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.

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! 

Saturday, 15 July 2017

I made a Sew Together Bag!

I have always admired the Sew Together Bag but never attempted it as it looked... complicated.

But since I have set up my sewing corner in our living room while still cutting fabric on our kitchen table I have sewing tools in two places.

That really started to annoy me so I decided to make a Sew Together Bag to keep all my stuff together.

This bag is just genius! I have my very regular sewing tools in the open pockets so when I open the main bag they are readily available. My seam ripper is in the pink cross hatch pocket not visible. I also opted for a little pin cushion at the outer pocket.

I had so many left overs from my 'Playground Quilt' that I used these and bought zippers to match.

In fairness the bag is not easy to sew. And if it wouldn't be for Heather's Sew Along at QuiltBarn I would have never been able to make the bag. So thank you, Heather, for the very detailed blog posts with lots of photos!!!

I was looking at a lot of Sew Together Bags online for inspiration and found this blog post by Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts and opted for little fabric pieces at the end of each zipper.

Not only does it add a little more colour it also is easy to sew. Since this is my first bag and I have not tried it without these fabric pieces but I would always do it again that way.

I quilted the outside panel of the bag in straight lines using three different Aurifil wt40 threads. This was actually the first time I quilted with my new Juki and I loved it!!
I also like that the bag looks so different at each side.

Inside the zipper pockets I have the less needed tools such as wonder clips, hera marker, measuring tape and small ruler, additional scissors and a finger hat.

I am currently making another bag as a present for my friends since I have a lot more scrappy strips left over to use for the outside of the bag.

I'm using the same fabrics again for the second bag apart from the pink fabric to the right in the photo. I realised that one open pocket in my bag is all in one colour (the mustard/white print) and to add a bit more variety I'm going with pink from the inside.

For the binding I used one of my favourite fabrics: Carolyn Friedlander's cross hatch in mustard.

I have also attached a little pink ribbon to the outer zipper, that is a little bit easier to open and looks good.

This will not be my last Sew Together Bag, I need at least two more in my house for various items to store. Also, this makes a great present!

The pattern can be found here and is by Michelle of SewDemented.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

QuiltCon report PART 2

So much has happened after my first QuiltCon in February 2017 in Savannah. So much has changed. For me. For my design process, the way I look at quilting and the way I feel connected to this awesome community.

In light of the upcoming registration for QuiltCon in Pasadena, CA in February 2018 here's the second part of my QuiltCon experience. The first part is here.

Let's start with the walk from our accommodation to the Convention Center.
Our house was located in the beautiful historic distinct of Savannah and only a few minutes walk away from the ferry, which took you across the Savannah River where the Convention Center was located.

Those timber clad houses are so beautiful! And the weather! So nice to escape the winter and be in the sun! Luckily we did have time on Sunday afternoon to walk through those beautiful streets but first: more fantastic quilts!

It took me all four days of the show to walk the rows with all the quilts. The ones which stood out to me where abstract, colourful, improv pieced and hand quilted (not necessarily all in one!).

I have great admiration for people who handquilt. That is one thing I can't see my self doing. Yet.
I have only recently started to hand bind my quilts, that's also something that changed after QuiltCon and something I never thought I would do. So I guess nothing is impossible!

Here's one quilt that stood out to me, not only because it's amazing but because I met the maker Marla Varner.

'Trestle Nestle' by Marla Varner
Those quilts deserve a closer look:

'Trestle Nestle' by Marla Varner

I was very happy to have met Marla in person after we had connected via social media in the last year. I can truly say I made a new quilting friend!

'Of Discontent' by Shelby Skumanich

This quilt by Shelby Skumanich won 2nd place in the handwork category. So well deserved!

'Of Discontent' by Shelby Skumanich

This is pure awesomeness!

'Forever tied together' by Jen Broemel
This quilt by Jen Broemel is hand tied.

