Monday, December 31, 2007

Yukata quilt road test

My little guy couldn't wait for the finished quilt, so he road tested it while it is still basted.

He says "I like it quilt!", so I guess that means it meets his standards.

I'm feverishly working away to finish it and got the bright idea to use Sashiko stitching. Gee what a great idea.

Yukata fabric is insanely tightly woven because of the dyes used, and Sashiko needles are giantly fat due to the thread you put through them. Perhaps Japanese girls know this is a recipe for disaster and wouldn't try it.

The results are cute actually, but it's taking a wee bit longer than expected due to the fact I cannot load more than 1 stitch on my needle.

Hope your New Year's eve is awesome. We will actually go out of the house (due to the generous babysitting service of my BELOVED parents ) and see an actual movie on the big screen!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yukata quilt

I cut out this quilt using some solids from my stash and some yukata fabrics.

These little 14 inch wide fabrics are quite pretty, and somehow it seems irreverent to cut them up.

Anyhow, cut them I did, and they are back together now in a tiny little quilt form that will hopefully be dragged around and loved by my son.

I pin basted it only (I hardly ever do this, since hand quilting on a hoop w/ pins in your quilt is a pain) but I'm going for speed. I sewed the entire thing together while the rest of the household was napping yesterday.

For a while I was at odds with how to quilt it, but I finally came up with a crazy idea that I've been working on. More pix soon...

Ok. I know this is random, but can you believe that this girl made a life sized knitted red Ferrari? What passion that must have taken, and gosh, I hope that red yarn was on sale.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Head Muff

I set out to knit my beloved husband an amazing little knit cap that would match his orange sweater and orange watch.

Somehow, the thing turned out so huge that it is sorta like a balaclava without eye holes.

Again, thinking I should stick to the quilting...and actually almost literally quilting while I type this...I may have to admit that this hat is more of a head muff than an actual hat. My husband lovingly wears in anyhow and my friends say that he just really adore me to wear it.

My young friend Katie has just started a new blog and has a post of another ugly homemade hat...I think my orange one is less ugly.

Serious deep bowing from me to you knitters out there. Wondering if there is any hope for me, and heading back sheepishly to my sewing machine.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our biggest dinner

Last night we had 11 people over to Christmas dinner.

With only 12 sets of silverware, it was a decent challenge to say the least.

The meat was yummy, the sides where also quite good, the kids had fun, and the grown up company was incredible.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, I did finish the Jinny Beyer-style fabric ball ornaments for the kids this year! Hooray!

Hope you are all out there enjoying some time off work and some time spent with family.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Making a list....

Here's the 'twin' - same Dear Jane block, but in 1800's reproduction fabrics. Hard to decide which one I like better.

Earlier today, on this Christmas Eve, I was listening to the radio and they were talking about making lists (checking them twice?). What' you've done...what you'd like to do still in your life...

It seems that most people do it, and that there is even a new web site called meosphere dedicated to it.

So in the spirit of the season, and also in seeing this year 2007 rapidly coming to a close, I will make a list of my own.

My list is a list of 10 things that I've accomplished in my life that I'm glad that I managed to do, and look back on them wondering if it was really me that did all this.

If you would like to join me in this little exercise to celebrate the end of this year, please list your 10 things in your own blog, and post a comment on my blog with a head's up for me sometime before January 1, 2008.

On 1/1/2008 in the evening (California time), I'll tally up all the links so folks can see each other's posts.

Here goes!

1) I've kissed the blarney stone 3 times

2) I ate sushi in Japan

3) I gave birth vaginally to a baby with what my OB called "a good sized head"

4) I rafted down a tributary to the Amazon and experienced amazing wild creatures and plants

5) I've walked on the beach in Hawaii at sunset with my soul mate

6) I've never broken a bone

7) I learned to play the guitar

8) I graduated from college with a science degree

9) I can hum a middle C note on the piano with the exact right pitch before you hit the key

10) I'm able to fix boo boos simply by kissing them

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Dear Jane block, and unplanned hat felting

Well, I'm back on track, and making more Dear Jane blocks for my sister's wedding quilt. Here's the first one, a taupe colored block made with Japanese fabrics.

I'll show you the 1800's reproduction block next time. (remember...I'm making all the blocks twice!)

Oh, in other news, my husband woke me up the other morning to say that there had been a laundry accident.

Our naughty little 2 yr old had tossed his brand-new-knitted-by-mommy-with-Japanese-imported-yarn-from-Superbuzy hat into the laundry basket. My husband, being a good husband, took all the laundry and threw it into the washing machine.

