Fabric Heaven in Hong Kong

Fabric Heaven in Hong Kong

      Two words. Fabric Heaven. Actually it should be more than two… Fabric and craft supply heaven. Yup, it’s right here in Hong Kong and I’ve been madly compiling a whole guide to it. Here’s a sneak peek of some of the photos I’ve been taking along the way....
The art of the antler

The art of the antler

Mr Ted’s really small softie gang are going to be finished this week. We’re moving apartments next week and I really must have it done by then. You see, I  have grand schemes for the boys room in our new place but I cannot begin more softies, cushions, decor and themes until I’ve finished Mr Ted’s gang.  Any kind of daydreaming, imagining, planning, drawing and sewing that is un-related to these little guys is strictly prohibited in this house. Ha! Easier said than done. Pattern pieces have been drawn, re-drawn, cut and crafted. Mavin Moose has been the trouble maker of the lot. We’ve had several rounds of antlers, none of which seemed quite right, along with a few variations of ear shape. Meanwhile Hong Kong has put on sparkling weather for me to gaze out of in the last couple of weeks of this apartment.    He still needs a bit of a nose job but I think his cheekiness is just about right now.  Deer Dot, on the other hand, has been an absolute joy to make.  Her little reindeer antlers sit perfectly and her tiny tail and spots were exactly what I was hoping for. I really do love this stage where they come to life in your very own hands, late at night while all the little people in the house are sleeping. Now the Mr Moose and Deer Dot are almost done I’m starting on the last member of the really small gang. She needs to be cute, a little naughty and lots of fun. I’ve been sketching little bunnies, but … meh… there...
Clutching

Clutching

I’ve been sewing up clutch bags this week. Most of them I don’t want to part with, but I think it’s all shades of wrong to keep a thank you present for yourself… isn’t it? The first one is very classic, with silk lining.I loved the perforated leather.   The second is much like me… slightly over the top, not quite perfect, but lots of fun on a night out. This one is still in need of the perfect pink silk tassel which I’ll hunt down in the laneways of Hong Kong this week. This last one is completely themed around the razor blade zipper – an awesome find in Sham Shui Po.  I like to think of as Biatch stitching. Whoaaa… that just got a bit racy for a crafting blog….but come on… a  razor zip pull, tough outer leather and complete craziness at it’s core. It’s completely Hong Kong. I was going to give this one to my sister when she visits this week but… then again…  perhaps I need to keep it?   I do love making the clutches, such a quick project and so much fun matching the leather and lining – DIY clutch bag tutorial  is right here if you’re inspired to get making. You don’t have to use leather, canvas or deco weight fabric work perfectly or you could even use quilting weight fabric with interfacing. Happy Crafting!  ...
Quest for the lotus fabric

Quest for the lotus fabric

Last weekend we took a sneaky trip to Cambodia to visit ancient temples of Angkor Wat and soak up the divine culture that is South East Asia. Oh I love it. Such a contrast to the big city madness of Hong Kong. It’s a place I’ve wanted to visit for a long time and it exceeded all of my expectations. There was the usual elephants eating out of our hands (hello… elephants.. amazing!)   The patterns and the craftsmanship in the temples are just incredible. Intricately carved out of stone, shapes of animals, plants and flowers are all woven together to tell the stories of the gods. Many of the shapes and detailing of the temples are  based on the Lotus flower. My favourite flower in the whole world. I didn’t know that it’s a sacred symbol of purity and has long been used to make fabric! Yes… fabric! Pee your pants excitement.   Like a woman possessed, I dragged my kids to the Samatoa Lotus Farm to see this fabled fabric being made.  A few serious ice cream bribes for the smalls later,  we arrived to witness the lotus loom in full swing.   In this fairtrade workshop they take the fibres from the stem of the lotus and hand spin the into thread before weaving in with silk.  I love the simple ingenuity of Asia – here they use plastic drinking straws for spools. Below they’ve folded each of the huge lotus petals in on themselves to create a flower that floated on water in our hotel. Clever, clever, clever! In the end I didn’t get to buy any fabric, none of...
I missed the crazy