'Forever tied together' by Jen Broemel

I can't even imagine how long that takes!! But it looks fantastic, doesn't it?

'Inner Monologue' by Anne Sullivan

I also really liked the quilts that were a combination of machine and hand quilting. Maybe I can start with that method?

'Inner Monologue' by Anne Sullivan

During the day there were so many things that happened at different booths. We joined Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic at the Moda booth for her presentation of her new book 'Zen Chic Inspired - A Guide to Modern Quilt Design'.
I volunteered to do a design exercise using a picture of someone's kitchen and coming up with a colour scheme and a quick design for a table runner.

If you haven't tried out the Moda Palette Builder yet, do! It's so cool! You upload a photos of e.g. your living room and the Palette Builder finds Bella Solids to match your interior. Tadaaa, there's your colour palette for your new quilt! Brilliant!

Brigitte signed a copy of her book for me, which is really beautifully put together. We also had coffee and a good chat with Brigitte during our lunch breaks, she's such a warm and fun person!

At the Michael Miller Fabrics booth I picked out four fabrics to make a block 6.5 x 6.5" for a friendship quilt. The quilts (I guess there will be more than one!) will be shown next year at QuiltCon 2018!

I have no idea for a block yet, but that's on my To-Do list now!

I picked up a few pins along the way (until they didn't fit on my lanyard anymore). I also purchased a pin of the Individual Members of the Modern Quilt Guild, which I initially helped to design.

I was very happy to see quilts made from prints. In fairness there were only a few, but that goes to prove that a modern quilt does not necessarily have to be made from solids only. In fact, you can even win a price!

'Scattered' by Jess Frost

This quilt by Jess Frost won 3rd place in the improv category.

'Quilt one half' by Sarah Lowry

I really liked this quilt by Sarah Lowry!

'Rescue Mission' by Stephanie Serrano
This quilt goes to prove that you can even make an awesome quilt with long forgotten blocks.

From the photos I've seen from previous QuiltCon Shows there are always quilts with strong messages.
Here are some quilts which really moved me:

'Speak Even LOUDER' by Kristyn McCoy

Quote by Kristyn McCoy: 'For every 1,000 sexual assaults, only 33 get reported; of these, 12 result in charges and six go to trial, where only 45% result in conviction.'
The quilting on the middle states: 'You are powerful and nobody can take this away from you'

'Todd's No-Baby Baby Quilt' by Chawne Kimber

Quote by Chawne Kimber: This quilt is inspired by a political blunder by Missouri congressman Todd Akin who insists that pregnancy due to 'legitimate rape' is impossible'.
Even more powerful if you imagine this quilt is lying on a bed...

I very much enjoyed seeing the quilts from 'Quilt Design A Day'. The versatility of quilts emerging from one inspiration was just amazing!

'Bend. Don't Break' by Karen  Foster

'City Squares' by Tiffany Baxter

'Structural Transparency' by Emily Doane

We have also met one of my absolute quilting heroes and one of our most influential modern quilters: Jacquie Gering.

I bought her book 'WALK' and went to the book signing. Look at all these beautiful quilting samples!

We briefly talked to Jacquie after her quilting presentation and I guess you can see our excitement...

Isn't that beautiful handwriting? And just so you know where you'll find Jacquie when she visits Germany ;0)

On our flight back home I happened to sit beside Sarah of Sariditty Handmade. She gave me this beautiful set of cards and a gorgeous pin.

I felt very empowered after QuiltCon and enriched by the kindness of people and the willingness to share experience and knowledge.

QuilltCon makes you feel you can do anything. It's a very powerful feeling. I felt so inspired by all these beautiful quilts and by all the people! What changed for me since QuiltCon is an ongoing process and I'm repeatedly realising the impact of all the lectures I heard and hope I can continue to transfer this it into my quilts.

Once you've been to QuiltCon it makes you feel you cannot miss another. I will register tomorrow. Will you?