The hat, of course is tiny, and felted. Still cute, but in no way useful for the giant head of our kid.

Making lemonade out of lemons, I passed it along to one of my favorite babies who is just 1 year old, and has a very adorable and tiny little carrot top head.

Glad it could find such a cutie pie owner, and I guess since it's felted...all those annoying little holes are gone!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Happy Mail

Those Christmas packages keep on rollin' in every day. It makes me happy to see them all arrive.

Nothing made me happier this week however than the beautiful mail I got from Donna of Quilt Pixie.

This is an example of one of the totally awesome fabric cards she makes. Her work is spectacular, and her blog is also a huge source of inspriation.

Thanks a million!

Also, I recently discovered this podcast called Craftcast. Are you out there listening to this? Pretty cool. Back in October, she even talked with Amy of Angry Chicken. I haven't downloaded this yet, but will have to do that asap.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My sister is ANNOYING!

It's a Santa beard! from a small quilted wall hanging, "Button Claus".

First of all, you must know that my sister NEVER reads my blog.

She's a busy girl, lots going on, works tons, plays tons...I really cannot blame her for not reading.

The ONE TIME that I do a brain teaser post, with a picture from a project that we made together...she reads my blog and guesses the teaser!

It's like those separated at birth twins that end up buying the same make and color cars or something. She's really freaking me out a bit here.

Anyhow, I do adore her, and she did guess the teaser. Thhhhhhhhpppt.

Amy, however, did not even take the class with us and also guessed it, so bonus points for you Amy!! My goodness her blog Ibby Bee is beautiful.

So much else going on - getting tagged again, awesome happy-mail from Quilt pixie...oh so much more to time.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Brain teaser

What comes out only once a year, but is an old faithful part of our family tradition?

Bet you can't guess what this is a snap shot of...

This one is really tough. I'll fall out of my chair if any of you brainiacs get it right.

Oh, and did I mention that we baked (thanks for the help Sharon!) around 20 dozen cookies today? The grocery checker was alarmed at the number of butter sticks in our cart.

The co-worker cookie recipients will be oh so filled with holiday glee.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Home made Christmas ornaments

The pieces of the 2007 Christmas ornaments are all cut out, and I'll be putting them together this weekend so stay tuned for finished pix (I hope).

My husband picked out the fabric this year, so they look a bit more lively, and I think the kids will really like them.

They should come together pretty quickly with any luck.

So I was reading Heather's blog, and it lead me to check out Trash Ties.

These look so cute and adorable. I really want some. I was about to order a few as stocking stuffers, but I am not sure the web site is processing credit transactions using the usual security method, 'https:' so I chickened out and will have try and find them in a store or something.

Any ideas where I can get some? What a cool looking product.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Hat = done

Whew! My son's green knit hat is done!

Part of me was wondering if I would complete it before summer.

Wanted to model it for you, and thank you knitter guru girls for your support and encouragement. I used this yarn from Make Make.

Not that it wasn't fun to work with yarn...but the fabric is calling me....will have some more Dear Jane/Dear Hannah tiny blocks for you soon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yo Yo quilt

Have you ever started a yo yo quilt and wondered if you would ever complete it in your lifetime?

I'm planning on finishing it someday, just not sure when that day will come.

Ok so I was tagged by the lovely and talented Leigh of Love Leigh Things...cheers Leigh, here goes.

7 random facts about me:

1) I am a native to California. Kinda random, definitely rare.

2) I love photography. My sidebar has some cool links to photographers, my favorite one is Eugene Lally. He taught me how to look through a camera when I was a very small kid and I remember him helping me set the focus distance on my manual camera when I was trying to photograph a pigeon. I have since graduated to photographing tiny bits of fabric. Thanks Dad.

3) I'm reading a book by Barbara Kingsolver right now, her work is very poetic.

4) Yesterday, my best friend Julie bought me bananas and milk to use for our 2 yr old's breakfast so I would not have to go out to the store. I'd be literally lost without this woman in my life.

5) I love bunny rabbits. As a kid, I always had one.

6) I just started a serious relationship with Google reader. It's the best blog reading tool I've run into so far, and I think that I'm in love.

7) My son came with me to the eye doctor the other day, and she gave him a little pencil for being such a good boy. I told him, "Say 'thank you', to the doctor, honey." He said, "Thank you Doctor Honey!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Amigurumi - little frog

Last weekend I took an Amigurumi class at a local yarn shop and turned out this little cutie frog.

