Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Not Quite My "Tah-Dah" Moment

I read a post this past week with tips for bloggers suggesting a few do's and don't's for what readers are looking for (or not looking for) when they visit sewing/quilting blogs. The tip that will always provide the biggest challenge for me is to keep text/content short. For a long-winded gal like me, who actually considers this my personal online journal that others just happen to be able to peek in and read, I don't seem to know any other way to do it. 

Another suggestion is that readers like to see progress.... not only pretty stacks of fabrics or one WIP after the other... but results. According to her feedback, most people like to see the process rather than just the tah-dah moment. So, with that being said and the middle of the year drawing close, I thought it would be appropriate to give a status update on my two quilts in progress:

Camille Roskelley quilt pattern, "Swell" from Simply Retro (shown only in part until final reveal)

Started: February 2014
Fabrics: Various Amy Butler collections and Kona Cotton white
Current Status: Pieced top completed except for border
Issues: Completed listed size and decided to make larger. Indecisive about whether to put border as shown in original quilt or continue design and make larger?

Carolyn Freidlander quilt pattern, "Facing East" from Savor Each Stitch (finished blocks for a lap quilt size)

Started: January 2015
Fabrics: Various low volume backgrounds, Basic Grey grunges, and Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, and various additional prints.
Issues: Completed lap size, but indecisive about making it biggger. Quilting concerns about how to quilt as a new quilter - quilt as you go or have it professionally quilted?

I guess I kind of view quilting as a race for a long distance runner. So far I have been a short distance sprinter, and am having to train for a whole new kind of race... one where I will need to increase my stamina and focus. I've wanted to just stop the race now and finish my two quilts as they are, but my husband (who is 6' 5", 195 cm and actually needs a long quilt) and my quilting friend have been rooting me on from the sidelines to push myself further and go the extra mile. 

Does quilting ever seem like a long distance race to you? Do you get discouraged when you have such set backs? (i.e. thinking you are almost done with a quilt and then realizing you need to make it bigger)

Linking up this week to WIP Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Alle Vögel sind schon da!

Through my children attending kindergarden, I have naturally picked up on a few "standard" songs that everyone knows here in Germany... big and small alike. Even though "Vogelhochzeit" is perhaps my all time favorite German children's music, one particularly cute song that crosses the lips of just about every child almost as soon as they can form words is "Alle Vögel sind schon da" (translated, all the birds are already there... spring wants to march in!)

...  and these sweet winged creatures were the inspiration for my latest projects as featured in the June issue of Anna Magazin. (Oz Verlag, Germany)

For me, there is nothing more delightful than to sit with my morning tea and marvel at my little feathered friends busily hopping, fluttering, and flying from place to place.

Occasionally a bushy-tailed, four-legged squirrel scampering around at the same busy, yet happy pace....

I was actually able to "borrow" a couple design elements from the fabric itself as the inspiration for my embellishments... simply free motion outlining on felt.

Patterns & Sewing Instructions: Allison Richter as featured in Anna Magazin (Germany)
Fabrics: Cori Dantini, Good Company for Blend Fabrics, "Alle Vögel sind schon da" fabric kits available in Germany here.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mother's Pickledish

Which crafter or quilter doesn't have at least one Pinterest board filled with inspiration and projects that keep calling, "make me, make me"? I found a mini quilt project recently, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it... here is my inspiration pin. Since I didn't have the book that was mentioned, I decided to use the free Pickledish pattern from Aneela Hoey. I did, however, make one minor change to her pattern. My fabric placement was way off when sewing the arches according to the directions, and I found I needed to add drawn lines to the arch template. Isn't that the beauty of a paper pieced pattern... just sew on the lines?

As part of my revised goals, it's been important to me is to try a variety of quilting techniques. Essentially the core of what I want to accomplish this year is to simply experiment.This mini project had me working on some curved piecing, which I've never really done in a quilting application before. I have to say that even though the technique has quite a bad reputation, I was pleased with the end result.

I really wanted to go with a dark background like in my inspiration piece, but in the end I felt like it was a nicer contrast with the low volume fabrics. Since I am using the piece on my table, I wanted to stick with some simple quilting.

I thought my Mother's Day bouquet of flowers looked custom made for my little table topper. When I'm not a pink and green girl, I'm totally an orange girl.

... and even my "big guy" gave me his own special bouquet. (he even did the flower arranging all by himself)

Much like Marianne Dashwood, I'm somewhat partial to freshly picked wildflowers to those grown in the hot house... how about you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I've been doing a lot of experimenting these days.... things that I've had on my to-do/to-try list for quite some time. When I had visited the Edyta Sitar workshop at the beginning of  the year, as part of the workshop we received a kit for her Little Butterflies mini quilt. I had decided that this small project would be perfect for experimenting with free motion quilting. The whole time I was working on this, I have to admit that I was thinking.... how in the world would I be able to manage a whole quilt. Ok, ok, this is the part where I have to remind myself... little bites.

After working with these sweet butterflies, I knew I wanted to repeat this project, but with a modern twist... then it hit me that the handcrafted prints and sun prints from Alison Glass were just the thing - modern versions of batiks, if you like. So, my basket project, that I thought would be on the backburner for quite a while, actually moved to the front burner a lot faster than I expected. I still have a couple of bodies to finish, but it's amazing to me how the same project takes on a completely different look with just a little fabric change!

I also really like how the project looks totally different by framing out the butterflies. I do, however, have to give credit where credit is due... it was my husband's idea to offset the butterflies alternately. (how great is that that the hubster gives me input?!?) Now for my usual dilemma... say it with me everyone - SIZE?!? Either I add some offset borders to make this a small baby size quilt or I go all out and make it big enough for a bed, but then that in itself creates the next dilemma of how to quilt it. Any thoughts?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday.

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