Friday, November 10, 2017

Off-centre: A modern baby girl quilt

Maybe even too modern?

Lenis Quilt

What do you think? It is off-centre, has lots of negative space, wonky squares and linear and free-motion quilting.

Detail of quilting2

Detail of quilting1

I regret using a contrasting white Aurifil for the quilting. It works well within the white frames but I think I should have chosen a blending thread for quilting the negative space.

Binding and backing

The back is more little-girl-ish: Anne Kelle’s Kites on flannel surprisingly matched well with most of the scraps I used within the wonky squares.


Of course it showcases the baby’s name.

Detail of applique

I chose raw-edge appliqué again but changed the width often to match the width of the letters/strokes (does that make sense? You can see the width difference in the photo above).

Leni rolled up

So, all in all, what do you think? Too modern for a new born? Too much grey?
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Happy quilting everyone!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Defractured – a baby boy quilt

I can’t believe I actually finished a quilt. It’s been such a long time! Don’t get me wrong: I haven’t been quilting much lately, infact I haven’t been sewing much at all (my mojo went missing). But FINISHING a quilt that’s something that has not happened here for a very loooooong time…

All that was needed to get me going was another baby to be born. Not mine. But my friends’. And another one (from my sister). And another one (from my colleague at work). So even if I finished ONE quilt now, I am already late for the other two… (stay tuned for more though, I am on a roll recently…)

And now, without much further ado, here is the baby quilt that I made for my friend’s second son:

Quilt Vincent Kopie

In the upper left, the hexagons are still regular. They start to fall apart in the lower left part and are completely defractured in right half. Things can be pretty in life even if they are irregular. Harmony can be found in the oddest shapes, forms and places.

I combined low volume fabrics with vibrant boy-ish prints in blue, turquoise, grey, and different shades of green.

Detail of quilting 2

I decided to keep the quilting simple: I used the stitch-in-the-ditch method and only quilted within the main (block) seams.

Detail of quilting

I used a white backing with little blue pluses and a scrappy binding from leftover low volume strips.

Binding and backing

No baby quilt leaves this house without the baby’s name on it! Although I am not a huge fan of serifs, I instantly fell in love with this font. I admit that I hated those tiny serifs even more when tacking them down with my sewing machine. I used a broad zig zag stitch for this raw-edge appliqué.

Name applique

One last photo and I am off to visit the newborn!

Photo of photo

May there be many more babies to come (or I will never finish my WIPs).

Do you sometimes need some extra motivation? Did you ever loose your mojo? How did you get it back? Any tips or tricks that you want to share?

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

And the winner is…

Thank you very much for your comments and your interest in our little design challenge. I really enjoyed reading about your approach to quilt design vs. using a pattern. I think it is funny that most of us use a pattern but give it a personal touch by altering it on the go. Somehow we all like to put our heart and our personality into our quilts.


Now without further ado, here is the random winner of Brigitte’s book and of my mini quilt/ pillow cover;


Congratulations, Helen! I hope you’ll enjoy her book as much as I do.
I’ll be in touch via E-Mail soon (o:

Happy Sewing!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Zen Chic Inspired – a design challenge and a giveaway

As you might have seen, Brigitte Heitland, the person behind “Zen Chic”, published her first book with Martingale.

the book
In “Zen Chic Inspired” she describes her approach to designing quilts that really match one’s peronal style. She begins by questioning if you ever bought fabric that you loved when it was on display at your LQS but at home you realise that it looks less appealing and strangely out of place?! Yes. Me. Guilty.

She then shows how to design quilts that match your living space: your flat, your house, your mobile home. She starts from a photograph of a room and deducts shapes and colours from it.

the challenge
When she wrote the book, several members of our Modern Quilt Guild Bielefeld, helped her sewing the quilt tops (yes, me too). Brigitte threw a party when she received the first copies of the book and we had a blast sketching quilt designs based on random photographs that evening. We decided to carry it a bit further and to make a little MQGB challenge – just for fun. Brigitte chose a picture and we were to make a matching quilt, mini quilt, table runner, wall hanging, etc. based on it.

Houseology Interiors, flickr
photo by Houseology Interiors, flickr

fabrics and colours
In her book Brigitte shows different ways to deduct colours from a photo. I tried Moda’s Palette Builder: but seeing that I was on a short timeline (no time for ordering and waiting for shipping of chosen fabrics) I pulled solid fabrics from my stash instead:


Next up was shapes and design. I liked the shapes of the lampshades but as there is similar quilt in Brigitte’s book I thought it might be too simple to just copy her quilt. I still wonder how it happend that I chose the wall clock instead.

Here’s a close up of the clock:

wall clock

And these were my first thougts for a possible design:


I never made a dresden plate before so this was entirely new to me. I thought of differnt sizes for the wedges and of using negative space between them.

work in progress
I found a tutorial “how to make your own dresden plate template” here and just followed the instructions. Easy peasy. I can recommend this tutorial, if you ever want to make dresden plate templates in your exact size.

Once done with sewing the wedges together (I skipped the wonky idea and made a “traditional” dresden plate), I wondered how to achieve that translucent look of the wall clock. I opted for a second layer, more fragile and quite thin. I made another template and drew the design directy onto the paper side of a fusible web.


The next step was tedious. I ironed the fusible web onto a light grey fabric and had to cut out all the shapes with an exacto-knife.