Frogs and snails, as they say....are what little boys are made of.

Hopefully our little boy will like this stocking stuffer. The pattern calls for it to have a little scarf, so I guess I need to knit him up a little something to keep his neck warm.

What should we name this little guy? Any ideas?

The class itself was very cool. There were only 3 students and 1 teacher, and everybody was so helpful. The teacher taught me the proper way to read the patterns (whew! finally I know how)!

I also ran into this amazing woman who was a customer wandering around the yarn shop. She had her daughter and adorable grandbaby with her. It turned out she was Japanese and was so kind to translate a few more body parts in one of my amigurumi books for me.

Now I can make a hedgehog do to the kindness of this Japanese woman! How cool is that.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Jinny Beyer and my own holiday tradition

Every year, I make Christmas ornaments for a few important kids. It's one of the small but fun traditions we have around this time.

Our son is of course on this list to get one, as well as 3 adorable cutie pie kids that live very close to us. I want to expand the list, but we'll see how many I can turn out.

This is one of the ornaments I made last year.

I'm getting out my Jinny Beyer book on how to make these this weekend, and thinking about fabric choices for 2007.

For some reason I LOVE 1930's fabrics on Christmas projects. Maybe because that is the era that our house was built.

Do you have traditional things you make or do every year? We have a couple more, I'll have to save for a later post.

Oh, I got tagged too, so it will take me some thinking to find 7 facts about me...will chew on it a bit.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

A few questions, a bit of panic, and some holes of considerable size

Dear friends that knit,

Note that perhaps I've been knitting a bit too much lately (especially since I'm so bad at it!), so take this with a grain of salt -

Do you knit when you're with your 2 year old son and he's looking for his dinner?

Do you knit when you're mostly in the dark sitting in the passenger seat waiting 45 min in a line of cars trying to view holiday lights?

Do you knit when you're talking on the phone with your girlfriends about heated topics?

Do you knit when you're watching foreign films with subtitles?

Perhaps all of the above are bad ideas, but I have scientific proof - at least in my case - that these activities lead to 1 unsightly thing:


Yes, I'm talking holes in this hat that you could run your index finger through! Holes that will show up when you put said hat on your head!

I think the topic for my knit lesson next week will be "how to pick up dropped stitches".

Or perhaps "don't panic, buy a crochet hook."

In any those of you who knit, and you know who you hat is off to you and the beautiful work you do.

In truth I don't really need to take my hat off after all, it already has plenty of holes!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What can you get a Wookiee for Christmas?

When I was a kid, it was all about Star Wars.

I'm a product of the 70's what can I say...a funky little era, a fashion-questionable era, an era in which Star Wars was born.

Because my dad signed us up to be members of the Star Wars fan club, we ended up getting this record (yes record, not CD) called Christmas in the Stars.

On there is a track called "What can you get a Wookiee for Christmas (when he already owns a comb?)". I think it may be my all time favorite Christmas song.

There is another track on there for you trivia lovers called "R2D2 we wish you a Merry Christmas" which just so happens to be the first ever musical recording of John Bon Jovi. You've come a long way, baby.

I know you have some cool holiday tunes that are your old stand by's so...educate me! What's on your short list? Christmas Don't Be Late by the Chipmonks perhaps? (embarassingly also in my top 10 list)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas...

My husband is up on a ladder right now putting up our Christmas lights. I cannot wait to see them in their full night-time glory.

Yesterday we visited Redwood city, as they trucked a couple tons of snow in for the California kids to experience "snow".

My son finally wore this little crochet hat that I made him last year, he loved it actually, so that was a nice surprise. Many snowballs were launched, and fun was had by all, including soggy me.

The taupe quilt for my mom below was mostly from a pattern book from Kumiko Fujita - ISBN4-579-11078-1. Kinokuniya can order this for you. Purl has a different book for sale by her.

The rest of the little blocks were from Elly's new smaller baltimore album book. Also a very nice resource book.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Japanese taupe quilt - the big picture

Ok, no more teasing. Here's the entire quilt.

More notes on where I got patterns, how I did construction...coming soon.

My mom says she still loves the quilt and looks at it every day. How sweet!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Taupe Quilt

So a couple more details, you know I cannot resist keeping you in suspense of seeing the entire quilt.

The quilt is completely done with Japanese taupe fabrics (yarn dyes), and the vast majority of them are from Daiwabo, although some are from other fabric companies.

Some of the pieces I actually hand carried home from Japan.

