Tuesday, December 30, 2014

leaves a'flutter tutorial


Hello Everyone! Thanks for stopping by today, especially if you are taking a side trip from the Moda Bake Shop where my tutorial for the Leaves a'Flutter quilt was posted! If you missed it, it is all about making a masculine quilt for that very special man in your life. It uses one layer cake, one jelly roll and two different yardages for the borders and binding.

I wanted to show you how universal this pattern is with a different colorway in the very luscious fabric collection from Zen Chic -  called Sphere. The yellows were carried over, and the aqua blues and modern grays spice up the pattern if you want something more vibrant. I am sure this would look even nicer when you mix two different collections together!! It is also a bit easier to see what I did with the binding by adding two matching border strips in the corners. Here they stand out just a little bit more than on the original quilt.

As an extra bonus, I wanted to share this miniature Autumn Blaze block with you. I had so much fun making the larger blocks, I had to see it as mini, because I love minis! I made mine for the quilt label.


As written in the tutorial, the original blocks are 20" and 10". I thought about making a 5" block as well, but then I thought this 2½" block would be a slight challenge would be just so darn cute. It was really pretty easy (after you know how they go together.) I made it in the exact same way, just with smaller blocks. I embroidered the step with a stem stitch. Doesn't it look cute?


If you make this block or a quilt from the pattern, I would love to see your creation!! Nothing warms a pattern designer's heart more than seeing your pattern put to use!

I would like to wish you and your family a very happy and exciting new year filled with less stress, more fun and interesting new challenges! Thanks for dropping by!

Karen

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

low volumes

I have discovered a new love of "low volume" prints or for newcomers a light/white fabric with a low to medium tone on top. They are not tone-on-tones because they read as beige, cream, or gray. It gives a new dimension to the fabric. I was introduced to this from my friend Sandra and really had no idea what she was talking about. And instead of totally looking like an idiot, I just skipped right over what she was talking about. I know understand the term and am embracing it full-heartedly.

I just received this quilt from Emilly, my swap partner for the month of October, at the Doll Quilt Monthly Swap. It is the perfect use of low volumes! Just look at the beautiful composition using improvisation sewing, bright fall colors and low volume prints. I truly love it!! Then I understood completely where this new trend is heading - the look of scrappy with the use of low volumes instead of just "snow white" or "gray" as the neutral. Cool...I like this!

Doll Quilt received from Emilly

Then the next question...can I do this?? No. My stash is totally lacking creams, whites, and low volumes. Of course I wanted to order from the US, but it takes soooo long. Sometimes it can take up to two months before I receive new fabric lines and then I have to pay not only state tax (Mehrwertsteuer) but import tax as well. If I have it USPS'd I would also have to pay an additional charge to rush it through customs! The alternative was to pay more per yardage (or meter) for a price of 18-19€/meter. I think this is a steep price, but in the end, it might be cheaper? You tell me. What is your experience.?

So, I was on the hunt for some really nice new low volumes within the EU. The first two online shops I stopped at were Stoffekontor and Cotton and Color. I didn't find a huge assortment of what I was looking for, but I did find a few fabrics. I was also really turned on by the blacks as well, even more so than the whites. These are the new additions to my stash-


And I was so excited when I received them, I had to get started. The sun has been really nice to us the past week and making a presence almost every day. Looking at the some of the ideas from our Pillow Swap, I went right to work adding coordinating bright fabrics for greater contrast. I love contrast!


As you can see, I have not mastered this "style." I think there are a few too many non-low volume prints in there, but I am still working largely with my own stash. It is still a part of me. I am undecided if I like it, especially for a swap partner. I will get back to it after the holidays when there is more sunlight. Maybe I keep it, maybe I go for something totally different. Who knows!


I look forward to adding more and more of this fascinating fabric to my stash!

Happy Holidays!
Karen

Friday, December 19, 2014

sunshine and rainbows

"You know you are a blogger if you wait for the sun to come out so you can take pictures of your latest makes!"

