Friday, December 21, 2012

Just in time

I am absolutely positive that the world will not stop turning today. That said, I'm in need for Christmas presents, since there will be a Christmas celebration in three days. So it's good that I finished one this week, isn't it?

This quilt will be for a sweet little boy, my nephew to be precise. Okay, maybe I planned this as a gift for his birthday, which was in November, and maybe I did not finish it in time... (can you tell I'm slightly embarrassed over here?)

The fabric is 10 little things by Jenn Ski. This is actually just making use of leftovers. I had a layer cake and I made this quilt with it, and now I used up all the rest. I had to piece the longest strips of the log cabins together, but one can't really tell.  I paired it with Kona Cotton in white. The inspiration for it came from here.

The back is pieced together with some Kona Cotton Medium Grey and some cars and trucks fabric. This one was a lucky find at my local quilt shop, it was a remnant that turned out pretty big once I unfolded it at home (just grabbed it on the go and did not pay attention to it's measurements in the store).

Bound and quilted in orange.

I guess I really squeezed the best out of this layer cake, no? Have a nice weekend, everyone!!!

I'm linking up with TGIFF, which is hosted by Karen today, and Amandajean of crazy mom quilts!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sewing, assembly line style

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone had a good weekend. I went to the Christmas market, watched one kid laughing with glee and the other scream in horror while riding the carousel, ate some Bratwurst and bought some snow boots for our upcoming vacation. And I've been running my own little sweatshop manufacture in the evening.
I made some gifts for my son's pre-school teachers. I needed 10 gifts and decided to make some pouches. One can always use those, right?

They are fun and easy to make, and I had all the fabric in my stash. The one with the big flowers used to be a dishtowel from IKEA, there's some leftover Drawing Room from this bag, and the rest is some home dec weight fabric I shipped across the ocean. If you are ever in San Diego and looking for cheap, but great fabric for bags and such, you should definitely check out Home Fabric in Clairmont!
I used an assembly line style approach while making them, I inserted all the zippers first, ironed in between and finished them. Saved some time since I did not have to change the presser feet in between.

Now I only need to stuff the pouches with chocolate and I'm all set. Oh, and in case you have been counting 11 pouches: the Echino one stays here, that one is for myself...

I hope everyone is ready for the holidays, if not, have a productive week!

I'm linking up with Beth from Plum and June for the Monday link-up!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Under the Sea

Happy frosty Wednesday from the Winter Wonderland! No, I did not move to the North Pole, although it feels like it. We had about 10 inches of snow since the weekend, and the temperatures dropped to around 10 degrees F. So I thought I bring the ocean into my sewing room...

...aka, I started a new quilt. Yeah, I know, whatever happened to "I'm not starting anything new until something old is finished first!"? But ever since I cleaned my sewing room, this Kona Cotton Poseidon fat quarter bundle sat right there before me. Tempting me. Calling out my name. And I heard it. I had be debating with myself what to make with it, until I settled on a trip around the world quilt. Half of it is finished, but I plan on adding some solid sashing and maybe another one made out of squares.

The upper half is already pieced, stil need to do the rest...

The squares are 3 inches each, I found that makes the most out of a fat quarter. I plan on binding it in Kona Coral, to stay true to the ocean motto. If I'll finish this one on time, I might give it to my brother for Christmas. Can you believe that this is actually the first solids only quilt? What took me so long?

I'm linking up with Lee from freshly pieced for WIP Wednesday!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Clean up!

Hello, hello, it's been a while since I took part in WIP Wednesday over at freshly pieced! I just did not have anything quilty in progress at all. And, to be honest, my sewing room was so messy it actually hindered my creativity. Seriously, there was stuff everywhere! The table was totally messed up, all my scrap bins were dumped out on the floor, ...
Over the weekend, I finally set to work to clean up. It took me two days! But look here, do you see what I see?

 Fabric  sorted by color! An extra bin for all the WIPs! And I can actually open the little drawers again and reach my notions!

And look here, you can see the table top:

 I must say this was long overdue. I filled two garbage bags with stuff to throw out. It was also good to take stock of my WIPs. I came across those blocks, I think I started with this in the Spring of last year.

This one will be the next on the list now!

And last but not least, I even have a little finish to show today!

We don't really have the tradition of Christmas stockings in Germany, but on the 6th of December, the "Nikolaus" is coming to stuff the boots or stockings of the children. So big kid had to bring a stocking for the Nikolaus celebration in pre-school. And since I'm a quilter and not a knitter, I whipped this one up. I just drew up a stocking pattern, pieced some 2.5 inch squares together and lined it with Bella Solid in Natural. Little kid with get one now as well.

