Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sewing for the Kitchen

If you have been a reader of my blog, then you may have noticed that I love making things for the kitchen. I guess it's because I spend so much time there! I recently visited a beautiful house and noticed the recipient could use a little mug rug for his kitchen.

 I fuzzy cut the mouse print in the center and used the anti-slip backing again for this. It's the same material as the one I used for the olive oil apron

They are using this tiny mug rug with the olive oil bottle. Isn't it adorable!? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Neglected Blog

Wow! It has been over one month since I last blogged! But December is just always such a busy month, right? I am proud to say I dropped off most of the holiday cards right before the post office closed today. I think those will all make it to the intended recipients, except for the international folks. Oops!

I really have not done too much knitting or sewing at all! I have a list of things I want to make, so hopefully I will find time during my holiday time off to work on them.

I found these adorable wine charms the other day. I think they are perfect for holiday gatherings this time of the year!

These were so easy to make. The circular loops came premade from the beads store. I simply picked up some beads and charms. 

Now everyone can have his or her own wine glass charms. Don't touch mine! :) 

By the way, this reminds me of these adorable wine bottle covers last year. Oh how cute are they!? 

Happy holidays you all!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Itty Bitty Tiny Feet

My dear friend recently had her first baby, and I was thrilled to finally meet him for the very first time. I made him a tiny pair of baby booties using a pattern from Ysolda's "Whimsical Little Knits" book. These booties were made in one piece without seaming. I highly recommend this pattern. Please see my Ravelry page for my information on this project.

My friend happens to be an excellent photographer; this is her photo. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Perfect Pair

I finished the Christmas Express Train using a pattern purchased from this year's PIQF. This was my first time making applique with Roxanne's Temporary basting glue. This makes the entire process go so much faster, and it eliminates the need to first trace the pattern onto the backing. Also, I did not have to pin the pieces down one at a time.

These two reminds me of a perfect couple I know.

I hand appliqued the motif and hand stitched around it. This wall hanging was mostly made with scrap fabrics. Scrap fabrics are perfect for applique projects. You just never know when you may need that tiny little square of blue, green, or whatever color the pattern calls for. The candy cane fabric was from my LQS; so perfect for the holiday.

I hope the recipients enjoy it for years to come! Who says holiday prints are only for displaying during the holidays!?

I made the cutest baby booties using Ysolda's Tiny Shoes pattern for a two-month old baby. These little shoes are being blocked; more photos on that soon!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Twisted Limone - What a Beauty

Have you seen these gorgeous TwistedLimone hand dyed sock yarn? My friend, Marisa, is addicted to these things! She has made tons of socks with these yarn. Check out how she did the heel so the stripes line up -- so smart. So of course, I had to get some too! I just received this beauty in the mail. I cannot wait to play with this. 

By the way, I finished the Christmas Express Train wall hanging. More photos on that soon!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Quilt Story

I am featured on Quilt Story today! Go check it out. It's one of my favorite blogs for inspirations!

Quilt Story

Monday, October 29, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2012

I decided to submit my recent Marmalade quilt in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival. I am sure you have heard about this festival by now; it's hard not to notice it everywhere through all of my blog feeds.

Sorry if you have already read about this quilt, but please bare with me once more. I hand quilted this with one Marmalade charm pack. The top was made with the disappearing nine-patch method, and it was super easy.

I love taking my finished quilt outdoor for photo shoot and especially appreciate the way finished quilts look all rolled up. 

Quilt Measurements: 50"x36"

Special Technique used: Disappearing nine-patch for the top

Hand Quilted by: Me!

Best Category: Favorite Hand Quilted Quilt

Linking up to Amy's post. Go check out all the beautiful quilts entered! You will need more than 10 minutes!

Amy's Creative Side

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Christmas Express Applique

Thank you for your camera recommendations, especially after having seen many great photos you have taken with these cameras. I will definitely have to check them out.

