Showing posts with label Lap Quilt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lap Quilt. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Tall Tales Throw Quilt

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket, Kate basti

Before you know it entire months have come and gone. Spring is on our doorstep and last night I could hear the cries of migrating geese returning from warmer climes. I am very much looking forward to spending prolonged times outside again. The last few weeks we had a summerly heat wave and I spent a lot of time outside. It is marvellous to soak up the sun and to feel the warm air on your skin. Meanwhile, I found that the absence of monthly assignments in form of bee blocks to sew also significantly reduces the time spent at the sewing machine and at writing blog posts. I also seem to slowly succumb to the seduction of the always instantaneous Instagram rather than sitting down to record my work in form of this blog. This means that pictures of my sewing are visible on Instagram days and sometimes weeks before I get around to writing another blog post. Having witnest this phenomenon on other blogs too, I am not worried. Sometimes there is just that little bit of blogging fatigue and you have to wait until you feel ready to blog again.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

Despite it having been less often, I did get quite some sewing done. As you can see I started and completed a new project. Kate Basti’s ‘Tall Tales’ foundation paper piecing block had been beckoning me for quite some time. The book blocks are simple but effective and deciding the look of the next little book was actually a lot of fun. I enlarged Kate’s template a little in order to enliven the throw-quilt-in-the-making with blocks in various sizes.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

Choosing the fussy cuts is downright addictive. I aimed for each book to stand on its own and was banking on the background fabric to bring it all together. This way I could use fabric prints that are distinctly different in style. When asked about her favourite colour the 4 year old intended recipient replied: ‘dark blue! … and green… and red.’ There you have it.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

Therefore, I settled on this fabulous blue fabric for the background. I had seen it in a local fabric shop and it did seem just right to me. I had other blue fabric at home already but went out to buy this fabric anyway because somehow, I could only envision this project using this fabric. I nicely framed the blue main area with a 2 inches wide white border and bound the quilt with a red bias tape. It turned out lovely.

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

The quilt has already been gifted and graciously accepted by the now 5 year old recipient at her Birthday party to which I was invited by special invitation. I love it when kids want you to be around! =)

Puppilalla, Modern Patchwork, Tall Tales Block, Foundation Paper Piecing, Fussy Cut, Throw Quilt, Blanket

By the way, I had no hand in placing that quilt as seen above. I merely walked into the room and when I found the quilt all laid out like that, I simply had to snap a picture.

I link up with 'Let's Bee Social'
Happy Sewing everyone!

Thursday, 5 October 2017

And that makes me really really happy

I do not know how it is for you but once I have gifted a sewn item to someone, I usually am not privy to its future life and treatment in its new home. That is mostly because it never occurs to the new owners that I might be interested in some feedback. For them it is mostly only one more item (albeit a beautiful one quite obviously =) in their household and nothing to fawn over. Which is exactly as it should be of course. Still as a maker you always wonder whether the item you made is actually being liked and used.

Therefore, I am always happy when I come to visit and find that yes, the items are in use and loved. It gives me so much joy. I had a few happy moments like that recently. Just last week I visited friends and unexpectedly spied three items I made in various rooms of their house. 

My Polaroid Photo quilt is in constant use. I was told by the seven years old owner that it is just like an astronaut's blanket, because you can lie under it and only the head sticks out, which of course would be in a helmet and then everything is covered. OK... works for me.   =)

Here is one of the Polaroid Photo pillowcases fully household integrated and in use. Another pillowcase I had made a few years before the Polaroid ones, was in the next room over. This said room was in a state of teenage disarray however and not not fit for photographic presentation. So we left it at that.  =)

Oh also, I recently found that my Polaroid Quilt (among others) was used as inspiration picture for a Polaroid Sew-Along hosted by Tea & Brie this Summer. How nice.

Just before I went on holiday to Japan at the beginning of September, a colleague of mine reported that the baby blanket I gifted his then new born daughter two years ago, is also still going strong.

Apparently, Anna - two and half years of age, demands of her parents to be read to while she reclines on her - by now somewhat short - blanket.  =)  How fabulous is that?! Brilliant, I love it. This is why I sew, at least in part. 

