Sunday, 16 April 2017

Giant PLUS Quilt

I love to make quilts for other people. Especially when they can appreciate the time, love and effort which goes into making  a quilt. 

My best friend and rowing partner of 25 years Betty is one of those people. She knows all my quilts and has always admired them. One day last year she had asked me if I could make her one.

This quilt was on my To-Do-List for the year. Betty didn't have any requests as to what design or colour the quilt was to have. The only request she had was that the back of the quilt should be from fleece. She trusted me with everything else. She's a good friend!

I had a colour combination in mind very quickly. And I also knew that I needed big blocks. When you have fleece back you don't want to have dense quilting, because the fleece should remain nice and fluffy.

So I opted for a giant plus design. The individual squares are 6x6", the overall size of the quilt is 55x77" (approx. 1.40 x 1.95m).

I wanted to stick with two colours, turquoise and red in different values, but I felt that the quilt needed some extra splash of colour. My husband suggested one yellow plus block somewhere in the quilt, but I didn't agree. But yellow binding, yes! That works so well! My husband is s genius!

And that's one tiny little detail on the back of the quilt which I love. The two birds from Lotta Jansdotter's fabric 'Tipu', that's Betty and me. Sitting in a boat behind each other. I first wanted to write something on it but I know that Betty will get the meaning behind it the way it is.

I gave it to her today and she loved it, and that makes me very happy! 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Finally: a finished Super Tote!

It needed a visit to QuiltCon to finally convince me: I need to make that Super Tote!

There were so many quilters with self made beautiful bags! Actually I started this bag immediately after I was back home.

I purchased the pattern by Noodlehead already two years ago but never dared to make the bag. I am only sewing since four years and mostly quilts, and this is only my third bag I made, like ever!

I had some difficulties putting the bag together but I blame my inexperience with sewing bags for that. The pattern is actually really easy to follow. 

As I bought the beautiful 'Maker' fabrics by Art Gallery Fabrics (also I guess about two years ago) I saved them for this bag. I never knew how much fabric I needed in order to make this bag, so finally the remaining fabrics can go in my stash.

The Super Tote is bigger than I thought. I divided the inner pockets in two parts on one side and in three parts on the other.

I opted for a dark grey zipper which suits the fabrics really nicely.

The sides (or gusset as it's called in the pattern) I made with a shot fabric in brown, the one side of the handles and also the piping at the front pocket is made with Carolyn Friedlander's cross hatch fabric in mustard.

Now that it's finished I don't know why I waited so long to make it! I'm actually thinking of making another one! The bag is just too nice not to make another one, or two...

I used beautiful Aurifil thread for all visible seams, also in mustard. That detail at the sides is just so gorgeous!

The back of the bag has just the simple brown fabric. All in all I think the colours go really well together.

I'm a bit proud of myself that the bag turned out so nicely, bags and zippers though are still challenging for me. But as with everything: practice just makes you better.

Linking this to Finish Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
Modern Patch Monday

Friday, 31 March 2017

Broken X

I am a month late with the February challenge of the Mighty Lucky Quilting Club. But I can blame QuiltCon for that, and that is not a bad thing.

The February Challenge by Emily Herrick was the X- Block. I immediately had a design in my head that I would just not finish all the blocks but have them halved, quartered and three-quartered. Very quickly I had a name as well: Broken X.

I chose Robert Kaufmann Essex Linen and a very bright turquoise solid from Michael Miller Cotton Couture. The colours are just so vibrant and the fabric feels so good, too!

The individual blocks are 4" square (unfinished) and Broken X is 24 x 24" big, or rather small I should say. It's wall hanging in my new sewing corner now and I love how the grey quilt and the grey painted wall harmonise!

I actually combined the February and March Challenge in one quilt. The March challenge was all about quilting with your walking foot by Jacquie Gering.

I opted for an X in the centre of the quilt and then echoed the lines in. The challenge actually was to mimic shashiko stitches but I had difficulties enough with these straight lines.
The pressure foot pressure on my machine cannot be adjusted and that causes me trouble since quite some time. First I thought the puckering and fabric shifting issues I'm having was me and due to improper preparation but believe me it's my machine. Very unfortunate that is, actually.

