Thursday, January 30, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014


Oh dear, the gust wind has been blowing all day long and the sky was gloomy and it snowed a little. The sun was out and about for a very short time, maybe a few seconds. We decided to stay in and stay  in our comfortable wears. S has her schedule set {It has been working super well this past week}; I, on the other hand has my mind on the projects that would like to start and hope finish soon.

Then the afternoon was so quiet around here. S was upstair in her little room and reading her new books that we got from the library that left me downstair alone with a cup of hot tea and some more fresh made scones from Saturday morning then it was a perfect time for camelot block assembling time, but guess I wasn't fully paying attention on the blocks, so it took so much longer. My half attention was looking out the window and just watching the sky changed and kept repeated to self; what's up with the sky over the west side of the town? School probably is going to start two hours late...

I learned to used red thread for the hand-sewing, so it is easier to see the stitches and if any mistakes during the process. I used the single thread and it has been working really well.  There are total of 16 blocks in Camelot quilt and 13 more to go! I have decided to set this project into another w.i.p. work for now and visit it when I have more sewing time and bigger/wilder sewing space to set everything around. I fascinated this quilt will be in the future sewing room's wall and I probably will feel so proud that it is hand sewn and possibiliy hand quilted.

The weekending is rather quick and short for us now. We are not complaining the cold as we try to think spring will be here soon! Mornings are so hard to wake up these days as it is warm and cozy with quilts layer on top of each other. I wish there are extended weekending..., yes i do!

{the post didn't make it published last night as I fast asleep...}

Happy Monday, indeed~


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Simple joy

Last few afternoons, I stayed home and ran errands in town. It felt accomplished and catch up with list of lists. The dining table is clutter with all the scraps, tools, pens, graphic paper, notepads, S' reading books... so on and you know,  I learned the work clutter is a better word than being messy.  The small blocks were make over last three weeks when there's few minutes to self.  Yes, they are slow in process, but I am simply happy how these turns out and look forward to have these blocks add into the patchwork.  If you love the {wonky stars}, there is the {tutorial} . I have been saving little tiny scraps for the {wonky stars}. The wrench blocks are 5"x5" and will finished at 4.5"x4.5". I love the idea of fuzzy cuts for the center prints. That gives the each block some personalities and stands out on its own.

S' birthday quilt is draft out on the sketchbook finally and that put a big smile in my heart.  You will find me dig into fabrics and running upstair and downstair and of course change mind from second to second.  The quilt will not be ready, since I am wondering how am I going to start it, since I add more sketches into the book each time when I though of something.  She is hoping to have a mini quilt for her new friend and I will try my best to make it happen! It will be some hours after S' bedtime to prevent the cat out of the bag.

See you this weekending


Sunday, January 19, 2014


how I miss sewing all day long and all week long... I have not be able to sew much since we moved back! It takes three times longer to finish up a simple project, twice longer to get all the supplies in hand, five times hard to feel motivate after return home from work and probably four times challenge to find time just for myself... oh.. it is super busy during the weekdays! I have been saving all the camelot quilt blocks scraps and slowly making simple patchworks on the zipper pouches. Indeed, the making of super overdue Christmas gifts from last year just started here and hope our friends' won't mind the late package from us anytime now.

how I miss a batch of warm scones to go with the afternoon tea; sending fresh bake goodies home with our friends. Beginning of the week, I planned to make these scones over the weekending. It feels a bit late Christmasy here. Dust the flour on the kitchen counter, adding extra raisins, sprinkle extra sugar on top of the scone even the receipt didn't call for that then listen to the timer click and slowly bring out the baking sheet that full with golden brown crust scones and everyone sample a piece and saying... oh what a treat...  I though you might like it, so here is the receipt

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoon unsalted frozen butter    { I used salted frozen butter and didn't add salt in the batter}
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sour cream {I used plain yogurt}
1 large egg
preheat at 400 degree fro 15-17 minutes {cool for 5 minutes}

How: add all the dry ingredients together then cut the frozen butter into small pieces. Use a knife to mix the dry ingredients and butter together { almost flaky}. Add sour cream and egg into batter then raisins. Gentle work with the batter than round the batter into a circle. use knife cut into small squares  {about 3 inches} then cut into half triangles. Set in the baking sheet about one inch apart. I set the baking sheet in the bottom of the oven. Enjoy!

