April 25, 2012

Liebster Blog back home again

I was stunned as I got the news that I've been nominated for the Liebster Blog award. It was so unexpected, but made my heart sing:-)

Liebster Blog is German and means the blog I cherish the most. I do not know if it is really originated in Germany, but I guess so. So this means its back home again. Probably not for the first time.

I was nominated for this honour by Gio from frequent frenzy. Thank you Gio; I really appreciate this nomination more than you can imagine! You know, sometimes it gets kind of lonely writing those posts and not really knowing if anyone likes it. Now I do!

So now I have to follow some rules:

1. Thank the person who gave me this award. Mille grazie cara Gio per conto di premio! E' un privilegio per me. Please don't mind my Italian. I know it's lousy :-)

2. Link back to her blog. Happy to oblige.

Frequent frenzy

3. Copy and paste the award to my profile. Done and proud of it!

4. Pick 5 blogs that I feel deserve to be in the spotlight (they must have under 200 followers). This is really hard because I love so many wonderful blogs. But I think these 5 really deserve to be in the spotlight. I love to read every one of them. In alphabetical order:

piece and quilt
Töölön tilkkupaja
Västgötaspets och trädgård

Thank you once more Gio!

April 22, 2012

Winners of the 1st annuary give away

First of all I want to thank all the participants of my 1st anniversary give away. I had a lot of fun reading your comments and I hope you enjoyed it as well. Ok, you are probably impatient to know if you got lucky, so here are the results. I noted all the comments on an Excel sheet according to your wishes and the number of votes.

Then I used a German random number generator 6 times. The winner of the armchair needlework organizer is Annika!

The winner of the princess crown bag is Diana! Please send me your address.

The winner of the dogchain is beecee!

The winner of the book is Gunilla. Gunilla snälla, skicka mig din adress så att jag får boken iväg till dig.

The winner of the gift pouch is Jeanne!

And last of all; where did we go? I know it was mean of me to leave so few hints - there was absolutely no way you could know where I've already been or where I was going. The hint with the desert didn't help at all. But there it is; Wivi was spot on with getting a connecting flight in Abu Dhabi and going to China. I'm very happy for her to win the surprise gift:

Some delicious chickenfeet...Just joking Wivi; please send me your address and I promise to send something nice. I'll just leave it in the dark for a couple of days more. I want it to be a real surprise, ok?

Congratulations to all the winners and please don't forget to send me your addresses. Pictures from our trip will be posted shortly.

April 9, 2012

1st annuary give away

After some years of lurking around in cyberspace I finally last year wrote my first post. I never believed anyone would actually read my stuff, so you could have knocked me over with a feather as my first follower, beecee, turned up. And you know what? She is still around! It is a marvel.

I thought the blog would be only some kind of boring online diary with myself as sole reader, but things turned out differently. It has been an exceptionally rewarding and fun time writing posts, making pictures, quilting and above all making your aquintance. Thank you everyone for your encouragement, the inspiration and the friendly comments; you certainly have made a difference in my life. It means a lot to me. Thank you for sharing a part of my way with me.

This must be celebrated! I'd throw a party for you if I could, but as this is not possible a give away it is. For the occasion I made a couple of things from my own tutorials. No need for you to read the obnoxious ramblings, puuuh...
Here are:

1. One armchair needlework organizer, including scissors from Solingen, Germany.
I ordered them some six weeks ago, but they got lost in the post. I wrote to the factory about it and they sent me new ones!!! Can you believe that?

You can take this organizer along with you in a bag or you can easily fasten it on your armchair so you have it handy for your stitcheries.

2. The second thing is a princess crown bag. It is the one you know from the tutorial. Anyone interested?

3. The third thing is a brand new quilting book with lots of quite good patterns

4. Then a chain of stuffed dogs as decoration in a window, or where ever you want to put it. The dogs are supposed to be a Swedish breed, Västgötaspets or Swedish Cattle Dog. They are sturdy little fellows with short legs. If you use some imagination you may even see a hint of a  likeness.

I only realized today that I didn't have a good ribbon for this one; I'd forgotten it from my shoppinglist. Sorry. I'll just send the three doggies and the "jewels" and you can do what you want. Perhaps you could use it as needle cushions or for some woodoo if your doggie isn't behaving?

5. The last thing is a small gift pouch you already know from my postings. It will be stuffed with chocolate Easter eggs. I don't suppose they will be bad two weeks after Easter and taste as good as ever. Perhaps I should make sure and take a bite?

So, what do you need to do?

1. First of all you get one vote for leaving a comment and telling me what you want (no need to be modest!)
2. Followers get a second vote, only tell me so in your comment
3. You get a third vote if you link up to my place on your blog (please tell me)

6. This is extra: If you guess where I'm going tomorrow you will get a surprise gift from the country I'm going to. I don't know what the surprise will be; you just have to trust me it's going to be something good or at least fun.
If there are more than one right answer I'll toss a coin (or paper ball). Please name only one country.

