Friday, 27 July 2012

Meadow Pillow

I was totally excited to make this pillow from Handstitched Class week 4 - applique week and got to work on it when the post was out!

This pillow is the perfect project with all the three methods used in applique.  I've learnt three new methods of applique besides the needle turn method which I'm quite familiar with -  used it for my previous Baltimore Album quilts.   Rachel  has taught us the sew & turn, fusible web and freezer paper applique method for the poppy flowers, tulip and leaves.  I've used the needle turn instead of freezer paper ( don't have any freezer paper available at my LQS or supermarket! )  applique method  for the leaves.

3 strands of embroidery floss in various colours were used for stitching the applique shapes.  The poppies were stitched using (visible) blind and running stitches and I've opted to use blanket stitch for the tulip and added a sprinkle of french knots above the tulip.   Rachel has also introduce a new embroidery stitch - stem stitch for the stems and I did mine using Pearl Cotton no. 5 thread to give the extra thickness and texture.

The pillow has a simple sewing envelope closure on the back and I've used this Zigzag binding tutorial to finish off the pillow.

This is the best photo I have of the binding stitches

Since it's my first machine binding, I chose a white thread to stitch it as I was not bold enough to show off my novice skills.   Love this new found binding method that is not only fast, secure but beautiful when viewed from the front and back!   Will definitely use it again for future projects -  placemats, table runners, mini quilts, etc.

Because of its' unusual size - 13" x 26", Rachel has also included an easy pillow form tutorial for it.  I've filled mine with lots of polyfil to achieve a plump looking pillow!    This is my first pillow project and it was so much fun and easy to make!  I see lots of pillows/cushions in the near future!  =)

I'm linking up to Katie's Handmade Parade over at There & Back :

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

I've been 'lovely blogged'

Thanks to Silvana over at Celebrate Quilts and More for nominating me for the "One Lovely Blog Award".  I was naturally delighted of course, as she's a lovely blogger with a great sense of humor and genuinity which I like.   Please do check her blog out - besides patchwork, she does an amazing job transforming furnitures / homewares with her painting skills too - just lovely! 

From my observation thus far I realized that blogging is not just about you and your blog entries per say (be it words or photos), but also the ability to appreciate other bloggers, be it just a brief message in the comment box!   Therefore I often find myself drawn towards warm and friendly blogs/bloggers first and foremost. 

Anyway, I also realize that there's no compulsion for any of them to accept this chain of appreciation amongst bloggers, in fact I'm certain many of them have received some award or another already.   Suffice for them to know that I enjoy following their blogs and to those who follow mine in return, I appreciate it very much, thank you.

So if I pick someone who does not participate in the blogging awards, it's ok not to play's just my way of showing how much your blog inspires me!   However if you do want to acknowledge / play along, copy and paste the logo above and abide to the 4 rules.  

Let's Play!

1. Show Your Thanks!


2. Share Seven Things About Yourself !

*  I love my family - my fabulous husband who supports me on everything I do or want to do, my two  kids, eldest daughter 17 years and son 13 years of age - they're my pride and joy.

* I love dark chocolate!

* I love music

* My clothes are mostly earth tone / pastels shades but I do love bright colours on non clothing items!

* My favourite place in the world could be anywhere on the globe as long as I'm surrounded by my loved ones, and some sense of community spirit as I step outside my four walls. That's where I'm the happiest.

* I love creating ... quilts, knitting, crocheting... It makes me so happy when I make something for someone and they like it...such a great feeling!

* Love doing this blog and have really enjoyed 'meeting' and making new friends along the way.

3. Nominate Up To 15 Bloggers That You Admire !

So here goes, ( in no particular order ) :

1. Kelsey from Kelsey Sews

2.  Rosemary from The Knitting Quilter

3. Deborah from

4. Lucy from Charm About You

5. Grit from Grit's Life

6. Janine from Rainbow Hare Quilts

7.Ginny from Fish Creek Studio

8. Tara from Happy Momma Quilts

9. Roos from Quiltwork in Progress

10. Manuela from Manuela's Flower Garden

11. Pam from Threading My Way

12. Yzo from Chez Roo

13. Mina from Kinda Quilty

14.Bev from Kainga Happenings

15. Hafza from Hook 'n Needle Creation

and finally...

4. Contact Each Blogger!

One last point to add is that I actually follow more than the blogs listed and have added more as I go along.  There are other blogs that I would love to include but they're not so into the awards thing - I hope you'd check out my blogroll for some of my favourites.

At the end of the day, I'm of the opinion that all decent bloggers are admirable as they want to share something interesting with everyone.  As long as we can do that without offending others and exercise tolerance and respect over our differences I think blogging can be rather fun and beneficial. 

Happy Blogging Everyone! =)

Saturday, 21 July 2012

More Farmer's Wife Blocks

I had a little time on my hands early this week and decided to put together a few Farmer's Wife blocks.

I've made some fairly simple blocks hoping to catch up with my friends in my quilt group ( they've done 46 blocks to date ) and here's what I've pieced so far...

Rainbow Flowers :

Prairie Queen :

Postage Stamp :

Practical Orchard :

Ribbon :

Seasons :

6 new blocks, making 38 total and 63 more to go!  I've really missed these darling little blocks and if I get the chance, I'd like to make 8 more to be able to catch up with my girlfriends.

