Wednesday, December 28, 2016


We had really quiet holiday this year. S was running a high fever for a few days then she slept in most of the time. She managed to have breakfast on the Christmas day, but then too sick for rest of the events. I managed to take holiday walk at nights while the temperature was nice.  I walked maybe three Avenues and few street down in our neighborhood.  Oh, can I tell you that I am a little disappointed?

For so many years living in Midwest, holiday time is always so festive! Lights in neighborhood after neighborhood, trees by the windows and snowman in front of the houses, if we get a winter storm before the holiday and we have so many holiday drivers! I always love being one of the holiday drivers during the holiday season!

I finished up another mini pouch while being late in the workroom last few nights. I love how the little girl dressed up in such cute outfit (from the sketch)! Her scarf is something that I wish to knit for myself one day! The pouch is made with 100% linen and so lovely to embroidery on!  I have been into linen for embroidery lately. It is just soft and nice in touch.

The appliqué block before I left for the oversea trip is finished! When I first made it I had planned to frame the piece! I have been looking for the right frame for awhile and found it in IKEA last week. The frame size is a 9"x9" and just perfect for the 7" circle appliqué.  I am pleased how it turns out and it is now in the workroom among many other things together!

These days in December is quite different than others.  It is alright to tell you that I miss the Midwest winter; winter coat, snow boots, freezing pipes, icicles, snow on the ground, shoveling and friends that meet regular at the local cafe. These gloomy winter days are so easy to get me down!

Deep breath and I am alright! I still put on the winter coat when I ride on the metro bus and keep the snow boots in the box these days. The freezing pipes and icicles are in the photos that were taken from the years of living in Midwest and was being view more than dozen last couple days. There's a  good chance of snow tomorrow, so I crossed my fingers for some! I still have coffee with friends, but these days we do it over FaceTime

and I am thankful!

Flipping through the planner. I see that I was being so productive and fulfilled most of the year!
I celebrated the moment with time to sew, time in the music lessons, time when received a card from a thoughtful friend, time that cooked for friends who came down to visit and time that actually wasn't all that perfect!  

Until then...

Best to you!



Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Solstice

It seems like the winter solstice came earlier this year! I was reminded by the planner and ma last night. Growing up, on the first day of winter ma always made Tangyuan {sticky rice balls} dessert in the early morning then before school we all get to take a scoop of Tangyuan in our own bowl then after finished the dessert it means we get one year older! I tried to keep this tradition and plan to make some later in the day. That might just reminded me I'll be another year older soon {smile}! 

I get to finished the {patchwork jojo pouch} the other night! This pouch is used swatch linens that I got from my trips to Mood a while ago. It turned out really soft and simple! It was lined with cotton and linen blended fabric. It is super roomy and fits all the pens now. 

Last night, I creamed the sugar and butter together then added all the dried ingredients for the sugar cookies. I always added extra 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to make cookie crispy or you might add cream of tart tart as well then let the batter set over night! I was up quiet early this morning then started baking and getting them ready before I return to the workroom!  The apartment still smells so sweet and buttery as I am typing at this moment!  The almond bar cookies are also sitting on the table and waiting the icing to dry before I can store in the containers. 

Little by little! 

I've getting many requests over the time on the paper piecing patterns that were designed in the past and wondered if there's a better way to download them. I have added to my pattern store in Craftsy and now you can now download them from my {craftsy}. Enjoy the little horse and pumpkin patterns! I really have great time making them!  

Have a happy holiday! 



Sunday, December 18, 2016

Gifts making...

Remember I said more snow? It happened yesterday! It probably was an overnight snow fall while I was hand stitching in the workroom. The blinds were down, so the light in the room can be less reflected from the windows. In the morning, I put on winter gloves and boots and went shoveling!  Gosh, it felt good!

The knit bag {first photo} is made for a friend who sent a special knitted gift in the mail last week. It actually started with Bahar, Can I custom order a pair of mittens? She replied, Oh, let me take a look of the photos if you have any! Then she got back to me how soon you would like to have them? I replied before the holiday would be great! Then I didn't hear back from her for 6 weeks after we messaged! Last week, she sent another message to me and let me know the mitten is ready to post. Bahar said, I would love to sent it as a gift to you.  It took me few minutes to reply back to her.  At that moment, I felt really warm and humble for the labor of love gift that she offer to me.

Then I've been thinking what could I gift in return. I thought it would be nice to send a labor of love gift in return and a knit bag for her to take her yarns and needles is just perfect! It is really how I have been feeling about holiday season these years. Gifts from heart and personal, do you?

All the greeting cards have mailed out, expected two, which will go out on Monday morning. It feels really great that I actually sit down and work through them as I found time in between tasks.  I have made an extra card and have been thinking who got miss out from the list and hope to find that person out before Monday arrives {smile}!

This past week has been a full week and daytime/daylight is not quiet enough to use. I started look forward longer daylight now! The metal tray was one of the found before the move! It had all the sewing tools in, but then it was empty for a long time. Today I found it is a perfect size for some finished projects! then second though might be great if I can fill this tray with the mini pouches!

This coming week, I plan to make another {patchwork jo-jo pouch}  as the one I am using is a little too full to carry! I mixed with sewing tools and pens always!  Really need another one for the pens only!  My sister and I shared love of fountain pens and we both went a little shopping while I was visiting this Fall. The one that I like perfectly for writing and drawing is preppy 0.3 nib fountain pen.

