Gathering Ideas for my Certificate Quilt

I got this crazy idea in my head to get certification as a Patchwork and Quilting instructor. So, right now, I am gathering ideas on my Certificate Quilt, whose topic is "Woven and Braided". This placemate touched me somehow. I wonder how I can transform this in a super idea that is easy to do.


Twin Baby Blankets in Pink, Blue and Beige

Before Christmas 2015 I finished baby blankets for Sabina's and Markus' twins: Max and Sophia. I took ten months to get these done. Not bad considering that I was so busy with work, my many hobbies and three weeks of vacation in the States and a week each in Brittany and on the island of Sylt. The top was quite simple. I patched everything together on my Pfaff. I quilted by hand. The borders look like primitive art. There are leaves on the border and flower corners for the girl blanket. On the boy blanket I quilted butterflies in the corners.

Here are two pictures:


Dear Jane - a long and windy road

Sometimes I ask myself, "Why did I pick a Dear Jane Quilt as a project?" Especially, why did I choose to do a Dear Jane fully hand-sewn. I don't know if this is normal, but it takes me sometimes a day to finish a block. That is, I pick out the fabric, I study  how others have done it, then I trace the pattern out of Brenda P's book on to freezer paper, then I start the arduous process of sewing/cutting/ironing. Phew, it's going to take me forever!

If you look at my previous posts, ha, I am talking to myself here :-) then you can see that I actually started this project about 2 years ago. I now have 8 from 225 patterns done. The finished blocks - ok, they are not finished, they are only assembled - aren't even perfect.

So, again, why am I torturing myself? What is the fascination with a Dear Jane anyway?

Here are my reasons:

  1. I compare this type of quilt to a marathon quilt. There is a certain amount of satisfaction knowing that I am attempting something that takes patience, perservation and, yes, skill. I am building muscles in my hand. Or, I am getting bursitis, I don't know at this point. I have done sprint kind of quilts. Those are fun, too. You choose easy patterns and you get satisfaction in the way the colors of the prints come together. But Dear Jane causes you to build up those happy hormones once the momentum builds up. 
  2. There is a social aspect. My quilting mentor Suzie, I don't know if she knows that I call her that, what a responsibility, turned me onto the idea. She gave a course on the topic and she has almost finished hers, after 5 years. I want to join this exclusive club of Janiacs. 
  3. It's almost like meditation. The pace is slow. It is quiet - inside my head, too. I sometimes think of Jane Sickle. What was she thinking? How was she coping with the War in 1863? And gee, I was born 100 years later. How is that for time/space continuum.
So, that's enough seriousness for now. I am going to pop into town and buy some more fabric, because the round that I'm doing is still in the reds and I need a couple more swatches. I am not following the original color scheme exactly, but I am trying to stay in authentic colors. I have traditional flowery reds and burgundy. I might go with pastel pinks, greens and yellows. Well, I'll see how it goes. I am in for a long adventure with this project.


Kingston's Baby Blanket Finished

I know why I don't post more. It's so awkward gathering pics of everything, plus figuring out how to do this efficiently from my tablet. Ok, whining aside, in my last post which to my amazement was over a year ago, I said that Kingston's baby blanket would be done by the time he graduated from high school. Luckily, that was an exaggeration and he got it on his first Birthday, which is not bad considering that I started it in September 2012, when I last posted, took a break around Christmas and didn't start again until, hmm, I don't know, summer of 2013?

Here is a fuzzy photo of the recipient:

I hope he can use it and he doesn't grow out of it too soon.

Here is a more detailed montage:

I finished it, while we were vacationing in the Limousin Region of France. It was only occasionally warm, which made the hand quilting go well.

The lion application was ok, but I need to find another system for my next application project.


Kingston's Baby Blanket

A niece of mine had a baby in August. Baby Kingston is cute, healthy and growing. My niece would love to have a quilt for baby Kingston ... and I would love to give one. I don't want to whine, but I am only a rainy day quilter! I work full-time. September is the month of Birthdays, ergo many parties to attend. I have kids and a husband. Sigh. Alternative strategy ... Anyone :-)?

But I have been working on Kingston's quilt. Here is a snap of the diningroom table. I do have a sewing room, but my kids call it the "chamber of mess" (Rumpelkammer) at the moment, because I have to clear out "a little".

Kids are going to be coming down for breakfast soon - gotta get the kettle on, but one last pic to show what I dinked on for what seemed like hours while watching Twilight I & II with my dear niece (another one).

I have to figure out a more efficient way to make these lion applications or Kingston is going to be an old man before this baby blanket is done!


Nothing Special Birthday

Yesterday I celebrated my "nothing special" Birthday. But I must say there were many special things about it. My dear husband, my two teenage kids, my teenage niece, my little dog, my in-laws and a couple of close friends and their families were all with me. 22 loved ones in all. That means I love them and am loved back. That's pretty special.
We celebrated at our house and we made the food ourselves. I took care of a simple but delicious carrot/potato soup. Here is a picture that I took while I was still thinking of "let's reactivate my lovely, but stone cold blog".

Unfortunately that is my only subject-related image of the night. Reason being that I was up from after breakfast up to the start of the "party" at 5pm doing the shopping, cooking and preparing of: the soup, I started a salad that never got done, made Flammkuchen, started a hummus (that will also be a part of today's menu), prepared the starter of bacon wrapped dates and baked brownies (thanks to my teenage girls for helping with that). Phew. Yeah, some things didn't get done, but thanks to my guests for bringing along an avocado/mango salad, quiche lorraine, leche flan and cold dog's nose (translation of German dessert) will have to expound on that later... We had plenty to eat.
By the way, my dear husband almost missed out on helping set up the party, because he bought me a wonderful present that he had to assemble just before the guests came. Here it is.

In case it's not apparent what it is: A Strandkorb (in German literally a beach basket) is a polstered lounge chair that you can use when it's sunny but chilly ... The basket part is decorative, but helps also to keep the user warm. By the way, I live in a land locked city, but hey, it's still lovely and I can dream, right?


Dear Jane, just beginning 2012

These are the blocks that I have completed so far. I couldn't work on them for a while, because I had overworked my arm, but now I am rested and raring to go.