Monday, August 24, 2015

Welcome Back, to you and me!

Welcome back, to you and me!

It took me awhile to think about what to write and share again! I haven't been writing and visit this space for 3 months. I feel a little hesitate and wonder if anyone still visit me here!

I am not sure where to start and keep deleting what I wrote.... Oh, I hit a wall, so really excuse me if I am being scatter! This summer has been so long and short at the same time. So much going on and just not enough time and space to catch all the little details! I though I'd share some of the projects that I've been working on lately to start with.

August is a month that's so hard to push forward! After all the summer trips, we were so ready to go nowhere and just stay home! The quilt that I look forward to finish is S' 11th birthday quilt. During the last few week nights, I started a few patch blocks per a night then eventually was able to accomplish this quilt top. I did the happy dance that day when I finished press the back of seam allowances! Of course, S suspected the quilt is for her! Oh, I shouldn't have Stella Joy on the wall...  Oh yes! That's paper piecing that I have been working on lately! Something that I know I'll do more now and probably will have a quilt made from paper piecing soon! I am excited this quilt will be ready this Fall and of course the 12th birthday quilt should started now since it only take me a year to finish S' birthday quilt! The 12th birthday quilt might be challenge, since there's no hints for me to start thinking about the colors and patterns.

After all the summer feasts, all we really miss is the simplest dinner that I prepared every day. Our kitchen is started get busy again as I have been in and out most of the days. We are thinking an apple pie for celebrating the first week of school! Maybe this Friday when I get time off again! You probably don't know that I started exercise again. Not the crazy lifting or extreme bodyworks, but simple way of getting some energy and body strength. We have been getting up early on the weekends to Gray's Lake for a good morning walk/run!  While everyone seems so enjoy their walk/run, I had to push myself to go on this. Indeed, I am slowly down so much more in last few years. It isn't able getting old, but there aren't any body strength in me. Maybe that's why I was so sick after our traveling this summer? After that good morning run/walk, we would make our way to the Farmer's market! It is so rewarding for us! I always get a breakfast bowl and a house brew coffee and S gets her strawberry yogurt top with super sweet cream and chocolate syrup!  

I always look out for the fresh ingredients and S is always look out for the pups that hanging out the market! Oh, yes! How we wish Lucky is here! He would probably make lots good flurry friends and we probably will meet some new friends that way! We always bought some really good corns from the same local farmer and visit the same veggie booth! This past Saturday we even tried homemade root beer; it was delicious!

Summer is great, but I am looking into the Fall arrives! It will be lots soup time and lots warm lighting up downstair and upstair! I pulled out the quilts that we've been using this morning and put on the clean ones. I slightly think that I am so ready for this coming Fall and Winter! Oh, and I plan on making a Fall quilt! Lots brown, lots pinks.. different level of gray??

Our summer is officially coming to the end. School starts today and we have a middle schooler in house now! How did that happen? It is a bit unreal and I had some pinkish eyes this morning. It is really sweet and bitter moment! I would like to Thank You for writing to me for asking about us this summer! I must apologized that I didn't get back to you... I know you'll understand and Thank You!

I shall leave now and will be back soon! hope will be more regular from now on!

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Daffodil Joy Quilt

The first time I met Daffodil was when I still lived in a small town Iowa. It was selling 2.99 a bunch. It is really pretty during the spring season, but it would probably still called winter season. A friend of mine dropped a bunch at my front door and sent a little note with that and wish us a happy spring. Ever since then, I would purchase a bunch when they are a variable in the store and set in the kitchen counter.

The colors of butter cream yellow and the green bring so much energy to the still white scene Midwest. I can't tell you the pleasant feeling that I always have when daffodils live in our place. The bit of colors really lighten up a long day out and about. They are seriously the most pretty and elegant flowers in the stores.

I appricate all the quilt concepts that have developed from last ten years, but truly I am loving the heirloom quilt patterns more so. Patterns that are simple and easy to go and about! A secrete to you all, I really  am not a big trimmer when it comes to making quilts. It might be the major reason that I don't make so many large quilts now! I have learned to love and appreciate the process of trimming a little bit more after the half sandwich quilt. I can't wait to tell you all about that process. Oh, you are gonna to think I am a nuts!

