Thursday, January 10, 2019

Pig Applique Template

Edit 14 Jan: Sorry guys, the pig applique template link has been removed.
The Year of the Pig is a little over 3 weeks away. It starts on 5th Feb 2019 and ends Jan 24 2020. If you're not aware, the Pig is the 12th in the 12-year cycle of the animal zodiac. If you're born in the year of the pig, your age this year is a multiple of 12. (12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84,  96, 108) Thank you Miss Tan for teaching me how to multiply by 12.

In honour of the coming Year of the Pig, I'm giving you guys the applique templates of my mama pig and little pig. I have combined them, uploaded it to my google drive and you can download the PDF here. I do sell these 2 applique templates in my Etsy shop for a tiny amount of money so PLEASE DO NOT pass the pdf around as a freebie. The pigs PDF is given to you guys for free until Sunday 13th January 2019, Singapore time. When I wake up on Monday, I will delete the link. So download ASAP.

This is what I made - my applique of the pig. The fabric I used is a very lovely pseudo patchwork Japanese fabric. I sewed the outline using straight stitch (stitch length 2.0) with an open toe foot. I used black polyester thread, the same thread I use for sewing bags and clothes. The eye and tail are hand embroidery using DMC thread.

And this is mama pig applique. The fabric is a delicious pastries print scrap. It's unfortunate I chose a very wrinkly background muslin. I sewed the outline using straight stitch with an open toe foot. I increased the stitch length to 3.0 because I used Aurifil 40wt thread and I felt the longer stitch makes the outline look better. The eye and tail are hand embroidery using DMC thread.

Later if I feel inspired, I might turn these 2 applique into a little art quilt. Something like my rooster art quilt.

Those of you who are incapable of sewing, you can trace the pig applique templates onto scrap booking paper, cut it out and paste onto coloured paper. Like these...

p.s. if you need help sewing your applique, do refer to my applique tutes.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

#WIP


Do you have any WIPs (Work In Progress) brought forward from 2018? Some of you might ask: what's the difference between WIP and UFO (Unfinished Objects). The big difference is, for WIP, you continue to work on the project. UFOs are usually abandoned, hidden, put away and spend most of their lives in drawers, cabinets or storeroom (in my case). They're close to being done but require effort to make it into a completely finished project. A WIP can turn into an UFO when you stop working on it completely. It's usually towards the end of a project when things can get dangerous - you lose enthusiasm, you lose the momentum and finally you lose complete interest. When my kids need a pep talk, I like to use a race as an analogy. I told them: don't slow down when you near the finish line. The closer you get to crossing the finish line, the more effort you have to put in to give that final boost to shoot you across. I wish I could give myself the same pep talk when I face my UFOs!

I have a few WIPs which I believe will take many hundreds of days and nights to finish.

WIP#1
After finishing my first lace scarf, I jumped into this one which is similar but the pattern is slightly more difficult and often makes me want to dig out my eyeballs. I managed to reach 18 inches.

WIP#2
Believe it or not, this is supposed to be a sweater. It's crochet and very boring. I'm not sure if I want to complete it. But I have the correct amount of yarn. Plus I've already crocheted so many rows. I can't bear to rip it out. When I crochet, I don't use any lifelines. <expert>

WIP#3
This was supposed to be my first lace shawl but I ran out of room on my circular needle so I had to buy a longer circular needle. I couldn't get the exact same size needle so I'm quite screwed.

WIP#4
This is not an easy lace shawl pattern. It is interesting to knit so I'm keen to keep going. One section of the shawl is almost impossible to knit. I bruised my hands doing it.

WIP#5
Now that my arms are not so hedious and children won't run away crying when they see them, I'm keen to make a sleeveless top for myself. I do have lots of sleeveless top - all from running events. This one though will be a knit top and possibly tight so I'd better start on my tummy toning exercises.

WIP#6
This WIP is what I dread working on most. I have to clean up my blog - removing all the links to my now defunct Craftsy shop. I could leave the links as is but I don't like dead links.

WIP#7
I promised I would update my tutorials page. Unfortunately it's hot as hell so lets KIV (keep in view). It'll get done, don't worry.

WIP#8
Finish my current bag pattern. <I need a pep talk!>

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Reflection - 2018

Dear Internet friends,


It's the first day of 2019. How has it been for you so far? I ended 2018 with a headache and started 2019 with a headache. It could be the same headache. Otherwise, I'm all in one piece and feeling quite optimistic. I spent the day cooking, cleaning and practising my lettering with my brand new Pentel brush pen.

But I feel I can't begin 2019 before doing a 2018 post-mortem! So get your tea/vodka ready...

Crafting
2018 was the year I finally gave my all to crafting. I had no obstacles. My time was my own and all I needed was inspiration and motivation which I had plenty of. It was a very good year of crafting for me. I did a bit of embroidery, a lot of knitting, some crochet, some applique-ish stuff, a lot of bag sewing mostly for my bag patterns, a tiny bit of weaving and a few garments. You could say 2018 was my dream year. My only criticism is I could not focus. I wanted to do too many projects.

I was in my self-congratulatory bubble when I met my bff recently. We haven't met for a while and after catching up on this and that, she finally asked me THE QUESTION. It's a question she has asked before and when the question came out of her mouth, my heart sank, my entire being wanted to crawl back into my cave.

Her question: Do you still make those things, those patterns to sell? <She doesn't read my blog so she doesn't know exactly what I make.>

I sighed and answered yes. And braced myself for what would come next. A lecture on how I am wasting my time and spending my money on something that has too low a rate of return. This time though, she suggested something new. She explained that I am better off investing "the money" on fixed deposit. Yep, putting "the money" in a fixed deposit will give me better returns than whatever the hell I'm doing right now.

