Friday, December 07, 2012

New Blog!

My blog has become full.  So please visit my new blog here.  I've maintained my old blog name but had to change the blog URL.

This old blog will still be here.

Many thanks everyone.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Christmas in July Swap & Etsy Adventure

My pals Elyte and Merilyn  and I have an agreement for a swap or two every year.  As you can see from the title, the swap was late and should have been christened Christmas in August! 

It's always a delight conjuring things I want to make for these two very talented people.  This time around the theme was zakka.  So I got my grey cells cracking.  This is what I made for Elyte.

 I stitched a small tea bag pouch for her quilty travels.  One must have their favourite tea for nourishment.  The design is a freebie from The Little Stitcher.  I personalised it by stitching Elyte's initials.  Also included a weaved wallet that I bought at the cultural market.  And a draw string pouch to put it all in.

Love the zippered pouch that Elyte made for me in return.  I've admired it from far on her blog.  And all the accompanying goodies.  Thanks so much!

My similar picks for Merilyn also with her initials.  Merilyn teaches in her quilt group and sometimes bring along her lunch bag, so I figured a tea bag pouch should accompany it.  And a matching draw-string bag to put it all in.

And look at the lovely tote bag and hand towel I received in return.  Quite perfect indeed.  The tote bag was actually folded into the small pocket and opened to reveal a wonderful tote bag.  Genius.   Thanks Merilyn.

Now for my new Etsy adventure, I have opened up a shop to offer my Made to Order blouses.  These blouses will be customized and a custom listing will be created.  If you'd like to take a look and even patronize ;)  please click here and it'll take you to my shop.  I have also added a widget to the right column of my blog to make it easier for you to drop by the next time!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quilting begins

It's a long weekend here due the the Eid al-Fitr holidays.  So I got off my butt and thread basted Barbara Brackman's Civil War Quilt.  I use my sewing table to baste and was standing all the time with many breaks.  Pretty tiring.  I am using flannel for the batting.  I basted from the top to the bottom.  Ensuring the layers stay flat as I go.  My fingers are a little sore now :(

The quilting starts from the centre out.  Outline quilting it with Perle Cotton No. 8 using big stitch. My plan is to quilt one block a week.  Still unsure how I'll quilt the sashing. 

I made an A-Line skirt and a blouse for my sis.  Will wait for her fitting before I proceed with more sewing.

I've tied up the remnant garment fabrics.  Some are enough to make a sleeveless blouse.  Maybe I could use them as trims in the future.

And lastly my progress of LHN's Love Your Neighbour.

Saturday, August 04, 2012

The month that was ...

So many not too happy things have been going on lately.  I treasure my precious time spent sewing ... my escape from life's harsh realities?  It will all boil over ... in time.  I have lived long enough to know at least that!

I bought a plain XXL sized jersey from the Reject Shop so as to give the Alabama Chanin T-Shirt construction method a try.  I had to redraft the T-Shirt pattern to make it wider at the waist area ... ahem ...
The fit turned out well.  I could only manage a sleeveless T-Shirt because there was not enough fabric to cut the sleeve.  I added a stay tape at the shoulder seams although it was not mentioned in the book.  During my short stint in sewing knits, I have learnt that stay tape is necessary to strengthen the shoulder seam..

I am not using the recommended button craft thread but a Coats & Clarke quilting thread instead.  I've used cretan stitch for the arm holes and neck line and regular running stitch for the side seams.  I think overall it turned out pretty well.

 Completed a shirt for my dad.  This shirt does not have a collar stand. It fits him well but he needs to where it often and give me his comments.


The Danielle Dress (Burda) for my sis.  Cotton / Linen blend shell fabric with cotton voile lining.  The cotton voile has a nice soft feel to it but as these fabrics go it was difficult to sew with.  I need to explore other types of lining fabric to see what works.

