Monday, December 28, 2020

Fairy of Gratitude - Onoka

Hi there! Thanks for joining this very special post between X-Mas and the New Year! Wow! What a year 2020 has been! There have been so many ups and downs and downs and ups this year. And many of us are still struggling.

I admit, this year has been very hard me as well. In April we all thought we had COVID-19 but were already under lockdown self-quarantining and decided not get tested. Six months later, I allowed my blood to be tested for antibodies that tested neagtive. 

Did we have it or did we not? It doesn't really matter anymore. Life is turned upside down. Interactions with friends, family and acquaintances has been extrememly limited this year. My business has suffered. My phsyical health and mental health has suffered. I know I am not alone in this boat, but it is really hard to see the postive. I've always tried to be open and honest about my feelings and life. Some may see it as a weekness, but there are others out there too struggling just as I am. When we open up about the truth, we might just be able to help each other.

Something that has always allowed me to refocus is to design. I decided to design another foundation pattern - a new 16" fairy to fit the collection and welcome a better new year 2021. This year, Onoka, the Japanese Fairy of Gratitude was created. 

  

What am I grateful for?

I am grateful for so many things in life and wish I could express myself better sometimes. I am grateful for the friendships that I have. I am grateful for my home for my family for my knowledge. I am grateful for the generosity of friends, family, acquaintances and customers. I am thankful so many people are interested in my patterns and classes. I don't express it nearly enough! I am truly thankful and grateful for all of those things. What are you grateful for?

Since Onoka was not designed as a mix and match fairy to mix with Marissa, last year's fairy, I tried a different foundation construction method for her. She still has the y-seam, but the instructions on how to do this are in the pattern and are fully illustrated.


For those who are new to foundation piecing, the larger size of 16" rather than 12" is easier to work with although some of the pattern sections may seem too large. 

The Enchanted Paper Dolls are 12" and completely interchangeable with mix and match segments. 

 

The Fairy of Gratitude, Onoka cannot be mixed with segments from Marissa, the Fairy of Good Fortune. Onoka is taller and constructed through triangles rather than vertically. You can, however, still add, remove or change some of the lines on the foundation patterns to change the look of Onoka. I also constructed her to have the least amount of intersecting points to releave headaches. The fairy with the pink wings will be easier than the fairy with the purple wings to make.

Onoka would make a lovely pillow case. Just use 2" border strips to outline the block. Make a quilt sandwich, quilt and cut to 18 1/2" and your favorite pillow case tutorial to finish.

 Use contrasting piping or binding for an extra, special touch.


Of course, you can make a quilt from just the one block, adding, changing and highlighting different segments of Onoka or even flipping the blocks by tracing the segments in reverse. The shown quilt below uses a 2" finished inner border and a 4" finished outer border. The quilt would measure 60" x 76" - a great quilt for a special girl in your life. Have fun exploring the different colorations.

If you want to mix Onoka and Marissa, this is a fun design you might like. This quilt uses a 2" finished inner border and no outer border, just accent binding. This quilt would finish at ~ 52" x 68".

Thank you so much for joining me. Hopefully you've been inspired to make something beautiful with one of these patterns You can purchase them in my pattern shop on Etsy.


 Please check back soon for more fun patterns and designs. Wishing you a Happy New Year 2021!

Friday, November 20, 2020

GeoOptics Quilt Pattern

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping by to check out the new GeoOptics quilt pattern. I am really excited about sharing this quilt with you too. It has been an idea floating around in my head since the beginning of spring this year. I wanted to create a pattern using a simple and traditional block and flip it into something different and unexpected. And if you love mini quilts, there is a mini version just for you. I hope you will enjoy the pattern.


The log cabin block is one of the oldest quilt blocks around. In fact, you might have sewn it as your first ever quilt block. It was one of the first blocks I added to my repetoire and used a quick strip piecing method. We still have that quilt in our household after nearly 20 years!


Well, there is a sister block - the quarter log cabin. She is just one-quarter of the original block. Now, you could sew log cabin blocks together and cut them through the middle twice to get four slivered log cabins, but it is simpler to just sew the block below without slicing. 


This block creates many exciting designs with simple rotations and repetition of blocks. Here are just a few common designs made with the quarter log cabin that you may already know:


 
I wanted to really maximize the interest of the quarter log cabin by spinning and rotating the blocks. I wanted more elements such as color value and color placement to really shape the design. I sat and tweeked for weeks until my idea evolved into my most favorite design - GeoOptics. See the use of darks, medium and light fabrics to ceate the design. What do you see? There is no wrong or right answer here.

In quilt design and pattern writing, it is very important that others understand what you are saying. So, this time, I wanted to get back in alignment with my own thinking and learning process. I wrote the pattern with little text, more diagrams and more tables. Hopefully you agree that this method is easier to understand especially if English is not your first language. 

I sent out the preliminary patterns to my favorite quilt testers and was amazed to see what they delivered! I am always so stunned to see what others can do with my patterns.

