Friday, April 19, 2019

(Don't) Stop Me Now

.... I'm having a good time.
Or an obsession.
Here are:
Baker's Twine Potholder Nummero 2
 Baker's Twine Potholder Nummero 3
 Aaaaand Baker's Twine Potholder Nummero 4
Nope, not a problem. No way. Not at all.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Baker's Twine

Two weeks ago a friend of mine mentioned a new potholder pattern, which is quite popular right not. I checked it out, liked it, bought the pattern and got knitting.
The pattern itself is not difficult and the potholders knit up very quickly. I used less stitches than the pattern suggested, because they started out huge, and I like this size better (they are 20 x 20cm)
Knitting them is a bit hard on the fingers, as the knitting is rather tight, but the result is well worth the effort.
The potholders are nice a thick and the hangers are the 'dot on the letter i' to make them perfect.

I may have started with the next pair already ....

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Wonky Flower Baby Quilt

Sorry for being off for so long. Other stuff got in the way (nothing serious, just playing too much computer games)
Anyway, I finished the Wonky Flower Baby Quilt. And I love it!
The quilt is 100 x 110cm (40" x 44") and has wonky flowers in four different sizes (12", 10", 8", and 6")
For the backside I went through my stash and picked 12 semi solids for all colors of the rainbow. Each stripe is a little less than 4" tall.
I went for simply shadow quilting the flowers on the front (which ment to turn the quilt 24 times for each single flower!)
One of the most difficult decisions was what color to use for the binding, but in the end there was only one possible choice.
The baby in question is not here yet, so it will still need a label.
Very, very happy with the finished quilt. I hope the baby parents will love it too.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Wonky Flowers – A Tutorial

A couple of days ago, I came across a new trick that solved a problem I had with sewing Wonky Flowers. The problem was that I never managed to align the background very good, which leads to a lot of waste in fabric (as I used way more background fabric than needed). The trick also helps with keeping the stripes I've sewn before aligned, not necessary very important in ‘wonky’ flowers, but nice nonetheless.
For a 6 ½ inch block (6 inch final) I need:
-          7 x 7 inches background (green)
-          8   1 ½ x 3 inches background (green)
-          3   1 ½ x 6 ½ inches foreground (purple)
-          2   1 ½ x 3 inches foreground (purple)
-          1   1 ½ x 1 ½ inches flower center (yellow)
I assemble the foreground fabric to four stripes with background on either end, and one with the flower center in the middle: 
 Next I take one of the stripes without the flower center (that one is the last stripe to sew) and lay it right side to the right side of the background and pin it. The positioning is a little tilted and off-center (I found the best way to center it is to put it where you want it and then mark a line ½ inch to the center of fabric, away from one of the edges)
Sew along the edge and then fold over and press. 
Now comes the trick. Fold the open side over by ¼ inch (sew allowance) and press. Then dap a little bit of fabric glue on the folded over bit and fold to the other side (I just push it down with my fingers, don’t iron it) 
Turn the whole fabric over and – carefully! – cut through the background fabric, between it and the stripe. Fold the now open bit over and sew along the crease when you ironed the sew allowance over. 
Now you have a stripe perfectly aligned with the background.
You can cut back the extra background fabric away from the second seam (but don’t need to – I just think it looks nicer)

Repeat this with the other stripes. As the background is not moved while you sew on the stripes, it stays nice and square.
Once all stripes are sewn on, all that remains is to square the block to size.
Feel free to play around with the length and/or thickness of the stripes. The measurements I gave are something that works for me and my project. Your mileage may vary. They are called Wonky Flowers for a reason, and a bit of variation is always nice.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Triangle Quilt-A-Long