All in all, a productive week. More productivity can be seen here:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Win some, loose some

Today I'm showing you a failure. Well, maybe not a complete failure, but definitely one for me. I had this wonderful rayon jersey in my stash and wanted to make this shirt with it. Let me tell you that it's one thing to make cute little raglan jersey shirts in size 4T and quite a different thing to make a wrapped top out of slippery fabric! The pleats on the side gave me a headache and it took several tries to get it right. And when it was done, it did not look good on me. Showed the muffin top a bit took clearly...

However, it did look good on my friend Priska (and she just had her third little one five month ago!), so I gave it to her. So at least some good came out of my failure, she has a new shirt now.

Ich habe mich mal wieder an einem Burda-Schnitt probiert, Modell 119 aus Heft 10/2012. Und musste leider feststellen, dass es einen grossen Unterschied gibt, ob man ein Jerseyshirt in Gr. 104 naeht oder ein Wickelshirt aus Viskosejersey! Die Falten an der Seite waren eine Katastrophe und ich hab's erst nach drei Versuchen richtig hinbekommen. Und als ich es dann anprobiert habe, sah es eher unvorteilhaft aus hat hat den Rettungsring am Bauch doch eher betont  als kaschiert. An meiner Freundin Priska sieht es hingegen gut aus. Jetzt hat sie wenigstens ein neues Shirt, auch gut!

Linking up with creadienstag...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Winter Washi

Happy Monday on this very rainy, very bleak morning! I'm a bit sleep deprived today, my little one decided to wake up at 11 pm, 1 am and then at 5 am he was done with sleeping. And I thought it gets better the older they get. Oh well, it is called the terrible twos after all...

I did some more selfish sewing last week. A dress, to be precise. I'm a huge fan of Boden, I think they have very cute stuff, but I'm not a fan of their prices. I really liked this corduroy dress, but that's something that is so doable. So I did!

 I had this corduroy that was sitting in my stash. I was undecided what to do with it, thinking about a skirt. But after my Washi tunic turned out so well, I wanted to try the dress version. I did modfy it a bit, the skirt was a bit too full for my taste. I took away about 1.5 inches of fabric on each side. The sleeves are from the Tova pattern, I had that pattern out and it was a perfect fit for the Washi, no modifications needed. I was a bit skeptical about the cutout on the bodice, but that was actually no problem at all.

Here's a closer look at the fabric:

It's not as yellow as it looks, it really is more tan than anything else

Together with dark brown boots, it's another nice outfit for fall.

I hope you have a good, sunny start of the week!

I'm linking up with Megan from Canoe Ridge Creations for sew modern Monday and Beth of Plum and June!
Plum and June

Friday, November 23, 2012


= Thank Goodness I Finished This Quilt!!!!

Did you ever have this, that you started a quilt and thought: "Oh, it's just squares, I'll have that one finished in no time!"
Hey, well, pride comes before the fall. This quilt was comissioned by my sister-in-law. Her best friend just had a baby and she wanted to give a quilt. The new mom wanted a  simple design with squares. Since I knew it would be a girl, I thought that would be the perfect occassion to use my two charm packs of Aneela Hoey's A walk in the woods. So I put it all up on my design wall and did not like it at all. Something about these squares together just did not look right to me, there was too much going on. I needed to loose it all up. I ended up with nine patch blocks, the center block being solid white and with sashing in between the blocks. Simple enough, right? The quilt top was not the problem, that one came together quickly. But form there, it went downhill fast. It was requested that the quilt is a bit thicker, so I bought some really thick polyester batting. Turns out this was a little bit too thick, I hated the look of it. So I had to unbaste it, change the batting out (another fluffy polyester thing, but not as thick) and went to work quilting it. I thought I go with simple lattice lines. Well, after I had quilted half the quilt, I noticed there was a lot of puckering and the lines were not as straight as they should be, it was all very much on the crooked side. Let's just say the seam ripper and me have become very good friends now...

I basted the whole thing again, with about twice as much needles, and I marked the quilting lines with a ruler before I went anywhere near the sewing machine with it. I guess it turned out alright, but I'm glad this one went out the door and I won't have to look at it all the time....

Here's a better look at the fabric for the back, I had this one in my stash and I think it fits well with the little foxes, mushrooms and Red Riding Hood on the front.

Have a good weekend everyone!

I'm linking up with Em of Sewing by Moonlight, who is hosting TGIFF today and Amandajean from crazy mom quilts!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bad hair day Tova

Remember this fabric? I finally made something with it! Stop reading here if you don't want to see yet another Tova tunic, but that's what I made. Tova number four. I just could not help myself, I love this pattern! I think it's great for all seasons, and now in Winter I wear it with a long sleeved shirt underneath.

