Thursday, December 31, 2020

The 2020 Year Look Back and Looking ahead to 2021

 Hi Everyone.....

What a year we have had and continue to have!!  This pandemic is a wake up call for everyone.  For us, it made us think: are we really ready in the case of emergency?  What if all the services have to close down and we have no way to get food and necessities for everyday life? 

A few years ago, I assembled five backpacks filled with 72-hour kits for all my immediate family and my father and mother-in-law.  We have some food storage in our pantry for emergencies but we didn't really update or pay much attention to them until early this year.  When I did, I realized we were not as prepared as I thought we were.  A lot of food/medicines were expired and had to be tossed out.  It's time to overhaul our food storage system....

Looking back on 2020:

1.  I have posted more blogs this year, 37 blogs to be exact.  It came to 3 times a month.  I can do better, I think.

2.  I didn't set many goals for 2020, but I did say this year would be the year of actions and motivations and it would be a year of hobby with a bang!  You can read about it here.

    For motivations, I decided to join in the #OneMonthlyGoal at Elm Street Quilts and I’m glad I did. This monthly linkup has helped me to stay on task and accomplish every goal I set for this year.  

     I also joined the 30-day Sketchbook challenge on Instagram, hoping that it would motivate me to design more but I didn't finish the whole program.  After two weeks, I went back to doing my own thing.

    For the actions part, I designed and made several tops.  I finished 12 quilts.  The picture below only shows 9 quilts that I didn't forget to snap a picture before I gifted some away.  I highlighted some of them in this Best of 2020 post for the linkup party at the Meadow Mist Designs.  I sewed everyday and I really enjoyed it.  This will definitely continue to next year. 

    One of my quilt designs got published in the Make Modern Magazine.

    My 2 quilts got accepted to QuiltCon.


Looking ahead to 2021.  I will.....

- Continue to work on more designs and make something everyday.

- Work harder on pattern making/writing.  Graphic seems to be the most challenging thing for me.  I would like to outsource this part to someone who is good at it because I rather do the designing and sewing parts.  If anyone out there wants to collaborate with me on this, I will welcome this new venture and recommendations.

- Take more pictures and seek inspirations all around me. 

- Improve my quilting skill.  Try new FMQ techniques and do something outside my comfort zone. 

- Work on ideas for a book either on my own or collaborate with other quilters.  Five years ago, I got a book published by the AQS and still remember how much fun I had working on it.   I submitted 16 projects for them to choose, they ended up picking every project.  I was overjoyed.

- Continue to post regularly 1-2 times a week or as content arises.  

- Participate more in social media and interact more with others.  I like to collaborate with other quilters/bloggers on a project.

- Continue to participate in charity quilt making.  I really enjoyed the #Hands2Help2020 project this year.

- Work on quilting the tops I made this year.


On a personal note I will:

- Exercise more and take better care of myself; mentally, physically and spiritually.  

- Be kinder to everyone around me, including myself.

- Work more in the garden.  Growing my own food is very intriguing to me.  I'm very happy when I harvest my own vegetables and herbs.

- Take more walks with my husband and our dog.


The year 2020 is ending and I gladly say goodbye to it.  Wishing you all a better and brighter new year.   

Happy Creating and Sewing.....

Linking up with the #2021PlanningParty.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Hexies Fun

 I've been playing with some hexie pieces that I have.  My OMG for December is to make something with them.   The first group of hexies go on coasters in pictures below.


The second group of hexies go on the Hot Pads below.

Let's see the detail quilting on the top left piece.

I had a lot of fun making these coasters and hot pads.  I won't see my family till next week.  I hope they'll like them.

Again, Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Best of 2020

 Hi Everyone,

Cheryl Brickey from the Meadow Mist Designs has the best of 2020 link-up for bloggers to share their 5 best blog posts.  The best part is we got to define what the 'best' is.   Let's get right to it.

The quilt that brings me the most joy this year is the Chemo quilt I made for my neighbor's daughter who went through chemotherapy for a very aggressive breast cancer.   When I heard that during the procedure, her fingers and toes were so painful that she had to wear frozen gloves and socks to help numb the pain, I wanted to make a quilt for her.  This is the fastest quilt I've made.  It took me 12 days, from the day I learned of her favorite color, to the finished quilt, and I didn't have any purple fabric. 


