Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sewing Scraps

I'm home and just want to sew. When this compulsion is the driving force in my life, I 'make fabric' otherwise called string quilt blocks. Some of you will think I am crazy, but I use the resulting fabric and love to make it! No rules, no exact 1/4" seams, what can be wrong with that?
I keep all the scraps that are less than 1 1/2" but more than 1" in one place.
When I want to sew, I sort them by color.

On my sewing table I sort them into small, medium and wide widths, sewing the short sides in each group together.

Then I start sewing these funny strips together. When I first started doing this I realized that the pieces would be easier to manage if I arbitrarily decided to make everything one width, so mine are the size of the my sewing machine side to side. Before my new sewing machine 18", now it's about 24". Remember there are no 'rules' but be sure that all the edges are caught in the seam.

I press the seams open, this distributes the bulk and eliminates the need for a foundation.

More when I get these sewn.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Summer Palace

Our last stop was the Summer Palace, said to be the best preserved imperial garden in the world, and the largest of its kind still in existence in modern China. It’s hardly surprising that, during the hot Beijing summers, the Imperial Family preferred the beautiful gardens and airy pavilions of the Summer Palace to the walled-in Forbidden City. Dowager Empress Cixi took up permanent residence here for a time, giving rise to some wonderful tales of extravagance and excess.

A short drive from central Beijing it seems like another world.

The landscaped gardens, temples and pavilions were designed to achieve harmony with nature, to soothe and please the eye. The arched bridges, pretty promenades, decorated ‘corridors’ and breezeways all lead visitors through ever-changing views and scenery. Here the marvelous marble boat, there an old theatre, over there an island reached by small wooden boat, and in the distance the hills, with a temple on the hillside, framed by dark trees. Small wonder that UNESCO added this 300 hectare site to the World Heritage List in 1998.
This is China to me, the old and new always apart but together!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Silk Shopping

China is known for its silk, so of course I had to visit a silk factory. The obligatory showroom at the end of the tour was at least 3 times the size of the factory part, so the silk production portion of the tour was surely just a demo. I did manage to blow my budget when I found the 'remnant' bin.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Great Wall

The Great Wall of China, one of the greatest wonders of the world. Just like a gigantic dragon, the Great Wall winds up and down across deserts, grasslands, mountains and plateaus, stretching approximately 5,500 miles from east to west of China. With a history of more than 2000 years, some of the sections are now in ruins or have disappeared. However, it is still one of the most appealing attractions all around the world owing to its architectural grandeur and historical significance.

It was really cold and windy the day we were here!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Beijing, The Forbidden Cuty

The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost five hundred years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political centre of Chinese government.

Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,707 bays of rooms and covers 7,800,000 sq ft. The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Zhu Family Garden

Zhu Family Garden is in Jianshui County. It was built by Zhu Weiqing, a successful businessman and his brother, in late Qing Dynasty around 100 years ago, construction work brokenly lasted 30 years. Garden covers a total area of 20,000 square meters, this grand complex is a typical local residence with distinctive features, with labyrinthian arrangements of yards, pathways and elaborately-furnished rooms and halls, it enjoys the fame ''the Grand View Garden in Southern Yunnan''. Zhu Family Garden embodys the combination of inland Chinese culture and frontier culture, is now the most important component part of old Jianshui Town.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jianshui Old Town, Yunnan

There are numerous buildings of historic value and places of interest in this area, including over 100 temples, academies of classical learning and large residences .

Friday, May 14, 2010

The people

There are 56 ethnic groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China, about 450,000 live in Yunnan province.

These are Lahu women in a small village.

Yao ladies dressed for everyday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Dongchuan, a rural place in the Wumeng Mountainous area, about 180km north of Kunming, becomes very famous among Chinese photographers for its red soil.

Most of us think of terraces with rice, but the Chinese grow wheat in them when water is scarce.

Monday, May 10, 2010


My favorite city in China is Kunming in Yunnan Province. Kunming is China's famous historic cultural city. Because it's evergreen everywhere like spring all the year round with flowers blooming everywhere, the city is known as "City of Spring" or "City of Flowers".
Kunming is the gateway to my favorite part of China, the rice terraces.

Each of the major rice terraces in the Yuanyang region has been given a name, usually named after the closest village in the vicinity. This is Bada, my favorite of all the terraces.

Here is my husband, Charles making a picture at Bada.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Jiuzhaigou National Park, Sichuan Province, China

Jiuzhaigou National Park, ate yak meat and from hot pots, this so far in Sichuan Province the first week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

China ... again

I have been on vacation in my favorite country, China. Great trip, wonderful people and spectacular sights! Survived Chinese auto drivers, snowy and slippery 13,000+ feet Himalayan pass.

Yup, that's me in the snow!

Chinese tourists renting Minority peoples clothes for pictures in Huanglong National Park.