Today I am showing you two designs which have a more modern look than the previous designs, which look more traditional / vintage.
I designed this quilt to use pieced blocks, but of course you could applique circles with five point stars on top. The 4 inch blocks are set with sashings of different sizes, to get the right elongated shapes for the tree above and the heart below.
In the tree quilt design, I set Width (vertical sashings) to 0 in EQ, and Height (horizontal sashings) to 2.250 inch. In EQ, I set the Left and Right Borders (9 inch) to a different width than the Top and Bottom Borders (4.5 inch).
For the heart quilt design, I set the sashing Width to 1 inch, and sashing Height to 1.750 inch. The dark borders are 4.5 inch all around.
Next, I have a couple of more ‘folksy’ quilt designs with Five Point Stars coming up.
I only have energy to come up with very simple design ideas, but I think they have the charm of traditional, timeless quilts. I envision them as soft, crinkly quilts with cotton batting.
In this post I am showing you combinations with five patch blocks, both set straight and on point. EQ lets me combine 5 inch blocks with 4 inch blocks if I set block size to 5, and add 4 inch sashings and use the cornerstones for setting 4 inch blocks.
Inklingo’s Linda Franz recently published a shape collection for one of my favorite shapes: A five pointed star. So of course I had to play with this in EQ!
The shape collection makes several 4 inch [10,16 cm.] block variations. It contains several bonus shapes, like the half star point shown above, and a center pentagon with matching triangles to finish the star. As usual, a very clever and complete shape collection! There is even a layout for printing the star shape for back-basting appliqué!
This collection is sweet, so I put two block variations in a very simple design that reminds me of gingerbread cookies, chocolate, marshmallows, whipped cream and peppermint. Winter Treats!
In EQ, 7 x 7 rows of 4 inch blocks are in a straight set with 2 inch [5,08 cm.] sashings. It is only because I used three colors for the sashings (chocolate brown, gingerbread brown and white) that it appears there is an inside border in this design. The actual border settings in EQ are, from the inside: 0.5 inch [1,3 cm.] – 3 inch [7,6 cm.] – 1 inch [2,54 cm.] – 2 inch [5,08 cm.] – 1 inch [2,54 cm.]
This makes the center of the quilt 40 inches [101,6 cm.] square and including borders 55 inches [139,7 cm.]
I drafted the blocks by tracing over an imported picture of one of Linda’s pieced blocks in EQ8. It wasn’t entirely symmetrical on my Block Worktable, and the actual seam lines didn’t fit my snap settings exactly. I had to eyeball and adjust the placement of the parts inside the 4 inch square a bit. The drafted blocks may not be entirely accurate, but I think it’s close enough for design purposes!
I hope to come up with more designs, combining the 5-pointed star with other Inklingo blocks. I had an idea to play with my 2017 Christmas quilt design to replace the small eightpointed stars with the 5-pointed ones, or try some other combinations with Ribbon Flower. But, I have not been able to retrieve the project file! :-(. I hope it is still on my old laptop, perhaps I forgot to transfer it to this computer along with the rest of the files.
If I find it, you will probably get to see the results!
So, I showed you a bit of my fabric sorting and organizing process before, and now I am showing results too!
Before the move from our small apartment, my fabrics lived all over the place. After a while, some fabrics moved to two large suitcases in ‘the shed’. And of course, I didn’t remember what I had. When I did remember a specific print, I often had a hard time locating it.
So, getting reacquainted with my fabric stash, and organizing it in one place, was a major goal for after the move. I researched types of shelving, containers and ways of organizing, and decided on plastic bins, instead of IKEA shelves or something. A system of bins is flexible both in placement and number, keeps fabrics safe from dust and from fading, and is fairly cheap.
The downside is that most plastic bins release acids, which may harm the fibers. To protect my fabrics, I lined my bins with acid free tissue paper, and I air my fabrics periodically. The paper means I don’t take advantage of the see-through properties of my bins. I have labeled them with the contents instead.
