Sunday, October 28, 2012

Another Finish

Another project to scratch off my FAL Q4 List: I finally finished a purse for my sewing notions that I started 1,5 years ago. It was an UFO that sat on my shelf almost finished. It just needed another hour or two and it was done…

I can’t remember the name of the fabrics I used but I guess they were from our Local Fabric Store.


This is the interior…


A pocket for scissors and rotary cutter and some elastic for pens and a seam ripper.


The pincussions can be attached by velcro.


And there is another pocket for more notions like thread spools and bias-tape-maker.


Eventually I would have liked it better with a bias binding. But it is too late now. And I’m not going to turn a finished project back into an UFO, am I? (o;

Have a nice sewing week!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2 in 1: Drawstring bag and play mat–An easy tutorial

Our little neighbor turned 4 last week. He is a huge fan of cars. I think he owns several dozen toy cars. Last year I made this quilt (reversible play mat) for him:

Quilt Julius Collage

I had plenty of the backing left and made a portable playmat for him this year. When visiting his grandparents he loves taking some tons of toy cars with him. I thought that an unfoldable drawstring bag would be a great idea and came up with this:

Drawstring Playmat (3)

A giant drawstring bag that doubles up as a playmat when unfolded:

Drawstring Playmat (2)

As it was really easy to do, I took some photos along the way so you can make your own – for little neighbors, sons, grandsons, nephews, etc. You get my point (o;

1. You will need two squares of fabrics: with a length equal to the width of fabric (approx. 42”). Draw a circle by pinning a strip of fabric (or a selvage) to the middle of the square and attaching a fabric marker at the other end of that strip.

Drawstring Playmat (4)

2. Cut out these giant circles.

Drawstring Playmat (5)

3. Sew a 1/2 – 3/8” buttonhole onto the outer fabric. Around 3-4” away from the edge. Open the buttonhole with your seam ripper.

Drawstring Playmat (6)

4. Lay out the fabric circles right sides together and sew all around them – leaving a small opening through which you turn it inside out.

5. Sew close to the edge all around the circle and shut the opening at the same time.

6. Make the tunnel for the drawstring and sew twice around the circle. Starting at the right and afterwards at the left side of that buttonhole.

Drawstring Playmat (7)

If you look closely you can see my seams in the picture below.

Drawstring Playmat (2) ausschnitt

7. Put in your drawsting and sew those ends of the drawstring together so that the drawstring completely sinks into the tunnel. That way the child won’t stumble over it when playing.

Drawstring Playmat (1)

And that’s it. You’re done.

I made a matching little drawstring bag for him to take some toy cars to a restaurant – he can’t always drag around dozens, can he?!

Drawstring bag

Happy Weekend everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Baby Boy Quilt that I nearly named “Stalactites and Stalagmites”

It’s that time of the quilting year again. Quilt Market is here again and for all of us who are staying at home, Amy is hosting Blogger’s Quilt Festival again.

My entry is one of those UFOs from my FAL Q4 List that I could not show you then. I kind of prepared the quilt top when I found out our business partner was going to have a baby boy. Then it turned into an UFO and sat waiting. The baby boy was born 2 weeks ago and his name is Henning.

Our Local Fabric Store now carries Fat Quarters from India. They are called “Flat Fats”. As quilting is not very well known in Germany, these FQ are the first they ever carried. I simply had to support them and bought some. I didn’t want the quilt to be too baby-ish and chose a small stack of FQ in blue, a yellow print and two matching blue solids by the metre. It was my very first experience with improvisational cutting and piecing and I have to admit, I really liked it – despite the fact that some passages turned out awefully crooked. I simply sliced the bulky and misshaped blocks into strips and added them to the better shaped blocks.

Henning Quilt

I backed it with a dotty blue print from our LQS and added a pieced binding with a white and yellow striped print as a little extra something. I used a triple zig-zag stitch to stitch the binding in place and I think this is goint to be my future go-to binding method. Quick and neat.  And secure.

Henning Quilt Binding and Backing

I had already used the same method to raw-edge-appliqué the letters but I wouldn’t probably do that again. Much too difficult when it comes to stitching the corners.

Henning Quilt Applique

I quilted some wide-and-uneven-spaced, more or less straight lines with my walking foot and used different threads: white, yellow, blue and some red. Just for good measure. I wanted this quilt to be soft and cozy, so no intense quilting this time.

Taking photos of this quilt was a nightmare. There were two days between the time that I finished the quilt and the moment it was gifted. Two days of rain. Non-stop. So no outtakes. Indoors the light was very bad and the selected photos above were the only close-to-acceptable-ones I was able to take.

Writing this blogpost, I discovered and “cartoonized” one of the photos: This is the quilt hanging on one of our armchairs. Makes me feel funky indeed (o:


All in all I LOVE this quilt. I like the combination of colours and values and the little quilting. Regarding the composition I might as well have called this quilt “stalactites and stalagmites”. LOL.

I didn’t measure it, but is has to be nearly crib size. A bit shorter infact. It was hard to let it go but so nice to get a phone call from Henning’s Mom who assured me of her pleasure receiving it. Hope he will like it himself when he grows up!

edited to add: Best category: Favorite Baby Quilt, Favorite Two Color Quilt

I’m linking up to Amy’s Blogger’s Quilt Festival Fall 2012 and I guess I’ll see you there?!