OK, back to the sewing machine then. I have another baby blanket currently in the making. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Polaroid Photo Quilt #8 - To Raise a Smile

I just arrived back this morning from a lovely two week break AFK in Portugal, where I spent two weeks of leave at the beautiful Algarve coast. Literally, back about three hours, I find I have tons of things to catch up on. First and foremost, I need to catch up with and start contributing to my groups on the '2016 Advice and Tech Help for New Quilt Bloggers' exchange on the double quick, as everyone is so far ahead of me now. Secondly, I have to finish writing the block tutorial for the 'Stash Bee' Quilting Bee, where I will turn queen in June. Lots to read, sew and do.

However, just now I would like to bring the Polaroid Cancer Relief Quilt project to an offcial close today.

Last time we looked at the completed quilt and a few leftover blocks that wanted turning into pillowcases. 

I extended the blocks with extra Polaroids and strips of the grellow fabric to bring the size up to 50 cm x 50 cm, which is a decent sized standard German pillowcase, well or cushion - as the British say, size. 

Puppilalla, Polaroid Patchwork Pillowcase, Cushion
To secure all the seams, I used one-sided cotton fabric heat bond. I cut the heat bond to size, pinned the right sides together (pretty side with the non - adhesive side of the heat bond) and stitched once all around, just leaving a small opening to turn the fabric inside out. I closed the seam and ironed on the heat bond. Thereby, I managed to secure all seams and to avoid any raw edges.

Puppilalla Pillowcase

Here the first pretty pillowcase front and back. I had inserted another three Polaroids but noticed that there was no real necessity to do so and only used two of the already finished panels for the second one, which explains the differing amounts of visible striped fabric in both pillowcases.

Puppilalla, Polaroid Patchwork Pillowcase, Cushion
Here the second pillowcase front and back. I like how cute they turned out. Perfect accompaniments to the quilt.

Puppilalla, Polaroid Patchwork, Pillowcase, Cushion,
A few weeks ago, I finally handed the presents over. Subsequently, I e-mailed a beautiful photograph that shows Hanno, Emma and Milla with their presents and huge smiles to all actively involved sewists that contributed to this project. I cannot share it with you here as the family would like their privacy to be respected but I can tell you that Hanno immediately identified the Star Wars fabrics with a great hello and also noticed that the blanket shows his name. The girls were equally delighted with their pillowcases and to my relief there was no jealousy whatsoever. 

The wrist tattoos that litte James sent along stole the show however and the kids spent the next 30 minutes splashing around with water trying to stick them to their arms. Hanno's mum and dad were visibly tearing up with emotion and I could see that the gesture meant a lot to them. Hanno will have the next screening at the end of June when we will know how he is.

Puppilalla, Polaroid Quilt, Patchwork Pillowcase, Cushion

Thanks again to all helpers who raised smiles and tears of joy.

Puppilalla, Polaroid Patchwork Pillowcase, Cushion

...and, yes - you did count right. There is still one panel and a few Polaroids left. Who knows, I might make myself a pillowcase too.


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Polaroid Photo Quilt #7 - Completed Quilt

A lot of things have happened since my plea for help on the 23rd of January. I met wonderful people online, had many nice written conversations, and received many inspired and pretty blocks, which subsequently turned into this wonderful quilt.

Polaroid Photo Quilt, Puppilalla, Patchwork, completed quilt

I am over the moon with how the quilt turned out. It was definitely a good decision to choose the yellow over the sky blue for the background colour. It makes the quilt so much livelier than blue could have. Every volunteer got represented with at least one block. I wanted everyone to be included considering all the work everyone invested in this. 
Layout wise, I tried to maintain a sort of frame by aiming for an unbroken outermost ring of polaroids, which almost worked. The ‘blank’ spaces mostly kept to the inside of the quilt top, where they provide some rest for the eye and some breathing space for the camera block. As previously said, I like it =)

Unfortunately, I have pretty much run out of the ‘Kona Grellow’ otherwise, I would have liked to make the binding yellow as well. I believe it might have given off the impression of Polaroids floating on a yellow background. 

