Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Christmas Makes

As every year I've made a few Christmas gifts and Christmas ornaments. A friend of mine has recently retired and wants to start to embroider so I made her this box and filled it with some essentials.

Then I made these patchwork note book covers

A couple of bird ornaments 

Then I made a couple of folders with papers I bought in China. The first is a very typical Chines pattern

and here are some Shanghai ladies from the twenties. I hope my friends from my Asia time will enjoy them. 

 A Christmas pillow. I used two tea towels from my mum's bottom drawer, which she lovingly embroidered with her initials but then never used. The applique is done in felt. 

 This pillow gave me the ideas for this year's Christmas cards. Luckily I started early as I had to make about 80 of them. 

Let's look at those babies a bit closer. I really enjoyed drawing them and I must say they got better and better the more I practiced

and then I couldn't stop and made a few tags too. 

And of course the obligatory Christmas cookies.

and ready to be given away. 

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with joy and light and a fantastic New Year.

Vreni xx

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Book binding and box making

Ever since I took classes in French cartonnage I've been enjoying making boxes in various sizes and styles. I have recently started taking classes again, this time including book binding. 

Look at this huge board cutter! I was scared stiff at first but after careful instructions and some practise I'm now quite blasé woking on it and it makes cutting card board effortless! 

With this monster on the left books are cut on three sides after the pages are first sewn and then glued together.  And the one on the right is of course a binding press. 

Here a few pictures of the process of making a book. 

The finished book and a few more. 

I also repaired a book belonging to my husband. I forgot to take a picture before I took it apart, but this is how the covers looked

and here the repaired book. I'm quite please with how it turned out and so is hubby. 

Then I made a couple of note books, a different process and much faster than a regular book

and a big folder. The hardest part (at least for me) is glueing those huge pieces of paper straight and without too many air bubbles, preferably non!

I also made a couple of boxes. As our instructor is a professional book binder, she does things sightly differently to how I was taught. But it's always good to learn something new. 

A fabric covered box. I had to line the fabric with a thin paper first, in fact making it into book cloth. I'm not convinced that this extra step is really needed as the result is more or less the same as when the fabric is glued directly onto the box. 

And a letter stand I bought as a kit a few years ago at a lovely stop in Den Hague and I'm glad to finally have made it up.

I'm really enjoying my three hours every Monday evening. I've met some really nice people in my class, the oldest a 85 year old gentlemen. And you should see the work he produces, quite amazing.
I've also made some Christmas gift, but I won't show you those yet,  don't want to spoil the surprise. I'm knee deep in Christmas preparations; I just took the first batch of Christmas cookies out of the oven. I always make Basler Laeckerli first as they last for a long time since there's neither egg nor any or butter in it. It's a sort of ginger bread cookie but better, you'll find the recipe here.

Vreni x

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

The "Aunt" is back and other stories

When I say "Aunt" of course I really mean "The Aunt's Quilt". I've finished the top a while ago and I had it hand quilted in the Philippines through a quilt shop in Singapore. As always the quilting is exquisite, something I would never have the patience nor the inclination for. 

Another quilt top which has been laying around has finally been quilted as well. I've free motion quilted it and my new machine has delivered on its promises. I have not one broken thread nor any skipped stitches to report.  In short, it sews like a dream. Hurrah! 

Then there's this little baby quilt I made for a new baby girl. I forgot to take pictures before sending it off to Australia and only have this wonky phone photo.  Once again I found the idea on Pinterest.

I also managed to finish block 3 and 4 for my Scandinavian Christmas quilt. I'm now in the process of making the small blocks to go around although I'm not sure yet how I'm going to put the quilt together.

Recently my husband's cousin celebrated a big birthday and her wish is to go whale watching, so I made her this card

and I also tried my hand on making a small fabric landscape for another birthday card. It needs a bit more work, some more embroidery I think. 

Then there's a tiny bit more progress on the "Ballet avec Kaffe" project. Still not sure if I want to preserver, although I've started a new way of sewing the pieces together and I think I like it much better. The stitches are less visible and it feels more comfortable doing it too. You can find a short demonstration about the process here.

I made a tote bag for a friend

and another friend gave me this little beauty. Thanks Kerry, it's been very useful on our many road trips this summer. 

So that's about what has happened in my sewing room over the last few month. As we helped our daughter move from Milan to Frankfurt over the summer and we've been going back and forth a few times, I didn't touch a needle and thread for weeks on end. But now normal life has once again resumed and hopefully I'll pop in here a bit more often (one can hope)!

Vreni x