Baby Blanket · Baby Gifts · Drawstring Bags · Handmade · Home Sewn · Quilt · Quilt Making · Sew · Sewing

Spring Sewing

Come spring in Christchurch, specially in Hagley Park , Daffodils ,Hyacinths , Cherry Blossoms, Kowhai,  Magnolias, against the bright clear blue sky , together with   brand new green leaves on  the trees,  put on a spectacular show for all to enjoy.DSC_0393DSC_0425.JPGDSC_0428The flowers, sunshine and the bird songs does something to the mind and automatically uplifts the spirits.

I was in the mood for tidying up my messy craft corner.As I was cleaning, I realised that I had  posted about this very special  bag only on Instagram.This space being place to record all the things I make, I decided this bag had to be on the blog. DSC_0123First of all,it was the fabric name ‘Makers’ by Cori Danitini  that caught my attention and then of course, the print  was too hard to pass by.DSC_0128I decided to make a reversible bag using a picture I saw on Pinterest, as reference. Since I used the entire panel for the pattern, I only used the panel size as the size of the bag and kind of made up as I went along. I also used the panel for lining so that it would be truly reversible.DSC_0131I also referred to Ayumi’s Reversible patchwork bag pattern for attaching the drawstring casing.

The beads I got in India, came in handy for adding finishing touches to the cord.

The sweet print and pattern came together so well and quickly became a personal favourite finish.

The flowers , birds and the general magic of witnessing the earth come alive in a myriad of colours, cast a spell on me and I had to do something to celebrate the promise of warmer days in the air.

I tried the same pattern I made for the previous bag but this time with fusible interfacing. It did not turn out exactly as I envisioned it. Will keep trying though.

The bag and the tulips that grew in spite  my negligence  of my garden ,had to be documented and hence they are here.DSC_0346

The Putitputi pouch collection  was inspired by the desire to bring all the delightful elements of spring into the craft space.

Putiputi by the way, means flowers in the Maori language  These pouches were well received and I was thrilled with the positive feedback I got on them too.

Of the two people who bought from this collection, one of them has received her package and was extremely happy while the other unexpectedly  has not yet received hers thanks to NZ post. Fingers crossed it will reach her soon. I can’t wait to hear what she has to say  about her bag.

Untitled design-5

The other couple of projects I made were commissioned by a lovely lady from church. She wanted two baby blankets  in blue for friends who were both expecting baby boys. Her other brief was  something that will not be available in the regular baby sections of stores.

I decided to go with my ever favourite woodland theme for both.

For the first quilt I went with a simple squares and it measures 30″ x 35 ”

Untitled design-6.jpg

For this quilt, I used the Fast Four -Patch Pattern from Diary of a Quilter

Untitled design-3

In my hurry  to pack and give it to her, I forgot to take pictures of the backing. Both the quilts are backed with dimpled minky fabric.

It completely made my day to  see the happy smiles on her face and hear her say that it was hard for her to choose which one to give her favourite friend .

Crafts · Finished Objects · Handmade · Life style · patchwork · Quilt · Quilt Making · Sew

Mod -Cot Quilt

canva-photo-editor-9.png

canva-photo-editor-11.pngIt’s been ages since I made a proper quilt. .

I set out to draft my own pattern  with my own measurements from a picture I had saved on my iPad .Not sure from where .It was more of a  ‘making as  I go  along ‘ kind of  project and  I struggled with it. I did not know  what size would make a big enough quilt for a baby.

DSC_0010

Then I saw the mod cot quilt pattern for sale on the instagram account of one of my favourite online fabric store stitchbird.co.nz. .Since it looked very similar to the quilt I was trying to make, I decided to purchase the pattern.

Having the instructions on hand, really did help.

I used the fabric I had recently purchased with the fabric that Shanna gave me.These are all free Spirit fabrics, one is Tula Pink and the other I forget. I was surprised that the colours all from the old and new fabric went together so well.

Along with the pattern,Lori also sent me the cutting layout on a fat quarter which was so helpful.

