Monday, March 31, 2014

New Tool Tuesday

I keep reading about these wonder clips. They seemed like a good tool to use specially when binding, to hold the fabric together and in place. This weekend I went and bought myself some. They are pricey so I was only able to purchase the 10 pk, now that I know they are worth it, I need more!. I love them! 

Gifts for three great friends

I had a few friends in mind who were due for a handmade with love present from me. I really wanted to try out Noodlehead's pattern 241 bag and this was the perfect excuse. If you haven't figured it out yet, I really, really love noodlehead's work. This was the perfect gift for all four friends. I am sure they love bags as much as I do, and this one is very unique with lots of pockets.

I purchased the pattern and headed out one Friday to shop around for excessive amounts of fabric, I had too many people in mind.

Three stores to find the perfect fabric.

Shuap Shuap's


Tanya's Birthday/first subscriber bag

Happy Beautiful Lady!

Melissa's girly gym bag.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Forget anything I ever said about thread. Everything! Forget it all. I was being cheap, because I had a cheap machine. Now that I have my precious I though I should treat it nice. I researched on blogs and on Instagram about what threads other people with more experience use. Some recommended Gutterman, so easy to buy at Joann's and specially with all the coupons and deals they offer. Other's recommended Mettler, and the majority were fascinated with Aurifil. I have so many projects going on right you won't believe, so I had the perfect excuse to sew and try new thread out. I went and bought a one of each brand to give them a try.

All 3 are great products! Smooth and minimal fray. I fell in love with Aurifil, of course it is the most expensive, but so worth it. It is so thin, yet so strong, it doesn't break easily, stitches are incredibly smooth and even. It really is the King of all threads! Gutterman is a great option too, and much cheaper to get.

I just have to say my heart was taken by Aurifil!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekend Projects

This weekend all I wanted to do was sew! I have many projects that need to be finished and so many new ones in my head that must get started. I thought I would just sew to my hearts content, but I forget how much prepping is involved before being able to sew, measuring cutting, ironing, interfacing...and of course a run to the quilt store. With all the prepping, the house wife duties of cooking, cleaning and multiple dog walks, I didn't accomplish as much as I wished for. Oh! but things were made. 

Take a peak. It is all lovely!

Duffle Bag. 

Weeks ago I had posted the progress of this bag. I finished the handles over the weekend and now it is finally done and ready to be used (I just realized it needs a label). I really hope you understand the big deal handles are. It is a lot of work and my old machine did not make it easy on me. I love my new Juki! It is a true working horse.

I love pink and orange together!

Sew Pretty!


Not a good picture at all, but what it's trying to say is that it is sewing through...
4 layers of fabric with interfacing,
raw edges folded, so 8 layers,
2 layers of fabric
1 layer of thick batting

Total 11 layers sewn like a breeze

Courthouse Steps Quilt

Making fast progress. I finished the quilt top and even got a chance to baste and quilt. It is now ready with the binding waiting to be sewn. 

Nephew number two

Nephew number two just had a birthday and I was planning to make him a quilt, when I found this in one of my boxes. I made this quilt top long ago, when nephew number one was a child and loved planets and space. I forgot about it and never finished it, now he is the cutest attempt of a teenager and this no longer fits his interests. Now he insists I make him a rockstar tablet cover. 
I basted and quilted this weekend. Dreading the binding. This is a bigger quilt. 

Cargo Duffle

I started making my own gym bag. It will be extremely lovely!!! It has pockets and it stiff and I am playing around with the idea of adding a yoga mat holder. If only the mail man would come with the fabrics I am missing. 
Cutting, labeling, and pockets were made. Went around all over San Diego in search for snap buttons, such a waste of precious possible sewing time. I am telling you I wish I could sew more! I can't get enough!

This that you see was 4 hours worth of work

This morning I added the snap buttons, it took 45 minutes! I just always chase projects with challenges to learn more, and to broaden my skills but I also frustrate myself because I am so excited about this gym bag I want to finish it NOW! I can't wait to sit and quilt and piece it together. Aside from learning to sew I am also learning patience.

You must be thinking, what is she talking about! She did a lot of work on one weekend. You should know I have a problem! I can't get enough!
Off I go. 

Happy sewing time :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

My top 3 top 3's of the San Diego Quilt Shop Run

It has been hard to find a creative and simple way to review and talk about all the wonderful things I experienced in this quilt shop run, There just is so much to say. I decided to keep it simple but not short. I  picked 3 things to talk about and made a list of my top three favorites of each of those.

Top 3 Quilt Shops

2940 Jamacha Rd, El Cajon, CA 92019
This is the quilt shop closest to me and the one I shop at. I really like their fabric selection and after touring around all the others, I came to the conclusion it is still my favorite. Maybe because I am used to it, but I find what I am looking for faster. I like the way it is organized, not only by color but by designer or line.

