Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Dora and Diego

Somehow, I have been invited to a 2nd birthday party on the same day as a 40th birthday party next Saturday 6th November. I have no problem with finding a present for the 40th birthday party. But coming up with a present for the 2nd birthday party, I need to be a little creative. ‘Dora and Diego’ is the theme. First of all, I needed to educate myself who Dora and Diego were. I’m not a girlie kind, so I resorted to EBay to find something suitable as a present. Making a rug from Dora and Diego pillow cases came to mind, and so the project got started. As I'm a bit more experienced, getting a project started and finished has become easier for me, with less time spending on thinking things through over and over again. With some colourful scraps, I have made this rug for the birthday girl, Isla, my friend’s daughter. Being a practical kind of person, I have made the rug to be used and dragged around the house, and not to be kept. I hope Isla will enjoy using her rug, made with my loving hands. :-)

Through 'Cathedral Window'

I took a quilting class with Meg Orr at Craft Depot last Saturday 30th October to learn how to make ‘Cathedral window’. I’m very pleased that I went after the complication of double-booking my day with something else. Meg is specialised in ‘Cathedral window’ and has been accredited by the Quilters’ Guild of NSW. While driving home at the end of the day, my creative brain was very busy thinking about all kinds of windows and colours that I could create using this particular technique. After ‘playing’ with corners of a few sheets of A4 recycled paper for a while, I have decided to incorporate the technique into making a Japanese wall hanging as a present for Lidia, my Spanish colleague, who is leaving to go back to Spain next month. Lidia loves all things about Japan. I picked and chose the fabrics for the piece from the scraps that I bought when the sale was on at Aussie Patches. I found the process (of making it) was relaxing with some hand sewing – Naturally, as a physiotherapist, I always enjoy fine hand movements and motor control. I’m quite happy with the result and I hope Lidia would like her present too. I’m giving it to her at our farewell lunch at work tomorrow, 3rd November, when I will also farewell my creative craft work. [ PS. Lidia was so delighted to receive the present, and I was very pleased to see her delightful face and smile at the lunch. :-) ]

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Marijke and Em (mE)

I love old things and enjoy being around people who are ‘experienced’ in life. I hope Marijke doesn’t mind that I tell everyone she is turning 60 in a couple of months. To celebrate my ‘special’ friendship with Marijke, I have made this appliqué and mounted the piece on an old canvas. I was on the plane back from the Australian Machine Quilting Festival (AMQF) in Adelaide a few weeks ago and was flicking through old magazines that came with the bag given to me at the festival (and yes, I will soon become on of the Statler sisters). I found this particular pattern in the Australian HomeSpun No. 82 (Vol11.3) that instantly reminded me of my friendship with Marijke and thought to myself that I must make it. I got the project going straight after I came back. I even forgot about my piano lesson on the day while working on the appliqué (my piano teacher wasn’t impressed). I have made the appliqué ‘mine’ by changing the colours and adding a few things to the pattern including the hearts and my tatted trims on the skirts. I used the Dutch Houses fabric for the background to reflect my love for ‘Dutch’ and the fact that Marijke is a Dutch lady. Linda Robertus designed the fabric and I bought it from Spoonflower. The canvas is now sitting on the window sill in my sewing room, in front of my Bernina where I can see it all the time. And, I smile at the appliqué every time I see it.

My 'Monster' Bag

I have bought my beloved Bernina Aurora 440 QE in December 2009. I thought to myself that the best way to learn to know my new ‘friend’ was to join the Bernina club at the local sewing centre close to home. A year-long project for 2010 is to make up panels and put them together as a craft bag. Kits were made up for each lesson and everyone in the class learnt to use different techniques and sewing feet to sew up panels with their own 'finishing touch'. It has been almost a year since then. I missed three lessons due to my work commitments but did have the kits to work on in the early hours of the day when it’s quiet and cold.!! This weekend, I have finally caught up with the project and put together all the panels to make up a bag. The bag turns out to be quite large, so I call it ‘Monster’ bag. The colours and designs aren’t my style. But as part of the learning process, I’m prepared to accept what comes. I took it to the Tatters’ Guild get together yesterday and the ladies loved it. They all thought that the bag was great and ‘arty’. I will have to make a point of using it now and then when I feel like being a bit ‘different’ from my usual creative self, especially when I go to sewing lessons.!!


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My first quilt-as-you-go

At the end of August, I took a quilting lesson ' Quilt-As-You-Go' (QAYG) with Meg Orr at Craft Depot in Pennant Hills, Sydney. I was half asleep for most of the time during the class because the warm air was blowing directly on my face the whole time I was sitting there, trying to sew. The fact that I was very tired from the trip to Brisbane to learn more about DISMOD III and had just arrived back in Sydney late the night before didn't help either. Nevertheless, I did manage to grasp the idea of how QAYG was done. I chose the Arcadia Jelly Roll by Sanae for Moda for the quilt I was making. I like the combination of colours. Meg was a very good teacher and a kind person. In a nice way, she didn't expect any of her students to finish their quilts so soon, and so I quietly took that up as a challenge. At that stage, I knew I would see her again in mid-September for another quilting class. Wanting to show and impress that there was a student who could finish her quilt in a few weeks, I stayed up late a few nights to work on the quilt. I know it's a silly thing to do after working long hours during the day, but I was determined. I finished the binding about midnight on the day before my next quilting class with Meg. I was very pleased with myself and the quilt, and so was Meg with her student. She complemented me on the finish and quality of my sewing, the reward from being a very good 'un-picker', I gathered. !! I'm a slow learner...I'm making another QAYG.!!

