Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Favorite Fabric Store

I know I said no more new fabric, but who could resist the best souvenirs?
Hawaiian, Dave Johnson is the man! The store carries lots of 100% cotton fabrics at great prices. See something wonderful on the web site? Shipping is cheap!

I also bought a lot of 100% cotton white-on-whites for dyeing. The photo's were awful! Stay tuned till dyeing time this summer.

3207 Martha Street, Honolulu

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The First Hawaiians; Native Plants

They came by air and by sea: seeds and spores that sailed on the ocean currents, drifted high in the atmosphere, and hitched rides with migratory birds. Once every 100,000 years, a new plant made a lucky landfall and established itself in the young, isolated Hawaiian Islands. And then, often, it evolved. When Polynesians arrived in Hawaii, they found an archipelago already teeming with a diverse native flora. These plants, many found nowhere else on earth, became part of the medicine, the worship, the knowledge and the everyday lives—in short, part of the culture—of Hawaii before Western contact.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

About the Beach

Without Madam Pele, there would be no Hawaii and no beaches. Her epic jaunt from island to island spewing lava and creating new land sparked the raw beginnings of the Hawaiian Islands. Plants and animals found their way over time, and then man arrived, first by ancient canoes guided by the stars and later by ships using the latest technology of their day. All helped shape the land, including the countless beaches that entertain, delight and amaze longtime residents and visitors alike.

One of the things  love most about Hawaiian Beaches, is that they are all public beaches access across private land maybe limited, but the beach is public.
Where else in the world are wedding pictures taken next to bathing beauties?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Aloha Stadium Swap Meet

Just 20 minutes away from Waikiki, it is Hawaii’s largest open air flea market where the locals shop for the best deals in town. Open three days a week, hundreds of local merchants offer the best value on imported merchandise, hand made items, eclectic art pieces, popular local snacks, and other made in Hawaii products. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Makapu'u Light House

Today we hiked the 2 miles to Makapu'u Light House.The trail offerd outstanding views of the southeastern coastliner. From the top, one is rewarded with magnificent views of the windward coast and offshore islets, as well as the historic red-roofed Makapu‘u Lighthouse built in 1909, which makes a stunning picture against the deep blue sea below. We saw a few humpback whales off in the distance.

A bunch of local girls, were having too much fun with their selfie stick!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

“Gong Xi Fa Cai” Happy new Year!

Considered to be one of the most important and an auspicious festival, the Chinese New Year marks the beginning of a new lunar year. The Chinese population all over the world celebrates with fun and merry making and Honolulu is no exception.

To begin with, we went to the Beretania, Mun Fa Cultural Plaza and Maunakea Street- the center of  Chinese New Year celebrations.

We also found a great spot to watch the Chinese New Year parade, featuring the lion and dragon dance with the Chinese animal of the year accompanying it.

Friday, February 20, 2015

First Thing on the List? The Beach

Many Faces of Waikiki

Waikiki Beach is actually several beaches, each with its own personality. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, named after the famed Olympic swimmer, sits in front of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Beach and Resort. A protective seawall makes it a safe swimming spot for families. Prince Kuhio Beach is usually crowded, but it’s another family-friendly locale. Lava walls enclose two shallow swimming ponds perfect for little swimmers. San Souci Beach is on the Diamond Head end of Waikiki, fronting Kapiolani Park. A few hotels share the sand, but most of it is undeveloped, and healthy reef is roughly 50 yards out, which makes it good snorkeling territory. This is a favorite of the locals, particularly students from the University of Hawaii. Its nickname is “dig me beach” because beachgoers come to see and be seen. The swimsuits tend to be a bit more abbreviated than on most other parts of Waikiki Beach.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Winter in Seattle

In a word, Seattle in the winter is 'Gray'. The last few years we made it a priority to find some place with blue skies, sunshine and warmth. This year we are back to Hawaii, Oahu to be specific.

The average winter temperature in Seattle is fairly mild, with January experiencing the coldest monthly temps -- the average high is 47 degrees F and the average low is 36. February is typically a few degrees warmer.  It only rains about 39" per year in Seattle, but it rains in drips and dabs most of the time.

Hawaii’s climate may represent the best the world has to offer, with shorts, a t-shirt and sandals appropriate year round. Some winter days do get cool, especially when it's windy and cloudy.  The rainfall yields lush tropical scenery, but is usually considerate enough to remain isolated and short lived.

All tourist areas of Oahu have great micro climates, especially Waikiki. When the East coast is experiencing bad weather, head to Waikiki and watch the clouds miraculously disappear, stopped by the mountain's.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Stitching Straight Lines

It's no secret I love quilting with straight lines. I'll be in Centennial CO next month to film a second time at The Quilt Show, with Ricky and Alex.

This blue tape contrasts nicely, for better vision.

My favorite way to mark is with masking tape. I'm not particular what kind of tape I use, just about the contrast. I do have one very important rule:
NEVER leave the tape on over night!
I prefer to stitch right next to the tape. I think I get a straighter line, and if I miss, I don't mind using a pair of tweezers and picking out the bits.

Others prefer to place the walking foot next to the tape.

Which ever works for you is the right one! Try them both, it's fun!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lumi on Shark Tank Tonight

Lumi - Print Fabric With Light
A simple DIY alternative to screen-printing powered by sunlight.
 See the presentation on Shark Tank Tonight!
 Inkodye® is a photosensitive dye activated by sunlight or UV. It works on cotton, linen, silk, rayon, canvas, or any other natural and absorbent material. Once finished, the print is soft, permanent and can be machine washed without fading.

Piecing Half Square Triangles

It isn't my favorite thing to piece half square triangles. I know it is most accurate to piece on a foundation, but the truth be known, I hate to tear the paper away. So I do it an older, just as accurate way.

