Sonntag, 25. November 2012

Work in progress

It's less than a month to Christmas Day and I'm already late with my presents. Thankfully I have had a moment of cleverness and planned only one self made present: a quilt for my grandparents.
Here is a photo of my work in progress:
It will be a bowtie quilt and right now this is my favourite layout. There are still a few blocks to sew to make it a nice size. I'm not quite sure how to proceed though.
Should I sew rows or should I first sew x and o blocks and than sew into rows?
Moreover I have to think of a quilting design. I could do an allover meandering design, but I was thinking to try something new this time. First of all I hope it makes the quilt more special and second I think the orange turned out to be less subdued than expected. So I was thinking to quilt the orange parts in a dense pattern and only to outline the other parts to make them pop out more.
Let's see.

Sonntag, 4. November 2012

Flower Prism Quilt

Even before I had finished my first quilt I could not resist the temptation to plan the next project (and to procrastinate). Those who know me know of my love for bold and flowery patterns. There are so many beautiful fabrics available, especially reprints of old 30s fabric and new fabric in retro style. So I bought lots of them. A really great way to show of these fabrics is by making large blocks. Squares are too boring so I decided for the beautiful (and free) Patchwork Prism pattern by Anna Maria Horner.Cutting the fabric took ages, but that's the point about procrastinating ;)
Here I made a first layout of the blocks. Sorry for the poor quality, there are so little bright hours now and there's a lot of raining.

If you're interested in this pattern you can find it here and a video with Anna Maria Horner giving tips for the pattern here.

Samstag, 3. November 2012

Stash Note #1

This is the first time I ever bought a fat quarter bundle. I simply fell in love with the "Indie" collection by Pat Bravo. Maybe it's because of the unconventional combination of colours and patterns, I can't put my finger on it.

I had bought this to make a patchwork bag out of it, but the fabric is such a fine quality it would be a shame to use it for a heavy used item such as a weekender bag. So I pulled some fabrics out of my stack that might make a quilt when added to the Indie fabrics.
 I welcome any advise about adding/ deleting fabric from this stack!

Sonntag, 21. Oktober 2012

Quilt N°1 - finished!

Finally! I have finished my first Quilt! (And I took a lot of photos of it ;) )
It was a great experience to make a quilt. There are so many steps in the making:
This year I started sewing with a few totes. Then I came across some fabric I liked and bought just for the look of it (the robots in green and blue). I browsed the internet for some more bag tutotials and came across Jessica's blog How About Orange. You know how it goes: I clicked here and there and ended up on Elizabeth's blog Oh, Fransson!. Elizabeth makes modern quilts and is great at explaining techniques. Her modern quilts were a real eye-opener. Here in Germany quilts are not so common and I only knew these that are made with batik fabrics. I admired their craft(wo)manship but I could not imagine me making a quilt like those. With these modern quilts however I felt that they were the perfect creative hobby for me. 
I bought Elizabeth's book "the practical guide to patchwork" and picked the "small plates" pattern. Now I could get started with my favourite part of the project: the choice of fabrics. I started only in blues and greens, added some browns until I came upon Lotta Jansdotter fabrics in beautiful orange. I decided to add orange to the brown stack and found the most beautiful (and most expensive) fabric to complete this stack:  Birch by Ink & Spindle in saffron. For the solid I used some great shot cotton by oakshott (by the way: They changed their online shop so now you can see the prices also in US$ and €).
Remember: this was all around Easter. By the end of June I had finished the blocks and decided for a layout. And then? - Well, for a long time there happened nothing. I had a lot of work to do (the money earning kind), other projects (birthdays!) and I did not quite know how to proceed. If you check the photo where I did the layout you can see, that the squares were no proper squares. That happened because my first (very cheap) sewing machine did neither have a 1/4" foot nor a walking foot and I was not experienced enough to manage anyway. I tried to sew rows but it turned out uneven. Hence I had to use my best friend the seam ripper quite a lot before I could go on.
Moreover I did not want my quilt to be the first piece to have a try at the techniques needed. Hence I made the placemats and baby quilts first - more time gone.
These summer holidays finally gave me the time needed to finish the quilt top and this autumn I managed to quilt and finish it - yeah!!!
It took a lot longer than anticipated by me but it was so much fun! There are already a few more projects in planning (even fabric bought and cut).
Today was glorious weather and I had to grab this opportunity to take a lot of photos of the finished quilt. Beware!

At our "Golden Gate Bridge"
With horses

The back

Samstag, 13. Oktober 2012

soup with red lentils

This recipe was given to me by a colleage. It's really yummy, affordable, quick and vegan.

For two persons you will need:
1         onion
100g   carrots
200g   red lentils
0,75l   vegetable broth
0,25l   coconut milk
1 tbs.  ginger
1        hot pepper (red)
1        bay leaf
2 tsp. curry

Note: Feel free to experiment with the amounts of ingredients. I use more ginger, carrots and lentils. It's also nice to add a squirt of lemon juice.

