Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Making Lemonade


These last weeks have been all about getting ready.... getting ready to print my latest pattern, Whirly Girl... getting ready for my upcoming class in Hildesheim... getting ready for both of my Nadelwelt classes... getting ready for my next pattern release... not to mention finishing the quilt top for the pattern after that... wheh!?!... and what do I have to share? Not much... yet.


Well, how about we start with what's NOT under wraps? This weekend I'm teaching another starch applique class, and for those that have never tried this technique, I usually recommend starting out with a simple block that covers a little bit of everything. Since circles and leaves are a staple in many applique blocks, it's the perfect place to begin.


Once those are mastered, it's time to move on to bigger and better things. A simple heart is an ideal shape to begin with because it addresses the issue of an inward curve. Those are the points that can sometimes be tricky to handle because there's just not much fabric to work with.


Last fall, I made a sample block to demonstrate the starch applique technique when I taught a weekend course with Patch-Yard. She made another appearnace just recently in Patchwork Professional, where I did a little how-to "workshop" along with the magazine feature.


Since I will demonstrate this block yet again at Nadelwelt, I thought it might be time to make a plan for all those sample blocks, not that I get stuck with a bunch of random, orphan blocks that only get thrown into the WIP box later.... so I started a little fabric pull. 


Thinking about it in hindsight, it might have been better to have a plan before I started - connecting these two blocks to each other is not the easiest divide to cross... not to mention that is a color combo that is way outside my comfort zone.


So, now I'm making lemonade out of lemons!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Instagram Birthday GIVEAWAY!


It's really not intentional, but somehow my quilt pattern releases seem to line up perfectly timed with my birthday. Even though it's no special number this year, it's still fun to explain to people that I've been 35 for 11 years now... so, you wanna celebrate big with me?


To participate in the giveaway then just pop on over to my Instagram page for a chance to win a 3" x 6" Flying Geese ruler from Bloc Loc PLUS a copy of my latest pattern, Whirly Girl!


When I approach a company about sponsoring a giveaway, for me it's about endorsing products that I actually use and am passionate about. I think I've shared before about my general dislike of HST's (half square triangles)... until a friend introduced me to Bloc Loc rulers. Talk about a game changer!?! So, I was really excited to hear that they also offer a ruler for Flying Geese.


 ... and since Whirly Girl has so many Flying Geese units, I thought it would be a perfect pair up for a giveaway.


Remember that my 20% discount in my entire Payhip shop ends on Sunday, March 24th (GMT+1)... just end the Sale Code: Whirly.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Whirly Girl Release + Shop SALE!


Oh, there's so much to share about the release of my Whirly Girl quilt, where do I begin? How about if I just jump to the good stuff first?...as part the of Whirly Girl release, I am offering a 20% discount on ALL my patterns in my Payhip shop, just enter the SALE CODE: Whirly. Sale ends Sunday, March 24th (GMT+1)


So, just in case you missed it yesterday, join me on the Whirly Girl blog hop, which starts with me today! Tomorrow, she'll show up with:

Melanie – March 15th
Sandra – March 16th
Alex - March 17th
Judith – March 18th 
Sharni - March 19th

I suppose it's been said, never ask someone to do something that you would not be willing to do yourself, right? And since I asked my testers to make at least a 3 x 3 row Whirly Girl quilt, I thought I could join in with them too!


In all reality, the truth of it is that a while back I ordered a few precious Cotton & Steel fabrics that had caught my eye, and you know how it is sometimes... some fabrics shout a little louder than others that they need to be made into something, and NOW! (am I the only one with talking fabrics?) Have you noticed that soft grey seems to have grown on me?


But somehow no matter how you slice it or dice it, the weather in Northern Germany has just not co-operated with me when it comes to taking photos... she won't pull back that thick veil of grey!?! Ok, well in all fairness, she did for about four days, but three of those four I was out for the count on the couch with a not so pretty cold. I think in some of these pictures you can literally see how thick it is.


I'm just glad that spring is on the way despite the weather... these little blooms are one of my favorites - "Märzbecher" in German, and they are the absolute perfection of spring daintiness.


Not only have I been battling the dense grey, but also the wind. I would have to say that we are give the "Windy City" a good run for their money!


