Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Suspicious Redwork Quilt

When I was in my quilt appraisal class, we looked at TONS of quilts.

One of them belonging to a fellow classmate had these really interesting and different 'animals' on there in redwork embroidery.

There were these strange yak-like things, and other odd animals we could almost not even identify.

This guy though, took the cake. In the end we debated between a sasquatch and Cro-Magnon man.

Oh, and I got the most tempting and naughty email from Purl today...they have new Liberty of London prints (I will have to be physically restrained from buying some) and these little fawn prints that are to die for adorable.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Liberty, Freedom, Emancipation for Yarn Balls!

When I flew down for my quilting classes, I brought a knitting project to work on a little bit on the plane. It is a hat for a friend of my son.

I sat down, got comfy, and took out the last yarn ball that I was going to use on the hat.

By the time the plane hand landed, I had not yet gotten to the point where I needed to use the last ball, and it rolled under the seat in front of me, without my noticing.

I was so excited to get off the plane, and see my mom and all of that, that I never noticed it was gone.

A couple days ago, I hopefully stopped at the knit shop and bought another one.

Lucky me, same dye lot.

Oh, and I went to the best coffee house in all of San Jose, CA last weekend - Bearfoot Coffee. The have a creme brulee like coffee drink w/ caramelized sugar on top. My husband declared it the best coffee on the planet.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Japanese Fabric - red

Here's a photo of the red fabric that my friend's mom gave to me. They are all so pretty. Perhaps I feel a valentine quilt coming on.

If you love Japanese animation, you have to love My Neighbor Totoro.

My husband sent me a link to this adorable story of this kid who accidently dropped his stuffed Totoro doll down a storm drain, and what several dedicated adults did to try and save him.

It's called Don't Let Totoro Die, We Can Wash Him!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Gifts from Japan

My good friend that I used to work with was here visiting from Japan last weekend through today.

Unfortunately, I was out of town at quilt class for the majority of her visit. Boo-hoo...oh, the shopping that I must have missed! She's practically a professional shopper here in the U.S.

She did have time to go out to dinner last night with us, so we had a very nice visit for the evening, and ate some AWESOME Mexican food.

As you may imagine, Japan has some of the best food on the planet, but that being said...good Mexican is a bit tough to come by if you live there.

In typical Japanese style, my friend struggled to haul all the gifts she brought for us into our home.

For our son were packs of rice crackers. This was a huge hit. For my husband was a very impressive collection of Japanese junk food. He's a big fan, and I'll admit I never met a Pocky I didn't like.

And for me was the latest copy of Quilts Japan, complete with their calendar for 2008.

Best of all, my friend's mom is a quilter. She sent the quilt pictured above for me - isn't it lovely?! All hand done, and beautiful.

Her mom is also getting on in years and is trying to find a good home for her fabric collection. She wanted my friend to bring all of her quilting fabric over to me, but my friend could only find so much space in her luggage.

Even with limited space, she brought tons and tons of amazing fabrics, collected over many years, from Yuzawaya in Tokyo (you know this my favorite shop on the planet).

I was shocked with this generosity, but I suppose I should should have been more prepared for it considering how sweet my friend has always been to me. Japanese culture is truly a beautiful one. What a blessing to have friends such as these.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Road to California Quilt Show - heading home

What a nice time we all had at the quilt show.

Lots of classes were taken, loads of new things were learned.

Lots of booths were visited and we'll have to admit that we did do a little bit of shopping. Just a bit.

I got to hang out with not only my family (including a surprise visit from my sister and brother-in-law!) but my mom's friends as well.

My mom's friends Mrs. P and Mrs. McD have grandkids too, so they were natural friends of our 2 yr old. He was loving the extra attention and kisses.

I have a pile of business cards from booths I visited and loved. A lot of them have online shops so you all will be in good shape.

My new favorite is Wooden Spool Designs. Her web site leaves a bit to be desired, but her booth was adorable! Tons and tons of hand dye wools and cute original patterns as well. She'll be at the Long Beach, CA quilt show this summer, if you're heading in that direction check her out.

I just was looking around at some of my usual fabric sources on the web and found this retro robot fabric a Purl Soho. Can I resist buying some?....perhaps. Perhaps not!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Quilt Appraisal Class - day 2

Today was my second and last day of quilt appraisal class here at Road to California.