That was my day today. It looked good this morning that the sun was going to make a show, and it did! The sky is a little hazy right now, but the sun is still visiting. I really didn't want to start anything new today, but I couldn't resist making a new folded star with rainbow colors inspired by the idea pool for the Pillow Swap 2015.



I really enjoy making these. You can find the original tutorial from Maria Wallin (notonlyquilts.com). Contrasting fabrics seem to work the best. Instead of a rainbow flow, I went for contrary colors. I might use it for my pillow swap; I might not. Sometimes it is hard to make for others - to truly figure out what they like!

On a different note - I love Christmas time. The kids make a different Christmas ornament just about every year in school (and sometimes at home). My littlest one brought this treasure home today!


Und für die deutsche Mädels, die meinen Blog lesen....gestern Abend wurde ich in Kruschtwichteln bei Abendenssen mit Freundinnen eingeweiht! Sehr witzig und interessant!

Enjoy your weekend!
Karen

Monday, December 15, 2014

adventszeit

I am not getting much done in the last days before Christmas as far as sewing. Most of my projects are finished, and I am slowing down, enjoying the season. I made a couple more batches of Christmas cookies since I did well at WW last week. I really ate too many over the weekend though. I also managed to get some of my last projects finalized with binding and border before the Christmas tree went up on Saturday.



We have been enjoying the Christmas Season by visiting the Weihnachtsmärkte. Everything is offered from homemade wooden ornaments to hand-blown glass, scarves, socks, mitten, wicker baskets, candles, soap, Christmas decorations, quilts, artwork, and speciality foods. There is always a nice variety of foods such as Flammkuchen, Hefeklößchen, chocolate coated fruits, roasted almonds and chestnuts, candy, mulled cider and Glühwein, und Feuerwurst.  The kids even got to eat Zimtwaffeln (cinnamon waffles). Oh, how I love Christmas Time.

Weihnachtsmarkt in Dinkelsbuhl

I am usually in the search for these little wooden treasures. Do you know what they are? They are personal butter molds. You have to "bathe" them in water for an hour or two, fill them with softened butter, return them to the fridge and press out the butter with the plunger. Very cool! This time I found a flower and an owl.

Butterförmchen

We were at one of the nicest Christmas markets here in southern Germany - Dinkelsbuhl. I love returning to this town. I found the two butter forms above located in one of the baskets below. The vendor also had larger butter forms, but I don't have a lot of experience if they work well or not. My husband always tells me of his grandmother that would decorate the freshly made butter with a knife. She was pretty talented and ornate in her designs. It must have been a very beautiful lost art.


Everything made from wood

The inner city with the wall of Dinkelsbuhl is breathtaking. The buildings do not have large billboards or signs in front of the building. There must be an ordnance that states this, because you almost don't see what the shops are selling until you get right up on it.

I think Dinkelsbuhl is one of Germany's best kept secrets...Rotherburg ob der Tauber is very commercialized...where all the tourists go. Dinkelsbuhl is what I imagine the real Germany to be in the Middle Ages. The building are enormous, and you can really get the impression of how big the "Häuser" were. There weren't such things as individual homes in the cities at that time. These were made for several families and over generations.

Dinkelsbuhl am 3. Advent
I hope you are enjoying this holiday season with your friends and family. It is only about going to the office party, because you have to. It's about sharing your time, your valuable time with others. Make someone laugh today, because it is good for them, and for you!

Monday, December 8, 2014

sneak peek for moda bake shop

Are the winter blues getting you down? Are you ready for Christmas to pass and get on with it? Are you wondering what you are going to do over the holidays after everyone is gone and you want to sew! Well, I have been working on a new tutorial for the Moda Bake Shop using the beautiful new line called Lakeside Gatherings from Primitive Gatherings for Moda Fabrics. And you are going to love this one, because you use most of the precut fabrics with very little waste. Everything you need for the top is pictured right here! It makes a very large sofa quilt measuring 71 x 79 inches.

