Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Burst of color

After my latest quilting disaster (which, admittedly, had a happy ending), I decided I need a just for fun project. I love Kona cotton, if I could, I would have every single color in my stash. But as it is, I have enough scraps already, so I decided to start a Kona Cotton improv quilt.

I don't know yet how big this will become, I guess I'll keep going with it as long as it's fun.

The other project I've been working on is my Swiss wonky crosses quilt. There's no deadline for this one, it will eventually be given to my brother, and I hope to finish it next month.

I'm linking up these WIPs with WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced!


PS: Don't forget that there's still time to enter my giveaway! I'm giving away some candy...

Monday, January 27, 2014

05/2015: Three is a magic number! (with a giveaway!)

The following quilt is a prime example for the three Rs. But in this case, it's not about reduce, reuse, recycle. It' more about rip out, rebaste, requilt. Respectively, this blog post could also be titled "This quilt nearly made me give up quilting" or "Polyester batting is evil!".

But let me tell you the story from the start. A friend of mine ordered a quilt for a friend of hers who just had baby no. 3 (do you sense a theme here?). She picked Noteworthy by Sweetwater from my stash and we talked about the design and she went with sashed charm squares. So far, so good, I went to work and had the top pieced together quickly. I had to buy some fabric for the back though and went to my local quilt shop. I don't go there all to often since their stock is so lala (batiks and all that stuff). I also needed batting, but wouldn't you know, they had just run out of cotton batting. All they had left was either some cotton silk mix (nice, but super expensive) and polyester. What can I say, I had my kids with me, I was in a hurry, and the saleslady talked me into it.

I pieced the back, basted the whole thing and started quilting. And that's where everything went south. I went with straight line quilting in this first try. After about a third of the quilt, I realized that the top had shifted substantially and was now overlapping the batting and the back on one side for about two to three inches. I spent three movie nights on the couch ripping out the quilting. I basted it again and thought myself so clever. Because now I tried circular quilting. Because if I start in the middle and work my way out, I can smooth out wrinkles along the way, right? Well, not quite, because when I checked the back side, there were quite some big puckers and pleats. The seam ripper had become my best friend by now and I was close to telling my friend she should just give some onesies and burp cloth as a gift since there won't be a quilt!

At this point, I had realized that this is due to the bloody polyester batting. Thankfully, I had ordered some cotton batting online in the meantime. So I basted and quilted the thing again. And wouldn't you know, no trouble whatsoever, I quilted it in about an hour.

I'm happy that it came to this finish, what can I say? Sorry I went on and on in this blog post, I just had to blow off some steam, I guess... .

I hope the parents of baby Ella will cherish this quilt...

Three is also a magic number for this blog today, since I'm celebrating three years of blogging today. And what better way to celebrate with a little candy? If you would like some as well, here you go:

I'm giving away two Comma candy packs. Just leave a comment on this post. If you are a follower and tell me so in the comments, you'll get a second chance to win. I'll pick a winner next Monday. This giveaway is now closed!

Linking up with MontagsMacher and Sew Cute Tuesday!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

On my design wall right now

I know that it's now a common thing, but who says you can only show your work in progress on a Wednesday? I was looking at my design wall this morning and thought I want to share it with the world.

On the left, we have the low volume plus quilt. I'm waiting for the rest of my bee blocks and then I can't wait to finish this baby, I'm so excited about it!

In the upper right corner is what I dubbed the Swiss quilt since it reminds me of the Swiss flag. It'll be only red and white and is intended as a present.

In the middle of the right side we have a long, long, long term project. I decided to sew may way through this little book with Oakshott fabric.

And last but not least, x and plus blocks in Comma fabric. Another present.

There you have it. Now I just have to decide what to work on first...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

04/2014: Can't stop till you get enough

After making this little pincushion last Friday, I could not stop myself. I had to make some more cathedral window blocks. And those blocks quickly turned into a pillow cover.

I already had the Denyse Schmidt fabrics on my table from working on my Granny Square quilt, so I just used some of those. These fabrics are among my favorites anyway. Over the course of Friday and Saturday evening, it grew big enough for a 24 x 16 inches (60 x 40 centimeters) pillow cover.