Sort of an interesting blog talks about some of the insider info of the show - It's called Backroads2California.

We learned more today about finding the value of quilts. Similarly to real estate and the old saying "location, location, location"....the saying for assigning value to quilts is no less than "condition, condition, condition!"

There is no such thing as "good condition for it's age" as all quilts value relate to their condition as it currently is at the time it is appraised.

Our class took a stab at appraising one of my quilts, along with many others. I still have a lot to learn about dating historic fabrics and all of that, but they decided my quilt was dated circa 1900. I guess I didn't think a lot about old it was, but how cool that I own a quilt that is over 100 years old.

The little doll quilt picture above was another one of the things we studied in class.

Tomorrow I'm in my last day of appraisal class. We're going to cover fair market value, which I'm looking forward to very much.

In the evening I'm lucky enough to be taking a lecture from the owner of Pinwheels. Home of that amazing imported Japanese taupe fabric. They got these amazing and cool little buttons in. You cover them with whatever fabric you want, and they make for awesome emblishment tools.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Quilt Appraisal Class - day 1

Here I am at Road to California quilt show in Ontario, California, and I just finished my first day of classes on quilt appraisal.

Our teacher is Bobby Aug, a very experienced teacher and appraiser. I am learning a ton, spending time looking at antique quilts, and loving every moment of it. If you ever get the chance to take a class from her, I would recommend it.

My mom is here with me about to take some long arm classes starting tomorrow. It's a special treat to get to spend some time with her. I feel like I'm in high school again. She wakes me up with that same cheery voice that I remember so well. Ah, morning people.

Today we learned about replacement value of quilts for insurance purposes. I learned that most quilt appraisers will recommend against having a quilt appraised that is valued under around $200-$300. That was news to me, I thought you were supposed to document them all!

I also ran feverishly around the quilt show snapping up shots of the quilts. Will have to post on flickr...having oh so much fun. Stay tuned, more tomorrow.

Monday, January 14, 2008

First present of the year

When I was just dating my husband, he started this amazingly romantic tradition of giving me the first present of the year.

Every year that we have been together, he has given me a little token of affection at the stroke of midnight to ring in the new year.

My sister was wondering if he would still continue to do it after we got married...and of course he does. (best husband on earth)

Anyhow, this year, it was a beautiful necklace and matching earings from Amy Bengtson, one of my favorite jewelery artists.

I guess she was featured on this "daily candy" web site, since she has an icon on her site about it. Looks like this could be a cool site too.

Gosh I have more freckles then I though I did!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Busy bee weekend

So far this weekend has been a busy one, but good all the same.

Some friends hosted us for brunch which was wonderful! So nice not to cook! What a treat! I feel so spoiled!

My college roommate and her husband stopped in for dinner on their adventure through the bay area. They are totally nuts, dinks, and think that a casual drive from So Cal to Northern California in 1 day is a piece of cake.

The were picking up this chair in green- wow it's pretty. Cannot wait to sit it in.

Still plugging along on the sashiko yukata quilt. It's fun to hand quilt something free form.

Oh, and we saw the coolest movie last night. Witness - from good old 1985, with Kelly McGillis & Harrison Ford. It's about Amish life and modern life and now never the twain shall meet.

For you Lord of the Rings fans out there, it's Viggo Mortensen's first film.

The film itself was very beautiful, well lit, and well acted I think. The quilts in the movie are beautiful as well. There is even a scene that takes place at the quilt frame.

A bit of adult content, so watch it after the little ones nod off. Directed by Peter Weir (Dead Poets, Truman Show, etc).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Road to California quilt show

Oh oh oh, I'm really starting to get that excited feeling now that Road to California (the quilt show, of course! in Ontario, California) is only a number of days away.

I'm flying there to attend classes starting next Wed. on becoming a quilt appraiser! Yes, little old me is taking my first steps towards certification. The process will actually take a while, and I'll be really needing to study up...but so excited about this!!

I'm also going to be in a couple of night lectures.

One is by the owner of Pinwheels, on Japanese taupe fabric. Ok, like what could be better than talking about that for an evening. That will rock for sure.

They got this new stripe fabric, I hope they are bringing some to the show for me to get a little bit of it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I am 1!

Dear Readers,

It's Marisa's blog, Quilt Otaku, talking here today.

I wanted to write you a thank you note for all your kindness, love, and community you have offered me over the last year.

