Saturday, January 30, 2010

The BACK matters..

My mother and I - 1980, Sg.Besi

My mother used to do a lot of crafting, from sewing clothes to making soft toys when I was growing up. She would almost all the time have some sewing to do while watching TV, or sitting on the verandah in the evening. She also did a lot of cross-stitching, and as I would admire how one X would transform into beautiful flowers or leaves, she would tell me - 'look at the back', and I would, only to find instead of Xxxx there would only be neat rows of IIII.. and she would tell me that the back mattered as much as the front.. 

Appliqued placemat - front view

Appliqued placemat - back view

And this theory stuck with me.. though I don't do cross-stitch, what ever other items I make, I'll make sure to turn and look at the back, to admire the neat stitches and the pattern the back creates on quilts and also to make sure it is as neat as the front.. because the BACK matters..
Green baby quilt (blogged here)

Single bed wagon wheel quilt (more here)
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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Toadstool mushroom Kokka fabric

Another kawaii design by Kokka.
The fabric has dobby texture (which I like).
I haven't decided what to make yet..
Any suggestions?

I have some extra if anybody is interested..
RM30 for 1m
RM15 for 1/2m
RM7.50 for 1/4m
*postage excluded*
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Basic Fabric Terminology

I hate pictureless post.. My curvy clutch, pattern from KeykaLou

I am new to sewing, and I hardly sew anything wearable, so my usual style of cutting fabric for my crafts doesn't take into count anything much except for the direction of the prints (if it has any direction to it).

I stumbled upon Liesl Gibson (who designs popular Oliver + S line of sewing patterns for children’s clothing) who is now blogging at Burdastyle. For her first post, she writes about the basics - terminologies.. So, this is more for ME.

 Selvedge, or selvage: The narrow finished lengthwise edges of a woven fabric, usually ¼” to ½” wide, that are often more tightly woven than the rest of the fabric. (This prevents the fabric from tearing when it is finished at the mill.) Because the selvedges constructed differently than the rest of the fabric, they may shrink at a different rate than the rest of the fabric when washed. Selvedges should generally be removed before sewing.

Warp: The yarns in a fabric that run parallel to the selvedge are called the warp. These are the fabric’s foundation yarns and are wound onto the loom before the fabric is woven. Warp yarns are usually the strongest yarns. Your fabric will drape nicely if you cut and sew so that the warp hangs perpendicular to the floor when the garment is finished.

Weft: The yarns that run across the fabric, from selvedge to selvedge. These are the secondary yarns of the fabric, or the fill yarns. These yarns are not as strong as the warp yarns and often have a little stretch or give in them, even when a fabric is not a stretch fabric.

Grain: Grain refers to the direction in which the yarns, or threads, are woven in a fabric. The fabric’s grain runs both lengthwise (parallel to the selvedges) and widthwise (perpendicular to the selvedges). The lengthwise grain (the warp yarn) is called the straight grain, while the widthwise grain (the weft yarn) is called the cross grain.

Bias: Any diagonal line that doesn’t run directly on grain (warp or weft) is referred to as being on bias or off grain. Fabric cut on bias has more stretch and drape than fabric cut on the straight or cross grain, but bias can distort or twist if not cut on true bias because woven fabrics stretch most at a 45 degree angle to the warp and weft (“true bias”).

True bias: A 45 degree angle to the warp and weft threads. True bias has lots of stretch and drape and conforms nicely to contours because the yarns can bend and shift with the weight of the fabric.

- by Liesl Gibson extracted from here.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Japanese cotton - Gold fish

I've had this gold fish print for a while now, it was among the first puchase I made when I started sewing seriously. The thing that I love most about Japanese cotton is the various textures, this particular fabric has Dobby texture (what is Dobby fabric?) which I love.

I've made card holders using the gold fish print.
I've also made mini pouch (blogged here) with the same fabric.
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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kitchen Goddess...NOT!! (Part II)

Everyone needs a functional apron to be able to move freely in the kitchen without worrying about spills and stains on their dress.. I bought mine when I first arrived in Japan in the 100yen shop.. it was ok, but not cute.. so I used it as a pattern and made my first apron. The fabrics were from Moda and I used similar fabric but in black to make these.

