Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Swell" Work in Progress

If you've been hanging around for at least a year or more, then you might remember this stack of fabrics and my original work in progress post... distraction #2,478 (or something like that). I've been asking myself how crazy it is that I have three, yup you heard right... THREE quilts in progress!?! They have all been set to the side for various, but all for very good reasons.

The current quilt that I am working on is Camille Roskelley's "Swell" quilt pattern from her Simply Retro book. The reason I put this one is hold is because of the same dilemma I seem to always run into with every quilt that I start... what size to make it? The finished quilt dimensions are about a large twin maybe full size, but of course we have a queen/king size bed, thus perhaps the expected back and forth... should I make it the same size as in the book? Should I make it bigger? If so, how much do I need to add... the questions got even more overwhelming to me as I considered each one. I finished the blocks to make the quilt as is a LONG time ago, but by the time I had decided to enlarge it, I calculated that I was only half way finished instead of being in the last lap of the home stretch... sigh!

Well, now she's been pulled back out, dusted off, and has been brought to the front burner to be finished off. It really helps a lot to have an actual quilt wall to see it all come together. It's been fun pulling out some of my old favorite Amy's, especially since I haven't seen them in a while... there's a total of five different collections represented here!

Speaking of back and forth debates... another question I've been pondering is whether to move my office and working space downstairs where there is almost triple the space - room for a quilt wall, space to spread out, room for a proper sewing table, storage space, and even a comfy space to relax, but no natural light. Option two is to stay put upstairs with my natural light, and closer to the center of things, but with limited space. Right now projects are always being shifted from one side to the other... any thoughts? 

Well, in any case, it sure is fun to dream... I could so totally see my finished quilt draped over this couch in the comfy corner of a new sewing space... hmmm?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday when all are awake on the other side of the pond!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


My original plan when I started making sewing models for our Kreativ Hamburg stand this fall was to make a mock skirt that I could later transition into something else. It made no sense to me to make something that could only be used for the show.... especially since my model has a (ah hum), slightly "trimmer" waistline than mine.

I used this great tutorial here for the arrow blocks... not to fret, no paper piecing involved. So, I thought that simple straight line quilting would show off the off-center design the best... and that's how I ended up with yet another pillow! (much more practical than a skirt that doesn't fit, right?)

After having cut my strips for the arrow tail into 45 degree angles, I thought it would be too bad to just throw away the sewn scraps... so, I decided to sew them together and make a cosmetic bag out of them, which has now become my sewing notions bag with my favorite and highly used sewing tools.

I love it when I find a way to use those wasted scraps. How about you, do you have any projects using leftover scraps or that you've transitioned from one project into another?... leave me a link!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Vogelhochzeit & Lena's Patchwork

Some time back my oldest son started a special tradition with his Omama (grandmother), that each time they would drive somewhere together he would always get a bon-bon and she would play his favorite CD, Vogelhochzeit (Bird Wedding.) The Vogelhochzeit is a sweet musical tale by a well known German composer Rolf Zuckowski. Unlike some other children's music, the whole CD is full from start to finish with melodic surprises that are truly a delight to hear.  

The tale starts out with a bird that wanted to have a wedding (Ein Vogel wollte Hochzeit machen)... "what does a bird do, who is alone? Do you all know what I mean? He looks for a spot in a tree, and sings his most beautiful song, and when he is lucky, soon a little female sits next to him."... and such delightful songs were the inspiration for my latest project's for Lena's Patchwork magazine (German):

The story progesses when the lonely bird greets his future mate and asks to sit next to her, they dance together, and later await the arrival of their baby. The mother-to-be bird dreams of one day flying again, but is happy to protect her little egg until the baby comes... and then later as expected "tick, tick, tick, what is knocking there in the egg"? (was klopft denn da im Ei?)

...the new little chick arrives and anxiously greets his parents "Hello Mama, Hello Papa, the time is up, and here I am. Hello Mama, Hello Papa, how are you, is everything OK?"

The little family soon finds out  that a baby chick is never full, but when he grows up that he wants to fly to the clouds, and knows that "he must learn a lot... dreams about the golden stars... wants to stand on his own legs... and fly the world alone."

The story comes to an end as the grown baby sits in his own tree and sings his most beautiful song... a bird wanted to have a wedding.

Models including patterns and sewing instruction in the Febuary issue of Lena's Patchwork magazine. Fabrics: Cori Dantini "Good Company" for Blend Fabrics.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Meet Edyta Sitar

Each person that quilts has their own understanding and definition of what modern quilting is. Although my own personal sewing and creative style tends to lean towards to working with more modern and current fabrics, I deeply appreciate a variety of styles when it comes to quilting, even very traditional.

Living on the other side of the pond, but following the American quilting scene quite closely, much of what is necessary for me to keep up on things is done behind the computer screen. So when I get an opportunity to meet a quilting legend in person, it doesn't take much to get me to jump. Since Holland is essentially just at my back door, I decided to travel to the tulip country to meet such a quilter.

Like most sewer's, Edyta Sitar's love of fabrics started at an early age. However, once she was introduced to the family tradition of quilting through her mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law, her passion developed wings, and really began to take flight. What makes Edyta's quilts unique and fascinating, and has become her trademark and signature style, is that she combines traditional small prints with colorful batiks, which most would not have dared to do.

Many of Edyta's quilt patterns mix traditional blocks with beautiful applique shapes. When I asked her how she originally started designing patterns, she shared that she had showed a quilt that she had designed at a public event, and afterwards she had numerous quilters approach her asking for the pattern. After working with a local quilt shop to sell the patterns and teach workshops, Laundry Basket Quilts was born.

Edyta also shared that about ten years ago she received offers from two different companies to design fabric, and has been designing fabric for Moda Fabrics since then. The Jelly Bean batiks with bright colors, adding that extra pop and interest are my favorites.

I found Edyta to be very warm and pleasant, and just as humorous in person as she is on her Moda Schoolhouse videos. Originally from Poland, but having grown up in Germany, and now living in the US, I can indentify with her in many ways, living an expat life myself and working to build a creative business.

In addition to Edyta's patterns, she also offers a Craftsy Class giving tips on fabric selection, piecing, and fusible appliqué, a variety of YouTube channel tutorials and how-to's, and has authored multiple books.
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