Friday, March 29, 2013

Sewing Room Makeover (1)

I sew downstairs in the basement. In a room where we kept leftover furniture from our first flat. A couch. A coffee table. A desk. A dining table. 6 chairs. A foldable bed for guests. When I began sewing, I moved my machine and all my fabrics in and was happy to be able to keep the machine on the table - ready to sew at all times. But with my increasing stash, a second sewing machine, the ironing board and a cutting table (aka desk) that was way to low and caused back aches, I have long wished to redo that sewing room.


The chaotic sewing table:


Somehow at the end of last year we found a new home to all that leftover furniture and my dad had given me a promise-to-construct-a-sewing-table christmas gift. So we “just” had to move out all the leftover furniture and to build a cutting table, a sewing table and some additional shelves. And then my husband broke his shoulder.

During the last 8 days I have been working to improve my sewing room. Which included two trips to IKEA to buy 5 EXPEDIT racks (many thanks to that young man who helped me lift those 36 kg parcels into my car!!!). My dad has been helping at lot. He helped me to build the sewing table and the cutting table and to assemble the racks.

Here you can see him constructing my cutting table observed by his little assistant.


The finished cutting table and lots of free space for my new sewing table:


I’m still cleaning the racks, rearranging my fabrics, filling boxes, sorting scraps and battings. I hope to be done by end of easter and I hope to be able to show you the photos of the finished room next week.

Happy Easter everyone!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Felt bunnies

March 20th is the first day of spring.
Looking at our front yard it is obvious, isn’t it? Sigh.
It started at 1 pm and it is still snowing now.


We decided to make some easter decorations nevertheless. Our eldest son (5) is very fond of cutting out figures. Even even masters difficult shapes.

I was looking for some easter deco that we could make together. I decided on felt bunnies that double up as egg warmers. I drew the bunnies onto the felt (white was his choice, not mine…) and he started cutting.


He had some difficulties cutting with my large fabric scissors and with the felt that shifted in his hands. But he managed to cut out the shapes well enough. Not as exactly as he had cut out the paper-pattern-bunny minutes before but fair enough for a very first try with big scissors and felt/ fabric.


My original plan was to sew the halves together with my sewing machine but when I proposed to show him how to sew them together by hand, he was eager to give it a try.

So I pinned together the two bunnies with some basting pins and showed him how to stitch. I was worried it might be to difficult and that he would end up being disappointed and frustrated but he was neither!


He concentrated hard on his stitches…


… and the first ones were incredibly even!


He almost finished his bunny but got distracted when his little bro (3) started colouring some eggs that I had cut out of the felt leftovers.


He decided to finish his bunny tomorrow and to “help” his brother instead.


I guess we will sew together the next bunnies with my sewing machine – but I’m very proud of my little sewing pal.

On other news, I finished my March Blocks for Sew-Euro-bee-an. Floh asked for wonky stars – another first for me. They were easy to make – and if I had not prompted Mr. Seamripper to make an appearance it would have even been a quick finish.


On the third and fourth block I somehow attached the triangles the wrong way (see lower right block). After some muttering and swearing and seam ripping I finally got it right and finished two 12,5” blocks.

March Blocks Sew-Euro-bee-an

I tried to use different colours from those that my fellow bee members had chosen. I hope you’ll like them, Floh! I already added a wonky star quilt to my to-sew list…

Happy sewing everyone!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A Paper Pieced Baby Quilt

It all begann in June last year:

IMG_1228_bb klein

Above you can see Lynne’s Paper Piecing Class at Fat Quarterly Sewing Retreat in London. I was terrified as I had never tried Paper Piecing before. But Lynne explained everything so thoroughly and perfectly that I left the class with 3 finished blocks.

PP Blocks klein

They were meant to be made into a cussion but somehow that never appealed to me. So they sat in my U.F.O. pile for 9 months. One day I saw this quilt on pinterest and I knew what I wanted to make. A baby quilt.

And I wanted to try some new Free Motion Quilting. I had seen this tutorial and wanted to give it a try ever since. The design is called Dogwood. After basting the quilt sandwich I drew a grid on the quilt top and without any practise I started to quilt.

