Monday, December 26, 2011

A Merry Christmas indeed

I spent Christmas morn opening my swaps.  It truly was a delight that only Christmas can bring!

A feast for the eyes surely.  There was little, little packages in the big box that Merilyn sent.  I was amazed by my good fortune.  Everything resonated Merilyn and Australia!  The mug rug done with paper piecing was just perfect and Merilyn's signature ;) pincushion on ceramic is so pretty with it's crazy piecing.  The little purse sewn by Merilyn with needle rest and to carry the beautiful Scissoroo embroidery scissors native to Australia! I love it all!  Thank you Merilyn.

My swap to Merilyn. Partridge.  Designer: Prairie Schooler.  Floss: DMC.  Fabric: Linen Scrap.  Finished as pin pillow.   The tatted ornament StarChic is a free design by Jon Yusoff.

And then there's Elyte's swap. A lovely pouch purse with a flexible metal closure.  Lovingly embroidered in red.  I adore it.  And the wooden bird brooch by Elk, so cute.  It'll be great on my grey scarf!  Can you see the red & white and bird theme going on?  Love, love,love it!  Thanks again Elyte. 

My swap for Elyte.  Two by Two Deer.  Designer: Prairie Schooler.  Floss: DMC.  Fabric: Linen scrap.  Finished as pin pillow.  The tatted ornament StarChic is a free design by Jon Yusoff.
 I also sewed up my Little Apples embroidery into a cushion cover.  It's for a 16" pillow form.  I need to sew some press buttons at the back and maybe make some fabric covered buttons to pretty it up.

Design: Aneela Hoey.  Fabric:  Little Apples by Aneela Hoey for Moda

Block #43 Right Hand of Friendship
The Civil War Quilt Blocks will come to an end this coming Saturday.  I am quite behind but I do intend to catch up.  Barbara Brackman received a thank you quilt from some of us that partook in the QAL.  My block is the first row, 4th from the left.  Becky Brown did an amazing job putting the quilt together.  It's a wonderful feeling to be a part of this project.  Although many lives were lost during the war 150 years ago, the cause is a great one.  Human slavery in all it's form should be abolished but sadly that is not the case in the world right to this day. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Gift and Needle Keep

Lillie sent me a lovely Christmas pin pillow yesterday.  It's really cute.

I finished my needle keep complete with pockets, wool felt pages, button and loop.
Size: 4-1/4" x 5-3/4".  Cotton batting, hand quilted.

Preparing for Build Houses from Scraps that will begin in 2012.  I've cut out the templates, gosh their really small. I may enlarge the block to a 4" ... let me have a go at 3" and see if I'm okay with it.

 Over the weekend I sewed a sleeveless blouse and a pair of shorts for home wear. 
Got a bit of a headache figuring out the inseam pockets!
 It's been raining here most days hence the darkish pics.  I've received two packages from my swap pals Elyte and Merilyn in Australia.  The deal is to only open it on Christmas day ... So glad that it's just 3 more days otherwise I am not sure if I will keep to our agreement! :)

Merry Christmas one and all!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quilting away ...

The Depression blocks quilt has been 2 1/2 years in the making.  I was quite determined to not let it get into 2012!  So here it is all quilted, bound, washed and on my bed!
Depression blocks quilt.  Size: 58 1/2" x 76 1/2". Batting: Polyester (Soft & Bright).  Fabric: Harvest Home charm packs and brushed woven for backing by BBD for Moda.  Scrappy binding  (actually only two, interspersed). Quilting: Hand quilted (big stitch) with Pearl No. 8.

Am now quilting on Lori's Cheddar Cheese & Crackers and a needle keep for myself.  I find I am using many different type of needles lately and wool felt pages will separate them nicely.

Auditioning some lace for the needle keep pockets

And a little Christmas stitchery for my toaster cover!
Designer: Bird Brain (freebie).  Floss: DMC
Thanks everyone for coming by.  The year is closing so very soon, time to sit and reflect on the year and list out some 2012 stitchy goals.  Speaking of which Jeanneke will be running a QAL on Building Houses from Scraps.  I've signed up but I just intend to make enough houses for a doll quilt.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Much Sewing

I had to look at my old post to remind me of where I left off ;) 

I needed some sleepwear so I sewed 3.  These were really easy and the patterns are from a Japanese book translated to Mandarin.  I don't know both.  That's the thing about these Japanese books, the illustrations are excellent.

The bodice had ruffles on the front of the original dress

Mine ... sans ruffles

Another similar to the above
In front is a sleeveless top also from the same book.  The other is my client's A-Line skirt in the making
Her selection of fabrics for the shell and lining.  Did not need to use the satin bias tape after all

Invisible zip construction.  Lots of pining, hand basting and then sewing

It is now finished and sent out to my client.  I added a little card with some info
Sewing for a client brings a whole different dimension to sewing.  You bloody well get it right! LOL!!  I sewed up a toile (fancy word for muslin) for her fitting.  There were some small adjustments here and there, the pattern was drafted again with these corrections.  The lining pattern was copied from the original with some changes.  Only then the proper cutting of the actual shell and lining fabrics are done.

I am recording all my sewing of garments with snippets of fabrics used and adjustments done on the main pattern.  And I slip these notes into the pattern envelope.  Gosh ... I don't know where all these organizational genius is coming from!

