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 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!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Counting down the list

It seems I might be able to meet my quilting goal this year after all (you know, the "at least 12 finished quilts this year" goal)...

We have another finish! The zig zag quilt is done! My big son is on vacation with Grandma and Grandma at the moment, so while the little one was at preschool in the morning, I was able to piece the back and baste the quilt. During his afternoon nap I did all the quilting. In the evening, while watching a very strange Danish movie with my husband, I attached the binding.

This one will be shipped off to Chicago in the next few days. My dear friend Melissa had her second baby, a very cute little boy named Nicolas, at the beginning of July. So I'm only a few month late with my gift...

I used mostly fabric from my stash, which seems to be dwindling a lot lately (a good reason to buy more, no?) The traffic prints and the dots are from Joann's, paired with some Kona Cotton (sorry, I only remember that the green is Green Grass, one of my all time favorites from Kona).

For the binding, I used some baby blue fabric with tiny white polka dots. The only fabric I had to buy was for the back. The green does not match the Kona very much, but it's okay. The quilting shop I went to only carried a few shades of Kona Cotton, and they did not have my green! So I took the next best thing... (I already mentioned I moved to a white spot on the map concerning quilt shops, no?)

Happy rolling, playing and drooling on it, Nico!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday #17

That time of the week again, huh? Wednesday always seems to come so fast...

I have two new projects to show this week, and made no progress on any old one. I feel a bit unfocused at the moment. But that's not really my fault. It just plain sucks to live 20+ miles away from the nearest decent fabric store. I have to order all my supplies online, and I have to wait for fabric for the Fall Leafs quilt (I hope it gets here before fall leaves...).

My first new project is a Cross quilt. After seeing this, I had to make one myself. I had lots and lots and lots of fabric left over from this project, so I got right to work.

My mother-in-law will celebrate her 60th birthday next month, and I decided that this will be my present. When I showed it to my husband, he said he did not like the colors, they would be  a bit "too old". But I'm sure she'll like it (I hope). I have all the charms cut out and just need to piece them together.

My second project is a little something for myself. I need a blanket for yoga class and I decided this will be it. I had so much fun making the star block for the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild last week. And I had this little stack of all time favorite fabrics that I was not sure what to do with it.

I am totally undecided about the layout yet, but I'm sure that will come to me once I finished all the blocks and can move them around on my design wall. (I'm not so sure about the block on the bottom either, I might have to redo this one).

There's some Momo Freebird in there, some Wonderland, Little Folks by Anna Maria Horner and Parisville by Tula Pink. The solids are Kona Celery, Eggplant and a berry shade that I can't remember what it's called.

Like always, I'm linking up to freshly pieced...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WIP Wednesday # 16

Hello, I'm back from a little break last week. I simply did not have anything to show last week, so I thought it would be a bit silly to link up. I haven't had good quilting mojo, after all the difficulties with my donation quilt. But now that's finished and on to new stuff. Which brings me to rule-breaking. I already broke my new rule that for every new thing I start, I have to finish an old project.

Fall has inspired me so much, I wanted to make a fall quilt. Here are the first two blocks:

I bought a lot of fat quarters in fall colors. At first, I just wanted to cut out leafs and applique them on the fabric. But then I thought that's too boring and the leaves never turn into one color anyway. So I did some improvisational piecing, and cut the leafs out of that. I plan on joining the blocks together with a dark red border around them.

The second thing I can show this week is actually beyond embarrassing. Not the block itself. But this is a block for a quilt of the San Diego Modern Quilt Guild. Every member makes a block and the finished quilt will be donated. Well, we first talked about this in February. So it took me a full eight month to finish this little block! Which was a lot of fun doing, btw.

Unfortunately, I could not find the little scrap I had of the backing fabric, so I hope it will go together...

As usual, I'm linking up with freshly pieced for WIP Wednesday...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Looks can be deceiving...

 I finished the donation quilt for 100 quilts for kids yesterday evening. And I am happy about it. Happy about having this little baby off my table. Why? Such a sweet little charms quilt should be quick and easy to do, no? Well, looks can be deceiving. It all started out with this quilt that I came across on Flickr. I really liked the simple look of it and thought to myself "That's a quick and easy project, I'll do that for my donation quilt!". The pattern is the storytime squares pattern by Rae of Made by Rae.  I had this little fabric bundle I did not know what to do with it. I threw in two more prints from my stash, cut some 5 inch square and went to work on it. But sometimes it does make sense to read directions. My first mistake was that I cut 2.5 inch strips for the solid borders. And surprise, surprise, the pieced strip around the first solid strip did not match up at the corners. For a minute or so I contemplated just to leave it, but in the back of my mind I knew that this was really not an option. Lucky for me, Kate from swim, bike, quilt had directions on her blog on how to make this pattern with a charm pack. I cut 3 inch strips and tried my luck again. And magically, it all matched up! Well, until I added the extra row of charms around the quilt. Somehow I ran into the same problem again, the pieced strip was way to long. But this time I opted for the quick and dirty method. Let's just say that some of the charms are not really squares anymore. But it's not really obvious, only if you would look really, really close.

After I had pieced the back and basted it together, I thought about the quilting and came up with a little triangle pattern. I marked the whole top with such a disappearing ink marker. That was on a Wednesday night. Too bad I go to yoga class on Thursdays and had a date night with my husband on the Friday of that week. By Saturday, when I picked it up again, of course all the lines had disappeared. So I marked everything one more time and immediately quilted it. And then it only took me another week to bind it...

I guess that's what I deserved for thinking "I'll make this quilt in a few days!" It is already shipped of to San Diego, where it will hopefully warm a little baby in the NICU of UCSD hospital.