Friday, 29 March 2013


... for Easter and my birthday. Another year older and finally matching the day with my age. Roaring Twenties for another year only. Excuse me whilst I'm nonetheless off to celebrate a little. And wreck my brains over all those spring and summer fashion sewing projects that I'd love to add to my to-do list. A gazillion, seriously. Hopefully somebody is taking pity on me and gifting me fabric vouchers instead of the sensible money-for-kitchen-furnishings that I asked for.

Wishing everybody an ever so lovely Easter with family, friends, sewing... however your heart desires to spend the holidays. For me it's mainly time with the husband and winding down. No party as everybody's away seeing their families but I might make up for that in two weeks.

Speak soon!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

W.i.P. - Red Riding in Aqua

This is what I'm currently working on.

After finding out that my sister is having a boy I'd put this block aside but then it came to my attention that a friend who's having her little one really soon is having a girl. So I rescued it from the UFO pile, decided to make a cushion cover, and turned it into this little top.

I'm currently quilting it by hand.

Some of you know that I'm not overly fond of pink, so when I remembered this unloved leftover from the pixelated Kirby I thought this was a good project to reduce the amount I still had. Turns out it's perfect! Turns out I love it next to those aqua stripes and lagoon pindots. So much that I wonder whether I'll be able to give it away rather than stash it for when I'm having kids.. haha

I told you that I usually only give away things I really like. It can make giving pretty complicated...


Finishes - 1
Easter egg fabric basket

Ongoing Projects - 4
EPP hexies - 52 finished flowers + 14 nearly-theres
baby things
Grecian Waters/Emerald HST quilt - finished the top!
cushion cover

Stalled Projects - 1
EPP parallelograms/stars

Planning Stage - 2
Wedding Anniversary quilt
Quilt for the husband - I might have come up with the design! More on that soon.

Happy sewing!

Linking up with Lee's W.i.P. Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Some Green For Easter

My sister saw this pattern for fabric baskets, the other day, and asked me whether I couldn't make one in spring colours for Easter eggs. Thankfully, without even looking, I knew I had just the right fabrics in my stash. See, I am working on my resolution to work more with it!

Lizzy House Pearl Bracelets in Green and Floral Folio in Tonal Aqua by Cary Philips. I'd forgotten what the latter was called and had to look it up in my bills. A mere 19 months since I bought it on sale. Lalala.

The basket is pretty deep and I embellished it with the one fancy stitch of my machine.

Love how it looks a little turned over like this.

I stuffed it with interfacing, fabric, and eggs to present it to you in style and I'm not sure whether the sis has a ton of paper grass. (Paper grass - is that even a thing in the anglophone world?) She and M are away on their last holiday as a couple before the baby arrives and won't return before Friday when the shops are closed. Therefore, I'll just give it to her like this, probably with more interfacing and have her return the extras after Easter. Here's hoping I picked the right fabric for what she had in mind.

Now I'm left with these fancy corners.

Keep them? Throw them away? Questions, questions..

Happy sewing!

Linking up!

Better Off Thread

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, 25 March 2013

Weekend Sneak Peak

My weekend was very relaxed and surprisingly sewing-free. I did a lot of catching up - sleep, life in general, long phone calls, emails, household chores... You know the stuff.

It wasn't, however, completely free of sewing-related or crafty things. On top of juggling multiple hypothetical fabric shopping carts before deciding on one, I read plenty of blogs, made plans for future projects, and my evenings included lots of this.

Definitely getting there, Juliet. ;)

As I finally made it to the citizen centre today, I'm now officially back in Berlin - my ID says so. And after a surprisingly short waiting period, too. I had bought a book and a hand sewing project to while away hours and hours but was already on my way home after one and a half. It's really sunny, too (though cold). Looks like a promising week ahead of me.

Happy sewing, friends!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Sunday Stash

Time to share some of my most prized possessions - organic & screen-printed by Australian designers.

First up, this gorgeous cotton/hemp blend - half a metre (1.5 m wide) of Bonsai in Deep Red by Ink & Spindle. Isn't it shameful that I got this over two years ago and still haven't found the project for it? They don't even sell it anymore! If you love it as much as I do, you can still find it on Etsy.

