Our First Attempt at Scrapbooking

I’ve been admiring scrapbooking albums & projects done by crafters and thinking about whether I should start this new hobby.  For the past few years, I’ve been stopping myself for the following reasons:

1. No time to engage a new hobby as quilting takes up all my free time
2. Not enough budget to spend on scrapbooking materials as I spend most of my pocket money on fabrics
3. No space at home to store more crafting materials

However, as this is the school vacation and my girls have been nudging me to start them on scrapbooking, I finally gave in to their demands.  Two weeks ago, we attended a scrapbooking holiday workshop and these are what we’ve produced, using our vacation photos to Gold Coast, Australia last year.

Some scrapbooking layouts completed during the workshop.  Not too bad for a first attempt eh?

Last Friday was Gary’s birthday, and my girls had also made birthday cards for him using scrapbooking techniques.

Birthday Card from Eponine
Birthday Card from Edith

This is indeed a very engaging and interesting hobby.  I’m sure it’ll keep my girls busy for many hours on end!

More Fabrics from US!

To fuel my obsession for fabrics, I bought more from US and they were delivered to me three days ago via DHL!  Woohoo….

Bought a jelly roll from my favourite Lily & Will collection (Bunny Hill Designs) and a set of 15 beautiful FQs from Mary Rose Collection (Robert Kaufman Fabrics).  I made use of the 15% off all pre-cuts promotion from Shabby Fabrics during the Memorial Day weekend.

I will likely be using the Lily & Will jelly roll to make a baby quilt for a close friend and the Mary Rose FQs for a shabby lap or wall quilt.  Love those fabrics as the pretty flora prints will definitely enhance the country/vintage  feel in my home!

I told myself that I shall not buy more fabrics for the time being, till I’ve used up some of my stash.  Let’s see how long I can hold true to this promise!  LOL.

Aqua Lily & Will Jelly Roll from Bunny Hill Designs

Beautiful set of Pink FQs from Robert Kaufman’s Mary Rose Collection

Free FQ from Shabby Fabrics for Purchase of over $50

AccuQuilt GO! Baby – Giveaway

I’ve been reading with interest about the AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter.  This little cutie allows quilters to cut precise shapes such as HSTs, squares, hearts etc way faster than scissors or rotary cutter!    There are also many dies which you could purchase to work with the machine.

AccuQuilt GO! Baby Fabric Cutter

If you’ve been wanting to lay your hands on the AccuQuilt GO! Baby  Fabric Cutter, you may be pleased to know that Samelia’s Mum is giving one away in her blog.

http://www.sameliasmum.com/

Hop over now and good luck!

Ultimate Quilting Kit

Ultimate Quilting Kit Consisting of Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washes, Machingers Quilting Gloves and Supreme Slider

I was so glad to receive the Ultimate Quilting Kit which I purchased from US yesterday.  Was looking forward to it for the past two weeks!  Woohoo!

Bought it from Leah Day’s website.  Check out the link below where Leah has also posted a YouTube video to show you how the kit works.

http://www.daystyledesigns.com/ultimatekit.htm

Generally this kit consists of the Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washes, Machingers Quilting Gloves and the regular sized Supreme Slider.  Just a brief description of what each does:

  • Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washes – Need to pop this in to our bobbin holder, to eliminate tension problems while doing FMQ
  • Machingers Quilting Gloves – These gloves have a thin plastic coating over the fingertips which give us better grip and control while moving our quilt through the sewing machine
  • Supreme Slider – This is a 100% Teflon sheet which we place over the sewing machine bed to allow our quilts to glide easily

I tried these wonders the moment they arrived yesterday and true enough, I find that I have better control of my quilt and could move it more smoothly under the needle.  Less strain on my back too.

Great stuff and I look forward to more hours of enjoyable quilting!  :)

Quilt Challenge in Singapore

There’s an upcoming Quilt Challenge in Singapore in October and the theme is “Striptease”.  The terms and conditions state that the quilt should be pieced by strips not wider than 2.5″ and it should not be larger than a single bed size.

