Monday, May 25, 2015

A Daffodil Joy Quilt

The first time I met Daffodil was when I still lived in a small town Iowa. It was selling 2.99 a bunch. It is really pretty during the spring season, but it would probably still called winter season. A friend of mine dropped a bunch at my front door and sent a little note with that and wish us a happy spring. Ever since then, I would purchase a bunch when they are a variable in the store and set in the kitchen counter.

The colors of butter cream yellow and the green bring so much energy to the still white scene Midwest. I can't tell you the pleasant feeling that I always have when daffodils live in our place. The bit of colors really lighten up a long day out and about. They are seriously the most pretty and elegant flowers in the stores.

I appricate all the quilt concepts that have developed from last ten years, but truly I am loving the heirloom quilt patterns more so. Patterns that are simple and easy to go and about! A secrete to you all, I really  am not a big trimmer when it comes to making quilts. It might be the major reason that I don't make so many large quilts now! I have learned to love and appreciate the process of trimming a little bit more after the half sandwich quilt. I can't wait to tell you all about that process. Oh, you are gonna to think I am a nuts!

Back to the Daffodil Joy Quilt. It is simple a Double Irish Chain quilt pattern that I found in the internet and modified the block size.  You might not noticed from the photos, but I miss counted the assembling block rows and ended up one row short for each block. Oh, can you tell?

When searching for the prints for this quilt, I knew they all needed to corresponding well to each other and somewhat has that buttercream yellow scheme. I though the outcome is pretty good! I used up some of long saved yellow prints, but I know this quilt needs that print to go with! "Come on, you can always find some special prints", this is what I have told myself lately! For the white print, I used Kona Snow white! I had a big decision to make between random lower value prints, but the snow white brings the butter cream yellow together even more.

For the backing, Remember the two prints that I shared with you? I went with the soft green gingham print. For the purpose of this quilt, I intended to keep the colors soft and light. The {other green print} would definitely give it a higher contrast for the quilt, but it might be over powering the quilt outlook which I tried to avoid at the first place.

The quilt is hand-quilted and there's another oops! Can you tell? The hand-quilting lines should turned out squared, but it ended up to rectangles. I didn't notice this until I was half way through. Oh! I hope the receiver won't mind at all! I used 100% cotton batting! It is hard for the fingers, but at the same time hand working through the cotton batting has soften the quilt a little more. I used the same print for the backing as any embellishment is not a so great idea for this quilt.

The quilt is finished at 50"x50" and would a great size for our dear friends. After making this quilt, I know after all the work in process quilts I will make a large version of the Double Irish Chain Quilt.  I still in believe that everyone needs a Irish Chain Quilt somehow.

Making quilts for a friend is nerve wracking! I truly hope this quilt will bring lots joys to them and will be use very often! I also love to see and hear the pieces I made from their photos or in the email they wrote me.

The quilt has been packed in S' super large drawstring bag for the protection and store in the luggage. Off we go hand deliver this special quilt to our special friends on our way home!

Do you have your Daffodil Joy in the spring season? It was good to see them come and sad to see them go, but they will come back again!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quiet time

Do you remember the first time you travel or even school field days? My very first school field trip happened in my first grade and the location was the big green grass inside the school. You might not know that schools in Taiwan has walls and gates around the school property and students access their way within school. I remembered weeks before first school filed trip, I would talked over and over at our dinner time. I asked mother and father if I can buy any treats and bring them to school. Of course, I always asked to be sit still and finish dinner. Likely the same conversation taken over and over next few nights, but I never get the answer if I can buy treats to school. I remembered, maybe was the night before that I asked father again, he smiled and handed me 50 dollars (which is around USD1.50). You might think with all that money what can I get. Actually back then I could buy lots treats and still have changes to send back to father. I remember I bough all my favorite kinds of treats that mother always said, NO! I got two chocolate bars, two small bags of chips, and maybe a bottle of drinks.

Then as I get older school field trip would taken a little further away from the city. The last school field trip was before the high school graduation. It was 4 hours away from my hometown and we got to spend two nights in the local village and had dinners with classmates. It felt quiet growing up at the time and yes, this time father sent 2000 dollars with me, which was about USD 95.  I think I spent USD 10 and bought all kinds of treats; yes, more chocolate bars and more soda pop cans and the rest of changes sent back to father when I returned from the trip.

Oh, believed me this was just the start of my travel journey. I never pictured myself travel so much when I was a kid! I always though I will stay in the house I grew up and lived in that same place till I am a hundred year old. But one thing that I didn't predict is that once you start something fun you never want to see it ends!  I think that description is closer to who I am and how I see life in my little perspective!

As of last week, I put a note for taking long break from the part-time job. I am in preparing of our trip to visit family oversea and needed the time to slow down. I didn't write a long list for what to accomplish or to achieve, but I knew that I like to get half sandwich quilt top done first then the birthday quilt. Oh, how did I not think about the time frame for making the quilt. The half sandwich quilt has total of 100 blocks and involved 800 half triangle squares and plus the trimming. Each day of last week, I was able to sew for 5 hours on blocks then another 2 hours pressing and trimming.  I am so very satisfied when I put all the assembled rows together and gave it a nice gentle press. Oh, it is a huge quilt! The backing will be a fun concept; lots wording for sure!