728 Civic Center Dr, Vista, CA 92084
This was the last one I visited and if it weren't because its too far away from me I would live there. The place is a house converted into a quilt shop. It is heaven on earth, a quilters fantasy! The entire house is covered with bolts and bolts of fabric. Fabric on the floor, on the walls, on the steps, on shelves, wherever they can find a spot. A wonderful fabric selection! They just have everything and anything. The owner is very sweet and lovely, I really liked the fact that she was there the day I visited.

4685 Date Ave, La Mesa, CA 91941
Now this place is serious business. It is the cutest shop in town with the cutest and sweetest employees. The place is a little house, very small and very lovely. It is arranged and decorated with vintage style furniture and their products and merchandise are stored and displayed on them. Even the kitchen and bathroom are displaying either sample quilts or holding supplies. Their fabrics match the vintage idea, I just had to buy something. Just lovely. It also has a little cottage in the backyard where they sell antiques.

Top 3 Patterns

From the free patterns I received from this event, these were my three favorite. I feel these do really offer the teaching of new techniques whereas the others were providing more ideas than lessons. Don't get me wrong they are also lovely, but I am in a journey of learning.

Top 3 Fabrics

 Out of the 14 pieces of fabulous fabric I received, these three were my favorite. It needs to be known that it is hard to find nice, good solids. This black piece is as SOFT as can be. I love it!  The polka dot of the second  is so simple yet lovely. And the last one, well it just catches my attention every time I look that way.

    1. The Country Loft
    2. Cozy quilt shop
    3. The CraZy 9 Patch

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New tool Tuesday

With every project I begin, with any new technique I try, I always end up buying a new gadget, a new tool, a new something.

Let me review it here.

This week's purchase was a 1 1/4 inch ruler. 

My new quilt required strips to be 1 1/4 inches. It was hard to achieve this with my standard ruler; the markings come in increments of 1/2 inch. I tried following the other markings but it was hard and time consuming. I headed to the store in search of a ruler with quarter inch markings, which I am sure will come in handy for other future projects. I found the perfect one! it is a 1 1/4 inch ruler. Just the perfect size! They read my mind!

It is a 1 1/4" by 12" Olfa brand, and has a special coating on the bottom to prevent sliding.

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Precious

Yet another fun and busy weekend!
Seth and I woke up really excited and really early Saturday morning. We were online in line to buy Comic-con tickets. We ended up sitting in front of the computer for over two hours staring at the screen waiting for our turns. Too many Comic-con enthusiasts out there! We never got a chance to purchase tickets, my turn never came and all tickets were sold out. I was really bummed. I had finally decided to be a supportive wife this year and join the husband on his adventures. No luck.

As a consolation price he agreed to go take a look at the sewing machines. Happiest moment of my weekend. Of course he just sat there in a very comfy chair he found and waited patiently while all my questions were answered by the shop owner. If you know me you know we were there for a while. We ended up leaving because they didn't have the one I had researched and wanted.  The lady offered a great deal on another similar model, but it didn't feel right to make such a purchase without researching. 

In my research and wanders around the internet, I was tempted to buy my machine, my precious, online. Amazon had what seemed better prices and free delivery, but I am set on supporting local businesses. Especially in the case of maintaining old trades such as sewing and other things hand made. I had visited the Sew and Vac store three times and I tested and played around with the machines. I had many, many questions answered multiple times. I loved the face-to-face interaction and all the knowledge the owner had to share. I am always hesitant of sales people and do not believe anything they say, but here they were not sales people, they were shop owners and a machine repair shop. Amazon cannot offer this customer service. Also, buying from a local dealer includes services for my machine for two years, three classes to learn everything from my machine, and I build a relationship and trust with them. I know if I have a question or if something simple seems to malfunction I have a go-to person.

When I got home later that evening and after reading reviews, watching videos, and comparing specifications side by side, I was happy to find out the lady was honest and gave me real information. She wasn't just trying to make a sale. So I finally made my decision and planned to go in Sunday morning to purchase my new machine. Sadly they were closed. Noooo! I can't wait any longer. The price of supporting local businesses I guess.

I had to wait an extra day, so I decided to make the most of it and prepare my projects cut, and ironed, and ready in line to be sewn. This way when my precious arrives you wont be able to tell where my machine ends and where I begin.

So, finally I went to in to get it Today! Iwas there for an hour because the owner wouldn't let me leave until she had explained all the basics. She wanted me to be able to get home and play right away! So sweet!

 Here she is! My Precious!

We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Pillow Cover

Last night's project was finishing up this pillow cover I started a few months ago.





So rare to have them actually meet!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

2014 San Diego's Quilt Shop Hop

What a fun weekend I had! All the San Diego quilt shops throw this really fun event. The idea is that you have 10 days to go around San Diego and visit the 14 participating quilt shops. When I first heard about it I thought it would be neat to go check out places other than my local quilt shop. However I hesitated for a few days after I saw the map and how far apart some of these places are.

