Friday, July 30, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Sometimes when I look at a fabric, I already see a finished project in my head and know that if I get a chance to work with it, what I will make. So that is why it was really great for me to see what other creative projects were made out of that same fabric (plus I got a chance to visit some really great blogs!)

So, enough of the "quatsch"...

a big 'ol congrats goes to...

Chiarmika, who made this beautiful purse with fabrics from Tina Givens... lovely! (Just to let you know you have our little one to thank... we let him draw this time and he picked up every name except yours, so we decided that was our winner

Thanks to everyone who shared, I really loved seeing what you made! Even though the giveaway might be over, I would still love to see some more of your finished projects! (just leave me a link!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


O.K., so I just had to squeeze in some time to work with some of the new fabrics from Heather Bailey... can I just say, divine! Here is another friend for the little one that I made using one of Heather's new sewing patterns. These are originally designed to be pincushions, but I found that they were just a little small for what I had imagined... so I enlarged the pattern (which made it much easier to sew!)

This could be just one of the many projects that you could make, but you only have ONE DAY LEFT to enter to win fabrics from the Nicey Jane (or Modern Meadow) fabric collection. (see post below)

I have a feeling that with so many friends that are adding new additions to their own family that I will be pulling this pattern back out sooner than later... oh, how fun!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So in Love

I hope you haven't missed my blog giveaway (see previous post), because you only have until July 30th to show me what YOU'VE made. Come on now, I know you've made some pretty fabulous things with Still Water Designs fabrics because I've seen it on some of your blogs... so please share!

Speaking of people that make things and sharing, I recently stumbled on a super fantastic illustrators work that I have been drooling over ever since... Cori Dantini. (her Etsy shop found here) My only problem is that I only have one birthday per year, and that was already in March and the next holiday isn't until Thanksgiving, and Christmas is just too long to wait! I guess I would be extra thankful if my hubby would decide to give me one of these beautiful prints on the traditional non-gift-giving, turkey-eating day... quite tasty, don't you think?

What have you been drooling over lately?

Friday, July 16, 2010

What's on YOUR Desk (and a giveaway)

It seems like I have had a lot of orders that have run across my desk these days... it keeps me really busy, but that's definitely a good thing. I had an order that went out this week that I really enjoyed cutting and it left me wondering what wonderful things would be made from the fabrics that appeared to be so carefully selected... soft, sweet, and just right for summer.

Es scheint, als würden dieser Tage besonders viele Bestellungen über meinen Tisch gehen... das ist natürlich toll, aber auch ganz schön stressig. Ein Auftrag aus der vergangenen Woche hat mir dabei besonders viel Freude gemacht und ich stelle mir die ganze Zeit vor, was für wundervolle Sachen wohl aus den Stoffen entstehen, die so sorgsam ausgewählt wurden - weich, süß und einfach sommerlich!

Since I haven't been able to get around to work with all the fabrics that I would like to myself, I thought I would see what you have been doing with them... so if you happen to have bought fabrics from Still Water Designs (or from SWD on Dawanda), I would love to see what you have made. Have you posted about one of your projects on your blog? Leave me the link in the comments section, I would love to see what wonderful things you have created!
By the way... I love reading your comments in German! I have to get my practice in somehow, right?

Da ich schon länger nicht mehr dazu gekommen bin, selber mit einer größeren Bandbreite meiner eigenen Stoffe zu arbeiten, dachte ich, es wäre toll zu sehen, was ihr damit gemacht habt. Wenn ihr also Stoffe von oder in unserem DAWANDA Shop gekauft habt, wäre ich begeistert zu sehen, was daraus geworden ist. Hast du vielleicht schon über dein Projekt in deinem Blog berichtet? Dann kopiere einfach den Link als Kommentar!

Well then, you didn't think I would just leave it at that did you? How about a little giveaway too?!? I'll be giving away fabric from one of my new collections, Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow (your choice of four FQ's or two half meters) OR Heather Bailey's Nicey Jane (same deal, your choice of four FQ's or two half meters) Don't have a blog?... what about a flikr page or your own website... just leave me some kind of link where we can see what you've made (or send an e-mail to I'll run this giveaway a little longer since you might have that fabric sitting on your desk saying.... "well, go on then... make me into something beautifull!" I'll announce the winner July 30th. Happy Sewing!