Some hints:

- I've never been so far away before
- I cannot speak a single word in the language(s) spoken there
- it is a big country with an old civilization
The hints are not very helpful are they? Never mind, this is just a game.

What seemed like a good idea in November is now giving me second thoughts. A lot of "What ever possessed you to book tickets to this place? "What if we miss our connecting flight (in the middle of a desert); get lost, don't like the food...I've even printed a bunch of directions for the taxidrivers.
Well, second thoughts or not; Princess and I are on our way, far, far away hoping for some quality time and lots of good pictures to show.

Back to the give away. As this will not work with numbers, there is no need to write several comments. I going a new innovative way, with Excel. Wait and see; I'm an Excel nerd :-)

The give away closes on the 20th of April, 8 pm MET.

Until we meet again, take care and stay safe and sound; don't let the bugs bite you!

And how was your Eastern?

Lots of sunshine, Easter bunnies and chocolates among your dear ones? I do hope so.
For me it didn't go as planned. I had to abort my masterplan. Instead I had some quality time in bed with a bad cold and all trimmings. But no worry; my family took care of everything. They made some decorating.

This is really creative art.

Well perhaps not quite what I had in mind, but that is not important. I came downstairs to a beautiful breakfast table, we had a fun hunt for the eggs and some small presents. Even the dishes magically got done. I'm really spoiled with a great family. Thank you sweeties!

April 4, 2012

Going haywire

Yesterday I spent some quality time with my rotary cutter and sewing machine. It was heaven! I haven't enjoyed myself like this ever. I picked some patterns I've been dying to try out and just grabbed some fabrics and set the rotary cutter flying. I didn't consider longer than about 5 seconds which fabrics to use - just a quick and dirty cut and go. No time for accurate sewing either, so please don't be too harsh on my results. It is so much fun just to splash out and not to calculate fabrics and colors. Just plain sewing. What a bliss!

No time for keeping anything in order either. You should've seen my workplace; heaps of fabrics mounting up, overturned boxes, rulers, scissors everywhere. Thank God no one saw the mess. They would immediately have signed me up for some messieprogram.

This was my first one. The pattern is called Rosettes from Fig Tree & Co. It will be recycled soon and hopefully more carefully put together again. I hope it isn't a secret Humpty Dumpty.

The second one was pure joy! It is a variation on the cabin log theme and is easy to make. The pattern is called Lover's knot. I found it online, but cannot remember where right now. If you want to know I can look it up. I just cut stripes and sew them on and did the fine adjusting later.

Of course I couldn't resist Gunillas boatquilt so I did a quick and dirty one. Deep down in a drawer I found the most ugly fabrics I've ever seen. I've wanted to throw them away for years, but now I'm thinking of keeping them and making a sailboat quilt instead. If it looks like nothing I can chuck it later. No harm done.

Never mind; a bit of haywire sewing is definitely on my agenda for this evening as well. This might come as a big surprise but there are still a couple of things I want to try out...

You see, a bit of spontanity is all that is needed. Sign up for the Scarppy? Sew bee it! bee and you will have  lots of fun like this at least once a month. Promise! We'll start in May, so you still have time to choose your own favorite to make. Just leave a comment here and I'll come back to you with the details.

Tomorrow is my last day at the threadmill before 2 1/2 weeks of vacation. I'm beginning to feel like a fox in the English countryside, but it is good to know that one is needed. At least I like to think myself as one of an endangered species, an OWUP (overworked and underpaid). But I have the suspicion that my employer is classifying me as UWOP (you go figure out than one yourself). That is the good thing about a democracy; everyone has a free right of mind. Who am I to judge?

I'm seeing forward to tomorrow evening. Family back home again, some small decorating to do, colouring eggs, chilling out...My masterplan is to stuff myself with chocolate, sleep late in the mornings and to thoroughly enjoy a couple of wonderful days with my beloved ones. How does that sound to you?

So bye for now. See you April 9th, on my first anniversary and a give away you should not miss out on.
Till then, keep safe where ever you are and do not forget to sign up for the Scrappy? Sew bee it! I promise it will be heaps of fun!

April 1, 2012

Scrappy ? Sew bee it!

Do you often find yourself drooling over some eyecandy in Bloglandia? Wishing you could get your hands on the georgeous fabrics and exciting patterns - just NOW! And then sadly shaking your head and thinking "Oh no; I've got too much on my plate as it is. No money to spend on another cuckoo chase. But it sure would have been nice..."

Perhaps it was something like this that set you off dreaming:

This is a picture of Cindys from Fluffy Sheep Quilting Stargazing quilt. Cindys blog is great fun and if you don't know her yet do pop over. You won't regret it. Thank you Cindy for allowing me to show your picture on my blog!