Amy's Creative Side

Have a nice weekend!

P.S. What do you think, is this quilt too modern for a baby or do you think it is appropiate? I’m still pondering if I like more baby-ish quilts better for babies…

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bring the pressure up!

I kind of feel that my ufos are weighing me down. So my goal for the next 2 months is to finish some of them. Some are meant to be Christmas presents so I will have to get them done some time soon.
To bring up the pressure and keep me on track and accountable, I decided to enter the Finish-A-Long over at Quilter in the Gap for the first time ever. I hope it’s not going to be a complete fail (o:

2012 Finish-A-Long

Here’s what I would like to finish:

1. A Quilt for my youngest son

2. A christmas gift (sorry, no more details for now)

3. My Jelly Roll Race Quilt from London (Top pieced)

4. Two (!) Quilts featuring freestyle cutting blocks

Christines Blocks

5. My DNA Quilt from the Scrapbuster Swap on flickr.


6. A pouch for sewing supplies. Started 18 month ago…


Considering that I still replace an ill colleague and work considerably more hours than usual, I guess I won’t finish half of these projects. But I’m going to try nevertheless.

Happy Sewing!

Monday, October 8, 2012

London’s calling…

… or what I’m going to change next summer when I’m going to the Fat Quarterly Community Retreat in London.


IMG_1303_bbMy name is Christine,
I’m 33 years old and from Germany. I am married, have two little sons (3 and 5) and work halftime. So I have to squeeze my sewing into the little spare time that is left when work, housework and family duties are done.

The first retreat this june was soooooo much fun and I absolutely want to go next year! So I bought my ticket as soon as they were available. I went on my own last time. But there’s no need to change that! Everyone was so nice and friendly and I can only advise those of you who ponder to just go and buy your ticket! The flickr group helped a lot as people were already getting to know each other by chatting and planning all kinds of swaps.

What I will change next year is: I’m not going to drag my sewing machine to the airport, through to gates, to the airplane, through another airport, halfway through London, upstairs and downstairs, through sunshine (was there any?!) and rain (there was enough of it) and all the way back again. The incredible team of FQ had enough sewing machines (Pfaffs!) from the local UK general reseller so if they do provide this generous offer again, I will happily leave my sewing machine at home. 

Other than that, I’m going to stick to this year’s plan and go a day early and perhaps stay a day longer (when the kids are already away at my parent’s, I’m determined to relish every minute…).

What I’m most looking forward to is meeting those that I got to know this year – including the lovely ladies from our FQSR London 2012 based bee: Sew-Euro-bee-an. AND meeting new faces, like-minded souls, chatting about sewing, quilting, bees, swaps, fabrics and notions all day long.

IMG_1228_bb IMG_1236

The ginormous raffle was great, too! And the giveaway bag was truely amazing and super generous!


This year’s makings are quite incomplete and some are still in ufo state. I don’t know yet how to proceed with my paper pieced blocks from Lynne’s class. Perhaps I should add a yellow one and turn it into a runner for the kids’ big dresser?!

PP Blocks

I worked on the EPP Hexies I made in Tacha’s class and they will be part of a christmas present so no further details on this one (o:

IMG_1258 IMG_1653

I made a huge process on my Jelly Roll Race Quilt, that was still in strippy stage when I left London. But it still needs a backing, basting, quilting and binding. My friend Brigitte kindly offered to show me how to use her longarm machine and as this quilt is really big, I want to quilt it on her longarm machine.

Jelly Roll Salt Air Quilt Top_ed   Jelly Roll Race Quilt Salt Air Planung

I finished my block from Lucie Summers’ Portholes Class and made a pillow with it. It has since gone to a sweet little girl as a pressie when her little brother was born.

Portholes Pillow Monkey

I love all of my projects from London as I learned new techniques in every class. And that’s another thing I’m looking forward to: more classes, teachers and more techniques – there’s still so much I want to try!

Last but not least, I’m looking forward to the “off-conference” parts: chatty breaks, drinks (late night) at the bar, breakfast in super nice company (thank you, Tracey!), the swaps (pretty please can we have another sample swap?!), and so much more.

IMG_1136_bb IMG_1240IMG_1249 

Writing this blogpost made me very impatient, I don’t want to wait 9 more months!!!

Looking forward to meeting you in London next year!
Happy Anticipation until then (o:

Antiques finds

When I was visiting my parents last time, my sister mentioned that there was an old sewing machine in the attic. How did they know that would interest thrill me?!

It was old and dusty indeed. When I payed them another visit this weekend, I remembered to take some photos:


It is an old Dürkopp Machine that is very rusty and as far as we can go back in history, it must have belonged to my grandma. But wheather she had inherited it or got it from someone else is still subject to a lively discussion between my mother and her sister (o:


Then my brother-in-law showed me an old Pfaff that once belonged to his grandparents. It is in very good shape and still had many tools and even some spools in the tiny drawer underneath the table.


It was even threaded!!!


The box is Pfaff branded…


… and was stuffed with tools and notions. Don’t you just love the pink chalk?!


Talking about bird’s nests (o;


I think that these old wooden spools are by far more lovely than the plastic ones we buy nowadays, aren’t they?!


I already tried to convince my BIL and my mother that I desperately need an antique sewing machine just in case of an electrical power outage…

I can be very stubborn when it comes to essentials (o:
A happy sewing week everyone!
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