Here it is, my bad hair day Tova! My friend Priska is responsible for this name. She told me I should wear it on bad hair days because the tunic is so bright, nobody will look at my head when I have it on... . I think she especially meant the insert. Yes, I admit it's kind of in your face and super bright. But guess what, I love this shirt. It has this totally feel good, sunny groove to me.  To be honest, I'm not really a black clothes kind of girl. I think I have one black sweater and one pair of black pants in my closet, that's it. The rest of my clothes is pretty colorful and bright, so this tunic fits right in.

I rounded the corners of the insert and the collar on this one. I think that fits better with the tulip pattern of the fabric. What do you think?

I'm linking up with Canoe Ridge Creations for sew modern monday and Plum and June for the Let's get acquainted Monday link-up! Check out lots of other handmade goodness there...

Monday, November 12, 2012

Washi Monday

Happy Monday, I hope everyone has a good start into the new week. I started mine with a little bit of fabric shopping, what better way is there?

Yesterday, my kids took a really good nap, and since the house was clean and the laundry folded, I did a little bit of selfish sewing. I bought the Washi pattern the day Rae came out with it, and then it sat there in my sewing room and I never got around to making it. I also had two yards of Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi fabric sitting around.

Time + pattern + fabric =

A new tunic for me!

Yes, it could have gone terribly wrong to use to good fabric at the first try, but thankfully, it didn't. I'm happy with how it turned out. It fits well, I only had to take in the sides a bit. There was a bit too much fabric there and from the side I looked quite pregnant (which is never nice when you are actually not!)
It's a great pattern, well written and sews up fast. I attached the facing on the outside (okay, I admit that was by mistake, but I like the look of it!)

Together with a mustard cardi, burgundy corduroy pants and boots, it's a nice fall outfit!

I think I should warn you already, you might see a few of those popping up here over the next few weeks...

I'm linking up with Megan of Canoe Ridge Creations for sew modern monday!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Obsession

Is there a self-help group out there for Hexaholics? Because I think I'm obsessed...
Or in other words: It's growing on me. The only thing I worked on last week (okay, I did baste two quilts, but that doesn't really count) was my hexagon bench cover.

It's now a bit more than half the size I'll need to cover the bench (you can check out the story and last week's progress here).

There are a few favourites hidden in there, like this little guy:

or this one:

 and finally the owl and the dino:

My husband asked me the other night whether he should turn himself into a hexagon so I'll pay him more attention...

I am linking up with lots of handmade goodness over at freshly pieced for WIP Wednesday...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Crazy!

Happy Halloween! It's been a while since I linked up with Lee for WIP Wednesday...

 I just did not do so much sewing, just finished up this quilt. But now that that's of my table, I started new things. And I guess I have just official lost my mind.

My sister-in-law's BFF just had a baby, so I got commissioned with a baby quilt. She wanted to have something simple, a plain patchwork design. I showed my s-i-l some fabric and she picked A walk in the woods by Aneela Hoey. I had two charm packs and started laying out the squares on my design wall. But seeing them all like this, it just felt too much somehow, too cramped. So I added some white and made some nine patch blocks. Much better!

I had planned to finish this yesterday, and started basting it on Monday night. But I guess I'm in for a little more work - like undoing all the pins and basting it again. Here's the thing: The new mom wanted to have a thicker, cushier quilt. I bought some thick batting (polyester, ugh!). And I absolutely hate it.

So what do you think, should I just see this through or should I do it again with a nice cotton batting, even if it's thinner?

And now on to the crazy. The last time my parents came to visit, the brought a little bench for the children. Not just any bench, the one that already my brother and me used. So it's over 30 years old already. It needs new upholstery. And why just use a big piece of fabric when you can join tiny little pieces together?

Too be honest, that was not my idea alone, my friend Monika did this chair and I love it.  Here's what I've got so far. This will probably take forever, but I can already see them sitting on the bench playing I spy...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Salty Sharks

I finally finished my Salt Air quilt last night! But this morning, it was already renamed into Salty Sharks...

My older son (he's 4) is very interested in every quilt I make and believes it's for him. He really likes Stars, so when he saw this one, he really loved it. And he loved it even more when he discovered the fishtails on the fabric. And since every bigger fishtail is a shark's tail in his eyes, he called it his shark quilt. Hence the name Salty Sharks was born!

