Monday, April 30, 2012

Pinwheel block finished

Another block completed and again this is to make a pillow to compliment a quilt given to a niece.


The the two solid and one green triangles may seem out of sorts, but I tried to have the block reflect her unpredictable and fun personality.

The block measures 10"(25,5 cm) squared. More grey fabric will be added to make the cushion a decent size. I am already dreading free-motion quilting this, as it will be my first attempt ever. Wish me luck.

Have a marvelous day!

Christine

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Circle of Geese block finished

My second attempt at paper-piecing. Despite the many domestic distractions, the block was finally finished. Though these pink snippets are not what was originally used in the quilt that this future pillow is to compliment, I think it will work out quite well all the same.


The block measures a little over 11" ( 28  cm) squared. It is rather small for a cushion, so a few more inches of background fabric will be added. The off-white linen has a slight shimmer to it to add that extra girly touch.

Have a nice day!

Christine

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New York Beauty quilt top finished

It was really such an easy task to put this quilt top together. Since it is for a little girl, I chose not to go too esoteric with the design and kept it to simple rings.



The middle one has a red circle to depict the Japanese sun and the surrounding rings will be quilted with red thread, I thought. 



And below the "stained glass" version. It's fun to hang the quilt up in the window and see it shine.


Now to finish the second matching quilt top.

Have a wonderful day!

Christine

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Circle of geese pillow for the next eldest niece

Here is the the second niece's cushion project. The young lady loves anything pink, as you can perhaps tell by the quilt below... A bit funny because I see her more as a blue person, actually. Much like myself!


Since the quilt is rather busy, I thought to make a simpler cushion using the Circle of Geese tutorial by Piece by Number. Paper piecing has really appealed to me after trying a New York Beauty block a couple of days ago. One really gets the hang of it very quickly, though some twisting and turning does occur when trying to figure out how to place the fabric piece on the first figure on the template!

Like the quilt, I will be using a pink color scheme on white background adding a beige trim. Results will be posted shortly.

Have a sunny day!

Christine

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pinwheel pillow for the youngest niece

I am scandalously late with sending birthday presents to two of my nieces in Switzerland. I have no idea why these special dates slipped my mind, but they did. For some time I have been wanting to make cushions to compliment the quilts I made for them last Summer.


This was made for the youngest, who has quite the colorful yet determined sort of personality. Since there are pinwheels in the quilt, it was only natural to chose a pinwheel cushion. However, I did not want to overdo it, so I chose a slightly different version with this Pinwheel block from Quilter's Cache (a lovely site for blocks). It will be on a grey background, like the original quilt.

I will try to get it in the post by Sunday, which is the first weekday of the week in this part of the world.

Have a wonderful day!

Christine

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Circle appliqué quilt sneak peak

The second of the two little girl quilts is envisioned to be an appliqué of circles, complementing the first one I am making. There are so many circle-making methods, but for this particular quilt I settled on appliqué using the Oh Fransson! Dresden plate block tutorial. It will not unravel like I suspect the raw edge type might do. There is naturally the technique where one uses freezer paper or sewing quarter circles together. I wished to have the freedom to move the circles around in a perhaps haphazard manner, and I concluded that Oh Fransson!'s method was most suitable this time around. 


I found it difficult to combine the red with that little touch of pink, but it comes together quite nicely when all the circles are arranged on the creamy quilt top fabric.


The circles are of different sizes from around 2"(5 cm) in diameter to 9,5" (24 cm).


I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel with these two girl quilts and have commenced planning the quilting designs for them. 

Have a nice day!

Christine

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First attempt at paper piecing

The New York Beauty quilt blocks are just lovely, and I am sure you have noticed the stunning one made by Kati at From the Blue Chair. I followed the links to get the pattern through her site, but these were unfortunately expired. Fortunately Lenz Ula posted a tutorial for several New York Beauty blocks and I thought to try one for my next girl quilt. The requested color schemes were red and a touch of pink.


So I tried it out and let's just say "fourth time a charm".


I thought to put bright red in the centre and white background to make the blocks look like a sun.


