Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Patchwork News

** chive box on the left   ** Turnip cake on the right!

 ** Left to right  # 39 Grandma #40 Grandmother

 Left to right #30 Em

After you quickly scroll down pictures, you might want to close the page or maybe stay with me a little longer!

Have I been determined? Or shall I called it stubborn?  As of yesterday, I catch up all 42 Farmer's Wife 1920 Sampler Blocks! And today I made additional blocks, Hope and Iris, so I am forwarding the quilt along now{yay}!  I can't really explain the challenging of making 2, 3, 4 blocks some of the days and sometimes none for few days because I was so really unhappy that I am not allow to start anything new because I said so.  Pushing to get this project up-to-date, really is one of top list on 2016, but after a few weeks, I think I was stubborn for that! I also was determined using only Denyse Schmidt Fabric collections only! I think this decision is called stubborn after block number 10. I have had troubles to balance out and give nice contrast of the colors on some blocks!

That was the time, I made none blocks! I was thinking about getting {this} then it was between need or want? Then I decided not to make the purchase. Simply I knew I will not use it much then why invest it?  I had to say, it is good that I cool off the anxiety before click on the check out button.
I went through each print carefully then you can see that I rely on {Hope Vally}, {Chicopee}, and some {Hadley} collections a lot. And of course some other less contrast prints from individual collection.

Em block has the most piecing so far and sure part of that stubborn me was in, so when it was finished, I didn't make any more blocks for next 40 hours. I was so satisfied, so I rewarded myself making {these} blocks!

Grandma and Grandmother are two very special blocks for me! I used the prints that reminded of grandma.  I remember she always wore busy floral shirt and paired with wide elastic type of black/ dark brown pants. You might not know, but she was a Farmer's wife and lived very little of everything when the kids where so little. With eight children and a house that had no electricity back then; she done a great job for all that!  

When I got to block 23 Charlotte, I decided to take the first long break. I was craving for {turnip cake} and {chive box}. These are the food that easily can be found at home, but I had to make them myself.  I took a half day off to the international market. Have you visit one? I tried to stop by once a month. Likely to get some vegetables and fruits. Sometimes, I pick up meat from the meat department there. I enjoy spend time there; that's the the place I could hear multiple languages. I always peek in the spice aisle, but never buy anything. I always curious about the spices from other countries! Sometimes, I tried to bring different vegetable home. Likely I am the one ended up finish it! Oh, I think I am still quiet brave of trying out food!

Then I always, always, always bought more grocery from the list, but it is hard not to pick up a bag of Vietnamese mixed coffee, rice crackers, and extra cooking ingredients when I was there.

Most of the {Turnip cake} I had so far, never content turnip. It is actually made from {daikon}. I got four smallish daikon home that day then they were chop into long fine strips. Then I got a back of rice flour to added in, ground pork, dried mushroom. I put them in the rounded cake pans and put one at the time into the {electric cookware} that dad got me last summer when I was home. I believed 99.99% family back home has one! I think it is alike a slow cook here.  The cook time is 90 minutes and each cake takes about 180 minutes. While waiting the cake in the cookware, I started making chive box stuffing. Oh! This is the probably the most local small eat that you can find in my hometown. I was pretty lucky that day that they have fresh chive in the store, got dried tofe, rice noodles, some ground pork. The preparation of these took two hours then I mixed the seasoning from my memory, less or more!  All these ingredients went into a bowl and needed refrigerated a good afternoon to let the seasoning does its job. Then I started making the dough.... Um, we were all well fed that day!

The following week, I drove cross town to visit my friend and shared half of that with her. We had really great time because we haven't seen each other,  since last Thanksgiving. It was so nice that we spoke in our own language and had coffee and more cake she made!

After all that resting and great time! I was back to making the blocks with fresh mind and fresher ideas! I really think most of the blocks turned out better than just started! It was no surprised that so many blues and yellows are being used and so little warmer colors. I added the newest DS collection, {Eastham} last week. This collection reminded me so much of the Hope Vally and the texture is slightly different from the others as well! This collection blended really well with the last two collections, too.

Other patchwork news, I started hand-quilting on the mysmallworld mini quilt.  It will take awhile to finish, but has been a great side project. I also finished up the {Farmer's Wife 1930 quilt} top piecing! This quilt along was started August 201l and took me almost 5 years to put the top together!  Unlike other backing prints I ordered, I went for more something simple this time and have already added the quilt label on. The plan is get it hand-basted tomorrow then roll up on the hand-quilt frame! I am still deciding the quilting pattern. It might be simple, I hope!

I would like to apologized that I never get to post {Moon Pouch} preview! I never get my head down to write it up because my stubbornness and honest, so honestly I didn't have my mind on the writing! You might not know, but it takes longer time for me to write then talk. I would like to say {Thank You} for those of you who have checked out the {Moon Pouch}. I will have the preview post up over the weekend as I plan to write it up after this blog post! Maybe after dinner/dish/Lucky time tonight! promised!


