Patch upon patch: Sneak Peek #1

So…. I have been listening to Anne of Green Gables in audio book format while I work, and came across the following quote that brought a smile to my face.

“I do NOT like patchwork,” said Anne dolefully, hunting out her workbasket and sitting down before a little heap of red and white diamonds with a sigh. “I think some kinds of sewing would be nice; but there’s no scope for imagination in patchwork. It’s just one little seam after another and you never seem to be getting anywhere. But of course I’d rather be Anne of Green Gables sewing patchwork than Anne of any other place with nothing to do but play.”                                                                        ~Chapter 13, Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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I have been working with small pieces the last couple of days… My 9-patch units, shown in image below, finish at 3″ x 3″.  I am using my little trick here to make the units.  Most of you know I don’t always enjoy piecing, so I kind of empathize Anne of Green Gables with her assessment of patchwork.  But I do not agree with Anne about patchwork having no scope of imagination.  I think there is plenty of imagination to be had in sewing up the “seamingly” endless seams. :)  This particular quilt has a non-negotiable deadline because it is going to travel far for an overseas publication.

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Meanwhile, here is a sneak peek of Miss Baby’s latest stitching project.  She thinks she has arrived being able to stitch with variegated thread… ha!

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And on and off while I am supervising Miss Baby’s violin practices, I have been stitching a little… a very little… on Miss Baby’s birth sampler.

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And if you’re curious about the overall look so far…

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That’s all for now, Dear Friends.  Back to patchwork-ing I must go!!!  Thanks for stopping by.  Hugs to you all.

Engineer vs. Artist: Sneak Peeks

Hello Friends, I meant to check in yesterday, but I had an Engineer vs. Artist moment (thus the name of the quilt for now), and the Artist won.  You see, when piecing is involved, I am all engineer because of the precision aspect of things.  Then, when it comes time to decide what to quilt, oftentimes the engineer within me takes over for the efficiency aspect of things, due to project deadlines, and I have to be efficient with what I quilt within the amount of time I have…. but yesterday, the Artist in me won!

I was already late because the piecing took longer – piecing ALWAYS takes longer for me because I am a snail-speed piecer. I knew I had a limited amount of time to quilt the quilt.  I could just quickly quilt an allover motif, and be efficient, or I could go all out and quilt fancy, and really add to the quilt.  The battle raged on fiercely (!), and finally, the Artist won!

I won’t tell you how much sleep I got last night, because I will get in trouble should my Mom check in and read the post. ;) But suffice it to say all those all-nighters I had in engineering school amply prepared for a stint like last night’s!

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I was glad the Artist in me won in the quilting department of this quilt.  I really like the result. But the icing on the cake was when Miss Baby came downstairs and saw the quilt this morning… she said, “WOW, Mom…. this quilt is so pretty now (that it’s quilted)!” I guess she wasn’t quite sure about it before, and was too nice to say anything negative.

This quilt is now on its way to the editor.  Whether they would let me officially name the quilt “Engineer vs. Artist” remains to be seen.

Thank you for stopping by!  I need to start on the next few things on my list.  I shall catch up with you later.

p.s.  Through today only, you can still get my book Recreating Antique Quilts at a discount at my publisher’s website. Click here to purchase the book.

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Counting My Blessings: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I managed to find a green hair bow for Miss Baby that totally mis-matches her uniform for school this morning.  But a girl has to have a touch of green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Even though I am struggling to keep up with my schedules, I am counting my blessings!

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And when I count my blessings, I count you many times over!  Thank you again for your encouragement — please know that I am very appreciative.  I’d better get back to work.  Have a most lovely day, Dear Friends!

p.s.  Please know that if you have emailed me within the last two weeks and haven’t heard back from me, I am most certainly not ignoring you!  I am ever so slowly digging my way through my exploded inbox – that feels more like a 30ft sinkhole!

p.s.s. Have you voted in the latest round of March Madness at Sew in Love {with Fabric}? Click here to go vote if you haven’t.  Seven  of my designs made the last 16.

Calm Assurance: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, it sure was nice being able to ship out another quilt — albeit I had 45 minutes to pack the quilt, make a mad dash to the Post Office, and in time to pick up Miss Baby from school. But at least it is on its way to the editor.

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I tried out a new allover quilting motif on Calm Assurance.   It is not my original.  I think it is one done by Patsy Thompson although I am not certain.  This motif has LOTS of movement, and turned out to be perfect for a very geometric quilt.  But it took my little pea brain quite a bit to figure out moving one cluster of  “Palm Tree Leaves in a Monsoon” (that’s what this motif reminds me of) to the next.  And here I am, calling the quilt Calm Assurance.   HA!