Sunday drive:
Have you done it before?  When I was in college I learned about sunday drive from a small town in Iowa. This morning after S' music practice, we went for a Sunday drive. The weather was beautiful and the sun was warm and cozy to be out and about.  The landscape in front of us was in light brown shades, the sky was in the two different tones of blue and the clouds were shaped in S' imagination animals. We chatted as the landscapes pass by us and enjoy the drive without a destination, but fun.
The best part of this drive was we were not in a hurry and just us.

Indeed wasn't that pleasant. As a mama, I have tried to help S' get into weekends schedule and it hasn't been so easy! Fits and more fits... and yes! She is trying to grow up and look out that independences of hers, but sometimes, it is hard to admit that we all need reminders and helps even when we are trying to grow up and be so independent. Lessons to learn and lessons set in the heart, it is not so easy to be a mama, sometimes...

Saturday, I drove out to the country and visited my dear friend who stored all the fabric stashes for me. It was a quick visit, but hello to all the stashes... It felt like friends that I haven't seen for ages and wish they all come home with me, but they will need to stay in the vacation home for a little longer before I can bring them home with me.  Of course, I buy more fabric and my fabric colors are shifting...

A quilt that has slowly putting together for last few weeks. I must admit that I love making this quilt! What I enjoy about is the process:  take the time to play with the colors, trace the pattern, cut the pieces, iron the pieces, then onto hand-piecing. It is rather and again fit into schedule where I find 5 minutes to myself a day that I could hand sewn a piece or two together. no rush, but the time that much needed to be quiet and decompress from the day.

It is always true that it is full of adventures. As we slowly settle in, we learn to find new balance between mother and daughter relationship. Each time we grow stronger together, but we also forget to give each other some bubble space to breath and to decompress.

S' birthday is coming, but the quilt is still in my head. I am embarrassed to say that I haven't find the time to work on the quilt at all. There are so many ideas pop in my head lately and yes, it's so important to make this quilt extra special, since S is having her first double number birthday this year. oh boy...  i do LOVE this girl...

So on:
look forward next weekending to come. Another week will start soon and will be another busy week ahead of us. Indeed, I am counting already.

it is another story... talk soon


Thursday, January 16, 2014

My Library ii

I didn't forget the second library post that I have promised awhile ago. The images have been sitting in the computer and waiting for me.  Since we've returned to states, I rarely stay up after 10p.m. The lifestyle has been so opposite to last year, but I've gained more sleep hours and rest more. Tonight, I am still up because a cup of tall size coffee that I had this morning { more on this later}.

Another great book that I have added last Christmas is {Playful Little Paper- Pieced Project} complied by {Tacha Bruecher}. It is a really well written book introducing {Paper Piecing}. There are also many familiar names that have contributed to the book; Ayumi aka {Pink Penguin}, Kerry aka{verykerryberry}, Penny aka {Take a hike} and Chase aka {quarter inch mark} <--- {YES! that's me}.   This book comes with a CD that allows to download the patterns and so many cute and fun projects. I am so ready to make Kerry's snowy home and Ayumi's Mail organizer and many other cute patterns.

My little contribution is the {Nutcracker Pillow} and yes, I made it while I was in the last year of graduate school. It was really exciting when I accepted the invitation for the contribution. I was also nervous about it! S was the only one I could talk about this exciting news and project.  We didn't let the cat out till last year I saw a few friends mentioned that they are in the book as well. It was really hard to asked an 8 years old don't let the cat out... {shh} 

When I think of December,  I often think of the ballet show, Nutcracker I saw in Boston back in 1997 Christmas. That was the first year I landed in the states and the very first Christmas I celebrated. My sister and I travelled to Boston and stayed there for three weeks. We travelled around city of Boston and we saw Nutcracker in a snowy day before Christmas. Not to mentioned we were soaking wet with wet shoes and clothes when we walked in the show.  Back in 2006, when we returned to states and S was a little wee toddler; the very first book that our friend read to her was {miss suzy}  It is a cute book and of course she cried and worried about miss suzy.. then the little nutcracker soldiers have saved miss suzy's home... I took both our firsts then turn into the idea for the project.

