Friday, October 26, 2012

Inside the Medicine Cabinet

My medicine cabinet went through a little makeover recently with the laminated raindrop fabric.  It makes me (and even the boy. He says it's retro!  Is it?) happy everytime I open it.  I just love this iron-on vinyl thing ($4.95/yard if you are wondering).  I wanted to try it again after Dash's placemat.  So the pocket organizer idea came up while brushing my teeth one night.  The cabinet was getting crammed with stuff.  You know those things that take up the space horizontally.  So annoying.  I went through the stuff I never touched for years and tossed it away.  Now it is minimized and it feels good.  I also put the fabric, also laminated, on the back of the cabinet itself like wallpaper. I used temporary quilt basting spray adhesive to stick it on because that was the only spray adhesive I had at home.  And it worked!  
A pocket organizer is pretty handy to tidy up the small flat things...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

From the Boxed Pouch Class

So here they are. We had so much fun together.  They loved it.  Kids classes are full of surprises, both good and not so good for the instructor :-), and require a lot of work, but it is always so much fun.  Thank you, girls!  You all did a wonderful job!
Lily, 11 years old

Noelle and Charlotte, both 10

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Positively Plus Quilting Classes

I had so much fun with the boxed pouch class this past Sunday.  So did the three girls and mom.  So I decided to do quilting classes next.  The boxed pouch classes will be available again on next week.  If you want to make a request on a date, please feel free to do so.  In the meantime, if you want to pick up your coffee and head up to Peapod to learn quilt making on Sunday mornings, or Friday evenings, you can do that in November.  You know the air is getting crispy.  The oranges are all over the town, from the pumpkins to the Giants.  And we had the first major rain of the year.  It's fall in San Francisco!  So you need to get ready for a cozy fall night with your lap quilt to snuggle in.  And this is not just a quilt.  It's a very positively positive quilt!  Do not worry about straight lines.  It's already wonky anyway. Here are the details.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


I've been pickling a lot these days and finally took some pictures.  They go pretty fast and I have to keep buying those gigantic bottles of vinegar.  As usual, I just eyeball the amount of ingredients and taste it as I go.  How much I need to make the vinegar base totally depends on how many vegetables I want to pickle.  This time I used 6 cups of vinegar (I mixed apple cider vinegar with rice wine vinegar for milder flavor), 1 1/4 cups of sugar, some salt (I don't know exactly, but probably a few tablespoons), mixed colored freshly grounded pepper, 10 or so bay leaves, 10 or so red chillies.  These are based on my mom's old book.  The book calls for some cloves, but I didn't have it so I dropped it.  Heat all the ingredients gently and pour it over the vegetables in the jar when it's hot.  Be aware that the house will smell funny and sampling the heated vinegar base is hard to do.  It makes you cough alot :-)
Besides those veggies in the photos, radishes are also tasty to pickle. I will try some ginger next time. 
Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Sewing Class

There will be a sewing class on Sunday the 21st.  We will be making boxed pouches just like these in the photos.  This will be the first sewing class at the 1400 Irving location.  I used to offer them at our old location, but the space was just too small to be fully functional.  But, I've been thinking about it for a long time because so many of you have asked me.  So after much thinking, I am finally offering one.  More classes may be available later on, but for now this class is the only one.  Here are the details. 
You will need to make a payment to reserve your spot.  Please call or drop by in person to do so.  I will provide the materials list then, which are all available for purchasing at Peapod.  You will also need to bring your own sewing machine and basic tools so that you will get more comfortable with your own machine and tools.  The class might be cancelled if the minimum number of people don't sign up.  Then I will make a full refund to you.  Cancellation policy is as follows and please note that there will be no exceptions.
Full refund - 7 days before the class is scheduled. 
A half refund - 2 days before the class
No refund - 1 day before the class 
Please understand that I work hard to make the project as easy as possible for you to work considering many factors.  For example, I think about how much time is needed for the beginners to finish.  If it takes too long because of the difficulties, I make changes to the details (without loosing its pretty looks) so everyone can finish it in time.  This will have an effect on the reasonable class fee too.  Whether it is workable on your average quality sewing machine is another factor I consider because most of us don't own an industrial power machine.
Remember my elephant boxed pouch from the summer?  I made it before my camping trip in July thinking about offering classes on this pouch. 
The pouch in action on our camping table in the woods...
So who wants to sign up?