Chemo quilt 43" x 51"

The next quilt is Coming Together.  This is a house warming gift for a dear friend who just bought an old house.  The house is over 100 years old and is so beautiful both inside and out.  


Coming Together 32" x 35"


My #3 is a fun quilt that I made without any plan.  I just started to sew some fabric together, cut it up and ended up with this quilt.  I called it Subtraction.   


Subtraction 36"x36"

I submitted it to The International Quilt Festival.  I was happy that it got into the show even though it didn't win anything.  Two weeks ago, one of my quilty friends sent me this picture.


It's one of the ads from the Mancuso Show Management company for their up coming show.  It tickled me to see that they used my quilt for their promotion.

The next one is my sister's quilt.  I saw a picture from Pinterest and used it as an inspiration for this quilt.


My sister's quilt 55" x 67.5"

The last but not least, 'Journey'. 


Journey 70" x 70"

This is the biggest quilt I have made to date.  Quilting this quilt on my Juki was an experience I will never forget.  So many times I wanted to quit but I kept telling self I couldn't.  I persisted and here it is, and it's one of the two quilts that are going to QuiltCon Together in February.

This year is an unique year that none of us will ever forget.  In a strange way, it's good for me.  It makes me to stay put and work on my quilty things instead of going around and do something else.  I love to see a quilt conceived from an idea to a finished piece.  It gives me a sense of accomplishment.  


I hope next year will be better than this year.  I hope that we will be more kind, have more patience and love one another.

Happy New Year everyone........


Monday, December 21, 2020

Hexies WIP and Good News

Hi Everyone......

Last week was our 32nd anniversary.  32 years is a long time for anything, but it doesn't feel long for being married to my wonderful husband.  I guess time flies when you have fun.  He makes me laugh every day.  I'm so blessed to have someone who supports me in all that I do.  He's always there for me in all ups and downs.

On top of that, I also got great news about my QuiltCon entries.  Two of four quilts got accepted.  Here is a glimpse of them.  You've seen the one on the right before.  It's the quilt called 'Journey'.  The one on the left is called 'Autumn 21', I will have to show it to you at a later time.

I'm so thrilled to be included among super talented quilters.  Check out so many great quilts on Instagram #QuiltCon2021.

In my last post, I said my OMG for December was to do something with all the EPP Hexies that I have.  I've made some progress as seen below.


I made the top four coasters first and tried different ideas for quilting.  It turned out I didn't like them as much.  I felt there's too much quilting on them.  So I made the next four coasters and left out the quilting on the white background.  I only quilt around the hexie shape.  I like it much better.  So I made more.....


5" Coasters

The fun continues with this 7" square hot pad.  


I also tried some other layouts on 8" square as in the picture below.  The more I look at them, I probably make the background a little bigger. 

Have a great quilty day!!





Tuesday, December 1, 2020

New Hexie Projects and OMG for December

 It's time to set a new OMG for December!! 

I've been making Hexagon EPP pieces whenever and wherever I had time to kill, for example, the 15-hour flight to Thailand.  I would get all fabric pieces and supplies ready in a small bag and got busy making these cuties to pass the time.  After I finished a project, I would cut up scraps for these hexies.  They're always ready for me to grab.


There are over 600 pieces in the box and it's time to do something with them.  I have the cutest thread snipper that I got from The Road to California quiltshow a few years ago in the picture below.  It works amazingly well to snip off the thread on the airplane. 


The goal for December is to use these Hexies to make projects for Holiday gifts and maybe some other interesting projects too.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great quilty time.....


Saturday, November 28, 2020

My Sister’s Quilt Update and A Heart Full of Thanks

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.  We sure did.  We gathered at my father-in-law's house as we usually did but with a much smaller group this year.  We had a great time and we all went home with gratitude in our hearts.  I, personally, have so much to be thankful for.  God has blessed me with wonderful families to be with; my family with great parents and siblings, my in-laws who truly care about me, my American family who loves me as their own and finally my own family with an awesome husband and two great kids.  What more can one ask for????

