Tuesday 31 December 2019

2019 - a round up

Even though I have neglected my blog a bit this year, the round up at the end of the year is tradition and I don't want to break that habit.

The year started off with 'Purple Haze' being at QuiltCon in Nashville/ TN, unfortunately I was not able to attend QuiltCon this year. But I have seen many photos where my quilt appeared and that made me very happy!

I finished a baby quilt that was long overdue in February and took photos in the snow:

The yearly Pantone Quilt Challenge has developed into one of my favourite challenges. In 2019 the Pantone colour of the year was 'Living Coral' and I made a quilt that is called 'Fade To Grey':

I liked these improv log cabin blocks so much that I made a smaller version in just black and white. I loved the effect of disguising the actual block and the very graphic appearance of the quilt, I called it 'Define Gravitiy'. 

Both 'Fade To Grey' ad 'Define Gravitiy' have been selected for QuiltCon in Austin/ TX in February 2020 and I couldn't be happier! 

I also had my first solo exhibition in a small gallery in September and that was so exciting! 

I had 12 quilts on display and I was very happy to meet so many people and talk quilts! Thanks again to everyone who came to see the show, I'm still filled with a lot of gratitude! 

This lovely pair I made especially for the exhibition and I love them so much I could do a whole series with just log cabin quilts!

I was also taking part in a modern quilt challenge here in Germany where the topic was 'intuitive colour & design' in red and turquoise. I worked with a directional print in an improv quilt for the first time and I liked it!
I called the quilt 'Poppies In The Sky'.

I have been making bee blocks but I'm terribly behind with posting pictures of all of them. There will be a separate blog post soon!

And of course I continued with the blocks for Biene's adventure quilt! I actually love that project so much that I don't want it to end! I have 15 blocks so far and there are only a couple of blocks more to make up the quilt top.

I also made some small projects like these following zipper pouches. I especially like this one:

Or this one:

And this boxy pouch:

I have also made a divided basket, but never blogged about it.... a friend of mine had triplets, yes, triplets. All boys!

And I thought a mother of triplets does need all the help she can get so a practical divided basket and soother bands will help.

I made these soother bands following a tutorial from my friend Barbara, it's in German but with a lot of photos.

I picked boyish colours for the basket, when the boys don't need nappies anymore my friend can still use the basket for herself.

The pattern is by Noodlehead and you can find it here.

Sewing wise it was a bit of a slow year because I was busy doing something else: Das Quilt Kollektiv! I set up a platform for modern quilters in Germany with two amazing women I am happy to call my friends and business partners. I have held two quilt workshops this year and will continue to do so next year. This is very exciting and I'm very much looking forward to all there is to come!

I have also been appointed as the ambassador for The Modern Quilt Guild in Germany. We are still developing strategies for the ambassador role but I'm also very much looking forward to working on bringing the German members closer together. Here is a screen shot from the MQG website:

Pretty much an exciting and busy year I have to say!

Linking up to Cheryl at Meadow Mist Design and her Best of 2019 Linky Party!

Sunday 29 December 2019

Biene's adventure blocks #10, #11 and #12

I still have a lot of catching up to do!
I continued to make Biene's adventure blocks and took them with me on our tours. Biene has grown so attached to us that it feels that she has been always with us.

We went on several day tours and lovely walks during this year, so here is just another scrappy tree block in the woods.

Biene is eight yers old now and her face is getting very white now. Even her feet turn white. But she is as active as ever and sometimes she still behaves like eight months old!

During another hot summer we went swimming at my rowing club. Biene loves the cool water and she can't get enough of that ball.

I pinned the whe water quilt block to our garden shed that is painted in blue and provided such a great backdrop!

Here's another improv pieced tree block at another hot day in the forest.

Biene is so incredibly photogenic! And she looks as happy as she makes us!

Friday 27 December 2019

Poppies In The Sky - A mini quilt challenge

I have to catch up blogging about my projects before this year is over!
In July I was taking part in a German mini quilt challenge that was organised by Ursula, who always has an international quilter to judge the quilts. This time it was Jean Wells.

Each year the quilt judge chooses a colour scheme and a method as to how the quilt is to be made. This year the method was 'intuitive colour & design' and the colour scheme was red and turquoise.

I liked the topic and the colours so I played along. I picked two shades of solid turquoise and a graphic print and combined it with a bright red solid. I have always wanted to try out how a directional print works in an improv piece so this was a good opportunity to test this out.

I think the directional print gives the quilt a lot of movement and adds interest to the piecing. I made slabs in different sizes to disguise where a block starts and where it ends.

The simple straight line quilting complements the design and is 1/2" apart.
'Poppies In The Sky measures 27" square.

This is Jean Wells' statement on my quilt:
I am guessing the poppies are reaching to the bright summer sky. The red and white printed fabric is so essential in making this complete. Great fabric and color choices.
I'm happy enough with that! 

Here you can see all entries and prize winners. All entered quilts were exhibited in Ursula's quilt shop in northern Germany, here is a video she made of the exhibition.

Wednesday 2 October 2019

Modern Quilt Exhibition - my first solo show

I had a pretty exciting week! I had my first solo exhibition in a small atelier house in my home town.

Quilts: Define Gravity, Emerald City Quilt, Regatta, Regatta II, Fade To Grey
My best friend Eva is a founding member of Gruppe 11, which is a diverse group of artists. The group has an atelier house in which they also host exhibitions by their own members as well as regularly by external artists.

My husband and I love the atelier house and go to exhibitions on a regular basis. Early this year I was asked if I would like to exhibit my quilts. Wait, what? Me??? That was my first reaction, that was quite quickly followed by a Oh yes, why not?

