Friday, August 31, 2007

Farm girl fun

This is a picture from those awesome seam rippers that I mentioned. They are SO pretty, I cannot stop looking at them.

It almost makes me want to sew a wrong seam just so I can use one. Almost...

Mary Jane's Farm is on my top 5 favorites for magazines I love and adore. It's saying a lot because most of them on my list are not in English.

Mary Jane talkes about raising your own food, and how to eat organically and healthy.

Yesterday, we harvested a huge bunch of tomatoes from the garden, along with some basil, and spend the remainder of the evening making sauce.

We couldn't wait to try it and ended up eating a bowl of noodles at midnight!

It somehow tastes better when it comes out of your own garden.

We still have tons and tons of basil out there. Ideas as to what to use it all for? I'm thinking a pesto may be in my future...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tenugui and Quilts Japan #118

Quilts Japan issue #118 arrived at Kinukuniya, so I rushed over to pick it up.

The cover shot quilt is striking, and inside there are some very nice patterns. Some of them include traditional blocks as well as some twists on them including the spools block.

When I was at the bookstore, I picked up a "Tenugui". Does anybody else out there have experience using them? They are these sort of fabric-based business cards, and I did end up getting some when I was in Japan.

They consist of a piece of fabric that is 33cm x 90cm that can be used for a towel, hankie, headwear (in the olden days)...etc. I'm thinking they migh make some cool little bags or something.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Moo-rific! Moo-tastic! Moo-licious!

My pack of mini-cards came from Moo today, and all I can say is I am their biggest fan now.

If you have not ordered these with pictures of your quilts or your kids or even your big toe, it's time to visit Mooooooo!!!!

I'm in love. I called my mom (yes, she quilts too) and said - wow Mom, these really are cute, I mean adorable...seriously I want to walk around and look at them all day, they are really awesome, so cute.

She said - gee, Marisa, are they really cute? Ha ha, ok, people, maybe I'm a little too into the Moo, but anyhow, it's novel...simple things for simple minds I guess.

In other news, tomorrow, 8/29 is the last day to post mark applications for entry into PIQF (Pacific International Quilt Festival) so I'm off to sweat it out, and finish my applications. They have rejected me stay tuned to see if they take my quilts.

I'll have to post some pix of the quilts I'm entering. Think a happy thought. The quilt show is juried, meaning they are super picky and only take quilts that are "worthy".

Am I Worthy? Only time will tell!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

San Diego Quilt Show 2007

This is a shot of my favorite quilt at the San Diego Quilt Show.

It's part of the American Quilt Study Group, and a challenge they put out there for their members.

In person, this quilt is nothing less than stunning. I stood in front of it open mouthed, in pure admiration of the work that went into this awesomely (is that a word?) beautiful 1800's reproduction quilt. The whole thing was hand quilted.

There were lots of other quilts there too that were cute, the the repro's just bowled me over.

The coolest thing I bought was a seam ripper and stylus from Westenskow & Sons. These are AMAZING! So cute. Hand made wooden tools, custom stained and tons of colors and styles to choose from. Seriously - their web site, I must say, leaves something to be desired...but I'll put some pix of them up soon and you will realize you need to get one of these.

The Stylus is perfect for making preformed applique pieces and will help you use starch and not burn the living heck out of your cute little manicure - or fingers for that matter!

Boo, I just realized the cutest nail salon in all of San Francisco is closing. I guess that's what I get for only going there a couple times a year.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"The Moment"

It's been a busy weekend so far, with moments of bliss and dispair alike.

The bliss comes in my annual "moment" with my sister. In general, we're pretty close, and we talk a lot even though we don't live in the same city.

Our birthdays happen to be only 1 day apart, so every year, on the stroke of birthday ends, and her birthday begins at the same time.

Somehow, one of us always remembers to call the other one if we aren't together so we can be united for "the moment" of our shared birthdays.

Some years one of us (usually her) is sleeping and gets woken up to a birthday song...but at this point it's more or less expected to happen, so it's part of the fun. It's true love in the world's most annoying sense.

This year she called me first, which was cute.

The rest of the weekend was characterized by some amazing quilt-y gifts - more on that later, a trip to the San Diego Quilt Show, more on that later too, and a rather nasty tummy bug that our almost-2-yr-old picked up (think a bit of dispair, tears and lots of carpet cleaner).