This gorgeous version was created by Ute, who threw in just a hint of color to make it a stunning wall/art quilt. My eye just keeps dancing and dancing around the quilt discovering the different color pops.

Sewn by Ute of Uma.Saar

What truly illuminates this design is the use of color value – light, medium and darks and their placement within the design/blocks. The slow transition in color or value allows a secondary design to emerge. Do you see it? 

But let’s kick it up a notch. What if we bring color into the design?

The original design of lights, mediums and darks is still there, but another design in rainbow transistion flows across the canvas diagonally. Isn’t it beautiful? The added use of rainbow fabrics for a pieced binding with the lightest color in the corner, frames the quilt nicely. This is another added feature to the quilt design. Of course you could just use a one color binding, but I love how the corners sparkle with the yellow color.

If you are looking for a quilting desing, you could go with really fancy custom quilting, but I think a practical allover quilt design also does the trick just as well. Here it is mocked up with an orange peel quilt motif in EQ8 - Electric Quilt Software.

If you have a large stash or want to make up a throw or queen size quilt with your favorite fat quarters, this pattern is perfect for you! Here is another one of the layouts included in the pattern. I will definitely be making this design as well! This pattern will truly become your go-to, patchwork pattern.

Just take a look at our next quilt from one of our pattern testers. I especially love the use of a dark background to bring out the colors. This beautiful quilt was made by Hanna. She chose one of the other four designs found in the pattern booklet. Just look at her sparkling color transition within her blocks!

Sewn by Hanna of hannas_liebe

There are four different size quilts each with the same adjusted block size. You can pick which quilt you prefer – mini, wall or art, throw or queens size. The skill level increases as the blocks and quilt gets smaller. The mini quilt is the hardest.

Hanna had so much fun sewing the pattern, she made the mini version as well. This is one of the other layouts listed in the pattern book. It truly is fun to spin this block around and come up with new designs!

Sewn by Hanna of hannas_liebe

I am currently finishing up the hand quilting on this beauty – the mini quilt version which finishes at 24” x 24”. I think it will make a great oversized pillow.


 


If all of these quilts are too colorful for you, take a look at Martina’s quilt, she is known for her soft use of soft and sublte shades. It is an amazing scrappy, tone-in-tone, low contrast quilt!

Sewn by Martina  of malu_27117

Are you just not into square quilts? Well, Ulrike had a very interested recipient who was eying her design in process, but wanted a true rectangular bed quilt. No problem – Ulrike and I talked about how she could stay true to the design. She added another row to the top and bottom with a continuation of the design. She also adjusted the borders to make them slightly thinner. The pattern is easily adjustable to whatever suits your needs and preferences.

Sewn by Ulrike of Ulrike_Brauns

May, another of our incredible pattern testers, decided to use the three-fabric design to create this lovely throw sized quilt. It is so stunning with a slight Christmasy touch, don't you think? She quilted it on her  home sewing machine with some awesome matchstick quilting. Check out a glimpse of the super cool striped binding!

Sewn by May of fabraholicquilts

I would like to thank our pattern testers for their awesome work! They all used their own fabric stashes, creativity and know-how to produce their very own one-of-a-kind quilts. Photos courtesy of the creators! They totally hit their designs out of the ballpark! Each one is so lovingly made with an eye to detail. We are so fortunate to have such a great crew!

I had so much fun making samples and testing the pattern myself, I just couldn’t stop. I first made the mini, the the wall, then a super fun scrappy, stash buster accented with Figo - Earth in black.

I had a lot of fun picking out the rainbow gradient fabrics from my stash. I have a lot of fat quarters but most of them are slightly cut into. When choosing shades and gradients, I tried to always have a very luminant color as the middle value and worked lighter and darker from there. It was a fun way to play around with some of the lighter, neglected fabrics in my stash.

During the cutting phase, I realized sometimes, there wasn't enough fabric, so I just picked out something else and rolled with it. It really was so much fun.

 


I asked the very talented quilter, teacher and shop owner, Sabine Feldmann of Quilt Oase to make a simple allover design, because this will be our new sofa quilt. My husband has already adopted it as his own. It finished at 70” x 70” and is wonderful for snuggling in the autumn months. I just love this allover design!


One day I was thinking about where or how to finish with a photoshooting of the Rainbow (Scrappy) Gradient quilt and wanted to incoroporate my home. I live along the Danube River in Germany, not more than one mile away. In the autumn months, it gets incredibly foggy but oh so much fun to go walking along the river. It's been really foggy around here, so I convinced my husband to go with me on Sunday mornging before our famous Sunday breakfast for a quick photoshoot. Let's give him two thumbs up for a great job!

You might have noticed that the quilt design is upside down. I rather like it that way with this backdrop and the seasonal mood to it. The blues represent the sky, the green the trees and the yellows and reds the fall leaves.


