Saturday, December 31, 2011

My year in quilts

I thought it might be fun to do a little review of all the quilts I finished this year (WARNING, lots of photos ahead!). After all, this was the first year in which I actually set myself a quilting goal. Boy, was I ever pleased with myself to finish that goal in November. Little did I know then that with quilt #12 my quilting karma totally went out of the window and that was it for 2011. I do have a lot of UFOs though that are quite near the finish line.
But let's look back, shall we?

January:

This is a baby boy quilt I made for my dear friend Vicky. Her second son was born in October 2010, and I was actually on time with a quilt. But her first son decided he liked that quilt so much and claimed it as his own, so I had to make baby #2 another one...

Febuary:

Another baby quilt, this time for my friend Alison's little girl. I used an IKEA sheet and lots of scraps for this one!

March:

Well, no quilt got finished in this month, so on to...

April:


I made this quilt for our bed in San Diego. It now lives on the bed in our guest room since we bought a bigger bed after our move to Germany (we upgraded from Full to Queen Size). But I still love it nevertheless!

May:


I made this postage stamps quilt for my husband's grandmother. She told me she really liked it when I send it to her. Sadly, she passed away earlier this month, so I'm happy I was able to give it to her and she used it for a few month.

June:


Guess what I made in June? Another baby quilt! I just love the colors in this one, it was lots of fun to make (so much that I'm working on a pink girl version right now!).

July and August:

I was kind of busy. Moving halfway across the world an all...

September:


Finished this one after it moved with me only half quilted.


Finished this one from start to binding in a week.

October:

Wow, I was on a roll in October! Three finished quilts!




November:


Baby quilt #6 of this year. Was actually a commission and well received!


Another birthday gift, this time for my mother-in-law. She celebrated the big 6-0 in November...

December:

Totally lost my quilting karma, did not finish anything and only made on Christmas present myself.


2012, here I come!



Friday, December 30, 2011

Quo vadis?

No, I did not choose this title to show off my Latin skills (they are rather minimal, to be honest). But I thought the phrase 'where are you going?' would fit nicely. Because with the quilt I'm working on right now, I have no idea where I'm going.

This one is another gift. My husband's aunt turned 70 this month (yes, it will be a belated gift), and I wanted to make her a quilt. Her style is rather classical, so I did not want to go overboard with color this time. After a lot of thought, I settled on a jelly roll of 'Puttin on the ritz' from Bunny Hill Designs. I chose the greyish color line. Since I already had my fabric all nicely in strips, I thought it would be nice to do some log cabin blocks. I leafed through Susan Beal's genius book Modern Log Cabin Quilting and thought something with negative space would be nice.

The only problem I have now is: I can't decide on a design.

This is option A:


Option B:

 And option C:


I tend towards option B at the moment. I want to make the blocks bigger and then add some sashing around in Kona Plum (that's the fabric of the center squares, the other solid is Kona Ash). But I'm open to all ideas, so if you have a suggestion, fire away!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Sewed something!

It's unbelievable but true, I finished exactly one item in the last four weeks. I don't know what happened, I have just not been feeling "it". So my machine sat mostly untouched in the evenings. Even my husband noted that when he reminded me that I haven't blog about anything in a while...
But here it is, I managed to make one Christmas present. This is a little dress for my niece. It's quite summerish, but by the time it will be warm here again I think she'll have grown into it.


The pattern is from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing. That's one of my all time favorite sewing books, I highly recommend it. This little dress really comes together quickly. At first, I wanted to add some rick rack that's matching in color to the dress, but then I thought, "Oh why not go bold and bright?"


Maybe I should start right away with more handmade presents, so I'll be prepared for Christmas next year...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Still here...

Hello, I'm still here! It's been a while, three weeks to be precise. This was not planned...
We are not quite back yet from the land of the sick. Three weeks ago, my 18 month old came home with a fever from preschool, and from there it went progressively worse. He had the flu, and once he was finished, the almost 4 year old got it as well. Meanwhile, the little one went back to preschool after his recovery for three days and guess what he brought home with him? Bronchitis. Needless to say that the big one has this now, too. So I haven't really felt like spending a lot of time in front of the sewing machine. I did get a little done in the last week though.