My college best friend is visiting Japan, and I mentioned that to my ex-coworker that lives there. She could not wait to show my friends around Japan. What hospitality! Typical Japanese style, they are such generous people.

I'm wondering if my friend will stop in at Yuzawaya. I'm green with envy.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Birthday, Mom (the big reveal)

Today is a special birthday for my Mom.

For her gift this year, my sister and I did a colaborative quilt project for her which we started making last Christmas.

It's a bed-sized quilt, all hand appliqued and hand quilted.

She really loves it, and I think it will help to make this birthday very special for her.

Thanks for teaching us to quilt, Mom, and have a great day!

I'll have to post some full sized pix of the quilt for you, as it is quite pretty to see the whole thing. I will also confess that I've been secretly sweating to finish this for the last several months.

It almost KILLED ME to do so much quilting and not post any pictures on the blog. Had to be a surprise though!!!

Whew! Done on time! Hooray!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Happiest Place on Earth

As a very special treat, our family went to Disneyland yesterday.

Even though I grew up about a 20 min drive from here, I had yet to appreciate it until this trip.

Our 2 yr old son loved it, and seeing it for the first time through his point of view was what really made us enjoy it this time.

The entire place is SERIOUSLY decorated for Christmas, which was also very beautiful. Have you ever made it there around the holidays? It's SO worth the trip.

Minnie blew a little kiss to our son, my husband ate fried chicken, grandparents took pictures, sister went on her favorite ride, and I even got to go on my favorite ride. It was so fun!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Purl Soho in Orange County

The mysterious door below is from Purl Soho's shop in Orange County, Southern California.

What a huge treat to visit there in person. This place is a little known secret among quilters, but perhaps not for long.

The girl who helped us was so very nice, and knew the inventory like the back of her hand. She also impressively pointed us to all the latest new fabric that had just arrived.

If you ever end up in that neck of the woods, it's worth a visit. Not open on weekends.

15431 Redhill Ave, Ste D
Tustin, CA 92780

I was lucky enough to see the new collection by Etsuko Furuya. Dangerously cute, I picked up a litte piece of bird fabric.

The coolest was thumbing through Koigu yarn (KPPM). I will confess that I did buy enough to make 2 scarf projects. Good thing I have another knit lesson next week!

I was looking forward to meeting Mari who works there, but it was her day off. I'm sure I'll catch her next time.

Mari has a very nice blog - Marirob, and makes very creative projects that are sometimes posted at the Purl Soho blog too.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Being Thankful

The above door is the entry to a VERY important be named in my next post, oh such a happy place.

When I was a kid, I visited Plymouth Rock, the rock that the pilgrims landed on in 1620 when they got to the Boston area. It's a very silly tourist attraction with this rock at the bottom of a pit, in a cage. Everybody puts their lens through the bars and snaps a picture of it.

Looking back on it, it seems kinda ridiculous. How do they know that is the actual rock anyhow?

This year at Thanksgiving, I'm going to list the top 5 things I'm thankful for. If you want to do the same, that would be cool. Let me know and I'll read your post as well.

1) My family - they are all with me this Thanksgiving and we are all healthy and happy. What more could I be thankful for.

2) My job - I got a new job this year, and even though it's a challenge to learn the technology, I'm really enjoying my new company.

3) My friends - My "real life" friends, and my blog-related friends - all of you encourage me to continue with the creative work of quilting, taking up knitting, and remembering to enjoy life through making beautiful things.

4) My house - I live in a tiny 85 yr old house, but it's a happy place that is our very own. Covered with our 2 yr old's favorite toys, and at times a bit of dust, I think it's the happiest place on earth.

5) Blogs - out there are many many amazing blogs. Some that I have been looking at a lot lately, and really enjoying:

Ibby Bee Quilts - nobody should have shoes this cute, it should be a crime.

Moonstitches - the owls posted there right now are to die for, free pattern included!

Chicken Blog - one creative lady behind this blog - great photos and a lot of crafty goodies floating through here.

Scrap a bee - Japanese cute at it's finest

Chara Michele - a beautiful and stunning blog - some of the nicest photography I've seen lately

Black Dog Knits - ok now that I love yarn, I cannot resist throwing this in here. A beautiful blog.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Piu Piu

This little magnet by Piu Piu is so adorabe, I'm thinking it could even hold large pins as well as paperclips.

I have it on my little sewing dish along with the tools I use when I hand quilt. It says cherp cherp when it wobbles around.

Oh, news from Moo - they just emailed me a 20% off coupon, wow, the temptation....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Japanese quilt fabric on Etsy

What cool comments on the last post, thanks everybody for your thoughts!

