Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A mini birthday quilt!

Before I start writing this post, I filled in a box of animal crackers and a cup of hot tea by me. I am not sure how long is this post going to be, but I know for sure I will want to pause and think if there's anything that I miss in the writing.

This mini quilt finished in October and has been shipped and received! It is a mini quilt to my dearest friend, Elnora aka {elnorac} on IG or Flickr. She has a birthday in November and I planned to make a mini quilt for her since her last birthday.

Oh boy, let me think the first time I "met" her! I think it was back when Flickr still a popular place {2012} for  quilters and crafters upload their photos and share comments. I've noticed that Elnora always wrote the nicest comments among many others then we started to chat, exchanged emails, then last year we met in {Jamestown, ND} for real!

Elnora is just what she sounded in her comments and emails ; sweet, honest, and kind!! We spent sometimes together walking  and talking a lot! We saw "white cloud" the rare white buffalo and S had a blast running around! We have so much fabric talk and things to catch up! It was so nice to meet Elnora in person and it does feel that we have been knowing each other for years!  I had wished that we could sew together and have longer visit, but the trip down to Jamestown is a little far away from the city we were. So, we had to leave before it gets too late!

Ever since our meeting, we keep good contact throughout the time! She became a very important friend to me us! While we were oversea, Elnora sent holiday and greeting cards to S, so it made S felt  she wasn't being forgotten by friends in the states. S and Elnora have great loves for animals, so they have many comments on helping and taking care of animals. You know, it makes her feel special that mama's friend is also my friend!

I especially appreciate her extended friendship and encouragement throughout my last many months down time! She has encouraged me in many ways! We have been on the phone for many times and she always tries to cheer me up with positive aspect! Words are hard to explain the gratitude I have on her friendship and kindness!

Since we both make pouches, I thought a little mini for her sewing studio would be great as a birthday gift! Once when we were on the phone I was  picking out fabric and I'd told her that I am working on a mini quilt! Then the next time we spoke again, I would told her I am almost finished hand-quilting part. Then when the time come closer to November, I asked her if she likes some homemade caramel corns, so I can send them on her way with the birthday mini quilt.

When picking out fabrics for this mini quilt, I knew that something fresh and retro! Sometime that's about Elnora! I worked on the fabrics for a few weeks before I start the cutting. I enjoyed working on the piecing a log for this mini! As I did some math on the measurement and the mock up turned out really successful on the first-try {It never happened for me before, since I always am between 1/8"-1/4" measurement}. Finding the backing is a bit challenging for this mini quilt! Then I finally decided on the IKEA text print, so I could make a quilt label in the back to indicate the information. I am so pleased how this mini turns out! I love hanging mini quilts on the wall. I think it makes a personal and memorable space for the quilter and quilter's friendships!!

I have always feel honored to meet people in any social medial forum. It is amazing how the world got smaller with all the social medial platforms and how we get to know each other a bit more even in a different time zone and speak different native languages! I do always think that sewing isn't just a skill, but a way to give and extended a different kind of friendships! I've met so many friends here and we share a little bit of family, kids, and fabric talk! Encourage each other in different ways!

Thank you my dear friend! For all your time, encouragement, and everything!

Happy Birthday, Elnora!!  Let's plan a sewing day soon!


Friday, November 21, 2014

Warming up! /update!

Fabrics/ Apple Cake/ New plant

We are warming up here! I am back to finish up this post in the morning! It has been awhile to stay up late and trying to finish up writings. My brain wants a break before 10p.m. now! If I try to push it hard, then I always end up erase all the writing and wanted to rewrite again, but chances are I deleted them again.

This week has been busy for us! A new schedule, a new job, and trying to set up a new routine! Did I tell you that I am comfortable on Freeway now? I do drive slower than other vehicles and try to keep bubble space between cars in front of us! The new challenge driving on Freeway lately has been driving in dark and get into the crowd traffic on our way home from downtown.  It feels like venturing in the dark forest and S often comment from the back of the seat; Mommy, the cars are flashing by so fast! Are you slowing down? I replied, Yes.. I am only going on 45 now! Ok! take your time, mom! ....

As you see we have added a little more holiday into the house. S' little tree was up over last weekending, my tin collections and a little bit of this and that. The next sewing for the holiday is the new stockings. S has her color picked out and I am still between blue and brown; maybe one of each? Then new garlands would be nice to add to the house and new ornaments sewing would be great! All the holiday bits do bring some warmth into the house and some coziness! Oh, the tree will be up this weekending and we both are excited!

