Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Random: Friendship

I have been doing lots baking this week! My friend, Patrick is having his MFA exhibition reception tomorrow. I asked him what can I help him more. He said to me, " I would love to have some of your homemade cookies". I promised him I would make the kind that he likes and the kind that he loves ( I guess they are the same, but he loves sugar cookies the most).

Patrick is from Ghana and he does jewelry metal work and fiber weaving pieces. He left wife and young daughter in Ghana and came to U.S. to pursue his study. He has not visited home since he came three years ago and haven't seen the daughter in 3 years in person. It is not very easy!! It takes lots brave and good hopes.  We became closed friend since I started my MFA program. We both are far away from our families and we understand what it is like being in oversea. We talked a lot of the different culture meanings and lots conflicts. He is like an older brother of mine and always tells me, "You will be Fine".    I am so happy for him that he has completed his program of study and having a very successful exhibition!  All the three years hard work has paid off! Congrats, Mr. Patrick!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Random: One step a day

In case you came and this space is not renew for last couple of days. I am nearly finishing my spring cleaning. It is very hard for me to give away things. I have difficulty to give away things that I have had for sometimes, but the true is that I never use them or rarely use them. I decided to give away a few quilt tops that I made a few years back to a friend. She will be able to completed them into quilts. The Living room couch has been a storing table for last few days. Lots books, mini quilts and a pile of quilts. I received a few complains from Stella and I forgot to mention the floor has the swoon quilt top in progress.  I didn't finish the quilt top as I wished, but only three left, so I should be able to complete it sometimes this week?? { fingers crossed}

On Saturday,  I went and helped my grad colleague install his MFA exhibition all day. We didn't get home till 9p.m.  It was cold and the kind of the day that I forgot to bring my hot coffee with me! We ended up ran two supply trips in town. The exhibition is up running as of today and I think he is very excited and ready to {sleep} now. I am really fortunate to help him for his show; part of my job during the day is the gallery coordinator, so it was good that I can actually work with him and give suggestions.

I also managed to pieced two {Kerry's House}. My goal is 12 houses and make them into a small quilt. It will take me another few weeks to complete all the houses. The last house block I made was so much better and I enjoy it so much! It is a bit disappointed that I don't have many smaller prints fabric in the stash. I'd love to extended my fabric stashes into some smaller prints.

I am taking one step a day here, are you?


Shop update: 1/4" mark shop

1/4" mark shop update is completed! Some fresh new listing and more purchase options for SK fabric, etc.  More posts to come later this week! Schooling surely is taking away some attention, but will return shortly! Thank you for checking on me!


Wednesday, March 21, 2012


I took a few hours on Monday night and cut off the swoon block fabrics. I organized them by sizes and blocks. The system is working well for me! I was able to completed the third block this afternoon, but didn't get the chance to photography maybe I will show them all together when I finish the quilt top. I am attempting to finish all 9 blocks by this weekend, maybe! Three is done and 6 more to go.. I have the fourth block arranged and ready to sew and cut! It was a fabulous morning and afternoon here again! Stella and I took a long walk and enjoy the sunset. She is loving her scooter from Christmas! I also rode on it this afternoon! We had a little competition here actually.

It is so quiet right now! As the little girl is sounding deeply in her sleep and I am blogging. Dishes are done, house is picked, plants are watered, and the sewing machine is about to get start again. The kettle is on and I am about to brew a pot of coffee and enjoy this quiet night. Perhaps some music playing. I love late night working... my friend Julie calls me a "night owl" which is very true!


Random: just talk

These Japanese fabrics are so special to me. The story is from Green Gables. This is the first story movie Stella watched when she was a little girl. She didn't understand most of the words at the time, but now she picks up the words from the story.  I haven't decided what to make, but these would be save till someday for some special project.   Do you have any special fabric that have been save up? Do you have any plans for them?


Monday, March 19, 2012

{swooning} one and two

I love {swooning} on the weekend. Here is my {swooning} one and two! I am so pleased with the both blocks.  It took a few weeks to decided the color for the background fabric. I have been working with white so much and white background surely give good depth of colors, but on the other hand I was thinking something else. When I saw Anna's swoon I was {wowing}. The gray background really alter the fabric colors and such. Then it took me another few weeks decided to go with painter canvas's charcoal.  It is like no going back when I ordered 5 yards. It is bit of scary! I questioned about it for a week then finally cut into these over the weekend.  What I love about this pattern is it really simple and easy to follow!