One quick link to a quilt group I learned of at this show - the American Quilt Study Group - pretty interesting....maybe I'll have to look into this one a bit more. The photo above is from one of their quilts.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Another taupe book! (as if I need one)

I could not resist this book about making taupe bags. This one, on the cover, looks amazingly adorable.

I picked up some handles that I think are more or less the same as the ones shown here, so I think that I can actually make something similar (given enough spare time to work on it!)

Have you heard of Moo?

Ok, please check this out, and let me know if you've used them before. They print the coolest ever business cards, notecards and stickers.

I just ordered a bunch of mini business cards & cannot wait to get them.

Also, they ship globally (not an easy thing to figure out how to do), so if you're reading this blog entry, and you are not E.T., their services are available to you! Is that awesome or what?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Summer Reading

I just finished The Art of Mending as my attempt to read something fun and light to occupy my summer mind.

I liked it, but it wasn't quite a happy uplifting book overall. Not a bad read, however. The protagonist is a quilt artist.

Not sure what's next on my hit list. Have some ideas, but looking for something fun, and have basically already read everything by Barbara Kingsolver.

Summer's almost over. I think I can sneak one more in under the wire.

Ideas? Help me out here bright minds!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Quilt Block for school

Our son got a new teacher at his nursery school and she asked each kid to decorate a quilt block and bring it back in.

This of course is the homework project from heaven for a mommy like me, so I cut up a bunch of felt and went sorta nuts.

Wanted to keep it pretty simple and quick, but really enjoyed doing it, and hope that I measure up to the other crafty parents in the class.

Also, I alphabetized the sidebar on the right of my blog - finally - so you can find some very cool blogs over there. Most do some sort of sewing along with other crafty stuff. Of course my favorites are those that do some Japanese crafts.

I just discovered Kwoozy's blog - which has some very interesting 3D fruit softie pictures. I love to stuff things, maybe some fruit is in order. Yikes, so many projects, so little time.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Another Twin

In stolen moments here and there I finished the twin block.

First come the taupes (good practice!) then come repro blocks. I have fallen in LOVE with the background fabric for this block. I'm nuts for birds lately.

We went to Ikea to scope out furniture this morning. Their breakfast there is SO cheap, I could not even believe it. Did you know that in Europe there a Ikea breakfast clubs where people eat there every morning because it's so affordable?

After we finish our re-roofing project, we may be eating breakfast, lunch and dinner there!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Another block...complete!

I just uploaded this to the Dear Hannah flickr group. It's finished!

I used some freezer paper on top of the pieces and needle turned under the edges. What a fun block this was to create. Final size is around 4.5 inches.

This is of course the taupe flavor, I have an 1850's reproduction flavor in progress. The taupe flavor is a "practice" keeper block - I'll end up making a quilt for myself of these. The repro's are for my sister's quilt.

I was reading Camera Arts magazine, and I found this really interesting photographer. Charlotte Grace captures all her images directly by laying them down on her flatbed scanner - no camera involved.

Images themselves have a very special look to them. Interesting. Maybe I'll play around with this technique a bit. The floral images are STUNNING! Her link is going on my sidebar right now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

PIQF - call for entries

This is a little Dear Hannah block that I just finished...must photograph the rest of it and upload to my flickr group.

Not sure if there are other crazies out there making these tiny detailed applique blocks by hand or not...

I would love to invite more folks to join the flickr group, so let me know if you have any other friends making the blocks too. I sort of make up whatever method I think will work for each block but other ideas are of course welcome.

The roof project is going well, although if you are in the center of our kitchen, you can look up and see the stars. Think that will change tomorrow with a bit of sheet rock.

PIQF - Pacific International Quilt Festival is taking applications for entry into the show up until August 29th. I have a wall hanging quilt I'm toying with's an original design, so I think I have a shot at getting accepted.

Hope some quilters enter some cool stuff this year. They usually do!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Raise the roof!

This morning at 7 am our roof was ripped off.

It was scheduled of course, and we will end up paying for it once the new roof is put on, but it was a lot of excitement this morning.

About 10 guys with pitchforks were digging into our difficult to insure wood shingles and tossing them down the side of our beloved home.

No rain in forecast, we are good to go. New roof expected later this week.