As I am not much of an actual quilter / sewist, most of my fabric is still some standard size rectangle without holes or narrow strips. My ‘scraps’ mainly consist of charms and layer cakes. So most of it folds neatly and lies flat in a consistent thickness.
I wanted bins that accommodate those folded fabrics efficiently, allowing me to get a good reading of the color, while viewing as many fabrics together as possible. For me, showing the short folded edges of vertically stashed fabrics turned out to be the most efficient.
This means height is the determining factor for picking the right bin. I looked for bins of about 27 centimeters [10.7 inches] high. A little bit of room on top of your fabrics comes in handy. In some boxes I put charms and scraps on top of the folded fabrics. But I didn’t want a lot of wasted ‘headroom’.
I found that 45 liter bins accommodate three vertically stored rows of quilting fabrics side by side, with a bit of extra space to get my hands in, and pull out one piece of fabric without messing up the entire bin.
I combined and mixed several types of organization for my fabric stash. I organized some by color, others by type of fabric, and others by designer / collection. And I did some ‘suborganizing’, e.g. my substantial portion of Kaffe Fassett fabrics first by designer, next by ‘color family’, like brights or pastels.
Because I wanted to be able to stack my bins, I kept the type and size of bin consistent. This means that some bins are a bit too big for their contents. (I may need to buy more fabrics to keep my stacks from falling over! :-)) I used the same type of bins for fabrics other than store bought quilting cottons.
I have one bin for ‘old shirts’, and one for ‘interior decoration fabrics and garment sewing’ including kimono silks and Spoonflower sample prints.
The old shirts bin is only ‘organized chronologically’ ;-). Newly discarded shirts are thrown in on top. Some older ones already have the bulky parts, like collars, cuffs and seams cut off. Some are even cut up in rectangles or strips.
The other bin is equally unorganized with regards to color. Heaviest fabrics on the bottom, silks on top to prevent creasing, carefully layered with acid free tissue paper in between.
While sorting by color, I chose to attack all of my charm packs and most of my layer cakes as well. Where possible, charms, layer cakes and scraps are kept in the bins with the matching color or designer, on top of the yardage and fat quarters.
The piles of charms in green, blue and red were too bulky to store on top, so they went to live together in an IKEA box (pictures further on). I also kept a separate box of ‘uglies’ and ‘hard to combine’ scraps and charms, so I can avoid them when I want.
Finally, there is one glass jar for really small scraps.
While sorting, I found that blue and red very are often combined in one fabric print, so sometimes it is hard to decide if it should go with the Reds or with the Blues. It is easiest to keep them together. I also found that blue (often combined with red, or with pink) is the most prevalent color in my charm packs!
Because I have so many blue charms and layer cakes, I tried to sort them further, allowing me an easy overview. It is really easy to miss a specific color of charm when they are all stacked.
So I tried rolling them and making separate layers of rolls. But I abandoned that effort, since the rolls unrolled again when handled, and it took up too much space.
Not all my fabrics or bins are pictured. I have two 70 liter ‘project bins’. They are bigger, so I can store background fabrics and batting with the fabrics for that project. One project bin has a lot of brown fabrics, mostly Kaffe Fassett.
The second project bin has a lot of cobalt blue Kaffe Fassett fabrics (no picture). There is also a bin of knitting yarns (in the picture above, with the red lid).
And finally, my shade cards and sample packs for solids are in a drawer, together with shade cards for quilting threads and color tools.
I am very happy with my organized stash. hope you enjoyed this peek into my stash of ‘Stof Genoeg!’ (which means ‘Plenty of fabric or material’).
After I had covered my office chair in no time, I decided to keep going! Another 4 meters of Spoonflower Sport Lycra were lying around, destined to make cheerful striped covers for the lids of plastic bins. I wanted to keep the lids including the snaps in use, but the blue and red did not fit in the color scheme of my room.
Originally, I had planned on sewing the covers with elastic around the edges. Now I decided to see if I could just tie this stretchy, non fraying fabric around the lids with knots on the corners. And it worked!
