Thursday, 25 August 2016

Procrastination 101 - Up The Ante #5

Ah well, I should be sewing other things, urgently so even. But somehow I could not muster the energy those last few days. Do you know that feeling? The Cloud 9 Fabrics 'New Block' Blog Hop is coming up and I still have to finish writing the block tutorial AND to actually sew the block in the (gorgeous) sponsored fabrics. After having finished the amazing looking test block however, my energy just somehow dissipated and is yet to resurface.

Therefore, I stopped trying to make myself do it and just went to sew something entirely unrelated. Just to keep the sewing momentum going. I had my eye on the little 'Dala Horse' for a while and thought it would be an enjoyable in-between project. I am still working from the scrap pile reserved for my 'Up the Ante Sampler' quilt and enjoy adding small blocks to it from time to time.

Julianna Gasiorowska, Sewing Under Rainbow, Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block,
I made a little mistake there at the lower right hand corner but no matter, it will disappear in the seam allowance.

I just love using up scraps that seem like there is no purpose for them anymore, as they are too small or too unshapely. Is the saddle not pretty? I did not have enough of the purple fabric for the entire saddle but made do.  =)

Julianna Gasiorowska, Sewing Under Rainbow, Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block,

The 'Dala Horse' pattern has been designed by the talented Julianna GÄ…siorowska '@Sewing Under Rainbow' and can be downloaded for free from Julianna's Craftsy page. Check out the other gorgeous pattern she offers there. 'Warsaw Mermaid' is all I am saying  =)

Puppilalla, Dala Horse, Paper Piecing, free quilt block, Improvisation, Improv Block, Polaroids

I improvised another little block with a fussy cut dragonfly(?) in the middle and composed one in stripes. The tiger, feathers and rabbit were not originally mine. Those were sponsored for my Polaroid quilt project. The Polaroids were so small however that they just would not play with the other Polaroids. No matter, I have joined them in a row and will give them a home in the sampler quilt. 

I am still debating whether to include the green block with silver drops. It was goodie sent along by a fellow bee earlier this year. I am not sure how well it would work with the other blocks, as it is rather glaring, but pushing blocks around the living room wall (washi tape rules!) will tell in time.

OK, I am off for a long weekend away at a wedding, hoping to come back refreshed for a another go at the blog hop block.

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Bee Hive 2016 - July Block - Ist mir egal, ich lass das jetzt so!

The Bee Hive, Quilting Bee, Bee Block, Puppilalla, Ripples Block

Oh  this was a right little beast of a block. Somehow, the smaller the fabric pieces, the more difficult they are to handle. It is the same with my 'Double Star' blocks. Not easy at all. So I struggled with this one. Queen Rachel of July confirmed the receipt of her block and that she liked it. Therefore, I can now share it here. 

Puppilalla, HST, Ripples Block, Fabric Scraps, The Bee Hive, Quilting Bee, Bee Block

Rachel chose the 'Ripples' block and asked for light colored – pinks, yellows, blues for the HSTs in the centre and darker jewel tones – magenta, teal, purple, navy - for the outer ones against a white background. I eventually, found suitable fabrics in my stash but the block turned out wonky despite my best efforts. Yes, I am little miffed. I tried back and forth but am ever so slightly unimpressed with what I have to show for my efforts.

Ist mir egal, ich lass das jetzt so!

Puppilalla, Ripples Block, Patchwork Block, The Bee Hive, Quilting Bee, Bee Block, free pattern

In the end I ironed the beasty flat and sent it off to Rachel in case she found ways to tame it.

Hat's off to those who understand the proverb  =)

I am just glad that Rachel liked her block.  And to me, better luck with the next assignment.


The Bee Hive

Monday, 15 August 2016

All The Lovely Things - One Lovely Blog Award

Oh my god! (bounce, bounce, bounce... blushing...bouncing some more) The lovely Jen @ 'A Dream and A Stitch', whom I met through the 'New Quilt Bloggers' Blog Hop 2016, nominated me for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'. I am gobsmacked and certainly did not expect nor truly deserve it.

