Saturday 31 December 2016

Makes of 2016

Looking at what I've made during 2016 brings to mind that everything is relative. Compared with lots or you prolific quilter and sewers out there it might look quite measly,  but considering that last year I produced practically nothing, I'm rather pleased with myself!

I also set myself a couple of goals at the end of last year. Let's take a look at what they were and how I did. In 2016 I wanted:
1. be a better blogger!!
2. finish some UFOs, in particular The Aunt's Quilt
3. make a big effort to find a quilt group as I found that I really need the inspiration of other quilters to keep me going.

I've done well with 2 and 3 as I did indeed finish The Aunts' Quilt (top) and I found a quilt group. I've been extremely lucky that two of my friends from Singapore have recently moved to Basel and we've started to meet on a regular basis. In the meantime another lady has also joined us which is fantastic. Of course we are hoping that we can recruit a few more, but I'm not complaining. I just love the camaraderie, the inspiration and of course the shared laughs.  Regarding becoming a better blogger; well I still have to work on that, but there's always next year, right?

We have been in Singapore over Christmas, enjoying all the familiar sights and sounds and of course the food and seeing old friends! Now we are in Bali for a month, trying to find out if the Bali life style suits us, at least part time. The jury is still out ;)!

Sun set over the rice fields from our villa yesterday evening.

I wish everyone a Happy, Healthy and most importantly a content 2017!
Vreni xx

Tuesday 6 December 2016

The good news is....

..... I've finally finished my The Aunts' Quilt-top! I've decided to take it with me to Singapore and have it hand quilted in the Philippines. I will show you the finished quilt when I get it back but here's a little sneak peek.

I've also made a few small Christmas gifts:

A couple of embroidered ornaments. The one with the santa was a kit I bought a while ago from here and the Christmas tree is a free download you can find here.

This stocking is for a friend filled with goodies for the 6th of December, which is Santa Clause day in Switzerland. Santa brings sweets, nuts and small gifts for children on that day! I found the free pattern here via Pinterest.

I've also started making Christmas cookies. You can find some of my favorit recipes here. Now it's back to writing Christmas cards. I've given myself a deadline and hope that I'll be able to post them all by the end of this week in order to make sure, they'll arrive in time.

I hope you are enjoying the season.
Vreni x

Thursday 17 November 2016

First signs

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I love Christmas. So this time of the year I usually feel some Christmas crafting coming on. 

I follow a Russian blog and love everything this talented lady produces. She has a free tutorial for these lovely mushrooms; you can find it here. I've used Google Translate as the blog is in Russian, but the pictures are really all you need. 

I've also tried my hands on making acorns; the small ones were very fiddly so I tried to make it a bit bigger but I think now it's too big. I'll try to make a medium sized one next time. 

Next I made this apple. I've sewn all the seams by machine, but I guess it could also be done by hand. I've enjoyed the embroidery as well. 

I think these little ornaments will look lovely on a Christmas tree or as a decoration on a gift.

We've already had the first snow flurry the other day, so winter is definitely in the air and the count down to Christmas isn't far off.

Vreni x

Wednesday 5 October 2016


Like many of you, I can't quite believe that we are already at the beginning of October. Summer is well and truly over, although we still have the occasional warm day. But the woods are getting colourful and I can't get enough of that golden Autumn light!

I had a lovely summer with a couple of road trips rediscovering Europe. It made me appreciate how much there's still to do and see here. We also had lots of visitors from all corners of the word and from as far away as New Zealand and Australia and the US. And some even brought hand made gifts, like these lovely bags my friend Jeanette made for me

and this pin cushion my friend Joanna made; I have quite a few pin cushions but this is definitely my biggest yet and very practical it is too!

This is the quilt I received in this round of the "Another little Quilt Swap"

Sarah from the UK made it and I love it. Take a look at her blog; I really like her style and it seems we have the same taste not only in quilting but also in books.