Bias Tape, Patchwork, Puppilalla, Binding

As it is, I used the background fabric to make some bias tape. The stripes look definitely cheerful and also work very well with the front.
Bias Tape, Patchwork, Puppilalla, Binding
I just love looking at all the detailed pictures and am sure that Hanno, Milla and Emma will have a lot of fun with the blanket.

Polaroid Photo Quilt, Puppilalla, Patchwork, completed quilt

At the moment we are looking at one finished blanket and five extra blocks that want transforming into pillowcases. 
Polaroid Photo Quilt, Puppilalla, Patchwork, completed quilt, orphan blocks

I have received a long e-mail from Hanno’s dad, who gives periodic up-dates on the family situation and after the last three months’ trials, the family looks forward to some quiet time to catch their breaths.

Once I have completed the pillowcases (I am just such a slow sewist), I will wrap the presents prettily and write a letter to the family to tell them of the people I met along the journey that helped making the blanket and without whom it would not have been realized. For example, I will tell Hanno of five year old James in Utah, who - hero that he is - shared his stash of star wars and cowboy prints, so his mum could make polaroids of them AND generously sent wrist tattoos along to this German boy also aged 5 and his sisters. Very generous indeed.

Polaroid Photo Quilt, Puppilalla, Patchwork, completed quilt
I guess we will be looking at one more post to wrap up the project upon completion of the pillowcases. Until then stay well and healthy and enjoy the Spring.

I link up with 'Sew Cute Tuesday' @ 'Blossom Heart Quilts'.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Polaroid Photo Quilt #6 - Final Spurt

I am very pleased with the progress I have made with the Polaroid quilt over Easter. I pieced the top, pieced and preped the backing fabric, made a little quilt label out of one of the extra polaroids, prepared the layers and quilted the the blanket in simple straight lines. The latter is due to me not having mastered (let alone begun making the first baby steps) in free motion quilting or any 'proper' machine quilting.

Polaroid Quilt, Photo Quilt, Puppilalla, paper piecing

As I will not be in time to learn FMQ for this particular project, straight lines will have to do. The quilt top is so whimsical and busy anyway, that I don't think missing quilted ornaments will matter greatly in this instance. Here I was just about to iron the backing fabric.

Polaroid Quilt, Photo Quilt, Puppilalla,

While I busied myself with the quilt blocks, I spied the following animals (the list may be incomplete): tigers, horses - even winged ones, mice, cats, dogs, owls, an octopus, monkeys, a donkey, ants, butterflies, bugs, toads, a salamander, chicken, snails, bears, a moose, a deer, foxes, song birds, bees, cranes, rabbits, a pheasant, fish, elephants, a zebra or two and ducks. Half a zoo really.   =)

I am exceedingly pleased with the outcome and hope that all the volunteers are equally happy with how the blanket looks so far. 

quilt label, embroidered label, Puppilalla

I converted one of the extra polaroids into a simple quilt label. All that remains to do, is to make some bias tape, in yellow I should think, to bind the quilt. I have five blocks left and considering my current energy levels, I have to admit that I am not going to manage two more quilts at short notice. Therefore, pillowcases it will have to be. 

I am off for the final spurt. I will keep you posted.


Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Polaroid Block Quilt #5 - Coming along

I made some progress over the weekend. I decided on a 3 x 4 layout for the blocks and played around with their placement. I pulled out a few yards of a wonderful fabric with colourful stripes for the backing – alas it needs ironing – and foundation paper pieced this nice retro looking camera. The pattern by 'Quiet Play' is available on Craftsy.

