Saturday, December 30, 2017

My 2017 Quilt Projects

2017 has been an amazing year of discovering techniques and experimenting on new projects. I took inspiration from reading quilting books, magazines and checking out stuff on Pinterest. I watched a lot of YouTube videos to learn tried and tested techniques for hand quilting and I watched a few free classes on Craftsy. I wanted to learn how to machine quilt, but the tiny sewing machine I bought in Melbourne didn't work properly. I'll give myself probably six more months before I go into machine quilting since I still enjoy hand quilting a lot. I also feel I still have a lot more to learn.

Most of my 2017 are personal projects, mostly bags, pillow cases and I embarked on a Christmas project which I haven't finished yet. Here's what I managed to make this year:


Finished my Christmas 2016 project in early January.


Made a Wonder Woman bags for two friends.


Storm Trooper laptop sleeve for my son's new laptop.

Made a new Yoda bag for myself.


Pillow cases for home.


Traveled to Australia and bought quilt rulers!


Made a gigantic bag for traveling.


Made this prototype make up bag for Christmas gifts.


Was traveling a lot so was only able to make bias for my Christmas project.


Cool blue bag which I've been using at work.


Finished half of my Christmas gifts.


Bag for Mom.

My cat bag.

As they say, practice makes perfect. I learned a lot from the different projects I made this year. I'll blog about it later. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Buying Fabric in Korea: Gwangjang Market

A few weeks back I visited Seoul for the first time. My friends put together an awesome tourist-y itinerary and they included a visit to a local market to find fabric made in Korea. After a super fun morning at Namsan we headed to Gwangjang Market to try out local food (and where locals eat). There were fabric shops already near the entrance of the Gwangjang Market, but my friends said there was an area designated for fabric in the market.

After lunch we headed to the second floor of the market where the fabric stores were located. The area looked a lot like Divisoria where you can have wedding dresses made. The area had multiple stores offering hanbok dressmaking services. There were a few shops that offered ready to wear hanbok (about KRW220,000 for each).

The shops only had fabric made in Korea. Most of them were silk fabric ranging from KRW5,000 to 18,000 per yard. The shop keepers were very surprised that I only got a yard of fabric. They probably though I was making a hanbok for a baby.

The fabric was amazing and really beautiful. I will have to think long and do a lot of research to use the fabric I bought for quilting (I don't think they use it at all for quilting but will see).

I found the fabric market to be very different from other places I've been to. Mainly because they only offered fabric made in Korea which made it really unique. The fabric I think is also created mainly to make hanbok so it would really be challenging to create a quilt out of it. It will probably take me a lot of time but I hope to make something beautiful to give respect to the fabric. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Quilting Shops in Australia: Lincraft

I made it a point to visit craft shops whenever I travel so I could compare the fabric produced locally. I was happy to find out that quilting is a common hobby in Australia. This meant they have several craft shops locally which sell quilt materials. I immediately searched for the biggest one.

Lincraft is one of the most popular craft stores in Australia. They have several branches across the country. I visited the branch in Sydney and Melbourne. The fabric available were the more common ones so I focused my time in checking out accessories.

I went to the branch on York Street and was happy to see that they had a huge floor area. My husband and son went with me and they immediately went to the toy store. I spent about an hour exploring what Lincraft had to offer for crafters.


The first thing I checked were the rulers. They are very expensive in Singapore and thought it would be cheaper to buy elsewhere. I've been doing everything manually since that's how my Mom taught me. I have a collection of homemade patterns I use. This means my edges are not accurately sized. I've yet to learn though how to properly use the rulers and will probably take lessons on Craftsy. I picked up a "Circle and Scallop Ruler" and a "Measuring Gauge". I told myself I'll invest in the bigger rules once I know how to use it.

For those still learning how to quilt, I previously surived without these fancy rulers with an ordinary school ruler. I'd use old plastic folders and thick cardboards to create patterns. It was useful for simple squares and triangles. I still only hand quilt, but I'm now taking some online lessons to learn how to machine quilt.


As I mentioned the fabric selection was just very basic. I like kawaii fabric (character fabric/cartoons etc.). The selections were more appropriate for dress making than quilting, but they had a nice selection of fat quarters. The price though is cheaper than in Singapore.

Lincraft has a great selection of lace and it's arranged by color! Other shops don't have these much selection.

Lincraft had a gazillion yarns in different sizes and much cheaper compared to Singapore. I sometimes crochet, but don't know how to knit. I have a friend though who creates awesome crochet projects so I got her a couple of yarns. 

What I really appreciated at Lincraft was the wide variety of craft books available. I get a lot of inspiration from leafing through books, Pinterest and following quilters on Instagram. I ended up buying a couple of books that were on sale.

Of course, various other sewing knick knacks were available like these sewing kits. They didn't have too many options though.

Fabric glue which is unheard of for me. In my country there's only Elmer's glue which you can use for any craft item.

Beads! I know where to get these at very, very inexpensive prices.

Fortunately managed to keep myself form buying more scissors! Like my Mom I just absolutely need to have scissors in every room.

Thread! So far, same price anywhere I go.

Of course, several shelves dedicated for painters.

I'll probably need this in a few years!

I also visited Lincraft in Melbourne, so the photos above are a mix of items from their Sydney and Melbourne branches. Here's how the front of the store in Melbourne looks like.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Quilting Shops in Tokyo: Yuzawaya

I have very bad sense of direction and oftentimes get lost. I was on my way last week to check out a couple of shops in Ginza when I took a wrong turn and ended up on the wrong side of the street. Well the reason why I got lost was because I was checking where Yuzawaya was located in Ginza. I was reading several blogs about fabric stores in Tokyo and Yuzawaya was a top recommendation.

I had decided to head to Ginza that evening to check out the Uniqlo with 12 floors and an art supplies shop. I was quite frustrated that I couldn't find Yuzawaya on Google Maps and that's when I made the wrong exit. I had to catch my breath when I emerged on the street, only to realize I was on the wrong side. I was quite hungry and decided to check if Ginza Core had an restaurants. I was surprised to see the "Yuzawaya" signage on it.

I immediately checked the building directory and found out that it was on the 6th floor. I excitedly took the lift going up and found heaven in Ginza.

I spent about an hour in the shop. I combed through each of the aisles and I was happy to note they had fat quarters of Japanese fabric available. The area nearest the lift housed all the notions you need for your sewing projects -- thread, zippers, buttons, patterns, needles, scissors etc. For quilting they had a variety of wadding available. I found awesome bag bottom boards as well -- something I couldn't find in other shops.

The back area housed different types of fabric. What interests me whenever I visit craft shops in other countries are the locally made fabric. Japan has a lot of lovely print fabric. I was so glad they had fat quarters available since one meter can sometimes cost at least JPY3,000. They also had kawaii fabric -- mostly cute cats -- which I couldn't resist. Sadly though they did not have any anime or Western cartoons fabric (they have a lot in Nippori Fabric Town). I still ended up buying a few fat quarters.

On the other side of the shop had endless types of beads and other usable craft knick-knacks. They also had a nice variety of bag handles (I like making bags!) and the clay aisle made me really curious about trying it out eventually.

Yuzawaya is like Lincraft in Australia. Some items were pricey, but they had a lot of beautiful fabric. I had to reel myself in. Before I paid the staff kindly encouraged me to get a membership card (JPY500) so I would get a discount. She immediately gave me discounts on the items I bought and it saved me a lot of money.

I promptly added Yuzawaya on Google Maps and later on discovered that it was closed 2 years ago for renovation. The pin was marked closed. No need to worry because it can be easily found now - Yuzawaya Ginza.