Last year Bernina (the sewing machine company) hosted a Quilt-A-Long for a Triangle Quilt. As a Quilt with triangles was on my quilting bucket list and as I had a nice layer cake that should be enough for the required triangles, I decided to go along.
Once every couple of weeks a pattern for a new set of triangles was posted on the Bernina blog and I sewed happily along with hundreds of other women (and men, I presume), making different triangles in different techniques. It was fun, really. A noticed fairly soon, that my thinking that I could swap out yardage with a layer cake was a bit on the optimistic side, but I still managed to finish all triangles with the fabric I had (there was some creative fudging required, but in the end it was just enough)
I finished the rows a couple of months ago, but then the whole thing sat in its box.
After x-mas I pulled those rows out and finally finished the top. Not all points are perfectly aligned, but nothing to obviously is standing out, so I'm content.
The top is huge (216 x 202 cm - 85 x 80 inches), and finding a place in my appartment to take pictures of wasn't so easy (and, I just can't get the complete top to show - I promise the right hand side is nothing too exciting, really).
I'm looking forward to quilting it, though handling this much fabric will be a chore. I hope to get to it before summer, as I already have a receptient in mind.





Friday, December 28, 2018

Back from Far Far Away

I've been rather quite the last month, and that nothing to do with the stressful time before Christmas, but rather with the fact that I escaped from that stressful time by taking a vacation a long way from home. It might not been my farthest vacation destination (that honour goes to New Zealand), but getting there took quite some time, as you actually can't fly there, but have to take a ship.
I still flew a long time, first to Buenos Aires, then further South to El Calafata in Patagonia, and then a little further South again to Ushuaia (the Southern most city in the world), to get on a ship (the Midnatsol) to cross the Drake Passage and finally reach my destination: Antarctica.
We saw icebergs

And Penguins

And whales

And has an alround fantastic time.

Monday, December 03, 2018

Boxy Bags and Books

I made two box bags (well, one is more of a pencilcase really, but the basic pattern is the same)
First bag is for holding my meds when I'm traveling. I used mostly white scraps and added a red cross in the last step. There is also a red cross on the other side of the bag. The starting fabric size is two times 20 x 20cm
The same pattern, but starting with 23 x 13cm gets this bag. Perfect size for pencils and other writing paraphenelia.
Next year's journal is covered in fabric. I saw a project like this on pinterest some time ago and put it on my 'have to make is one day' list. Finally, that day has come.
I made that travel journal for an upcoming trip. I used maps from an atlas I bought second hand to cover two pieces of cardboard.
The binding is a so-called accordion binding with six signatures (foldes stacks of paper). The advantage of this binding is that I still have room to add stuff to the book. The hinges and the closure is made with fake leather, which I did sew to the covers by hand.
Seriously, this is my favorite book binding project so far.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Paint, Paper and Paste

I've been playing with making paste paper.
First I used acrylic paint to paint a background.
Once the backgroundwas dry, I added a second layer of paint mixed with paste (I used plain wallpaper glue - next time maybe I'm trying something else)
Using a spatula made from cardboard or some other instrument I scrapped some of that paste away again, revealing the underlaying background.
 And then I let it dry again.
For my first attempts I'm very happy with the outcome.
It is a bit of a messy process, but it is also a lot of fun to do.
I also experimented with carving my own stamps.
I'm very much in love with that stamp (a made three papers based only one that one stamp so far). To add something extra, I used silver embossing powder on that last stamp layer.

Other then just playing with color (which is a goal in itself, because fun you know) I also have some other goal in mind. Which leads back to bookbinding.
The paper I used in this booklet is in fact money (5 Euro notes). They are lightly glued together on one side, so you can easily tear a note off anytime you want to pay for something.
I made two as presents.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Binding Books

I love books and I love to craft, so it was inevitable that at one point I'd try my hands on book binding.
First technique I've tried my hands on was the Japanese binding.
Fun technique and I certainly will try it again, but the disadvantage is the book doesn't lay flat once opened. I'm using it as a sketchbook, so no big problem, but something to keep in mind.
Next technique is the more classic coptic binding, were you sew your pages through the fold and then glue the back to secure it. For the cover I used the last of my Rome fabric.
Last book (for now) is a leather bound journal I've made as a little surprise for my role playing group. I had fun figuring out in which way to print the pages inside so they can be read in the proper order once they are bound.
 For the spine I used a cross stitch binding. I very, very much love it.
I do have a few more ideas, so those won't be the last books I'm binding ...

