Monday, 5 June 2017

My first (and possibly also my last) rosette

I've been admiring all the different versions of the La Passacaglia quilts which have been popping up all over the Internet for the last couple of year or so. I have not really been tempted until I saw the quilt which Willyne Hammerstein calls "Ballet with Kaffe" in her second Millefiori book. I started to collect fabrics and ordered the papers and templates. I had the first shock when they arrived, as somehow I wasn't aware how tiny the different pieces are. And then I started to sew and had another shock as it took forever to make just one rosette. I think it took me about 25 hours to prepare and sew all the pieces together. Not really for the fainthearted and definitely not for someone who is impatient like me! I think I'll keep going, at least for a while. Maybe I wont ever make the entire quilt, but I can always use it in some other ways. 


And just when we are enjoying the first real summer days, I'm sewing away on some winter blocks, Scandinavian Christmas by Lynette Andersen to be precise. I've had this pattern for a few years now and every Christmas when I would be in the mood to stitch something Christmassy I usually don't have the time. So I decided to just get it started. I'm enjoying appliquéing  the whimsical characters and stitching the embroidery. 




I also pieced some blocks as I recently read about a lady in Guernsey (UK) who collects blocks which she then puts together into quilts for children's homes in Africa. She wants each block quilted individually as she then sews them together with the quilt as you go method. If you are interested you can read more on her blog here. A brilliant way to use up any fabric scraps or even make a dent into your stash. 


Although I'm a few day late, I'm going to link up with pomegranate and chintz for 17 UFOs in 2017.
Vreni x

Saturday, 25 March 2017

My first finish of the year!

We are almost at the end of the first quarter of the "new" year, can you believe it? I finally finished the sewing kit I started about two years ago at a workshop with Sue Spargo.


The inside with the bird pin cushion, the needle book and two zipped pockets, as well as some pockets for pens, scissors etc. The leather string can hold several thread spools.


Turned around and the back pocket is visible. A handy little bag and I'm happy to have it finally finished.


Talking about sewing bags; I bought some cosmetics recently and it came in this little box


which turned out to be the perfect size for my new EPP project. It even has a little pocket inside the lid for the scissors. 



But it does need some sort of decoration on it, don't you agree? So since I had my felt and embroidery paraphernalia out anyway, that's what I did! The hardest part was to sew the felt to the plastic rim, but I managed it in the end (pricking myself in the finger a few times).


So actually that's two finishes. I hope to get 17 UFOs and other projects finished this year playing along here.



Happy weekend.
Vreni x


Saturday, 31 December 2016

Makes of 2016

Looking at what I've made during 2016 brings to mind that everything is relative. Compared with lots or you prolific quilter and sewers out there it might look quite measly,  but considering that last year I produced practically nothing, I'm rather pleased with myself!


I also set myself a couple of goals at the end of last year. Let's take a look at what they were and how I did. In 2016 I wanted:
1. be a better blogger!!
2. finish some UFOs, in particular The Aunt's Quilt
3. make a big effort to find a quilt group as I found that I really need the inspiration of other quilters to keep me going.

I've done well with 2 and 3 as I did indeed finish The Aunts' Quilt (top) and I found a quilt group. I've been extremely lucky that two of my friends from Singapore have recently moved to Basel and we've started to meet on a regular basis. In the meantime another lady has also joined us which is fantastic. Of course we are hoping that we can recruit a few more, but I'm not complaining. I just love the camaraderie, the inspiration and of course the shared laughs.  Regarding becoming a better blogger; well I still have to work on that, but there's always next year, right?

We have been in Singapore over Christmas, enjoying all the familiar sights and sounds and of course the food and seeing old friends! Now we are in Bali for a month, trying to find out if the Bali life style suits us, at least part time. The jury is still out ;)!


Sun set over the rice fields from our villa yesterday evening.


I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and most importantly a content 2017!
Vreni xx

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The good news is....

..... I've finally finished my The Aunts' Quilt-top! I've decided to take it with me to Singapore and have it hand quilted in the Philippines. I will show you the finished quilt when I get it back but here's a little sneak peek.


I've also made a few small Christmas gifts:


A couple of embroidered ornaments. The one with the santa was a kit I bought a while ago from here and the Christmas tree is a free download you can find here.


This stocking is for a friend filled with goodies for the 6th of December, which is Santa Clause day in Switzerland. Santa brings sweets, nuts and small gifts for children on that day! I found the free pattern here via Pinterest.


