February 2, 2016

Machine Made Cord Tutorial and Indigo Moon Projects

As promised on my Instagram feed last week I wrote a simple tutorial on how to make cord by sewing machine. Here is how it goes:

You will need: 
  • A sewing machine with zig-zag feature.
  • At least 4 different types of scrap yarns. For example, wool, knitting cotton, thin ribbon or thinly cut fabric. 
  • Sewing threads (the colour of your choice!)
The choice of yarns is huge. Chance is that you already have them in your stash! I always need red cords to use in my craft projects so I've chosen mainly red yarns and thread for this project. This is easy, fun and fast to do. 

Five meters of cord ready to go!

Gathered yarns of your choice. The more variety the better. I already have them in my stash so I just randomly chose 4 different types of yarn. 

I threaded my sewing machine using red sewing thread for both top and bottom threads. I set my machine to normal zig-zag stitch. Set the width at 7.0 and length at 2.5. I have a Janome sewing machine, but I'm sure any sewing machine with zig-zag stitches will be fine.

Begin by knotting the ends of the yarns together as in the above photo. You can drop the rest of the yarns on the floor or if you have a basket you can drop them in the basket by your feet.

Place the group of yarns under the sewing machine foot below the knot. Twist the yarns together as in the above photo. Start stitching over the yarns. Twist the yarns as you stitch.  

You can make quite a lot in one go. It's very handy to have cord ready whenever you need it! At Christmas I made more than a dozen sewing rolls for gifts, and this cord was perfect to wrap around them.

I was reading Peggy's blog womanwithwings on her moon stitch ritual project. I love moon stitching and moon dyeing. So I started one too. I sorted through the stash of both hand dyed and vintage indigo fabric for the moons. For the background I'm using mixed Yukata fabric. I thought I would use pieced background for these. They look very nice together! Yes, I'm happy with that!

The idea of this moon stitching is to stitch one block per day for 365 days - the whole year. I don't think I can keep to the rule! So I'm going to make as many as my interest holds up and stop when I'm bored with them, I know I will be!

The first few blocks I started

Some moons are in 2 colours because I treasure every
little bit of vintage indigo fabric.

After Each circle is stitched down, I carefully cut out the background fabric from behind the applique. Now I have these perfect and beautiful inner circles to play with! 

You know how it is, one thing leads to another. I now have another project going side by side with the indigo moon project, but I will call this new project Full Moon!

Sorting through the stash I realised that I have an amazing stash of  indigo fabric. Some of them I dyed myself and some I bought on my visits to Japan, and of course some from Zigu Zagu. If you want to join-in just visit Quilty Folk for the original post.

Only a month into 2016 and I'm already working on 2 awesome projects! I am also working on some UFOs. I will show them to you when I get closer to finishing. 

Until next time

January 19, 2016

Second Half of January

Second half of January found me cruising into 2016 and getting back to my old routine. Getting back to work is good for me. It creates a good routine through the week and lets me be free in the weekends to play. I visited the art galleries both in Melbourne and Canberra. We do have great exhibitions here in Australia. Every winter there is a travelling exhibit of masterpieces. This winter we are expecting work of Edgar Degas. I have seen many on our trip, but you never have enough of the great things! 

I was itching to get back into dyeing as well. The opportunity came last weekend when I had a free Sunday afternoon. There was so much I could do around the Treehouse studio, but dyeing was calling me louder so that is what I did. I must say I missed dyeing with Eucalyptus leaves.

For my craft related activities I did a quick change over in the Treehouse. I put my eco-print fabric on the old ladder. It looks great as well. I will think of something else to put there later on in the year. While I was searching in the Treehouse I came across the mini Christmas star quilt I started a couple Christmases ago. I'm determined to get it done this year! Quick as a flash I started working on a journal cover for another textile trip back to Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Chiang Mai and Bangkok at Easter. I also got a lucky find to share with you. So please read on...

Vintage summer yukata at the NGV,
Blue Alchemy exhibition.

The Treehouse with eco-print fabric.

Gathering dyeing materials

Ready to roll on vintage silk 

Resting the rolls after steaming

Hanging them outside to dry

Some really vivid colour from blue gum leaves

Mini Christmas Star quilt in the making

Journal cover work in progress 

The front of the Journal cover complete

Back of the journal

Part of my job is to decorate this display
cabinet. The boss only wants to have handmade
and recycled items in there. Everything here
is from my Wednesday Craft sessions! 

Lucky Find: Here is my lucky find in the holiday. A felt hat made in Melbourne. In Melbourne there are many famous hat makers because of the Melbourne Cup event that is held on the first Tuesday of November of each year. The tradition for Melbourne Cup is to wear a fancy hat, even for men. So I found this hat at an op-shop when I was in Canberra. It fits me perfectly, but the band needed replacing. So a bit of my dyed fabric is perfect for it!