Now, how to assemble it all? Luckily I had the great fortune of meeting Sue from Scrap Happy, a lovely lady who has so much quilting experience and is very willing to share her expertise. She was so kind as to give me some pointers with regards to my latest project, opening my mind to new possibilities. In addition she showed me a fabric store that I hadn't been to before in Jerusalem. You can imagine how that went! In any case, I look forward to meeting with the lovely Susan again soon.

I hope you had as nice a day as I had!

Christine

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Siblings Together quilt blocks: log cabin

As soon as I was finished with the older boys blocks, I dove back into my stash and made some log cabins according to Needles and Lemons' group 1 project. Unfortunately, no matter how much I measured my seems for the accurate 1/4" seem, my blocks always ended up under the 8,5" measurement. I ended up making 4 wonky squares by adding two more strips, in order to fulfill the required measurement, but then the block was no longer the style that was requested.


So I went back to the sewing machine and made 8 more, but then left them at under 8,5", hoping that the assembler will not have too much of a difficult time with them.


They are super easy and quick to make, so there is no real excuse not to make a few more.

Have an excellent day!

Christine

Monday, April 16, 2012

Siblings Together charity blocks: nine patch

A lovely fuzzy feeling has spread over the internet quilting community thanks to Lynn from Lily's Quilts, who has come up with the idea to appeal to her fellow quilters to donate quilts or quilt blocks to a worthy charity called Siblings Together. In July, there will be a summer camp where siblings between the ages of 7-17 living in separate foster homes, have the opportunity to spend time together. As a souvenir, the kids are being offered quilts that they can keep with them always.

I was in the middle of another quilting project, but could not resist contributing. I am happy there are some groups popping up that are willing to receive blocks, that are put together by volunteers in the UK. Such a help to those living abroad. In addition, I have just not found any reasonable batting to assemble a quilt with yet, so this offer was particularly favorable at this time.

I have joined three groups willing to receive quilting blocks: older boys, log cabin and granny squares. I hope that the ladies who are so kind to piece these blocks together, will have blocks that coordinate somewhat!

Maria from Sew Love to Sew came up with the idea for a group designated to older boys. It's true that the trend can easily become too pinky, so she suggested more sombre colors to appeal to the said age group and gender. She wisely put up a color scheme as a reference and proposed a nine-patch design. The color scheme was grey, brown, icy blue and pale green. Hopefully what I put together will be appropriate.





I have to admit, my fabric stash is more on the bright side, so it was a bit of a challenge to find something more sombre. Hopefully it didn't get too boring! In total there are 10 blocks.

If you have not already done so, kindly take a look at this charitable exercise and see if you can contribute.

Have a nice day!

Christine

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Computer sleeve

My hubby and I have laptops that are in desperate need of sleeves. OK, not really desperate, but wouldn't it be nice to sew a couple anyway? Using the scraps bought on my last Jerusalem Old Town bazaar stroll, I attempted Oh Fransson's tutorial posted on Sew Mama Sew using only items that I had at home, meaning - no fusible fleece but polyester batting and velcro only in white. The lining was made with linen instead of flannel. Am I too handicapped? Only time will tell.

So despite all these short-comings when starting the project, I thought I just have to make do, since most of the missing items above just do not come easily or affordably where I live (once again...).

As mentioned above, scraps were used, so strips were cut out and sewn together to make the front and back pieces, in addition to the flap. Green linen was used for the lining.


Here is the front. As you can see, it is a bit loose looking. However, my husband who is my toughest critic, liked the fabric choice, color combination and the overall look of it.


Here is the back, that I thought I could monogram with my husband's initials or some such. Indeed it is the old log cabin technique. This smaller fabric scraps became a bit warped from being washed and shifted somewhat, hence the slightly diagonal look.

The tutorial is great, as is everything Elizabeth at Oh Fransson makes. Fusible fleece would indeed be an advantage. I could have quilted through the outer layer and the batting to keep it more together, but polyester batting just gets stuck in the machine when not sandwiched between two pieces of fabric.

I tried to hand and machine quilt through all three layers in the attempt to stabilize the sleeve and ended up sewing straight lines down the casing. Not very imaginative, but I'm sure next time will be better. The polyester batting does make the quilting process rather tedious, but then I know that from my previous projects. It was a question of making do. I was just so eager to try out this (for me) new fabric and was more curious to find out how it held up in the sewing process.





