Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tatted Bookmarks fun

I had a tatted bookmark giveaway on NNC this Valentine. And I promised that I'd get it to the winners within March and April sometime. I am sure that I am not alone when I say that since I've made a promise or am in an exchange or commitment of sorts it's like the Sword of Damascus is on my shoulders all the time. I know a bit of exaggeration there but I am sure you get my drift. You just don't rest easy :)

So I made sure I got to it soonest and not clamour quickly towards end of April. I don't think I'd do good work under such pressure. Last thing one needs is pressure from ones hobby!! :D

Here goes:

For Emily
Modified by Ruth on Faizon's design
Tatted with Anchor 20 Variegated
Freebie design can be found at Tatting Calendar (Feb 14th Entry)

For Margaret W
Design by Betsy Evans (Freebie)
Tatted with Anchor 40 Dusty Pink

For Janet
Design by Lenore English (Freebie)
Tatted with Anchor 40 Ecru

I bought ONE chart and my favourite needles and it arrived from 1-2-3 Stitch today. It's Butterfly Vignette from Dimensions Gold Collection Petites. It's a kit with 18ct Aida fabric which I do not care for, so it'll be substituted with 28ct Lugana or 27ct Linda. It's more like a commission work for a friend. Her DH chose the design. So guess what will be my new start?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Christmas Ornament SAL - March

Designer: The Prairie Schooler, The 12 Days of Christmas
Fabric: 32ct Cream Belfast
Threads: DMC

This is my contribution for March in the Christmas Ornament SAL. Such an inspiring SAL. Unfortunately I have to pull out from the Bride's Tree SAL. I emailed Jennifer to notify her. A case of biting more than I can chew :(

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Rose Sampler Part 3 - Completed

Happy Easter Everyone!

I managed to finish the Rose Sampler SAL by EMS last night. It's a beautiful sampler. I believe the stitching will ease up a little from Part 4 onwards as their mostly alphabets and small motifs.

Designed by EMS (Freebie SAL)
Stitching on 36ct White Edinborough with Anchor 47

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Book Cover Tutorial

Please head on over to Focus on Finishing for the book cover tutorial.

Thank you all for coming by :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My First Quilt

I finally finished the hand sewing part of the binding last night. It's a real relief :) It took me close to 4 months to complete the quilt. Since it was my first quilt, it's far from perfect but I'm holding true to what Margaret W said, 'What's a little puckering here and there when it's made with love' :) It's for my dad and hence the manly plaids. I like it too as it conjures a rather warm country feel. But I think mine would be a palette of blues and some yellows.

Grand Slam Quilt
Design from Quilts & More Magazine (Summer 2007)
Finished size: 60 1/2" x 84 1/2"

I dunno when I'll start on another twin sized quilt. My sis has been giving me hints but I'll ignore it :) I think I'll go for table runners, placemats, pot holders and cushion covers for now. Suddenly these small projects are more appealing :p

I clearly need to get back to my other XS WIPs. God knows I have many :(

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Usha!

We are having a Birthday Exchange (somewhat like Becky's Stitching Bloggers Birthday Exchange) at NNC. It starts in 2008 . Names were drawn randomly and I happen to be the first one off the block :)

My partner is Usha. Usha is a fine crochetor and churns out doilies with ease :) I think she can even crochet blind-folded! :) I've been lucky enough to being a recipient of her lovely crocheted doilies. So I figured that I ought to select my items with crochet being the theme. Aren't I clever? :p

Here's the loot :) I remembered that Usha likes pastel colours and pink, lilac and baby blue being her favourite, so I tried to accommodate. The book is an old publication by Leisure Arts and Usha says she likes it :) The crochet needle case was from a tutorial I got from here. I omitted top stitching the sides because it was rather bulky as it is and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to machine straight.

Both the outer and inner fabrics were from Ikea where I raided the remnants bin :) Waste not want not! Lillie knows about the ball of Traditions thread, she was in the shop when I went looking for it. I was trying to ask her some questions without divulging my reasons and everyone knows I don't crochet. Faizon was rather curious too at one point :) Now you all know the reasons behind those questions :)

Here's wishing you all that is nice and a wonderful day with your loved ones tomorrow. Happy Birthday Usha! :)

A Couple of Bread Cloths

I am starting to like embroidery, redwork in particular. It was a fun and an enjoyable process. Worked up rather quickly too. I used stem stitch mostly and back stitch with one ply threads for the details. However the hand sew part of the binding was rather tedious but a necessary step. I've only managed to complete 2 days out of 7 , the other 5? ... some day :)

Designs by Alicia Paulson (freebie)
Stitched on Calico with Anchor threads and cottons from China for binding

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

RAK from Faizon

Faizon asked me if I would like to have her DMC floss stash from way back. Not one to be shy I said, "sapu". Which means I'll take all! :)

Little did I know she included a lovely tatted doily. Don't the colours just make you smile? :) You see my friends, Faizon is a fabulous tatter. She even designs! If only you'll visit her blog, you'll know what I mean. She kindly sent a couple of bobbins/thread winders which can double up as flat shuttles. How interesting :)

Thank you so much Faizon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Work Cut Out


Am in the midst of making 400 pouches that will contain sweets and chocs for Wedding Favours. My sis's. She wanted funky coloured pouches. No themes, no fuss. Just heart made :)

We're tackling this mammoth task rather efficiently. The dinner will be on the 1st of May, so we're on schedule. What started as metres of fabric have been stripped and cut into lengths of pouches. The fabrics which are cottons made in China were bought from a very old shop near my home. They cost RM3/M. Since budgeting for these things are crucial and we don't have a whole lot of cash to throw around, our target was to spend not more than RM200 on the favours. So far we're in the blue :)

I did up a prototype but we decided to just go with a heart since it is an easier shape to cut as compared to flowers.

