Sunday, September 14, 2014

a new german patchwork magazine?!

Every now and then when I go to the grocery store I check out the new magazine section. I usually end up buying the latest cooking and baking "Hefte" with the latest seasonal recipes. (I would die for an awesome chocolate or pumpkin cheesecake recipe right now.) Once and while, I even scan through the patchwork magazines too. (Here, quilting is replaced with the word patchwork. I like the term better, because not everything I "sew" is or will be quilted.) Anyway, this new magazine caught my attention - Simply Kreativ Patchwork + Quilting - Sonderheft! Was it the bright colors of the cathedral wall hanging that caught my attention or that oh, so cool retro measuring tape with tin?

Ab und zu, wenn ich im Supermarkt einkaufen bin, ich stolpere durch die Zeitschriftabteilung. Gewöhnlich endet das damit, dass ich die neuesten Koch- und Backhefte mit den aktuellen saisonalen Rezepten mitnehme. (Im Moment würde ich wirklich alles tun für einen guten Schokoladen- oder Kürbis-Käsekuchenrezept.) Ab und zu schaue ich mir natürlich auch die Patchwork Magazin durch. (Das Wort Patchwork passt in dem Zusammenhang auch besser als das englische „Quilting“, weil nicht alles was genäht wird letztendlich auch „gequilted“ wird.) Egal, aber dieses eine neue Magazin stach mir ins Auge – Simply Kreativ Patchwork + Quilting - Sonderheft! Ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob es die strahlenden Farben des Wandbehangs oder das Retro-Maßband waren.

Like all good things, I wait and savor something at the end of the day or when my chores are done. I like to store up a little anticipation. A couple of days later, I took off the plastic wrap to find this awesome magazine! I would honestly make or sew everything in it. That is not easy for me to say either! Usually I just toss a patchwork magazine to the side. Where has this magazine been the last ten years??

Wie für alle guten Dinge, warte ich gerne und hebe mir etwas Besonderes für den Abend oder für nach der Hausarbeit auf. Ich baue da gerne etwas Vorfreude auf. Ein paar Tage später, nahme ich also die Plastikfolie ab und fande dieses grandiose Magazin! Ehrlich, ich würde wirklich alles ausprobieren oder nachnähen, was drin steht. So was kommt wirklich nicht oft vor. Normalerweise landen Patchwork Magazine Ruck-zuck in der Ecke. Wo war dieses Magazin die letzten 10 Jahre gewesen?


The further I read on, I noticed all of the patchworkers were from either the UK or the US. I later found out that this great magazine is a copy of Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 6! Interesting. I am not familiar with the English version, but a dear friend of mine brought it to my attention. What I really like about it is the great section on GERMAN fabric. Yes, quilting fabric is also produced by German companies and individuals. They are growing with the times too with more vibrant colors and designs. Here is a spread about our fabric designers:

Als ich mich so langsam durch die verschiedenen Artikel durcharbeitete, merkte ich, dass alle Patchworker entweder aus den USA oder Großbritannien waren. Später habe ich dann herausgefunden, dass dieses tolle Magazin eine Kopie von Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 6 ist. Interessant! Ich kenne die englische Ausgabe nicht, aber eine liebe Freundin hat mich darauf aufmerksam gemacht. Am meisten mag ich hierbei die große Auswahl an DEUTSCHEN Stoffen. Ja, es gibt auch deutsche Firmen, die Stoffe für uns Quilter herstellen. Es wurden über die letzten Jahre schon deutlich mehr und auch mit leuchtenden Farben und tollen Designs. Hier ein Seitenauszug mit deutschen Stoffen:


Okay now that I have done my research. This looks like a UK import. You can subscribe directly on their website if you prefer the magazine in English. It is published 13 times a year and comes with a free gift (such as my tape measure) with every edition. I will have to think now if I want it in English or German!? This write-up about German fabrics is awesome, and I wish more German magazines would put upcoming German designers and patchworkers in their magazines who have that trendy touch.

Okay, jetzt habe ich meine Nachforschungen hierzu abgeschlossen. Dieses Magazin ist ein UK-Import. Du kannst es dir direkt auf deren Webseite abonnieren, wenn du es in Englisch lesen möchtest. Es erscheint 13 mal im Jahr und hat immer ein kleines Goody in jeder Ausgabe (wie z.B. das Maßband). Ich muss jetzt wirklich überlegen, welche Sprachausgabe ich denn wohl haben möchte. Diese Zusammenstellung von neuen deutschen Stoffen ist klasse und ich würde mir wünschen, dass mehr deutsche Magazine über hiesige Designer und Patchworker berichten würden, die neue Trends setzen.

Honestly, if you are looking for a "new" type of patchwork magazine published in the German language, this is it. I highly recommend this magazine and look forward to the future issues.

Ehrlich, wenn du auf der Suche nach einem „neuen“ Typ Patchworkmagazin, in deutscher Sprache, bist, dann ist es dieses. Ich kann es nur empfehlen und freue mich schon auf die nächste Ausgabe.

