High Five for Friday!

Another High Five for Friday!

I’m sharing the highlights of my week… five to be exact!  I love the idea of focusing on five little things that made me happy… definitely a fun way to recap the week and stay grateful.

The Amateur Librarian // H54F The Amateur Librarian // H54F

1 – Finish! I loved participating in my first-ever swap and the beautiful result!
2 – Window Shopping. My favorite new find for (literal) window shopping… Preservation Station!
3 – Pattern Testing. Shh… can’t reveal anything, but I worked on a little holiday sewing this week. Maybe I’ll be ahead of the game this year?!
4 – Go Set a Watchman. Of course I couldn’t resist! So far, so good.
5 – Catastrophe. With only six 30-minute episodes, we flew through this hilarious British show on Amazon Prime in a weekend.

 …

Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt

So excited to share a finish today… it’s been a while! It all started in April when I made 24 Low Volume Plus blocks for the swap hosted by Lindsay Sews.
LowVolumePlusSwap
It was the first swap I’ve ever participated in… big thanks to Lindsay for hosting and organizing everything!
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap
When I sent my blocks off, I put in a request to receive blocks in warm colors. Reds, oranges, and yellows aren’t my usual range of colors so I thought it would be fun to receive something different… and perfect for summer and fall!
In June I received my swap blocks… so many beautiful pluses! The best part was discovering all the great scraps and getting to see each one up close and personal during the quilting process.
Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
Finished Size: 54″ square
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
I loved the variety of the scraps, especially the low volume prints. Sewing them together was a fun chance to get a close look at every single one.
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
I tried a couple different layouts, before settling on an ombre effect with yellow in the top corner, progressing into orange and red in the bottom corner. I made two extra blocks so I could arrange the rows five by five, with one left over for the back. The quilt top came together so quickly since most of the work was already done for me!
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
I’m still obsessed with QAYG… it just makes quilting so much more manageable, especially since this turned out to be slightly bigger than I usually attempt to quilt on my little basic machine. You know the drill – straight line quilting grid, then sew blocks together into rows, then sew rows together, then basting, quilting the backing, and binding.
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
For the backing, I found a bright red print and added a strip of Anna Maria Horner’s cross stitch print (from my recent Craft South visit!) with my orphan block. And of course a label to commemorate the swap!
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
Hubby helped take some pics outside… who knows, it might be the last photo shoot at this apartment before our move!
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
Ironically, I was planning all along to hang this one over the couch in the living room, but didn’t bother measuring the final size and it ended up too big… oops! Maybe in the next house I’ll hang the rod a bit higher…. or measure first, ha!
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt
I think this is also the first finish that I’ve shared in bits and pieces along the way during WIP Wednesday posts… so you’ve probably seen some of these pics before, especially if you follow me on Instagram too. Such a fun quilt and I’m so happy with how it turned out!
I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday!

Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch: July

I’m working on another yearlong cross stitch project (see last year’s Once Upon a Time sampler here) but this one is a bit more laid back since it’s an older pattern and I don’t have to wait for the mystery blocks to be revealed each month. I love Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery‘s Woodland Creatures sampler, it is so super cute!
July was such a fun block – such an adorable fox amid the dandelions! Perfect summer stitching. I’m really loving this low key project, since I can pick it up or down easily and it’s not too time consuming to stay on track each month.
Below are a few progress pics:
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
Here are the finished months so far:
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
The Amateur Librarian // Woodland Creatures Cross Stitch
Seven months down, five to go… it’s really hard to believe we’re past the halfway mark of 2015!
 
I’ll be sure to share my monthly progress, similar to last year. Stay tuned!

