Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Finished projects

I finally finished my son's quilt.  I first posted about it in January and you can read about it here and here.  As promised, I'm sharing my experience with the bamboo batting here.  Please share in the comment if you have used bamboo batting before.  I’m eager to hear about your experiences. 

While I was at the Road to California show in January, I bought 100% bamboo batting to try because it's said on the package that this batting has breath-ability and anti-bacterial properties.  I also like bamboo because it's a sustainable and renewable resource.  And this product was made in the USA.


The batting is very soft but when I opened it up to prepare the quilt top for quilting, I noticed some hard particles in  the batting.  They turned out to be bamboo wood chips.  They are hard enough that they could be felt through the quilt top.  Didn't want to risk breaking the needle, I picked them all out. Here is what they look like.


While I was quilting the quilt, lint from the batting that extended beyond the quilt top got all over the quilt as in the picture below. 


When I hand sewed the binding on to the back of the quilt, there was lint on the thread every time I pulled the needle up.
 



It was quite irritating to have to pull the lint off from the thread after every stitch.

Finally I threw the quilt into the washing machine.  When it came out, there was more lint on the quilt.  Lint came out through the seams.  I have to pull it off and use the lint roller to remove all the lint.  Do you see the lint that came out through the needle holes by the binding?


After much agonizing and all the lint was removed, the quilt is done and ready to be pickup by the new owner.



Another project that got done is the sofa.  You can read about the sofa here.  I'm happy to report that it's done now.  Here are the before and after pictures.



 








Go make something and have fun!







Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fun Challenge from Valley MQG

At Valley MQG, we love to have fun.  Our last monthly meeting was especially eventful and filled with surprises.  We had a lot of laughs and my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing so much.  It was our 2nd birthday celebration.  Our membership chair had solicited and found lots of donations of gifts from many quilt shops in Southern California.  Almost everyone had something to take home.  This was mine to take home that night.  I always wanted a thread catcher and a basket.  What a great gift! 



Our monthly challenge was 'Fortune Cookie challenge'.  Our President, Scott Griffin, bought fortune cookies for everyone and we were supposed to read our fortune and interpret it into a quilt or a project.  My fortune said, 'A secret wish will be revealed to you in the near future.'  I waited the whole month for it but with disappointment, no one revealed any secret wish to me.  So I decided to reveal my own secret wish.  My wish is that I can travel the world and collect fabric and stamps.  I got this wonderful fabric with pictures of places such as Paris, Shanghai, Bombay and Madrid on it and a coordinating fabric with stamps and postcards on it.  I decided to make a collage quilt.  Here it is.....


I used some charm squares as background and arranged picture fabric on them.  I decided not to use any adhesive on the fabric.  I then put very light gray tulle on top of everything before quilting it.  I had a lot of fun doing free motion quilting on this piece.  Another secret, this is my first time doing pebble quilting.  Boy! my arms were tired.

I absolutely love home grown vegetables, especially tomatoes.  This year our beef stake yielded a lot of fruits and, in my humble opinion, they are the best kind for tomato sandwiches which I enjoy so much.  I'm saving seeds for next year.  Here is a tomato that I just picked today.  It's more than 4 inches in diameter!!  Doesn't it look perfect?





Have a great day!!
Go have some fun and make quilts!! 


Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilt

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Fall Paducah show

Hi there!!  I'm home from the Fall Paducah QuiltWeek.  What a fantastic time I had.  I was truly amazed at the talent of those who participated in the show.  So much inspiration from the quilts, colors and patterns.   If I post all the pictures I took, this blog will be just pictures.  I will post only those that I was attracted to the most.  I tried my best to get the quilter's name for the quilt but missed one, I'm so sorry.   Here we go.....

Journey by Grace Sim


My Rhodie by Andrea Brokenshire
Doesn't this flower look real?

Menopausal Insomnia by Irelie Beatie
I smiled when I saw this quilt title.  Somehow I knew what it meant.



Cool Jazz by Shirley Gisi
I love the color play in this quilt.

LiLY by Hiroko Miyama - Japan
This girl looks so alive and lovely.