The above picture is of our deck before we cleared the patio furniture, plants, and toys. It's the roofer's playground now.

I was playing around taking pictures with my lens baby, which I adore, and think it's pretty cool to use on not only backyard photos, but quilt block pix too!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Summer Harvest

This year our garden tomato crop strictly consists of heirloom tomato plants, specifically Maryanne Peace.

Yesterday, for the first time, we got a red one. With a little ceremony, we plucked it off the plant, lovingly carried it into the house, and sliced it up for our dinner.

It seemed like murder, but we didn't really care, as it was as delicious as any tomato in the history of tomatoes.

The Maryanne Peace specie is a rose colored tomato, which means it has lower acid levels so easy to eat and digest tons of them.

Wondering if we will get enough to make and freeze some sauce for later.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Flickr fix

For some reason (my account being old?) within Flickr I got labeled NIPSA, meaning none of my photos would be visible in public forums.

I emailed the admins of Flickr, and they fixed it right away! It only took a couple of days, I was really REALLY impressed.

Anyhow, now - finally, you can see the pictures I've uploaded there to both the Dear Jane and Dear Hannah groups.

I just uploaded the above picture to Dear Jane this morning.

Hooray for Flickr! They rock.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Fabrics from Japan

I found out yesterday that my old college roommate is off to Japan for a few days vacation.

She asked me if there was anything to do there, or any good places to eat...I said that I would have to talk to her in person because to email it all would take too long.

It got me thinking about what you need to go through in order to get real Japanese imported fabrics here in the states. Here are a couple web sites, if you're into the traditional stuff:

Yoko Trading - These guys have a pretty impressive collection of Yukata (traditional cottons, mostly blue and whites, used to make summer outfits). Some really beautiful pieces here.

Shibori Dragon - you would potentially assume this site carries actual Shibori fabrics, but truthfully, they do not.

They do however have probably the most insane Sashiko fabric I've ever seen. This fabric has wash-away lines that you embroider on leaving a beautiful pattern after you wash it.

I completed one of these not that long ago.

Azabu-ya - I know the owner of this shop, Mariko, and have talked about it before, but if you are interested in some very cool imports, she's Japanese and has a great eye for color when she makes fabric purchases for the online store.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Quilt Appraisal

I just looked at the Road to California web site, and after already signing up for a TON of classes (mostly about appraisal), I realized there is a lecture in the evening on Friday, where the owner of Pinwheels will speak on TAUPE FABRIC! Ok...signing up tonight!

On the topic of quilt appraisal - why you might want your quilt appraised...all that good stuff - lots of reasons you may want to check this out.

Mostly if you have a normal home owner's policy, your quilts are covered if they are lost but will only be replaced at a very low value unless you have appraisal info for them.

The other really great reason to insure them is if you are putting them into a show or competition. If for some reason it is lost you will not get any replacement value unless you have an appraisal.

I am getting more and more into sending my beloved quilts off to see the world, so appraisals may be in order before I send them off for the greater universe to enjoy.

Speaking of the universe - have you ever visited the Alden Lane Nursery quilt show? If you're in the California bay area, it's not to be missed.

Maybe I'll enter my Lone Star quilt (yes, you guessed it from my last post, that's what's in progress!!)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

New quilt in progress - teaser only

Sneak peak at the taupe quilt I just 'star'ted. I wonder if you can guess what pattern it is...

And oh, some huge news...I got my confirmation for the Road to California quilt show in January - I'm in! All the classes I signed up for had enough space for me.

I'll be learning how to become a quilt appraiser. How fun is that. Many steps to getting certified, but taking 3 whole days of classes sounds like a good start.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Adorable wrap!

This is a photo of the adorable wrapping around my doll quilt, that included the world's cutest ever pin w/ yo-yo and buttons.

My doll quilt partner, Louise, wrote a post about how she got the inspiration for the quilt, which is a cute story - check it out.

Life's good for us here these mom is visiting and taking care of our almost-2-yr old during the day. This means happy baby, well rested baby, no all translates to a happy, healthy family in general.

I spread the rumor that she is staying at least until Halloween, but I'm not sure I will actually con her into staying that long.

One of the most brilliant parts about the trip is we each decided to start the same quilt together. She's doing 1 in her colors, and mine is taupes, of course.

More teaser pix soon....