Polaroid quilt, camera block, paper foundation piecing, Puppilalla

The pattern has so many tiny pieces that I lost patience and simplified it a little bit. Yes, I am an impatient person. =)

The camera combined with some of the extra polaroids will form another block for the quilt top and lend it character. The remaining blocks - those not included in Hanno's quilt- will become gifts for Hanno’s sisters. Hanno has completed his six weeks of radio therapy this week and was a brave little trooper throughout. He did it completely without anaesthetics, which is something when you are only 5 years old and it involves three masks being fastened to your face and lying absolutely still for 10 minutes, while your head is being treated with focussed radiation.
As the cancer is so rare, the doctors of three university clinics changed their mind four times as whether to follow-up with chemo therapy or not. The latest verdict is – not to. To some extend it is a relief because the chemo therapy is such an invasive treatment. On the other hand, it is disquieting because you have creeping doubts whether truly everything has been done and tried. Nobody knows how things will go from here. Now we have to wait to see if the surgeries and radiation therapy did the cancer in or whether it grows back. 

We keep our hopes up and in the meantime I will invite the kids around to a pancake extravaganza some time in April. 


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Cancer Relief Quilt #4 - Ready, Steady, Go!

This weekend I had meant to fully steam ahead and make great progress with the quilt now that everybody's block has arrived but then a family emergency took up all the weekend. Albeit that setback, I wanted to show you at least a group picture of all the blocks together and of the little extra block components and polaroids I have received.

Thus, I pulled my living room table aside, laid out the blocks in no particular order and scrambled on top of my ladder to snap you a picture.

Polaroid Photo Quilt, in progress, Puppilalla
Always starting from the left: 1st row blocks by Laura, Lisa, myself, Maja; 2nd row Renae, zen quilter, Renae again, Liz; 3rd row June, Mary and the Burpham Babes, June again, Karin; 4th row all by Jenn


Are these not just darling? The polaroids do exactly what they should, they mesmerize. I could just stare and explore the little pictures forever. So much work and care went into those blocks. Thanks to all the donors again. (You rock!)

Polaroid Photo Quilt, in progress, Puppilalla

I have reached a crossroad project wise though. As you helpers have been so generous and some of you made more than one block, I have plenty now.
  • Should I make Hanno one big blanket as laid out in the picture above? 
  • Should I keep easy transport in mind and make a smaller blanket with 3x4 blocks and use the remaining blocks and polaroids and incorporate them into blankets for Hanno's two sisters? They are equally concerned by the family circumstances after all? 
  • Should I make one big blanket and gift it to the entire family and make pillowcases out of the remaining polaroids and give those to the three children?

Decisions, decisions.

Polaroid Photo Quilt, in progress, Puppilalla

Happy for your thoughts.

Jenn's pretty four

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Polaroid Quilt Blocks for Cancer Relief Quilt #3 - Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

February draws to a close and I thought I quickly drop you a line concerning the polaroid block quilt project. Throughout the last few weeks I could not do much but sit tight and let others work their magic.

Puppilalla, Polaroid blocks, photo blocks, patchwork
from top left to bottom right, blocks by June, myself, June again, Maja, Liz and Karin

Then letters with beautiful blocks started to drop in from all corners of the world and I have received many encouraging and kind words which I will pass on to Hanno and his family.

I am going to wait about two more weeks for the last blocks, I have been notified about, to come in and then it will be my turn to pull things together.

donated polaroid photo blocks for cancer relief quilt
Laura's block

Once again words cannot really express how deeply grateful I am to all the volunteers without whom this project would not have gotten off the ground. Thank you.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Polaroid Quilt Blocks for Cancer Relief Quilt #2 - Up - date

Hello there, I feel a lot has happened since I put up my request for help in making 'Polaroid' blocks for a cancer relief quilt two weeks ago. I thought it was opportune to give you an up-date.

Good friends of mine, who have three lovely children aged 8, 5 and 3, found out just before New Years Eve that their middle child Hanno has a brain tumour. Therefore, I wanted to sew him a blanket to help him getting through the difficult time ahead. I immediately  had offers of support and many of my quilting bee fellow sewists have agreed to help me out with polaroids or blocks straight away.