I put a lid on the fabric and cut around it. It is folded lengthwise in the picture. It shows I can get two lid covers out of the width of the fabric.
Next, I clipped the fabric to the lid, with Clover wonder clips on all sides. This way, I could knot the corners, with the fabric staying evenly distributed over the lid.
First, I twisted the corner of the fabric tight, so that the longest edge would automatically fold under the ridge of the lid. Then I tied it in a simple knot.
Below you see how it looks from the underside of the lid. Later, I found I was able to tuck the knots into the ridges under the lid so you don’t see them. I can still open and close the snap closures without taking the cover off. Perfect!
I still had some fabric left, so I tied some around my big black fitness trampoline, my inkjet printer and and a paper tissue box too, all in the same way! The remaining fabric is used as a dust cover for a precious wool blanket in my open closet.
I am happy with the bins now. It’s a cheap and flexible system for storing quilting fabrics. Some are under my sewing machine, and I can easily move them out of they way when necessary.
They stack, and I have put other items on top, like a laundry drying rack, an IKEA trolley and a printer trolley. This way, these bins do not take up extra space, and I can hang more laundry, and access the lower tiers of the trolleys more easily.
And, to show you the full effect of this transformation, some before pictures!
And…. some ‘before before’ pictures from two years ago. These are from before we owned it, and turned two small bedrooms into one big bright room!
Oh yes, I’ve come along way in two years time! Knocking out the walls between the rooms, the hallway and the landing was actually the best space utilization improvement idea! Not only is this more efficient, it made the space much brighter because the light from two sides reaches much further inside.
It’s been over a year since we moved into this house. The main reason for the move was the fact that we have been working from home, at our unsuitable dining room since March 2020, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, when I got this big upstairs office / hobby room all for myself, I didn’t really know yet how I would use the space. The main priorities were a good office work set up and flexibility. Quilting logistics and fun decorating would have to come later. So I started with a minimum of furniture and the aim to maximize both storage and floor space.
For my room we knocked out the walls between two bedrooms and the landing, and we installed a sliding door as entrance from the landing. This made the space bigger and brighter, but it also meant less wall space to utilize.
The room has only one wall without windows or doors, so the IKEA Pax wardrobe I wanted could only go there. I didn’t put in doors because I found it makes it easier and more likely for stuff to return to its designated spot.
Now, after a year, my organization and decoration really needed finetuning. Some clutter and eyesores had built up. I don’t aim for ‘Instagrammable’, but it was distracting. Plus, I had bought fabrics to cheer up my room months ago, and they were just lying there.
So I took on several organization / decoration projects recently, and I will show you what I did in a couple of blog posts. My room is far from finished or perfect, but I am happy with what I have accomplished. This is giving me motivation and energy to take on some more. (But not right now, we are in a heatwave).
The first decoration project was my black office chair. In my previous post the final picture showed the mint and coral fabrics I had lying around for this chair, and above you see the result.
It is a very good ergonomic black office chair, and I am happy that I finally had room for a good chair. I didn’t pick it myself, it is a loaner from work. And I don’t like black as a main color. It was really dominant in my white and mint room. So I had to make its appearance more joyful, without the use of staples, glue or spray paint.
I had intended to sew a neat fitted cover with zippers, velcro etcetera. But, I didn’t really want to invest a lot of time and work for a temporary chair. So I decided to just pull the elastic fabrics (1 meter each) over the chair and tie it with knots!
I added some Clover Wonder Clips and one straight pin on the back. And tadaa! My video calling coworkers were very impressed with what they saw next to my shoulders :-)
Some people call me a perfectionist, and I have said it before: If I am a perfectionist, then I must be the laziest perfectionist in the world ;-).
I can still use all the cranks, knobs and levers of this chair. That was helpful while pulling the fabric around the chair and securing it.
I ordered several Spoonflower fabric samples to test for my chair. I was really impressed with the Sports Lycra. It prints with brighter color than their cottons, doesn’t fray, and is very opaque. Before testing, I feared I might have to add a white underlayer to the black chair, to achieve true pastel colors. But that was not necessary. I was also pleased with how two unrelated fabric designs went together.