Please stay tuned and check it out my new tute at Moda Bake Shop on December 30th. Until then, Happy and safe Holidays!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

on a Christmas roll or spiral

I am proud of myself this year! I am so into the Christmas mode - I already mailed off the presents to my American family. (They'd better arrive before Christmas, too! They tend to be locked up in Customs for weeks and don't arrive until after the holidays.) I have made five different batches of Christmas cookies and will work on some more this afternoon. I have my little owls in still in production and started on a few new holiday projects. I am really on a roll, because I usually don't get my butt into gear until the last Advent and then it is too late!

I borrowed a 9° ruler from a friend of mine to make some quick table runners. I made a few of them a couple of years ago and wanted to make them again this year for friends as gifts. Pictured to the right is this super cool, super easy, mind boggling table runner. It actually won in a contest at the Quilt Gallery! I had totally forgotten about it until Ingrid, a reader in Witzenhausen, asked about this technique. Your friends will be amazed when you make these! I am still amazed by it and am happy that I didn't give all of them away a couple of years ago.

I also wondered what else can you make with this ruler? Since my husband requested a new tree skirt for our tree, I decided I would have to make one in traditional colors this year. I first wanted to make a round spiral tree skirt, but I didn't think I had enough of all of the fabrics. Instead, I used 2 - 2 1/2" wide strips from nine different fabrics to make this quick and easy tree skirt. I used an additional 3/4 yard of the smaller prints for the between wedges. You will need 20 patchwork wedges and 20 one-fabric wedges for a total of 40 wedges.


With the left over strips, I made a very quick table runner. How cool is that - two for one! There is still a little leftover. I am still wondering what I can do with that!


And to show you what else we've been up to, my dear daughter photographed their gingerbread house. Each year I buy a store bought gingerbread package and let the kids decorate it. They have so much fun with it, and it never gets boring. I save some of the Halloween candy and let them throw that on as well. After a few days, the kids forget to eat the candy, but by Christmas, it is all gone!


Are you familiar with the 9° wedge ruler from Marilyn Doheny? Have you made anything with it? If you have, get out those photographs and link up below! I would like to see what you've made.

Thanks for stopping by!
Karen




Monday, December 1, 2014

sign ups begin for 2015

The Pillow Swap Four Seasons, the newest and coolest international pillow case swap celebrating the four seasons of the year and is kicking off today! The flickr group and swap is being co-hosted by the lovely Sandra (aka Hohenbrunner Quiltering) and myself! What's really great about this swap is that it only takes place FOUR times a year. What takes center stage here is the entire process of making the pillow from color choices to design. A pillow swap for design freaks you could say!

Alle Infos darüber findet Ihr in unserer neu eingerichteten flickr-Gruppe. Wir starten mit einem Frühlingskissen, die Sign-ups sind vom 1. bis 12. Dezember offen. Ihr konntet mehr bei Sandra  in deutsch darüber lesen: http://hohenbrunnerquilterin.blogspot.de/2014/11/etwas-neues.html

https://www.flickr.com/photos/94597789@N05/15730724527/in/2730349@N24/

How does the swap work? You will be assigned a secret partner and get to spy out their likes and style. Then, you have about three months to make them a pillow case according to their wishes. Does it sound fun and exciting? Then please check all of the details on flickr.

Registration opens today for the spring swap 2015 and continue until Dec. 12, 2014.

Three basic steps to sign up are
  1. Join the flickr group
  2. Fill out the form at Sandra's blog of your contact info for your partner
  3. Create a flickr mosaic of your interests
Then, sit back and wait until Moday, Dec. 15, 2014. The name of your "secret partner" will be emailed to you. You get to spy your partner out on flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. and sew something according to their wishes. Then, start designing in the New Year and share your design process with us on flickr!

Sandra has designed an online template that will help us keep track of you and your interests. It will also help us to assign an appropriate partner according to your ability and experience to make it more enjoyable for everyone. All information will be kept confidential and not given to third parties without your consent. If you have any questions, please post them in the flickr group or email me.