If you like what you see, you can purchase the printed ordigital pattern in my Etsy shop. Starting today and running through Sunday, enjoy 20% off all patterns! 

Would you like to support your local quilt shop? You can also purchase at these stores in Germany:

If your shop doesn't carry easypatchwork patterns, ask them too!

The pattern also shows a quilt on the back cover made only with Kona solids. I am finishing up the binding on it this weekend and can't wait to show you more. This quilt will be kitted and available at Quilt ét Textilkunst. Kits will be available soon. Please ask at your local shop for more information.


Thank you for supporting my quilt pattern and training business. I would like to extent my appreciation with a GIVEAWAY! Leave a comment below stating your favorite color combination or version of the new GeoOptics quilt pattern. One entry per person please.

One lucky person will receive 27 – 5” x 10” cuts of all of the fabrics used in the pattern book to create your very own GeoOptics - Rainbow Gradient Mini. You will also receive two printed copies of the pattern and one Creative Grids 3 ½” x 3 ½” ruler. All products and supplies courtesy of easypatchwork. 

Drawing will be held on Thanksgiving, November 26, 2020. Not associated with anyone other than easypatchwork. Not valid where prohibited. You must be 18 and older participate. Good luck to everyone.

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All photographs were kindly used with permission by the original owner - the one who sewed the quilt. All rights reserved to the originator. 


* * * * * * GIVEAWAY CLOSED * * * * *

Friday, October 2, 2020

easypatchwork Free Monthly Recipe Club

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by. Today is the second of October and autumn is just beginning to show her beauty here in Germany. Fall is one of my favorite seasons! The colors of changing leaves, smell of fresh dew and buring wood and watching the wildlife prepare for the winter is so very exciting. My desire for cooking and baking have also been rekindled by the splender of the season. Last month I decided to post one of my favorite recipes that is simple, easy or practical on Instagram. But why limit the post just to Instagram and not share with everyone on the internet? 

I love to cook and bake even more than quilting, but I don't like a lot of fuss and spending loads of time in the kitchen. Let's celebrate the whole year together with a totally ad free (non-easypatchwork related) and no membership-fee recipe club? Just drop by this blog and download this month's recipe. Subscribe to the right just in case you forget and will be notified by Blogger. 

At the begining of each month, I will post one of my favorite no-hassle recipes. I will try to adapt it for both the English speaking world as well as the German speaking world with a few translations. Does that sound like fun? I hope so. OH, and tomorrow is a holiday in Germany - German Reunification day. So get out there and buy the ingredients. Now let's get started.

Simple Peart Tart

My son has developed a speacial taste for pears - a close sister the the apple. It is a no fuss, rustic fruit that mother nature gifts us in the fall. I'm sure you've made some sort of apple pie or tart before. Have you ever made a pastry with pears? They taste delicious!

Here's a recipe for an simple pear tart. Instead of baking an American pie, make a panless pie by bringing the edges of the pie pastry up around the filling hugging the yumminess. You can make this type of pan-free tart with any type of fruits such as apples, plums, peaches and cherries. Avoid berries due to too much juices flowing out of the crust.

ENGLISH

 

DEUTSCH

Ingredients

 

Zutaten


4 – 5 Ripe Pears
1 T. Flour
2 T. Brown Sugar
½ tsp. Cinnamon
⅛ tsp. Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
¼ Cup Slivered Almonds
2 T. Butter
1 tsp. Milk
1 Prepared Pie Pastry

 


4 – 5 Birnen
1 EL Mehl
2 EL Rohrohrzucker
½ TL Zimt
⅛ TL Muskatnuss
1 Priese Salz
50 g gehobelte Mandeln
2 EL Butter
1 TL Milch
1 Quiche und Tarteteig (Fertigprodukt)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

 

SO WIRD’S GEMACHT

Peel and slice pears. Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to pears. Unroll pastry dough and lay on lined baking sheet. Place pear mixture in the middle of pastry leaving two inches free on outer edge. Fold pastry inwards over pears. Sprinkle with almonds and dot with cubed butter. Make an egg wash if desired. Mix milk and egg. Wash over pastry edges. Bake at 400°F or 200°C for 30- 35 minutes. Makes a minimum of four servings for one happy family.

 

Birnen putzen, schälen und in Scheiben schneiden. Mehl, Rohrohzucker, Zimt, Muskatnuss und Salz zusammenmischen. Birnen unterheben. Tarteteig ausrollen, auf einem Backblech auslegen und mit der Birnenmischung bis auf 5 cm zum Rand belegen. Tarteseiten nach innen falten. Mit Mandeln und kalter Butter besprenkeln. Ei mit Milch leicht aufschlagen und Tarterand bepinseln. 30 – 35 Minuten bei 200°C (Ober- und Unterhitze) im vorgeheizten Backofen fertig backen. Ergibt einen schönen Nachtmittagskuchen für mindestens eine vier köpfige Familie.