Back to the Daffodil Joy Quilt. It is simple a Double Irish Chain quilt pattern that I found in the internet and modified the block size.  You might not noticed from the photos, but I miss counted the assembling block rows and ended up one row short for each block. Oh, can you tell?

When searching for the prints for this quilt, I knew they all needed to corresponding well to each other and somewhat has that buttercream yellow scheme. I though the outcome is pretty good! I used up some of long saved yellow prints, but I know this quilt needs that print to go with! "Come on, you can always find some special prints", this is what I have told myself lately! For the white print, I used Kona Snow white! I had a big decision to make between random lower value prints, but the snow white brings the butter cream yellow together even more.

For the backing, Remember the two prints that I shared with you? I went with the soft green gingham print. For the purpose of this quilt, I intended to keep the colors soft and light. The {other green print} would definitely give it a higher contrast for the quilt, but it might be over powering the quilt outlook which I tried to avoid at the first place.

The quilt is hand-quilted and there's another oops! Can you tell? The hand-quilting lines should turned out squared, but it ended up to rectangles. I didn't notice this until I was half way through. Oh! I hope the receiver won't mind at all! I used 100% cotton batting! It is hard for the fingers, but at the same time hand working through the cotton batting has soften the quilt a little more. I used the same print for the backing as any embellishment is not a so great idea for this quilt.

The quilt is finished at 50"x50" and would a great size for our dear friends. After making this quilt, I know after all the work in process quilts I will make a large version of the Double Irish Chain Quilt.  I still in believe that everyone needs a Irish Chain Quilt somehow.

Making quilts for a friend is nerve wracking! I truly hope this quilt will bring lots joys to them and will be use very often! I also love to see and hear the pieces I made from their photos or in the email they wrote me.

The quilt has been packed in S' super large drawstring bag for the protection and store in the luggage. Off we go hand deliver this special quilt to our special friends on our way home!

Do you have your Daffodil Joy in the spring season? It was good to see them come and sad to see them go, but they will come back again!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quiet time

Do you remember the first time you travel or even school field days? My very first school field trip happened in my first grade and the location was the big green grass inside the school. You might not know that schools in Taiwan has walls and gates around the school property and students access their way within school. I remembered weeks before first school filed trip, I would talked over and over at our dinner time. I asked mother and father if I can buy any treats and bring them to school. Of course, I always asked to be sit still and finish dinner. Likely the same conversation taken over and over next few nights, but I never get the answer if I can buy treats to school. I remembered, maybe was the night before that I asked father again, he smiled and handed me 50 dollars (which is around USD1.50). You might think with all that money what can I get. Actually back then I could buy lots treats and still have changes to send back to father. I remember I bough all my favorite kinds of treats that mother always said, NO! I got two chocolate bars, two small bags of chips, and maybe a bottle of drinks.

Then as I get older school field trip would taken a little further away from the city. The last school field trip was before the high school graduation. It was 4 hours away from my hometown and we got to spend two nights in the local village and had dinners with classmates. It felt quiet growing up at the time and yes, this time father sent 2000 dollars with me, which was about USD 95.  I think I spent USD 10 and bought all kinds of treats; yes, more chocolate bars and more soda pop cans and the rest of changes sent back to father when I returned from the trip.

Oh, believed me this was just the start of my travel journey. I never pictured myself travel so much when I was a kid! I always though I will stay in the house I grew up and lived in that same place till I am a hundred year old. But one thing that I didn't predict is that once you start something fun you never want to see it ends!  I think that description is closer to who I am and how I see life in my little perspective!

As of last week, I put a note for taking long break from the part-time job. I am in preparing of our trip to visit family oversea and needed the time to slow down. I didn't write a long list for what to accomplish or to achieve, but I knew that I like to get half sandwich quilt top done first then the birthday quilt. Oh, how did I not think about the time frame for making the quilt. The half sandwich quilt has total of 100 blocks and involved 800 half triangle squares and plus the trimming. Each day of last week, I was able to sew for 5 hours on blocks then another 2 hours pressing and trimming.  I am so very satisfied when I put all the assembled rows together and gave it a nice gentle press. Oh, it is a huge quilt! The backing will be a fun concept; lots wording for sure!

