks, Washington Square, and Union Square. Here are some photos of those areas:

nyny_day_three17 nyny_day_three18 nyny_day_three19

At night, the four of us went out to eat at the Noodle Bar. There wasnt much on the menu that I knew would be safe for me to eat (allergies) so I got a roast duck noodle soup with chinese broccoli. It was very tasty but the duck was really filling so i had to get most of it to go.


For dessert, we stopped at PinkBerry where i got original flavor with extra granola. Yum!