You can grab the blinkie here to support our group. If you don't want to participate, we would still love to have you come by and check us out!

Thanks for stopping by!
Karen

Thursday, November 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving

I would like to wish a happy turkey day to all of you that celebrate this American holiday. I still celebrate it although I live in Germany; today is a regular day - no Thanksgiving day, it is an American holiday remember.

I usually make a big "traditional" Thanksgiving on the weekend following the fourth Tuesday in November. We invite our closest friends to compensate for the lack of family that all live in the United States. Last year and this year, I am unable to carry out this tradition. I have a weekend retreat planned instead. So, a little Thanksgiving dinner will be whipped up for this evening including chicken breasts, yummy stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin cheesecake for desert. And of course, everything is homemade just like my "Plätzchen" or Christmas cookies!!


And for all of you shoppers on "Black Friday" - the biggest US shopping day of the year that follows Thanksgiving Thursday, I have a new pattern up and loaded for you on Craftsy to make as a Christmas gift for all of your sewing and patchwork friends - the perfect wrist pin catcher. I promise you, you will not be disappointed with this pattern. There are step-by-step photographs of the entire process, so you won't get lost.

  

You will have so much fun making one, you won't be able to stop making them go into production for your friends. Just raid your scrap bin and have fun!!


The wrist pin catcher can be tailored to fit your wrist exactly with a simple formula or use the quick reference guide. I have a 6.5 inch wrist, and this one fits perfectly; it doesn't turn or twist and keeps it shape. It is soft and non-itchy. They are especially nice when you make them from linen! Change up and where them according to your mood or project!


Enjoy the day and show the ones you love the most just how much they mean to you!
I love you, Mom, Kittie and Co. as well as the rest of you, Family! You know who you are! ;-)

Karen

Saturday, November 22, 2014

getting ready for the holidays

This year I have decided to start a little earlier with the holiday preparations. Normally I am way late and stress myself out at the last minute.

I already started to make my mix of Christmas cookies too - ginger snaps, Russian tea cakes (so ähnlich wie Vanillekipferl), and traditional sugar cookies decorated by the kids. I still would like to make coconut macaroons, hazelnut macaroons, Baseler-Leckerli, mini peanut butter cookies and pecan sandies (Heidesand).

The house will get decorated this weekend and the Christmas tree will go up two weeks before the big day - December 25. We celebrate an American Christmas with Santa Claus and X-Mas morning gifts with stockings filled with goodies.

Our kids enjoy the German tradition of Advent Calenders that count down the days in December until the 24th. This is when the Christ Child (Kristkind) comes with presents. I made new calender for each of my children last year, but don't think we put them out.  (They always had one; they just got a new and improved rendition.) My kids have been nagging me for a store-bought calender, but I really like to fill them up with "healthy" goodies and not just a bunch of chocolate. My, what the kids of a patchworker have to endure in life! :-)

Today I am showing off my miniature quilt I made for my doll swap partner for the  month of November. We agreed to make something for Christmas, and Patty wanted a real doll quilt with the dimensions 18 x 24 inches. I didn't get the dimensions exactly right, but got them close enough. I also used a pattern from a doll quilt book, so I could book this one too...


I started with the book Prairie Children and Their Quilts. I wanted the quilt to be uniform (that didn't happen!) and use three colors - white, red, gray. I decided to use up my scraps from the prettiest winter collection in my stash from Jan Shade Beach for Henry Glass called Holiday Frost. This collection is no longer available but a newer version can be bought with the name Holiday Magic. All of the centers are fussy cut and the blocks finish at 4.5 inches. I thought I would make things a little easier and fuse all of the blocks to a thin fleece and then sew all seams at once. To do this, your layout has to be set in stone, because you can't flip the blocks around later. It definitely took longer to set it all up, but I am pleased with the result. I think only two points didn't match up. I don't mind the brightness, but the larger prints distract a bit from the total design. Was it the right choice with the red binding? Is the gray distracting? What about those three red centers I threw in to make it a little scrappier? Personally, for my own taste, I am not sure I like it. But, then again, if I put it away for a while, and took it out later, it might have become one of my favorites.

