Thursday, November 27, 2008

"Mommy, Gramma has a big big huge chicken!"

In the U.S. today is Thanksgiving, which means lots of turkey and goodies to eat.

My son woke me up this morning saying that his grandmother had just put a really big chicken in the oven. Boy oh boy did that 'giant chicken' (turkey) taste good.

Thanks for playing along with the guess that quilt date. Caron of Michigan Quilts! Blog, as well as Una of Samsy Blog hit the nail on the head regarding the quilt on my last post. It was from 1890 - well done ladies.

If you are still awake enough after eating all that turkey, and you want to chill out and watch some very cool videos, check out these posted by Keith Loutit. He is a photographer out of Australia, and puts together amazing and beautiful stop-action / time lapse videos using a still camera with a tilt-shift lens. It makes the subjects look like miniatures even though they are full life-sized. My favorite one is the 2nd link, "The North Wind Blew South."

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"Date That Quilt" Game

This afternoon I visited the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California.

They have an awesome exhibit there right now called "American Quilts: Two Hundred Years of Tradition," and it runs through March 15, 2009. If you have the chance to see it, I would very highly recommend it.

As I walked through the exhibit, I did not look at any of the dates on the info signs next to the quilts. Instead, I tried to guess the year the quilt was made by using the knowledge I have gained during my quilt appraisal studies.

For most of the quilts, I was able to date them with 10 years of the date the museum had posted. A couple of them I was a bit off, but it was the solid fabrics that threw me. I'm still learning to identify the dyes used during various time periods.

The log cabin above was especially attractive. That setting is so pretty and the quilt was just striking in person.

Any of you care to guess what date it was made? I know it's tough with the picture being so dark. Hint - fabrics are all silks.

In other news, my sister just gave me this crazy pretty "binky bling" pacifier clip for the baby. It is made of Swarovski crystal and is the cutest baby gift I think I've ever seen. Perfect for the baby that has everything. I think I'll turn it into a scissor leash or something after he gives up the binky.

Friday, November 21, 2008

120 Original Embroidery Designs by Yoko Saito

It's rare that I would actually run (not walk) to a book store to get a copy of a book, but this is one of those times.

Today I got my copy of 120 Original Embroidery Designs by Yoko Saito and it literally blew my socks off.

ISBN978-4-529-04653-4 for those of you who just HAVE to get your own copy. I special ordered it from Kinokuniya and they got it for me within one week!

Not since I picked up Ms. Saito's Taupe Applique book have I been this excited.

In this book Yoko Saito combines quilted applique and piecing techniques along with embroidery details to create projects that are out of this world.

Themes are beautifully represented in various motifs including numbers, alphabet, musical notes, botanicals, a desk top tape dispenser (adorable - go figure!), and the cutest little airplane you've ever seen. Of course final projects are purses, and small boxes, but patterns could be used on any quilt you can imagine.

Need I mention again that I'm in LOVE with this book?

Oh, and to top off this incredible week, I won a quilt kit over at Kathie's blog, which I have mentioned before - Inspired by Antique Quilts. Having never won anything before, I'm really walking on clouds. I think they are taupe-colored ones!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

House Applique Quilt - more blocks on the way

Been busy in the evenings (after bed time) putting a few more house blocks together. Think I only have 3 more to stitch up at this point.

Somebody asked me to give a link about the little dolls that helped me wind up my yarn in a couple of posts ago - more info here, but in Japanese only...sorry! They are called Sonny Angels.

A couple of weeks ago I bought a little tiny acorn necklace from this Etsy seller - Contrary - Oh so very cute. Could be a good place to snag some Christmas gifts or something.

Hope all your weeks are off to a very quilty start!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

House Quilt - applique by hand

House quilts have a special place in my heart. I love the traditional red and white antique versions.

The one I decided to make is a more modern version. Remember those Oakshott fabrics I picked up? Well, since I didn't have a lot of them, I cut enough house blocks to make a small 16 block quilt.

The blocks come together quickly. I'm doing them all by hand, using freezer paper.

I cut out the freezer paper in the shape of the house by tracing it, then iron the waxy side of it to the right side of the fabric that will become the 'house'. After that, just pin it on the backing fabric, and turn the edges under as you go around using a blind applique stitch.

Easy as pie.

My favorite thread is YLI's #100, 100% silk thread. It is so thin that you really cannot see it in the finished block. Use the thread color of the house, not the background, or a taupe color if you don't have the right color at hand.

And if you haven't seen Kathie's house block on her Inspired by Antique Quilts Blog, take a quick click over, it's awesome. Very repro-looking but could also pass for Japanese Taupe as well. Cool!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hamburger Helper is not "Helpful"

In an act of desperation, and by special request of my favorite 3 yr old, I made Hamburger Helper for dinner for the first time.

Why do they call it "Helper" when it takes a perfectly delicious pound of ground beef and makes it quite icky. Even our 3 yr old refused to eat it. Smart kid.

