Thursday, July 3, 2014

Bags, bags, bags

I made four more bags. It all started with this fabric:


And it ended in a sports bag for my youngest who was about to have his first handball lesson ever.


In the photo above, I stuffed it with boxes, the bag is too floppy in reality. You can see, that is not stiff enough in the photo below:


Of course I should have known that big brother would ask for one, too. I made the second one much stiffer by using a fusible interface. And I used a laminated IKEA fabric as lining.

See? It keeps it form without stuffing.


Plus I tried a covered zipper. Yay.


And then there was my mother’s birthday. She asked for a little bag with the emblems of her rowing club. Well. Here’s the result:

I enlarged the emblem and appliquéd it on a low volume love fabric (wonder if she saw the hint?!)


I lined it with a red and white striped fabric and I even put in a little zipper pocket for keepsakes (which is lined with a fun fabric featuring all kinds of traffic signs).



I am happy to report that she loves this little bag and that she uses it a lot.

And I made another bag – another quilted one – that will be a gift for a dear friend. So just a little sneak peek today:


Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A new habit and a gift

Last year in London I took Trudi’s Class “Free Motion Quilting”. In her workshop we learned to doodle with pen on paper.

During the last exhausting weeks I was often too tired to sew but I discoverd that doodling or drawing a bit would “bring my mind down” as well.

So I thought I’d doodle a bit daily. Well, it turned out that DAILY was out of the question but OCCASIONALLY was fine (o;

This is one of my doodles that one could quilt coherently (I can see a baby quilt!):


Then I found this book in a shop:


…and started drawing rather than doodling… because I liked those organic designs and some grasses, feathers and ferns could easily become quilting designs:

IMG_7515[1]   IMG_7644[1]

On instagram we created a hashtag for everyone who wish to doodle along: #showyourdoodles

IMG_7638[1]   IMG_7661[1]

And then something awesome happend: Claudia (machenundtun) saw my doodles on instagram and send me this:


Two awesome booklets about zentangling. I immediately tried some of the designs and got hooked (my birthday is next week and I put more zentangling books on my wishlist).

Those Zentangling books are great, they both provide general information about the materials and the technique. The first one (Basics) is more thorough on this topic. If I got it right, each new book introduces new designs and shows further possibilities to use your finished zentangles (on postcards, bookmarkers, gifttags, etc.) The book encourages us to just do it without overthinking things to much. To just keep going and accepting that some tangles are great while others are … well… not so great.

This is what I tangled before our holiday trip - to be honest, these are the slightly greater ones (o;

IMG_7681[1]   IMG_7682[1]

I took a sketchbook and sharpie with me and started more doodles and tangles during our vacation (the sun is yet unfinished):

IMG_8842[1]   IMG_8840[1]

Thank you so much, Claudia, for those great booklets. Zentangling is a great way to do something creative while doing something else (talking on the phone, listening to an audiobook, watching after the kids, attending a dull meeting at work (don’t tell my boss!), etc.). It is calming me down and I also have the feeling that I did something to train my hand and my brain for free motion quilting. I will surely continue to doodle and if you don’t mind, I will share some tangles and doodles here.

Are you on instagram? Then come and #showyourdoodles! We would love to see your tangles and doodles and drawings!

Happy doodling and tangling!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Holiday Sewing

Hi everyone!

It’s been quite awhile since I last sat down to write a blog post. I have been sewing a bit during all the stress produced by my daytime job which took so much more time than usual (for several weeks I have been working full time instead of halftime). It is not over yet but I hope to get a new colleague soon.

But the last two weeks we had two weeks of family vacation of which we spend  10 days in Spain.

Prior to our trip I made some last minute holiday items:

1. Traveling Documents Holder with a clear vinyl back pocket for boarding passes:

Travelling Documents   Travelling Documents Purse 

2. Small Triangular Pouches for earphones and such…

Triangular Pouches   IMG_8839[1]

3. Cases for sunglasses for the boys and me..

Brillenetui Maximilian   Brillenetui

Brillenetui Rupert  

4. A little bag for the headphones I bought for the boys:

Kopfhörer Tasche   Kopfhörer Tasche2

5. And last but not least three luggage tags that I made the very morning we were leaving for the airport:

Luggage Tags

I apologize for the mixed quality and backgrounds of those photos. When I made and photographed the items I did not have a block post in mind… I already posted some photos on instagram (did I ever tell you I gave in and joined instagram?! I am @grapesandhearts over there).

Does that happen to you? That you regret afterwards that you did not put more energy into coherent photo styles?!


Well and here are some photos of our trip to Mallorca, Spain.

