Monday, March 31, 2014

Friday, March 28, 2014


You probably don't know where I was three  four hours ago; I was in the school lunch room with S.  It is the last Friday of March and I've been sending some messages to S about how March is almost gone and I'd really would love to having a lunch date. Oh, yes! No promising, just a quick reply, Can you wait? Just wait?  Until this Tuesday, the initiation was sent to me and I waited a little longer! This morning, S reminded me I'd need to be there at noon, so I can wait at her classroom door.  Nothing really special about the food, but spending time with her at the lunch room and try to match her new friends' names and faces together. Also finding the students that she has mentioned that trouble her. Indeed, it made this last Friday of March special for me and hopefully for S as well.

The fabric I ordered has arrived and it is a little cream, but I simply love it. It is from French General and I really would like to get the same print in gray after seeing the print at my friend's quilt house. It is quiet nice, actually and also in the mulberry red.

All the reproduction prints are sort and I plan on adding some solid colors into the quilt as I am thinking it might help to separate the colors/pattern on the prints and allow the single girl rings have better color focus. It might be the reason that I am not determine to have this quilt cut and piece.

This Wednesday, I headed to my friend's quilt house and used her long-arm quilting machine and quilted the memory quilt. It is about 80"x90". All the sixteen-patch blocks are from my friend's father's shirts. Since I didn't get exact amount of fabric from each shirt. I decided use random layout and ended up having 31 blocks in 12"x12". I used 3 sixteen-patch blocks in the back for the backing.  After this quilt is done, I have so much appreciation to the long-arm quilters. It is not seem as easy as it show in the photos! Lots practices and lots energy for one quilt! This weekending is for basting around the quilt adding binding fabric and put in a great movie to finish this quilt. I, crossed my fingers that they will love it! Homespun fabric is hard to manage, but I really love the texture.

The lake opens wider within this week and the flocks are mostly gone to the north now. I miss the sounds they made at nights. It sounded like lots serious discussions and lots responds throughout the night. Now, we wake up with birds chirping and raindrops lightly drop on the rooftop. It is so fresh and nice! The air has mixed of mud and rain; very spring indeed.

More scraps for me to play this week! It keeps the table top and under table space neat. I've been cutting into some fabric that I been saved for long time and making small projects. I've always think I will run out that print and will never to find it again, but the true is I've always cut them so small and still have enough for next project and next next project.... For last two years, I have became a fat quarter buyers rather than yardage buyer. Are you? I still have varies prints in the yardage for making quilts, but the mind has set, save them.   Hope our next place would have many fabric shops, so I can actually pick out fabric in person rather than study them on the screen for hours.

{THANK YOU} for all the {Kin-Cha-Ku Sewing kit and pattern}. I've read all your messages and enthusiastic about this path and direction that we are heading! Oh, you all have made this journey special and supportive in many ways. Truly warm and supportive; I am wordless and my heart just full...

I shall return next week with an invitation to you and more... Tomorrow is {Earth Hour Day}, S and I are turning off our digital devices to respect the event and we also have an odd job that we are working together.

An early weekending post, instead...


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

quarter inch mark studio: { kin-cha-ku sewing kit}

**quarter inch mark studio exclusive sewing kit; these sewing kits are limited in quantity as I like to keep them special and unique in every aspect. So they will be provided one time only, after sold out will not be able to restock***
If you are interested in any kit, click red text and it will take you to the shop listing. Thank you~ 

{Strawberry Patch}
The selected pinks and floral prints are so inviting! These prints are perfect for some of the soft and delicate strawberry patches that are starting in the backyard in this almost spring season. The a sort of prints are Japanese fabrics and top with some sweet feedsack prints by Widham print~

{Fifi's Attic}
The selected purples, blue prints, and text prints are so retro! Fifi is my sister! Who is elegant and gentle! She has a little "attic" in the corner of her room where she keeps her childhood items in. The pencils from 1988 when dad took the business to Japan, the note pads from 1990 when we took bike ride to the city's stationary shops and we are talking over 10 km distant in bike;  a box of letter that I wrote to her from 1993 to 1997 when she was studying in the US.. so on  These prints perfectly remind me the gentle keeper's memories~  The a sort of prints are from reproduction and Japanese fabric~ 

