Tuesday, July 18, 2017

On my design wall

I'm working on a new baby Faux Rag quilt for my sister in law.  This is her first grand child and it's a girl.  I'm really happy for her. The color theme is pink, gold and white.  This is what I had on my design wall a few days ago.

And the finished quilt is below.

Have a great day!!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Playing catch up #3. It's Glam Clam, baby.

I took Glam Clam class by Latifah Saafir's last month through our Valley MQG and it was a lot of fun for everyone.  Here are some of the highlights from the class.

And this is my Glam Clam quilt top, using a 12" Glam Clam ruler.  I'm very happy with it.  This will be a gift for a friend.

Happy Quilting!!

Playing catch up #2. Let's make some jam!

We had family gathering at my father-in-law's home.  His white peach tree was loaded with peaches.  We didn't do a good job of thinning them this year, so the peaches are smaller than usual but they are really sweet and juicy.  They gave us some to take home with us, whopping 9 lbs. altogether.  Let's make some jams.

Peel and dice all the peach, I got 12 cups and used them all.  Put them in a bowl with 4 cups of sugar and 4 tbsp. lemon juice.  If you want your jam to be on the tart side, put more lemon juice in, one table spoon at a time.  Let them marinate for an hour.
Put the peach mixture in a large non-reactive pot and bring to boil.  Lower the fire and let simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Mash the peach mixture with potato masher and adjust the sweet and sour taste to your liking.   I like my jam tart, a little less sweet and chunky.  Continue to simmer until the temperature reach 220 F.  Do the cold plate testing until it's done.  You can read more about my jam making method here.

Ladle the jam into prepared sterilized jars.  Now I have 8 big jars to share with family and friends. 

 Have a great day!!


Monday, June 26, 2017

Playing catch up

I've been busy sewing and doing other things that I neglected to blog.  On top of being a slow writer, it's hard for me to decide what to write.  I have a lot to share and that would make the blog really long, so I'll share one thing per blog.  Here we go.....

Last time I mentioned the challenge that we had at our Valley MQG which is circle.  I had done some curve piecing on the coffee filter paper and one thing led to another and this is what I have done.

I laid some grey fabric and quilted it with walking foot as I go along.  I decided to do raw edge applique but I didn't use any adhesive on the fabric.  I used Aurifil threads; grey #2606 and #5004 to quilt on the rock area, the same #5004 on the black sky, white #2024 for the stars and beige #8339 on the moon.

This is the end result of the quilt.  I named this quilt "Midnight Moon".  It's measured at 22x23.5 inches.  There are a few firsts in this quilt.  This is my first art quilt, my first raw edge applique and it's the first time that I used facing to finish the quilt instead of normal binding.

I learned a lot from working on this quilt and had fun in the process.  I'll be doing more of this style of quilts in the future, I'm sure.

I want to dedicate this "Midnight Moon" quilt to my Thai college friend Piya Srisutham who passed away on June 6, 2017 from hemorrhagic stroke.  I had similar experience last year which you can read about it here.  His sudden and tragic death sent shock waves through our little group.  He was loved by many friends and colleagues.  He was kind, generous and thoughtful of others.  When I was in Thailand in 2015 visiting my mother in the hospital, he and his family came to visit us in the hospital.  He hardly knew my mom, but he came anyway.  He was so tired from working that he often dosed off while we were talking, but still, he came to visit me and my mom.

He loved his family very much and talked about them often.  He was very proud of his son who is studying in a University right now.  He will be greatly missed by many.  Rest in peace, my friend.  May God watch over you till we meet again.  Your good deeds will be forever remembered.

Embrace life and tell your family you love them everyday!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Learning in progress

Why do we have challenges in our lives?  I believe challenges are here so that we can learn from them.  Some challenges are more difficult, but they are for our own good.  With this in mind, I came up with a new challenge for our Valley MQG.  The challenge for June is circle.  I don't do much circle in my quilts so this forces me to learn and try different methods.

The first one that I tried was paper foundation piecing.  I used coffee filter as a foundation paper.  I ironed a filter flat with dry iron.  I like curve piecing a lot so I decided to do just that.  After I completely covered the filter paper, I cut the circle out by following the outline of the filter.  In the picture, the filter paper is still on the back of the fabric.  I'll take the filter out when I'm ready to use this circle for something.  This is what I ended up with.

Then I tried another block using drunken path templates, and this is what I made.

I had fun with both of them and I still have time to try a few more ideas before our monthly meeting.  Cheers!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Long overdue blog post, finished quilts and works in progress

Hi there.....

It's been awhile since I posted anything.  I'm still around, just doing a lot of sewing and didn't want to interrupt the flow of desire to create.  My sewing, or anything I try to do, has gotten slower these days.  I've taken a lot of breaks in between.  