Anyhow, the quilting did turn out ok, but puckering appeared and the fabric shifted slighly. It could have been a lot better. (Obviously I only took photos of the good looking parts of the quilt... you can see it slightly at the X in the photo below)
I don't think I can do this design with a bigger quilt.

The quilting stitches are 1/2 inch apart and I used beautiful Aurifil wt40 thread in colour #5005. The thread really stands out on the Essex linen and matches the turquoise solid perfectly.

I really enjoyed the challenges and will attempt shahsiko quilting another time.
Can someone just please tell me I NEED that Juki?

Linking this to Finish Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
Modern Patch Monday

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Bee blocks for Magda

Madga is our Queen Bee for the months of March and April and she picked a beautiful traditional log cabin block. Magda always wanted to do a low volume quilt with peachy colours so she asked her bees for a little help.

The colour request did come with some challenges as the four fabrics I used are the only ones in peach I own, so lucky me :0)

The low volume were to be very light, the contrast achieved is great that way!

And that's all four blocks I made together. Magda asked for 2 of the same blocks. I was unsure first but half way through making these blocks I absolutely love the colour combination!

The finished size of one block is 10" square, the square in the centre is 4x4" and all strips are 2" wide (unfinished).

I'm a month early with my finished blocks. I selected the fabrics while creating my sewing corner in our living room and couldn't wait to start the blocks. I hope Magda likes the blocks as much as I do and I can't wait to see the finished quilt.

Linking this to Let's Bee Social

Sunday, 12 March 2017

QuiltCon report PART 1

I'm back from my first QuiltCon. It was such an amazing experience that I guess I needed a bit of time to let it all settle.

My journey began with a train ride to Frankfurt Airport, continued with a stop over in Washington DC to the final destination Savannah. I was traveling with Christiane of the Modern Cologne Quilters, which was very relaxing and fun!

But actually our QuiltCon experience began already at the departure gate at the airport in DC. We could identify the first QuiltCon visitors by their beautiful self made bags already. We got to talk to two lovely ladies from Denver, CO. and we spotted Amanda Jean Nyberg aka Crazy Mom Quilts!! So she got a bit of an entrance from probably 15 excited quilters as she boarded the tiny plane. That's what happens when you meet your first quilting hero!!

Once at Savannah airport we were greeted by this:

We also met our house mates Seven and Derek, who flew in from Dublin, Ireland. So good to see them again after they moved from Germany to Ireland late last year.


Much to my surprise I received a goodie bag filled with loads of quilty goodness for being under the first 1.000 people who registered for QuiltCon. How cool is that?

And this is where it began: The award ceremony starting at 8am with some stats:

Wow, Tammie, and I though we traveled far from Germany!!

I was amazed by all the award winning quilts in all the different categories, but I think the quilt that took my breath away (and I was not the only one in the audience) is this one:

Inspired by a princess cut diamond this is 'Bling' by Catherine Jones won Best in Show - so well deserved!
Here you can see all other award winning quilts! 

Upon entering the show room we heard some very loud cheering coming from the Art Gallery Fabrics booth.  And there they were: Mathew Boudreaux aka Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo having some real fun with giving away gorgeous fabrics that feel so damn good!!!

And will you believe it, I won this awesome fabric bundle! 9 yards of gorgeousness in my favourite colours! 

I also really loved their booth and the stickers on the floor!

That basically was the first impression of my QuiltCon experience: by just the first 15 minutes inside the show room I did feel the difference. There was such a positive and happy energy from just everyone I met. And that feeling continued throughout the entire duration of QuiltCon.

And then there were the quilts. Oh the quilts!

Here are just SOME of the amazing quilts that stood out to me. There is no particular order or category, just simple beauty.

'Made in GDR 26' by Emily Doane

 'Making All The Pieces Fit' by Stephanie Skardal

'Bertha' by Melissa Curly

'Min Mid Mod' by Kim Simpson

And then we met Amanda aka Crazy Mom again, who was chatting with loads of people and giving away some of her beautiful pin cushions.

In the background 'Leftovers #4' by Debra Jalbert

I cherish this little pin cushion so much!

Every famous quilter I've seen and even briefly talked to was so approachable. First I was very hesitant to talk to all of my quilting heroes because it felt like stalking rock stars or something, or like I was taking up too much of people's time. But it actually was the complete opposite. Everyone was so happy when you told them that you love their quilts or their fabric design. And also that we came aaaaalll the way from Germany especially to go to QuiltCon. 