The oven has been utilized more than just baking pizza lately! Yesterday morning, I pulled out flour, sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, eggs, and used up the last two Gala apples for the apple cake! The house smelled so great with all the cinnamon and sugar, but I waited for my little companion to return home from school! We both had two slices before dinner time and it is so great!  We ended up having a late dinner and wrapped up our day late as well. Oh, the cake making has just started, the next one is banana bread pudding.  It calls for day-old french bread or sourdough bread which is unlike the regular cake batter. Oh, yes! I'll be sharing this soon!

Lately I have damaged a few more plants here! It seems like they don't like the way I placed them. Some are doing fine and others just turned brown and looked so sad! I have always though I'd grow an indoor herb garden, but never have great success on that!  I am giving it another try this winter again! Hope they will do better till next spring/summer comes! Do you grow any herb indoor? I love to hear what you do to keep them happy and healthy!

{Thank You so much} for Stella's quilt! She was tickled with many belated birthday wishes! She does love all that kind and generous mention on the comments and emails you send. She often feel special from that and so do I!

Have a great weekending that's coming ahead of you! We'll be cozy up here and making lists for our holiday baking soon!


Monday, November 17, 2014

Dear Stella

S' 10th birthday quilt looks so festive now! A little holiday-ish look? Oh, you might want to bring a cup of tea or coffee and join me with this quilt making business journey!  Many of you know that each year, I make a birthday quilt for my little girl, S. I still love the idea of a year a quilt for S. It indicates the year, the time and almost a bit of story telling! S always loves and proud to share each quilt story when friends visit. Oh.. She will tell you how she loves drag quilts from one place to another, use quilt for picnic blanket, set up a tent with lots quilts to hide under, quilt that she snuggled up..., so on... and for the 10th birthday quilt it just like every other year. It was late!

"Is that Christmas Candy Cane, mommy?" S asked! It was probably the first time S saw quilt blocks lay on the living room floor. " It is a little early for Christmas sewing, don't you think?" S said to me. It was probably back in September sometimes. The quilt layout has been moved around every other day for a good two weeks then finally finalized to the final version. To avoid my indecisive mind, I went ahead and sew the blocks together right away! You know, I really don't like rip sewing seams off!

This is the S' 10th birthday quilt and I was only 7 months plus late! You know she didn't mind it at all! I love how the red and white stripes shifted around this quilt and how the other 25 different prints added the charm to it!  This quilt has two different quilting pattern and was quiet a challenging for me to attempt two designs. For the backing, I used the Far Far Away reprint in cotton; Princess and the Pea.

After finished the quilt { my birthday; it was one of the birthday gift to myself; sew all day long}. I stored the quilt away till next day. I spent the morning pin up the quilt on S' room and photograph it. Did a little bit of cleaning in her room. Around 4p.m. I heard the key turning in the front door then the sound of  "I AM BACK"! Loud and Clear! When S gets home from school, the first thing she always does is find me and with a must tell mama how school day been time then went to her room unpack her backpack! After shared her day, she went to her room and she spoke loudly to me from her room {studio is just right next to her room}, "Is the candy cane quilt for me? I though you love red and white and thought you made it for youself! I had big giggle!  When I walked in her room, S was looking at the fabrics and tried to find the quilt label then I show the quilt label to her and told her it wasn't a fancy one! She gave me a big hug, a big kiss then a big {Thank you, mommy}!

First of all, I would like to Thank my friend, Doe helped me to start out this quilt! She sent me a stack of varies width of red and stripes fabric then from there I ordered a few yards more. I have had the vision of this 10th birthday quilt to be a little bit grown up look; less colors and focus on just two values.  It gives nice strong statement and in a very simple way! Half triangle sewing are great and perfect for interesting composition layouts.  I didn't love all the trimming at the beginning, but I learned to love it after all!

Sometimes, it is hard to believe having a 10 year-old in the house! It feels like having a little friend sometimes, but the 10-year-old is still my little girl! After 10 years parenting, I'd say I am a better parent now,  but not a perfect one! I learn to share with S in good and bad! The good part always covers the bad part! There are always challenging days at our home! Oh, yes! There are name calling and you are in big trouble moments here as well! She tries her way to push the boundaries and rules around as she always does! When she was a little one, she kept good manner up for months.  Now, it seems like she pushes more often! As this pre-teen stage coming around our home, there are much to make it right then make it perfect! More respect, more responsibilities, and more thankful to life!  I hope these will help S in her life time eventually!

