Monday, December 24, 2007

Bagged a wild one!

Finally I completed the bagpack much awaited by Aiman! He was more than happy to model this for me. *smile*

I simply love the fabric motif on this one. Very wild looking, and just appropriate for an active child like Aiman who loves the outdoors and all the jungle animals.

The inside is done in the colour of the pocket and the flap. I think should ever I want to make another bagpack like this, I am going to make some minor changes to it to make it easier to finish off the bag.

I had some trouble putting on the straps because Gill only taught me how to put/sew on the straps after the whole bag was put together, which made it difficult for me as I has difficulty getting the thickness of the bag plus the straps through the pressure foot. I just hope that the straps will stay on the bag for the life of the bag, which I hope will be a long one.

What do you think? Does it look as good as the store bought one? wink* I think it was worth the trouble and difficulty I went through making this bag when I saw the twinkle in Aiman's eyes upon seeing the bag.

It was fun doing it up, and seeing it form before your eyes, and imagining the excitement on Aiman's eyes when completed. *smile* I hope Aiman will enjoy using it for a long time to come.

I have some extra fabric from the bag. What do you suggest I should make next? Make anotehr one? Maybe I should make another house tissue box cover. That should be wild, huh? *wink*

Another shopping bag would look good too, huh? *grin*

An attempt at machine quilting

Never never assume that anything is easy or looks easy until you try it out yourself!

Before I tried machine quilting, I always thought that it couldn't possibly be that difficult, especially when Kelvin from Sakura made it look ever so effortless. Well, for one, he has had loads of practice, and two, he's got a sewing machine that is in the same class as a Mercedez Benz, as June puts it, and all I have is just a Perodua Kembara! LOL!

Yup, I tried my hands at machine quilting last Saturday at Quilt Gallery. I bought this pattern at QG that has flower motifs on it meant for hand or machine quilting. QG has got several different motifs, priced at RM 100.00 a kit, containing the motif printed (with washable ink) on white or pink plain cotton, a piece of batting and a backing piece cut 2 size. I did the basting at home as instructed by Gill, so that I will be set and ready for the machine quilting come last Saturday.

I thought machine quilting would be easy and I could get it done sooner. Surinder showed me a finished piece done by Lauren, Gill's daughter, done by hand, and it was really nice, but, I thought it was going to take me longer to do, so, I opted for the machine quilting. Now I wonder if I had made the right decision. LOL! *grin*

I might just try out hand quilting when I am done with this piece should I have the mood to later. *grin* I think quilting by hand is a matter of getting your stitches to be even and of the same size. Probably doing by hand gives you better control of your stitches compared to machine quilting.

With machine quilting, you need to control the pressure on your foot pedal while, at the same time, you also need to control how you move your piece to give you that even tension. If you pull too fast, you get stitches that are too far apart, too slow, and your stitches are too close together, despite setting your tension already. You are also trying to move the piece in curves to follow the motifs, so it is all a matter of hand, eye and foot coordination. That is what is most difficult. I slept at 2.00am last night because I was determined to finish the machine quilting part, and ended with a backache. I did a lot of unpicking and re-sewing it to prevent the puckering, but when it gets past 1.00 am, your eyes, hand movement and foot coordination is simply out as is to be expected at such a late hour! LOL!

This coming Saturday, Gill will be showing me how to use the darning foot to do free motion quilting. I tried to do it on my own, but simply have not got the know how technique to get it right. My tensions are haywire. LOL! Wish me luck!

What will I be doing with it when done? It could be turned into a cushion cover, but the size is a little too big for my cushions - 16" x 16" motif to motif. By the time I add the edges, it might get bigger.

My cushions are 15" x 15", unless I don't mind a loose fit for my cushion, but I would need two pieces to make up a set. I don't think I want tp do another one! LOL! My wrist hurts from all the turning and controlling of the piece, just to get this one piece done! LOL! To do another one? *shaking my head*

I am also not too happy with my overall tension of the piece, this being a practice piece, with quite a number of puckering here and there. It is a lovely motif though, and it would be a waste to have it stashed into a closet.