Next, I drafted my own pattern and made a reversible apron with ruffles..
I always use the same fabric when I want to try a pattern, and I end up with the not so cute fabric for myself and all the nice pretty ones get made for others.. *sigh*


Back view.. please dont mind my 'manly' mannequin, my hubby rescued it from a dumpster somewhere, still very clean and in a good condition..
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Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Confession

The year is still 'NEW,' January is hardly over..and I have already borken my vow to 'abstinate from purchasing anymore fabric untill I use at least half of my stock' (carved here). I should have known my cheating self better..

This is what happened... I was out of a certain canvas fabric to make another similar odekake bag for a friend, so I justified to myself, I only need to purchase 'that' particular fabric for the commision, and harmlessly walked into the fabric shop..

20 minutes later, I came out with a plastic bag full of fabric cuts and a big grin on my face, not yet realising of the sacred vow I have broken.. it only dawned on me on the way back.. feeling guilty I confessed my sin to a dear friend..
Feeling much better after that, I went about my daily activities when the door bell rang.. a parcel has arrived for me.. WHAT!!!! more fabrics, I totally forgot of the online purchase I've made about a week ago...I panicked, what should I do?? return them, keep them, but they are sooooo lovely..

I realise now..I have a BIG problem.. I have no resistence what-so-ever when it comes to fabric.. I buy on impulse and I am able to justify the purchase instantly making it less sinful... uwwwaaaaaaa

What should I do???
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

August bag

It is named 'August' bag as it was first produced in the summer when my parents came to visit and my sewing studio was taken over by my mom and aunt as their changing room.. I had time on my hand but hardly any sewing space, so I hand sticthed this using a beutiful fabric my friend sent from the US as an exchange for a bento bag I made for her using Japanese cotton.

I love the simplicity of this bag, two rectangles with pleats and 1 oval base. The thing I find annoying is attaching the oval base to the sides, what with the fusible interface getting in the way.. but once it's all done and when you are admiring your handiwork, it's all worth it *smile*
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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop

The Craft Hope for Haiti Etsy shop is now open! There are some amazing handmade items in the shop. Please support Doctors Without Borders by either donating a handmade item or shopping in the Etsy store.

Craft Hope for Haiti Shop Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time
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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I see Owls

How do you feel about owls? The real bird scares me (with the almost 360 degree head rotation and extra large eyes..) but this print by Robert Kaufman 'forest fun' is fun indeed *grin*
I like Robert Kaufman's designs. You can see more here.
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Monday, January 18, 2010

Sewing what??? Covers.

My ironing board had seen better times.. it was really sad and plain and something you dont display or show your guests, or anybody... But instead of putting it out in the rain, I found a super easy makeover tutorial that might and could extend the life of the plain ironing board here and here.

And tadaaaaaa... My ironing board is now the centre of attention.. hehehe

And while I was at it, I made a sewing machine cozy for my Singer using similar fabric (my favourite). I got my inspiration from here, here and here.

Happy Monday!!
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Friday, January 15, 2010

A trip to the library

Do you still visit the public library? My girl and I do, every week. I LOVE the library - Never thought I'd say that, in college library was a sleeping spot, warm and quiet.. In the town where I reside, there are two public libraries nearest to us, one is located next to Sofea's school and the other next to her piano school - very convenient indeed.

I made a book bag (more actually) for our visits to the library. A simple bag, lined, expandeable pockets with bright colourful buttons for closure. Sometimes I'd make a matching bento bag with drawstring to go along with the book bag or a bento bag with zipper.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A video post

It's cold and windy outside, and I'm too lazy to move from this comfy spot, so I thought I'd share a video of my girl Ice skating

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Love U

Fabric - Love U panel by Deb Strain for Moda

Projects planned using this fabric:
1. ABC book
2. Baby quilt
3. Diaper stacker
4. Crib padding

*I may have gone overboard when purchasing the panel, and ended up with some extras (me and fabric = no restraint what-so-ever!!) So if you are interested in the panel, drop me a line..Pin It

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kitchen Goddess.... NOT!!

I'm hopeless in the kitchen..
 I can cook and I do the obligatory cookings..
But I don't bake or try new recipes when I'm bored.
Instead I make kitchen goodies like oven mitt, placemats and potholders.

I made this using moda fabric, I have the fabric in light brown as well. I made placemats, potholders and matching tissue box case.

Another placemat set with matching coaster using japanese cotton.

The oven mitt was part of a set I made here. My first ever mitt *happy*
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Friday, January 8, 2010

Hello Kitty and Doraemon and other cute fabric

I have been on a cleaning-organising mode of late..mind you only of my small sewing studion that is.. *sigh* And I stumbled upon these - Hello Kitty and Doraemon fabric. They are of medium weight cotton and would make a lovely tote or backpack or bento bag for the lil ones..

