Monday, February 29, 2016

Three hundred sixty five, plus one!!

Between last {post} and this; Not a lot going on here! But I think I might be quiet wrong about that. I was under the weather for 8 days, to be exact. While everyone spent their {heart day} somewhere lovely. I was in bed, sniffling, puffy eyes, and coughing a lot! Oh, by the way, someone served me breakfast in bed,which was so lovely;  a bowl of greek yogurt, granola flakes, and tiny bit of honey drizzle on top! Then my lunch was the same serving then dinner was skipped!  I can't tell you how Thankful I am feeling now; actually feeling like a little toddle, just energetic everyday.

After I gotten better, my friend Staci came to visit. Whenever Staci comes to visit me, it is always early in the morning. That day, I made fresh banana bread and brew coffee from French Press.  I always like banana bread simple, but do love added some nuts in them sometimes.

Here is the recipe I use for last almost 15 years. I can't recall where I got this recipe, but it has been a great one for me.

1/2 C. butter (soften) 
1 C. sugar 
2 C. shifted Flour
1-1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup banana mashed ( likely two banana would give you this much and a little extra, but that's alright) 
1 C. Finely chopped nuts ( optional) 

Preheat oven at 350 then bake 55-60 mins. 

*** So, here is a little tip for this recipe; after 50 min. of baking time, I like to insert a clear stick to check if the center is well bake, if it comes out running still. You can actually now turn your oven off and let it set in the oven for 15-18mins then insert the clear stick in the center again. If it comes off clean then it is ready!  Try it, let me know if you like it!

Then I made few batches of Kale Chips from time to time.  All you do with fresh Kale is you take the green part off from the stems then wash them really nicely { I would give them a nice cold bath in the kitchen sink after wash}.  I always spread washed Kale on top of clean dish towel.  Then place them in a baking sheet drizzle olive oil/ veggie oil works as well. Then sprinkles with salt! Some people recommended used sea salt, but honestly I just use regular salt for ours. You will need to bake it at 400 degree { so do preheat your oven} and bake for 10 mins. My last batch turn out pretty dark! Well because I totally forgot about it while chatting with mom over Skype. All I knew was the whole house smelled quiet funny at the first, then I realized I totally forgot the Kale was in the oven.  Lesson learned from that day; Now I have just stood in front of the oven for the quick baking dishes. Just because I knew if I went somewhere without setting the timer, I will not remember it at all! Oh..

You might have noticed that I am into miniature sewings lately! It has been in my bucket list for some time now! It is quiet challenging and frustrating when I first start it! It takes longer time than the larger patchwork pieces! I have not gone mad, but I think it is that time or phase again. Change is good! Change brings new fresh outlook of everything. Change is scary, but I am taking it quiet slow! I am more satisfied of getting these little tiny bits of patchwork pieces together and just kinda feel silly that I waited this long to take a step forward.  There are few more patterns have printed out and I'll be digging in them very soon!

So, many of you might know that I made a quilt top in less than 4 days {yay}! Just finished that quilt top this morning around 10:30a.m. I have really not gone mad! Really!  Oh, everything comes with a tiny bit of motivation, do you believe that or say so? I have been slowly checking off the w.i.p. works and getting clean out all the things in the studio here.

It might had been the week before last week, I was so proud to tell S about all the new studio arrangements I made. She looked around then quickly replied to me: Well, I think you just moved these fabrics from here to there and these fabric folded differently. I didn''t think you've gotten any better! and by the way, mama you've got way to many fabrics. ---- blink blink her eyes then off she went.

Oh, S was so true about it. I did move the fabric boxes down to the sewing table again and moved the scrap boxes to the other side. Folded the fat quarters in thirds, so I can fit them all into the containers.  So, last Friday, I dropped everything and started cutting all my scrap fabrics { like I really mean to, clean up}. I, maybe stubborn again about this whole cleaning and making it happen mode again {laugh}! Here I am, made a quilt top in less than 4 days! My goodness! It will never happen to me again! I had really great time by myself and thanks to all loves and hearts on the quilt over {Instagram}! All I did was sewing straight-line, paying no attentions to all the prints. Just piece them all together! Yes, chain piecing is the method.  So I will go ahead and quilt it soon! It would be this week, I plan on it! I just need to find the backing fabrics for it. Likely I will try to use what I have in the studio.  Alright, you probably tired of me talking about this by now..

The new FW1930 blocks have to the wall and the last 48 blocks have taken down! It is so nice that every block's unfinished size is the same! I can't tell you how much I like and have been so challenging by this quilt along! It is not because of the blocks are difficult, but the effort I put in this quilt along is slightly different the others! I really am looking into a perfect quilt sampler quilt at the end, so am trying so hard to make it perfect!

