Joining the QUILT FESTIVAL Fun

Amy of Park City Girl is hosting her first annual Quilt Festival, and thought I couldn’t miss out on the fun! “Select your favorite quilt, make sure you have a good picture of it and go post about it! It doesn’t matter what size, style, or era it is from – there’s no judging here :) In your post tell your quilt’s story.”

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It’s hard for me to have to pick a favorite quilt because all the projects I have worked on end up being special to me in their own way. The most meaningful quilt I have made, however, is my interpretation of Mrs. Susan Nokes McCord “Harrison’s Rose Urn” (circa 1860) for a wholecloth. This is Mrs. McCord’s quilt:

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This is my wholecloth interpretation:

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Both works are in honor of our 9th President, President William Henry Harrison, also the grandfather of President Benjamin Harrison:

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I added an “H” to the urn as a monogram, and a grouse silhouette to commemorate the President’s favorite past time, grouse-hunting. The President named his house “Grouseland” — that’s how serious about grouse hunting! :)

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You can see the background stippling compared to the size of a penny:

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The quilt top is a cotton/silk blend, quilted with silk thread over a wool batt. Finished size is about 13 inches square:

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It won first place in the 2008 Grouseland Festival of Quilts Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge. It is now part of a permanent collection displayed in the Grouseland Mansion. If you are a subscriber to “The Quilter” magazine, you might have also seen it in their March 2009 issue:

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Thank you for stopping by. If this is your first visit, I would like you to stay a bit longer and look at my other favorite quilts. Please leave a comment – that way I can visit you back! Have a lovely day!

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Bernina’s THROUGH THE NEEDLE (Issue 28)

I received my complimentary copies of “Through the Needle” over the weekend. Bernina didn’t just send me one or two copies – I received SIX copies (I smell a giveaway once things settle down for me)!!! And kudos to the editorial staff for a job well done. The magazine turned out to be very eye-catching!

I had seen the draft sent to me for final review, but it is NOTHING like seeing the real thing:

Here are more pillow shots:

Back of pillow – the fabric was one of those that I just couldn’t pass up at the quilt shop:

Click here if you happened to miss the previous post.

[Through the Needle will feature another article on me sometime next year. Stay tuned! I think it’s going to be really fun working on that project. This project will be done with the help of Rogers Sewing Center. You may contact Rogers Sewing Center for more information. You may also contact me should you be interested in a custom-made pillow like the one shown.]

Making something we can ACTUALLY use…?!

Remember this?


I received my pillow back from Bernina that is going to appear in their “Through the Needle” issue coming out in November. I was told this issue debuted in the Houston Quilt Market over the weekend. I will post more pictures when I receive my complimentary copies of the magazine:

It is another project with the whole-cloth theme except the main motifs were done by machine embroidery. I had also monogrammed an S for our family last name to give it a more personal and custom look. The background quilting was free-motion quilted with the Bernina Stitch Regulator.

What am I going to do with the pillow? It will be used as a decorative pillow to be looked at admiringly, and occasionally to be handled with clean hands. :) My husband aptly asked me upon completion of the project a while back, “When are you going to make something we can actually use?”. You know what, he had a point…

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a lovely Tuesday! As always, I love reading your comments. So, if you are able, do let me know when you’ve been by so that I can visit you back!

Dish-aholic Part 5: Sucker for Blue Transferware

Hello Everyone – I hope you have had a splendid week.  Over at my end, I am up to my eyeballs in deadlines!  I was going to do a post on more fall tableware, but I just ran out of time.  Instead, I am going to show you just what a sucker I am for Blue Transferware — especially those made by Spode.

This is my “festive” transferware platter – the pattern is officially called “Festival”.  I used to only put it out for the holidays, but I like it so much that I have leave it out all year round.  I just love that majestic look of that turkey, don’t you? :)

This is a Seder or Passover platter that bears the background pattern of antique Jewish filigree.  I am not Jewish, but I have always loved the story of deliverance in the book of Exodus – the things foreshadowed in the event are simply amazing!

This is a smaller platter that shows the “Girl At Well” pattern.  I have always loved this pattern even though this is the only piece I have.   The wholesome beauty of the girl drawing water from the well reminds me of the beauty of serving others:

Soon, it will be the season for this:

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Meanwhile, these came in the mail today – my blue ribbon from the Grouseland Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge, a certificate, and a hand-written note from the organizers.  While designing the quilt block, I learned that there are more quilts named after President William Harrison than any other Presidents even though he was only in office for 32 days:

Thank you for coming to my show-and-tell.  I wish you an enjoyable weekend!