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I Got Bags

So I was ready for the new bag law.  I had made a pair of new grocery bags and some produce bags as soon as I heard the news.  I own five of them, but three are kinda small and one is really in a bad shape.  And I need more to keep in the car.  I always line my bags, but this time I wanted something quick without a liner.  So red duck canvas was a perfect choice.  The finished size is about 15" x 19" x 4".
The bag in action...
Yup, Trader Joe's marinara sauce is what I use for my no knead pizza.  It has to be this sauce...
I used light weight muslin for the produce bags.  I stitched a tiny red sprout on the smaller bags and a piece of fruit print on the larger ones. 
Dash got a new placemat.  I carry fusible laminate material at the shop.  This thing turns regular fabric into a laminated one.  I finally tried it myself and loved it.  It's great!
It's harder than you think to manually squeeze this many limes with a wooden reamer.  My palm hurts...
Limeade never tasted this good on a hot Indian summer day...
They hung on the pantry door...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

San Francisco Rules

It's the second day of October, and one new law took effect yesterday in San Francisco.  All the stores charge you 10 cents per merchandise bag. The idea is so obvious and simple.  To reduce waste and be nice to the environment. We've been conscious about it for years, but we still have to make it a law to push it further. So the new law should encourage more people to bring their own bags. Not just to grocery stores, but everywhere you go shopping.  10 cents is a minimum mandatory charge. That means some places might charge more with which I personally agree. A quarter will really make people take this issue seriously. So you have choices next time you shop at Peapod or anywhere else. Bring your own bag or say no bag. For those of you visiting from outside San Francisco, please do not complain. This law reflects us. This is just a part of the San Francisco culture. So I say...just enjoy it :-)
was it like 80 degrees yesterday?  loved it.  washed all of my grocery bags...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Sew & Tell

Heidi looked so cute when she stopped by on a warm day in her camisole dress.  She used the Burda pattern 8071, but she put a little twist of her own.  She used  different fabrics for the top and skirt.  This is what we love about handmade outfits.  I love the brown and blue floral.  I love the chocolate brown.  And I love the combination of the two even more.  I think her dress looks so much more inspirational than the pattern cover.  Don't you think? 
I've mentioned that Bonnie makes quilts like three meals a day.  No, I'm not exaggerating.  That's how she is.  Really.  It seems to me that she finishes one quilt a week.  Thanks to her, I'm learning so much about quilting.  This one is another baby quilt for her daughter's friend's baby.  Yes, her daughter loves it.  While her friend's baby girl enjoys this quilt, I'm sure Bonnie is making another one as I type this post. 
After I introduced you to my Lemon Square quilt (still a work in progress), some of you got inspired and started your own Lemon Square.  Diann is one of them.  She and I talked about getting together with our quilts in progress over wine.  Wouldn't it be fun?  We'll do it someday and you guys are all invited.  But, she finished her quilt before it ever happened :-)  She shrunk the originally planned size and made it a baby quilt for her friend's baby.  She started it with navy, but she added red to make it more baby boyish without looking too babyish as she shifted her plan.  She also made a sack in the bunting print to put the quilt in which also matches the backing.  I love that! 
Women sew.  Women quilt.  And then there is Sam.  Sam the soon-to-be a father who sews.  Actually he just got a sewing machine for the first time and just wanted to play with it.  Play with it?  This is what was born after he played with it.  Amazing!  He didn't even use a pattern.  He just traced his favorite shirt to make his own.  And this is his very first sewing project ever.  I love his brave heart!  And the shirt!  The Cat in the Hat shirt!  Oh, I can tell already that he is getting a lot of compliments.  Soon he'll be strolling down the street with his baby boy in the matching shirt because he is planning to make a wee size for the boy.  Oh, I can't wait to see them together :-)
Here, look closer...
Thank you, everyone!  Love your work!