The blocks were fairly quick to put together. It was after I put the blocks together I realised that I did not have enough fabric for backing. or for binding. canva-photo-editor (4)

I resisted the temptation to use a Minky  fabric as  backing, like I did for previous baby quilts I ‘d made.

Ordered a metre of fabric for the backing, as I have only fat quarters in my stash . In my hurry to finish the quilt quickly, I did not read the pattern that  said I needed 1.5 metres for the backing . So I had to improvise and make a pieced backing. A first for me.

dsc_0072.jpgI put it  aside a bit,  looked at ideas on Pinterest , most of the ideas I saw were too advanced for me and then finally, it clicked, I just cut the one metre cloth into two equal parts and cut two other co-ordinating fat quarters to add in-between.

I wanted to do the self binding for this quilt but when I did the straight row quilting, I somehow messed up. I did not think of looking up for tutorials on You tube.So went for the bias  binding. IMG_0652

I did remember some of the lessons I learnt earlier in my quilt workshop in Kuwait about how to do the mitred corners.  I machined sewed the binding too. Another first.I would have liked a better finishcanva-photo-editor-8.png

I tied and hid the knots, washed in the washer and its ready to go now.
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Baby Gifts · Finished Objects · Knit · Knitting · Quilt Making · Sewing · Yarny Love

Baby gifts

Baby showers are a great excuse to make baby gifts. I love making gifts for babies not only because of how adorable they look but it also makes me marvel at the miracle of life itself, in the words of the Psalmist, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”.Those verses in Psalm 139 : 14-16, they get me every single time.

I have been plotting and planning to make gifts for a special friend in church, who is having a baby very soonbaby quilt

This was not the original quilt I had planned for her. Like I have done several times before,I changed my mind after I finished making  quilt top with the fabrics I had got before and decided to make her another one

For this simple baby quilt,I used  the dreamy , whimsical woodland themed Hushabye hollow (by Lydia Nelson for Moda) charm pack that I had in my stash plus some extra yardage to make this quilt so that the baby can use it upto toddler stage. I backed it with the softest minky in a soothing  fawn colour. I also added my Hold&Cherish label to it.

Then I also made her a stroller knit blanket with 100% New Zealand Organic Merino.This yarn is no longer available so I’m really happy I had enough to make this blanket. I misplaced the care labels I had printed earlier somewhere and so couldn’t attach it to the blanket. knit baby blankie

The pattern for this blanket was part of a test pattern I did back in June here. You can read how I got to be test knitter in the first place here. Makes me smile every time!

I used my 4.5 mm ChiaoGoo fixed knitting needles for it and they are a dream to knit with.I’ve used a few circular knitting needles now to know that ChiaoGoo fixed circulars are my favourite . I plan to get them in a few sizes and lengths.

My friend is on FB and Instagram .I didn’t want to ruin the surprise  for her so I did not post it anywhere else online, except here because the maker in me couldn’t contain the excitement of having the gifts ready to give  to the precious baby. Fingers crossed these gifts will be received well  by my friend and be used till they fall apart.

Musings · Quilt Making · Sewing

Fabric Haul

When things are not so peachy, I always turn to retail therapy for comfort. As if on cue,  my local quilt store was having a spring clean up and I decided to go and get a few things.

I made a list of things I wanted and I’m so happy I stuck to my list and my budget.

These seven fat quarters are going to be a neutral baby quilt top for a very special baby . I’m planning to back  it with a minky fleece .Next is the French General Christmas fabric. Although this fabric was not marked down, the lovely lady who owns the quilt shop gave me the marked down price. She did mention that she may not bring in this line back in the future. So I was happy to get that.The last one but a long awaited purchase was this Moda Frivol No 5 from Moda. The prints again are from the French General Line. Can you tell I’m a fan of this classy line? This little tin was marked down a lot and I decided it was the best time to snag one for me.This box has the pattern, and the fabric for the project in this beautiful tin that can be used as a sewing tin in future.

I see a lot of sewing / quilt making in the future for me.