So I'll be mighty busy :)

Also please take note that my Book Cover tutorial will be published on Focus on Finishing this coming Saturday 22nd March. I've taken the step by step pictures and now to prepare the narration :)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

A Quilting We Will Go ...

Being very excited and confident about starting my journey on quilting, I told my dad end of last year that I'll make a quilt for him. In hindsight I should have kept my mouth shut. He asked about the quilt last week and I lied and said I'm doing, I'm doing. In actual fact it is languishing in the other room waiting for attention :p

So after going to the voting station (it's voting today here in Malaysia) somehow I got the urge to tackle that mega quilt. Call it political intervention? :D So out came the sewing machine and I had to set it up on the dining table and I got to so near to finishing it!! I just need to hand sew the binding to the backing and remove all those ugly basting stitches and I am done!!

Grand Slam Quilt
Design from Quilts & More Magazine (Summer 2007)
Finished size: 60 1/2" x 84 1/2"

I better confess before you take a closer look:
- Some of the blocks puckered :(
- The blocks were not aligned 100% :(
- The stitches on the backing is rather wonky :(
- I need to unpick some places and hand stitch to smoothen the fabric

So there you are a quilting journey almost at the end. And hopefully another one starts with more care, more precise cutting, more precise sewing, more everything :)

Friday, March 07, 2008

Perfection Received

Once in a while in we come across something that is just so beautiful that it borders on perfection. I have been so fortunate to have received from Jess (still blogless :p) such an item. I had to take pics of many angles of this perfect little swiss roll to show you what I truly mean.

It's a functional pincushion but you won't see me poking pins into this lovely :) Jess included the Madeira fabric by Blackbird Design for Moda that you see in the photos shoots. Jess and I share a rather similar good (ahem!) taste when it comes to what rocks! So she must have read my mind even when she lives on a different continent!

Jess was the organizer for the Cupcake Exchange over at NNC and one of the requisite was to send a recipe of a cake, cookie, muffin ... oh well you get the drift, food that's good for the soul but not for your hips :) So you'll soon see some Yorkshire Gingerbread on this very blog :)

Just one last pic before I go. This is my exchange item for Cupcake Exchange that I sent to Usha late February. It's a book cover and my first attempt at appliqué. Certainly won't be my last. Janet very graciously spared me some freezer paper for this technique. Very interesting :)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Last Hurrah!

It's a sad day when a good thing comes to an end. Jean the owner of Needle Little Love has closed her online business :( This is the last batch of stash that I bought from her which arrived yesterday. She was so kind to include a most lovely chart by Homespun Elegance titled 'Plant Kindness Harvest Love'. My thanks to thee.

On the topic of kindness and generosity, I have been on the receiving end of a couple of very kind acts by a stitcher known to me (I just don't know who) and a total stranger in February.

My secret valentine purchased the magnificent Permin Sampler 1826 Museum Celle chart through Jean for me. I am very thankful for her (I am sure she is a fellow woman stitcher) kind act. It's a rather huge piece with BIG motifs that never ends :) There is something so special about a giving gesture made in anonymity. Don't you agree? To whom ever you may be please know that I truly appreciate your kindness.

Here's how the piece looks like and this it's my minuscule dent to it:

Permin Sampler 1826 Museum Celle
Stitching on 32ct Flax Belfast with recommended DMC threads.

On my blog travels I came across a lady in Australia, some of you will know her as Mel :) selling some of her charts and when I contacted her about a particular chart that I've been craving for she said that she'll just give it to me and I was like huh? give? And give she did and now I am the proud owner of Butternut Road's Feathers & Friends. So you see, among all that is bad in this world there are some very precious gems.

Lizzie Kate's Friends & Family came back from the framers yesterday. I gave the finished piece to a friend of mine and she wanted it framed by my nearby framer. If you were with me from way back you'll recall the piece and how I made my own poinsettia button with polymer clay since I bought the chart used there was no button included. Sometimes I feel cross-stitched pieces are so perfect to be framed and admired :) Aaahhh...

So what's been going on, on my side of the shores I hear you ask? I have been dabbling with quilting since the end of last year, redwork embroidery and sewing. Cross-stitch continues to be my staple needlework. Since I have some time on my hands lately for blogging I will post pictures of my projects, finished and on-going and perhaps even a little commentary as and when I have something to brag write about :p

Dear readers you will notice that I've disabled the comment section. This blog is now morphed into a personal but public (an oxymoron there?) stitching journal of sorts. I do welcome your visits and if you see anything you like, feel free to take the ideas away and make them your own :) I probably copied it from somewhere myself anyway :p I will endeavour to provide links from the source as always.

I will however open up the comments sections when and if I post tutorials so that you good people can ask me questions :)

On the tutorial note. I will be writing a tutorial on finishing a cross stitch piece as a book cover over at Focus on Finishing on March 22nd & 23rd. I'll put a reminder here again later :) Do check out FoF as we've got many tutorials planned this March for you. There is Barbara CL's Bookmark scheduled for this weekend and Meari's Needlecase on 15th & 16th.