It's hard to believe that I'm already 1 year old, but I'm very pleased to finally see this amazing milestone.

Pictured above is Marisa's new children's sewing machine that her parents gave her for Christmas. I think it is her new favorite toy. It was made around 1910 by a company called Casige.

Anyhow, I will now sing a shameless verse of "Happy Birthday to Me", bow respectfully to all of you for making me feel so loved, and promise that the next year will be an exciting one!

Thank you! From the bottom of my little digital heart.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Kaffe Fassett quilts

Our power is back!

We were only out for just over a day I guess, so we're happy and warm again.

Good thing we had some nice offers to stay with friends but thankfully we didn't have to use them.

I made a minor correction to a couple of posts ago...the Kaffe fans that my mom saw were for display only, not for sale, but beautiful anyhow.

Photo above courtsey of my dad!

And a couple of quick links for you to prove I love his fabric.

Really --- I --- do --- love it!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It's dark here...

Well, as much fun as it it so conduct your evening activities by candle light, I must confess this power outage is getting old. We have been down for over a day now and I'll admit that I miss my heater more than my lights or washing machine.

Thank goodness for Panera bread just down the street. They've got a nice hot soup, a good fast free WiFi connection for us bloggers, and heating!

It looks like more rain for the rest of the weekend, so we will lay low and potentially stash a couple of frozen chickens in a friend's freezer.

Think a happy thought for PG&E to get their act together! I'll be back when they turn the lights on.

Oh, and yes, you all did guess it right - that is Kaffe Fassett from my last post. My parents ran into him in Big Sur, California at Nepenthe. It's a restaurant owned by his family and he is staying there for a while.

He was super cool to my mom and even gave her a little tutorial on how to make these paper fans (he was selling in the gift shop. ) oops - EDIT/CORRECTION were on display only, not for sale you shop-a-holics, sorry!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Last list - 10 things to complete in 2008, and a homo sapien brain teaser

Serious star sighting alert! This picture is from my mom's digital camera and she ran into this mystery knitter over lunch today.

I know you know who he is...right? Can you guess!?! He also makes quilt fabric (this is a HUGE hint!). Bonus points to brainiacs that guess!!

So here's my last list for a while.

10 things that I want to acomplish in 2008. Yes, this year people. Not this crazy list of 43 things to do before you die (too sad for my taste and 43 is WAY too few for me) but 10 things that in a pinch could actually be acomplished in the next year.

Let me know if you post your list...I'll have a follow up post on 1/8 (my blogiversary) with links back to your cool list!

Here goes:

1. Devote more time and energy to our family (my favorite thing to do, this one is a gimme)

2. Finish my sister’s Dear Jane Dear Hannah wedding quilt (this will be a HUGE stretch)

3. Fine tune my humble little blog, have a freebee section of patterns and handful of some small things in a little shop section

4. Write in permanent ink on my Baltimore album quilt blocks

5. Hit the gym more

6. Do something special for our house that it well deserves (new light fixtures? Paint the scary ugly kitchen?)

7. Become a certified quilt appraiser

8. Attend at least 2 major quilt shows, photograph them, and post comprehensive flickr sets for all to all enjoy

9. Be more green: seek out a CSA source for our family, grow more of our own food in the garden, and make an effort to buy locally as much as possible

10. In another environmentally friendly vein - Keep my over 10 yr old, 115K+ mile, beloved car even though it’s totally impractical doesn’t have a trunk and only holds 4 people

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hope that your 2007 was awesome, and here's to an amazing 2008. I have a feeling it's going to be a really great year.

Back on Christmas Eve, I posted a list of things I'm glad I have done so far, and welcomed other blogging rock stars to join me. A few brave souls did:

Abby of Luv Abby joined in on the fun (seriously cool blog BTW)- love her item #7, she teaches teenagers. Those kinda people go directly to heaven.

Natalie of Chicken Blog (also another of my favorites) - her #1 accomplishment as a survivor of a serious disease is one pretty giant accomplishment. Wow.

Helen of From Down the Well posted her list too - my first visit to her blog...she not only provided her real list of accomplishments, but a wish list of fantasy ones too! Her #8 about being able to fix her parent's computer over the phone was pretty killer.

So bravely on to another year.

I feel just one more list coming on...I'd better compile it soon as I want to see if I can really check off any (or all!) of the items in 2008.