Thursday, December 19, 2013

working hard but slowing down

Okay, now there are just a few days left before the big event. Which event could that be? Christmas or my solid color essentials challenge? Both!

I have noticed that posts within my patchwork circle have decreased this month. I think we are all very busy around the holidays and simply just powering down. Now is the time to slow down and spend enjoyable moments with friends and family.

I have been preparing frantically. We have baked our favorite Pl├Ątzchen including fudge. We have decorated the house with lights. Our Christmas tree is aflame. The meals are planned and all presents are bought except for some last minute stocking stuffers. Oma & Opa will be joining us this year to partake in their first "American Christmas" with 6 a.m. Christmas morning cheer. I am really excited, the kids are too!

Parallel, I have been working diligently on my color essentials quilt. I like to keep things simple, but this design was more of a challenge that I thought. I first started on a prototype in small scale. Not good. I didn't finish that one. I upped the scale quite a bit and was content with the results. It sewed together very easily (after I got the measurements right). Now, the quilt top is finished and I am ready to make my sandwich and start quilting. Half-time, and I am feeling good. It is time to relax; I can still make my deadline without a lot of pressure.

I am curious to see what you think about my solid color quilt design. Will it be interesting for you? Just a few more weeks to go, and we all can hop along an exciting tour of color essential quilts and their designers. I will post a list of particpants and their blogs beginning January. Come join us!

Until then, I wish you a very joyous holiday season and a happy new year filled with exciting new challenges.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

wake me up to Kona

As the new year approaches, I have decided that I need to challenge myself more! I took a big leap last week and committed myself to the "wake me up to color essentials" challenge 2013 at The challenge is to only use Kona solids any size, something new.

This is a big blog hop commitment especially, because December is such a busy month. I already feel that I don't have time to make the deadline, but on the other hand, I work well under pressure. (I still have to make a cathedral window pillowcase for my mother-in-law...and that before Christmas - she has good taste!)

What to present? I have a few self-designed quilts stored on my computer and brought this one out. Can I achieve it before January 10th? Hmm..I could try, but then the holidays would get pushed to the side. But maybe I will sew something a little simpler. Sometimes I do bite off more than I can chew. I should have some fun with it.

I need to finalize my idea by the end of the week and get my materials on hand. How I wish I was a little bit more organized. Last weekend I was really impressed about how other quilters organize all of their blocks in plastic bags. Speaking of getting organized, I should say farewell for now. Happy patching.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

weekend retreat

This past weekend was my long awaited weekend retreat at the Quilt Oase in Nersingen. And oh, how the weekend was enjoyed. Five other ladies from our quilting group joined up to do a little sewing and lots of laughing. It is such a great way to relax and get some things accomplished and learn from the guru herself - Sabine Feldmann. She has so many tips and tricks up her sleeve, you never walk away from her without learning something new.

I first met Sabine over six years ago, when I took a patchwork class through our local community college. I knew then that she was and is extremely knowledgeable and masters her craft. She is a wizard in math -- an artist in designing -- and a master storyteller. I think she knows every technique there is to know in the patchwork scene. She is MY patchwork guru. Thank you, Sabine and ladies, for such a great weekend. I am looking forward to it again in January on our exclusive quilting retreat! Don't forget to visit Sabine's shop and participate in one of her courses. She also speaks English if your German isn't perfect. And, she told us a little secret that is going to make lots of patchworkers go wild!!

Our patchwork group is displaying and selling items at the Christmas Market in Nersingen beginning tomorrow. Please support our patchwork group and stop by. There will be so many lovely, handmade items to choose from.

Katrin, who also sewed this weekend, brought in lots of self-made goodies and most of them were snapped up before they even hit the market stands. You can visit her site and see what she worked on here.

What did I work on over the weekend? My updated plaid quilt! A couple of weeks ago I asked for some advice from you all about making a more up-to-date plaid quilt for my husband. I originally wanted to make a 60° triangle quilt, log-cabin-style. I didn't have enough plaids though, and we agreed it was going to be just a little too busy. I opted for a softer pattern (for a MAN) with lots and lots of plaids. This is a little sneak peek of what I am working on.

I wanted to get a little further, but my fabric ran out and didn't have anymore in stock. I will continue on it in January at our group's exclusive quilting retreat (in a castle...yeahh).