I missed the crazy

The great thing about travel is it gives you a fresh perspective on the place that you live. Spending time in the US this month I saw the effect that place has on everything creative. The fabric designs in particular were so inspired by American culture, traditions and way of life – from the Native feathers and arrows through to the bowling and picnic inspired illustrations. It also made me miss Hong Kong. I missed the crazy. I missed the bright lights, the bustle, the dim sum, the thunderstorms and the people. It made me realise that there’s a whole look and feel to this place that is seeping into my creative bones. It’s taken a long time but, right now, the grass doesn’t seem greener on the other side. I love this crazy.     So I think it’s high time I share some of the crazy with you. Time that I water this grass of mine. This week I’ve been spending time in Sham Shui Po, aka craft heaven, compiling all my favourite shops, tricks and tips to sewing supply heaven. The leather, ribbon, silk, buttons and more. I’m even thinking of having a little crafty get together here early next year. So, are you free next...
Spring Quilt Market 2015

Spring Quilt Market 2015

I am no longer a Quilt Market Virgin. This is the A-league of fabric and design and there were moments that I had to seriously try and keep my cool as I was casually introduced to the likes of Heather Bailey, chatted vintage fabric with Alexia Abegg and had Tula Pink tell me that she loves my balloons on instagram and could I please make more from her new collection ? *choke* *splutter*. Umm… YES… !!! So while I wallow in jetlag, here are a few of my favourite things… This Lion Quilt by Violet Craft just blew me away. While Quilt Market is filled with traditional, modern and contemporary styles. Being a modern type, I loved the geometric, fresh designs so that’s what I happily snapped however, there really is room for everyone’s taste at QM… it is just huge!  In fact, in the USA, quilting is a  bigger than GOLF as a hobby. Yup, tell that to your other halves… mine doesn’t believe me. In amongst the lovely North Americans there was a sprinkling of amazing Australian talent. Apparently we have quite a reputation at Quilt Market. hmmmm…. The quilt above is by Siobhan Rogers who was there to launch her beautiful book “By the Block”. The Cotton and Steel ladies dazzled again with their new collection – the perfect mix of retro and modern prints. I have to say that colours of spring seem to be navy mixed with mustards and pinks into peaches.   The gorgeous Pauline from Funky Friends Factory was there with her cute softies including the new American Eagle.   I completely fell in love with...
The really small gang

The really small gang

I’m off to Quilt Market in Minneapolis this week – Hooray! I’ve wanted to make it for years and now, here we go! I decided at the last minute to do some stitching and take the Mr Ted and the really small gang with me. I hadn’t planned on taking any softies but going through my fabric stash on Tuesday I discovered the most fantastic combination of triangles, fox fur and denim. Inspiration struck and here’s how it all rolled out… While the Mr Moose is in development Mr Ted and the Mr Fox sewing patterns can be found right here!   Well then, I’m off to quilt...
Foxier than a fox fur

Foxier than a fox fur

Oh Mr Fox, you stole my heart and now you’ve stolen others. Just look at these adorable plushies made by you with the new Mr Fox sewing pattern!   Foxes are by the wonderful testing team, from top – Steph @geek_mum, Alice at merveilles of motherhood, Susan Grobbelaar, Kate Burns, Jane Greene and Kaye Rickert. Such a talented bunch, and I love Mr Fox in colours and patterns. Might have to go off and stitch a couple myself! Thanks so much ladies. Mr Fox pattern is available in Schmaft store – right here… and also on...
Foxy hide n’ seek

Foxy hide n’ seek

We’ve been hiding in the limestone mountains of southern China, taking a break from the crazy wonderful of Hong Kong. There we explored caves, devoured dumplings and gulped in lungfulls of fresh air. On our last morning in Guilin the littlest and I played hide and seek photography in amongst the trees and art sculptures of Guangxi Zhuang. Squeals of delight, giggles and laughter were the order of the day and it occurred to me that the words “Not all those who wander are lost” sum us up to a tee.   So with that little break over I’m so excited to let you know that the Mr Fox Sewing Pattern is now available in the store! Yipppeeee! A big shout out to all the clever crafty ladies who helped test out Mr Fox, next post I’ll post pics of all their wonderful work....