I used two orange Hope Valley fabrics for the back:

A few thought on the Cathedral Window block: It's not nearly half as difficult as I thought (hm, maybe I should give free motion quilting another go...). Also, the more blocks you make, the easier it gets.

Here's a shot from the first few blocks:

As you can see, the points are far from meeting in the middle.

Here's a look how it worked towards the end:

 Much better, no?

Also, if you don't like to iron, then this is clearly not the thing for you. And last but not least: I really like how this pillow turned out, but I'm fine with a pillow. I don't think I would love the look of a whole quilt like that on my bed.

Have a nice Sunday, everyone!

Update: I just found out about the linky party Monday Maker/Montag Macher  my two sewing buddies Aylin and Susanne are organizing! Of course I'm linking up! Go check it out!


Friday, January 10, 2014

03/2014: In the Cathedral

I did not really make any New Year's resolutions (who keeps them anyway?), but one goal was to try new things that scared me a little. I came to the quite obvious conclusion that this is not as hard as it sometimes seems.

I always wanted to try a cathedral window block, and this morning I thought "It's now or never". I used this clever tutorial, and it's almost easy as pie. I guess Nike got it right all those years ago: just do it!

I'm linking this small finish up with TGIFF and crazy mom quilts!

Monday, January 6, 2014

02/2014: A new favorite

No risk, no fun, right? I finally cut into my precious Nani Iro fabric. For a new, never before tested pattern. Without making a muslin first. And guess what, I think I have a new favorite garment in my closet.

Actually, I'm totally relieved it came out so well and I did not wreck the fabric in the process. But I was too impatient for a muslin. Guess I just got lucky with this one...
The pattern is from Ottobre woman (05/2011), and originally it is for a knit fabric. It also came with short sleeves, but I took the sleeves from the Tova tunic pattern and adjusted them accordingly for this pattern. The double gauze is an absolute dream to wear, it's super soft and I think if I could afford it, I would only make garments out of that stuff...

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, January 3, 2014

01/2014: Feeling fishy

I finished this quilt on January 1st, 2014. Is there a better way to start into the new year?

This was supposed to be a Christmas present, but I did not finish it in time. But since there was present overload at our house anyway, it did not really matter. And when my son comes back from vacation today and he'll find it on the bed, it'll be all the more exciting for him (here's hoping!).

When I saw the fish fabric (Pirate fish by Makeower UK) at my LQS, I knew I had to make a quilt for my son. I paired it with Kona Cotton, all from my stash.

He loves fishes and still had his baby quilt on his bed, so I guess it was time for a change...

He had one wish: Somewhere on the quilt, he wanted his name (he's really into letters right now). So on the back it went!

I machine stitched the binding with a zigzag stitch, which was a first for me. To be honest, I don't know if I'm so fond of the look, I guess I'll go back to hand stitching in the future.

And here it is in all it's bright glory on his bed. Let's see whether he'll like it...

Linking up with TGIFF!


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fresh Sewing Day and a Happy New Year!

I wish everyone a happy new year, I hope you are slowly recovering from your New Year's Eve festivities...

I am excited for this month. I am excited for this very day, actually. My kids are on holidays with the grandparents, I spend all day yesterday cleaning my house (including the floors), so I'll be busy basting and hopefully quilting a quilt! It was planned as a Christmas presents for my older son, but the time before Christmas was just too busy and I could not finish it anymore. Hopefully, when he comes home on Saturday, it will be on his bed.

I also have two other quilts in progress that I worked on a lot last month:

This will be a queen sized quilt, I am only missing 25 more blocks. It's a Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley/Chicopee/Shellburn Falls mashup. Too bad I ran out of Kona Ivory, so I have to wait for more to arrive before this can progress...

This one started on a whim last week. I am the first on this month in the new round of the Bee Germany, and my original plan was to have the others make x and plus blocks with Comma fabric. While cutting, I realized I don't have enough and I ordered more well before Christmas, but it did not get here on time (still waiting for it, in fact). So I needed a plan b, and there have been such great quilts like this on flickr lately that I have to make on, too. Hopefully this will come together at the end of this month.

I also had some finishes:

Handmade Christmas presents. The only ones I managed to make. But they were well received, so I guess it was worth the hassle...

I hope the year ahead will be lots of creativity and fun behind the sewing machine for all of you!

Linking up with Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day!