Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Forwarding to 2014

My favorite time now is the time when I clock out and step away the office.  I look forward to put on my cozy winter coat and woolie scarves {yes, i put more than one}. When the door open to the outside entrance the cold air sudden blow in my face my fingers { sadly, still can't find my gloves in the storage}.  brrr.... Quickly, I walked fast into the car and turn on the car furnace to high! I sat a minute or two; sometimes longer... then I take a deep breath... Off I went and slowly pass streets then slowly pull into driveway.   I love that few minutes quiet drive alone... then there's a lot of little things come in mind; how's my girl's day? What book she enjoyed? Has she loving the new books that she received? What should we have for supper? of course, thinking aloud of the projects on the table; do I have that right blue I "wanted" in the quilt? Should I change my mind?  then the list of things pop in and out in that less than 5 minutes drive home.

The year of 2013 is full and filled with numbers of event! Finished school, new citizenship, lived oversea, met new friends,  moved and moved again, sew a lot and sew more, fabric stash grew another foot taller,  made many quilts, celebrated happy days, made difficult decisions, made silly changes, lost all the computer data and I cried... so on and on.. and you?

Last few days, finally the mind was made and I am ready for the {camelot quilt}. The pattern was purchased two weeks before we moved away from ND. I had a thought that it might not make it to time, but it did! On the day of our moving day the mail carrier came and dropped the envelope in the mailbox. When I first reading the whole booklet and saw the diagrams, I was intimidated about this pattern then there was some study time after that. The pattern was taken with me while we were oversea. I show it to my sister and she looked at me; the only question she had for me is do you understand? I said to her, yes! But I think I need more fabric! Can you take me for fabric shopping? and she did!  {The floral yellow print with white shape was one of prints we shopped together}.

This quilt is alike {Farmer's wife quilt} that I've done.  Traced each block piece onto fabric with a pencil then cut each join piece off from the fabric, but this time the block is done in hand-stitch; with double floss sewing thread.  The hand sewing is a little different to the machine sewing. I made sure  join seams are double stitched, so that would help the block flow better.  There are still lots improvement to make since I haven't done hand-stitch for years.  It is a challenge quilt pattern and 2014 seems like a good year to take time to put it together and pick out fabrics and hoping new fabric will added to the collection.

Like every year, I don't have a list for myself nor S has one! We go with the flow and take one step a day and make small accomplishments each day if we can!  We look forward 2014 to arrive and our many adventures to come!

Thank you for another great year's reading and great year support.  

Happy New Year~

Sunday, December 29, 2013


The weekending has been productive and most of the fabrics are reorganized into their place! We helped out taking the holiday/Christmas lights off house and enjoy simple lunch and conversations. I have been sewing, not really like a storm, but filled me in with good mind.

We are super behind our holiday greeting cards and thought it might be ok to send them out a little late. S did a very good job in writing and I need to find stamps that somewhere in the room. oh dear... wish me good luck on finding them or a run to the post office is required!

Lately, I have been into working with felt! I made a little hair clip for my getting longer hair and have been playing a few ideas here and there!  S also have been loving the felt material and we have been checking into color options for our next order. She has been reading throughout her days over the holiday breaks. Since the weather has been so cold; the out and about isn't interest her.

Have you notice the day has getting longer? It has been a pleasure to wake up in daylight out and about. The morning tea time has been great, but really and being very honest with myself I miss coffee in the morning. It helps me to think "right away" in the morning, but I might try to wait few more months before morning coffee comes back for regular.

I am waiting a box that will come next week sometime. It is hard to wait for packages to arrive and I knew the package is full of goodness and I will share when it arrives! It is going to excite S and me at the same time! Yes, lots goodness for S as well.

2013 has been a fast move year for us. Lots excitements throughout the year and disappointments as well.  My mind is full of upcoming new year's plans and yes, another BIG move for us in the near future! Hope that will be our last move around the country then we can be settle permeant.  Maybe at that time S could have a wall of books and I could have a wall of fabric! That just sounds so inviting!

My newly set up sewing space is limited, but I am thankful a space to sew and feel good! On the top of sewing list is S' birthday quilt! Yes, she is having a birthday soon and I am not sure if I can pull out the quilt for her on time. First, I'd pull my magic wand out...


