Link party

I’ve never done this before, so I hope it works…

Blocks 7-12 of the Modern HST Sampler. Here is a photo showing all six of them. I tried to stick as closely as I could to the colours shown in the tutorials, relying on the designers’ design and colour ability. I have none of my own๐Ÿ™‚




Running as fast as you can

I believe that social media can be a powerful tool for people who can use them properly. Me, I’m handicapped in a couple of ways, mainly due to the fact that (a) I don’t have anything original to contribute, which makes it less likely that any of my me-too posts will find a fan following and (b) I’m not actually a very social person, meaning I find it difficult to make small talk or fluently praise in public, therefore there will be no reciprocal chat or praise coming my way either. I honestly find it difficult to make my Twitter feed quantitatively different from my Instagram feed, for example. What could I possibly say in 140 characters that one picture cannot convey effectively?

Currently, however, I’m being dutifully prolific on Instagram, as I am doing two sew-a-longs (or block-a-longs). I blogged about the HST (half square triangle) sampler a couple of posts ago, and then a new one began on the 17th August, based on a book by designer Tula Pink, which has a hundred different 6″ blocks. The small size is daunting, but I hope to get them done. I’m always looking for external sources of discipline, as I have none within me. The pressure to post a block every day will hopefully make sure I make something every day.

I am a couple of blocks away from catching up with the HST sampler. Here is a collage below of the eight I finished since I last posted on the subject.


They are, clockwise from top left, Pointed, Intersection, Diagonal, Faceted Stripe, Starshine, Rockpool, Turnstile and Introspection.

I’ve been trying to stay faithful to the designer’s colour palette in this sampler, while in the 100 blocks, I have a different palette in mind and only hope I can be true to it over the entire sampler. Working from stash within the constraints of its size and my own fabric, colour and pattern prejudices means choosing a pleasing and effective range for each block is quite challenging. I have a feeling those of you who follow my progress must be quite familiar with most of my fabric stash already, seeing as so much of it seems to occur again and again in whatever I do.

I do think I am learning from my endeavours, even if in minute amounts given my ย mental capacity and aptitude. Old dogs and all that.

Following lines

I joined up to flash my stash on Instagram with Rin over at Sew in Love for fourteen days. I admit it was tough choosing what to show sometimes, but it was a useful exercise, showing me how scared I am to use some of the fabric I have. You can check out all the stash that was shown over at that first link.

After having the discipline enforced of at least one photo a day, I needed some other impetus so I wouldn’t go into withdrawal. I decided to join in the Modern HST Sampler hosted by Alice Blyth. This is discipline of much more severity. Try as I might, I am not able to get the sizes right. I can get the points to point correctly, but the dimensions…

My quilting guru discouraged me from cutting larger pieces of fabric so I’d have more freedom to trim down. She’s right, but you know me, I’m the shortcut seeker(c). So I confess to having added a 1/4″ or so in a few of the blocks. More room to manoeuvre. If I were a proper student, I’d be studying the geometry thoroughly so I’d get it and not have to refer to pattern measurements.

I’ve done 6 of the 14 blocks released so far, and hope to catch up with all by mid-month, so that I can then begin the next Instagram/Bloglovin’ inspired QAL (quilt-a-long). This one’s even more ambitious, because it has 100 6″ blocks. (That’s like trying to weave with 60/2 or 120/2 yarn, which I haven’t come close to, yet.)

You can see the Modern HST blocks as they happen on my Instagram feed, but here’s a collage anyway.


From top left: Candy, Ninja, Lantern, Stepping Stones, Mountain and Formation. All from scraps. There’s no colour scheme at all, and I’m hoping the white will pull it all together. The one thing that I’m doing is to adhere broadly to the colours used by the designers.

From here on in it will only get tougher, since the HSTs are smaller. The margin for error is much less.

Dark clouds overhanging


I had a post more than half written and it vanished into thin air. How is that possible???

Anyway. I was talking about something that happens to me very frequently. Especially since I lack perseverance (despite my school’s motto, perseverentia omnia vincit). I start a project and get about halfway, then run into a problem or a hurdle. Then I find I don’t like what I’m doing, or what I need to do next. So screech. I stop. Half-made, half-baked, half-done. No more progress. Then the thing hangs over me like a gloomy portentous cloud that never rains but always threatens.