Enjoy your weekend!
Karen

Monday, November 17, 2014

get your felt on

I have surprised myself with a new interest. When I was at the European Patchwork Convention in Marie St. Aux Mines in September, I started to fall in love with a lot of crafts made with felt. Since then, I have started a few projects, because you can never have too many projects in the works. I even finished one!


 

This is a cupcake needle/embroidery case for my daughter. I picked up this pattern from a lovely lady from Budapest. Unfortunately, the seller does not have a website. ;-(

A few months back, I was on the hunt for a while for the perfect needle case that would accommodate the scissors without falling out as well as different sized needles. I thought this was a perfect fit as soon as I saw it - and it is sooo cute! We both really enjoyed decorating it. You can see my daughters lovely seed stitching on the scissor compartment.

She enjoyed it so much, we decided to start another project - this time for Christmas.


I found this lovely free pattern from Jessica Levitt! You can use them as ornaments or as decoration on your presents. My DD and I picked out the colors one at a time for each individual owl. She told me there were baby owls and Mama owls too. There is a very special one in her colors that we keep! Can you figure it out? This is such a great project for kids!! If you like felt, check it out!

What I really like about working with felt is the travelability. (Is that a word?) You don't have to turn on your sewing machine to do these. That can really come in handy - just take a long.

What are you working on for Christmas? Have you been staying in touch with Ho, ho, ho and on We Sew? If you haven't there are still some projects you can get done before the Christmas rush.

Happy felting!
Karen

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

pillow swap four seasons - come join us!


Do you like to decorate your home according to the seasons? Do you like seasonal pillows for your sofa or love seat? Do you love to sew for others and and be surprised yourself? Then we have an exciting new program for you - an international pillow case swap according to the seasons!

My friend Sandra, aka hohenbrunnerquilterin, and I are teaming up to bring you an exciting and challenging pillow swap. We are committed to hostessing and cheering you on as you design and show off your entire creative process of patchwork design.

How does the swap work? You have the chance to sew a pillow case for a secret partner using basically any "sewing" method around. To help you understand your partner, he/she will make an inspirational mosaic of things that they like according to the season and upload to flickr. You in turn, will also create a mosaic for the person who is creating a pillow case for you. These do not have to be pillows, but things to help you see your swap partner's style and taste. Remember, your swap partner will not be sewing for you in return, but someone else. Everyone has a different to and from parnter..sort of like a secret Santa exchange. You are not allowed under any circumstances to reveal your partner nor contact them until the "Secret List" is revealed!We want to keep it interesting.

The pillow swap takes place four times a year, spring, summer, fall and winter, so you will have the chance to get a new partner and be surprised every season. A new season, a new partner. It is your task to make a pillow case related to the season by use of color, design, motifs, holidays, etc. If you are a fall-type of person, then just sign up for the fall swap. Don't like the springtime? Then join for winter! Just keep the sign up dates marked on your calendar.

How did all of this start? I have been a member of the Doll Quilt Monthly swap for over a year now. It is very exciting designing mini quilts for others, and I wanted to extend the fun with seasonal yet functional patchwork designs. I have known about the pillow swaps on the Net, but they seem to be always full or per "invitation only." Our group is open to everyone of all skill levels. Everyone has a chance to participate!!

Are you ready to play? Registration begins the first of December for the spring swap 2015. After you have signed up, you will have three months to design your pillow case for your secret partner using the information he/she provides the pillow swap four seasons group via flickr. This is entirely organized and presented through flickr, so you must have a flickr account to play. Are you game? Then read more about it here on flickr. Keep in mind, you will have to agree to the rules before you are allowed to play. Don't forget, registration opens the first of December. I am so excited...I hope to see everyone there!!

