Monday, April 28, 2014

Fabulously Fast Quilts / Quilt Tips Blog Tour

I am super excited to be part of this quilt tip blog tour! fabulously fast quilts was written by my dear friend Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter.

Check this out...

As hinted by the title, Amy shares great tips and techniques to quickly create fun looking quilts. On the back of the book there are some quilt blocks that I really would like to try out. Can you imagine how versatile they could be?

Here are some pictures of the quilts I love... Everybody likes a sneak peek, right? *image credit to Martingale and their Photographer, Brent Kane

I bet this book will be perfect for everybody; it caters to many who are at different skill levels. It is perfect for beginners, because the quilts in this book are well written and explained and the designs are not too intimidating that you don't feel like running away. It is perfect for those who are more skilled when you are looking for beautiful quick quilts to whip up right away for a baby/wedding shower or for the birthday of someone special.

I know I will enjoy fabulously fast quilts for years to come!

Amy wanted us to share a quilting tip with the blog tour. I thought of a few, but since I have been doing some paper piecing lately, I will share a couple tips to go along with that.

When I make templates for the paper piecing, I cut inside of the plastic. It is way easier to trace inside of the shape than trying to hold a small template in it's place and trace the outline. I think it's especially nice when you are doing the fussy cut.

I have several projects going on at once all the time. A project like paper piecing is perfect to take along wherever I go, such as waiting in the carpool lane, boys' martial arts practice and so forth. I can work on the project what requires a sewing machine at home, and work on hand sewing projects elsewhere. I can maximize my time that way. Before you know it, you will have many quilt blocks!

There are few tips to do this;

* Cut fabric and paper up to take along.
* I use a zip lock bag if I am carrying it in my purse. If I am going to visit someone or going on a trip, I use small plastic containers with divider, so I can take more in an organized manner.
* In the bag, you will need: fabric pieces, paper pieces, thread, needle, and small scissors.

Sounds pretty simple right? There are so many ways to enjoy the art of quilting, and I feel like I am always learning something new. :)
Make sure to check out more quilting tips from awesome quilter;

Monday April 28

Sachiko Aldous of Tea Rose Home

April Rosenthal of April Rosenthal

Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane

Tuesday April 29

Jen Wilding Cardon of Stitch This! Martingale Blog

Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side

Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet

Wednesday April 30

Faith Jones of Fresh Lemons Quilts

Melissa Mortenson of PolkaDot Chair

Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock

Thursday May 1

Lee Heinrich of Freshly Pieced

Lynne Goldsworthy of Lily's Quilts

Jeni Baker of In Color Order

Friday May 2

Katie Blakesley of Swim Bike Quilt

Lindsay Conner of Craft Buds

Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life

Hop over to Diary of a Quilter and say hi to Amy. Thank you Amy for letting me be a part of the quilt tour!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Vegas Vacation ~ Our Way

Last weekend we were in Las Vegas. It was a last minute decision to take a small family vacation. We have so much to do around the house and I thought it would be better to spend the money on the house (backyard, basement, furniture... etc) we weren't going to go anywhere for spring break. Then, another part of me kept thinking about how many more chances we will have to go on a family vacation. I mean... my oldest is going to be 14 this year. If he is leaving home at 18, we will only have 4 summers! By then, they get busy with school, work and social life it will get difficult to go as a whole family. The last 13 and half years went by SO fast, I can only imagine how quickly the next 4 years will go by.

We decided the destination, booked the hotel, and we were off Friday morning.

I love driving through the valley, well, to be specific, I love looking at the amazing views from the passenger seat. Driving the winding road myself makes me nervous. The blue sky, telling jokes to each other, we were having a good time.

There were several memorable moments during our trip. I will list a few.

We were able to visit a couple LDS temples: the St. George Temple and the Las Vegas Temple. We spent time there to visit the visitor center and walked around the beautiful garden.
We went to Mandalay Bay Aquarium. It wasn't a very large aquarium, but we all enjoyed it so much that we were there for easily more than a couple hours.

Next we visited the M & M store. We all got our own combinations of M&Ms to munch on later. My personal favorite was the Raspberry M&M.