I am very honored and excited to be part of this book still; seeing my work in a published book is a huge encouragement for me. S has been showing the book to our friends whoever comes to our home and shared, my mom made this project! oh dear... {{blushing, blushing}....


Saturday, January 11, 2014


It has been a pretty winter wonderland here. The temperature warmed up a few days ago then dropped again. The snow falls on the trees and made the town looks alike the Christmas in the noisy Village book, just pretty and delight on the drive out where somewhere.

Our routine is slowly and steadily back after the first week of school.  It is amazing how it helps us get our mind set in and ready to move forward the winter season and wish spring is coming; soon!
The week has been full for us and it has been hard to photograph when the sun goes down before we reach the driveway. Weekending is very much appreciate now than ever! It allows us to enjoy the day to be home and taking time to rest and even have breakfast time together.

The camelot quilt block#2 was finished last weekending. It has been the kind of quilt fits in our schedule and space here. The block didn't fit the first time after sewn together. It was 1/4" smaller than the first one. Then I redo the center circles; black and white and redo the inner two pink circles.  It is a much nice finished block then the first approach. I couldn't wait to share with you when this morning, so when sun was out then quickly I set up the mini photo space to photograph it! Tomorrow, the plan is to pick up the third block fabric, so the following week is ready for some hand sewing time.

The single girl quilt made this past spring is out today. It hasn't been washed, so it still looks like a new quilt! Since all the photos have gone from the last computer, I try to photograph quilts that I've made in the past. The full size mattress is perfectly for some of the full/ small queen quilt size. That means there are five quilts on the bed to snuggle with now! Yes, it is a little heavy and too much at night, but S commented it is the most cozy bed ever!

S almost needs a full size violin. It is always my pleasure to listen to her play! We talk about a trip to the twin city this coming spring to trade her violin in and get a full size violin and a possible visit to ND. It is a very long drive, but we though it might be a great spring break trip to take.

The machine finally made some nice sound last night! It has been quiet for a few weeks. The sewing space is limited here, but it has been slowly put together! It is in the dinning room where we have our meals, homework time, and tea time, etc,..  Today has been a nice sewing day and extra special is coffee for me and hot coco for S. It was a nice day to hangout and perfect afternoon to sew and catch up. Hope more sewing time this coming week and tomorrow is our super post Christmas dinner! Yes, it will have a turkey and we can't wait!


Monday, January 6, 2014

My library

Let me show you my mini library under the bed. It is not super messy, but there's a lot of things I have been storage down there. Don't remember when was the last time I put my books under the bed. But I remember as a child we were never ever allowed to put things between the mattresses or under the bed frame. When college time, I had a very small dorm room then I "broke" the rules and started to put things under the bed. With limited space at our new home under bed space is working amazingly well for me! As you can see I have added more books into my mini library and few fabric stash...

The most recent book I added into the library is {500 quilt blocks} written by Kerry aka{verykerryberry} and Lynne aka{lily's quilts}.  The size of this book is perfect: 6"x6".  The text print is clear printed on the glossy papers. I have been taking this book with me in the house wherever I sit then read a few pages.

I am amazed with 500 quilt blocks within a book! Not to mention there are also 20 projects that made from a block featured in the book. There are so many blocks I want to make and a new quilt for 2014 is a must!

What I enjoy about this book is many quilt blocks come with different variations/ layouts and
clear instruction on each block cuts/ assembling. The blocks that I made is from page 228; Tulips. I  love the sweet design of the tulip. It is simple and elegant; the organic shape of it reminds me the tulips that I used to seen around spring time in NYC. I reused the opposite cut outs and made the smaller one, so I can save the fabric cuts. More of this pattern will be made soon. I plan on size down the tulip block measurement and make smaller blocks for a mini quilt. It is hard just make a few blocks...

For the fabric pull, I went with some spring colors; mixed and match background and also on the tulips. I am so glad another great book has added to my library and it is a great reference book for quilt making as the first few pages give much detail information from tool selection, buying fabric, piecing, pressing.. etc. A very useful beginner friendly book as well!!

Stay turn, I have {my library part ii} coming up...