That's me and Giuseppe aka Giucy Giuce at the Andover Fabrics booth. I'm a big fan of his work and was probably a little excited hence the shaky photo... :o)

 More quilts! 

'Skewed Symmetry' by Katie Pedersen

Two weeks before QuiltCon my husband got invited to come to Seattle and instruct a McGuire Course. As he said 'I'm going to Seattle, wanna come?' I couldn't contain my excitement, of course I wanted! Before we even booked flights I booked a work shop with Katie of Sew Katie Did where she will be teaching the technique used in her quilt above. I am one lucky girl!!!

'Yay or Nay' by Debbie Jeske

I know Debbie of A Quilter's Table from social media involvement since quite some time now and adore her quilts. It was great to see one of her quilts in person!

'Caged Bird' by Juli Smith
After I've seen the first quilts I calmed down a little. I did not submit a quilt myself because I was afraid and unsure. I haven't seen that many quilts of other people and I had difficulties to judge whether my quilts are good enough for such an amazing show.  But seeing that almost all quilts have little bits which are not perfect I began to understand that perfection is not what I should be aiming for and that I also should not be so overly critical with my own work. All these beautiful quilts brought my own work into a different perspective though. I had difficulties understanding the different categories as well. Now I know where my quilts would maybe fit into.
So QuiltCon West, I'm going to submit a good few quilts, that's for sure. Whether they get selected is another story but at least I am confident now that the quality of my quilts is similar to what I've seen in Savannah.

I had a full lecture pass and went to several very interesting lectures.

But there was also time for getting to know people and enjoy the sun outside.

There were several other German girls attending QuiltCon e.g. my fellow quilting bee Vicky, who I met for the first time in Savannah, how crazy is that? Or Carola, who only lives like 50km away from me. Nico currently lives in the States but was happy to meet some fellow Germans.

All in all a fantastic first day!

Linking to
Modern Cologne Quilters
Let's Bee Social

Monday, 20 February 2017

Quilt Con prep

Only a few days left and I'm going to QuiltCon in Savannah, Georgia! As you can imagine at this stage I am beyond excited!

In preparation of my first QuiltCon I made myself some business cards, in the hope to connect with loads of other quilters!

I used my logo from the blog, which I really like and it looks so good in that tiny print, too!

I also made a lanyard from the left over scraps from my pillow so I can have my business cards ready to hand out.

And that's me, introducing myself on Instagram #helloquiltcon

If you see me, come say hello!

I have also prepared for my work shop 'QuiltRemix' with Riane Menardi of Vesselquilts.
We were asked to prepare two large blocks in contrasting colours, and I opted for Kona black and Robert Kaufmann Essex Linen in gray.

One is a 20" square log cabin block.

And the other one is a huge 40" square dutchman's puzzle block. I had some difficulties making this giant block, some of the seams don't match up... very obvious in that size and these colours. But hey, I'm cutting the whole thing up again so I just cut the mishaps out. (Uh, did I really say that?) Anyhow, I'm sure after the remix it will look all good.

I am so looking forward to the whole event! I will write reports from my stay when I'm back, so stay tuned!

Friday, 17 February 2017

My personal fabric challenge

I've always adored the Quilts by Emily and her awesome fabric selections. She puts together fabrics which at first sight don't seem to match up. But then those fabrics create the most interesting and beautiful quilts! Like this one, or this or this, or this.

So I was pulling fabrics from my stash and came up with this selection:

Yes: brown, mustard, pink and turquoise. Ui!

I was very skeptical myself but as I started to cut some strips and placed them beside each other they actually started to work.

I wanted to create and interesting design but kept it simple. I opted for a coin layout with 5 rows in different widths. Much to my surprise I think it turned out really well! 

The pillow is in my favourite size 26 x 26" (65 x 65cm) and is going to be a gift for a friend.

I was unsure of how and in what colours to quilt it. I had several colours to chose from but opted for white, light grey and mustard, all beautiful Aurifil wt 40 thread!

With all these different colours I think there is so much to look at and despite the big variety of fabrics it still is harmonic. I'm in fact so happy with the pillow that I want to make a whole quilt out of it and keep that for myself since I'm having a hard time giving this pillow away.

Linking this to Finish Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
Modern Patch Monday at the Modern Cologne Quilters