Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pebble Quilting in Progress / Silver Beach @ Lake Michigan

My "pebble quilting" for Nina's quilt is halfway finished. I needed to try different needles several times to conciliate my old singer, and it didn't work very well. Then I finally found that changing stitch length from "0" to "1" works a little better to steady stitches by trial and errors. Well, that might sound funny to many other quilters though,  I think every machine has respective strange manners. I would need to make many experiments like this until I get the latest machine someday.

I hope you can see the quilt lines and CANNOT see my uneven stitches.

We had very unusual and strange weather in June this year. Because of the frequent attacks of nasty storms. We had a thunder storm which brought a lot of rain this morning too. My husband needed to run down stairs  to stop up the drain pipe in the basement. But we had a couple of nice days last week.

Yesterday afternoon we got an idea to head to a beach and enjoy the good weather we've been missing. We went to Silver Beach of Lake Michigan. It was my first visit to that beach.The beach was much nicer than I expected. There were a good size of play ground, a water fountain park, and a very pretty Merry-go-round. It is a very family friendly beach. Beautiful. Nina enjoyed playing with waves and digging sand. I loved this beach.

The water was pretty warm.

This is the sky which we played under it. I was going to catch a flying sea gull in this picture but I failed it.  I think we should be back here under this perfect blue sky two more times in this Summer.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Again? Yes, It was more powerful.

On Friday, right after I uploaded the last post, we had a big thunder storm AGAIN! This one was much more powerful than the last one we had a week ago. And we had TWO BIGGER trees fell down on our driveway AGAIN! And fortunately it didn't hit the house (broke the gutter and a garage window glass though) AGAIN!
Here is a video. You probably won't tell what I am saying in this video (I am speaking Japanese) but you can tell how strong the wind was.

I am glad that we are all fine. The fallen trees are already removed by the tree removing guy we trust. Our yard still looks messy. It will be fixed by tomorrow I hope.

Friday, June 18, 2010

a Quilt for Nina

I have been working on a quilt for Nina. When I finished this quilt and said that is going to her cousin's house, Nina looked very envious of that. Then I promised her that the next one will be hers. I started this project maybe a month ago. (I even don't remember when. It seems long time ago!) It is going very slowly but I am trying to sit in front of my machine if I have 15 minutes. And at last I finished the quilt top and the pieced back.

I used Moda tweet tweet collection for squares and Kona cottons for frames. I wasn't sure the color schemes for frames are right because I just got colors from my stash. I probably should have gotten new solids for this project but I didn't have time to take trouble to pick out colors. Then, when I looked the finished top, I thought it isn't so bad. Maybe, I like it. I have to wait it to be all done to tell if I really like it. Have you ever felt like me before? I guess many quilters (or many crafters) have had that kind of experiences.

Anyway I am having fun with this. Here is the backing for this quilt. I picked "Summer Song" from Riley Blake Design for the background. I am so glad my local fabric store had this fabric and I found it. The color matches very well with tweet prints and the cheerful daisies are a perfect feature for a happy 5 years old girl!

I added a border of 2" squares of tweets in the background of Kona snow. It looks great! I might like the backing better than my top.........

 Unfortunately my machine is discontented with quilting this quilt. It was working OK last time I freemotion-quilted. ???  I am going try different needles and threads. It is going to be "pebble quilting" which I am gonna try for the first time. I am excited about it!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, June 11, 2010

After a bad storm

We had a awful rain storm last Saturday midnight. And the drain overflowed in our basement ( where my sewing room is ). It wasn't really severe flood, but we needed to move everything away from the basement floor and the cleaning took for four whole hours. Then next morning the old tree in our backyard fell down. It is already cleaned up on Wednesday though. Well, nobody got injured and the tree didn't hit the house. And the basement looks cleaner than before so I think we probably should be happy after all.

By the way, I have been making stuff very slowly since it seemed the summer has come to this area. There are some pictures what I am working on these days.

In early spring, I purchased a bunch of fingering weight yarns (named Pallette Yarn) from Knit Picks. They are all in different colors one by one. The original plan for those yarns was making something with crocheted motifs. I tried several motif patterns, but at that time I didn't make anything I really liked. So the yarns were sitting in the cardboard box for months. Then one day, I thought I should start a project which I can work on anytime when I find a little spare time. Something I don't need to go down to the basement to spread a big piece of fabric or sit in front of my machine for making it. So I started this ZigZag crochet just for fun.

 Does it look like a rainbow? Right now it improved a little more. It has seven different colors now. I still don't know exactly what it is gonna be. This could be a fun scarf for Nina, or if I were patient enough, could be a delightful blanket.

 It goes like one or two rows everyday, but it is very nice to have a project which let you move your hands when you are watching some cartoon shows with your little ones.

And I finished another collaboration pouch project with my daughter Nina. I used Denyse Schmidt's fabric for the background of the applique. The lining is a polka dot cotton I brought from Japan. I usually use light colored fabrics for linings of bags and pouches. I have had many experiences that I couldn't find things in my bag when I really needed it right away. You know, something like house keys, car keys or a cellphone. Especially in the dark it is hard to find stuff hiding in the dark-color-lined hand bag. That is why I prefer light color for linings. (I like partitioned inside pockets, too.)

It is actually very late for Vivian's birthday, but I am sure she will like this gift from me and Nina. (She is so nice.)

Hope everybody will have a good weekend!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The package from Oh, Fransson!

The Tokyo Subway Quilt from Oh, Fransson arrived this afternoon! Hurray! I was so excited to open the box, and of course the quilt and the bundle made me fly!

We had a kind of rough weekend ( I will tell you about it in the next post I guess ), but the arrival of this fantastic gift made my day. Thank you so much, Elizabeth.

I am still considering what I am going to use these fabulous quilter's linen for. There are many patterns I want to try in my mind, but not exact vision for this bundle yet. I love the time for thinking about what I want to make next. Once I start thinking about new projects, I could fail at falling asleep at night.

I love the backing of the quilt, too. The contrast of yellow and black&white. I still feel so lucky. I will show you pictures when I decide where to hang this quilt up in my house. 

I hope you all have a good week.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just in time!

We had Nina's birthday party on Memorial day. Before that, we decided to refinish the wall of the guest bathroom upstairs. I was a little worried if we could finish that in time. But we made it after all.

I was afraid that it would be too shocking for you seeing a "Before" picture first in this post. So this is a picture of "After". Now, please get ready to see some ugly stuff under here.

The 40 years old fancy wall paper needed to go. Fortunately the wall paper came off pretty easy, then we needed to clean the wall caked with a remnant of glue.

Our little girl helped her Dad sanding, painting, and tearing away the painters tapes.

She believes she is helping. Actually it was a big help that she didn't spill any paint from her little paint bucket.

We replaced the pendant lights too. At the beginning, we were not going to replace them since they were still working. But I accidentally broke one when I was tearing out the wallpapers!  Oops-a-daisy! (Hey, I really didn't mean it! Honestly.) Well..... They were very retro and kinda nostalgic, but also dated. The picture above is the old ones before I broke.

I hope you can see the new lights. We are planning to replace the counter, the cabinet and the floor. Maybe the mirror too. But we still don't know when.  I hope we will have a whole remodeled bathroom by next summer.