Sunday, April 12, 2015

Daffodil Joy Take two

So, what do you think having me back in a short two days? It has been such productive week here and best part of this motivation is good weather and good road trip! This afternoon I pieced and sewn all the patchwork block rows together and give a nice seam press in the back! A quick trip to the fabric shop to look for the backing fabric. Something simple and something coordinate with the quilt top nicely! 

I am still working on choose the binding fabrics! The two bring prints stand out the most from 6 other prints I pulled out, but now need let them sit for awhile before one shines itself! It will be a mystery for awhile! ( hint: a gift)  I really like how all the mustard-ish yellow come together! It is a rich and welcoming yellow and do you know that purple works so well with them, but I play safe! This quilt will be hand-quilt! It has been a very long time, since I last hand-quilt a quilt.  I miss the process and mostly the imperfect stitches and look forward hand-baste it next week and bring it with me during music lessons.

Still at this moment as I am writing this post, I can't believe I finished a quilt top within a week! It seems like a simple sewing process, but to me it has been a big accomplishment.  Now, I need to go back to the S' birthday quilt, which I am looking forward to finish it and surprise her soon!


Friday, April 10, 2015

WIP: Daffodil Joy

The week has been full with rainy and windy days! I took a road trip yesterday in the stormy weather and glad made it back home safe and sounded! Road trip is really my thing! I could drive 10 hours a day without feeling tired or miserable! I love what come to me on the road and especially this time of the year with all the fresh greens that's come out!  The quick trip result, a quick stop by my favorite shop and discover some awesome feedsack fabric, a quick stop by my must dine-in Mexican restaurant, a few quick stops by friends' house to say hello! I really had wish the weather was better, so I could stay a bit longer, but I had to go!

I though I would not start a new quilt until finish S' birthday quilt and the half-triangle quilt, but I didn't keep that promise up and cut up for a new quilt over last weekending. Yellow prints came to my mind right away! A sort of yellow prints that would coordinate each other well and closed to Daffodil was what I was aiming for! Yellow isn't the color that I use very often. It isn't an attractive color for me, but it surely is a natural color for anyone!

For the background print, I have second twice times myself before I head to the fabric store. I was pulling some black/white low value prints for it, but it would take all the intention I have for the quilt, simple, sunny, and bright! Then, I though of using simple polka-dots, but it didn't speak to me! Then while in the store, I pulled out the Kona white and it was giving high contrast to the yellow, so I went with Kona Snow for that off white balance.

Some of the yellow prints are being collected over the years. I can't tell you that how please I am when I have the first three blocks assembled. It is a Double Irish Chain Pattern. Each square is being cut in 2.5"x2.5" and finished at 2"x2", so the whole block is 10.5"x10.5" and finished at 10"x10".

I also have some other projects to share with you soon! I would like to let you know my second pattern, {Patchwork Jo-Jo pouch/clutch} has been in the {shop}. This pattern contained 40 pages, how-to and step-by-step photos. I wrote up lots tips on how to do some of the sewing and also share lots my favorite patchwork sewing patterns within the pattern. Patchwork Jo-Jo pattern is great for beginning sewers and people who are visually learner! This pattern was done last April and I wasn't ready to release it due to the changes that have made in the reality life.  I simple want to {thank you} for following me along on this challenge journey! It seems like the more I face it the stronger I become! Thank you for all your cheers!

I really can't wait to show you more, but I need to continue this Daffodil Joy before I hand it away.


Friday, April 3, 2015

On the shelves

Oh! It feels a bit embarrassed to show you this post! It is for sure not a bragging post, but to share how I organized the cloth on the shelves. I must admitted I am quiet happy about this arrangement since we moved in! Of course, there's always a long wish list and want is always more than need! Between 2009-2013, all my fabrics are storage in the plastic bins. It was great that I get to protect them and seeing them from the outside of the plastic bins. Oh, I never really want to touch them because they are so well organized! At the time, every so often I'd needed to run to store and get a few more bins, because they fill up pretty quick at the time ( The truth is they actually never stop filling up the space).

When we moved in our home. The upstair loft is a perfect space for all what I need, a space to sew and work! The space is really small 5'x9'. To work around the space, I took a trip to Ikea and purchased a {Bill Book Case} and a CD case.  The Bill book case gives 6 nice shelves space. If you work around with the fabric folding direction. It would fit 5 set of fabrics, BUT the bookcase is heavy! The first time, I mounted the book case to the wall and stashed all the fabrics in; it didn't held up 24 hours. Everything came off from the wall, so I went to the hardware store and got a sturdy L shape mounting part and it has been working nicely ever since!

