Simple teething pads

Teething pads

Simple teething pads
Pattern details | None
Batting | PSR Quilt Bamboo batting (0.9 m x 1.25 m)
Fabric | 100% cotton fabric from www.fabric.com

Of lately, Noah has taken to gumming the straps of the Ergo carrier whenever I babywear him and I can’t exactly dump the entire carrier into the machine to wash it even though it’s okay to do so (not frequently tho – as per manufacturer’s recommendation). I was not very keen on spending around €20 for teething pads and decided to make a simple pair with the leftover batting I had from the quilt I made from him. To match the green of my carrier (Ergo Performance), I picked a paisley patterned fabric I purchased while I was in Singapore.

While measuring it, I thought I had enough fabric to go around the strap in order for me to utilize the KAM snaps I have in my stash. However, after topstitching the layers together, I discovered that I had forgotten all about seam allowances, resulting in a pad that didn’t lay on top of each other. I will have to make do with hook-and-eye closures instead so until I get my hands on them (tomorrow, I think), it’ll be held together with basting pins.

I didn’t use a pattern, just decided to layer the batting on top of the fabric (right sides facing in), sew and turn it inside out before topstiching around to reinforce, beautify and close off the opening. It’s a quick project (I did this while doing other things like checking out diet pills that work) and you can whip up a pair of these in under 30 minutes or less, depending on how fast you sew and cut/prep your fabric.

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Quilt #5: Noah’s Stripey Cuddly

Quilt #5: Noah's Stripey Cuddly (Front)

Quilt #5: Noah’s Stripey Cuddly
Width | Approx 75 cm
Length | Approx 84 cm
Pattern details | Inspired by A Quilt Is Nice’s stripe baby quilt here. Top made from cotton stripes from stash (Coton & Colour, Nil’s trip to India and www.fabric.com)
Batting | PSR Quilt Bamboo batting (0.9 m x 1.25 m)
Backing | 100% cotton fabric from www.inespatchwork.com
Binding | 100% cotton fabric from www.fabric.com

I had been thinking of sewing a nice warm blanket for Noah (since I made one for Eva – it’s not so warm but she likes it) but never found the time or inspiration. When it was decided that Eva was going to stay with my father-in-law for the week, I decided to dust off my sewing machine for good and get back to quilting. I dug out a few different fabrics I have in my stash and came up with a few combinations. What initially was to be a repetition of about five stripes turned out into a double repeat of 13 stripes of different fabrics. Nil insisted that I use the fabric he bought from India to add some colour while I insisted that I wanted something pleasing and co-ordinating. We settled for what is the end result – this stripe colour combo.

Quilt #5: Noah's Stripey Cuddly (Back)

Because it had so much going on for the top, I decided to stripe to a simple (but not too plain) backing with a stripe of the remnants of the top going across. I hunted the Internet for local fabric suppliers and came across this very lovely black-grey pinstripe pattern. So it was black for the back – I figured it would bring out the colours of the top piece.

For the batting (yes, it’s my first time using batting for quilts), I settled for bamboo batting but only because the cotton ones were out of stock. It is a first for me – basting and batting. Took me an afternoon just to bast the quilt and even then, I didn’t really do a great job as it showed on later when I machine-quilted the top. To make matters worse, my sewing machine doesn’t come with a walking feet so my top fabric ended up bunching. This also resulted in the back puckering – as you can see in the photo above. It took me 2.5 hours just to machine-quilt the top (about 30 minutes or so just to test out the sewing and get the right tension – GAH) and mind you, I was just doing stripe outlines. Towards the end, I cheated and skipped some stripes. It adds some variation to the pattern thought but I think I botched the stripe for the back portion.

The tag on Noah's quilt

And I haven’t even reached the part about the binding. It has been ages since I last sewn binding on anything so I did a couple of errors which resulted in me having to use a zigzag stitch instead of topstitching as I normally would. Well…I don’t think Noah would care if the errors were obvious or not – it’s a bit annoying though. I reckon in time, I’ll forget about it…just like how I forgot about those errors I made with Eva’s blanket!

And oh, those are the woven labels I had made originally for the store’s handsewn items. Since the store is in hibernation until further notice, I thought I would use them for my personal projects, namely sewing and weaving.

Y’know, I’m quite proud at having completely my first batted and quilted blanket. It’s a little on the small side – smaller in terms of length – compared to Eva’s blanket. Instead of getting a nice 116cm as I calculated, I lost a good 30 cm or so due to cutting and trimming. Still, it’s a nice size for Noah…for the first two years before it becomes a cover for his blanket (like what we do with Eva’s – mind you, she’s attached to hers and won’t even let us keep it!).

Mmmm, the sewing machine is now back in the cupboard. Time to focus on my other crafts – soaping and knitting namely. Am so itching to get back to designing lacework too!