My sister’s quilt is done. Hooray!  For November, I set a goal to finish the quilting on this one.  I went on and completed it with binding and label. 


The quilt before washing 59" x 71"

Then I put it through a wash and a low heat dry cycle and here it is ready for shipping.

The quilt after washing 55" x 67.5"


The quilt back: pieced cotton flannel


I'm so glad that the red dye didn't get on any of the beige and white squares.  Color catchers worked really well.  I love the way the quilt feels under my hands. 

I even had a label on.  The amazing thing is that I didn't forget to sew it on when I put the binding on.  It's been my attempt to do this but I ended up sewing it on by hand every time.  This time I sewed two side along the binding and hand sewed the other two sides.  Then I added some hand stitching with red thread around the wording.  I actually thought of adding more colored thread on, but I stopped myself.  I like it the way it is right now.  Here's the picture with  her name blacked out for her privacy.  The date is the Thai date, in case you're wondering.


The quilt stats:

Size:    55" x 67.5"

Materials:    Made entirely from scraps. 

Batting:    Warm and Natural

Backing:   Cotton Flannel

Binding:    Machine binding

Quilting:    Walking foot quilting

Pattern:     Unknown (This is not my pattern.  As I stated in my previous post that I got this idea from a quilt picture I saw on Pinterest.  I've tried my hardest to find the owner of the pattern but failed.  If any of you know the name of this pattern, please let me know.)


This is the last quilt I finished this year.  The 2020 year has certainly been a challenging year for everyone.  I feel for the small businesses who are going through this unprecedented hard time.  I definitely will do my part to support them. 

Now go on to the Elm Street Quilts to check out the OMG finish for November.  There are many eye candies.  It's been fun to join in every month for the OMG.  It has surely helped me to stay on task and pushed me to finish what I set out to do.  I'm so happy to say that I have completed every single OMG that I set for myself this year.  Many, many thanks to Patty Dudek for hosting.

Cheers and Have a great quilty time.....

Friday, November 20, 2020

My Sister's Quilt

 I've been working on my sister's quilt.  My Nov. OMG is to finish quilting it.  I'm so happy to say that I did it.  I divided the quilt into 4 sections and quilted each area with a variety of straight lines, as seen in the picture below. I quilted this quilt with a 3-ply all cotton thread.  It's thicker than 50 wt. Aurifil that I usually use and I really like the way it looks on the quilt. 



The quilt is 59"x71" and made from scraps that my sister gave me.  The quilt is trimmed and squared, ready for the next phase, binding.  I'm enjoying thread basting more.  I really think that it produces a great result.  Not one pucker on this quilt top.  Yippee.....

There are fewer than 100 days till QuiltCon Together.  I submitted 4 quilts this year.  As soon as I hear from them, I'll let you all know.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great Quilty time!!

Monday, November 2, 2020

November OMG

 Hi Everyone,

It's November!!  The air is finally cooling down and there are so many things to look forward to.  The Holiday Seasons are approaching.  Despite of all the challenges we have this year, I determine to have a great time during the holidays.  I have so much to be thankful for and so much to celebrate. 

It's time to set a new OMG for November; I'll finish quilting my sister quilt which I started last month and you can read about it here.

Thank you for stopping by.  Have a great day quilting......

This week, I'm linking to:

 Monday: Monday Making

Friday, October 30, 2020

Work in Progress in October

This month I want to work on the quilting of my sister's quilt which I wrote about it here and here.  It's a work in progress.  I'm glad to say that it's half done right now.  I do love working on this quilt.

I'm getting to like thread basting more, and have improved much on this quilt.  What I mean is that I didn't jab myself too much this time.  This time I used light color thread for basting.  You can't see them in the pictures real well though.  For the last quilt, I used dark color thread to baste it, thinking that using a dark color would help me see better.  You can read about it here.  When I was done with the quilting and tried to take the basting thread out, I had a hard time getting all the lint from the basting thread out of the quilt top.  Thread basting is time consuming for sure, but the result is great.  

I printed out a picture of the quilt and used pencil to draw the quilting design on the picture first.  I divided the quilt into 4 parts and quilted each part separately to help me handle the quilt better.  When it was time to do the quilting, I used masking tape to help me with straight line quilting, as seen in the picture below.  It worked great for me.