Will update once I've made something out of either fabric..

In the meantime, I got this blue truck, and red girly fabric in Nippori textile town recently. The material is soft and the print so vibrant.. What should I make.. Any suggestions?
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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Aiman Bag

My aunt came to visit last summer and she purchased a beaded bag with drawstring. She loved it sooo much that she insisted I copy the pattern and make another. Although at that time, I felt the bag was a bit 'grandma-ish' but I have since changed my mind. I named it Aiman bag after her.

I find using a sturdier cotton gives the bag a better shape. It is similar to making a drawstring bento bag, you just need to make the body bigger and add handles.
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Monday, January 4, 2010

New Year Resolutions for Quilters

I make the usual resolutions every year - eating healthier, 30 mins exercise daily, spend quality time with family..some of which I adhere to and some..well not so much..ehem..

But this year in addition to my personal resolutions, I also wanted a set of resolution that geared towards my sewing and quilting. I promise to finish 4 UFOs - 2 baby quilts and 2 single bed quilts by March, learn to sew clothes in 2010 and not buy fabric until I use up at least half of my stock *gulp*(definitely impossible - currently finding cure and on medication).  I want to make sure I stick to my resolutions and I found this list from Quilter's Connection Magazine, hopefully it will help me stick to my promises. Take a look:

1. Be honest with yourself. That quilt that has been sitting in your closet for five years - you really don't like it. Get rid of it. Give it to a quilting friend to finish, or donate it to your guild. And don't feel guilty about it. Someone else will love it, and you are contributing to the good of quilting! (Don't think I can do this)

2. Make a pact to not purchase any new fabric or patterns until you have finished one (or all) of your UFO's. (This I plan to follow)

3. Set aside time to work on your UFO. Even if it's just 5 minutes a day, that is 35 minutes a week that you would not have dedicated otherwise. You might find once you sit down for your 5 minute session, it can turn into an hour and you'll have accomplished so much! (Good Idea!! I have to try this)

4. If you have numerous projects, create an assembly line. Do all the piecing for all the quilts at the same time. Quilt all of your quilts together. Same goes for binding. I machine stitched the binding onto two quilts, and took them with me to finish the hand stitching over the Christmas holidays. They are both finished now, and I can enjoy them! (I do this with my bag projects)

5. Quilt with friends. Get together once a week, or once a month, for a stitching session. You'll easily find the motivation to work on projects if there are others doing the same. (Any quilters want to get together for a sewing sesison?? I'll make tea)

6. Don't try to tackle a large project all at once. If your resolution is to clean out your sewing room, do it in stages. Give yourself 15 minutes at a time and do one thing - like separating all your fabrics into similar colors. Organize your thread drawer tomorrow when you have another 15 minutes. (How true. Will try this with my notion and supply box)

7. Multi-task. Do your hand stitching while watching your favourite TV show, or on the train while commuting to work. (I love doing this!!)

8. CELEBRATE! When you have completed your goal, reward yourself with a visit to your favourite quilt shop, register for a class, or purchase that new quilting tool you've been dreaming of. You deserve it! (This is the best part.. can't wait for the reward part *grin*)

The post looks soooo plain without any pics.. this is the view from my living room window..
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I 'HEART' baby blanky

Happy Monday everyone.. How was the New Year celebration? New Year came and went in our house with us quietly hibernating indoor.. it was cold, windy with lots of snow.. we stayed indoor glued in front of the TV watching the many special programmes that was on.. Hubby starts working today after a week's off, but my girl and I still have another week of holiday, give us an excuse to walk around in our jammies whole day.. *grin*

I made this baby blanky awhile back (you can still see clear and sunny sky at the back) *sigh*
The finished blanket was about 75cm x 75cm. I used soft Japanese cotton for the centre piece and border. I added a heart applique in the corner and used some white ric-rac to decorate.
The blanky was backed by soft gauze. I topstitched with a simple embroiderry pattern available on my Singer Computer 7900.

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Friday, January 1, 2010

End of year SHOPPING

Happy New Year!!

We just got back from our trip to Tokyo. Thought I'd show the things I bought whilst there...

And of course my 'compulsory' purchase.. FABRIC

I manage to get KOKKA, Moda , Michael Miller, Alexander Henry, Nani-Iro, IKEA and loads of Japanese cotton for my stash.. *HAPPY*
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