My first instinct was to disregard her advice. But because of our decades of friendship, and because I know she wasn't trying to be intentionally cruel, I reflected on what she'd said. I hate to say it but she's right. Why put so much effort (and heart) into something that doesn't pay off big? I can't keep on using the excuse it's my hobby. So next year I want to spend more time on projects that will bring in money instead of just fun. Believe me, I'm not short on fun. I do think my talent is under utilized! <ahem> And wouldn't it be great if I could kill 2 birds with one stone? Fun stuff that bring in money. Yes, that's the dream.

Knitting
2018 was such a great year for my knitting. I felt like a rock star. After so many years of knitting very basic stuff, I finally made the transition and understood knitting a lot better. I can read charts, knit with circular needles, dpns and best of all, I managed to complete 2 lace knitting. The other day I borrowed a book on beginner lace knitting from the library and after flipping through, I realised I understood everything! In fact, I could if I had the yarn, knit any of the patterns. I still have much to learn in knitting, but I believe it's going to get easier from now on.

Bag Patterns
I spent so much time indulging in my hobbies that I didn't allocate enough time to producing bag patterns. But 4 patterns in one year is pretty darn good, right? I should be publishing a new bag pattern in January. It's almost done. I used scrap fabric! Imagine...Stay tuned. Bag patterns sale for this year went up compared to last year but then again, last year hit an all-time low. This year I made a conscious effort to promote a bit more and it made a difference. Still, it is a fact that the market is flooded with many bag patterns plus there are countless youtube videos... The number of marketplaces for bag patterns has also decreased over the years. At one point, my bag patterns were sold at 8 marketplaces. Some closed for good, some I withdrew from and of course I was evicted from one. Now my patterns are sold on my blog, payhip and Etsy. A bit sad but I'll hunt for more marketplaces soon.

Crochet

I love crochet because it comes easy to me but I think I love bead crochet MORE. I tried broomstitck crochet lace but I didn't fall in love. I wonder if I will love bead knitting MORE? It's something I haven't tried but I have the beads. I HAVE THE BEADS.

Garments
I wanted to sew lots of clothes for myself but I often lack the right fabric or if I had the right fabric, I didn't have enough yardage. The pair of pants had the most views amongst the outfits I'd sewn. I wonder why?

Embroidery
I enjoyed doing some freehand embroidery but it took so much time. Four are now official UFOs.

Tutorials
With so many tutorials out there in the internet, I wasn't sure if I needed to add more. By the way, the applique related tutorials I created in 2014 have gotten very good views over the past few years. They took a lot of time and effort to write so I'm glad people are using the tutes. When the weather gets cooler, I'll update my tutorial page. I hate to deal with html code and I can only do it when humidity is low. Otherwise I'll scream and yell and maybe get drunk. So, until the perfect weather...

2018's
Coaster DIY
Lucky charm drawstring pouch
Not so perfect miter
Perfect Miter

Completed UFOs
I still get a thrill when I look at these completed UFOs. After so many years of living in the store room, I managed to rescue them and turn them into practical/decorative items. I have a ton of UFO, mostly applique ones which I hope to work some magic in 2019.

Weaving
I made a feeble attempt at "weaving". Weaving is one of those crafts that attracts me but I don't quite have the skills or patience for. Have I ever mentioned I own 3 simple/basic weaving looms, bought on a whim and I've yet to touch them? And hubs bought me a gift that involved weaving but I've hidden it somewhere because well, weaving is hard.

Health + Exercise
Early this year, hubs and I trained with my niece Mindy who's a personal trainer at Fitness Bravo. It was a lot of hard work and I think I got fitter. After our sessions ended, we bought a few pieces of equipment so we could train at home. Doing it on our own will never be as intensive as with Mindy. We either get bored or gave up too easily. Apart from some strength exercises, I run whenever I'm motivated and I swim once a week. All these have led to 3 outcomes: 1. My high blood pressure has now become normal. The doctor said it is not an issue anymore. A big high-five to me. 2. My upper body has grown and now when I walk amongst other Singapore women, I realise I'm HUGE. I've always thought the reverse would happen- that as one ages, one grows smaller. Why is it, of all things, I get bigger? 3. My flabby grandmother under arm has become slightly more toned and suddenly I want to wear sleeveless clothes. Previously I avoided them. Woo hoo!

2018 was the year I stopped eating all rice and rice flour products for my health. What a torture it has been but I never gave in to temptation. I basically gave up eating every food item I love because it turned out all of them contain rice. Instead of rice, I sought comfort in sweet food and you've guessed it - weight gain. Grrr.

Blogging
I'm still so in love with blogging and in 2018, I wrote a total of 64 posts. Not a whole lot but I still get motivated. I don't need to repeat this (but I will). Blogging has gone out of fashion. So many bloggers have given up and embraced Instagram. I know my saddest day will be the day blogger dies. Speaking of death, am I right that Google Plus is closing down in 2019? I'm barely present at Google Plus so I doubt if I'll feel any pain.

So what did you do in 2018? Any regrets?
Related Posts with Thumbnails

My Bag Pattern Shop

https://www.etsy.com/shop/projectsbyjane

My Applique Patterns

https://www.etsy.com/shop/projectsbyjane?section_id=15580078&ref=shopsection_leftnav_2

My Embroidery Patterns

https://www.etsy.com/shop/projectsbyjane?section_id=15580078&ref=shopsection_leftnav_2