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
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