I'll be linking up to Katie's Parade Day over at There & Back :-

Have a great weekend !  =)

Monday, 16 July 2012

Liberty Tree Tote

This is another small project from the Handstitched Class - English Paper Piecing week.   I've decided to use my 'precious' Liberty of London - Tana Lawn Classic prints, which I've been collecting since 2 years ago (does that still fall under the hoarding category?) and have not cut into any of them until last week!

I thought the hexagon tree pattern would be a perfect way to use the various Liberty prints I've been saving and I'm so glad I did! 

Some of the prints on the hexagons are from 2 years ago and some as recent as two months back.   I've used quite abit of  A Pink Lodden print for the strap and tote lining.

Since I wanted the hexies to look 'puffy', I've added polyester batting to the tote body and quilted around each of them.

I love totes with pockets and so I've added a pocket with 3 compartments to mine.

I've used Essex Linen in natural for the tote back instead of the suggested pieced backing.   Adding the hexagon flower to the otherwise 'plain' back is cute, don't you think?

The tote measures at 12.5" width x 14" height without handle.   Even though this project involves very basic bag-making skills, ( added a few personal touches here and there ) I had so much fun making it!   I'll definitely use this tote pattern for future quick gifts!

I'm linking up to Kelly's My 'Precious' QAL - July over at Kelby Sews :

And Beth's Monday Link Up over at Plum and June :

Happy Sewing!   =)

Friday, 13 July 2012

Week 3 of Handstitched :Class:

We've done some English Paper Piecing for last week's installation to the Modern Medallion quilt.  Rachel has made one alteration to the classic Storm at Sea blocks, where she removed the tiny half square triangles and square in the corners of the blocks and replaced them with a 1" square just to simplify things for us.

These Storm at Sea blocks were meant for the corners of this round in the quilt.  We had to attached the blocks to the solids patchwork strips and it wasn't easy for me!!!  After a few failed attempts to sew exactly to the edge of the outer points of the blocks to the patchwork strips, I've opted to handstitched these blocks and found it easier to get them right.

Round 3 is done and I am not too thrilled with my top!  You don't have to look closely to be able to see the little waves around the inner and outer borders.   I know I've stretched some parts of the fabrics when I did the embroidery and that might explain the waviness.  I wanted to use lighter shades of solids but went ahead and use what I have on hand instead.  I'm hoping the fabrics used in the next round will help balance out the solids patchwork strips.   I did put up a different photo ( the top was laid, not hung) to the group pool but remove it a day later - too embarrased as I find it looked terrible!!!  I did get some feedbacks whilst it was in the pool though and I'm really hoping with quilting, the top will lay flat and also hide my inconsistencies!

On to one of the small projects from English Paper Piecing week - Star Blossom Stretched Wall Art.

I've completed this block last week but have yet to applique it to the background fabric which will then be stretched onto a painters canvas.  The Star Blossom block measures at 13 7/8" in height.  Even though it's meant to be a wall art piece, I am still considering on what to do with mine - wall art / tote or maybe a start to another quilt !?!? hmm I don't have to finish this piece now so I'll have plenty of time to decide my options.

I am working on another small project from EPP week and hope to share some pictures with you soon.

Have a great weekend everyone!

I'm linking up to Katey's Handmade Parade :

Friday, 6 July 2012

My Inspiration for the Tessellation Blocks

I  love English Paper Piecing...( think I've mentioned it before ),  I also fell in love with this quilt made by Vreni of Oops-Lah using EPP.

Her quilt top was constantly in my head after I've read that post!   I emailed her a few days later and she was kind enough to share the sizes, shapes and fabrics used to make her Tessellation blocks.   She gave me a link for an online store ( which carries both paper and acrylic template - used for fabric and fussy cutting ) too.  Her kind gesture is truly appreciated.

These are the blocks I've made so far and they measure at 11" in diameter :

I love fussy cutting and to get 6 or 12 cuts of the same design is quite a challenge when the fabrics you have are fat quarters / half yards of big prints with a very few repeats!  I was hoping to get more blocks made but there were just not enough basted shapes to make up for complete blocks and some coloured shapes just doesn't compliment the other.   

Anyhoo, I am in no hurry to finish them as I am thoroughly enjoying the whole process of experimenting and searching for wonderful fabrics to use.   I have not applique the blocks to the background fabrics yet but will do so after I've pieced the remaining blocks.  

Fyi, these blocks were made before the start of Handstitched Class and I am so looking forward to working on them some more after the class has ended.   I am no good at working on more than 2 projects at a time and I envy those of you who can!!!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

I'm linking up to Katie's Parade Day :

Monday, 2 July 2012

Weekend Stitching

I've managed to get the Sashiko coasters done over the weekend.  It was one of the small projects from Handstitched Class - embroidery week.  Rachel introduced us to three traditional designs and explained the proper technique on how to stitch them.

From right :  Shippo Tsunagi, Juji Tsunagi, Hoshi Ami and Sakura Motif

I've used Essex Linen in Medium Aqua, Light Blue, Putty and Dusty Pink for the embroidery backgrounds and Sand to frame and backed all of them.  The traditional design coasters were stitched using Perle Cotton no. 8 and I've added a sakura motif using variegated Pearl Cotton no. 5, just for fun!  Each of them measures at 4.5" square.

I've been wanting to do Sashiko embroidery for quite sometime and after making those coasters and knowing how simple and relaxing it is, I'm definitely trying them out again.  Maybe cushion covers next...

Hope you have a lovely week ahead!