Thursday, September 17, 2015

summer's over!!

HELLO Everyone!!! No, I am still alive and kicking! I just got a little distracted over summer! ;-)

I did not expect to get distracted from blogging for so long, though! At the end of the school year, things were getting hectic, no more time for sewing, party here, party there, taking on new official sewing projects, finishing up the old ones, and had simply no more time to post! Well, I am back again. The kids are in school now, and I have a little bit of me time for myself. So, I wanted to get back to posting on a regular basis. Yes, I really do! Please forgive me! The summer was fantastic, and now I am ready to "get back to work!"

Thinking about summer, I would like to share with you the pillow I made for my summer swap partner from our group, Pillow Swap Four Seasons. I kind of stepped out of my comfort zone and started using a lot of low volume (LW) fabrics. I tried to create something in the same style as her inspiration mosaic with lots of different rainbow colors, low volume prints and symmetrical design. You can see her design here:

I have to admit, my style is a bit more "low key" using more solids than LV so it was a little challenging to sew how I could design and sew something for her that I could really poor my heart out into. I took the idea from her six-pointed star and made a circle of them which is typically called "Seven Sisters." You will usually see this pattern and design made using English Paper Piecing (EPP). But, I love to piece on the machine, so I wanted a "simpler" way to make the stars and decided to make them using 60° triangles instead.

Design: I started playing around with the below design in EQ7. I usually design all of my quilts using this program. My first design hat a border, because I like a "clean" area to attach the backing fabric when sewing pillows. In the end, I changed my mind and added another row of LV triangles.

My first challenge was finding low volume fabrics! My friend, Mara, in Greece helped me out with those fabulous LV you see in the picture below. I didn't have any, and she was kind enough to offer me those beauties from her personal fabric collection. The solids are from a Kona rainbow charm pack.This was my initial pull and starting point.

After I had the design, I broke out my Mini Hex N More ruler I bought from Quilt et Textilkunst at last year's Nadelwelt in Karlsruhe. I cut 2 1/4" strips and broke my ruler in! These are so cool!! You really have to get one! (I also have the large Hex N More ruler, but haven't put it to great use yet.)

I pulled a few other coordinating fabrics for the stars. Once again, this was my first choice that I really liked. I didn't use all of the fabrics and changed my mind throughout. ;-) If I made the pillow over today, I think I would have used this yellow print in the middle instead of the one I used. I think smaller prints work better with the 2 1/4 inch triangles.

I laid out my stars to see if they had the right contrast and "pow" appeal. I was content with these fabrics. I let them stay on my design board for a day or two.

Next phase, cut out over 200 pieces from over 30 different fabrics (!).

Sewing: I carefully layed them out on my flannel design boards. I didn't have room for all pieces on one board in the beginning. ;-) Then I started sewing the rows carefully together one after another. Triangle quilts are really rather simple. I have sewn four or five already. The true key is to sewing successfully is to sew every odd row to the right starting from the left. Start your even rows by taking the last triangle in the row and sew them to the left or upside down. Then they will always nest!

After the rows were finished, it was easy street from there. ;-) Do you see the turquoise star? What is your opinion about it? Does it work?

I wasn't so sure about it. I looked at the setup after dark and noticed it was rather light in value.

The next day I found a better coordinated for the blue. Now all outer stars are brighter than the middle star and equal in value.

Of course I didn't throw out that lovely star!I used it to make a mug rug! Every pillow needs a matching mug rug, doesn't it?

Quilting: I first wanted to do an inner outline quilting on the whole pillow, but thought I wanted to bringing another design element and made 60° angles through the middle of the pillow. I am happy with the end result, but I am not happy that I chose to use Vliesoline H640 on this pillow! It gives it way too much depth. I learned my lesson here. ;-) Today I might even be brave enough to use black thread for the quilting too.

Seven Sisters Read the Newsprint for Rita
For the backside, I wanted to make something more in my style and went with Rita's idea of the hexagon, pulled through my scrap bins for yellow fabrics, improvised pieced until I got those great triangles, and sewed together in strips until I got even bigger triangles. I sewed the different solids in from the front as a border, the added the black until it was big enough for the backing. I offset the star on purpose if you were thinking it went wacky by mistake. ;-)
Back Side of Pillow of Seven Sisters Read the Newsprint

Bottom Zipper for a Two-Sided Pillow
And I love the label I made for Rita! I transferred the design onto t-shirt transfer and ironed to a white piece of fabric and sewed it into the inside of the pillow.

