31 October 2010

Scrappy Pinks

It's been a busy week.

At work (yes I do have a day job!) things are going CRAZEEEEEE so hobbies have had to take a back seat for a while. Having said that, I've still managed to do a little bit here and there. Even as little as 15 or 20 minutes a day of cutting or fiddling about with the sewing machine or hand stitching something or just taking out a charm pack and fantasizing what I could do with it, takes much of my mind off whatever it is that's bothering me at work.

I've started another project, but of course 15 minutes a day for a week is not going to give me enough material to show to you, so am going to show you another project I finished some time ago. I had ordered a scrap bag from a vendor off Craftzone Malaysia (link in my sidebar). When the package came I found most of the scraps were, coincidently I guess, pink. So I pulled out some of my own pink scraps and came up with enough to make a small coin quilt.

If you've never tried a stacked coins quilt, you MUST, because it's really really easy peasy. I know I keep saying I should do more tutorials for those of you just beginning to quilt... and I haven't! I will soon, I promise (taking fingers off keyboard to cross them now :-P). But anyways, if you look at the finished product I'm sure you'll figure how to make one, coz it's so EASY.

Some pictures now.

Here it is pieced and being quilted on my humble Singer.

Practicing my stipple:

Finished! And blowing on the washing line. I decided to add the blue fabric with little pink flowers to balance out what might otherwise be a too-pink finish.

Close up.

Quilt finishes at about 3 feet by 4 feet. Perfect size for a stroller quilt or playmat.

It's back to work for me tomorrow, *sigh*. Till the next time, hope you had a wonderful weekend.

25 October 2010

More Scrap Ideas!

I've been making boxes!! They're SO exciting and addictive.

These are made from scraps cut into 5 inch squares. Basically the outside will need 5 squares and the inside lining will also need 5 squares. I suppose you can make these from any size squares you like. I got the idea from a tutorial off the internet. I tried to find the tutorial before I posted this entry, so that I could link it to this post, but I couldn't find the exact one. But if you google 'fabric box tutorial' there are plenty of sites that you can refer to.

To help keep the boxes in shape you need to stuff the insides with cardboard or stiff paper. At first I thought that would be tricky to do, but it was actually quite easy! You can use any stiff paper for this, eg cereal boxes. For those of you who have just celebrated Eid, now you know what to do with all those festive cards you received.  Quilters recycle - yay!

A close up:

You can see I did a row of hand stitching at the top, just to keep everything in place.

I'm going to use them to store my hexagon paper pieces, my hairclips, spools, receipts, bits, bobs etc etc. 

They're so cute and easy, can't wait to make some more!

21 October 2010

Clothes Scraps

Remember the bag of clothes scraps I got from my friend Jane?

Well, I've been busy making stuff with them. I figured early on that I was too lazy to do anything too fussy, so the result is that most of it went into making cushion and pillow covers.

Here are some finished:

The black flowery one on the right was a simple one made for another colleague Irene, and she also got a matching case for her fav (read 'smelly') pillow (smelly pillow not in the picture, thank goodness). The grey one on the left caused me a bit of grief, because the fabric was very flimsy, and I had chosen to make a quilted cushion case with it, silly me. In the end it didn't turn out too bad I suppose, but at that time I couldn't wait to get it over and done with :-( 
Not one of my faves I have to say, although Yummy Hubby likes it a lot - I guess it's a man's taste.

The next flowery blue one is my favourite so far:

I just looooove the ruffles! Thinking I'll be more making more like this from the larger scraps.

Now the next two are patched from smaller pieces of fabric. This fabric was also sort of gauzy, so I had to use interfacing and lining for the top. Surprisingly, it was very easy to work with and finish. The back of the covers were made from solid black fabric - also from Jane's scraps.

Not bad use from what would have been otherwise binned, don't you think?

18 October 2010

A Finish and a Post Mortem

As promised, I got around to quilting the tiny squares baby quilt. I decided to go with simple straight line machine quilting.

Have to be honest though, I'm not too pleased with the result. For a start the quilt is a wee bit on the small side, but that's the least of my worries.

And then it's really sort of 'fluffy' for some reason. Maybe the basting wasn't done properly.

But the biggest problem in my mind is the binding job at the top of the quilt. Now things really started going wrong there, and all I can do is scratch my head and wonder why. I'm suspecting that it's the polka dot grey fabric I used for the borders. I bought it online, where it was represented to be a light-weight cotton. When the postman brought it home though, I found it to be more of a silky variety, and I had some trouble keeping it in place when I was piecing and quilting it. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful fabric, soft and silky to the touch, but perhaps just not suited to be used in a quilt by amateurs like me.

And now for the pictures...

