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 I used to think them outdated but the more I am researching them – especially in all the new and modern fabrics – the more I love them.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.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Kill Teal 2 - Building Competition

Welcome to my blog post. Today it is all about LEGO. Yes, it is not the usual quilting related fare but there is nothing like a bit of healthy cross-proliferation of interests. Hands up who else has got other hobbies than quilting. There you go. Thought so. =)

Kill Teal 2, New Elementary, LEGO building competiton, MOC,

What is this about then? The colour ‘Teal’, its demise and resurrection as zombie ‘Teal’. In 2008 the LEGO company decided to reduce their colour palette. One of their designers or master builders Mark Stafford designed a Exo-Force set (8115 Dark Panther) and was given several options colour wise. However the colours he did not use would get struck from the LEGO palette forever and ever. Thus choosing ‘Purple’ and ‘Orange’ over ‘Teal’ the later was killed by Mark, more or less inadvertently. As it turns out his decision didn't kill teal at all but merely put it into a ten year hibernation, because it is finally back in 2018 in sets like the lovely 10260 Downtown Diner. I love it! The diner and ‘Teal’ too. 

To celebrate the blog ‘New Elementary’ - A blog about new LEGO® parts with set reviews, building techniques and brick model ideas – announced a contest to kill ‘Teal’ – again. 

Kill Teal 2

The task was to build a scene or else depicting how ‘Teal’ was going to be killed the second time round. One entry in form of one picture per person. 

Kill Teal 2, New Elementary, LEGO building competiton, MOC,

It did sound so much fun that I wanted to give it a try. Therefore, this little scene got made. We are on a factory floor and the minifigures working there have to wear protective gear to be safe from the unwanted ‘Teal’. Being rounded up and shipped to the facility to be dumped on a conveyor belt and molten into black little lumps. ‘Peach’ and ‘Chartreuse’ are already gone and others surely will follow. Yes, the premises are somewhat sinister but can I be blamed in the current political climate where diversity and inclusion, reason and plurality of opinion are shouted down by politicians claiming ‘There is but one truth! Who isn’t with me, is against me’. Blech! 

Kill Teal 2, New Elementary, LEGO building competiton, MOC,

Having emerged from what LEGO fans call the ‘dark ages’ – the lost years from when you played with LEGO as a child and the moment you re-discovered it as an adult - last September , I do not have an extensive collection of LEGO bricks. In fact I have so few, that I could not even put up proper walls for my factory floor. Instead I used the base plates of one of the two rather boring childhood sets I owned. One was a park deck with gas station (if you could only see me rolling my eyes) and the other a container ship. Not exactly fun for a young girl. Or to say it differently, these sets could have been fun, had I also owned a simple box of basic bricks to actually build something else and to expand on the themes. As it was, the pieces contained in the sets were so few that you could hardly do anything. I asked for more LEGO but was told I already had some and that would have to do. This is how my LEGO collection stopped at two sets exactly.

This current scene was build with bits and bobs I bought on ebay since September.

Kill Teal 2, New Elementary, LEGO building competiton, MOC,

Back to the scene. There is a rotating arm with a gripper in case any teal parts break loose and need collecting and also to empty the fire pit of the charred brick remains. On the other side of the room behind the conveyer belt is the control room, where a bespectacled scientist sits at the controls. The parts are also being scanned while they are transported from the maximum security storage facility to their doom on the factory floor. Judged by the meter on the wall the destruction of ‘Teal’ is well on its way. There is a second person standing by at the emergency controls on the factory floor itself in case something goes ‘teal’ nay - wrong. 

Kill Teal 2, New Elementary, LEGO building competiton, MOC,

I build the scene on top of the light box that I purchased for foundation paper piecing (see there is quilting referenced in this post). That allowed me to light up the glowing melting pit from below, which contains a dark orange trans clear panel to create that orange glow. It also lit up every other nook and crany which was a bit of an unwanted side effect but it is what it is this first time round. Since I did not own any parts in ‘Teal’ when I made this, I substituted the parts with another blue and fiddled with the colours in an editing program afterwards. 

I wanted to record my effort somewhere and while technically my sewing blog is not quite the place to do it, I will park the post here, whilst making up my mind whether or not to start a second blog on my LEGO adventures. ‘New Elementary’ will choose the contest winner in February when I will get to see the other entries as well. I am looking forward to finding out how everyone else killed ‘Teal’.

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.