All in all, I am extremely happy with the way Rita's pillow turned out. It wasn't exactly my style (meaning low volume prints), but it challenged me to be creative. I truly hope she loved the pillow, because if she doesn't she can always send it back! ;-)

If you are inerested in swapping pillows with a fabulous group of ladies, we still have a few vacancies open for an energenic and creative patchworker. More information under the tab "Pillow Swap Four Seasons" above. We have an online form in the pillow swap Flickr group.

Thanks for dropping by. I hope to be around more in the future as well!

Big hugs,

Monday, July 20, 2015

new eq7 block challenge

Have you heard the news? There is a new EQ7 Block Challenge that is going on right now over at DO YOU EQ? It will be going on for another week as well so you still have time! Brush up your designing skills and design a block using Timeless Treasures Charleston Fabric with the free Download Fabric File in EQ7. Don't have EQ7? Don't worry! You can also design with a paper and pencil and WIN $75 and buy the software! All of the instructions on listed on the page! Good luck!

The Charleston fabric is growing on me too. Although it looks pretty traditional, it is not! There are a lot of geometrical shapes going on there mixed in with some florals and some mini prints. I'm digging it! ;-)

Here is my 12" block I am calling "Seagulls in the Sand." It is adapted from the Ribbons Block found in EQ.

Seagulls in the Sand - 12" Block

Good luck to everyone who participates in the challenge!

Oh...sorry about that. I updated the post so you can actually see an entire quilt design used with these luscious fabrics!

Seagulls in the Sand - in Rotation ~ 63 x 63 inches

Seagulls in the Sand - in Formation ~ 69 x 93 inches

If you are intersted in this block, drop me a note and I will send you the cutting instructions for it.

And thanks for dropping by! Knuddels!

Friday, July 17, 2015

bavarian apron tutorial for a Dirndlschürze

My, oh my! Where have I been?? Once again Instagram has taken over me, and I have neglected to post here on my blog. I've been such a bad girl. ;-) The truth is...the end of school madness has taken over. We have lots of birthdays filled with end of school parties, and there is just no more time to get the sewing done!

We recently celebrated the 198th Sommerfest in Leipheim where both my of my kids participated. What is the Leipheimer Kinderfest? It is a celebration of ending the Hunger in Leipheim after a three-year struggle of bad weather an not crops two hundred years ago. I guess you could also call it the Hunger Games. It starts out as a huge parade beginning at the town center and leads to the Sportheim (Sports Field) where Grades 1-7 participated in a group dance/performances.

198th Leipheimer Kinderfest Parade - the Beginning

Surprisingly, not all boy were not required to wear Lederhosen...just the boys from my daughter's class and the 7th Graders who were required to wear the pre-made costumes that are worn every year for the past uh...50 years!? They are not very attractive, and they must hate it with a total passion that they have to wear them!!

Costumed Seventh Graders ready for their "Hunger Games"

The girls from my daugther's class were asked to wear Dirndls which is a Bavarian style of dress with a "corset-style" top and an apron. The rest of the girls were asked to wear their best dress. I didn't want to buy a new Dirndl for this one event, and kids grow so fast don't they?! Instead, we had a new all-white dress for my daughter that could be "pimped" to make look Bavarian. All I had to do was make an apron or Schürtze!

My daughter in the 198th Leipheimer Kinderfest Parade

Two days before the big parade, I took it upon myself to get to it and start sewing my daugther's apron! I looked high and low for a good tutorial on a Dirndl. I found this video on YouTube which was a good start, but there was no free pattern. This pattern helped me out even more. But, if you can't understand German, then you might be lost. I will walk you through the process if you would like to make one.

A Dirndlschürze or apron should be
  1. Slightly shorter than the dress or Dirndl,
  2. Cover the entire front of dress from side seam to side seam,
  3. Tie in the front of the dress,
  4. and have a button tab to hold it to the center of the dress.

I used a 3/8th inch seam allowance instead of 1.5 cm.

