Monday, April 14, 2014

a new quilt for teddy and friends

I was pretty excited this month; time permitted me to sew a few blocks for the Block Lotto. Depending on how difficult the blocks are and what colors are being used, I might or might not participate. In the end, I want to receive the blocks I will be making. And if I have a difficult time making them, everyone else probably will too.

This month's block is a Triangle in a Square. easy block. I can do this one and my daughter can help. (That was one of the reasons of joining the group - that my daughter was going to sew along with me.) We followed the directions and cut everything out just as described in Method Two: making eight blocks at once. I like making more at a time. Es rendiert sich! Silly me, I picked up the smaller squares to make the smaller triangles. (I really should read more carefully and not sew in the evenings. This always seems to cause a problem.) I sewed according to the next section and voila! My inner blocks were 1/2 inch smaller than they should be. Huh?? I remember reading on the website that someone else had also sewn the blocks together, and they were smaller. Where's the problem? Oh course, I got confused and picked up the wrong square. I needed the larger square for the smaller triangle and the smaller square for the larger triangle. Sound logical. At that moment, no.

Well, I trimmed them down and found a great use for them - a new quilt for teddy and friends! I let my daugter arrange them. Pink had to go in the center; it is a girly color. And even though teddy is a boy, he has to share with the girls as well. It will get quilted within the next couple of days with a really nice flannel backing so teddy and friends stay nice and cozy. I don't know if there is a block name for this layout. If there is not, we're going to call this teddy's block.

The next morning, I was on a mission to get it right. After re-reading the directions, everything seemed logical to me. I cut new colored patches slightly larger than the directions as before, because when I am sewing on the bias and cutting, I always like to have a little extra. That works for me. Everything went easy cheesy, except my daughter didn't want to help anymore.

This time I eliminated the red and substituted a light pink. The red was probably better, a little brighter. These are getting thrown into the lotto pot. Maybe I will win a collection? If not, it was fun working with my bright colors again --- so nice and cheery.

Thanks to a mix up of the mind, my daughter has a new quilt for her teddy and friends. Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever made teddy bear quilts? What do you like about making them? If you have, I would love to hear about it. Please post in the comments section. I love to receive your comments! Until next time, happy patching.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

wrist pin cushion for sewists

Recently I received an email from a reader about my linen sewing pin cushion that I made after my weekend retreat at a convent.  The very friendly, Ann from Australia wanted to know where she could get this pattern. I designed it myelf to the exact measurements of my own medium-sized wrist. The pattern is now available to you at Craftsy!

As I do with most patterns, I want it to be correct. So, I made several of these cushions tweeking the pattern to get them just right. I tried out different lengths of the elastic band and different materials that I filled the pin cushions with to get the exact feel that was comfortable and functional. It must hold the needles snug but the needles must also go in easily. A cotton filler might make it fluffy, but doesn't hold your needle. Risotto rice doen't work that well either. It is a nice medium sized grain that holds your needle, but dulls it as you push it in.

What is really great about this wrist pin cushion is the total comfort! It does not slip and slide. The elastic does not cut into your wrist either. It takes on the warmth of your hand from the soft texture of the linen. I added a plastic guard as well, so the pins would not ram into your arm for that bitter shock. Ouch!

If you like to keep your pins close to you especially on your wrist, this is the perfect pin cushion for you! It is simple, easy, and practical!

Thank you for dropping by. I would love to see your creations, so don't forget to upload them to Craftsy!

Monday, April 7, 2014

cattinka's hasenbach challenge 2014

I am very fortunate to join up with a great group of ladies over at Cattinka's Blog for her annual Hasenbach Challenge. What is this challenge about? For those of us who like to sew in a virtual group, it allows you to sew a block from any of Claudia Hasenbach's patterns and display it at an ever growing gallery she posts the last day of the month. It is like walking into an art exhibit without leaving leaving your home!

Cattinka's Blogspot has grown this year and has an incredible amount of participants - 43. Can you believe that? I do not know how she manages with such a large number!? She cheers us on and makes sure we have our blocks finished by the end of the month. Thank you so much for your support and organizing the group! We couldn't do it without you, liebe Katrin!

I thought I would share three blocks with you that I have finished for this year's challenge. In the beginning, I wasn't sure what I wanted to make, so I found a nice landscape scene reminding me of the Carolina Fall I so deeply miss. It looks totally different since I put the borders on it. I think I will make it into a sofa pillow that will go great with my darker colored living room.

Then, Katrin nudged me along to help me find a complete wall hanging that was achievable. I am going with the Apfelernte or Apple Harvest and using the muted earth tones from the fabric collection above. They always make me feel warm and cozy inside. The blue is the wackiest color in it. Again, I miss that Carolina blue sky! I had to have some color!!