A couple of weeks ago I met up with another friend Rose-Anne from the Netherlands at the yearly European quilt show in the Alsace, France, which is only about one and a half hour from where we live. It's the first time I visited this show and it's nothing like any show I have previously been to. The exhibitions were strewn over four different villages and were mostly in churches or town halls.

Rose-Anne had a quilt in the "Dear Jane" exhibition. It was made with mostly Kaffe Fasset fabrics and it looked amazing. It was interesting to see how the same pattern can look so vastly different because of colour and fabric choices.

There was also a commercial area with everything quilting related. Of course I had to get a few bits and pieces! Some Dutch heritage fabric by Den Haan & Wagenmakers, something I've been hankering after for a long time. I have no idea what I'll do with them, but that's beside the point!

I also got these wool bundles. Aren't these colours just lovely? The shop I got them from is from Como in Italy. If I had only known that when we were there in the summer. Oh well, there's always next time. 

I've even been sewing a bit, mostly hand applique. I finally finished the corner and side triangles for The Aunts' quilt (only a year late...ha)!

Now I just have to tackle the last border which should not take me too long.... I hope. Then I have to decide how to quilt it. I really want it to be hand quilted - and not by me - but I don't have easy access to hand quilters anymore like I did when I lived in Asia. 

Happy Autumn (or Spring)!
Vreni x

Thursday 25 August 2016

Another Baby Quilt

Recently our nephew and his partner welcomed their second child into the family; a little girl this time. Since I made a quilt for their first child of course I made one for this one as well. You might remember this quilt I made for their little boy.

I started with making Gingham for the background as that's something I always wanted to try. But I didn't want to leave it as that, as a baby quilt needs colour, at least in my book.  

The idea was to just randomly place flowers and butterflies all over but then I decided to go the "Kellie of Don't Look Now fame" way and make it into a tree. I've made Kellie's tree before, you can see it here and it's still one of my all time favourites.  I didn't use a pattern this time though, just cut out flowers, leaves, bugs and butterflies and fused them to the background. 

The shapes were then raw edge appliquéd onto the background and the batting and I added the backing before I started the free motion quilting. 

I'm happy with how the quilt turned out but my blasted machine gave me grief again. I must think of other options, otherwise I'll end up throwing this machine out of the window one of these days ;)!!! 

Last week we delivered the quilt in person (in the Netherlands) and we got to meet the newest member of the family as well as her little brother, who was born when we were still living in Singapore. 

Vreni x

Saturday 9 July 2016

Quilt Swap

I haven't taken part in a quilt swap for a while but when round 10 of "Another little Quilt Swap" was announced I thought it would be a good idea, not least as it would get me sewing! This swap works a bit differently as no partners are assigned at the beginning and one can join right up until the dead line when photos of the quilts have to be admitted to the administrator of the swap.

I've seen a tutorial on Julia Graber 's bog how to make a grid art quilt and as I wanted to try her method I thought it was the perfect opportunity.

I've called this little quilt "A Blackbird's Delight". It measures 11.5 inches square, is raw edge appliquéd and I've used batiks and variegated thread for quilting. 

I will definitely try this again as there's room for improvement, especially with the spacing of the grid. But all in all, I think it turned out quite nice. Hopefully someone will like it enough to put it on their wish list.

I hope you are also enjoying a relaxed weekend.

Vreni xx

Saturday 4 June 2016

A week in Norway

I recently spent a week with my gorgeous friend Liv in Oslo. We met ages ago in Singapore at the ANZA (Australian and New Zealand Association) quilt group and have been friends ever since. She moved back to Norway - after 15 years in Singapore - a couple of years before we left, so it was very special to catch up again. 

Of course I couldn't go empty handed and made her a "sew together bag". 

It turned out quite cute and I think Liv liked it. 

We had a wonderful week of sewing and crafting together as well as some sight seeing. As it was just the two of us, we  made room on our cutting mats when we got hungry, so we could continue as soon as possible! 