Verdict: I think it works, though the polyester batting has to be replaced with something less poofy, more manageable during sewing and more stabilizing for a neater look. I would even like to try some purse patterns with this nice shiny fabric.

All the best!

Christine


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sacher park

The largest park in Jerusalem is Sacher Park, below the Knesset (parliament). It has a large play area for kids, an ice cream truck (very important to my son!), a large area to host concerts, bicycle paths and a little further down the way a lovely olive tree grove where wild flowers flourish.


We enjoy the wilder look that this end of the park has. It is a bit rocky, but there is plenty of grass for the kids to run around on.


A Greek Orthodox monastery can be seen center picture. The monks can certainly enjoy lovely surroundings.


 We visited the park some weeks previously and it was full of poppies and it was indeed a wondrous sight. On this trip there were just a few stragglers left, which I could not resist capturing.

Have an excellent day!

Christine


Friday, April 13, 2012

Peter Rabbit embroidered birth data wall-hanging

Perhaps it was the fact that my son had started reading Beatrix Potter, but I decided upon a forest animal theme for my daughter's room and tried my hand at a Peter Rabbit motif for her birth data wall-hanging.
Book cover
This one was a bit of a headache, because I could not get my hands on embroidery threads in the right shades and had to wing it. This led to much undoing of work and caused some frustration.

Kindly excuse the smudge in the middle, where my daughter's name was "erased"
Also, I had chosen a counting fabric that had rather small squares, so the final product ended up being much smaller than anticipated. It is rather dainty, and perhaps the name details were embroidered with rather light pink.

However, I have grown attached to it and hope that my daughter will too.

Have a nice day!

Christine

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Replenishing my stash and a family outing

So, after I got over the initial shock that I had left behind most of my fabric stash in Bogota, I had to get my act together and hit the fabric stores once again. When googling quilt fabric stores in Israel, only two shops appear: one near Tel Aviv (almost an hour's drive away from Jerusalem) and one in Akko (over two hours drive from Jerusalem up the coast), namely the Quilt Center .

With two small kiddies and at times a rather impatient husband, I would normally have chosen the first option, but I could not resist to go to Akko known for being a relatively well preserved UNESCO heritage site and on the Mediterranean Sea.

So off we went. Half way there the kids started getting restless and the shriek fest commenced and the smoke was coming out of my husband's ears. Luckily the small ones love to sing, so their attention was diverted until we arrived at the quilt shop. While I was on my spree, the hubby and kids went to the beach which was conveniently a two minute drive away. It was rather windy, but the kids had a ball in the sand while I amused myself picking out fabric imported from the US, sewing paraphernalia and meeting some nice and friendly fellow quilters. The only one suffering was my wallet.

Afterwards we went to the old town and wandered on the fortress walls admiring the view over the sea. The harbor was lovely and picturesque. Finally we strolled the narrow streets within the citadel and soaking up the atmosphere.

Image from http://www.tourplanisrael.com/?CategoryID=260&ArticleID=561

Akko Old Mediterranean sea wall and promenade Tourist sites in Israel – North Israel   Acre
Image from http://www.israelsite.net/north-israel/tourist-sites-in-israel-–-north-israel-acre/
Harbor, Old City of Acre, Israel
Image from http://www.travelmagazine.org/?p=1326
The trip back went quite well, mostly due to our invigorating experience in Akko. It was definitely worth it. Now, to start my next sewing project. I can't wait!

All the best,

Christine

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pic-nick blanket

Because we enjoy going on outings during the week-ends, it was due time for a pic-nick blanket. My husband was not so familiar with the concept and in Bogota it was just too damp to sit on the ground - with or without cover. Since I was bitten by the quilting bug, I could not resist making one just the same.

Fleece, polyester batting (again) and a thicker IKEA fabric was used for the center piece.



I thought I would try my hand at free-motion quilting with my previous simple sewing machine by following the flower pattern. However, without a free-motion quilting foot, I was really not managing too well.



I liked the idea of rolling it up so that it could be stored in the trunk of the car.

However it was still quite bulky and cumbersome to drag around once out of the car. So in the end it has been decided to recycle the fabrics for another project instead.