The CD case, is so perfect for all the fat quarters! If you are a fat quarter buyer, for sure check the CD case out ( I am not able to find the link via Ikea site), but it is in the section when you find the Billy Book case in the store. I would buy a second one if I have extra space in the wall space! Mine is full! I organized these in the colors. They are likely imperfect cuts and so easy to pull out when I have a small project going on. I never feel sorry for being clutter with them! Simply full the stashes out and set them back! I constantly add a few fat quarters or small cut pieces in them as I go along.

Here, I break down a few category for organize fabrics:

-By themes ( Holiday, animals, etc)
-By designers
-By companies
-By colors     ( red, blue, green, yellow, etc)
-By values    ( Low values, dark values)
-By Designs ( Dots, stripes, floral, fruits, text, etc)

I definitely am a person who organized mainly by Designers. I have hard time to break a full collection apart. I think mainly I love to see the designers collections together and seeing their changes from season to season. As you know, I am a DS fan! I have set all the DS fabric on two shelves and it is so much easy for me to pull fabric out! I did a little color arrangement within each collection, but not serious sorted by values.

For the low values prints: I break them into two sets! The one on the left is with simple printed design  with colors and the other set would mainly be black, gray, and white. I just finished this arranged a few months back and it works great for me. I know what I am looking when work on a project or when I go fabric shopping I could recall what stash or print is a more "need" than want!

A little collection of the Cotton and Steel fabric. I have hard time to shop with this collection because I really love to own every piece, but I know I need to pick and choose. I have the full collection for the basic and some from their second collection. This is the only collection that I organized as a company! Since their fabrics work so well together!

This is a crazy spot of the shelve. I can't tell you what I was trying to do here! I have some prints that just received lately and haven't been able to find a place for them.  I have small selection of dots together then the unsuccessful brown stash.  It is the most challenging part for me! Any prints that purchase as a single print like being organized by the color. It is so much easier try to find a home for them.

The most cute and sweet prints that I have been collected over the year from Atsuko Matsuyama, a Japanese designer. Her fabrics have very similar values and colors, so within this designer I sorted the fabrics by colors. This collection is still in the plastic bin and just not being use much.

A little bit of Kumiko Fujita fabric! I love all the text prints that KF designs, but I need to be so honest that I am always late for purchasing them when they are in the shop. I hardly use any of them because I feel if I use them they will be long gone!

Some of these fabrics were for my shop in the past, but now I have stopped selling them. I keep the remaining fabric in this bin and also store some yardage fabric in here.

I keep the feedsack in the plastic bin, mainly some of them are aged and the fabric colors are discolored. I try to protect them away from the sunshine. Since some of the prints are gifted from friends I really try to use them wisely.

All the Suzuko Koseki's fabrics are in the bins as well!  Oh! no secrete! I really just admire the colors, the design, the texture of the fabrics! My hope is making a Spiral Feathered Star Quilt soon!

A bin of Kona solid is a must! I think it helps to break down all the saturate and busy designs. A fat quarter would go along way for me as I like work on small patchwork.

 The most gorgeous 30's reproduction fabric! I was very lucky to start the collection early and slowly purchase them over the years and also was able to purchased a few through friend's destash. I foun, not everyone likes 30's reproduction fabrics, but the true is they are quiet similar to the feedsack; a few things different would probably be the colors, texture and the originality. I used this for Fifi's birthday quilt, which was a perfect collection for her!

So, This is my scrap bin. Very small! I have another small box! Whenever I have scraps I try to cut them down to 1.5"x1.5" and store them in my stamp quilt box. It is a ongoing project and hope someday I'll have stamp quilt to show and tell.  I don't really sort the scraps into colors as I try to go through them after a few projects. I don't have bins after bins of scraps!

If I never have a chance to redo the studio. I look forward {a book case with doors} and possible space under the book case. It would be nice to protect them from the light and dust. I love seeing them as I walk to the space, but yet my concern is the colors might fade as it is over expose throughout the days/ years. I also fancy a cutting table in the future; even a small one!

What's your shelves look like?


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring patchwork and so on!