Purple Haze                                                                                Define Gravity
Coming up to the exhibition date I had my doubts. Will people be interested in quilts? Are my quilts good enough? And will I have enough quilts to fill the exhibition hall? That actually was my main concern. I wanted to show my best work and work that was truly my own. But with only maybe 20 large quilts in total since I started sewing the choices were very limited.

The Blue One                                                  The Green One
These two mini quilts were made just a couple of weeks before the exhibition. They are called 'The Blue One' and 'The Green One' for the obvious reasons. The log cabin block is currently a real favourite and to interprete that traditional quilt block in a modern way was so much fun.

Quilts: Define Gravity, Porcupine Playground, Connected, Four
In total I was showing eight large and four small quilts. Enough to fill all walls, yay!

It took me a while to figure out how to hang the quilts to picture hooks. After a long search I've found a tutorial here which I adapted a bit.
So all quilts had a 4" sleeve, some just temporarily fixed with pins like the one in the photo above. And then I used a 20mm square timber profile where I srcewed a little hook in. The remaining nylon band was rolled up and put into the sleeve, so no fixing was visible from the front and all quilts hung nicely.

The exhibition was on for one week, respectively two weekends and one week day. I was present at all opening hours and explained to really curious visitors what a quilt actually is, how it's constructed  and the design idea behind every quilt. First I was not sure if people wanted a tour, but everyone enjoyed to hear about the design process.

I also explained what the difference is between a tradtional quilt and a modern quilt. That's me and my October quilt, made from the traditional maple leaf quilt block in typical autumn colours and in a very traditional and geometric arrangement.

I also had everyone to touch this quilt. The quilts exhibited were not to be touched but I knew that there were a lot of people who had never seen or touched  a quilt. And I think a quilt is such a tactile experience, so I thought that was great and everyone truly enjoyed that.

I had descriptions up for every quilt and then a colleague of mine suggested, after I told him that the backs of the quilts are actually also really nice, that I put up pictures of the backs of the quilts. So the next day I printed photos of the backs and put them up and that was a really good idea.

In total there were 82 people visiting the show. I kept a record of it because I was curious how many would come and also how they heard about the exhibition. A good few people came because of newspaper articles, my flyers and Instagram posts and stories.

Quilts: Four, The Blue One, The Green One, Fade To Grey, Splinter, Purple Haze
I had a great time talking to new and experienced quilters, people who had never heard about quilts and were just curious and friends and colleages who knew I make quilts and wanted to see what I'm actually doing.

The best thing actually was an 83- year old patchworker who came and listened to me talking about all my quilts and also shared her experiences. As she left she said to me, that she was so happy that she visited and that she goes home now all inspired and filled with new ideas. I think there is nothing better than your work inspires other people.

I am extremely grateful for the opportunity and to everyone that came to see my quilts. I first wasn't sure whether that was a good idea or if I would do an exhibition again since there is a lot to do and to organise but it was so worth it. I called this post 'my first solo show' because of I'm asked again, I'll definitely do another!

Sunday 4 August 2019

Define Gravity

After I made my Pantone Quilt with imrov log cabin blocks I was in the swing of it and wanted to see how far I can go with modernising a traditional quilt block.

I used only two colours, black and white, and pieced blocks. I loved how graphic and bold this looked and kept going.

I have a thing for disguising where a block begins and where it ends, and I think in this quilt I perfected that piecing technique. That's why the quilt is called Define Gravity:
gravity, noun; the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.
How perfectly suited.

I knew I just wanted to quilt straight lines and used black and white thread in three different thicknesses.

I used Aurifil in 50wt, 40wt and 28wt and I love how this turned out. Even though black thread on white fabric is tricky because it always looks as if the thread tension isn't correct (the little knot in the batting is still a little visible on the white fabric). The quilting is 1/4" apart from each other.

Nevertheless I love how the quilting turned out. Even though black thread on black fabric is almost invisible, I wanted to achieve a play between the black and white fabric and the colours of the thread.

I made a faced binding once again and put the quilt up on a black building facade. It's actually our coal mining museum, which has a really cool new extension.

Define Gravity is approx. 36" square.
And here it is, a small quilt attached to a large piece of coal.

Tuesday 16 July 2019

Open wide zipper pouch extraordinaire

Sometimes I have an idea for a gift and I just have to make it. My dear colleague and friend Ceylan has left our office to pursue her dreams in Istanbul. I knew I wanted to make her something handmade and it was suppose to be something useful, too.

I decided to make Ceylan an open wide zipper pouch in extra big so she can use it as toiletry bag. And since Ceylan loves nail polish, I downsized the free pattern of the nail polish quilt block by Lori Holt of Bee In My Bonnet and made three of them in different shade of pink.

The bag was suppose to be very chic and classy so I went with Robert Kaufmann Essex Yarn Dyed Metallic in beige and that worked so well.

The other side of the bag has her name in the same shades of pink. The letters are hand drawn first and then transferred into fabric. I quilted in simple diagonal straight lines with this beautiful pink of 50wt Aurifil thread. The bag has a great texture!

 The zipper is pink as well and it's such a great contrast to the beige linen fabric.

 The lining fabric is a pink oil cloth so it suits the bag's use and it can be easily cleaned.

This pouch is seriously my masterpiece in form of a bag. I'm not a big fan of zippers but I do like the open wide zipper pouch by Noodlehead and these bags make great gifts. The size is customised though and it's about 15" (38cm) long and 7"(18cm) high.

In total it took me about 10 hours to make the bag and it was done in two days, all after work until the middle of the night.

But it was so worth it! Ceylan absolutely loves it and she said she always thinks of me when she sees the bag, so what is better than that?