Twohey’s, best burgers in the San Gabriel Valley

I mentioned Twohey’s as our lunch stop during the yarn crawl.  Time to give this 70 year old institution it’s due.  The ladies at A stitch in Time directed us here for lunch, Ellen got very excited, she of course had been here and was looking forward to showing us the  Googie style architecture. That modern space age, forward looking optimism of the post war years.Twohey'sThis is what greeted us on the corner of Atlantic Blvd and Huntington Dr. in Alhambra.  An even better surprise awaited us within.Twohey's interiorThis past December, without ever closing for a day, Twohey’s was renovated back to it’s past.  After years of sad ‘Marie Calendar’ kind of look, the Googie style is back in force inside as well. Love the orange and Turquoise as well as the wonderful fixtures.Bar at Twohey'sSure modern conveniences  like a flat screen TV are there, but it’s all done with a nod to the past.Twohey's doormatWe were greeted at the door with this wonderful floor mat.  An easy explanation of how to pronounce the name of the eatery. As well as letting us know, they have been here for 70 years. I’ll get to the Stinko later.boomarang formica The tabletop was redone with new formica, in the wonderful 50 style boomerang pattern.Bernadette sitting down to lunchBernadette, our traveling mascot sits down to lunch. She was good, me on the other hand…stinko burgerI enjoyed the Stinko Burger. It’s funny how 70 years ago a burger with onions and pickles would be considered stinky. Think of all the hot spicy ethnic condiments we load our burgers with today.Twohey's onion ringsAll of us shared a SMALL plate of onion rings. I’m wondering where they get those massive onions. Either way, that was a great meal. Fuel for the road as we marched on to other yarn stores.



This weekend was the third annual Yarn Crawl LA county.  3 years ago the yarn store owners came up with the idea of having a whole weekend of yarny fun. This is the first year I joined the fun.yarnmobileFive of us did the eastern route on Friday. Laurie-Ann knows how to decorate a car, notice the crochet granny squares on the headrests. She only made a granny square cover for the steering wheel.

Our first stop was in Atwater village at The Little KnitteryEllen at the little knitteryNotice her granny square bag as well as her headband. Granny Squares are the foundation of fashion.  Ellen was smart, rather than buy yarn she was documenting our day via instagram. I bought stitch markers here.yarn crawl signOur second stop was in lovely Montrose, on Honolulu Ave. a little throw back to the 50s. The store is Needle in a Haystack. Along with yarn they also sell embroidery and needlepoint kits. They are really prepared for us with their wonderful sign above the counter. They had wonderful soft acrylic for babies, so I bought some.Abuelita'sAbuelita’s recently moved from South Pasadena to a more central location in the Playhouse Alley on Colorado Blvd. Small shop, with great hand dyed yarn. Picked up buttons to go with the yarn from the previous shop.wool ramThis wonderful wool and button ram adorns their wall. Too cute.A stitch in TimeEast and south to A Stitch in Time in San Marino.  A very different shop, first of all it is very large, airy and has the biggest selection of embroidery yarn/thread that I have seen anywhere. They also had Hiya-Hiya needles, so I bought a few.

By now we were getting hungry, so down the street we went for lunch.TwoeysWonderful midcentury modern building, this deserves a post on it’s own.stinko burgerThe stinko burger, with pickles and onions and great sweet potato fries.IMG_2220The Purlside in Glendora, this was a good 20 miles away, but hey, it’s all about the traveling between stores.buying a patternDiane and I pose with a pattern I bought.1899 quilt1899 quilt that has been in the owners family since it was made. No they don’t sell quilting supplies but they do appreciate quilts.

By then we were in need of dessert, across the street we go to The Donut Man to try their famous fresh strawberry donuts. Brenda and I split one – good thing, it was diabetes in a box.strawberry donutTwo more stores to go, Colors in Claremontcolors ClaremontIMG_2227And Phebies’s Needle Art, this is in an old packing shed by the railroad. Many other cool shops and restaurants. By now I was exhausted. The rest of the gang went on to Hobby Lobby, me I went home.IMG_3453Here are the spoils of the day, I didn’t buy all that much. Each store gave us a button and some gave out goodies like the needle holder or the tape measure.