It feels so unreal that I stepped away almost a month! I've had been busy for all the musical drives and extra hours at work, but all is settle till the end of the May. Spring break was fabulous; road trips were so needed! Just getting fresh air and seeing different part of this county was a blessing break for me! Of course, everything was still in different shade of browns and more brown! My imperfect vision said, there are some "greens" on the tree tops on that I-35 South direction; believe me, I really see a bit of tiny green waved to me...! Oh, maybe just an imagination! The weather was unbeatable; in the 70's! Then all last week it went back to gloomy, rainy, and in cold 30's again. Oh! I was just down and with a spring cold! It felt that fully charged battery went so-long again! It is hard to get back, but I am slowly making my way back!

So Hello, my friends!

I could only said that Spring is a hard season for me! It feels like riding in a roller coaster with all the sunshine weather in a day then all the sudden back to the cold and dark ally! Oh, maybe enough talk about this weather! I am a little cranky about this weather lately! Please, excuse me for this, not so me!

It feels great that I finally decided on a new patchwork tote for myself! It would be a tote for all must to take while waiting in the musical lessons; such as books to read, all the sewing tools, extra chocolate cookies and patchwork pieces.  I simply couldn't decided if I should hand-quilted this tote the other day! It is a slower process, but the outcome is one-of-a-kind! I must say I knew I would go for hand-quilting, but needed a little extra encouragement from friends! So, my IG friends really supported me on the hand-quilting! This time, I added a lightweight muslin in the back, so that is three layers cloth for hand-quilting! It is hard on the fingers, but I use a leather thimble to help me to get through the thick seams. After years of hand-quilting experiences, I have gotten comfortable with hand-quilting heavier materials. My new favorite hand-quilting needle is Clover #12. It is the shortest needle for hand-quilting, but it does a magic job!  It really held the stitch nicely especially with thick cloths.   If you are interesting in hand-quilting here is the {About Hand-quilting tutorial} that I have post.

Each time, when I see the back of the hand-quilting stitches on the white cloth my heart always skip a beat of two! Yes, someday, I want to hand-quilt a whole cloth quilt! I actually have been searching the patterns, but just can't find the one that speaks to me! Something really traditional and lots feathers for sure! I like to find some original patterns from the 50's. Oh, would be nice if they are printed on the cloth! Yes, printed!

There are a few projects have been bring back on the table again! My small goal is finish them before start anything new, but it is a hard one to keep; but I am trying! S' birthday quilt is not ready to show and tell, so does my half-sandwhich quilt. It needs more fabrics to be cut! My another small goal is get up to the speed again, but it is a hard one to get going; but I'd say I am keeping my chin up and hope soon this self-talk would go away soon!

I have not forget that promised you all with a cloth organizing post! I did take a lot of photos, but I am not satisfy with any of them! It would be so Blah if I do show you! So, I plan on retake photos and get them all nice and edit! I hope soon to show and tell! I promise it would be a good one because after taken the first round photos, I have no idea I have so many fabrics!
                                                                                                                   Yes, we quilters all say that! 


Monday, March 2, 2015

Special Step 28: Trimming

Did you save the trimmed edge patchwork pieces? I sincerely hope you did! As the quilting stitches are quiet large, it was not really difficult to take off the stitches. All the sewn scraps are half triangle unfinished, in order to turn it into squarish. I roughly cut the linen piece into rectangle pieces then sew the imperfect half triangle pieces with linen then trim and repeat! I had just enough linen for the scrappy patchwork sewing and enough to make two patchwork pieces! Right away, I know a small coin pouch would be great!  After the straight quilting lines the pieces are just perfect for a 6" zipper.

The texture is such contrast between Liberty Tana Lawn and Linen. The natural linen and Liberty colors are echo each other so well... ! Oh.. I could go on and on about this topic! So, let me stop right here!

I know, I never host any giveaways! This is probably the third or fourth giveaway after 5 years blogging!  This little giveaway idea just pop in my mind when I finished sewing the pouch. Please leave a comment if you love this zippered pouch and would love a chance to receive this zipper pouch! You don't need to write a lot! Simply a Hi or hello works! The giveaway opens to everyone as long as the USPS ships out to your continent. Comment will close on March 7th, 8p.m. central time!

{Thank you so much} for comments! I really appreciate your time to write as I am a horrible writer as you know! It is always SO nice to hear from you! 