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WIP: Noah’s Stripey Blanket

Since I made a blanket for Eva, I figured I had better make one for Noah as well. I didn’t want anything too complicated and since Eva is at my father-in-law’s place, I thought of whipping up something quick, simple yet cute to boot. No adding to my stash this time as I have enough of fabrics. (Nil is beginning to complain about how my fabric stash never goes down.) But first, I needed a design.

I remember coming across a couple of striped quilts and figured that it would be fun as well as easy to whip out. After hunting the Internet for some ideas, I took a look at my stash. Now, as usual, the hubby always ends up picking out colour schemes that are shocking to boot like super bright orange against dark blue. I was hoping for something a little less shocking, especially for a cute little bubs like Noah. So after some intense negotiation, I got what I wanted. (I learnt from experience not to cave – remember the last quilt I made?)

And here’s the result of a couple of hours cutting, pinning, sewing, ironing, more pinning, more sewing and more ironing! Now to put together a border and hunt around for a quilt batting & backing!

Noah's Stripey Blanket: Top

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My new storage kit

My new sewing storage kit

Nil’s grandmother was a crafter – sewing, knitting, crocheting, embroidery (I suspect), a bit of painting – so when she passed away, Nil together with his dad and uncle had the task of sorting through a lot of things. Coupled the crafter’s natural “ability” to stash, Grandmama was also a hoarder of some sorts. She was never one for wasting or throwing away things, something I find to be common with people her age (she was 94 or 96 years old at the time of her passing). When she first passed away, Nil passed me her nearly new 70s sewing machine which is still in use today. (I should have serviced it in Singapore but forgot due to the rush with the packing, etc.)

When we moved to Dole, we took a lot of the furniture that she left behind – dining table with chairs, armoire styled bookshelf, buffet or dresser (something similar to this but bigger and with more drawers) and a work table. Nil surprised me with her sewing storage kit – “I figured you might want to use this since it’s just sitting in the garage and no one else has a need for it.” So I adopted it.

This little kit opens up just like your toolkit and at first glance, contained a whole boatload of things. I never got around to examining its contents until recently. The bags you see behind it are actually trash – Grandmama had A LOT of things. From four pairs of the same scissors (she has a total of 10 over scissors), to bobbins and spools of threads, cross-stitch bundles, buttons (I need to sort through this), accessories for bra repair, reclaimed zips (basically zips from clothing that you don’t need), FIVE measuring tapes, tons and tons of sewing needles (enough to last me this lifetime and the next), timbles, and what-not. She used very old metal contains to keep some of her things so I hung on to those – they are very cute and no one uses such tins these days.

As you can see, I’ve reorganized it to fit some of my sewing material – I can’t say that I’m any better than her as I have bobbins and spools of thread in another storage container, buttons, felt, scissors, and other things. And oh, Nil even found my sock blockers when he assembled my spinning wheel earlier and they fit in this kit! Another thing I love about this is that when it folds up, it doesn’t take a lot of space and doubles as stand for my pot of aloe vera!

So yay to my new storage kit!

Opens up just like a toolbox

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Quilt #4: Log Cabin

Quilt #4: Fresh from the oven

Quilt #4: Log Cabin
Width | Approx 200 cm
Length | Approx 150 cm
Pattern details | Cotton strips from fabric from Cotton & Colour & Spotlight
Batting | None
Backing | 100% broadwidth cotton fabric from Spotlight
Binding | None

My project from when I was pregnant with Eva is finally done and as predicted, it is a lovely single sized quilt. Yes, they are definitely getting bigger although I might go back to making baby or children-sized blankets for Noah and Eva (she loves her Red & Pink Cuddly and will roll around on it, in it, etc) since we’re heading back to Europe and just in time for winter too!

Initially, I had planned for the quilt to have a “lighter” look to it with a pale border instead of the royal blue which Nil insisted that we try. He also pointed out that white or anything pale wasn’t exactly great since it would get dirty more easily that dark colours. So I decided to go for blue…again. (I will definitely opt for a green-blue-white blanket next time around – am getting tired of the whole dark-colourful combo!) For the back, I chose a printed fabric instead of plain because I wanted to give it some variety; a big plain piece on its own, I figured, didn’t really look nice at all.

Quilt #4: A close-up look of the backing fabric and the topstitching

For the finishing, I decided to do a pillow-case styled edge by sewing both right sides facing each other and turning it inside out before topstitching around the edge for reinforcement. Initially I toyed with the idea of a zigzag around the edge but after inspecting my machine, I thought I’d play around with some of the untested stitch designs. It turned out to be quite pretty but ate up a lot of thread and I ran out halfway around the edge only to find myself carefully positioning my needle in order to start on the right spot. It took about 30 minutes to finish the topstitching.