All in all a very fun day. Some of the gals went north and south on Saturday and Sunday. This was quite enough for me, until next year.


The Chuppah, Part 1

The wedding fast approaches, less than two months away.   A very important element in a Jewish wedding is the Chuppah – the wedding canopy. It symbolizes the home the couple will build together. It is supposed to be a temporary structure under the open sky.Elk and Mandy ChuppahThis is from my son and daughter in laws’ wedding last year. When you get married on the beach in the Dominican Republic, it is light and airy with an unbelievable backdrop of blue ocean and paraglider thrown in for free.

Yoch knew he was going to quilt his own chuppah long before Yish popped the question. There was going to be green, green, green! His favorite color balanced with black white and grey.  So a year ago, when the candy ring was offered (that is a different story, a real ring was produced eventually, but the proposal happened with a candy ring), Yoch set to work on piecing the chuppah.

This design is completely his own, although it is one that should be copied.Finished pieced chuppahI am so impressed with this design, simple use of the triangle, the offsetting of the center motif and how it grows. The use of light and dark – perfection.

Yoch welcomed my contribution to the corners. I’ve been paper piecing lately and yes, these corner pieces are a little busier than the overall quilt. But hey,  let’s spice things up a bit.

I was also given the task of quilting this. Yay for new sewing machine! This is the first large project I have quilted on the Juki and I am so pleased with the results.basting the chuppahLuckily I have a large living room and have the space to lay this all out. Talk about large!  78″ x 85″.  Yoch pieced the back out of all the leftover fabric. This one is pin basted.  I’m thinking I should have used more pins.

directional quiltingThe quilting has to be simple. First of all the design speaks for itself, second, fancy quilting would get lost. So The green got Horizontal lines and the black got vertical. Yes, I did this free hand, no walking foot here, since I was changing directions – going back and forth within the long strips of color. I used Aurifil thread, grey for the black/grey areas and green for the green.practicing the sprialThe one area where a quilting design would shine was the border. I took my time and followed the good advice of FMQ, practice first on paper, get the hand used to the motion.Marking the quiltI marked the circles, I’m not looking for perfection, but some guildlines are a good help. At the recent quilt show I bought a wonderful new tool, the Bohin Chalk Pencil.  What a difference it makes! quilting the spiralsAnd here they are, on the quilt.  Not perfect but a good start. I would like to get better and that will happen with time and practice.

That’s it for part one, more work to do and I will share more of this Chuppah.




Diane Von Furstenberg – Journey of a Dress

I finally took the time today to go see the exhibit at LACMA, Journey of a Dress. Somebody other than Lacma must be sponsoring this show since it is free to the public. Also, I have to laugh, I have been a docent at LACMA for 13 years and we admonished to always call the building: Lacma West.

Historic building justice prevails and now it is once again called: The Wilshire May company, to differentiate it from the downtown May Co.DVF wrap dressPhotography was allowed! I should have brought my good camera, luckily the iphone does a pretty good job.

Here is the simple basic wrap dress in a wonderful graphic print. Pure simplicity. Next to it is another great print but this time the color and cuffs get an interesting ribbed knit treatment.DVF wrap dress with colorMany of the dresses have a collar. I love this floral print, instead of using the same fabric for the collar, she used what looks like the trim of a polo shirt. So classy. Also note long sleeves and keyhole neckline on the two other dresses.VF wrap dress big floral skirtLOVE! LOVE! LOVE!
This dress has everything I love! The combination of prints, the adorable collar. The wonderful bound hem of the skirt. Yes, this is going into my knock off queue.DVF wrapdress laceOf course I have made wrap dresses, they are very comfortable and after seeing this exhibit, I will be making a few more!  The neck treatment here is great. Using the border print as the accent of the neckline is brilliant.  A solid satin belt is the final touch of elegance.DFV wrap dress collar trimAnother elegant use of printed fabric. Next to a simple white dress with DVF signature icon as the neck trim and belt.DVF wrap dress evening gownsThe basic design upgraded and made in elegant fabrics turns the simple wrap dress into evening wear.