It such an amazing quilt; just like made for scrappy quilting. The pattern is from the book Modern blocks by Susanne Woods. I bought this book as well some months ago just to make this quilt, but there are lots other goodies as well.

I certainly often would love to just get started with everything I fancy. I also think it would be wonderful to get to know more of all the lovely people out there; people just like you! So why not do something about it?

Join me in a scrappy bee! I'm sure you have enough scraps to make a quilt or two. It may not be enough for one of a certain kind, but enough for 12 different blocks in different styles. I certainly have. Or do I? Just joking, of course I have and so do you.

What I have in mind is a bee with, lets say 12 participants. Once a month one of us is Queen bee and gives directives about which pattern and colours to use. Pastel, rainbow, batics, monochromatic - whatever. She/he would write a post on her/his own blog, or use mine as a guestblogger. Now, that would be great! Perhaps I'll change the rools and only accept guestbloggers. Still joking. Do what you feel comfortable with.

There is no cause to get nervous about writing the post, or about the language - I'm more than willing to help out in any way I can. I would write the post for you, as long as you say which pattern and what colours to use. No biggie.

Perhaps I can tempt you with this one.

It is made by Gunilla from Gunilla - sytanten. It is such a clever and beautiful variation on the usual squares and halfsquares. My fingers are just itching to make one like this. Gunilla writes in Swedish, but even if you don't read it you can enjoy the pictures. I'm sure Gunilla would appreciate a visit from you. I haven't got the pattern for this one, but it doesn't look too difficult to figure out.
Tack Gunilla för att jag fick visa din bild! Jättesnällt!

I will collect your addresses and send them to the participants, so the blocks won't get lost in the snailmail. If someone doesn't like to share her/his address with others, that's also ok. Just give me your address and I will forward your blocks to you. You'd still have to share the big secret with me; but honestly - the worst thing I've done this far is to send out some surprise gifts. That I sometimes do, just for the fun of it. I suppose that is something you can live with :-)

Think about it; once a month you will be trying out something new and for once you will sure hit the jackpot and get 11 blocks from all over the world, with exciting fabrics and colour combinations you may never have come up with yourself! All you have to do is once a month make a block and send it somewhere to a nice person - someone who might soon be a friend.

That is not too much, is it? Just one block a month. Nothing difficult like application or paper piecing. You will try out a lot of new things and get rid of a lot of those scraps you don't know what to do with but are too beautiful just to throw away. As I see it it is a win/win situation.

This pattern would also be ideal for scrappy quilting. Beautiful colors and sure much fun to make.

It is called Scrap Jar Stars, made by Amber from A Little Biased. Amber has even written a great tutorial for this one. Thank you Amber for the permission to show your picture on my blog.

So what is keeping you? The postage? Honestly, as far as I know the letters won't cost the world, even if it is international. I've sent a lot of letters and parcels around without collapsing at the postoffice. Usually it is a not worth mentioning. I used to get some fabrics for a QAL from the Fatquarer shop. The postage was 3$. In Australia it is something about the same. Honestly; 3$ a month is not much, you can wing it.

What else? Oh, we will start in May. Now most of us have our hands full with all kinds of preparations for Eastern and later we will have to clear up the mess again. At least I have to. I'll be away for two weeks after Eastern, so the timetable would be rather tight with the give away for my first anniversary coming up on the 9th of April. By the way; I'm pretty sure you'll find something you like, so stay around for a while.
You will need some time to digest your ideas, setting on a pattern and the colorline, don't you? This is probably the most difficult part...

I'll be Queen bee in May, just to get us all started. But this is not a must; feel free to step up!
If you are unable to do your part of the sewing at some time, just say so. You can catch up later. We all live busy lives, so we will not get into a hassle about the timetables, are we? It is not like our scraps were busy, so what is a couple of more days waiting for a good thing? At the end of the day you will get an unique quilt, more and less for free.
If you want to leave the bee, speak up. Otherwise we'll worry about you and your wellbeing.

Please leave a comment if you want to join the bee. I will accept the participants in the order they sign up. If you need more than 12 blocks for your quilt you can sign up twice. That way you will get 22 blocks, but on the other hand you will have to make 2 blocks a month.

I'm leaving the decision about the pattern and the size of the block up to you but will set the limit at a 12 1/2" block. There are tons of patterns online, with great tutorials. Every now and them I'll share my favorites with you.
If you want us to use a pattern from a book we'll have to think about a solution without breaking any copyrights or forcing all us to buy the same one. I'm sure we will come up with one we all can live with.
If someone wants to use specific fabrics for the blocks or the background, she/he would have to send them out to the participants.

That's all. Sign up, choose a month for your big time as Queen bee and let the fun begin!

The bee is now closed; all 12 places taken. Thank you for your interest!