Thursday, February 4, 2016



When you were:

I had no idea you were munching dog food when I saw you sat by E.T.( the pup) I bet the food was tasty, but they got all clean out. Sorry, you were so mad at me that I took off the food from you.

You never had terrible two! The first time you flew and moved back to states. You crawled up your little body and slept most of the time. You hold on to my fingers and helped out with luggages after we landed!

You started to understand what's going on in daycare! Made a few little friends there! You told Julie, my mommy is so cute when everyone else was bragging how beautiful their mommies are.

You learned to write your name. All the writing stokes were like flying geese, but I think that's the best hand-writing ever!

You graduated from Pre-school and I made first dress for you. It is red and muslin. Thank goodness it fits you and perhaps I could have sized down a bit to fit better. *And I made S the first birthday quilt!

Six -
We moved away from Iowa!  It was a heart breaking summer for both of us! You couldn't say Goodbye to Julie because you didn't want to make me cry. I knew it was hard for you moving somewhere that we both unknown about.

Life in N.D. started settled in and that summer we went visit our family. You begged so hard to adopted a pup. Oh, I never wanted to say Yes! But you begged grandma once more and of course grandma said she will take care of mommy for you! We got Lucky home that first weekend after we landed. Did you know he was named Lily first, but when S found out is a he, she changed the name.

First time you put on glasses! I had no idea you had such trouble seeing from the school board until the school nurse called! It was such a shocking news to me that day!

First time, we traveled like a backpacker in Japan! I read Konji and you read in English! We visited so many tourist points and ate so many local food. Although we always have had different idea about dinner options.

You probably had terrible Ten instead of terrible two. I felt very struggled and tough for this whole year! We went on different directions and angry at each other for small things, so much arguments and anger talks? Oh, this is a awful ten!

Something changed between that ten and eleven gaps? You became more observing and understanding the changes in life. It might had been the trip we took that summer.  We travelled like a backpacker again. This time, you were my leader and I followed you along! We still disagreed about dinner options. You asked me if you could go to a Japanese 7-11 right around the hotel kitty corner, I said I'll think about it. Then I let you went,  I wondered how you did in the hotel room!  You came bag with a full bag of food and even extra sweets.

I know this is going to be a great year! You will be more independent on your own for sure. You will probably less need me in little things and more about friendships. I know I will be slightly jealous about that, but I will be here for you!

The day has been all about this little celebration! I make sure there are Twelve balloons this time, as last time were on short. Then a quick stop to the cupcakery to pick up cupcakes then home making the little garland for the cake.

All the birthday cards have been found this morning. There are 12 of them this year! It has been a fun tradition in our family. I hope this birthday tradition will keep on...

S has requested her favorite dinner dishes from me. I have gotten all the ingredients this morning after gave her a ride to school. It has been just the kind of the day is all about S! I might not make a single stitch today, but you know I gotta make it a nice first day of being Twelve!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Random: Do things with great love

 #1 Ready and set! Backing fabric is still in search at this moment! Something like this {print}, so could add on a few appliqué pieces and create a quilt label, but I would like to use from my stash! It is not so difficult, but the challenging part is to apart some of favorite prints. The quilt pattern is by Jen Kingwell and pattern could be found in Quilt mania Spring 2015 issue and believed it will be a printed pattern soon. Check on the  #mysmallworldqal quilt along information from {verykerryberry}; great sewing tips and Kerry shared different sewing methods in each of the part post.

 #2 The collaborated mini quilt is completed and hung on the wall! The mini is hard to push forward. I set up a little goal each day and made few stitches from here and there. The hand-quilting is perfect for this quilt and the texture from the hand-quilting really is nice!  The quilt label is done within the quilt top and made it cohesively look as part of the quilt top.

** A wall of S minis!

 #3 Sashiko stitch sampler; Perfect for the summer basket tote! Cover up all the little essentials inside! A bit privacy for the basket tote contents! At this moment, not much inside, a few books from the summer that didn't get bring out! The sampler was purchased from {Pulo Soho} during my last summer visit.

 #4 Homemade Rasin scones; always need these homemade sweets for the bitter cold winter days! One gone missing before the door bell rang! It was me, had to taste it!

 #5 Alphabet sampler: the frame was purchased from IKEA. It was the first finished from the {eleven patchwork things}. Perhaps the spacing from the four sides could be wider?!

 #6  Welcome Sampler: A few oopsy-daisy..... the frame also purchased from our short stop from  IKEA.

 Maybe.. at some point, they will get hang up!

#7 Helpless detouring! You probably guess it right, I rewarded myself a slightly detouring making some fresh patchwork pieces. It felt really deserving! Kept one for myself, two shipped out, and one in the {shop}.

 #8 Patchworker always saves every bit of pieces! All these pieces were saved from the My Small World Quilt and it is in the {shop}.

