31 December 2010

A Special Recipe

I received this little jewel in my inbox a few days ago, and feel I must share it with you. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe...

"Take twelve whole months,
Clean them thoroughly of all bitterness, hate, and jealousy,
Make them just as fresh and clean as possible.

Now cut each month into twenty-eight, thirty, or thirty-one different parts,
but don't make up the whole batch at once.
Prepare it one day at a time out of these ingredients.

Mix well into each day - 
one part of faith, one part of patience, one part of courage, and one part of work.

Add to each day one part of hope, faithfulness, generosity, and kindness.
Blend with one part prayer, one part meditation, and one good deed.
Season the whole with a dash of good spirits, a sprinkle of fun, a pinch of play, and a cupful of good humor.

Pour all of this into a vessel of love.
Cook thoroughly over radiant joy, garnish with a smile, 
and serve with quietness, unselfishness, and cheerfulness.

You're bound to have a happy new year."

As we step over the threshold into the new decade, I wish all of you faith, health and joy! 


22 December 2010

Stash Therapy

I've been away for a bit.

Yummy Hubby and I have just returned from a trip to the Island Nation. We booked our tickets originally intending a short little holiday before Christmas, but as timing would have it, a large portion of our trip was spent visiting an aunt in hospital. Poor Aunty has been ill for some time, but happened to have a major relapse while we were there. 

If you don't already know this, hospitals and illness can be extremely trying, both physically and emotionally.

Draining. Exhausting. Frustrating.

And sad.

Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who insisted on pulling me away from gloomy waiting rooms and sombre relatives (not to mention needles, blood and guts) every chance he could, so all in all we did manage to steal a fair amount of time and salvage whatever we could out of our little 'holiday'.

We even managed to squeeze in a visit to the much acclaimed Marina Bay Sands (no pics unfortunately). I'm not much into buildings, but I found this one really unique and surprisingly calming to my tired eyes and mind. The view from the observation deck at the top (at nightfall) was also worth the SGD20 I paid.

But anyway, as every quilter's husband would know, the one thing that can surely cheer a quilter up would be - stash! So one afternoon Yummy Hubby dragged me to Arab Street in the Muslim Quarter where I spent a couple of happy hours browsing the many, many selection of fabric on display, while he waited patiently, always nearby. Bless him.

And what do we women do best when they're down?

Besides eating chocolate? (although copious amounts were consumed, thanks to the 7-11 just next to our hotel)

Why, SHOP! of course, and so I came away with these delicious prints, mmmmm....:

With Molly striking a pose:

Not forgetting Milo, getting into some of the action:

And my favourite of the lot, wee little trains, adorable!

I haven't any idea what I'll be making (ideas and suggestions always welcome), so I'll just add them to my stash for now.

Hope everyone's having a happy and HEALTHY week.


PS. I've been meaning to mention that Cottage Patch in Ampang is having a sale till the end of the month - all fabric is 20% off, so you may want to stock up, or should I say "stash up", if you're in the area. Just so you know where to go for therapy.

15 December 2010

A Quick Fix

Ever had times when you just need a quick fix when it comes to sewing/quilting?

You want to start on something new, your hands are itching to stitch, but at the same time you haven't the time/energy/creativity for anything too complicated.

Also, you've had enough of your scraps and can't be asked to think of a creative way to piece them together into something decent.

Well then, I ask, what better way of tackling such times than to use a panel?

Panels are lovely, easy things to work with. As an added bonus, it's provides material for a quick project too.

And so I dove into my stash and pulled out one of the few panels which I've been hoarding ... Sweet Strawberry Shortcake...

Add a couple of borders: a light pistachio green solid for the inner border, and an oh-so-sweet pink and white polka-dot fabric for the outer border.

Next , layer and quilt : Another quick and easy process, just straight lines outlining the existing lines in the panel and on the borders I added. The centre is quilted with random spirals and hearts. Note : I have to point out (because you can't see it in the picture) that my spirals didn't turn out as circular as I would have liked them... a tribute to an amateur's free motion skills!