Drafting the pants pattern

Toile of my pants with the tailor tacks still intact
Next were my pants.  Talk about a challenge.  No wonder I had poor results with commercial patterns because they didn't cater to my shameful pot belly :(  I had to make quite a major adjustment to the slopper as you can see above.  The pants turned out really well except for it being a little loose.  Maybe if I added the zipper and the waistband it would help.  Okay it's a learning experience and once I get the slopper down I have a really good foundation of a pair of tapered pants!

All this little gem needs now is some binding love

Still quilting ...
 I can see the end now of the quilting for the Depression Blocks quilt!  I am on the last leg of the border.  Just 3 more sides ... just 3 more sides ...  Don't look too closely at my big stitch ... because they are MEGA!  I just can't wait to get this over and done with.

He's Coming to Town (freebie). Designer: Red Bolly
My second Red Brolly Christmas sampler is all stitched.  Love how it turned out.  I won't be doing the 3rd one as the design doesn't really appeal to me.  Now to think about the finishing.  Most likely as a wall hanging or a cushion cover.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stashing, Stitching & Sewing

 A couple of charm packs by Aneela Hoey and yardage from her line 'Little Apples'.  I have a quilt planned for the charm packs but I will need to stitch most of her stitchery designs first.  This will be quite interesting.  Maybe 1 design a month. that'll be a nice goal for next year.

See how suited the fabrics are with the stitched piece?

Some lovely Blue Hill 'Colonial Poison Green and Cheddar' reproduction fabrics and Howard Marcus 'Collections for a Cause'. 

'He's Coming to Town' is really so pleasurable to work on. Intend to finish this before Bronwyn issues her 3rd Christmas stitchery design.

New Look 6598
 This was a pretty intense blouse to sew.  A lot of hand sewing went into it.  Mostly were like pin, hand baste and them machine or hand sew. I used Hong Kong finishing for my seams and that's a lot of work too but it's always good to try different seam finishes.  The back neck facing was quite difficult to get right but I do like the details of the side vents, notched sleeves and back tie.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Little Apples

Little Apples. Designer: Aneela Hoey (Freebie).  Floss: DMC310, 321, 433, 3848.  Background fabric: Kona White (interfaced)
I think she's a cutie.  Although it took a bit of time with the filling it wasn't that tedious since full 6 strands of embroidery thread was used.  I'll finish it as a cushion cover.  I've bought some Little Apples fabrics and it should be here next week.  So I'll be good to go then.  Also got a couple of charm packs i.e. Shebert Pips and Little Apples both by Aneela Hoey for Moda.  I've got a quilt planned ...

Christmas Sampler.  Designer: Red Brolly (Freebie),  Floss: DMC.  Background fabric: Muslin (not interfaced) and Kona Snow
I love this sampler. These stitcheries / embroidery work up pretty quickly.  The borders for the appliqued pieces gave me some grief as it's difficult to get all accurate when there is no marking.  It's still wonky ... an acceptable wonky.  I've got another piece of muslin all washed and ironed for Bronwyn's latest Christmas freebie 'He's Coming to Town'.

Cake Stand / Basket blocks Doll Quilt Top.  Designer: Kathleen Tracy for SQT Challenge.   Size: 17" x 22-3/4".  Fabric: RJR red & Kona Natural
Can't get enough of red and whites ... thinking if I should make some Anvil blocks next ...

I love the details in this top.  This is the back tie, to accentuate my non-existing waist perhaps?  There'll be a notched sleeve hem too, so that'll be interesting.  I'm trying to push to envelope in sewing, challenging myself with trickier constructions.  The fabric is Heather Ross' Mendocino for Free Spirit.  I am constructing this blouse meticulously and adding some fine finishings, I've been learning.

About time I organised my garment patterns ... 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Walk in the Woods

 Yesterday was Deepavali and it's a holiday here.  I walked to the Forest Reserve Institute near my home.  It was bustling with activities of joggers, walkers and cyclists.  I think I'll walk there on Saturdays next time instead of public holidays ... less people and vehicles.  I stayed on the main roads but when I get stronger with my walking I'll take on some trekking.

Many years back I took tennis lessons here
And here's where I trashed out all my aggression on the squash courts! :)
It was a nice day albeit tiring, rediscovering the reserve again. 

Size: 12-1/2" x 13" with 1" finished squares
Simple 4-patch block quilt top.  It was a challenge on SQT.  I have wanted to work with some blues and browns and this was the perfect quilt.

4-1/2" unfinished Cake Stand / Basket block
This too is another challenge on SQT.  Red & White or any 2 colour challenge.  I did not take up this cake stand block challenge some time back so I'm now killing two birds with one stone :)

 I couldn't help not starting another stitchery design.  This time it is Aneela Hoey's Little Apples (freebie).  Love Aneela's illustrations, I may just get some of her other designs from her Etsy shop.  With stitching all 6 strands of floss, it sure is a different experience and I quite like the beady looking effect of it.  Now the filling of her jacket will be a task, with 6 strands my threads run out FAST!

 And here's a start on a small doily.  Faizon's blog is my go to blog for free tatting patterns. A generous soul indeed.  The pattern is Merriment doily.  I am tatting this with Zarina's hand dyed Hakelgarn tatting thread sized 20 Aubrielle.  Faizon will know that I'm not into 2 shuttle tatting so I am employing her tip of using the SLT (shoe lace trick) instead.