Friday, December 15, 2017

My first ever fabric post card

Sorry, sorry, have not posted in quite a while. Life happened. All good though.

I am a member of the Country School Quilters who meet every month in Montpelier. The link is on the right side. The link is great because somebody takes photos of the "show and tell" and it is posted in files under "Our Flickr Site".

The leaders in this group are very active. One lady seems to be "the challenger". She always comes up with a new challenge. And people do participate and we get to see the results. Several month ago the program was about fabric post cards. She had lots of samples and it was very interesting. She past out material to take home and make one. I had good intentions but never got around to do it.

At the December meeting those who wanted too put their name into a hat. Then those participating (I think most) draw a name. Challenge: to make a card and mail it to that person.

I think this is a lot of fun. I made my card and it is in the mail. Actually it should have arrived. We even went to the postoffice to have it hand cancelled. The post-lady had no problem with it.

And then I made another card just because.

The first card is pieced like a crazy quilt but then I top-stitched it onto the Peltex. Silly me used green for that and the bobbin thread shows through the iron-on back fabric. Oh well.

The second has the background like it but I used the "quilt as you go method". This time I used a beige thread all the way. The angel is fuzzy cut and appliquéd with top and bottom thread different. I also machined the two stars on it.

I mailed the second one to a friend too but made a third like it to keep as a sample. I have a feeling I might make more. It's quite therapeutic to create something which doesn't take weeks and is a finished product.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Church Raffle 2017 ... done

I can't wait to give it to the church ladies Tuesday evening (monthly meeting) and check this project off my to-do list.

Yes, another Adnentcalendar!

Starting on the first of each December you select which Chrismon you want to add. 
Family members or visiting guests might take turns selecting it. 
The Adventcalendar will look different every year. 

Each Christian Symbol has its meaning printed on fabric on its back. 

HUGE THANK YOU again to my sister-in-law JANE in Windsor, England, for stitching all the Chrismons ... like she did two years ago for this project (see here)

Now comes the question: since this whole thing is my original design, I had to come up with a way to keep the Chrismons ready for selection. 

My first idea was this "hanging basket". I used two pieces of plastic crossstitch canvas for the bottom, back and front. I had a heck of a time making it and gave up half way through. 

I decided that this pouch might be s better solution. Again, no pattern or measurements but here it is:

I wasn't sure that I liked the pouch that much and (as you can see on the earlier photo) continued with the hanging basket and finally found a way to finish it (yes, glueing fabric can be a solution).

So, which one is better?

If there is enough interest in how I made the calendar and each Chrismon, I will concider writing the instructions. 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Cotton Robin Big Reveal

Finally! You find the BIG REVEAL here on the Cotton Robin blog.

This is my center which I mailed to Julie the organizer in January.

Then in February I received somebody else's center to put the first border around. I had it on my design wall for quite a while ... trying to figure out what to do. But it kept reminding me of the boomer/boomerette blocks we had done for Block Lotto in 2013. And that is what I did. I hope the recipient likes it. 

Got a center with the first border to make the second border. I really liked it and enjoyed working on it. 

Got a center with two borders ready to layer, quilt and finish it. I did some machine quilting but also tried hand quilting with decorative thread. It was a challenge but fun too. 

And when I came back from Europe there was a large envelope on top of that pile of mail.  My little quilt. I love it. It is already hanging keeping last year's cotton robin company. 

Great big THANK YOU to Liz in South Carolina, Nan in Oregon and Mary in Louisiana who all did a very nice job. And also to Julie for letting me play and working hard on this so we all have fun. 

Looking forward to next year! 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Row by Row

It's hanging! My 2016 Row by Row quilt.

It tells the story. Last year's theme was "Home sweet Home". The top horizontal one was a kit. It's a 9th Row and the proceeds go to a charity. I bought it from the Quiltery in Fairfield VA. 

The next is the pattern from the only store in Germany participating. I am original from Germany and Berlin of course is the capital city. I didn't like the original pattern as it was so did some "adapting". 

Next is the only other kit. I bought it because I was afraid I might not get that perfect sun-down fabric. The Trafalgar Square pigeon overlooks a skyline of London representing of course where husband James is from. 

The pansies are fillers and a tually the first block pattern I ever did for Block Lotto. 

The next is from Tennessee. Left are blue mountains, right is the skyline of Nashville where daughter Helen lives with her family. 

Underneath is the skyline of Richmond where we live on one side of the river James and Sarah with her family on the other side. 

