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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Zippy Pouches

Hello again!

I've been busy sewing up zippered pouches as gifts for expat friends who are returning to the US this summer. I have been experimenting with different fabrics and methods for creating the Radschlager, which is the symbol for the cartwheeling child seen all over Dusseldorf.

The incomparable Kristy of During Quiet Play was generous enough to help me with a pattern in EQ7. I have so much to learn about that program!

First up, I made a pale grey quilted pouch with red floral cartwheeler. My mega pile of charm packs was perfect for this paper pieced project. 
Zippy Pouch 1
The entire gift with red Dusseldorf skyline mini painting
Next up, a more pastel palette was in order for my friend Miss A. 
"Paisley pouch"
Zippy Pouch 2 with white city skyline mini painting

For my 3rd attempt, I decided to try imitation leather. All these fabrics so far have been from my stash. Since fabric prices are sky high here in Deutschland, it makes it easy to shop around in my own stuff! This pouch is made from a cream and black print with pale yellow lining and zipper. The symbol and gift recipient's initial is maroon. The great thing about the imitation leather is that it doesn't fray, so I didn't need to reinforce it with quilting, or applique it on.

Zippy Pouch 3 with yellow city skyline mini painting
That concludes my going-away gift giving, but I am still experimenting. A few friends asked about purchasing pouches, so I decided to make a few extra while I have time. The final 2 were made assembly-line style, so they went a little more quickly. This time, I used red felt for the cartwheeler and a charcoal print from Madrona Road with red interiors and tiny zipper charms. There's even a little "dusseldorf" stitching at the bottom.  
Zippy Pouches 4 & 5

This more than completes #5 on my FAL Q2 list!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Silk & Satin finish

Hello again!

A few months ago, a girlfriend came to me with some beautiful fabric she found on her recent trip to Dubai.  She mentioned that she'd read somewhere that a satin pillowcase will prevent wrinkles (not that she has any.) Although this picture isn't the best, the cream is a soft satin and the batik is a raw silk scarf - really pretty.

This fabric has been sitting on my sewing table ever since. Although I knew it wouldn't take long, I really wanted to get my doggie quilt finished first. I found a couple of great tutes here:


Using a quick combo of these methods yielded a pretty pillowcase. The main challenge was working with satin and silk. Once it is cut, it seems to immediately fray and the edges curve. I tried starching it lightly, but the only thing that seemed to work was lots of pins. I guess I have some practicing to do!
wavy wavy wavy edge

Final product - kinda dark out

I added a little edging detail on the hem

all done and ready to go! 

This is #1 from my FAL list. I'm on fire!


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Little Doggies - all finished!

So much for "quickly," it's actually been over a month since I last posted. I was finally able to get my doggies quilt put together. 

I had one extra tiny dog that I thought I could somehow work into the back. After a couple of terrible doodles, it came together. I decided to paper piece my nephew's last name and added a tiny embroidery of his birthday.
and voila:
The finished quilt
 and the back!
 I went with a simple diagonal grid quilting that sorta reminds me of a chain link fence.
 A close up of one of the cute doggies.
Finished Size: 49" x 55"
Fabric: Assorted blue, gold & pink scraps with Konas Ash & White
Pattern: Dog Gone Cute by Sew Fresh Quilts - Quilt Along info here

This is #2 on my FAL Quarter 2 list and it's all set to be popped in the mail :) Hope he likes it!

Linking up to: Whoop Whoop Fridays

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Finish Along 2016 Quarter 1 Results and Q2 list

Time sure flies and it's already time to report on the end of Quarter 1 in the Finish Along!

I have exactly 2 things complete (only 1 from my list,) but it's been a pretty busy year already. In the past few months, my family has visited Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic and Poland so I haven't gotten much sewing done, but things are settling down now I hope!

1. Commission - comfort quilt for girlfriend - Finished!
2. Baby quilt for nephew due in March - Started the Dog Gone Cute quilt with a pattern from Sew Fresh Fabrics. She hosted a sew-along at the end of last summer. 
 3. 2 gift place mats for niece and nephew - not yet started
4. Succulents wall hanging (Love & Patchwork Mag Issue 19) - fabric chosen
5. Playhouses Doll Quilt (Fat Quarterly Issue Issue 9) - partner project for me & little Bean - not yet started
6. Purple Zippered pouch birthday gift - not yet started

1. Pillowcase - My friend brought back some beautiful silk fabric from her recent trip to Dubai and asked me to make her a pillowcase. Apparently sleeping on silk is rumored to help prevent wrinkles - I'm on it! I want to make a double sided case I think, but I haven't worked it out yet. 
2. Doggie Quilt for nephew - I have 3 more doggies that are already cut out and just need to be put together. I'm hoping to get this one done pretty quickly.