If you don't want to play but would like to support our group, you can always grab our button and post on your blog or website. We are really going to wow your socks off!



The easiest was I find to add a blinkie to your blog is to right click on the icon and copy the address. Link the image to the URL. That simple! Add the flickr address for redirection, of course. If that's too complicated, you can always go to Sandra's site. She does it with a html tag.

Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to seeing on you on the Pillow Swap Four Seasons!
Karen

Friday, November 7, 2014

more sneak peeks

When I was in France last month at the European Quilt Convention, I found something that sparked my interest terribly - FELT! I have made things from felt before like a mobile phone case, but I sewed it together with the sewing machine not by hand. (If there is an easier way to make it, I am all for it.) I found this really cute sewing and needle kit made in felt. I couldn't resist, because I have been scouting around for that perfect needle case for a while now. So I bought it!! I loved it so much, I returned the next day to the same stand to buy a different felt kit and a gorgeous variegated floss. I pulled out this book, because it is one of two that I bought a few years ago to learn how to embroider. It is not as hard as I thought!!

I hope you stay tuned for the outcome. It might be a little "primitive," but a girl has to start somewhere!

And another sneak peek - I worked on the perfect wrist needle pin cushion. It is simple to make and doesn't need added stabilizing in the bottom for the pins. I went into production and made them for all of the participants of the Patchwork in the Peaks in Morzine, France last month as well.


They turned out very nice and are quite easy to make. They are great as stocking stuffers at Christmas or a quick birthday gift for a sewing friend. I hope to have a pattern for it soon in my Craftsy shop.

Thanks for dropping by!
Karen

Friday, October 31, 2014

halloween goody

Happy Halloween Everyone!! If you have little kids at home, I wish you loads of fun if you go trick or treating. If you don't, and you hand out candy, have fun looking at all of the creative costumes all those hard working mothers put together. If you are still in the spirit, here is a little goody for you. My Halloween Goody is a little paper piecing row of pumpkins finishing at 4" x 12".

http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/four-friendly-pumpkins/118891

My challenge to you - print out these paper pieced templates and make something with them by November 20th, 2014. Send me a picture of what you made using "Friendly Pumpkins" in the header. I will post all pictures online. One lucky Halloween (or sewing) enthusiast will randomly win this lovely handmade zippered pouch using Zen Chic fabrics. It is that simple!


You can jump on over to Craftsy to download the free pattern at my easypatchwork store. You can use the appliqué templates provided or you may create your own. Have fun with it. And if NO ONE makes something to show or share with us, I will be quite content, because I love my Zen Chic Zippered Sewing Pouch and really don't want to part with it!!

Have fun and Happy Halloween!

-Karen

Thursday, October 16, 2014

fall spirit

I have discovered that the month of October is flying by. Where has the time gone? Even though I am very busy this month I am still getting in my sewing time which makes for a happy woman. I am totally in the fall spirit and with it, sewing leaves in all different shapes and styles. It first started with my paper pieced Autumn Leaf and kept on going.

I made the one below for our Quilt Group. The lovely and charming, Marianne, presented it for the month of October. It will be the last in our series of our mystery quilts celebrating our 20th anniversary of the Nersinger Patchworkers. Eight of the members presented a block for all of us to try sewing and incorporate into the mystery quilt. I tried to use all the different fabrics that I used throughout the quilt to give it a little bit of unity in the end. We'll see how it all turns out or if I have to resew a block or two...I certainly hope not! ;-)


And shortly before I made this colorful leaf, I decided to go simple this month with my Doll Quilt Swap partner and make a variegated table runner in a more modern color scheme. Was I successful? There is a peachy color in there! Is it modern? I like the playfulness of using somewhat of a "traditional" fabric on one side and a more "modern" fabric on the other. I like it! I managed a little outline quilting (straight line of course). I thought about FMQ, but I didn't want to mess it up. ;-) That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.