{Fifi's Attic} Kin-Cha-Ku Sewing Kit, $29

{Posie Garden}
The selected browns and selected yellow prints are so retro and classic! These prints reminded the Summer time when the Posie Garden is full with flowers and the bees are going around to taste the honey dew around the garden. The calm and relax summer days in the backyard pouch where set a pitcher of sun tea and read a book.. perhaps having friends over and watch the sunset!  The a sort of prints are mixed of Japanese retro and reproduction fabrics and top with Darlene Zimmerman's Betty Dear print.

{Posie Garden} Kin-Cha-Ku Sewing Kit, $29

{Apple Orchard }
The selected red and white prints reminded the apple orchard blossoming time and the time to harvest apples in the Fall; passion and inviting~ The prints are selected from the Japanese modern prints and top with the feedsack print by Windham  fabric to give a classic and sweet finish.

{Apple Orchard} Kin-Cha-Ku Sewing Kit, $29   {sold out}

{ Grannie Apples}
The selected greens and selected white prints are so fresh! These prints are perfect for some of the grannie apples you seen from the store; fresh and crunchy! Green is always a color represent new, fresh, energy and the selected white prints echo the greens so well. The a sort of prints are Japanese fabrics and top with Darlene Zimmerman's Betty Dear print.

{Grannie Apples} Kin-Cha-Ku Sewing Kit, $29   {sold out}

****This Sewing Kit includes:

- 22 pages Step by Step instructions with over 60 full colors photos in PDF pattern. After purchase the sewing kit, the PDF pattern will email to your paypal email address within 24 hours and the sewing kit will be send via regular postal mail.

{ Please note: A PDF reader is required, as this is a PDF file. If you don’t have one, Adobe Reader can be downloaded online}.

- A pack of 56 pieces of precut prints to make one Kin-cha-ku

- Two pieces of 10”x10” lining fabric

- One pieces of 3.5”x9” channel fabric

- Two pieces of 20” linen waxed string

You will need to have your own

-two pieces of 10"x10" 100% cotton batting
-sewing Machine
-a small safety pin
-ironing board
-spray adhesive {multi-purpose}
-rotary cutter
-water base pen/ b-gone pen
-100% cotton hand-sewing thread
-hand-quilting thread
-basting needle:long needle
-between needle: #9/#10
-Thimble: leather/plastic/metal ( your preference)
-Hera Marker by Clover

Here is something that I like to share with you:

For many years to come, I have been sewing for passion, sewing for love ones, sewing for good causes, sewing to bring additional support to our little family and it makes our life journey extra homey and memorable. Between the life transitional times, I have questioned myself many times, can I possible turn this life journey around; perhaps take it more seriously about the sewing and turn it into an official one-woman patchwork studio to keep our life running; indeed, I. procrastinated!

For weeks and for months of doubting myself and wondering around... Then a very small voice speak to me; try it!  So,  here I am writing my very first official pattern for the {shop}; photographing, editing, revising, arranging page layout, and cutting all the kits for people who love the patchwork style that shared here. I am quiet nervous about it, but at the same time I am excited about it. I have started the second pattern in the computer for April and have been testing the pattern and third one in the sketchbook and fourth one also underway.  It is not a top secrete away from you, but it does take lots courages to prepared myself to get ready and take extra confidents to write to you about this path that I am taking at this moment.

Most of the tutorials shared here involved lots photos as I am a very much visual learner when it comes to sewing and fix machines. Learning to sew is not difficult, but when using the words to guild the sewing phases sometimes is not as easy as with detail photos to support the descriptions. Like every tutorial, the {kin-cha-ku sewing pattern} comes with over 60 step by step full colors photos and simple easy to follow instructions and also tips share along with the steps. It has total of 22 PDF pages.  I also share how to resize the pattern with clear diagram in the pattern.