It took me way too long to finish this one! It was supposed to be our summer quilt for the sofa. But then I had this idea in my mind to hand quilt it, but I hated the look of it. It was a bit overwhelming and took the focus from the star flowers. Don't you hate it when the vision in your head clashes with the image before you? Anyway, I ripped it all out again and now I decided to stay true to the nautical theme and quilt it with wavy lines.

I used two charm packs of Cosmo Cricket's Salt Air fabric, but made the star flowers in different sizes. I followed the star flower block tutorial from Jennifer of Ellison Lane Quilts. The solid is Kona Cotton Aqua. Since I had leftover strips from where I cut the charms smaller, I made a little improv pieced panel for the back.

And here's a full view of the back:

The back is pieced with the improv panel, sashed in Kona Cotton Papaya, and some midnight blue shirting fabric. It's bound in Kona Cotton Crimson. The whole quilt measures 70 x 55 inches, so it's a generous lap size. I can't wait to snuggle under it!

Oh, and it's a good thing I finished it yesterday, so I can link up today for Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side and with crazy mom quilts!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let's get acquainted! My turn!

Hi everyone, today it's my turn on the Let's get acquainted blog hop! I'm so glad you are here, look around and make yourself right at home...

I'd like to  say a big THANK YOU! to Beth from Plum and June for organizing this wonderful blog hop. I've discovered so many great blogs and tutorials through this. Oh, and don't forget to hop over to Jenniffier's blog who's posting along with me today!

So for those of you who are here the first time today, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My name is Kerstin, and I live together with my husband and two little boys in the south of Germany. My mother taught me how to sew when I was a little girl, but I've really gotten back into it about five years ago. I made a quilt for my newborn son and was hooked! I love quilting, but I also love to sew clothes, so I alternate between the two. Here's a little peek at what I've been sewing up this year:

And here's the naked truth And here are some fun facts:

How long have I been quilting?
I've been seriously quilting for about five years now. There were a few patchwork blankets before that, but I really had no clue what I was doing...

Favorite quilting tips?
Always get the best possible tools that you can afford (rotary cutter, pins etc) and the more pins for basting, the better!

Favorite blogging tips?
It's your blog, you can and should write whatever you want and not what you think people want to read. Stay true to yourself. Have fun!

Favorite fabric?
There are so many I just love! But if I'd have to pick only one line, I'd go with Little Folks by Anna Maria Horner.

Favorite craft book?
Hm, that's a tie between Anna Maria Horner's book  Handmade Beginnings and Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing.

Favorite book?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Favorite children's book?
The hungry little caterpillar by Eric Carle

Favorite quilting tools?
Rotary cutter, my 6.5 inch square ruler, my sewing machine

Favorite music to listen to while quilting?
I usually listen to the radio or NPR podcasts. One of my favorites is Car Talk. Those guys just crack me up!

Favorite TV show while handstitching?
Grey's Anatomy

Binding by hand or machine?
Always by hand, it just looks nicer.

If I'd only known before I started this little blog...
How much work it is to post regularly. But that this work is so worth it because you get to meet so many nice fellow quilters out there, all over the world!

So now you know everything a lot more about me!

I also cooked up a little tutorial for you! I made a fall themed table runner,  and it combines improvisational piecing, applique and hand quilting.

Here's what you'll need:

- Strips or scraps of fall colored fabric
- 1 yard each of white and red colored fabric (the off white I used is some Bella Solid I don't know the name of anymore and the red is Kona Cardinal)
- paper templates of leafs (just turn to nature for inspiration!)
- lightweight fusible interfacing
- 1/4 yard of brown fabric for the binding
- batting
- embroidery floss

I started with taking four strips and sewed them together.

Next, I cut them up again with the rotary cutter:

The I added some more strips to get a bigger piece again:

Just piece it together improvisational!
Then I took out my paper templates and cut out leafs:

 After I put some lightweight fusible interfacing on the back of the leafs, I arranged them on a 15" square of white fabric and appliqued it with zig-zag stitches:

I added some red sashing around this block and joined three blocks in a row. The, I basted it like any other quilt sandwich:

I machine quilted in double lines around the white blocks, one line of stitches inside the block and one on the outside on the red sashing:

Then, I added some hand quilting with the embroidery floss around the leafs:

And last but not least, I attached the brown binding. And now it looks quite nice on my table, especially with the felt leaf garland I made last year!

I hope you enjoyed your visit here and maybe I could temp you to make a fall table runner for yourself?

And don't forget to visit my fellow blog hoppers this week:

Oct 23
         Tracey from The Peony Teacup
         Megan from City Stitches

Oct 25
        Kerstin from Sunset Sewing
        Jenniffier from Jenniffier's Sometimes Creative Life

Oct 30
        Shena from Apple Pie Patchwork
        Janice from better off thread