The craft I’m favouring at this point in my life is definitely sewing  and because I’m one of those hoarders who need a lot of the supplies of the craft I’m leaning towards, a lot of fabric purchases have been made and used as well. I have a few people in mind to gift these items I make . I have long ago learnt to make things only for people who will appreciate the time and effort that has gone into the handmade. So I know it will be well received.

Half the fun in the making is the dreaming, shopping , planning and the anticipation of the recipient’s reaction,is it not?  With the damage the done and dusted ,retail therapy has brought the smile back in place . Is that not what therapy is meant to do anyway?

Musings · Quilt Making · Sewing

Making every day

DSC_0009No matter what I do through the day, creating some thing everyday is a must for me. Whether it’s sewing something or planning fabrics to use for a project, or even knitting a couple of rows.

My day doesn’t feel complete if I have not done at least a little bit.Just putting together fabric and seeing if they go together gives me so much joy.Specially when I feel down.

 

So I’m currently working on a few quilt blocks. I want to finish this quilt before the end of the year. It’s a special gift to someone very special. I know it will be very appreciated.DSC_0009

Cushions · Handmade · Home Making · Home Sewn · Life style · Quilt Making · Sew · Sewing

Hamster on a wheel

That would pretty much sum up my situation !

I did not see this coming but my life has taken a very busy turn! Struggling to keep up, updating my blog has taken a back seat. Every attempt to sit and write an update has failed .

Still I did not want to let my memory keeper die completely.

Isn’t it a little bit crazy that Summer is officially over and Autumn has began? what? Where did February go? ! Here we are almost  in the end of  March.

I have been sewing a lot more than I usually do .

I made cushion covers with upholstery fabric that I ordered from a store called Millers here.

I found the tutorial on you tube and really liked it because it was really quick. I finished four of these in an evening.

Other than that, I’ve also been making more blocks for my quilt for the Modern 9 Patch Mashup Sampler Quilt Along .

I find strange comfort in cutting up fabric and sewing them together. I’m not upto date with my blocks  yet .

It has been a learning curve,with fabric selection and finding out how they work together for the overall look and feel of the quilt but I’ve loved it so far.

I’m hoping all my blocks when done will make the quilt look coordinated .I’m not going to be too bothered if my quilt turns out to be uncoordinated though.  I’ve enjoyed it so much, its going to be special anyway.

Crafts · Handmade · Home Sewn · Life style · patchwork · Quilt Making · Sew

Sawtooth Star Block

Dreaming of Spring and sunshine and flowers, I worked on my Sawtooth Star block on this very dull and gloomy late Winter day.

I’ve been dreaming of making a baby quilt ever since I saw the Sawtooth Star quilt pattern in the book called Sweet and Simple Handmade by Melissa Wastney of the Tiny Happy Blog.

I figured it would be best to first try the block on fabric I didnot care for much.

I had some I had picked up at a Lincraft sale in my stash box

The good fabric can wait for the big quilt I plan to make at some point . For now I’m perfectly happy to practise on these fabrics . While using them up, I’m also making room for better fabric stash.

 That my quilt making skills have rusted over time became apparent when all the flying geese units came out wonky.

A couple of years back, I would have chucked it all and given up without attempting to finish the block.

I’m glad I didn’t give up half way this time.

I’ve also always struggled with choosing fabric and colours .I chose these two fabric not really not sure how it would look when finished into a block. 

I had to tell myself it’s only a practice piece and the final product didn’t matter as much as the process , to work up the courage to even start making the block.

It also helped that I recorded the progress on Instagram Stories to keep me motivated to finish the block. 

In the end, when I did finish it, I ended up liking my block, although I have not yet decided what to do with it.

Finished Objects · Handmade · Home Decor · Home Making · Life style · patchwork · Quilt Making · Sew · table runner

Charm pack Table Runner

Charm packs are the best things ! They take the stress of finding coordinating fabric, of cutting the fabric.Specially for people who dilly dally over the fabric cutting part … it is a wonderful wonderful thing

Some time back, I picked up a Riley Blake charm pack at a quaint little quilt store called Forget me knots here.

