Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 In Review

2013 had a lot of firsts for me. During this year I made my first quilt top that was larger than a baby quilt. I made my first coasters, lunch bags, and mug rugs. I also learned how to attach a zipper. It is the first time to have four quilt tops in my sewing basket. It has been such a blessed year for crafting. I started learning how to make my first quilt a little over a year ago, and I have to admit that sewing has changed my life. It has given me such a wonderful creative outlet, but it has also given me a way to express my love for people by making handmade presents. I am so grateful for being able to learn this craft. I am self taught from internet tutorials - so I am very so grateful for all who has taken time to create tutorials online. It has been such an amazing journey and I really look forward to continuing it in the new year.

There are a lot of unfinished projects in my basket - but I'm looking forward to 2014 of being a year of completion (hopefully) I'm excited to see these projects finished and to see where 2014 will take me.

Tonight I am excited to meet the new year with good food, good friends and brethren, and sparklers that we bought so I can set them off tonight. Having grown up in California where self fireworks and sparklers were always illegal, I look forward to setting off my small stash of sparklers that will welcome the new year.

Happy New Year to all! I hope all your goals for 2013 were accomplished and you start the new year were freshness and joy!


Monday, December 30, 2013

It's been a while!

 These were the three hundred squares that I had cut to be made into half triangle blocks, but I couldn't get over how colorful this quilt would be! I don't think rainbow would match my parents very much.
 So I ended up playing it safe and going with half square triangles in two solid colors. I liked the overall effect so much better. I was inspired by this quilt and really wanted to one like it for my parents.
 These are my craft fair finds. The cups and cards were made by our local high school art teacher. I picked up the pitcher and cups for my sister who had her favorite coffee mug broken a couple of months ago and she was on the prowl for a new favorite. She has assured me that both of them were perfect. She uses one for coffee and the other for tea. Don't you love it when gifts that you give people are loved?

 The day that my parents returned to the mainland I put their quilt sandwich together. It helped with missing them so much. Here it sits on my sewing table ready to be quilted.
 We got a visit from one of my close friends from Oahu. Her beautiful baby is now seven months old! It was so nice to be able to visit with them and get to know their baby. She loves music, so she got a chance on the keyboard. It was our first duet!
 Baby fell asleep next to mom and dad and she was being held by mom but was reaching out for dad. The moment was so precious I had to take a picture!
 I was originally going to machine quilt this, but ended up really wanting to hand quilt it to make it even more special for my parents. I wanted to pour as much love as I possibly could to express how much I love them.
 The process is slow, but it makes me happy. Thankfully they don't mind getting their anniversary present a couple months late.
 The backing of this fabric was so pretty and was so them. I'm excited for them to get the finished product!
It has been raining and raining and raining. The perfect weather for tea and quilting and netflix. Ross and I are currently on winter break from the school so it has been so nice to be able to sit and stitch. He has been taking advantage of the surfing season, so while he surfs I get to stay home and spend some much needed time working on projects. I've fallen a bit behind on my goal list of things to finish this year, but I'm ok with it. We are where we are right?

This month has been full of visits from friends and family, cuddling, movie watching, tea, and baking, and stitching. I couldn't have asked for a better way to end 2013 and to start a new year.

This month has left my cup overflowing and I am feeling so blessed. I am so thankful for the lessons I have learned this year and the accomplishments I have had in my sewing craft.

Thank you everyone who takes the time to read this, and for those of you who have left comments. I am also thankful to all of you who have sewing blogs and who continue to post so diligently so as to inspire others.

It has been a wonderful year. Have you counted your blessings yet?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

New Morning - New Project

Do you ever wake up one morning to realize that you have a lot less time to make something special for someone special in your life? That happened to me this morning. 

My parents will be coming to visit us here on the island on the 12th of December, and I still haven't put together their anniversary quilt. Their anniversary was on the 19th of November, but I wasn't able to get my act together after being sick for so long... 