I purchased the most darling Christmas Express applique pattern from Holly Hill Quilt Designs at PIQF this year.  I modified it for a special recipient in mind. I think they will love it.

Choo Choo!

I used to love applique, but haven't done it in awhile. I used the freezer paper method and tried basting glue for the very first time. And there is no going back! The days with pins will not be missed! I cannot wait to stitch this down onto my new 30's reproduction background fabric from my LQS.

The weather in my area has been outstanding. I hope you are enjoying your weekend doing what you love. Talk soon.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Another Hand Quilted Finish

I am on a roll! I finished the Marmalade quilt that I started in September. This is scary because according to my blog posts, I started and finished this quilt in only one month! I machine pieced the top and hand quilted everything else. It was my first time attempting the scalloped edge, and I think it came out pretty good. It's not perfect, but I will live with it.

This quilt measures approximately 50" x 36".

I used one Marmalade charm pack, combined it with a white sashing, and finished it with a matching yellow border found at my LQS. And of course, I used Quilter's Dream Cotton 100% pure cotton batting. This photo quality is not great at all. I need a new camera to show off all of my beautiful stitches. Do you have recommendations for a good camera? I want one of those big and fancy kind that zooms in and out!

Beautiful scalloped edge.

I machined washed and dried this finished quilt. The crinkly look is just so perfect! My dog thinks so too. He refused to move from my quilt! Gotta love him :)

"Say what!? I am not moving!"

When binding for the scalloped edge, you need to cut on the bias -- this will allow the fabric to stretch and curve around the scalloped edge. I used this tutorial on how to do the cutting. Then I watched the tutorial by the Missouri Quilt Company on how to do the scalloped edge binding. I recommend both of them.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

PIQF 2012

I took Friday off to attend the annual PIQF held at the Santa Clara Convention Center. I am so lucky that this place is so close to where I live. While I was uploading photos from yesterday, I realized that this was my sixth year attending this event! It's one of my favorites shows, and I look forward to it every year. A lot may have changed over the years, but my love for 30's reproduction fabrics remain the same, and I was able to score quite a bit of them this year. I spent about four hours on the market floor and barely had time to visit the exhibit section.

Here are some highlights of my favorite booths:

American Jane: I adore all things American Jane. I bought a few charm packs again and "A Baker's Dozen" book by Sandy. Sandy is the founder and owner of American Jane, and she signed my book! Oh so excited!
The "American Jane" booth. 

Cotton and Chocolate Quilt Company: I visit this booth every year because I love their hexagon templates. I bought more this year including size 3/8"! They are tiny hexagons, but they are just too vintage and cute to pass up. I recently read about this company in a quilting magazine, and they were considered one of the top ten quilt shops in the US! The owner was so sweet and nice. I also bought this light gadget you wear around your neck.

I am going to make one of these using these tiny strips of 30's fabrics I got. 

YLI: Their hand quilting threads are the best -- hands down. 
Holly Hill Quilt Design: My new discovery, but gosh, everything they had was just so cute. I had to get "everything." 

This is one of my favorite quilts on the exhibit floor. I love these aprons using reproduction fabrics.

"Chicken Aprons" by Barbara Bickford.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Apron for Olive Oil Bottle

So remember this mini apron I made my mom for her dish detergent? She decided it would be better for her oil bottle -- the kind with the pour top you use to store olive oil. I was watching her cook the other day and noticed that the fabric slips against the olive oil bottle, and that she had to grip the bottle and the fabric so the mini apron wouldn't slip. Well, I will not allow this, so I revised my mini apron design with an anti-slip backing. Since several readers requested it, I decided to write up a tutorial.
 I love this French inspired fabric from a local quilt shop. 

This reminds me of my honeymoon in Paris.

