Monday, August 31, 2015

Before it all FALLs in..

Thank you for all the warming and kindly welcome back! I have survived the first week of middle school; YES! You have read it right! With all the nerves and changes that I made it through! New bus time and new A/B day schedules. You know what? I actually will get to be there this coming Thursday, just like what I did many moons ago in college!

I have been feeling very content after our summer trips! After Lots lots conversations with my families and lots walking time in the city of big apple. After return, I was able to decompressed with all the conversations that made. It has been a longest time that I redefined that meaning of doing what you Love and give yourself some breaks! It feels relief in someway and it required lots courage and encourage {Thank you all}!

Lately, I have been sewing with plans then fulfilled them.  Last Friday, I have made the fabric orders for S' quilt {Yes, I will show and tell when I have it all quilted and bound} then a semi-mystery quilt that I finished before we took off for our trip {this would be another story to tell when it is ready}.  I also purchased a new 40 yards of cotton batting as I have officially use up my last 40 yards of batting. That roll of batting made 15 quilts; big and small and all the hand-quilted zakka patchwork for the shop. That might had been one of the most wise purchase that I made. It least me 5 years and every bit of it was put in good use! I look forward another 15 quilt plus to make, another 5 years?

I must admitted that I am a slow quilter, not because I sew slow, but I procrastinate with all the fabric choices and the quilt design a lot and sometimes, not enough push self forward. Oh, maybe it is time to make a change and maybe it is time to do it!  I surely have few quilts that I have in mind lately. That pink, brown, and gray quilt... I am so attempting to start pulling the fabrics out and another only florals and retro quilt that I have been thinking then another quilt that's a bit of romantic and perhaps the colors that I never attempt before. Then a king size quilt that I really want to make, so that's 4 quilts already! But I will hold my houses and wait till I finish S' quilt and the semi-mustery quilt.  

My little small world quilt along has been making good movement! The part one is finished, but I am not satisfied with the fabric choices on the bottom part. Oh, it was a very poor decision on the last minutes pulling fabrics out and make it look fine, but when all the piecing have done. It doesn't look quiet right! I didn't use good contrast in colors and prints and also didn't think through the arrangement before I even traced the pattern on and start piecing. For the part two, I play with fabrics before I start sewing and it seems working much better! This is a challenging quilt to make. Not because it is difficult to sew, but it makes me think quiet a bit in colors, contrast in prints, and also has lots sewing skills involved! I love building my small world; slowly, but steady!

I couldn't make you all an apple pie, but I use {this} for ours. The things that I changed were, used salted butter, so I eliminated the salt from the dough ingredient. No nutmeg for our filling and just 1/16 salt for the filling and 6 apples for ours. The pie is half gone and will be gone before the end of the week and make sure serve it warm with some ice cream! That puts big smile on everyone's face!

The Fall is really approaching and I am liking it a lot! Because I can really open the windows and no more humid air in the house. I am liking it a lot because it will be soup and baking season here, for me! I am liking it a lot because I will be in woolies and sewing with a quilt on the chair soon. I am liking it a lot because I like the cool air in the morning when I wake up. I am liking it a lot because just like some of you have a Fall birthday that might coming up! um.. I will go on and on, but I am just LOVING it a lot!

Before I leave I like to tell you I will come back soon just like what I have promised last week!


Monday, August 24, 2015

Welcome Back, to you and me!

Welcome back, to you and me!

It took me awhile to think about what to write and share again! I haven't been writing and visit this space for 3 months. I feel a little hesitate and wonder if anyone still visit me here!

I am not sure where to start and keep deleting what I wrote.... Oh, I hit a wall, so really excuse me if I am being scatter! This summer has been so long and short at the same time. So much going on and just not enough time and space to catch all the little details! I though I'd share some of the projects that I've been working on lately to start with.

August is a month that's so hard to push forward! After all the summer trips, we were so ready to go nowhere and just stay home! The quilt that I look forward to finish is S' 11th birthday quilt. During the last few week nights, I started a few patch blocks per a night then eventually was able to accomplish this quilt top. I did the happy dance that day when I finished press the back of seam allowances! Of course, S suspected the quilt is for her! Oh, I shouldn't have Stella Joy on the wall...  Oh yes! That's paper piecing that I have been working on lately! Something that I know I'll do more now and probably will have a quilt made from paper piecing soon! I am excited this quilt will be ready this Fall and of course the 12th birthday quilt should started now since it only take me a year to finish S' birthday quilt! The 12th birthday quilt might be challenge, since there's no hints for me to start thinking about the colors and patterns.

After all the summer feasts, all we really miss is the simplest dinner that I prepared every day. Our kitchen is started get busy again as I have been in and out most of the days. We are thinking an apple pie for celebrating the first week of school! Maybe this Friday when I get time off again! You probably don't know that I started exercise again. Not the crazy lifting or extreme bodyworks, but simple way of getting some energy and body strength. We have been getting up early on the weekends to Gray's Lake for a good morning walk/run!  While everyone seems so enjoy their walk/run, I had to push myself to go on this. Indeed, I am slowly down so much more in last few years. It isn't able getting old, but there aren't any body strength in me. Maybe that's why I was so sick after our traveling this summer? After that good morning run/walk, we would make our way to the Farmer's market! It is so rewarding for us! I always get a breakfast bowl and a house brew coffee and S gets her strawberry yogurt top with super sweet cream and chocolate syrup!  