How is your fall going? Are you in the fall spirit? Is it windy and rainy where you are? Or is the sun shining and giving your that gorgeous orange glow? What do you like about autumn?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

halloween quilts

Hello Everyone! I would like to share with a quilt I received from my Doll Quilt Montly Swap partner, Lorna. We decided not to go with the monthly theme of "Back to School" and make Halloween Quilts for each other instead. Lorna lives in the UK and doesn't really celebrate Halloween, so it gave her a chance to be a little creative and jump out of her comfort zone. She made this really beautiful Halloween Dresden using Halloween and linen fabrics. I was totally happy to have received it! She did a really fantastic job at quilting it as well! Thank you Lorna!

Halloween is just around the bend, and it has totally escaped me this year, again. I have hardly decorated at all and don't know what to dress the kids up as. I guess I should ask them, shouldn't I? Every year I think about Halloween costumes and never make one. And then, I decide I will make them at Fasching or Mardi Gras. That doesn't usually happen either! One of my goals for next year is to make clothing for my daughter, so costumes are also included. I think I will ask her today what costume we should sew for her for Kinderfasching! It will probably be a princess since she still very much likes pink! ;-)

Do you celebrate Halloween? Do you decorate your home? Do you scare Trick or Treaters or turn the light out when they come around?

Enjoy your week!
Karen

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

autumn leaves pattern

Last weekend, I was at Patchwork at the Peaks in Morzine, France hosted by Elita Sharpe. It was one of the most rewarding retreats that I have ever attended. If you know me, you know I don't lie or fluff! Not only did I participate, but I was also allowed to give a morning introductory class in paper piecing. I designed this simple autumn leaves template which is a great starter for learning foundation piecing or sewing by numbers. No lines have to match up and if you don't sew directly on a line, it isn't noticeable at all. And the best part of it all - it is a great stash buster!!

All of the ladies were eager to try out the pattern and take a whirl at it. And more importantly, everyone finished the project and most made not only one, but two of the 5" blocks. I was very impressed with how the ladies quickly took to understanding paper piecing. I didn't catch on that quickly when I first started foundation piecing. It was always that first step that got me as well as flipping over the paper back and forth, especially forgetting where to sew the next line. Ladies, you get an A+ (American), 6 (Swiss) and a 1 (German) from me! You did a fanstic job at sewing your leaves together. They were all so great in different color combinations too. I liked all of them which ranged from only solids in contrast colors, to a mix up of vintage fabrics depicting the different season.

May I show you some of THEIR INCREDIBLE work?




A Collection of Autumn Leaves at the Peaks 6

Being a pattern designer it is extremely rewarding to see what other quilters have made with your pattern. It warms my heart seeing so many beautiful patchwork pieces. Bravo, ladies, bravo! I look forward to seeing more paper pieced blocks and quilts MADE BY YOU!

If you are intersted in making your own autumn leaves wall hanging, you can get the 5" template pattern on Craftsy.

Yours truly,
Karen




Monday, October 6, 2014

the complete patchwork retreat




Are you looking for a full-catered, patchwork retreat that is well organized and thought out? Do you want to leave your sewing machine at home or need to buy some thread or more fabric while you are there? Not to worry! This retreat has it all such as sewing notions, fabrics, sewing machines on site (if desired), comfortable accommodations, fine food, massage, nail services, hot tub access, expert quilting & patchwork instructors, a diverse program of different quilt projects and quick activities all in the most exquisite of locations - a chalet in the French Alps! This full service, complete retreat is offered through Elita Sharpe (The Busy Needle Quilting) from Geneva, Switzerland. Her very well organized and well thought through quilting retreats in Morzine, France offer everything an international quilter might want at the Patchwork in the Peaks Retreat.

