Saturday, January 31, 2015

MQG Bee Quilt

At the end of November our Modern Quilt Guild Bielefeld received a new addition: our second Guild Baby!! We knew beforehand that our Guild member and my close friend was expecting a boy. So we considered several blocks and colour schemes that suited our plans for a bee quilt for the little man.

Not too many matching points (for easier assembly – somehow the quarter inch of seam allowance varies with every person?!) and not too difficult so that even the newbies could join in.

We decided on a wonky pinwheel design, using low volume prints for the background and blues, greens and greys for the pinwheels.

MQGB Valentin

I volunteered to make the quilt top, baste, quilt and bind it, so I was in charge of the layout, too. This was the first attempt: All blocks arranged, I tried to spread the colours evenly. (Sorry for the bad shot, the blocks are hanging on my design wall, down in the basement –> bad lighting)

MQGB Valentin blocks on design wall

I thought the effect was too chaotic and that the wonky pinwheels were not as clearly visible as I had hoped for. So I made some more blocks and added a border.

MQGB Valentin Top

I quilted it with semi-leaves (is there an official name for this quilt design?!) and stitched in the ditch to reach the next pinwheel. That way I could quilt coherrently, without breaking threads for every new pinwheel.

MQGB Valentin quilting

Here’s a closeup. I used a white Aurifil so that the thread blends with the background fabrics where I stitched in the ditch while it stands out within the pinwheels.

MQGB Valentin closeup quilting

I machine embroidered the quilt label and one of our bee memberes stitched it down by hand. Who would have thought that Aurifil’s cotton thread doubles up as embroidery thread, too?!

MQGB Valentin machine embroidery

This is the finished label and you can see the flannel backing I chose. Don’t you love it when the stars line up and you find the perfect backing?!

MQGB Valentin backing and label

As for the binding… never change a winning team, right? It seems like my triple zig zag stitch and I are BFF.

MQGB Valentin binding

For the binding fabric I chose a rather subtle one. I tried different colours from the original colour scheme but all blues and greens that I tried were… just… too much.

I rather like the effect of this lower toned binding (if I dare say so myself).

MQGB Valentin folded

Here’s one last shot of the quilt with part of the backing flipped over.

MQGB Valentin flipped over

If you’d like to see my friend unwrapping the quilt during our last MQG Bielefeld sew-in, hop over to our website.

Is anyone interested in a tutorial for the wonky pinwheel blocks? I wrote a quick and easy tutorial for our bee members. It is in german but I could translate it if someone should be interested. Just leave me a comment (o:

Oh and by special request I took photos of the binding process so there’s a tutorial on that triple zig zag binding coming soon!

Thank you very much for stopping by.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Gemmed – a baby girl quilt

After facing the epic fail of the bearding quilt. I quickly decided that I needed to make a second, a better quilt for my new (and first) niece.

My sister did NOT want all those pink and rosy colours so I opted for low volume fabrics with some colour mixed in.


Trimming blocks in girl-ish fabrics – that does not happen often over here… I might even have enjoyed the tedious work. A bit.


I let the blocks form little wonky multicolour gems. With just a bit of pink or violet or rose. Then I backed it with a multicolour dotted flannel, chose a variegating Aurifil thread, grading from blue over pink into white, and free motion quilted it with “organic” straight lines…

Karla Quilting

… and little petals within the gems.

Karla Details of Quilting

It makes a lovely design on the back of the quilt (if I dare say so myself):

Karla Quilting detail

This time I added the lettering after I finished the quilting. First and last time. Period.

Karla Applique

Do I need to mention that I bound it with a triple-zig-zag-stitch?
No. I always do and always will.

Karla Binding and Backing

BUT I will mention how much I looooooove the binding I chose (shameless self-praise). Following the low volume theme, I chose a fabric stating “security is a thumb and a blanket” (must be the Peanuts / Charlie Brown?!). I really love the effect it has on the quilt and how it matches a baby quilt in particular.

Here’s another shot:

Karla Binding

Well, here it is, the “remedy” for the bearding quilt:


Well, this was a lot of recap in a short time.
Now I desparately need to sew - otherwise I won’t have anything new to show you!

Happy quilting!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Oh Deer! Epic Fail.

This is an unusual blog post about a baby quilt that I made for my newborn niece (my first niece!). I devided a jelly roll of Momo’s Oh Deer! into boy-ish and girl-ish prints and used the majority of girl-ish prints for a stacked strips pattern. Everything went well until it reached quilt-top-stage.

Then I wanted to appliqué the name and things started to get out of control.

Karla Oh Deer Seam Ripper

Just so you know: doublecheck the direction of the letters before you fuse them to the background and before raw-edge-appliquéing them )o:

Maybe a hint that I chose the wrong font?!

Karla Oh Deer Quilt

I chose a piece of flannel and a left-over piece of batting that was just big enough and started quilting pebbles. Within the 2,5” strips I simply outlined the seams of every other strip.

Several thread breakes made quilting tough and enervating.