I bought it with a bag in mind but stashed it, and then I made and was so fond of my Echino bag in spring 2011 that I just kept using that through autumn and winter and the next year. It might become a bag after all, or maybe something else. I still have remnants from the commissioned cushion covers I made last year from another Ink & Spindle print, Birch Forest in Almond.

Further, they had a discount two weeks or so ago and I caved in and bought half a metre as well as two 'fat quarters' (actually larger) of three prints, respectively, two new ones and one I'd been coveting for ages. Pictures once they make their way through Customs and into my greedy little hands. Hopefully they'll make it onto the cutting table soon, too. They're much to nice to be stashed only.

Another Australian designer with extremely lovely prints is Yardage Design. Once more skint, studenty me got lucky and I obtained three wonderful fat quarters during a sale late in 2011. However, I actually made something from one of those, namely potholders out of the blue print the second to last Christmas. No pics, alas.

I'm especially fond of the Verano Leaves in Crimson. So pretty.

Yep, I'm addicted to the loveliness of screen-printed fabrics. I'm also guilty of at least three brimful imaginary shopping carts, and that without counting the skirts and fabric I want want from Poppy that I only discovered this morning... Job hunting must be successful soon..

Linking up with Fiona's Sunday Stash.

Happy sewing!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Lucky HSTs

This is too good to be true, can somebody pinch me, please? My HST quilt top placed second in the Just the Top category of the Emerald Quilt Challenge over at a.squared.w. Wow, this is the first time I entered anything anywhere and I'm so excited and bursting with happiness.

I want to thank Sarah and Fiona, especially, for encouraging me to take part in the challenge. Not only had I not known about it, but I seriously doubt I would have entered without your kind words of encouragement. Sarah, you've also egged me on to finish the top in time. Fiona, you kept me level-headed. Perfect mixture for me. Thanks, ladies!

And thank you to everybody else who has been following along with the top's journey. Sharing this one with you has been so much fun and I'm still flabbergasted, but obviously overjoyed, by the amount of love it receives.

I can't wait to continue this one, see where it takes me, and take you along for the ride. The quilting should be a ton of fun and I'm planning a mixture of machine and hand quilting as soon as I can afford batting. Thanks to the sponsors and Ali I can definitely afford the backing and binding fabric now - what to pick?? Just a solid? A print? A solid combined with my 36 leftover HSTs?

Stay tuned, folks. And please check out everbody else's entries, not just the winners. Competition was definitely tough and inspiring!

Happy sewing and a most wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

W.i.P. - Wednesday Already?

Week's been busy so far with life (and more snow) and nothing crafty to show for, but the kind comments and love my HST quilt top has received have been exhilarating. Thank you so much! Go check out more pics here, if you haven't already.

Finishes - 0
totally untragic because of my quilt top finish!

Ongoing Projects - 3
EPP hexies - 52 finished flowers + 14 nearly-theres
baby things
Grecian Waters HST quilt - finished the top!

Stalled Projects - 1
EPP parallelograms/stars

Planning Stage - 2
Wedding Anniversary quilt
Quilt for the husband - I might have come up with the design! More on that soon.

Happy sewing!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 18 March 2013

Joining the Bloglovin Bandwagon

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Let's see where this goes.

Happy sewing!

Blogiversary Giveaway Winner

With the quilt top finished this weekend and entered into the Emerald Quilt Challenge, I've finally found a moment to draw the winner of my blogiversary giveaway. First off, thank you everybody who shared their recipes, or even their lack thereof, with me. I'll be sure to try them out and will let you know how I like them. Now, without further ado...

Lucky number 15 - Juliet of Tartankiwi!

Who also wrote:

Congrats, Juliet! I'm glad you didn't forget and willl be emailing you shortly for your address.

Everybody else, if you still want something Mareen-Made I've got two open slots in the Pay It Forward Handmade Swap.

Wishing everybody a grand week. Happy sewing!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Emerald Quilt Challenge (Pictures Galore)

I did it! I managed to finish my HST quilt top today and talked my sister into a photo session in the freezing cold. Finally a shoot outside - with all that can include. Neither her, nor me succeeded in displaying it well due to the wind.

We only found places to hang it from that wouldn't show it whole.

Or we put it upside down. (See me going "aargh".) Or it fell off all the time.