Today is a fabulously day here and I intend to read another 50 pages of assignment reading for a paper writing. It will be relax day here as all the windows are up and breezes came in and out! I shall brew a cup of coffee to sit and read.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

{weekend} ing

Thank you for all the sweet and kind comments on {Stella walks in rainbow houses quilt}. The quilt has been washed and covered on Stella's bed! She told me, it feels so warm mama, how thick it is? She also told me it is probably because my hands touched the quilt too much, so make it warm ( as she refers me a warm blooded).  Are you enjoying your weekend? It is in the 70's here in N.D. Everyone tells me enjoy what we have now because we might have snow next month! I have been sewing, reading, housing cleaning, and watching movie all weekend now. As many of you know by now I always watch a movie when I do my sewing.  I finished three more {Kerry's house} this weekend. The one with blue sky needs a redo! It is quarter inch smaller. The freezer paper shifted while I was sewing.  My plan is making a mini quilt from these little houses. 

{Garden house}

 { sewing house}

 {toy house}

{fabric house}

{ more houses under construction}

I also managed finished two Swoon quilt blocks this weekend. It takes about over an hour for each block. I used many post-it for labeling sizes and that works really well for me. I have cut all the back ground colors together then two fat quarters each time when I start the new block. Surely it is a productive weekend that I haven't had in a long time. After posting, I am off more sewing and watching movie. Stella is making KiKi a new dress { I just hope she doesn't sew KiKi and the clothes together}.


Friday, March 16, 2012

{Stella walks in rainbow houses quilt}

{Stella walks in rainbow houses quilt} finally is completed! Total of 100 houses within this quilt.  When I started quilting I knew in my mind that I  wanted to make a quilt per year for Stella. Each year has a different theme and it represents her in the time she was at. This year, I asked her what she has in mind. She answered me {rainbow}. It took me a few weeks to decided what to make then later I decided to make her a {rainbow houses quilt}.

In the back for this quilt I used 1.5" squares and pieced {STELLA} on the back. As always, I don't sign my quilts. Do you sign your quilts? I am still debated if I should sign quilts that I make.

 When Stella told me she doesn't like gray my heart rate went up a little bit! Then I asked her why, she told me it doesn't have any {color}. I tried to convince her that {gray} is very popular in making quilts and it helps to make the quilts look {amazing}. She replied { Are you sure, mom?}

Nothing like making a quilt for someone that we love! Each house represent a hope and a memory that I have about Stella. Like every mother we wish the best for our child and deep in  our heart we love them and wish they healthy and well being. 

The biggest challenging on this quilt still is the quilting part! Somewhat I need to try to master this skill as time goes! I used loops pattern for this quilt and it turn out just what in my mind!

She loves it! She loves it! Up she jump high and enjoy this new quilt addition to her own possessions. I do hope she will pass on these quilts I made for her to her child someday when she is ready!

 Her feet and mine feet!

Someday when she leaves the home that full of memories and loves she will be able to take these quilts with her. She will be able to tell stories behind each quilt and the memories that she has in her little mind.  She is loved and given!


The houses fabric is 1001 peeps and outfoxed by Lizzy House
The houses back ground fabric  is Kona Soild in Maize
Binding fabric is Kona soild in { allowed me to check and update later today} and Denyse Schmidt's sugar creek.
The backing fabric is Denyse Schmidt's Aunt Edna for Joann
Houses pattern you can found here and please join the flickr group and share your houses.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Random: {obsession}

My new obsession- paper piecing! If I could have all the time that I {wanted}. I'd be piecing these little housing all day long!I finished another house in 6" {left one}, but I am not sure about the colors. Too much white,so each part of the house isn't showing much. For the new house here is what I was thinking. In the raining day that we stay indoor and enjoy baking time and music.  There are few parts were bigger, so the roof isn't matched well!

Number of years ago, I found this book in a garage sale for 25 cents. I have kept this book since then. When I bought this book I thought cross stitch is going to be my thing, but I never really push to get this done!

 Spring cleaning definitely help me look into what I have and revisit things that I bought in the past.  These are so cute and fun! I love these colonial figures. I thought the gentleman and the lady with umbrella is pretty interesting and fun!

 I really love the top center image! I was wondering if any of you have know the company's name or where I can find more.

{Kerry's house} is surely cute!  I made another  4" template this afternoon. I actually preferred the 4" instead. I plan to make a few more before spring break ends. wish me good luck!

Here is my fabric selections! I cut down many yardage fabrics this afternoon, so I could have fat quarters to play with these paper piecing! 

 I would say this is a great {obsession}!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Random: { as always}

As always there is something that never change about me.  I always treasure fabric that I received or friend got for me. They always make me smile and of course mom doesn't know about it since she lives too far away from the home that I am living now. I could just picture what she has to say about it and you don't wanted to know about it! She still yelled at me a lot even though she sees me once in two years or longer. I know deep in my heart she worries about me and just doesn't know what a better way to say! I understand her since I became a mom!

As always, when we get home! Stella works on her homework or reading and I ( who sit across the table from her) plays with the project from last night or new projects. We always talk! She always talks! Lately, she is asking me a lot of about my childhood. What was it like? I think Stella is the newest version of me at age 7. I talked a lot, too!

