Wednesday, May 30, 2012

King of Frogs

Sew Happy Geek is hosting a Mini Quilt Competition called PLAY.

SewHappyGeek Play Button

Participants are asked to interpret one standard playing card using fabric and thread. 
Now here's mine...

I read about the competition only on Monday. 
And thought I'd never be able to whip up something to participate.
But when I was preparing for London (sorting and organizing fabrics, threads and notions),
 my eyes fell on a fabric featuring little frogs. And then I knew what I wanted to do...

The mini quilt is going to be a gift for my "canadian dad" who collects playing card decks.

And now there is some laundry to be done :o(

Happy Sewing!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

FQSR Blog Hop

Today I take part in Fat Quarterly's Blog Hop as a warm up for the Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat in London next weekend (eeeek!). By hopping around each other's blogs we get to know one other a bit.
Fat Quarterly
So if this is your first visit here: Welcome to my little blog!My name is Christine and I'm 32 years old. I live with my husband and two little sons (2 and 4 years) in Germany. In real life I'm an office worker (part time) and I try to squeeze in as much sewing time as possible (that often implies that I do neglect my household duties - who cares for ironing sweaters and trousers when one can iron quilt blocks?!).
I began sewing 2 years ago - together with my best friend. And one year ago the quilting bug has bitten - and left a serious addiction. It was no other than Mr. Quiltdad himself (or rather: his blog) who inspired me to try my first quilt block. That's why I'm even more thrilled to go to London and meet John in person :o)

I like to use bold and bright colours in my sewing/ quilting projects and I return to combine the fabrics myself instead of using complete fabric lines.

I've never tried English Paper Piecing and I'm still afraid of Half Square Triangles. But both techniques are on my to do list for this year. We'll see :o)

I'd be happy if you stay for a while and FOLLOW my (future) struggles in sewing, quilting and real life. I'm quite excited to meet you in London next weekend!

Happy Sewing! Christine

Friday, May 25, 2012

Finished samples and a special harvest

Sample Swap

I finished my objects for the sample swap at Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat!! We are going to be assigned in swap-groups of five, so I had to sew 4 identical objects and I'm going to bring back 4 lovely goodies made by the other group members. As several others already shared photos about their  samples, I thought I could as well share mine with you.

I used this free tutorial (written by Dewi Citra Sari of My Innocentia, from Indonesia) again and made triangular pouches.

Special harvest.

Now that summer is already here, my boys harvested some special "emblements".

Warning: don't continue reading if you dislike seeing pictures of creatures with more than 4 legs :o)

My eldest son is protecting the caterpillars from falling off his hand. 
The picture reminds my of Gollum's "my precious" :o)

I'm trying hard to think of the other side of the coin: 
These caterpillars are going to be beautiful butterflies 
(once they finished off our apple trees).

HOWEVER when the boys brought about 40 of them into my kitchen,
the thought about the other side of the coin didn't even enter my mind!!!

Happy Sewing!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Preparing for London

I'm preparing for my trip to the Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat in London! I am still wondering at how on earth I put up the courage to buy the ticket when I know no one there?! I'm nervous and excited and can't stop telling everyone I meet. My colleagues at work and even (some) friends and family already think I'm crazy... and this feeling still encreased when I was showing them my most recent "preparation":

Don't you think that's appropriate for Jubilee Sewing Weekend?!

Happy Sewing

Monday, May 21, 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival Spring 2012

Even if I'm new to this blogging business, I decided I could plunge in right away and submit one of my few quilts to Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival. 

Amy's Creative Side

So here we go. THE CHOSEN ONE is my first quilt ever. I made it last year for my eldest son (who was 3 years old then). I didn't know what chain-piecing was, I had rarely read about quilting and had just quilted a fabric box and some mug rugs before I started this quilt. I had sewn some garments for my children, mastered curved seams for other small projects but sewing the tiny 2,5" squares together was quite new and diffucult to me.

I pulled all fabrics from my (small) stash, and just went ahead. I was inspired by this moda bake shop tutorial but did't want to include my boy's name (it has 10 letters - way too long for the small baby quilt :o) So instead I appliqued the word "CARS" - as two of the fabrics featured cars.

The quilting is a combination of an inline-outline quilting along the rows and columns and in the bigger blocks I stitched the silhouette of a truck (no free motion quilting, oh no, I used my ordinary presser foot and turned and turned and turned the quilt...). 

The center piece of fabric reminded me of road markings and it features some truck silhouettes as well.

It took quite some time to finish the piecing, basting and quilting and by then, I realized that the quilt would never be big enough to cover my son. So I changed ideas and attached additional triangles in the upper corners of the backing to be able to use it as a wall hanging. 

I used a plain green binding and used a decorative stitch of my sewing machine.


When I was done, I was so happy with it, I even hung it up in our living room for a few weeks so that I could look at it all the time. Now it is hanging in my son's bedroom (next to dinosaurs and dragons. Oh well :o))

Happy sewing!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Tutorial: roll-up ironing pad

Prior to my trip to the Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat in London,
I made a roll-up ironing pad because we were asked to bring along an iron and a mat/pad/board.

