Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some Teas and Japanese Findings

As I mentioned while in San Francisco I picked up a Japanese Yo-Yo Handbag book and a craft magazine.

Now I have heard that if you know a bit about sewing you could follow the instructions in Japanese magazines because they have pictures.  As I browsed through these materials, I can now understand.  Each step has pictures and measurements (in cm., but so what?) so I think I will be able to make the projects.  What I liked about their craft magazines is that they have a little bit of everything.  In this particular one, they had jewelry, embroidery, sewing, etc.. There is a really cute cap and hat in it that I want to try out.  I bought the yo-yo book because not only is it a clever way to make a bag, but there are several different patterns.  Unfortunately, the minimum number of yo-yos is about 150...will I have the patience?  Not sure yet, but I know a friend who might want to borrow this book since she has made an Easter egg covered with yo-yos.  She has patience.

I found these materials in a Japanese book store in Japantown and the only reason why we were there was because of the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival.  Hubby and I had a fun time looking at the exhibits.  There were dolls, Bonsai trees, tea ceremonies, card games, and let's not forget the food.

For those of you who know me, know that I love my tea.  So how could I pass up these teas that I bought on Pier 39 at the Spice and Tea Exchange?

I have already tried every one, but the one I like the most is the coconut one.  And if the proprietor of the store did not sell me on it, I was going to pass it up.  Not only does it smell delicious, it is delicious. I usually don't like teas with flavors, but I decided to give a few a try and I am glad I did.  I bought the traditional Earl Grey and herbal teas and I am not disappointed.  Maybe if I have a few cups of the herbal tea, it will relax me.  Then maybe I can tackle some yo-yos.

Monday, April 23, 2012

San Francisco...

Hubby and I just got back from San Francisco.  We had a really nice time and I took a lot of pictures.  Of course I took the traditional pictures...
Lombard Street (crookedest street in the world)

Alcatraz on Pelican Island

Painted Ladies (the most photographed houses)

Golden Gate Bridge

Enough of those pictures.  Here are some pictures that I had to take, mainly because they are things I love.

And the plant life left me speechless.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Now for the funny story.  I asked my husband to take a picture of me so that I could post about it.  I told him that the caption under it would read "Me and Hubby".  My husband is very quick witted and thought for sure he knew what I meant.  Needless to say he didn't and I ended up having to explain it to him.   Here is the pic:
Me and Hubby (the boat anchor?)

I will post about a magazine and book I bought in Japantown.  I fell in love with them, I just wish they were in English.  

Talk soon,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Threads and Yarns

Once a month Silk City Fibers factory (in Paterson, NJ) opens to the public.  They sell an array of yarns that are used by loom weavers.  They sell by the pound which I am not used to, but I decided to take a trip and "learn".

And this is what I came home with.  These yarns are about $20/lb.  and each cone pictured above is a bit over a pound.  They actually weigh them at the checkout.  I did not need these yarns, but I could not pass them up (love the colors).  The blues will make great water enhancers, the greens will be great for leaves, grass, and bushes, and the brown for trees.  I will probably not use the entire cone, but I can try.  These yarns are too thick to run through the sewing machine tension disks, but I can use them in the bobbin or couch them to provide some texture to the quilts and other projects.

I have also been purchasing other threads for quilting, here is a small sampling:

I have quilted with the Signature (cotton), but have found that it creates a lot of lint.  I just used King Tut (cotton) for the first time to finish my latest Kings X quilt and have found it to be durable and without creating too much lint.  I have not had the opportunity to try the non-cotton threads, but am looking forward to using them in the near future.

Of course I have drawers full of other threads and yarns, but I have been wanting to try different brands and types of thread to experiment a bit.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Gift In the Mail

I had left a comment on Luv 2 Stitch about how I loved the tea bag holders that Jeanne (and others) had made for their niece's shower.   She told me that she had one left and would be happy to send me one.  I received it in the mail, and let me tell you, I am a happy, happy blogger.

In't the fabric just fabulous?  She even put tea bags and sugar inside.  Since I am a BIG tea drinker, this will be great when I go away on retreats and sewing days.  So thank you Jeanne for your kindness.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another King's Cross Quilt and New Slippers

I loved the King's Cross pattern so much, I decided to make another one.  This time, I did not use batiks like I did before (previous quilt).  This is what it looks like so far:

I took the picture a bit crooked, huh?

I am planning on putting two borders (a thin yellow/gold one and a wider green one). 

On another note, I made these slippers.  Yes slippers!  I don't like bulky slippers or ones with the "grippy" bottoms, so I decided to make my own.  My first pair were a disaster because my feet were too big for them.  This pattern worked out great, but the instructions were not the best.  I ended up sewing them a bit differently.  I have been wearing them for over a week and I LOVE them.  They are comfy and lightweight.

I think I am ready for my next landscape quilt.  I just purchased a book by Joyce Becker called Beautifully Embellished Landscapes, so you know what I will be doing over the next week or so.  Will let you know about the book.  If any one out there has a great landscape quilting book, please let me know.