Keep patching!
Karen

And thank you dear hubby for correcting my German translation! xXx

Sunday, September 7, 2014

my first patchwork at the peaks quilting retreat

from Busy Needle Archive  of Retreats 2012
Summer vacation is coming to a close here in Bavaria. Just one more week and the kids will be starting another school year filled with new events and a new teacher. Here in Germany, the kids usually will share the same teacher for the first two grades as well as the Third and Fourth Grades.We just have to get the back to school shopping done, and we are ready to get going again.

And when the kids are back in school, I too get to "play" a little too. I am very excited about two events: the European Patchwork Meeting from September 18-24 and Patchwork at the Peaks at the end of the month. Both of these are two new events for me, and I am totally excited about them! Two different events in the same month both in France. I am so psyched up!

The first Convention/Exhibit takes place in Alsace. I was told by my patchwork group that it is one of the most amazing events and locations to go to. The entire area (several villages) are decorated and cater to the patchwork scene. It must be amazing!! I can't wait to go.

And then there is the long awaited patchwork retreat in the most picturesque setting - a chalet in the French Alps! This is an unterstatement! This long awaited event takes place from October 2-5, 2014! I will be able to enjoy 100% sewing time in the most serene setting of changing leaves, beautiful fall skies, snow capped mountains, and enjoying a warm fire (maybe) in the fireplace in the evening followed a dip in the bubbly hot tub. No cooking, no cleaning, no kiddies, no spouses - just pure pampering and enjoyment. I will be greated and hosted by the charming and whitty, Elita Sharpe. She is another American who fell in love with European culture, enough so, to make it her home.

You are warmly welcomed and invited to the Patchwork at the Peaks Retreat! If all spaces are booked out, book in advance for spring or fall of 2015. Elita offers her fantasy retreats twice a year. Life doesn't get any better than this!


In preparation for the big event, I designed this simple paper pieced leaf pattern to demonstrate how you can use up all of those scraps in your scrap bin. My daughter and I whipped up this little zippered pouch just yesterday using the six inch leaf pattern. It is totally easy to make!
 

I have lots of more goodies to show at the retreat using this pattern, so stay tuned for more pictures and retreat talk.

Thanks for dropping by!
Karen

Saturday, August 23, 2014

new design for a sewing kit

I have had it on my mind to make up a pretty little sewing kit. I don't sew too much by hand, but I do like to close my binding up with hand stitching. Then I usually grab my embroidery scissors, thread, pin cushion and quilting needle. I thought it would be nice to have a central place to put it all and grab if I want to take a little travel.

This is a pattern I received as a gift from one of my patchwork friends. I thought I would sew it together according to the directions to see how I liked it. Is it practical? Does it fit my function? Is it pretty? Is it durable? Would I make it for someone else?

What is nice about this pattern, is that it uses (2) 5" charm cardboard pieces to stabilize it. The directions I have are in German, but most likely were translated from English thinking about the charm board. Both sides of the inner flap had a little pocket. I removed it from the back flap, because I thought it was too much. I like the double felt flap for pins but my piece was too thick. The original stated to sew it in like a book, but that didn't look right to me with the pocket. My scissors are also pretty loose and would fly out. I was supposed to attach a ribbon behind the pockets to bind the booklet closed, but I am not a ribbon-type girl. I am still searching for a good solution for a sewing case! I need a place for needles, thread, and embroidery scissors. It should look modern and be durable. No country look, no ribbons.


I finished up this panel which originated from Mini Disco from Julie at Jaybird Quilts. I could use it for a new sewing kit. I loved the design and it must have reminded me of my own with mini triangles. After I started sewing it all together. I lost my patience. My points weren't matching up anymore. I lost my desire, and put it aside for a while.


A couple of months later I started sewing on it again. I still wasn't happy with it; that's why I am not showing the front. It was supposed to look more like the one on the left, but I didn't make it that far. My design was a little tricker without a flat edge...more of a shape shifter design. Oh well, we all learn from the mistakes!

A bit of sound advice: this pattern looks awesome in solids..not prints. It is very tricky to get all of those points to match up too! Congratulations to all who successfully made the Mini Disco! This one is from Quilt et Textilkunst in Munich. It is worth it to buy the pattern, but a bit of patience also has to be planned in. Good luck!

I am still working on a simple, easy and practical needle case/sewing kit. If you have any advice or nice links for me, please pass them on. I would love to hear from you!!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

no masterpiece today

As we are enjoying (the last of the) summer vacation (in the US and the beginning in Bavaria), we are not able to sew as much as we would like due to other commitments such as lying beside the community pool soaking up the sun. I was inspired by a post from my bloger friend, Leonie at Standkorb-traum, and thought I would spin off the post from hers. She brought up the question about the lack of quality comments to her posts. I personally, do not need to read that my quilts are great, awesome, the best in the world. I, too, would like your honest opinion.

