Saturday, 29 January 2011


After doing that very complicated Crescent and Star quilt for my youngest daughter, I really wanted to do something simple and relatively fast next (after that I shall probably want another complicated one). I always react against what I've just done. So, do you remember these delicious little jelly rolls I bought from a quilt stall at the Wiesbaden Craft Fair?

I bought them from two separate bins but they go together beautifully. First I did a lot of cutting:

Then some pinning:

And then some sewing:

Not sure exactly how big a quilt I can make from these strips. What I've decided to do is sew together three rows at a time and when I'm out of fabric I can see how large a quilt it is going to be if I just sew them all together. If it does not look big enough even with a border added, I think I will add some cream stripes between each set of three rows. I will either just add plain stripes or might make rows of cream tumblers. Lots of possibilities for stretching these pretty fabrics if I need to. What's really funny is that I didn't notice until I uploaded these photos that I've made a mistake in my sequencing - will I be relaxed and laid back about the mistake and leave it alone? Anyone who knows me would say no and that if I don't correct it I shall fret about it - they are absolutely right and I'm off to put it right immediately! I don't think I'll have this top finished ready for our quilt weekend in Bremen but you never know - it all depends how much real life seeps into the quilting life, doesn't it?

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Mulling, not blogging

This is block #23 of the Nearly Insane quilt. Haven't done any of these for a while and am pleased to connect with it again. I've been mulling over which quilt to make next from the hundred-and-more 'must dos' on my list (you should see the number of quilts I've got bookmarked - I will either need to live to 300 or open a factory).

Since Renate brought me all the new fabrics I ordered from the US, I've felt a little overwhelmed by choice - not a good thing for me. I now have lots of the lovely Civil War reproduction fabrics but they are very much outside what I usually have and I have needed to stroke them and get to know them before deciding what to do with them. I've also got a lovely range of soft/warm solids which I want to use to make a quilt used by a character in 'Six Feet Under' - I would pause the dvd every time it appeared so I could copy a bit more of the design. It's one of those very simple quilts which look devastatingly good.

However, I've finally decided that it should be the Hartfield fabrics I should use first; I've had this 'Jane Austen' layer cake for a while now and it's time I stopped stroking and started sewing. What is it about these layer cakes that make you not want to disturb their pristine beauty? The thought of cutting them and having little cotton threads hanging from them seems an insult sometimes. Am I weird? Anyway, I've got one of those perpetual calendars with a quilt block a day and I spotted a nice one the other day which I think is simple enough to show off the fabrics well and yet has some applique leaves on each block which should give me a lovely bit of hand sewing too.

One of the reasons for the mulling is that some of us from the quilt group are going to visit Renate in Bremen for a long weekend at the beginning of February - our very own quilt retreat! This must seem odd to any Americans reading but we don't have opportunities for such things here in Germany unless you belong to a big group and our group is small. We are going by train so I shall want something to work on on the three and a half hour journey and also something to do while we are there. I think I shall take my Nearly Insane because everything I need is now in an easily carried box. If I can start the layer cake quilt and get quite a few blocks done, then I can pack those and do the applique leaves while I am there. We are all so excited!

Monday, 3 January 2011


Yes, it's been like living in limbo since Christmas here, maybe because we 'staggered' our Christmas a bit. My youngest daughter arrived on the 21st and the three of us and dog went to friends for our Christmas Day meal. Then the older daughter and boyfriend arrived on the 27th and we had our own Christmas Day (presents, crackers and usual Christmas Day meal) on the 28th. Then, almost immediately, it seemed, it was New Year's Eve and we were entertaining guests, so lots of prep and cooking. I thought once this was out of the way I could relax with some sewing as I have been itching to sew. However, the metal tab on my jeans zip broke in half and I stupidly tried to pull up the zip with the broken bit and it punctured my thumb. It has now been seven days since I did this and I am amazed at how long it has taken to heal. Probably all the cooking and hand-washing has stopped the healing but there is no way I've wanted to hold a needle in my hand in case the puncture opened again - although small, it was very deep. The weather has been cold and the snow has only just begun to thaw, so we've played with the Wii, board games, computer games and read books, watched dvds and had some nice meals.

Eldest daughter and boyfriend return to England tomorrow evening and youngest is here until 7th Jan. Apart from having a good clear-up, packing away the decorations and chopping up the tree, this week is clear for some sewing before I go back to school on Monday. Time, too, to drastically lose the weight I've put on over Christmas. Luckily, I'm so sick of food after all the festive over-eating that it is a great time to repair the damage. Happy new year!