Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Good Afternoon


As I sit down this morning to write the post. I realized that soon will need to turn another calendar page; March.  I have been under the weather most of the time in February, big and small. It was probably after a trip I took to the city a few weeks back and didn't dress up warm enough that day. It might had been a flu or just a cold! I didn't pay much attention until I kept running a stream of headache in the mornings as I wake up and later afternoon fevers.  I have not been making a decent meal after that. Mostly just take what we have then heat up and there were some carry outs from our local Hong Kong Style Restaurant.  Last two days, I have finally not getting a single headache and fever and started feeling some good strength back!

Last night, I made a banana cream pie for today and I'll soon making the pie crust after writing the post. We'll do a chicken pot pie for dinner today! It will be so nice that finally a homemade meal and decent meal time together; sit, eat and visit!

Good Afternoons-
I like to say that I am mostly productive during good afternoons this month. I had some good finishes during good afternoons; Illustrator editing, patchworking, responding emails, card making, writing and reading books. Most of the time,  the workroom is warmer during the afternoon hours and I could be in the space that I am feeling warm and get into productive mode! Indeed the little space heater helps!

New Book-
It has been maybe 3 or 4 years since I bough a new pastry magazine. I always like to check out one during the Christmas seasons, but I didn't run into one for awhile.  The new {cake and pie} magazine that I found at the book store last Saturday was perfect; cake + pie. As I walked around the magazine stands and checking out everything, from Cook for two people, Cast iron meal, Pasta making...etc. I spotted the cake and pie title and started reading it. Gosh! I need to have it! I especially love the way how they garnish the cake with fresh fruits. I am looking forward to make chocolate caramel tart after we finish the banana pie. Um.. they also have a couple bundt cakes there, my favorite kind of cake.

Farmer's Wife 1930's Quilt Blocks-
After seeing my dear friend, Kerry aka {verykerryberry}'s Farmer's Wife Quilt finish. I am anxious to get my 99 blocks out and get the quilt top piecing going ! Yesterday afternoon, I finished 8 half triangle blocks from the book {double Yay-Yay}! I managed to print out the paper piecing patterns a few days ago then spent another day maybe 20 minutes to cut off the templates then another good afternoon pick out the fabrics. Have precut all the paper piecing pieces; step by step. Now I look forward a good afternoon start cutting the triangles for making blocks into rows. It will be a truly  sampler quilt to have as I always though I'd make a large sampler quilt someday! Without Kerry's quilt along it wouldn't be happening! Thanks, Kerry for hosing the {quilt along}!

Scrappy Style Ocean Wave Quilt-
It has been pieced into a quilt top by now. The seams in the back are all nicely press and the raw edges of the quilt top has been basted to avoid lose threads. It is such a great accomplishment for me! As I looked back the photos first taken for this quilt making was in August 2016.  I've enjoyed every bit of this patchwork quilt making! Time was well spent during the process,  trimming {not my favorite part, but I learn to enjoy it}, piecing and ironing.  Most importantly is using what I have in the stashes! It has been nice that some of these fabrics are being utilized and put in good use!  I'll save the full quilt view for another post with a simple tutorial for you. Maybe you'll like to make a scrappy style Ocean Wave Quilt.  Stay turn! 

mini Patchwork Sampler
It has been a nice journey to finish up the pattern. I have always done a bit more testing on my side before send to the pattern testers. In that, I am knowing my patterns and can be clear on each step and find the best way to approach in the pattern writing. The goal as a pattern designer is when you are reading the pattern it seems/ sounds that I am just right next to you and walk you through each step. I am excited to see some really cute patchwork blocks over Instagram last few days and the positive feedbacks for the pattern. {Thank You}.

Next Quilt- 
There is always a quilt that I like to make. Maybe last couple of years, I started to slow down in quilt making. I have accomplished 2 quilts a year, the most maybe 3. I found myself particular like quilt that involved with longer process and seeing time that have been accumulated through out the patchwork blocks. Mostly the process is more important than the outcome! It is like building a time passage into something to keep. I always like to pull out {the quilt} that I made for myself for my 34th birthday, gosh that sounded young to me now.  That was the first time that I made a quilt for myself! The colors that draw me in the most at the time and it took a lot of steps to make a quilt block. Also I hand quilted it and it is my quilt! I didn't really like to share this quilt with anyone, but myself! There are a few places needed to be repaired and the colors are fade throughout washes. I though I'd make next quilt for myself! It might be another long quilt making process, but I am looking forward a quilt for myself again.



