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
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