Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Crazy!

Happy Halloween! It's been a while since I linked up with Lee for WIP Wednesday...

 I just did not do so much sewing, just finished up this quilt. But now that that's of my table, I started new things. And I guess I have just official lost my mind.

My sister-in-law's BFF just had a baby, so I got commissioned with a baby quilt. She wanted to have something simple, a plain patchwork design. I showed my s-i-l some fabric and she picked A walk in the woods by Aneela Hoey. I had two charm packs and started laying out the squares on my design wall. But seeing them all like this, it just felt too much somehow, too cramped. So I added some white and made some nine patch blocks. Much better!

I had planned to finish this yesterday, and started basting it on Monday night. But I guess I'm in for a little more work - like undoing all the pins and basting it again. Here's the thing: The new mom wanted to have a thicker, cushier quilt. I bought some thick batting (polyester, ugh!). And I absolutely hate it.

So what do you think, should I just see this through or should I do it again with a nice cotton batting, even if it's thinner?

And now on to the crazy. The last time my parents came to visit, the brought a little bench for the children. Not just any bench, the one that already my brother and me used. So it's over 30 years old already. It needs new upholstery. And why just use a big piece of fabric when you can join tiny little pieces together?

Too be honest, that was not my idea alone, my friend Monika did this chair and I love it.  Here's what I've got so far. This will probably take forever, but I can already see them sitting on the bench playing I spy...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Salty Sharks

I finally finished my Salt Air quilt last night! But this morning, it was already renamed into Salty Sharks...

My older son (he's 4) is very interested in every quilt I make and believes it's for him. He really likes Stars, so when he saw this one, he really loved it. And he loved it even more when he discovered the fishtails on the fabric. And since every bigger fishtail is a shark's tail in his eyes, he called it his shark quilt. Hence the name Salty Sharks was born!

It took me way too long to finish this one! It was supposed to be our summer quilt for the sofa. But then I had this idea in my mind to hand quilt it, but I hated the look of it. It was a bit overwhelming and took the focus from the star flowers. Don't you hate it when the vision in your head clashes with the image before you? Anyway, I ripped it all out again and now I decided to stay true to the nautical theme and quilt it with wavy lines.

I used two charm packs of Cosmo Cricket's Salt Air fabric, but made the star flowers in different sizes. I followed the star flower block tutorial from Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts. The solid is Kona Cotton Aqua. Since I had leftover strips from where I cut the charms smaller, I made a little improv pieced panel for the back.

And here's a full view of the back:

The back is pieced with the improv panel, sashed in Kona Cotton Papaya, and some midnight blue shirting fabric. It's bound in Kona Cotton Crimson. The whole quilt measures 70 x 55 inches, so it's a generous lap size. I can't wait to snuggle under it!

Oh, and it's a good thing I finished it yesterday, so I can link up today for Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side and with crazy mom quilts!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let's get acquainted! My turn!

Hi everyone, today it's my turn on the Let's get acquainted blog hop! I'm so glad you are here, look around and make yourself right at home...

I'd like to  say a big THANK YOU! to Beth from Plum and June for organizing this wonderful blog hop. I've discovered so many great blogs and tutorials through this. Oh, and don't forget to hop over to Jenniffier's blog who's posting along with me today!

So for those of you who are here the first time today, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Kerstin, and I live together with my husband and two little boys in the south of Germany. My mother taught me how to sew when I was a little girl, but I've really gotten back into it about five years ago. I made a quilt for my newborn son and was hooked! I love quilting, but I also love to sew clothes, so I alternate between the two. Here's a little peek at what I've been sewing up this year:

And here's the naked truth And here are some fun facts:

How long have I been quilting?
I've been seriously quilting for about five years now. There were a few patchwork blankets before that, but I really had no clue what I was doing...

Favorite quilting tips?
Always get the best possible tools that you can afford (rotary cutter, pins etc) and the more pins for basting, the better!

Favorite blogging tips?
It's your blog, you can and should write whatever you want and not what you think people want to read. Stay true to yourself. Have fun!

Favorite fabric?
There are so many I just love! But if I'd have to pick only one line, I'd go with Little Folks by Anna Maria Horner.

Favorite craft book?
Hm, that's a tie between Anna Maria Horner's book  Handmade Beginnings and Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing.

Favorite book?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Favorite children's book?
The hungry little caterpillar by Eric Carle

Favorite quilting tools?
Rotary cutter, my 6.5 inch square ruler, my sewing machine

Favorite music to listen to while quilting?
I usually listen to the radio or NPR podcasts. One of my favorites is Car Talk. Those guys just crack me up!

Favorite TV show while handstitching?
Grey's Anatomy

Binding by hand or machine?
Always by hand, it just looks nicer.

If I'd only known before I started this little blog...
How much work it is to post regularly. But that this work is so worth it because you get to meet so many nice fellow quilters out there, all over the world!

So now you know everything a lot more about me!