Friday, December 27, 2013

From the past

Come on in... This is my room and this is the very first time S and I don't share a room together. We've been sharing a bedroom since I gone to grade school and prior that was in a small one bedroom apartment. She is in her little room next to mine now and has all her books stack together in one big pile and has her quilts on the floor where she can get cozy and on her own; reading, crafting, and little independence and privacy...  She comes over during the weekends to spend some time with me and sometimes just to chat then she fell asleep by me.  Likely I turn off the light and let her snuggle in. This mama wouldn't mind this at all, really!

A week ago, I came cross some vintage quilts in our local antique store. Whenever I go to an antique store; likely I see things that I love so much, but between vintage items and fabric. Likely I go with fabric and good chocolates. Last week, as I walked around the store, I saw 5 vintage quilts for sale.  The first one that cough my attention right away was the double wedding ring quilt. It is hand-pieced and hand-quilted. I couldn't just walk away from the store without touching it and unfold the quilt. Checking each pieces of the feedback that's been used in the quilt. The double wedding ring quilt comes in perfect condition and lots feedback fabrics were used in this quilt. It might be from the early 40's or 50's. There is not evidence of maker or date on. I fell in love with this wedding ring quilt! Maybe this is called " love in first sight". I've made 3 double wedding ring quilts in the past, but this one is so soft and has been loved by the previous owner(s). I couldn't help myself to walk away the shop without thinking maybe this quilt is waiting for me??  No, I didn't second myself too long for this quilt.  I went ahead and got this quilt. Indeed, this quilt didn't cost arms and legs. It was marked on a very fair price.  It does feel a good found of the year.

The quilt have sandwiched in really fine cloth instead of cotton batting. The weight is rather light and the texture is rather soft. Yes, I put in the wash and gave her a nice bath. It turns out so nice! I have so  much appreciation in vintage quilts whenever I see one.  I also feel hesitate to purchase them when I encounter one. Sometimes, they were being price in a very high and unreachable price and sometimes, it might be worn and hard to repair at all. I've learned to love these vintage quilts as they are part of the quilting histories and quilting evidences towards to the modern quilts.

The second quilt is made with thousands of hexagons. It is hand-pieces and hand-quilted. There are some worn on the hexagon pieces, but I went ahead and take her home with me on the second trip that I went with S. She wanted some chocolate and gummy for holiday treats.

It is a very nice full sized quilt and I pictured it will be in the future sewing room's couch where I could enjoy some tea time and cuddle under it.  What I love about this quilt is the maker is so brilliant! She/ He used fuzzy cuts for each flower pattern. Even some of the hexagons are gone, but I could still see from some of the fade area and traced back the original design.

This quilt is much sweet in colors and it might made for either a daughter or a grand-daughter. The usage of green for around up the quilt is so nicely done. It almost gives a nice completion to the quilt. I couldn't find any names on this quilt at all. This is a little sad for the vintage quilts that I have seen so far; rarely they have dated or names of the makers. She also got a nice bath and tossed in the dryer and few more fabric pieces worn down during the wash.

Both quilts are nicely lay on the bed. I need more mattresses, so I can have all the quilts out. I hope someday, I can have one bed just for quilts! They are better laying flat than being fold.  I have a thought that I'd love to start collecting vintage quilts. These vintage quilts might have been pass on from family to family or being sold in stores, but these vintage quilts are truly being loved and made with loves from the past.  I always curious about the story behind each quilts or maybe there isn't a story behind it...

I've always envy quilts that have pass from the family from great grand mother, since there's no such custom in my family. I do hope someday quilts that I made will be pass on in the family and maybe  little S will be able to share stories of these quilts to her family.


Monday, December 23, 2013

From ours to yours

It is rather cozy here tonight~ S and I didn't get to make chocolate chip cookies since I got home a little later than scheduled. We plan to save it for tomorrow and start a bit of holiday cooking here; it will be simple and relaxing. I will be sewing like a storm and S is ready to get on her machine with me. We have ordered some materials and they have arrived in the mail box today.

I have a post for you later the week on the quilts you seen here. Meanwhile, S and I wish you a very happy holiday~ Lots sewing time, lots sweet time and lots family time~ We'll cuddle under quilts and stay indoor as the temperature has dropped to negative again.

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart to you all~  



Sunday, December 22, 2013


The week went so much faster than I expected! Monday morning, I had a job interview in town and after an hour process. I got hired!!  Tuesday morning, there were so many phone calls made to car dealers then off we went; the same night we have a car of our own. That gives us so much more freedom to move around in town. Wednesday morning, S was at school before 8, so I could make it on time to the new job. Thursday and Friday were both long days from the new job since I haven't been working since we moved away.

