Monday, 28 January 2013

Kommando zurück! - As You Were!

After all this time of intermittent internet access and only few posts now and then, you might have been wondering about the recent barrage of posts. Well, it's not due to an improved situation with the providers. Nope, rather it's due to the extended stay in Berlin before and after my exam last Thursday. (I think I did well and it feels good to be done with it all!)

I'd planned a three-day stay when unexpectedly, very much so, and very last minute, too, a letter arrived informing us that a position as teacher trainee has opened up for my husband back in Berlin. We got the news less than two weeks ago and had just one day to consider it before hurriedly taking care of all kinds of organisational things like getting out of his contract and getting his papers to the right people in Berlin. This required me to travel earlier. Further, we were in dire need of finding a new flat - work starts in a week from yesterday and although he can crash at his parents' it's obviously so much nicer to have a proper retreat and home base. This required me to stay longer.

Thanks to my sister and her partner and their dedication and support, I not only had a pretty relaxed stay on their sofa, including a very girly sisters-only weekend, but I should be able to sign the lease for a wonderful apartment in our old neighbourhood tomorrow to move into on the 15th. Fingers crossed I've not jinxed it by telling early!

I've already found movers (already looking much better than last time's, fingers crossed), as well as a phone and internet provider that should get us connected on the day of the move (how splendid does that sound?!  fingers crossed), and I'm taking care of tons of other things like change of address orders etc.

We're moving back up! So so excited for so many reasons, I don't even care that we have only little time to pack everything up. Most must be done the rest of this week when I've returned to our current home and before the hubs leaves. I'll take care of the rest similarly to last time. Thankfully my sister will be joining me once more and a good friend from the UK will be visiting, too, whom I haven't seen since the wedding. (The trip has been planned since December, he couldn't possibly know he'd get himself into the chaos of a move. Ha.)

Fingers crossed for a smooth move and a quick ending to all our provider woes to allow for a speedy return to and finally regular again service on this blog. Ooooh.

I'm quickly approaching my blogiversary, too! Another thing to be excited about.

Happy sewing and speak soon, friends.

Friday, 25 January 2013

T.G.I.F.F. - Yoshi - The Journey

With this huge finish under my belt and a host of posts, I thought it only fair to finally link up with T.G.I.F.F. once more as well as put together all the links in one post for easy reference.

This is for those of you keen to (re-)read the whole journey. Thanks for taking the ride with me.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10

Happy sewing, friends!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Yoshi 10.0

Starting in the afternoon and with breaks in between, I toiled away on the binding last Thursday and managed to finish all but the final corner in this picture until 11 p.m. My bed called and I called it a day.

Last stitches on a Friday morning.

Yoshi pre-washing.

This is the first time that I didn't pre-treat the fabric for a quilt. I considered it way too much fabric to bother with washing and ironing when I'd have to iron so much during the cutting process. I was somewhat anxious but it all turned out well. The wash didn't kill Yoshi, all seams held up, and Yoshi didn't really shrink that much. If he shrank at all. I didn't measure and it's barely perceptible in the pictures. The creases on the left and right are due to Yoshi drying on a laundry rack.

M was absolutely excited when he got the quilt upon my arrival in Berlin. He got a card for his birthday in early January with pictures of the layout and what I'd already achieved to reveal what he would soon call his own but I'd omitted the egg to keep it a surprise. I made it big enough for a newborn photo session, too. He adores it and my sister loves the idea, too!

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

W.i.P and Instant Gratification

With a big project like Yoshi on your plate you just have to have some instant gratification in between. Here's my assorted collection.

At first I made a little pouch for my sister's Nintendo DS. Great! I got to play with my cute fabric hoardings and had something for her to not feel left out at the big Yoshi reveal.

As the weather turned colder after a mild period and I'd lost my hat before Christmas I had to knit this. Thankfully, I hoarded enough of the colour last year to have two skeins left! I love this pattern and have used it twice before. This time I added a few rows in stockinette to the Windy City Hat pattern so that it'd cover my ears. Two or three too many but it's still fab. (Also, I used 5 mm needles, not 4.5 mm.)


Finally I made two more cushion covers for our sofa. I wasn't in a too good place, emotionally, after our return to Bavaria and wanted something a little less cheerful and a bit more sober to go with that, so thought of these fabrics acquired nearly two years ago. Yep, Kristy, we do use our fabrics, eventually!

My mood has improved a ton since last week and I don't actually consider the cushions uncheerful. I enjoy them a lot!

To give you a clue about new projects on my mind - the lot of orders from the beginning of the year has started to arrive (more in a Stash on Sunday post). I'm glad I picked Kona Sage as extra fabric for my planned Grecian Waters HST quilt. Only I'm not entirely convinced of making it an all solids quilt anymore. The pretty leaves print that came in the same parcel is definitely something to consider throwing into the mix!

Now, without further ado, my revised W.i.P. list.

Finishes - 4
Yoshi quilt - don't miss tomorrow's post!
Pillow covers
DS pouch
Knitted hat

Ongoing Stalled Projects - 2
EPP hexies - 32 finished flowers + tons basted
EPP parallelograms/stars

Planning Stage - 4
Wedding Anniversary quilt
Grecian Waters HST quilt
Quilt for the husband
Tons of baby things

Happy sewing!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Yoshi 9.0

With the quilt top finished it was time to turn my attention to the back. Time to cut more pixels, albeit smaller ones - 5,25 cm² as opposed to the 7,25 cm² of the front.

