Friday, 31 August 2012

Zippered Pouch & a New Fabric Swap

This embroidered strip piece was done a few months ago but was set aside since I wasn't ready to tackle the zipper yet at the time.     The embroidering idea came from Lu Summer's blog, where she shared a new idea on how to use her Summerville fabric collection back then.

I've used the Town print in coal and stitched the prints using Anchor Marlitt embroidery threads.   I love the luscious colours and the high luster of the rayon gives a silk look finish.   The Marlitt embroidery thread is a beautiful, 4 strandable thread but little did I know that it's also slippery to work with!   With each stitch I made, it had a tendency to want to slip back the way it came, which often let to loose, unsightly stitches.   I've pulled a little more firmly and that caused the fabric to pull...  if there's a good method to working with rayon thread, please share, I'd love to know!

front of pouch

back of pouch

I've appliqued these 1" hexies for the back and used medium weight interfacing to add body to the linen fabric.

I've added a pocket strip to the lining fabric to hold my notions / sewing kit - easier to look for them since the pouch is deep.

Notice the cube pincushion on my zipper pull?   Well... while I was catching up on my blog reading a few days ago,  Lucy of Charm About You shared two tutorials during her turn on the Let's Get Acquinted Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum and June.   This cute pincushion using English Paper Piecing method was one of it.   I've copied her cool idea adding the 1 1/2" finished cube to the zip!

The finished project pouch measures at 10" width x 11 1/2" height - a great size to accommodate an 8" embroidery hoop.   This is my first zipper pouch project and for the most part it was pretty easy.   All in all, eventhough the front and back pieces wasn't pieced closely to the zipper, I am pleased with the way it turned out.   I still need to master the zipper technique though. 

Just to share with you about this fun swap Making Rebecca Lynne is doing that I signed up for yesterday.   It's a Low Volume Swap where each participant buys two designer fabrics ( large ratio of white or neutral colour ), one yard each and cut them into 5" squares, mail them to her and we will receive 112 charm squares of different fabrics in return.   We're supposed to post our fabric picks on the Low Volume flickr group so that there are no duplicates.   It will be exciting to see what everyone else picked and what I'm going to be getting!   I've contacted Rebecca with regards to shipping the fabrics directly from the online store to her.   She was more than happy to accommodate and even offered to have the fabrics cut out for me!   How sweet is that!   Now on to some fabric shopping...

Hope you'll have a lovely weekend! 

I'll be linking up with Katie's Handmade Parade at There and Back

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Napkins, Blocks and Charm Swap Received

There isn't much going on here lately.   In between clearing and cleaning the house for the Raya  holiday season, visits to my in-laws and relatives, I haven't sewn much.   Here's what I did get done in the 3 days I did sew prior to the outstation trip to my hubby's late grandmother's hometown for the holidays.

I've made Gingham Napkins from Handstitched Class :

It was my first time sewing with ric racs and definitely won't be my last!    Had so much fun sewing these together.   I've hand quilted using pearl cotton thread to match the ric racs used for the individual napkins.   A lovely set of napkins for picnics, wouldn't you agree?

And I've also made some blocks from the How Far Will You Go? QAL :

Week 3 - Pieced Star

Week 4 - St. Louis Star

This block was done using the foundation paper piecing method.  It was my first attempt at foundation paper piecing and it was abit tricky piecing the fabrics at the beginning for me but fun nonetheless.   The middle part of the block isn't flat though ( even after numerous unpicking ) only because there are 16 seams all bunched up together!   Oh well...

I've received my package last week from the  I Love Kona Charm Swap  that Alyssa @ Pile O' Fabric hosted.  This was my first swap, there were 28 swappers and 112 charms in each bundle.  I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with the charm squares yet.   For now, I've been enjoying flipping through them.  Alyssa has planned for a second charm swap soon and I'm planning to join in that one too.   Hopefully by then I would know what to make with all the charm squares received.

Since Raya is a whole month affair, there'll be lots of gatherings over at relatives and friends, thus I know I'll be neglecting my sewing machine for awhile - so I'm hoping I do get some sewing time or make some more tessellation blocks in between these gatherings.

Linking up with Jen's Building Blocks Tuesday over at Quilter in the Closet :

Hope you have a lovely week ahead!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Mediterranean Lace Shawl

I've been slowly knitting away at the Mediterranean Lace Shawl over the last eight months!   It's my on- the-go project - I finally got it blocked, finished, photographed and I just love it.   I can't help but feel a real sense of accomplishment as this is my first cobweb weight shawl project.


This design is by Maureen Egan Emlet, published in 'A Gathering of Lace' by Meg Swansen. 

Used approximately 2,500 metres ( 7 balls and a small amount of another ) of cobweb lace yarn in Natural by Jamieson and Smith.   The back measures at 35" width x 28" deep, and each front panel  - 29" length x 20" width, borders included.