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A few weeks ago, Miss Baby music teacher impressed upon her that a teacher should always still be learning and practicing.  It resonated with me because I believe a quilting person is one who keeps on learning as well.  My thoughts on that are sprinkled here in this post.  My Palm Tree Leaves in a Monsoon can use to improve, I think — and I can’t wait to quilt the motif on another quilt to fine tune my stitching path, my swirl curvature etc.  And there’s another thing Miss Baby’s music teacher stresses – to perfect the basics, and THEN one can build on the basics! He cannot be more right than that!

I hope you are doing just that, my dear quilting friends!  Thank you for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later.

Autumn Comfort: Sneak Peek

Hello Friends, here is peek of another finished project!

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I have traditionally used quite a bit of neutral (white, cream and gray) in my designs for contrast. For Autumn Comfort, I experimented with not using any white or cream at all!  I have to say it’s nice to get out of one’s box and do something totally different and expected — because the result was (in this case) unexpectedly pleasing as well!

I also experimented with my Sand Dunes background quilting to go with feather quilting in this project.  More about that tomorrow — so remember to come back for a seriously overdue Thread Talk post!

So, what are you working on today?  Thanks for stopping by.  I shall catch up with you later. Ciao!

Malady, Mistakes, Momentary Setback, Motivation!

Hello Friends, I have been working with these fabrics, and they are entirely related to my drama earlier this week, though not responsible.  am to be blamed.

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Malady — Over the weekend, I had a relapse of my flu I had a few weeks ago.  So I was back to the head pressure, Muscle aches etc.  You get the idea.  But then since I had looming deadlines, and the fact that I wasn’t flat on my back… I kept going.

MistakesMonday Morning, I was feeling pretty good about my quilt top because all I had left was 5-6 blocks, and I would be able to get the quilt done within the next 12 hours or so…. until I noticed 24 of the completed blocks had to be redone due to glaring Mistakes!!!  What a Mess!  Don’t get me wrong — the construction had been so Much fun!  The quilt is a fun quilt, I promise!!!

[Are you seeing all my M words yet?! HA.]

Momentary setback — I had planned to have the quilt completed and shipped yesterday!  The thought of having to take out stitches and redoing all 24 blocks sent me straight to the depths of the Mires of Melancholy. There was quite a bit of feeling sorry going around in our house that day. My husband felt sorry for me.  Miss Baby felt sorry for me.  I felt sorry for me.

Motivation — An editorial assignment is something to be Made happen – and that is the Motivation I needed to keep going on!  So, Many hours later (the un-stitching and re-stitching took the longest), and Motivational speeches directed to myself, I have a sneak preview for you!

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I have to say that I am thankful for the editorial assignments in my life – because they Make sure I complete My quilts!  And that brings up to My next series of questions…

#1.  What you would have done if the quilt wasn’t for work, per se… would you just set the quilt aside for a while and work on something else and then come back to face the Music?

#2.  What tactics you have employed to help you get past Multiples Mistakes you spot on a quilt top — do you just leave them as they are, or do you embark on an un-stitching crusade?

#3.  If you are the type that sets aside the quilt, what do you do to get yourself back to the project?

Thanks for stopping by – please note the humorous undertone of this post!  I am not about to jump off a cliff (though the thought Might have flashed through My Mind for a Millisecond). Hugs to you all.  Till next time!

Winter Blues: Sneak Peeks

Friends, it’s one thing when the weather is bitterly cold, but it’s totally different when a wind advisory is added to the bitter cold!  We had the cold and wind today.

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Here are a couple of sneak peeks of my Winter Blues quilt:

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I shall close out today’s post with just a few more visions of blues – my kind of blues! :)

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And here is a quilt named China Blue I made for Quilt Magazine in 2012.  Click here to read more about the quilt.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  Have yourself a lovely weekend, won’t you?  Hugs to you all — I shall catch up with you next week!

Project Sneak Peek & Fabric Preview & Giveaways

Happy Monday, Dear Friends!  I hope you are doing well, and your week has gotten with a great start!  Since showing you the precut bundles featuring Pat Sloan’s The Sweet Life fabrics, I have completed this sweet project.  More details to come.

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IMG_9205I have been playing with these blue precuts from Island Batik!  So tell me, are you one who would make a blue/white quilt?

