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.

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

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!

Friday, 14 December 2018

What shade are you? Blog Hop 2018 - Four

I am so excited to be part in the RJR Fabrics 'What shade are you?' blog hop today. I have admired these beautiful cotton supreme solids and quilts made from them for a long time.
And I was always wondering how can I be considered to take part? Well, in my case I was not approached by RJR Fabrics themselves, I just wrote them an email. So, if you would like to be considered, just ask.

I had a hard time selecting colours. Because when I think of what shade I am then I don't really have an answer. I like a lot of colours and shades, there is no particular colour I use in all my quilts or I have a favour for. 
What I noticed recently is that I am drawn to soft tones rather than very bright colours. So I selected three main colours: blue, red and green and picked soft tones and different values of the same colour.

I have finally settled on these beauties:
Nile Green
Optical White
Rose Colored Glasses
Fairy Princess
Notting Hill
Proud as a Peacock

I knew I wanted to make an improvisationally pieced project. Following the principle from a mini quilt I made earlier this year I grouped the different values of the three main colours together and started to piece strips. 

 I was aiming for a light centre to the quilt and wanted the darker values radiate from there.

There was a lot of editing and rearranging on the design wall until I've settled on a final design.

I really like the contrast of subtle colour and value change horizontally and rather drastic vertically. I think it lets the eyes moving and it creates a lot of interest. I also turned direction of strips or have them in a smaller scale. I like to make rules and then intentionally break them.

I quilted more or less horizontal straight lines that vary in direction and density.

The more I quilted the better I liked it, the space between quilting lines vary from 0" to 1.5" and I also used eight different coloured thread.

I used faced binding and I really like the way it looks. I had the feeling that a normal binding would distract from the actual look of the quilt.

I like the crisp edges and the way the quilting seams just run to the very end of the quilt.

I used all remaining fabrics for the back and applied the same design principle here: light centre and radiating values towards the edges. The faced binding at the back though is a little too big for my taste. I followed a tutorial but I might reapply the binding and make it smaller since the back of the quilt is also really nice.

The dense quilting is very visible at the large solids areas and despite the density of the quilting lines the quilt is still very soft.

This is such a nice texture, it almost is too cuddly to hang the quilt up but that's what I'm planning to do.

I am very happy how this quilt turned out. Using only solids, and 13 of them, was a challenge for me but the improv method I started with the mini quilt turned out beautifully in a bigger scale. The mini quilt was called 'Three' so the continuation of it is 'Four' and so the name was a logical decision.
'Four' finishes at 55 x 62".

Thank you so much RJR Fabrics, for the opportunity and the generous fabric supply!

Here's the link to the RJR Blog 'Quilt with Love' where you can see all of the beautiful quilts made from their cotton supreme solids. 

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Biene's Adventure Quilt block #7

After this super hot summer we're having an amazing autumn. Sunny, not too warm but with beautiful blue skies and sunshine. We decided to spend a few days at the Dutch coast again, time for long walks and relaxing evenings.

I made another adventure beach block and got Biene to sit beside it in the sand. Not an easy task when the dog has nothing else in mind but running after that ball.

It was still warm enough for Biene to dip her feet into the water and trying to be faster than the seagulls.

Here's the block I made. Pretty simple beige scraps for the sand, wavy print for the water and a blue solids for a clear blue sky. With the recent adventure blocks I'm tending to keep the block design horizontal to achieve a cohesive overall look. I hope that'll work out.

Oh I love this coastline so much. The minute I reach the beach I have a feeling of deep relaxation. Walking along the shore is almost therapeutic, there's nothing better than listening to the crashing waves, the wind and being in great company. 

Another rare selfie of the three of us in the dunes. The only way Biene would sit still is waving the ball in front of her face. 

Even when we had a break from chasing ball she could hardly sit still. If we wouldn't play with her she would play by herself, hiding the ball in the sand, only to dig it up again a few moments later. Even though Biene is already seven years old, at the beach she behaves like a puppy. 

Biene seemed to enjoy herself most wen she was absolutely covered in sand. That's what I really adored about her playful behaviour. Have fun, no matter what. With her at the beach it's a bit like: play like there's no tomorrow. Doesn't matter if you're getting dirty, if you have sand all over your face, it's the moment that counts.

In these few months since we have her Biene has taught me so much. A dog doesn't want much of you. Whether it's going for a walk, belly rubs or playing ball: A dog wants you to be present. It actually is that simple.