The dresden plate was ironed onto the background fabric and the second layer was ironed onto the dresden plate:


I appliquéd the second layer with my sewing machine, using a wide and dense zig zag stitch in a similar light grey aurifil thread. Thereby I attached two layers in one step. Here is close up shot:

Detail of applique

I kept the quilting fairly simple and just stitched some straigt lines “radiating” from the tips of the wedges, using a white aurifil thread.

the result

Mini Quilt Zen Chic Inspired Challenge

The binding is made of the same newspaper print (from Brigitte’s Modern Background fabric line) that I used to break up the solids-only-look of the dresden plate.

I added a zipper and an extra backing at the back so this mini quilt can double up as a pillow cover.


Here’s a photoshop image, showing how the mini quilt might look as a wall hanging in the original room:

Graphic mit Mini Quilt

This challenge was a greate experience for me. If you look at the quilts I made during the last years you will discover that I rarely follow quilt patterns. I love to make up my own designs. This book helps me to get better at choosing fabrics and designs matching the surroundings/ person the quilt is intended for. When I plan to sew a quilt for my sister next, I’ll snap a photo of her home first. Of course I know her living room, but do I really remember the hues of green she used for decorations? No. And I might not have noticed the unique shape of that armchair leg that I could use as a shape in my quilt design.

So if YOU like to design your own quilts, this book is for you. And if YOU have always be terrified by the thought of designing your own quilt, this book is for you, too! I takes you step by step through the design process and includes 12 patterns, deducted from 12 different photos of 12 living spaces.

If you’d like your own book, Brigitte offers signed copies here.

As a bonus for those who read through this lengthy post, I will give away one copy of “Zen Chic Inspired” AND the mini quilt I made. Just leave me a comment below, telling me if you prefer to design your own quilts or if you rather follow quilt patterns (there are so many lovely ones out there!).

This giveaway is open until midnight, May 29th, CEST. I will draw a random winner on May 30th.

Happy sewing everyone!

P.S. If you’d like to see who else participated in the challenge and what they designed for the same room, click here and here.

P.P.S. Yes, Brigitte is my friend but yes, these thoughts are my thoughts and I really like the book. And no, I don’t get paid for writing a review and yes, I really bought this book to give it away to you.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Sewing for boys – a picture post

I am still here! I was MIA here lately (again) but have been sewing lots of clothes during this last winter.

This is a picture post about some of the apparel I made for my sons, nephews, and godsons. Some pieces were gifted before I took time to take a photo…

Many pairs of trousers, this is about half of the lot I made.

IMG_9802  IMG_9797

IMG_9759  IMG_9741

IMG_9784  IMG_9460 

And then T-Shirts, short and longsleved. Here are two of them. I love sewing according to the boys interests.

IMG_9752 IMG_9794

And then I made two jackets for my youngest.

One outdoor version that is made from a softshell fabric he chose at our local fabric store. I doubted his choice at first but am now in love with his new jacket. He wears it every day and is very proud that he helped making it.


Rupi zeichnet das Schnittmuster ab

Rupi näht

This is the indoor version, made from a blue and white/grey knit fabric. I made visible seams with my new Bernina Coverlock machine.

Rupi knit sweater

And then little boy chose this sheep-fabric for another sweater. It turned out too large for him so now big boy gets to wear it first…

Rupis Schafe

This was the boys’ lot. See you soon with the clothes I made for the girls in our family!

Do you have a great pattern for boys’ apparel that you can recommend?

Keep Sewing and Happy Mother’s Day!!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

An old friend revisited

Remember this sweet baby quilt? I made it years ago and was never able to let it go (aka give it away). But I finally found a home for it – my sister’s third baby received it for his christening.

I had to go back to fix it before wrapping and gifting, though. Back then I chose a zigzag stitch that was too narrow for the raw-edge appliqué. So the fabric began to fray after the first wash. Duh.


So I added another MUCH wider zigzag stitch to stop the fraying…

Detail of quilting_thumb[2]

… and I added the little boys name, too. Thankfully my sister and my BIL chose another short name – very sewist-friendly (o;


Here’s a full view of the fixed version. One hardly recognizes the added stitches from a distance, does one?

Theos Quilt_thumb[9]

I am happy I was finally able to let it go. Because that’s what quilts are meant for, aren’t they? To bring joy and comfort to someone we love.

Happy quilting!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Upcycling: denim meets neon and SnapPap

I recently finished two upcycling projects, both made from worn out denim jeans.

I turned my husbands favourite pair of jeans into a little boxy bag, lined with travel themed fabric.

One of the back pockets found it's new function as side panel. 

I used neon green thread to add some fresh accents and as I forgot the handles initially (duh...), I used some neon green zippers as a last minute fix. I covered the multiple-stitched ends under some scraps of SnapPap (aka "Vegan Leather", washable and sew-able thick paper).

The second project was way quicker... I found the instruction for a flatcap in a book I recently bought (I might have bought it just for the cap...) and used one of big boy's holey pair of jeans to make a flatcap for little boy.

I couldn't resist adding a bit of SnapPap and some neon green thread, too.

My favourite bit is the little punched star I attached to the screen.

Here's a close-up shot.

Miriam, thanks for the inspiration!!!

Do you have favourite upcycling projects? Or worn out clothes you want to re-use and upcycle? Please share so I can turn more of our old denim wear into new things.

Happy sewing

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