Sunday, 4 December 2016

Lovely Hexie Pillow

Today I want to share my first ever Hexagon project: a pillow!


The hexies are made using the English Paper Piecing method (EPP). My hexie paper templates were a supplement with one issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting Magazine which I have subscribed. 


The hexies have a side length of 1.5'', the pillow is 23 x 23'' / 65 x 65cm big. I used my scraps in every colour you can think of. The backing fabric is Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed linen in black, which I love! It has so much depth and a great texture. I quilted it in Aurifil 40wt #2600 Dove, which blended in nicely with all colours and the linen alike.

I have sewed the hexies on top of my backing fabric following this tutorial from Nicole of Modern Handcraft.


I am the proud owner of two old cinema chairs. Ruby red velvety fabric, seat numbers 7 and 8, 8 being an end seat with an arm rest in stripy fabric. LOVE them! Great back drop for this lovely pillow.

The pillow was a gift for a close friend of my husband and me, we are especially thankful for all her hard work. Our hexagons change all the time, hence all the different colours.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Porcupine Playground triangle quilt

My triangle quilt is finished!


And I took it out to a really cool steel structure close to my home, the Tetraeder (engl.: Tetrahedron)

I couldn't be happier with this quilt. I love the colours, I didn't know I had a thing for purple! You can read here about making the quilt and what inspired me.


I always like to throw in some colour splashes in my quilts. In this case it's the three orange triangles which I think are a perfect little eye catcher.


For the back I used up all of the left over half triangles and created an improv back which I also like a lot.
Little orange splashes just needed to go in here, too.


I went with straight line quilting at 1/2'' apart and used 5 different coloured thread which match the colours of the triangles. I love how in some triangles you can see the thread very clearly and in other triangles the same thread is perfectly disguised.


That's my favourite 40wt Aurifil thread I used.

It was a beautiful autumn day here today and the Tetraeder was just the perfect back drop. The steel structure is placed on a land fill hill created by coal mines, which were very active in this area from the early 1950s until  the last mine closed down in 2015.


The Tetraeder was erected 1995 and has two platforms, the highest is at 38m above ground. Of course we went all the way up to take some more photos.


It was very windy up there, so once again I have to thank my husband for being so patient holding up my quilt.
That's what you see when you look down from the highest platform:


 And that's the view at the surrounding area. 'Das Ruhrgebiet', my home!


Lovely autumn day! 
The stairs are quite wobbly, that's nothing for the faint- hearted!


But that's exactly why I came here! Look at this! Do you see the three triangles at the bottom of the structure? Almost the same shape!


You can guess that my little Architect heart is all excited by this simple but oh so beautiful structure and I won't bore you any longer.

Here is the back of the quilt again. The quilt measures 52x80'' (or 1.33 x 2.04m).


Once again I had so much fun with the improv piecing of the back, I think I have to do more of this!

Linking this to Modern Patch Monday of the Modern Cologne Quilters
Sew Cute Tuesday
Quilt Story
Finish up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
and Finish or Not Friday at Busy Hands Quilts

Monday, 7 November 2016

How I do my binding

I always machine bind my quilts. Always.
As I started to learn how to quilt I looked at tutorials on how to bind your quilts and hand binding just never appealed to me. Not that I don't like the look of it, I just don't like sewing by hand, no matter what it is, and I simply don't trust my own hand sewing abilities.

So I have tried out different ways of machine binding. This one here is how I started off. But I didn't like how visible the seam was at my quilts at the front.
After a couple of quilts I have found a method that really works for me and that looks neat at well.

Here is a little tutorial of the binding of my October quilt:


1.) First of all I secure all the edges after squaring off my quilt. I use my 1/4'' foot and sew all the way round.


2.) I roll up my binding. Little tutorial here.


 3.) I attach the binding using my regular sewing foot, that is just a little bit further away from the edge than 1/4'', approx. 3/8''. 


Here you can see the 1/4'' seam line from squaring off the quilt, and the seam of attaching the binding. 


4.)  Secure the binding with pins from the front of your quilt, making sure that the binding at the back is pinned as well. Visible here are also the two seams: 1/4'' seam from securing the quilt and the approx. 3/8'' from attaching the binding. Make sure the binding covers both seam lines.