I forgot to take a photo of the back, but if you're curious, I chose a solid lemon fabric, which I think gives a nice, lively contrast to the quilt top.

My favourite part of this particular Fix is the binding. I used a cute green and pink combo (I think this is from Moda's Sent with Love line) and I love the way it frames and adds a Zing! to the finished quilt.

 This baby quilt finished a little larger than my usual, at 45" X 54".

  Zara finished feeling accomplished, satisfied and happy :-)

12 December 2010

Prayer Quilt

As promised, a quilt made using charms. ONE charm pack, believe it or not. I used charms from Moda's Blush line, and the background (and backing) is a solid grey fabric.

Once I had the pattern in my head, the whole quilt came together easily enough. And, I have to say I had real fun quilting this one. I experimented with different quilt designs on this top, and had a mixture of stipple and straight lines.

The quilting is more apparent from the back, as you can see. Far from perfect though...

Because only one charm pack was used, the resulting quilt is rather small (about 2.5 feet X 3.5 feet). On the upside, its a perfectly sized prayer rug.

Of course,  a bigger quilt can always be achieved by adding more charms into the pattern.

What can you make out of a charm pack?

08 December 2010

Back to School...

Well, not quite, but well on the way...

I've been busy keeping my promise to Milo. Unfortunately I've only managed to make 3 pencil cases. And I spent the weekend learning that I'm still hopeless when it comes to making anything with zips attached :-(

However, and more importantly, these were made with lots of patience and thought.

As you can see, I've attempted to make up for my sewing shortcomings by adding 'embellishments' in the shape of pencils, coloured pencils and erasers. I hope that's not cheating?

I did take a picture of the 3 cases by themselves, but (knowing how 'clever' I am with the camera and computer combined) managed to delete (or misplace?) the photo before I got to upload it.

I'm also throwing in a tote, which can be used for carrying stuff around for activities. The tote was actually made (and posted about ) much earlier. I hope that's not cheating either...?

This bundle will be off to the Poslaju office tomorrow, hope I can squeeze in the time. Auntie Ayu, here we come!

03 December 2010

Freak Friday - Charms

I bet you don't know that I'm a charm pack freak.

I have plenty of them. I just luuurve them. The problem is, I tend to not use them :-(

Because they look so adorable just the way they are :-)

So, I'm telling myself, I'm going to use one or two for my next quilt project. Don't know what it is yet, it'll be a surprise to me and you both!

I'm also putting a few of them up for sale, for other charm freaks:

Moda - Saltbox Harvest
42 5" squares
Price : RM38
Item condition : New 
Status : Available

Moda - It's a Hoot by Momo
42 5" squares
Price : RM38
Item condition : New 
Status : Available

Moda - Boutique by Chez Moi
42 5" squares
Price : RM38
Item condition : New 
Status : Available

Moda Collections for a Cause - Charity
42 5" squares
Price : RM38
Item condition : New 
Status : Available

I can fit up to 2 packs in a RM3.50 Pos Express envelope for shipping within Malaysia.

How's Friday for you so far?

01 December 2010

Strippy Project Finished!

My, I've been productive, heh heh.

I've finished with my earth-toned strips, and here are the results.

I must say I'm really happy with how it's turned out. I've not quilted this piece, mind you, I've simply stitched on a layer of backing under the pieced top.

The finished table cloth measures about 5 ft square. There are 5 rows of blocks, each row consisting of 5 blocks. An off-white sashing was sewn in between each block, and the entire piece finished off with a 2" deep russet border all around.

My old kitchen table feels all new now :-)

There were even enough blocks leftover to make into a mini table cloth. This one has 3 rows of 3 blocks, and as with the kitchen table cloth, is also finished with the cream sashing and russet border.

Molly seems to like these strips, she seemed to be drawn to them from the beginning to the end of the Project. She insisted on 'modelling' the mini table cloth and kept getting into the frame when I tried to take these pictures.

Overall, this was quite an easy one to do. And the results are so satisfying. I hope you try it too!