Be sure to follow along on the blog hop this week, and hop on over to Instagrm to check out what my other patterns testers have whipped up - under the #whirlygirlquilt hashtag!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Whirly Girl Blog Hop Announcement


Tomorrow is the official release of my Whirly Girl quilt pattern... so, are you as excited as I am? To kick things off, I'm announcing a little Blog Hop that starts with the pattern release! I had so many talented pattern testers, and what was particularly exciting for me was that I had so many German testers in the mix... it really makes me feel more a part of the community where I am living!


So, here's where Whirly Girl will be taking you this week...
 
So before the official release tomorrow, I thought that I would leave you with a few color combinations as inspiration for your own Whirly Girl quilt...

I find that a cool color combination is one that I come back to over and over again when I am playing with colors. You'll be seeing more cool colors with my next pattern. (can you believe it's already in testers hands!?!)


Vibrant, warm, popping tones cooled down with grey accents are sure to keep things spicy...


I love gradient quilts, and what could make them better than using some highly saturated Alison Glass fabrics?
 

Things are super dramatic when combined on a dark background. I usually tend for high popping contrasts on white, but this version has me rethinking things...


But, not all quilts have to knock you over with a powerful punch of color - these sweet and soft pastel fabrics from Heather Ross are on my wish list... those strawberries are just too cute to pass up.


So, be sure to stop back again tomorrow for the official release, March 14th! (and a few other surprises) But before I see you again, I wanted to leave you with a few things that my pattern testers actually had to say about the pattern:


"For me the directions where easy to understand. I would call myself an intermediate quilter and it was fun to sewing the pattern. Because of the directions of the flying geese it is still interesting to sew and its great for chain piecing and comes together pretty fast but looks stunning at the end." - Christa

"The pattern has been a joy to make, I love the partial seam element - not too tricky and your instructions are really clear. Just a little challenge for a confident beginner. I also like how you can make it your own with colour placement.". - Helen

"What a great, easy pattern. I did a mini quilt early on in my quilting journey with partial seams and it has scared me ever since. (I do not recommend partial seams with 1 1/2" wide pieces!)  So, there was a little trepidation but when I got to this step it was sooo easy. I will not be scared of partial seams again!" - Naomi
 

"The directions were clear and easy to understand. I feel that intermediate/advanced quilters would still find this pattern very interesting. Although the blocks are simple in construction, the design comes together in a way that feels very modern and looks complex.

The cutting tables were easy to use. I loved that you broke each section into separate segments. This was a very useful feature because I like to break up the cutting and sewing into sections. It was also helpful in being able to choose colors as I went because I was able to audition fabrics for each section". - Erica


"I enjoyed making this quilt - I will make another in different colors for sure". - Suzanne

"The construction pictures made it very simple to follow and the block comes together great. The partial seam will never stop me again from sewing a particular pattern." - Regina

"Ich bin von dem Pattern sehr angetan. Es sind viele traditionelle Blöcke miteinander vereint. Sie ergeben zusammen ein verspieltes Layout. Die Anleitung finde ich besonders für Quiltanfänger toll aufgebaut. Du erklärst jede Methode genau und nachvollziehbar. Die einzelnen Schritte zusätzlich mit der entsprechenden Schnittabelle zu versehen, finde ich wirklich klasse". - Judith

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Whirly Girl To The Test


The countdown clock has officially started... in just a little over a week, Whirly Girl will make her public appearance! As I mentioned before, I have a really great group of pattern testers, and since I'm stuck behind the computer instead of the sewing machine, I thought it would be fun to share of few of other Whirly Girl versions...


Cecilia decided to use these fabulous Quantum fabrics from guicy_guice... I've been drooling over them for a while, and trying to convince myself that a girl can never have enough fabric.


Hildy had me at low volume and Basic Grey grunge... what a perfect combination for a sweet baby quilt. I've heard that there's already a new little bundle of joy wrapped up in this soft, pastel Whrily Girl quilt.


It's no secret that I am a big Alison Glass fan... give me a highly saturated fabric, and I am a happy girl. Jennifer put a fun rainbow twist on her version of Whrily Girl.


Are there any Tula fans in the house? Then Regina's yummy greens and teals are just the thing for to make #tulatroopsunite.


Bright, fun, and juicy is the only way that I can describe Erica's fun version. Lots of vibrant Cotton & Steel teal, citrons, and fuchsia, make this a fun summer quilt.