This is probably the first time I’ve heard of a quilt show in Singapore and I’m participating!  With my amateur skills, I know I’ll probably not win anything but decided to go for it anyway for the fun of it and to meet and learn from fellow quilters.

I happen to have a few jelly rolls/honey buns on hand, so that’s what I’ll use for my quilt.  Finally they could be put to good use!

I was thinking about my quilt design and finally decided on this pretty pinwheel quilt which I saw in the Moda Bake Shop:

http://www.modabakeshop.com/2010/08/pinwheels-in-house-quilt.html

It’s pretty and simple enough to piece together.  With my limited time, I definitely can’t go for any complicated designs.  Not forgetting I only have four more months to work on it!

Here’s my WIP – what I have completed so far:

Squares cut from my honey bun and charm squares, ready to be pieced
Here’s the completed pinwheel blocks – 25 in total
Arranging one of the pinwheel blocks with the log cabin borders

I’m using the “Fresh Cottons” honey bun and “Fig and Plum” charm squares for this quilt – all from my favourite Fig Tree Quilts.  The finished size is 35″ x 35″.

I’ve finished arranging five blocks as of last night – 20 more to go!  It’s not easy to match the pinwheel blocks to the appropriate log cabin borders and this is where it gets all exciting!  This is such a fun quilt to work on and I can’t wait to complete it, so I’ll be in time to submit it for the quilt show.

WIP – Charmed Living Runner

Finished quilt top of table runner using charm squares

I’ve finished piecing the top of a table runner using all charm squares.  Used a pattern from Moda Bake Shop at the following:
http://www.modabakeshop.com/2010/07/charmed-living-runner.html

This runner is very easy to piece together and I think I completed it in just 5-6 hours (over three nights).

Just finished basting it together using poly batting and here’s how it looks like.  I’m using charm squares from Moda’s Nature Chorus by Fig Tree Quilts.

Quilt top with basting done

 I’ve even started a little FMQ using meandering designs.  However I’ve decided to stop for now and continue again after getting my quilting gloves and supreme slider as I’m having some difficulty maneuvering it under the needle, which has led to some uneven stitches.

Can you see the ugly and uneven FMQ stitches?

Learning Free Motion Quilting

Having successfully machine quilted a quilt for Edith, I told myself that it’s time to move on and attempt FMQ.  These three words struck a fear into me as it meant that I had to leave my comfort zone of using a walking foot, drop my feed dogs and switch to an intimidating darning foot!  Not forgetting the insecurities of having to deal with the freedom that the darning foot brings!

I had attended a machine quilting class more than 2 years ago, which taught me the basics of using a walking foot and FMQ.  Since then, I was so overcome with fear I didn’t even wanna recognise the existence of the darning foot and hid it in a sewing box so I would not see it!  LOL.  Even though I did bring it out once or twice to practice, but my stitches were so horrible I quickly hid it in the box again.

Since the completion of Edith’s quilt, I told myself I ought to get out of my hibernation and get some FMQ done!  Hence, I’ve been working hard at it since May and practicing on small practice quilts.  It was frustrating and discouraging at first, as I simply can’t get rid of eyelashes on the back, loopy threads on the front and getting even stitches.  Took me almost one month to trial and error, to troubleshoot my tension problems by playing with the top tension settings, needles, threads, machine speed etc. 

Anyway, my perseverance and patience finally paid off after I raised my feed dogs.  This was after I wrote to Leah Day for advice on my tension problems.  Leah is just so awesome and talented.  As young as she is, she created the Free Motion Quilting Project to help fellow quilters who have problems with FMQ.  I’ve been religiously following through her online tutorials since May and have learnt so much!

http://www.daystyledesigns.com/365difficultymain.htm

I’m still not very good in FMQ yet, but with practice, I could see my stitches getting more even and my confidence level increasing.  It’s just PRACTICE, PRACTICE AND MORE PRACTICE!  I’ve even started some FMQ on a table runner I’m working on right now.  I hope that with more practice, I could be as good as many quilters out there.