I only know 2 things about this project. I want it to be made out of fabrics that I have used in our own Coming Home Quilt  and I wanted it to be made out of 1/2 triangles - the technique I used to make my  first quilt. Other than that - I don't really have a plan, which can be nerve wracking at times. 

So I'm crossing my fingers and seeing where this project will lead... 

Happy Sewing everyone! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Finished wall hanging quilt top!

The quilt top for this wall hanging is finally done! I had a morning where I could cut and sew the sashing on it! 

My friend D chose the colors because she was going off of a sunset picture that she has in her house... seeing the wall hanging in the sun like this makes me really think of a sunset. The orange batik looks like it's on fire. 

Now all I have to do is pick up batting for it when we are in Kona tomorrow! The goal for this project  is by the end of the year. I really gotta get my hustle on! 

This is another hand quilting project... three on my table total! I must be really crazy  motivated!   I'm kind of itching for a project that has all machine quilting. I need a successful quick

I am trying a new thing and linking up my post to crazy mom quilts finish it up friday. Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Goals

Daily morning devotional time is one of my new goals 
 I have a new notebook primarily for blogging ideas...
 It looks so cute coming together!!!
 I heart patchwork! 
 Perfect for threads for my current projects! 

This morning I woke up and I was determined to make changes. The first being my morning devotional time. I use to be so good about being consistent - but lately I haven't been as consistent as I would like. So, this morning God blessed me with a sunrise that looked so soft and beautiful I couldn't help but be drawn to a quiet moment with Him.

During my devotionals I've been wanting to focus on the idea of compassion. It seems like a lot of my trials lately have been concerning compassions for people that I normally wouldn't have compassion for... but God has been teaching me - and I have been having more victories that I have failures - I of course owe it to His grace.

Another goal is that I want to contemplate more about this space in a productive way - not just that day dreaming form of thinking that I usually do - but a productive type of thinking. Where goals are made and where tangible products result.  So, I decided to utilize all of my productive goal building musings into a cute little notebook I've had for a while but just didn't know what to do with it. (Don't you love it when random things are bought and then eventually purposes arise!) In this notebook I want to document all of my thoughts concerning my bog - What do I want to include in my posts. What are goals, long term projects, short term projects, quotes that inspire me - anything blogging related will go now in this cute little notebook. Do you have your own blogging/sewing notebook as well?

When I look at past posts I realize that I have mostly progress on long term projects. That can get boring after a while doesn't it? So, a new goal of mine is to complete a small project every week that I can write about. These small projects that take an hour or two I'm finding can be very rewarding.

Take this fabric basket that I made up in an a couple of hours from Ayumi's tutorial  (can you tell that I'm addicted to Ayumi's tutorials?). I was able to finish then in between the hours from when I came home from work and when my Wednesday piano student came over. Can you say, "amazing!!!!".  I used 2" scraps that I had previously cut and that saved up so much time!

This little basket in definitely on my favorite lists of quick projects to make. I might have to save this project for next year mother's day - wouldn't it be perfect to hold a bundle of homemade cookies?

Do you have any new goals that you're working on lately?

Happy Sewing!

Edited: I just realized after looking at other people's baskets closely, that my handles are too long! Then I double checked with the tutorial and realized that I didn't cut the one handle in half, but I actually made two handles that are about 10 inches long! But I like it like this - it's easier to carry. Next time I make one though I will be sure to correct this problem... they kind of look like bunny ears. =)

Monday, November 18, 2013

First appliqued hexagons!

It has been so nice having energy again - after being sick for so long and not having a creative drive I am ready to jump into this week and catch up on sewing projects that are waiting for me on my desk. I finally finished basting all of the smaller hexagons onto the larger ones last night, and have been excited to tackle this project for my sister. I started with her favorite color - green... the tools that have been following me around have been my ever so trusty needle book (which was one of my first small projects that I ever sewed), my embroidery scissors, and the color of thread that I'm currently working with. 

It's crazy to think that I almost didn't add the smaller hexagons to this quilt top. But I am so glad that I did. Even more so now that I've seen one appliquéd down. It adds a whole different dimension to the quilt. I like touching the finished hexagon - it's so soft and smooth.... I wonder if my sister will do the same when it is finished and she is cuddling under it while she reads. 

