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.

Scraps of Love

As mentioned in my earlier posting, I’ve recently completed a single-size bed quilt for Edith.  This took me a long 3 years to complete!  LOL.  The reason why it took so long was because I was always caught up with work and family commitments along the way and couldn’t work on it all the time.  There was a lapse of 1 year in 2009 where I didn’t touch it at all, though it was all basted and ready to be machine quilted.  During this lapse, I was practicing my machine quilting as I was totally new to it (all my previous quilts were hand quilted).  Couldn’t see myself hand-quilting this one as it was huge and would take me forever!  Even though it was just sewing straight lines with the walking foot, I was procrastinating a lot as I didn’t have the confidence to sew on the real quilt, for fear of ruining it. 
The finished quilt measures 54 x 86 inches.  Took the pattern from one of Debbie Mumms’ quilt books entitled “Ric Rac”.  It was pieced together with my fabric scraps and fat quarters using all triangles.  I love this pattern as it was easy to piece together and colourful and brightens up my children’s room.
During the process, I was often frustrated and discouraged as it was my first time handling a big quilt.  Spent hours of frustrations “wrestling” with the quilt on my domestic sewing machine when machine quilting.  I even told myself that this will be the first and last time I’m sewing a big quilt!  However, after completing this huge project, the satisfaction and joy I received was exhilarating and beyond description!  Especially seeing the smiles on Edith when she saw it finally completed.  Now I’m planning to work on another bed quilt for Eponine.  Gonna finish up on some outstanding projects, then embark on my next big project.
I was thinking hard of a name for the quilt and finally came up with “Scraps of Love”.  It represents bits and pieces of my unconditional love for Edith, just like how the quilt was being pieced together using scraps.  I really hope that this could be a heirloom that could be passed down from generations to generations!
Edith & Eponine snuggled up comfortably in the new bed quilt

My Completed Projects

Sharing some projects that I’ve completed so far.
Baby quilt entitled “Secret Garden” which I made during my Basic Quilting Class in 2008
Christmas star table runner completed in Dec 2009
Buttercup quilted cushion completed in 2009
 Christmas Tree Wall Quilt completed in Dec 2010
My latest completed project in May 2011 – “Scraps of Love”, a single bed quilt which was quilted specially for Edith

My Very Own Quilting Blog….Finally!

Welcome to my first blog post!
I’ve been quilting for the past four years and have been contemplating setting  up a quilting blog for the past year or so.  However, I keep procrastinating due to my lack of time in maintaining a blog and concerns on whether I have enough stuff/ongoing projects to blog about.
I was discouraged for a while as I was attempting machine quilting over the past year but struggling to learn and improve my skills.  Having successfully completed a single bed quilt for Edith after wrestling with the large quilt on my machine for almost one year, I’ve regained my confidence to quilt more and bring my quilting to the next level!  I will share more about my process and experience sewing the single bed quilt for Edith in my next blog post.
I’m now ready to progress from SID using the walking foot to free motion quilting using the darning foot.  With this new resolution to learn and improve my FMQ, I have in mind tons of projects to last me till the end of the year….wall quilts, baby quilts, tote bags etc.  This is why I have to get my blog up and going to document my quilting projects.
Right now, I’m trying to take nice photos of all my completed quilting projects to upload in this blog.  Stay tuned!