That's the way it goes sometimes. No big deal, because it means that I get to sew another pic-nick quilt and this time it is going to be fabulous!

Have a great one!

Christine

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sea of Galilee

Easter weekend we decided to explore the Sea of Galilee for the first time. The lake seems so large when one looks at the map of Israel, but then one forgets how small this country actually is. It is so wonderful that the distances are so short and travel with small children is done with ease.

Our trip went from the bottom of the lake, around the western shore through Tiberias and continued to the eastern shore. The landscape was so lush and green, in contrast to rocky Jerusalem. We stayed at a B&B where there was grass for the kids to play on. Thanks to the heat, the kids could run around naked outdoors for the first time this year and they loved it. We dipped our toes into the lake once we arrived, but it was a bit too cold for our taste, except for our little girl. She is tougher than the rest of the family, which has been proven time and again, and she is only 18 months old!

The view from the hill where we were staying was somewhat obscured by the haze over the water, but when night fell we could see the lights from the towns on the other side. During our drive we could not tell that the area was so inhabited, so it was surprising to see so many lights twinkling in the distance. The area is apparently known for its mangos and the said trees were blossoming in abundance.

The trip back was done through the Jordan Valley, which was also well used for agriculture. Banana plantations were seen far and wide. We stopped off at crusader castle Belvoir; an interesting spot with ruins that were in pretty good condition.




We could see over to the country of Jordan, but once again the haze made it difficult to observe the magnificent mountains that we knew were out there somewhere.


Have a great day!

Christine

Monday, April 9, 2012

My quilt to-do list so far

There are so many quilt projects I would love to do but I seem to be a bit stuck, so I thought I would make a to-do list to organize myself better. After admiring many quilts, I think I have narrowed it down to certain inspirations I would like to share with you this time around.

Two quilts for a little girl in Zimbabwe - one influenced by this lovely doll quilt by Sampaguita quilts. This I have started already, I am glad to say. It will be my first attempt at free-motion quilting. I am extremely excited about this one as it is for a dear friend's daughter.




Big boy quilt for my son now that he has a big boy bed - probably a Japanese cross type similar to the one on Gone Aussie Quilting though more in blues and greens,



or kaleidoscope. This one from Noga Quilts is stunning!



Quilt for the sofa. I am getting a bit cold in the evenings, even though the weather is getting warmer. I would like something that could resemble the Beduin pillows and carpet I have. I can't decide if going all star is overkill (though this quilt from QOB is certainly attractive)



or this unfinished one by Made by a Man So What




or whether I should try a similar style to what is done on the Quilting Edge, that I so admire. But then again, I would like to make a pic-nick blanket...




Quilt for the master bedroom - I am getting tired at looking at those wrinkled bed sheets. I have not decided on this one yet. My husband is a bit finicky, so I will have to ponder this one a bit still. I would love to try a sampler, though. Perhaps I'll try the Summer Sampler Series co-hosted by Fresh Lemons.

Summer Sampler Series


Assemble the subway quilt I cut before coming to Jerusalem, based on this Oh Fransson QAL

Front2


Finish off the purple quilt made from Cherry House quilts Tempest pattern that I started last year. At least the quilt top is done.

Image of The Tempest

There are just so many projects I would like to do, in addition to the above-mentioned. How lovely that there is an internet community that is generously willing to share and inspire others. I applaud you all.

Wish me luck and have a lovely day!

Christine

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My mom's handiwork - a sampler

My mother was very crafty, but I think embroidery was her favorite activity. Over a decade ago she made me a sampler, but because I was traveling so much and trying to have as little baggage as possible with me, the little piece of work was stored in my mother's sewing chest.


After my mother passed away, I was happy to find this sampler again among her things. I immediately thought of my baby daughter who could have this with her always and this way she may learn to embroider from my mother albeit indirectly. I think my mother would have liked that.

The ravens Hugin and Munin with the tree of life Ygdrasil
I like this sampler because it combines norse mythology, the regal, the traditional and the secular in Norwegian culture.


Once again, the 8 petalled rose pattern found in so many cultures. 


I am so happy that my mother initialed this tableau, that way my daughter will always know that her maternal grandmother made this in the end for her.

Ha det bra! (Norwegian for "Good-bye")

Christine