Sunday, July 19, 2015

The way I caught the quilting bug!

Hi my name is Margo Yang and welcome to my blog.   I'm a fairly new and inexperienced blogger, that's why I jumped at the chance to sign up for the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop!  The hosts of this year are Stephanie Palmer, my hive leader, Yvonne Fuchs, Cheryl Brickey and Terri Ann Swallow.  They have done an amazing job to get this blog hop started.  I've learned so much and met a lot of people who have the same passion as I do.  They are a bunch of very talented people. 

About me

My quilting hobby started when I quit my computer career over 20 years ago to become a mother.  When our young family moved into our new home, I decided to make a tablecloth for our bare dining table.  I chose nine patch block, probably not a wise decision for a beginner.  All the blocks turned out uneven, and having no clue of how to fix them, I tossed them in a closet.  Two years later, we welcomed another child to our home.  My life was quickly filled with babies, diapers and PTA meetings.  When both my children started school, I took Automobile/Furniture Upholstery class and learned to sew on industrial sewing machines.  Taking this class had helped me to develop good sewing skills.  I was having such a great time doing upholstery jobs for clients that I forgot about the unfinished quilt.   Fifteen years later, I found those blocks and decided to take a quilting class in an adult education program at a local high school.  Those nine patch blocks ended up to be my very first lap quilt.  I quilted all the HST blocks by hand, but quickly became impatient.  I know I shouldn't, but I finished quilting the nine-patch blocks by machine.

After finishing my first quilt, I started making more quilts with simple patterns.  When my musician son went to college, I made him a quilt with musical instrument and musical note fabricIt was my first big quilt and first free motion quilting.  I used the "Yellow Brick Road" pattern and quilted with guitars and musical note designs.  He was pleased with the results.  Now the quilt goes everywhere he goes.

My son's college quilt

My daughter's college quilt

I picked "Pinto Box" as the pattern for my daughter two years later.   She likes all colors and that's what she got; lots of colors.  This quilt was quilted with fireworks and shooting star designs.  

My friend and I often worked together to make rag quilts as baby gifts.   Soon, I was weary of always making rag quilts full of squares and rectangles.  Then I came up with what seemed like a fantastic idea.  I put it to the test and in 2010, my Faux Rag quilting technique was born.  I waited almost two years to be sure that there wasn't anything like it before I submitted my works to several quilting magazines.  A few magazines responded, but only The Quilt Life magazine actually followed through and published my works.  It was one of the happiest moments of my life to see my two quilts published in December 2013 issue of the Quilt Life magazine.

The Quilt Life Magazine, December 2013

Next, I submitted a book proposal to the American Quilter's Society.  After waiting nervously for a few months, I finally heard from them that they accepted my proposal.  The book is scheduled to come out next spring.  By then I can share and talk more about it.  Right now I can say with a firm belief that when you have an idea that you're passionate about, pursue it with all your heart and soul.  I don't know if my book will be a success, but I know that I've given it my all.  I hope someone out there likes what I'm doing.

When I was offered an opportunity to teach at the Quilt Emporium in Woodland Hills, Ca, I immediately accepted it.   In addition to teaching my technique, I love to challenge myself by asking the shop owner which book or pattern she would like to promote.  I, then, would make samples and teach the class if there were enough interests.  These are some of the samples I've made.

This quilt makes me happy every time I look at it.  It's from the book called
'Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe'

Another sample from the book called 'Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe'

These two samples are from Moda's Sweet Celebration book
I love Jill Finley's design.  This one is called Cherries Jubilee.

It’s my continuing pleasure to teach, occasionally branching out into classes featuring pillows, purses and other sewing projects.  We have done series of classes called Pillow of the Month.  I made pillows using patterns from books, and my own designs.  From teaching, I've met so many talented, fun loving and wonderful people.  One thing I would like to ask you is how would you make your class interesting when you have an opportunity to teach?  For me I like to bring treats for my students.  Our classes were always filled with laughter.