I enjoy appliqué so much - I have a feeling it's because that's what I started with when I first started sewing. It has been nice to be able to sit and stitch at the table once more... after dinner I'm going to try and see if I can get more of the smaller hexagons done. ::sigh:: speaking of dinner, I guess I better put my stuff away and get it started. 

Happy sewing all! 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Feeling Human Again

Since my last post I've been sick with a very bad cold virus that has left me in no mood for cooking, cleaning, or being creative. It has been about two weeks and I'm finally starting to feel more like myself again. Does that happen to you? When you're sick does everything suddenly take the backseat to surviving?

During the weeks that I was feeling a lot  little less then human, a package from a new shop that I discovered, westwoodacres, arrived. In one of my previous posts I talked about how when I took stock of my very small stash, it seemed like everything was intended for baby quilts. I felt like my stash was in dire need of more mature colors. One of my favorite reads right now is Chase's blog. I love her use of colors and style, and most of all her hand quilting. She introduced me to Denyse Schmidt's fabric lines. I bought two fat quarter bundles from westwoodacres, as well as some type print that I'm wanting to start stocking for my stash. I'm really excited to finish up some projects that I have on my table so I can start playing with these new additions.

I managed to finish the appliqué for the last block to go into the Walker wall hanging! Although the picture isn't very good this pattern is actually one of my favorites. The sea horses look so happy don't they? I'm hoping to put the sashing on it soon!

I managed to be able to venture outside and head to our local farmer's market. Rambutans are in season!!! I love how they taste so delicate. I also managed to grab some organic asparagus. The guys that sell it always run out so fast! I managed to grab the last bundle ::smile:: At the farmer's market there are also vendors from our town that sell food. My favorite vendor is one that sells Thai food. I've been missing the spicy flavors of Thai curry and Pad Tai. Whenever I get a plate from them, I always look forward to sharing Thai food with Ross when he gets home from Jujitsu.

It has been such a windy day today. Ross and I stayed home for the most part and decontaminated the house of sicky germs. Oh how nice it is when we can breathe and not feel like we are breathing in sick germs that will only reinfect us! I'm so grateful for him - that he helps so much around the house.

Since I was feeling better I wanted to do a bit of baking. Strawberry Oatmeal Bars  have been on my to bake list for a while now, so since we had all the ingredients in stock - I thought today was the perfect day to try them out. I used 1-minute quick oats so they turned out a bit crumbly, but the flavor is really good regardless. Ross really likes them. I'm catching him sneaking back to the kitchen for bites in between breaks during his X-box game. (He likes to play games while he unwinds and I think it is perfect because that gives me a chance to get some sewing in!)

The first bit of sewing that I've managed to do has been to start basting the small hexagons onto the quilt top for my sister. I feel like hand projects are just the right amount of sewing that I want to do to get back into the swing of things. I've missed the slow rhythmic movements of hand sewing. It has been so nice to sit and stitch while drinking tea (honey lemon tea has been my favorite tea right now - it is the only thing that seems to relieve the tightness in my throat and chest). I've been using a mug that I found from the thrift store for only a dollar lately - it has been my favorite cup. Don't you love thrift store finds?  I'm hoping to be able to continue crafting and blogging because to be honest I've really missed it. I've been really bummed that I haven't been able to sew for a couple of weeks. Isn't it a horrible feeling - seeing your projects on your table but not having the energy or clarity of mind to pick it up?

So tonight - I am looking forward to a simple dinner, a lot of tea, and stitches and stitches and stitches  to be accomplished while Ross and I settle into a quiet evening at home - my favorite kind of evening!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A lot of random and a bit of confession

 Osaka Style Okonomiyaki (savory pancake) 
 Do you work while looking at things that inspire you? 
 The wind has been so strong! The sound of the palms and coconut trees make such a soothing sound!
 With the on and off again rain I managed a shot of the clouds while the rain was taking a break
 When you see this do you think pies and breads like me? 
 Because he asked...

