Thursday, December 2, 2010

Block Party

A block party?  Yes, but not what you're thinking about!  There's no food, no dancing, and certainly no chatting going around.  But there's plenty of lovely fabrics to be petted , cut, and sewn!

I've been making blocks for my 2nd sampler quilt.  This sampler quilt is all about perfecting my rotary cutting and precision sewing skills.  Of course don't forget about math.  I had to come up with the block size and from there determined the size of the triangles, squares, or rectangles to be cut for each block.

Churn Dash: Amy Butler and Rowan fabric. 

Hour Glass Block:  going for a black and white look here. 

Buckeye Beauty Block :  Rowan fabric

Breaking Out - Flying Geese Block : Rowan fabric.  Adpated from a pattern by Jennie of Sunflower Quilts for Fat Quarterly

All blocks measured 24cm x 24cm (25.5 with SA).  The first two blocks I sew with a generous 0.75 cm SA (seam allowance) For Bernina 640 that's moving the needle position 2 dots from the center point.  This shrank the block after all the quadrants were sewn together.  So for the next 2 blocks I moved the needle position 3 dots from the center point, making it a 0.6 cm SA.  This worked out better because after I ironed the blocks, they came out at the correct measurement!  Yeah!!

Two more blocks to sew, and then on to finding fabric for the border.  That's another project by itself - designing the border for this sampler quilt!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Present

Haven't been blogging lately because most of my free time was devoted to...

reading on my Kindle.  It's a K3 with wireless and Wi-Fi.  I love it.  I did purchase a lighted book cover to go with it, but I'll probably make a cover anyway because my Kindle deserves a quilted cover of its own!

Thank you, Mom!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Machine Quilting Class

October marked the startup of my advanced level machine quilting certification class!  We started off the class by practicing rotary cutting and piecing to make hour glass, half triangles, flying geese, and others.  For my block I used mostly Rowan fabric, and I was happy with the result!

The second project was to use the stack and shuffle technique with 4 fabrics to make a pillowcase.  For this , my color inspiration came from some projects I saw in Flickr!  

Here's my interpretation of black and white with a touch of red!

It's raining today!  So it'll be a great day to stay indoors and sew!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

My First Mini Quilt

It's been over 2 weeks since my last post!  What have I been up to?  I was busy making this...

My first mini quilt!  The quilt was made using a combination of linen, calicos, and Japanese yarn dyed fabric.  I was trying to for a French country look with this quilt.  As this was my first attempt at freezer paper piecing, I think I did OK.  Hmm...still need to think through how to sew the seams together!  I added some embroidery to give the quilt some dimension.  Didn't try free motion on this because it was for a swap and I was nervous about messing it up!

Here's the backing of the mini quilt.  The reason you can't seen any quilting on the back is because the backing was layered on after I completed the quilting.   I dressed up the quilt label with blanket stitches all the way around. 


So after 12 days of journey across the Pacific Ocean,  my Mini QT Quilt swap partner sent me this...

I just adore this "Home Tweet Home" mini quilt from my swap partner!  Wouldn't it be fun to live in this cheerful house?  Thank you, Ruth!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Check this out!

There's an awesome giveaway at freshly pieced .  Besides the giveaway, check out her Kissy Fish Baby Quilt tutorial, too!  You'll love it!

Monday, October 18, 2010

FMQA - pebbles

It's almost the end of the month and I've been MIA :)  After entering the Purse Week contest I've been fabric shopping - trying to collect more 30's prints and solids.  Though haven't done much quilting, I've been practicing drawing pebbles.  The pebbles design is quite a challenge to me because I can't meander that well.  So, this is what I have so far! 

I think I've finally got the rhythm and can move on to the practice pad!

Happy Quilting!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Getaway Quilted Bag

Here's the bag I'm entering in the Purse Week contest hosted by A Lemon Squeezy Home

The inspiration behind this bag was to transform a quilting technique into something of beauty and function.

I took 11 pieces of fabric and used the stack and shuffle technique to make this bag.  Six blocks formed the front panel of this quilted bag.  Free motion quilted with metallic thread.

Three stack and shuffle blocks made up the three open pockets on the back panel.  As the name implies, the entire bag was quilted to give it shape while maintaining a degree of softness that's gentle to touch!

The side-views here show two additional open pockets.  They are great for storing your cellphone and car keys.  Notice the pocket in the left photo.  The pocket opening is asymmetrical.  It was designed especially this way to reduce bulk on the seam allowance when all the panels are sewn together. 

Here's the view of the zipper treatment for the bag opening! 

Another reason that I love making my own bag is that I can customize the lining to my specification.  There are three open pockets plus a zipper compartment to store my personal items. 

Bag measurement:  15.5" x 10.5" x 4"
Fabric used:  Japanese and Rowan cotton fabric, Japanese yarn dyed fabric
Leather straps:  24" long

Last but not least..... Special thanks to my quilting teacher, Ms. Wu, for teaching me the stack and shuffle technique and guiding me through the completion of this bag.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Labor of Love

I've been working on the finishing touches on the bag that I'm entering in the Purse Week hosted by Lemon Squeezy Home . 

Hand binding the bag opening.  Those little clips work wonders on holding fabric together. 

Psst...Janet!  Do you see my little blue and green bowtie pincushion on the upper right hand corner?

I wish I discovered this great little tool sooner!  My quilting teacher told us it was good for basting your quilts.  But I've found it works just as well on temporary fastening your bag straps in position.  Then you can sew on the straps without fearing them shifting during the process!  Though this little gadget is kind of expensive, it cut down my sewing time (just on the bag straps) by 50%.  I love it!!

