Sunday, 14 June 2015

Magic star online class, request for volunteers

Would you be interested in testing a new online class – for free?

I need 4 volunteers to try out my first online class where you’ll learn to make some super fun, new blocks which I have named Magic stars. You will have two weeks to make your practice blocks and give your feedback.

Leave me a comment, and you’ll get the class delivered to your inbox!

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

I can't believe I did that

I had been procrastinating long enough, starting at least four new projects while I should be finishing my three panel flower quilt. The three different bindings were prepared and all the fear of finishing black holes had moved to a different place in the universe. I believe those black holes sometimes multiply by the number of bindings to do.

The binding was stitched to the front and basted to the back on the first panel, and all I needled was to make the sleeve, baste it to the back and move on to some soothing hand stitching. 

I placed it on the back to measure the length, like I always do, it's the easiest way to get the sleeve right, isn't it. I could feel it when I chopped it off; there were too many layers under the blade.

4" of binding needing replacement. Oh ... 

Thank goodness I did not cut into the edge of the quilt itself. Getting those three panels straight edged and the same length - let's just say I'd rather not do that all over again.

The quilting looks quite good on the back though.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Alpha & beta testing Dark sides

I have finished alpha & beta testing the Dark side class. It is very different from all my other classes, so I needed some extra quality control. Teaching the same technique to several diverse groups of quilters is the best way to do this and I have learned a lot on the way. Fortunately the students also enjoyed the class very much.

The third class was only one student and even though she missed out on the positive effects of being in a group, she had the benefit of my full attention. I would not have done this if I hadn’t known her and been sure that we would have fun together. 8 hours of awkwardness would most certainly not constitute as a benefit.

Auditioning fabrics is always an interesting process which some dread and others enjoy. 

I can always offer support and suggestions, but in the end it’s all about what the students like. There’s no point in making something which someone else likes, is there. 

The best design tool is taking pictures. Lots of pictures all through the process. It will give you something to flip through to see what worked and what did not. Little changes often make big impacts, so swap positions or a fabric or two and see what happens.

Accurate piecing requires full concentration; apart from the humming from the machines, you could hear a pin drop.

I love how different the projects turned out even when working from the exact same blueprint.

Quite a few have asked about the possibility for online Mrs Moen classes, and I have had some very interesting conversations with some of you about this topic. While the hands on approach is key to some of the techniques I teach, this particular class would transfer very well into such a format, so I will be setting up an online class in English for the fall season. I will need some guinea pigs, so stay tuned:)

Monday, 25 May 2015

Christmas in May

We were demonstrating scrappy blocks at our guild meeting last week, and as I recently had worked so hard at storing away my quilts, I decided to stitch up some new blocks instead of messing with the boxes. I picked out an assortment of Christmas fabrics, cut a few strips of each, and started sewing.

4 happy hours later I had 9 different blocks to show. Not bad for a morning at the machine I’d say, and now I have some new treasures to add to my Treasure box. I am sure they will be handy when the holidays are creeping up on me and I need a few extra presents.

I’m thinking I’ll make this into a regular thing, using Christmas fabrics for sample blocks. I once read about someone who brought Christmas fabric to all her classes so that she could stitch all her class projects into a holiday quilt. I think that would be a brilliant idea for sample blocks as well as most of us has more than a few odd ones lying around with nowhere to go.

How about you; what do you do with your sample blocks?

Thursday, 21 May 2015

A house for every season

Last year, for our 25th anniversary, our guild issued a challenge. During the year each member would receive 4 pieces of fabric of which we were to make “something blue, something green, something yellow and something orange”. The quilts were to measure 50*50 cm (20” square) or several being stitched into that format.

As I was quite a bit obsessed with houses last year, it would hardly surprise anyone that I made houses. Although the challenge had no seasonal theme, the colours still worked – one colour for each season.
(Almost done)

The simple layout was born early in the year with the challenge fabrics to be on the right side, but I did not start making them before months later when three fabrics had been handed out.

The design was meant to be very simple, but at the end of the day I started adding stuff. I used puff paint and silver fabric paint to make the windows pop.

I added seasonal themed quilting designs, changing thread colours for the sky and houses: snowflake




(quilting stencils..)

I added white vertical quilting lines, and finally words on top of those:
sparkling winter

budding spring

amd the last two says sunny summer, and colourful fall.