I WON!!!!

I received the following comment on my Harrison Urn Quilt Block from Jane in Indiana on Friday —

“I had just come home from the Grouseland Quilt Show because I had won a place in the challenge. And wouldn’t you know, it was your block who beat me!! Congratulations on your first place winning in piecework!! I had placed second in piecework, also!! I was, also, blown away at you work. Beautiful!!! I had consequently found your blog a few days ago and saw your block there. I had to go today to see who beat me, and when I saw that it was yours, I wasn’t really that surprised. Your work is wonderful!”

I was excited and surprised and feeling a bit unsure about the news at the time, because I hadn’t heard anything official from the organizers…

Jane assured me that I had indeed won in emails we exchanged later, but still no official word from the organizers…

Then, this afternoon after we returned from church, a message on the answering machine confirmed my FIRST PLACE win in the Pieced Category at the Grouseland Festival of Quilts Old Tippecanoe Block Challenge held in Vincennes, Indiana on October 10th and 11th, 2009. Later in a phone conversation with Judy Morton representing the organizers, I was told that my quilt block will be displayed in Grouseland, with the possibility of being part of a traveling exhibit as well. I was also told that the winning entries will be featured in “The Quilter” magazine. What an honor this is in my short quilting journey!

Right when I was about to publish this post, I received an email from Jane. She went back the following day and took pictures of my block with the blue ribbon (bottom left corner). Jane had won second place in the “Pieced” Category, and first place in the “Applique” Category (top left corner, and bottom middle are Jane’s blocks – stunning!). Thanks bunches, Jane!

As I let the news soak in, I am thankful for many that have encouraged me beyond measure in my quilting journey:

1. My Lord and King – without Him, I am nothing. Indeed, “I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” (Psalm 16:2)

2. My husband – he was the person who had first planted the bug of “you ought to try sewing” in my ear ever since we were newly married eons ago (well, not that looong!). I was an engineering student at the time and later proceeded to work in the field of Chemical Engineering for about seven years, and had NEVER had any interest to sew in my whole life. Nonetheless, he is always supportive in all my learning opportunities. He certainly was and still is in all my heirloomy pursuits — always with constructive ideas!

3. Barbara – my quilting teacher, mentor, close friend who is also a fellow Jane Austen fan. If it weren’t for her teaching me in my first quilt (which is an applique and pieced quilt, can you believe the naiveté for someone who has never sewn?), I wouldn’t have learned the love of quilting. I tell her that every quilt that gets any recognition is a tribute to her.

4. Annelle – my heirloom sewing teacher who is never discouraging in any way. Sharing our love for heirloom together has been an incredible journey.

5. Dan and Rhonda of Rogers Sewing Center – they have been invaluable to me as friends. They have helped and encouraged me tremendously ever since the day I purchase my machine from them. Through the Sewing Center, I have also made many sweet friends with whom I have forged great friendships. There’s just something when I can talk sewing with another person.

6. My sister – very very different from me, but she is never too busy to stop and oooh-and-aaah about anything I make!

7. I am certainly thankful to the bloggy friends I have made through this blog. Thank you for your ever encouraging words about my work. Your comments often brighten my day while I take my breaks from working at my sewing machine. I always make a point to respond to every comment either by email or visiting you on your blog if you have one.

“Where they make the sausage” and News!

Hello Everyone,  I hope that you have had a great weekend.   I also hope that your Monday is going to be a GREAT one! :)

I did get to squeeze in a few stitches on my “Spanning three centuries” wholecloth quilt.  I am logging the time and see how long it takes me to finish this quilt.  So far I have logged about 5 hours.  I am always surprised how fast time passes by whenever I do feather quilting.  Here is the first “where they make the sausage” picture – nothing fancy.  As you can see, the markings are still there, threads aren’t buried into the quilt batt, no background quilting to fill in the negative space…

All this is brought to you and made possible by the Bernina Stitch Regulator:

Other news — stay tuned for some new patterns coming out in a couple of months using new fabric collections.  I am showing you sneak peek of two patterns:

Improved bananas!

Sorry for another partial picture, but I did finish and send off my pillow project by the end of last week.  I thought that my “bouncing bananas” (the half-moon thingies) background stitches IMPROVED since I last did them for a quilt:

There is nothing more heartening than improved stitches to a quilter.  Improved stitches = more comely work! So, I am quite satisfied with the result!