Unconditional Love by Ruth O'Sullivan
Isn't this quilt sweet?  I love dogs and looking at this quilt made me think of my old dog, Shadow.  He wasn't a German Shepard but a black lab mix.  He was a really sweet, gentle and smart dog.  We miss him!!

Cherry Blossoms and Moon

Magical by Joanne Baeth
Don't these white doves look like they are flying off the quilt?
 

This is me doing my demo about my book in AQS Author Showcase booth.  The audience was small in number but they were very inquisitive and engaging.  Working with flannel is hard on your machine because flannel creates a lot of lint underneath the throat plate so I made lint removers as a giveaway and they were a big hit.  They are made with pipe cleaners and coffee stirrers.  This is what they look like.  I got this as a gift some time ago from Scott Griffin in the Valley MQG.



At the Fall Paducah QuiltWeek, AQS had a free shuttle service which was great.  They allowed me to see the town and I went to some shops too.  I spent every available minute to take in everything as much as I could.  The most memorable incident was at the Must Stitch Emporium.  While in the shop, one lady from Indiana recognized me and asked me to sign her Show-book.  I never expected in a million year that someone would recognize me!!  Wow, what an ego boost for me.  

I got to go to the National Quilt Museum too.  Couldn't take any pictures in there.  The quilts in there are of exquisite beauty and workmanship.  

I also bought some notions and of course fabric.


 


I love the V and Company fabric line and try to collect them whenever I have a chance.  I don't have a plan for this acquisition yet.  The fabric on the bottom is not from V and Company but I like it for background for future project.

I really had a marvelous time in Paducah.  I would like to do a shout out to Pat, Karen and Gail.  I'm glad that I went and had a chance to meet you all.  Thank you ladies so much for making my time in Paducah a memorable one.  
 
Have a great day!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

AQS QuiltWeek and works in progress

I'm very excited to say that I'm going to Paducah, Kentucky next week.  The AQS is having an Author Showcase booth at Fall Paducah QuiltWeek from September 13-16.  My scheduled time slot is Friday 15th at 2:30 pm. to do the demo and talk about my book.  I've never been to that part of the country before and I can't wait to see it.  I've heard of the National Quilt Museum in Paducah and I'm dying to see all the beautiful quilts in there.

I've been busy working on several projects. They are commissioned works, gifts and my personal projects.  I'll show more pictures when they are done.  I may have some quilts to submit to QuiltCon. 

I also have been working on my son's new quilt.  It's a HST quilt and I tried to quilt diagonal lines on it.  You can see the picture of the quilt here.   I used a Juki TL-98E and Aurifil thread to do the quilting.  When I finished all the quilting in one direction, I put the quilt on my work table to examine the quilting lines.  I used my hands to smooth out the quilt.  The thread snapped and broke in many places.  Every quilting line that I touched, the thread would break.  Plus there are a lot of skipped stitches as well.  I've used Aurifil thread to quilt before but never had such an experience like this.  I had to take out all the stitches and this was very discouraging for me.  I discussed this incident with my quilting friends in my mini group and the conclusion was the tension.  I just had this machine serviced by our local authorized Juki dealer about a month ago.  I'll bring the machine back to the dealer before I try to quilt with it again and hopefully it will be better than the previous attempt.  

Have you had this kind of problem when you quilt?  If any of you want to share your experience of quilting on diagonal line, please make a comment for me.  Thanks!!

On top of all these quilt projects, I'm reupholstering a sofa for my dear friend's daughter.  The original cover is old and faded, but the frame is in an excellent condition. She took some pictures as I go along, and here they are.


Sofa's before picture

Stripped it down to the frame, then covered with new material.



This is how the sofa looks today.  When the frame is all done, I'll work on the cushion.  Before I became a full time quilter, I did many re-upholstery projects.  Those projects were for myself, my family and friends.  Some projects were for strangers who heard about my work from friends.  I even got paid on some of the projects too.  I really enjoy re-upholstering furniture.  It's very satisfying to see an old piece of furniture get a new and fresh look. Picking out a new fabric for furniture is really a lot of fun as well.










Have a great week.  
Go do something good and fun!!

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!!