There were over 100 dresses in the exhibition. No way could I photograph them all, although they were all worthy.  You will see a future post where I knock off this dress and make it my own.

The Wrap Dress is 40 years old, this is the reason for the exhibit. Of course the 70s’ are back in fashion and one can buy a new version. At the LACMA gift shop they were selling for over $350.  Way to go Diane Von Furstenberg! DVF wrap pants suitFinal image, from 1973. What else but a pants suit in a leopard print. Notice how big the collar is. As well as the large folded back cuffs.

The exhibit is open until May 1st. You have one month left, if you are in Los Angeles – just go!  If not, pull out your patterns and make your own wrap dress.



The color of my garden

Sorry to all my east coast friends who are buried under yet another snow storm. If it makes you feel any better, we are having earthquakes. No I don’t think you care, so I will share my color of the moment in the garden. No it isn’t  Radiant Orchid, although I think I may have some of that. It is a bright magenta pink.Gerbera daisyThese are some of the flowers I cut this roseSame group of flowers, slightly different angle. Of course leaving color in the garden is also nice, as it is getting pleasant enough to sit out there.two tone cyclamenThis cyclamen took me by surprise. It’s a leftover from a few years ago. Usually I plant new ones each year. I forgot to this year and until today, none of the old ones bloomed.two tone fuchsiaHere in the valley it can get too hot for fuchsias, so our small window of having pretty blooms is pretty small. Every year I get a few flowers, never a bush full.P1010782Just to break the monotony,  some red and yellow.

Actually I don’t have a favorite color or a color I won’t allow in. I guess that right now what is blooming is mostly that bright pink.


Cars and Stars

For some reasons the pregnant women I know these days are all having boys. They need quilts but must have a boy theme. Once again, in that wonderful stash from Barbara I find many wonderful car and transportation fabric.
I wanted to try some paper piecing, a method using paper template pieces while putting a block together. The central blocks really needed this treatment, the others, no so much, but I was on a roll.Cars and stars, paper piecingTo get the sharp points and accuracy, paper worked like a charm.Layout for Cars and starsOne of the things I love about quilting is putting the puzzle together. I had no plan, just making the blocks and then trying to see the best way for them to make a cohesive, eye pleasing design.finished cars and starsI’m very pleased with how this worked out.  Symmetry and a center motif that is similar but not.quilting stars and carsQuilting on a dark background is wonderful, hides many mistakes, unfortunately, unless the light is shinning directly on it – you don’t see the details. Of course this is a baby quilt, not an art piece. I enjoyed the process, baby should simply enjoy the softness and the bright colors.Back of Cars and StarsBack must be as bright as the front, also here is a chance to showcase some of the fabrics that were cut into small patches on the front.Cars and stars labelA quilt must have a label. I used the old Babylock Quest for the machine embroidery. Yes that machine still has very important used. I also left enough space for mom to add the name and birth date of the baby.  Notice the dark print on the back?  I used the reverse side of this fabric as the background on the front of the quilt.                            Yes that caused a lot of problems and ripping out. Since my brain kept going back to – pattern is the front of fabric. I’d piece two patches together and duh! I wanted the solid side on the front. So rip and start over. Luckily I had a lot of this fabric and still do.Gifting Cars and StarsSorry about the quality of this picture. Lauren is a member of my knitting guild and boy did we ever throw her a baby shower. Here she is admiring the quilt.          Since then her son was born (missing my birthday by 16 minutes!) I have no idea if his name is on the back yet, babies take up much more time than anyone expects.