If everyone lives up to their word - and I am sure they will - I should have enough block elements to put this quilt top together. So thank you for stopping by and your consideration and willingness to help out. Further assistance will not currently be necessary

I have seen some first drafts, have spoken about options with my helpers and should be getting the first blocks or polaroids in the mail from this week onward. Not all went smoothly though, for example it has been pointed out to me that my contact tab stopped working so that is something I have to look into, as people cannot get in touch with me otherwise. So I have no idea when it stopped working and if I have missed some communication attempts. If you tried to get in touch and failed, leave me a comment beneath this post and I will be in touch.

Polaroids from Patricia

All in all, I am quite overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of my fellow quilters who jumped at my side to help me at the blink of an eye, despite not knowing me other than virtually in cyberspace. Their kind support in sewing and spreading my request certainly made me feel a lot better about what essentially felt a lot like begging for help.

Thank you to all my helpers for all the kind words and support. I will keep you posted on the progress of the project.


Should YOU find yourself in a tight spot completing a project that is close to your heart, do not hesitate to contact me, I will help out


Saturday, 23 January 2016

Polaroid Quilt Blocks for Cancer Relief Quilt #1 - Call for Helpers

Up-date: THANK YOU for your kind words, blocks and polaroids. I have had immediate responses and offers for help. If everyone lives up to their word - and I am sure they will - I should have enough block elements to put this quilt top together. So thank you for stopping by and your consideration and willingness to help out. 

Also anyone who is currenly already sewing but has not gotten the mailing address yet, please leave a comment beneath this post and I will get back to you.

Hello there,
This blog post is a call for volunteers. It is a bit of an unusal forum to discuss my request for assistance but I would be grateful if you could see yourself helping me out. 

The Background: 

Good friends of mine, who have three lovely children aged 8, 5 and 3, found out just before New Years Eve that their middle child Hanno has a brain tumour. It is a rare form of a malicious cancer that only occurs about 35 - 45 times in a million annually in Germany. It mostly befalls children between the age of 3 and 10, while grown-ups are seldomly afflicted.
Hanno had neurosurgery twice already in the last two weeks and is looking ahead to at least eight months of chemo and radio therapy. Luckly, the cancer has not yet spread beyond the initial tumour. As Hanno will have to spend a lot of time in hospitals waiting around for and in-between treatments, I would like to make him a type of 'I spy with my little eye' - quilt, namely a 'Polaroid Photo' quilt.

The Request:

I am however not the fastest sewer and do work full time, which leaves little time for sewing. Additionally, I do not have the necessary amount of novelty print fabrics to accomodate that many polaroid fussy cuts without repeating them over and over. Therefore, I would appreciate assistance in making the blocks. I had initially asked my quilting bee to allow me to swap months to bring my turn forward from June but was not allowed. I could wait until it is my turn in June but that feels frivolous in the given situation.

This is where you might come in. If you feel you have the time and capacity to construct and donate a block towards this project, I would be, well ... I would be rather grateful.
Please get in contact with me by leaving a comment beneath this post for the postal address.

In case you have not seen them before, 'Polaroid' quilts mimic the look of polaroid photographs. Pretty fussy cuts are being framed in a white solid and then assembled to blocks with a solid in the chosen background colour. Here a few examples of this type of quilt:

polaroid quilt, polaroid block, polaroid photo quilt block
1. Oona run amok @ flickr - 2. Polaroid Swap @ occasionalpiece - 3. Love in Polaroids @ Stitched in Color


- various novelty prints for 3.5 x 3.5 fussy cuts 

- white solid for the ‘polaroid frame’ 

- yellow solid for the quilt background
(for ease of reference, I use the Kona Cotton Solid in Grellow)

Up-date: Feel free to work from your stash. There is no need to go out and buy extra fabric. That includes the yellow solid. I only mentioned Kona Cotton Solid in Grellow as point of reference. 

Block Construction: Work with a ¼ inch seam throughout. The final block size including seam allowance is 15.5 x 15.5 inches. The block may display as few as 6 and up to 9 polaroids. 

The Polaroids:

The polaroids (fussy cut and frame) once assembled in the final block will have an individual size of 3.5 x 4 each. This includes a fussy cut of 3 x 3 inches and a white frame of ¼ of an inch at the sides and the top of the picture and ¾ of an inch at the bottom of the picture.

