Wednesday, March 22, 2017

On the days of Handmade Gifts

Hello!  Happy Spring! 

Spring has slowly arrive here! I haven't seen flowers blooming in the neighborhood, but seeing people with lighter weight jackets on them for sure shows the change of the season. It has been nice to have window open from time to time, fresh air!

These days, I have been getting the workroom organized! Rearrange the workroom a little bit 
{moved the book shelves, moved around sewing books, moved sewing table to face off the window, moved every sewing containers, and ordered a super sturdy coat rack as the one we had collapse one night during dinner time and it was scary as no one in the workroom, you know...ha}!  It has been a better space to work , better lighting and much functional as previously the space is filled with containers and thing that I tried to hide. Now the light is coming from a different direction and much comfortable during the afternoon hours.

I have been sewing many gifts lately! You probably don't know that I am a slow holiday gift maker. Time always runs shorter during the holidays, birthdays, and special days for me! Even though I have notes overall the planner for myself during these special times. It seems that I am late, always!

These days, I try to make gifts when I can! When there is a free afternoon and a Sunday morning,  I try to get few ideas down and start working on. Likely I spent an hour or longer pulling out fabrics then work around with colors and do a little adding and subtracting on the fabrics. No doubt that would be the one afternoon for me. So, the holiday gift making is not working well for me. Then I turn around thinking maybe sending gifts do not need to be birthdays or holiday times. It could be anytime, just like little care package to warm and surprised someone!

It has taken me a few weeks to prepare a small package for my dear friend. I wish to make something  that she can enjoy and things that would be useful for her. It actually is hard to sew gifts for someone who also sew!

I couldn't think of a better bag for her, so I made her a {Travel Outbound Bag}, as she travels often to visit her families and overseas. I used {Astuko Matsuyama} fabrics since we shared our love with Astuko Matsuyama fabrics, one of my favorite Japanese textile designer and hers as well. I used vintage floral trim and linen tape for the bag to added and given extra elegance. For the inner panels, I used linen/cotton blended print that have saved for years. It just seem a perfect print for the bag. Also made a leather full to accompany the bag.  It turns out just really nice and sweet! Now, I want to keep it! {smile}

Also, I knew she just had her studio reorganized! It is so neat and organized as she shared with me. I though a mini patchwork quilt would be so sweet to add to her studio wall. I used four patchwork blocks from the {mini patchwork sample pattern} and hand quilted throughout the mini.  I kept the fabric usages more vintage, retro, and used lots small scale prints. Now, I hope she likes it!

There is a scrappy style hot pad holder for her kitchen, since she cooks and I do, too!  I also made a few hot pad holders for myself. Tea is something that I love/enjoy and hope she'll take some times to sip a cup of tea while she has a moment. Oh! Yes, no wrapping paper for me to wrap gifts. I try to keep wrapping minimal whenever I can.  Likely wrapped gifts with one or two sheets of tissue papers then a hand writing card will be set on top.

Meanwhile, I am also preparing another set of gifts for another friend. I made a scrappy style patchwork zippered pouch; pattern can be found {here}. We shared love of scrappy style patchwork for sure!  I also made a Travel Outbound Bag for her!  I'll show and tell for later post as I think it would be different story to share in a separate post.

I have been adding more to make list these days. Mother's Day is coming and I would love to make it on time for mama as oversea post is always taken a good two weeks period. I am guessing if I made an outbound bag for my mama she might try to travel outbound to see us?  fingers crossed!

The blueberry pie that made from the magazine was delicious! I made two in a week! The first one was made with the the equal amount of ingredients from the book, but it was too sweet, so second one was cut down on sugar and blueberry usage, which turned out just perfect!

Most of you probably have made {Lasagna} in your kitchen. A few weeks ago, I have made a Lasagna dish for first time ever, it turned out really tasty! It taken 3 hours to make it, I know it sounded really crazy with the timing.  While lived in Iowa, I have watched my friends made a few times in their kitchen, but never try on my own.  

The hearty chicken noodle soup was served one night and plus following night. The good broth was made from turkey bones, chicken bones, cut off vegetable skins, and onion heads that have saved in the freezer.  mmm.. have you try? It is the best broth ever! I always let it boil for a good half hour then turn the heat to low for another good 2 hours. During the cold days, the apartment is filled in that good familiar smells. Rice crispy is long gone before I could get a second. Few more ingredients added to the grocery list since a Lemon Chiffon cake and a Pound Cake are calling my name. Also a request for another chicken pot pie for dinner. Indeed, I've been homesick and this time is my Iowa family-friends and the land! It feels good that I could make these food to remind us, the time and life we were there and still there by heart!

{About Ocean Wave quilt in Scrappy style}
Awwee... Thank you for tagging me and the kindly responds in the {post}! I've enjoyed seeing your ocean wave lately! It is really one of kind, in your fabric choices and colors! I have set the quilt top aside and getting ready to piece the quilt backing, something bold and versatile to compromise the quilt top.

{About Handmade patch-works}
It has been a year since I discontinued selling my handmade patch-works via Etsy Shop. I have been receiving emails over this past year and asking if I'd reconsider listing my works in the shop. I am afraid that I am not able to offer my works now. My move to the city have had big and small impacts to the life. I have only been working on small scale customer orders behind the scenes as it seems work well with time, space, and everything else. If I ever do again, I'll for sure let you know! Thank you for kindly asking as always!

{A Sidewalk Pouch} 
Thank you for your enthusiastic and supports on {A Sidewalk Pouch Sewing Pattern and Kits}! Some of the kits have been sold out and have a few in the shop. It is surely a different pouch making approach and lots small details go into the little palm size pouch!  I hope you enjoy and love it!





  1. beautiful posting as always, reading your post is always feel like I'm your neighbor :) happy spring Chase, hope everything is fine with you

  2. Hi Chase, such a cheery post! I really like all your new accomplishments. We, in Iowa miss you!


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