Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Quilt # 2 complete!

I stitched the binding on this tonight. All finished!! I love this quilt, and really happy how it turned out.

I read a quote the other day that was sent on the bottom of an email, but I do not know who originally said it.
"Don't wait for inspiration to do something; do something, and you will be

This is so true for my quilting. As I was pinning and quilting this one, I was already thinking of 3 more quilts I want to make!
This morning I hope to cut out some more of the stash to try another quick and easy pattern to use the stash, and see results quickly!

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

How to do this block....

I have had a lot of people ask me about this block. I can't explain it in words, it is easier for me to draw it...I hope you understand how this is made. Of course, you can use whatever size strips you long as they are not the same. Or if you do use the same size, that will create another block entirely. If you do makea quilt with this block, please let me know, so I can see a photo of it!

Monday, 29 January 2007

Suduko Quilt is taking shape..

This is so much fun to put together (well, if you like doing Suduko's, it is!)

I printed the photo from the previous post, and labelled each pile 1 - 9.

Then I used Phil's Suduko board and puzzle book to find a puzzle, and completed the puzzle. This is the puzzle completed.

Then in groups of 9, I sorted and started to sew. It took less than 1 1/2 hours (including stopping for lunch) to get the 9 blocks sewn together to form the quilt top.

Now I just have to sew the 9 large blocks together, and border, quilt and bind!

This is great fun, and I can see other quilts being made this way!

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Happily Sewing!

Here are the blocks I have made for my Suduko quilt. I have the 9 blocks sewn, now I need to go and do a Suduko puzzle to work out each pieces placement.

Here are the strippy 10" squares I have been sewing in between. Phil did a great job soring all the strips into colour groups for me, and it has made it a lot easier to continue stitching, without sorting. This week, I am concentrating on the light brown pile, and see if I can get all the strips sewn on to wadding. I have no idea how many 10" blocks I will end up with. I am going to guess and say 8..I will let you know how I go by the end of the week!

Saturday, 27 January 2007

The big fridge

Have you ever wondered why Germans have such small fridges? (We did!)

I think we have worked it out... For 4 months of the year your balcony acts as a big fridge.

We are having some friends over for lunch and, as is normal for this time of year, all the beer and soft drink is out on the terrace getting down to drinking temperature. Here are a few bottles stuck in the 'freezer section' to get us started whilst the ones in the crate cool down.

Problems come when you leave it overnight and everything freezes in -5 degrees... glass bottles don't like this much. The solution is to drink all the beer before it freezes........

Thursday, 25 January 2007

A little bit of snow!

We woke up to snow this morning. Horray! It has been warm here so far this Winter, and finally this week the tempretures have dropped. Wednesday it did not get above 0 degrees until after lunch time!
Not enough for snowmen....yet!

continuing the Floral Bouquet

Photo from last week

Photo from last night. Gail's tip of having the thread ready for the next stitching session has been working well. I am more inclined to work on it in the evening!

Quilt #1 for 2007 complete

My blue project for Project Spectrum is finished!. I know I am supposed to work on it in February/March, but I didn't realise how quick it would all come together. Once I started I couldn't stop...a good sign I know! This pattern is called Weed Whacker from Quiltville. A great way to use up 2" strips. (Although you wouldn't even know I have been able to make an entire quilt from the way the box is still over many quilts can I make from that box???)

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Sonia's second quilt

I must get a photo of Sonia's first quilt!!

This is Sonia's second quilt. Sorry for the quality of the photo, and Sonia refused to show her face in the picture. (but if you scroll down the blog there is a photo of her on Christmas Day!). Do you like her socks? They have sheep faces on them!

I love the way Sonia fussy cut the cats on part of the border. She is really pleased with it, and she is already cutting out the fabric for her 3rd quilt. She is confident to try some triangles. Sonia is now cutting fabric for the Weed Whacker quilt pattern as well! (the blue quilt I am currently working on)

The Reading Bug...

...and our boys are suffering from it badly!! Isn't that great!!

This is how we find them some nights, on either of their beds, with their heads stuck in books. I love standing in the doorway and just watching them read, without them knowing that we are there. When they read something funny, they laugh out loudly, and tell each other what they have read.