Materials Needed:
  • 2/3 yard fabric (My daughter's choice - Kate Spain's Honey Honey by Moda)
  • 3 x 13 inch interfacing
  • 3" long elastic band for button tab
  • matching thread
  • sewing notions
  • dressmaker's ruler (tape measure)

First, you need to write down all of your measurements. Measure the width from side seam to side seam of dress yoke (A - 12 inches). I wanted the apron to go slightly higher than waist level to drop right below the lace on my daughter's dress yoke but end higher than the lace at the bottom. Most Dirndls stop one inch above the length - mine about five inches. Measure the length of dress front (B - 15 inches). My measurements are 12 x 15 inches
Apron Front:
Cut one rectangle 16 x 25 inches

Formula for your custom  measurement:
Length + one inch x Width * 2 + one inch seam allowance on each side

You are going to fold the shorter sides in twice to get a finished hem. Mark with at 3/8th of an inch with a ruler and Frixion pen. Mark again at 3/8 of an inch parallel to the first line.

Fold over the fabric to the first seam and finger press.

Fold over to the second line and pin in place.

Sew hem using a scant 3/8" seam allowance.

Repeat for the Bottom Hem using a 1/2" seam allowance. Mark your two lines at 1/2 inch intervals.

Fold over using your drawn line as a guide. Finger press. Fold over again to next line. Pin in place. Press if desired. Sew hem using a scant 1/2" seam allowance.

Now you have an APRON FRONT without ruffles.

Now you will need to put some stay stitching in the top of the apron to make all those pretty ruffles. Sew along the top about 3/8" using an extremely large stitch or hem stitch. [Please ignore the black elastic band. I didn't use it.]

Take the bottom thread and pull to get some puckers or ruffles.

Pull from each end and smooth them out the ruffles along the entire length of front apron yoke.

Tie a knot in one end of the the thread to hold the ruffles in place.

Lay along a ruler to get a width of the starting measurement. Mine was 12 inches.

Tie a second knot in the opposite side and use pins to keep ruffles in place. Yes, there is a tiny knot in there. ;-) Set aside the APRON FRONT for now.

On to the APRON YOKE and TIE.

Take your original measurement (A). Add one inch to the length. Mine was 12".

From Fabric - cut a rectangle 3 x 13 inches.
From Stabilizer - cut a rectangle about 1/2 smaller than the fabric.

Apply stabilizer to wrong side of fabric.

Fold fabric inward along all edges. Press.

Fold in half lengthwise and steam press.

Dirndl Specialty: Make the button tab by cutting a piece of elastic 3" long. Sew to the top inside of the Apron Yoke.

Baste the front of the YOKE to the APRON FRONT using large hand stitches. Set aside for now.

Make the TIES by cutting 2 1/2" fabric strips. Your length should be 3 * (A) the yoke front for each side tie. Mine should have been 36". (Mine are actually shorter, because I was using up a smaller piece of fabric.)

Cut 2 - 2 1/2" x 36" from your main fabric

Sew along the length right sides together (RST) using a 1/4" seam allowance. Flip right side out. Flip one end in 1/4 inch; leave one end open - this end will be enclosed in the yoke. Stay stitch along all the three finished sides.

Insert the finished TIE into the YOKE. Pin in place.

Pin the back of the APRON YOKE in place enclosing the TIES and APRON FRONT.

Carefully sew along the YOKE making sure you catch the TIES, APRON FRONT and BACK of APRON YOKE.

Remove your basting stitches!

Now look at this glam Dirndlschürze! What a gorgeous apron for any dress! Attach a button to the dress you sewed the apron for. Finished! Remember, my ties are a little shorter than they should be. You should be able to tie a bow in the front.

Thank you for stopping by and reading my quick tutorial on how to make an apron for a Bavarian Dirndl. Are wondering if I have a Dirndl? Yes, I do! But it was just too hot for my winter Dirndl and I have yet to buy a summer one. I thought I would leave you a picture of my dear husband in his Lederhosen. ;-)


And a picture of my sweet daughter. I am so terrible at braiding hair, but I partly managed this french braid.

Daughter watching the Show

The kids rocked with their version of "Rock You," by the way! It was totally awesome and hilarious - Bavarian style!

2nd Grade Class Rocking to a Bavarian Beat

Weißwurst und Bretzeln!

Thank you for stopping by! If you find a mistake, please share with all of us. Hope you enjoyed the coffee and the tutorial.
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