Monday, January 28, 2013

Tessellating Stars

This table runner will be a thank you gift for the lady that gave me the free Singer in the gorgeous treadle cabinet. All the piecing was done with the Singer 66-1 and quilting with the Davis NVF.

Saturday, January 26, 2013


I have been making stars. This piecing project is a lot easier than I thought it would be. Working with paper first, I decided on the size block I wanted to use. I cut one 5" block in half, then cut the halves on diagonal to form the triangles. I cut another 5" block into quarters to form the inner square. I did the same process with a 6" block, just minus the inner square. I decided to use the 5" block for this table runner that I'm making.

After selecting fabrics, cutting pieces, and arranging the layout, I started my piecing. First, I started sewing one triangle onto the square by lining up the right angle of triangle to the corner of square and then sewing right sides together 2/3 of the way down. The bottom section is left open to make it easy to attach the last triangle. I pressed the top section that I had sewn.

 Now working counterclockwise, I attached the top triangle and then pressed.

Then the third triangle was sewn onto the right side of square and pressed.

And lastly, the bottom triangle. (Note that this is a different block that I used for this photo so the fabrics/colors are arranged differently.)

I then pressed again and cut off all the tips.

 Blocks were then sewn together to form rows, and rows were sewn together.

 Well almost, I'm still working on sewing the rows together.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Tis' I

Yes, it's really me. This photo was taken at the last quilt guild meeting. I'm showing off my two quilts that I took to the sharing time of the meeting. At the guild, there are many talented quilters that routinely share their beautiful quilts; all which I have enjoyed. This past meeting, I opted to reciprocate the deed back. The smaller quilt went to the community donation program that day.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Yummy Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love homemade chocolate chip cookies. I'm always ready to try a new recipe too. Recently, I came across a gluten free recipe from Land-0-Lakes that uses many different types of non gluten flours in the recipe. So, I gave it a try.

I'm glad I did because these chewy chocolate chip cookies are the best! I added walnuts in my second batch and substituted a 1/4 cup of the flour blend with sorghum flour. I purchased the rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour at the local Asia market since those items are cheaper at the Asian market than anywhere else. I recommend these yummy cookies to all, just google for the recipe. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quick and Simple

I finished this yesterday and wore it today with a black top and black jeans. Since the sleeves were so easy to sew into the garment, the project went quickly.

This easy pattern is Butterick B5498.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Yes, these drop crotch pants are uuuggly. In my opinion, any drop crotch pants are ugly. So, why then did I spend hours making ugly pants?

1. It was on my son's Christmas wish list, a pair of drop crotch pants.
2. A way to save money since the online prices are ridiculous for a pair of ugly pants.
3. The Burda pattern was on sale along with the fabric.

 I surprised him with a box of fabric and pattern as his Christmas gift. This week, I was able to work on the ugly pants.

He kept pulling them down to hip, and I kept telling him they are waist pants as stated on the pattern.

 He loves much that he slept in them last night!  At least he loves them. For me they are still uuuggly pants that he isn't wearing out of the house.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Yesterday, I participated in the sharing portion of the quilt guild meeting for the first time. I nervously showed off my newly done chevron baby quilt and my Shattered Bones quilt. We are told to give a quick description on the quilts; so, I informed the guild that these quilts were pieced and quilted using 100 year old sewing machines that I treadle. While walking back to my seat, a lady handed me her business card with a note written on it stating that she had a treadle that she wants to give me. During the break, I spoke with her to make arrangements for picking up the machine after the guild meeting. Yes, I came home with beautiful Red-Eye Singer 66-1 machine, gorgeous cabinet, and treadle!

Somehow vintage machines have a way of finding their new steward.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


...and deadlines. I made my deadline of finishing the baby quilt so that I could give it as my donation quilt to my quilt guild's community quilt outreach program at today's meeting.

This time, I went with a 1/2 inch binding.  I cut 3 inch strips that were sewn together, then folded in half, and attached with a 1/2 in seam. I like the look of the 1/2 binding. What I would do differently is to sew just less than a 1/2 seam so that when I fold over the fabric it is easier to cover my stitch line with the fabric.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Art, Babies, and Bees.

My first donation quilt of the year will be a baby quilt. A friend had given me the bee fabric awhile back. I thought it would be cute in a baby quilt, but I just couldn't decide on a quilt pattern.

 Yesterday, I cut all these five inch squares, 100 of them.

Today, I transformed them into half squares by first drawing a line down the diagonal, then sewing on both sides of the diagonal, and the cutting on the line.

Why I like sewing with the Two Spools is that the feed dogs are the same length so that the fabric travels through evenly.

And the foot is that perfect 1/4 inch for sewing on either side of the line, which I did a lot of today.

If you were wondering why this sewing machine is called a Two Spools, it's because the underneath (where the bobbin would be) holds the second spool of thread. I love sewing with mechanical art.

Sunday, January 6, 2013


Also known as The Feast of the Three Kings or Twelfth Day of Christmas.
The word means manifestation or revelation.  I took some time today during the marathon sewing project that I have been working on with my daughter to reflect on this word. As a child, the Epiphany was the day that the Christmas tree came down. I would watch my mother carefully wrap the creche back into its resting place for the long wait until next Christmas.  Well, I don't own a creche, and this year the tree was removed a couple of days ago to make room for "the sewing project". The absence of a creche and Christmas tree didn't stop me from thinking of the Epiphany and how this one word can be so magical.
My thoughts today were of the New Year and my new endeavors.

Friday, January 4, 2013


Normally it doesn't take me six hours to install a zipper.  The longest on record for me is two hours to correct sloppy stitching, but this dang zipper took me hours. Since this zipper sits on the fabric as part of the decorative design, I had to conceal the raw edges of the zipper first before installing. This task shouldn't have been so utterly grueling, but today it was for me. I did this same procedure the other day in less than a half hour. Well, at least the sewing of the zipper onto the bulky material was a breeze- all thanks to my Singer 201, bless her soul.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What's This?

A secret! I used my Singer 201 to make that bright orange piping and sew it into place. I also sewed that almost perfect orange 90 degree corner. I've been busy helping my daughter sew a line of clothes that she has designed for a college fashion show. Her work is avant-garde. She loves to play with fabrics, colors, and textures. So while she creates innovative designs, I get to sew some of these modern looks with my vintage machines. Yes, I'm treadling that Singer 201!  While the plastic Janome sewing machine that my daughter uses keeps struggling and coughing to sew through some of the thicknesses of fabrics and seams, my Singer 201 effortlessly rides over the thick seams. Not bad for a machine that's around 70 years old, and the treadle irons are even older.  I swear that machine is smiling. I can hear it hum. That hum brings serenity to me, the reason why I love to treadle vintage machines!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


My New Year started with a traditional Japanese dish served on New Year's Day.

The mochi, rice cakes, were made two days ago. Rice that had been soaked for 12 hours and then cooked in mochi maker was poured out onto sheet pan to cool slightly before forming into small cakes.

The cakes were left to cool and then stored in tins.

Today some of the mochi cakes were toasted while the soup was cooking. My husband meticulously chopped ingredients and prepared the soup. Daikon, carrots, taro, tofu, chicken, shitaki mushrooms, lotus root, and spinach went into the lightly favored miso soup.

The soup was then served over top of the toasted mochi. Brunch!!

O-Zoni, A healthy start of the New Year.