Then I went to a quilting 101 workshop. Sometimes, I like to go to workshops of crafts I  already have an idea about,because somehow that craft  hasn’t made complete sense to me. I mean, I always learn something new at every workshop .Its like the piece of a puzzle that fits and makes me understand the whole picture.

For this project, I simply stitched the squares together.

I was not happy with the finished squares.Then Lincraft had a sale and went to check out fabrics there.I love polka dots and suddenly clicked that it would be a good backing fabric for my runner.It was super cheap

Initially ,I was going to place the right sides together ,  with the batting on the outside and stitch around the edges, and turn inside out and make the runner without a binding.

As I was going to cut the fabric for the backing, I remembered reading somewhere about  self blinding quilts . So  decided to leave  an inch of seam allowance around the fabric and try to do the self binding edge for this runner.  I simply folded the raw edges twice . For the corners, I folded to get a mitred corner. Pinned in place and stitched all around. Thats all!.

I  drew lines and quilted over them AFTER I finished stitching the binding. And the lesson I took away from this project is to quilt BEFORE stitching the binding. Still, I love it.

Crafts · Finished Objects · Handmade · Home Making · Home Sewn · Life · patchwork · Quilt · Quilt Making · Sew

Keeping Promises

Right after I took my beginners quilt workshop back in 2006 , I promised both my boys a quilt each. I took them fabric shopping with very little knowledge of quilting fabric myself .Let them choose what they wanted. They did.M , being little bug that he is , bugged me till he got his quilt and only then let me off the proverbial hook. A on the other hand, my patient patient baby, would mention in the passing that he was waiting for his quilt now and then.And me being the uncrowned queen of procrastination kept put it off and off.

I told him ,beginning of this year, I would first finish his quilt and only then do anything else. Sadly I did not feel inspired at all to work on it. Finally, guilt ridden , I promised him that I would definitely make it before we left to India for our annual vacation.

Some of you might remember I was  working on the pinwheels a few weeks back.Then we had terrible dust.Apart from making everyone depressed, it also brings with it allergies. So the pinwheels  and the sewing  machine were left  unattended. With just a couple of days left for our trip, I was again struck by guilt pangs , what kind of a mother would I be, if I could not keep promises? made specially to a very patient accommodating child? So I got into a quilt making frenzy and completed his quilt just in time to take with us to India tomorrow. The aches all over my body ,a very stiff neck (from start to finish- piecing ,quilting etc all in a day and half)are nothing compared to the  relief at finally being able to cross this quilt off my list.  I’m not joking when I say its like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I used this tute to make the pinwheels. I’m in love this method. I used 61/2” squares .Previously I had planned to make just a squares quilts and  cut 61/2 “ squares.When I  chanced upon this tutorial,I decided to use the same squares for the blocks. I loved how easy it was, not to mention my fascination with the pinwheel blocks

.quilt show pictures 233

It also seemed to capture A’s fun loving, carefree and happy personality………….plus I wanted to make up for the wait by doing something more than just a basic square quilt.The fabric in the quilt were all chosen by him. Some of them are not even quilting fabric but I kept them because he chose them.They all represent his fascinations ;bikes, football, music, Cars the movie, dogs,his one time fascination with fire and fire engines .

quilt show pictures 243

I did have a skateboard flannel for the backing, but decided to go with the bikes as I figured flannel might be too hot for him.

quilt show pictures 244quilt show pictures 242

I used warm and natural  low loft  needled cotton  no pre wash necessary batting which I absolutely adore and think is the best I have worked with so far. I  guess that it made quilting that much more  manageable and easier for me. This is the first  big solo quilt that I’ve made.I had help for the one I made M from my teacher.

After piecing them,and attaching the border, I  stitched in the ditch with the quilt top across  the border and the pinwheels  .This is basically what I did.

I thought I will be cured of my pinwheel addiction after this quilt, but the fact is I’ve fallen deeper into pinwheel pit and oh I totally get that quilt blessing “may your bobbins be always full “ now Winking smilewhat I don’t get however is ,when I could finish this quilt in such a short time, why o why did I take so long to get to it earlier?