Thursday, 8 April 2021

Fire and Ice & Mini-Kreuzung

Making a mini quilt for friends is the best! I took part in the mini quilt swap organised by The Modern Quilt Guild two times and exchanged quilts at QuiltCon, and it was such a nice thing to do. Both times I was lucky enough to receive absolute stunning mini quilts that hang in my sewing studio. 

This mini swap was a bit different since my friend Marla of penny lane quilts and I wanted to make a mini quilt for each other and organised our own little swap. 

This is the mini I made for Marla. I picked oranges and turquoise fabrics and added a lot of texture with Essex linen and shot cottons. I loved the play with value and colour and my other quilty friend Juli of Zahada Mod mentioned that it was a great design choice to put warm and cool colours together. 

And I haven't thought of colour temperature before. But Juli is right, it's such an interesting play between cool and warm, so I named the quilt 'Fire and Ice'. Very suitable I think. 

I quilted in simple straight lines, mostly 1/4 inch apart, sometimes smaller. I picked three different colours matching the fabric colour. All thread is 50wt Aurifil thread. 

And I made a faced binding using Audrey's tutorial again. I'm so happy how crisp the edges are. Fire and Ice is 21.5" (54cm) square. 

Now look what my friend Marla made me: 

I absolutely love this quilt! It's a mini version of Marla's large quilt 'At the Junction' which I adore and I had asked Marla to make me a mini that is similar to that one. Never would I imagined to receive a mini version of her multi award winning quilt! 

'At the Junction' placed first in the Modern category at the American Quilter’s Society (AQS) Quiltweek show in Grand Rapids. It also placed first in the Modern Category at the AQS Fall Paducah show and had placed “4th Overall”. 

Marla's large quilt was also exhibited at QuiltCon 2019 in Nashville, TN, where I couldn't attend. So I'm even happier to have the mini version at home now. 

Marla named her quilt 'Mini-Kreuzung' which I love, junction means Kreuzung in German. Mini-Kreuzung is about 22x28" (56 x 71cm) and will get a special place in my sewing studio. As soon as I can buy a suitable timber rod I'll hang it up and show you my corner of the sewing studio with all the other mini quilts I received from quilty friends. 

It was a lot of fun to unpack our quilts in an online meeting, that almost was as much fun as meeting up in person. 

I am so grateful for Marla's generosity and her beautiful quilt, which I will cherish for ever. 



Sunday, 14 February 2021

Biene's adventure quilt blocks #20 & #21

We have the most beautiful winter weather here in central Germany at the moment with snow, sun and freezing temperatures. Weather like this only comes around every 10 years or so. That was the perfect opportunity to finish up all the tree blocks for Biene's adventure quilt.


These winter tree blocks are really my favourite in the whole 'forest' I made. 

Biene is so photogenic! Oh , and I made her a dog coat: 

She had one coat, the previous owners gave us, I simply copied the main form and adjusted it to my liking. The bodice is made from soft shell and the bust and neck part is fleece I had in my stash. I'm a bit proud of myself that I was able to do that. I think the sewing of my own clothing since 2 years helped a lot. 


The belly flap is attached with velcro to the main bodice and is protecting her furless belly. Vizslas only have one layer of fur and very little to no fur at the belly. I only put Biene a coat on in freezing temperatures like we have now (-6°C/ 21F) since she is running around a lot. She loves the snow! 


This is the second winter tree block and the second coat I made Biene. 


On this day the sun was shining and it was such a beautiful day. 


The second coat is the exact same but with red fleece, which I also had in my stash. I first wasn't sure if red would look good on her (I think a dog coat needs to go with the dog's fur colour) but I really like it. The red coat really shines in the snow. 


Such a poser! 

Also, today is Valentines Day and it's Biene's birthday! She is 10 years old today. 


Such a sugar face! I love this dog so much! I hope we have her around for a good few more years! 

Happy Valentines to you all! 

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Vega

The Pantone Quilt Challenge has become somewhat of a tradition for me. The first time I took part was 2017 with my mini quilt with Greenery. The following year 2018 I made Purple Haze in featuring the colour Ultra Violet. And 2019 it was Fade To Grey using Living Coral as main colour.

I was very excited as the Pantone colour for 2020 was announced: Classic Blue. I immediately had several colour combinations in my head and started piecing the first blocks in May 2020 even before the challenge was announced. And in the end the challenge unfortunately didn't happen - but I still had my own challenge.  

And today I can show you Vega! We are having a hefty cold spell with a lot of snow and that was just the perfect photo opportunity. 


I used Kona Regatta as main featured colour, as this was the closest to the Pantone classic blue and mixed it with different shade of blues and two oranges and white as accent colours. 

The first blocks started with pieced strips in horizontal and vertical orientation. I love the process of finding the overall layout and creating something visually pleasing. 


The balance of value plays a key role in this design. Different shades of blue, from very dark to light blue and to the white, need to be balanced in order to create an interesting look. 


Vega has a faced binding, my preferred choice for wall hanging quilts. I can highly recommend the tutorial by Audrey of Cotton and Bourbon, the edges are very crisp. 


I quilted horizontal straight lines in five different colours, all matching the fabrics. It's such a nice play between the fabrics and the thread. 


