Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bus-y Words - A quilt for my Dad.

My dad turned 60 a month ago. Around christmas I decided to make him a quilt. The inspiration for that quilt was obvious. My dad loves his old Volkswagen Bus. A Limited Edition Bus. In 1992, VW offered 2500 Busses in two colour ways: red and blue. Many owners of those “Last Limited Edition” Busses meet regularly. It’s kind of a fanclub that you can only be part of if you own one of those 2500 busses. Here’s a photo of their meeting 2006 in Berlin:

Or 2011 in Prutz, Austria:

He is kind of crazy when it comes to his Bus.
So this blue Volkswagen Bus was the theme for his birthday quilt. I needed a proper sketch of his bus so I could trace it onto fabric. I found a technical drawing online:

Bulli Skizze

The only thing I had to re-design were the alloy rims, as he had soon decided that the original ones were too small (o: I searched for a photo of his bus to trace his light-alloy rims:


Then I started fusing fabric on double sided fusible web, tracing, cutting, sewing and applique-ing.

Papas Quilt Bulli

The next thing was the Limited Number. VW produced 2.500 Busses for this Last Limited Edition. Here is the number of my Dad’s Bus and the special sign for this Edition:

Papas Quilt (1) Papas Quilt

And this was the worst part: Cutting all these tiny letters and numbers…

Snipping away

And then I had to fuse the letters to the background and attach them with a zigzag stitch.

Papas Quilt Applique

Here is “his” number: 134:

Papas Quilt Limited Number

And without further ado, here comes the quilt I made for my Dad’s 60th Birthday:

Papas Quilt Outdoor

This is a close up of all the appliqued parts.

Papas Quilt Close Up

It took some time to get this amout of applique done and the best was yet to come! I tried some new free motion quilting! Instead of making a label on the back, I wrote the entire message all over the quilt top! It is hard to see but the entire background is quilted with words. To make it visible I used the flash of my camera:

Papas Quilt FMQ before washing

To spread the words evenly over the quilt it took lots of planing and preparations and I ended up pre-marking the words.

Papas Quilt Detail of FMQ and Binding

Above you can see the pre-wash state with the chalk-marked letters.
And below you see the post-washed state.

Papas Quilt Quilting after washing

In case you wondered WHAT I wrote all over the quilttop: A congratulation to his birthday, an enumeration of all the ways he used his VW Bus (shuttle for kids and their friends, bus for our athletics’ group, camper, wedding-“carriage” at my sister’s wedding,etc.), and an enumeration of all the countries he visited with his bus (most parts of Europe) and of all the places he visited with his the “fanclub” (and my faithful mother).

I attached the binding with my preferred triple zig zag stitch and squeezed in my nametag:

Papas Quilt Binding and tag

The backing is made of the same fabric as the background of the top – and the same as I used for my mother’s quilt. So when they are folded up they look identically.

All that applique-ing and marking and quilting took very long but it was easy to persevere as I was sure I had chosen the right gift and was looking forward to his joy in receiving it.

However, I didn’t finish it in time for his 60th birthday, I was 3 days late. But as his party was sadly cancelled due to the severe and high-feverish influenza he had caught, nobody noticed. When they returned from their holidays, I drove over with the kids and I gave him his quilt. And I’m happy to report that he really liked it and stated that he’d probably never get a better gift than this quilt.

The end (o:
Happy Quilting everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Preparing for Dogwood

I’m preparing a Baby Quilt Top for Dogwood Quilting.
The top is made using my first ever Paper Pieced Blocks from FQSR London 2012.

Basting and marking is done.

Baby Quilt FQSR

Looking forward to give it a try tomorrow (o:

Happy Quilting

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Notebook Cover and Loops

Today’s finish:

Notebook Cover 2

A notebook cover to take to work. Some selfish sewing (o:

Notebook Cover

And some loops I finished during the last weeks for all the boys over here: sons, nephew, friends.Loops Mosaic

Keep warm!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Finally, A Patchwork Quilt

I finished my first patchwork quilt! It was on my to-sew list ever since I started quilting. Back in August I pulled out lots of blues, greens and greys. I used some of my treasured prints (that I received for my birthday) and some that were part of the first and only giveaway I ever won online (thank you Lizzy House!).

I cut them up into 5” squares.

And started to lay them out:

It was hard to place the squares randomly without repeating the colours/ hues or the prints. I think it took hours to lay out the squares and stack and label them neatly. When I was sewing them together I mixed them up (in the last 4 rows) and I was too lazy to sort that mess out again. I finished the flimsy at the end of August and it was put aside so I could start sewing christmas gifts.

