Another We Care Scrap Quilt

I finished another scrappy donation quilt this month, using my favourite scrap pattern. I often custom quilt donation quilts as well, they are great practice objects but I didn’t have time to play around, so I used a pantograph instead that I have wanted to try for quite a while. It is called “Chiffon” and I have used it in a smaller version as a background filler but never in the default edge-to-edge size. That’s another really neat thing about scrap quilts, almost any quilting design will work. This one has already been donated to the guild, and I have started making another donation quilt, a great way to use up leftovers and do something useful.

We Care Scrap Quilt


Edit: Every time I post a picture of one of these, people start asking for the pattern in the comments. There isn’t a pattern that you can purchase. This is something that one of my German friends came up with years ago.  I’ll try to explain, maybe you can figure it out by just looking at the pictures. You alternate light and dark fabrics and always press the seams away from the light pieces. I put it together in rows, I find that easier than looking for blocks. The big squares are 4″ squares (including seam allowance, so 3 1/2″ finished size). The small squares are 2″ squares, the rectangles are 2″ x 4″. This means you can just start with 4″ squares and cut them into the smaller pieces (halves and quarters) as needed, without having to worry about seam allowances. They will fit together. You can actually do this with any size squares… if you start out with 5″ squares and cut them in half or quarters, you can put it all together without having to worry about the math.

This might sound a bit confusing but just take a few 4″ squares in light and dark values and give it a try. It’s super easy, and you can make the quilt as big or small as you want to.



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Drawing Tablet Case

This weekend, I managed to do some spontaneous personal sewing. I bought a drawing tablet last year, and I have been meaning to make a case for it ever since but somehow never found the time. Or didn’t feel like doing it when I actually had some time. Turns out that once I started, it didn’t even take long. I have made a lot of these cases for all kinds of things over the years, it is easily adaptable to any size. I can never remember how to actually put it together, there is no real pattern, and it can be quite confusing to figure out which piece goes where and how to turn it all inside out, so that none of the seams are visible in the end. I think I was also a bit confused about metric and Imperial measurements and added too much extra fabric on the sides, so the case isn’t as snug as I would like it to be, but hey, that’s better than the other way around, and I am definitely not going to start over. I used Kamsnaps as buttons, and I didn’t have regular round ones in a suitable colour, so I went with the little flower heads and added a few more tiny buttons along the edge, just for fun. I like it although I am surprised that I managed to produce something for my personal use that is not pink 😉

Drawing Tablet Case




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Another Scrappy Donation Quilt

After quilting all day long for others, it is sometimes not so easy to find the motivation to work on my own projects at night, especially when they require paying attention. Mindless chain piecing on the other hand can be quite relaxing, and I always have scraps at hand to turn into donation quilts. I started this quilt using my favourite scrappy pattern last summer and was surprised how fast I finished the top. Sneaking it into the quilt line up on the other hand is sometimes a bit tricky. I managed to squeeze it in at some point, and this quilt has already been donated to our guild’s We Care program. This morning, when I put the border on the next scrappy donation top, I realized that I had never posted pictures of this one, so here they are.

We Care Quilt




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Fruit Salad

More than a year ago my friend Doris gave me a box of berry fabrics, saying she had made several quilts using these fabrics and was tired of them now. She thought maybe I would have a use for them. Well, it was a box of free fabric… what was I supposed to do, right? I took it home, and when I opened it I saw that there were even a few blocks inside. I don’t remember how many, maybe six or seven. I decided to make more blocks and turn this into a donation quilt for our guild. I didn’t have a plan, and that is not the way I usually work. I need a plan and a backup plan and possibly even a backup backup plan. Just making blocks not knowing where I was going was hard work for me, and that’s why it took so long to finish this quilt. That and a lack of time, of course.


I finished the top before Christmas and managed to quilt it over the holidays. Although I usually like to custom quilt all my own projects, I decided to use a pantograph this time and picked “Strawberry Fields”. I figured I might as well add more berries to the mix. And the quilt is so busy that any custom quilting would have been lost anyway. Then other things took priority, and I finally managed to put on the binding this week, yay. Now I just have to sew on the label, and it will be ready to be donated at the March meeting.

 



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365 Challenge Quilt – My Version

I have been really slow in posting here lately, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. In the meantime I managed to finish another one of my personal projects. In 2016 the 365 Challenge Quilt was a big hit, and I started making the blocks in January, not knowing if I really wanted to make the whole quilt. But it sounded like fun, and I made a block a day for the first two months of the year. Then the blocks went into a box because we moved to a different house, and I unpacked them again a year later. I managed to make another month’s worth of blocks and then decided that I didn’t like the project. I was getting increasingly frustrated with the instructions, it was very obvious that the designer had just drawn up the quilt in EQ but never actually sewn it, and I ended up unpicking several blocks and redoing them my way. I gave up, and the blocks went back into a drawer.