I always look out for the fresh ingredients and S is always look out for the pups that hanging out the market! Oh, yes! How we wish Lucky is here! He would probably make lots good flurry friends and we probably will meet some new friends that way! We always bought some really good corns from the same local farmer and visit the same veggie booth! This past Saturday we even tried homemade root beer; it was delicious!

Summer is great, but I am looking into the Fall arrives! It will be lots soup time and lots warm lighting up downstair and upstair! I pulled out the quilts that we've been using this morning and put on the clean ones. I slightly think that I am so ready for this coming Fall and Winter! Oh, and I plan on making a Fall quilt! Lots brown, lots pinks.. different level of gray??

Our summer is officially coming to the end. School starts today and we have a middle schooler in house now! How did that happen? It is a bit unreal and I had some pinkish eyes this morning. It is really sweet and bitter moment! I would like to Thank You for writing to me for asking about us this summer! I must apologized that I didn't get back to you... I know you'll understand and Thank You!

I shall leave now and will be back soon! hope will be more regular from now on!

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Daffodil Joy Quilt

The first time I met Daffodil was when I still lived in a small town Iowa. It was selling 2.99 a bunch. It is really pretty during the spring season, but it would probably still called winter season. A friend of mine dropped a bunch at my front door and sent a little note with that and wish us a happy spring. Ever since then, I would purchase a bunch when they are a variable in the store and set in the kitchen counter.

The colors of butter cream yellow and the green bring so much energy to the still white scene Midwest. I can't tell you the pleasant feeling that I always have when daffodils live in our place. The bit of colors really lighten up a long day out and about. They are seriously the most pretty and elegant flowers in the stores.

I appricate all the quilt concepts that have developed from last ten years, but truly I am loving the heirloom quilt patterns more so. Patterns that are simple and easy to go and about! A secrete to you all, I really  am not a big trimmer when it comes to making quilts. It might be the major reason that I don't make so many large quilts now! I have learned to love and appreciate the process of trimming a little bit more after the half sandwich quilt. I can't wait to tell you all about that process. Oh, you are gonna to think I am a nuts!

Back to the Daffodil Joy Quilt. It is simple a Double Irish Chain quilt pattern that I found in the internet and modified the block size.  You might not noticed from the photos, but I miss counted the assembling block rows and ended up one row short for each block. Oh, can you tell?

When searching for the prints for this quilt, I knew they all needed to corresponding well to each other and somewhat has that buttercream yellow scheme. I though the outcome is pretty good! I used up some of long saved yellow prints, but I know this quilt needs that print to go with! "Come on, you can always find some special prints", this is what I have told myself lately! For the white print, I used Kona Snow white! I had a big decision to make between random lower value prints, but the snow white brings the butter cream yellow together even more.

For the backing, Remember the two prints that I shared with you? I went with the soft green gingham print. For the purpose of this quilt, I intended to keep the colors soft and light. The {other green print} would definitely give it a higher contrast for the quilt, but it might be over powering the quilt outlook which I tried to avoid at the first place.

The quilt is hand-quilted and there's another oops! Can you tell? The hand-quilting lines should turned out squared, but it ended up to rectangles. I didn't notice this until I was half way through. Oh! I hope the receiver won't mind at all! I used 100% cotton batting! It is hard for the fingers, but at the same time hand working through the cotton batting has soften the quilt a little more. I used the same print for the backing as any embellishment is not a so great idea for this quilt.

The quilt is finished at 50"x50" and would a great size for our dear friends. After making this quilt, I know after all the work in process quilts I will make a large version of the Double Irish Chain Quilt.  I still in believe that everyone needs a Irish Chain Quilt somehow.

Making quilts for a friend is nerve wracking! I truly hope this quilt will bring lots joys to them and will be use very often! I also love to see and hear the pieces I made from their photos or in the email they wrote me.

The quilt has been packed in S' super large drawstring bag for the protection and store in the luggage. Off we go hand deliver this special quilt to our special friends on our way home!

Do you have your Daffodil Joy in the spring season? It was good to see them come and sad to see them go, but they will come back again!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Quiet time

Do you remember the first time you travel or even school field days? My very first school field trip happened in my first grade and the location was the big green grass inside the school. You might not know that schools in Taiwan has walls and gates around the school property and students access their way within school. I remembered weeks before first school filed trip, I would talked over and over at our dinner time. I asked mother and father if I can buy any treats and bring them to school. Of course, I always asked to be sit still and finish dinner. Likely the same conversation taken over and over next few nights, but I never get the answer if I can buy treats to school. I remembered, maybe was the night before that I asked father again, he smiled and handed me 50 dollars (which is around USD1.50). You might think with all that money what can I get. Actually back then I could buy lots treats and still have changes to send back to father. I remember I bough all my favorite kinds of treats that mother always said, NO! I got two chocolate bars, two small bags of chips, and maybe a bottle of drinks.

