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.