NYC Map Quilting Template

Haptic Lab NYC Template 1

Haptic Lab is now offering DIY map quilt templates of New York City!  We love spending time in New York, so this is going to be a gift to myself, personalized with some of our favorite NYC places.

It looks detailed, but the method itself is simple: make a quilt sandwich (backing/batting/top) and secure the template on top.  Stitching is done directly through the template.  When you’re done, tear away the template, bind and enjoy your quilt!  It’s sized to use with a yard cut of fabric, which will make a nice wall quilt or baby quilt.

It’s a little difficult to see the detail because the top is a somewhat sheer, and in my photos the template is laying on the dark wood of our dining room table.

Haptic Lab NYC Template Manhattan

Haptic Lab NYC Template Detail

The coastal boundaries are thick, dark lines.  The main streets solid black, with secondary streets in a lighter gray that are harder to see here.  Thankfully it’s easier to see in person, as I’m going to be spending a lot of time with this!

You can buy your own template or quilt kit here or purchase a finished quilt here.  (There are other cities available!)

Purl Bee/Purl Soho

Citrus Coasters

One of my favorite blogs is Purl Bee, which shares loads of project ideas using fabrics, yarn and more found at the Purl Soho shop in NYC.  I got to visit the shop on our recent vacation and am even more in love!  I bought the wool felt used to make these citrus coasters, one of their recent tutorials.  I spent the last day of my vacation with my feet up, watching the Royal Pains marathon and stitching away.  *Bliss!*  (They were out of the “spring” bundle, so I used summer and am happy enough with the result.)  Even better, I have enough to keep a set and give one as a gift.

I took some pictures while I was there so you could have a little peek at the shop, too.

Yarn at Purl Soho

Such a gorgeous wall of yarns!  I restrained myself and just bought one.  (After all, I can order more later, right?)

Hoop Wall at Purl Soho

I can’t decide if I want to make a wall of fabric hoops like this at home, or maybe mini quilts?

Color Wheel Quilt at Purl Soho

They sell a kit of rainbow fabrics if you’d like to make a color wheel quilt of your own.

Crocheted Blanket at Purl Soho

Purl Soho

White Wreath

I think I’ll be making this wreath, another of their tutorials.

Purl Soho

I hope you find some inspiration there, whether you visit the shop or the blog!

Easy Kitchen Towel Makeover


My new sewing machine arrived this week!  While I wait for a day off so I can really get to know it, I wanted to do a quick, instant gratification kind of craft.  I dressed up plain cotton kitchen towels by sewing on fabric ribbons.

Easy Towel Makeover

Cheerful new towels in a matter of minutes — Win!

I bought the ribbons at M & J Trimming in the garment district in NYC.  Look at this selection!

M&J Trimming

That’s just one tiny little section of the store!  By all means visit them online, but if you ever get a chance to walk into the store, DO IT.  (Yes, I’ll be going back.)

My new kitchen towels make me feel like spring is right around the corner and as a bonus they make me think of a great trip to New York.  And of my next trip, too!

Patchwork Squares

One of my favorite things about crafting is using little bits of real life, especially happy memories, to create something else.

Like the colored window panes from “The River That Flows Both Ways“, an art installation by Spencer Finch in High Line Park that Jay and I saw on our 20th anniversary trip to New York.

"The River that Flows Both Ways"


They swap out the colored glass over time, so the installation changes much like the river it’s based upon.  When we visited in October it was filled with autumnal tones, but I’ve seen photos of it in blues, greens, and pinks and purples.  I loved this trip, I loved the quirky park and I just stood and stared at the colored glass panes for ages, soaking it all in.  It gave me such a feeling of peace.

And it inspired me to make this.

River Pouch

Not quite as breathtaking, but much easier to tote around.  If you’d like it for your very own, it’s in my Etsy shop!

Window Shopping

I thought I’d share a little window shopping from our recent trip to New York City.  I’m always fascinated by how stores use their windows and facades to present their “personality”.  (And then, because I tend to over think everything, I start translating their approaches into how we try to lure in readers online with the design of our blogs or shop headers … But you’d probably enjoy the windows more than my ramblings about that.)

Many keep it simple, like this sample living room set up in a furniture store window.  After walking for hours, that couch looked good.


Some go BIG, like this gigantic Dior purse.  There’s no way you can walk by without knowing what’s inside the store.  When you realize this is how they chose to cover up construction, you’ll be impressed with their attention to every detail.

Beautifully Concealed Construction

This clever storefront brings the people right into the advertising with a live shot of Times Square displayed on a billboard.

Live Forever 21 Sign

(My husband and I are seated at the little red table at the bottom middle of the sign.)

Every time we went by, we saw people stopped in their tracks, staring at the sign.  It certainly attracted attention, but I wonder how many of those people fought traffic to cross the street and shop?  Or did they just stare at themselves for a while and then continue walking?

Tourists Watching Themselves on the Forever 21 Sign at Times Square

The Lego store shows just a peek of a color to draw you in.  Is that a snake?  A dragon?

Lego Store!

Go in the store and follow the trail, you’ll be rewarded with a big smile.  And an awesome Lego replica of Rockefeller Center.


But my favorite may have been at Diesel.

I Resisted

I managed to resist.

"Come In and Be Stupid On TV"

I didn’t spend any money, but I did laugh.