I've been busy sewing a few projects that I didn't get to write the blog.  I have to confess that Instagram has become my new favorite toy.  If you follow my Instagram, you would have seen these quilts already.  It's easier to take pictures and post them on Instagram with short captions and be done.  I can get back to sewing right away with little interruption.

I'm going to get right into the things that I've been working on.  The first project is the challenge at the Valley MQG.  We had 'Black and White' challenge in February and this is my creation.  In February, I only showed the top and now I'm ready to quilt it.  I would like to try facing instead of binding for this one.  I will show you when it's done.

Then I made these baby quilts.

These baby quilts are a lot of fun to make.  All the HST blocks in the second quilt came from the first quilt.  I also made couple more baby quilts for gifts but I didn't have a chance to take their pictures.  With those quilts I used the Faux Rag technique which is perfect for winter time. 

I'm making a lot of progress on my son new quilt.  I got all 120 blocks and the top is done.  Here is the picture of his quilt top. 

I hope you can see it ok because my design wall is too small for this quilt.  Next would be preparing it for quilting and I'll post again when I'm done.  For this quilt, I have purchased a bamboo batting for it while I was at the Road to California Quilt show in January.  I'm anxious to use it and will report back.  

We have a new baby in the family.  My niece had a baby girl about two weeks ago and I'm making her this quilt.  Her color theme is blue and green, but I couldn't stop myself from sneaking in a few pink and orange.  :)

This is my first Clamshell quilt.  I should be done with it this week.  I'm doing it the Faux Rag way!  This is just to try out the new ruler that I got.  It's the Clammy ruler from Latifah Saffir Studio.  Our Valley MQG is offering a workshop with her at the end of the month which I'm very excited about.  I think there still are some spots available.  If you're here in Southern California, come check it out.

Have a great sewing day!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Happy Chinese New Year and WIP's

This year is the year of the Rooster. It is always fun to go to a Chinese restaurant and get to read the paper place setting that has zodiac sign descriptions on it while waiting for our food.  Here is the one for Roosters.

The Rooster
1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017......

Roosters tend to be straight-shooters who appreciate the same practicality in others. They're highly efficient in their work and trustworthy in their friendships. Roosters are classic self-starters who, unsurprisingly, also happen to be very punctual.

Here is another one I found online, but forgot to write where I found it, "Observant, hardworking, resourceful, courageous, and talented"

Here's another one from Wikipedia, "The Roosters are said to possess endurance and application, with slow accumulation of energy, meticulous at planning but tending to hold fixed opinions. They also are said to be hard-working, modest, industrious, loyal, philosophical, patient, good-hearted and morally upright, but can also be self-righteous, egotistical, vain, judgmental, narrow-minded or petty."

These quotes are meant for entertainment only!!

We had our celebrations at my in-law's house.  There was so much good food and we had a great time seeing cousins and relatives that we don't get to see often.

I did some sewing last week and made some progress on my son's new quilt.  It needs 120 blocks and I'm half way there.  I put them on the design wall to play with.  Here is the layout that both he and I liked.

Continued to cut more squares and will work on it again tomorrow.  

I also played with Monochromatic design and curved piecing.  At the Valley MQG, we are working on a monochromatic theme Opportunity quilt and I would like to submit this block to be part of it.  Scott, the President, has a really cool design idea.  I'll show the picture of my block as it progresses.

The new challenge from Valley MQG for February is using black and white fabric to make something.  I've been making EPP hexagons for sometimes now.  Last week I used some of them for this wall hanging quilt.  I put batting and backing fabric on and used a walking foot to quilt as I sewed the stems and applique the hexagons on.  Next is quilting the background and binding.

It is good to be busy and I really enjoyed making all these projects.

Have a great day and sew on!

Link up to Let's Bee Social

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Happy New Year

Allow Yourself
Catherine Pulsifer

Allow yourself to dream
And when you do dream big

Allow yourself to learn
And when you do learn all you can

Allow yourself to laugh
And when you do share your laughter

Allow yourself to set goals
And when you do reward yourself as you move forward

Allow yourself to be determined
And when you do you will find you will succeed

Allow yourself to believe in yourself
And when you do you will find self confidence

Allow yourself to lend a helping hand
And when you do a hand will help you

Allow yourself relaxation
And when you do you will find new ideas

Allow yourself love
And when you do you will find love in return

Allow yourself to be happy
And when you do you will influence others around you

Allow yourself to be positive
And when you do life will get easier

A few days ago, my yoga teacher read this poem to us while we were resting at the end of the class.  I liked it so much that I contacted Catherine Pulsifer and asked for her permission to share it with you.  Check out her site for more inspirational words.

Have a great day.