Thanks to the wonderful, S aka studio assistant. She has been a wonderful model for all the handmade items for the shop and thanks her smile makes these shoots sweet and special~

I, thank you for all the great supports!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

This and That: light house drive

With the time forwarding one hour in last few weeks, it has been hard for the littler person here in the morning. The sunlight doesn't shine in the window till 8:30 and the rooms keep pretty dim before the littler person leaves the house. It takes a little extra time to let her to wake up and bring up her move to a higher speed.

We lived very closed to the lake; just a few steps walk. We love how we can peak out the windows and observe the lakes and creatures in the surrounding area. The lake opened a few weeks ago and seems get bigger each morning when we drive by. There are flocks swim in the lake, sits in a group, take off as a group. It is interesting to watch their moves and almost dance in the sky. The best of all I love this time/season of the colors; misty and eager to wake up from the long winter gray and dark schemes.

The tree buds are preparing their time for the spring, maybe in a week or two. I can't wait to walk outside more and follow S' bike trail. You know, slowly walk after her and she makes pauses to wait for me to catch up. Time for out and about just makes this spring much excited.

The mind was made yesterday afternoon and I have ordered the background fabric for the {single girl quilt}. Before I made the order, I went through the fabric stashes I have and pick up some low volume prints to accompany {this} print I ordered.  It is a little uncertain about how these background fabric will play together. The one I ordered is floral and these are so much more geometry; I hope will create some nice contrast factors.

A memory quilt is on its way! I hope my friend will like it! It is a random sixteen-patch block from the shirts that her father wore before his passing. Most of the shirts are alike homespun fabric and somewhat was hard to manage the cutting at the first. I used 3/8" seam allowance instead of 1/4" to give leave extra space for open seam ironing.  I plan to meet with her this week and talk about the possible to make this quilt to a 80"x90" instead of 50"x 60". Having this quilt underway, makes my shoulder a bit lighter and I know her family is anxious to have this quilt with them soon.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

quarter inch mark studio

There are few more zakka patchwork style needle books and zippered pouches have added to the {studio shop} and I will be sharing more on these later with you.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring colors

Things are looking really good here! I mean, really well! Thank you for all the well wishes! I am feeling 100% and no side effects.  In case you seen someone dress in a green coat with a hood and a little American Flag brooch, that's me! I am celebrating one year anniversary of the citizenship today! When I mentioned to S last night, she was surprised has it been a year? We are having some fun dinner tonight; the unusual dinner menu, hot dog, chips, soda, pickles and 10 questions from the citizenship test as our dinner game. Would you like to join the mini party here? Please do!

Spring isn't look so colorful outdoor yet, but it has been much colorful in our space as I pulled out some fabric and green plants are greener and fresher with extra warm sunlights during the day. I've wished to open the windows and doors to let the fresh air in, but our furnace still set at 60 degrees; maybe in a month we can do that!

There are many sketch times here for me and I love to share a bit of these with you. It is interesting to see how we change as we move from place to place. We meet new people and encounter old friends. Some friendship continues and some friendship fade away. There are new challenges for S being in her "old" school, but yet new for her when we return last year. I thankful I could spend more time with her and regroup her when she gets home from school. I listen to her frustrations and hug her hard, really hard. I started to write simple card notes to her with little sketches on; colorful and a little dreamy kind; like we used to do. I mail the card to her in the postal mail, so she can get mail during the week.  It is special moment for her to get cards in the mail, since she always says, I never get letters in the mail.  Indeed she has been lately and that puts some smiles on her face and feel quite special in many ways.

I am still procrastinating on the {single girl quilt} background fabric. I seem a bit  indecisive this time  and just not very settle with the background prints and the arrangement of the quilt. It probably has been a very tough decision lately for me to take next move on the cutting and sorting the fabrics.  I might go ahead and order the background fabric, so I can see it in person then make final mind.  Sometimes, it works out for me, but sometimes, I know I end up feeling the other way around.

There are few linen and cotton blended fabric that were picked up when we were oversea. I am ready to use them for some sewing. I do have an obsession of collection linen and cotton blended prints. They make nice one piece pouch cuts and the weight of the fabric is nice on many sewing projects.