I think we may be in the running as's biggest customer! Luckily they have a huge English book selection. Once you spend 20 Euros, you get your postage free.....very easy to manage! The books take 1-3 weeks to arrive, but we can cope with that!

The difficulty is keeping up the supply of books. This is the problem with living in a country not of your native language. The local library is not an option. I have been speaking to the Librarians at school, and asked them to give the boys help in picking out novels to read. A lot of the books in our school library are by English Authors, who we are not familiar with. The Librarians have been great, in helping both boys pick suitable books to read at home.

Alexander is enjoying the Lemony Snicket books, and anything by Roald Dahl. Cameron is reading all the Geronimo Stilton Books.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Too busy to blog, too much sewing to do

Once I started sewing, all these ideas came into my head, and I can't just sew one quilt at a time. So while the other quilt is being pinned, I started to sew these batik pieces together. I have made 2 groups of 9 squares so far. This block, comes from something I tried to do last year, and made a mistake with my sewing, and ended up with this block. I liked the look of it, so kept one aside to use as a future project. When I was sorting out my stash the other day, I found it again, and thought I would use it with some batik prints. I am going to make 9 different groups, and then try and arrange the blocks into a Suduko puzzle quilt.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

Sunrise from our Window

This was what we woke up to this morning...unfortunately this photo does not really do the skyline any justice to the colours, but it was gorgeous.

Still no snow yet!

Friday, 19 January 2007

Sewing madly and having fun!

I pulled this book out of the shelf the other day, and read it again. Reversible Quilts, by Sharon Pederson.
Sharon's webpage...

I think it will be a great way to use up all those strips of wadding that are too narrow to use in a quilt (I don't like to join wadding, unless I absolutely have to). Also a great way to use up some of the 1 1/4, and 1 1/2" strips that I keep in boxes, that I cannot bear to throw out. So, I cut out lots of 10" square pieces of wadding, also 5x7" wadding squares for Artist Trading Cards (to be done at a much later date), and got the strips out,ready to sew.

Phil watched the soccer the other night, and sorted out all the strips into colour groups for me! Thanks Phil!!!! I have started to sew some up, when I only have 20 minutes, and I don't want to start the next part of the current quilt I have going.

So far, I have these squares hanging on my curtains. These will be on one side of the quilt, and I am going to piece blocks, then quilt then on the other side of the block. I am still working on what to do on the other side, but for the time being, this is a no brainer, and I can relax whilst still sewing something! Once they are complete, I will cut then down to 9" squares,and work out how I am going to arrange them. Looking at how many strips I have got, this looks like an on going yearly project!

Hurricane Kryill

View from our dining room window

From many sources (friends, work, school) we received news that a 'hurricane' was sweeping across Europe, and was on track for Berlin! All the Berliners went into 'panic' mode, with schools, government offices and the like closing early. For us the school told us the school cancelled afternoon clubs, and asked if possible to collect your kids earlier from school. The winds are expected to reach Berlin between 3 and 4pm (The boys get off the school bus at about 3.40!)

We didn't see much (too dark by 4pm), but even with double glazed windows you could hear the wind howling during the night. However, apart from the lights dimming a few times, we were quite snug. When we woke in the morning, one of the large fir trees had uprooted and fallen over in the garden. We were very lucky when you consider the storm killed 45 people across Europe.

We went untouched, but a tree in Sonia's backyard fell and broke her satillite Uk TV for them until it is fixed. (Lucky she has borrowed some of my DVD's to keep her from watcing German TV). Now the boys will have no excuse not to study for those exams ("Just want to stop and watch the Rugby...")

Root system of the fir tree.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Project Spectrum

From Lolly Girl, she runs Project Spectrum. A way of using up some stash with some colour guidance. (see right hand side of blog, link to Lolly Girl's blog)
This year she has set 3 colours every 2 months to make something in those colours. Lolly Girl is a knitter, but many people used the Project Spectrum for quilting, cross stitching, photography, card making and so much more. I have decided to use her colour themes, as inspiration to use up some of my stash.
The colours for February/March are Blue, White and Grey (she says Gray, but I changed it to the correct spelling ;) )

Here is the beginning of my Project Spectrum quilt for Feb/Mar. Embarrassingly, I didn't even need to get any fabric from the shelves, I managed to find all the blues and white/creams I needed in my boxes of strips.

