Friday, 10 November 2017

Emerald City Quilt PART 2

I started this quilt in a workshop with Katie Pedersen in her beautiful design studio in Seattle. You can read all about it here.

I couldn't be happier with this quilt. I love the colours and the interesting contrast they create.

The improvisational/ wonky piecing and what looks like random colour placement makes it very vibrant. Katie referred to this as 'controlled chaos' and that works so well. I think there is just so much to look at in this quilt.

I opted for straight line grid quilting to create interest and almost a bit of visual tension between the piecing and the quilting. I also used three different colours of beautiful 50wt and 40wt Aurifil thread, I love to play with colours!

I had originally planned to make the quilt one row longer but that looked somehow out of proportion so I scrapped that idea. I instead cut up the excess blocks and created a zig zag with these smaller blocks which also works well for the back I think. The quilt finishes at 55x70"(1,50 x 1,95m) which makes it a nice lap quilt to snuggle up.

I love to mix solids with some graphic print fabrics, I used the 'Squared Elements' print also for the binding.

Oh, that binding! This was the second time I ever hand sewed a binding to a quilt and the first time to a large quilt like this one. I never thought I would do that! It took me three evenings to sew the binding on while sitting on the couch enjoying the process. 

Katie and Marla were so kind to show me how hand stitched binding is done after the workshop. I have honestly been converted to be a hand binding sewist, seriously, it looks so much better!

That quilt will be forever cherished. It holds those happy memories of our trip to Seattle, but it's not only that that. I also associate quilty friends with this quilt and this awesome community I can proudly say I am part of.

Seattle is also called 'The Emerald City'. I didn't need to think long how to name that quilt. In the photo above the quilt is in a beautiful bag I got in Seattle (fabric shopping) with kind of a similar colour scheme. Go figure!

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Emerald City Quilt PART 1/ Workshop with Katie Pedersen

In the beginning of this year my husband asked me if I would like to accompany him on a business trip to Seattle. I didn't need to think twice. Well, firstly Seattle has always been on my list of 'Places To Go' and secondly I knew that Katie Pedersen lives in Seattle and that she holds workshops in her design studio. (Quilts! Of course the first thing that comes to mind... what are we quilters like, he?)

Sew Katie Did - Seattle design studio
I contacted Katie and inquired about a workshop at the end of April/ beginning of May and she was kind enough to let me choose a date and a workshop to suit my overseas travel. How nice is that! I booked the workshop before we even booked our flights!

Sew Katie Did - Quilty Goodness
As I met Katie in her beautiful studio I think I just stared at her for the first couple of minutes. She has been one of my favourite quilters ever since I started my quilting endeavours and seeing my quilty hero in person was just so exciting. I couldn't help myself but staring in awe, I guess.

Me and Katie Pedersen of Sew Katie Did
Luckily that stage didn't last long because Katie is such a nice and lovely person and so down to earth.

Sew Katie Did - On-Target Quilt
I signed up for the 'Psychedelic Baby Block/ Improv strip piecing' workshop and Katie showed us some examples of her beautiful work. This 'On-Target Quilt' was especially nice.

Sew Katie Did - Skewed Symmetry Quilt
The technique of this block is so diverse. I was lucky enough to see Katie's Skewed Symmetry Quilt already at QuiltCon in Savannah in February.

So this is my fabric choice. I bought these beautiful Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids at QuiltCon in Savannah and mixed them with these lovely 'Squared Elements' prints by Art Gallery Fabrics. Both fabric lines have a beautiful soft feel.

And that's the first block I made during the workshop. I love to mix solids with graphic prints, it just adds so much interest.

Being in an artist design studio surrounded by beautiful quilts and fabrics is such a great experience!

I cannot highly enough recommend to do a workshop with Katie or any other artist/ quilter who is willing to give workshops in their own studio. Doing classes somewhere with an artist is great but being in their design studio is beyond inspiring. There are so many little things to discover like this quote from a magazine Katie put up on her design wall.

These were the three blocks I made in Seattle and I really liked where this was heading. The improv strips and randomly arranged colours work so well,  Katie called that 'controlled chaos'.