Nashville City Sights: Window Shopping

Window shopping is one of my favorite hobbies, and the deadly heat this weekend was a perfect excuse to check out some new (to us) shops in Nashville… plenty of a/c was appreciated, and spending was off the table (except for food!). Most of our weekend adventures tend to last from 10-2 – we leave the house mid-morning, get to our destination, eat lunch, and are back home in time for a mid-afternoon nap.
Window shopping was no exception:
…Franklin Farmers Market…
We started the day down the street at the farmer’s market. It’s super busy during the summer months, so we didn’t spend too much time with the crowds, just got some breakfast from the food trucks and people watched for a bit. I was looking for eggs but couldn’t find any (sold out!), so we left empty handed (but full!).
 The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…Hi-Fi Buys…
After the farmer’s market, we headed toward Nashville. Hubby’s looking for new headphones so we stopped by Hi-Fi Buys to test drive a few.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…Preservation Station…
I’ve been so curious to see the inside of Preservation Station, and what a treat! This place is old house heaven… so many vintage & antique everything… doors, chandeliers, stained glass windows, doorknobs, drawer pulls,  mantels, hardware, etc. etc.! I loved it. We may be building a brand new house, but I can’t wait to find some old treasures to bring to our new home some day.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…Craft South…
Next, we headed toward 12 South for lunch. But I couldn’t resist visiting Craft South one more time! It’s such a visually inspiring place, I know I’ll be coming back again soon.
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
…The Flipside…
We finally tried out The Flipside for lunch, and we’ll definitely be back again soon. Winner winner, chicken dinner!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
On the way back to the car, we picked up some peaches from a roadside market and headed home for the day… window shopping is exhausting!
The Amateur Librarian // Nashville City Sights
More city sights coming soon as we explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: BFF+E

Every so often I catch the cats being besties… and lately, it’s been happening as the sun goes down and they catch the last few rays together on the window ledge.

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

I’m pretty sure the heater Tali is laying on is the only thing keeping Cora from falling off, ha!

 

P.S. Sneaky peek… a certain furry someone was mighty pleased that I finished up a quilt over the weekend! I’ll get pics up later this week.

The Amateur Librarian // Low Volume Plus Swap Quilt

 

High Five for Friday!

Another High Five for Friday! It’s not like this was a bad week… but it was busy and slipped by quickly, and come Thursday night I had a hard time coming up with any pics. So I’m leaning heavily on what I’ve been watching/listening/reading lately, hope you don’t mind!


The Amateur Librarian // H54F The Amateur Librarian // H54F

 

1 – Shop Hop. The monthly Music City MQG meetings are always a highlight, and this month’s field trip was no exception! It ws great to finally check out all the local quilt shops, build my stash, and come home with lots of inspiration.
2 – UnReal. This Lifetime show is my guiltiest pleasure this summer… it’s about the behind-the-scenes of a reality dating show, written by former producers on reality shows. It’s magnificent… soapy and dramatic, of course, but also dark and biting social commentary.
3 – Beach Flip. This is like comfort food on the TV – four teams renovate four beach houses on the Gulf Coast, with celebrity HGTV judges. Yum!
4 – Station 11. I was reading the paperback, but I couldn’t find enough time to get into it so I started listening to the audiobook during my commute. I find myself volunteering to run errands by myself just to keep listening… looking forward to a marathon session this weekend. I usually steer away from post-apocalyptic fiction, but this one is so, so good!
5 – Trainwreck.  I love Amy Schumer’s sketch show and this rom com was hilarious – definitely over the top raunchy too, but enough heart to make this a solid A.

 …

Super Quick Frugal Tip: Cold Brew Iced Tea

I mentioned this super easy tip last week, and I wanted to do a quick post so I don’t forget about it (plus, the image is pretty generic for Pinterest… oh, the horror!)
Cold Brew Iced Tea
The Amateur Librarian // Cold Brew Iced Tea
I picked this tip up from The Splendid Table… talk about a eureka moment!
All you have to do it fill a pitcher with water, add a tea bag, and let it sit in the fridge overnight?!
The Amateur Librarian // Cold Brew Iced Tea
There’s no going back now! As soon as we moved back South, I started drinking sweet tea again. I was able to cut it down to half-and-half but now I’ve been Unsweet all the way for all of 2015… and now I’m brewing it myself at the beginning of every week.
Did you see that Starbucks just started doing “small batch cold brew tea” too? Guess I’m up on the latest barista trends and didn’t even know it!