I get a kick with details, the bias tape hem is now my staple hemming method for the shell fabric.  It gives just a touch of satin luxury.  Hand sewing the lining to the zipper needed meticulous stitching.  The complain from the previous dress that I made was the lining was getting stuck to the zipper.  So this time round it's nicely spaced away.

Halter top dress, but it needs major changes to shorten the length of elastic under the bust and the back.  Will make the alterations when I get back the dress from my sis.  Incorporated some pretty lace for the lining skirt and as usual bias binding tape for the hem.

 I am doing some cross stitch during the nights while catching up on the Olympics.  I have progressed more than the picture above but I am just not bothered to take another pic :p  It's a lovely piece by Little House Needleworks.  Diane has so generously given this chart away so that we stitchers donate to UNICEF directly for the famine relief works in Africa.  I've even bought a frame for this piece.  Talk about being optimistic!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Civil War Quilt Top Completed!

Blocks designer:  Barbara Brackman  Size: 76" x 87"
Woo hoo!   I've been working hard on piecing my Civil War quilt blocks and finally I have the top done.  I used only 42 blocks out of the 52 offered by Barbara Brackman.  The pic is not so great as the porch blocked the evening sun.  The inner cream sashing is 1/2" finished and the outer black sashing 1-1/2" finished.  The border is 5" wide.  It's huge for my puny sewing machine to quilt so I suppose I'll most likely hand quilt it, and that will take even more time.

  Completed the small quilt by Jo Morton.  It's a freebie on APQ.  Love all the variety of reds and shirtings.

The Quilt Sampler.  Designer:  Little House Needleworks  Floss: DMC as charted.  Linen: 32ct Cream Belfast.
 I came across frames with 50% discount at Parkson supermarket and I thought it would be a nice size for the Quilt Sampler.  Unfortunately the glass is reflective.  Most of my other framed cross stitch pieces use non-reflective glass, then again they were framed by professional framers.  Nevertheless I still do like framing some in these store bought frames especially for small pieces.  I did not use glue but instead lace the back with thread as tightly as I can.  This method also provides room for some shifting.

Shaker doll 13-1/2" tall
In between working on the Civil War blocks I've been fooling around with doll making.  I tried out this Shaker doll by Miriam Gourley, just to gain some courage before trying out Gail Wilson's doll.  I like how her nose was shaped.  I use muslin and stuffed her with polyester filling.  The stuffing fork that I got from Gail is an excellent stuffing tool.  The instructions that were given in Miriam's book were quite basic and minimal, on the other hand Gail's can be overwhelming.  Gail says that way she ensures her dolls are made successfully.    

A folder to organize the doll templates
The Feed Sack doll is coming along.  There were umpteen steps to follow before the stuffing stage and more after.  I'll have to work on her step by step and I expect it to be an interesting journey.

Here's a start to some hexagons for Kathleen Tracy's October Small Quilt Challenge.  I used 100gm weight paper to print the hexagons.  I quite like EPP and it can be quite relaxing.  So I've ordered a small pack of 1" hexagons from Paper Pieces.  They are having a free shipping promotion.  An EPP hexagon quilt in the future perhaps? :)

 I finally got my strips organized for the progress of the Jacob's Ladder blocks.  I've been cutting strips as I go and just setting them aside.  So now their all organized for eventual piecing.  I've also been thinking of starting some 3" (finished) 9 patches blocks.  Maybe as a leaders and enders project.  And just build up the blocks slowly.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the pin cushion is Becky K!  Thank you all for playing.  I surely do appreciate it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Cross stitch design is a freebie from The Primitive Hare
Thank you for your continued visits and comments.  I made this small pin cushion for my annual mid-year giveaway.  Stitched on tea-dyed Belfast linen with a homespun patch and backing.  It is stuffed with polyester fiber.

Please comment and I will draw a name on Saturday morning GMT+8 (30th June 2012).  I will ship the pin cushion to anywhere in the world.

Thank you so much and I do value your visits.