miscellaneous

Scary Halloween Cookies

Today morning I baked Halloween cookies for the children from our neighborhood – I made “Scary Fingers” for their trick or treat demand.

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“Scary Fingers” are  biscuits out of shortcrust pastry. The details like the shape, the “blood” and fingernails out of almonds make it the perfect biscuits for Halloween.

Here I have the recipe for you – SCARY FINGERS

for appr. 25 fingers you need:

  • 125 g butter
  • 125 g sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 250 g flour
  • a pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • whole peeled almonds
  • icing sugar and red food colouring

Mix butter, sugar and salt. Add the egg yolks, lemon zest and last the flour and knead all into a dough. Let the dough stand in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make a roll and cut pieces (appr. plum-sized). shape every piece into a finger like roll – if you roll it between your middle- and index fingers you get the perfect shape.

shaped dough pieces

shaped dough pieces

Use a teaspoon to add always three notches at the knuckles.

Form the nail bed with the spoon handle. You can now use a bit of red food colouring to colour the nail bed.  Finally add a whole almond as the fingernail.

Now lay the

fingers on baking paper on a baking tray and bake for 20-25 minutes at 180°C – the colour should be golden and the almonds are tan or light brown when it is ready.

Decorate the fingers to make them really scary… use red sugar icing to add a bit blood to the nailbeds and to the fingerbases. It gives a really good effect if you brake a piece from the finger base to make it look demolished before you dip it in the red icing.

Bon appétit!

 

WIP

In spite of the wonderful sunset on the photo my daughter made Summer is almost gone now. My daughter made the photo in our neighbor city Bochum – it is a view from an old former coal mining/slag heap. We have lots of that here – nowadays mostly transformed into recreation places. I love that picture – do you see the girl who is making a selfie with her mobile or maybe putting the hair in order… In opposite to that scene the whole weekend was rainy and almost autumnal.

Since one week I am back to work after my summer holidays – but I was very busy. I began with a new quilt and did some other things. I didn’t manage to write my “connect quiltblocks with the QAYG-technique”… it was so very easy to take the step-by-step pictures – but writing the matching text is much more difficult … so I’ll do that later!

NEW QUILT

Two weeks ago I was inspired by the weekly MSQC tutorial – that week it was a Dresden Squared Quilt. So I prompt started a new quilt – I’ve chosen another block size (12″) and another sashing colour – but I am already excited to see how it will look.

960 pieces

960 pieces…

... connected to 480 pairs...

… connected to 480 pairs…
I used some fat quarters from Amy Butler and Tula Pink.

Okay… I suppose you know the next steps… pairs to double pairs, double pairs to…

24 big circles... appr. 20" in diameter

24 big circles… appr. 20″ in diameter

Time for a first layout test…

First layout test on the floor (with electric light... sorry)

First layout test on the floor (with electric light… sorry)

Now the very painful next step was waiting for me… squaring up all the circles…

squaring up the circles to 12,5" squares

squaring up the circles to 12,5″ squares

When I saw the leftovers I suddenly had the idea to connect to pieces a time to big orange peels or leaves … ok that is something for another quilt… isn’t that cool???

orangepeels or big leaves ... appr. 14" each!

leftovers turned in orangepeels or big leaves … appr. 14″ each!

The next step was to add all the center pieces. I have machine sewn the center with a small blanket stich. Therefor  I’ve used the same technique as with the orange peel pillow – sewn together the fabric with a thin sticky interfacing, right side to sticky side, cut a slit in the interfacing, turn inside out and iron in place before appliquéing with a small blanketstitch.

appliqué the center with a small blanket stitch

stitching down the center with a small blanket stitch

Meanwhile I basted all the squares and started quilting the squares to connect them afterwards with black sashing.

GIVE A PINK SHIRT

give-a-pink-shirtMy blogging friend Wanda  started a project with her local quilt guild: They are making Pink Shirt blocks for a raffle to benefits Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation. On her blog she asked for help – making a Pink Shirt using Carolyn Friedlander’s Shirts pattern… the pattern is only to buy, but I am in love with the pattern, since I saw it the first time month ago on Wanda’s blog… So it was a good opportunity to have a good reason for spending money…

I made two blocks to send it to the CVA MQG … and yes, I like to have taken part in the project and I love the pattern. All information about it you find at the website of the CVA MQG.

It is a bit time consuming  – but I can imagine making a quilt for a little girl using the shirt block as center of an economy block.

SCRAPPY TRIP BEE

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At Julie Hirt’s blog 627handworks I read about the Scrappy Trip Bee. What a

fascinating quiltpattern… and what an interesting way to sew the blocks … ok – at least I decided to participate (only five blocks until 15th October… that is achievable)….