Next few days, I'll be making sugar cookies without icing, an apple pie, and almond bar cookies. Then a new roomy patchwork pouch is on the top of list, the on going WIP  list still kicking these days and found time made {dutch baby} and taking the morning time slow down as I always over planned the day!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Make it

It finally snowed on late Sunday afternoon ! It felt so nice to see the snow falling down in the city. It was not even an inch, but enough joy for me! Although the snow melted away from the Monday rain then the temperature kept in the low 40's, but snow was here!  I really miss the bitter cold and shoveling snow days; making a snow bank or two by the garage or sidewalk then sit in the kitchen watching snow falling. Isn't that the best part of the Winter season?

The zipper finally installed onto the little pouch. It is such a nice cute little pouch to make. Most of assembling is done by hand and really little machine stitching!  It is hard to believe this pattern was made in my first sewing lesson that I took 14 years ago. I was learning to draft out simple pattern at that time, I didn't have a sewing machine. 

I love how each time it turns out differently as I always change designs within. It is the type of pouch pattern that never gets old on me and just love to make it whenever I can. I plan to make a few patchwork editions and few more embroidery works soon. The little pouch is all wrapped and ready to post. I put it in a {french seam style drawstring bag} and you can find the tutorial {here}.

Last Thursday night, I stay in the workroom till quiet late, maybe past 11p.m.  I started pulling off some fabrics from the shelves that I knew I'll never use it, but for keepsake.  For last two years, I have been procrastinating about the idea of letting go some of these long collected fabrics. Each time, when I am about to do so then a few days later I put them back to shelves and that repeated for a few tries.  There is always a though of, "what if I need them later?" (smile). The truth is there hasn't been a what if moment since then. Finally, I talked into myself, let's do this; really think about what works and what no then this time was a success! It was hard and difficult for first few prints pull then after few more prints pull out I knew I am in the right track! (I plan on a destash over quarterinchmark_destash Instagram account in January).  

I've found myself search for more specific fabrics these days rather than getting new prints most of the time. I still collect my very favorite designers' prints, but set up a fine line of what to and what not. It is alike collecting music records for others and for me is fabric per se (and maybe it is an excuse for me actually getting few prints from time to time, oh well!) 

As always that I am going to be late for getting things in the mail. I have been making greeting cards after dinner time, a few cards a night and eventually I'll have enough cards to send.  The watercolor supplies sitting on one of the chair, so once table is clean I bring them right up. I've added a little touch on top of envelopes with watercolor and wondered how well they will be travelling? fingers crossed!

Hope you'll find time in your busy day; knit a row, sew few lines, read a page, even have a cup of coffee/tea time to yourself! It is important that we can all try to decompress a little from the busy time of the year! 


p.s. The apron is over-sized after put it on! I checked the draft pattern and realized I followed the wrong size guild line! It will be another time to take seams apart then remake it! I love how this mustard yellow linen turns out! Oh! I do love yellows! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December making!

{Thank You} for the heartwarming welcomes! So nice of you check in from time to time! I think blogging space is a place that we stop by from time to time! I have a few favorite blogs to stop by and often time filled in encouragements, motivations, and being inspired from them, do you?

For the first time, I have wrapped the holiday gifts and placed them under the tree. This year, I went with very practical and simple gift ideas. That will leave me a little time extra time to make small handmade gifts ( check off few ornaments from the list). I also would like to make an apron to wear while cooking in the new kitchen. This is the first time I ever though of making an apron for myself.  The truth for that is most of shirts I wear have been burn with little holes and in the very similar pots. It actually took me a little while to realize I have been wearing little holes in shirts around. It must be the way I use the gas stove top these days, too close!

Each year, it seems that my wish list is getting down to one or two items. This year, I would really like to find a cake stand that comes with a dome, so I am not using not clear wrap so often. The second wish from the list that I have already got and opened is a 2017 planner. It always excites me with brand new pages to write on and clean cover to start with. My 2016 planner is full with stories and days of moments. Likely lots drawings and positive/ encourage phases that I heard or read from someone/ somewhere.

Over the weekend, I did a bit of chain piecing for the new quilt then rotary cut before call it a day! This quilt will be close to a queen size quilt.  The quilt math turns out it needs 30 blocks together to make a queen; it will be a 5x6 layout. It is a quilt that sometimes I had a moment, why I even start this quilt? But look,  it is slowly growing! I should keep it up and add a few blocks a month. Now, I look back the progress along this new quilt; it is amazing how the moments of why I did this became I am glad I did push myself {smile}! I will wait for another week to start press the half triangle squares then onto trimming. Also a note to myself, needs two yards of Kona snow white.

You won't believe how much I love making this pound cake! Do you know that bundt cake pan was 50 cents thrift store found? It is so light in weight and I trust it so much! I have been gifted so many fancy bundt cake pans over last few Christmas and birthdays, but this one is absolute my favorite. It always needs butter and flour inside nicely before pouring the batter in, but it bakes so well!  The cake goes so well with tea, coffee, and hot coco! I actually like to set my cakes at the bottom second rake, so it gets a little brown and the inside still keep pretty moist {save the cake crust for last}.

In the meantime, I have been back working in the workroom (that feels content), working on new projects (very satisfy) and getting things orgnaized (finally can find things without wondering around too long). Then I did finally found last two missing boxes that actually were both marked, don't open outside of the boxes in the workroom. So now that completed 25 boxes for the studio packed boxes (so glad). It was such a relive knowing I didn't leave anything behind.