Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Reading

Some of you may be reading Moby Dick this summer, or perhaps works of Jane Austin. Meanwhile, I'm digging into more Japanese quilting books.

This book (ISBN4-529-04120-4) by Kuroha Shizuko covers many quilted works using indigo fabrics. Indigos are very traditional Japanese fabrics that these days are more and more hard to come by. Historically, they were created by indigo dye masters.

Back when I lived in Los Angeles, I used to visit a shop (Azabu-Ya) that sold many beautiful indigo fabrics from Japan so I have a little collection that I've been meaning to use.

Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth blog also loves to work in indigo. If you have yet to check out her blog, it is a visual feast for the eyes and I highly recommend it.

Whatcha reading this summer? Got any recommendations for me? and PLEASE don't recommend the Twilight series. It's way too addicting, I am not allowed!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Opening Pandora's Box

As a general rule, I don't do a lot of food photography, but I could not resist taking a quick shot of the wanna-be-french macarons that I made for my husband on Father's Day. And no, I did not wisk them with the ugly stick, thank you very much.

Not sure if I'm happy or cursed for trying to make them since they were a disaster.

I followed most of the recipe that I found on this online version of Desserts Magazine.

Did my cookies have feet? Ahem, no.
Did my cookies have puffy round dome shapes? Um, no again.
Did they become a huge sticky mess which my husband claimed tasted good anyhow? Yes!

So, do I resign myself to NEVER, EVER making them again, or should I give it another go and see if I can do a bit better?

Any tips you got for me you psycho baker genius-types? (you know who you are...yes this at least includes Rebecca from my quilt group)

And speaking of opening up another Pandora's box, have you visited Pandora yet for your listening pleasure? I think I'm hooked. Music to quilt by.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mini Star Quilt

I just finished putting the binding on this mini star quilt.

The pieces of fabric were went to me by Kathie of Inspired by Antique Quilts Blog (check out her version of the quilt here).

Thanks again Kathie for sending the fabric, I had a blast putting this little quilt together. I hand quilted it too which was a huge blast. More about that in a future post.

I also put together a mini-teenie-flickr set slide show of my sister's baby quilt for you to enjoy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Handmade Quilt Label: broderie perse (part 2)

Here's the 2nd part of the Broderie Perse labels - this label is on the back of our baby son's quilt.

Again I took some fabric from Anna Maria Horner's design and cut out some white leaves. I wrote on the leaves in my funky calligraphy style. Oh, and it was so nice of my friend Carol to applique most of it on there for me. That was perhaps the best part.

Makes me want to finish more quilts just so I can put labels on them!

Don't forget to put the name of who the quilt is for, who made it, date, washing instructions if you are going to give it away (wash cold, gentle, hang dry...wash as infrequently as possible), location of where it was made.

On that note...perhaps I HAVE finished another quilt. Maybe Kathie knows which quilt it might be....Is the suspense killing you?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Echino Oilcloth and baby goodies

My mother's day gift from my parents included a piece of Echino Oilcloth (from Purl Soho) big enough for my breakfast nook table. It's spill-proof, kid-proof, and almost bullet-proof. I can think of a zillion things I could do with it besides eat on top of it, but it looks like that is it's destiny.

In a moment of weakness I picked up some matching fabric to make napkins from

I also wanted to pick up some cute new toys for my newest baby-girl-friend that I was having lunch with today, so I headed over to Baby Buzz, which is the cutest baby shop around (you must visit in person - such an adorable/happy/friendly place).

They have oh so many wonderful things for kids. If you live in the California bay area, you really need to check it out. Tons of chewy toys by Haba (my favorite German toy company), as well as this awesome teething ring by a company called ZoLi .

I picked up one for my little friend, but made sure that our 9 month old tested it on his 2 new teeth and I'll say that he totally approves.

Another attractive display had cars from Automoblox - a company that makes modular cars for kids to play with and mix and match.

I literally could not avoid picking up an adorable hair clip for my baby niece. It's hard to restrain myself from wearing it. If you see a grown woman running around with one of these in her hair, it might just be me.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Handmade Quilt Label: broderie perse (part 1)

To spice up my niece's quilt, I used a broderie perse applique method to create the label.

Anna Maria Horner (her blog) is a super cool fabric designer that makes all sorts of large prints in wild colors. Her color usage is quite bold and unique actually.

I bought some fabric that she designed for Freestyle from her Drawing Room collection. It has all these great birds and flowers all over it.

The birds had a lot of blank white space, so I wrote the quilt label inside of that, and cut around it carefully to applique on as the label.

I will confess that I also used this method for the other quilt label I just made for our baby son. That label is even better because my dear friend Carol actually ended up doing the applique to put it on there for me! (hee was a complex pattern, and a very heavy fabric as well!)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Quilt Delivery Service

Last weekend our family drove from Northern California to Southern California to visit the grandparents and Aunt/Uncle/baby-niece.

Her quilt was complete, so I had no more excuses to keep it hanging around my house.

I made a super cool label - more details on that soon - and wrapped up my beautiful adorable niece in her new little quilt. I think she appreciated all the wild colors.

Not having the quilt in my house is a bit sad, but giving it to it's rightful owner...priceless.

Having taken a lot of photos of it before I gave it to her, I am thinking of putting a little flickr set together for you to see more of it.

The name of the quilt is Rising Diamonds - kinda like the Japanese rising sun, but with diamonds instead.

I'm also in love with the NPR challenge, "How Low Can You Go" where people write in with their recipe ideas that feed a family of 4 for under $10. Some very cool and interesting ideas in there.