Saturday, 24 February 2018

Oh The Gardens! - Pillowcase







To get back in the swing of things sewing wise, I cleaned my sewing machine, which had accumulated quite a bit of dust and looked at a block design that had somehow taken my fancy. Pat Sloan is currently hosting a free weekly mystery sew along called: ‘In the Summer Time’. On her webpage she publishes the tutorials for the individual blocks and the second of the series called ‘Oh The Gardens!’ caught my eye. Pat’s rendition looked so tasty that I felt moved to try my hand at it, like immediately. I decided to use some of the fabrics I had adopted at the recent Berlin Quilter's Get Together as a way to legitimise my impulse fabric hoarding. =)

I decided to make a quick pillowcase and made four of Pat’s blocks omitting the borders, as I did not need them for my project. I just love jewelled colours and the saturated yellow with the Anna Maria Horner fabric snippets just makes me very happy. The block consists mostly of squares and HSTs and comes together very quickly.



The four blocks by themselves looked a bit wanting and I added a white solid to add some contrast. As always I quite like my little pillowcase - it looks quite happy - and as always, I will be giving it away as a present. I had kept last year's fun improv pillowcase for myself but it got abducted to Greifswald by a friend, whom I had lent it to while he was in hospital locally. I am still waiting to get it back.

I prepared some 'Franken-batting' and quilted a few lines as my actual quilting skills are woefully lacking. At some stage we need to discuss the inside of our pretty sewing projects. If I showed you mine, you would see plenty of unloved fabrics securing the seams and a lot of unsightly 'Franken-batting' that still does the trick quilting wise. =)




I did not only pull the fabrics out to make these fun blocks but really to ease my way back into a sewing frame of mind. In parallel I have also ironed the front and back of the Thicket baby quilt and started to prepare the quilt sandwich, as this is what I really ought and want to work on. 































Wednesday, 14 February 2018

The Rakish Needle - Round 3 Progress

4,5 and 6 – OK, then. All quilts accounted for. That officially concludes round 3 of the ‘Rakish Needle Robin’. And my, how the quilts have grown. Let’s get right into it.

If you want to remind yourself of where we left of the last time, just hop here

Anita’s Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Rakish Needle Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, FPP, Arrow Quilt, Flying Geese

Anita’s quilt quite gained in size and acquired more arrows in the process. I like that the top does look less square and more liberated now. I think I get to work on it last and am really looking forward to it. 

Karin’s Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Rakish Needle Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, FPP, Applique, Universe Star Quilt

Karin’s quilt top ended up looking irregular because I bit off more than I could chew. I added a huge side panel with more stars and a satellite orbited planet. That was a fun project to think up and sew. If you want to see more on the process hop to this blog post.

Maja’s Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Rakish Needle Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, Applique, Star Quilt

Ileana added dark blue nightly stars and bias tape appliqué to Maja’s quilt top. I always wanted to try this technique but have yet to. So there are new borders on two sides of the quilt top. I am working on the quilt top next, and currently have a mind to add more of that dark blue fabric in some fashion or other. 

Rachel’s Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Rakish Needle Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, FPP, Modern Patchwork

After Anita was done with Rachel’s quilt top, it looked really sophisticated. The grey she added grounded the quilt and the staggered border adds movement. The outermost plum coloured border was added to keep the fabric from unravelling. We are yet to see whether Maja keeps the border or takes it off again. This quilt project brought me round to medallion quilts. I used to think them outdated but the more I am researching them – especially in all the new and modern fabrics – the more I love them. OK, one more for the bucket list. 

Ileanas’s Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Rakish Needle Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, Applique , Freddy Moran

Maja added a fabulous little magical forest to Ileana’s top and also added a much needed black and white half square triangle border in various places. For all its craziness the quilt top actually works. I find the quilt top looks like a story book gone wild. Somehow the quilt top allows you so much freedom to try your hand at new things. It felt so liberating to work on this piece. =)

Katrin’s Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Rakish Needle Robin, Foundation Paper Piecing, FPP,

Karin worked on my quilt top and added a beach with a plundered treasure chest and a ship sailing off into the distance, a live saver and a block with an octopus. Looks like the adventures at sea are shaping up


As you can see the group is still going, albeit slowly. Everyone is having fun and I just love seeing how all these projects grow and develop. I hope that we can wrap the round robin up by Summer. Oh I cannot wait for the moment when everyone gets to hold their completed quilt top for the first time. 





