Sunday, June 25, 2017

Day of Aeronautics

This weekend two days of aeronautics took place at Frankfurt Airport. There were a lot of information about jobs in and around the airport and also 30 airplanes ranging from oldtimers from around the time of WW2, the world's biggest passanger plane (Airbuss A380), to next generation fuel cell powered planes.
My favorites were the oldtimers. Those old planes still had style.
 Some of them even had wooden propellers.



 The A380 is one big plane!
 We went on Saturday afternoon, and it was relatively empty. I actually went back on Sunday, and found more people about
 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Another Rug

When I moved out of the appartment in Dresden, I had four long curtains left. For one I found a space in my normal appartment, but what to do with the other three? Now, after finishing a couple of quilts I also had the cut offs left over you get when you square up the quilt.
I thought they go well with the off white color of the curtain, so I cut everything up into 1 1/2 inch wide stripes and started braiding.
My sewing machine got quite a work out (this braid is a bit thicker than others I made before) and it had to struggle sometimes to punch through the material. But in the end I (and it) prevailed.
This one is going into my new kitchen, once it arrives next week.

The placemats below are for my parents as they recently pointed out they didn't have a complete matching set of four.
Simple fishbone pattern sewn using 1 1/2 x 5 inch stripes and then attached to some linen cloth. They really liked them (and so do I)

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Three Finishes

I finished a couple of things.
First a cross stitch kit I picked up last year in Isafjordur/Iceland. The kit includes instructions for a pillow, but I'm not sure if I will go that extra step, or if I just leave it as a picture.
Second, a zipped-up tray pouch. I thought it a clever idea when I saw the pattern, so I gave it a try. I'm not overly happy with the material I used for the inlay as it's not stiff enough (I used what I had on hand), but other than that I'm quite happy. I'm sure to give it a second go.
 
Last, but not least, I flat project bag with one side clear and the backside a dresden plate I made using my newest ruler. A couple of German quilters are currently running a Quilt Along with a Block of the Month and the Dresden Plate was their April pattern.
The front is clear plastic (recycled from a plastic sleeve) with a set in zipper. The bag is big enough for circa 10 x 10 inch blocks (the whole back is circa 12 inch squared). I did quilt the back quite densely for added stiffness (and also because I think it looks nice)
I'm using the bag for my newest madness - a quilt sewn completely by hand using the English Paper Piecing method (EPP for short). Right now I got only four blocks done, but it's quite fun, so I have to see how far this will carry me.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Bookshelf Quilt

For a very special friend's (who happens to be a librarian) special birthday.
I saw a couple of those on the net and really liked the idea. The quilt turned out 165 x 195cm (65 x 78 inches)
I used a lot of scraps in the quilt, in fact, the only fabric I bought specifically for the quilt was the brown for the shelves and the backing (which is a flanell duvet cover)
I also incorporated this orphan block which was left over from some paper piecing experiment I made.
 My friend loves cats, so, naturally, I had to include one as well. Her cats are black and white, though, but this wouldn't have worked with the background, so this brown tabby it became. She didn't mind the color at all.
The print on the vase is some of my rare Japanese fabric from my last trip there many, many years ago. The flowers are from an ongoing EPP project.
Here on the back the quilting is more visible. I first went around all books using my walking foot. Then I free motioned the black background with more or less straight lines. Finally, I fmq'ed the shelves with some wood grain.