Today was our 2 month appointment with the baby and he got his fair share of shots. He was contently sleeping off the pain so I decided to visit Green Planet Yarn in Campbell, California.

I must say that the owner of this shop was not only the most friendly and kind person I have met in ages, but she was not bothered one tiny bit when I walked into her shop with a bouncy 3 yr old and a ScreamingAtTheTopOfHisLungs 2 month old. She literally held the baby bottle while I signed my credit card slip.

If you are in the bay area, go there - take a class - buy some yarn - needles - whatever! This shop is sweet, friendly, and I for one will be back there.

Oh, and the photo above is a little collage of the photos I used on my LuLu calendar. Cool site, but a bit disappointing that they don't have a photo preview for calendars.

Monday, November 10, 2008

2009 Quilt Otaku Calendar - published on LuLu

After booking a bunch of doctor appointments for the new baby in 2009, and having some cool events to pencil in on the new year calendar, I decided to create a Quilt Otaku 2009 calendar to keep track of all the important dates.

It came in the mail today from LuLu and is so very beautiful in its huge 13.5" x 19" stunning full color. Their printing services are really high quality. I am actually pretty impressed.

Just in case you want your own copy, I make it public and accessable through this button.

Support independent publishing: buy this calendar on Lulu.

The best part is that it has a lot of space, so if you're busy or have a lot of family events to write in, you'll be all set.

Pictures are all taken by me, and include photos of quilt projects, some knitting things in progress, and other pretty sewing things/creature comforts.


Saturday, November 8, 2008


Posie Gets Cozy had this adorable and super short MeMe so I just have to chime in, I cannot resist. Feel free to play along if the spirit moves you.

I was going to use my yarn swift to make some neat little yarn balls this weekend but I decided to delegate the job to these little helpers. I will admit that I crave more of them as they made fast work of the yarn.

Also, I wanted to share some cool modern art that is showing at the Stanford Cantor Art's Center, and a web site that is very pretty for your weekend viewing pleasure: Roy Lichtenstein Foundation

Here goes my MeMe (allowing 1 word answers only, according to the challenge):

Where is your mobile phone? Which
Where is your significant other? Laundry
Your hair colour? Brown
Your mother? Far
Your father? Photographing
Your favourite thing? Babysmell
Your dream last night? Optimistic
Your dream goal? Sleep
The room you're in? Disorganized
Your hobby? Quilting
Your fear? Underbedmonsters
Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
Where were you last night? Mexican
What you're not? Patient
One of your wish-list items? Kitchen
Where you grew up? Burbs
The last thing you did? Nurse
What are you wearing? T-shirt
Your TV? Off
Your pets? Not
Your computer? Seductive
Your mood? Thirsty
Missing someone? Sister
Your car? 12
Something you're not wearing? Shoes
Favourite shop? Anthropologie
Your summer? Rockin
Love someone? Many
Your favourite colour? Taupepurple
When is the last time you laughed? A
When is the last time you cried? D

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Home Made Halloween Costume - astronaut

By special request of my friend Joachim, here's a picture of our tiny 3 yr old astronaut on Halloween. I made the pants and shirt, and bought the helmet from Amazon.

I got some cool patches from the Kennedy Space Center and put them on there also, but you cannot see them in this picture - I think the helmet is covering them for some reason.

Also, the results of the "Quilt Block Election" are in....looks like Nine Patch is the winner. It's such a fun and easy block. Log Cabin was a close second.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote Early, Vote Often

As Al Capone recommended...Vote Early, Vote Often.

Personally, I did the former by sending my vote in through the mail ages ago. Looking forward to my friend Julie's election party later tonight.

Personally, I would love to hold my own little blog-election. Please comment and vote!

If you could make only 1 quilt pattern for the rest of your life...using whatever fabrics you like...what pattern would it be?

Let's see who would get elected. Personally, I have to vote for the 9 patch.

Three cheers for democracy. On a day like today, I'm thankful for those who have come before us to create and defend it.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bulky Yarn and Purl Soho in Orange County

We took an extended trip to Orange County, California in order to get to know my sister's new baby girl. She is a living doll, and meeting her was an amazing life experience. Definitely in my top 10. I'm an Aunt!

A happy side effect of being down in that neck of the woods was a visit to Purl Soho's warehouse and the accidental meeting of Jen Hoverson (co-owner, and sister of Joelle Hoverson). What a very nice girl she is and so accomplished for her age, she looks like she's hardly out of high school, so pretty.

I am still sticking with my story that I don't know how to knit, but I was not able to resist picking up some more yarn. This "Bulky" yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas knit up a kid-scarf in no time at all, with only 2 balls of yarn in "Curry" color.

Our 3 yr old loves it and even had it on in the house yesterday.

As the Purl warehouse is one of my favorite, if not my most favorite, places to shop...there were of course many other items that found their way home with me. I know, the suspense is killing you, right?