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Monday, July 13, 2015

Finish Along Q3

This year is just zipping along, isn't it?

I've rethought my list of finishes and have some small trips planned in the next few months, but hopefully can get these things completed:

1. Birthday Quilt for my son. I started with this idea and made one column, but I'm not in love with it.

I'm thinking of shelving this for now and using this long-treasured set of charm packs to make Scattered - a pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.

2. Ballerina drawstring bag
I've used this pattern from Tartan Kiwi and am still trying to figure out how to incorporate it into a drawstring backpack without distorting the design. I'd also like an exterior zippered pocket someplace.

3. Placemats - still need 2 for kitchen table!
4. Paper airplane pouches (a few of these have been requested by friends.)
5. Dusseldorf pouches (making a few for a craft fair)
5. Finish bee quilt
Wish me luck ;)
linking up

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Finish Along Quarter 2 results

..or lack thereof.

I've been sewing things, but haven't knocked many things off my list this quarter. Guess my list wasn't very well thought out or realistic - whoops!

I finished only 2 of 11 items.

1. Ninja pillow - no progress except that I've lost the fabric someplace in here.
2. Picnic Quilt using Crabtastic - no progress
3. Succulents Wall Hanging - nada
4. Granny's Quilt - no progress.
5. Mod placemats for new kitchen table - no progress.
6. Improv table runner - no progress
7. Shopping totes - nope
8. Finish up bee quilt - I did finish this top, but it's not quilted yet. Half credit? 
9. Ballet bag - no progress except for printing the pattern. 
10. Confetti Stars - Finished!! 
11. 1 hour basket - Finished x 4! 

Moving on to a more productive Q3 and linking up my couple of finishes to the party


Friday, July 3, 2015

One hour (or so) baskets

After my practice/gift basket a week or so ago, I felt ready to tackle 3 more "1 hour baskets"assembly-line style as thank you gifts for my daughter's preschool/kindergarten teachers. These will be the last handmade teacher gifts for awhile because apparently in German public schools, holiday gifts are given as a class and not individually and end-of-year gifts are not given. phooey!

Honestly, while I was frantically stitching away late last night, I did wonder about my tendency to pressure myself  with making a handmade gift just because I can make something. When I finished, my already sore back and neck were throbbing in protest. According to my math, I calculated that I could make 3 simultaneous baskets in an hour since I had taken the 3 previous days to get everything ready. Nope... took me like 3 hours.

Kaufman Quilter's Linen in Charcoal w/ Juggling Summer

Kaufman Quilter's Linen in Raffia w/ Simply Style

Quilter's Linen in Silver w/ Simply Color/Simply Style
 If I'm really honest (which I will be for a moment,) I don't think the teachers fully realized the value of these handmade gifts. How do I know? Not one of them sobbed at the beauty and perfect marriage of these fabrics - hmph!  Generally speaking, I know people here are not the most emotive (unless you do something wrong in traffic- then you'll be told off immediately,) but dang! Can I get a hearty "Thank you!?" Can't you see that I've shared my precious stash of Quilter's Linen with you? Can't you appreciate how beautiful it looks with Simply Style, Simply Color and Juggling Summer? Don't you know how long I've been holding onto these and looking for the perfect project? Can't you give me one tear or at least a joyful moan? Just kidding..sorta. I am grateful that they've loved, taught and nurtured my daughter for the last 2 years, which is why I haven't gone and snatched them back.
In the lining seam, I put my new label from Ikaprint. I'll take some pics and share for next time! 

My daughter loved stuffing the baskets with flowers, hand cream, tea, pencils, chocolate and a little Prosecco! 

Proud little Wildchild and Kindergarten graduate
FAL Q2 goal list

Linking up to:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

New Blogger Hop & a little shopping

Hello again! I don't know how it's already the end of June! The month is slipping by and the school year is finally coming to an end. I was on a roll with getting some sewing done, but the World Cup has slowed me down a bit - have you been watching? Exciting!

Speaking of which, we had the opportunity to attend the USA/Germany soccer match a couple of weeks ago and managed to get our ugly mugs on TV. We even got a message from back home saying one of our family members had seen my son on CNN jumping around like a lunatic after our 2nd goal.

So anyway, it's Week 2 of the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and my Hive has 4 new places I hope you'll visit.

Wanda of wandadotson.com (IG: wandaslifesampler)
Tish of tishnwonderland.blogspot.com (IG: tishnwonderland)
Brianna of theironandneedle.blogspot.ca (IG: theironandneedle)
Sandra of thebiasedge.wordpress.com

I've been fooling around with a new pouch idea and I have been wanting to try EQ7, so I jumped in and got it yesterday! My naughty confession of the week is that I hate reading instructions and since I'm savvy enough with the computer, I jumped in and started using it to design a PP block. The result?

hahahahahaha! What a mess! I had to hang my head in shame and start watching the instructional videos. I did have a little better success on my 2nd attempt, but I haven't watched the video on where the heck it saves your designs, so I can't see it.  Oh wait.. let me look again. 
ok here's a simple block idea

So far, I like EQ7, but some of the instructional blog posts I found were at least 4 years old, so I'm hoping it's not obsolete tomorrow! Do you have the program? What's your favorite thing about it?


