Friday, January 28, 2011

Patchwork Sewing Basket

As the new year starts, I was doing some spring cleaning and found pairs of old jeans. Now I have a big bag full of jeans for repurposing projects :D. There is like a long list in my head wanting to do this & that with the material. But before I ended up with fabric cut outs & scraps all over the place, sewing a storage bin would be the first in my to do list. 
Lately I've been making more patchwork and quilt related sewing projects. It's a bit time consuming for me even when it's just patching together simple rectangles. When all is done, I can't help but jump for joy!
The sewing basket is 28 cm long with the same width and 25 cm tall. Jeans base makes the basket more sturdy and hard-wearing. For the patchwork, I cut rectangles measuring 8cm X 6cm each (includes 1cm seam allowance). The patches are then lined with thick batting and quilted. For the lining, I sew some pockets to organize tools and notions. Small handles was added for the ease of carrying and holding the basket. The jeans pocket was a last minute addition and I really like the look of it.

 One large pocket for magazines & templates. More pockets at the front for pencil & small items.

More pockets to organize big tools.

Top view. A contained mess :)

When flatten, it looks like a bag but the handles are not long enough for resting on the shoulder.

Happy sewing = )

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vintage Crochet

 Previously I've posted some sewing books from my moms collection. This particular book is quite interesting to look at just because I can't crochet :(. But if you're into it, I bet you would be whipping some projects from the book. It was published in 1969 by Japanese publisher. There's small tear on some pages but still readable. The images are in colour and black & white and instructions are written in English.

Here are a few pages from Madonna Crochet Book No 5.

I like the embroidery design on this page. If you happened to own a Madonna embroidery book, raise your hand do let me know = ).

When I got the urge to scan the whole book, I'll make a special post about it but it's gonna take some time.
Meanwhile, you can download free crochet pattern at All free crafts.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Needle Field's Birthday

Yes, Needle Field is already one year old this month & I almost forgot about it. This blog was born on January the 15th 2010 for the purpose of showcasing my needlework and sharing ideas with fellow sewers and crafters alike.

I started sewing ever since I was a little girl. Being surrounded by grandmas and a mother who loves sewing, I instantly caught the sewing bug. During my primary school days I did a lot of cross stitch work, simply helping my mom finishing her cross stitch projects. When I was 9 or 10, my school teacher taught us kids how to make a patchwork pillow. I can't remember what that subject was but we did a lot of crafty stuff including clay work with 'real clay'. It was fun!

The dresden plate pillow that I sew was similar to the image on the left. This hexagon and dresden patchwork template is from my moms collection since the 80's. It is still in good condition & even the fabric scraps are from the 80's. :)

This pillow case was sewn by my late grandma. The edge is scalloped and embroidered. I particularly love the one that's embroidered with red thread. It's a keeper!

A simple cross stitched bunnies from moms collection. It is supposed to be a pillow case but mom prefers framing it. It stays clean forever :)

Some of her cross stitch books. Most of it are Ondori handicraft books from Japan.

The price is quite cheaper back then. 

Her crochet books. The Madonna crochet book on the right is from the late 60's. Quite interesting to look at, unfortunately I don't know how to crochet :(.

OK, enough blast from the past for now. Happy sewing & have a nice day.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fabric Basket Tutorial

This is my first tutorial for 2011. Anyone who is into sewing and crafting would definitely need a storage box to organize their sewing notions, fabric and tools. Some even hide their favourite snacks in it (& I wonder who?). :) I made this fabric basket last month and the size is based on a cookie tin lid. You can use your growing fabric stash to make this round fabric basket.

- fabric scraps
- thick batting
- buttons
- thread & needle

Cut fabrics:
- cut ten pieces of 5" X 5" square from main fabric and lining fabric.
- cut one 5" X 21" rectangle from thick batting.
- cut two 7" circle from main fabric and lining fabric.
- cut one 7" circle from thick batting.
- cut one 2" X 21" strip for binding

* measurement includes 1/2" seam allowance.

Step 1. 
a) Sew the five squares together.
b) Make another set of the five squares. 
c) Lay 5" X 21" batting onto the wrong side of one patchwork piece.
d) Pin and baste in place.

Step 2. 
Quilt the layers together. I just sew some simple zigzags.

Step 3. 
Pin together one circle fabric with batting and quilt as desired.

Step 4.
a) Fold the rectangle quilted piece together with right sides facing. Stitch along the open ends with 1/2" seam allowance.
b) Now you have a round wall.
c) Pin the quilted circle to the round wall.
d) Stitch around the seam.

Step 5.
a) Turn the basket right side out.
b) Make the lining. Sew together the second set of squares with the 7" circle.
c) Place the lining inside the quilted basket and pin the layers together.
d) Sew along the top edge of the basket. 

Step 6.
a) Cut a 2" X 21" strip for binding. But If you want to make a fancy one like mine, cut 10 pieces of 2" X 3" rectangles. Sew them together using a 1/2" seam allowance.
b) Fold the strip in half. Fold both edges toward the center.
c) Fold the strip in half again. Press the folds firmly with your fingers (you don't have to do this if you have a bias tape maker). Iron the folded strip
d) See the fold marks. Not bad for an imaginary bias tape maker :)

Step 7.
a) Sew together both ends of the strip using 1/2" seam allowance.
b) Position the binding along the top edge of the basket.
c) Stitch along the top folded mark using 1/2" seam allowance.
d) Fold the binding over the edge to the inside lining of the basket.

Step 8
Slip stitch folded edge of binding to the inside lining.

Now you have a round fabric basket to organize your happy mess. 
If you want to add a handle, follow the next step......

Basket Handle:

1. Cut two 3" X 17" fabric. Cut one 2" X 16" thick batting.   
a) Lay one fabric on top of batting.
b) Sandwich the two layers with another fabric with right sides facing. I trim along the handle ends to make rounded edge. You can do so if you like.
c) Sew the layers together along the edges using a 1/2" seam allowance. Leave a small opening for turning.
d) Turn the handle right side out through the opening.

2. Sew shut the opening with a slip stitch and quilt the handle. I just sew simple zigzag through the length of the strap.

3. Attach the handle by sewing buttons on each ends of the handle to the fabric basket. The handle that I made is quite wide. You can reduce the width if you want a skinny handle. 

All done!

I'll be making more of this fabric basket. One is never enough!

Have a nice day everyone :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello 2011

Happy new year 2011! Hope you guys out there like this sock dolls comic :)

Thank you all for visiting my blog even though I have too little things to share. I really appreciate all of your comments & 'cluck cluck'. . I'm hoping for a fun filled 2011 & I will try my best to be a frequent blogger. :P (huhu....shoo away lazy bug!) 
I'll be sharing more tutorials some time soon. So keep on watching  my space. 

Happy Holiday!
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