Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Key Pouch for Jill's 40th

I have come across Heidi's Fabric Mutt by chance. I really admire her generosity in sharing ideas and tutorials for all things beautiful that she has made. I need something little as a 40th birthday present and Heidi's tutorial on the key pouch comes in very handy. :-) I leisurely made this pouch in about an hour.... Jill is a lovely person to be around (when she is around!). I have added a Paris key ring that I brought back from the trip earlier this year to make the key pouch a little extra special touch for her 40th birthday, which today.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Some Phrases - My Favourites


I enjoy hand embroidery when I get around to sit down for quiet moments. These phrases are my favourites. They aren't originals. I have seen them in various places. I embroided them and made little wallhangings for my quilting room. The projects were slow going and it has taken quite a few years for me to finish them all off.! Each one has special meaning (to me, of course :-) ). They also remind me of those who I shared some lovely time and wonderful moments with....

Monday, October 13, 2014

I was at 2014 AMQF

AMQF is held every two years since 2010, and I have been to the festival from the first time it was held. Earlier this month, it was my third trip to the AMQF in Adelaide, South Australia. I attended almost all classes on the Gammill Statler by Kelly Gallagher-Abbott, and a few classes on freehand quilting by Linda V Taylor. Kelly was wonderful with her knowledge on the Statler. I have learnt so much on tips and techniques the Creative Studio software has to offer. Linda is well-known and well-respected in the longarm quilting world. She is the face of Gammill (almost like its trademark to me!). Her skill was fantastic and I admire her a great deal.

And, to cap that off, before hopping on the plane to fly back to Sydney, I joined the Missouri Star Quilt Co. trunk show by Jenny Doan and Ron, Jenny's other fun-half. Jenny was in her element and the show was so much fun. She demonstrated several patchwork blocks using pre-cut fabrics - all are very tempting. :-)

.... I did find some time here and there in between classes to have a look around Adelaide. It's a beautiful city and the weather was nice during my stay. I left before the AMQF was concluded as it was during the NSW school holiday. I wanted to spend some time with my Sunshine going to a play, etc., and we had a lovely family time before school went back.

Friday, September 19, 2014

'Muted' Quilt

Sightseeing as a tourist while travelling through Scandinavia, I admired and marveled at the interior designs and different colour schemes. In Oslo, on our way to the playground at Vigelandsparken Sculpture Park, my Sunshine and I visited a patchwork shop, Kathrines Quilte Stue. While there, I have learnt to be more appreciative of 'muted' colours.

I probably bough these fabrics in 'French General' range by Moda soon after my return from the trip. I was attracted to their quiet and pleasant colours. With a simple patchwork pattern, this 'muted' quilt was made. I chose the quilting pattern named 'am-gingerflower' by Apricot Moon Design for the quilt and I'm very happy with the result. It took me longer than expected to complete the quilt as my (still) wonderful Gammill Statler took a break half way through the quilting. Early morning chat to Gammill in the US identified that the quilting machine needed a new Galil board, and was subsequently serviced before I was able to continue the quilting and eventually finish off the quilt. Creative Studio software has made it possible for me to pick up the quilting where it was left off, and I have no complaint - I'm very happy about it, actually.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Spiral Hexagon Doily

I was just flicking through a book of crochet patterns to refresh my mind late one night, and this particular pattern had me curious. Two hours later (and forgetting about going to bed), I was crocheting away and thought that I would make a coaster for my coffee cup. But then, I wanted to finish the whole ball of the cotton I was using. So, after a few train trips to and from work (and to stop me from falling asleep on the way home!), a coaster grew to become a doily for my metronome, instead.! I did have to do some 'blocking' to shape the doily after I finished crocheting it. It's now taking a 'stately place' on my piano so that I'm seeing it more often than not. :-)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Bicycle Quilt

It has been quite a journey to get this bicycle quilt finished although it took only about 20 hours in total to make the quilt.

Last year, the fabrics travelled from Hamilton, MO to Seattle, WA, to Sydney, Australia via San Francisco, CA. As there was still relatively plenty of time, I left it till very late. By the time the quilt should have been made, I was running out of time and my hope of getting the quilt finished was dimmed. But things happened for reasons.... I found some pockets of time to work on it and was almost there, but then, my wonderful Gammill Statler decided to take a break 2 rows short of finishing the quilting.! I frantically sent out an SOS for help. And by this stage, my hope of getting the quilt done was dashed altogether.