I also cooked up a little tutorial for you! I made a fall themed table runner,  and it combines improvisational piecing, applique and hand quilting.

Here's what you'll need:

- Strips or scraps of fall colored fabric
- 1 yard each of white and red colored fabric (the off white I used is some Bella Solid I don't know the name of anymore and the red is Kona Cardinal)
- paper templates of leafs (just turn to nature for inspiration!)
- lightweight fusible interfacing
- 1/4 yard of brown fabric for the binding
- batting
- embroidery floss

I started with taking four strips and sewed them together.

Next, I cut them up again with the rotary cutter:

The I added some more strips to get a bigger piece again:

Just piece it together improvisational!
Then I took out my paper templates and cut out leafs:

 After I put some lightweight fusible interfacing on the back of the leafs, I arranged them on a 15" square of white fabric and appliqued it with zig-zag stitches:

I added some red sashing around this block and joined three blocks in a row. The, I basted it like any other quilt sandwich:

I machine quilted in double lines around the white blocks, one line of stitches inside the block and one on the outside on the red sashing:

Then, I added some hand quilting with the embroidery floss around the leafs:

And last but not least, I attached the brown binding. And now it looks quite nice on my table, especially with the felt leaf garland I made last year!

I hope you enjoyed your visit here and maybe I could temp you to make a fall table runner for yourself?

And don't forget to visit my fellow blog hoppers this week:

Oct 23
         Tracey from The Peony Teacup
         Megan from City Stitches

Oct 25
        Kerstin from Sunset Sewing
        Jenniffier from Jenniffier's Sometimes Creative Life

Oct 30
        Shena from Apple Pie Patchwork
        Janice from better off thread

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A shirt and a first

I am slowly easing back into sewing (lots my mojo a bit due to illness in particular and hectic life in general). So what's better than a little project that can be finished in one sitting?

My big kid is growing like a weed, and he needs a few new things. And when I went fabric shopping yesterday, I also came away with these great knits. I used my favorite pattern for him (Ottobre 4/2011). We'll see how J likes it when he comes home from pre-school today!

Oh, and since I'll be linking up to creadienstag for the first time ever, I'll post in German as well today, for the first time ever on my little blog!

Premiere, Premiere! Da ich heute zum ersten Mal mit Creadienstag verlinke, wollte ich auch mal ein paar Worte in Deutsch schreiben...
Bei meinem Shoppingtrip zu Hilco gestern habe ich diese suessen Jerseys mitgenommen. Genau das richtige fuer meinen Vierjaehrigen. Und genau das richtige Projekt, um nach eine Naehpause wieder rein zu kommmen. Der Schnitt ist uebrigens aus der Ottobre (Ausgabe 4/2011, Groesse 104). Mal sehen, wie das Shirt ankommt, wenn der junge Mann aus dem Kindergarten kommt...

Update: He's home now and the shirt's a big hit!

Monday, October 15, 2012

All you need is love...

...or in this case, Dutch Love!

I went to Hilco this morning (they have a sale for private customers Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays) and I could not resist this little bundle...

For more about this fabric, check here

I bought a half yard of each print. Enough to spare a little. Maybe I'll do another giveaway soon, just because?!

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Stairway to the Rainbow

Lately, I feel like I'm taking one step forward and two steps back. Hm, maybe the other way round, it's not that bad. But last week I wrote something about tending to my sick kids, right? Well, I'm happy to report that the kids are healthy again. And I'm also happy to report that I'm now on the mend as well. Hey, today is the first day I ate breakfast and lunch and could keep it inside! Sorry, was that too much detail? But as soon as the kids were fine again, I was not anymore. Normally, I'm the one to hold it all together and my hubby is the one who gets it! (Not that I wish that for him!!!) He was great, staying home from work, tending to the children, taking care of me - what more could a gal want? But seriously, being sick sucks and I'm glad I'm getting better. I guess by this prattling on I'm trying to explain my abscence from this space this past week...

Anyway, in the two days between the kid's sickness and mine, I was able to finish a quilt. And it is, can you guess, another baby quilt! And guess what else? The little girl who will receive this one is already three month old! I think I should rename my blog into something like "The almost always late with the baby quilt quilter"...

I call this my "Stairway to the Rainbow" quilt. It reminds me a bit of a rainbow and also of stairs. Makes sense, no? The fabric is Terrain by Kate Spain, paired with Kona Cotton in white. I used a Jelly Roll and had enough strips left to also do the binding with it.

The back is, uhm, interesting.

The original plan was to use the three solids and connect them with Terrain strips in between. Yeah, well, only that was not wide enough, hence the somewhat strange solid strips on the side.

I kept the quilting minimally and just mirrored the white zig zags.

This one won't have to travel far,  it will go across the street to my friend and neighbor Catrin, who had her little Maya at the beginning of July. It's her third, and the little girl looks like the spitting image of the oldest brother (he's four). It will be fun to see them grow up together!

I'm linking up with TGIFF, which is at better off thread today, and with crazy mom quilts.