I really enjoyed my day in Seattle not only because of Katie's workshop but also because I also got to spend the day with Marla of Penny Lane Quilts. We met at QuiltCon in February in Savannah where I told Marla that I would be in Seattle later that year doing that workshop. Marla had booked the same workshop at a different date originally but changed it so we could  spend the day together. How awesome is that!

Marla @PennyLaneQuilts and me in Katie's design studio
Marla also made me this super nice pin cushion. Quilty friends are the best!
Could this day be any better?

Back home I continued to sew blocks and kept adding to reach a twin size quilt top.

Oh, I really love those colours!

I decided to quilt straight lines in a regular cross pattern. I used three different colours of the beautiful Aurifil thread, I love the depth that is given to a quilt by using more than one colour of thread.

And that's a sneak peak of the yet unwashed finished quilt.
Stay tuned for PART 2! 

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Summer Smoothie Bee Blocks for Allison

It's been a little quiet around here, but that doesn't mean I wasn't sewing. I really enjoyed summer and did a lot of outdoor activities hence no sewing inside for a good while (and also no blogging).

Allison was our queen bee for the months of July/ August and I still need to share the blocks I made for her.
I always enjoy working on bee blocks, my bee mates come up with the most inspiring colour palettes and block designs that sometimes gets me out of my comfort zone.

Like curved piecing for example. I think these are my very first drunkards path blocks!

Allison designed these blocks herself, they are called 'Summer Smoothie' and you can find the free tutorial on Allison's blog here. Aren't they gorgeous?

They came together rather quickly and were actually very enjoyable to sew.
I needed to figure out in what direction to press the curved seams though, I kind of let the fabric decide where the seams wanted to be pressed, you know, this kind of happens sometimes. But I figured it is best to press them to one side.

I also really liked the colour palette Allison picked.

That's all blocks together. Can't wait to see the finished quilt!

My quilting bee is called Quilty Circle of Bees and we are mostly German based and sew every two months but then mostly more than one block with our own fabrics.

Linking this to Let's Bee Social at 'Sew Fresh Quilts'.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Wonky Quarter Log Cabin Boy Quilt

I can finally show my second finished Bee Quilt today:

I couldn't be happier with this quilt, my bee mates did a fantastic job with their beautiful blocks! I opted for an improv and wonky quarter log cabin block and since this is a quilt for a boy I asked for 'boyish' fabrics with very graphic prints and solid white.

The colour scheme was navy and light blue, mustard/ curry and white. You can read more about that here. It's always a nice surprise when you open the envelopes from your bee mates and see what blocks they made since we sew with our own fabrics. It gives the quilt such a great variety of different fabrics without looking completely wild and uncoordinated.

For the back of the quilt I simply opted for cross hatch fabrics and a white stripe in the middle. The quilt measures 1.20 x 1.50m (47x59"), the individual blocks are 12.5"sq.

We all followed a tutorial by Debbie of A Quilter's Table to create the wonky blocks. Wonky and Improv can be challenging for some quilters so my bee mate Melanie wrote a blog post on how to 'plan' your improv blocks, so if you feel a little intimidated by improv go and check this out!

It was the first quilt I quilted with my new Juki. I opted for free motion interlinking and random rectangles, which I thought go very well with the wonky blocks. The quilting turned out so beautiful and is no comparison to what I previously was able to do with my old machine. What you can't see on the photo above is that I also got the large extension table. With that you can turn your machine 90degress so you almost have a long arm feeling, with the only difference that you still need to move the quilt under the machine and not the other way round as you would with a long arm.

Here's a close-up of the quilting at the back of the quilt. I used Aurifil 40wt in white and it works so well with all the different colours.

I opted for a solid white binding. I've done that a couple of times with quilts where there is a lot of solid white and I think it gives the quilt a nice, light frame and lets the blocks stand out.

Again, thanks to my fellow bees of the Quilty Circle of Bees for another really lovely quilt. This will be a gift for a friend of mine and her little boy. Can't wait to see her face, she has no clue that this is for her and her little man!