I just got a package from a Japanese fabric seller listed on Etsy. There are some very cool ones out there. Some mentioned in the comments, thanks Oiyi and Nora!

Sonetine (my new fabric is from there, pictures soon)
Chocolate Swirl
A little goodness (shoot, just ordered a book!)
Sweet Flavor

Ok dangerous links. I won't tempt you with any more of them.

The above little bag was a free goodie when I signed up for a frequent buyer card at Anthropologie. Adorable!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Japanese Fabric Collection

My fabric collection is one of my most beloved tools.

I put a lot of time and energy into finding just the right tones, textures and colors so that the next project will push my creative limits and become something beautiful.

A lot of quilters call their fabric collection a "stash" and I'm not sure I like the sound of that.

"Stash" - sounds like some disease you should have treated, or a bad habit of filling up your spare bedroom with items you will never use or need.

My fabric is my 'collection', and my tool to create what I love. I'm thrilled to have such a well stocked arsenal.

Where do I end up looking for fabric these days? Here's my top 5 shops (this week at least!).

The above fabric was purchased from this shop

Love their Japanese section

Not sure what type of fabric this is called but for lack of a better description "Japanese cute" is probably pretty close. Shop owners have excellent selection.

More Japanese cute is here, but these guys don't ship to the states.

Adorable fabrics, very nice customer service, awesome.

Material Poessessions - quilt shop near where my mom and sister live, they have a great taupe collection in their shop (I don't buy online here, I do it in person).

Got some other links for me? Please let me know!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Japanese Quilting Blog

I love my little Japanese quilting blog....however I occasionally wander off topic just a touch.

Japanese style quilting does make me tick, don't get me wrong, but tonight I took my first ever knit lesson.

It was so much fun! I actually learned to knit, and purl, as well as how to cast on properly. All these mysteries solved in just one little hour! My instructor is named Ivy, and she has the patience of a saint luckily.

I am really wanting to make a sweater someday, but I also think it will take me a good while to graduate to that level especially since I have 10 billion quilt projects that are still on the front burner.

In other news, if you don't have a TV, now might be a good time to buy one. I actually don't watch any TV (outside of movies) except for 1 show.

This beloved show is Project Runway!

Tomorrow night on Bravo, at 10pm, season 4 starts up. I have been so looking forward to this!! The folks on this show are masters at sewing garments and make some of the most beautiful things. If you don't watch this...please consider!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Glow in the dark thread

Keeping you waiting all weekend to find out about my new cool find at the quilt shop is a bit mean I know...sorry!

Truth is, I had to be awake enough to photograph it for you at night!

This thread glows in the dark and is called Nite Lite ExtraGlow by Superior Threads.

They claim it glows up to 6 hours. Seriously, that has a lot of cool potential. Dryer safe, Iron safe, it sounds pretty awesome. I haven't used it on anything yet, but gee where to start?

Anything that a little 2 yr old boy would like to go to bed with (blankie? plushie? PJ's?...) I'm thinking the possibilities are endless.

What would you used this cool thread for? Cough up some creative ideas my brainiac friends!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Quilt shopping over lunch

Today over lunch I made a mad dash out to Eddie's Quilting Bee as I was looking for some of Jeanna Kimball's needles.

They didn't have them, but I enjoyed seeing their new building. They moved to this new space in mid Sept 07 and it's a really large and pretty space.

I found the coolest thing there...oh, I know...the suspense is killing you...must photograph for you it so you can understand the magic before your very eyes.

The above photo is a close up of the hat that I made for our son. He loves it which is a giant surprise to me. My knit lesson got rescheduled for next week...but I'm still really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Roberta Horton - Amish quilting

Well, I ended up with a schedule conflict last night and moved my private knit lesson to Thursday, so stay tuned on that.

Back at PIQF a few weeks ago, I took an Amish quilting class from Roberta Horton.

The class itself did not involve any sewing of quilting at all. It was just a color study, and an exercise in how Amish people use color in their quilts.

If you ever get the chance to take this class from her (she travels to a lot of major quilt shows teaching it, even internationally!) I would highly recommend it.

I felt like a real artist!

If you have any other recommendations for me on good classes to take, please do let me know. I'm always looking for tips on what to take (or not to take for that matter).

Oh, in case you're wondering, mine is top row, second from the left.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Moo business card holders

How pretty is this was just sitting on my mom's kitchen counter when I visited her.

I got an email from Moo. They have the most beautiful mini card holders!