Here are more pictures of the quilting.


Right now the quilting lines are 1" apart.  When I finish the whole quilt, I'll decide whether or not to do more quilting in between those lines.

Now go to check out the finish link-up at Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal - October Finish Link-up.   You will see many wonderful finished projects.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week.

Today I'm linking up to 

 Off the wall Friday, Whoop whoopFinished or not Finished Friday


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

I'm in My Zone

Just a quick post to show you my thread basting results.  I'm quilting a wall hanging quilt, about 40"x40", right now.  I used thread basting again.  I didn't enjoy the basting part because it took longer and my neck was killing me while I was working with the quilt on a table.  Good news!!!  I didn't get jab as much this time.

Once the quilting started, I knew I'd love the results.  The top didn't move much at all and I'm loving the look of it so far.  Here are some pictures.


The quilting is 1/2" apart.  I still have more to do today.

Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great quilty day!!

Monday, October 5, 2020

October OMG

 It's time again to set a new goal for a new month.  I can't believe it's October already.  I know I said that a lot.  Time sure goes by fast even though this year is different and we all try to do our best to live our lives as close to normal as possible.

Back in March I posted a picture of a quilt top I made for my sister from her fabric that she gave me.  You can see it here.  The original idea was to do some applique flowers on top but I saw some quilt pictures on Pinterest and did this instead.


When I posted this on October 5th, I forgot to say what my goal was.  So here it is,  I’m going to quilt this Quilt in October.  

Let’s go to Elm Street Quilt and take a look at the October OMG

Have a great week!!

Monday, September 28, 2020

September OMG Finish

At the beginning of September, I set a goal to quilt my Mini Candy Box quilt.  You can read about it here.  

This is the finished quilt.

Mini Candy Box - front

Mini Candy Box - back

I contemplated how to quilt this quilt for almost a month.  I pinned it on the design wall and looked at it every time I walked by.  It's not a big quilt, 27" x 30.5", so I thought I would do a lot of quilting on it, either straight line quilting or try out free motion quilting.  I even thought of quilting from the back because I just love the backing fabric.  I tried it on a sample piece, but I didn't like the look of the needle marks on the front when I sew from the back.  Back to square one! 

The more I looked at it, a little bird told me otherwise.  The quilt top is very busy, so I decided to do simple quilting on it.  I didn't want too much quilting to distract the eyes from the design.   Then I finished it with facing instead of binding.  I really like the clean look on the front.

Now go check out the September Finish link-up to see many beautiful works here.


On Sept. 2nd, I wrote about basting, and tried thread basting for the first time.  When I thread basted this quilt, a few thoughts came to mind.

1. I got jabbed quite a bit while using a basting needle.  It's not fun  and I had to be extra careful not to bleed onto the quilt top.  Hopefully this will get better with time.

2. It's a very time consuming process, more than pinning, I think.

3. I didn't like it when the thread ran out and have to re-thread the needle.  That's just me, my bad.

When it's time to quilt, I liked it that the top didn't move a whole lot.  I did sew over the basting thread in a few places, but didn't have much problem when it's time to pull out the thread.  I cut up the basting thread and used an awl to help pull the thread that got run over.  Not a significant problem.  Maybe because I didn't heavily quilt this piece.  

Over all it's quite an interesting experience.  I'll have to do it again with a bigger quilt and see if I would feel the same.


I also pulled out some fabric for a new project.  Here is a sneak peek.  

Have a great week everyone. 



Tuesday, September 22, 2020

A New Finished Quilt

A quick post to show you the finished quilt for my friend’s daughter who’s going through chemotherapy to fight a very aggressive breast cancer. 


It’s done and delivered yesterday.  I heard that patients often get cold during the treatment, I hope this quilt will keep her warm.

Now I have to get back to my other projects.


Keep calm and quilt on..... 


Friday, September 11, 2020

A New Quilt

 Hi Everyone,

I have a rush project this week.  My neighbor's daughter is under go a chemo treatment for a very aggressive breast cancer.  I want to make a quilt that she can take with her when she receives that treatment.  It's not going to be a big quilt, just about 4'x5'.  She likes soft purple, her mom said.  I don't have many purple so I went to my local quilt shops.  These are the fabric I picked out.