5.) Use a lot of pins at the front of your quilt. A LOT! Basically there is pin beside pin. That ensures that all the binding is gripped and it will be entirely sewn on to the quilt.
Have them facing all in one direction upwards, so that you can easily remove them while sewing along the binding.


6.) Sew the binding on from the top of your quilt, remove pins as you go. Make sure you don't sew over the pins, that could break the needle in your sewing machine!
Go very, very slowly. Make sure you sew as close to the binding as possible. Use a matching thread so it's not that visible, neither from the quilt top nor from the back. (Sometimes that can be difficult, but use whatever looks right and is the least visible.)

Take your time! Sewing the binding and attaching it takes me a whole afternoon, like 4-5 hours or so for a lap size quilt. You hand-sewn-binding-people are probably laughing at me know, because I could imagine that hand sewing your binding takes about the same time. 

Machine binding is not fast. Preparation is key with this method. I usually use my left index finger and put it beside the binding when I sew along the binding. I've gotten quite good in feeling the edge of the binding through the quilt top. If I cannot feel it I pull the binding a bit across.

And this is how it looks from the top of the quilt:


The seam is barely visible. Yes, it's all beige but I have done white thread with white binding on dark quilts tops and that works, too.

And the look from the back:


Sometimes I miss sections of the binding, as you cannot see the edge from the top. I used to hand sewn that left out section then, but meanwhile I just go over it again, with the machine. Yep, that's how lazy I am. I have about two to three sections (probably 1 inch long or smaller) at every quilt where I didn't catch the binding, but that's ok with me. And I swear the 'double seam' is not visible. 

The corners turn out ok, I'm happy with that. 


All in all this is a very neat way to attach your binding. It takes practice, as everything, but I really like the sturdiness of the binding and this will definitely not come off!


If you have questions about this tutorial just get in touch.  

Linking this to Modern Patch Monday at Modern Cologne Quilters

Sunday, 30 October 2016

What defines a quilting style?

I am featured today on the blog of the Modern Cologne Quilters. It's called 'blind date' and every Sunday there is another German quilter introduced. It's a lovely way to get to know quilters around you.


I was given several questions to expand on. And one was 'How would you describe your style or your quilting personality?'
Even though that was difficult to answer, here is my reply: 'I would describe my style as modern and simple. I like structured forms and harmonic colours.'

Several people commented that they like my style. And that got me thinking.What is my style actually and what defines a quilting style?


I can remember reading a comment once on one of Allison Harris's posts at her blog Cluck Cluck Sew, that was something like: 'out of a thousand quilts I always know which one is yours'. Wow! So she must have a unmistakable quilting style then. I just had a look at all her beautiful quilts again, and there are many. Yes, all her quilts are beautiful, fresh, and in happy colours. Some to me stand out: her Spin Cycle quilt, (I have to make that one day) and Foxy (love the colours!). I personally wouldn't be sure if I could pick her quilts out of thousands but they definitely have a certain style and continuity.

What is that at all, continuity?
I found a definition:
  • the quality of something that does not stop or change as time passes : a continuous quality
  • something that is the same or similar in two or more things and provides a connection between them
  • the arrangement of the parts in a story, movie, etc., in a way that is logical
So in quilts then, is it the use of fabric? The use of colour? The design of the quilt blocks?

Because looking at my own quilts and my statement regarding my style I have a feeling that not all my quilts reflect that. No wonder, actually, I've only made 12!! And style is constantly evolving, and that is good.

I met Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic about 2 weeks ago, she presented her new fabric lines in a lovely quilt shop, Stoffsalat, here in Germany.  Brigitte also gave us an insight of how she designs her fabric. She watches what is on trend and just does what she likes.
And what I absolutely loved about that is that every fabric line of Brigitte is so different! Some I like more than others, some are not my cup of tea at all, but still. Brigitte is able to start afresh with every new fabric design.

 
And I guess same applies to quilts. Every quilt is different. Every of my quilts is different and represents a different time and taste in fabric, interest in patterns and designs. 

I also stated in my blind date post that I still consider myself as beginner. A confident beginner though, but still a beginner, a learner. And that is true. I think it's healthy for me to stay curious.