I hoped to get to S' birthday quilt, but I have trouble to walk away the #mysmallworldqal  {My small world Quilt Along}. You can read all the detail information at Kerry's blog aka {verykerryberry}
The most attractive reason for this quilt that I decided to follow along is the idea of small world that were shared!  After learning this quilt will be all the small piecing throughout I just can't resist! I plan to hand-quilting the entire quilt after the quilt top is completed! Most of all the pattern instructions are so well written. I like how this quilt is break down to sections and parts. It makes so much sense for someone like me; reading instruction step by step. I prepared my blocks by following each part's diagram. I didn't jump ahead and cutting all of them. To be so honest with you. I get confused with all the pieces I just cut! I didn't specifically pull any fabrics out for this quilt, but use some of my favorite prints. I combined some fussy cuts in the window prints and some random cuts. It is nice to make some mixed randomness to the quilt. I plan to apply same to other parts of this quilt as well. Well, it is ok to get clutter around the space once in awhile.

There are also few small accomplishments from the week. I finished two mini dumplings and they are so perfect for the trips and little things. I will be taking one for Fifi aka my sista, so she can put her little things in that. I finished so many patchwork piecing and started quilting them. They are in my backpack now, so maybe I can try to hand-quilt them this time while we are waiting for our flight.

This is actually an unexpected trip as I planned a road trip to West coast this summer, but with all the happening at home. It seems a top priority and important to see family. We'll do the road trip next time. There's always next time and I think the west coast friends will still be there when we come visit.

It has been really challenging two years after graduate school. I am not able to explain some of the disappointments that I have to myself, but I have learned and failed so much since then. Sometimes, I do feel all the people around me are judging me, but I think truly that I am the one put the judge filter in front of my own face. I think that finding self-compassion still on my top of list and getting out of the depression time is important as well. Meanwhile, I will continue create, sew, sell my works, and some patterns for the future. Finding my own voice is important and that new balance I try to keep up is slowly making process! I hope you all will still be here to keep me motivate and support me like you have always been!

The house is all pick up and the last load of laundry has finished this morning! Luggages are packed and the fridge is empty. Since I determined to travel light this time. The laptop will stay home, therefore I will not be able to blog at all this summer until we return. It is a piece heavy hardware to take with me, since I am getting older!  I will be posting  photos via Instagram and you can find me at quarterinchmark or you can check out the photos on the blog sidebar.

I have {The Daffodil Joy Quilt} finished and packed away. The post is scheduled ready for you next week and if time allows, I will get the another post up on the little patchwork tote that I finished for a little friend of mine that I will be meeting this summer.

Meanwhile, I hope you have a wonderful summer:
Soak up so much sunshine as you can!
Drink lots sun tea
Enjoy lots fresh summer veggies and fruits!

On the other hand....

I will be...
-Soak up way too much sun and get burn
-Drink lots bubble tea and get sick
-Enjoy lots summer veggies and fruits and probably ask father if I can stay till I'm a hundred year old
-Get lots Lucky kisses and want to bring him back
-Much cousins time and probably will get into some little troubles since we'll joke badly about our parents
- Best of all, I will be home! And you know "Home is where everyone belongs"!!

I need this, actually {we} all need this!


p.s As of now, we are probably have boarded our flight to Tokyo Japan. We'll be spend a few days there and yes, that involved fabric shopping, eating good rice, traveling with a child and best of all meeting our special friends!

p.s.s. The {shop} is open and only available for the PDF file patterns as I will not be able to ship your orders while I am away!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Random: May!

Did you celebrated May basket day? I remember we used to celebrated it when I lived in the small town of Iowa. In that paper basket, there were homemade popcorns, M&M candies, and a piece of homemade sugar cookie and best of all is a little message written on the paper! May used to be a month that seems never swing by fast enough. It always feels so far away when I lived in ND. I was always in layers of clothes by the end of semester and still in layers of clothes at the beginning of the June. Now, here in central south-ish Iowa; windows have been opened, ceiling fans have been spinning, shorts are out and wool blankets are tucked away. Birds are quiet busy talking these days! But all is good!

I can't wait for Sunday to come. I have been adding things to the to-do list. It will be some kind of gardening related projects that I have been fancy to try. Maybe a few planters on the side of the house then plan some tulips for next year. I still give high hopes of some herb pots if I can get any, but don't trust me on this one. I am not a good green thumb, indeed a worse one! Maybe some of you can send your tips on my way! I really need some helps!