#9 New hand crafted patchworks in the {shop} and a quick preview post is coming soon!  Half of the patchwork pieces from the basket has made their way to the shop!

 #10 Daffodil: That time of the year again?!  Took me 10 minutes standing in from of the floral section; should I bring daffodil plant or daffodil bunch home? Decision was made after seeing everyone placed the plant in the shopping cart. oh well!

 #11 The quilt top is ready! I had wished to push a little forward to completed the quilt and bound it before sharing here! The truth is, I can't wait to share! I used to avoid looking back all the fabrics that I have had. But I have much appreciation of these prints! This quilt top is around 45"x45"!

#12 Writing; This year is a serious of writing and journaling by pens and hands. I joined Midori Traverler Book journaling after a year of admiring these travelers around the world. They've encouraged me to follow along this new journaling path! Helping me to remember the life pace in the authentic way and  I've been finding it is such rewarding!

Today I will take a day or two off from the w.i.p. and start a few new projects! I ordered this {book} and anxious the doorbell ring anytime today!


Monday, December 28, 2015

Eleven patchwork things!

Oh, I have eleven patchwork things that I would like to share....

#1  I went through all the boxes in the studio and decided no long to ignore these embroidery flosses They have been sorted into colors and stored back to the container again.  Um, not much improvement, but it is nice to know what is there now. I would like to find a better way to organize them, it would be ideal to find containers that provides long compartment storage units, so each color could find a space on its own.

#2  In the w.i.p. stash, I found this collaborated mini quilt that S and I work together in our last N.D. year.  I plan on  finish the other side of embroidery and hand-quilt the mini. It would be a nice mini to add on to S' wall space for the new year to come! Lots little drawings that she made and very special to her. Yes, they are all animals, if you know her so well.

#3  The sashiko stitch cloth that could get some more attentions on! I love blue and white contrast in any prints and dinnerwares! It reminds me so much of the simplicity, calm, and quietness. It was planned for a mini quilt, but I think I'll round it up with the back cloth and use it for to cover top of my summer basket.

 #4 Cross stitch; the alphabet has finished a long time ago, but it would use a nice frame to let it shine a bit. It has been laying round for too long and it needs to be check off from the list soon! The little welcome piece is not so ready. Oh, the pattern is not where to be found! I so hope my dear friend still has the copy, so I could finish it up.

 #5 The advent calendar has been filling up daily, likely! There was a day or two that we just didn't make it to the table, but we made it all the way through the 27th now.  We've decided to finish it up for the month of December. It has been a really fun project for us! Simple and truly enjoyment!

 #6  Some kind and lovely package arrived in our mail box for the holiday! The package just made it on time to place under the tree! I can't say enough about these apple prints! There are new projects in mind for them, but I think I'll wait for a little while longer before getting into them.

 # 7  There are only a few days left for 2015. In the past, it doesn't seem very important to look back what I have accomplished, but this year as I've started the daily planner. It changed my mind and attitude about the day, week, and month! I wrote down little bits of everything; weather, food, good day, what project started and accomplished, etc. Well, it really works for me to track on all the daily basis! I am excited to get on 2016 planner soon! I found it is kinda silly to read memos that I wrote weeks, months ago, but I really like this idea and habit of daily journaling.

 # 8  These nine patch blocks have moved with me a few times! These are made by my friend when we still lived in ND; none of the seams are matched or nicely press! This afternoon, I have pulled them out and finished the rest of the blocks. I plan to sashing them with 2.5" wide fabric and finish it. I would like to send the finish quilt to my friend for the next year's holiday. It might be a perfect gift!

 #9 Snow has been falling in the city this morning! It finally looks and feels like winter wonderland here! It is so pretty to look out for the whole day! I mean none stop snow falling for a Full Day! The snow truck came this afternoon, but the road is covered with inches of snow again! I wondered if they will come again tomorrow morning! Fingers crossed because I am heading out of town!

#10  It is a small world..... Oh, I am so so so so closed to finish this quilt along! I have part 5 and 6 left to work on still! I am so ready to jump right in this project again! I probably will finish the sky first then decided on the rest! I have truly enjoy this quilt along, but stay on the commitment is hard! It is something that I have not been able to keep up for last so many years! Finish what I started! 

#11 I still have a basket full of patchwork pieces for hand quilting. I might not be able to get to them right away! Maybe one patchwork piece at the time! But eventually they will get done!

I am looking forward the week and new year! My little goal is finish most of them! I mean maybe half of them! It will be hard because I know I'll start something at the mid-point. Over the year, I have so many piled up or give up projects. I can't deny that I though about give them away, but at the end they stay with me. I am guessing my other side of mind was telling me to keep them for someday! I have found so many my early days works and fabrics lately! I can't tell you how much they actually mean to me! So many embroidery patterns, flosses, dish towels, and little things. 

Now let me talk less, do more!