I've also started making Christmas cookies. You can find some of my favorit recipes here. Now it's back to writing Christmas cards. I've given myself a deadline and hope that I'll be able to post them all by the end of this week in order to make sure, they'll arrive in time.

I hope you are enjoying the season.
Cheers
Vreni x

Thursday, 17 November 2016

First signs

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I love Christmas. So this time of the year I usually feel some Christmas crafting coming on. 


I follow a Russian blog and love everything this talented lady produces. She has a free tutorial for these lovely mushrooms; you can find it here. I've used Google Translate as the blog is in Russian, but the pictures are really all you need. 

I've also tried my hands on making acorns; the small ones were very fiddly so I tried to make it a bit bigger but I think now it's too big. I'll try to make a medium sized one next time. 


Next I made this apple. I've sewn all the seams by machine, but I guess it could also be done by hand. I've enjoyed the embroidery as well. 



I think these little ornaments will look lovely on a Christmas tree or as a decoration on a gift.





We've already had the first snow flurry the other day, so winter is definitely in the air and the count down to Christmas isn't far off.

Vreni x


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Autumn

Like many of you, I can't quite believe that we are already at the beginning of October. Summer is well and truly over, although we still have the occasional warm day. But the woods are getting colourful and I can't get enough of that golden Autumn light!

I had a lovely summer with a couple of road trips rediscovering Europe. It made me appreciate how much there's still to do and see here. We also had lots of visitors from all corners of the word and from as far away as New Zealand and Australia and the US. And some even brought hand made gifts, like these lovely bags my friend Jeanette made for me


and this pin cushion my friend Joanna made; I have quite a few pin cushions but this is definitely my biggest yet and very practical it is too!


This is the quilt I received in this round of the "Another little Quilt Swap"


Sarah from the UK made it and I love it. Take a look at her blog; I really like her style and it seems we have the same taste not only in quilting but also in books.

A couple of weeks ago I met up with another friend Rose-Anne from the Netherlands at the yearly European quilt show in the Alsace, France, which is only about one and a half hour from where we live. It's the first time I visited this show and it's nothing like any show I have previously been to. The exhibitions were strewn over four different villages and were mostly in churches or town halls.

Rose-Anne had a quilt in the "Dear Jane" exhibition. It was made with mostly Kaffe Fasset fabrics and it looked amazing. It was interesting to see how the same pattern can look so vastly different because of colour and fabric choices.



There was also a commercial area with everything quilting related. Of course I had to get a few bits and pieces! Some Dutch heritage fabric by Den Haan & Wagenmakers, something I've been hankering after for a long time. I have no idea what I'll do with them, but that's beside the point!


I also got these wool bundles. Aren't these colours just lovely? The shop I got them from is from Como in Italy. If I had only known that when we were there in the summer. Oh well, there's always next time. 


I've even been sewing a bit, mostly hand applique. I finally finished the corner and side triangles for The Aunts' quilt (only a year late...ha)!




Now I just have to tackle the last border which should not take me too long.... I hope. Then I have to decide how to quilt it. I really want it to be hand quilted - and not by me - but I don't have easy access to hand quilters anymore like I did when I lived in Asia. 

Happy Autumn (or Spring)!
Vreni x

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Another Baby Quilt

Recently our nephew and his partner welcomed their second child into the family; a little girl this time. Since I made a quilt for their first child of course I made one for this one as well. You might remember this quilt I made for their little boy.


I started with making Gingham for the background as that's something I always wanted to try. But I didn't want to leave it as that, as a baby quilt needs colour, at least in my book.  


The idea was to just randomly place flowers and butterflies all over but then I decided to go the "Kellie of Don't Look Now fame" way and make it into a tree. I've made Kellie's tree before, you can see it here and it's still one of my all time favourites.  I didn't use a pattern this time though, just cut out flowers, leaves, bugs and butterflies and fused them to the background. 




The shapes were then raw edge appliquéd onto the background and the batting and I added the backing before I started the free motion quilting. 



I'm happy with how the quilt turned out but my blasted machine gave me grief again. I must think of other options, otherwise I'll end up throwing this machine out of the window one of these days ;)!!! 

Last week we delivered the quilt in person (in the Netherlands) and we got to meet the newest member of the family as well as her little brother, who was born when we were still living in Singapore. 

Vreni x