Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How about a pizza for the night ?

Working and working and working on my projects almost everyday.  I decided to break away and enjoy my baking today.

I remember having this gourmet pizza with smoked salmon toppings at one of Soul Out snack bar the other day.  I just can’t wait to make that pizza again.  But I want to make an all-in-one seafood pizza with large prawn at one side and baked salmon at the other side.
After a day preparing my dough in advance, here is my savory seafood all-in-one pizza.

For smaller portion thin crust smoked salmon pizza, you can try my recipe below J

·         1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
·         1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         1/4 teaspoon  salt
·         6 ounces bread flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
·         Olive oil for the baking pan
·         1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal (optional)
·         1 tablespoon capers, drained
·         4 (1/8-inch-thick) slices red onion
·         3 ounces cold-smoked salmon, thinly sliced
·         1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
·         Black pitted olive
·         1/3 cup mixed parmesan and mozarella cheese

1.      Combine 1/2 cup warm water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add oil and salt to yeast mixture. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Sprinkle flour over yeast mixture; mix 2 minutes or until a soft dough is formed. Place dough in a covered container coated with cooking spray; cover surface of the dough with plastic wrap that is lightly coated with olive oil. Refrigerate 24 hours.

2.      Remove dough from refrigerator. Shape it into a ball, covered and let stand for an hour or until dough comes to room temperature and doubled in size.
3.      Preheat oven to 550°. Put the dough onto the baking that is coated with a good amount of olive oil, Punch dough down. Roll dough out to a very thin 14-inch, without raised edges. Crimp edges to form a 1/2-inch border. Pierce dough several times with a fork.

4.      Put the baking pan into the oven, bake for 4 minutes. Remove from oven; spread cheese evenly over dough. Arrange capers and onion over cheese. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Top evenly with salmon, black olive and chopped dill.

 Relax and enjoy !!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

How to choose the right batting for your bag project ?

Choose thickness based on size of your project counts !

It is very much depends on the size of the bag.  If your project is going to be big, you will need thicker and more compact batting to provide a sturdy support to your big bag.

However, use a thinner batting for your small projects like pouches, pencil cases etc. The thinner batting is enough to provide good support to your small pouch at the same time presenting very neat result (not bulky and heavy).  Apart from that, thinner batting makes it easier for your to bind the pieces together. 

Below are photos of thick and thing batting.

Thick batting

Thick batting

Cotton or polyester batting ?

Polyester batting normally produces better support compared to cotton batting when making bags.  

When making 3 D flowers ?

If the instruction calls for batting, always use thinner batting.  Thicker batting will make your flower looks very heavy and lifeless.  Or another way is to use thick fabrics for your 3 D flowers, you don't need to use batting at all.

When you can’t find thick batting at your place?

Well, you can use 2 thin batting together, just perform more quilting to your project.  Quilting allows your work to becomes more sturdy.

Below :  I use thin batting for this Sunbonnet Sue pouch below, see the background is quilted with beautiful square to provide further support to the thin batting of this project. 

(If you are looking for this beautiful sewing pattern, please visit my Etsy shop at the link below

When making big quilt project that requires larger batting

Simply bind the pieces together using your sewing machine.

Another funny idea, not for commercial use

This was suggested by my quilting friends in Taiwan.  For certain countries, some of you may not be able to buy batting that easily.   There is a good way for your to save your batting by binding the smaller pieces together.  Some of my friends used the batting as the cotton for varnishing their nail color.  Hahah..  I pretty love this no wastage, stay green idea.

But for this method, I would suggest you to use the batting for personnel use only.  ^v^

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Completed with relief !

I can’t wait to see the result of this bag, so far so good.  I just completed all the appliques.  This is the result of my applique tips here ^v^  I will be quilting them tomorrow.  I hope you will like my works 

Please refer to my tips for making applique works, it may help you a lot in your future projects.


Time for me to stop for the day 

Important tips for making applique bag

You may have bought a lot of Japanese patchwork books and intend to try making the bags just like them.  But when facing the appliques, you give up!  I am sure a lot of you may have such experience.  Well, not too worry, here is some of my tips for making applique on a piece of quilt or for my bag.  Applique is never a quick job, it is a slow work with passion.  So take it slow and absorb every way to stitch, once you learn the technique, you can really stitch your works beautifully and pretty fast :) 

Always make sure your background fabric is larger than the original pattern, normally I will have larger space by an inch or more.  This is because when one is sewing the applique, depends on the person's stitching works (especially beginners), sometimes they may pull it harder or they may use larger stitch to sew, in the end, this may cause the entire piece of work to shrink and become smaller than the original pattern.  When making your own bags, it is important to prevent this from happening because all the measure measurement is fixed and you really need to stick with the measurement, you will end up having a bag that is either mis-shape or smaller.  So leaving extra background fabric will leave you extra space to do possible correction.