365 Challenge Quilt


Last November I signed up with this project for my guild’s UFO challenge. Giving myself this deadline was the only way I was ever going to finish this quilt, I was very close to just putting the blocks on the giveaway table at the next guild meeting. I put them together in a way that is close to the original design, and I still don’t like the quilt. Considering how long it took to assemble all those 3″ blocks and how small many of the pieces are, the layout just doesn’t do it justice in my opinion. The individual blocks just get lost in that dark border. Quilting the centre block was fun but I didn’t put too much effort into the pieced borders, the quilting wasn’t going to be very visible anyway. I picked a floral pantograph design and then just echoed around it. I actually prefer the back, I pieced leftover fabrics because I didn’t have enough of the floral batik and couldn’t get more. But it is finished, so I will stop complaining, and I will donate it to the guild’s We Care program next month.




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Old Faithful and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

I realized a while ago that for someone who constantly claims not to have UFOs, I have quite a few… Not a whole lot by an average quilter’s standard but still too many for my taste. One of my guilds is having a UFO challenge this year, and I signed up to finish three projects until May. These are the first two, Old Faithful Geyser and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. I made those two blocks almost ten years ago, I actually wanted to make a whole Yellowstone quilt. I remember that I started working on a third block with a bison but somehow that never got past the design stage, the blocks were stored safely in a box and moved halfway around the world with me but I never really thought about them again. Until last year when I joined the “My Happy Place Row Along” and went back to my designs to create my Yellowstone row. I didn’t feel the need anymore to make a whole Yellowstone quilt, especially with the wall hanging that I made from the row, but I still liked the blocks very much. They were made during a time when I experimented a lot with different materials and stitches, and I piled lots of yarns and wool on top of the block and free motion stitched with different colours to create texture. I decided to turn them into small wall hangings and just added borders to the blocks. I am very happy with the way they turned out.

Old Faithful

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone


Ich behaupte ja immer gern, dass ich keine UFOs hätte, aber irgendwie haben sich doch ein paar angesammelt… Immer noch keine große Zahl, verglichen mit anderen Quiltern, aber doch zuviele für meinen Geschmack. Eine meiner Gilden hat in diesem Jahr zu einer UFO-Challenge aufgerufen, und ich habe mich mit drei Projekten angemeldet. Bis Mai sollen sie fertig sein, und hier sind schon mal die ersten beiden, der Geysir Old Faithful und der Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Die beiden Blöcke habe ich schon vor fast zehn Jahren genäht, damals wollte ich einen ganzen Quilt zum Thema Yellowstone nähen. Ich hatte auch mit einem dritten Block begonnen, der aber irgendwo im Design-Stadium eingeschlafen ist. Die Blöcke wurden ordentlich weggepackt, kamen in eine Kiste und zogen mit mir um die halbe Welt. Erst im letzten Jahr, als ich beim “My Happy Place Row Along” mitgemacht habe und für mein Yellowstone-Muster auf die alten Designs zurückgriff, fielen sie mir wieder ein. Einen ganzen Quilt zu dem Thema wollte ich nicht mehr machen, zumal ich ja schon die Reihe aus dem Row Along in einen Wandbehang verwandelt hatte, aber die Blöcke gefallen mir immer noch gut. Damals hatte ich gerade eine Phase, in der ich alle möglichen Materialen verwendet habe. Es wurden jede Menge Effektgarne und Wolle auf den Block gehäuft und dann freihändig darüber gestickt. Die beiden Blöcke habe ich jetzt in kleine Wandbehänge verwandelt und nur noch Ränder angefügt. Mit dem Ergebnis bin ich sehr zufrieden.

 



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Allemande Left

And here is – finally – the finished square dance quilt. I managed to take a few pictures while it was hanging in the show last weekend. I am very happy with the way it turned out.

Allemande Left


Nachzureichen habe ich noch die Bilder des fertigen Square Dance Quilts. Ich habe es geschafft, ein paar Bilder zu machen, während er am letzten Wochenende in der Show hing, und ich bin mit dem Endergebnis sehr zufrieden.




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The Happy Hedgehog

Our guild is organizing a pincushion swap, and I was thinking of making a pumpkin but then I came across a tutorial for this funny guy – The Happy Hedgehog. Isn’t he the cutest? I liked how the pins I put in created his spines, it felt so much better than poking any other kind of animal pincushion… 😉 If you would like to make your own version, I have included the link to the tutorial at the bottom of the post.