As the fussy cuts are meant to have a final size of 3 x 3 inches, I prepared a 3.5 x 3.5 template (cut from an old postcard) to help me finding suitable motifs. You could equally just use builders tape on your quilting ruler as visible in one of the tutorial pictures below. Find, mark and cut your motifs at a size of 3.5 x 3.5. Press with a hot iron, should they be crinkly. The motifs may be of any colour or theme: typewriters, fruit, vegetables, cars, houses, ships, spacecrafts, landscapes, dinosaurs, critters, chairs etc. as long as you can find a pretty detail in the print. 

The polaroid, once assembled, will have a ¼ inch frame width at the top, to the left and to the right. The bottom part of the frame will measure ¾ of an inch. I used a chain piecing technique to frame the fussy cuts in white. Have a look at the pictures below. They should give you a fairly accurate impression of how to go about it. If not, here is another tutorial, that illustrates the process.

Take your solid white fabric and cut a long continuous strip. As I find it difficult to work accurately with fabric strips that are too narrow and like a bit of wiggle room anyway, I cut my fabric strips the width of 1 ¼ inches for ease of sewing. If you are good at precision piecing and sewing feel free to work with narrower fabric strips for the sides and top of the polaroid. For the bottom part you will need 1 ¼ inches of width (including seam allowance) anyway. 

I pressed the fabric strip and placed it under the needle. I then aligned the fussy cuts right sides together on the edge of the fabric strip and chain pieced all the fussy cuts. I cut the pieces apart, pressed the seams open and repeated that process on all sides.

tutorial pictures by Kat @ Cheeseandcrackerjacks

Once the fussy cuts were framed they looked like this. I trimmed them down to a size of 4 x 4.5 inches for final assembly.

Block Assembly:

I am aiming for a loose grit. The polaroids are not required to line up perfectly. Therefore, you are mostly free to assemble the block with the yellow background fabric as you like as long as you observe the below parameters. 

Imagine a 9 patch grit and try to place the polaroids in this grit. Place 1 polaroid per patch so to speak (or leave ‘blank’ spaces should you work with less than 9 polaroids) They do not have to be exactly evenly spaced. Some may or snuggle up to each other. One block may lean towards another block a bit or there may be gaps between some. The finished block may display up to 9 but no less than 6 polaroids. 

However, please refrain from doing anything of the below:

The finished block should have a size of 15.5 x 15.5 inches. 

I am looking to receive assistance throughout February in order to have the quilt finished by the middle of March. 

OK, this was a seriously long blog post. I hope I managed to convey how to go about making the block. Feel free to ask questions if something remains unclear or to point out obvious mistakes I might have made writing this up

Many thanks for your help!

Here is my first block yet un-trimmed. I am currently assembling the second.

The above displayed spacing and measurements I used are not mandatory. I only included them because some people specifically asked for some directions. Feel free to deviate.

Monday, 23 November 2015

‘mini decki’ Charity Up-date - 27 Blankets in 5 Hours

There was a ‘mini decki’ sewing get-together on Saturday, which I attended. One of the Berlin area coordinators, generously offered to pick me up so that I would not have to lug my sewing machine around town on public transport. We were eight volunteers and managed to sew 27 blankets in about 5 hours.

mini decki, Kuscheldecken für Flüchtlingskinder, charity project, blankets, refugee children

Where the refugee relief action is concerned there is so much to do and so little time to do it in, winter having arrived. Yesterday we had the first snow. Since the project kicked off in Berlin in September, 237 blankets have been sewn and handed over in conjunction with other charitable organisations like the Johanniter and the Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund (ASB) to refugee children at several refugee centres. 

250 more blankets are currently still required and the number is steadily increasing. Before Christmas three more dates in three different places have been scheduled to hand out the blankets.
mini decki, Hilfsaktion, Decken, Flüchtlingskinder, refugee children, charity, blankets

I realized that I also had not yet reported back if I had actually attended the monthly meeting of the Berlin Modern Quilt Guild or not. I have to confess, I stayed on the couch in September, as I could not face the outside world after a late night out but I went to the October meeting.