Photo below :  I normally leave an inch or more for my background fabric.

Always number your applique 
Take your time to look at the pattern and number them to create sequence for your to stitch (some books may not number the applique).  Start layer-by-layer, the farthest layer should be the one to start first.  This prevents you from making mistakes.  

Number your applique from the farthest layer.  

after stitching my first layer (furthest), I will continue on my second layer of my applique.  With this method, you can slowly come to a beautiful applique works, with less mistakes.

When facing smaller applique that you can't sew ? 
You can try using the felt to help you in your works, I would suggest you to use machine to sew in this case.  This surely reduces a lot of difficulty in stitching.

 Choosing the sewing thread that has the same color to your applique
This is applicable to machine or hand stitch applique.  Your works will become very neat for sure ^v^.

Cut out fabric needs to be larger than the pattern

For hand stitch applique, after cutting out the pattern, you will need to draw it onto the fabric, always make sure your fabric is larger than your pattern when you cut it out.  Here is a guideline for you


You are excuse to miss out applique that is less significant
This is really true. Sometimes a simple tiny thing that is not significant in your project, you can actually omit it.  Or you can always find other solutions to replace that particular applique.  For example a flower applique with complicated petals to sew, you can actually replace with beautiful buttons or small fabric flowers or felt ^v^  (lazy way to make beautiful project)

Do a final check
See if you have missed out anything important.

Practice make perfect
The more you practice, the more you get to know more about applique (you may even find more ways to sew applique).  You will also be so surprised that applique can be so much fun that makes you so addicted to.  Also, when you have complete even a very simple project, you will be amazed by your hand works, the end result will be so unique and full of your own character.

The above are my ways to making applique quilt or bags.  I hope the solutions help you a lot in your future applique works.  So why don't you start a very simple project soon ?   Good luck!

Enjoy !!  ^v^

Sunday, July 20, 2014

One more to go.

I am working on my newly designed bag, it has very cute applique at the front and back of the bag.  The applique is inspired by our childhood story.  I managed to complete the second piece of my applique today.  One more to go ^v^.  Here is a little preview of my works.  I’ll let you guess the story behind 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

My way of machine applique

I love hand applique when making my projects, it is more lively and present personnel touch with one’s characteristics. However when comes to making very small applique, I still have to choose machine applique.

Here is my way for machine applique. 

I will draw the pattern onto the fusible interface with front side of drawn pattern facing down onto the back for the fusible interface.   If you have many appliques and they are going to be applied on the same piece of fabric, then you can draw many patterns onto the fusible interface (like what i did below).    Then iron the pattern onto the fabric, the fabric needs to be larger than the fusible interface in this case. 

Then cut out the pattern from the fusible interface.

I prefer to choose pattern 05 below as my applique stitches, it is thinner and when I sew, i can move the stitches more freely than any other stitch pattern.  IMPORTANT : You will need to adjust the length and width of the stitches, do some testing on a scrap fabric before you stitch the real applique 

Remember to start a 'back stitch' first, then you can start stitching the edge of the cut out pattern as shown below.  Start slowly, once you pick up the skill, you can really sew the applique like a piece of cake (^0^). Then ends with a back stitch again to 'lock' your thread from coming loose.

See how easy it is done ?  

Here is some of my applique works today.  Doesn't it look nice ?  I am working on a little bag.  You will see it soon .

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Puffy Shabby Chic Clutch Purse

I really love clutch purses since i was a little kid.  When I grow older and exposed myself to bag making, I foundwith a simple clutch frame, based on their size and shape,  you can really make beautiful purses , all you need to do is to design it.  I am making this one as a start for my clutch purses project.   I believe slowly I will be designing more and more clutch purses from Japanese country style purses to vintage design like this one.   ^v^ 

Here is the back of the purse.  I chose to use different fabric for the back side of the purse because it adds more color to the purse body.  Apart from that, the corsage of my clutch purse is detachable, I can simple attach it to the front and back of my purse whenever I wish.  This idea creates more room for me to use the purse (I don't have to keep looking at the same purse all the time :p)

This little beginner project is really simple to make, probably you can finish it within a day if you are fast enough.    Here it is, my Shabby Chic Puffy clutch purse.   

Besides the purse pattern, I also showed you how to making simple corsage as shown in the photos below.

If you are interested in the pattern, please feel free to visit my Etsy shop here