**All the Liberty Tana Lawn is sponsored by {Westwood Acres Liberty Club}

Entry has now CLOSED!
Thank you for all your comments.
The Lucky receiver is

I love the pouch and have always admired your sewing with tiny bits of fabric, giving them new life where they might otherwise have been lost to the trash bin. Your tutorial yesterday was fabulous, and I wondered where you were going when you said "save the trimmings!" You are such an inspiration to me, Chase!


Friday, February 27, 2015

Tutorial: Hana Patchwork Book/Planner Cover

Welcome to {Give me Liberty Inspiration Blog Hop}!  I can't wait to share with you the {Hana Patchwork Book/Planner Cover Tutorial}. You might not know that this year, one of my goal is to enjoy record little events within daily. Little drawings or phases that I read from articles or words of wisdom. The planner I have been using is from {Moleskin} and it works for me. I like the clean space and it is a weekly planner rather than monthly, so I could have the week plan out and check into the following week schedules.  I am still an old-fashioned person who loves to write down events throughout the week and enjoy hand-writings.  Here within this tutorial I will show you how to make your personal Hana Patchwork Book/Planner Cover. How to measure your book/planner rather just give you measurements. Are you ready? Let's get started!

Open book/planner in half; make sure you could lay the book/planner evenly on the table, so you can get accurate measurement. The diagonal measurement is the long length of the patchwork row. Measure the thickness of the book/planner. You want to add that to the measurement as well.  So, check the diagonal length is measure 13.25". The patchwork piece will need to be larger than the measurement, plus the 0.50" of the thickness of the book.

Here is the measurement for the actual planner size: 8.25"x10.75". I added 1" to the length of the planner and 2.25" to the width ( I have added the thickness and seam allowances to this as well).

This is the patchwork layout;  Each patchwork block is unfinished at 2"x2", which is the little dash square. If you check on the diagonal length you can see there are total of 11 patchwork blocks. If your book/planner is bigger, you'll need to piece more patchwork blocks.

note: All the sewing is set with 1/4" seam allowances, unless noted! 

Step 1: Always iron the cloth and trim the edge of the fabric before you start your real cutting. Sorry for being bad example here. I didn't press the cloth, but I highly recommend it! It does make the measurement off if it is really wrinkle. 

 Step 2: Here I selected 24 of fat sixteenths (9"x11") of Liberty Lawn prints
             Cut 3 pieces of 1" (WOF=width of fabric) stripes from each print.

 Step 3: Prepared all the 1" stripes before you start sewing; aren't they pretty?

 Step 4: Bring three stripes of fabric together. Play with the fabric contrast; such as colors, prints in scale and contrast as themes.

 Step 5: Sew stripes together.  Repeat all the stripes sewing until you run out of the 1" fabric cuts

Step 6: After sewing all the 1" strings. Press the back seam allowance open;
             Repeat to all the stripes sewing

Step 7: After finished all the seam allowance open pressing; check on your sewing measure.
             The sewn stripes should be 2" after sewn together at this time. 

Step 8: Trim the end of the sewn strips 

 Step 9: Cut the sewn stripes in 2" wide; repeat for all sewn stripes

 Step 10: For the planner I used; there are total of 76 set of 2"x2" blocks

Step 11: Start layout for the Hana Patchwork. Watch for the block directions. Each Block is the opposite direction from the next one. So it creates woven look

Step 12: Join blocks into rows! Don't jump at this step and just grab two blocks and sew together! I highly recommend sewing the blocks in the row as you layout, so you will not get confused or mess up with the direction

Step 13:  After sewing blocks into rows; Check if you have miss place one or two in opposite direction or are you please with your layout? yes?

Step 14: Join the block; Now, each row of the blocks work as a unit after they sewn into a row. You will find the center block and place it to the next row's center block.

 Step 15: This is how rows join look like.

 Step 16: Complete the Hana Patchwork Piece

 Step 17: Press the seam to one side; no need to open the seam allowance.
                Warm iron press has been working out great for me.

Step 18: Sandwich the patchwork; It would be just how you would sandwich a quilt.  I used the single thread to basted the pieces. For the backing, it will just like how a quilt finishes, so you might want to find something that you love for the backing piece. I used 100% linen for it! 

Step 19: Quilting; adjust the sewing foot and quilt 1/16" away from the sewing seam; repeat for the other side of the sewing seam. You can be creative the why you like to quilt! It is a personal book cover, so feel free to make your own. 