Maybe machine quilting, with the exception of the stitch in the ditch and channel stitching, which I have done numerous times, and my tension is not too bad *wink*, is simply not for me. I salute and admire those who can machine quilt a whole king size quilt. I had loads of trouble manouvering my small 16" x 16" piece! LOL!

Kelvin from Sakura did it with such ease, but of course, when you have had loads of practice, and doing it on a BERNINA, that has an even tension guide control that no matter how hard you press on the foot pedal, your tension will still be the same and even, so all you need is to concentrate on moving your piece. Even if you pull your piece too fast or too slow, your tension will also remain even.

Am I hinting that I will be buying the BERNINA soon? Nope, not just yet! *wink*

Sunday, December 23, 2007

A bag, a little stitching and some crocheting

We went on holiday to Bukit Merah Laketown Resort last weekend. A great place for very active kids like my son who just couldn't keep still, even for two minutes! LOL!

I will write more about the holiday in another posting, but first, I thought I would update progress on the crafts that I have been doing in the last two weeks.

As usual, I wouldn't leave the house without my stitching, so, for the holiday to Bukit Merah, it wasn't any different, only I had to bring something that would be easier to carry, take out and do, and also quick to keep/pack up. I decided to bring my crochet piece and also my Ice Cream Sundae project with me.

I never took out the Ice Cream Sundae project throughout our 3 day stay at Bukit Merah, because of the many colours of threads involved, and most of the places we went to wasn't condusive for stitching. Crocheting was the better option, so here is my progress so far.

I am already up to the 20th row. It's got another 5 more rows to go. I can't wait to get it done so that I can spend my time doing, maybe another tissue box cover? *wink*

I have also been doing some stitching on the Ice Cream Sundae piece, though not much progress, as I seem to have very little lunch time breaks lately to do any stitching, with most of my meetings running right through lunch.

Another project I completed some time back, but could not find time to upload the photo is my 3rd bag I learned from Quilt Gallery. This is one tough bag to do, with a lot of hand stitching to put the many thick layers together to ensure that it stays in place before machine sewing. I pricked my finger countless times before I finally completed the bag.

I don't think I want to do this style of bag again becuse it was a tough one to do, especially with all the pricking of the needle into my fingers. I might only do another one if I can find an easier and less 'painful' way to do it.

I am now in the midst of doing Aiman a bagpack. I will definitely put up photos of it once it is completed. Aiman can't wait for it, and has been asking me when is it going to be done.

I've got it covered!

Yup! Definitely it's covered! You wouldn't know it's a tissue box cover if not for the `smoke' coming out of it's chimney. *smile*

I finally completed my tissue box cover, and now my tissue box has now been housed! *grin* It took me two classes to complete it at the Sakura Sewing Shop in SS19, Subang Jaya. I had fun doing it, though I pricked my finger twice doing it! Yeah! There were some portions where I had to push my needle hard to get it through the layers, and the needle just went simply right into my finger instead, causing blood to spurt out! yewwww!!! LOL! *grin*

It's a lovely tissue box cover, don't you think so? *wink* Kind of cute and sweet! Heheh.....again it is in pink! LOL! Well, actually, I had to buy the kit, and it came in only 4 colours - blue, pink, yellow and brown, so naturally I chose PINK! LOL!

I kind of like the brown because I thought it would make it more like a real house, but I did not fancy the motif/pattern on the fabric. I might make another one in brown. In fact, I think I might make more than one in other colours as well. I presently have a tissue box in almost every corner of my house. That way, whenever I, or my hubby or son needs to sneeze, we wouldn't need to go running around looking for a tissue box. LOL!

It does make such lovely gifts too, and I get to use leftover fabrics from my other big projects. excuse to buy more stash if I use up as much of my present stash as possible! LOL! *wink* Opps! My mum is going to be shaking her head again, saying that I am buying more trash! LOL! *wink* Kidding, mum! BTW, we miss you here in Malaysia. Raya isn't the same without you here with us.