The front:

The back:

And the ugly:

You have agree with me, that's some serious pucker action going on there.

Ah well, it's all a learning process, isn't it? And after all's said and done, I have to admit that it IS wonderfully soft and cuddly.

Now I wish it was big enough for me :-)

12 October 2010

Motto of the Week

I have a new motto this week. Actually I have a couple of choices, it's a close race between "Don't look too closely" and "Close one eye".

I'm working on a couple of projects at the moment. One of which is a quilt made up of teeny squares. The finished size of each square is 2". Or perhaps I should say approximately 2".

I tried really hard to make each square identical and aligned as I pieced them, taking extra care with the seam allowances and even squaring up each pieced block consistently. BUT when it came to putting it all together, the squares seemed to run riot and dance around all over my sewing table as I tried to sew the rows together.

And the result of the uprising:


For heaven's sake...!

So before I get my knickers in a twist and go loco with the seam ripper, I tell myself, and I'd like to ask you too, "Don't look to closely."


In fact, the further away the better :-)

It doesn't look so bad when you "Close one eye" either does it, heh heh?

Here it is, layered and basted. Planning to have it quilted this weekend. More pics soon.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone!

09 October 2010

Out of Ideas

Recently at the office, my dear colleague Jane surprised me with a huge bag of scraps. Jane is a very talented and creative lady, sometimes she makes her own gorgeous clothes, and get this... She sews them BY HAND!!! She also makes beautiful jewelry, which you can see here.

Back to the scrap bag. I was a bit flummoxed when I saw the contents, as the material in it was NOT the standard cotton that we quilters are accustomed to. As the scraps came from dressmaking, the fabric consisted of fabric more suited for apparel. And a lot of it is the slippy sheer stuff. Not that any of that mattered to Jane. When I meekly voiced this out to her, she suggested that I could use it to bind Milo the next time he's naughty....

So now the fabric is in a bin in The Office (aka my sewing room). Everytime I go in there I feel like they're looking up at me with big round eyes, begging me to use them. Only I'm not sure how. The problem, is the only things I can think of to make with this type of fabric are scrunchies and shoe bags. Some of the viscose can be used for cushion cases, I suppose, but other than that?

Any ideas anyone?

06 October 2010

An Early Project

While we're on the subject of disappearing nine patches, I found a pic of this little quilt I made yonks ago, when I was a newbie to patchwork.

Actually it's not even a quilt, just a patchwork piece with a backing underneath. It's a tiny piece of work, measuring maybe about 1.5' X 2.5'. IT hasn't got a name, although looking back I might call it "The Experiment" because in truth that was what it was. I made 4 blocks out of a potpourri of different squares, then dissected each down the middle to come up with 4 DNP blocks. Add some sashing and there you go.

Sounds so easy now doesn't it? But I can assure you it wasn't so at that time.  Those days I didn't really have a fabric stash, so IT was made up of whatever scraps of fabric I could find around the house at that time. I can see some bits from an old pair of shorts, another bit from somebody's sarong, some upholstery fabric I used for curtains and the dark red is from some ikat* fabric leftover from making one of Yummy Hubby's shirts. (Having a little laugh identifying all the different fabric and their secret pasts, haha!)

IT doesn't live with us anymore. We had used it to wrap up a little ginger stray when we gave it (the ginger, that is) away a couple of years ago.

* Ikat = a woven fabric native to the Malaysian state of Sarawak.

04 October 2010

Yellow it is!

Plane Dreaming is finished - yippee!!

A big thanks to Helen and MyBotang for your comments and helping me decide the colour of the binding - yellow moons wins! I have to say, the colour does make a lively border to the quilt. Here are some pictures especially for you...

Apologies for the quality of the pictures - I think my photography skills are almost as bad as my computer  skills... 

And a close up of the yellow...

I must say I had fun with this one. As usual it's not perfectly done (you might be able to see some puckers...), but a lot of love went into it, and that should be all that matters right?

01 October 2010

Plane Dreaming

I've been working on another baby quilt recently. This one is called Plane Dreaming. It's made with only 3 different fabric, and I'm making it using the disappearing nine patch block. The colours look a bit muted... I think I feel this way because I normally like to work with brights.

Here it is pieced and quilted:


I practiced some free motion on this quilt, in a loopy loop style. Unfortunately my loops aren't too great, but like me, I suppose they'll survive, heh heh.

I have to say I love the fabric. In this picture you can see the print on the main (blue) fabric. It has little blue and pink planes flying among the clouds... so cute!

Now all I've got to do is to bind this quilt. I'm a bit stuck between 2 choices here, a navy gingham print and a sweet yellow print with little crescent moons.

Any suggestions?