One the right hand side corner Rachel is taking pictures with her DS... I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Until I can go to Paris and see the real Eiffel tower, this is the closest I can get.

I took this picture with my phone, and this doesn't do it justice, of the gorgeous flower arrangement at the entrance of the buffet. Vegas is famous for their buffets. Yeah, there are restaurant offering buffets where we live but we had to do a buffet in Vegas. We decided to go to Wynn after reading tons of reviews (eating is serious business for me! I love good food) and it was so good! We have never spent that much eating out as a family in one setting, but this was part of the vacation. Everyone got what they wanted and we were all happy. I went back 4 times and by the time we were done, I had to sit super straight so I wouldn't feel so stuffed. We rolled out of there and went back to our hotel to sleep.

While we were there, we also ate at a sushi restaurant, went to a Japanese Ramen noodle shop (I wish they were in Utah too! They were so good!) visited several different Japanese/Asian super markets and I even went to one thrift shop too!

I wanted to visit at least one quilt store in Vegas. When I googled it, I found a store called "Quiltique" in Henderson. For some reasons I was drown to this store more than the other ones. I am so glad I was able to go, it was one amazing store! Their fabric selection is wonderful, also the staff was very friendly and helpful. Oh! They also had a little "cart" to put fabric bolts in to carry around while you shop. It was very helpful for me since I didn't have to carry around the bolts while trying to look at other things.

I spy with my little eyes... Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner's fabrics!

While I got permission to take some pictures around the store, I was looking in to their class room... I saw something very familiar on the wall. I was thinking to myself :

"Huh, I have seen that quilt somewhere... WAIT! That is my quilt!"

They were offering a class for the quilt "Bubble Up", I designed and published in "Quilts and More" a while back. It was such an unexpected nice surprise; that made me want to go home and start sewing right away.

We don't need to have family vacation to spend time and make memories as a family. Though, it is so nice and fun to get away from the usual routine and do something completely new and share the experience.

We had a lot of fun while we were there, but when we came home at 1 am and hit the pillow to drift off to sleep I was thinking how blessed we are to have each other and have a place to call our home.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Friends who Stitch Together...

My friend and I took a class at a local quilt shop last week. She just had a birthday recently, and I wanted to do give her something unique and fun as a birthday present. When I saw the class information in my inbox, a light bulb went "!!!", I had to book our spot for the class.

I have been sewing for a long time, but I hardly ever take classes. I am a self taught sewer through books and trial and error. To tell you the truth, it is a bit of a hassle to go to another location to sew and I become a bit anxious when I don't know what to expect. Though, I must say the class was so fun and relaxing and I learned quit a bit of things that I didn't know about.

Pine Needle is my most favorite shop around here and the class was taught by the talented Sandra Walkman. We learned how to make English paper pieced coaster and it was such a delightful class! My friend loves to learn new things and taking classes, I knew she would enjoy a gift like this.

This friend of mine is special to me. We have been friends for more than 16 years. I feel like she came into my life when I really needed a friend; I mean a true friend.

I had a great set of friends in Japan, where I was born and raised. Even though my parents moved a lot, I made many great friends in my high school years and I still keep in touch with them. When I went back a couple years ago, they did a mini-reunion for me and got together to catch up a few times within the two weeks I was there.

For a few years after I moved to United States, I really struggled... I missed my family and friends, and I didn't speak English at all. I used to be a very chatty person and love to tell jokes and make others laugh, but I couldn't do that in English. I felt like my true self was locked up somewhere inside of me and I had a very hard time getting to know people and making friends. Usually, well, at least from my own experiences, people aren't that patient with you when you don't speak their language.

My friend and I met, when I was at the point that I could understand most of what people were saying and I could kind of speak English, but I wasn't very confident, also, I was a little afraid to even give it a try. Who would like to make yourself look silly or feel dumb, right? At the time, I was twenty something, but when I speak I felt like I sounded like a toddler.