I am always thankful when she comes home with a smile and lots to share! The new school has been wonderful! I can't really ask for more! Teachers are kind and school friends are fun! Best of all, she is feeling comfortable and settle-in at HOME again! It really has been a challenging move for both of us! She has been the biggest cheerleader and always my number one fan!

Having the 10th birthday quilt ready for S is a big satisfaction for me! I do think that this birthday quilt making will be a big impact in her life and cheers in the memory lane as she gets older! There will be the 11th birthday quilt soon, then 12, 13, 14,15,16... I do look for that opportunity comes every year! Each year, I noticed I ordered extra yards of fabric for the quilt backing. This year was 5 yards of backing and last year was 3.5 yards. I plan on making the quilt to 80"x90" now, so she has enough room for her long legs! Yes, kids don't get smaller, they only grow bigger! I found this so true as I went through the all the infant and toddler stage boxes last month! I had to show S how wee bit she was and she looked at me, I wore that? Indeed, lots baby clothes have been saved! Someday I like to make a quilt out of clothes I made for her and clothes that were wore in the traditional ceremony.

The 11th quilt fabric has been pulled and I can't wait to share with you the next birthday quilt! I need to order a few more print to contrast some of prints then have been pulled. Lots hope this quilt won't be too late!

{Thank you} for all the comments! I careful read through each one of them! Thank you for all the support and encouragement! I never though how this blog would have reached out so many of you in world wide! I am honored to have so many friends out there and thinking of us and thank you for all your kindness! All from our button of heart!  

Check out S' birthday quilts  2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008,


Thursday, November 13, 2014


It has been six weeks since I logged in this space! I am a bit nervous to write again! First of all, I would like to THANK YOU for the ones who have emailed me with your cares and concerns. Thank you, I've read your emails and comments, but I wasn't ready to write you back! Then I like to apologize my absence in this space for so long and without a post to let you know that I will be gone!

After the last post, I was not doing very well! Everything kind of falling apart on my side and I knew I have to log off all the social media and be quiet for awhile. I took all these time to reflect, recharge, and to find self-compassion! If you ask me, have you found it? I'd answer you, Yes! for most of the part!

October was a long month to pass through! I spent most of the time watch movies and watch more movies! I think I've watched over 40 movies that month! There weren't any motivation for me to sew or create! It felt good to stay away from studio for the first week of October, but there was a guilt of not finishing up S' quilt as planned! The second week, I started to work on the quilt! It was a big satisfaction for me in a long long time! I finished binding the quilt on my birthday! I put the quilt away since it was too late to get the quilt ready on S' bed as she was about home in less than 5 minutes!

We had a mini celebration for the birthday; Pho for dinner then we got two cupcakes! I had red velvet and S had rainbow! There were birthday cards arrived in the mail, birthday phone calls, and birthday package arrived from my dear friend, {Kerry}. Of course that night Lucky was on the other side of Skype, celebrated the birthday! It was a good day for us!

The rest of October I pretty much repeated the tea, movie, and cookie time! I did have small accomplishments. I finished a birthday mini quilt for a dear friend, I cooked most of the days, from Japanese to Korean, then back to our usual cooking. Made carmel popcorn for the Halloween and it was so good. We shared with friends and mail out some!

Then eventually, I got tired of movie, tea, and cookie time! Slowly I found myself spend a few hours in a day and a few day a week in the studio again. I finished a few new pouches, finished retake the cover photo for the second sewing pattern {the pattern was written and finished in June}, finished a tutorial that's coming for you, and started holiday sewing. Best of all, I got a part-time job and will start very soon!

It feels like my feet are finally landed on the ground again! It feels quiet good amazing to have a positive attitude and come back here with an enthusiastic again! I, Thank You, for all the supports and encouragements for all the time that you here with our journey, good and bad!

I know one post wouldn't cover all the things that I like to share with you, but I hope this one is a good start! I will be sharing S' quilt, mini quilt for my dear friend, new pouches, new pattern, the tutorial for you and the excitement of the holiday that's coming up!

Meanwhile,  S and I are getting ready for winter coziness here! If you are in the winter wonderland part of the world. Please dress up in woolies and cozy outfits! If you are in the sunny part of the world. Please enjoy your summer season!