Chop the onion, carrots, ginger and hot pepper. Sweat these in rapeseed (or sunflower) oil in a large pot. Add lentils, broth and spices. Boil up shortly and let it simmer for about 10-15min.
Take the bay leaf out, add the coconut milk and puree shortly.

Donnerstag, 27. September 2012

Two Baby Quilts

Last Weekend we visited our friends Björn and Sandra with their kids Justus and Iris at their new built house in Wesel. They were really good hosts (as always). We ate way too much pizza and played games until long into the night (as always). Several of our friends have bought or even built houses recently. We liked Björns and Sandras best so far. The proportions and dimensions of the rooms were very thought-out. Moreover the house was built with materials and techniques that it uses only about 70% of the energy a conventionally built house needs.
In contrast to my previous post I like to sew baby quilts as long as I can give them away. I have not written about it yet but I have been queen bee for sew.quilt.give in august. Due to customs duty I have to wait quite a long time for the blocks to arrive. Since patience is not one of my stronger streaks I decided to make baby quilts for Justus and Iris using the same pineapple log cabin block tutorial as for the quilting bee.
I used mostly scraps from other projects. 
Quilt for Iris

Quilt for Justus
I was in a hurry and thus opted for straight line quilting. I like the way it turned out.

Donnerstag, 20. September 2012


As you might know I'm currently working on my first quilt. The problem with a project such as this is that it requires the use of several techniques otherwise not needed.
So I searched the internet for tutorials and found many. Almost all of them suggested to make sample pieces to practice the particular technique. 
Well, I don't like to make something without a use but to practice (or decorate for that matter) so I went looking for alternatives. I found a lot of mini-quilts (-> decoration problem) or baby-quilts (-> too much work for something that might not turn out well) until I stumbled upon quilted placemats. They were perfect for my purpose: small enough to avoid too much work, large enough to practice techiques and with a proper use!
Ever since I bought Elizabeth Hartman's book "The Practical Guide to Patchwork" the "Batch of Brownies" pattern had caught my eye. I figured that it would be easy to adopt the size of the blocks to make a placemat (and it was; just keep the seam allowances in mind that you have to add for every cut made).
I had already "Kitchen Stories" by Hoodie in my stack, one of those fabrics bought for the looks without any purpose in mind. I combined it with a curry solid I cannot remember the name of.
So this was the first project I used following techniques:
  • making a quilt sandwich
  • straight-line quilting
  • FMQ (free-motion quilting)
  • binding a quilt (I still have to practice the corners, they did not turn out well)
All in all it was a good project for practice an now we have some new placemats.
Actually I made these a few weeks ago and by now I have quilted my Quilt N°1:
 And now I have to use my placemats for the first time. I'm starving!

Dienstag, 4. September 2012

Sewing for birthdays II

How does it happen that nearly all birthdays in our families accumulate in two months?
Tino's sister Maike also has her birthday in august. Her colours are rose and brown and she loves Paris. Hence the new Paris fabric by Westfalenstoffe was just the perfect choice for her. I added two other fabrics in rose and brown also by Westfalenstoffe of the classic line. This line is produced for over 75 years and it still has a modern feel to it (e.g. compare it to summerville).
For the pattern I modified this fabulous lunch-bag-pattern by wonderful Ayumi of Pink Penguin. 
I will not re-write this tutorial but I can say a few words about the modifications I made. First of all I started with larger rectangles around 12"x16" (30cm x 40cm) and adjusted the other sizes accordingly. 
For the handles I made 4 fabric strips the same way as for handles in the tutorial by Ayumi. I also made them long enough to be also fastened at the bottom of the rim (I figured that would make them more stable). It's a bit awkward to sew with the wooden handle connected to the rim. You have to do a lot of adjusting and pushing of the fabric. In most steps a zipper foot is very helpfull.
 Tino bought Maike two fluffy toy guinea pigs by Steiff. Don't they look adorable?

Freitag, 31. August 2012

Unwanted Legacies

Even though WWII is long over there still are legacies that remind us of that time. In Munich they found an old bomb and had to detonate it. Several houses burned and many more are uninhabitable now.
Here in Münster the legacies are not that spectacular. Like in many other towns in Germany streets and places were named after "heroes" of WWI and the German Empire. During the last decades historical research has looked more critically into these persons which caused towns to rename many streets and squares. Münster was a bit on the slower side in this topic but this year the city council decided to rename the largest square in town from "Hindenburgplatz" to "Schlossplatz" (palace square).
Hindenburg was Chief of the General Staff of the German Reich in WWI and became President of Germany in 1925. It was him who appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany. Hence he was not the kind of person a modern city wants its main square to be named after. So far so good. 
Unfortunately there are still many people around who are ignorant of the past. For reasons incomprehensible to me it are the young and ambitious (young politicians of the JU) who put a lot of effort into campaigning for the old name. At the end of the day we are having a vote on the name. I could think of a lot of better ways to spend tax money. 
You can read a good summary why you should vote NEIN-NO on "Hindenburgplatz" by Carsten Keßler here.


