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Trip Around The World – DONE DONE

I’ve been loving this project since Day 1. The top got done quite quick and then I put it away after basting it for quilting. I meant for this project to be my 30th present for myself. But that came and went, and I didn’t get it quilted in time.
Over the New Year, my only craft-related resolution was: Finish what I have started, before I start something that I don’t finish (quickly) again. So, in the past weeks, I have been doing small projects for the home and for the boy – more about those later on. I’ve pieced 3 more backings for my completed tops so that I can get them quilted and Done Done sooner.
With a good friend’s birthday around the corner, I thought I’d gift the TATW to her – as I remembered her liking it when I showed her the WIP. So, it was a few days of intense quilting during Benji’s naps & bedtime. Here’s the final product! It’s a lap-sized square quilt, but it covered just the top of my Queen-size barely.

I simply enjoyed putting the binding on and handsewing the back down – I was like: Done already?! . Never mind that the mitered border & the mitered binding don’t match much, it’s still my pride and joy :>
I quilted in straight lines with the walking foot – even then my lines are not all that straight!
Here’s how the back of the quilt looks like. LOVE IT.
For the label, I grabbed a verse from Dorothy Parker – how apt for a quilty gift for a friend! :>

Denyse Schmidt – Mix-it-up coasters

One of my favourite crafty books is this one. It inspires me a lot, in terms of colours, designs, etc. More of all, it shows me that sewing/quilting should be done YOUR WAY. No quilt police to tell you that your sewing must be 100% accurate, that your colours must consist of this & that, that your blocks must be true & true traditional, etc. The quilts are very different from the ones I see displayed at the quilt shops/workshops. DS’ quilts are so refreshing & modern and I simply want to try each and every one of them.
After many months of book-ownership, DS flickr-group browsing, I finally decided to create something out of her book for a friend’s new home. COASTERS! I know, I know. It’s nothing challenging or great as a quilt or some of her other quirky project, but this gal gotta start somewhere, okie? ;>
Well, looking at the book, I thought: geez, I can make these coasters in 15 mins. I was SOOOOOO wrong. I ended up slaving away the entire evening over this set of 6 coasters.
Step 1: Enlarge pattern design
Step 2: Roughly cut up the pieces from the pattern sheet
Step 3: Stick each piece on a plastic template sheet & trim
Step 4: Punch out the points where the 1/4″ seam lines intersects on all sides of the templates (6 pcs)
Step 5: Pick out 6 different fabrics
Step 6: Cut out fabric rectangles & stack them
Step 7: Trace pattern (mark out the 1/4″ points too) on the top piece of fabric with water soluble pen & then cut them out. I rotary cut the 6 layers of fabrics.
Step 8: Switch the pieces around to make sure each top will have a different combination of fabrics.
Step 9: Match points, pin, sew, iron, repeat again & again & again…
Step 10: Square up
That’s just for making the coaster tops. When I finally made them into cushy coasters and quilted them, it was just sooooo sooooo satisfying. Overall, the coasters are just nice for the couple’s new home, which has a comfy basement/entertainment room, with orange walls, some nice grey tiles… I picked the fabrics with their colourways in mind… And I think my friend appreciates them, so I’m happy. :>

Okay, another house-warming coming up next week. More coasters??? :>

1st post of 2009!

It’s been a LONG while! Well, it had been a busy Christmas, my hubby & I worked through the New Year and now we having the Lunar New Year coming up next Monday! Gosh… I need a holiday from all the holidays!
Found time to start a new project at the beginning of the year, though. More updates when it gets closer to a better shape to be shown! 😀 And I also indulged a ‘little’ online retail therapy, which arrived last week!
Over the Christmas period, I managed to sew up a few made-with-love (read: wonky sewing) items for some special people.
Remember the cupcakes fabrics? I made the crayon wallet for a friend’s little girl since it was such a big hit with Benji :> I LOVE LOVE LOVE how sweet this wallet turned out.
For another creative little 3 YO, I made the crayon wallet with the scraps from Gram’s Fairy Tale baby quilt and it turned out perfect (in my opinion! :p)

I believe I will continue to make more of these wallets for more of our little friends! :>

Good Buys 2

December has been a month of crafty indulgence for me :>
Well, I haven’t given into temptations YET with all the online fabric stores’ sales & coupons. But I have been checking out the local crafting supplies stores, stocking up on notions and what-nots.
A couple of weeks ago, I visited a local store in Chinatown. They sell loads & loads & loads of Clover products that made me a very very very happy girl :>
Here’s what I bought finally, and I did show some restraints when I returned a few items at the cashier before I checked out the items :p
1) The mesh transfer sheet – handy for transferring quilting patterns without cutting out template sheets.
2) Bias Tape Maker – you need one for each size!
3) Gauge – which came in very useful when I had to fold over 1/8 seams in my last project. But this gauge is in metric, so I had to measure it against my other imperial rulers first.
4) Water soluble marker – gosh, this works like a charm for me! Why I didn’t get this much earlier is beyond me. LOVE IT! The marks wash out beautifully and most importantly, the marking is much more accurate and clear.
5) Iron-on transfer-pencil – I love the idea that I can trace out a pattern with this pencil and then transfer it to the fabrics just by simply ironing on it. Downside is that the markings will be permanent. No immediate plans/projects that call for this pencil yet. :p
6) Fabric glue stick – this will be useful for the applique works
7) Variegated thread – too pretty to be left out of the shopping basket ;>
8) Heat & Bond No Sew fusible web – I was thinking of making some ‘iron-ons’ for friends who don’t sew. This is perfect for such ‘painless’ projects.
I do consider myself somewhat of a ‘gadget-girl’ (I love gadgets, but I don’t go queueing up for iPhones just to be the first ones to get it…), and perhaps that explains why I fell in love with sewing again, after all these years. All the toys that you can buy for just marking patterns! For cutting fabrics! And once, I spent an entire day just search and surfing for various presser feets and their functions… And of course, the Internet has also made researching much easier and interesting, bringing me all the inspiring blogs of people who share their love & passion for their crafts.
Alrighty. Time to get back to work now and earn more $$ for my crafty fund (and Benji’s diapers :p) ! ;>

Fabric Gift Wrapping 2

Here’s a package of booky-goodies going to a friend in New York. Her family has moved from Singapore for almost a year now, and we bought some Chinese books for their 3 little ones, sort of like helping them to get in touch with their ‘Asian Roots’, so to speak :>
This came from Ikea’s ‘mini-bolt’ which I love to buy. I used another one when I used fabrics to wrap a gift for another crafty mama’s baby party.

This fabric wrap is a little more ‘structured’. I based it loosely on a pattern in this book and while I don’t have linen & silk, I do have loads of Ikea’s cotton fabrics ;> The length of the ribbon is much shorter though, but given the thickness of these ribbons, I don’t wish to add too much bulk to this parcel. Keeping it S I M P L E and S H O R T.
9 more days to Christmas! :>