After hours of trimming, I finished all the blocks, but you know the true is that I should have waited! I should have waited till I purchase a squared ruler before I started, but it is late! The trimming job isn't too bad, but not perfect! I have been busy pinning them back together and stitch up. The first block looks fine, but really could be better!  On that to-do list also involved a trip to craft store and purchase a squared ruler. I never though I needed one until I started a few projects lately. I think it will help me out with better trimming on the sides. Oh, Yes I get a little bit impatient sometimes!

I have been spinning myself around as well! I am always on the freeway these days! Drive for lots rehearsals and recitals! Oh, I bring all my patchwork pieces with me then sat quietly hand-quilt them. Then I read a few pages of the books that I brought along with, likely quilting books! I am into some vintage patterns lately. Oh, really they are quiet delight to read through. Then I made few more stitches! I bet I would need new prescription for my new glasses this summer!


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Random: Not sew satisfied

I've been friended with miss Seam Ripper for many hours. Lots ripped off threads are everywhere; upstair, downstair, in the staircase, on studio table and the on the kitchen floor. I will pretend I don't see them until later this week.

I am not quiet satisfied with the outcome of the half-sandwhich quilt blocks for a few weeks. The seams are off on many blocks and it was not quiet right! You know, it is alike to an itch in the back and just kinda need to get it! There are total 40 assembled blocks were ripped apart yesterday afternoon and this morning. That means, lots gentle pressing, accurate trimming and picking tiny threads await for me, but I am sure I will be more satisfy when I have it all assemble together again. Then more blocks to make before it's ready! I plan on making a queen size quilt, so we can all share this quilt together!

Oh! Did you know, I really want to pinch myself after I ripped the seams off? Some of the joined seams are loosing up. Making an extra reenforcement is so important from the past lessons that I've learned!

I will be patching all the seams back and getting they all right this time!

More soon!


Monday, April 27, 2015

Random: My sewing day

A bit of fabric cutting, pressing, sewing, and of course movie time! How's your sewing day? I can't wait to share the "Daffodil Joy Quit" with you!


Friday, April 24, 2015

Handmade: Patchwork Pennii Needle-books & Pinnii cushions

You've just landed in {mini Patchwork world}! My name is Chase, I'd be your tour guide for the day!

These Patchwork {Pennii Needle Bookes & Pinnii cushions} are definitely show my recent works obsessions! I am have been working with hues in varies tones and combined with some accent colors.  It is interesting to see the effect after making so many of them! I've enjoyed some of the fabric collections that released in this Spring and enjoyed combine these prints with some of my collected prints. They make a bit of vintage, but fresh look! 

The hand-quilting definitely added a great personal effect on the works. After all the small stitches, the cotton batting has been soften and the stitches added more handmade texture on them. I particularly love the {Spring Song set}, which reminded of a song that has been singing over and over here! 

I am pleased and happy with these {patchwork pennii needle-book & pinnii cushion sets}. They make great sewing tool set during traveling and in your sewing studio. For the inside page, I used 100% wool blended felt page for all sort of needles. It is leaves great room to insert needles even the basting needles. The snap fasten is made with 100% linen and professional installed with metal snap that will give a nice closure. I just love the four leaf clover designer on the snap! It is a nice finish on fasten part. 

There are four sets of {Spring 2015 collection} has been listed up in the {shop} this morning and you'll be able to see the inside finished page look like and more details in the {shop page}

{Thank you so much} for all your {visits} yesterday! It is so hard to describe my feeling about my works are flying out today to your hands! It is really a special moment to learn that you are here for me and my works! I have hard time to write much lately because I keep myself quiet and just work hard! It really helps me to narrow down the long list that I have been struggled myself. A few weeks back I was tagged on Instagram for 20 facts about me and one of fact I shared is I am not a dreamer and believer in hard working.  The there's should be number 21 fact follower after this one: I used to dream big, but failed hard! I learned One step a day now and every little bit of effort counts! 

I can't wait to show you the next patchwork collection that I have been working on! It will be here before I know it! Today, I will be spending rest of the day press seam allowance open and cut more patchwork pieces. Then hope I'll be able to run to the fabric shop to get 1/4" linen piece, so I could finish {City Gym Short}. Oh, it is raining again! I shall turn on the tea kettle and brew a pot of hot tea  now, it is a little chilly!