The boys dragging their luggage bags to the airport… waiting…

IMG_8175   IMG_8753

… and then their first fight… and nightly bus transfer to our hotel (2 hours… uaaah)

IMG_8269   IMG_8271



Lots of fun by the sea / and by the pool…

IMG_8268   IMG_8442

… and in the water of course (o:


Tons of fun for the four of us. We had a great family time and somehow I wish I could stay at home a bit longer. But tomorrow I will have to go back to work and the stress starts all over again.

If your holiday still lies ahead, I wish you a happy and sunny time.
In any case, I wish you a happy new week!


Monday, April 28, 2014

A Baby Boy Patchwork Quilt

My youngest sister had her first baby in February. A sweet little boy. They named him Oskar and you’ll never guess what I made for him…

Ta da…

Oskar Quilt lighter Kopie

A rather soft-toned little patchwork quilt with his appliqued name. (Well, how DID you know it was a quilt?!)

Oskar Quilt applique

I chose the striped background to make it look like the name was written on lined paper. I raw edge appliqued the letters and outlined them with black Aurifil in a rather careless, wonky way. I like the effect so much that I will surely come back to this method often.

I free-motion quilted the patchwork part with dogwood quilting, one of my favourite quilting designs ever. As there are much more light fabrics, I used a white 50 wt. Aurifil so the thread blends well with most fabrics and just adds texture. The striped part was fmq using straight lines within the white stripes (see photo above).

Oskar Dogwood Quilting

And the same light striped fabric was used for the binding. If I knew where I bought it or what it name was I’d buy some more, I really grew fond of this versatile fabric! For the backing I used a dark grey fabric with white and green butterflies that I’ve had in my stash for ages.

Oskar Binding backing and name tag

And then I tried something new. When my husband gave me this sewing machine for christmas 2012, it came with an automatic embroidery module. I never tried it because I never wanted to sacrifice the little spare time I have for reading the manual.

Then I decided that Oskar’s Quilt needed a proper label and eventually I read the manual and installed the hoop. I could not make it work. I read the manual multiple times but the hoop did not move. After spending two hours muttering and swearing I called the Pfaff Dealer in complete desperation.

It turned out that I only forgot to remove a little transport securing plastic device. Stupid me. After 2,5 hours I made it work:

Oskar label making

In the end I was so happy with this little label that I am sure I will make many more (Now that the darn plasting thingy is gone…)

Oskar Quilt label

Now guess what happend?! Little Oskar likes his quilt! See??

Oskar close up_lr

Isn’t he cute as pie? And he is sooooo “well behaved”! He sleeps well, he eats (or rather drinks) well, he seldom cries (and only with a low voice). He is such a handsome litte baby boy!

Thank you, dear brother-in-law for that lovely photo! And thanks for your permission to use it on my wee little blog (o:

Happy Quilting!

P.S. As you can see from the label, I made this quilt in january. The baby was born at the beginning of february. It “only” took me 2,5 months to write a blogpost. Guess how much sewing has been done during the last 4 months? Nearly nothing. My daytime job is so exhausting at the moment.

I so long for more time (and energy!) to sew. Even on the occasional afternoons off (when the boys are visiting friends or grandma), I can’t gather enough energy to sew. I am tired all the time. I can’t count the evenings when I headed downstairs for my sewing room, turned on the lights, looked at my WIPs and turned the lights off again.

Does this happen to you sometimes? How do you get over it? Is there a tried and proven method?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A group quilt

Today I want to share a group quilt we made for our first “Modern Quilt Guild Bielefeld Baby”.

We knew that our guild member and New-Mom-to-be  was expecting a girl but does not like too much pink and rose. So we picked a grey background and decided on wonky star blocks. Each of us made 2 or three blocks and I volunteered to put the quilt top together and baste, quilt and bind the quilt.

Here’s our baby girl quilt for little Leona:

Leona Quilt

I used a variegated red-pink Aurifil to free motion quilt stars and loops…

Leona Detail of Quilting

…and outlined the stars using a white Aurifil thread.

Leona Star Quilting

All stars are scrappy and some are multi-coloured and others are monochromatic.

Leona Star 2

I found a fabric with little stars in colourful circles for the backing and used a multi-colour-striped fabric for the binding.

Below you can see the baby’s name quilted in the top left corner for some extra little individuality.

Leona Name Quilting

During our last sew-in the little baby came along for the first time. Below you can see a snap shot of her on Brigitte’s arm with her new quilt. She was such a cute addition to our party. Napping in her pram or being carried around by other quilt members.

Leona Quilt Handover

You are most welcome to cheer us up with your little smiles and “uh-ohs” and we hope to see you again soon, little Leona!

So this was a long kept secret (we started sewing in October, I think) and I am glad I was able to finish the quilt just in time for her first visit.

Do you have a go-to baby-quilt pattern? I have to start another baby quilt soon, so if you know a good pattern, I’d love to read your advice!

Happy (secret) sewing!

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