Currently I have a few dark clouds, and I’m showing you one today. ย A friend asked me to make a caddy to carry two 1-litre bottles of water for her husband (=dark, sober fabric). It sounds simple, and I went looking for a pattern. I decided on one with a double-ended zipper. I had to upsize it to fit my requirements, got my friend to approve the fabric, and ended up with this:


Looks OK, right? Only, when I ironed some of the pieces, I managed to transfer some gunk from my iron to the fabric, which unfortunately shows every blemish clearly. I tried everything I could to try and get it off, but couldn’t. Then I tried cutting different pieces and sewed them together, but I still didn’t like the result. Project = Fail.

So then I went looking for a different pattern, since I couldn’t face this one any more. I chose one that looked simpler (Bento Lunch Bag) and after a few hiccups (including having to use a close ended zipper rather than an open ended one) and made this:


That doesn’t look too bad, so I sent it off to my friend, by now long overdue. The clouds were already formed. Its a bit floppy (in more than one sense).๐Ÿ˜ฆ

Now I’m on the third iteration. Using denim this time, and my own concept. My friend wants a divider between the bottles, and plastic lining inside (as the second one had). This time I took very precise numbers so I don’t end up overestimating as I usually seem to do. I can show you this, not very clear result for the inner lining. That’s a Netflix series on “Deadly Women” (sic) in the background.


It involved sewing the centre divider by hand to the sides. I’m about halfway through finishing, but wasn’t liking the result, so I gave up last night and went to bed. I had an idea what I could do to improve things, so I might do that next.

The dark clouds aren’t dispersed yet.


Phases not fazes

I know I said I’d be a good blogger, but good intentions never got me anywhere.

I’m still in the sewing madly phase, especially since someone wanted a bus load of neck pillows. While the pillow itself is very quick to sew, I had to stop for my stock of fibrefill to be replenished. And I’m never convinced that the stuffing I did was done correctly or sufficiently. How much is too much? It doesn’t help that the original pattern talks in terms of weight of an entirely unknown (to me) brand and type of the filling. Which makes ordering reinforcements somewhat of a gamble. Will I have enough? Will I be smothered by a mountain of white fluff?

My friend is fond of the blues. And what you’re seeing is actually a sort of miracle, because I never thought I’d ever be able to bring myself to cut into the fabric I bought in March. (My precioussssss…) The yellow in the first picture was a fat quarter from The Square Inch, while the rest of the batiks were a thrilling find in Chennai’s Cotton Street in Egmore. “Give me one of each!”

Now that lot of fabric was from different sources. I rather like the checks myself. I feel the need to go forth and buy a metre in every colour. I’ve been surprising myself with how successfully I’ve combined colours and patterns. You’d think I had good taste and colour and design sense๐Ÿ˜‰

While the original pillow takes less than one bottle of the stuffing, my friend wanted modifications done, with a centre higher than the ends, and an overall increase in size. I’ve now consumed twice my body volume in fibrefill.

More like a comet

I thought about titling this post “Waxing and waning” to show the periodicity of my blogging, but then realised that would be misrepresentative. The moon finishes its cycles in a month, whereas WordPress tells me I haven’t blogged in well over a year. Hence the reference to another periodic celestial object. 
My last post but one showed a knit lace project, but sadly I haven’t knit a stitch since then. Crochet has got a look in, thanks to the giant granny blanket (not a blanket meant for or composed of an oversized female ancestress, but one large blanket composed of many small granny squares).

I have developed a theory about the use of colour in projects. Throw in enough of different hues and the eye can no longer be bothered to look for harmony. Hence most of these will look good.

Although I acquired a couple more looms (a Japanese rigid heddle loom and an American computerised 24-shaft loom), the very steep learning curve on the latter has bought out my cowardly side and I have been paralysed into not weaving much.

I have been sewing a lot, though, which is the reason for my attempt to revive the blog, since there is no Ravelry for sewing where I can neatly enter all the details for future reference. I hope to use this blog for that purpose.

See you all soon!