Sunday, August 25, 2013

more mini quilts

I have been working dliligently on my miniature quilt collection for and from my partners over at the Doll Quilt Monthly swap. They are such a great group of ladies. I wanted to share with you a fantastic little quilt that Vickie from Utah made for me. I love the celestial star and is a great little summer quilt.

And of course, I made her a star quilt as well, since our monthly theme was "stars and stripes." I was looking forward to the theme, but wasn't really turned on my the traditional red, white and blue. I love the country and love the rustic feel, but my color palette is not in the muted color area. So, Vickie and I talked about it and agreed to make something bright and cheery including stars and stripes.

Here are two different ways to celebrate the month of July and be patriotic but thinking outside the box using more colorful colors.

 It was a pleasure getting to know Vickie and she remains a good friend and correspondant.

The Internet is a great way to meet other people with the same interests even if they live 5000 miles away.

Oh, wait a minute. I also forgot to upload and share with you this little quilt. I received this little beauty last month from Mary Pat in Wisconsin. She made a very nice use of prairie points to set off the appliquéd flower. I love the offset flower and borders. The colors are great. I love the fact that even the more matured ladies are daring enough to use such bold colors! Bravo ladies!!

 And what is yet to come? Hmm...more mini quilts. I am anxious to show you the next quilts soon. I also have on in the works for Moda Bake Shop which should be posting in November 2013. Until then, use up those scraps and start making minis!!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

WWII Bomb found in my neighborhood

Have you ever had one of these days?? I was working on sorting out all of my fabric and was progressing nicely, when I received a knock at the door and this notice was pushed into my hand. If you don't understand German, this is what it reads:

"Due to a bomb found in the vicinity of the Public Pool, the surrounding radius of 300 meters must immediately be evacuated! Please leave the marked area. The bomb will be defused at 2pm. We will inform you when the danger has passed."

Okay. It was 12:30pm and I was just starting to make lunch. I threw together some things and packed the kids up and left. We headed over to Günzburg to ate pizza in a nice café, a nice change in the daily pace. We arrived home a couple of hours later and fortunately, the bomb did not detonate.

We found out later that it was an Allied bomb from WWII that never exploded. I have encountered this before when we lived in Trier, but it was never so close to home at least not in my neighborhood and I didn't have to leave the house immediately with the kids.

You can read more about it here: Augsburger Allegemine in German, of course.

Friday, August 9, 2013

what book helped you learn how to quilt?

Today is the National Book Lover's Day in the United States, and I wanted to share with everyone the one book that helped me out the most when I started learning how to quilt. {And don't forget to check out the Moda Fabrics Blog to register in the Moda Bake Shop Chef Book Tour and you could win one of the books featured on their blog!}

Here it is: Quilter's Complete Guide by Marianne Fons & Liz Porter was published in 1993 by Oxmoor House, Inc. My mother parted with this cherished book when she found out that I started quilting. She too was a great quilter and taught classes at our local community college.

The book is thorough and talks about all different types of blocks from beginner to advanced as well as how to make miniature quilts. It talks about how to make templates, incorporating piping into a quilt, how to choose the setting of your blocks, different border possibilities, complicated Y-seam piecing, applique, Hawaiian quilts, Seminole, Sashiko quilting, the Folded-Star, etc., etc. It really is complete and has helped me repeatedly over time.

The first few years, I would always grab the book when I wanted to make my binding. Now, the information is stored on my hard drive {as my son would say}. I used to make continuous strip, double-folded, bias binding until I finally learned myself, it is simpler, faster and better to make and use straight grain strips. They make a crisper edge especially on the corners! But, I had a starting point! I have the basics stored in my head and adapt to make sewing and quilting easier and more practical.

I cherish my books and, periodically, pick one up to get new ideas or read something I had forgotten about. This is really one book that I need to re-read! You are never too old to learn.

What book has helped you the most to learn how to quilt? I would like to hear from you and so would Moda too!

Friday, August 2, 2013

schools out for the summer

Summer Vacation,  Ipswich Beach (USA) 2012
Summer vacation has officially started in Bavaria! My daughter had her last day of Kindergarten and will start First Grade in the fall. My son also had his last day of Second Grade on Tuesday. The weather is great with highs in the 30's (degree Celcius) almost everday. We all deserve this great weather after such a long, long winter. I can't help to think about the Tomton from Astrid Lindgrün.

I hope to have lots of fun with the kids this year with many visits to the public pool. We will not be going on a big vacation this year; we had a very big one last year. We spent three weeks on the road touring the upper New England states and visited my family in North Carolina.  We had a really great visit. It is a shame, we can't do it every year, but it just makes the time we spend together sweeter. So, it will be a relaxed summer this year.

It is great seeing the kids play together. That always isn't the case with part-time homeschooling as it is here in Germany most importantly Bavaria. The first two grades in school only run from 8am until 11:30am! (I hope next year it is a little bit better, at least until 12:30pm.) I spend at least one hour with my son doing homework and most days it takes two+ hours. There is after school care where the kids can go, eat lunch and do their homework, but there is a long waiting list. And if you don't have a job, you don't get a place. And if your child doesn't have a place, you don't get a job. So tell me politicians, how can we fix this problem?? Ganztagsschule für ALLE!

First on my list, is getting those old school papers under control and buying the new school supplies for the kids. Second, finding activities for the family to do, so we all have fun and don't go crazy. I am a bit of a procrasitinator, but work well under pressure. Something to rember to put on my resumé!

So, if I don't post anything for the next six weeks, you all know, that school is out for the summer, and we are having fun. I wish you all great weather and a happy, and relaxing time.