Of course I have a billion of their little cards, so could not help but order a holder. Perfect size, and in your favorite colors of leather too. Nice!

Will post pix once they arrive.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Crochet hat

Ok, so I got a bit of blue yarn as well.

I made a little hat while we were driving up to San Francisco. You may recognize the bridge that we're standing on, it's sorta famous for it's red color.

Did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge is actually named after the Golden Gate Strait, which is the waterway that is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay? Our visiting cousin was wondering, so here's your answer Travis!

The hat was well received, and I felt like at least I can do something with yarn, even though that doesn't include the word knit.

I did however, hire a privite teacher at Commuknity (my local yarn shop) to give me a 1 hr private intro lesson next Tues. night! I'm so excited! Wish me luck!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Help! I bought yarn!

Ok, seriously, I am scared now.

I just got the cutest yarn on earth from SuperBuzzy...(imported from Japan of course) ...want to knit at idea how to knit...

But - I have a plan! Stay tuned.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Quilts Japan 119

Quilts Japan 119 (issue number 119 that is, November 2007) was just delivered to me, and is a very pretty and elegant issue.

It is very focused on Christmas, with tons of beautiful wall quilts and small projects in red and green. The Hawaiian style Christmas goodies really caught my eye. Tree skirts, tree decorations, small table runner (p. 6-7 if you're reading along)....all very striking.

The rest of the issue has some taupe small items (needle cases, bags) and some incredible bed quilt pictures. There is a strawberry applique quilt on p.64 that blew my socks off.

It also looks like some new taupes are floating around here in the states. Some can be seen on Pinwheels web site. I haven't run into them in person yet...but I'm sure I will soon.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Homemade Halloween Costume

Can you guess what our son is this year for Halloween?

You know I love to make the costume myself, but at 11:30 pm last night I was wondering where the wisdom in that was.

In any case, I only have 1 more moon to sew on, and he'll be ready to tear up the neighborhood.

We practiced last night...he rang the doorbell, Daddy crouched next to him and whispered "trick or treat" in his he whispered in a very tiny voice "trick or treat mommy".

It was the cutest little thing on earth.

Enjoy your Halloween! I love homemade costumes. Let me know if you are out there also making some.

Looks like I found perhaps the most darling little girl costume over at Wee Toes and Noggins. Too cute!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

5.6 earthquake & sewing supply organization

As plate tectonics proved this evening, with a 5.6 earthquake (epicenter about 10 miles from our house!!) it may not be a great idea to stack your fabric too high.

We didn't lose anything valuable, but it certainly scared the heebie geebies out of all of us.

It is the biggest earthquake I've had since I moved to the bay area. I of course was in the middle of the Northridge one, which was certainly not my idea of fun.

Anyhow, a few things fell over, and inspired me to tidy up my office, not sure if I'll really do it. Maybe after I finish the halloween costume....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Japanese Quilting in Southern California

Last weekend we drove down to LA for the wedding of an old and dear friend.

Correction, I should say that my husband drove us down and back. The truth is that I usually help out with the 7 hr drive, but this time he did the entire thing by himself. Gee, thanks honey!

Anyhow, on the way there, I read this totally cute new Japanese quilting book that I got. It included a little project with yo-yo's, and a bit of sashiko too. It was a little placemat thingy.

I decided to make a mini version of it, probably to make into a pin cushion or something small like that.

This book has some cathedral windows quilts in it too, that are using linen for the background fabrics. Really pretty.

On the way to the wedding, we stopped at BookOff, a used Japanese book shop, and looked for used quilting books. I found a few. Nothing super special, but prices were right, so I adopted a couple of thick books with block patterns. Worth it to stop in if you're in that neck of the woods.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Pearl's Applique and Pressing Tool

I think that brain teaser in the last post was WAY to girls pretty much all understood the purpose of the tool, and more or less all got the teaser right.

Lynn, however, hit the nail on the head, and called out the maker and the exact name of the tool, so nice going Lynn!

If you haven't checked out her blog yet on Craft Sew, pls do check it out. It's a beautiful blog (one of my FAVORITES) and she just put some pix up of PIQF 2007 quilts that are just to die for.

Pearl's Applique and Pressing tool is one of my most beloved tools. I use it when I'm at the ironing pad, with starch, turning the seam allowance under fabric that will be applique shapes. It is perfect, doesn't burn, and saves you from toasting your finger tips.