The Happy Hedgehog

Unsere Gilde organisiert gerade einen Nadelkissentausch, und ich wollte eigentlich einen Kürbis nähen, aber dann bin ich über die Anleitung für diesen lustigen Gesellen gestolpert – The Happy Hedgehog. Ist er nicht knuffig? Besonders gut gefällt mir, dass die Stecknadeln die Stacheln des Igels darstellen, das ist soviel einfacher, als andere Tier-Nadelkissen mit Nadeln zu pieksen… 😉 Wer seine eigene Version dieses Igels nähen möchte, hier ist der Link zum Tutorial (Englisch/Imperial):




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Square Dance Quilt – The Finished Top

I finally finished the top of the square dance quilt. It was the sheet music border that took forever, first it was my EQ program crashing on me and losing all my work, then it was figuring out how to actually do it. And I wouldn’t want to attempt it again, it took a lot of time to get it right. My biggest problem was how to create the five line staff all around the border. I didn’t want to cut narrow strips of fabric and I didn’t want to embroider them either… doing inches and inches of satin stitch didn’t really appeal to me. I was experimenting with couching and hand embroidery thread when I came across some black 1/8″ wide ribbon and it occurred to me that this might just be what I needed. It was still a lot of work to sew on yards and yards of ribbon (and getting it all as straight and parallel as possible) but it worked well and I am happy with the result. Now I just need to find the time to actually quilt one of my own projects.

Allemande Left Finished Top


Ich habe es endlich geschafft, das Top des Square Dance Quilts fertigzustellen. Es war der zweite Rand mit den Noten, der mich so ewig aufgehalten hat, und ich würde das ehrlich gesagt auch nicht noch einmal in Angriff nehmen wollen. Zuerst war ja mein EQ-Programm abgestürzt, und ich musste neu zeichnen, und dann musste ich eine Methode finden, die Musik auch tatsächlich auf meinen Quilt zu bringen. Es waren vor allem die Notenlinien, die mir Kopfzerbrechen bereitet haben. Ich wollte ungern so schmale lange Streifen schneiden und applizieren, und aufsticken wollte ich sie eigentlich auch nicht… stundenlang meterweise Satin Stich mit der Maschine, das erschien mir nicht sehr verlockend. Ich habe dann mit Handstickgarn und Couching mit der Maschine experimentiert, und das war gar nicht mal so schlecht. Dann bin ich eher zufällig auf 1/8″ schmales schwarzes Schleifenband gestoßen und dachte plötzlich, dass das vielleicht eine gute Lösung wäre. Es war zwar immer noch eine Menge Arbeit, meterweise Schleifenband aufzunähen (und zwar möglichst gerade und parallel), aber es hat gut funktioniert, und ich bin mit dem Ergebnis zufrieden. Jetzt muss ich nur noch die Zeit finden, mein eigenes Projekt zu quilten.



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Taminations

I finished the centre part of the square dance quilt last night. I won’t be able to work on it this weekend because… I will be square dancing 🙂 You are probably wondering about the blocks that I placed between the dancing couples. If you are a serious square dancer, you know what they are, otherwise not so much. There is a website called “Taminations” that explains all the different moves in square dancing, from Basic up to the Challenge levels. It has animations for all the different positions and it a very helpful resource for square dancers. Each of the four couples is represented by a colour, and the boys and girls positions are represented by different shapes. I took ten different formations and made them into blocks. The animations also show when dancers are supposed to touch hands, represented by small circles, and my Scan N Cut did a great job cutting all these tiny shapes. The quilt will have several borders, so I am not even close to being done.

Das Mittelteil des Square Dance Quilts ist gestern abend fertig geworden. An diesem Wochenende habe ich leider keine Zeit, daran weiterzuarbeiten… Ihr habt es wahrscheinlich schon geahnt, ich gehe zu einer Square Dance Veranstaltung 🙂 Vermutlich sorgen die Blöcke, die ich zwischen den tanzenden Paaren angeordnet habe, für ein bisschen Verwirrung. Square Dancer, die diesen Sport ernsthaft betreiben, wissen sofort, was das ist, alle anderen wohl eher nicht. Es gibt eine Website, die “Taminations” heißt, dort werden alle Square Dance Calls erklärt, von Basic bis hoch zu den Challenge Levels. Für alle Bewegungen gibt es Animationen aus verschiedenen Positionen, und wer sich bei einem Call nicht sicher ist, sieht immer erst mal dort nach. Die vier Paare werden durch jeweils eine Farbe dargestellt, und die Damen- bzw. Herrenpositionen durch unterschiedliche Formen (Kreis und Quadrat). Ich habe mir zehn verschiedene Formationen ausgesucht und diese dann appliziert. Die Animationen zeigen auch, wann die Tänzer Hände halten sollen. Das wird durch kleine Kreise dargestellt, und diese winzigen Dinger hat mein Scan N Cut brav alle geschnitten. Der Quilt bekommt noch mehrere Ränder, ich bin also noch lange nicht fertig.

Square Dance Quilt

Taminations

This formation is called an “hourglass”.




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Header Photo: "Third Weekend in October" Pieced and Quilted by Beatrice Rieske, Design by Ruth Powers of "Innovations"
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