The Berlin Modern Quilt Guild is made up of about only 20 member, yes, you heard right. Unfortunately, the guild’s blog is nothing to look at the moment as it has fallen into disrepair and is no longer maintained, although some individual members have social media outlets of their own. The guild ‘members’ attend occasionally to work on either private projects or on something the group agreed.

The meeting took place in a privately rented basement space that has been converted into a sewing studio and was only attended by two members of their ‘regular’ group, myself and another curious new quilter. I cannot show you any pictures of the place as I felt it would have been in-opportune for a first time attendee to wipe out the camera in order to snap pictures for a blog. On the day itself I worked on further blocks for my Tessellation style pillowcase and made good progress. The guild’s November meeting was cancelled but there will be a meeting in December, which I will try to attend (with the view to finish the pillowcase at some point  =)

That other new quilter there that day turned out to be one of the three ‘mini decki’ refugee relief action coordinators for the Berlin area, who took the opportunity to explain the entirely privately organised and facilitated charity project to us. This is how I came to sewing in support of refugee children in Berlin. And the next sewing 'mini decki' get-together will not be until after Christmas now.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Green Diamonds Lap Quilt - Diamonds are forever

This is a lap quilt I made for a male friend of mine in 2014. I had previously spoken with him about colour preferences and already knew he would not want loud prints, flowers, bright colours, stripes etc. but looked for something fairly neutral.

Green Diamonds, Patchwork, Lap Quilt, Man Quilt, PuppilallaNaturally, loving bright jewelled tones and candy colours, I had nothing of such a reduced nature in my stash, so I went to the fabric store of my choice to peruse their selection. At first, I was a bit at loss to decide what might work.

Finally, I settled on the beige and sage green solids and paired those with a very soft chequered cotton flannel and a stronger cotton weave with aubergine and green threads causing the fabric to scintillate  like beetle wings. Very nice.

I had decided on a diamond pattern fairly early on in the planning process and only had to decide how I wanted to place the colours. As this was the first time that I worked with diamond shapes, there were problems to overcome (darn, does this flannel have to stretch so much…) and a lot to learn in the process. Here you can see that on several occasions despite my best efforts and meticulous prior pinning the points did not always match up.

The next time round, I work with triangles or diamond shapes I would definitely baste the rows prior to sewing them together properly. 

I can hear you think, you know… “What? Do you mean to say that you did not baste beforehand? Shocking!” 

Well you have to remember that I am entirely self-taught and had no sewing family members or friends to help me out. Therefore, it only along the way, by looking at Craftsy classes, reading blogs and tutorials and actually sewing that I pick up the tricks of the trade. Don’t worry I will get there eventually.

Green, Diamonds, Patchwork, Lap Quilt, Quilt back, PuppilallaFor the backing I framed the soft flannel with the beige solid. I quilted in the ditch and followed that with parallel shadow lines, which created a pretty pattern on the back. The front however, due to part of the quilting lines disappearing in the ditch, kept looking uninspired and boring. That is the only misgiving I have about this particular quilt of mine. I still find it is looks off somehow because it lacks texture. I also still alternate between liking and disliking the quilt’s colour scheme. =)

Another item on my bucket list ought to be ‘learn to free motion quilt on your little domestic sewing machine’. Up to now I have mainly quilted my projects in straight lines and when I was quilting the layers of this quilt together, I got to a point, where I felt adding more lines would get too much and subtract from the overall impression of the quilt-to-be. With hindsight I would certainly disagree with myself but what is done is done.

Diamonds, Patchwork, Lap Quilt, finished Quilt Top, Puppilalla
The quilt was bound in the same flannel and made a birthday present last year. All in all it turned out - not spectacular - but OK. I am satisfied with the outcome and had a good learning experience. The recipient likes and uses it and that is the most important bit anyway.

I think I am nearly done showing you my past quilting projects. Apart from the odd bit here and there, like a soft toy meant for the Toy Society or the up-cycled peg bag from a former linen table runner, we should be able to look at present and future projects from now on.