Tuesday, July 2, 2013

a long awaited publishment

For those of you who know me, you would also know that Birgitte Heitland is my praised long-arm-quilter and colleague. She is such a creative and successful woman and a pleasure to know. She has quilted several of my quilts, and we have worked together on coming up with wonderful quilting designs for them.

When the Spring Quilt Market 2012 was coming round, I offered to help her sew one of her debuting quilts called "OHO". I didn't know what kind of challenge I was getting myself into. She sent me the fabric including a Layer Cake™ from her fabric line - Juggling Summer. This is a really great fabric that reminds me of fall and it was really enjoyable to work with.

We had one big hindrance with this project. Brigitte wanted to use the "Sew Kind of Wonderful" curved ruler and ordered it from the United States. Now, if you live abroad and order something from outside the country, you know you are gambling. You never know when those things are getting to get delivered and will usually be stuck in Customs for six to eight weeks. We waited and waited and waited, but it wasn't passing through. I offered to make some plastic templates from her sketches. Of course, I made two templates of everything, because when you start cutting with a rotary cutter, you are bound to cut part of the template away.

I put everything else on hold for one entire week to sew together and "practice" sewing half circles. If you have ever worked with circles, you may know, they can be challenging. They were! I felt a little bit like the Karate Kid with "wax on - wax off." I have now mastered the art of sewing curved seams. Yahoo!

There was one faux pas in the quilt, but I will leave this one little secret between Brigitte and myself. I hope she forgave me for it as well.

Anyway, Brigitte was happy with the result and dearly compensated me. After a really good presence at the Quilt Market, she also told me that OHO would be published in the Fons & Porter magazine and they would publish the sewers name - that being me!! I was so tickled and started scanning the magazine every couple of months to see if my name was in there.

A few weeks ago, I was curious to see if anyone else had sewn OHO. I googled, and found that it was listed online at Fons & Porter. It was FINALLY PUBLISHED. I no longer subscribed to the magazine, so I had to find a company here in Germany that stocked it. I ordered it, opened it and found the page and laughed out loud! My name was misspelled! As always, my name is spelled wrong. I had the problem when I was a young girl that people exchanged "ou" for "au" in Trautman. But this way, I had never seen it written before. {Trotzdem war ich immer noch begeistert und auch stolz.} This was my five minutes of fame. It made my day.

I am still curious to see other renditions of OHO. I would like to see those photographs and to hear about your experiences sewing this baby together.

I must compliment and praise the artist, Brigitte Heitland. She is a fabulous woman - eine echte Power-Frau! She is creative, innovative, bewunderswert! I have followed her career for the last couple of years, and she is totally on fire. Everything she touches turns to gold. I was truly honored to be a part of her circle if just for a short period of time.

Congratulations, Brigitte!! You can learn more about her at www.brigitteheitland.de or www.qdservice.de

Yours truly,
Karen (Trautman)-Ackva


  1. Congratulations on your accomplishment! I'm seriously jealous.

  2. I also made the OHO quilt and I used self made plastic templates. I sewed everything with pinning a lot. My daughter also liked the quilt and took it for her room -which is a big compliment for the quilt. Now I have to do another one for myself. This time I have the curved ruler and I will not pin too much. I love this pattern a lot!
    It is such a compliment that you were the one to sew the first OHO.

    1. It really would have been nice to have had that curved ruler!! And yes, it was a great honor to have sewn the first OHO. I would love to see your next one.


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