I had lots of fun making that quilt, the quilting came our great, and my friends loves it (which is the most important part.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Romans And Quilting

Last week I went to Israel for a week (mostly work, but I got a few hours for myself before my flight was due on the last day). On the way to the airport, I stopped at Caesarea, an ancient Roman city, and did some sight seeing.
While I was there I noticed that a lot of the mosaics they had unearthed resembled well known quilt patterns. Here some examples.
The Double Irish Chain:

Clamshells
Triangle:
And Orange Peel (I liked that one the best):
Now I try to imagine an ancient Roman household with a quilt throw on their bed *grin*

Monday, May 01, 2017

Goldfishpond - A Finished Quilt

I finished a quilt. Yeah! Go Me! Go Fish! ;-)
I did finish the quilt top already back in December, but only got around to make the actual quilt a few weeks ago (and then my stippling foot broke and I had to improvise). 
It is the first time I made a quilt following the pattern in a book, but when I saw the funny goldfishes on the cover of Bernadette Mayr's book I fell in love. I don't think I changed a single thing from the pattern, except maybe that I converted to American measurements, as all my rulers are in inches (rulers are only used to cut the blocks to size).
Making the quilt has been loads of fun. Not using a ruler when cutting can be quite liberating, and I was always curious how each of the fish would eventually turn out (that fellow below with the small overbite and the hump is totally my favorite)
For the binding I used an ombre yellow, which also adds to the quilt (I think)
I very much love the quilt and it's definitely one of my favorite quilts to date.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to you all.
When we went to Easter dinner at my sister's, she had the brother of this little fellow on the table.
Of course I had to ask for the pattern (it's from blog.kreativbuehne.de and is a freebie)
He turned out okay for the first result, but second time round I would use a different glue (I used liquid glue, but some tape with two adhesive sides would have been better)

Friday, April 14, 2017

This, That, And A Little Bit Of This, Too

A couple of smallish things have been finished.
First of I needed a new container to hold my cloth pins, after the handle of the basket I used to keep them in broke. I looked around and couldn't find something that I really liked, so I made my own thing.
First I made a paper template and then fudged my way through to the basket/bag above. It's attached to the rail with velcro. It turned out a bit on the small side, but is functional nonetheless, so I call it a win.

Next up, more pot holders.

Both pairs went to friends of mine.
I'm a bit surprised I still have cotton left overs, though I did managed to reduce the really small scraps by quite a bit.

Finally, I new pair of socks. Also a scrappy project as I used two different skeins, which each on their own wouldn't have been enough for a full pair. Pattern is 'Blender' and I simple switched the yarn every row and let the stripes surprise me. Not identical, but close enough.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

A Broken Foot

No, no, don't worry, it's not one of my feet. They are fine.
But I broke the quilting foot on my sewing machine. To be more precise, the bit of wire on top that causes the foot to hop up and down while quilting simply snapped.
Of course it happened in the middle of me quilting. Darn!
Then I remember reading somewhere that somebody recommended to break a foot on purpose then wrapping some rubber band around the top to put some pressure on the spring and then use the foot not as a hopping but as a sliding foot. As I couldn't get a foot fitting my machine on short notice anyway, I decided to give it a try.
It actually works pretty good. Nice about this is that the movement is not quite a jerky as with the hopping foot, and also that you can leave the tension of the upper thread at the normal machine setting (normally I have a setting of 4.6, which I need to reduce to around 3 for quilting).
Disadvantage is that if there's a bump in your quilt, you tend to get a bit of a snag there, and also that figuring out the perfect number of coils for the rubber band is a bit tricky.
The swirly waves are done with the intact foot, and the stippling is done with the modified foot. Looks good.
Anyway, I finished the quilting more or less without further problems and am in the middle of sewing the binding on.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

WiP

Currently, I have several ongoing sewing projects. I intent not to start another one, unless I've finished at least two, better even three. And with finish I mean a ready quilt, not just the top.
My current Works in Progress in order of lenght I've been working on them:
- Double Stars (Jan2016)
I have 30 blocks finished and think that's about it. I have settled on this layout, so all I need to finish the top is to sew the blocks together.
- Postage Stamps (9 patches) (Sep 2016)
At the moment I'm just putting 9 patches together, using 2 inch scraps. I'm not decided on the layout yet, but I have time for that. There are only 47 blocks so far. This is my least 'urgent' quilt, just a filler whenever I'm in the mood.
- Blue HST (Dec 2016)
I'm almost done with the blocks I need: 106 out of 111. Though I still need to do all the edge blocks, so this will take a bit longer still.
- Selvedge Feathers (Feb 2017)
So far I have 19 feathers done, so there are a few more to go. Still undecided on the layout, though I start to grow fond of placing the feather simply in opposing rows.
Other than that, I still have two quilt tops finished that need to get ready for quilting. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Scrappy

