Wednesday, 1 May 2019

That orange zipper

I am going to 'Nadelwelt' (engl.: needle world) this coming weekend, it's the biggest German trade fair that has to do with needles, fabric and yarn. There's going to be quilts on show along other textile things. There's lectures and a big vendor hall.

It's the first time I will be going and I will be meeting with a lot of other quilters and sewists. 

There will be a meet up on Saturday and there's a swap of zipper pouches organised. I made an open wide zipper pouch because they are my favourite zipper pouch to make.

I emptied my turquoise scrap glass and pulled these aqua and light turquoise fabrics and pieced them together and quilted straight lines in light grey.

With all these tone-in-tone colours I thought the pouch needed a bit of a 'bang', so I added a bright orange zipper.

I think this is very suitable and it turned out even better than I had imagined.

For the lining I used some colourful fabric with directional dots that add a bit of a surprise when you open the pouch.

I love those little zipper ends, really finished off the zipper nicely.

So this is going to be for one lucky swap partner. We all put our pouches in a big bag and everyone just picks a pouch randomly. I like that!

I will report back from the actual event when I'm back next week!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Biene's adventure blocks #8 and #9

This is a long overdue blog post about Biene's adventures quilt blocks #8 and #9.
It's spring out here now and naturally there are a lot more exciting and longer walks ahead of us than in winter. But that doesn't mean we haven't been out on walks during the last couple of months. I just didn't find the time to blog.

The first block I'm going to show you was from autumn and it was a beautiful warm autumn day.

This again is an improv tree blocks with brown leaves, suitable for the autumn forest.

Biene is very camouflaged in these colours and she had lots of fun in running around in the leaves.

This one was from a very cold winter morning with temperatures of -5C (40F), there wasn't any snow but everything was frozen and it looked so good.

I made a winter tree block and pinned it to the frozen moss on the tree.

The sun was just coming out and everything looked so beautiful.

I love when the air is cold and crisp and you find beauty in the detail.

In temperatures like that Biene gets to wear a dog coat. She only has one layer of fur and no undercoat, so when it's really cold she wears it on long walks like this one.

So inspiring!

I am planning on making more blocks this year to make more progress on the adventure quilt. Lots more adventures to come!

Friday, 22 February 2019

Purpel Haze is at QuiltCon!

I am so excited to have another quilt in this most prestigious show that is QuiltCon that's happening right now. I am unfortunately not in Nashville this year, but that gives me the opportunity to finally show proper photos of Purple Haze including the back, which I also like very much:

So when you're at QuiltCon make sure you ask those lovely ladies with the white gloves to turn Purple Haze around for you!

I really like this fresh colour combination and that Aurifil thread in light lilac and 50wt was just the perfect choice.

So here it is again in all it's beauty. This quilt has challenged me in so may ways, there are so many reasons I am extremely proud that hopefully a lot of quilters get to see it in real life.

There are so many interesting details in this quilt, that truly makes me want to explore curves further.

You can read about the blocking progress here, and the initial post where I was taking part in the Pantone Quilt Challenge 2018 with the quilt top only and won 1st prize of the international entries here

And here is Purple Haze hanging at QuiltCon in Nashville. 

Such a pity I wasn't there myself. But I'm going to QuiltCon in 2019, that's for sure!

Friday, 1 February 2019

A long overdue baby quilt

What a little snow can do to motivate you to get a quilt finished. And I only consider a quilt to be finished if I took proper photos and wrote a blog post about it.

This baby quilt for a friend's son is long overdue. Baby boy was born October 2017, yes 2017, he's already over a year old! That's how long it took me to finish it.

And I also know why it took me so long. I wanted this cute animal print fabric as a center of an improv log cabin block. I cut this fabric into wonky squares and added the mostly solid strips around to create the log cabin blocks. But I wasn't really choosing, I added them randomly. And random is not improv. I don't even think I put the blocks on my design wall. I was so sure of myself that this will work - somehow... Arrogance that is!

Half way through piecing the blocks I was aware of what I'm actually doing and was more intentional. I also only like the blocks because I squared them up, my initial goal was to leave them wonky. I added white sashing and that really worked well.