After testing the pattern for a F2F-block I made another one today. I was to careful with the seam allowances that it turned out too big – it wasn’t possible to square it up with a 1/4″ final seam allowance. So I have to practise a bit and take this one as additional block for my F2F-quilt (in forsight I took fabrics which are in my F2F colour scheme).

Scrappy Trip Around the World quiltblock

Scrappy Trip Around the World quiltblock

I sketched a short tutorial in my sketchbook as a reminder how to construct the block… I have that personal designbook to collect all the patterns I love. The pattern is by Bonnie K. Hunter and for free available on her website: http://quiltville.blogspot.de/2005/06/scrappy-trips-around-world.html .

Scrappy trip around the world block

Scrappy trip around the world block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

POSTCROSSING QUILT

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It is time to start with my second Postcrossing quilt… or better “Postcrossing meets Blog”-quilt.

35 people from 13 countries sent fabric so far. Apart from South America I got fabrics from every continent. Sue from sewingmagpie sent Guatemalian fabric from US – in this way also South America is represented.  Meanwhile I decided to make a very scrappy quilt. The topic of my first Postcrossing Quilt were postcards – the central theme of the second one is “STAMPS”… all the postcards I received, all the envelopes with fabrics had often beautiful stamps on it. So I plan to make a lot of “stamps” in different techniques… different kinds of appliqué, piecing, crazy quilting, some blocks with stiched embelleshing… I sketched some layout considerations in my sketchbook… different motifs, different sizes… connected with white sashing, quilted with a black zigzag line should look like stamps. But one thing is certain: it will be a long-term project. Doesn’t matter – winter evenings are long!

That was all for today. I wish you all a nice week!

 

 

 

Trip to Utrecht

Last weekend me and my daughter visited Utrecht in the Netherlands, just 170 km from us … We stayed at a local’s home – we were travelling via airbnb … it was a great experience. Marianne, the woman we lived at was so kind and helpful… she took time for some chats, gave hints and lent us bikes so we were able to go to the city centre in only a few minutes… with the “Thank you doodle” (title picture) I thanked her for the nice stay.

And because I travelled with a teenager we had a one day side-trip for shopping to Amsterdam too…

I must admit that I wanted to go to a special store too… since I read about it at Nikki’s blog post a while ago I wanted to go there. And I did 🙂

 And of course I didn’t leave the shop without buying anything…

 

Looking back on June…

Almost July!!! I was very lazy (with blogging)… so I not only have to look back on June but also on the end of May! In May I celebrated my birthday and as you can see I was blessed with fabrics and a special gift for the beginning of the F2F blockswap… a 12,5″ruler and a ruler grapper:

screen-shot-2015-03-02-at-7-13-18-amI used the ruler for my first blocks I made for the F2F block swap. The F2F – that means “Foot in a square Freestyle” – was an idea of Kate @talltalesfromchiconia and Sue @sewingmagpie. There are 12 participants – in every of the coming 12 months one of us is the “Queen of the month”. Everyone sew three blocks every month for the “Month-Queen”. The blocks have to be 12.5″, the design will be chosen by the one who sew it – the colour scheme is the choice of every participant. So during the coming year every participant will receive 33 blocks from the other participants and make 3 of her own. The first blocks I sewed for Esther from ipatchandquilt who was “Miss June”. fabrics and design board for Esther's blocksI loved Esther’s colour choice: coral, mustard, jadeite/minty bluish green on a white/cream or light grey background… It was really hard to decide… the last few month I was looking for block

designs, sketched lots of designs in my sketchbook, made a designbord…

At the end I made these 3 blocks:

If you want to see all the wonderful blocks Esther received visit Kate’s  F2F block swap gallery.

Now we have almost July… and Miss July is ME!!! So I am very excited and curious waiting what the others will sew & send to me. My colour scheme is orange/green/turquoise on a white background – like these Easter eggs … and the first block I sewed for myself. I always wanted to sew curves – now I tried and designed a kind of curved herringbone:

Beside the F2F blocks I entered the Amanda Jean’s SCRAPVORTEXQAL @crazymomquilts. I have a lot of scraps so I am glad to work them up.

I am a little bit behind now but it is real fun to see the blocks grow.

Last weekend I attended a longarm-quilting-workshop at my favourit local quiltshop… it was really fantastic! And the best thing is: now I am allowed to quilt my own quilts on the machine! Some participants wouldn’t repeat that experience – but for sure, I will!

So I see… I suppose I should write my blog posts more often… because there is more about May and June…

And I tried the tasty variation of the Cinnamon butter flower – you find the recipe here. The tasty variation is filled with red and green pesto and really delicious!