On the back end of the tool, there's a flat surface that acts as a wooden iron. This is super handy when doing paper piecing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Brain Teaser

Ok, mystery picture fans...what is this strange item? Got any guesses? Little hint - it is probably one of my top 3 favorite things to use.

Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week.

After work, my husband and our 2 year old scamper off to swimming lessons.

We fight over which parent gets to go into the water, because we love it so much despite the somewhat suspicious salty flavored water.

Tends to make for a busy night though. We got some un-romantic taco take out dinner, and had a very quiet night at home.

It is our 10 year first date anniversary tonight, so I gave my husband a few little music CD's that I thought he might enjoy.

Before he got a chance to listen to any of them, he fell asleep in our breakfast booth, and is still sleeping there like a baby.

Happy 10 my love. Hard to believe it's been that long.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

PIQF 2007 Paparazzi - Annie Smith of Quilting Stash

It was a warm and lovely afternoon on the last day of PIQF 2007.

I was innocently and aimlessly wandering around the quilt show with my family, (waiting to pick up my quilts really) and who did I bump into?

The lovely, and talented Annie Smith. She whipped out her little camera and snapped a very cute family photo of us!

Annie of course, is my fav podcaster on the planet, and also publishes a beautiful blog on her web site

I was thrilled to see her again, my husband felt like he had met a Hollywood movie star, and my son was more than happy to sing a little song for her.

You know I don't usually plant my face on the top of my blog...but if you're curious, you can check see her blog for the family photo. Blushing...I'm so honored! Thanks Annie!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Postcard by Overnight Printing

Well, here's a sample of the postcard that I had made up with my blog URL, just for fun. Perhaps you recognize some of the pictures I used here.

I used Overnight Printing, and they did quite a nice job. They included a bunch of safety tips on cards for Halloween as a free gift, which I though was a cool added bonus.

I suppose I'll still give out some candy along with them. Don't want to get any trick-or-treaters upset!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Phantom Ghost visit

Last night we were hit by the phantom ghost.

We were innocently sitting on our couch, just chatting about how nicely the week ended up, when all of a sudden, there was a knock on the door!

We ran out and saw a package on the door step, and a car speeding off.

In the package were all sorts of Halloween goodies...chocolates, flashlights, light wand, amazing little treats.

We were pretty sure we recognized the car that went zooming away, so tonight was our night to retaliate.

Part of the fun of course is that you pass the gift along to 2 other people, so not only did we hit the friends that got us, but we hit a couple more as well. Our bags had candies, pez, Halloween pot holder...other fun little stuff.

The best part of the bags we made up was the fact that we included these very tiny LED lights on a string all around the bag to light it up and really make it look cool & scary. We picked these up at Ikea yesterday for next to nothin'.

Wanna hit your friends? Letter here is not the exact one we got..but it's close.

Looks like not everybody appreciates being visited, but this blog entry is so funny anyhow.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Super Buzzy Buzz

My latest order from Super Buzzy just came in, and Oh So Cute! I really like these little prints. I know, they are sorta childish, but I adore them all the same.

One really nice feature of shopping there is that they offer .5 yd cuts of fabric. That works well for quilters like me who like the scrapy look.

I think one of the shop owners has a blog called Super Eggplant. I think, don't quote me on that one. Either way, Super Eggplant is a very cool blog so check it out if you haven't yet.

Off to wash and iron them...smiles, grins! Oh so cute! One more thing - they put little Japanese candies in my order. What a sweet surprise.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A bit about me...

Sarah of Village Quilter tagged me so here's a couple of things in case you were curious...I'm not answering all the questions since some just don't apply but here goes.

4 Jobs I've had:
  • Making up mailers for my dad's business when I was a kid, he paid me by how many envelopes I licked
  • Cutting fabric in a quilt shop - yes, I did work in a quilt shop, it was very fun and rewarding
  • Working at the front desk of my dorm room in college (you could study while you worked, it was cool)
  • Volunteer bartender at a fundraiser to fight AIDS (I still have no idea how to mix drinks!)

4 films I could watch over and over:

  • How to Make an American Quilt - if you love to quilt, be sure to see this, it's very sweet
  • Princess Bride - if you look closely, they only have 1 stunt man in this film, and he plays all the characters, men and women (complete w/ blond wig!)
  • Amelie - what a lovely lovely film
  • The Cuttine Edge - 80's, cheese, my sister can also watch this over and over - we love to watch it together.