Though, once turned around and fixed, this proved a really pretty backdrop. The words read "For your and our freedom." It's part of a memorial to Polish soldiers and German anti-fascists / German-Polish friendship in the park. I think the hearts of my top are fitting.

I had spent Friday night crawling on the floor to find the right layout. I even got up after going to bed to exchange a block here and there for another. Crazy. None of my previous ideas convinced me enough but somehow I sneaked in something of them all. There's squares, chevrons, hearts I hadn't originally thought of, even meanders! It's both symmetric in design and all mixed up colour-wise. I love it! I used 14x18 squares in the end - 252 of the 288 I made. The current measurements are 1.42 m x 1.81 m (or 55 1/2 inches x 71 2/3 inches), the HSTs are 10 cm finished (just under 4").

Here are better looks at the complete layout. Shame the sun didn't play along for these.

Though I'll put it away to work on other pressing projects first, I'm soo looking forward to quilt this on the machine and by hand using the pretty pearl cotton set I bought in January. I think the layout provides me with a ton of options to make for really interesting quilting and highlights.

Here are a few more close-ups of design details which I took inside where it is warm and cosy.

I think the time-consuming squaring up really paid off! Most points are really really neat.

So, having been encouraged to do so (thanks!) I'm entering the Pantone 2013: Emerald Quilt Challenge. I hope with a ton of green (and actual emerald, too) and blues as the second colour, it fits the rules. Have I mentioned that I'm really happy with how this top in shades of my favourite colours has turned out? I doubt I'd show it off if I didn't.

Find all the other entries here.
Find the Flickr group here.

Happy sewing, friends, I hope your weekend was as fantastic as mine!

Linking to various cool link parties - Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link Up, Sew Cute Tuesday, Show & Tell Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Ready to Go

My arms hurt but I did it - all 288 HSTs squared up.

A lot of what my sister calls fabric confetti.

Have a lovely weekend, everybody, and happy sewing!

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Surefire Clues You Take Quilting Seriously

Instead of finalising the layout and sewing together your quilt top, you square up HSTs by tiny margins because you want really neat results. OCD.

What a difference...
After nearabouts three hours, I'm halfway through the pile and my joints need a break before tackling the rest.

Happy sewing!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

W.i.P. - HST Love and Layout Woe

There's still time to enter my blogiversary giveaway!

I'm starting today's posts with the stats or they might get lost along the way.


Finishes - 1
the bathroom is all sorted (kitchen still pretty much a construction site)

Ongoing Projects - 3
EPP hexies - 52 finished flowers + 14 nearly-theres
baby things
Grecian Waters HST quilt

Stalled Projects - 1
EPP parallelograms/stars

Planning Stage - 2
Wedding Anniversary quilt
Quilt for the husband - I might have come up with the design! More on that soon.

But onto the HST love. Having finished 216 by yesterday, I prepared these for today before going to bed.

And got sewing in the morning.

Feast yourself on 288 HSTs in 96 different colour combinations.

They look rather intimidating like that. Maybe less so from this direction?

Or stacked?

Sorry, I got carried away... Time to speak about my layout woes.

I need to work on my bed as it's the only place providing enough space and my back doesn't want me crawling on the floor. Husband won't be happy if the bed is still diverted from its intended use when he gets home. I started with dark colours in the top left corner and light ones in the bottom right corner, but decided against doing a whole layout only to rearrange it. Lazy? Sensible? I don't know.

I'm stuck with a couple of variants. Do I go for a completely "patternless" look? And if so, do I start with dark on one end fading into light on the other? (I think this will take half a day to arrange pleasingly?) Or just mix it all up?

Or do I make something more regular, like these mixed up squares?

Or how about chevrons? From dark to light, here a light example? (Ignore the mistake in the top row.)

Or mixed up?

Decisions, decisions. And certainly no easy ones. I think there's one or two options I'm drawn to more, but I'd love to hear your opinions.

Over the past days it's been suggested to me twice that my quilt might qualify for the Pantone 2013 Emerald Quilt Challenge. I'm still unsure about it and I've never yet entered anything anywhere... Anybody else taking part? I'd certainly only manage the quilt top category - and only if I overcome my layout woes first.

Happy sewing!