Monday, December 31, 2018

Daysi Do Quilt

This the is final post of 2018! I have been working on some hand piecing and EPP through out the year, but I finally finished this quilt!! This is a pattern called "Daisy Do" and designed by Jen Kingwell. This is one of the quilts that took my breath away and I had to make one. When I make scrap quilts, I go through my scraps first, move on to fat quarters and if I have to, then I cut in to bigger pieces. It was so much fun to come up with different combinations of blocks.

I am a hand quilter and usually if I spend so much time hand piecing a quilt, most likely I hand quilt it as well. But, a few years ago, I injured my shoulders and I was supposed to get surgery this year; well, that plan was before I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt that I needed to take care of that first and that put my shoulder surgery off. I finished the quilt top a while ago, but wasn't sure if I was going to be able to do hand quilting. I finally decided to ask someone to machine quilt my quilt and I asked my friend Audrey who runs a machine quilt company called the The Quilt Barn with her sister, Emmy. I couldn't be happier with the result!! She did such an amazing job! She even quilted each circle in the middle of the flowers.

The way she quilted really emphasis the design of the quilt top and that was exactly what I wanted. I pieced the backing and with her beautiful machine quilting design, I feel like I have two quilts in one. Thank you so much Emmy!

Last but not least, let me mention my middle son. I wanted to take some pictures of the quilt, but really needed help, he came with me and did above and beyond for the photo shoot. I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to him too. I know I am blessed with one of the best teens! I didn't use this picture at the very top of the post, even though I really love the look of the quilt hanging from the tree. He climbed up the tree and held the quilt while he was balancing and stabilizing himself on the V shaped tree. I spotted his foot sticking out from the quilt while I was editing the pictures. I thought to myself, "Shoot! Why didn't I see that?" But, this picture is very special because it reminds me of him and how sweet he was to help me out.

Well, everyone, 2018 was quite eventful for me both good and bad but, I am so grateful for all the experiences I went through and love I received. I hope I will be healthier and
able to do more in 2019.

I wish you all the very best and send my love. Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Gray Apron Skirt

I have been wanting to make an apron skirt but no luck finding a pattern that I exactly wanted. I looked through my old Japanese pattern books(I bought 20+ years ago!) and found a couple patterns that I thoguht I can combine some aspects from both of them and create my own and that's what I did.

There are a few things I would change if I decided to make this in a different color, but I like how it turned out. Mr.Tea Rose Home said I look like a "farm girl" from the old movies... ok, maybe a little. :)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Friendship Heart Quilt

Do you ever look back at your past and the choices that you have made and how they have affected the life you live now? I do. Not that frequently, but sometimes an event happens in my life; mostly good things and I start reflecting on and connecting the past choices to now.

This week, I was surprised by one of the most amazing and generous gifts and many emotions flooded my mind. Over 10 years ago, I started blogging. I was kind of testing what this "blogging" this was all about, and started sharing the things I made. There were ups and downs but I kept creating and writing. Over the years I have met so many great people online and in person that I would have otherwise never had a chance to meet.

Amy of Diary of a Quilter organized some quilter/sewer friends to make this heart quilt. She asked them to sew heart blocks and send it to her, she pieced them together and Andy of A Bright Corner quilted it. When they gave me the quilt, she told me that the quilt was made with "many hands", I wasn't sure what that meant. I opened the card, there were names of our dear friends; some of whom I've known for years and some are new friends... they each participated to create this beautiful quilt.

Evy of A Bit of Stitch made this lovely label for the quilt.

I am not sure exactly which block was made by who, but as I was looking at these heart blocks and thinking about those friends; my own heart was bursting with gratitude and I couldn't hold back my tears. I know everyone has their own busy lives, but they were willing to take the time to participate in this and to show love and support for my recovery from my double mastectomy. My recovery was a bit rocky at first with bleeding issues and infections. And now, I still have a low-grade fever everyday, even after over two month from the surgery. I have had some testing done, but the doctors don't know exactly what is causing it. I try to live normal day to day life, but not knowing the cause worries me.