:: Mini Apron for Dish Detergent or Any Bottles! ::

- Scrap piece of regular quilting fabric for the front of the apron
- Scrap piece of anti-slip fabric (see image below) for the back of the apron. I got mine from Jo-Ann Fabric. This non-slip fabric works like magic!
- One 25" x 2" strip of fabrics for the ruffle
- Two 10" x 1" strips of fabric for the two ties
- One 4" x 1" strip of fabric for the neck strap
- Pattern for the mini apron. 

1. Try to prewash all fabrics. Download and print the apron pattern.

2.  Trace the mini apron pattern onto your front and backing fabrics. Cut them out.

3. It's time to make the ruffle (aka pleats); I think this is the trickiest part of the entire project! Fold the 25" x 2" strip of fabric in half length wise right-side together. Stitch the two sides as show below. 

Then turn it inside out so you will have two nice corners. Iron it well.

4. Time to create the pleats. Take this nicely ironed strip to your sewing machine and simply create as many pleats as you need to go around the curve of the apron. Just eye ball it! I used my quarter seam footer to help guide me.

Here is how your pleats should look. The length should be about 13".

5. Now let's prepare the straps used for this apron. Take your three straps of 1" fabrics and fold them like you would with binding.

 Stitch them up!

6. Okay. We are going to sew this whole thing up. You are about done! I find it easier to sew the top first: two fabrics right-side facing each other with the neck strap inside these two fabrics. Open it up, as shown below. And sew your ruffle first onto your main fabric. Then sew the two straps on top of the ruffle. Are you following me?!

 7. Now close this up, and you are going to sew around the entire apron with all straps and the ruffle in between these two fabrics. Leave about 2" of opening so you can turn everything inside out. Trim and snip around the corners.

 8. Turn it inside out, iron it, and blind stitch the 2" opening. And you are all done!

Ah! So cute. I think I will have to make another one for my olive oil bottle! 

9. My other version of this apron has a little red heart pocket on one side. You can add these pockets to the apron at this point if you like.

I hope this tutorial makes sense and that you are able to follow. Let me know if anything doesn't make sense. Thanks, mom, for your creativity. I see where I got mine from :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reproduction Fabric

I attended a small quilting convention last weekend in Pleasanton, CA. It was definitely not as big as PIQF and the vendors were average. I did score a few goodies. PIQF is just around the corner; are you attending? I can't wait!

Vendor selling these 1/6 fabrics for $1 each!

30s Playtime Charm Pack by Moda

I also got this Twisted Pinwheel ruler. Have you seen it? Apparently you put together these squares, cut them all up using this simple ruler, sew these fabrics back together, and you get this extremely complicated looking thing! I have got something on my iron board; will let you know how it turns out!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Quilting Away

Enjoying my new hand quilting project... I am about 70% done hand quilting it.

Remember my harvest placemats featured in Stitch? Well, my mom encouraged me to use them. So we finally put them to good use. I think the husband is very nervous he may get spaghetti sauce all over it! :)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Beautiful Marmalade Fabrics

I turned an adorable Marmalade charm pack of 42 beautiful 5"x5" pieces into a quilt top. This line is only available for purchase in charm packs for now. I think the full line is available sometime in October.

Marmalade by Bonnie and Camille.

This would be the perfect quilt for a little baby girl. 

I have added borders to this top to make it a big bigger since I took this photo. I am really liking the way this quilt looks. It's so feminine that it's only appropriate with scalloped edges. I am reading all about how to do scallop edges. If you know the best way to do scallop edges, then please let me know! I plan to hand quilt this piece as well.

I am in love with quilting with charm packs. It's the best way to use up every fabric from the entire collection without having to cut from the bolt. 

Quilting seems to be the only thing going on these days. Hopefully the cooler weather will inspire me to knit once again. What are you working on these days? 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hand Quilted American Jane

I finished making the American Jane Happy Camper quilt! I pieced the top earlier this year with one pack of triangle charms, but was disappointed at how small the quilt was, so I tucked it away somewhere. However, when I got my Hinterberg quilting hoop, I needed a hand quilting project, and that's when I decided to add some borders to this quilt to make it bigger. My local quilting store doesn't carry this line, but we did what we could to match it as best as we can. I love the way this came out!

