Showing posts from December, 2018

Delivering Soldier quilts

Today is Dec. 31. I hope you had the great year of 2018, and wish you a happy new year.

At the beginning of Dec, my quilt guild delivered soldier quilts to the local veteran's institution. 19 quilts were distributed to veterans who do not have a family or seldom have a visit from their family and friends.

I have made so many charity quilts including soldier quilts in the past years, but I had never seen people receiving them. It was a shocking experience to me, especially I am not familiar with the military since Japan does not have a military. Also, for American elders served in the military, even grew up after the WWII, Japan was once their enemy and maybe still.

The organizer of charity quilts in the quilt guild is a retired nurse and has a great passion to help others. Every time she handed the quilt to a veteran, she said almost tearing: "Thank you for serving our country and sacrificing yourself" and touched the veteran's shoulders like rubbing, looking at h…

Pincushion Necklace

There are some types of pincushions. My favorite is a necklace type.
It is convenient to move around with a pincushion so that I do not have to place a few in my sewing room where I usually use pins - around a cutting board, ironing board, and sewing machine.
My first one was made with pieces of felted wool.

Just cut some circles from felted wool, and pass the cord through the center of the pile of wool pieces. Easy, and it does the job.

My current one was a little more time-consuming to make. I attached a cord to the little pincushion.

I have made a ring type as well.

It is also convenient, but I did not like the discomforts of something is attached to my finger. For the same reason, I do not like to wear jewelry.

I found this type actually can be used in other ways. It can be attached to a bar or something like a bar. I use it on my sewing machine but can be attached to a thick pen and stand it in a pen stand.

It is anyway convenient to have pincushions everywhere. You know this f…

Hanafuda Fabric

Hanafuda is a Japanese playing card. Hana means flowers, and fuda means cards in Japanese. The cards depict wild nature seen from Japanese perspectives. I like the simple drawings on them.

I have played the game sometimes when I was a child, but barely remember the rule. I think it was like a matching game - two cards from the same family, such as flower and flower or animals and animals, need to match to take. Because hanafuda was associated with a gamble at that time, I do not carry a positive connotation with hanafuda, accordingly this fabric.

Hanafuda would be just one of the interesting cultural icons for many people including Japanese today. I picked up this fabric from a giveaway table a long time ago without much thinking of its meaning because it was something "Japanesey." Then, I realized myself that I had been avoiding to use it in my projects. It's not only because of the negative connotation but also I feel like the vivid colors do not go well with other se…

Indigo dye in a small amount

For indigo dye, I use the indigo crystals from JACQUARD. I have tried other navy blues from other companies, but I like the indigo color from JACQUARD that they call it true indigo color.
In the past two summers, 2017 and 2016, I did a lot of indigo dye following their instruction that needs 4 gallons of water in a 5-gallon bucket. That is a lot. I was thinking to dye this summer as well, but once it started, it becomes an all-day affair, and I did not have the energy for it this summer.
So, I tried to do indigo dye in one cup of water. The amount of indigo crystals, soda ash, and Thiourea dioxide were calculated from the amount for 4 gallons of water.  For one cup of water, I used 4+cc of indigo crystals, 7cc of Thiourea dioxide, and 14cc of soda ash. I mixed them in one cup of water in a jar, waited for an hour, and soaked the fabric I wanted to dye in a small plastic tray.

The result was nice. With this small amount of fabric, I can dye easily after dinner. I dyed some bias tapes that …

End of 2018

I’m saying this so often, but time really flies.

I graduated from a full-time student, but this fall was so busy with school, the Master Gardener program, volunteering, and gardening.

I take one class at a semester at the VWCC, Virginia Western Community College, for fun. It’s so nice to not worry about grade anymore and simply enjoy learning something I don’t know. I took Macroeconomic this semester since some people said: “it would be good for you”. I think it was good, but I did not like it, and I didn’t like the fact that I had to suffer from a paper during the Thanksgiving break. Though, I was happy about the final exam turned out a take-home due to inclement weather as the college was closed for 3 days during the final exam week. I really could not keep my motivation up for studying at the end of the semester and was thinking of skipping the exam. Lucky me.

R and I finished the Master Gardener program and received a certificate and the nice name tags.

We had a total of 50 ho…