I tried the tasty variation of the cinnamon butter flower with red and green pesto  https://knettycraft.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/cinnamon-butter-flower-delicious-something-between-bread-cake/

I tried the tasty variation of the cinnamon butter flower with red and green pesto. If you would like to make it – here is the recipe:
https://knettycraft.wordpress.com/2014/11/01/cinnamon-butter-flower-delicious-something-between-bread-cake/

April is over and brought spring…

Beside enjoying the arrival of spring…

 

… I was busy working on the birthday quilt which I’ll give away to a family member’s birthday when I visit Berlin in the middle of May… I hope you understand that I can’t show the whole quilt yet (I’ll show it after the party).

Oh… and in April I produced a lovely UFO – but I’ll continue to work on it (eventually).

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Review on the last few weeks

We had a sudden spring outburst here… and so I was a bit lazy and had not much motivation to hang around in front of my computer…

In our Easter holidays we spent few wonderful days in Bruges, Belgium. Bruges is less than 300 km away from us and I love this old city with its lots of ancient buildings. We have visited Bruges several times and so we have a favourite accomodation there – our most beloved B&B is “De Sterre” – a historic summerhouse in a backyard in the middle of the historic centre of Bruges, built in 1789 in a wonderful green garden. And  Francine – the owner – has spoiled us with breakfast she brought in the morning…. with fresh juice and fruits, cake for the afternoon……

I didn’t make much photos this time…. it was a really relaxing stay without any sightseeing (I think every step you make in Bruges is sightseeing all by itself 🙂 ). Beside relaxing evenings in the wonderful house and afternoons with cake and coffe in the wonderful green and calm garden we visited our favourite shops – I bought some English books at FNAC (some novels and a small book about colour theory), we visited Rombaux – our most beloved music shop in Bruges (specialized in classic & jazz)… and I discovered Gobelin a lovely fabric shop where I bought some fat quarters (always thinking about the upcoming F2F block swap) and some books. (Here is a link to the website of Arnaud Cosman – who lists a lot of European fabric shops… and I added “Gobelin kreatief” in Bruges now 🙂 ).

We had warm and sunny spring weather so that we could visit De Haan one day – a small town at the  Belgium coast.

Back at home I baught a lovey woolen fabric scrap – do you see the woolen vest I wear at the beach photo? I love that old vest so very much that I tried to draft the pattern… I know we have a lot of sun and summer temperatures – but I couldn’t restist to add some wrist warmers and a loop out of the leftovers…

Last but not least I finished my “Dancing Squares” quilttop… and hope I’ll get the batting & basting done this weekend…

"Dancing Squares" is going to be a birthday present for my stepfather's round birthday we'll celebrate in the middle of May

“Dancing Squares” is going to be a birthday present for my stepfather’s round birthday we’ll celebrate in the middle of May

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miscellaneous

My cat "Pinter" ... like the British dramatist :-)

My cat “Pinter” … like the British dramatist 🙂

Easter is over now and my daughter left to visit her Grandma in Berlin.

So she took a tablerunner with her to give it to my mother – it was a Easter surprise but now I can show it here:

I found the pattern for the lovely primrose paper piecing pattern at the site of Regina Grewe, a German textile artist and pattern designer – on her site you find a lot lovely patterns (some free, some to buy… as pdf or EQ7-projects). Her website is in German and English.

For the binding I chose the flanged binding (I really love it) – for the turorial visit Lorna’s sewfreshquilts-blog.

I quilted it free motion … and I was a bit out of excercise, but at the end it works.

Meanwhile I received some new fabrics for my Postcrossing Quilt II – I’ll show it in a later post, but today I was surprised by receiving some lovely fabrics from Susan … some lovely Laurel Burch fabrics included:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASusan also participates in the F2F-block-swap. Meanwhile I’ve chosen my colour scheme for the block swap – I decided that I would love to receive blocks in turquoise/orange/green with a white background… there are many shades and tones the colours could have… but one possible combination I found amongst my Easter eggs 🙂

F2F colour schemeI used the last days to start a new project (my poor daughter… she have to wait for her quilt now still a bit longer)… I cannot say so much about this project… it is for a celebration we have at the end of the month in our familiy… ok, of course it is going to be a quilt – I made some “dancing-square-blocks” so far (no pattern, just freestyle) … Until now I did the half I need for the quilt and what I show here is not the final order… What do you say, Is it going to be a nice quilt?

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Happy Easter… Frohe Ostern!

I wish you all Happy Easter … the Easter preparations kept me busy:

left in the front a selfmade soapstone chicken

We chose only a small Easter bouquet with a few green branches and some daffodils. Of course we have selfcoloured eggs for decoration…

coloured easter eggsI used different techniques to colour the eggs – there are some painted eggs, some eggs decorated with scretching and etched with citron acid and some with a wax reserve technique.

