Southwest Beauties – 4


Cactus # 4, with a few alterations in the backstitching in places where it wasn’t crucial.

You’ll find the links to the other SAL participants in the left sidebar. Not everyone is posting every time and we are in different time zones. Anyway, their sites are always worth a visit as they all have interesting projects on the go.



For my third machine sewing project I used a bargello pattern from Burda Patchwork (Fall 2015), but made a smaller version with only 14 colours instead of 31.

I chose the fabrics with a mother of pearl colourway in mind, but it might also resemble you of oil on water.

Sewing these three pieces, I got a little more skilled in machine sewing. I have chosen a couple of other projects to make, but first I need to finish my UFOs and then practice some machine quilting.

Tomorrow it’ll be back to work after two weeks off.

To bin or not to bin


Skipping Stones (in progress)

– that’s the question

Let’s face the truth, I’ve messed it. I’m talking of the Skipping Stones quilt top.

After hours of careful piecing and redoing a few of the seams I had the finished rows on my design wall. Some of them went together quite well, others are significantly longer. No way to make them fit.

Dave the Muse, consulted for a solution, said ‘Bin it, unpick and resew it or make it into an art quilt.’

Binning is out of the question, of course. And I haven’t got any spare time for ripping and resewing as the next project is already calling my name. So art quilt it is.

Pulling every other row slightly to one side, I sewed the rows together, chopping off quite a couple of the matching points I was so proud of, but heck. That’s what the artist intended.

Next, please!

A couple of weeks ago I was leafing through some old patchwork magazines. The universe may be infinite but my storage space isn’t and I thought of discarding them. But I found a lot of ideas and patterns I hadn’t cared about then so I kept the magazines.

I still had the remaining batiks on my cutting mat and also the leftovers from another project and decided to give one of the projects a try. The one I started came from the Spring 2015 edition of Burda Patchwork, a pattern called Hüpfende Steine (Skipping Stones).

I cut 10 cm squares (36 dark, 102 light)


pinned two squares together


sewed around all four edges


cut diagonally twice


pressed them open and clipped the ‘ears’


and pinned them to my design wall.


This is one of the main design elements. I’m working with a mirror image of the pattern because I prefer it that way and want to hang it in portrait format instead of the original landscape format.

In the middle of sewing the squares together I ran out of thread. So far, I always used white cotton Gütermann Obergarn. I replaced this with white cotton sewing thread from my local drugstore which was all I could get at that time. And guess what? My moody little Pfaff is purring like a cat now. :)

Negotiations with my sewing machine

Another mean green machine

Another mean green machine in a local shop window

Me: You’re a sewing machine, you’re supposed to sew.
She, slightly offended: I’m not a sewing machine, I’m a Pfaff.

My sewing machine, a Pfaff Performance 2058, is really a she – as moody as a female teenager. And as for the performance bit, she’s quite good at performing her moods. I’ve heard this from other Pfaff owners before.

I had been looking for a pattern to use a couple of batiks in autumn colours. A while back I found a block called Circle of Friends. Kate had made the block in her F²F challenge in September and I fell in love with that one. But it took a little while before the batiks and the block came together.

My hand piecing skills aren’t what they used to be so the new project called for a little machine piecing. Thus the negotiations with my machine.

Cutting the fabric for nine blocks took half a morning, then sewing was on the agenda. It went relatively well, maybe because I dropped the words scrap metal occasionally. Anyway, I had to take the first block apart completely and had to resew it because of a little too much wonkiness for my taste.

A couple of mismatched seams later, I’ve got a new quilt top. I already have an idea how to quilt it.


Dora the little witch


This is Dora the little witch with her pet spider Charlie.

Charlie is a real veteran spider. During the course of his life he has already lost two of his eight legs under unknown circumstances. After the old witch whom he belonged to had died, Dora became his new owner. She was glad that she had found a free pet and he was glad he found a new home. Charlie has already saved her from harm more than once while she was brewing her potions, fetching for the wrong ingredients.

Dora, you see, is slightly chaotic and permanently absent-minded. She loves colourful clothes, they can never be too bright. She has long since given up trying to make her hair into an orderly hairdo, not even magic is working.

And what about Conrad the talking pumpkin? Well, one wrong vowel in one of Dora’s spells and Conny developed his new skills.

I found this pattern (a design by Lois Winston) in the Halloween special edition of Just Cross Stitch and named her Dora. Threads come from my stash and aren’t the original colours. Dora will soon be on her way to my pen pal Uli. She doesn’t read this blog so I can post without spoiling the surprise.

Southwest Beauties – 3

The third one in my collection of cacti. I didn’t backstitch the outline, because only two of the cacti had one.

My favorite cactus so far. :)

Here’s what I got now:

You’ll find the links to the other SAL participants in the left sidebar. Not everyone is posting every time and we are in different time zones. Anyway, their sites are always worth a visit as they all have interesting projects on the go.