Linking this to the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis.
and Let's Bee Social at 'Sew Fresh Quilts'

Friday, 18 August 2017

Improv Word Bee Blocks for Melanie

I made some bee blocks for my awesome quilting bee 'Quilty Circle of Bees'.
Melanie had a real cool idea for her bee blocks: improv words creating 'Good Wishes'.

The colour scheme was black letters on white background, just like writing on a piece of paper. Since this was an improv project I started with some wonky cut stripes.

I began with some easy letters such as 'u' and 'i'.

Ui! Exciting! These are the first letters of the word 'Musik'. This might be an unusual good wish, but I know that Melanie sings in a choir and is a big fan of music, loves to go to concerts and musicals. Since I can relate to having music as an important part in my life (not the musicals though) I opted for 'Musik' as my first good wish in our mother tongue German.

I took the photos on the back of my husband's Nine Inch Nails quilt halo27q. Very suitable background I think.

The other word is 'Familie (family). The idea behind that good wish is that I wish that Melanie's family is always there for her, for support and love and to spend time together.

I had real fun making these blocks. Some letters were more difficult than the others and I honestly needed to write the letters down to have a guide in order to sew them.

I can't wait to see all the good wishes in one quilt! There are words in different languages as well so this is going to be a fun quilt filled with lots of good wishes and positive vibes!

Monday, 31 July 2017

Quarter Log Cabin Pillow

I love to make quilty things for loved ones.
So when my brother asked me if I could make him a pillow I didn't need to think twice what I would give him for his birthday.

I had a colour scheme in mind very quickly. Black and white and one of my favourite Kona Solids 'Spring'.

This pillow really shows off my love for graphic fabrics. I selected very subtle, almost low volume  ones and also fabric with stark contrasts.

I mixed the very graphic, manly fabrics with the lovely prints by Lotta Jansdotter from her fabric line 'Sylvia' and I think that and the use of some solids balances the pillow quite nicely.

I used this tutorial by Debbie of 'A Quilter's Table' to make four blocks, each finishing 13.5 x 13.5". The size of the pillow is 26 x 26" (65 x 65cm).

I quilted straight lines which echo in from the center of each block. It was the first time that I quilted with my new Juki. I was very pleased with the overall result, no more puckering issues like I had before with my other machine. Some not so nice things happened though: the stitch lengths varied for some reason and also the machine skipped some stitches... hm, I will investigate why that happened. I obviously need to try things out to have good results.

I used this beautiful variegated b/w Aurifil thread in 40wt, a perfect match for all the black and white fabrics.

I gave it to my brother yesterday and he loved it. And that makes me very happy.

Monday, 24 July 2017

Baby Quilt for Yara

When one of your fellow Quilting Bees is expecting a child it almost is a natural response to make her a quilt. So as Yara told us she is having a baby we immediately started to plan a quilt. We were aiming for scrappy blocks in a white/ off- white background.

Our bee (the Quilty Circle of Bees) consist of 6 members and each of us made two large or four small blocks. The personal style and fabric choices really show in each block and if you know us you can tell which Bee made which block.

So here for example you can see two small blocks by Allison (bottom left and center), two big blocks by Vicky (top left and bottom right), one block by Magda (top center) and one of my blocks (top right).

Here are the two blocks Melanie made (left and bottom right), again one block by Magda and Allison (center middle and right). As we started making the blocks we didn't know whether it was a boy or girl so we aimed for 'gender neutral' colours avoiding too much pink or purple.

The great thing about a joint quilt by such a small bee group is that everyone of us contributed not only the blocks, but also the batting, the backing and binding fabrics.

This time it was me who put the quilt together. I wanted to create a bright background which was subtle and lively at the same time. I used three different whites/ off- white to beige solids, quilted simple straight lines in light beige Aurifil 40wt thread and I think it worked quite well.

Yara received the quilt already and she, her partner and the little baby girl love it and that's the main thing!

Here baby is on the quilt and she looks so good! 

Linking this to Let's Bee Social at 'Sew Fresh Quilts'