To me this feels like an early blog Birthday present! (bounce) The actual Birthday would be the 25th of August when it will be my first full year as a blogger. I am fairly proud of having managed to continuously look after my blog on a regular basis for the last year. I immensely enjoyed the blogging journey so far and have met many a wonderful person I would not have gotten to know otherwise. For someone to think my fairly new blog worth a nomination is no small thing and I am touched.

So thank you Jen and thank you Lisa for that matter. Lisa @ 'Sunlight in Winter Quilts' also wanted to nominate my blog but was beaten to it by Jen   =)

I have tried to find the origin of this award but had no luck in finding its source. Maybe it does not matter. Maybe all that matters is that people use it and make time to show appreciation for another.

The Rules:
*Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog
*List the rules
*Display the image of the award on your post
*List seven facts about yourself
*Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them

7 facts about me:

Does anyone else find it difficult to write about themselves? I do. I ususally write about sewing progress rather than personal matters or me as a person. The seven facts requested now almost feel like the continuation of the 'New Quilt Bloggers' blog hop a few weeks ago, where we were also asked to share details about our person. OK, I will try to be honest rather than deflecting attention away.

I love reading and especially enjoy Urban Fanatsy and Sience Fiction - or Speculative Fabulation to use the correct term. In that I enjoy an original idea and strong believable characters. A real turn - off  are book announcements that go: the first installment of an exciting new 3, 7, 8, 9 book series by the first time author...   Authors seem to increasingly under pressure to churn out series rather than writing a book and take care to write it well. I do read series too but, more often than not, series get progressively worse with plots and writing deteriorating along the way. 

I love cats. I want two black or chocolate coloured kitten with bushy tails. I also want pets to be well. Therefore, no cats for me at the time being, as keeping them in a small 2 bed room apartment without garden access would not confirm to my ideas of adequate animal welfare.

I love eating (provided it is well prepared food) and do more of it than my plump self probably should, especially, as it is not counteracted by an appropriate amount of excercise. My friends and I enjoy cooking nights and are especially fond of cooking Chinese. Amongst ourselves we probably own most of Fuchsia Dunlop's cookbooks by now though she just published a new one, I did not yet have time to check out. We make our own codiments, chutneys, flavoured oils and vinegars as well. Currently, I am infusing vinegar with elderflowers and mature a Portuguese style Piri Piri sauce.

I enjoy a good costume party. There has not been one in forever. I love to dress up und do the make-up and decorations. My best costume effort to-date: The red-eyed fruit fly. And yes, I do have pictures  =)

What I do not love is impoliteness. Don't get me wrong, I am not a stickler for form or refined manners. I am speaking of basics like making eye contact, acknowledging the presence of another person, saying 'please' and 'thank you' and 'would you mind' and 'sorry' where appropriate when moving in public spaces populated with other individuals. In the last few years I have noticed that that buffer of basic manners and respect for another person in public spaces is rapidly dwindling. The tone and feel is more agressive and tempers flare more easily. And yes, people do not even make eye contact, partly because those are glued to the smart phone screens, but partly as deliberate attempt not to have to interact with people. I find that development worrisome.



I think we leave it at that. The length of this blog post is getting out of hand already. 

On to the nominations:

First and foremost, I would like to nominate the generous women who helped me earlier this year in making a cancer relief Polaroid quilt for a small boy. Without knowing me they jumped to my aid and were fantastically supportive and made me feel a whole lot better about what was essentially begging for help.

Laura, Jenn, Mary, Renae and Karin - THANK YOU. Please get a blog going so I can award this to you.

Carrie @ 'the zen quilter'
Maja @ 'betyipiernaty'
Liz @ 'Lizzi Clips Design'
June @ 'Quilt Quest'
Lisa @ 'Sunlight in Winter Quilts' (you are right on this list again as I bow to you and your generosity in supporting young quilting talents and helping those in need through your guild. I guess, as you had been nominated already, there is nothing else to do for you just now but to enjoy =)

I also would like to nominate Rachel @ 'Stitched in Color'. Rachel is an inspiration to many people including myself. Not only is she a gifted quilter offering wonderful events, like mosaic contests or design challenges to the sewing community along with tutorials and free patterns, she also has a very true blogging voice. Rachel shares her life and the many challenges she and her family face(d) on her blog. To do so is a very brave thing. I know for a fact that many people draw strength from Rachel as they read along with her. In sharing herself, Rachel makes others feel comforted and understood and connected and grounded in reality. Hat's off to you Rachel.