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Meanwhile,  there is still time to enter the following giveaways:

1.  Benartex Leap Frog FQ bundle, offered on Sew in Love {with fabric}’s Novelty Prints blog hop.  I shared a tutorial for a quick pillow caddy project.  Click here to find out more.

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2.  QuiltShopGal is offering a giveaway of a copy of Fons and Porter’s Table Toppers book here. You see, the cover table topper is designed and made by yours truly.  You can read more about it here.

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Thanks so much for stopping by!  I shall catch up with you tomorrow!

Fabric preview: Pat Sloan’s The Sweet Life

Hello Friends!  I hope you are well.  I finished this quilt right after Christmas 2014, using Pat Sloan‘s The Sweet Life fabrics!  These very bright, cheerful and happy (and very Pat Sloan-ish) fabrics were a joy to work with.  You should be seeing them at your local quilt shops not too long from now.

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And I am getting to play even more with these precuts from the same fabric line.  Life is sweet… even if I have had to hang out at Germ-ville the last few days.

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What caught my eye on one of the fabric swatches is the “needs cake” part!  The cake part struck a a very sweet chord with me.  You see, growing up in Asia, my parents would allow us to have cake for breakfast whenever there’s cake in the house!  So, cake = all goodness!  I have done the same thing with Miss Baby at our house, not knowing having cake for breakfast might be a bit off-putting for some Americans.  Miss Baby unwittingly told someone she had cake for breakfast one day, only to be met with a few stares directed at her mother.  They must have thought I was the most indulgent (at best) parent in the world.  Nonetheless, cake will probably always be allowed for breakfast in our family, and maybe one day, Miss Baby’s family.  It’s funny how we pass down things within the family, albeit a bit idiosyncratic sometimes. :)

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Cake allowed or not at breakfasts aside, you have got to check out Pat Sloan’s upcoming line! Click here to view all the fabrics to start planning your next quilt.  This line also has a batik version.  Click here to view.

Thanks for stopping by, Friends!  Now, if you have any “cake for breakfasts” type practices in your family, would you mind sharing?

Flower Basket Sneak Peeks & Christmas Snippets

Hello Friends, I hope you are well!  Thank you for stopping by again.  I thought I will share with you my Flower Basket quilt that had “refused to be finished”, but is now finally completed and shipped off.  I am exploring the use of basic solid and batik fabrics together in a quilt.

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Meanwhile, here are few Christmas snippets from my British country hutch.  Those snowmen ornaments were featured in Quilter’s World’s Autumn 2013 issue.  Click here for more information.

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Both ornaments were on our Christmas Tree last year, but I decided to place them among my dishes this year. :)

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What do you think?  Do you think I made a good move with these snowmen ornaments this year?

Gotta run for now — I am exhausted, but I still have a few things to get done before I can go to bed tonight. Later, my Dear Friends!

More quilty previews

Hello Friends – another week has come to an end.  It’s been a busy one at my end.  I woke up at around 3am on Thursday morning to make cupcakes for Miss Baby’s class – for all intents and purposes, that was my first time making cupcakes.  I have always done muffins, but not cupcakes.  I thought the cupcakes were alright, but not as “cakey” and “fluffy” as I had expected — if you have any tips for the perfect vanilla cupcakes, please share!  I am thinking perhaps use baking soda instead of baking powder as the recipe I used recommended?

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I have a couple of quilty sneak peeks to share with you.  Can you tell I have enjoyed myself?

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Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you have a fun weekend.  It will be work and more Christmas activities for me.   But I can’t complain!  I always love the Christmas season.  Hugs to you all.

Quilty previews

Hello Friends, I have had the pleasure of focusing on the quilting part while working on some exciting projects.  Here are a couple of sneak peeks.  They have the feel of rich hot dark chocolate with a hint of raspberry and marshmallow…

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How is your Christmas shaping up?  We are slowly seeing more and more Christmas around the house.  And with Miss Baby, it’s almost like we are in all things crafty when it comes to Christmas.   I will have pictures to show you later on.

But I cannot leave today without sharing with you this very quilty Christmas ornament.  Being an aspiring artisan (sort of, and I can at least dream), I am always sourcing home grown artisan Christmas things for my collection.  I am always amazed at just how talented some people are out there.  You can purchase this star ornament here.  [I will have a few more noteworthy American made ornaments to share with you before the season is over.]

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Thanks for stopping by, Dear Friends!  Thanks to you all who have shared about your Advent Calendar here.  I enjoyed reading about your Advent Calendars.  Now, curious mind wants to know if you have a favorite ornament, and if so, what it is like.