This week, I am working on a cutwork project using machine embroidery.  Never done that in my whole sewing life.  We’ll see how it goes, and I will be sure to report back!

Have a great week, y’all!

A bit o’ “Behind the Scenes”

After days of playing around, I finally hunkered down and worked on another deadline. This is for a quilted pillow project that will appear in Bernina’s November issue of “Through the Needle” (as always, only a partial shot of the final project before it’s officially published):


You can see that the quilt sandwich is still in the hoop from having the motif machine embroidered. That’s basically how I have gone about making these for the machine embroidery aspect of the projects. Click on the pictures if you are interested to read the posts written about them:

A tip for doing monogram using machine embroidery – always use the same thread for both the top and bobbin threads – the result is flawless that way!

Have a fabulous day, everyone!

Road to California

I made this quilt with the “Road to California” quilt blocks a couple of years ago for my brother when he had the opportunity to intern at a winery in Northern California. I had chosen grape-themed fabrics for obvious reasons:


I had the brilliant idea to quilt feathers on the quilt. Keep in mind that I had only been sewing for a few months and had NO expertise in free-motion quilting. All I knew about the machine was that I could use it for straight stitches. So, I set out to quilt these feather wreaths using straight stitches (feed dog up) by turning the quilt every few stitches in order to sew the circular shape:

Needless to say – it was pure torture to me that I had brought upon myself. I couldn’t be happier when the quilt was finished, simply because I just couldn’t stand to quilt the feather wreath on the umpteenth block with straight stitches! That was when I decided I was going to learn free-motion quilting to make my life easier. That was also when I decided that I was going to the Bernina Stitch Regulator to make my life even easier. I haven’t looked back since! And thank goodness for TECHNOLOGY!! :)


Adios for now!

I started quilting on my “Family Tree” quilt using my home machine over the weekend. I used wool batting to reduce the bulk and the weight — but I can assure you that it still made the whole quilt sandwich HEAVY! I shudder to think what I would have done without my sewing table (Yes, Ellen – it is blessed to have a handyman/an engineer for a husband)! :)

This will be the last “sneak peek post” on the quilt until it officially comes out in “The Quilter” Magazine. I can’t wait to see how the editorial staff is going to present it in the magazine. The quilt is free-motion quilted. The feathers are free-handed and unmarked:


Thank you, my bloggy friends for coming alongside me with your encouraging words ever since I started the quilt from scratch. I appreciate all of you!

With that, my “Family Tree” Quilt (aka “Challenge-within-challenge” Quilt), which is now officially named “The Pieceful Kingdom”, bids you a fond farewell for the moment.

The ripple effect of my first throw pillow

I had made this pillow as a class sample for a Bernina Stitch Regulator class I am teaching at Rogers Sewing Center:

There is only one not-so-good thing that came out of this pillow: I never got to keep and enjoy it at home as its adopted home for now is the Sewing Center. I am showing you a closeup – I hope you can see the echoes around the heart – they are quilted at roughly 1/8″ apart:

BUT… I have had many many good things happen to me because of this pillow.

1. I learned how to make a throw pillow. Can you believe I have NEVER made a throw pillow until this one?

2. I have made lots of sewing friends, and I love it when they bring their finished pillows to show me in subsequent classes. One of these wonderful ladies that I have really enjoyed getting to know is Wanda. Look at how Wanda is beaming with pride because her pillow turned out exactly like mine. You see, she claims she wants to do EVERYTHING I do — and honestly I don’t know if that’s such a wise idea because I think she is extremely talented herself :) Wanda made two of these pillows as Mother’s Day gifts for her mother and mother-in-law. I am telling you, she is one sweet lady! Oh, please ignore my bad hairdo because I had a bad hair day that day — focus on Wanda and her pillow:

3. I will have an article featuring a similar pillow project, scheduled to appear in the November 2008 issue of Bernina’s “Through the Needle” magazine! I thought that’s pretty cool!

4. I hope I would be able to continue helping and encouraging many more to enjoy their BSR and really put that nifty technology to create some very beautiful heirloom items!

Be sure to come back on Friday if you are interested in seeing more of my Lady Carlyle collection. I am overwhelmed by the compliments I have received on the Lady Carlyle teapot. Before I say anything more and spoil tomorrow’s Show-and-Tell fun, I’d better key off for now. Have a beautiful day, my blogging friends!