These pillows are from the book called 'Pillow POP'

Halloween pillow

Christmas pillow from my design

Valentine pillow

Adaptations of Jill Finley's design into pillows

Another adaptation of Jill's design, using Faux Rag Quilting technique.

I also enjoy making bags of all kind.  The hand bag classes have been very popular at our local quilt shops.  

Beatle bag for traveling quilters

Downton Abbey bag

This clutch is from 'Bags-The Modern Classic' book by Sue Kim

The latest sample of pincushion.

My love for quilting has grown steadily since my first muddled attempt at nine patch.  The creativity of quilting, the opportunity to share my technique with other quilters and the possibility of further innovation are enormously rewarding aspects of my life.  Life is a blessing for a quilter.

It's been Sew Fabulous to be part of this 2015 New Bloggers Blog Hop.  I would like to thank our hosts for all the wonderful work they've done.  There are also great giveaways each week, and you can sign up by visiting each of these four blogs.  

Stephanie Palmer at Late Night Quilter

Yvonne Fuchs at Quilting Jet Girl

Cheryl Brickey at Meadow Mist Designs

Terri Ann Swallow at Childlike Fascination

Also check out my hivemates at

Have a blessed week everyone.....

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Final tribute to my mother

This post today is not about quilts.  Today I would like to talk about my mother.  For those of you who have read my blog, you already knew a little bit about her.

My mom with one of her granddaughter in 1990's

My dear mother passed away peacefully at 1 am., Bangkok time, on June 20, 2015.  She was 93 years old. She is survived by her four daughters, two sons, eleven grandchildren and six great grandchildren. 
Children, grandchildren and great grandchildren at the funeral

My mother didn't have any education.  She couldn't read or write anything.  In her time, girls only worked around the house until they were married.  And once they got married, they belonged to the husband's family.  That's why Chinese didn't want to waste money and time to educate girls.  We taught her simple math so that she could do business to earn money to provide for her 7 children after my dad walked away from us.  We all went to private schools because they provided a better education than the public schools.  Education in Thailand is not free and there was no such thing as financial aid at that time.  I remember there were times she had to pawn her gold jewelry to pay for the tuition, otherwise we wouldn't be allowed to take the final exam to graduate. 

For college, my father only paid for boys.  My mother vowed that all her girls would go to college, and we sure did.  All five daughters graduated from college, two have earned a master degree.  All my four older sisters and two older brothers worked hard and they all are accomplished in their choice professions.  For a woman who didn't have any education, she taught us so much about love, courage and sacrifice.  Without her, I'm nothing.  We are who we are today because of her, and for that I am forever grateful that she's my mother.

I'm grateful for my membership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because the gospel of Jesus Christ brings peace to me.  I know that death is not the end and that families can be together forever.   I will miss her but I know that one day I will see her and be with her again.  Rest in peace, mom. I love you.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

More Hexie on T-shirt

I'm away from my sewing machine again, so hand sewing projects continue.  I'm making the third and the last t-shirt gift for my nieces, using the hexagon pieces.  I fell in love with these little 1/2 inch Hexagon pieces.  They're so cute, and look like little gems to me. 

This is how I did it:

1. Cut fabric 1/4" larger than the paper templates.
2. Pin-basting the paper template to the wrong side of the fabric as shown in the picture below.
3. Baste the fabric around the paper.  I fold the seam allowance over the template, making sharp points at the corners.  A running stitch is made through the fabric only along each edge with another stitch being taken through the folded edges at the next corner. With this method, basting stitches won't have to be removed at a later time since all of the basting is done on the back of the fabric.

These small gems are ready to be used on a t-shirt

4.  I positioned the hexagon pieces on the t-shirt and hand sew them in place.  I start at a corner and continue sewing along 4 edges, leaving the last two edges open.  Take the paper template out through the opening, then sew the last two edges close.  Repeat with the rest of the shapes on the t-shirt.

The finished t-shirt

I enjoyed making these quick and easy gifts so much I want to make one for myself.

Have a blessed week!