Sunday, 11 February 2018

Berlin Quilters Let's Meet

It's a patch
Picture courtesy of It's a Patch

I have accepted a challenge. Looking at my impressive list of WIP’s, I know I should not have but it was presented in such a charming way. Last Sunday, I spent the best of afternoons with fellow Berlin based quilters. I was excited because it is definitely like having a blind date when you go to meet people in real life that you have only ever had contact through Instagram before.

Last Autumn Issey (It’s a Patch) and Caro (Petite_Reine_Coud) had the wonderful idea to try to get the Berlin based quilters to meet.  I could not make the first meeting, so I was all the more excited for this second one coming up. Issey welcomed us to her home where we sat and had home baked cake and coffee and a little bit of a show and tell as well. There were four of us this time. Issey, Caro, Yara (qvilted) and I. Yara brought her fantastic ‘Farmers Wife’ quilt top and Issey had really cool blocks up on her wall too. There is so much to be said about the tactility of an actual quilt, quilt top or fabric over just seeing them online.



Yara, Caro and Issey also destashed some fabric and I might have …hem hem… picked up a fat quarter or ten… Yes, that is right, the other girls de-stashed and I … build stash. Anyway, they are beautiful fabrics and I am looking forward to using them. In the same instant I accepted a quilt challenge. Issey did curate this pretty fabric bundle in Lavender, Pale Blue and Yellow and had commenced sewing with the fabrics when she found that she was not in love with Lavender after all. 

I often look at other sewist’s fabric selections and like what I see even though that particular combination might not have occurred to me. I even had the fanciful idea to organise a fabric swap initiative, where I invite people to curate a fabric bundle of a pre-agreed number of fat quarters which subsequently would be swapped with someone else, so that people get to try out fabric combinations that might not have occurred to them otherwise. I can see a host of problems with that proposition not at least the widely differing style in fabric tastes but the idea still appeals to me a lot. 

Therefore, against better knowledge of course, I adopted Issey’s begun project and challenge myself to work with the fabrics she selected. One more for the to-do-list.



It is endlessly exciting to meet people whom you share a passion or an interest with. No raised eyebrows over excited squeals concerning fabrics and sewing notions. Caro also had a clever idea and proposed to jointly throw a project together from our de-stash fabrics to make a charity quilt together. That idea too has appeal. First things first however and that means finishing the Rakish Needle Round Robin.

The next meeting of the Berlin based quilters is on the 8th of April 2018 at my place. I am looking forward to it.




Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Last Sewing Project of 2017

Following the credo of 'waste not, want not' I might be in the habit of keeping more scraps around than I might ever possibly be able to use. In order to use some of my numerous scrappy fabric strips and selvedges, I decided make a scrappy string pillowcase. I had seen such pretty fabric string projects around, for example Maureen Cracknell's 'Diamond Strings Quilt


Puppilalla, scrap buster, patchwork,scrappy string pillowcase, diamond string



The scrappy string blocks are easy enough to make and I used an old linen sheet as basis for the fabric strips. The pillowcase even contains scraps of fabrics used for my very first quilt made in 2008. 


Puppilalla, scrap buster, patchwork,scrappy string pillowcase, backside


For the back I used an assortment of pink and berry coloured fabric pieces that seemed to work in the context of the blocks in front. When the pillowcase was finished, I was in two minds, whether I liked it or not. It seemed to me that I had been more in love with the idea and the small scale photographs of scrappy string projects than with the actual blocks in front of me once I had made them. Has that ever happened to you? I might not be in a hurry to make another scrappy string project any time soon.



Puppilalla, scrap buster, patchwork,scrappy string pillowcase,

I gifted this pillowcase to a friend of mine as a Birthday present and know that it will be loved there. This was the last of my sewing projects in 2017. Once I get the Christmas tree is out of the way on the weekend, I can concentrate on continuing the WIPs I wish to complete in 2018.

=)