Miss Elita
Elita has been organizing retreats for several years now perfecting the ultimate patchwork retreat experience. She is ever humble in her abilities and knowledge and helps you on your way as a quilter to further develop your skills as well. She neither boasts nor brags and is always reassuring and helpful. Elita has been quilting for over twenty years and runs a long arm quilt service and a small online patchwork shop in Geneva. Being a quilter herself, her passion is to provide a haven for quilters to get together, enjoy their time off quilting and share their experiences with one other.

I was so honored to attend this wonderful retreat (Peaks 6) last weekend where I was not only warmly welcomed by Elita and her group but also instantly accepted by the other quilters who have previously attended. Thank you, Elita, Gina and Crew!

As a group of sixteen quilters with a wide range of experience from the near novice to the professional, there were absolutely no problems with understanding, because the pace was set by your own needs. Both Elita and Gina (her right hand and additional instructor) helped us along with our projects. They always made me feel comfortable - no rush, no worries, no pressure. If I  didn't want to sew, I could just sit out on the terrace and have a glass of wine if I fancied it better. All projects were optional. You could just sew on what you brought with you, if you preferred to.

Early Morning Sewing Views of Morzine, France
Elita introduced us to a Y-seam exercise with the spinning card trick. Most of us were a little challenged with the new Y-seam, and I think I heard a few interesting words thrown into the air, but we all mastered the project in the end. Our projects adorned the wall of fame by dinner time. I too was most definitely challenged by this seam. I try to avoid it at all costs. But I continued on and made the $&§% thing!

Spinning Card Trick - A Hard Day's Work
Most of the projects were organized in the mornings and other activities such as nail services, massage or hot tubbing in the afternoons. A French/English breakfast including porridge and baguette was served for breakfast, a light yet filling noon-time lunch and a very savory dinner & dessert in the evenings. I didn't take a picture of my chocolate croissant bread and butter pudding we had for dessert one night, because it simply disappeared too fast. Delicious! It was a slight change to my typical "German-style" cuisine of breads in the morning and evenings, but I adapted quickly. Thank you very much, Lou!

The Finest of Dining Prepared Fresh Daily

Not to mention the two lovely hosts of our chalet, Karen and Richard who thought of everything to help our visit more enjoyable including shuttle service to and from the airport as well as the most awesome entertainment on the way back. If you are a future guest of the Mountain Lodge Company, don't forget to ask for the Julie Andrews package and tell them "Karen the blogger" mentioned it! Thank you, Richard! I didn't have to be so nervous about catching the plane; you got me there with a good amount of time to go.


View of the Chalet Les 4 Vents Including Ample Parking


This retreat and chalet caters to the English-speaking community which allowed me to feel absolutely comfortable speaking in my native language and opening up to the others around me. Sometimes, I tend to freeze up and shut down when others around me are talking too fast or I don't understand a foreign language as well as I should. Here, I felt like I really belonged especially since I met others who also had very similar life journeys and experiences such as myself. I feel that I made a few more friends on this retreat and look forward to my next visit for another awesome experience. I am very curious to see what type of agenda Elita and Gina have planned for the next retreat coming up in April 2015! Are you?

View from the Wrap-Around Balcony


Did I mention that I have always dreamt about a quilting retreat in the mountains in the fall? As a patchworker reading American quilting magazines, you will find advertisements for ultimate quilting retreats in the ski areas, surrounded by nature - locked in with other patchworkers for a quilting experience away from your families and other distractions. I have been searching and yearning for such a retreat in Europe for years now. And now I have found it, and I don't think there is any way you can improve upon it. Elita has fulfilled all of my expectations and more. There was even perfect 20°C weather with sunny skies every day!! Thank you, again, Elita!

Everyone Deep into their Sewing Projects

And for those of you who joined in the fun for the long four-day weekend, thank you for putting up with my little paper piecing intro. I hope it helped you learn a new technique that you will continue to use and feel confident about.  I truly enjoyed your company and look forward to continuing this new friendship. Most importantly, I look forward to seeing you again at another Peaks Retreat!!

Patchwork in the Peaks 6 Crew
THANK YOU EVERYONE!! Big Hugs!
Karen - the blogger
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