Saturday, 13. June 2009

african fabrics

Yesterday a friend came to visit, we wanted to sew some quilt blocks and admire each other's old Bernina sewing machines. The latter is something we didn't quite get to, because we talked so much instead. (which was wonderful)

She gave me this wonderful green printed Soso wax fabric with the yellow and orange abstract wheel designs on it. I shared the fabrics from Senegal with her.
Here are my african fabrics:


I'm also still hand quilting the round robin that we made in our spiritual womyns project:


Lately, my quilting came to a halt because of my knitting obsession, but I'm picking it up again now. What I found when I wanted to put one quilt into my drawer, was a bunch of paintings and drawings I did in 2006. This is a mandala I drawed and copied it in the copy shop and colored the copies:


I reallly would like to do everything at once. Quilting, sewing, knitting, spinning and painting and drawing... *sigh*

Monday, 8. June 2009

Stoffmarkt Holland

On saturday I visited the "Stoffmarkt Holland". Which is a fabric market. Mostly fabric merchants from the Netherlands, but also German sellers are touring through germany and spreading some dutch market culture. They are near Berlin, in Potsdam, once or twice a year, and every time lots and lots of crafty folk, some quilters, but mostly people who sew clothes, travel far to get there.

Though we do have a fabric market in Berlin, where mostly turkish sellers are present (and with the lowest fabric prices ever!!) I was in search of something specific and here in Berlin, it wasn't available on the weekly market.
My boyfriend and my girlfriend both had no time to accompany me, so I went there alone. And I did spend a lot of money. There were two or three sellers of quilting fabrics, and there was an incredible variety of batiks there, and they were 5-7 Euros cheaper than in online shops/brick and mortar stores.

I got 2 meters of batik fabrics, and a fat-quarter-package, 8 FQ's for 10 Euros, and 1 metre of printed cotton from Senegal. There was a binational couple who had imported the fabric themselves.


And besides the quilting fabric, I got some metres of ramie, to make some trousers for me, since the last ones I made are now a bit worn out. Especially where my behind meets the saddle of my bike, they have worn thin.


On my way back on the train, I spun. I'm spinning for a sweater right now, and I finished the first skein and I spin the second one now. Today, the weather was a lot better than on the weekend, and I went to the park and took some pics of my newest handspun yarn:


Wednesday, 13. May 2009

work in progress

lacelappen revontuli

That was the Revontuli shawl 2 days ago. Or was it 3? precisely this photo was taken on saturday, four days ago. In the meantime the color of the yarn has changed to a dark shade of green. This is my handspun yarn! Yay!
I'm knitting the first ball and spinning the second. I'm nearly done with plying the second ball. After that I can spin the third, and hopefully that will be all I need for the shawl.
The pattern is available for free here in Finnish, there is also a pdf-file in english and german, which can be downloaded from ravelry. But you need to be a ravelry user to see them.

But today, I didn't knit anything. I cleared my cutting table with the cutting mat from all spinning fiber, spindles, knitting patterns and rubbish and made some quilt blocks. On my womens' mailing list we are making blocks for a baby quilt, and I'm a little bit behind, the deadline for sending the finished blocks was beginning of may. But now they are done, just in time and I can still send them out. They are 16'' blocks, after the Midget Blocks I'm really confused, I feel like I'm sewing sails or tents. Those pieces look so big to me.


Friday, 1. May 2009

Midget block and yarn

Oops, I hit the enter button without having even finished entering the title.
Yesterday I had a lot of free time, which I spent completely with my hobbies.
I finished four of my spindle-spun yarns. I plied them, washed them, whacked them against the wall of the house and hung them to dry.

among them was this beautiful yarn:


and my first handspun laceyarn! yay!!!
Its spun from lambswool, which is soft, shiny and the fiber prep was just great. I got it at Wollschaf.


The skein is only 20 grams and I've got 104 meters of yarn.


And I made another Midget Block!
It's Nr. 43: "Sawtooth" (I would rather call it Star of David, and not Sawtooth, but well)

migdet 43 sawtooth

Thursday, 22. January 2009

Midget-Block 51: Friendship


Nr. 51: Friendship.
An easy block and still fun to make. Foundation paper pieced.

And I finished one legwarmer:


After realising that they are going to be too tight for my legs, I started to knit much more loosely, now they fit, but I would need heavier yarn.
These will be a gift for a friend with skinny legs though and then I'll have another go at the pattern.

Friday, 16. January 2009

quilting: Round Robin

Samhain 2007 to Samhain 2008 a group of witchy women made a roundrobin project. Every one of us could pick a theme and I picked "the temple at the sea" and thought of Sicily. Now I'm in the middle of quilting it and I really love all the magic, colours and dreams my friends put into this quilt.
Most of us are beginners in patchworking, but I wouldn't want wo have it any other way - we used patchwork as a way to share something between us and we focused on the magic of it all. And even though many of us were new to this the results were just great. So - this is mine:


Friday, 9. January 2009

another midget block

Finally, I made another Midget Block. I'm out of practice. The many meeting seams in the middle of that block really challengend me, a challenge I lost ;-)
But while many quilters would start over, I think I'll keep this block, maybe when I've sewn all 187 of them I'll decide which ones to replace.