March will be coming soon and I hope to finish S' 12th birthday quilt top and if I am stubborn enough I'll have it done! Oh, she just sent her little hint to me over the weekend about the quilt idea, which I have been waiting for. You know, I'll be checking on fabrics again. Likely using lots fat quarters, fat eighths, and half yard cuts!  I'll share with you when I have it finish! I think she is kinda anxious to see the new birthday quilt and so am I, ready to make this quilt for her!

Next time, when I return here, I will share the quilt {from the top} and let's call it Scraps Player for now! Then S' quilt?! then few more little bits of this and that need to get ready to ship out! Then I'll be back here to share with you more of bits and bobs!

With an extra day in February, I hope you've gotten all your errands done and agendas cross off! I have; finished a quilt top, gone to grocery stores, gotten fresh flowers, done monthly bookkeeping and a clean/ready start working table, and have dinner planned in my head!

Best of all, wrote a blog post! And off to start sewing soon...

Thank you for continuing visiting me here! I have so much going on here, so I can only come here a few times a month and hope this will improve soon!  Thank you again for checking out the {moon pouches} and thank you for all the emails and this and that! The March preview will be towards to the end of the March. I have gotten all the pieces ready, but needed a good sunny day to photograph. I hope to come back here before the next preview, but I can't promise you at this time!

Meanwhile, crossed fingers for better and warmer weather for us who have getting spring fevers!


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Preview: Moon Pouches

Welcome to {Moon Pouches} preview! Today, I'd like to bring you to a short tour of the {Moon Pouches}.  Each moon pouch has its own characteristic and as always they are made with my signature style of penny sewing. Added extra hand touch with hand-quilting that you have been seeing from most of my works.

All the {Moon Pouch} comes with a leather zipper pull. These leather zipper pulls are custom made to fit with designed moon pouches and also coming soon mini pouches in next few months.  These leather zipper pull is removable, so you can use it for your other pouches if you like! Please click on the highly area and it will bring you to the listing in the {shop} where you'll be able to see more detail of the individual pouch.

{Moon Pouch no. 128}, is made with an idea of minimalism. This pouch main body is used 100% linen and added Japanese gingham print and Kona solid prints. As you can see that it is very simple and different from what my usual fabric choices, but I really enjoy making this one!

 {Moon Pouch no. 131} features Suzuko Koseki prints! The colors are very bright and vibrate. It is highly contrast between the light and dark prints. I took a risk to make this pouch, since it is an almost metallic outlook.

{Moon Pouch no. 132} such a cherry and spring outlook pouch! It is particular used as many fruit prints as possible. It also added some floral print to bring out extra spring look!

 {Moon Pouch No. 133} used multiple dotty prints,  small scale prints, and some whimsical prints, such as houses, little doe and small floral. This pouch gives really fresh look to it! I particularly like added the violet, lilac, to make elegant and simple contrast to pouch.

*this pouch has been sold and on its way to its new owner

 {Moon Pouch no. 135}  some of the prints used here are repeated from other moon pouch, but it has more stronger contrast between. This prints used quiet a bit of my favorite designers prints. It is no surprised they works well together.

 {Moon Pouch no. 136}  Used warm scheme Kona prints and accent with some blues in this pouch. It is another different style of sewing that I work on for this series. Play with colors contrast and resulted is very lovely! This pouch has been machine quilted.

 { Moon Pouch no. 137} Used cooler scheme Kona prints and accent with some warmer prints in this pouch. It is another different style of sewing that I work on for this series. Play with colors contrast and resulted is very lovely! This pouch has been machine quilted!

{Moon Pouch no. 138} Featured with Denyse Schmidt's Country Fair collection. This is a hard to find collection now. It has been one of my very first collection from D.S. All the prints are linen and cotton blended, so you can expected it is a heavier pouch when you holding in hand.

** this pouch has been sold and arrived to the new owner.

{Moon Pouch: Vintage Quilt Edition}: This is repurposed moon pouch from a small vintage quilt piece that I have been saved for many years. It has been a big challenge to save every bit of the stars on the quilt piece. When the moon pouch was designed and it was a perfect fit for the vintage quilt piece.  You'll be expecting a small wear in the pouch tops {front and back} as this quilt was made in 1890's according to the lady who pass the piece to me.

{Moon Pouch: Vintage Quilt Edition}: This is repurposed moon pouch from a small vintage quilt piece that I have been saved for many years. It has been a big challenge to save every bit of the stars on the quilt piece. When the moon pouch was designed and it was a perfect fit for the vintage quilt piece.  You'll be expecting a small wear in the pouch tops {front and back} as this quilt was made in 1890's according to the lady who pass the piece to me.

Thank you again for join me with this quick preview! All the pouches are in the {shop}. They are great for during travel, storage small sewing tools, and quick trip out in town with friends for coffee and shop around.

The next preview is coming up in March! Please stay turn!