Sakura has more classes planned for 2008, among which, I heard would be placemats, zippered pouch and many more. I also saw a cockerel tea cosy on one of the walls of the classroom, which I am tempted to take the class, but I will have to see how my schedule is for next year.

In the mean time, I am going to be making more tissue box covers and bags! *wink*

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bowled over! *wink*

heheh....that sounded like a great game, didn't it? LOL! *wink*

Two Saturdays ago, on 8th December, June, Janet, BJ and I decided to meet up for some stashing and chat up at Cottage Patch, Ampang. I have not been there in almost 7 years, and thus could not remember how to get there although I do know where it is located. OK, the truth is, I am hopeless when it comes to driving at places where I am unfamiliar with, and besides, I have a hubby. Aren't hubbies supposed to drive you around? LOL! *wink*

Thank you for driving me there, Dear, despite the bad traffic jam that you had to endure. I was just looking forward to the stashing trip! *wink* I really appreciate it! I love you!

Anyway, as June, Janet, BJ and I were busy enjoying ourselves stashing away at Cottage Patch *wink*, my hubby took our son across the street to Ampang Point to explore the place. When I called them more than an hour later to find out where they were so that I can meet up with them, I was told that they were in queue waiting for a bowling lane to be free. Yup! My son wanted to try his hands at bowling!

So, I made my way there on the fourth floor of Ampang Point, not long after which they managed to get a lane to play. My son was jumping up and down in excitement. You have to know that it was his own initiative that he wanted to try out bowling. My hubby never asked nor encoraged him to try it out. He was just amazed seeing how people played and think that it is an easy game - just throw the ball and the pins will fall! LOL!

Well, as you can see from the photos, the one immediately above shows the coach (my hubby, of course!) showing him how the game is played. From the next set of photos, you can see how excited my son was trying his hands at bowling. But, of course, the ball went right into the drain! LOL!

How did the coach fair on that day considering that he has not bowled for some time? Err.....I think I shouldn't embarass my hubby here! LOL! *wink*

The important thing was that my son enjoyed himself and has already made plans for the next bowling session/boys out with his dad. He has asked me when I am going shopping with my friends again! LOL! Now, isn't that understanding of my son............LOL! *wink*

A quilt for my son

Wow! Has it been really that long since I last updated my blog?

Yup, it’s one of those times again when work is simply hectic, not up to my neck, but way above my head! Help! I am drowning in work! LOL! *wink*

Wanting to destress myself from the hectic work schedule, I decided to sign up for a few more bag classes at Quilt Gallery. I also signed up to make a house tissue box cover at Sakura Sewing Shop in SS19 Subang Jaya. I thought this would make lovely gifts should I need one. *wink*

I initially planned on signing up for the chenille bag class at Sakura, but decided not to, at least, not yet. I needed a break from making bags since my bag class at Quilt Gallery is still running for a few more classes. I am now in the midst of making a bagpack for Aiman.

Anyway, I thought I’d update my blog and `show off’ *wink* the quilt cover I made for my son by recycling my old queen size quilt cover. Just my little teeny weeny contribution to saving the environment. *wink* It was completed close to a month already, but I simply could not get around to putting up the photos. But, finally, here it is….

A closer look at the fabric and you will see that the motifs are cats! Yup! My son chose the fabric himself. He also chose the yellow fabric, which, coincidentally has cat paws on it, but is not clearly visible in the photo. Time for me to get a new camera too like BJ’s? *wink*

I decided on an orangy red fabric backing to complement the majority of reds on the cat fabric. I like the combination, and the way the quilt cover has turned out - simple but nice! *wink* The only problem now is that my son complains that the quilt is too heavy for him, although he does love the quilt. *smile*

I think the weight is due to the fact that I only cut the old queen size quilt to fit into a single size quilt cover, but sewed on the ruffles into the old quilt. I was too lazy to cut it off because then I would have to bind all the 4 sides. At the moment, I had only bind the side that I had cut to make it into a single size quilt. I think the ruffles added weight to the quilt. But, I must say that the quilt is really warm and cozy. *wink*