Monday 11 May 2020

Slowly getting back to normal

After eight weeks of lockdown we're starting a new phase today as shops, restaurants, gyms, primary and middle schools are reopening here in Switzerland. High schools and universities will stay closed for another month and of course social distancing will still be in place for the unforeseeable future. To be honest, these past weeks have been quite nice as we had both kids home for some time. My daughter, who works as a teacher abroad was able to come back here as her school switched to online learning and my son managed to break his shoulder just before the shutdown while snowboarding so he came home for a while too. I spoiled them with their favourite meals and we really enjoyed our time together, everybody safe and sound at home. We really stuck to the rules and we never went anywhere except for grocery shopping once a week and walks in the surrounding woods and field.  It definitely wasn't hardship, quite the opposite in fact and I'm even a little hesitant to leave this cosy cocoon we've created for ourselves. I've been cooking and baking and -  like everybody else it seems - made my own bread. But I've also spent a lot of time in my sewing room.  For a while I couldn't stop making little bags and pouches. Here's a selection:

I found an already pieced and quilted square in my scrap bin and made this little bag with it.

My daughter wanted a little bag to use as a wallet to go into her small evening bag

and this one is made with hand pieced hexagons. The pattern is called "Dear little Dillies" and can be found here

I finally "tamed" my huge scrap basket and cut all the scraps up into usable strips and squares as well as other shapes. After seeing Sameliasmum's "Twirling at the Disco" quilt I decided to use my 2 1/2 inch squares for that. The finished top measures 64 inches square. Now it "only" needs to be quilted!!

I also made all the blocks for another Swiss quilt for a friend who has recently become a Swiss citizen

now this too has to be quilted, once the blocks have been sewn together!

My Scandinavian Christmas quilt is finally together too. I quilted it by machine just around the blocks and I'm in the process of adding a bit of hand quilting too. 

I haven't joined any BOM programs for a while and since I'm a big fan of Irene Black (Focus on Quilts) I'v decided to take part in her newest BOM. It only started this month, so it's not too late if you want to join in the fun too. 

Like everybody else, I too was in the face making business and
I tried a few different patterns. DD needed some to take back as wearing them is compulsory where she lives when entering a shop or using public transport

Sometimes it's not a bad thing to be a hoarder as I still had a whole box of N95 masks from the SARS outbreak in Singapore.  They are probably expired by now as we had them since 2003 but I guess they are better than nothing. They are not very comfortable to wear though and I pity all those healthcare worker who have to wear them day in day out for weeks and months on end. 

My cartonnage classes are on hold of course but I finished a couple of boxes before the shut down.

I hope that you are keeping happy and more importantly healthy and that you are able to keep busy.  My mantra at the moment is; this too shall pass!
Vreni x

Wednesday 1 January 2020

And I had such good intentions

to post a bit more regularly but then nothing, not even one post in 2019! The longer I waited the more it felt daunting to catch up. I really don't know where I'm going with this blog; should I just retire it and start using Instagram more? But I'm not really good at that either, as I often just forget to post.  I have no idea if there are still people out there reading this blog.  In any case,  here's a little recap of what I've been up to in 2019 (even if it's only for myself). 

I found a free tutorial for this cute hen and made it for our Easter decoration. 

I found another free pattern for this little pouch. I made it for a friend as a small "first aid" bag and put in little things like band-aids, disinfecting cream, Tiger balm etc.  

I couldn't find a photo with the binding sewn on this little beauty! My daughter wanted a cover for her night stand and I made her a little basket to go with for all her essentials (ear plugs, lip balm etc). 

I was a bit late to the party but I finally made the small version of the "Weebrawbag". I think I'll make the bigger one next, as this one is a bit too "wee"!

And then there's the wedding quilt, which kept me occupied for quite a number of month. The colours were the choice of the young couple. I quilted it on my B 770 which was a challenge as it's a big quilt. But I managed it and I think the couple was happy.

I also made this photo memory box for them. Of course I could only give it to them after the wedding, once we were back from Australia (that's where the wedding was) and I had the photos printed. 

A baby quit for a new little girl. I free motion quilted this one as it was not too big for me to handle and it was actually quite fun. I just need to practise a bit more often. 

And this one is for a little boy as you might be able to tell by the colours  A quick and easy quilt which took me only about 2 days to finish. 

In August I was lucky enough to go to a quilt retreat in Scotland. I've been once before, if you are interested, see here.  This is the old Manse where the retreats are held

and some impressions from the garden

the kitchen garden for the delicious meals they provided.

I went with a different group of ladies this time, but also friends from my Singapore time. We had such a nice time but also worked quite hard, sometimes late into the night. I made a start on this quilt using a jelly roll and grey yardage. The pattern is by Missouri Star Quilt Co

We also did a few projects together; like these bags

and we all made a start with the twelve days ornaments (by mmmcrafts). I only managed to make the pear but one of our friends kindly gave us all one of the ornaments. They are gorgeous but a lot of work. Well, I have now a whole year to make a few more, no excuses! 

I too brought everyone a little handmade gift. Here's the link to the free pattern for these baskets (you have to subscribe to the newsletter though) 

I added a few little useful things, like tiny pin cushions as well as these needle books which are also a free download

Lots of boxes were made during this past year. I still go to my weekly bookbinding and cartonnage classes.

Here are some samples:

a couple of boxes with glass lids,

a few Christmas boxes,

and an array of small boxes a friend requested for their caravan

A box covered with old silk  that I bought ages ago in Cambodia; I was planning to make a quilt, but that hasn't happened (yet)

a note book covered in Japanese paper,

 a book with coptic binding

and another book, belonging to my husband, was repaired too. 

Book boxes (handy for hiding valuables)

I also did a collage and paper cut class earlier in the year. I didn't enjoy the collages as much (so no pictures)  but I did enjoy the paper cutting part. 

So there you have it, 2019 in pictures. I really hope to be back sooner rather than later, fingers crossed!

I wish you a wonderful, healthy and happy 2020 with hopefully lots of time to stich or craft. 

With best wishes
Vreni x