But I wanted a mix of prints, and it just so happened that the first smaller print I found that I hoped would match, was mint and coral. This print is Check with hearts by heleenvanbuul. (A Dutch designer! Bonus points for me for unwittingly favoriting a Dutch design from the entire Spoonflower universe!! :-))
This makeover cost me less than 65 euros and 10 minutes! And I didn’t even have to cut into the fabric, so if I want, I can still make it into sports leggings or something.
It is cooler and smoother to sit on than the black wool, and after a couple of weeks of daily use, shows no sign of pilling on the seat at all.
I paid 32,02 euros per meter for the fabrics, because I waited for a sale. I always do that if I want more than sample prints of Spoonflower products. They regularly have 20% – 25% sales on specific substrates.
This lazy perfectionist was on a roll! So, more No Sew Spoonflower Sports Lycra covers to come :-)
It is wonderful that she included the additional square and QST you need to finish this larger star, which aren’t available to print on fabric, to print on freezer paper for templates!
I wanted to see what this block looks like with striped fabrics, so I drafted the block in EQ8 and played with it. I only found red and blue striped fabrics to my liking in the EQ Libraries, so that determined my color palette.
In the quilt design above, the bigger stars (3.18 inch / 8 cm.) are not Inklingoable. But, if:
Since our move, one year ago, we have dipped a first toe in having plants. I wouldn’t really call it gardening. And I love watching the new plants grow!
In my previous post, I showed a picture of our terrace in April. Snow and no plants. I will show you May, June and July next!
And another green development: I went to replace the disposable plastic cups that I used in the bathroom for something more durable. I used and re-used disposable cups because I am clumsy, especially when I am sleepy and want a drink of water in the middle of the night. Dropping them is safe and noise free. But, sustainability and all…
So I thought I would go for melamine in a fun color. I couldn’t find what I wanted locally, but I discovered the brand I liked. So I checked their website (Rice in Denmark) for the full collection of cups. That may have been a mistake…
After discerningly browsing every single item in their catalog, a box was shipped all the way from Denmark to Rotterdam. In it a large pink salad bowl with red hearts on it, two rolls of colored aluminum foil (pink and jade), and four disco balls (I ordered five).
I had wanted a rotating disco ball with lights in our living room, but we didn’t really have a spot for one. When I saw the color striped disco balls, I knew they were perfect for my mint green office. No spinning and no lights, and smaller than what I would have liked, so a cluster of disco balls would have to make up for the missing features.
But, I didn’t really have a spot to hang disco balls in my office either. So…. I had a new coat rack (Japanese) shipped to Rotterdam just for the disco balls.
After unboxing and unwrapping it all, it dawned on me that somehow I had traded my last disposable plastic cup for a large pile of household and decorative items, cardboard, bubble wrap and styrofoam, with a huge carbon footprint.
Oops. I will probably go to a special place in hell. Somewhere below the spot where the incorrigible disposable plastic users are being roasted. :-(
I hope you all had a lovely Easter! Me and the Man About The House had terrible colds, so no plans were made. The weather was summery, so we could be lazy and healing, enjoying our terrace. Having an outdoor space still feels like such a new privilege for us!
With the war in Europe and the pandemic not over, I have been thinking about how to add joy and fun to the scales. And I have come up with several things, which I will share below.
One of my dreams, when looking for a new home, was to be able to sip cocktails on our rooftop terrace. So, now we have a terrace, I bought some stuff to make this happen. The bar tools haven’t arrived yet, but we were able to make Bellinis for our Easter brunch, and have them in the sun! First cocktail on the roof terrace! Yay! A dream come true. Well, almost. They tasted horrible!
Maybe it was our colds, but I guess both the prosecco and the peaches weren’t all that great. Guess we’ll have to do lots of practicing making cocktails! :-).