I found this description online but thought that it lacked some pictures so I wrote my own (first) tutorial.

Please do a test run first! 
Don't burn down your house!
I don't take responsibility if the ironing pad does not work the way it should.
This is just a description of what I did. Depending on the material you use the results and effects may be different from mine! 

O.k. that being said:

Here we go!

My ironing pad is about 35 x 45 cm. 
(I chose the size according to an old towel I wanted to use.)

Supply list for a 35 x 45 cm pad: 
Basic sewing notions
2 layers of heat resistant/absorband fabric each 35 x 45 cm
2 or more layers of  100 % padding (I cut up an (old) towel) each 35 x 45 cm
90 cm of ribbon or bias/binding tape for the closing strips
2 layers of 100 % cotton fabric for the cover, each about 37 x 47 cm
matching thread

Test run: Stack all fabrics on a heat resistant surface (e.g.your 
ironing board, etc.): at the bottom: 1 layer or heat resistant fabric, middle: 2 or more layers of padding/ towel, top: second layer of heat resistant fabric and cover fabric. 
Iron for some time.
How much heat has been absorbed? 
You may have to add more layers if neccessary.

1. Cut away the double-folded edges of the towel 
(the final product will have many (and thick) layers. I just wanted to get rid of too much bulk). 
Optional: Serge or zig zag the edges of the heat resistant fabric and the towel. I didn't.

2. Layer the two pieces of padding/ towel and sew around all sides with a seam allowance of 0,5 cm (alternatively 1/4").

Here are the two layers sewn together. 
Optional: I realized that the layers shifted when I smoothed the surface with my hands. That caused bulky spots that you don’t want in an ironing pad :o(

I decided to prevent the layers from shifting by sewing a loose grid of vertical seams about 3 cm apart.

Afterwards the towel was nice and flat:

3. Onto the heat resistant fabric (ask at your local fabric store, there seem to be different versions, names and purposes from different companies and in different countries): Make a sandwich by layering one layer of heat resistant fabric at the bottom, the towel in the middle and the second layer of heat resistant fabric on top.

4. Pin. 

5. Sew around all sides. Use a generous seam allowance (1 cm)

6. For the closing strips I used some left over binding tape (2,5"). Fold long sides in and iron.

7. Fold and iron again.

8. Fold in the short edges...

9. ... and sew along the short and long sides.

10. Cut into two strips. ( I cut it in halfes but it might be better to cut in 1/3 and 2/3).

11. Lay out the cover fabric, right side up. Take the raw ends of the two strips and pin to the cover fabric (at the center of the short side) .

12. Lay out the second layer of cover fabric right side down on top of the first layer. Sew around the four sides with a seam allowance of about 0,75 cm, leaving a large opening at one of the long sides.
(you may want to secure the strips by going back and forth several times).

13. Turn inside out (don't forget to take out the pins!)  
and insert the sandwich of heat resistant fabric and towel:

14. Handstitch close the opening (or if you are as lazy as I am dislike handstitching  use your sewing machine to close the opening). 

15. To attach all layers, sew around all sides with a generous seam allowance (about 1 cm).

16. Roll up, tie a nice bow and you are done :o)

Please keep in mind that I'm not a native (english) speaker and that this is my first tutorial. Please let me know if something is missing or badly explained. I'd be happy to improve the tutorial for you :o)

Happy Sewing!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Zoology Circles

I finished my Zoology Circles Quilt last night.
I was inspired by the cover quilt of Jessica Levitt's "modern mix" book. I didn't follow the instructions though. I used raw edge applique instead of turning under the edges and I only used one background fabric.

I chose a striped fabric for the backing and added my name tag in the lower left hand corner 
(together with a little owl that was left from the top)

Detail of my FMQ. First time I quilted circles and I'm glad I did. 
I really like the feel and the look.

Folded up and ready to use!!!

I simply love Ann Kelle's fabrics so be prepared to see more of it in the near future :o)

Happy sewing!

Friday, May 18, 2012

My skirts for Skirt Week 2012

When I heard about Skirt Week I thought I'd never have enough time to enter. BUT you are allowed to enter skirts that you made sinde July 1st, 2011. Guess what?! I made 3 A-Line skirts since then! Tada:

You can still enter your skirts until June 8th, 2012. More details over there:


Happy Sewing!

Deep breath. First blogpost. Ever.

So I finally do what I never thought I'd do. 
I'm starting my own blog. 

For about 15 months I'm "stalking" other Quilting and Sewing Bloggers: reading blogs, following free tutorials, using free patterns, adding my flickr photos to their Linky Parties and so on. And it feels a bit selfish that I often benefit from their knowledge, experience and ideas without sharing my own. A bite like always TAKING without GIVING something back. Therefore I plan to write my own free tutorials (one day sooner or later) and I want to be able to give proper credit for the free tutorials I used and link back to all my "shining blogging idols" out there :o)

I'd be happy if you like what you find on my blog and that someday a sewing/ quilting beginner can profit from the little things I'm sharing here.

Happy sewing!

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