This is what on my design wall right now.  Today I'll be finishing up the top.


 Keep calm and quilt on........

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

In Search of a Basting Method

 Hi Everyone,

Today I want to talk about basting a quilt.  I've tried pin and spray basting.  They both have positive and negative aspects to them.  Pinning is a tried and true way to baste a quilt.  The only negative thing is that I have to do it on the floor which is fine with me, except that I don't have floor space in my place.

In recent years, spray basting has gained more popularity among quilters.  My experience with it is very limited because I have only tried it on some of my wall hanging quilts which I think it's a good size for it.  When I tried it on a bigger quilt, like my sister's quilt, you can see the picture here.  The quilt is 70"x80" before quilting, and it didn't work out well for me.  After I spray basted the quilt using pool noodles on a table, I have to heat set the glue with a dry iron which was a challenge for me.  After I repurposed a 30"x72" working table for an ironing table, I still had a hard time repositioning the fabric which shifted during the process of  heat setting.  I gave up, undid everything and went back to pins.  Now it's ready for quilting.

Another problem I had with spray basting is that the glue came out as a blob.  The picture below is my quilt 'Subtraction'.



To this day I can't get the glue stains off the back of the quilt.  If anyone know how to get rid of the glue stains, please share.  Thank goodness that the stains didn't show up on the top.  Only I know they are there but I would love to know how to get them off the quilt.  😒

The third method of basting, that I know of, is thread baste.  I've read about this sometime ago.  It was the way our ancestors in quilting did it in the old days.  Some still do it now.  I visited a blog by Sophie at  Luna Lovequilts and read her tutorials on thread basting method.  You should go to her site and see her quilts.  I decided to give it a try for my small quilt called 'Mini Candy Box'.  Here it is, all basted and ready to be quilted.


I didn't have basting thread so I used an old cheap thread that I have before my quilting obsession days.  I think any thread that can be easily broken will do.   Quilting this quilt will be my Sept. OMG goal.  I'll let you all know how it goes.


That's All Folks!!!  See you next time.


Stay well and quilt on.......

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

August OMG finished

It’s too hot to do anything, but I did do my August OMG. Once the design was done, the quilt "Journey" was a breeze to put together but the challenge came when I started the quilting. I was struggling with all the turning, shuffling and maneuvering the big quilt around and through my Juki home machine. While I was working on this quilt a lot of things went through my mind, memories from my childhood, my experiences when I first came to America, my interactions with people in the guild, church, and so on.  I wanted to give up many times but with every turn, I told myself to continue on.  It occurred to me that if one wants to have a conversation with oneself, quilting is the perfect time for it.  

Each day, I could handle the quilting of one block, and I was ok with that. The work progressed slowly and I was ok with that too.  When the machine acted up, I took a break, a deep breath and walked away for awhile. The next day or two I would get back at it again. That had been my dealings for most of July.

For August I set goals to square up the quilt and put the binding on.  And here it is....

The quilt is 70" x 70" finished.  I made the binding with a mix of the grey fabrics in the blocks.  I'm so glad I finished this quilt as planned.  I'm pretty happy that I've accomplished each of my OMG so far.

Until next time my dear friends.  I have several quilt tops to work on.  I can't wait to have a meaningful and deep conversations with myself again.  πŸ˜‚


Stay cool and take care yourselves.   Quilt on.......

Sunday, August 2, 2020

My! it's August already?

Hi Everyone,

I can't believe it's August already.  Times sure fly fast these days.  I must say this year is very challenging for everyone.  I feel for parents who have young children who are not able to go back to school.  I pray that you'll be strong and hang in there.  There are silver lining behind every cloud!!

On a personal note, I'm pretty much stay on tasks.  I feel very productive this year.  All thanks to Patty at the Elm Street Quilts for her OMG challenge. 


My August goal will be squaring up and binding the quilt 'Journey'.  You can read about this quilt here and here

Stay strong and quilt on....

Friday, July 31, 2020

July OMG finished

Hi Everyone,

It's very hot here in Los Angeles.  I've been working on my July OMG for the whole month.  The goal is to quilt the quilt called 'Journey'.  The quilt is about 72" square but I had to make it 80" square for the quilting.  Here are the front and back pictures of the quilt.