I hoped to get to S' birthday quilt, but I have trouble to walk away the #mysmallworldqal  {My small world Quilt Along}. You can read all the detail information at Kerry's blog aka {verykerryberry}
The most attractive reason for this quilt that I decided to follow along is the idea of small world that were shared!  After learning this quilt will be all the small piecing throughout I just can't resist! I plan to hand-quilting the entire quilt after the quilt top is completed! Most of all the pattern instructions are so well written. I like how this quilt is break down to sections and parts. It makes so much sense for someone like me; reading instruction step by step. I prepared my blocks by following each part's diagram. I didn't jump ahead and cutting all of them. To be so honest with you. I get confused with all the pieces I just cut! I didn't specifically pull any fabrics out for this quilt, but use some of my favorite prints. I combined some fussy cuts in the window prints and some random cuts. It is nice to make some mixed randomness to the quilt. I plan to apply same to other parts of this quilt as well. Well, it is ok to get clutter around the space once in awhile.

There are also few small accomplishments from the week. I finished two mini dumplings and they are so perfect for the trips and little things. I will be taking one for Fifi aka my sista, so she can put her little things in that. I finished so many patchwork piecing and started quilting them. They are in my backpack now, so maybe I can try to hand-quilt them this time while we are waiting for our flight.

This is actually an unexpected trip as I planned a road trip to West coast this summer, but with all the happening at home. It seems a top priority and important to see family. We'll do the road trip next time. There's always next time and I think the west coast friends will still be there when we come visit.

It has been really challenging two years after graduate school. I am not able to explain some of the disappointments that I have to myself, but I have learned and failed so much since then. Sometimes, I do feel all the people around me are judging me, but I think truly that I am the one put the judge filter in front of my own face. I think that finding self-compassion still on my top of list and getting out of the depression time is important as well. Meanwhile, I will continue create, sew, sell my works, and some patterns for the future. Finding my own voice is important and that new balance I try to keep up is slowly making process! I hope you all will still be here to keep me motivate and support me like you have always been!

The house is all pick up and the last load of laundry has finished this morning! Luggages are packed and the fridge is empty. Since I determined to travel light this time. The laptop will stay home, therefore I will not be able to blog at all this summer until we return. It is a piece heavy hardware to take with me, since I am getting older!  I will be posting  photos via Instagram and you can find me at quarterinchmark or you can check out the photos on the blog sidebar.

I have {The Daffodil Joy Quilt} finished and packed away. The post is scheduled ready for you next week and if time allows, I will get the another post up on the little patchwork tote that I finished for a little friend of mine that I will be meeting this summer.

Meanwhile, I hope you have a wonderful summer:
Soak up so much sunshine as you can!
Drink lots sun tea
Enjoy lots fresh summer veggies and fruits!

On the other hand....

I will be...
-Soak up way too much sun and get burn
-Drink lots bubble tea and get sick
-Enjoy lots summer veggies and fruits and probably ask father if I can stay till I'm a hundred year old
-Get lots Lucky kisses and want to bring him back
-Much cousins time and probably will get into some little troubles since we'll joke badly about our parents
- Best of all, I will be home! And you know "Home is where everyone belongs"!!

I need this, actually {we} all need this!


p.s As of now, we are probably have boarded our flight to Tokyo Japan. We'll be spend a few days there and yes, that involved fabric shopping, eating good rice, traveling with a child and best of all meeting our special friends!

p.s.s. The {shop} is open and only available for the PDF file patterns as I will not be able to ship your orders while I am away!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Random: May!

Did you celebrated May basket day? I remember we used to celebrated it when I lived in the small town of Iowa. In that paper basket, there were homemade popcorns, M&M candies, and a piece of homemade sugar cookie and best of all is a little message written on the paper! May used to be a month that seems never swing by fast enough. It always feels so far away when I lived in ND. I was always in layers of clothes by the end of semester and still in layers of clothes at the beginning of the June. Now, here in central south-ish Iowa; windows have been opened, ceiling fans have been spinning, shorts are out and wool blankets are tucked away. Birds are quiet busy talking these days! But all is good!

I can't wait for Sunday to come. I have been adding things to the to-do list. It will be some kind of gardening related projects that I have been fancy to try. Maybe a few planters on the side of the house then plan some tulips for next year. I still give high hopes of some herb pots if I can get any, but don't trust me on this one. I am not a good green thumb, indeed a worse one! Maybe some of you can send your tips on my way! I really need some helps!

After hours of trimming, I finished all the blocks, but you know the true is that I should have waited! I should have waited till I purchase a squared ruler before I started, but it is late! The trimming job isn't too bad, but not perfect! I have been busy pinning them back together and stitch up. The first block looks fine, but really could be better!  On that to-do list also involved a trip to craft store and purchase a squared ruler. I never though I needed one until I started a few projects lately. I think it will help me out with better trimming on the sides. Oh, Yes I get a little bit impatient sometimes!

I have been spinning myself around as well! I am always on the freeway these days! Drive for lots rehearsals and recitals! Oh, I bring all my patchwork pieces with me then sat quietly hand-quilt them. Then I read a few pages of the books that I brought along with, likely quilting books! I am into some vintage patterns lately. Oh, really they are quiet delight to read through. Then I made few more stitches! I bet I would need new prescription for my new glasses this summer!