This quilt came just in time for me to feel extra love from my friends even from different parts of the United States. I think there are many kind, genuine, caring people in quilting/sewing community. I am so thankful for each one of them and I want them to know they will always have a special spot in my heart. I wish I could give them a hug in person and tell them how much their kindness and friendship means to me. These are the creative friends who made these heart blocks. I hope you will hop over to visit their delightful site to see their fun projects!

Lindsay of Lindsay Sews
Dana of Made Everyday
Pat of Pat Sloan's Quilters Home
Amanda of Jedi Craft Girl
Bev of Flamingo Toes
Heather of The Sewing Loft
Liz of Simple Simon and Co
Amber of GiGi's Thimble
Babylock Sewing
Riley Blake Designs

I have witnessed many times since the diagnosis of my breast cancer one of my favorite saying "God takes care of people through people". My medical problems are still here and I know I (and my family) has to deal with them, but knowing that I am surrounded by caring friends helps me to be strong and keeps me going.

They are truly Angels.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Wide Trim Pencil Case Tutorial

I stopped in to a local shop in downtown Provo called Harmony. I always find something fun and whimsical there and without fail, I found a gorgeous embroidered wide trim. It was a bit pricey, but I think it made sense when I thought about the width and the amount of the embroidery work on the trim. I bought half a yard and had a great idea to use this wonderful trim. I made a pencil case! I have been wanting to make one, but instead of using fabric, I decided to use this trim. This is not a really detailed tutorial, but I will give you the measurement and what I did.

*You will need

Trim --- 3 3/4" x 18" (cut in half)
Fabric--- Cut 2, 4 1/4" x 9"
9" zipper(it was too long for this, but when I bought the trim I wasn't thinking about the zipper length... you could ether buy more trim, or use a 7"zipper if you prefer)

*How to
1. Sew zipper. Because the edge of the trim is already done, and I didn't want to lose anymore width, I just sewed the zipper on without folding the edge. Sew sides and the bottom, make a small boxed bottom.

2. Using 1/4" seam, sew three sides of the fabric. make a small boxed bottom. Fold the top edge with 1/4" seam.

3. Put together the trim and the liner you made in step 2. Pin the top of the lining to zipper. Slip stitch to secure it.

4. Done!

Wasn't that simple? It was such an easy project, and it really doesn't take much time to make one. If you are still wondering what to give to your sisters, friends, kid's teachers or coworkers, this could be a great gift. You can even put some fun stuff inside of the pencil case to make it even more special.:)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Thanksgiving Giveaway!

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last updated my blog. I posted a few things on Instagram in the last few weeks, because it is much easier to shoot a picture and post it with my phone, but the truth is that I wasn't in much of a mood to do any social media after the surgery. I wonder if I was going through a mini depression of sorts. The first couple of weeks after I came home, I stayed in bed most of my time and either slept, read, or watched TV; which is very unusual for me. Usually I already have a hand stitch project ready by my bed and I would have been working on that. When I delivered my second son through c-section, I was doing applique in my hospital bed by day 2. This time, I really didn't have much desire to do that. When I thought I was getting better, I got an infection. With that, my recovery was set back a couple more weeks.

The last week or so, I starting to feel like myself again. I am up and doing more. Don't worry, I am still being very careful and not lifting anything heavy, but, I am doing light cooking (which my family loves!), putting some make-up on everyday, and I started creating again. As you can tell by the title, I am hosting a Thanksgiving giveaway. I will give you the entry details, but first, let me share what I am thankful for.

Every year, I would say I am thankful for my family and friends. I would say the same thing this year also, but I say it with much deeper meaningful feelings attached.
Diagnosed with cancer and going through a double mastectomy really reminded me of how our life is very fragile and precious. I have been through a lot medically since I was little and I have thought about mortality in the past too, but your prospective changes when you are a mother of three.

I REALLY. DON'T. WANT. TO. DIE. I want to stick around much longer; watch them grow, thrive, and be there when they need a shoulder to cry on. Sure my kids are not little anymore and my role as a mother is changing, but my job as a mother is never over. Then I thought about the many people who had to go either by accident, through illnesses, or whatever reason. My heart saddens to think about them, about how they must have wanted to stay with their loved ones too. Also it gave me renewed perspective to treasure my family and the other people in my life and not to take them for granted.