I prefer to write about something meaningful (tips, tricks, experiences) and provide just a little eye candy. I don't like countless pictures of step by step sewing action over months until a quilt is finished. But that's just my style. I blog, because I want to help others if I can and to inspire them.

I thought I would share with you some of my "mistakes" that never got the credit in my blog nor got finished. They didn't scream at me...I am finished...quilt me!! They made it into my UFO drawer. Sometimes I pull them out and think about finishing them...but there are so many other rewarding projects I want to finish. I want to finish the masterpiece.

Leonie went on to criticize her own sampler quilt in oranges, yellows and lavender. I think the sampler looks terrific. One thing you have to remember is showing pictures on the Internet of your work - it's like eating at someone else's house. The food tastes great! Why? You didn't have to prepare it, and it is just different from your own. I have realized that pictures on the Internet look awesome no matter what! The real criticism comes when you look at every seam up and close in person. Those don't lie.


You could say that my table runner above is screaming aqua, it hurts my eyes! There is too much contrast! The red and brown is drowning in the aqua! I made this table runner to learn a new technique. I learned it and moved on. I used the fabric that I had. It doesn't matter to me if the project has ended or not. It doesn't matter that the contrast is too much. I had fun on that day even if others thought I was spaced out or smoking some funny stuff.

Patchwork is supposed to be fun. Have fun with it. Not everything is supposed to be perfect. We are not making products for mass production on the world market. We are making things that give us pleasure and usually for others. There isn't really a right a wrong way, because what is wrong today will show up five years from now as the "new modern."

Enjoy your summer sewing if you have time for it.
Karen

If you were wondering about the cardinal, that was a learning experiment one day in winter. I missed the sight of cardinals and needed some away time from the family. I used the fabrics that I had. It never got finished.

Monday, August 4, 2014

pinwheel parade finished

As I told my good friend, Katrin, the other day, I think August is going to be be the month of me finishing up a few projects. Since I signed up for six or more SAL/BOM this year, I haven't had a lot of time to finish my other projects that were started earlier. I have put most of those projects aside to work on the ones that I am emotionally connected to.

One very dear project is a quilt that I am making for my niece, Nina. She picked out the fabric in a fabric store when I was visiting last fall. She is a very well-raised young lady with a great sense of color.

I had three fabrics to begin with and from those I think only about a 1/4 to 1/2 yard each. If this was going to be a bed quilt, I was going to have to bring in more fabric. I added the fresher green and black dotty fabric found around the outer edges and in the prairie (pinwheel) flower. Nina and her mom both like dots, so I think they will like the additions. Now it's finished! I really hope she likes the pattern I came up with.


There are lots of pinwheels in this quilt. I think there are 96 green sashing blocks and 24 pinwheels. I don't like sewing curved edges anymore after sewing OHO for Brigitte Heitland, so I came up with an easier way to make the flowers. I appliqued circles onto the white fabric and cut them twice. After all were cut, I regrouped them into four blocks and sewed them back together. It was a lot of work, but I think it saved some time. It also gives the quilt added thickness from the applique stabilizer underneath the flowers.

I used 80/20 cotton/poly batting and 100% cotton thread for the quilting with my Pfaff home sewing machine. I started with an echo quilting around the flowers and realized after 20 sections, the thread was all wrong on the back. I wanted to rip just the ones out that were really bad, but ended up ripping everything out. You should have seen me on the floor doing this. I think my husband thought I was crazy.

I rethought the quilting through. It was hard going around the curves and struggling with the size of this large quilt (with pillow tuck) for a single bed. I really liked it, but knew I had to get the quilting done. I decided to change the strategy and quilt through the sashing. It allowed me to continuously quilt without having to back stitch or pull thread through at start and stop. This definitely saved me time!! The quilting on the back was great...my tension was just right this time. The quilting might seem minimal, but this quilt is heavy without the safety pins.

For the binding, I decided to go with something a little different. I made 1/2 wide double fabric - single fold binding and frayed it in the back. I thought it was a little more interesting for a pre-teen and not so traditional. (It also saved a little time of not having to sew by hand to the back.) I hope it holds, because I did NOT sew around the edge twice as recommended.


And to make sure the back binding frayed nicely, I washed the quilt. I was so nervous, but the color catcher washing sheets worked! I put three in and they were full of black and green die when the cycle finished. I let the quilt air dry and threw it in the dryer for the last five minutes of drying. It worked!! I would definitely use this technique again for a youth or baby quilt.

Oh, another thing I forgot to mention. I just love the fabric I picked to match the front. It is from a German fabric company called Tante Ema. Take a look at their fresh fabric lines. It is 30 cm wider than standard American quilting fabrics too.

If you are interested in how I made the prairie (pinwheel) flowers, stayed tuned. There will be a tutorial coming out but probably on another one of my blogs. And if you want to see even more pictures of the quilt (that I almost hate to part with) check out my flickr gallery.

Thanks for dropping by!
Karen




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