Jetzt habt ihr aber ja nicht gedacht, ich würde es einfach so hierbei belassen, oder? Wie wär's mit einem kleinen Gewinnspiel?!? Als Preise gibt es Stoffe aus Joel Dewberry's neuer Kollektion "Modern Meadow", oder alternativ aus Heather Bailey's "Nicey Jane". Die Gewinnerin (wahrscheinlich ist es ja eine "sie"...) hat die Wahl zwischen 4 Fat Quartern (ca. 50 x 55 cm) oder zwei 0,5 m Stücken aus einer dieser beiden Kollektionen. Du hast keinen Blog? Vielleicht aber eine flikr Seite, oder facebook oder Deine eigene Homepage? Oder schicke einfach eine eMail mit Fotos an Und was ist, wenn deine Stoffe noch schön auf einem Stapel liegen und sehnsüchtig auf ihre Verarbeitung warten? Kein Problem, das Gewinnspiel läuft bis zum 30. Juli; jede Menge Zeit also, um kreativ zu werden!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beat the Heat

Last week was a whirlwind of busyness... you know, the kind of week that starts with a mile-long Monday-to-do-list and somehow Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday got skipped because it is now Friday? It seems as if it was almost like giving birth again to get everything accomplished before the weekend.

This past Friday was my mother-in-laws birthday so we traveled to my husband's hometown to celebrate. Our gathering was not like last year's big
birthday party, but instead a quiet, relaxed family time, which consisted of doing pretty much nothing... which is exactly what we needed! I guess it was too hot to do anything that fantastic other than hook up the sprinkler in the garden to keep the kids and plants well watered and find some nice shaded spot and stay there until the sun made you find another.

I remember when my parents came over last summer, they asked me what they should pack for the stay here. There seemed to be a long, puzzled silence on the other end of the phone when I said, "bring EVERYTHING"... Long sleeves, short sleeves, long pants, short pants, closed toed shoes, open toed shoes, jackets, and tank tops... in Northern Germany one really has to be prepared for anything weather-wise. Which is why this heat wave seems to be quite unusual. The first summer I was in Germany (four years ago just shortly before I moved here) we had such a heat wave. I thought, hey, this isn't so bad... the weather is just about like it was back home. There were a few scorching hot days where I begged my husband to let me sit with him on the combine harvester just because it had air conditioning (mind you, it was the WHOLE day!), then we had some very pleasant skirt and sandal weather where you leave the doors and windows open all day, and then a few rainy days, but nothing that prepared me for the what can be the normal cold, rainy, un-summer like weather that one can find here too.

So one would think that I would be rejoicing and shouting from the rooftops that we have now had several days of 35 C weather (that's 95 F
HOT!) But when you grew up knowing and loving air conditioning and then move where you are without it, it is a whole other ballgame. Since living here I have now learned how to do the whole window and curtain management throughout the day to keep the house as cool as possible... one would just not believe that it is almost a science, but it is.

So wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I hope you are staying cool and well-watered.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Show Us Your Stash - Thread!

The ladies at Sew Mama Sew are doing a great giveaway with some of the brand new Amy Butler and Kaffe Fassett threads. The four collections are hand picked by the designers to coordinate with their fabric collections, which provide high quality threads that really take some of the "guess work" out of finding that perfect thread.

Image: Sew Mama Sew

They would like to see personal thread collections and know a little about what influences decisions when choosing and purchasing threads, so I thought that I would share mine. I can't say that my collection is anything out of the ordinary, but it's not hard to tell that color is where my heart is...

How did you select colors for your personal thread collection?
It seems as if I tend to lean towards jewel tones, so I end up having a lot of pinks, purples, greens, and blues, but I do love having a strong accent of orange to make things pop.

Do you always match the color perfectly to your project?
Sometimes, but not always. I believe that when a color is a slight shade lighter or a shade darker it can add some fabulous interest and contrast. I have never been a matchy-matchy kind of girl.