Em's 'evening handbag'

At the Hornsby Bernina club last month, we were learning to make an evening handbag. I never thought that I would be making anything like this with my sewing because I'm such a homebody and going out at night is just not me. Anyhow, I always like to finish a project that I have started and I did finish making the bag. It didn't take too long for me to get it done, with my own favourite touch of simple and 'plain Jane' style. As it turned out, on top of enjoying the process of making it, I quite like the bag. I, now and then, make a point of carrying it around the house in my pyjamas/nightie before going to bed because it's an 'evening handbag'. :-)

Monday, September 6, 2010

I love Sunflower

Among my other sewing and quilting projects and lessons, on top of my work, I have managed to finish the sunflower wall hanging last weekend. The original pattern is from Fons and Porter's Love of Quilting Magazine July/August 2010 issue; Sunny Trio by Patrick Lose. I'm not very good at working out mirror images and inexperience in working with templates. So, my version of the wall hanging is slightly different from the published one in the magazine. I have also made a few other mistakes with the batting and when to trim the edges but, luckily, they weren't critical and didn't stop me from finishing of the piece. Nevertheless, I'm pleased and very happy with the result. My neighbour thought they looked more like turtles. Bright yellow turtles, perhaps. :-) !!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Coat Hanger

At Sydney Craft Expo in March this year, the lady who owns 'World of Lace' shop showed me how to knit the lace in with the wool to make pretty coat hangers. I have made a few of the 'simple' pattern as I'm not so skilful at knitting. The coat hangers are handy, practical and make good presents. I have kept the white one in the picture for one of my many coats as it's the first one I ever attempted. I made the purple one for my colleague, Marita. She likes it although she thinks it looks ‘daggy’.!!

More on Pin Cushion

I have made this pin cushion for my colleague, Marita. She likes shades of purple, so they are the colours I have chosen. Again, I have tatted the edge for trimming.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tatted Bookmarks

I like to make things that are practical. Tatting bookmarks is one of my 'practical' creative activities. They are useful and make special presents for friends and colleagues. Because they don't take too long to make, I can finish one within 5 train trips.!! I usually tat a bookmark on the way home from work by train, the trip takes about 1 hour. It helps with distracting me from constantly thinking about work. Four of the bookmarks in the pictures won first, second and third prizes at 2009 and 2010 Castle Hill Shows, Sydney.

Pin Cushion

Here is my version of the pin cushion from the tutorial section at 'crazy mom quilts' by AMANDAJEAN. I have added a tatted edge to make the seam between the cushion and the tin look neat and pretty. I'm following AMANDAJEAN's Blog and have been admiring her quilts and creative ideas.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lap quilt for Marijke

I made this lap quilt for my dearest friend's birthday in December 2007. Marijke is a typical lovely Dutch lady. To make it feel special for the occasion, I chose the fabrics with the Australian national flower, Wattle, for the quilt. I picked up the idea for the quilt pattern from a cushion cover that I saw at one of the local craft fairs.

Fabric Postcard

Linda Robertus has introduced me to the fabric postcard. These were the first three cards that I made. The very first one is the one with the butterfly. I sent it to Linda to thank her for suggesting this creative idea to me. It's a lovely and practical way of using up scraps. I have still got the frog one. The lady in the middle was Loralie Designs. She has gone (for good) to a Christmas party last year.!!

Pot Stand - Domino Knitting

Last year, I learnt a new way (to me) of knitting a square from a book called 'Domino Knitting' by Vivian Hoxbro. It's a good way for me to use up bits and pieces of left over wools. My first project was a pot stand. It is now residing in my kitchen and regularly used.

Nine patch baby quilt

In February this year, I joined the local Bernina Club and have been to a few sewing lessons to learn from the experts. Last month (April), I have managed to make this quilt for a friend's baby boy who was born on the day the quilt was finished. With help from the BSR of my beloved Bernina Aurora 440 QE, I have managed to add some free motion quilting to the quilt. I'm still a long way from mastering the technique.!!

Blue Ribbon Doily

In March this year, I ventured into the open category and this piece came third at 2010 Castle Hill Show, Sydney. The doily didn't live up to its name but I was still quite pleased with the result. The pattern was originally designed by Florence Anthony. I have added some beads to the centre of each motif to make the piece a bit more unique to my taste. During the process of making this doily, I have discovered that I like to tat with beads.

Celtic Sugar and Spice Doily

I started to learn how to tat properly in April 2008 at the NSW Tatters' Guild. Clare Banks was my first teacher. Shirley Reynolds was one another fellow student of Clare who started to learn to tat on the same day as me. I have become a member of the Guild since then. At the Guild's monthly meeting on the first Saturday of the month at Dence Park, Epping (Sydney), I have met and become good friend with a number of lovely ladies. They share their wealth of knowledge and experience with me. I have learnt and still am learning a lot from them. I won the first prize in the beginner category for the piece shown at 2009 Castle Hill Show, Sydney, in March. It's the first time that I entered the competition, so I was quite pleased with the outcome. The pattern of this doily is from "Needle Tatting from the Heart by Tina Neudorf, Edited by Barbara Foster, Handy Hands, Inc'.