 Step 20: This is how it looks like inside after quilting for the cover

 Step 21: This is the finished patchwork piece, now you can set it aside!

A closer look of the quilting lines. Here, I enlarged sewing stitch length for the quilting.
It will make the patchwork look clear and nice! 

Step 22: Prepare for the inner pockets which is the part that the book cover; front and back insert into.
For this planner measurement 
              Cut 2 pieces of 10"x9.75" fabric for the inner pocket
              Cut 2 pieces of 9.5x9.25" fusible light weight interfacing
              Cut 1 piece of 10"x12" fabric for the inner pocket ( which for keeping stickers, or notes etc.)
              Cut 1 piece of 9.5"x 11.50" fusible light weight interfacing
How to measure your own:
Close the book/ planner before measuring. Measure the width of one side book cover. The one I have is 5" and the high is 9.75". However, you want to double the size for the width, so 5x2=10"

Step 23: Fold the inner pocket in half then iron repeat for the other two pockets

Step 24:  After repeat press the inner pocket; sew 1/8" seam at the press side of the pocket
               Prepare binding pieces; cut the fabric 2.5" WOF and determine the length by your pocket ( I always have mine longer, so I cut mine at 2.5"x10.5". Fold the binding fabric in half and sew onto the folded side of the pocket piece ( Just how you would finish a quilt).

Step 25: Attach the small pocket piece to the large pocket piece.

Step 26: Finish the binding for the pocket pieces; now you can set aside the pocket pieces

Step 27: Trimming Hana Patchwork piece. Use Be-gone pen for making is a safe way to start if your patchwork piece didn't line up nicely. After quilting, I checked patchwork piece. It lined up pretty nice, so I went ahead trim the edges by using rotary cutter and ruler.

Step 28:  Trim off all four sides of the patchwork and save all the edge trimming

Step 29: Place the book or planner on top of the Hana Patchwork Piece. Now it is time to trim the patchwork piece to the final size.  I added 1" to the length of the planner and 2.25" to the width ( I have added the thickness and seam allowances {{1/4"}} to this as well).

Step 30: Insert Inner Pockets. Pin the inner pockets to the patchwork piece. You may create as many small pockets as you like. I keep mine simple, since i plan on putting stickers and stamps in the small pocket.

Step 31: Set the seam allowance to 1/8" and sew around the pin pocket piece and the patchwork piece

Step 32: Close look for the basting line.

Step 33: Fold your 2/3 finished Hana Patchwork cover then insert your book/planner for final checking before adding binding

Step 34: Binding the Hana Patchwork Book/Planner cover. Cut the binding pieces in 2.5" WOF. The length would depend on your perimeter of the patchwork piece

Step 35:  This is an option step! You may skip it! I add a little trim ribbon for pen holder

Step 36: Attach binding just like how you bind a quilt. I used be-gone pen to mark the two binding ends then sew together

Step 37: Complete the binding attachment

Step 38: I hand stitched the binding as I prefer the final touch added a little imperfect hands on to it.You may machine finishing binding

Step 39: TA-DA! Hana Patchwork Book/Planner Cover is completed!

Don't let this photo fool you! It looks like the left and right side are bigger than the planner, but when it is closed. It only left about 0.5" on each side. I did purpose left the top and the bottom 0.5" longer than the planner length. I also have a note book that I carry in my tote all the time. I decided to included the notebook in this cover, so added extra space in the measurement. 

I love how this patchwork cover turns out! It is super soft and lovely!  I am off to make a few more now! As many birthdays are around the corners and would be great for gifting to teacher for appreciation day.

Thank you for following up this fun tutorial! Again, this tutorial is for Personal use Only! It is always honored and kind being credited as original creator of a tutorial. When you do that it shows a lot of respect and kindness to anyone who share/write tutorials or ideas on their blog.  It also brings great encouragement for them or me keep sharing and writing. Thank you! 

{Give me Liberty Club Inspration Blog Hop}

February 24th: Kick Off! A Crafty Fox 
February 25th: Astrid at Red, Red Completely Red
February 26th: Svetlana at Sotak Handmade
February 26th: Andy at A Bright Corner
February 27th: Chase at Quarter Inch Mark   <---- me!
March 1st: Emily at Simple Girl Simple Life
March 2nd: Ashley at Film In The Fridge
March 3rd: Lee at Freshly Pieced
March 4th: Audrie at Blue is Bleu
March 5th: Amanda at A Crafty Fox