Thursday, October 30, 2014

All Wrapped Up & Advent Calendar Idea

I often find that sometimes I get more excited about giving gifts for Christmas than I do about getting them. When I have the time, I really like to make each one personal with fun little accents and extra details... besides half the fun of getting a gift is the eye-candy wrapping, right?

Oft finde ich es fast schöner Geschenke zu geben, als Geschenke zu bekommen. Ich liebe es, jedes mit kleinen, feinen Details individuell zu gestalten... und außerdem; Ist eine super-gelungene Verpackung bei einem Geschenk nicht schon die halbe Freude?


One of my favorite ways to wrap gifts is using simple brown kraft paper, simple twine, with fabric accents. I had some leftover scraps from my Merry Stitches fabrics and made more of my sweet Freezer Paper gift tags, essenitally using the same concept as my Freezer paper gift tags found here.

Eines meiner Lieblings-Geschenkpapiere ist einfaches braunes Packpapier, eine einfache Schnur und natürlich Stoff Akzente. Mit ein paar Resten von den Merry Stitches Stoffen und Freezer Paper habe ich noch weitere Geschenkanhänger gemacht. Im Prinzip, das selbe Konzept wie meine anderen Deko-Anhäger hier:


Aren't these bags great as small gift bags?... or even better all stacked up together for an elegant Advent calendar? The fabrics from Cori Dantini are perfect for making them.

Sind die Geschenkbeutel nicht süß?... Und noch besser, wenn man 24 Stück davon für einen super eleganten Adventskalender benutzt? Die Stoffe von Cori Dantini sind einfach fantastisch dafür geeignet.



What are your favorite gift wrapping ideas for the holidays?

Wie verpackst Du am Liebsten deine Weihnachtsgeschenke?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"One Pin a Week" Cotton & Steel

When I first saw the Cotton and Steel fabrics reveal this past spring, the one thing that was so appealing to me, is how well they combine together. It was so much fun doing this Patchwork pillow, noticing where one color played off the other, or repeated in a totally different print.

Als ich die Cotton and Steel Stoffe zum ersten Mal gesehen habe, fand ich am Schönsten,  wie genial man alle Stoffe zusammen kombinieren kann. Es hat so viel Spaß gemacht, diese Patchwork Kissen zu nähen und zu staunen wie super die Farben zusammen spielen.


So, joining in again on Lillesols und Pelle's One Pin a Week action, here's my inspiration pin, which by the way is also a free tutorial! The original pin is for a mini quilt that can used as a table centerpiece, but since the finished piece was large enough, I decided to turn it into a pillow.

So, nochmal nehme ich an Lillesols und Pelle's One Pin a Week Aktion teil, hier ist mein Inpirations Pin - der übrigens eine kostenlose DIY Anleitung ist! Das original Projekt ist für einen Mini-Quilt als Tischdecke gedacht, aber weil der fertige Block  ziemlich groß ist, habe ich mich nochmal für ein Kissen entschieden.
 
I find that I am very much enjoying smaller quilting projects... there is a lot of satisfaction in getting to the end result quicker.

Ich mag es kleinere Quiltingprojekte zu nähen... man kommt viel schneller zum Endergebnis!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"It's Tea Time" & Lena's Patchwork

As I've shared so many times before, with me quiet always equals busy, but today I actually get to share with you what I've been sitting on for months now... I'm now offically published!

Ich habe ja schon häufiger davon gesprochen, dass "Stille" bei mir immer "Geschäftigkeit" bedeutet. Von daher war es in der vergangenen Zeit wieder sehr still um mich, aber heute kann ich endlich mit Euch teilen, was ich "ausgebrütet" habe: Ab heute bin ich publiziert!
 

At the beginning of the year I started working with the OZ-Verlag magazine, Lena's Patchwork, and today is the offical release date featuring five of my projects, including patterns and instructions! (German only)

Anfang des Jahres, habe ich angefangen, mit dem OZ-Verlag und der Zeitschrift "Lena's Patchwork" zusammenzuarbeiten und heute ist der Erstverkaufstag der aktuellen Ausgabe mit funf meiner eigenen Projekte, inklusive Schnittmuster und Anleitungen!
 

When I first started thinking of what kind of projects I would like to make with the "Sweet as Honey" collection from Bonnie Christine, I thought hmm, bees... hexagons... honey... and the tea time theme grew from there.  Here are a few snippits from the magazine which can be found in stands now!

