Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time to harvest

Maybe you have one of this quilt finished or quilt blocks still around. Have you get it completed?  This is my Farmer's Wife 1920's quilt along from August, 2011 then I dropped off making quilt blocks after moved away from N.D. in 2013. You can view the blocks from the Flickr Page {here}.

Last year, I have finally put all the quilt blocks together.  Added the corner stones and sashing then hand-basted the quilt with a good intention of hand-quilting the sampler quilt. After letting this quilt sat for another year after basting. I convinced myself to machine quilt it and finish another work in prograss quilt! It was not an easy decision for me to machine quilt it because I really want a classic/ traditional finish look. This quilt probably was the first quilt that needed so much piecing and cutting job. I remember it was frustration at the time. Sometimes, I cut too many blocks at once and ended up mixed them together and trying to find the right pieces? It was bad idea, but it was fun sewing along with other sewers. That was motivation and encouragement, big time!

Then it is hard to move forward older projects especially when being behind from time to time then time moves on and new projects starts. I have tried to limit start and making large quilts last two years because I knew that I have come to a different sewing phrase and have cutting down fabric purchases and cutting down big commitments; making two quilts a month or sewing 10 hours a day is not happening these days.

I have also tried hard to hand quilt most of quilts when I can because I love the texture of it and the little tiny hand stitches on every little patchwork projects, not just on quilts. It is how I like to present the works and makes who I am, as a sewer, quilter, patchworker, but I have came to realized that I can't hand quilt everything . Maybe only if I stay 10 hours straight and not being interrupt and a large space to set up quilting frame (I'd be happy place).  I have been struggling the idea of hand quilting quilts this year and have been thinking maybe I need to open up to other options.

It was yesterday morning that I took down a few rolled up w.i.p quilts then pick out Farmer's Wife 1920 to work on. I decided on using simple puzzle and loops quilting pattern for the overall look on the quilt.

The batting is used Hobbs Poly-down for hand-quiltin (the original plan) which is a big different from the cotton batting that I used to for machine quilting. I love the Poly-down for hand quilting and it gives lovely texture for the little hand stitches, but for machine quilting it turns out much loose and fluffy which might not for me as I enjoy machine quilt on the cotton batting, much firm.

For the binding, I used the bias tape that I made awhile ago for the binding which is perfect for the finish look. Do you think it is a little over taken 6 years to finish a quilt ? I knew I won't be the first or last person who take years to finish a quilt.  It feels really really really good and a great accomplishment that I have finally harvest this quilt after all the dilemmas that play around;  should I or shouldn't I?  I am ready to put it in the washer this weekend when the weather is warmer.


Tuesday, April 4, 2017


It was wet and gloomy last week expect Wednesday. The sun was out and the weather was nice! I took the train and went in town. It was an unexpected trip and was able to met up with my friends. It was such a treat to see them and catch up! Normally it takes an hour and 45 minutes to get in town, but the train was delayed on many stops. I was feeling in hurry and checked the watch more than I should ( every other second?) and knew that our visit time would be cut short due to the delay. I got off one stop early then walked two avenues over. I went pick up Jean then walk over to big M on 42nd St! I found second floor has lots seating and the wall graphics are super cool to see. We found a corner spot and spend next hour or two visit. Glad it was a sunny day!  The city was so pretty and people were in their spring outfits, too many to see, but not enough time!

Then there was a second trip back to town a few days later and it was a rainy day! I bough the 5th umbrella while my spring coat couldn't held up more raindrops. It is so silly to buy another umbrella, but I did! I realized raindrops add up quick as I walk! By the time, I was waiting at the bus stop to go home. I was soaking wet and deeply hoping the bus could come sooner, but it was delay! I was so bump! Finally the bus came and I sat by the window and rain was dripping from the bus roof. My hair... oh.. it was just kinda terrible to go on the rest of story.

Shoes were wet, socks were completed soaking wet, jeans below my knee is wet, hair was wet.

Over the weekend, I enjoyed time off, snack time,movies time, slept in a little while... I'd say it is not a typical spring for me!

The fresh week has started, the windows are open during the day, FRESH AIR, my friends. Best kinda of Spring, although more noises come into apartment, but hey I will take that fresh air for now!