S and I both got so very excited on Friday night! We were planning our Saturday schedual together.   S got three boxes of her books from the storage and her sewing machine. I finally found the winter coat, snow boots, and most importantly the sweet Bernini is home with me!  She was doing great when I unpacked her! The exterior was the same with some marks that made in last many years. The interior was very cold! I let her sat over night just to make sure she is in the room temperature before I start sewing with her. This morning, she has been taking care and a small test drive was in action.

The very first thing I made was a coaster. As you know, as tea lovers we drink tea all year around and drink coffee when I can{ now I try to have one cup a week since the surgery}. It seems important to have coasters made for our cups. I can't tell you why at this moment.  Then a simple pin cushion for sewing pin is needed. The mini pin cushion was left to my sister, so she can try to sew on her own. The size of the new pin cushion is finished at 4"x4". Each small square is cut in 1.5"x1.5" and hand-quilted onto the cotton batting. This time, I stuffed it with scrap batting. It makes the pincushion really nice and the pins stay in well.

S picked up her prints for her coaster and requested it in half triangle cuts. Hers is with small prints on and almost pastel colors to me. She is devouring her books since they got unpacked! She eats gummies as she enjoys her books! That's the kinda of lifestyle runs at {1/4" mark} home; a sewing mama and a reading S.  S is finding her ways in the new school and making new friends as well. Cross my fingers for the next semester will be fun and enjoyable for her.

I haven't started any holiday sewing.  None of the gifts will make it on time and some of them might even need to be postpone till 2014. It feels strange not able to send out any gifts this year.  No baking for us this year since all the holiday cookie recipes are in the storage. Maybe this is the reason that I am lack of feeling Christmas is around the corner. The oven has been off and the living room has been quiet without the sound from the cuts,  assembling from the machine and self talking while search for "the fabric".  Today, I am glad I have been making few noises in the living room and that has been a great start for me.  Have you been productively working on this last weekending before Christmas? Enjoy your sewing; I am. so. very .much. loving. this. weekending~


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekending: HELLO

Oh dear, my dear friends we made it back to states a little over a week ago. It was a long trip and first time travelled in the winter for long flights. We both were under the weather from the mixed of the air in the flights and temperature changed from the high 70's to negative 10. S had some ear pressure after we landed. Jet lag was another great challenge during the winter, since we can't go out much. Thankfully S is fully recovered and is happy to be home again.

Not sure where to start to share with you, since we have had so much happening this past month. {1/4" mark} has been so quiet for nearly a month now and it is the longest break that we've taken. We took all the time we need to spent last few weeks with our family. We travelled on our scooter to different parts of the city.  We had a family dinner; very causal and fun to end our visit back in Taiwan! We took four large luggages with us and two of them were full with gifts and loves from our families and friends.  I hope to print out some Lucky and S' photo as our Christmas greeting card, but it will need to wait a little extra longer, since we are trying to settle in our new space here in Iowa.

The weather has been so cool for last few days. We are layering in woolies and covering with quilts { i must admitted this is the best part about the winter; cuddling with quilts, lots of them}. In order to let S return to school system we had to take her for some health check, since we've gone oversea months. The test came back and she is just as healthy as she can be! She returned to school last Thursday, the very first day of real 4th grade! She is anxious about school and already met some old friends she knew from her kinder room.  As a mama, I am happy to see that she puts smile on her face in the mornings and ready for school! When I pick her up from school last Thursday, boy.. she was sharing her day with me again! I was touch by heart at that moment when S shared her day with me. I quietly listen to her day with some new friends and new discovery of school.  You know possible that I'll get invited to lunch date soon.

Since most of sewing supplies are in the storage at this moment. I have not been sewing, but just simple English Paper Piecing. I hope to return to storage next week to bring them out. All the fabric stashes are at my dear friend's house, which makes me wanted to just go to her home and say hello to them, but that will need to wait for another week or two.

Our first weekending was a lot of sleeping and jet lag! The second weekending has been marvelous! S has been crafting again and all the fabric have pulled out from the suitcase and getting some fresh air. I have stored them in a nice and clean cardboard box for now.  Thankfully, I have received a new computer, but I try to learn how to use it as I have been a pc person.  It will be some new learning time for me while S' away at school.

Our return has been great and yes, there are new phase of challenges we need to face. At this moment we'll work as a team and look forward each day and hope take a new step each time when we can!
We hope your holiday time has been wonderful and thank you so much for all your support and kindness.  {1/4" mark} turned two years old last month.  It has been just amazing that you are here from time to time and really grateful that you have extended your friendship with us.

I'll be back more often now