I looked for blog posts with similar content because it's 2016, I cannot be the only one asking that question.
So I found a really interesting read from Amber of One Shabby Chick: Finding your personal quilting style from 2013. Amber made a collage following a creative exercises from the book 'Quilting Happiness' to help you define your quilting style. How cool is that?
And it turns out, there was a blog hop with loads of people doing a collages. Here, here, here for example.

I love that! In fact this little exercise I could imagine doing every year, because as I said, I am constantly learning.

So, what I wanted to say is that I have not yet consciously developed a personal quilting style. And I'm not sure if I ever will, because I like to try out different things. I like variety. This doesn't exclude that all my quilts will have a certain personal touch, a 'style' if you so will. But I think quilting is a process and I'm looking forward to what I will make next.

Other very interesting reads I found today while doing some research on quilting style and what defines us as quilters:
how to define your style by Rachel Hauser of Stitched in Color
Balance by Jacqui Gering
It looked bigger on Instagram by Debbie Jeske of A Quilter's Table
Sew Katie Did - Katie Peterson's thoughts on her quilts here

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Bee blocks for Allison

Gosh! I almost forgot to post my bee blocks here that I finished for Allison in from July/ August!


Allison opted for a beautiful paper piecing template designed by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic. It's called 'Prism' and you can download it fro free here! We printed it at 85% though, the original is a bit bigger. I love the colour palette!


I recently purchased this 'Add-A-Quarter' ruler since I'm doing a lot of paper piecing recently. This is so much better and easier to use than a normal ruler, where you really have to be careful to cut the proper 1/4 seam.

Here Allison has all the finished blocks on her design wall and it looks already stunning! Can't wait to see this finished!

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

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Cross Cut Quilt - a finish!

I can finally show my finished cross cut quilt:


The quilt is a result from a my first quilt-along (QAL) hosted by Debbie of A Quilter's Table. The QAL startet end of July and I opted for olive green/ mustard coloured strips whit low volume background fabrics.

I ordered some matching Aurifil thread to go with the chosen colours and ordered them directly from a shop in Italy. I did that a couple of times already, it usually takes 3-4 days. But I needed to wait almost 8 weeks as their supplier had summer holidays. And when Italians have summer holidays there is nothing you can do - but wait.

So this is why my finished quilt is a bit late, but I'm happy that I waited because the quilting turned out so nicely.


I used beige, two different olive greens and a mustard colour and did random straight lines. I'm very happy that no puckering appeared with all those straight lines crossing over.

This is also my first small quit. It measures only 58 x 58 cm/ 23 x 23 '' and it will be a wall hanging quilt.
It was so great to take part in this quick little quilt along! Thanks again, Debbie, for hosting it! I had just joined Instagram and the interaction on IG is just great!

Here is the link to the other quilts, there have been more than 80 participants and the variety of gorgeous quilt s is just amazing!

Monday, 19 September 2016

halo27q

I'm very happy to present my husband's quilt: halo27q


This is my third entry into the Bloggers Quilt Festival and this couldn't come at a better time. I started this quilt last August 2015 as a birthday present for my husband and this year in September it's finished. You can find the process of fabric choice and block making here.

The quilt is all about one of my husband's favourite bands Nine Inch Nails and the graphics taken from their 7th studio Album 'The Slip' (aka halo 27) released July 2008.
I cannot take credit for the design, I just made a quilt out of it. The graphics were designed by Rob Sheridan, the Creative Director for Nine Inch Nails.

Each song of the album has an own graphic. Here are the quilt blocks, each of them 20 x 20'' and each quilted differently:

TRACK 06     I     HEAD DOWN
Head Down stretches over three blocks of 20x20'', there are similar, long graphics in line with NIN's merchandise and it fits the quilt design quite nicely that way. 

TRACK 03     I     LETTING YOU
Some of the original graphics have red lines and I just quilted them in the same rough way.

TRACK 09     I     THE FOUR OF US ARE DYING
I created my own paper piecing template for this block. I left this block for last because I thought this is the most complicated one and I'm quite new to paper piecing, but looking back it would have been so much easier and more precise to paper piece all the blocks. With those crass colour differences every little seam, which is only off by a bit, is very visible...

TRACK 10     I     DEMON SEED
The quilting is a big mix of free motion and  using my walking foot. The rough quilting is intentionally done. It was suppose to be not 'nice'. NIN's music is everything, but nice. It's rough, hard, emotional and sometimes even brutal. That's what I was trying to achieve with the quilting as well.  

