Because I am and I do

Because I am and I do.

30 Jun 2014

Wrapping it up

Unbelievable, my first month as a blogger flew past. I made an overview of what I managed to do this month.



Seeing it all together like this seems like something and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling of contentment.
In random order there are:
Block 4+5 from the Camelot quilt WIP
Block 1-10 Tula Pink German City Sampler QAL
SBC block for June
Sew Kitchy block for June
I heart Regina Quilt
12 Fussy cut square economy blocks
80+ hexies to be added to my EPP hexie quilt WIP
1 sleeping bag pouch
1 Manicure bag
Joining hands bee block for Jo

I love BOM series and I am currently in 2, the Sugar Block Club and the Sew kitchy. It gets even better when I manage to actually keep up with the current month. Just in the nick of time I managed to make the sew kitchy block:




And although technically the German Tula Pink City Sampler QAL is a weekly one, I also like keeping up:


Block 9: Hollands Glorie and Block 10: Plus one (round)

Blocks 1-10
I love these overview pictures, because you get a great feeling of what colour needs to be added for the next blocks.

Tomorrow there is a fresh start in a new month with some new goals and some plans for the rest of the year. So it seemed suitable to reflect on the month soon to be behind us.

Linking up to Montags Macher, Monday makers from Aylin and Susanne  where this week there isn't just a linky party, but also a give away for 2 Whirly patterns on Susannes blog (see link earlier). The pillow she made looks smashing if you ask me.

I am also linking to fresh sewing day and small blog meet from Lily
Iris



26 Jun 2014

Signed, almost sealed and delivered

I almost can't believe it, but it is true I finished my I heart Regina quilt!! She is all washed and just waiting for me to sew on a small label and deliver it. I can't wait. I really hope she will like it, but I am soooo proud of the end result. So without further ado here are some pics:




On the backing you can see that I quilted stitch-in-the-ditch/echoing of the front pattern.





The hands of my kids came out ok, but for some reason were really difficult to photograph.

I used a dark pink/purpley dotted fabric mainly because it would suit the backing so well, but am very pleasantly surprised how well it works with the front. I figured with the front being so scrappy, any one tone fabric could work.





And then totally out of the blue there was a second finish....


Using Aynils super tutorial this little sleeping bag pouch literally took me 30 minutes to make. I will be using this as an end-of-year teacher gift. I am still not sure it is really 'done' here in Germany, but we did it last year and all Miss J.'s nursery teachers loved what we made them, so I reckon it is always nice to show a little something for appreciation.

I am linking to T.G.I.F.F. this week over at Laura from Quokka Quilts and finish it up friday from Amanda Jean of crazy mom quilts

till next time,


Iris








23 Jun 2014

Long weekend

This last weekend was the last of the series of bankholiday weekends. Last Thursday was Fronleichnam (Corpus Christi) and Mr Bird took a bridging day on the Friday so that we had a nice long weekend off. Seeing that it was the last in the series we decided to make the most of it. There was a trip to the zoo, lots of BBQ-ing and (perhaps of more interest to you) some sewing.

Over the weekend I finished a little Manicure bag for a friend of mine that will have one of those big 0 birthdays.



I used a Noodlehead pattern. Anna designed this one especially for Robert Kaufman Fabrics, but the best bit is that it was FREE. As with all of her patterns it came together very easily and I find her patterns very clear.

Of course Tula was knocking too:
Block 7: Check Mate

Block 8: Solitaire

Blocks 1-8
I have started naming them, see here and this weeks blocks not only came together rather quickly, their naming seemed obvious as well. I wonder if all the board games I played with Miss J. this long weekend had any influence..?

And last but not least I managed to make some progress with the signature block of my I heart Regina quilt:


You will have to excuse the wet patches, I was trying to catch the last light of the day. I drew each kid's hand on the back and then FMQ over it a couple of times. I was going for a 'sketched' look.  I am not unhappy with the result, however it also didn't throw me of my rocker, but I can't put my finger on it why. I wil sit on that one for a bit. 
Good news, the quilt is now basted and all ready to get quilted. I intend to keep that simple, some diamond echoing. I should be able to show you the end result later this week.

So what have you been up to this weekend? 

I am linking to Monday Makers, Montag Machers from Aynil and Susanne.

Till next time,



Iris









18 Jun 2014

I heart Regina

Slowly but surely a deadline is looming. 

This last year my twins have been going to a play group 3 mornings a week, but not for long anymore. Their last day will be the 10th July. After that there are summer holidays and from mid August all my munchkins will be going to the same nursery school.

When Miss J. made the transition from play group to nursery school the goodbye was not a final one as the twins had just been born and we knew the boys would be going to the same play group. But with the boys leaving it will be the end off an era.

So an excellent opportunity to show Regina how much we appreciated the loving care she took of our  kids. And what better way to do that but to make a quilt?

I've been growing a pile of 6" scrappy string blocks. After some playing on my design wall I decided on this design:



Then I choose some fabric from my stash to do the backing and that got me thinking, since this is a rather special quilt I wanted to make a special label for it. Why not integrate this in the backing?



In German when you thank somebody you thank them from your heart (literal translation). That in turn inspired me to make this heart block. I intend to let my kids sign it with their hand shape contours.

This is the top sewn together:

This is the backing, where as mentioned before I do need to get the kids to sign before I can baste it:



So far I have finished the top (10 by 10 6" blocks), backing and have chosen the binding fabric. The deadline may be looming, but so far it is still very much mission possible.



And then an unexpected bit of progress in my Camelot WIP. While watching Brazil - Mexico I managed to finish my 5th Camelot block. My Camelot quilt is one of those longterm WIP, see here and here. I am hand piecing it and have chosen a blue, red, white colour scheme.