I love this "Happy Camper" line by American Jane. 

This quilt measures approximately 40"x40" and was entirely hand quilted!

Absolutely love this quilt!

My favorite parts of quilting are making the binder and putting the finished quilt through the washer for the first time. I love the way hand quilted quilts feel like after coming out of the washer. It's so soft and vintage looking. I used two sheets of color catcher since there is quite a bit of red in this quilt; I was afraid it may bleed. 

 Here is a photo of the hand quilted feather pattern I used in the border. 

I absolutely enjoyed hand quilting on my new Hinterberg quilting hoop. I already have my next quilt planned out for another hand quilting project.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Zakka Style Bunny Pencil Case

I finally cut into my precious fabrics I ordered from Japan. They are part of the "Cute Flower" prints by Atsuko Matsuyama. I turned them into two adorable bunny pencil cases -- it was a good choice.

 Gingham bunny. 

Bunny with a hexagon tail.

These pencil cases were not easy, but so worth the extra time I put into them. The linings are straight edges on all sides so pencils and pens fit nicely in there. However, it's not one of those pencil cases where you can put tons of pens in there. Were you one of those individuals? I used to carry everything in my pencil case just in case I needed them. I think maybe four or five is the max for these cases. 

I made these for two little girls. Their birthdays are coming up, and I think they will enjoy them for many years to come. 

This pattern is from "Zakka Sewing." You can find a free copy here.

Labor Day Weekend

Wishing those of you living in the U.S a very relaxing Labor Day weekend. I am getting lots of sewing done. 

Hand basting the cutest bunny pencil case. Psssssttt... see the red gingham one in the upper right hand corner?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Toast, anyone?

A few years ago we got a very nice toaster oven from Williams-Sonoma as a wedding gift. That was perfect because that meant our old toaster can be used to bake clay! I finally had a chance to dig out that old toaster today and made tiny stitch markers with polymer clay. It's as if I don't have enough hobbies as is. Yikes!

They are so tiny! They measure less than half an inch. 

I love the way the toasts and the sushi turned out, but I'm not sure about the donuts. I think I need to do something different with the frosting. It didn't come out as pink and white as I would have liked. 

These make perfect knitting stitch markers! I can't wait for the weather to get cooler so I can start knitting using these tiny stitch markers! Now that I am hooked, I must pick up more clay in all colors available. I see endless possibilities with polymer clay in the near future... perhaps sewing pin toppers?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

George's New Friend

I made George a new friend awhile back, but didn't have a chance to share her with you. I used leftover pink sock yarn. I had just enough to whip up another elephant. If you can't tell yet, I really enjoy this Elephant pattern by Ysolda.

She measures 7.5" sitting. 

They are hanging out on my new shelf in my sewing corner keeping me company :)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Watermelon Seeds

I completed the most adorable watermelon socks this week using Felix self striping yarn gifted to me by Maryse. Not only is Maryse a fantastic knitter, she also has excellent taste in yarn. Check out her blog when you have a chance; you will not be disappointed. I am in love with this self striping merino yarn that she got me. Check out the seeds in this yarn! Who knew watermelon and socks had something in common!

Happy toes!

I made this pair of ankle socks following Alison Blue's free pattern online. These socks come with adorable pom poms, but I haven't gotten around to it. I just couldn't wait to snap a few photos to share with you. This is a great on the go or traveling pattern. It's so ridiculously simple! It does require using short-row technique, but you can master it in no time given all the free tutorials on YouTube. The heel and toe areas were both made using the exact same short row techniques.

I am a huge fan of ankle socks, so this pair is perfect for me. I look forward to sporting these! Is winter here yet!?

 Thank you, Maryse! :)