TRACK 04     I     DISCIPLINE
For the binding I continued the design of the back of the quilt. So from looking at the front of the quilt you can guess that there is something on the back.


The back of the quilt is the interpretation of the design of the CD cover. I used cross hatch fabrics for both the light and darker areas. The binding intentionally is almost not visible.

TRACK 05     I     ECHOPLEX

That's my first time doing spiral quilting. I don't know if that was a good thing, but this was the very first block I quilted and because I cannot adjust my pressure foot pressure the whole quilt sandwich shifted and I needed to re-baste the entire quilt. Yep. That's why halfway through the quilting process I called it 'my never ending quilt' and here are my thoughts on it. Thanks again for the very encouraging comments!

TRACK 02     I     1,000,000
Because the quilting is quite dense some puckering happened, my thread broke loads of times and for this block alone I needed a whole afternoon.  Many, many threads needed to be buried and it just took forever...

TRACK 01     I     999,999

I used light and dense quilting to create a contracts between blocks as every song is different, too.


That block was fun! I just made a black box but I didn't want to have the iconic 'NIN' in black so I created the three letters with dense quilting lines. I learned that in Jacqui Gering's Craftsy Class 'Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot'.


And lastly I used another iconic graphic of the band: the reversed 'N'. Looks so cool.
This block took about two days to quilt. I learned a lot about my sewing machine with this quilt. As I said, the pressure foot pressure cannot be adjusted so hefty puckering appeared while I was doing the first three parallel lines. So I ended up starting and stopping in the centre of the block with endless threads to bury...


But I couldn't be happier with this quilt. The different quilting gives the quilt a great texture and despite the simple blocks there is so much so see.


Even the back by it's own could be a quilt and you can tell every 'song' by it's cover.
I didn't use all the graphics, some were 'unsewable' at least with my abilities.

As for most of my quilts my husband came up with the name. Every NIN album has also 'halo' number.
The Slip is halo 27, so the name 'halo27q' was quickly found.


My husband had to put up with a lot of cursing and frustration from my side during the quilt making process. I was listening to all of the NIN albums while making the quilt, mostly to The Slip (just to get me in the right mood) and boy, I was as angry as Trent Reznor sometimes....
But most importantly my husband loves his quilt and I see us already sitting on the couch, me wrapped up in lovely, happy colours, he in dark looking all cool and cozy.


I'm linking this post to the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis. Go and check out all the other beautiful quilt and don't forget to vote! Thanks!

Friday, 2 September 2016

Finally a finished quilt - Sea Breeze

It is the beginning of September and I have my first quilt finished this year. Finally. I'm so relieved!
I started this quilt two years ago, TWO years! The reason why this took so long is that I quilted this quilt twice. The first time I didn't like it, so I ripped it all out again.

But now that it's finished I really love this quilt!


My husband and I went on a bike ride to our local lake and took some photos in bright sunshine and a lovely breeze. For most of you the fabric line 'salt air' by Cosmo Cricket for Moda might be 'cold coffee' (as we Germans say) but I so love this fabric line!
For the back I used Carolyn Friedlander's cross hatch in red, and it's the widescreen fabric. This non-pieced quilt back almost felt like quilting for the lazy, but that's ok. It doesn't always have to be a fancy quilt back.

I went the safe route and quilted my favourite loopy loops, no experiments here! I didn't want to rip out quilt stitches again! I quilted it on a long arm in Dorthes's lovely shop lalala patchwork. It was the first time I quilted on a longarm and I really loved it! The stitches (thanks to the Bernina stitch regulator) are so even, I'm very pleased how this turned out!
Here's a link to a video of the quilting process! I was so excited that I forgot to take pictures.


I love the stripy binding! I found this great tutorial and that worked very well for me.

I always pictured Sea Breeze to be a summer quilt. Firstly because of the fresh summery fabrics but also because of the size. It's only 1.75 x 1.75m (63 x 63'') and since I always have a quilt on my couch this is perfect for summer evenings where just a little gorgeous quilt gives crinkly comfort.
The summer here in Germany wasn't the best but we have some beautiful summer days since two weeks, so no complaints!

The free PDF pattern is called 'summer in the park' and can be found here.

Linking this to Finish up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
TGIFF!
My Quilt Infatuation