This pattern is called Weed Whacker, from Quiltville on the internet
A no brainer pattern, where I don't have to think too far so good, and only a little bit of unpicking where I must have dozed off and sewed the triangles to the wrong side on a few strips. 9inch blocks, means this one sews up quickly. At this rate, I may even get 2 quilts made for this period, and may even get to use some of the blue fabrics on my shelves....just need to find another no brainer pattern!

Sunday, 14 January 2007

My stash is growing

Well, I don't know how, but somehow that fabric stash is multiplying by itself in those shelves.

I sorted through it this weekend, and there are fabrics there that I cannot remember buying?

Here is a photo from Jan 2006.

Here is a photo from Jan 2007. It has multiplied by itself so much that I have had to turn some of the piles to their sides, and double stack!

Right....time to work on some quilts this year. I got all the batics out (they are not even in this photo), and I have a block ready to start this week....stay tuned!

Friday, 12 January 2007

1/2 a floral bouquet

Slowly this Xstitch is getting worked on. I am trying a new technique from a fellow X stitcher Gail. She suggests before you put your stitching away for the evening, thread the next colour, and leave it in your piece ready for the next stitching session. This might help get me pick it up more frequently. Sometimes i think it is all too hard to get the pattern out, work out where I am up to, find the colour that I next want to work on...etc.

So far this is working out really well! Thanks Gail, I may actually finish this sometime this year!

Saturday, 6 January 2007

A few more scarves finished

I finished Alexander's teacher's scarf a few days before the end of term. It was the Australian Mohair loopy wool that I love knitting with. The hand dyed wool was in shades of blue, very pretty. Damn it, I forgot to take a photo! By the time we leave this international school, half the teachers will be wearing Australian hand dyed woolen scarves!

Next was Alexander's red scarf, the same wool as Cameron's green scarf (see 11th December 2006 post) , and of course a scarf for his Qantas koala, and Stitch.

Alexander wearing his scarf, with his toys. Elmo and Kanga are wearing Emily's.

Next was the mulit coloured pink/orange scarf for Alexander's friend Emily, and one for her toy, and finally his other friend, Isiaih, in black and orange, and one for his toy.

Isiaih's scarf and one for his toy.

That is the end of my knitting for sometime now! Unless, Cameron wants some for his friends. He hasn't asked, I haven't offered to! Sonia knitted one for Bradley, and she knitted one for Meghan.

Time to get back into the Xstitch and the Quilting

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Ost See part 3

New years morning was quiet, but we hit the swimming complex again after lunch. This time Cameron had a try on the waterslides with Nicole, and then with me. Alexander had lots more goes and seems to be the one who is willing to give 'scary' things a try first. There was a very steep slide into the big pool that he just took himself on - it was really fast and he had a great time. Afterwards, the guard told me that he was too young to ride it alone... not that Alexander minded!

Gordon, Alan, Stuart James and I had a bit of a hit at tennis, whilst the girls and the kids rested up after New Years Eve.

We had an earlier dinner and a few more beers, and got us all into bed at a reasonable time in preparation for our departure the next day.

Alexander at the beach.

Only being there for a few days, packing was a breeze and checkout was simply a matter of dropping off the key. We were once again in taxis and onto the train. Once again, the Ramsays were in a different Wagon to Hambug, but in the next compartment from Hamburg to Berlin.

Cameron collecting pocketfuls of shells and rocks

On the first train, the guy across the isle had done the 'sprawl' - taking up two seats, ipod on, and pretending to be asleep so no-one would sit next to him. This young army guy had to sit on the step in between wagons because of this. I checked it out and told the young guy the seat was free, and for 1 and 1/2 hours would be more comfortable than sitting in front of the toilets. He tried his luck and the 'sprawler' begrudgingly made room. The young guy was very appreciative!

On the second leg, all the kids piled into the Ramsay's compartment, and Sonia came and joined us for some peace and quiet, and fresh air. We got off the train at Spandau, into a taxi, and home for 5 loads of washing....

A great holiday but also nice to be home.