Tuesday, June 16, 2015


With all the airplane paraphernalia and talk going on in my house, it's no wonder that this
Paper Plane Pattern posted w/permission from K@QP
recently caught my eye on Craftsy! Kristy has several really cute and FREE paper pieced patterns on her Craftsy page & her blog Quiet Play is awesome- check her out!

As I set about choosing fabrics, I realized it would make a great little going-away gift for a friend and fellow pilot's wife whose family is returning to the US. I debated making a wall hanging, but in the end, decided that a pouch might have more utility for her.

I just love how it came out!
 I just love the Noteworthy line and I think it really suits her personality.
 The "sky" background is Kona bluebell.  I quilted gridlines and then added her name and the flight path in a variegated blue pearl cotton.
Pretty, right?
The back is made from a few more prints in the collection and it's finished with a cool zipper pull. I sure hope she likes it! 

A tip: These are some of the great places I like to link up to on a Tuesday! Helps me to get acquainted with other awesome bloggers and get inspiration.


Monday, June 15, 2015

New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

2015 New Quilt Bloggers Group

Hello friends and welcome to my stop on the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I am happy to be among new friends as we discover a new wave of awesome quilt bloggers/blogs. Mine is not as new as some, but I wanted to take part and learn some new ways to have a more successful and rewarding blog experience. 

A little about me - I'm Francine - an American expat living in Germany with my pilot hubby and younger 2 of 4 kiddos. We have a couple of years left here and have absolutely loved the experience! When I think of some of the historic places I've visited in the US, Europe makes them seem brand new! In my pre-Germany life, I was a soccer coach and then teacher, but these days I get to spend my time exploring, meeting new friends, sharing a cocktail, and sewing - lucky girl!

The last week or so I've had a couple of finishes which is unusual. Considering how little German homework I've gotten done, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised heh heh.
First, I finished an improv rainbow quilt. This was started as a sample for an improv class I'll be teaching later this year. In fact, you are welcome to join me at Peaks! It's a long weekend full of fun, pampering, relaxation, gourmet meals, amazing scenery and oh yeah - quilting!

Confetti Stars Rainbow
Next up is a quilt that has taken at least 4 years to put together! It is made up of blocks from several Flickr bees. I would've finished much sooner if it wasn't so much fun to choose color schemes. As a result, I ended up after 5 or 6 rounds with 3 separate stacks of blocks in very different colors lol. It's all ready for quilting now.

I have a blogging tip to share with you! This week I discovered a great YouTube video for adding the cute string of social media icons to your blog. First, check out this resource for cute social media icons and then then visit Blogaholic Designs for super easy instructions to add them to your blog! They also have several other helpful tutorials and videos to check out.

I also have a quilting tip/naughty confession. I am ashamed/proud to admit that I use my husband to practice new things. I lovingly made him a practice apron last year and then made this for myself.
reversible apron
Today I decided to try the 1 Hour Basket from Hearts and Bees. Naturally and selflessly, I made the hubs one for his bedside table first. Isn't it cute? Tomorrow I"ll make one for me.

Do you have any quilty naughty confessions?

Sewcial Swarm - 2015 New Quilt Bloggers
I do hope you'll visit my hive mates this week! 

Jayne of Twiggy and Opal 
Robyn of Hoops & Thimbles
Shayna of Wife. Mom Creator


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Confetti Rainbow Stars - a rainbow improv experiment

Well I finally can count this as a finish! I must say I spent a whole lot of time thinking about what step to take next in this process. In the end, I probably took a few too many "steps," but it was fun and used up a bunch of solid scraps - win win!

After making the stars into 17" blocks, the  top wasn't quite big enough, so I sashed it in mostly corresponding 2.5" wide solids and then again more randomly around 5" wide so it finishes about 65" x 65" - great for couch snuggling.

My trusty quilt holder here was complaining that he was tired of "too small quilts that he can't sleep under." What nerve! It could have been in response to being told to scoot his big forehead down a little & out of the picture. Can you feel the love? lol

A different perspective..
 The back  - jack. See that pretty red & white dot binding? 

Finally a finish from my FAL Q2 goals!

Confetti Rainbow Stars

Pattern/inspiration:  Confetti Star PP pattern & Paper Pieced Modern Book ("Squareburst" center rainbow block)

Size: 65 x 65"

Fabric: Kona solids including white, scrappy mod prints for stars and red/white dot scraps for binding

Thread: Aurifil #2024 for piecing & quilting

Later gater, FMT

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