Stay tuned for my next post on My Getaway Quilted Bag!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

FMQA - Second Week Lines and Angles

This week's assignment  - lines and angles

I had to make a new practice pad for this week's assignment because the designs that Christina showed us are just so much fun to practice!

After this practice run I even quilted some of these designs on the back panel of  a WIP sewing case.

Hmm... I petted and praised the sewing case on a job well done because I couldn't believe how well it turned out.

Now I feel confident enough to quilt my top!

Sorry that you can't see the quilting.  My thread kind of blended in too well with the fabric!  Thread:  Sulky variegated quilting thread.  Needle size: #14.  Tension =4.5

vertical lines (quilt top)
The backing shows the quilted designs better than the quilt top. 

vertical lines (quilt backing)

I'm learning so much and having lots of fun with this quilt along.  Thank you, Christina!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


This past Sunday marked the arrival of Typhoon Fanapi to our little island of Taiwan.  Everyone stayed in and kept their TVs on for the lastest weather update and flood warnings! 

I did a little quilting and practiced my lines and angles for FMQA between household chores and such.  Took a little break to take a video of the view from our 2nd floor window.  What you're seeing are the roof tops of the nursery that's right next door.

Tomorrow is Mid Autumn Festival ( Moon Festival).  The moon will be at its most magnificent tomorrow night~~  I'll be thinking of you all...

Saturday, September 11, 2010

FMQA - First Week Wiggles

The assignment for the 1st week is wiggles.

Here's what my practice pad looks like. The gentle waves on the far right were easy to quilt as well as the "DNAs". The rest of the practice was on ribbons. I experiemented with different types of thread and tension setting. The black thread is 100% rayon embroidery thread. The thread kept on breaking and I even broke a needle!! Should I have used an embroidery needle? Overall I like the red quilting threads the best. They're sturdy and don't break as easily.

For this quilt I used: 喜佳quilting thread, bobbin thread is regular sewing thread and size 14 needle.

This is the beginning of the 1st strip - gentle wiggles followed by ribbons.

This is the end of the 1st strip: "DNA" design. I need more practice on this!

This is the beginning of the 2nd strip: gentle wiggles with leaves. I'm pleased with this especially since this was my first attempt! :)

This is the end of the 2nd strip: don't know what to call this, but it looks like waves to me!

This the backing of my quilt! As I mentioned in my previous post I used a one-sided fusible batting for this project. The quilt top is quite secured and smooth after quilting the two strips, but there's a problem with the backing. There are now ripples in the back of the quilt even though I spray basted the backing fabric to the batting.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fabric Mosaic Quilt

I finished machine binding this quilt today.  It took me 2.5 hours to bind this quilt from start to finish! Pat Sloan's tutorial was perfect!  I know it would have taken me three times as long to hand stitch the back binding of this quilt had I not known about this technique. 

Here's the back view of the quilt!  The top stitches were in line with the bottom stitches most of the time.

The stiletto proved to be quite useful in guilding the binding as I sew.

And here's the quilt that was set aside for a year!

This is a fabric mosaic quilt of my daughter.  Don't forget to squint your eyes when you look at it.  That will make the features more pronounced!   I posted the WIP of this quilt at my Chinese Blog.  Click here for Part I.  Click here for Part II.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sneak Peek

 This quilt was not forgotten, it was simply put aside... for over a year!!

There are lots of little squares in this quilt.  It's a quilt for my daughter. She's been after me to finish it.  I've completed the quilting which was mostly zig-zag stitches to hold the fabric together.  

I'm in the process of binding the quilt and by chance I saw a tutorial by Pat Sloan on machine binding.  I'm going to try this method for the first time.  We'll see how it turns out!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Free Motion Quilt Along - Quilt Top

A Few Scraps is hosting a free motion quilt along.  Here's my quilt top.  It turned out better than I anticipated considering these fabric were purchased 4 years ago when I first started to quilt. 

Instead of traditional basting the top to the batting with pins or thread, I'm going to cheat a little...!  I'm going to use fusible batting for this project.  We'll see how it works out next week.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Free Motion Sampler Quilt

Wow!  Two posts in one day.  This is a rare moment for me because I've been busy all summer chauffering the kids around to their various classes.  But they will be back to school next Monday.  Yipee!

Back in May I finished my first free motion sampler quilt.  Some of the quilting designs were inspired  by  Leah Day, author of Leah Day's 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs.

Titled "Matrix" from Day 17 from Leah Day's blog.

Titled "Heat Coil"  from Day 101 from Leah Day's blog.

Titled "Rainforest Leaf" from Day 112 from Leah Day's blog.

And here's a look at my sampler quilt

You may ask why I have to complete this quilt?  This beginner level free motion sampler quit is actually a required project for my machine quilting certification class.  The advanced level class will start in October. 

Personalized Book/Journal Cover Tutorial Part II

Hi, everyone!  Do you have your two strips of fabric ready?

                                     draw a 5 cm line on both sides of 2nd strip

Next we're going to fold at the 5 cm drawn line on both ends like so.

                          This is what 2nd strip looks like at this point.

                                  place 1st strip on top of 2nd strip right sides together

                        This is what the layers look like from inside.

  Turn the fabric rightside out and the slip pocket (folded area) is on top of 2nd strip.

                        Turn the slip pockets in so that they are on top of the 1st strip of fabric.

                                                       You've done it! 

I hope you've been able to follow this "pictorial" tutorial.   I would love to hear from you if you make a book cover by following this tutorial.

Happy Sewing!