Archive / Fabrics

RSS feed for this section

Hello, 2015! It’s gonna be a fun fun year!

I hope all of you had a good year-end break and a wonderful start to the new year!

I spent the last couple of days in 2014 nursing my little girl who caught a bug and is now finally on the mend. And while I was cradling her in bed for hours on end, I was planning the family meal plans, listing the endless to-do lists and also having a thought about what I would be sewing next. And the cheesy new year crafting resolutions that I resolved never to do popped in my head to say ‘harrow’.

So here’s the list, made up in my head with ringing ears (from baby’s screams), aching arms and sore boobies (yes, I’m still breastfeeding my 14.5 month old. It IS a good thing).
1) Tame those scraps

The scrappy state of my scrap bags.

The scrappy state of my scrap bags. More Bags not in the picture.

Scraps are fabrics, still. And fabrics cost money, a lot. So I should really work harder at managing my scraps. The scraps seem to be taking over the sewing area, inching to invade the surface that they can cover like in the horror movies. My plan is to 1) make small projects with the scraps 2) offer more scrap packs for sale and 3) work on the scrap user’s system by Bonnie Hunter.

Scrap Pack F (Front)

Scrap Pack that I put together for sale a long long time ago.

2) Make more clothes

Katie - Nov'14

See how my little girl upturned the hem to show off mom’s awesome blind-hemming skills.

I made this frock in Feb’14. Katie only wore it TWICE. She can’t fit into it now, but I  relished the moments I popped this over her head to try it on for fun. I have gathered so much clothes making fabrics (not quilting cottons) and patterns for the kids. I. Must. Get. Down. To. It.

3) More projects for the family

Quilted Pot Holders with Embroidery

Custom order – personalised quilted pot holders

This means more quilts on the beds, more handmade goodness around the house and finally make something pretty for myself. The pot holders are a classic example of something that I wanted to make so badly for the loooongest time for my own kitchen and yet never mustered the energy to take the insul-brite out of its packaging UNTIL someone came asking if I have any pot holders for sale. Oh yes, I do!

4) Take more pictures

I have been sorely deficient in documenting my projects for a while. With a better phone camera, awesome prime lenses, WIFI SD cards and auto-sync/uploads from the devices, there’s really no more excuses for not taking more pictures of stuff that I make before packing them away. And maybe more WIP shots too?

And with that, I present to you: Midnight Crafts on Instagram! Ta-Dah! Come, come… don’t be shy, ok?! And there’s good old Flickr and FaceBook too!
Follow me on instagram http://instagram.com/midnightcraftsnet/
5) Sew more with (more) Friends

2014 has been a fantastic year for sewing with friends. I managed to keep up with most of the monthly meets with my quilting friends and I had the most wonderful time with Mama G, who flew in from France to visit her family, and she made time to come by to sew with me for a couple days. We made the dresses for our kids! Also I helped a friend finished her first sewing project: a quilt for her toddler son. She’s on her way to getting her own machine and I’m sure we will sew more together this year.

It is not always easy to say ‘yes’ to a sewing date as I have the kids to tend to, work to be done and chores to complete. I’m kind of true to the mantra I throw at my son on a daily basis: WORK BEFORE PLAY!

So I guess I should do as I say by ‘putting my head down and focus on finishing my tasks’ and have the rest of the day to ‘sew’. Having the kids over at the grandparents’ helps too!

And with that, I wish you loads of sewing projects, beautiful fabric stash, and plenty of crafty inspiration in 2015. I’m having guests over for a dinner party tonight – to make up for X’mas/New Year celebrations we had to cancel because of the little one. But like my friend said, it’s like a prolonged Christmas. True, that.

Investing a little to save a little.

Happy New-ish Year!

While I’ve been away from the blog, the sewing machine was humming, fabrics were pulled off the shelves and more new fabrics were stuffed back into the cupboards over the past 6 weeks or so. And there were a lot of balls in the air – kids, work, house chores, sewing, appointments at the doctors, etc. With the Chinese New Year coming up soon, there are of course more shopping, cleaning and scheduling to do. But I’m finally able to see the light as work and family schedules are falling into their places.

The sewing has not stopped! I started on a faux chenille blanket for a friend’s upcoming new baby and completed that over the weekend. The main fabric is a quilting cotton Oliver & S fabric, layered with 1 x Kona cotton, 1 x cotton/linen blend and 1 x cotton flannel. Binding the blanket became an issue for me – I like to hand sew down binding for the neat/invisible look. But I was short of time and I was not sure I wanted to hand sew down through fiddly layers of cut fabrics.