My life is not perfect; and boy, I am far from perfect. I do complain about the small stuff too, but the last few months really gave me a reality check of what is more important. These are the things I am thankful for this year and probably they will be at the top of my thankful list for as long as I live.

I am thankful for my life. I am thankful waking up every morning and a chance to do good and do better.

I am thankful for my family and friends. I pray every day about how grateful I am to have them in my life.

I am thankful for the gospel. I am thankful that I can rely and trust in God to help me seek the many small miracles in my life rather than the faults. It has always given me strength to pull through in difficult times.

I still have some concerns about my health and I met an oncologist last week. I don't know how everything will turn out, but I want to live my life with fullest of gratitude and love everyday. :)

I thought about all my friends who helped me though this difficult time and I thought I will do a giveaway not only to benefit the winner, but her friends too!! One lucky winner will receive: one Tiny Tin Sewing Room, and 7 bags of goodies for your friends! The bag contains a stick-able bottle cap pincushion, measuring tape and clips. I bet they will make fun gift exchange for Christmas. So, are you ready for the giveaway details? The rules are simple:

1. First entry: Leave a comment and share what you are thankful for.

2. Second entry: Go to my Instagram page and enter there as well.

I will post the winner on the morning of the 23rd. Good luck everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Update ~ Post Surgery

I can't believe it has already been two weeks since my double mastectomy. I wouldn't say it has been a smooth and easy recovery, but I guess it's not that horrible either. In fact, I am still seeing lots of blessings these past two weeks.

The picture I posted here with the pink ribbons are a surprise from my wonderful neighbors. I don't really know exactly who was involved, but they were not only tied to the pillars and on the mailbox of our home, they are in our entire neighborhood and streets. How amazing is that? I truly feel like I live in one of the BEST neighborhoods with the most amazing people.

I had the surgery on Wednesday, we thought I could go home in a couple of days. The next day, I was having a reaction to the anesthesia, and kept throwing up all day and night. By Friday, my right breast started bleeding inside and they had to take me back to the OR. During this procedure, my blood count dropped to 14 and I had to get two units of blood. Then, the next day, my other breast started having the same issue, and starting to swell up. This time, my doctor was able to use a needle and syringe to removed the blood without taking me back to the OR. I don't have a blood disorder or anything (not that I know of!), but the doctors were scratching their heads as to why I was having this kind of the bleeding. My suspicion is that because of throwing up so intensely for a day, put too much pressure and that caused the bleeding, but who knows. I am VERY sensitive to anesthesia and most pain meds, they always make me extremely sick and I will throw up all day. I would rather be in pain than be sick, so I don't take anything. The first couple of days after the surgery, I got Tylenol through the IV, and that is that. I am doing ok. I think some pain is expected; well, I had surgery.

My condition was stable enough that I was released on the 6th day. Driving home, I was sitting in the passenger seat and reflecting on everything that happened in the last several months, the recovery ahead of me and more surgeries to come. Also, I was a little down about how my body always seems to have some problems, is unpredictable and hard to live with. Most people get surprised if I tell them I do have blue days sometimes, because I am usually a very happy person. But, this body of mine packed with medical issues tires me out sometimes... I wish I could take a receipt and exchange it for a better one.

But then... When we turned in to our neighborhood, and saw all those pink ribbons on the trees and mailboxes on both sides of the streets and cul-de-sac my eyes starting to well up and my heart was quickly turned around to see the blessings in my life. How wonderful to have a chance to live and be a part of this world. How can I live better once I am all healed up and move on from this?

When I was asking this questions to myself, many people's faces came to my mind who have been a great example to me. During this new challenge in my life many people showed love and support for me. I think I know my answer already.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This is the morning...

This is the morning. Morning of me having a double mastectomy and saying good by to my breasts.

Since the diagnose, I have been thinking a lot of things, but for the most part I feel calm and feeling that I am making the right choice.

I wrote a good-by letter to my breasts. If you care to read, that's great, if not you can skip this part. :)

Dear Boobs,

I was such a late bloomer and I didn't start seeing you two until the middle of high school. When you ladies are finally a noticeable size and I was able to upgrade from "triangular cloth" like bra to a grown up real looking bra with lace, I was so excited. In a way, I felt like I was becoming a woman.