The studio is getting more organized here! I have finished few more needle books for the {shop} and will add them to the shop later the week and few pouches for the shop as well. Between times, I have written and finished a sewing pattern;  S, aka studio assistant also have been working very hard here with me during the weekending time. Meanwhile, we both look forward spring break {the end of the week}, lots movies to rent from the library, books to read, and posts to write and share~


Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring talk

I am back! Thank you SO much for accompanied me for last few weeks' almost wordless posts. I miss having good conversation with you. There are a lot of good happenings here, but also some pauses that we made between times, I have been under the weather from time to time, I called it spring virus and surely didn't prepare for it at all. My moves were slower, but always thought when the sun came in the window each day, I will feel another level better.

Then indeed, my time at the studio gets longer each day! There are a lot of sewing, cutting, small patchwork projects, and hand-quilting are going around the studio space. Listen to old favorite radio station, play almost same songs over and over. Drink a small pot of fresh brew coffee to awake the slow moving bugs, pulling fabric out, finishing up some promising projects, cross of to do list and feel accomplished each day and making some good moves! Indeed the good ones!

My friend {Maggie} came to us in May 2013 in a small kit. She travelled from OR to ND to Japan to Taiwan, to Taxes, then here in the Midwest. Each time, when I pull her out from the package, I said to myself, I'll sit down and make Maggie, but the motivation level wasn't there, so she waited another few months.  Finally, she came alive two weekendings ago. She is adorable and delightful to make and I have ordered more felt to make more Maggie to send away.  Let's say, I am planning ahead for  Christmas this year. My Maggie loves to travel, so she has a little messenger bag and another bag that I am making for her to take on her trips!

Well, it might sound hilarious ridiculous! But, I made Lucky a backpack! It is a so over due gift for him! As you might remember Lucky hops on scooter to take rides. Sometimes, we travelled off the city limited and we often forget to bring treats for him. I've always told Lucky, I'll make you a backpack, so you can bring your own little treats.  Before made this backpack, I have made one and totally failed in the dimension. When I show it to my sister via Skpye she commended Lucky will need to lose at least 5 pounds before he can fit in then my sister remeasured him again and found out he is 1.5" wider than he was last year.  With the new measurement that tells us something, he is being spoiled not just by us, but many of us!

To accompany the little grocery tote I made a few weeks back, I though an apple tree might be fun! This apple tree is made with wool and felt blended.  I love how these textures apply to the apples and though the little girl might be able to count her apples from the tree and learn a bit of colors as well.  I miss making felt toys for little children as I used to make them for S when she was a wee toddler.  The alphabet book might have been the one that I miss making the most!

Remember the presentation I gave awhile ago? S brought back a pack of thank you cards from school. I read through each card and amazed how much the students have enjoyed the presentation which was about my home-country and culture.  Each card made my smile bigger and felt that sharing is indeed positive and good cause!

I have purposely building the reproduction fabric stashes here. It is a collection for making the {single girl quilt}! The background fabric is still in search, but I have my eye on {this print} and {this print} for a few days now.  I hope to make my mind soon, so I can start making it and send it oversea before we pack up.

And lots felt works are happening here as well! I am in love of making miniature works lately! Tiny stitches in tiny sizes!  I am still playing around the ideas and adding lots new sketches each day before bedtime and studio time. I used some of sketch ideas and combine with new freelance idea as I work on them.

As you can tell, I am indoor a lot more than I used to! This winter has gotten a bit long and the spring isn't truly arrived. You know, S even attempted to ride on the bike in a bit of {snowy} afternoon and kept telling me it is so nice out.. come and play; then I waved to her from the window and watch flocks taking their moves and wondering if they are ready for their next destination.

Lately,  I've found the joy of being myself in the studio and working quietly throughout the day.  Working towards some ideas and making them come true, making few phone calls to greet some friends that haven't get in touch since we moved away, scheduling doctor visits for S,  pull out papers and pens to write in letter format rather quick emailing, getting fabric stashes organized, transfer sketches into digital images, and of course to get better!

Oh.. It's only Monday and hope I didn't talk too much in a day, since I plan to talk more later..