6" squares = 2" finished blocks. Use these measurements for any other sizes.
For eight 2" finished half square triangles, start with two pieces 6" squares of fabric, right sides together.
Draw lines from corner to corner. Sew 1/4" from both sides of the lines.
Cut on the drawn lines, and not moving the fabric cut vertically and horizontally too.

 You will end up with eight per 6" pair.
After pressing, one corner usually does not need to be trimmed.
I use a half square triangle ruler and trim two sides for perfect squares.

Perfect half square triangles.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Making Blocks

Retreat time is time for me to regroup and restart my brain. It is also time for me to look at other peoples books for ideas. I doodle on scrap paper to see what new ideas I can come up with.

I love this frame, now I just have to decide what to put in the middle.

I needed to see it in less scrappy, another color, right now! (Note it's pinned).

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Retreat Time

Winter  is the time for my annual retreat with my friends. We all sew on our own projects (or not), This year we moved to a new spot, a friend joined us and lent her studio.

The view is spectacular!  

The fully stocked studio is almost 1200 square feet!

We moved right in!

Lots of fun, food and laughter was had by all!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Seattle - where the skies are beautiful ... sometimes

A Beautiful Sunrise - taken from my kitchen window.
Seattle and the Pacific Northwest generally have a wet climate, normal rain for our area is 37"per year.

It rains in Seattle at least 50% of the time, with the heaviest rain periods between January & May and between October & December. June, July and August are our dryest and warmest months.

Temperatures in the summer usually hover around a pleasant 75, though we also have been known to suffer through weeklong heat spells in the high 80s or low 90s.

In the winter, Seattle may see a handful of snow days per year: the last major snow event in Seattle was in 1997, when we were snowed in for a week with several inches. However, in the winter of 2006/2007, the Puget Sound area experienced a number of damaging winter storms, lowland snow, wind storms, and a weeks-long string of below-freezing days -- it remains to be seen whether this winter is an anomaly or part of a larger climatological shift caused by global warming.

Seattle summer climate tends more toward the dry than the humid -- we get occasional summer thunderstorms, but not many, and tornados are rare.

Here is the Ultimate Door Stop

I found out there is danger the big box hardware store! I went with a mission ... to buy new switch plates. Had my list, found what I needed. Just in passing there was this bin with bright colored twine. I mean neon colors I couldn't resist. I came home with $2 worth of this stuff and decided to create a weather proof door stop. It must be the rain!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Nine Patches

My nine patch bits are a top now. I love to play around with different ways to set blocks, always thinking about sewing interesting borders. I think this is very successful! Now I just need to figure out how to quilt it!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


A very big bag of pink bows inspired this purse.
Just a reminder about the “BLING MY BAG CONTEST!” It is easy to enter, just take a couple of pictures and send an  email! It's free!

Entries are due March 31!
Check for more details here

A couple of tips - go over the top:  remember my number one rule about embellishing..If you have to ask the question is it enough the answer is always NO!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Piecing Thread – what to look for:

If you are using high quality quilting fabric, be sure to piece your projects with a high quality thread.
When piecing with 100% cotton fabric, it is important to use a 100% cotton thread. Choose a neutral color (many quilters use white, cream or gray for all of their quilting projects) or choose a thread to match the fabrics you’ll be sewing. (I use matching colored thread).

Good quality cotton threads produce less lint than lower quality cotton threads and are visibly “smoother” than the lower grades of cotton thread. High quality threads, which produce less lint, are also good for your sewing machine.

Excellent thread choices for piecing are Superior Threads MasterPiece, Wonderfil Tutti or Aurifil Mako 50 weight cotton thread. These threads are smooth and fine, while at the same time, strong and durable.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Precision Piecing

 Here is how I make these bits into something. Shorten your stitch length a bit to 2.0 - 2.5 for a more secure stitch. I prefer to use 70/10 microtex sharp needle, but a 75/11 quilting needle works just as well. To set my sewing machine for success, I use a single stitch throat plat and a 1/4" foot.
Here's the test.  I used already cut 1 ½” squares of scraps.  Sew them together into a 9 patch block using a small diameter thread in the needle and the bobbin and then sew another block using fat thread in the needle and the bobbin.  Gently press the seams flat and measure.  It's obvious to see in my sample blocks that the blocks measure differently.
This sample above was sewn with a small diameter thread measures exactly the expected 3 ½" from cut edge to cut edge. 
The sample above was sewn with fat thread is shy the expected 3 ½" from cut edge to cut edge.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scraps - Someone Must be Joking!

I have been sewing 2 1/2" squares and nine patches in spare moments for days and days. I love what I have achieved in the little time spent doing this.

Now if some one could please tell me why the box I started with didn't get any emptier!


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thread with the MOST Sparkle and Shine

Flat Film Polyester Thread: Add the ultimate sparkle to all of your decorative projects. They are thin, flat ribbon-like polyester film that is metalized with aluminum to make it brilliantly reflective.

For best results use a Metallic Needle size 14/90 or Embroidery or Top-Stitch Needle size 14/90 and a vertical spool pin. Lower the top tension, sometimes a lot and skip the last tension guide. A vertical spool pin is also absolutely necessary! A polyester bobbin thread like Superior Threads – The Bottom Line is a must.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The End

All good things must come to an end. I really enjoyed the summer garden fashion show. I hope you did too! The women who shared their talents and time with us were very generous, and I thank them for their inspiration.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


A few days worth of the few minutes after dinner and I'm working on nine patches. It surprises me how fast they are to sew when the fabric is already cut into usable sizes. I highly recommend cutting when you can, in advance. Makes sewing in spare moments very enjoyable.