Pretty little dress

I am very lucky to have an adorable granddaughter who loves all things girly.  Having no idle hands means always making something. Though  even my granddaughter doesn’t need that many dresses. Luckily I have friends with little girls. So when a certain little girl had a 4th birthday, I got right to work.McCalls 6878The blue fabric is from my friend Barbara, who gave me a large stash of quilting fabric. It goes very well with the Riley Blake, polka dots, I didn’t even notice that it has little apples instead of a dot.Front of dress I use my love of quilting when sewing, it is hard for me to only use one fabric in a garment. I like how the sleeves are faced with the yellow.P1010749If that isn’t happy I don’t know what is.  Having a friend who works for Hello Kitty is also a big plus, a cute little purse with a puzzle inside.back of dressI’m equally proud of the back, yes I inserted an invisible zipper.on the phoneLike all girls, she loves ‘talking’ on her phone, while sitting on a blanket I knit for her little sister.

Best reward of all, she loves what I make her and I get delicious hugs every time I see her. I’d say that is worth a few dresses.


Hotel Figueroa

Another downtown Los Angeles gem. The hotel Figueroa. It was built in the late 1920’s by the YWCA as a hotel for businesswomen, but unfortunately it didn’t survive as one and by the 1930’s was simply a hotel.hotel figueroa signNothing in Los Angeles is simply anything. If you have seen any movie or TV show where people are meeting in a restaurant or lobby in the middle east – it was probably filmed here.IMG_2100Although when doing so, they have to remove the Buddhas and the very Mexican looking items.IMG_2116A view into the restaurant

Hotel Figueroa lobbyTiles in lobby of Hotel FigueroaThese tiles are on the wall right as you enter, I need to find more about them.

IMG_2112The long hallway to the bar and pool.  As wonderful as this lobby is, and it is a feast for the eyes. This is what is really impressive about this hotel.In ground pool at Hotel Figueroa dtLA

Yes indeed an in-ground pool. When this was built, land was at a premium and since then, no-one, not even the Los Angeles Athletic club put a pool in the ground. It has survived the area being run down and everything around it becoming parking lots. I met an old woman who told me that as a child she learned how to swim in this pool.el Figueroa, Morrocan benchIn the bar area, right off the pool is this wonderful day bed, I’m sure that at night when the place is full, people enjoy this luxury.

Over 20 years ago, I was a student at FIDM , in those days, the only places I went was the school campus and up to the garment district. Downtown was still very sketchy. I’d often drive down Olympic Blvd to get to the freeway. I’d pass a large building, with three sections facing Olympic. There always were and still are full size advertisements on these sections. Only years later did I find out the history of the place and venture in to look at the lobby. I have since met people who have stayed there. The rooms were renovated a few years ago, but are simple run of the mill hotel rooms. These days the hotel is right across from LA Live and the Staple center. Sure you can stay in the JMW Marriott, or stay here, enjoy history and take a dip in that pool!


Handmade handbag

I tend to use one handbag for a season, changing only between winter and summer. Once I started making bags, that changed somewhat. I am particular, I don’t want  the loving hands at home look, or  even just another quilted bag.. The finishing details matter.                                                                                                             At a quilt show last year I found this patternPattern, Bag BostonianSince they were also selling the hardware,  I bought this Korean pattern. Don’t you just love name: bag bostonian.                                                                                        When I travel I like to buy fabric and yarn as mementos, that way when I am working or enjoying a completed project – it reminds of the trip. I found this charm pack of fabrics in Oregon. Creating the bodyThe instructions were wonky, but other people have made this bag, thank God for the internet. I used not only batting but a layer of canvas as well as the lining fabric. This bag had good body and doesn’t flop around. I also like the combination of simple squares with circular quilting.P1010610Unclipped the bag is very spacious, I probably won’t use it often like this.Moda charm packWhen piecing the fabric, one never knows for sure if the conversation piece will be in the correct location. Luckily it worked out for these typewriter keys.P1010623A final touch was these little feet. But something was missing, I had used a sturdy zipper, but the pull was typical, small and not easy to use. fish zipper pullBack when I was making Jewelry, I wire wrapped this fish. The necklace came apart long ago, but I held onto the fish. Perfect, now it has found it’s new touchmodeling bagAnd final shot, looks very good in action.