Then I've cast on and started knitting another pair of socks:

The tutorial for making these is here at by Elisabeth. (in german language.)

Friday, 21. November 2008

The quilting question of the season

Do you quilt in summer or in winter?
Do you like to patch your tops in the summer, and use the dark winters, when it's cold outside, to quilt - or do you patch in winter and use the long daylight in summer to quilt?

I quilt in winter
I quilt in summer


distelfliege, 14:50h.

As for myself, I'm not sure - I like to quilt in winter. In summer, I prefer patching the tops, and spend more time outside.
The only problem with quilting in winter is the darkness. I think I have to get a good daylight lamp.

Sunday, 16. November 2008

the newest midget blocks

52: Whirling Pinwheel

This is block 52: Whirling Pinwheel. When sewing it, I found it resembled a swastika, a symbol which is illegal in germany. Just yesterday, Martin wrote, that quite a high german court ruled on friday that showing a stylized celtic cross is a crime in germany now, too.
The reason the court gave was that neonazi organizations would use it as a legal replacement for symbols like the illegal swastika, and it would be a solution of that problem to criminalise the symbol which replaced the swastika as well.
I don't really mind if the swastika is illegal or not here, because I don't use it anyway - but I don't like it that the symbol of a celtic cross can't be shown in public anymore. Really, that's letting those neonazis have the right to define which symbols are neonazi symbols and which ones aren't, and that's giving those neonazis the chance to make any symbol they like unusable.
A celtic cross is certainly not a nazi symbol and if some neonazis use it as their symbol, that's really bad enough. If that's illegal, well, that doesn't hurt the neonazis, they will find something else to use. It hurts the people who use it like celtic rock bands or pagans.

Well, ok... I guess I also forgot to post this block:

This is Nr. 29 - Grandmothers Tulips.
I used different green fabrics and I really like the spiral in the middle.

Sunday, 14. September 2008

Applique Links

I noticed, when making the midget blocks for the Week by Week Sampler, that I really like needleturn applique. It's a very relaxing thing to do.
However, when I did more and more of applique blocks, I noticed that my results got worse instead of better. I'm not sure why, but this is a little bit frustrating.

I appliqued four tiny hearts and the first two were okay, but the last two were wonky and a mess. So I decided to read some tutorials to find out if I maybe can find some tricks that I don't know.

These are some I found and really liked:

Needleturn Applique Tutorial by Joanna of Applique today.
There are many pictures in this one. And there's even a video showing how to turn under the seam allowance in concave curves. She shows the technique using a star as an example, with points outside and inside.

Here's a tutorial for "back basting" by Kay on her site all about applique.
I first found a tutorial about this on the blog "thee handworks" but it seems to be offline now. So I found this one. She does that very well, obviously. The curves between the fingers are very hard to do, I think - there is hardly any seam allowance to turn under there. Since the tutorial is only about back basting, there is no explanation how she does it.
I like the back basting method very much and use it all the time. I've bought myself some freezer paper, but it keeps coming off when I stitch the applique piece. Additionally, I don't want to pin the stuff to the background fabric, because my thread always gets caught in the pins.

Here's another one about back basting.

Kay also wrote something on clipping on inside curves and notches (my usual problem!)
She's also saying that you should leave less margin to turn under to avoid edges forming and poking out of the shape on outside curves. That's also a problem I'm having when doing those little blocks.

Some things I find useful:
I use a very thin needle. I've got gold eye applique needles by clover, which are so small that a regular sewing thread doesn't fit through the eye. And I have Prym size 11 needles, which are pretty much the same as the clover needles but a regular thread will fit through the eye.
I'm using a silk thread, which is very thin, by YLI - the advantage is that the thread is so thin that it fits through the eye of the Clover needles and it's nearly invisible, no matter what colours of fabric I'm using. I don't have to change the thread to match the applique piece. The silk thread is white and I use it on everything - it just disappears into the fabric.
Then I've bought myself a desk needle threader - also by Clover. This is very cool! Just pressing a button and the needle is threaded.

One problem I also have with my favourite back basting method is that you use the holes left by the basting needle in the fabric as your guide. There are no pencil drawn lines you follow,
and on some fabrics the holes don't show up well enough. They show perfectly on poplin and batiks, which are mostly dyed poplin fabric. But some quilting fabric doesn't work as well. Maybe I'll use a very light pencil line in addition so that I can follow that line if I don't see the holes made by the basting stitches.

If you know of a great tutorial on needleturn applique, please leave the link in the comments!

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December 2018


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midget sampler
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