Ross' favorite cookie 

The evening has been so nice. We got home from church and I made a dinner that again reminds of me of all of my Oahu family. We use to make Okonomiyaki (a type of savory pancake) on Thursday nights - it was also a favorite food to make for dinner parties with all of my International Grad Student Friends. We use to do International style potlucks - everyone would make something from their home country... since we were an international lot there was food represented from Japan, Korea, Philippines (me!), Vietnam, and Canada. Those were good times. 

So when I miss places that I've been, I tend to make food from those places. It is nice the way that you're transported back to a place and time that made you happy - and now I can make them here and share them with Ross who makes me very very happy. =) He liked the Okonomiyaki. He said he normally doesn't eat food like this - but for some reason it tasted really good to him. He also requested that I make peanut butter cookies for our after school treat. How could I say no to that! ::smile:: 

And since the weather has been so nice and cool and the rain has been coming down so pleasantly, I thought it was a very nice evening to be able to do some baking. 

I've been working on the fourth block for the wall hanging for my friend D. It is the sea horse. This is one of my favorite blocks. The sea horses remind me of the little mermaid and her friends.... my ultimate favorite Disney movie. 

 I have a bit of a confession to make... Do you sometimes pull up pictures on your computer of sewing projects that inspire you while you work or is it just me? Well, Chase's work - over at quarter inch mark is one of my daily doses of inspiration. I pulled up one of her projects on my laptop for eye candy when I look up from my own hand work.... it is such a pretty sight!!! Isn't it nice? Being able to look at the wonderful work that everyone else is doing in their own creative way! Blogs have really changed the crafting community haven't they?! 

What inspires you? 
~ K 

Sunday Morning

Do you ever wake up on Sunday morning with the urge to sew? Well, I was dreaming of this step last night... I finished making the smaller hexagons yesterday and I've been so excited to start appliquéing these hexagons onto the quilt top. Adding these little guys totally changes the dynamics of the quilt top. I'm so excited to start! I didn't get very far - I only got as far as laying them out and then pinning them down. When we get home from church I might try and start doing some basting on it... I'm wanting to do the appliqué by hand. Sound crazy? I think it will be alright. ::smile:: There are more opportunities to put even more love into this quilt for my sister.... I'm just hoping that I will finish on time for her birthday in February. Aren't the colors wonderfully cheerful? I was scared that the color pallet would be too little girl for her - but I am very happy with it so far. It is very spring time - and that's what I feel she really needs. Something fresh - that speaks of new beginnings and comfort and love.

Day light savings time just passed. Although we don't have to turn our clocks back over here in Hawaii, my family in California does. That means that we are only two hours apart in time difference. It makes it a lot easier - trying to catch them on the weekends. I woke up around 6:30 over here and called my parents to talk to them, it was nice being able to hear about their morning. They were talking about getting ready for church, and putting the final touches on their potluck contributions. Mom was talking about using a new recipe for desert, and talking about how dad didn't add peas to a dish that is suppose to have peas.... her banter made my heart happy. It made me feel like I was sitting on a stool at their kitchen counter listening to her talk as she prepared things, and it just made me smile. Like I was back to being a kid in the home again.

I can't believe it is November already! My dad's birthday and my parent's anniversary is in November. I asked Dad what he wanted, and he told me he wanted a handmade present. I was doing a bit of sweating because I knew he would say that. I've been so absorbed with my current projects I forgot to add a birthday present for him to the forefront. My love of handmade things comes from my father actually. I think his love language is giving gifts, cause since I could remember he has loved handmade things. From handmade cards, to scrapbooks, he has wanted presents where thought and love were placed in it. I've been thinking about doing a mini 7x7 scrapbook album and then doing a quilted drawstring bag to wrap it in... thing is, I better get started because his birthday is on the 14 and I still have to send it!!!! ::smile:: This will be fun to put together. I think I"m looking forward to the push.

Do you have someone in your life whose love language is gift giving? Do they positively glow upon receiving handmade things? Those are my favorite people to give gifts to... ::smile::

Happy Sewing!