Karla Oh Deer Quilting

The binding was made from a mixture of white fabrics and leftover strips.

Karla Oh Deer Binding

When I finished quilting and binding, I popped the quilt in the washer like I do with all newly-made quilts.

This is the mess that came out of the washer together with the quilt. And another big ball of fibres came out of the dryer afterwards. It turns out the batting was a leftover from the other bearding quilt.

Karla Oh Deer Bearding

This phenomenon is known als “bearding”. The fibres of the batting penetrade the fabrics on both sides (top and backing). The more fibres you pull out the worse it gets.

I am so angry with whoever produced the batting (I threw away the packing before I finished the first bearding quilt) and I am angry with myself: I should have thrown away ALL the leftover batting pieces that I had when the batting ruined the first quilt.

I was so disappointed with the result that I even forgot to take a photo of the finished quilt before I gave it to my sister. I contemplated throwing it away but decided it could be used as a wall hanging, seeing it had hangers at the back.

I sincerely hope this will never ever happen to you!
Happy Quilting

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Elmer baby boy quilt

Our friends had their first baby in November and when I asked her what kind of quilt she’d liked to have for the baby she said: “Elmer”.

Well. So much the better! I always wanted to make a solids-only version of Elmer! Et voilà:

Elmer fused

He really looks like the original from the book:

Above you can see Elmer fused to the background and here he comes “unassembled”:


Then I had to wait for the baby to be born because I wanted to include the name. They named the little boy “Valentin” and this is me during one of our MQG sew-ins:

Embroidering name 

Can you beleive I acutally embroidered the name?! Me, who hates handstitching?! But as I told you, every name has a “hidden” font. Valentin called for handembroidery.

Embroidered name

For the back I chose a simple patchwork of kona cotton solids from various charm packs.

Valentin back Kopie

The free motion quilting was once again done with Aurifil thread in light grey. Dogwood design almost all over, I only omitted the elephant.

Dogwood 1


Instead of using the striped multicolour binding I used in the original Elmer Quilt, I chose a rainbow of solids:


Once again finished with a triple zig zag stitch.


And here you can see him ready to be cuddled and loved:

Valentin Kopie

I somehow feel that this is not the last Elmer Quilt I made… They are just too much fun to make!

Dare to be different!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Oh Deer! A baby boy quilt.

I made a Baby Quilt for my cousin’s first baby. As it was meant to be a surprise I asked my auntie what colour scheme my cousin chose for the pram, the nursery, etc. She said the pram was brown but the overall preference was multicolour.

That turned out to be more difficult than I had foreseen. I have almost no browns in my stash. Eventually I found a charm pack of Momo’s Oh Deer! that had just enough brown and lots of different additional colours.

Here’s what I made for the little boy that was born in October (I hand delivered it last week so it’s safe to show you now):

Felix Quilt Kopie

I had previously opted for a different border but I am so glad I took it off and made a new one.

dotted border seam ripper

I free motion quilted it with a variegated yellow-orange-white Aurifil, using a dogwood design, availing myself of the seams as guidelines in the centre…

Felix Detail of Quilting

…and marking chalk lines (half the size, i.e. 2,5”), that I followed when quilting the border.

Felix Detail of Border Quilting

A added a brown ric rac border all around the centre and appliquéd his name with my sewing machine. This raw edge appliqué was rather difficult as the letters were so thin and small but it turned out to be my favourite lettering appliqué ever.

(Did you know that I choose individual free fonts from the web for every name? I think that each name needs it’s own font. Some names look great in handwriting, others look better in capitals, etc.) Call me weird but that’s how I roll.

Felix Applique

For the backing I chose a cuddly brown flannel that was just big enough. I finished the quilt with a striped fabric (Ann Kelle’s Remix) that matches the top perfectly and made use of my favourite triple zig zag stitch.

Felix Binding and Backing

I am a bit annoyed that I chose different thread colours for the top and the back. There are some places where the bobbin thread is visible on the top and vice versa. Oh well, it is done and I hope that little Felix doesn’t care. I saw this hashtag somewhere and think it is appropriat here: #doneisbetterthanperfect

Happy Quilting!


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Handmade christmas


Two sets of machine embroidered dishtowels:

Beate Lisa










Little selvedge pouches

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5 pillow covers for 5 little boys. Fabrics chosen according to the boys’ interests.





My nephew is a huge fan of New Holland Tractors (o:

Jano applique


Oskar Label


And I received christmas presents, too (o: Here are two of my favourites:

kam snaps

My brother-in-law gave me his grandparents’ old Pfaff:

Old Pfaff Old Pfaff2

It took me a while to figure out how to adjust the tension correctly (there was no manual for the machine, but it worked better eventually). She is still at my parents’ because I couldn’t bring her in my car but I am looking forward to have her at our house. I plan to fully oil her (I bought a manual online today), clean her and use her for straight stitch projects (o:

Old Pfaff tension Old Pfaff drawer

My BIL is awesome, isn’t he?!

Happy Sewing!

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