Als ich begann, mit den "Sweet as Honey" Stoffen von Bonie Christine zu arbeiten, dachte ich "Hmmm, Bienen, Sechsecke, Honig… und daraus ist dann das "Tea Time" Thema erwachsen. Hier sind ein paar Glimpse von dem Magazin, das jetzt überall zum Verkauf ausliegt.
 

I've set up in the shop a special category for materials and supplies.... happy sewing!

Ich habe im Shop eine spezielle Kategorie angelegt, unter der Ihr die Materialien und "Zutaten" für die Projekte aus der Zeitschrift findet. Viel Spaß beim Nachnähen!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

One Pin a Week & Freezer Paper

Anyone who knows Pinterest, knows about the countless hours that one can spend searching, being filled with inspiration, and then only to look down and realize that an hour of what could have been creative time has vanished. I really like the idea that Lillesol und Pelle had to take some of your favorite pins and turn them into your own creations. So, I thought, why not join in on the fun?

Alle die Pinterest gut kennen, wissen, dass man schnell mehrere Stunden wertvoller eigener "Kreativ-Zeit" verlieren kann, während man durch die Inspirationen anderer Leute "browst". Ich finde daher die Idee von Lillesol und Pelle super, dass man einen Lieblings-Pin aus der eigenen Pinwand aussucht, und dann auf eigene Art umsetzt. Also dachte ich mir: "Warum nicht selbst an diesem Spaß teilnehmen?

Here's my inspiration pin from Knotted-Thread. I really like the rainbow colors and the pretty petal shape.

Hier ist mein Inspirations-Pin von Knotted-Thread.


Instead of using a patchwork method, as seen in my inspiration piece, I decided to use my favorite sewing technique using Freezer Paper Applique (FPA) to achieve the same look (which I will share at the end of this post) I decided to turn mine into a pillow using Cotton and Steel fabrics on a chambray denim background... a totally different look!

Anstatt mein eigenes Projekt in einem Patchwork-Stil zu nähen, habe ich liebe die "Freezer Paper Applique" Methode gewählt. (Anleitung am Ende des Post). Mein Projekt ist ein Kissen geworden mit Stoffen von Cotton and Steel auf einem Chambray-Denim Hintergrund... ein total anderer Look!


Want to try it too? You can start out by following the same steps from my Freezer Paper Applique (FPA) post found here (in English and German) I like to think of the FPA technique as a little bit like upholstering.

Wollt Ihr es auch ausprobieren? Hier geht es zur meinem Freezer Paper Applique (FPA) Post. Meiner Meinung nach ist die Freezer-Paper Technik ein bisschen wie Möbelpolsterei... 
 

Using a glue stick, wrap fabric around to the back side. Make sure to overlap the curves slightly.

Mit einem Klebestift die überstehenden Stoffkanten "einkleistern" und dann den Stoff umfalten und auf das Gefrierpapier aufkleben. Stoff in den Kurven leicht überlappen lassen


Here's the view of the finished template from the backside:

Und so sieht die fertige Schablone von der Rückseite her aus:


Once you have your finished template ready, you can sew it onto your main fabric using a straight stitch, or if you prefer, a blind stitch. Because I am using the applique on a pillow that will be used, and not on a card, the FP has to be removed

Wenn die Vorlage fertig ist, kann man sie ganz einfach mit einer geraden Naht, oder auch einer Blindnaht auf dem Hintergrund aufnähen. Da es sich bei diesem Projekt um ein Kissen handelt, muß das Gefrierpapier danach noch von der Rückseite her entfernt werden.


To remove the FP, simply cut 1/4 inch (ca. 5mm) from the stitch line on the backside of the project. 
 
Zum Entfernen, den Hintergundstoff von der Rückseite innen, ca. 5mm von der Naht ausschneiden.

Lightly moisten a towel and dab along the stitch line. Be sure to not over soak the piece. After the water has had a minute or two to set, gently remove the FP holding the seam slightly. The FP will easily pull away. If you have any little paper pieces left, you can use tweezers to remove it.

Ein Handtuch anfeuchten und damit den Stoff entlang der Naht abtupfen. Hierbei des Stück aber nicht zu sehr einweichen. Nachdem das Wasser 1 - 2 Minuten einweichen konnte, das Gefrierpapier vorsichtig herausziehen, in dem man den Stoff an der Naht festhält. Das Freezer Papier wird sich sehr leicht entfernen lassen. Bleiben doch ein paar kleine Fetzen zurück, können diese leicht mit einer Pinzette abgezupft werden.