As always, my friend Erin from Taiwan sends one package a year to us. Each time she sent cookies and Stella's favorite candies from Taiwan. Erin and I met in English school way way back when I was 16. The friendship hasn't stopped or disconnected even though I left Taiwan when I was 18. I remembered we wrote each other a lot since computer age wasn't popular in demand back in Taiwan at the time. Erin is one of my very closed friend that I can tell my secretes! I know we don't get that many type of friends in real life. shhh...

As always, I am big fan of Denyse Schmidt. I ordered the full line of Flea Market Fancy Legacy back in February. The gray were so popular, so I had to ordered the second time. When I buy fabric I give myself some sort of excuses. It started.. oh it is for my birthday.. then for Christmas.. I think I have withdrawn my birthday and Christmas presents till 2020. No kidding.. I decided to slow down since this large order! I prefer buying 1/2 yards and fat quarters now. Do you? I only buy full yardage when they are on sale or for my backing. I start a little fat quarter stashes in the new fabric organizing system.  It works really well.

As always, I get gifts from Stella. I have been enjoying watch her growth from her drawings. Each drawing represents a story and a memory of hers! The puppy under the giraffe is Lucky, the puppy. Lucky has had his birthday last weekend and we celebrated with him via skype. He surely is a big pup now!

As always, I try to find my time and  enjoy my day after school works and be with Stella. Thanks to the sunny and mild days that we are having now!

off the sunny walk now, as always!


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Random: just me

I am 

-playing the swoon quilt. The backing fabric order came last week, but I am just getting ready to cut the first block this week. a bit slower, but I'd like to take time for this quilt along.

-playing {Kerry's house} again . Kerry was very kind send me a 6" pdf file. I did the template last night. This time I am thinking a little English style house and with some baking and spring theme again.

-finished quilting the {rainbow house} quilt last night. It took two 400 yards spools and 7 hours on the same chair and three movies. by the time when I finished it was 3a.m. the time changing surely is affecting my body timer.

-drinking coffee again! my friend came and helped me printed 2 stone litho in school yesterday. I was the printer, so rolling and charging the ink killed allowed my harms exercises- sore!

- rearranging the fabric store space again! I won't be able to tell you how many times within two months. I've got many plastic containers to store them by colors. I really am afraid to say {plastic} since I try to stay green as much as possible! In a year, we'll be moving and I am planning head for what to take and what not to. 

-having the biggest spring cleaning since the weekend. I have sort through clothes, toys, and shoes. There are still few boxes were never opened since we moved to N.D I went and sort through them. Most of them needed to go! We don't really need much.

- wanting buy this mixer so bad! so bad! the hand mixer I had last me 10 years. Last month when I was mixed the whipped cream it started smoking then stopped on me! I have been using folks to mix the batters, but a great mixer will be a plus! 

- tired! It is spring break, but feels like living in a sewing booth camp, but I love everyday and every minutes of what I do! I spend my day in school and get studio work done while Stella in school. When we get home! We surely spend happy afternoons together! yes, that also involved lots treats and chat! we love talking! 

what have you been doing lately? sewing? crafting? enjoy the sunny day walk? or enjoy open the windows and allow the breeze come in the house? um.. i've got more later to share.. 


Monday, March 12, 2012

Cooking: Make your own {Bean salsa}

I woke up at 6 this morning and made a new batch of bean salsa. I must say it is SO good! I modified the original ingredients, but will write both for you.

My version- 

1 can of black bean
1 can of corn
1/2 Green Pepper
1/2 Red  Pepper
1/2 Yellow Pepper
1.5 medium size fresh tomotes
1 stick of fine chopped celery
1/3 medium size onion
1/2 bunch cilantro

3/4 cup apple vinger
1 spoon olive oil
1/2 spoon brown sugar
pinch salt
2 tsp. lemon juice

Lemon juice is less sour than the lime juice. Personally I preferred Lemon juice than lime since I have tasted both my own, but you might like the original. 

The original ingredients 

2 can of black bean
1 can of corn
1/2 Green Pepper
1/2 Red  Pepper
1/2 Yellow Pepper
3 medium size fresh tomotes
1/2 stick of fine chopped celery
1/2 medium size onion
1/2 bunch cilantro

1 cup apple vinger
1 spoon olive oil
1/2 spoon brown sugar
pinch salt
2 tsp. Lime juice

If you make some I'd love to know how do you like it. I highly recommend to get a bag of Mexican style corn tostadas. They are so much better taste than the bag chips. It comes with a large round size then you can break them into pieces. ( The above photo was from one large round corn tostadas then I broke into smaller pieces).


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Shop update: { 1/4" mark shop}

{ 1/4" mark shop} has an update:

I have listed some fabric in the shop tonight. 10 fat quarters of Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt. 50 prints of Castle and Outfoxed in rainbow bundle by Lizzy house {sold}, completed Daisy Mae by Denyse Schmidt, etc.