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Patchwork News

** chive box on the left   ** Turnip cake on the right!

 ** Left to right  # 39 Grandma #40 Grandmother

 Left to right #30 Em

After you quickly scroll down pictures, you might want to close the page or maybe stay with me a little longer!

Have I been determined? Or shall I called it stubborn?  As of yesterday, I catch up all 42 Farmer's Wife 1920 Sampler Blocks! And today I made additional blocks, Hope and Iris, so I am forwarding the quilt along now{yay}!  I can't really explain the challenging of making 2, 3, 4 blocks some of the days and sometimes none for few days because I was so really unhappy that I am not allow to start anything new because I said so.  Pushing to get this project up-to-date, really is one of top list on 2016, but after a few weeks, I think I was stubborn for that! I also was determined using only Denyse Schmidt Fabric collections only! I think this decision is called stubborn after block number 10. I have had troubles to balance out and give nice contrast of the colors on some blocks!

That was the time, I made none blocks! I was thinking about getting {this} then it was between need or want? Then I decided not to make the purchase. Simply I knew I will not use it much then why invest it?  I had to say, it is good that I cool off the anxiety before click on the check out button.
I went through each print carefully then you can see that I rely on {Hope Vally}, {Chicopee}, and some {Hadley} collections a lot. And of course some other less contrast prints from individual collection.

Em block has the most piecing so far and sure part of that stubborn me was in, so when it was finished, I didn't make any more blocks for next 40 hours. I was so satisfied, so I rewarded myself making {these} blocks!

Grandma and Grandmother are two very special blocks for me! I used the prints that reminded of grandma.  I remember she always wore busy floral shirt and paired with wide elastic type of black/ dark brown pants. You might not know, but she was a Farmer's wife and lived very little of everything when the kids where so little. With eight children and a house that had no electricity back then; she done a great job for all that!  

When I got to block 23 Charlotte, I decided to take the first long break. I was craving for {turnip cake} and {chive box}. These are the food that easily can be found at home, but I had to make them myself.  I took a half day off to the international market. Have you visit one? I tried to stop by once a month. Likely to get some vegetables and fruits. Sometimes, I pick up meat from the meat department there. I enjoy spend time there; that's the the place I could hear multiple languages. I always peek in the spice aisle, but never buy anything. I always curious about the spices from other countries! Sometimes, I tried to bring different vegetable home. Likely I am the one ended up finish it! Oh, I think I am still quiet brave of trying out food!

Then I always, always, always bought more grocery from the list, but it is hard not to pick up a bag of Vietnamese mixed coffee, rice crackers, and extra cooking ingredients when I was there.

Most of the {Turnip cake} I had so far, never content turnip. It is actually made from {daikon}. I got four smallish daikon home that day then they were chop into long fine strips. Then I got a back of rice flour to added in, ground pork, dried mushroom. I put them in the rounded cake pans and put one at the time into the {electric cookware} that dad got me last summer when I was home. I believed 99.99% family back home has one! I think it is alike a slow cook here.  The cook time is 90 minutes and each cake takes about 180 minutes. While waiting the cake in the cookware, I started making chive box stuffing. Oh! This is the probably the most local small eat that you can find in my hometown. I was pretty lucky that day that they have fresh chive in the store, got dried tofe, rice noodles, some ground pork. The preparation of these took two hours then I mixed the seasoning from my memory, less or more!  All these ingredients went into a bowl and needed refrigerated a good afternoon to let the seasoning does its job. Then I started making the dough.... Um, we were all well fed that day!

The following week, I drove cross town to visit my friend and shared half of that with her. We had really great time because we haven't seen each other,  since last Thanksgiving. It was so nice that we spoke in our own language and had coffee and more cake she made!

After all that resting and great time! I was back to making the blocks with fresh mind and fresher ideas! I really think most of the blocks turned out better than just started! It was no surprised that so many blues and yellows are being used and so little warmer colors. I added the newest DS collection, {Eastham} last week. This collection reminded me so much of the Hope Vally and the texture is slightly different from the others as well! This collection blended really well with the last two collections, too.

Other patchwork news, I started hand-quilting on the mysmallworld mini quilt.  It will take awhile to finish, but has been a great side project. I also finished up the {Farmer's Wife 1930 quilt} top piecing! This quilt along was started August 201l and took me almost 5 years to put the top together!  Unlike other backing prints I ordered, I went for more something simple this time and have already added the quilt label on. The plan is get it hand-basted tomorrow then roll up on the hand-quilt frame! I am still deciding the quilting pattern. It might be simple, I hope!

I would like to apologized that I never get to post {Moon Pouch} preview! I never get my head down to write it up because my stubbornness and honest, so honestly I didn't have my mind on the writing! You might not know, but it takes longer time for me to write then talk. I would like to say {Thank You} for those of you who have checked out the {Moon Pouch}. I will have the preview post up over the weekend as I plan to write it up after this blog post! Maybe after dinner/dish/Lucky time tonight! promised!