Do you ever use contrasting thread?
Absolutely! Just because it is thread doesn't mean that it can't make a strong statement too. A contrasting thread can add so much to a design.

Do you use the same color in the bobbin as the upper thread?
It depends on the project. If the stitches on the back don't show then I use white thread with a color on the top so as to not use up all my color thread. I often use different color threads for the bobbin and upper thread when I am sewing purses because I like to use a contrasting color lining rather than matching the exterior fabric.

What if a fabric has big areas of very different colors?
I usually pick the color that comes across the strongest... squinting your eyes can really help.

Do you have any tips or suggestions about choosing thread?
Don't waste time running from store to store to fine the EXACT match. You will often never find it. As long as it is in the same color family, you would be surprised what can work.

Do you ever buy thread because you fall in love with the color (without a particular project in mind)?
I actually buy all kinds of things with no particular project in mind. Sometimes I might sit on it for a year and then suddenly it jumps out almost as if to say... "this is the project I was made for!"

Do you “invest” in thread?
I'm not sure if avoiding cheap thread would be considered "investing", but I do like to sew with a good quality thread.

What types of thread do you have? (elastic, quilting, all-purpose, wool, etc.)
Mostly all purpose, but I do have a few multi-colored and metallic threads that I like to use as accent and decorative threads. I do have a few "vintage" threads that I inherited from my mom's stash of threads. I like seeing the worn labels and I find it hard to use up that last little bit... it's so hard letting go.

For some reason, I've held onto a few of my "finished" spools of thread. I guess it is because I feel a certain sense of accomplishment having actually made that many stitches. Don't worry Mom, they'll make it to the trash can one day!

Do you collect thread too?

Monday, July 5, 2010

July 4th - International Stlye

So I guess I've been running a little slower these days... and it was really confirmed to me just how slow when I suggested to my husband last week that we should have a big 4th of July party. He kind of "burst my bubble" when he told me that the 4th was the upcoming weekend and that most of our friends had already made their weekend plans!?! ... but we did manage to get together with some really close friends (the same friends that were at last years 4th party). You know, those really relaxed- you can literally put anything in front of them and they would be perfectly happy - kind of people?

So, as tradition would have it, what does one think to eat for one of the biggest picnic and barbecue days of the year?... burgers, right?... BUT with temperatures hovering in the high 90's and no air conditioning, (oh, just one of the joys of living in Europe!) I had no desire to heat up the kitchen any hotter than it already was. I guess as they say... "while in Rome, do as the Romans do"... "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em"... you get my drift... so, what else would you serve a hungry group of Germans for dinner... sandwiches?!? (what, did you think I would say beer and bratwurst?!?)

I have often laughed about this with my German husband that many families eat sandwiches EVERY night for dinner, but I gotta admit when it is really hot outside it does make a whole lot of sense... of course I had to put an "American twist" on it. I even pulled out our "finest" picnic silverware for a light dinner with my Mom's recipe for chicken salad, fresh croissants from the bakery, veggies and dip, and chips... simple, light, and easy! As expected, we had American flags welcoming our guests in the driveway and as table decorations too. (yeah, I know, just the kind of thing that so many people find to be so "cheesy" about Americans, but yet it is still so fun to do)

I do however, have to say that this was the very first 4th that I have watched a World Cup soccer game.... EVER! Probably because soccer does not fall into America's most beloved sport... maybe there is too much "competition" from other sports or perhaps it's that our team never makes very far in the World Cup for many to even care. (you know, fair-weathered-fans) So I've traded in cheering for red, white and blue and switched to black, red, and gold. (Germany's colors... not to mention that cheering for the winning team is much more fun!) I think "my boys" were really into the game....

The evening was capped off by a fresh lime pie that my friend brought topped with fresh strawberries and listening to the sounds of one of my husband's favorite CD's. (check out the samples here) His aunt picked this up as a gift for us a year ago while she was on vacation... she was very excited to have found something so "American" for us.

I am finding that the traditions that I once knew are evolving and developing into new ones. I love introducing a small piece of what makes me who I am to my friends and family. I guess the challenge that I will always have is holding onto that while embracing what is a part of the culture that makes my husband who he is.
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