Soon after, help came from the kindest people in the US and UK whom I have never met, and together with my fantastic dealer at EMCO, my wonderful Gammill Statler came back to life to finish the stitching.... But it was as if I was to be defied and the quilt wasn't supposed to be done in time when I ran out of thread for the binding, 2/3 of the way, at 1am on the day I wanted to give the quilt away as a 60th birthday present, to one of the very few special persons I have come across, up to this point of my life. I unpicked the binding and re-attached it with a different colour thread. To finish off the quilt, I machine-stitched the binding down because there wasn't time for the hand-stitching. I got the quilt done, it was looking beautiful and well-received.... Mission accomplished. :-)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I (We) made it there (to the Sydney Quilt Show)

Today was a lovely sunny Sunday, the last day of 2014 Sydney Quilt Show. My Sunshine and I made it there, to Glebe Island, where the Show was held. It was a fun 'mother and son' day out. :-) We enjoyed the ferry rides from and to Darling Harbour.... I missed seeing my quilt at the Show when I first entered it back in 2011 as I was away in France. So, I try to be there to see my quilt when I'm home. I was very pleased to see my quilt hung at the Show this year.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

It must be hidden! - Label of My 2014 Show Quilt

I handed my quilt to the organiser of the Sydney Quilt Show this afternoon. It's a kind of log cabin quilt. This year, the quilt label must be covered or the quilt will be ineligible for judging. I'm obliged to comply although I don't think my quilt is a winning kind. I make a quilt for practical use, and not so much for keeping or to be put away as a precious item.!

(Details of the quilt label are blocked out in this photo)

.... I used 60 strips from 2 sets of the same pre-cut 2 1/2 inch strip batik fabric range (Tonga Treats by Timeless Treasures) for the quilt. The log cabin pattern was drawn up with my own calculation based on the amount of the pre-cut fabrics and their colours. In this day and age, it's probably less common, but I enjoy working out quilt patterns by hand using mental arithmetic as I find it relaxing, truely. :-) [I do have EQ7 but rarely use it] I have chosen shades of rainbow as the colour scheme for the quilt and have decided on a grey background (instead of white or cream) in an attempt to tone down the contrast. The quilt pattern has a lot of corners. To soften up the angular feature of the quilt, I used the swirl and circle quilting pattern named 'modern snails' by Anita Shackelford for the quilting. I used different colours of the same printed pattern fabrics for the binding, and some of left over fabrics from the binding for the quilt label. I like and am pleased with the finished quilt. I hope that I will be able to see it hung at the Show, but I will see....

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I have been to places

I feel fortunate to have opportunities to travel to places as part of my work on the study related to global health. This is the latest trip I have just returned from....

I have had a wonderful time away. It was a productive trip work-wise, and there were also many fun-filled activities during trip. I visited a few patchwork shops along the way, and bought some fabrics and other sewing related items, naturally. :-) I also had opportunities to view a few art exhibitions at the museums, including my favourite Master painter, Vincent van Gogh. But the trip did come with a price tag - I have been kept very busy at work, with all the things to be done leading up to the trip. I'm by no mean a superwoman, so, am falling behind with updating my blog - an excuse, I know, but it's a good one, I think. :-)

I have been very busy working on the binding of my Show quilt for the Sydney Quilt Show this year since I got back as it must be handed in this week.!! Next update, I will have a couple of finished projects to share, and photos of the quilts that I quilted uploaded. I hope it will be before a draft for book chapter and a manuscript are done, but I will see.!!

Ultramod Mercerie opens Monday to Friday, and I was there on Saturday.!! .... Something to look forward to when I return to Paris next year.

It took a while to locate Moline Mercerie on 'Rue Livingstone' because the one street 'Rue D'Orsel' has its name changed halfway through to 'Rue Livingstone' (see below), but the map shows the street as 'Rue D'Orsel' all the way.

In Amsterdam, I breezed past Den Haan & Wagenmakers this time as I haven't yet finished the quilt being made using fabrics bought from the shop last time I was there, and that was a couple of years ago.!! I did returned to Birdblocks to buy some more modern Dutch theme fabrics. I would have like to buy a few extra pieces but I didn't have capacity to bring everything I wanted back home with me. So, again, something to look forward to when I return to The Netherlands next year.

 This cute little doll and her craft case was in the toy section in Galeries Lafayette.

The rest of the photos tells stories by themselves. :-)