Thursday, December 29, 2016

An old friend revisited

Remember this sweet baby quilt? I made it years ago and was never able to let it go (aka give it away). But I finally found a home for it – my sister’s third baby received it for his christening.

I had to go back to fix it before wrapping and gifting, though. Back then I chose a zigzag stitch that was too narrow for the raw-edge appliqué. So the fabric began to fray after the first wash. Duh.


So I added another MUCH wider zigzag stitch to stop the fraying…

Detail of quilting_thumb[2]

… and I added the little boys name, too. Thankfully my sister and my BIL chose another short name – very sewist-friendly (o;


Here’s a full view of the fixed version. One hardly recognizes the added stitches from a distance, does one?

Theos Quilt_thumb[9]

I am happy I was finally able to let it go. Because that’s what quilts are meant for, aren’t they? To bring joy and comfort to someone we love.

Happy quilting!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Upcycling: denim meets neon and SnapPap

I recently finished two upcycling projects, both made from worn out denim jeans.

I turned my husbands favourite pair of jeans into a little boxy bag, lined with travel themed fabric.

One of the back pockets found it's new function as side panel. 

I used neon green thread to add some fresh accents and as I forgot the handles initially (duh...), I used some neon green zippers as a last minute fix. I covered the multiple-stitched ends under some scraps of SnapPap (aka "Vegan Leather", washable and sew-able thick paper).

The second project was way quicker... I found the instruction for a flatcap in a book I recently bought (I might have bought it just for the cap...) and used one of big boy's holey pair of jeans to make a flatcap for little boy.

I couldn't resist adding a bit of SnapPap and some neon green thread, too.

My favourite bit is the little punched star I attached to the screen.

Here's a close-up shot.

Miriam, thanks for the inspiration!!!

Do you have favourite upcycling projects? Or worn out clothes you want to re-use and upcycle? Please share so I can turn more of our old denim wear into new things.

Happy sewing

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hexies and hidden stars - a baby girl quilt

Some weeks ago, the topic of our monthly sew-in at Modern Quilt Guild Bielefeld was Modern Hexies.

I had a treasured Cotton & Steel charm pack and I wanted to make a baby girl quilt for my sister’s second child – due in April.

I auditioned different layouts and decided on the one that formes little stars on the negative space – which instantly prompted the quilting design.

I applied some marks with chalk to keep those quilting lines straight.

I defined three big and some small stars that I omitted while straight line quilting and quilted them free-hand afterwards. Each with a unique quilting design. I used a variegated Aurifil thread in shades of white, light grey and dark grey.

To show you the free motion quilting, I used directional and natural lighting instead of artificial light. The fabric I used for the Background is "Notes in silver on white" from Zen Chic's Modern Backgrounds.

Once the baby was born, I added her name in light pink thread.
And this is the back: I used a dotted flannel and some leftover Cotton & Steel scraps.
And this is the entire quilt, already puckered and crinkly as I had to wash it 5 times to get rid of ALL quilting marks... BTW: what is your favourite method or tool to mark grids and designs?

I had a hard time giving it away as I really enjoyed the free-motion quilting a lot but I am sure it will be put to good use at my sister's home.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Simple Squares - A homage to Gerhard Richter

Another quilt finish inspired by modern art. A homage to Gerhard Richter
Photograph: Graeme Robertson, found on; click image for origin and more information
The german artist (pictured above during a vernissage at Tate Modern in 2011) is considered one of the greatest artist of our time. In the 1960 and 1970 he explored abstraction using colour charts - arranged in squares or rectangles.
I loved the idea of colourful squares and when I stumbled across this notebook, I decided to make a quilt with the majority of squares in neutral colours - grey, white-ish and black.
To make things as quick and easy as possible, I used Kona Cotton Charm Packs and tried to cluster them by colours, only seperated by neutrals. So that most green hues would be close together and so on...
For the first time ever, I used a wavy stitch of my sewing machine and a walking foot. Light grey variegated Aurifil makes for a nice contrast.

Here's another close-up shot:

I used Brigitte aka Zenchic's "Reel Time Screens Ink" fabric for the backing and a scrappy grey and black binding with a triple zig zag stitch to tack it down.
I machine stitched a quilt label and sewed it down by hand, using Aurifil's variegated floss:
The quilt is meant to be used daily but I like to imagine it as a wall hanging, too.
Here's a photoshop version of my idea:
The quilt was gifted to someone special who could do with a cheer-up recently.
I might be tempted to add, that this is one of my favourite quilt finishes ever.
Thank you, Mr. Richter and for your inspiration.
Happy quilting everyone!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Quilts for brothers (2)

Here's the second quilt I made for the boys: another strip quilt, this time with 60° triangles.
Once I had all those triangles cut and sorted, I pondered about the layout. On the left you can see monochromatic spiderwebs, on the right I layed out multichromatic spiderwebs.
I liked the multichromatic version better so I started sewing those webs together: I had to use tons of starch to get acceptable results.
Like the first quilt I made for the boys, I only quilted within the white strips. This time choosing a single, simple quilt design, because I thought things were already varied enough. So, simple steep loops, many "l"s was all I quilted in light grey Aurifil thread throughout those light parts of the spiderwebs:

The backing is the same on both quilts: black pindots on white. I used the same fabric for the binding.
Here's a close-up shot of the quilting:
And this is the quilt in it's entirety:
I hope that these two quilts will be loved by the boys, now while they are still small and also later when they grow up. I chose those contemporary colours and prints so they can still use them when they are teens or twens or "really old" (o;
Happy quilting!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Quilts for brothers (1)

When our friends moved away, I made quilts for their boys as a special memory to take with them, to remember us from time to time. The boys used to share one bedroom so I wanted to make similar quilts, matching in colour but not strictly in design.

I chose low volume grey and white-ish prints and accent fabrics in blue, green, dark grey and turquoise and started sewing 4 strips together. Out came my 90° ruler and I cut striped triangles from each 4-strip-set.

Then the fun pain of trying out different layouts began... I opted for a giant arrow, diagonal rows, chevrons and diamonds. Which one do you like best?!
Once I decided on the design (Diamonds, because it matched my choise for his brother's quilt best), I started sewing the blocks together. Trying to match those points and cursing when the bulky seams made things difficult...

I only quilted within the light strips with a light grey aurifil thread and tried out different fmq designs...

(oups, can you see how I kept myself going while struggling with the quilt...? What is you prefered beverage during fmq sessions?)

I tried waves...

... and leaves...

... and triple loop-de-loops...

... and feathers.

I added his name and used a scrappy low-volume binding, finished off with a triple-zig-zag-stitch.
And here it is... the first of the two quilts for brothers...

I'll be back with the second one shortly...
Happy quilting


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