Our new house, and getting rid of old stuff with the move, has given us the luxury of space for some things we (well, I) always wanted.
First, a nice size marble run! I got my first Cuboro blocks for my 50th birthday, from my sweetie. We didn’t have the space, nor the even flooring for it back then. But in the new house, oh yes! I even veto’d a flooring option because it wasn’t even enough for neatly aligning Cuboro blocks! Once we were settled in, we have been buying extra blocks (and instruction books with building plans). And I really need to put in some practice here, too! Because I want to utilize all my sets in one marble run, and that is complicated! Practice should be fun, though!
Another source of fun and play is the ‘toy’ attached to the black cord you can see in the top right corner of the picture above. A sous vide stick!
I had been fantasizing about being able to temper my own chocolate. So I could play with melted chocolate, and cover anything I want in the fine flavor chocolates I love. But traditionally, tempering is tricky, and can’t be done in small amounts. You need lots of chocolate, and make a big mess, with wasted chocolate, especially for dipping. It just didn’t seem worth it to be able to make my own peanut clusters, dipped fruits, or chocolate kisses for just the two of us. But I really don’t like the quality of the chocolate on the store bought versions. So when I read about tempering chocolate in a sous vide water bath, I knew that was it!
It is foolproof, can be done with very little chocolate, and you have hardly any waste. I bought a sous vide stick for less than 80 euros. The other thing you need is a vacuum and sealing machine for the plastic bags you cook your stuff in. I ordered a cheap one, but it didn’t work properly, so I am waiting for the exchange item. But it turned out it didn’t really matter that the chocolate wasn’t sucked vacuum, and that the seal wasn’t entirely closed. I made sure no water came in the bag. I just used a plastic IKEA bin for the water bath. I spent more money on chocolate to temper than on my sous vide setup!
I had ordered four kilos of Original Beans couverture. One bag of Femmes de Virunga dark milk chocolate drops, and one bag of Udzungwa dark chocolate drops. Both my favorites. That wasn’t the only chocolate that arrived that week, and that in itself was pure joy! An abundance of wonderful, delicious chocolates!!
I also realized I really enjoy sharing some things with you through my blog, so here is my post!
I intend to make fun and joy priorities this summer, and really make the most of life in our new home. I know we are privileged that we can spend money on things like this. I know I won’t get tired of these things, so they will last me a long time. But it isn’t really the material stuff that provides the fun and joy.
It is using them for making wishes come true, enjoying them, luxuriating in them, and creating quality time this way. It does not need to cost much, a bubble blowing match in the sun is almost free!
To celebrate Quilting Day, I am considering vacuuming my quilting space. Or perhaps I will just have some chocolate in my quilting space. Haven’t decided yet ;-).
And of course, I wanted to bring you some cheerful pictures with quilts. We can all use that, with the pandemic still around, and a devastating war in Ukraine.
So, I played around in EQ with recent Inklingo shapes, the 60 degree hexagons with pieced petals through the center. Linda Franz has very pretty examples on her Inklingo website, follow the links below to see them.
You could make this with 1.5 inch Inklingo hexagons (3,8 centimeter) and 0.5 inch (1,3 centimeter) Inklingo squares for the scrappy ninepatch blocks. 1.5 inch equilateral triangles are also available as Inklingo shapes.
If I calculated correctly, this would make a mini quilt that would be about 22 inches [56 centimeters] at the widest point (without binding).
Next, I wanted to see what I could do with the same Inklingo shapes, with 2.5 inch [6,4 cm.] sides I decided the easiest way would be to use 0.5 inch squares again for scrappy blocks, this time of 5 x 5 squares instead of the traditional ninepatch blocks.
I kept the petals light and airy in both designs. If the fabric is dark or has a larger print, I think it would take the eye away from following the movement of the star shaped chains of squares. If you want to maximize that effect, scrappy little squares work best.
If you don’t make the blocks scrappy, you will clearly see the square blocks in the design. That diminishes the overall flowing and lacy effect.
Well, I hope you are enjoying your quilting day too!