On the bottom another of the themed rows with the lettering "Home is where the honey is". That pattern came from a shop which specializes in machine embroidery which showed in the pattern. I "translated" most into appliqué but what to do about the bees? My Honey" had the solution: use buttons! And he even found them in a shop for me. 

The vertical row on the left is a mailbox which reminded me of my first years here in the USA. The mailbox was very important. No internet, telephoning very expensive and family and friends far away ... my father and I wrote 2 or 3 letters to each other each week. It does have my "now" housenumber though and a bird on top and flowers on the fence. 

The vertical row on the lower right is a signpost with signs to important places in our lives with miles and km. I had seen a row like it on the internet but couldn't get it so designed it myself. It has a bird on top too. 

The Kit from Dngland had little fabric flags but I didn't like them. I had found an old beat-up lapel pin before our trip last month and was determined to find two new ones while there. I was lucky and did. Since three pins where cheaper I also got the little soldier. I am happy with that. 

And while I was in Europe last month ...

Row by Row 2017 started on Wednesday June 21. Timing was not on my side since I was in Holland and Germany before this time. I managed to get to three quilt stores in England though which was fun.

This is what I wrote on my main blog:

Friday June 23

We were on our way back to Christchurch and didn't really have an agenda. Since Wednesday had been the first day for Row by Row (see link) James was so nice to take me to two this day. 

The first was Purple Stitches in Basingstoke. It was in an industrial district (number 35) and quite difficult to find. But it was interesting. I am holding the sample.

The second one was even more difficult to find. Our GPS couldn't find the Quilters Dream in Andover. We had to ask somebody and when we put in "Picket Piece" the GPS knew. You have to go up some steps on the side of the building to the second story. The lady was very nice though and we had a good chat. 
I love Stonehenge. 

Tuesday June 27

Weather forecast was not so favorable. Considering that we didn't really have ANY bad weather for a whole month in Europe we are not complaining. With not much else on the agenda we decided to drive to Henley to a quilt shop there. This would give Helen the opportunity to go to a Row by Row participating quiltshop outside the USA. Not important but kind of fun. 

James' GPS couldn't find Farm Road. So I googled while I still had internet at Jane's and took a screen shot of my phone. This will do. The old fashioned way ... map reading!
Found it!
From the outside it looks like a cute little shop. And the front room too. But as soon as we went around the corner we couldn't believe our eyes: the British Hancocks! Helen and I could have spent hours (and money). 

I have an idea and you might hear more about this. 

Saturday, April 8, 2017


My Row by Row quilt with rows from 2016 is pieced. It is ruffly 56 x 76 inches. My husband was funny. He actually cared to "audition" fabrics for the sashing and the border. It was nice to discuss it. Enough brown for the back and enough of the blue for the binding and already made. Now next: "quilting by check". I wouldn't want to wreck this at this stage by trying it myself.

James wanted me to take a photo of the back too.

Before the next project I decided to take a look at my machine. I did have it serviced just before I started the rows. Really? 

I wished I could tell about the project I did today but you have to keep the Cotton Robin a secret until it is revealed in the beginning of July. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Last one - DONE

# 8

This one I had to design myself. I had seen a Row similar and wrote to the shop (somewhere very north-west) but never received an answer. So, I decided to tackle it. And it was actually a lot of fun!

I started with this.
Cut brown strip 20 x 3.5 inches
Cut background 20 x 4 inches (2)

Background 2.5 x 4 inches (14)
Background 1.5 inch (7)
Signs 1.5 squares (14)

Of course how many pieces you cut depends how many signs you want.

Sew together to make the sign strip.

Sewing the corner triangles doesn't take long, especially if you chain piece. Have you read my "helpful tip" under Quilt Tutorials how I do those? Would love your feedback if you try it.

Now I inserted the signs. I had no idea how much "post" to make and what I wanted to do at the bottom, so I started at the top with the inserting. Just lay down the next sign and make sure the cut would not go through a previous one. Also, make sure you remember to leave the seam allowance. 

After I attached the sign to one side, I laid all out on the cutting board lines and cut of the sides. That way I made sure that the "post" would still be straight when I sewed the second part to it.

After I had done my 7 signs I felt the top needed a bird. I had a pattern from BLOCK LOTTO but only in a bigger size. I didn't feel like doing a big math calculation so I "winged" it (ha-ha, no pun intended). But what is wrong with this bird?

It came to me. I had forgotten one little corner triangle at the breast. Two seams opened and a little sky added.

I am quite happy.

Now on to the sashing. And borders on the sides to make it more proportional, otherwise it is too skinny.