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current WIP… only one this week! All that shopping wore me out, so I haven’t had time for much crafting. But I worked a bit on the Impossible cross stitch, so here’s an update:

It Always Seems Impossible Until is is Done 

The Amateur Librarian // Impossible Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Impossible Cross Stitch

 

And that’s about it!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday on Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced

Nashville City Sights: Quilt Shop Hop

 I’ve been on a fabric fast for the past few months in preparation for the Music City MQG Shop Hop this past weekend… it was so worth it! We visited 5 quilt shops in the area which ran special discounts for our group and had an absolute blast shopping all day long, from Franklin to Nashville to Goodlettsville and back again.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Donuts & fruit greeted us at our first stop, as well as a tutorial for their Shortcut Binding Tool which is great for creating two-color binding and binding with a flange. I’m so glad I finally got a peek inside, since it’s just a few miles down the road.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
I started slowly with a few fat quarters – throughout the day I tried to concentrate on finding yellow and low-volume prints – I have a quilt in mind, and it helped me to resist buying everything under the sun!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Craft South – Nashville
I was probably most excited to finally get inside Craft South, Anna Maria Horner’s new brick and mortar store. As expected, every inch was beautiful and welcoming. Even the bathroom!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
I couldn’t resist a scrap bag of Anna Maria Horner’s woven Loominous line, plus some yardage to make pillowcases. I’m sure I’ll be back for their classes or events.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Fabric Studio – Nashville
This teeny shop packs a punch – I probably got more here than anywhere else! I just can’t resist scrap bags, or fat quarter deals… and there was a “garage sale” table where I picked up an adorable sun-bleached zipper pouch for cross stitch WIPs.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
My haul!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
We stopped at a brand new coffee shop down the street, Eighth and Roast, for a mid-day caffeine break and they kindly let us eat our boxed lunches there too. Shopping is exhausting – and makes you hungry too!
Quilter’s Attic – Goodlettsville
The first thing that caught my eye were two gorgeous barn quilts on the buildings around this shop… totally reignited my obsession with barn quilts! Inside, there’s a big selection of fabric as well as books and notions. My favorite part is all the quilts hanging everywhere… so much inspiration! Everyone especially loved those pinwheels on the stairs, and at the top is an entire showroom as well as a classroom for workshops.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
I limited myself to a few fat quarters and a booklet of patterns… I’ve been looking for an excuse to use up some mini charm squares!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Stitcher’s Garden – Franklin
Back in Franklin, we ended the day with Stitcher’s Garden. This shop is right down the street from me, but you have to be in the right frame of mind to brave the aisles (and piles and stacks and baskets and cubbies) stuffed to the brim with fabric. It’s quite the experience!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Of course I managed just fine… and added some more yellow and low volume to my stash!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
My bag was quite full by the end of the day! Spreading it all out was like an adult’s Halloween candy!
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Of course the first order of business was sorting it all into color order before adding it to my stash.
The Amateur Librarian // Quilt Shop Hop
Whew… what a day! I had so much fun touring the area and getting to know all the shops tucked away that I haven’t had time to visit. A big shout out to all the stores, who welcomed us and fed us along the way, AND especially to the amazing guild ladies who organized it all!
More city sights coming soon as I explore the Nashville area!

Meow Monday: Let the Cat out of the Bag

Cora loves it when I go shopping… because then she gets to climb inside the bags and shred the tissue paper until I ruin the fun by cleaning up.

 

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

This weekend was an EPIC shopping event… I’ve been on a fabric fast for months in preparation for the Music City MQG shop hop to FIVE different quilt shops in the area. Excited to share my haul and a glimpse of the shops tomorrow!

Until then… here’s precious Cora and her favorite bag from this weekend. (Sorry my foot is in each picture… oops!)

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

 

The Amateur Librarian // Meow Monday

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