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spoken Like a True Quilter

Recently I called my aunt, who has been quilting for as long as I've know her, to tell her some really exciting news. Over the last several months, she has received countless phone calls peppered with questions about techniques, how-to's, thread choices, machine settings, and of course lots of chatter about various on going projects, fabrics, and other sewing related news. But the purpose of my last call was to announce that I had finally finished my very first quilt! As I could hear the excitement in her voice about the big news, she then followed up with the obvious question of which quilt had I finished?....

Sheepishly, I had to admit with a laugh... neither... I started a totally new one!


Ever since Cotton & Steel announced the collaboration of five top, well known designers at the 2013 Spring Quilt Market, I've been waiting their release this summer. With strong colors and modern yet classic designs, all that coordinate within the collections, it's no wonder why the quilting scene has been all a buzz.


Since the fabrics have such large designs and really speak for themselves, I wanted to use a pattern that would show them off. This free pattern, Lap of Luxe by Quilt Dad, as featured on the Art Gallery Fabrics blog, was a perfect match for this collection.


 For the backing I used strips from an all time favorite of mine - Basic Grey's Grunge series. (I could literally eat this stuff by the bolt!)



I was very back and forth how I wanted to quilt this, but decided in the end, that simple straight line stitches worked with the quilt design the best, as well as letting the fabrics shine. Simple, I know, but one must start somewhere, right?





So... after my aunt had given a hearty, but all too knowing laugh about my starting two quilts and finishing a completely different one, she simply replied... "well, Ally, that was spoken like a true quilter." To be continued...

Fabrics, of course, found here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Taste Of What Is Yet To Come

To say that I've been sewing with a vengeance this past month would be quite the understatement. Too many projects have been running through my fingers these days... almost too many to keep up with. But it's all in preparation for our show this weekend.

With me quiet always equals busy. But even though it's been quiet, have you noticed that I've already posted almost twice as much as what I did last year? With two little ones, one really could consider this to be an accomplishment, even if it is a small one... but I still have some time, right?

So, how about a pre-show pre-view?
 


If you simply can't wait to see what I've made with these gorgeous, long-awaited Cotton & Steel fabrics, then stop by our booth at the Kreativ-Hamburg this weekend.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Matter of the Heart

They say that home is where the heart is, and while there is much truth in this, for me such a statement does not consider the reality of living abroad.

While driving recently, an old familiar song came on the radio that funnily every German seems to know word for word. The irony of it is that it is an old country song by John Denver, that actually has more meaning to me now that I am on the opposite side of the pond than when I was on the other side... "country roads, take me home, to the place I belong"... 


 Being somewhat annoyed with myself for having teared up while singing along, it was very much a confirmation that my heart ached for family and that familiar place that I once called "home". Living life in a different country is very much a fine balance between letting go of what once was, and embracing, blending, meshing, and creating a home in the new. 

So, I would assume that you have noticed that things have been very still around here, but with good reason. This summer has been about seeing my family, nestling in for a while in that old familiar place with no demands, and just being me. One cannot imagine the kinds of challenges one faces functioning daily in a language that you did not hear your own mother speaking to you from birth on.


But as I soaked in the flavors of the past, I felt a still in my soul. The place of my roots, the place where I feel connected to, and where I long for when I am away. My missing home should not be misinterpreted as discontent, quite the contrary. I have found my home here. Some time ago, a friend of mine said it best... "when you live in foreign country for a long time, you find that there is always something missing... no matter where you are."

My heart is in TWO places, and I call them both home.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Swoon!

So, I'm trying more and more quilting techniques and I have to say that I really like the process. Some parts are more exciting than others, but cutting squares all day long wouldn't get me very far either. Ultimately it's the end result that's the most rewarding.


I can really see the plus side of making mini quilts, especially as a beginner. It gives you the satisfaction of a quick project and something to show for sooner rather than later. As you can see, I'm still working with the Bonnie Christine fabrics, and wouldn't you say that it's more than obvious why?


I've just fallen in love with Camille Roskelley's "Swoon" pattern. This is just one square, so you can imagine how lovely this would be as a whole quilt! All in time, all in time... gotta start somewhere, right?
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