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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Chinese trouser panel cross stitch (from a kit) on: October 08, 2009 07:25:30 AM
I live here, hence all the travelling about. China is a fascinating country. I love the textiles and I like that you tookthe time to make this piece.

I agree, it really is fascinating, on so many levels.  I've gotta say, the language barrier was the biggest problem for me.  If that didn't feel so difficult, I would have been back many times by now.  My attempts to say anything in Chinese were completely futile!  At one stage we had to play charades in order to get a taxi to the airport.  Picture two adults on the street pretending to be airplanes.  It's funny now, but felt stressful at the time!

Back on topic (almost), I'm feeling really encouraged and I have found my pictures from the Shanghai museum, so I'm going to start thinking up a new project!
2  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Chinese trouser panel cross stitch (from a kit) on: October 08, 2009 07:06:32 AM
I collect Southern Chinese textiles. I just came back from a trip to Hunan province where I got cloth woven by Miao minority people on looms. Lovely stuff! I also have textiles and batik from Sichuan province, Yunnan province, Tibet and many other places. Love it! You can see the women sitting around emboridering in the street and weaving away on looms. Also, many still wear traditional clothing.

I have tonnes of pics of both the weaving and the textiles including the people wearing them if this is something you're interested in.

I'd love to see your pictures!  I'll PM you.  I'm feeling pretty jealous of your travels - I have been to China twice, and still yearn to go back again.  But it isn't the easiest place to travel around, and it felt difficult to get "off the beaten path" and see the genuine Chinese way of life rather than the tourist version.
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Chinese trouser panel cross stitch (from a kit) on: October 08, 2009 07:00:27 AM
Also, how big is the panel?  Could it be used as a decoration on, say, a tote bag?

It's 13 x 24 cm (about 5 x 9 inches).  It would be a great size for going on a tote bag, but I'd be scared of getting it dirty!!
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Re: Chinese trouser panel cross stitch (from a kit) on: October 08, 2009 04:09:49 AM
Thank you schnerby!

I am proud of it, and I think I will have it framed.  My worry was that I would end up thinking "well it's nice, but I wish I had designed something myself".

Somewhere I have a stash of photos of embroideries & clothing somewhere, from a museum in Shanghai, and when I took them I had intentions to use some of the designs for craft projects.  I know it wouldn't be authentic, but I still hope to do that.  I love Chinese textiles!
5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Chinese trouser panel cross stitch (from a kit) on: October 08, 2009 01:47:21 AM
This was my first cross stitch project in many, many, many years ... I bought this kit at a craft fair last year and plonked it away for a rainy day.  The rainy day came upon me one evening when I'd finished a knitting project but couldn't decide what to knit next.

I don't know how long it took me ... maybe 3 weeks (just working in the evenings).  I was kindof concerned about making something from a kit, because it felt a little un-creative somehow.  But I'm really very happy with the result:

(It really is rectangular, the photo is taken from a bad angle)

The kit came from Traveller's Tales:  http://www.travellers-tales.com/ - it's called the "Mien trouser panel".  I had a couple of disappointments - the chart was wrong in a few places, and some of it was printed so lightly that I had to go over with a pen and mark in the stitches by looking at a photo of the finished project.

I was also very disappointed that the needle which came with the kit broke when I was only about halfway done!  I've broken many sewing machine needles before, but never any kind of hand-sewing needle.  So I finished it with a not-quite-appropriate (too sharp, too long, and too hard to thread) needle that I had on hand.  I feel like doing more embroidery now so I guess I should shop for some good quality embroidery needles.
6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Re: My first ever quilt on: September 17, 2009 07:18:56 AM
Thanks everyone!

This actually isn't the first quilt that I have started ... but it is the first one that I have finished!  I have one quarter of a large quilt top sitting in the sewing room, and that one is just simple squares.  Yeah, I'm easily side-tracked   Grin

Scrap quilts are definitely something I want to try, but I think I need more time, to do more sewing, so I can accumulate more scraps ...

The circles really weren't difficult to sew at all, and the flannel was quite easy to ease into shape so I could botch quite a lot to make things fit together!  Anyone thinking they are scared of the curves should just have a go at making one square, it's much easier than it looks.
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / My first ever quilt on: September 14, 2009 08:59:55 AM
When I ordered flannel for making cloth nappies, I somewhat overcatered ... so I used the many leftovers for this baby quilt for my little girl. The circles were great for using up the small pieces left over from cutting out nappies.

Here is the back:

I was inspired and guided by this tutorial: http://andothersillythings.blogspot.com/2009/07/polka-dot-quilt-tutorial.html

Sewing the circles was kinda tedious, kinda fun. I think it would have been much more fun with more different fabrics - working with just two colours made the piecing a bit boring.  I'm really pleased with it, can't wait to make the next one!
8  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: An IKEA fabric makeover for our kitchen sofa on: January 22, 2009 02:15:15 AM
Ahh, I see.  So I assume it's not too different than the thick foam they sell at craft stores. No baby here, I just spill my cereal lots!   Grin

Yep, it's just standard foam ... I don't know where to find craft stores around here yet, and someone recommended the boat-cushion company as a good place where I could get a big piece cut to the right size.  I also bought another big chunk to make a hanging headboard for our bed - that's the next project!
9  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: An IKEA fabric makeover for our kitchen sofa on: January 22, 2009 12:34:17 AM
I've heard of kitchen benches which is just sort of like a wooden bench in place of kitchen chairs (usually there would be chairs on the other side of the table) but I like your version way better! 

Actually, we have one of those too!  But it is still in the process of being shipped here (we moved just before Christmas) and I have no idea where we'll put it when it arrives ...

Does the boat foam make it waterproof?

Nope, the foam is ordinary foam - for boat cushions they would normally cover it with waterproof fabric.  That could have been handy though, since we have a baby on the way  ;-)
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Re: An IKEA fabric makeover for our kitchen sofa on: January 21, 2009 09:00:36 AM
I'm afraid I've never come across the idea of a kitchen sofa before, though.  huh.  Wink

Neither had I, before coming to Sweden - I think it's a uniquely Scandinavian thing.  The seat lifts up so you can store things inside - very handy for keeping blankets and random stuff.  Apparently, they even used it as a cot when my husband was a baby!

I'm really keen to try a quilt, but I have a couple of other house projects that are a bit more pressing at the moment.
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