And otherwise?

Many other beautiful things happened. I was one of two winners for the 'Holiday Wishes' book by Sherri Falls of 'This and That Pattern Company', compliments of The Fat Quarter Shop, via a giveaway hosted by Jen - yes, the same as above =) It is the first time I won anything in my adult life. I did not have time to look at the book in detail yet but it looks promising.

I also got some sewing done, namely the test block for the Cloud 9 Fabrics 'New Block Blog Hop'. and it turned out beautifully. (No, no, no mustn't spill the beans just yet. Have to keep it mum until September...phew) Next I need to write up the tutorial and sew the block again, this time in the sponsored fabrics.

A few weeks back I got ice cream money!!! I felt so special. When is the last time you remember someone giving some to you? Well, I was a child still. It was part of a many staged Birthday present (from last year, I had to wait 8 months(!) to be allowed to open it) that consisted of prettily wrapped boxes in prettily wrapped boxes, each coming with an envelope containing various tasks and in one case: ice cream money =)

The final box sent me to a meeting point, where my sister, her partner and my best friend waited to take me to a tree parcour climbing adventure.

So many things to be grateful for.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

30 Days of Quilt Design Challenge

image Rachel Hauser @ Stitched in Color

Rachel Hauser @ 'Stitched in Color' invited to a little fun challenge just after my heart. To help us explore our quilting style and because it is fun, we are to imagine and sketch 30 quilt designs and to post those on Instagram using hashtag #30DaysofQuiltDesign. Rachel formulated the purpose of the challenge in a beautiful sentence... 

It's about stepping out and trying new things, stretching, growing, enjoying being you.

In that context Rachel also linked a wonderful blog post on mind mapping called 'How to define your style' that is well worth reading. 

The challenge started about a week ago and concludes on October 31st. Therefore, there is plenty of time for you and your sketchbook to join the party. =) Just read Rachel's blog post for the full details. The challenge is kindly sponsored by Gotham Quilts and I hear there will be prizes. =)

I am already loving the idea. Incidentally, it plays along nicely with the 'Cloud 9 Fabrics' New Block blog hop design challenge. The best bit for me, as quilt design doodling newbie, is that I do not have to worry about the question how I would actually go about realizing the designs. No quilt maths involved. It is all about creative flow and experimenting with ideas.

From my sketchbook

Puppilalla, 30daysofquiltdesign, stitched in color, curved piecing, quilt design, quilt planning,

This one was an almost random find. I copyed 'Drunkard's Path' squares that I had drawn in various sizes to experiment with shapes and whilst being at my second favorite design tool after Post-it notes - the copying machine - I thought clustered like that they would make an awesome quilt. I cut some, rotated others and fell back to this version as my preferred layout. I can see it in solids.

Puppilalla, 30daysofquiltdesign, stitched in color, half square triangles, HST, quilt design, quilt planning,

And this was a simple design exercise looking at HSTs. I like the movement they create in this design.

Puppilalla, 30daysofquiltdesign, stitched in color, quilt design, hexies, hexagons, quilt planning,

I love this one. Hexies with an Art Deco feel. This block has potential so I played some more with it.

Puppilalla, 30daysofquiltdesign, stitched in color, quilt design, quilt planning,

This one is aquatic themed applique on a whole cloth basis. A lot of pretty quilting would be needed to add texture and detail.

Puppilalla, 30daysofquiltdesign, stitched in color, quilt design, quilt planning,

All things considered the challenge is exhilerating and freightening in equal measures. Frightening because you put yourself out there with a whole lot of half-baked ideas and nowhere near finished concepts. Exhilerating because you can allow your imagination to run away with you just like that.

I can see myself getting in trouble at work over this, paper, pens and sketches in-between work tasks, you know. =)

If you have some time, you should go and check out the wonderful design ideas people came up with in the course of this challenge. Even better, join in.