Because of her kindness I slowly opened up. Eventually, I didn't care if I sounded dumb, English became a tool to communicate with her. She was very patient with me, and if I made mistakes or mispronounced some thing she would teach me in a way that it was very natural. I didn't feel belittled or judged by her at all. Mr. TRH did that for me too, but we girls need friends, don't you think?

She is a pretty private person (no blog) so I won't tell you too much about her, but she has been such a blessing to me. She has been there for me when I needed a shoulder to cry on, or to share great news with. I learned so much from her and have tremendous respect for who she is and her values. I hope she feels the same way about me too.

Over the years our lives have changed quite a bit, so we don't see each other as often as we would like to. I feel like we are different in many areas, yet we have so much in common. One of the common threads is "quilt making". I think the saying "Friends who stitch together stick together" is so true. When we sit and chat, while our hands are busy working, I feel like we can start from where we left off.

I think, well at least for me, it is hard to come by such a good friend... I want to make sure that I nourish our friendship so it will last for a long time.

Do you have such a friend? What do you do to nourish that friendship? Let me know if you have special ways of doing so, I think we can all benefit from your experiences. :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Fabric Blooms Giveaway Winner!

Are you all anxious to find out if you are the lucky winner? Here we go!!

The winner is (drum roll...)

Sailboats and Circle Skirts

Congratulations!! I am so excited for you and I am sure you can create many pretty flowers for your creative adventure. Please email me and let me know your shipping info, so I can pass it along to the publisher. :)

Thank you everyone for entering. Have a nice weekend!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Fabric Blooms ~ Book Review and Giveaway!

Oh I so am excited about today's post! Not only was I given an opportunity to review this new book by Megan Hunt, I can do a giveaway for my readers as well. Before I get to the giveaway details, let me share something about this book with you...

Megan is the voice and creativity behind the popular blog Princess Lasertron. She is a wedding designer (and much more!) and her beautiful works have been featured in leading magazines several times. She has a keen eye for combining colors and I love how all of the flowers in the book are made from common materials.

There are 42 flower projects in the book. That is a lot of different styles of flowers you can learn to make! If you have been reading my blog you know how I love incorporating flowers in to my projects to add character and flair. The book is not just pretty to look at, it is a very useful reference book that you will enjoy for years to come. I totally recommend this book for someone who has been wanting to get their creative juices flowing.

Here is one of my most favorite project Prom Nosegay...

It has a really nice assembly diagram.

* Note: The images are posted with permission from Fabric Blooms © 2014 by Megan Hunt, Lark, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Lark Crafts

Hmm... Dreamy...

So ladies! Are you all dying to see the rest of the beautiful book? Here are the giveaway rules:

1. To enter for the giveaway, please leave a comment on this post. I would love to hear what you would like to use the flowers for!

2. For an extra entry, share this giveaway on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and leave the link in the comment section. (Sorry, without the link, I can't count it as an entry)

3. I will run the giveaway until April 9th and announce the winner on the morning of the 10th. If I don't hear from the winner over the weekend, I will choose a different winner on Monday the 14th. If you are the lucky winner, please send me an email with your shipping info. I will forward that to Lark and they will send you a copy of the book.

Spring is near and what an appropriate giveaway for the season. :) Good luck every one!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Hello there!

Well hello there! The last couple of weeks has been really interesting for me... A mix of good and bad. I got sick and had to go to the emergency room a couple weekends ago, that completely threw me off schedule. After that my daughter became sick and missed school for a couple of days. Of course, life goes on even though times like that there were things needing to be taken care of and so forth.

I am ok now and the last couple of days I have been sewing. I am working on projects I won't be able to share for a while (yes, I think it's ok to keep some secrets from my readers every now and then... hehehe). Meanwhile, I wanted to check in to say hi and share a picture of what I found at a dollar store the other day.

Yup, they are ordinary hair clips. I think they are so colorful and fun! I am planning to use them when I am going to bind my quilts.

Where I live we have been having a weather roller coaster. A few days ago was really warm and sunny, and today it snowed! I don't mind rain and snow though, those days I love to cozy up in the house and work on my projects.

Have you been working on anything fun?
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