And of course we have some coloured eggs for eating too…

... these are for eating

… these are for eating

Me, the hat and the cat … and two winners!

Thank you a lot for all your comments and  congratulations. All together there were 61 comments showing interest in my blogiversary giveaway… at last I decided to draw two winners: one for the fabrics, one for the wool.

This time I’ve chosen the cat & hat method… first I took one cat and wrote all names down and cut small paperpieces as lots.

 

lots of lots

There were 53 entries for the fabric and 8 for the wool. Now the hat and the cat came into the play…

First we put all the names for the fabric-giveaway in the hat – we thoroughly shaken and stirred – and drew the winner:

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe winner of the 8 fat eights and 150 1″paper hexies is…

Teje … obviously Teje has a wonderful blog too… nero’s post and pOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAatch … and I just discovered a cute cat there which is a bit coloured like mine!

The beautiful Lana Grossa yarn together with two selfmade stitch OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmarkers was won by Alexis, who also has a lovely blog to visit: cobcottagecraft.

CONGRATULATIONS to the winners!

And what I was doing meanwhile …

F2F block swap 2015I entered a block swap party… it will start in June and is organized by Kate @ talltalesfromchiconia and Sue @ From the Magpie’s Nest.

So I’m happy that I’m in … and excited about all the blocks I’m going to sew and to receive  & I’m looking forward to the wonderful results of all the 12 participants! 🙂

Beside my daily work I’ve been working on some UFO’s and at the moment I’m busy with a small Easter wall hanging (appr. 12×20″)

Easter wall hanging

Easter wall hanging

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FIRST BLOGIVERSARY & A GIVEAWAY

Exactly one year ago I started blogging with a post about a fabric for my postcrossing quilt, sent by a small 9year old girl, Anna from Moscow. My intention with this blog was to document what I was making with all the fabrics other postcrossers sent me for making this postcrossing quilt… meanwhile it is finished and I am collecting fabrics for a second one… “Postcrossing meets Blog”…   And meanwhile it is not only my postcrossing quilt I blog about but other selfmade things too. It was one year full of worldwide journeys to creativity, I discovered so many interesting blogs, was supported from you – from all over the world, also tender plants of worldwide friendship began to grow… Thank you so much for supporting me with your likes, comments and also with inspiration or fabrics for my postcrossing quilt.

How to celebrate such an event?

First of all I’ve baked a BIRTHDAY CAKEChristine over at quiltingstories posted so lovely photos and the recipe of a cake she made last week … I made this delicious cake for my blogiversary 🙂

A real birthday needs an appropriate gift… so I made myself a BIRTHDAY PRESENT! In my last post I showed the pictures of small embroidered felt hexies…  I have been asked several times what they was supposed to be… Voilà – here we go: There are  blogs I follow and read regularly – a few month ago I read first at Carla‘s blog and then at Kate’s about the Hexie travel kit – made with a tutorial by Haley at thezenofmaking blog. I saw it – and loved it – and had to make one! I used a neutral grey solid for the outside. For the lining I chose beautiful  Notting Hill fabrics from ring a roses by Gütermann. And here it is:

I love that all material needed for sewing hexis fits into it…

all that stuff finds a place in the travel kit

all that stuff finds a place in the travel kit

I was able to put in: 8 fat eights of fabric, a paper case with 150 1″ paper hexies, a small case with needles, yarn, measure tape, a pair of scissors, my collapsible thread collector… one of the big inner pockets was still empty, there you can put the hexis in you’ve already sewn together. The smaller pocket on the front is big enough for two Altoid containers if you prefer that.

But there is still something missing… yes, of course… a gift for my readers… A GIVEAWAY. I know that some of you love sewing and fabric, some are keen about knitting/crocheting and wool … so I prepared two giveaways:

1. I give away some of the wonderful fabrics I used for the lining of my hexie travel kit: 8 different fat eights of Notting Hill fabrics from ring a roses by Gütermann together with 150 one inch paper hexies out of old strip cartoons (punched by myself :-))

2. … if you are a wool lover … you have the chance to win 100g beautiful wool: Magico II from LANA GROSSA (75% virgin wool, 25% polyamide) in a beautiful color combination together with two memade stitchmarkers. It will be enough wool for a pair of gloves or socks or to knit a tiny shawl (for instance my most beloved shawl pattern – “Pimpelliese” by Spinning Martha)

To win one of those giveaways please leve a comment below. If you are a follower of my blog please tell me in which way you follow and in what kind of posts you are interested most. Tell me if you would like to win the fabric or the wool giveaway. This giveaway is open internationally for the next 10 days until the end of  the 19th of March (CET).

You have not to be a follower to enter this giveaway, it is open for everyone – I am thankful for nearly 10.000 visits from all over the world in my first year 🙂 THANK YOU!

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