Till next time,

Iris

16 Jun 2014

Fever all around

I got into a great flow over the weekend and not only caught up on my blocks from last week but also managed to make this weeks blocks (5 + 6). The Tula fever keeps rising with every block I make.


Block 3: Delfts Blauw I am unbelievably chuffed with how this block came out. It totally connects me to my Dutch roots. 
Block 4: Lemon Meringue
More fun with matching fabrics and a great outcome.
Block 5: Zebra Crossing. Block 6: Honey

In her book, Tula really encourages you to name the blocks yourself and with block 3 and 4 it came easily. Block 5 (zebra crossing) just feels right and Honey (block 6) also makes perfect sense to me. However Block 1 (with the pink in it) and block 2 (with the teal in it) proved more challening.




All blocks so far
For the moment block 1 will have to be Candy pinwheel. The best I can do for block 2 is Intersection. But to be honest both names don't really wow me. I might change them when I get a spark of inspiration.

On Saturday while still high on our 5-1 win against Spain I decided to treat myself. I went to the weekly market in Venlo and scored some real bargains. I am a sucker for a bargain. The bottom row were all Fabrics priced at 4€/m

I am looking forward to more soccer matches and hope that the Netherlands can keep up their flying start.
Iris







Linking up to monday makers from Aynil and Susanne and Tuesday Block building from Jen and Quiltstory Fabric Tuesday



14 Jun 2014

Beginnings

As part of sharing my quilting journey I thought it would be nice to take you back to the beginning. 
In 2009 we were transferred to Germany for my husbands job. Long story short before I found a job in Germany I got pregnant. So here I was in a 'strange' country with a bit of time on my hands.

One day while exploring I found a fabric/wool store. I had always wanted to learn how to knit socks, so I walked in and asked if they would teach me. They did and I spent some time in the shop chatting and learning. 

Every Tuesday they have patchwork classes and it didn't take long before I was lured in. I was convinced that I did not have the skillset for the classes, but they offered that if I wanted to make something else I was more then welcome to join. So I picked a pattern from a magazine they had there (no idea why I thought I could do that, but not the classes) and showed up for the next Tuesday class.


The teacher fitted my then stereotypical view of a quilter, a lovely lady in her seventies. She suggested that we change the pattern a little bit and make it into a quillow.
I was very excited and a wee bit overwhelmed so I stuck to the colour scheme of the pattern.

But this blanket gave me enough courage that when we started decorating the nursery I made a new version featuring Miffy (or Nijntje as I know her).


And until this day almost 4 years later the blanket is used every day and our Miss J. is really attached to it. It is always in bed with her and there has never been a road trip where it hasn't accompanied her.



I get all sentimental when I think back about the process and how I've come on as a quilter. These first blankies had just fleece on the back and minimalistic stitch-in-the-ditch quilting with no binding or batting. And although I travel a more adventurous path now, this was the vital first step.

till next time,
Iris




10 Jun 2014

Monday that became tuesday

We have been on the road for most of this pentecost weekend and the best bit about roadtripping for me is that there is no better time to do (guilt-free) hand sewing.
The journey there was bliss all the way through Belgium and France I finished my fourth Camelot block.


This proved for me to be the most difficult block. The devil being in the red crowns. It almost seemed misson impossible to fit the white-with-red-dot fabric in. I started doing this block about a month back, but came to a halt after trying the first crown. 
I looked at the discussion board in the Camelot quilters group and it seemed I was not the only one. What was missing was the answer. I also had email correspondence with Nicolette. I am a great lover of her blog and she is much further with her Camelot quilt which she has posted about here, here and here for example. It really seemed to be tricky but not impossible, so after Nicolettes emails I decided to accept my mission (again) and go for it. None of the crown 'low points' are perfect, but I am happy enough with them. So as far as I am concerned: Mission accomplished on to the next block!

Then just as we drove into Folkstone, UK, I started my English paper piecing 1" hexies. I couldn't help but snigger at the coincedence.



At the end of the visit (mainly due to the most horrific return drive) I ended up with 85 hexies waiting to be added to the mothership. I actually ran out of 2,5" squares otherwise I am sure that number would have been doubled.


All is well that ends well and we made it home safe and sound. So lets hope we all fall into our normal routine quickly because I can hear Tula call my name and am itching to make this weeks blocks for the German QAL.

till next time,

Iris

6 Jun 2014

First Paper piecing party

There I was, mentioning how lucky I'd been making lots of blocks on tuesday and then chaos tried to take over. By now I know that I need to go with the flow, rather then try to fight it. 

So there wasn't much more sewing done but then there was that one naptime when C & K decided that having a nap together is more fun after all. I was then able to drop everything else, run to my dungeon and whip up some fussy cut square blocks. For times like this I keep a box set aside with scraps cut to the right size so the blocks come together really fast.

I've been participating regularly in fussy cut square swaps hosted by Amanda from whatthebobbin. For this month the theme was kitchen. So this is what I came up with:





With chaos lingering in the background there sadly was not enough time to take proper pics. So for this one time you'll have to do with these slightly fuzzy ones.

Especially on hectic days I try (emphasis on trying) to make an effort to stop and smell the roses and to my surprise I noticed that our first strawberries had ripened.


To my kids enjoying nature comes naturally. They gathered round a slug and studied it intently, debating whether it was a slug or a snake. The twins couldn't be convinced: it was a snake. These are without a doubt some of the finer moments that make me feel very blessed.


Speaking of blessed, we are off to the UK this weekend to attend the first holy communion of my Godson. Taking advantage of the bankholiday weekend here in Germany. 

I am linking up to the paper piecing party from Kristy of Quiet Play.

Have a nice Pentecost weekend,
Iris