Sunday, December 27, 2009

As mentioned before...

In an earlier post I mentioned that these dogs will try to lay on anything that is on the floor. I was cleaning the bathroom and threw the hand towel on the floor to take downstairs to the laundry room. I looked out after scrubbing the tub and found this. I guess it's comfy! Apparently so comfy he didn't even move when I got the camera.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Skirt + Blouse = brown dress with teal lining

I used a women's knee length skirt out of great woven brown fabric to make this Japanese pattern. I used a contrasting teal top to make the facing pieces. The dress is also completely lined with solid brown muslin that was the lining of the original skirt. I am guessing when I say this is about a size 5.
I love the ruffle detail of the shoulder and the gathered V neck front.

The back has a lovely curved piece with more gathers.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Japanese Pattern Eco Chic

I have had this Japanese pattern for a reusable fabric shopping bag for a while now. Yesterday I decided to pull it out and try to figure it out. I think this bag is amazing. Little tricks in the pattern I would have never thought of worked out beautifully. I sewed the bag and matching pouch out of a heavy cotton and used a natural cotton webbing material I had lying around for the binding.
You can see it comfortably fits groceries. It is about the same size as a plastic bag.
No, I did not find granny smith apples in Okinawa. I have a bowl of these artificial apples in my kitchen and when people come to visit they get excited. All we can buy are sweet apples so everyone is wanting something tart. Nothing suitable for baking at our commissary.

After some folding the bag can be stowed in the matching pouch. Japanese brilliance!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Owl Quilt Finished!

After many months (about 10 to be more precise) the quilt is finished. I started this quilt and then would set it aside. I have had it half quilted for about 4 months and over the long Thanksgiving weekend I forced myself to finish it. I was worried it wasn't going to turn out well but you can see that it came out fine. One spin through the washing machine and dryer and the imperfections have almost disappeared. This quilt is 75 x 75". The pattern is made up and I have to give my friend Christa credit for helping me figure out the math.

I was trying to hide my shadow in the early morning sunshine but it didn't work.

The top is quilted in diagonal lines about 1 1/4 in apart. Much more difficult than it appears!

The pieced back.

I found the triangles fabric for a steal out here, I think all 4 yards for Y1000 or about $10.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Quilt Holders

I was working on taping off a quilt for top stitching and left the room to answer the phone. When I came back this was the scene that greeted me. I snuck out and got the camera and they were so comfortable using their pillow that they didn't even move.
If I lay anything on the floor, even a single layer of fabric, they think it is for them. I am constantly shooing them away and even lock them out of the room at times. You can see a comfy dog bed behind Lilly. They are so funny!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lilly's Test Coat

I think dog coats are super cute but not really necessary here in Okinawa. Lilly has quite thin fur and I think she might get cold when we visit Wisconsin in the winter so that is my excuse for coming up with this (I really just wanted to make her a darling little coat).
I wish Matt was here today so he could have taken pictures while I was tracing Lilly on some scrap fabric. She cooperated nicely and I had a nice little diagram to make a pattern from. I drafted a rough pattern and this was the sample coat. I guess this may be the beach version since it is lined with terry cloth. Just kidding! The next one I make will be lovely wool or corduroy with fleece lining. I can't believe it worked on the first try!
She was not thrilled with the photo session but she doesn't seem to mind the coat. She is sleeping with it on while I post this.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kawaii Japanese things!

KAWAII = cute
Recently my friend and I made the rounds of our favorite craft stores here. We browsed books, bought fabric and enjoyed great food. A great way to spend a rainy Sunday. Here are a few of the things that made their way home with me.

Fall (or any season as far as I'm concerned) window clings. Check out how cute this little forest scene is. I have them in my sewing room and they are adding a whole lot of Kawaii to the place.

Does anybody know what this says? I don't speak Japanese or French!

This little gem of a book is filled with great bags, zippered pouches and fabric buckets. The Japanese culture appears to like little bags for almost every item you take out of your house. It seems this would help keep you organized and sure looks cute.
The book is split up into the different seasons and uses those color palettes. Amazing layout!

This book is filled with beautiful things for little girls. It is filled with inspiring work. If only I could read kanji!

I want to make up some of this clips for my own hair.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Retro Triangles

I finished a quilt this week. I used 1 moda charm pack combined with a cream fabric (I know it looks white in the pictures). The finished size is 36x44 inches. It is a perfect baby size and you don't have to piece the backing. I failed to take a picture of the back but it is a green and white print so you'll just have to imagine it. For the time being the quilt is folded and hanging over the door of my fabric cabinet because the colors go so perfectly together. The weather was rainy/windy yesterday so I had to take the pictures indoors. Obviously the quality is quite lacking.

As you can see I top stitched 1/4" from each seam. Thank goodness the quilt wasn't any bigger. This part is so time consuming. I love how it turned out after I washed it. I wash nervous to wash it as the charm pack was not prewashed but my cream fabric, backing and binding had been washed. I like to wash all the new fabric I bring home so I was worried the shrinking would be uneven. The charm pieces didn't seem to shrink much at all and there was not any bleeding of colors. Maybe there will be more charm packs in the future.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Prize for the Winning Bid

A week ago Matt and I went to a charity auction that included Chinese furniture and antiques. They also had Persian carpets, artwork, and some random items like stainless steel BBQ utensils. It was a triple date with friends and we had a great time watching the bidding. There was one piece of furniture that we liked and actually had been talking about for some time, a bookshelf. This is a Chinese made piece in the Dutch style according to Wilson, the Chinese man who brought the items from China. I am intrigued by how he goes by the name Wilson but was unable to satisfy that curiosity. We were given Chinese fans with numbers on them for the bidding. Matt and I set a limit for the piece and I was given the fan to bid. For a while we thought we were getting the piece for a steal and then someone in the back started to bid against me. We were not at our limit yet so I was happily raising the bid. Apparently the other person needed this piece of furniture as well and was not giving up so easily. It became an intense bidding war and I was so flustered that I was shaking. We ended up winning the bid for $80 over our initial limit so we did okay. The intensity must have been palpable because after I won the bid the whole place erupted in clapping. I was still in shock and put my little fan under my chair in case I had the urge to bid on something else. Earlier in the evening I had accidentally bid on an ugly piece of furniture when I bent down to get my water glass and was holding the fan. Thankfully someone else wanted the piece and the bidding continued. Whew!
Here is the bookshelf in all its' splendor. The piece is 7 feet tall!
The picture quality is bad but you can get the feel for the piece. Inside the doors are shelves. I think the piece is timeless and will travel nicely with us to wherever we may be living next.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Study Date

Matt has started taking classes again and is often reading in the office while sitting in the rescued papasan chair. He often has a study date named Lilly, so I snapped a few pictures of how this looks. She was rather annoyed that I was interrupting perfectly good sleep. She is a true lap dog. If we sit down she thinks it is time to cuddle.

A few weekends have passed and I have finally gotten around to posting some pictures from our adventure at the Orion Beer Fest. Orion is an Okinawan brewery that sponsors this particular festival. The festival also included traditional Eisa dance competitions, carnival rides, games and greasy festival food. At the end of the whole night they had the best fireworks display that I've ever seen. It was truly spectacular. The pictures I took didn't turn out that great but show some of the fun.

This is how Pizza-La delivers the pizzas out in town here.

Tim, Christa and Matt

Many of the local people dressed in their Yukatas.


Matt and I, self taken of course.