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.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

First haircut

Our son is about a month over 2 yrs old now, and we gave him his first haircut this morning.

We visited Balloon Cuts, and they did a very nice job. There were plenty of TV's to be watched, and a Jeep chair to sit in, so our little guy really loved it.

He looks like such a little boy now, with no trace of our little baby left. I miss his baby ringlets and will surely cry my eyes out later, after he goes to bed.

I suppose they grow up all the same, whether nor not you want them to.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

4th Anniversary

Today is my 4th wedding anniversary.

This morning I woke up to an amazing breakfast including pancakes, ham, and eggs (not bad for a Thursday).

My husband is a romantic at heart, and still calls me "sweetie bride" around the house. These years have flown by at a pace that I would not have imagined back in my single days. I suppose that's what happens when you're having fun. Thank you Sweetpea for making this time so incredible.

The above quilt was a wedding gift from my small quilt group. They worked on it for a year before they gave it to me.

They entered it into a quilt show, and the title of it was called "Marisa, this is your wedding gift."

I went to the quilt show with them and was standing looking at this awesome little quilt wondering where I could get the pattern for it. One of my friends said, "Gee, I wonder what the title of this quilt is?"

When I read it, and understood it was made in honor of our wedding, I was crying, and very moved that these amazing quilt artists put so much effort and love into one of my alltime favorite gifts. It hangs above our fireplace now.

I also started to make a wedding quilt with signatures...(based on the Sarah Johnson quilt) but I'll save that story for another post.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Cake Rock Beach by Purl

Purl, of course, is one of my fav hang outs for picking up the latest Japanese Fabric while living in the U.S.

As if their current fabric selection wasn't tempting enough, it looks like they are coming out with their own line! Cake Rock Beach is the name of it, and the colors look natural, rich, and simply amazing.

Don't think you can get any samples at this early date, but there are some pix up on Flickr that temp me into making some space in my stash!

Check out this taupe-y looking flavor!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Yoko Saito - Quilt Party

I'm sad to say that when contacting a Japanese exporting company in hopes of finding copies of Yoko Saito's Quilt Party books, they said they are no longer available in Japan.

It makes me want to grab a ticket to the Tokyo Dome show in January, and ask her myself what I have to do to scrounge up a copy. Of course, I want copies of all 7 issues that have come out for the last 7 years.

Well, I'm not giving up yet, but anyhow, it's a decent challenge that's for sure.

In other news, I snapped up a used Yoko Saito book from Ebay for $5 US, so I guess it's not all bad.

Fabric from above is probably going to be a little bag or's flocked. Can you wash such a thing? I doubt it.