Of course I had to try the famous cinnamon buns which they call kanelboller and I must say it was delicious. Yum!

I showed Liv how to make a sewing box and I made one as well.

Liv sent me this little box last Christmas. She made up the pattern herself and devised a clever way to hide the zipper. 

Of course I wanted to learn how to make it too, so we each made one. I made mine with Japanese fabric and instead of a decoration on top, I added a little handle, 

and Liv made hers with denim. I need to make another one sooner rather than later, so I won't forget how I made it, maybe a bigger one next time. 

I was lucky to be in Norway on their National Day and the flags were flying everywhere, in gardens as well as on every house we passed.  It was a gorgeous day, sunny and warm. Nature was definitely behind by at least a couple of weeks compared to Switzerland as all the gardens were in full Spring bloom.

I was amazed to see a lot of people wearing the absolutely stunning traditional national costumes, called Bunad. Apparently every region of Norway have their own distinctive designs. They are made from wool fabric,  are beautifully embroidered and decorated with silver buttons and adorned with silver jewellery. They are often made by earlier generation and handed down.

This is a sample we saw in a quilt shop where they offer classes for those brave enough to tackle making their own Bunad.

We also also went on a few outings, mostly to quilt shops ;)! I got a few bits and pieces like zippers - which were quite a bit cheaper than they are here in Switzerland - and of course some fabric including a few fat quarter of Jen Kingwell's new "Behind the Scenes" fabric line. 

And this is something else I bought at the quilt shop (yes at the quilt shop!)

a rubber spatula with the typical Norwegian pattern called Marius. I love collecting kitchen implements from all over the wold. Now you have to excuse me as I have to go back to my kitchen to finish that cake.

Have a lovely weekend.
Vreni x

Sunday 20 March 2016


I don't think I'm a particularly patriotic person. Don't get me wrong, I love my country as much as the next person, because it's where my roots are. But I think by living in quite a number of different counties for half of my life I see myself more of a wold citizen. But something I do love is the Swiss Flag. When I saw Camille Roskelley's new quilt pattern "Swiss" I knew I had to make it. It's a very easy pattern and even I could manage it without messing it up too much! And the best part is that I didn't have to buy one piece of fabric for it. It all came from my stash!

Instead of putting this quilt top on the pile of "to be quilted" quilts, I think I might do it right away. My local quilt shop has a Sweet Sixteen sit down quilting machine for hire and I might give it a try.

I quite like how it looks together with my Chinese Lantern quilt. Sort of East meets West!

And here some trivia about the Swiss flag; did you know for example that the Swiss flag is only one of two country flags that are square? The other one is the flag of the Vatican. The simple design is based on the coat of arms of the canton (federal state) Schwyz, which was one of the three founding members of the Swiss confederation in 1291. Yes, that's how old our county is! And did you know that the emblem of the Red Cross is an inversion of the Swiss Flag because the founder of the Red Cross was Henry Dunant, a Swiss business man and social activist. So there you have it.

Until we "meet" again, take care and happy sewing.
Vreni x

Sunday 31 January 2016

A finish and some progress

The daughter of one of my good friends in Australia had a baby boy last year and of course I had to make a quilt for the little bundle of joy. As the nursery's colour scheme is kept in grey, yellow and white naturally the quilt had to be in those colours too. We haven't had good weather lately, so the pictures are a bit dull. 

I've included some prairie points as little fingers love to play with something. The animals and circles are raw edge appliquéd and I have added a layer of batting to the back. After the applique was done, I carefully cut the excess batting away, which resulted in a sort of trapunto effect. 

I've also finally finished the last block for The Aunt's quilt. 

and here are all the blocks together, only the border triangles to do now. As I've mentioned before I'm using wash away paper for the applique but I decided that I don't like it. I think I will stick with the old needle turn method from now on.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Vreni x