For the back I used the remaining Kona Regatta and some left over strips. I like the back, too. Vega has a hanging sleeve already since she is decorating my sewing studio since a couple of days. 


The back shows off the different thread colours very nicely. 


I think Vega is my new favourite quilt. I case you're wondering where the name comes from, here is a bit of an explanation:

'Vega is the brightest star in the northern constellation of Lyra. 
Vega is relatively close at only 25 light-years from the Sun, and is one of the most luminous stars in the Sun's neighborhood. It is the fifth-brightest star in the night sky, and the second-brightest star in the northern celestial hemisphere.'

I though that Vega is a very suitable name for this quilt. She definitely shines, especially in the low winter sun and in  the bright snow. 
Vega finishes at 54 x 56" (138 x 142cm).

Friday, 5 February 2021

Olive 'n Orange

I've always wanted to make a quilt with olive green and orange. I don't really have a favourite colour I always use in my quilts. But I do have favourite colour combinations and that might be a new love affair. 


I started by piecing small blocks together using my solid scraps and mixed different shades of olive green with oranges, white and light grey. I always try to balance a design with a variance of value and texture. 


I was aiming for a mini quilt with an approximate size of 25" square. I made several small improv blocks, some in a log cabin style, others kind of free style. 


I piece blocks together as I go when they are a good fit. Sometimes this is in rows, mostly I piece in sections so that the design appears intuitive and not following a grid.

This is actually my favourite part of designing a quilt. Piecing blocks and see how they fir together. 


I'm very pleased with the overall design and the colour and value play. 
I quilted straight lines in light grey 40wt Aurifil thread, 1/4" apart. I wanted the quilting to take a step back and not be prominent over the actual design. 


The thread did exactly that. 

Once again I faced the quilt following Audrey's tutorial. I love how very square the edges are. 


I followed other tutorials in the past and the edges were always quite round. I really prefer this crisp look and can highly recommend this tutorial! 


This was a very enjoyable little project. I give you another close look at the texture: 


It's only the dark green that is a shot cotton. I like to keep it simple and not have too many focal points. 


Olive 'n Orange is definitely a new favourite! 

Sunday, 17 January 2021

December - a Christmas Quilt

We had one day of snow today. One day Winter Wonderland! I was waiting for this day for the last two weeks. Because I wanted to take photos of my Christmas quilt in the snow. 

This is 'December' and I am so happy to have it finished! I finished the quilt top already two years ago. I also had taken photos of the finished quilt top in the snow, see here. I was working on this quilt during the holidays and have it finished since early January. 


I attempted quilting this quilt twice and ripped it out twice. My first intention was to have a fleece back, but it somehow didn't work out. I believe that the quilt told me it didn't want a fleece back, so I listened. That fleece has to wait for another opportunity. 


I quilted wavy lines and it has such a lovely and soft texture. Definitely the right decision. 


I am so pleased with the design. I made improv pieced trees in red and brown. I wanted a Christmas quilt but not a quilt that screams Chrismas, when you know what I mean. The light background fabrics are almost all with golden prints and I love that. The quilt has glitter! 


Putting the blocks together was a puzzle game which I truly enjoyed as none of the tree blocks had an equal size. I used highlights, like this red/ white leave print, throughout the quilt and it gives it such an interesting look. 


The thread is brown/ beige variegated Aurifil thread in 50wt and it looks so good. I chose this cross hatch fabric for the binding and it gives the quilt a nice frame. 


I hand stitched the binding to the back, meanwhile one of my favourite task in quilt making. 


I used a printed fabric for the back and for the first time I pieced it so the seam is not visible. That worked out really well. 


I can't wait to snuggle up under it. Don't care if Christmas is over. I just love this quilt! 

December finished at 56 x 76 (143 x 194 cm) .

Friday, 1 January 2021

2021 - quilty goals

I am To-Do-List person. I have them in work and also for my quilt projects. they help me to stay focused and keep on track with my goals.

Here we go!

1. Finish Pantone Quilt 2020


Even though the Pantone Quilt Challenge did not take place in 2020 I made a quilt using classic blue. The quilting is finished, I just need to add the binding. 

2. Pantone Quilt 2021


Pantone have released two colours for 2021: grey and yellow. It's an interesting colour combination. I hope that the Pantone Quilt challenge will be back this year! 

3. Improv Quilt using stack technique


I took an online class with Nicholas Ball in October 2020 where Nicholas taught the stack technique from his book 'Inspired Improv'. I made this quilt in lovely autumn colours. The top is finished, I just need to come up with a quilting idea. Something free motion maybe?

4. Finish Christmas Quilt 


I know, I know! This quilt was on my do-to-list for the last two years! And I did attempt it. Twice. Twice I started quilting and didn't like it. Ripped it all out again. But now, it's finished quilted and just needs binding! 

5. Biene's Adventure Quilt


This has been such an enjoyable project! I'm working on this since three years and there are five blocks outstanding to finish the quilt top. I do hope we can go to the Dutch coast again this year because I need two more coast blocks! 


6. Adventures in Improv Design


I will attend QuiltCon together in February. I have signed up for an improv class with Anne Sullivan and Melanie Tuazon, I'm quite excited about it. 

7. Bee Quilts


I have this quilt top finished. This is going to be a baby quilt soon. 

There will be more, but for now that seems like a good plan!