I made only a little progress on my diamond stars quilt. This one requires preciseness that I don't really possess in the evenings, so it's currently on hold.


I guess the sensible thing to do for me would have been to finish one of my UFOs. However, why do the right thing and finish something up when you can jump right in and do something new? I realized a little while ago that I don't really have a lot of pink in my stash. And since I have a niece on the way, I ordered a little fat quarter stack from a German crafts supplier. It arrived two weeks ago and I cut right in.


I decided to make another Modern Crosses quilt, very much like this one. I need seven more blocks for the top, hopefully I can finish them tonight.  I already cut all the fabric, I just need to piece it together. Thank goodness I had the idea to throw some green in the mix, I think it would have been a bit too pink for my taste otherwise...


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WIP Wednesday #21

Wow, just wow. 53 comments last week, that's quite something for my little blog! Thank you all who visited and had to say something nice about my work. I really appreciate each and every comment, and I feel really bad that I could not reply a lot last week.

I did not really sew a lot this past week. I finished the cross quilt in time for my mother-in-law's birthday, she liked it a lot. And that was it until last night. My in-laws live in north Germany, so we went there by train on Friday and returned yesterday afternoon. The days in between were filled with lots of eating, seeing a lot of relatives and generally having a good time. And since it was also our 6th wedding anniversary this past Saturday, Grandma and Grandpa gave us a day off. We went to downtown Hannover to shop, sit in a cafe and talk and just enjoyed being together. And my dear husband is so, so nice and patient! He even went to a fabric store with me! And did not say a word when I went crazy! Here's what I got:


Isn't that a nice little stack? It's from a German manufacturer called Tante Ema. They also had this line in yellow, pink and purple, but I was running a little low on fabric for boy baby quilts, so I picked up green and turquoise.  It also goes great together with the DS Quilts fabric from Joann's that I have in my stash.

So after the kids were in bed last night, I sat down and got creative:



I got the idea for this block from a little puzzle that my mother-in-law had to entertain my three year old (she's a elementary school teacher and always has those great educational toys at hand). While he was playing with the triangles and diamonds in the puzzle, I thought to myself that this might make a great quilt pattern. So after a little trial and error I had my first block. I haven't made up my mind yet were this will lead, but it sure is fun!


And now excuse me, I have to check out what everyone else is working on. Go see for yourself...




Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Challenge complete!

I did it! I finished my 12th quilt this year and therefore have officially completed my personal quilting challenge for 2011. To be honest, I did not think I would be able to make it, with all the move and changes that have been going on here in the last few month. I mean, until August I was like five quilts behind! But it turns out that
a) having your own studio
b) your children going to preschool every morning
is a total boost for your creativity. Well, mine at least.

So here it is:


I had wanted to make a cross quilt as soon as I saw this one. And since I needed a gift for my mother-in-law's birthday anyway, this all worked out perfectly well.  The fabric came out of my stash, it's the same that I used for my postage stamps quilt back in May. The binding is done in a solid brown, it is Kona, but I really don't remember which shade exactly (note to myself: get this color card already to keep track of my fabric!).


I quilted it by outlining the crosses. I think simple lines would have been nice as well, or some lattice pattern. We will be off to northern Germany tomorrow by train for the big birthday party (my three year old is already so excited, he loves trains!). Thankfully, we won't have to come empty handed...


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WIP Wednesday #20

Hi everyone, another week has flown by! Time to show what I've been doing.
Both my boys were home last week from pre-school (they had a week of fall vacation), so I was missing the morning hours to sew, but I did manage to get a few things done.

I had one finish (more on that one here):


I have an almost finish:


Yep, the cross quilt is almost done. It's all quilted and just need binding. I'll do that during nap time today. This quilt is my gift for my mother-in-laws 60th birthday. They live in northern Germany and we will leave for a big family party on Friday morning. And Thursday will be spend packing and getting organized for the trip. So it has to be done today. Here's hoping that the two little monsters take a good nap...
Oh, and this will be my 12th quilt this year, which means I reached my personal quilting goal for 2011! Yay!

I also worked on my falling leafs quilt. I figured with it being November already, I better bust a move on that one. So it will be finished before fall leaves...