Each quilt measures 25cm*50cm and is finished with invisible binding and a sleeve. They were stitched together two and two for the exhibition at the anniversary meeting and dinner. Getting them to hang perfectly flat post stitching was quite a challenge, but at least they did meet the 50cm*50cm requirement.

One of our board members at the time photographed all the contributions and made them into a photo book. I got my copy yesterday and am looking forward to have a closer look at all the beautiful quilts.

I’ll be adding this post to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, 18 May 2015

How does your garden grow

I understand that many quilters also are avid gardeners, which actually happens to be true for many of my quilting friends. Here, however, there is not much happening in the void which once was our garden. Not that we ever had a beautiful one, but there was a big patio and a lawn and a trampoline and a slide and soccer goals; you get the picture. We need some new concrete walls, a little more dirt, some grass seeds, a dumpster for all the building debris, a week or so for husband to build the new patio, preferably on this side of summer, and some new furniture for all of us, and we’ll be set for the summer. It will be great. It will be our kind of garden.

In my studio however, things are blooming.

These flowers will never need watering or weeding, and no lawn mower will ever need to be worked around them. That’s my kind of flowers.

Thursday, 14 May 2015


Our favourite young man is eight years old today. Eight years since were up for 46 hours waiting for him. What a rush that was.

On top of his wish list was referee cards.
(Grandma gets a red card)

Accompanying the gift from my sister’s family was The All Time Card – a Liverpool card playing You’ll never walk alone. Big hit. For someone who previously never had any interest in soccer, his love of the game has won me over. I most certainly look forward to taking him to Liverpool, or Barcelona for that matter, to watch a home game when he turns 13.

He celebrated with his friends on Tuesday at the soccer stadium. It was a lucky onetime only chance and he and his friends were so excited. He got a team shirt with his name and autographs from the team on the back. Lucky boy indeed.
(Picture borrowed from my daughter)

I helped setting up the room early as I was working that afternoon. I love planning children’s parties, they are so much more fun than grown up parties. I don’t know how it is where you live, but here it’s more and more common to have parties at play centres, bowling alleys and such, making it extra fun to set up a few old fashioned party games.

Instead of putting the tail on the donkey, we taped two big soccer goal printouts onto a door and prepared one football with each boy’s name and taped them on a glass door. Super simple, they were just copied onto regular copy paper and cut out with scissors; no cost at all and a big hit with the boys. The same size footballs also made great place cards so that everyone could keep track of their plate and cup.

Not a bad view from any room I’d say.

Today is a holiday here in Norway and the sun is out. I have some work to do so I’d better move on, but first of all I have a carrot cake to frost..

Happy birthday, young man, we are ever so proud of you!

Monday, 11 May 2015

String block layouts

We are doing a scrappy string block swap at my guild, and I have made a few suggestions on how this type of blocks can be stitched together. I thought some of you would like to see them too, so here they are. These are my first EQ7 layouts:)



 Vertical zigzag

Horisontal zigzag

On point

Adding solid fabrics will calm down and tie all the colours together. This will also make it easier to piece the blocks together with regards to all the seam allowances. 
 Diagonal with sashing

 Straight with setting squares

Diagonal with setting squares

Have fun:)

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Unloved, Anorexian Fiesta

The second unloved which I finished revamping was this table topper, “Anorexian Fiesta”.

A year into my daughter’s illness, many many years ago, I took a class and was thereafter part of a support group with two other mothers and a husband. At the time this group was very important to me and as it came to an end, I made a quilt for each of the other group members. I brought pieced Ohio star blocks to a meeting and had them and the group leaders sign the blocks.

This is the one I kept of the four quilts that I made. They were all made from the same fabrics, but the other three were a bit smaller. It has been stashed away ever since. For one, I don’t use a lot of table toppers, and the colours were a bit on the dull side.

If you are thinking of doing something similar, I can recommend taking a picture of the quilt and zoom in on different parts. It may give you ideas on how they will look on their own. I often use my iPad to take pictures which makes it easy to zoom in and take screenshots like this.

I cut the quilt into four pieces and trimmed them down to an appropriate size for place mats, making sure that the placement of the half stars was the same on all 4. 

To brighten up the somewhat subdued colours of the thrifted table cloth that I had used for a big portion of the quilt, I added a bright striped binding.

Now we have a set of 4 matching place mats, different but yet the same. You can see how they fit together

and how I cut them down to size.

That was it; the un has been taken out of another unloved. Super easy and rather cool I’d say.

Thanks for stopping by:)