The result is a simple, not-too-fancy quilt which we’ll probably use as a sofa cover-blanket. I’m still not very convinced about the colour combination and would have preferred to see it in something other than blue like cream-beige or a very pale latte colour. O’well…next time, *I* must have dibs on the colours for the border and backing! In the meantime, it’s back to more packing and trucker gps software assignments.

Quilt #4: Doubling as a sofa cover

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My army of piggies!

One of my piggie plushies, aka Winnie

Army of Piggies
Fabric | 100% cotton (remnants)
Pattern | Lenny the Guinea Pig from Bit of Whimsy Dolls

These are actually made for the give-away which I held recently for the shop. Three will be going out to the winners together with some booties which I’ve been struggling to crochet up (it’ll be a month since the draw OMG) because of my crazy schedule – me falling ill (and am still recovering – I got hit by a double dose of flu back-to-back) didn’t help at all. The fourth piggie – seen above and called Winnie – will be heading off to a lovely home in Lyon to Nil’s friend who just recently became a dad to a very cute baby boy.

I’m actually thinking of including some soft toys into the inventory and phasing our baby bibs & burpies for the store – a few people have asked if I’d like to sell these. I’ve always felt that sewing is way more faster in terms of product gratification so it’s left to be seen if I’d like to continue on with the booties. Apart from guinea pigs, I’m thinking of adding the usual repertoire of creatures like the dog, cat and lamb to the list and a newbie – the hedgehog for that added twist of texture.

Trouble now is that I just need some extra time to squeeze in the sewing on top of the stuff that I’ll be doing and oh, the move. Yes, did I mention that we’ll be moving to our new place at the end of this month? Talk coping with a crazy schedule! ARGH!

My army of piggie plushies (L-R: Babe, Winnie, Cora, Alfred) - to be given away to (I hope) good homes!

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Stashie stash!

When Ravelry’s database put my stash count at 192 skeins (including braids of fibre), I thought nothing much of it – it was just another figure.

That all changed recently…well, after this morning actually. I have managed to filled in at least six boxes of varying sizes (the smallest being around 120 x 150 x 200 mm to the largest nearly 480 x 600 x 800 mm). Of course a good three of them contain my shop stock so I can’t really count it as just for stash but still, with the ziplock-vacuum pack thing, those 192 skeins finally materialised.

Nil finds it amusing that I have little inkling as to the amount of stash I have. He being a non-knitter (and obviously someone who doesn’t understand the obsession some people have about yarn stashing) sees things more clearly than myself I guess. But then again, this is someone who is willing to drive to Germany to buy beer if given the chance. Granted though it’s not far – about two hours by car.

I did try my luck when he said he was thinking of making the trip there with Dad – the ever sought after Wollmeise yarns are now making their appearance in the form of a real life store but alas, Nil would only be crossing the border instead of heading inward (and this store is located in the Bavarian area).

O’well, I have another three medium sized bags to go but I think I’ll probably give those away instead of sending it to Singapore. We’ll see how it goes. After my stash, the only thing left would be my clothes, books (knitting, cookbooks and such) plus things like my shoes and all. I might donate some of my older clothes and shoes but yeah…talk about stashing yarn and fibres.

Definitely need to run a “knit from stash” thing once they are out of them boxes!

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WIP: Sample Log Cabin square

WIP: Sample Log Cabin squares for Quilt #4

It’s past Week 33 now and I’m almost ready for Eva’s arrival with the purchase of baby items (disposable diapers, baby wipes, stroller, car seat, etc) and nursing items (nursing bra, nursing top, nursing pads, etc) plus hospital stay stuff (nightie, going-home outfit for Eva, etc) completed – well, as complete as you’ll ever get considering that we’ll be moving to Singapore soon after her birth.

Packing-wise, I’ve started packing up my stash or at least organizing them neatly in vacuum-packed ziplock bags to save on the space. I reckon a couple of boxes every few days would suffice. As mentioned earlier, the knitting, crochet and spinning has stopped for now so soon the wheel and loom will be dismantled and packed up for storage.

The only hobby left which doesn’t put a strain on my big belly of 110 cm (and growing) is sewing. I’m awaiting the final addition to my current stash (once it arrives, I’ll grab a pic of it) but just so you know, I’ve already started piecing the blocks for Quilt #4 while watching some good ole’ Murder She Wrote episodes topped off with Mind Your Language – oldies are always goodies! It’s a super fun block really – didn’t know Log Cabin blocks could be such fun. 🙂

I’ve taken to putting the reds on one side of the blocks and the tans on another side before surrounding it with a white border. At the moment, I’m stopping at the end of the colour strips because I have yet to cut 160 strips of white cloth. Talk about lack of patience and such. But I’ll surely get to that in time…or when I do finish up these 40 log cabin blocks! *beams*

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