I got busy again this week, freshly made waffles for breakfast, do you do that? Make a batch and freeze them, put them in toaster in the morning; add raspberry jam +honey+ few fresh fruits. Also some freshly baked extra large cookies! Super chewy and sweet, followed the package directions for it! I'd cut down the sugar by 1/2 C. next time, Yum!

I managed made 12 economy blocks  and still not sure a mini quilt or a cushion. Have also added two court steps blocks and it went much quicker as I have made my mind,  how to play with them. Working on the new illustrations for the upcoming pattern (yay), lots little details to added on. So on.. Spring is here! More sunny days is mostly welcome!!

As I am writing today,  I think the second trip back to town wasn't all that terrible! I got myself a small bundle of daffodils from the market, two butter cookies for snacks and had a delicious rice dish in town.  There is always something to be Thankful!

I plan to make a pouch today and you'll want to check over IG for that later if I can pull the pouch out! scrappy scrappy scrappy. Time to dig into the scrap bins


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Weekending: You make me, Smile!

Remember that I had made another Travel Outbound bag for another dear friend, the one with brown and sweet button print in the front.  Well, I also made one for myself used the vintage bias tape print , the one stuffed with sewing supplies, tools, pens, notepads, needle book. This is my newest sewing bag and love it so much!

Last weekend was a blissful weekend and lots traveling for me. I had a getaway sewing weekend with a dear friend, Jackie. I left early and thought I'd avoid the morning traffic, but it still took me an hour or so to get through Geo Washington Bridge/ Cross Bronx Expressway. I enjoyed the drive to the west and arrived in Pennsylvania a little past 10 in the morning. We had good coffee in late morning, ate pastry that she prepared, and a tour that in her home. It is so lovely to see someone's creative space in person and see where they create their beautiful works.

Later in the morning, we travelled together to Intercourse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Oh, I wished I had remember to bring my camera with me, but it was left out in the workroom back home. I snapped these photos with the phone. It was so special for me to see this part of the country. It is pretty, charm, and peaceful! Seeing some buggies and horses running on the roads and learning the new culture in the area. It is an open eye experiences.

We stopped a few fabric stores, fabric barns, and seeing all the Amish quilts is such a treat for me. These Amish quilts are so elegant! Every bit of hand quilting stitches bring out so much that labor of love within! I touched them and felt that special hand stitch by someone! Wouldn't it be so awesome to have a chance to see them work on quilt together someday?

Have you have Shoofly pie? I bought a Shoofly Pie home and YUM! It is not too sweet and not too sticky to the teeth! Next time, when I visit again I'd love to try the Whoopie pie. All the pastry looks so delicious and some of the hand woodworks are gorgeous!

Thrifting was another plan that I asked her if we could go before I visit her. I managed found two nice size pie pans, the one is less deep and great for making summer pies. I almost wanted to bring home a little bedside table, but letting that go as the space is limited around here at this moment.  The countryside driving was so much to remember as I haven't been in the country for awhile. Oh, Best!

The sewing times were fun and not as productive as I am alone in the workroom! But I love that we stop and visit/chat from time to time. We indulged the time together and sharing sewing tips to  each other! I stopped sewing to hang out with new fur friends that I made this past weekend. Aren't they the cuties?

It feels really special that I could actual hand all the things that I made for her in person! It made the trip extra meaningful and sweet. There are just things that I love about the creative community that I am in and people that I made cross over from the different platforms. Kindness friendship, encouraging days, and I'd say the most unique part is we all have something that we love and appreciate together!

Sewing trips can never go without stops in local fabric stores. See the little Santa and vintage floral fabrics? They will be table runners soon, both ends need to stitch up before I put away for the holiday. Lots reproduction prints were found in really bargain price and two of us could share the print together.

In the sewing weekend, I started a new quilt that used court step block that I drew from the Illustrator. I also managed to made a few fuzzy cuts for economy blocks and hope to finish few more before make into a mini quilt, more in later post.

This was my first sewing weekend with a friend and it was really special and one of a kind weekend! Have you gone a sewing weekend with friends? I thought that I might pack more than needed, but surely will do a better for next time. A few more sewing supplies that could added to the Travel Outbound Bag, such as a mini cutting mat, mini squared ruler... the list goes on!