Don't you just love how a quilt can take on a completely different look, just by a few fabric changes. To see more of what my pattern testers have done, be sure to check out the #whirlygirlquilt hashtag. 

Whrily Girl releases next Thursday - March 14, 2019!
 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Patchwork Professional & On My Desk


Take a look... take a really close look. Do you see anyone that you might recognize?...


I have to admit that there is nothing more satisfying than finally being able to let the cat out of the bag after sitting on a secret for so long. One of those secrets is that I am featured this months' issue of Patchwork Professional (German speaking quilting magazine)... and what else do you think I would be talking about, but Starch Applique?!? In the magazine, I give a detailed step-by-step how-to of my favorite method... so if you are in Germany, but are not able to make it to Nadelwelt, then be sure to pick up the current issue.


So, speaking of starch applique and secrets, should I share a little more of both?... my current behind-the-scenes-project! I've already shared a few little sneak peeks, but this is my current cat-IN-the-bag-project...my next quilt pattern, and my goal is to have it finished by May so I can release it at Nadelwelt!


I've actually done more extensive marking than I usually do on a quilt, but this one will actually be more heavily quilted than my norm. I used the templates from the New York Beauty block to be repeated for the quilting.


So far, using this Bohin marking pencil has my favorite way to mark a quilt. I like that it that it feeks soft when using, but does not easily break. It stays marked longer than any chalk-like marking tools, plus it has refills... not to mention that I don't have to worry about not being able to get the markings out later on. How many times have we heard those horror stories of quilters that can't get their marked quilts clean... I just want to cry for them too!


After much debate, I've decided to use a double batting on this quilt. Not because I'm wanting to do show quilting, but because the quality of my favorite batting has gone down... you could see the backing from the quilt!?! I kind of like how puffy it is, but it really does add a lot of bulk to an otherwise smaller quilt.

So, do you think you will be able to wait until the next cat is ready to come out of the bag?
 

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Whirly Girl Intro!


Have you ever had to take the backseat to let someone else shine? Let them demand all the glory and attention of the center stage? Whirly Girl was actually intended to be my third pattern release, but in order to work on my Lovebirds' Garden pattern, allowing enough time for testers, she had to graciously step aside. Then a small window opened up only to have Home Sweet Home quietly tiptoe right past her... yet again!?!

... but now she has dusted herself off and is ready for the limelight! 


Perhaps you might even recognize her from behind?


Do you remember me mentioning going through my "purple phase"?... well, if we are giving credit where credit is due, then Whrily Girl most likely takes the blame for starting that trend.



Whirly Girl will be my first pattern without applique!?! I know, hard to believe, but I decided that I had to make up for it some way... so she is my first pattern sporting partial (or inset seams) Once you realize how easy partial seams are, you'll think that someone should feel guilty for having given them a bad rap.


Be looking to hear more about her in the weeks to come. Right now she is in good hands with my pattern testers now, but you don't have to wait much longer to have her in yours... Whirly Girl is scheduled for a March 14th release! If you just can't wait to see more, then be sure to check out what my pattern testers are up to on Instagram #whirlygirlquilt.


Quilt: Pattern: Whirly Girl, Campbell Soup Diary - scheduled March 14th, 2019 release
Started: October 2016
Fabrics: Alison Glass, Anna Maria Horner, Carolyn Friedlander, Cotton & Steel, various other designers.
Finished quilt size: ca. 60" x 75" in. (ca. 152  x 190 cm)

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

What's Missing In New York?


Perhaps its happened to you too...

You're on a mission. The goal is set. Your determination is firm... stay. on. course. And like an unexpected, glittery flea market on the side of the road, there is something that just beckons you to pull over, and have a look.



Finishing up Whirly Girl, is top of my list right now, hmmm... but she is with pattern testers at the moment. Get the next pattern together for a Nadelwelt release, hmmm... but that's in May. So, I suppose that one could argue that there's always time for a detour... stop and smell the roses, right?


Have you ever wondered what's been missing in New York? (well, at least with the New York Beauty block) I think I figured it out... applique!?! Or perhaps just like chocolate, applique just makes everything better.


And speaking of chocolate, short and sweet this week allows me to stay a bit longer on my pit stop.

How is it with you, are you on course, or have you stopped for a short detour?
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