Sunday, December 17, 2017

Christmas in a week

It's not too late. There is still a week to Christmas this year. And then there is always next year!

I have already made several of these ... and given them away. Now here is one I am going to keep. I also wrote a bit of a "How to".

Traditionally Fröbelsterne  (or Moravian Stars) are made with paper. I have made them since I was a child in Germany. Paper doesn't always last that long, but last year I decided to make them with fabric. I think they turn out pretty good. People seem to be excited when they receive them as gifts.


You can find something about it HERE.

In Germany you can buy 'kits" of precut paper strips to make these stars. This year I even found some kits before Christmas time at our new Lidl here in Richmond.

HERE IS A LINK which is very informative. It has a step-by-step drawing but also u-tube links etc.
I found out that the star is called by at least all these names: Advent Star, Danish Star, German Star, Moravian Star, Nordic Star, Pennsylvanian Star, Polish Star, Swedish Star or (!) Froebel Star.

Long time ago I also used stiff ribbon. But here is how I did it with fabric.

I cut a piece of HEATnBOND LITE 30 inches by 4.5 inches.

Iron on the back of a piece of fabric. I like this bonding material because it is used with a dry iron, no steam.

Trim all around, peel and iron on another piece of fabric. It can be the same material or different. The selection of front and back material or even different strips make a lot of difference.

Cut the fabric-sandwich in 4 strips each 1 inch wide.

In the internet instructions they say to cut slanted to the tip but that makes the tip week. I do it like this which makes it much easier.

Follow the online instructions. There are many. If you don't like one, there is another you might like better.

Tweezers are my most important tool. Instead of trying to stick the strip through I enter with the tweezers where the strip is supposed to come out and then pull it.

The next two photos show front and back ... different because my front and back fabric was different. I could have used two strips folded the other way ... etc etc.

I like thin gold or silver elastic and make an overhand knot taking the two ends together. A bit of glue into one of the tips and insert the knot-end.

Done! (see photos in the beginning)

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 fussy 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.