I’ve not been a good girl when it comes to deadlines for the past 2 weeks.
Last week, we shared a super yummy Mother’s Day dinner at my mom’s (yes, she cooked. Insisted that we should not get ripped off by the restaurants, and we can always buy her expensive meals anytime :p). I whipped up some last minute small-ish gifts for her then. Well, I didn’t plan to make anything too elaborate because we celebrated my mom’s birthday at the end of April and I gifted the Star Quilt for the ocassion. The weather then was dreary for many days and I did not manage to take a decent before I gave it to her. But I did snap a quite picture at the restaurant that evening.
Week 5: 3 May – 9 May
In: 0 yds(so far!)
Out: 2 yds (more for string quilt, coin purse and zipper pouches for mom)
On Friday, I was just thinking that I have neither ‘IN’ nor ‘OUT’ to report this week since I have not been sewing much at the machine. Oh soooo boring. But over the weekend, sewing happened!
Zilch (for now!)
3 yards (and more on the way out!)
I’ve seen many beautiful string quilts on Flickr and they look like really good scrap-busting projects to work on. There are essentially 2 methods of creating string quilts – piecing with fabric foundation or paper foundation. Piecing with fabrics sounds like a great way to bust some serious stash too. But I don’t think I like the extra weight, plus I can imagine the amount of seams in the quilt (by the way, I’m aiming for a Queen Sized quilt). So, it is paper piecing for me. For fabric foundation method, click here.
I have a ream of A3 sized, low GSM paper that we used for mapping out projects (day job) ideas and they are perfect for paper foundation piecing. So, I did a test block, following this tutorial from Film in the Fridge. I find it ‘slippery’ to sew with paper and because some of the scrap strips are cut on bias, it was a little challenging trying to set the 1st diagonal straight. This will create problems when I put the blocks together and I would expect the center strips of the blocks to match. So, I modified the instructions a little by marking two lines, 1/2″ from the center diagonal on the paper (my center strip is 1″ wide).
Back to the drawing pad, I planned the colour way and layout of the quilt.
Afterwards, I pulled out the scrap buckets and started sorting them out by colours. So, most of the scraps are in 6 bags now (and why do I still have the same number of scrap buckets left under the table???). I also cut up some fabrics from yardage to make up for the colours and centre string.
This also gives me the opportunity to use up some Uglies in my charm packs and FQs that I probably will never use in a non-scrappy project.
I can’t get over Hope Valley. I love the dusty colours and I love its vintagey-not-too-girly feel. I just had to get my hands on them. No thanks to Fab****atic, I didn’t receive any of the half yard sets, which I paid for, from them. So, I bought the Fat Quarter set from an online store that I have shopped with before.
Hope Valley FQ set 😀
Zilch (although I have prepped some more push pin boards to be covered!)
Oh… my little bundle of joy is HERE! Some of it will go to a friend, but the rest are all MINE MINE MINE!
36m of lovelies
Magdalene from Needle and Thread is AMAZING. She received my order on Thursday and arranged for the fabrics to be delivered on this morning (Saturday). The prices from the store has been marked down and she is giving away 0.5m with every S$50 spent. This is great value for sewers in SG who often have to resort to buying from the U.S. to score great deals (yup, people like me). Note: I’m NOT paid by any sellers to rave about them. I’m just relating my experiences with the sellers and tools as-is.
This shopping experience is such a contrast to another transaction from hell that I’m going through right now with FabFanatic. I fell in love with DS’ Hope Valley series when it first came out in November last year. And then I was notified that Fabfanatic, a fabric co-op, was gathering orders to bring in the fabrics, I took up the offer since there were many positive feedback from other quilting blogs. The cost was about US$5+ per yard and I order a couple of 1/2 yard sets. That set me back over US$90+ inclusive of international shipping. I paid up as soon as I received the PayPal invoice at the end of Nov 09. To date, I have not received an inch of that order. I’m absolutely devastated! I’m not the only one in this shitty situation. Since their last email in March, promising the order will be shipped out that weekend, I have not heard from FabFanatic. They have not responded to my numerous emails and basically, I think they have fallen off the planet.
This taught me:
1) If I have a large order, get in touch with the merchant first. For Etsy, I usually test the ‘responsiveness’ of seller by asking a few questions via convo. Of course, the questions should not be ‘annoying’ or obvious ones that I can find out from the Policies page.
2) Do NOT prepay for orders that will take more than 4 weeks to be sent to me. PayPal has a strict rule about NOT entertaining disputes more than 45 days from transaction date.
3) Read Feedbacks from other buyers carefully. On the other hand, there are some buyers who do not leave ‘negative’ feedback for fear of retaliatory comments. So, look out for ‘high sales, low feedback’ ratio too.
4) Shop with sellers who can process the order or ship out the order quickly.
5) Pay with PayPal where possible.
6) Forget about fabric co-ops. :S
FabFanatic is probably one of the few black sheep in the world of e-commerce. But the ones that I truly admire are those sellers who are able to ‘recover’ from a bad service/shopping experience.
Once, I purchased a couple of items from an Etsy seller during the busy pre-hols season. She left out a tube of fabric glue that I ordered, but promised to make good by mailing out the item to me. I never received that tube. Suspecting that the item was lost in mail, I told the seller that I would BUY one more tube of glue and pay for the shipping, and she can mail 2 tubes then. She agreed and said she would make good that order. When the package arrived, to my horror, there was only 1 tube in the mailer! Of course, I was rather frustrated about her getting my order messed up again. I wrote to her for a refund but she was slow in responding. Eventually, she responded with an apology and refunded me the cost of the glue plus the additional shipping, etc. I totally understand that we can falter during such a super-busy shopping period. But if you can make-good the experience, I will definitely shop with the seller again. Afterall, I need a good seller not only for good transactions, but also good salesmanship when the transaction goes awry.
Logging off to prepare for the rest of the weekend with the boys now. Ta!
I have been receiving emails asking if I sew stuffs for ‘adults’ for sale, other than the crayon wallets that I list on Etsy. Well, while I do make fabric covered button book marks, Quilted applique notebooks, bobby pins, etc. But sewing wise, I have yet to list anything for people above ‘crayon-age’.
BUT I have been sewing pouches and clutch purses for friends over the holidays and I do love how they turned out. A very nice lady helped de-mystify zippers by showing me how it actually works!
Zipper pouch + matching key fobs
Fabrics from Denyse Schmidt
Besides the Zipper, I finally took the plunge and ordered some clutch frames from Etsy. I loved how they all turned out! Ok, my Stash is 70% kiddy fabrics (and most of them scream ‘boys’), but what came to my rescue was this lovely local online store Needle and Thread – check out the website, prices have been revised down! YAAY!. Magdalene delivered the fabrics the very next day after I placed my order and I knew they were perfect for my friends.
Amy Butler and Art Gallery Fabrics.
Revive by Art Gallery Fabrics
So YES! I will be sewing more zipper pouches, clutch purses, card holders, etc… I can’t wait till the end of this tax season, get over a couple of day-job projects so that I can clear my brain and get started soon. Sewing for the Shoppe is such a wonderful excuse to buy more lovely fabrics! 🙂