As the week went by I searched for it again and actually read the details. It just sounded better and better. At your first stop they will give you a passport in which you should collect a stamp from each quilt shop. Each shop gives away a 10" by 10" piece of fabric; this year's theme was black and white. You also get a free pattern of a quilt they created for this particular event. Nice! Right?! Little gifts and lots of learning. It got even better! There is a big prize. If you visit all 14 you can enter a raffle for a brand new Janome MC 6600 (worth $1,500!) I was sold! By then it was Thursday and I would only have 4 days, and believe me some of these places are FAR! Finally Friday morning arrived and I woke up convinced I would give it a try, at least check out the ones near by; this year I have the time. The experience sounds pleasant and you are also entered into other raffles for great prizes like shopping sprees or a basket full of fabric per quilt shop you visited. All you have to do is check out the shops and get your stamp, no purchase required, but c'mon who can help themselves? You are surrounded by beautiful high quality fabrics and you have coupons. Some of these places were just amazing. It felt like I had stepped into fabric heaven.

 I have a fabric addiction!

These runs have a theme and this year's was Sock Hop, which I came to learn was a reference to the informal high school dances of the 1950's hosted in a school's gymnasium for which shoes had to come off to prevent scratches and marks on the floors. Having a theme meant that at every shop you stopped by the decoration and feel of the place would be from the 1950's, even the sample pattern quilts were inspired by the theme. Many of the shops had fun music playing, people were dressed in poodle skirts, and they also had treats, drinks, and even ice-cream, which was a great thought since you are driving around so much.


The above picture are all my shop souvenirs aside from the massive amounts of fabric I bought. It was a very fun experience. Every shop had its own personality, noticeable in their giveaways, their choice of fabrics they had for sale, their sample quilts and the people working there. I am very glad I gave myself the opportunity and took the time to do this. I am excited to do it again next year! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Mini Quilt Wall

Last weekend we rearranged our apartment to accommodate a sewing space for myself. I love it!
I now have a small cutting table/storage with shelves and a sewing table with drawers. Unfortunately the walls now look empty and too white. I began the ongoing project of decorating my wall and am now set on sewing mini quilts to embellish my sewing space while I practice new techniques.

For my first mini quilt I decided to explore paper piecing, which I found to be very hard, it got easier towards the end and I was pleased with the outcome.

I had the idea of creating mini quilts with different types of stars. I found a great tutorial for The Lone Starburst on six white horses blog.

Paper piecing

Sewing space

The Lone Star
Paper pieced and quilted
Mini Quilt

Monday, March 3, 2014

Why I blog

I follow the amazing blog of Zack Reyes, More From Your Blog. I subscribe to his newsletter and get little neat emails with tips for my blog. I am so happy to have stumbled upon his work; it has been very useful as I have been shaping my blog.

Last week's newsletter included a question which got me thinking all week on how to answer it. WHY DO YOU BLOG? When I first read it, I immediately thought I have no idea how to answer this. As the week went by I kept thinking about it and planning for a good answer. I loved the email. I loved the question in my head. I really had not given it a conscious thought.

I came up with not one but several reasons.


 Well if I like to sew, why spend time writing instead of sewing you may ask. Well, I am hooked on sewing and learning. I find myself sometimes amazed, overly excited and super happy to find a new technique. You should have seen me when I learned to bind a round quilt. When the lady at the quilt shop said all you have to do is cut the fabric on a 45 degree angle to give it room to move, I was lost in awe. I thought it would be neat to share what I have learned with someone out there who might enjoy the feeling of discovering how to make something.


I usually sew for other people. I keep the learning and the experience and give away the materialized project. I love it! It is so rewarding and so motivating to sew for someone else. One of the responses everyone gives me when they receive their gift is the question, "how did you do it?" or "why can't we see the seams on the inside?" I try to explain, but to someone who doesn't sew it probably is gibberish. I figure I could more easily explain it to them here on a blog.


As I mentioned, 99% of my projects have an owner in mind already. I live far away from where I grew up, from where my roots are. I am happy where I am now, but do miss people at times. This is a way I found to calm and warm my soul and love all those people I can't see as often. Any given project takes me at least 10 hours. A quilt takes me anywhere from 20 to 40 hours to make. Imagine that! All the hours I have to dream of all the possibilities this gift can bring to a loved one. While I sew, I'm also thinking, day dreaming and remembering old times. Sewing keeps the monsters in my head away. I thought it would be neat to write about the positive thoughts I have while sewing a new project.


If you are bilingual like me, you know the challenges I face. There are gaps in my education from all the bouncing around from school to school I did as a child. The price to achieve fluency in two languages is high, achievable, but high. I call myself "half bilingual"; husband laughs at me every time. I have acquired half the information in each language. I struggle with reading and writing at an academic level in both languages. This blog will help me develop these much needed skills, along with enlarging my vocabulary. As my mother, a retired grade school teacher, would say, "how do you learn to read?... by reading, and how do you learn to write? writing".  

In addition to these reasons I want to find out where this blog takes me. Who knows, maybe I'll sell my projects, make new friends, or inform old friends on how I am doing. Maybe this blog dies in a few months when I go back to school and am trapped in a routine of classes, homework and internships. However it turns out, I am enjoying my time off by expressing myself through sewing and this blog. I hope you are too!

Picture from my lovely rainy weekend for your entertainment