I was very careful with the design of the back then. I used left overs from the front, divided the quilt roughly into thirds and added this horizontal off centre line. I almost like the back better than the front.

I quilted free motion interlocking rectangles which work really well with the different sized blocks and used white thread. I also added white binding, which gives the quilt a nice frame.

This little quilt is 38 x 53" (96 x 135 cm) big but was a huge learning curve for me. It reminded me of my high performance rowing days where just once I was so sure of myself and so self-confident that I underestimated an opponent in a race. I still won though, but it took a lot of effort and it was a very tight race that could have gone seriously wrong.

I was reminded of Sheri Lynn Wood once again, telling us in a QuiltCon lecture that 'Improv is not random, improv is all about choice'. And there is a huge difference. It's almost a pity that I have to gift this quilt, because I'd like to hang it in my sewing studio to remind myself of exactly that.

In rowing that underestimating part never happened to me again and I hope the same for my quilting journey.

I took the quilt out in this beautiful snow we suddenly have here. I've always wanted to take photos of a quilt in the snow, so I take that as a good omen.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Another boxy puch!

I made another boxy pouch! My Mom actually wanted one for Christmas and I gladly made her one.

I had asked her what colours she wanted and she said: 'Uh, I don't know, something with flowers.' Well, the fabrics I used are as far as flowers go in my fabric stash.

My Mom also wants to use the bag as toiletry bag and loved to have oil skin fabric from the inside. That's actually where the colour scheme came from. I selected the oil skin first and then picked colours to match the inside.

The oil skin is a flower fabric as well, so I guess that counts as 'something with flowers'?

I made one large quilted panel and cut it in half and added the zipper. I think it looks really good and my Mom loves it. The tutorial is from Katie Pedersen and you can finds it here

Friday, 25 January 2019

December - a finished quilt top

We have freezing temperatures here since the beginning of January and it even snowed so I hurried up and finished the quilt top for my Christmas quilt and took it out in the snow today. Because as you can see there isn't a lot of snow and it usually doesn't last long.

I was collecting brown, red and golden fabrics since a long time. I'm probably one of the very few quilters that actually like brown.


I had this vision of a Christmas quilt that doesn't scream 'Christmas' in terms of colours. And I also wanted slightly wonky trees and an improv feel to the overall design.

All tree blocks have a different size and I used fabrics strips to offset the tree blocks to create an interesting look. I'm not sure what back to use, I think I'd like some fleece.

I'm really happy with this quilt top and I hope to finish the quilt soon. I'll call the quilt December, because that's when I'm going to snuggle up in it the most.

Tuesday, 1 January 2019

2019 quilty goals

A year end recap is always good to define new goals, so without further ado here comes:

1. Christmas quilt 'December'

I know Christmas is just over but I'm in a flow to finishing the quilt top and I hope to have this done within this week. And then to quilt it, I'm debating whether to use a fleece back or not. I'll decide once the top is finished!

2. 'Playground'

This quilt was on my to-do-list already last year, I'm eager though to finish it now! I still love those colours!!

3. Pantone Quilt Challenge

Hm, I have no idea what to do with this colour yet or even with what other colour to combine it, but hey, it wouldn't be a challenge if it would be easy. So bring on the Pantone Quilt Challenge, I'm game!

4. Volta

Originally designed for the Two-Colour- Quilt Challenge for 2019 QuiltCon this quilt did not happen. I have the top finished... and I don't like it. I like the design but not the colours I picked, so I'll give that another try.

5. Biene's adventure quilt

Here are the blocks I already have and I'm planning to add a lot more this year. I am documenting adventures we do with our dog Biene and it's so much fun.
I'm trying to achieve a cohesive design with similar colours e.g. blue, green, turquoise and orange combined with low volume fabrics. I have no idea how the final layout will look but I'll decide that once I have all blocks together.

6. Bee quilt

Here's all the blocks I received and made last year and I'm planning on doing a baby quilt from it. It just is unfortunate that loads of boys were born in my circle of friends in 2018 where this would be more suitable for a girl, but anyhow, who knows what 2019 brings!