It has a few really complicated rows but each and every stitch was so worth it at the end.

Love the soft and feminine look...

I have to admit, I'm not really a shawl-wearing person, and making this was more about wanting to knit it than wanting to wear it. But now that it's done, I'm looking forward to wearing this on cool evenings on the beach and places where I normally wear my pashminas i.e. cinemas!

Hope you'll have a lovely week ahead!

Monday, 6 August 2012

How Far Will You Go? QAL

When I saw Vreni's post announcing How Far Will You Go? QAL happening over at  Jessica of Scrappy n' Happy  and  Jessica of The Elven Garden,   I remembered that I'd been toying with the idea of making a sampler with my Denyse Schmidt's fabrics that I've had in my stash for quite awhile.

The quilt-along started 2 Fridays ago - it has 18 different blocks in total, with 1 block design tutorial published each week from either one of the hosts.   I love the idea of making this gorgeous sampler style quilt and decided to join in.   It would be a good way to practice my cutting and piecing skills and hopefully I'll get to learn some new techniques along the way!

Denyse Schmidt's Sugar Creek line

This is the pile of fabrics I'll be using for the blocks and for the background fabric, I've chosen Kona Cotton - Ash.   I think the gray compliments this line beautifully.

Here is my progress so far...

Week 1 - Susannah Blocks

Week 2 -  Weathervane Block

And to sweeten things up, there'll be prizes for lucky winners at the end of the quilt along.   So what do you think?    Would you like to join?   You can find more information here  or  here and join the Flickr group here.

I am linking up with Beth's Let's Get Acquinted! Monday Link up at Plum and June.

Happy Sewing!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Modern Medallion Finished Top

First and foremost, thank you for all the kind comments left on my Handstitched Class week 3's post with regards to my Modern Medallion quilt-in-progress.  Truly appreciate the kind, encouraging words and advice from both readers and classmates.   Walking away from it for awhile, did help - somehow the solid patchwork colours just grew on me and I love how it has turned out at the end!   We're in the final installment week but I thought of sharing with you my progress from week 4 to date of Handstitched :Class:

Week 4 was all about the different techniques used to applique, and Rachel of Stitched in Color shared with us a few of her favourites.  We've worked with fusible web to applique the small and curvy Dogwood Buds and used a blanket stitch to finish those edges. 

Dogwood Buds

on-point squares before trimming to size

These Dogwood Buds were placed in-between the on-point square strips, then added to the quilt-in-progress.  4-patch blocks were added for each corner of this medallion round too.

week 4 progress

After the round with the Dogwood Buds and on-point squares,  there were just 2 more rounds to finish the quilt top!  One solid round - I've chosen Kona Cotton in Medium Gray which is designed to be a showcase for hand quilting.   And the last round, printed strips -  I've used a mixture of my favourite prints from the Summerlove line. 

Week 5 is the last week of Handstitched Class and Rachel has discussed the basic tools needed for hand quilting and most everything we need to know to hand quilt with pearl cotton thread.  I have my quilt top prepped but I couldn't start on my hand quilting yet since there wasn't enough leftover fabrics to piece a decent size backing! sigh...   I've ordered a few more solids though and it should arrive sometime early next week.

Finished Top!

Can't wait to pieced the back, baste and start on one of my favourite part about patchwork - hand quilting!

Just a short note to add that I've enjoyed and learned so much from Rachel's Handstitched Class - her detailed and easy to follow instructions, clear photos and videos made each and every project a success!  This Modern Medallion quilt and the other small projects made from this class will be cherished for many years to come!   =)

Wishing you a lovely weekend!

I'm linking up with Katie's Handmade Parade over at There and Back :

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

July in review...

Every first day of the month, Lynne @ Lily's Quilts hosts a Fresh Sewing Day rounding up of the previous month's work and I am linking up for the very first time!

Last month was mostly about Handstitched Class projects for me.   I've made coasters, a tote bag, pillow and the Modern Medallion work-in-progress quilt.  I've made a few Tessellation and Farmers Wife blocks in between class projects too.   Here's my month of July in picture-collage format!

Fussy cutting some of the fabrics for the English Paper Piecing blocks were so much fun!   I've used my 'precious' Liberty of London prints for 'My Precious QAL' and thanks to Pam @ Threading My Way for featuring my Meadow Pillow last weekend!

I have some good things lined up for August, with the Handstitched Class' final installment and taking part in two quilt-alongs - How Far Will You Go? and Totally Groovy Quilt Along.

So, for more amazing creativity and talent hop on over to Fresh Sewing Day over at Lily's Quilts  and click on the links to see other blogger's projects.

Happy Sewing Everyone!