Wednesday, February 15, 2017

mini Patchwork Sampler Pattern

Hello! I am thrilled to introduce my newest sewing pattern today, {mini Patchwork Sampler Pattern}. I have been work on this pattern since 2014 shortly after we moved into our first home in Iowa. The idea of fill in our first steady home with mini quilts and handmade touches by myself. I played with fabrics, colors, the scales and layouts in different mini quilts; here and here back in 2014. 

This mini Patchwork Sampler Pattern is truly inspired from the classical quilt blocks from my early quilting influences and love of making small scale works with small hand stitches. 

One of the major focus I have on desiging this mini Patchwork Sampler is the scale of each patchwork block. When I started design this sampler, I knew it has to be something small, allows to play with fabric scraps, fun, and great time management.

Each block unfinished at 5"x5" and finished 4.5"x4.5". Each patchwork block also works great for incorporate into other projects; bags, small coasters, quilt labels, and unlimited possibilities.

By time management, I meant the sampler will  turn out to be a satisfy mini quilt that can be accomplish and enjoy in a timely manner; mini! The fabrics requirement is what you have already in your scraps and stashes.

Let me talk a little bit about the scarps usage for this mini Patchwork Sampler. The biggest scrap size you need is 3"x3" and the smallest scraps size is 1.25"x1.25" for this sampler pattern. It is quite easy to go to scrap basket(s) and find these sizes and sizes in between.

my little tip on scraps sorting- 
I've always sorted my scraps by colors; blue, red, yellow, pin, brown.. so on. Then within each color I sort them by sizes. I don't go over the board on exact sizes matching. Any scraps that's larger than 3" goes in one pile and anything smaller than that stays. Any scraps that still allows me to fold in half (8" or bigger) likely they will be set back with fat quarters and fat eighths.  If there are strips of scraps likely sort them together and yes by colors.  From time to time, I cut them into 1.5"x1.5" or 2"x2" or simple patchwork projects.

I made four mini Patchwork Samplers during the designing process and two have made into the final photograph stage.  The first mini Patchwork Sampler is work from solid fabrics {above} that used from {DS Modern Solid}. I focus on colors arrangement and was looking after modern twists and lustrous hue in a simplicity outcome. The crispy and fresh colors obtained a nice clean and delicate look.  

The second mini Patchwork Sampler is focus on using scraps that I have collected over the years. Some printed fabrics were last bit of what I have and they were just perfect  for this sampler project; I used all scraps only for this scrappy style patchwork sampler, as well as the binding. 

There are modern twists and elements have designed into this mini Patchwork Sampler. I work with the patchwork block layouts and as well as considered colors elements into this mini quilt. The Ohio Star is a fun twist where you could see that star ray's layout in a different rotation; light and dark.

This is a skill builder pattern. There are 12 patchwork blocks in this mini Patchwork Sampler Pattern. From the simple straight-line sewing to making half square triangles then to basic paper piecing blocks; no Y seams invloved. If you are new to quilt making this is a great projects to start for a mini quilt expereince and for experienced quilters this would be a perfect aside projects to use your scraps baskets. 

 I have designed and illustrated two quilt labels for the pattern.  You can use in the back of the mini sampler or other quilts or project you have. Over the years, I have learned the importance of making a label in a quilt. It is not necessary for having a big message in the back, but a date, name of the maker, and simple descriptions in the back for years to come.

As always, I finished the mini quilts with hand-quilting method. You can find {hand quilting tutorial} that I wrote in the past.  I truly enjoy and compassion about small detail, elegant, and handmade touch of any handmade works. You may use machine quilting as desired.

You can find the mini Patchwork Sampler Pattern via my {Etsy shop} and {Crafty Store}.

About the Pattern-

-This pattern comes with 21 pages in PDF formate. You'll need Adobe Reader to open the PDF file and it is free download from {Adobe Reader}.

-Each patchwork block is illustrated and given specifications of each measurement.

-Each patchwork block comes with clear illustrated diagrams.

-Step by Step photos on assembling and the layout arrangements.

-Sewing tips are fully illustrated in colored diagrams.

-Paper piecing blocks are given in clear instructions.  You'll need basic paper piecing knowledge to make the paper piecing blocks. The instruction is very specific and straightforward and not a Y seams involved in the piecing.