After I knock my green apple blocks out, then the reds will come more into play. I personally really like the wacky green apple here. It makes it come to life against the subdued colors and more interesting to look at. The apple tree above will get some french-knotted apples when I get around to it!

Oh, so many SAL/BOM this year. I bought some more plastic totes to get better organized. I also sorted out and refolded all of my fabric over the weekend. My husband thought I was crazy and asked if he go to his shop and sort out his screws. That was a good comparison, but I think I have more fabric. ;-)

Please come join us the last day of each month for a gallery showing of patchwork-artwork at Cattinka's Blogspot.

Happy patching and thank you for stopping by!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

project: sewing room

Hello my very dear and loyal readers! Today I would like to share with you my sewing room and a few ideas I have about it. If you are coming to my site via IkeaHackers to take a look at the customized sewing room cutting table, you will be very excited about this new project.

I first uploaded "how to make the cutting table" almost one year ago and had big ideas for the rest of my sewing room. But as things usually go, the day-to-day gets in the way. Now that I am working in the room, I see room for improvement and desperately need to make some changes.

My project is to improve and vitalize my sewing room with (new) ideas that are very functional for the 20-ten patchworker! I will bring out a post (once a month) giving tips, ideas, or little projects that will "WOW" your sewing room. Now, I know we all have our own style. Some like dark wood, some black, some cherry, some beech (Buche) wood. I like it "modern rustic." For me, that means the look of old wood combined with white. I love color, believe me I do! But in my sewing room, I want the room to be my canvas. My sewing room will stay within this theme, but you can tailor the projects to your style and your space. I will even talk a little bit about ergonomics in the sewing room.

I am very fortunate and thankful to have a medium sized room with lots of light. It is used not only by me for sewing, but additionally as the "ironing room" where I get the laundry back into order as well as the place where the kids do their homework. So, this being said, it has to accommodate these things as well.

The essentials are already set up - cutting table, sewing table, storage. I have a wonderful cutting table (100x140cm) made by my Schatzi. I am using an older Ikea table (80x120cm) with adjustable legs which gives me the perfect height I need to sew. The table is turned perpendicular to the wall, because I want to look around my room. Otherwise, I would feel like I were in a jail cell looking at a cement wall. It also allows me to quilt larger quilts and let them hang off the table. Last year, I also bought double cabinets for fabric storage and a tall book shelf with drawers for unfinished projects and additional storage.

My room looks a little messy right now, but I wanted to be candid about it. No one is perfect and nothing is ever 100% clean and organized all of the time. My room is in a working condition, not a museum.

First up on the To-Do-List is to get my sewing room back on track and do some spring cleaning...sorting out projects, fabrics, and some general cleaning. I found a good article about it here.

I hope you will join me once a month for a post on project: sewing room! Please feel free to leave a comment about ideas that have helped you in your sewing room/space.

Monday, March 31, 2014

frogging it

Have you ever had one of those days when you were sewing along nicely, and then you realized you did something really stupid? That happened to me the other day!

Some of your might know or remember seeing this quilt featured in a picture about acronyms. It is a quilt I designed for my niece with 1/2 yard cuts she picked out. I put together most of the quilt while I was away on my quilting retreat in a convent. I started quilting it a with 50 weight 100% cotton thread; I normally use straight polyester for simple sewing. Well, dumb me, when I started quilting, I completely forgot about that! And needless to say, I forgot to check my bobbin tension! If you know what happened, please raise your hand. My thread was not pulled all the way through to the back of the quilt. It looked perfect on the front and was just floating on the top of the quilt backing!

Now, this quilt does not have to be perfect. I know that. I can get pretty particular about certain things, but when the quilting doesn't hold the quilt together, it just ain't gonna hold! OOps...a little southern accent is showing through today. Did I mention we ate barbecue spare ribs with homemade creamy coleslaw on the weekend? That must have done it. ;-)

Since I am doing very little quilting on this one, it has to hold all three layers. What to do? I put this quilt on hold for a while trying to get my other projects done, because when you have a brain fart like I did, you simply have to put it aside and come back when you have forgiven yourself! My deadline was the first week of April, but better right than not. I pulled it back out today and started the ever dreaded process of "frogging it." Do you know what I am talking about? Rip it, rip it, rip it. For those of you who don't know this phrase, it means that you take your beloved seam ripper, my best friend, and rip those seams out by cutting through every fourth stitch to remove the thread. On the other side, you can usually pull the thread out in one long pass. I have to rip about 75% of what I quilted which is about 1/4 of the quilt. I am going to have so much fun!

Now, we would like to hear from you! What do you do on days like this? Please leave a comment and tell us all about it.

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