Baby Quilt FQSR

I will not conceal that there are some petals that are less than imperfect but (to my own surprise) I don’t care a bit.

Baby Quilt Detail with grid

In the photo above you can see the grid and how I quilted one flower per square. Around the paper pieced blocks I have sewn some free motion straight lines because the grid didn’t fit around the blocks.

And here’s a shot of the finished quilt after washing:

PP Baby Quilt

I had some Remix stripes in my stash that match the colours of the blocks very well and I even had a matchy-matchy-dotty-flannel for the backing:

PP Baby Quilt binding and tag

I attached the binding with my sewing machine – this time using a simple straight stitch.

Now let’s face the two things that really annoy me.
First. Bleeding. There’s one green fabric that bleeded into the white fabric.
See below in the block at the right. Any suggestions how to fix that are welcome. That never happened before )o:

PP Baby Quilt Detail of straight line quilting

Second. Bearding. There are many many fibres that escaped through the top fabrics AND the backing. That never happened either.

PP Baby Quilt bearding

What frustrates me most about this circumstance is that the piece of batting I used for this quilt was a leftover. And I’m not sure were it came from, what brand it is nor how I used the main piece of that batting. There’s another quilt top rolled in a piece of batting waiting to be finished – and I fear it might be the same sort of batting. Grrr.

All that being said, I still love that little quilt.

PP Baby Quilt outside

It was intended to be a gift for our friends who are expecting a second baby girl soon – do you think I can still give it away with this heavy bearding? I fear that the baby will constantly be eating cotton fibres. What do you think?!

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Another finish and an accident

Thank you very much for all your lovely comments on that quilt I made for my Dad. Unfortunately I haven’t had time to come back to every single one of you because an accident of my husband turned our every day life upside down (not a life-threatening accident, thank goodness!). I promise to get back to you once we get accustomed to a new routine.

Almost two weeks ago my husband slipped on black ice while he was running/jogging. He fell hard on his shoulder and head. He wasn’t too far from home and came back with a limp left arm. I couldn’t persuade him to visit a doctor immediately (it was around 8 p.m.) and he neither went the next day. 4 days later he gave in and it was ascertained that he had a comminuted fracture at his left shoulder. Last friday he had a large surgery, the fragments of the bones were screwed back in place and 4 torn tendons were re-attached with another big screw.

Yesterday he discharged himself from hospital and went straight back to work. For 6-8 weeks his left arm will be quite immobile and he’ll need much assistance. For dressing. For chopping his meals. And he isn’t allowed to drive. So that’s constant lifts to and from work, to and from doctor, to and from physical therapy, and so on. Add those household tasks HE usually does to MY usual tasks and MY own job and there is not much time for me to sew or for blogland adventures. Phew. I dread those next weeks.

But enought of that. I’m distracting myself with as much sewing as possible. I needed some quick finishes during the last days. Something I could do without much thinking. And while listening to an audiobook. What’s better than finishing some UFOs? Here’s one that just needed a backing and a binding.

Butterflies Cussion 1

Not much to think of one could say. But after attaching the binding to the front I discovered that I intended to attach it to the BACK in the first place. I had just decided to ignore that fact and to NOT rip it all out when I discovered that I had forgotten to fold that 2,25” strip in half.
Aaaah!!! Hello Mr. Seamripper )o:

Don’t you just love these butterflies?!

Butterflies Cussion 3

I found them in a scrap bag and combined them with some of my stash prints and low volume prints. None of the butterfly prints had a selvage so I have no clue who designed them. I YOU know, please leave me a comment, I would love to order more!

Butterflies Cussion 4

I fuzzy cut some of them and – using my favourite quilted panel technique – quilted them as I went. Then I didn’t have a zipper that was large enough and that unfinshed cussion sat in my UFO pile for some months.

Last weekend as I was in great need of instant satisfaction, I just whipped up a backing with a hidden zipper (that I had bought some weeks ago) and a binding.

Butterflies Cussion 2 

Now I need a filling of the right size (o:

Butterflies Cussion 7

But I’m glad it’s finished and I love how it turned out. It will make a great gift for my MIL – if the colours match her couch’s. Will have to check that secretly one day soon.

Thanks for reading and always watch your step!

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