Here is a closeup shot.

I don't know how to do free motion quilting, especially on a big size quilt.  I've played with free motion quilting on smaller pieces but I can't translate it to big quilts.  I chose to quilt it with a walking foot on my Juki TL-98E machine.  It's a great machine and works like a charm except when it decided to be fussy about thread tension.  I had it worked on by a Juki certified mechanic before, but it's still very temperamental.  It's very frustrating when I was in a middle of sewing and had to make a 90 degree turn, without warning, the corner thread became curved instead of having a sharp clean angle.  A seam ripper saved the day, again.  It happened so many times that I even thought of throwing the machine out the window.  I took many breaks, re-adjusted the machine and continued.  That's has been my experience for the past three weeks.  In the end, I finished it this morning.  All the loose thread ends were tied and buried.

I learned a lot from working with this quilt.  Thousands of times I wanted to give up and work on something else, but I kept telling myself  'Don't let the beast win!!'. 

I'll be very, very happy when the binding is on.

Maybe it's time to really be serious about free motion quilting..... 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Another day in quilting

Hi Everyone,

Last time when I made Candy Box, I had such a great time working with scraps to make improv blocks. It’s such a liberating feeling to work without worrying about cutting or following patterns. I decided to make another improv quilt. They will be smaller pieces to fit windows in my new sewing room. 

I tried some new techniques.  One of which is called inset circles, which I have been curious about for sometime. The modern quilt studio has a tutorial on YouTube that you can watch it here.  This is my first inset circle, and I must say that I was pretty nervous about it at the beginning.  I'm glad I tried it and it's not that hard.

After I made this block, I cut it up into several 5" squares and used them in the new quilt top as below.  Right now it's 22"x28".

It looks somewhat like the Candy Box quilt but smaller.  This one will be put on a 27"x54" window opening.  That room has two windows so I have to make another one.  I think I will use different colors.  

I also am working on a new piece which is on my design wall right now. 

This one is conceived from a sketch that I did.  I showed it to my daughter and she really liked it. I just love consulting with my artist daughter. We share what we’re working on regularly.  I love to get her comments. 

Now I have got to get back to my quilting goal for July.  Journey, at 72” square, is such a big quilt for me. I basted it yesterday and now I'm ready to actually quilt it. I have a renewed respect for those of you who make big quilts. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

Stay cool and quilt on.....

Thursday, July 2, 2020

July OMG

Hi Everyone,

It's July and it's hot here in Southern California.  The best thing to do now is staying home and quilt.  Since the beginning of the year, I have made a few quilt tops and now is the time to start quilting them.  The OMG for July is to quilt this quilt, 'Journey', as shown below.

This quilt is 72"x72" right now.  I'll be using my Juki TL-98E to do the job.  It's the biggest quilt I've done to date. 

Wish me luck.  πŸ˜‰ 

Have a great week and quilt on......

Friday, June 26, 2020

A New Baby quilt

Hi Everyone,

I set out to do the quilting of this baby quilt for the OMG for June and I did it.  Originally, I thought circular quilting would be perfect for this quilt.  As much as I like the circular quilting, I wanted to do something different for this one.

What I'm really excited to share today is this tool that helped me do it.  I have an iPad and have been using the photo editing program for most of my photos for my blog.  In the photo editing program, there is a function called Markup which allows you to add text and do some doodling to the photo.  I have found it to be very useful to help me decide on how I want to quilt this quilt.  Let's look at the following pictures.

I thoroughly enjoy the process of quilt making.  Sometimes I find myself stuck on how to quilt the tops that I made.  In the past I would insert the quilt photo to a word document and print it out on paper.  Then I would use pencil to draw the quilting design to help me make a decision.  Using the photo editing program on the iPad simplifies things for me.  I was able to doodle with my finger how I wanted to do the quilting.  It's not perfect but it really helped me to visualize the quilting design.  As you can see, I decided to go with the design in the first photo. 

Now that the quilting is done, tomorrow is the day for binding.  If this is new to you as it's to me, I hope this info. will help you.

Happy Quilting!!