PS: I'm still waiting for the day the city will rename the "Lüderitzweg".

Sewing for birthdays I

Uh, it seems I have neglected my blog a bit. But good news: I got a lot of sewing done!
Let's start with sewn birthday presents:
This blanket and bag were for Caro respectively her dog Punk. Punk used to be true to his name but Caro and Marc started intense training a few months ago and now he behaves very well. 
I used a cute fabric by Stenzo with poodle ladies. For the blanket I sewed the fabric as if I were making a simple pillow case. Then I stuffed it with batting leftovers and closed it. For the quilting I tried to fmq bones. All in all I'm pleased about how it turned out although some of the bones are a bit wonky. 
Punk seems to like it anyhow: 

Samstag, 11. August 2012


It's August and here in Germany that's the best time of the year to see falling stars
I don't know how you feel about this, but I have the feeling that today's people are not as interested in space as they used to be. Whenever I read/ listen to/ watch a science fiction story from the 1950's or 1960's, I envy the people of that age their enthusiasm and their positive thinking about the future of mankind.
Nevertheless there have been two major breakthroughs in space technology in the last two weeks: The landing of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory: Curiosity and the Russians completed successfully a new manoeuvre to fly to the ISS in less than 6 hours (that's less than from Düsseldorf to New York!).
If you want to celebrate this with some space related crafting, here are a few suggestions for you:
Crochet a diskworld
Bake a space-shuttle-cake
Sew a Space Invaders Quilt
Build R2D2 from wood

Get yourself a retro space desktop
 I suggest you start with David Bowie's Space Oddity.
Don't forget to make a wish if you see a falling star!

Freitag, 10. August 2012

Andalusia - The Conclusion

I've been at home for more than a week now, but somehow I forgot to write about the last days in Andalusia - shame on me.
Therefore - to correct this flaw - here comes the conclusion:

Leaving Ronda we drove through beautiful mountains to Gibraltar - that little rock of Great Britain in Spain.
We had to pay our fish and chips in Pounds.
Gibraltar proved to be more british than expected. Even though in Gibraltar is right hand traffic, there are british phone boxes and letter boxes. I also went to Marc's and Spencer's and bought some nail polish. However the most british in Gibraltar during our stay was the fog.

Hence we had to bury our dreams to see Africa.

That evening we headed on to Tarifa - surfer's paradise - where we only stayed for one night. We still were very close to Africa which prompted my mobile to change into West African Time.

We spend the last few days in Cadiz. I have very few photos of Cadiz because garbage collection was on strike and the garbage piles were accumulating in the streets. This also had the unfortunate sideeffect of unpleasant aromas in the air. Thankfully Cadiz is surrounded by the sea with kilometers of the best beaches I have ever been to.
And being surrounded by the sea, Cadiz is also one of the best places in Europe to eat fish. You could get yummy seafood at the beach...
... and buy superfresh fish and seafood at the market on good terms. We bought a thuna steak, shells, gambas, some other fish and vegetables for 10 € total.

These were definitely one of the best holidays I've ever had (although it would have been better if I went with Tino ;) ). With this crappy weather in Germany I wish I could go there again next week!
Well, now I have more time for sewing, hang on for updates!

Montag, 23. Juli 2012


The trip from Granada to Ronda was our longest so far. We mostly used the smaller roads along the cost "Costa del Sol". Our lunch break was at the fishing harbour of Marbella where we had wonderful seafood.

Than we came into mountains again and to Ronda.

The view from the terrace of our backpackers is spectacular.
 One day we went into the gorge. From down there the depth of the cut is more obvious.
There were only three meters like this  but it looks so professional I had to post it.

The shower is just vacant, I have to grab it before it is occupied again.

Donnerstag, 19. Juli 2012


Today I'm really tired from hiking in the Sierra Nevada, so I will give you only a few pics from our stay at Granada. Tomorrow we will drive along the Costa del Sol (Malaga and Marbella) to Ronda.

View over Granada

In the Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada

Montag, 16. Juli 2012


We are on the road!
Our trip through Andalusia started with Cordoba.
 On the way to Cordoba we visited the beautiful village of Carmona.
Cordoba is an amazing town. There are still many roman artefacts and even more arabic ones. Expecially the Mezquita Cathedral is outstanding. Several arabic caliphs built a huge mosque (and included roman pillars).  When Cordoba was christian again, the spanish rulers built a rather ugly renaissance church inside the mosque. Hence the building is nowadays a grotesque mixture of different building styles.

Citylife is also very nice here, though more touristic than in Sevilla. 
Everywhere we have been so far the people are very nice and helpful. Communication is difficult though, since most spanish people speak neither English nor French. So we have to work with hand and feet which doesn't always lead to the results wished for. Two days ago we wanted to eat some tapas, looking forward fresh vegetables and ended up with this:
 It still was yummy. Guess next time we have to take our heavy tourist guides along. 
Today we are heading off for Granada.