The blocks are pretty big, 15 inches squares. I want to make it 3 by 4 blocks, which means I need 9 more blocks. I have a few more leafs finished, but I will need to make some more.


I plan to hand quilt this one, with embroidery floss around the leafs. Hopefully it'll turn out the way I'm imagining it...

I'm not the only one who has been busy, here's plenty more....



Update: I've just spend the last two hours commenting on other people's blogs (yes, I am determined to win this fabric as I am slightly obsessed with Echo), so forgive me if I don't get around to answering your comments this week! But I cherish each and every comment!

Friday, November 4, 2011

City Weekend, finished in time for the weekend



My quick little baby quilt is done, just in time for the weekend (which means I can concentrate on other things this weekend!). This baby quilt is a commission, and I'm glad I could finish it in so little time. I started on Monday and finished it yesterday evening. It's a gift for someone who is on the board of my son's preschool with me. The other boardmembers had asked me to make a quilt for her, she just had her second baby at the end of October. I had two charm packs of City Weekend by Oliver + S, which I paired with Kona Cotton in White. Since it's a boy, I only pulled the blues, greens and turquoise shades in the beginning, but then I realized that would not be enough charms so I threw in the yellow ones as well.

I have to admit, when I was done with the top, I thought it was a bit bland. But now that it all came together, I like how it turned out.




I quilted in wavy lines, using turquoise thread. For the back I used a thinly striped white and blue fabric, along with some green, blue and white striped binding.


I was lazy this time, I sewed on the binding with the machine. That was a first for me. And while I appreciated how fast this is, I think I will stick with hand sewing the binding. I just like the look of it better.

And since I finished it just in time, I will be linking up to TGIFF over on Quokka Quilts today!

PS: By the way, this is quilt #11 this year, so I'm only one quilt away from reaching my personal goal of 12 quilts this year! Yeah!


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

WIP Wednesday #19

Wow, I can't believe it's already November. Time flies! And since November is the month of Thanksgiving, I will start early this year and say thank you everyone who visited last week and hank you for the amazing response to my wonky stars quilt!

And guess what the wonky stars quilt is finished! I already blogged about it last Monday, but since I'm so happy with this one I just had to mention it again...

What I should be working on right now is my cross quilt, but I haven't made any progress on that one. I have until the 10th to finish it up, so eight more days! Yikes! But I got all the supplies I need, so I guess I'll manage to finish it until my mother-in-law's birthday.


I did start and finish another quilt top (without finishing an old one first...), but it's a commission and I wanted to get it off my table. I don't know if I ever told you that I got myself elected on the parent's board of my son's preschool. One other board member just had a baby boy, and so the other members asked me to make a baby quilt. I opted for something simple. I just got two charm packs of City Weekend by Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S, and I decided to dig right in.


I paired it with Kona Cotton in white. I just took the charms, chain pieced the white strips to it and then pieced it together. It came together really fast, and I'm hoping to finish this one up tonight. I'm just not sure about the quilting yet. Any suggestions? I have been entertaining the thought of giving free motion quilting another go, but I don't want to mess it up and, let's be honest, I kind of suck at that...

Check out all the other great projects everyone else is working on over at freshly pieced...


Monday, October 31, 2011

Star struck


It's finished! My totally selfish "This one is for me" wonky stars quilt is done! And I'm in love with it, what else can I say. It all started with the wonky stars block I made for the charity quilt of the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild. That one little block was so much fun, so I decided I needed some stars in my life as well. I had this little stack of some of my favorite fabrics that I did not know what to do with it: the two purple prints from Momo's Freebird and some Wonderland, some Parisville by Tula Pink and Little Folks by Anna Maria Horner. The solids are Kona Cotton Celery, Plum and Eggplant. I tried to use only fabric from my stash, but I became pretty obvious to me that the one yard of Celery would never be enough. So I had to buy some more. And here's the strange thing: I remember that I bought the original yard at Joann's. The other yard I ordered from some online shop. And the color does not match 100%. Huh, strange. It's not obvious, but if you look really, really close, you can tell.


The quilt measures 66 x 52 inches, so it's a nice lap sized quilt. Oh, and for the backing I got a really lucky break.  Remember all my whining about the lack of a decent fabric store? Well, that's still true. But I also found out that there is a factory for Men's dress shirts in the next village about three miles from my place. They have a factory outlet store where they also sell their fabric. Like dirt cheap. I went there with not very high hopes and found the perfect fabric!