- Two original designed and illustrated quilt labels are included in the pattern.

- The mini Patchwork Sampler finished at 17"x22.5"

{Thank You} for your encouragements and enthusiasm coming here to read about my patchwork journey. I am beyond honored that you have purchased patterns and felt in love with it. Your kindly responds are really special to me.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

the birthday quilt

This is the 12th birthday quilt . I made it just a day before the new birthday arrived.  It has taken almost a year to finish and gift. The first few months were about collecting the fabrics that I had in mind for this quilt then I didn't plan the quilt size well, so ran short on a couple prints. I've gone back to the fabric store for more yardage cuts, but a couple prints were sold out by them. I had a little bit hesitation for changing color, the blue print was the second choice. But I went ahead and used it and though it turned out to be a nice breaking color, such a nice fresh add on! 

There are a couple music sheet prints I have used for this quilt as music has always been big part for S. Whenever I see a good music sheet fabric print, I like to purchase a half yard and collect them. A couple prints were from our trips to Japan last couple visits and have been saving for, as always! 

This quilt is quite different from other quilts that I made for her. It is a nice soft pastel combinations. Something soft, original, and fresh to speak! I've been thinking that in this upcoming time will be more noise in the change of learning new self and finding new paths of who she is. 
Maybe a quiet quilt that to represent a time that she could be think of something be thankful,  time to be quiet, life to be spontaneous, and speak with calm and generous...   

The quilt measured at 88"x84". It is considered a large quilt to machine quilt at home for me. It was taken a good 7 fully winded bobbins, one broken needle, and on small finger cut (ouch)! It always a joy and maybe feeling more proud to have another handmade birthday gift to be ready and being cuddle from time to time. 

The backing print is used a large music sheet print ( 2 yards) that I've had for years and pieced with the remaining fabrics from the quilt top then added few other prints that would go well with it.  I tried not to worry about the backing so much for this quilt. The randomness is just a nice call for it. Using fabrics that I have instead of acquire more for the backing is a big saving. 

The binding is used gingham print that I've been using for a couple of quilts now. I really like the classic finish look quilt. You might not know, but I like my binding a little narrower, so I cut 2" wide for most of my quilt bindings.  

I have been thinking so hard for the first teen birthday quilt ideas. Nothing spark my mind still. 
I knew it would be something simple, random, and loving! 

Meanwhile here are the previous birthday quilts that I made: 


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Full Swing

After I hopped off the bus, I went to a Hong Kong style bakery and ordered an egg tart and a cup of coffee milk tea before starting the grocery shopping. It was warm and festive inside the bakery, I saw many folks were wearing in red that symbolized good luck and happiness. Oh, I am the same jeans and hoodie. I managed to get home a little past noon hours and started prepare for dinner right away. I had to look up (actually called ma) on how to prepare a fish dish and yay for a delicious turn out!

The weekend was busy with a quick trip to Brooklyn to visit relatives for this special holiday. I managed knitted a few more rows of the scarf on the way there. I did rip the scarf off and tried on the number 5 needle this time. I have been carefully checking each row after I knitted and practice does make improvements and much satisfied with the outcome so far!

Last few nights, I have been hand binding off the birthday quilt on the daybed. It feels really great that it is ready now and that mark the 7th birthday quilts for S. I know it will be another few weeks/months before I start looking into this year's birthday quilt making.  I'll pull out some colors from the stash first and give myself sometimes to decide on the quilt designs. It will probably a closed to queen size quilt as S has gotten so tall since we moved and possible upgrade to a full size mattress soon.  I am a little nervous, can you tell?  I am getting emotional distract lately a lot more as I see her changes, grows, and hard on seeking the new self.  I'll always appreciate and continue to learn be a better mom (happy tears)!

I have felt so hearted with snow day this year! Snowy day seems like a perfect day for getting the Ocean Wave Quilt out. I made another 5 large blocks and that made 23/30 blocks (yay) so far!   I ordered the backing fabrics in a flash sale Monday night and have the binding fabric pick up as well. I look forward another good snowy day here to finish up the last 7 blocks. The assembling the quilt top will be a big job as it is a queen size quilt to handle and the living floor might not be big enough to have all 30 blocks layout, double trouble!

Meanwhile, I look forward putting the new quilt on this week...