It looks a million dollars, I think!

I had a day exploring Melbourne Lanes at the
weekend.It was a hot day so my
hat came in handy.

I must tell you a bit about the journal cover. I found old woollen vest from one of my op-shop visits. It has woollen embroidery in the front. But there were also moth holes in places. I was planning to mend it, but when I was looking for fabric to make the journal cover I thought it would be perfect for it, so I used it instead. Giving new life to old things is now my passion and it gives me lot of pleasure!

Hope all is well out there. Is everyone cruising back to life beautifully after the holidays? Thanks for dropping by. Please do leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you!

Until next time

January 4, 2016


2016 yes, it is here! I read so many online New Year resolutions and they have inspired me. Sadly I didn't make any myself! What will be will be! That how it is for me in 2016. Having had a busy and exciting year last year I must admit I'm a bit tired and want to take it easy this year. I can hear you think, that's not like you! 

Anyway, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and even better New Year! Whatever you did I hope it was safe, fun and healthy. 

Looking back to 2015 for me was busy, exciting and fun. I had the best time on our Around the world in 80 days trip. The planning now seemed easy, but to think how many countries and cities we visited. It is hard to believe we did it. Everything we planned turned out perfectly. We didn't have any cancellations, delays, missing flights or sickness! In a trip like that one you can't ask for more. The arrangement with families and friends along the way went very smoothly and better than we expected as well. We visited some places for the first time. The places that we had already been to turned out to be as enjoyable as we were hoping for. The accommodation we booked through Airbnb was better that we saw in the pictures. We loved each and everyone of them! Thank you Airbnb! If you haven't already read my posts about my trip please click back to older posts or click HERE.

Today I'm going to share with you some of my Christmas decorations and a some small finished pieces I did since I returned. I've also got a few inspirations that I hope to start soon. Enjoy!

Summer New Year banner to wish you a Happy New Year

Colourful hearts ornaments I have been making

The Treehouse Christmas

My favorite Dear Santa Quilt came out
to play at Christmas

The Trio. Angel, Santa and Snowman

Over sized Christmas Crazy quilt brooch

Complete this Peace for Paris
I started on the trip.

A long slow cloth for 2016 stitching project

A quilt I really like to make in 2016

Vintage cotton yukata at the Blue Alchemy
Exhibition at the NGV

That is it from me. I'm now back to work. It's a holiday period for my university. The only students around are there for summer school. My library is going through a major renovation at the moment. It is due for completion at the end of 2016. I'm excited to be working in the newly renovated library once it's finished. 

I would love to hear what everyone's New Year resolutions are. Please share.

Until next time.

December 19, 2015


Entering Vancouver from Seattle by train the first eye catching image is this The Pattullo Bridge. The bridge reminds me of the Auckland harbour bridge in Auckland where we lived for some time. The train ride was very pleasant. It was a good way to arrive in Vancouver. The morning was mostly foggy along the way, but when we arrived the fog had cleared. We would really like to do it again; maybe Vancouver to Seattle next time! 

As I said on my last post the Vancouver part of the trip was supposed to be easy going with no specific itinerary except that I wanted to see my friend Elizabeth. Elizabeth and I met on the Silk Study Tour in 2011. The day after I arrived Elizabeth and her friend Suri picked me up from our Airbnb apartment in the city. They plan was to take me to Grandville Island and visit Maiwa Stores. That is exactly what I was hoping to do! Off we went from the morning until late in the afternoon before they dropped me back with the promise that we will do it again before I left. 

The 76-year old Pattullo Bridge, Vancouver

One cold foggy morning, Vancouver City

I could see a cruise ship docking at the harbour from our apartment 

The girls got to have fun!

Piecing new project on the trip

Naturally dyed silk threads from Silk Weaving Studio

Bundling with local plants and flowers

Maiwa Handprints

Vintage indigo fabric at Maiwa Handprints

Fun day in Stanley Park

Watch-out for a bear in Stanley Park!

Spreading out what we gathered

Look at the hands gesture!

Result on silk blouse

BORO piecing for more stitching on the trip.

Vancouver was a much more enjoyable stop than I expected! It was lovely to be reunited with Elizabeth again and got to meet Suri who has been following my blog for a long time. I think Suri knows more about me that I know myself! 

Thanks Elizabeth and Suri for taking good care of me and showing me your unforgettable city. I love all my goodies I brought home. I will miss our fun time together in Vancouver. 

I spent a few days putting up my Christmas decorations before returning to work. Everyone at work asked what my favourite place was on my journey! To be honest, I can't answer that. I enjoyed all the places I visited. I will highlight them in my future posts. 

For now, thanks all for following my wonderful 'Around the world in 80 days' trip. You can revisit all the posts from my trip again by clicking here, or click under the 'around the world in 80 days' labels on the sidebar. 

Until next time