7. Clothing

Yes, you read right. I will make my own clothing this year! I have been frustrated by fashion and what's on offer in the shops since a long time and that these clothes either don't fit me or I don't like them, mostly it's a combination of both. I'm not sure if I will show clothing here since this is a quilt blog but I thought I include it anyway. New adventures are good! I have actually tried clothing with my normal sewing machine before and it was very disappointing, so this beauty has moved in and it's a dream to sew with! I have already sewn a few things and I'm super happy! A serger is really what makes sewing clothes fun and fast!

And for anything else I just see what happens.
I will not go to QuiltCon this year, but I'm planning on going to Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe here in Germany in May.
I'm looking forward to the new year, I'm planning on taking it slow though. I'll just do whatever feels right. Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, 31 December 2018

2018 - a round up

The first thing I do before I write my round up of the year is to go to my 'quilty goals' post and see if I have accomplished what I have set out for myself.

Well, I didn't have much of a productive year I have to admit. One reason was our move in March this year, which took a long time and parts of my sewing space are still not completely finished. I still need a proper design wall, and I'm also trying to find a solution of how to hang my large quilts to a wall.

But I did finish two quilts that are very dear to my heart.
One of them is 'Purple Haze' (proper photos and blog post to follow). With the quilt top I've won my first ever prize: 1st in the international entries of 'quilt top only' of the 2018 Pantone Quilt Challenge. Everything about this quilt is so outside my comfort zone: the colour scheme, the curvy piecing and having to block the quilt due to heavy distortion after quilting. You can read more about it here.
Purple Haze is on its way to QuiltCon in Nashville already, I'm so happy that it got accepted to be in the show.

The second quilt is 'Four' with which I was part of the 'What shade are you' blog hop hosted by RJR Fabrics.
Four was a very challenging project with the use of 13 solids and an improvisationally pieced method. I love the soft colours and the play with different values. It looks so much better in real life and I think this might be the reason why it got rejected from being accepted into QuiltCon because the photos just don't do it justice. Anyhow, I'll try again next year, it still is a beautiful quilt whether it's at QuiltCon or not.

Talking about QuiltCon - obviously my second visit to QuiltCon in Pasadena was even more excitign than the first one, because I had my quilt 'Splinter' in the show!

I love this photo so much because that expression is like: OMG, is this really happening??? Pasadena was special because my husband was with me and experienced what this community is all about along hundreds of beautiful quilts and many quilty friends.

I also made two mini quilts this year:
One was 'Three', a mini quilt that I gave to Anne Sullivan at QuiltCon in Pasadena, and that eventually led to the design of 'Four'.

And 'Connected' which was a 15" small mini quilt made in line with the prompt by the Curated Quilts Magazine.

This year was all about exploring lines and finding an improv style I suppose.

I also made super fun table runner as part of a spring blog hop, I really love these fresh colours!

There was this zipper pouch as well as a gift for my colleague:

And there were two projects I made from the left overs and scraps from 'Purple Haze': One was this boxy pouch, which is so big and so handy:

And another project is this pillow:

I've just realised that I didn't write a blog post about it yet...

Another reason that I wasn't that productive was the extremely hot summer we had here and that I rather went on walks with my husband and our dog Biene than sewing.
But I started an adventure quilt that documents the adventure we have with Biene. These blocks are so much fun, it's a slow process but it continues to grow.

Here she is with a selection of the different blocks. I have no idea how to put that quilt together but I'm sure it will be a fun quilt once it's finished!

And of course my bee blocks I made for my 'Quilty Circle of Bees'. We are very reduced in numbers and I've realised I don't have photos of the blocks I made for Magda but here's a small overview of the other ones:

And I have finally started my Christmas quilt:

I made most of the blocks at my first ever Quilt retreat in November, which was so much fun and a great experience being with quilty friends not doing anything else than sewing for an entire extended weekend!

I'm very pleased with my projects and also excited what 2019 brings!

Linking to Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and the Best of 2018 Link - Up!