Last week I took it out again. Pieced a backing. Predried the batting. And started basting while the receipient was doodling with crayons and felt tips. He kept showing off his pieces of art “accidentially” stepping on his future quilt.

Hues Quilt little Basting helper

(Note to self: Put that sweater away. It is too short for him now – or throw it away if the felt tip ink does not wash out)

Without further ado, here comes my “Hues and Values” Quilt (name inspired by the Value Added Quilt Along that started back in October, when I was already done with my quilt top…):

Hues Quilt bb

The pieced backing is made of flannel – super soft and super cozy.

Hues Quilt back bb

I was at a loss as to how to quilt it. I wanted to sew straight lines with my walking foot but after the disaster of Emma’s Quilt I opted for giant free motion circles instead. One circle per square. I didn’t mark them beforehand and they are far from perfect. But I don’t care, I hope that once the quilt is washed and dried the crinkles will conceal most irregularities.

Hues Quilt Detail Quilting bb

I love the look of quilting on the back (that’s apparently where I took my inspiration from in the first place (o: )

Hues Quilt Detail of Quilting and backing

I used white thread for the top and matching blue thread for the back.

Hues Quilt Tag and Binding

I chose a light grey print for the binding and attached it with my preferred triple zig zag stitch. It is almost invisible on the light grey binding, so here’s another photo where I accidentially stitched a bit too much into the square:

Hues Quilt Detail of Binding bb

All that’s left to do now is washing and drying. My favourite part.
Oh, and gifting. That’s even better (o:

Have a nice week!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

A piece of german culture

Karneval is a big feast over here. Even for the kids.
In a town nearby there is a little Karneval Parade just for the kids.

Karneval 3

It is organized by local kindergartens, schools, sport clubs, several marching bands and so on.

Karneval 2

There is lots of music (I just love those marching bands – they remind me of my childhood!) and tons of sweets that the kids throw down from the decorated trailers to the kids lining the streets.

Karneval 1

That’s why you can see all those serious looking adults – they prevent the kids from getting under the trucks and trailers while collecting sweets from the streets.

Karneval 4

Aren’t these marching band costumes great?!

Karneval 6

And they even had a little train!

Karneval 5

I took some photos of my boys during the parade but we went there together with friends and as I didn’t ask their permission, I’m not going to share the photos which all include them and their kids.

But this morning my little boys were all excited to wear their costumes to their Kindergarten Karneval Party: May I present my little knight and the dangerous triceratops to you?!

Karneval 7

Just FYI I made none of the costumes myself. I just wanted to share this fun part of german tradition with you. Not as hot as the brasilian version neither as freezy as in Québec nor as gay as mardi gras in New Orleans and not even as big and professional as many other german parades – just small and fun and only for kids (o:

As to the meaning of Karneval: it’s the last days of (excessive) eating and drinking and partying before Lenten Season (for catholics) starts. I’m better finishing off my last chocolate as I intend to abstain from sweets for the
next 40 days )o:

Wish me luck (and perseverance…)

P.S. Anyone fasting along?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

If you don’t have enough time for sewing…

…you shouldn’t add another craft to your list. Should you?! I did. Thanks to my friend Meike, who inspired me to give crocheting a try.

I started thinking about crocheting on Saturday. Finished my first two beanies on Sunday – and unraveled one of them on Monday. Yay. Great progress (o: I know.

Oh and btw. if you see that the beanie is too small for your child, unravel it at once. There is no need to finish the beanie first and try to force it on afterwards. Guess how I know…

Here’s the one that was big enough for my youngest:

Ruperts Boshi 

It matches his winter jacket very well and he loves his new beanie. Today he cried when it was snowing outside and it took me some moments to get the reason: he didn’t want his new hat to “get all snowy”… Bless him (o:

I hope to show you the beanies on those little stubborn heads soon.
Happy crafting everyone!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Bright kisses

After making those Last-Minute-January-Blocks, I am happy to report that I already finished the February-Blocks for Sew-Euro-Bee-an. Siggy block, little note, envelope and all. Yay!

Sew Euro-bee-an

Pippa was so kind to step in for a bee that sadly dropped out because of health issues and quickly made up a plan for her new month February. Thanks again, Pippa! She chose these super large kisses and I have to admit that after a second block including triangles, my initial fear of triangles slowly starts to fade. These blocks were quick AND fun to make. She send us some Kona white (?) and asked us to add one colourful fabric per block from our stash. She had mentioned that she loves brights and stripes and dots. Hope you like my choice, Pippa (o:

February Bee Block Sew-Euro-bee-an

I’m already curious to see how this quilt will turn out!!!

Happy sewing everyone!

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