Saturday, 24 October 2015

QuiP# 6 - I can't really tell what it is yet!!

I am working on a new quilt!
It's a birthday present to my husband and it's all a bit 'hush hush' so I can only show the fabric selection:

Very manly, very dark, very minimalistic. Enough said :0)
(shortest blog post ever)

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Christmas mug rug inspiration mosaic

I am taking part in a Christmas mug rug swap, my second mug rug swap this year! My very first mug rug I did for Carmen in line with the MQG mug rug swap in May this year.

This swap is in the German speaking region and 21no. modern quilters are taking part.

Everyone is to make a mosaic on Flickr to give their partner some inspiration of what you like. Here's mine:

These are just o few of my many favourites I have on Flickr.
Sources from top left to bottom right as follows:

1. lovely pillow by Aylin-nilya, who is also the organiser of this swap
2. very simple tree quilt by Christa Watson, I love the quilting on that one!
3. star bee block by Brandy, love this block
4. wonky Christmas trees as a pillow by Cottilello 
5. star block made by Debbie, love how they gel together in the centre!
6. gorgeous Christmas tree quilt in such lovely colours by Lynn Harris
7. straight star block by Wombatquilts, paper pieced gorgeousness
8. minimalistic Christmas tree with star by one of my favourite quilters: Emily of Quilts by Emily
9. great star block by nonsensiclese

It's a secret swap, so I know for whom I am making the mug rug, but I don't know from whom I'm getting one.It all will be revealed at the end of November!
I'll post my mug rug and also the one I'm getting once they have been exchanged.

Monday, 12 October 2015

I have started a quilting bee!

I am super excited to let you know that I have started a quilting bee!
I was looking for modern quilters in Germany who are not involved in a bee already and found some super nice ladies!
(The logo was a collaboration with the amazingly talented graphic designer and illustrator Imogen Oh of Oh Hey Friend.)

Meet the bees of the 'Quilty Circle of Bees' (in alphabetical order):

Allison of Campbell Soup Diary
Claudia of Machen und Tun
Melanie of Melanie's Kunstraum
Vicky of Veni Vidi Vicky
Yara of Qvilted
 and me of course :0)

Yes, you counted correctly we are only six members but that is exactly what we wanted.
We have two months time to complete the blocks for the queen bee and we also pause for the months of November and December. We also sew with our own fabrics and only send finished blocks around. Stress free.

Claudia was the first queen bee for the months September/ October and requested paper pieced feather blocks. She did sent us some backgroud fabrics (yes, we make exceptions as well) and a lovely post card which I used to fold the paper. Great!

This was the first time I ever done paper piecing. I was happy that I could play with my scraps again. Luckily the background fabrics matched perfectly with any of my scraps.

I have to say that the paper piecing did come with some challenges for me, I don't know how often I ripped out seams of the first block... sewn in 1.5 mm... no fun!

But I really liked how it turned out. The tutorial for the block is by Blossom Heart Quilt.
The second block was better, but again I had to use my seam ripper - a lot.

Then I was all ambitious to do one block without ripping out seams and this time is almost worked perfectly. I had oddly shaped scraps and that made the piecing in diagonal lines of the feather somehow difficult.

All in all I'm happy how they turned out and I hope Claudia will  as well.
As mentioned before we pause for the next two months but it's actually my turn in January/ February.
I am really happy to be involved in this bee and I'm looking forward to some exciting blocks and quilts!

Linking this to Scraptastic Tuesday and Finish up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Friday, 9 October 2015

How to - hem a pillow filled with feathers

Two years into sewing and quilting I feel confident enough to give a bit advice on how I do things. For a long time I was the one, who needed guidance and input from tutorials and other quilters (and I still do).
But I have decided that I am adding a section to my blog called  'Tips & Tricks'. I don't dare to call it 'tutorials' (yet).

So, here's my first tip: what to do when you just finished a beautiful pillow case and your pillow is too big?

I was really disappointed as I realised that fact and thought, oh no, I need to find a new pillow. I searched the internet and all I could find were pillows in the size I had already.
And then it suddenly dawned on me: I can sew! I can hem the pillow... can't I?

Well, mine was filled with feathers but that didn't stop me.
So, that's what you need to do:

1. Establish by how much you need to hem the pillow. Mine was 65x65cm/ 25x25 inches and needed to be 60x60cm/ 23.5x23.5 inches.So that is 5cm/ 2.5 inches on two sides too big (e.g. bottom and right side)
2. Shake the feathers away from the two edges you want the pillow hemmed.
3. Mark the pillow at e.g. 5cm/ 2.5 inches from the two edges.

  4. Place pins another 1cm/ 1 inch away from the marked line (this is in order to fit it into your sewing machine).

5. Sew along the marked lines all the way at both sides securing the stitch at the beginning and the end. 

6. Get your vacuum cleaner. This is where it gets a bit messy...
7. Cut the hemmed fabric with scissors at approx. 1cm/ 0.5 inches away from the marked line (Do not use your good fabric scissors, you will cut through some remaining feathers). I would also recommend doing this on the floor, and not, as I did, on your cutting mat.

8. Now vacuum clean the feathers away making sure you clean out the cut fabric of the pillow.
9. Sew along the cut fabric using a cross stitch. Ta-da, finished! 

The reason why I left 1cm/ 0.5 inches over besides the marked line is that I thought anything smaller will feel hard when it's hemmed due to the dense stitching. That way the left over bit is soft and just folds inside the pillow case.

The pillow looks quite 'stuffed' due to the same amount of feathers in a smaller pillow but this pillow was a gift to my Mum and she really likes having this pillow in her back while sitting on the couch. All good.

I haven't tried hemming a pillow with a polyester filling, but I guess that kind of works the same way.

So, I hope you enjoyed my little trouble shooting advice.

Linking this to Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish up Friday  and TGFF