I forgot  to take step by step pictures of the process, but once more I divided the layout into manageable quadrants (four of 7x8 pixels). After two more days of piecing I had this backing. My adhesive spray gave out on the last centimetres. Crazy. It was as good as new as I'd only used it to baste the Viking baby quilt before. Worth it, though. I can't (and don't want to) imagine basting a monster like this with pins.

Another two afternoons were dedicated to slowly quilting a grid of 30 straight lines in the ditch every two pixels. Sometimes less, sometimes more organised.

I chose invisible thread to blur with the fabric and hide any amiss quilting. Yoshi is my biggest quilt up to date, roughly 1,8 m x 2 m (~ 72'' x  80'') and I was slightly worried that I might not be able to control the quilt well enough or find enough space under my machine, but all worked out nicely.

Time too cut away the excess fabric and batting...

...and get an idea of what it looks like on a bed.

I also prepared my binding that evening and attached it, even began to stitch some of it down by hand whilst watching telly - can you guess what I watched from the picture?. I saved most of that for the next day, though.

... to be continued ...

Happy sewing!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Yoshi 8.0

I'm back once more as I'm back in Berlin for my final exam on Thursday (crossed fingers appreciated muchly). Don't get me started on the internet situation back in Bavaria... Things might change soon. Trying not to jinx things by spilling the beans too early but important changes are certainly afoot. Aaanyway, feast your eyes on Yoshi pictures over the next couple of days!

After our extended Christmas holiday with the family, we finally, reluctantly, went home and I focussed on the big Yoshi Quilt. The first two days were dedicated to assembling more pixels and finishing quadrants 7 to 9.

On the third day, after a sneak peak and reassuring layout check, I put the quilt top together and spray basted it onto the batting ... and realised just how big the quilt would be.


... to be continued ...

Happy sewing!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Sunday Stash

I already told you about ordering two parcels chock-full of cutesy baby fabrics the other day. Given the usual lengthy stay at Customs I'm not expecting them to arrive any time soon at my doorstep, though. Feeling a need for instant gratification as well as something to touch for the better to plot, and considering that I also had some Christmas money to burn, a trip to my favourite fabric shop in Berlin was in order before our return home. I also bought some necessary notions at another store; machine needles, thread - Yoshi is eating up thread like mad - and 1.5m of batting because I sense a few more cushion covers might get made in the near future and it'll definitely come in handy, then.


I've had an eye on these three prints for ages - the squirrels especially - putting them in and out of shopping baskets, debating to and fro. Finally, I've given and am very very to have done so.

Leaving this shop with only what you've intended to buy is basically impossible, worse than shopping online during sales - and we all know what a feat that is! So onto the cutting table two more cuties - oh, those penguins! - went, and out I stormed to prevent any more impulse purchases.

I settled for 20cm cuts (roughly 1/4 yard) each, not only because they'll be enough to work with, but because I felt 80 per cent sure that I'd make another online order in the evening, so I couldn't possibly blow all my dosh. Researching for what to do with my pretty Kona bundle gift, I came across this lovely, perfectly matching Pearl Cotton Set, and some marked-down fabric, obviously... Not quite the impulse purchase, though. First, I thought about it for a couple of days, and second, I want to do more hand quilting after the Viking baby quilt. Buying the thread was only logical to spur me on!

To top it all/ wrap things up, I then ordered some black and white Kona from German store to realise the egg back detail of the Yoshi quilt in time for the new deadline in late January. Most definitely absolutely necessary.

Gee, that's been an awful lot of hoarding in the past few days, to be sure. Spelling it all out nearly succeeds in making me feel a little bad. Then again it'll last me for a huge amount of time and plenty of projects and I know I won't be shopping much for a while. And I absolutely reject to look at it as defying my resolution of working more from my stash. Because I will. And I never promised to go cold turkey and not add to it...

I'll be back with Yoshi news soon.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Welcome 2013!

I hope you all saw the new year in the way you wanted to. After some to and fro (as every year) we spent a very quiet evening with my sister, her partner, and another couple (not as every year). Not the biggest party, sure, but I enjoy spending as much time as possible when possible with my sis. With the last migraine and painkillers of 2012 I wouldn't have endured a wild one anyhow.

She'll see this tree out tomorrow the latest, but can you spot the owls? They love them, I already told you, but have I told you that they're quarrelling over who's the blue and who's the white one and therefore what the little one will be? Even if they decide to be told by their doctor, I'm pretty sure they'll keep us guessing all the way til July.

Well, I'm prepared. I've been acquiring a couple of gender neutral prints ever since I knew of their plans to conceive and I ordered some more yardage (and flannel!) this Sunday taking advantage of end of year sales and an excited grandma-to-be's credit card. I could always throw in more typically girlish or boyish bits if desired, though I doubt it. I'll be sure to posts pics once the pretties make their way overseas and through customs, so we can all drool over them together.

Usually I'm not one for making New Year's Resolutions but I do think I could make a few sewing-related ones.

1.    Make a top.
1.a. Extra points if it involves working with jersey for the first time.

2.    Make another dress.
2.a. This should involve working with a different pattern than before, possibly from my stash, and
2.b. this should also involve a fitted bodice so I can improve my pattern adaptation skills.

3.    Make a queen sized quilt for our bed in time for our anniversary in August.

4.    Make a quilt for my husband.

5.    Knit a scarf for myself instead of everybody else.
5.a. Probably a shawl as well a more complicated pattern, both firsts.

6.    Work more with my fabric stash.

7.    Remember to take things one seam at a time and not rush through things.
7.a. Set myself realistic deadlines and reduce stress.
7.b. Still go for odd projects in between that take my fancy and promise fun.

Feels like a good list to me!

Happy sewing, friends!