3. (2) 1 hour baskets - these will be baby themed and go along with quilted gifts.
4. (2) gift place mats - still for my niece and nephew
5. Pouches - need to make 2
6. Playhouses Doll Quilt - hope to make time for this one too as my little one is pretty excited.
7. Baby girl quilt gift - I am looking at an underwater theme for a certain beach baby.
8. Succulents wall hanging
9. Picnic quilt - I would love to use this cute bundle that has been in my stash for years!
10. Easter baskets - probably will use the 1 hour basket pattern as well and this cute bunny from Sugaridoo!

I imagine that many of these will be rolling over to Q3, but a girl can dream!

Linking up just under the wire with

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Positivity - a comfort quilt finished

A special quilt..

Back in December, a girlfriend from high school asked me to make her a comfort quilt. I had been thinking about it for some time as I've watched her valiant fight against adenoid cystic carcinoma. She is about the most joyful person I know and has defied every odd and diagnosis. She is truly an inspiration to me personally and I'm grateful she has chosen to document her journey via web and facebook videos.

Naturally, such an important request caused a lot of indecision. I knew the colors she wanted, but she left the design up to me. The awareness ribbon color for this particular cancer is burgundy with cream, so I started there. I had two distinct ideas for the quilt that I decided to merge together. Ok, I had like 10 ideas that had to be narrowed down. Given her always positive attitude, I thought a whole quilt of plus signs would be super cool - and they're also reminiscent of crosses. She wanted a fairly neutral palette which I found challenging so I decided to jazz up the back a bit with some color and inspirational words. Here's what I came up with:
The background is Kona natural and I used a few other Kona solids including burgundy, steel, coal and purple as well as a variety of prints including some Flea Market Fancy and Glimma.

From there I went on to the back. I used the 24" paper pieced Take Wing pattern from Lillyella. Finding just the right colors and fabrics was a real challenge! In the end, I love how it came out against the Kona ash background.
I also picked a few positive phrases to include and the back came together.

 For the quilting, I started by outlining the center butterfly and then just quilted simple straightish/wavy lines.

I like the effect from the front too.
 And now for a shot of Positivity wrapped around her beautiful owner. I'm so happy to say she likes it and the smile on her face made it all worthwhile!


Monday, March 7, 2016


Actually I'm talking about me! After 3 years of participation in the Finish-Along,

I was randomly chosen by Adrianne in the 4th Quarter for my son's Christmas/birthday quilt!

My prize? 
3 Patterns of my choice from Sew Sweetness!  
It was fun browsing through her shop and in the end I chose these 3 great bags. 
Sew Sweetness Tudor Bag
Sew Sweetness Hyacinth Bag
Sew Sweetness Camp Stitchalot Bag
Clearly, I need to put them on my Finish Along list for the year, right? Thank you again Sara and Adrianne!


Friday, March 4, 2016

Quilter's Planner Cover

I recently had an opportunity to have a girls' sewing weekend with my friend Ms. E who came all the way from Geneva to hang out with me. As usual, there was lots of chatting and snacking with a little shopping & sewing thrown in. We decided our joint venture would be working on our Quilter's Planner covers.

We studied the over 300 pictures at #quiltersplanner on IG and got loads of inspiration and a couple of tips before getting started:
1. A pretty lace bra strap would make a good elastic closure
2. Since the cover fits quite snugly, one might benefit from adding 1/4" to the final size.

After lots of deliberation, I decided that Noteworthy would make a great choice for the main fabric. It's full of doodles, goals and bucket lists - perfect! For the front, I also decided to try a Butterfly Charm Block from Lillyella. I've been searching for a project for these cute butterflies.

Finished product!
For the back cover, I pieced in my label and here you can see the silky elastic strap. I don't know who makes their own bras, but I'm glad to have found this - and in a variety of pretty colors!

 Here you can see the leather bookmark.
 For the inside, we just went with simple slip pockets on the front and back.

Once my cover was complete, I realized that my Ipad would fit in the zipper pocket. The only problem was that I couldn't get it in through the zipper. Since I carry it all the time, I decided it was worth it to alter the zipper tabs a little bit in order to make it work.
And here's Ms. E's gorgeous creation
 A sweet Liberty fox and a spool of Aurifil naturally!
We're proud to have added our covers to the (now) more than 400 #quiltersplanner posts! And here's a peek at my pattern in the Nov pages of the planner - so excited! All of the weekly blocks can be found here. thank you again to Stephanie for the opportunity to be published and for a great tool.
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