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Go Flames!

A couple of years back I went on vacation in the Canadian Rockies. Before I went there, I flew to Calgary and spent a night there. The next morning, while I was walking around, I was quite astonished when I saw a fire truck pass by with a big banner on the front which said 'Go Flames!'
I later learned that the Calgary Flames are a professional ice hockey team based in Calgary that, at that time, was competing in the Stanley Cup.
Anyway, my last quilt finish is also called Flames, but has nothing to do with ice hockey or any sport at all.
The quilt is from Rebecca Bryan's book 'Modern Rainbow'. I pretty much followed the pattern exactly and love how it came out. Mostly I like how fresh it looks, with the clear colors and the grey sashing that binds everything together.
I did use a small roll of 2 1/2" stripes in rainbow colors I bought at the Quiltmanufactur in Frankfurt together with some fabric from my stash.
For the back I used another roll in solid colors together with a greyish fabric reclaimed from a duvet cover.
The quilt top was finished back in May, but the quilting took some time (mostly because I refused to quilt in the summer when it was so hot). First I did sew along the grey strips in the sashing using my walking foot then free motion quilted a feather into each diamond.
I love how the quilt turned out. It doesn't have a home yet (and no label ... need to make a label), but I'm sure I'll find a place for it in the end.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Ripples

I've been working on this afghan for quite a while. It was abandoned for more than a year, when I picked it up again last month.
Basically, it's brown, blue and off white yarn left over from all kind of projects in more or less similar weight. I crocheted a simple ripples pattern, picking the colors pretty much random, except that I tended to go light-dark-light-dark, just to show of the ripple pattern nicely.
I didn't run out of yarn so much as deciding that I'm done (though I did manage to plow through quite a bit of my stash yarn and the selection got a bit thin in the end)
The size is 155 x 170 cm, which I think is a pretty decent size.
I still need to give it a wash (which, considering how many different yarns are in there, will be by hand in the tub - oh joy)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bracelets and Giraffes

I'm pretty sure that the fave for bead wrap bracelets is long gone, but that didn't stop me from making one. And then another one. And then a third.
If I hadn't run out of leather cord, I would have kept going .... (I've still got plenty of beads)

It's been a while already when I made this little, adorable giraffe. I used air hardening modeling clay, which I worked around a glas tea light holder (so the plant doesn't get in direct contact with the clay)
It's a b-day present for my sister, who loves giraffes. Hope she likes it.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Dany Bag

Every woman needs more handbags.
Rigth? (well, I'm actually most of the time an easy going backpack person, but sometimes I do get urges ... you know)
This is Dany. I've bought the pattern a while back already, but only now got around to the sewing.
As you can see, I've used jeans (once again). I also used parts of an handwoven African blanket, which I had just gotten from my mom. As I have little use from blankets myself (looking over to the ton of quilts and knitted and crochets blankets I've made myself), I thought of another use for it.
The bag itself has a lot of great details.

I particulary like the way the shoulder strap (which is made from rope) is connected with the closure of one of the outside pockets.
Speaking of pockets. This bag has plenty. Two at the side, two (invisible ones) behind the front panel and one in the back. For the lining of those outside pockets I used the coolest marvel fabric with Thor and Daredevil and Captain America and Ironman and Black Widow and ...
Sadely, I didn't have enough of this fabric for the inside, but luckily I had a pretty cool alternative in this comic themed fabric, which I picked up in this little store in I-can't-remember town and of which I should have bought more of, because, dang it, I love it.
Ah, the inside also has a double pocket.
All in all, very happy with the bag. It was fiddly in parts and my sewing machine had to work though some really thick patches, but I do love the finished bag.
I'm even thinking about a second one (you know, I have this one fabric, that would look really great ...)