Many years passed and I had three babies and I was able to breast feed them all. That was such a wonderful feeling to hold my babies, looking at them and I was able to provide something nutritious for them to grow and be strong. I will always treasure those memories and I am so thankful for that. Because of that, you kind of changed in size and shape, but I was ok with that. That is the natural course of human life and I was going to grow old with you two.

Then, a few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That is not cool. That is like stubbing me in the back. Not cool... I know sometimes things happen and relationships change. I felt shocked and saddened, but the decision came rather quickly: I am going to say good bye to you both today; so I can be with the people who matter to me and I love the most.

I saw a t-shirt that one of my breast cancer survivor friends posted on Facebook. It said something like, "Yes, these are fake. My real ones were trying to kill me". That made me laugh, don't you think it is important to have a sense of humor; especially during hard times?

I know there is going to be a time where I will look at the scars and feel sad, but I know myself. I will get over all this.

What helps me is that I have a husband who loves me with or without scars. We have been through so much with my other medical issues, but he has unconditional love towards me like no other. I know this is one of the things that brings us closer together and makes our relationship stronger.

Thank you for all the great memories but it is time to say good-bye. I will add you to my war stories, but I am moving on with my life. My heart is filled with optimism and my eyes are fixed on happiness.



So, I took care of that. Now, let me tell you what is on my mind since my diagnosis and since this morning. I am not going to lie, I have been feeling a little bit worried, scared and all that, but you know what? More than anything, I am feeling gratitude. I don't want to sounds corny, but I feel like I am getting an early Thanksgiving.

Since the diagnosis, I am experiencing an outpouring of love and support from the people in my life. I am not going to name everyone, but you will know when you read this if I am talking about you.

Thank you so much for you, you are also Breast Cancer survivors, and you took the time to listen and talk to me. You gave me so much strength and optimism during this whole process.

Thank you so much to listening to me after the diagnosis and for crying with me. I needed that moment.

Thank you so much friends for hosting a potluck dinner night and for creating a recovery and care basket. They all came from your heart and I know they will come in handy. I know we all have something to go through, but you put them aside and came to my aid.

Thank you so much for taking me out to brunch and listening to me. Showing me love the way you always have, you are such a great friend.

Thank you so much for sewing the special camisole for post surgery and shipping them to me, especially since you are so busy with other things.

Thank you so much for going to appointments with me. I know I always say "I am fine" and am not very easy person to offer help to. But, I really loved it that you were there with me.

Thank you so much for the fun lunch outings and such thoughtful gifts. I enjoy our conversations so much. We talk about lots of things and you make me laugh a lot.

Thank you so much for the "after school snack" packages for my kids, I didn't even think about that, but they came in handy.

Thank you so much for the baked goods and nice visits.

Thank you so much for organizing meals for after surgery for my family with the neighborhood ladies. I know you are so busy, but it is amazing to see how you always manage to have time to help others in need.

Thank you friends in the neighborhood for your willingness to help. I know most of you have young families and have so much already on your plate.

Thank you my companion in my church calling. Your willingness to be flexible is helping me more than you know.

Thank you to all of you who have been texting, calling, and sending me emails. Your acts of kindness touch my heart.

Thank you for the wonderful handmade blanket, I will always cherish it.

Thank you so much to me sisters for checking up on me through text and phone calls even though you are thousands of miles away. I wish you were both here, but I am grateful for your love and the technology that allows us to communicate. Oh, and the kids LOVED the care package with all the Japanese snacks and gifts for each one of them. Love you so much!

Thank you to my children for being so kind and strong. Because of them I can be braver than I actually am.

Thank you to my husband, who is my best friend and for always being there for me. We had our 23rd anniversary and I am looking forward to many more years with you. I know when I wake up from my anesthesia, I will not look like sleeping beauty, but you will still love me the same.

There are so many small, but meaningful to me, of the Lord's tender mercies that has happened in the last few weeks. I am just so grateful that I am not going through this surgery with anger, resentment and sadness. I am feeling so much love and support from my friends and family; and that strengthens me. I am grateful that Heavenly Father is mindful of me and my needs and He will always be there when I reach out to Him.

Ok, ladies, I am be off to the hospital. Talk to you soon!
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