It has a really, really nice feel to it since it's shirting, and it's extra wide, about 78 inches.


The striped binding is also from that place, and I have tons left of it, so now I can make myself some matching pyjama pants...



This quilt will come to my weekly yoga class with me. It's also my entry for Celebrate Color over on Stiched in Color, and I will link it up at Blogger's Quilt Festival. Oh, and it is my 10th quilt this year, so I'm totally back on track with my "12 quilts this year" personal challenge. Uff, that's a lot!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happiness comes in brown boxes

I.am.so.excited!!! I know i mentioned more than once on this little blog that there is no decent fabric store in a 25 mile radius around me. Normally, I am pretty good with just drooling over looking at fabric online. But last Saturday I caved and ordered big time.
I was out yesterday morning and when I came back, I saw the mail truck down the street, already well past my house. In Germany, you usually get a notification card when you are not home and then you have to go to the post office in the afternoon or sometimes even the next day to pick it up. I briefly considered sprinting after the mailman. But I didn't want to resemble the neighbors' dog...
I went to my front door and guess what I found? A little brown box, waiting for me.


There might have been some hugging of that fat quarter bundle...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

WIP Wednesday #18

Hello again and welcome to WIP Wednesday! I have been concentrating on two projects only this past week: get the zig zag baby quilt finished and work on my wonky star quilt. To be honest, those were the only ones I could really work on, since the fabric I ordered over a week ago still did not show up on my doorstep. Hopefully today or tomorrow...
But the zig zag is done! I already blogged about it, but just for fun here's another photo...


It is now well on its way to Chicago to keep a baby warm...

My wonky stars quilt is coming along nicely as well. I was totally unsure about the layout, but now I'm quite certain this is how it will look like:


When I started with the blocks, I quickly realized that the one yard of Kona Celery I had in my stash was never going to be enough. So I added Kona Plum and Eggplant to the mix. But that would have meant to alternate between a purplish and green block, which I did not like. So last Saturday I just ordered some more Celery. I also used up every last scrap of the one I had at home. I made the 11 big blocks and then had enough left to make the little star in the middle.



At first, I had it placed right above the purple block in row four, but that somehow seemed off and did not work. So I will keep the three blocks in the middle row, I really like the look of it. Now it's not so orderly anymore. The final placement of the blocks concerning the different middle fabric is not set in stone yet, I will have to move them around a bit and see were I'll end up. I'm hoping to finish this baby in time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.

I'm not the only one who was busy this past week, so hop on over to freshly pieced and check out all the other great stuff...




Monday, October 24, 2011

New books

Okay, technically they are old books, but new to me!


Last Thursday, I went to the meeting of the local quilting group here in Tuebingen. They call themselves "Quilting Bees" and meet every third Thursday of the month. Well, there was one girl in her twenties, there was me in the thirties and then there were all the others in their sixties and seventies... And they had never heard of the Modern Quilt Guild...
But it was nice to meet with other quilters, see what they are working on and just talk quilting. And there was this woman who used to quilt but gave it up now because of her eyes, she said she just can't see well enough anymore. She had maybe 30 or more books with her that she gave away. For free, just like that! I was able to snag the three above!

The first one, the 120 Patterns for Traditional Patchwork Quilts, is full of blocks, blocks, blocks. It's a great resource, that's for sure! My edition is from 1983, but it first came out in 1942!



Isn't that great? I can see myself grabbing that book over and over again for future reference!

The second book, Log Cabin Quilts, is from 1980. It contains everything about log cabins and possibly every layout imaginable...


The most interesting book is The McCall's Book of Quilts from 1975. It's a general book about quilting and contains all the classic blocks and patterns, e.g. lots of star patterns, the double wedding ring pattern, flying geese etc.

I'm tempted to try this one...
And then there is the ugly, like this nightmare in Satin:


And the downright creepy, I think I would feel watched all the time trying to snuggle under that:

Funny, this is listed under Contemporary Quilts...

I think I have lots and lots on inspiration for future quilts now in my hands. Happy Monday everyone!