4 places I would love to be:

  • Kyoto - would love to visit there someday, have never made it yet.
  • Grand Canyon - cannot believe I have not been there yet, this is a crime.
  • Yellowstone - my camera has asked me to take it there several several times, it's starting to beg now
  • Singapore - I really enjoyed visiting there, and would like to go back someday and see Malaysia too, I hope that doesn't count as 5, oops.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

200th post

I know you're supposed to host a 200th post party or something, when your blog grows to 200 posts.

It really snuck up on me, so maybe I'll have to do something belated.

Anyhow, hard to believe it's been this long, but also thinking I will probably someday hit my zillionth post as well, since I'm kinda a little blog addict.

This is a full picture of the quilt that I talked about in my last post, not made by me, but one that I really enjoyed at PIQF 2007.

I also scored some Liberty of London prints while I was at the show, and they came from the International Fabric Collection booth. Looks like they sell them over the web too. Nice.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

PIQF 2007 - viewer's choice

At PIQF 2007, and at any quilt show, there is always an award called Viewer's Choice.

Anybody who attends can vote for the quilt they like the most.

The above quilt did not win viewer's choice at PIQF in 2007. In fact, it actually didn't win a ribbon at all.

However, because this is after all my own personal blog, with my own personal opinions, this quilt is by far my personal "viewer's choice."

It was made by Kiyoko Nakahara, of Japan. I was stunned by the beautiful hand work. Full picture of the quilt in my next post.

At PIQF there were lots of cool shops. Some of the ones I liked the most:

Quilt Crafts - notions like you would not even believe. I found my favorite zipper pull by clover here. Some of you asked where to get it, so wonder no longer.

Also found at Quilt Crafts booth was my FAVORITE tool for applique - it keeps you from burning your fingers as you preform your quilt shapes.

Pearl's Applique and Pressing Tool: $15.95

Oh so much more to share on the topic of PIQF 2007....stay tuned.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

PIQF 2007

PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) is well under way here in beautiful San Jose.

These are my two favorite quilts from the show.

Ok, in truth, these are the 2 quilts that I made, that were accepted and hung at the show.

Of course I favor them, as I imagine my husband and son cuddled up under the one of the left. In my mind's eye, I can see the one on the right hanging above our son's bed in his nursery.

I'll freely admit that there were some seriously more beautiful quilts at the show, and I promise to get pix up on Flickr asap. If you couldn't go in person, you'll at least get to see the quilts I loved enough to photograph.

As for the shopping...the highlight for me was seeing my old friend Mariko from Azabu-ya. Her booth is dangerous to my bank account.

Tons more info in posts coming soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dear Jane quilt blocks & Moo stickers = peas & carrots!

Let me see here...

Quilt blocks are square.

Moo stickers are square.

Coincidence? I think not! Could it be more perfect? I photographed my Dear Jane and Dear Hannah quilt blocks, and uploaded them to Flickr.

Moo directly pulls files from Flickr and poof! Adorable quilt blocks are stickerified.

My bronchitis-ridden 2 yr old is already wearing a couple, and I almost believe they are cute enough to ease his cough.

Or maybe it's been so long since I've left the house that I'm starting to enjoy my incoming mail a wee bit too much.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Simons thimbles

Simons has been making thimbles since the 1800's or earlier? Not sure of the history of this amazing company.

Anyhow, this is an antique thimble that I scored off ebay (yes, I'm an addict, no I don't plan to stop using ebay).

Their thimbles are the most beautiful I have come across. Perhaps you have some recommendations of others, but personally I think, their simplicity and craftmanship take the cake.

It looks like they even have a rimmed quilter which is my favorite style of thimble. How pretty, in sterling silver. Mmmm...

On a different note, I also ran into this pretty comprehensive guide of shopping in Japan. I appreciated the effort the author put into it, and thought others might enjoy reading it.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Wedding signature quilt

This is the quilt that I started when we got married.

It's sorta based on the Sarah Johnson quilt I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

My mom and sister cut out all these little squares of white fabric, and at my shower, all the girls who came signed them.

I then used these to make the above sample blocks to show at the wedding. We made a poster board of them. Below it, was a basket of the blank squares, and we asked all the wedding guests to sign.

They graciously did, so now I have tons and tons of these little signature squares. I still need to make the rest of the blocks. The ones shown here are just the ones from the shower.

It's a very cool idea, and if you decide to try sure to tell people to sign 1 block EACH. Not 1 block per family. That way you will get a lot more signatures.

In other news, I ordered some postcards for my blog...from Overnight Prints. Have any of you tried this service or can you recommend another place? I just tried them because they are sorta close to me, so we'll see. I'm running to my mailbox every day with great expectations.