I decided I want a mat to place under my sewing machine. So I started to go through my scrap baskets (which is the place where I put all the really small scraps - less than 2 x 2 inches square), and cut anything that was still big enough into 1 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch squares.
When sewing fabric this small together, you loose 1/3 of the size to the seam allowance. Left side is the same number of squares as on the right, but the size goes down from 12 x 18 inches to 8 x 12 inches.
I also added some black 2 1/2 inch squares to the mix (which made for some interesting puzzling while sewing the whole thing together)
Eventually I ended up with a 21 x 12 inch large piece, which I quilted in the ditch and bound nicely.
 I fits perfectly under my sewing machine.

Anthother scrappy project is also in the works, but crochet instead of sewing. I'm using yarn I've still got left over from the Greenway blanket, so basically the same color selection (brown, blue, gray, and some off white)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Potholders (Once Again)

When I went through my yarn stash in Janauary, I noticed I've still got a lot of cotton scraps, so I decided to make another pair of my ever popular magic square potholders.
The first pair went together quickly. It's a rather wild color combination.
Except for the millions of ends to weave in (with those I don't trust just making a knot, even if it's on the inside and nobody will ever see it), they are quickly to make and a lot of fun.
I already cast on the next pair.

I've linked with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish It Friday.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Modern Hexies

Last weekend I had a workshop at the Quiltmanufaktur in Frankfurt.
The topic was 'Modern Hexies' and as I happened to have already a lot of hexies prepared I went to make a table runner (aim of the workshop was a pillow).

We learned two different methods to prepare the hexies (the classical one where you sew the hexis on the base and then the one with a fabric glue)
Then we learned how to prepare the background and fix the hexies to it before sewing them on.
As the sides of the hexies stay open when using this method, it's not recommended to make a quilt from it, but it's totally fine to make a pillow, a wall hanging, or, as in my case, a table runner.
Fixing the hexies in such a way that they stay in place while sewing is the hardest part and I had to rip out a couple of them after the first rows were sewn.
The method leaves a nice grid on the backside of the finished product (and it's more green than the petrol in the photo)
It's not perfect, but close enough for me.
I did leave a couple of spots empty, which I think makes for an interesting effect.
The table runner was finished and bound on Wednesday and went directly on to my table.
 I really like the effect and absolutely could think of making something like this again.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Feathers On My Brain

I few weeks ago while I was swimming in the hotel pool, I had an idea. Still wet and dripping I went to the reception and asked for some paper so I could sketch out the idea while it was still fresh on my mind.
Thing is, I've been collecting my selvedges (and also bought a bag full, or two) with the vague idea that I would like something made from it. A feather something, maybe.
My hotel pool idea was to make a couple and then set them at a thirty degree angle for a smallish quilt (150 ~ 160 cm x 130 ~ 140cm in size)
I started making feathers.
 They turned out bigger than I though they would (about 18 x 44cm each). They actually come together pretty quickly and I have 19 finished already.
After making a couple of them, I thought again about layout.
First option is straight. I would need about 28 feathers for this one (180cm x 140cm)
 Second option is my original idea. For a smallish quilt 20 feathers would be enough for a smallish quilt of 165cm x 140cm. The bigger version would take 30 feathers, but I think it would be too big.
 Option three is at a 45 degree angle. 25 feathers for a 160 cm by 150 cm quilt.
Of course, the size could be easily increased by adding a border.
Each of those layouts have something speaking for them. What do you think?

Finally, I have a quick finish to show. It's another of the little front pocket bags. I think they are super cute and come together rather quickly. This is number three already and will go to a friend.