Then as I get older school field trip would taken a little further away from the city. The last school field trip was before the high school graduation. It was 4 hours away from my hometown and we got to spend two nights in the local village and had dinners with classmates. It felt quiet growing up at the time and yes, this time father sent 2000 dollars with me, which was about USD 95.  I think I spent USD 10 and bought all kinds of treats; yes, more chocolate bars and more soda pop cans and the rest of changes sent back to father when I returned from the trip.

Oh, believed me this was just the start of my travel journey. I never pictured myself travel so much when I was a kid! I always though I will stay in the house I grew up and lived in that same place till I am a hundred year old. But one thing that I didn't predict is that once you start something fun you never want to see it ends!  I think that description is closer to who I am and how I see life in my little perspective!

As of last week, I put a note for taking long break from the part-time job. I am in preparing of our trip to visit family oversea and needed the time to slow down. I didn't write a long list for what to accomplish or to achieve, but I knew that I like to get half sandwich quilt top done first then the birthday quilt. Oh, how did I not think about the time frame for making the quilt. The half sandwich quilt has total of 100 blocks and involved 800 half triangle squares and plus the trimming. Each day of last week, I was able to sew for 5 hours on blocks then another 2 hours pressing and trimming.  I am so very satisfied when I put all the assembled rows together and gave it a nice gentle press. Oh, it is a huge quilt! The backing will be a fun concept; lots wording for sure!

I hoped to get to S' birthday quilt, but I have trouble to walk away the #mysmallworldqal  {My small world Quilt Along}. You can read all the detail information at Kerry's blog aka {verykerryberry}
The most attractive reason for this quilt that I decided to follow along is the idea of small world that were shared!  After learning this quilt will be all the small piecing throughout I just can't resist! I plan to hand-quilting the entire quilt after the quilt top is completed! Most of all the pattern instructions are so well written. I like how this quilt is break down to sections and parts. It makes so much sense for someone like me; reading instruction step by step. I prepared my blocks by following each part's diagram. I didn't jump ahead and cutting all of them. To be so honest with you. I get confused with all the pieces I just cut! I didn't specifically pull any fabrics out for this quilt, but use some of my favorite prints. I combined some fussy cuts in the window prints and some random cuts. It is nice to make some mixed randomness to the quilt. I plan to apply same to other parts of this quilt as well. Well, it is ok to get clutter around the space once in awhile.

There are also few small accomplishments from the week. I finished two mini dumplings and they are so perfect for the trips and little things. I will be taking one for Fifi aka my sista, so she can put her little things in that. I finished so many patchwork piecing and started quilting them. They are in my backpack now, so maybe I can try to hand-quilt them this time while we are waiting for our flight.

This is actually an unexpected trip as I planned a road trip to West coast this summer, but with all the happening at home. It seems a top priority and important to see family. We'll do the road trip next time. There's always next time and I think the west coast friends will still be there when we come visit.

It has been really challenging two years after graduate school. I am not able to explain some of the disappointments that I have to myself, but I have learned and failed so much since then. Sometimes, I do feel all the people around me are judging me, but I think truly that I am the one put the judge filter in front of my own face. I think that finding self-compassion still on my top of list and getting out of the depression time is important as well. Meanwhile, I will continue create, sew, sell my works, and some patterns for the future. Finding my own voice is important and that new balance I try to keep up is slowly making process! I hope you all will still be here to keep me motivate and support me like you have always been!

The house is all pick up and the last load of laundry has finished this morning! Luggages are packed and the fridge is empty. Since I determined to travel light this time. The laptop will stay home, therefore I will not be able to blog at all this summer until we return. It is a piece heavy hardware to take with me, since I am getting older!  I will be posting  photos via Instagram and you can find me at quarterinchmark or you can check out the photos on the blog sidebar.

I have {The Daffodil Joy Quilt} finished and packed away. The post is scheduled ready for you next week and if time allows, I will get the another post up on the little patchwork tote that I finished for a little friend of mine that I will be meeting this summer.

Meanwhile, I hope you have a wonderful summer:
Soak up so much sunshine as you can!
Drink lots sun tea
Enjoy lots fresh summer veggies and fruits!

On the other hand....

I will be...
-Soak up way too much sun and get burn
-Drink lots bubble tea and get sick
-Enjoy lots summer veggies and fruits and probably ask father if I can stay till I'm a hundred year old
-Get lots Lucky kisses and want to bring him back
-Much cousins time and probably will get into some little troubles since we'll joke badly about our parents
- Best of all, I will be home! And you know "Home is where everyone belongs"!!

I need this, actually {we} all need this!


p.s As of now, we are probably have boarded our flight to Tokyo Japan. We'll be spend a few days there and yes, that involved fabric shopping, eating good rice, traveling with a child and best of all meeting our special friends!

p.s.s. The {shop} is open and only available for the PDF file patterns as I will not be able to ship your orders while I am away!