I decided that I would machine sew the binding down and went with a store-bought bias binding this time. I tried to clip the binding down, but I didn’t feel confident that I would catch the bottom part of the bind when I top-stitch it down. I decided to invest a little more time so that I will get it right and perfect the 1st time. Out came the Japanese basting needle and threads and I took my time to fold the binding over the blanket.

This morning I completed the sewing at the machine and sent it off to the wash.

Faux Chenille - Binding

I cut the chenille part with my Clover slash cutter that I bought from Rosie’s store a few years ago. You can use a pair of regular scissors, but again, its good to spend a little for a nifty little tool that will give you great results and save you lots more time (and also reduce strain on your hands). This cutter comes with 2 guides – one for straight slash cutting (as pictured below) and for shorter guide for curved lines. Minimum width of the ‘channel’ is about 1/4″ (6mm), and for this blanket I sewed my lines about 1/2″ apart.

Faux Chenille - Slash Cutter

Can’t wait to see this blankey wrapped around its new owner soon!

Mum’s the word

I think I have blogged too much about how paralyzed I am by the stash, especially since I had to give up some fabric/craft storage for the family (they live here too, you know :p), and I have stacks of fabrics awaiting re-location around my sewing area now.

Recently, I sent over a few yards of fabrics to my mum, so that she can make cushion and pillow covers for her room. And I mentioned to her that I have been listing some fabrics on Facebook, as I need more space in the house.

Her response: Why sell them? SEW! Make something with the fabrics!

And here’s what I did when I got home:

Seat covers for home office chairs

This fabric was bought at Ikea and I like the wide width, heavy/home decor weight to the print. It took me about an hour to measure seat, cut fabrics, sew, serge and thread the cotton twill tape through the casing I made. I made an identical cover for my husband’s chair too. The lousy leather seats were worn and broken and these fabric covers helped breathe new life to them. I didn’t have to add any padding, etc. The cushion is still good, just the leather material was unsightly.

It felt really good to use up yardage and toss the remnant to my scrap bin (that’s another horror story for another day).

Well, I had grand plans to cut up more fabrics for project this weekend, but I spent a lazy Saturday with the family, reading (Artemis Fowl series – for me!), napping, building Lego and having a great steamboat meal at an old-fashion coffee shop instead. So, I hope you are having a restful weekend too and I leave you with a picture of one of my favourite drawers in the house 🙂

Kawaii Fabric Stash Drawer

Kawaii Japanese Fabric Stash Drawer

De-stashing: Trains Panel + co-ordinating fabric

I have about 2 months to clear a very large chest, in order to make room for some living/working space.

In this chest, I have lots of sewing fabrics, scraps, notions and scrapbooking supplies. I can’t find proper space for everything (box on the floor don’t count as putting away the items). And so, I will be listing some of my hoarded fabrics and supplies here – hopefully I can find good homes for them!

1st Listing: Trains panel (1m) + Co-ordinating fabrics (2m), Quilting cotton – BRAND NEW. SGD$18 for this bundle, incl. local shipping to SG address. For international visitors, please contact me for more information.

Train Panel - 1m

Train Panel - 1m

Co-ordinating Fabric (2m)

Co-ordinating Fabric (2m)

Train Bundle: Total 3m, SGD $18.00 incl. local postage

Train Bundle: Total 3m, SGD $18.00 incl. local postage

I wanted to make a simple playmat/drag-around for Benji, using the Panel as-is, no patchworking. But I’ve got too many projects in my basket for him, so I’ll have to give this up. Great for wall hanging, pillow cases, even coasters, eye-spy patches, etc.

** Updated 16 April **

Thank you, all, for your interest! This fabric has found a good home. Please visit my Facebook page or Flickr for more fabrics/craft items that I’m letting go.

Japan on my mind

I’m sure you have heard of the quake and tsunami devastation that have hit Japan and her beautiful people.

The crisis is utterly heart-breaking and everytime I read or watch the news, I get the goose-pimples (not the good ones). I really hope that the people who are affected by this horrible disaster will stay strong and pick up their lives from here. The amount of suffering they go through really put things into perspective for how we view the minor inconveniences in our own lives.

My 1st Japanese print quilt which I started about 2 years ago is finally done. The Japanese prints are from Konabay Robert Kaufman and a friend helped with the quilting, which I love. All 12 blocks which are all distinct, came from the same fabric print.