Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Joy of Friends

Sorry about the two week pause. I was in Koblenz for the Tumbling Blocks class. We also opened up Sunday so anybody could bring any project and we made loads of progress! I’m just realizing that we took no pictures, but the list of all we accomplished was huge. 12 fantastic ladies and at least 20 different outstanding projects. What a day!

After a fun weekend in Koblenz, I travelled North to spend a day sewing with my friends in Mülheim. Every year we do a challenge, the 2007 theme was “Spitze” which can translate as “lace” or “points.” Somehow I wasn’t in the mood for lace, so . . . my Tumbling Blocks fit the bill perfectly. There’s not a single 90˚ anywhere in there. See the last photo in the column >>

I spent the remainder of the week with my friend, Elisabeth. She has a great sewing room that allowed me to set up across from her and sew like crazy!

Elisabeth enlisted my help to learn how to measure for accurate borders and mitered corners. She was ready to finish a quilt top she had pieced in October from fabrics bought on her trip to the Northwest in April 2007.

Today she emailed me a photo of her basted sandwich and plans to quilt by hand. It turned out gorgeous and is destined for her guest bed. I can hardly wait to sleep under it! The pattern is from Stack a New Deck by Karla Alexander. With this one off the sewing machine, while I was there she put me to work converting two patterns from inch measurements into metric. Elisabeth is now ready to cut and sew a quilt for her own bed finally using hand-dyed fabrics from one of our friends, Angela. Look for Angela’s challenge piece using her own hand-dyed fabrics.

Not to be outdone, I "finished" something too! You might remember the Amish 9-Patch Exchange that I did with my students in Germany. Well, throughout the last crazy year I had finally finished piecing all my swapped 9-patches into double 9-patches.  Only I didn’t follow one of my very own rules . . . use the same machine throughout the whole project. We were just too much on the move and I thought I’d be able to work with it.  Boy, oh boy, was I wrong! So . . . spent a couple afternoons and evenings picking apart all 25 blocks. In a way I was glad that I did because I took some extra photos for my album to document the story of this quilt. I put all 125 patches up on my design wall! Too fun! I think I might have to do this as an entire quilt someday. I’m happy to report that the center of my quilt is pieced and I’m ready to start working on the first border . . . this will eventually be my first quilt for our bed.

So what else? Well . . . more red tick marks this week! Yipppeee!!
BulletMade a super simple sample for foundation paper piecing. Houses and Trees.
BulletMade another quickie sample - silhouette tree with a swing, need to embroider rope.

My last class before heading back to Belgium was Foundation Paper Piecing. I shared both methods - sewing through the paper as well as using Freezer Paper. We made a village! It was another fun group of eager ladies.
After 8 nights and 9 days on the road and away from home, it was nice to be back. Have I sewn since. No! . . . figures, huh? I’m finishing up exams for my Nederlands class, came down sick and getting ready to fly back to Seattle on Sunday. Time flies . . . seems to be another recurring theme with me.

But I have to say, again, what a joy friends are that spur you on, inspire you to do something challenging and encourage you to sew and be creative. Thanks to all my girlie friends, your the best! Sew I hope this finds you all well and sewing like beavers!

2007 Mülheim Challenge
Theme:  “Spitze”

Hildegard Braatz

Helga Krawczyk

Sigrid Bachhuber

Gabi Dickmann

Roswitha Kohns

Angela Kastner

Jovita Goldschmidt

Our theme for 2008 has been decided . . . Crazy!  My mind is already whirling.  In addition, this year we will also be giving each other blocks for our birthdays.  Challenge 2009 is to make something out of them.

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