the story behind the quilts

Linear Refraction - 2014

This wall hanging was designed for the "Wake Up to Kona" Color Essentials blog hop presented by ! Sew We Quilt. It was my first ever blog hop and taught me a few things.

At the time, I was on a 60° triangle craze. I was always dreaming of different possibilities with what I could do with this shape. There are two typical quilts to make with 60 degree triangles - the 1000 Pyramids Quilt and a one patch triangle with varying hues, saturation and fabrics. I wondered what else could you make when you add a parallelogram to the design. What other designs and patterns show up?? That was my starting point.


I love to work with solids, but I never worked entirely with them, because I don't want my patchwork to look "Amishy". Today, bright and fresh fabric choices are readily available especially in solids. I am very excited when you tell me that you discover solids and are starting to use them in your own quilts. I love to use lots and lots of different fabrics or colors, but I limited myself with this design to just four colors and an anchor. My color choices usually reflect my mood, the weather or a new trendy fabric collection. And with this challenge, I decided to go with the weather. I had winter on my mind. I picked from Kona Chartreuse, Lagoon, Windsor and Crocus as well as Snow to anchor and put them all together.


I really wanted to make this patchwork come to life and designed it with a colored, alternating strip binding. I was almost in a pickle getting the fabric, because I ran out of the chartreuse green. It was on back order, so I ordered it at a second online shop. I applied the strip binding rotating the quilt always to the left for a really special effect. (It is not a continuous binding.)


And it will be staying on my wall for the duration of the winter. I like to think of the sun reflecting off solid ice in the middle of the day and in the evening when the light changes - linear refraction! How many different patterns can you see?


If you would like to make this quilt, I have the free pattern here for download. (There is also an alternate fabric way if you prefer a warmer look.) Donations are welcome via PayPal to but are not required.

The Berenstain Bears Quilt aka Slice & Roll Kinderquilt - 2012

The Slice & Roll Kinderquilt was inspired by the Berenstain Bears. I rediscovered the books with my first child. Since I am an expatriot, I look for books that I can read to my children in the English language that can bring a little bit of American culture to them. We have quite a few of them and my kids are still asking for more. Each one of these little goodies offers a lesson in morals and getting along with each other. They fit our family quite well since we have an older son followed two years later by a daughter.


I wanted to make a pattern and quilt that incorporated the original "family" of just Mama, Papa, Sister and Brother Bear. I took the fabrics from each of their outfits and put them together in a four patch block that was sliced and turned.


What makes this quilt different is the offset border and the fabric panel. I didn't want to use all of the fabrics in the series, because I wanted just the "family" to be the main point. I inserted a label from the fabric selveage stating the name of the fabric - Berenstain Bears. I had my dear friend and quilter, Brigitte Heitland quilt it for me. Good things take time and she did a fantastic job at it. She incorporated the name of the bears at the top of the quilt just like I wanted!! It turned out so fantastic.


And, with the leftover fabric, I intend to make the other pyramid quilt below since I did buy all of the novelty print fabric as well - not just the solids.


Oh, I have to admit, Moda did a really good job at selecting the prints but most of them were medium to large scale prints. Here you really need a lot of different solids to mix in. I extended the color palette range to include brown, eggplant, orange and ockra as well as other colors direct from the books. When will it ever get sewn....sometime soon?

American Primer Scrappy Blocks - 2012

I made this quilt last year from a pattern I found in a German magazine. This layout has become a very typical layout in recent years, because it utilizes a layer cake or charms in the easiest way.

It is a simple, no fuss pattern that sews together lickety slpilt.


I felt very patriotic on this one. It would be on my sofa all of this time, if I didn't have a red sofa. The colors are not of the same hue and clash.


Aagain, Brigitte Heitland of QD Service did a wonderful job of matching a lovely Belly Bop pantograph with the fabric. It also gave a nice contrast to the squares. 


It was my first try at using a piping as an inner border. I thought some of the squares would have been lost if it weren't there. It has a really nice, warm and snuggly flannel backing. I made a label from t-shirt transfer.


Oriental Wedding Quilt - 2010

This quilt was actually rather simple to sew. And honestly, I don't know if I have sewn such a perfect patchwork top in my life. The hardest part was the fussy cut of the medallions. Each one is not perfectly square, because the design is not...uh...have you ever had to deal with that before? The fabric design was not square?


I designed the pattern after seeing my inspiration quilt in the Fall 2009 edition of Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting - Easy Quilts. On page 61, you will see a quilt by Ann Lauer 60.5 x 60.5 inches.  It is called Walk About. The colors and fabric were very fitting to the recipients, because they are very connected with the Middle East and have travelled there often and for longer periods of time.


I chose the same fabric line from Benartex called Gotham. I ordered most of the fabric from the United States and waited a long time before it ever passed through Customs. I found the same coordinating fabric from Quilt Oasis in Nersingen.


It took me about nine months to complete the quilt from start to finish. I was working at a rather slow pace with two very young kides at home. It was quilted by Brigitte Heitland of QD Service here in Germany. We worked together to come up with the quilting design. I am extremely pleased with her accurate quilting and her eye for design!


This quit is very symblolic, because every medallion is a symbol of the length of a marriage in years. Each one was carefully cut out and meticulously outlined with a quilting pattern and quilted. Yet each one is slightly different. The beauty can only truly be enjoyed after many years of a successful marriage.


The diamonds in the center represent the family members. One is diamond or ring is complete while the others are broken on one side. This is to represent the "head" of the family; the one who holds it all together.


As a nice post update, the couple is still HAPPILY married and are awaiting a second child. Another block finished, another year gone by. Congratulations Herr und Frau Schraufstetter.


Mom's 60th Birthday Pineapple Quilt 2010

This is my most favorite quilt, because it was designed and made for a very special woman - my mother!


I had a charming collection of pastel fabrics that I bought in Arizona, USA when I was visiting my mother on vacation when she was living there in AZ. They were always wanting to be put into a quilt, but I never found that perfect pattern. Do you know what I mean? I thought it very fitting to use this collection when we began with the pineapple block in my patchwork group.


The typical pineapple log cabin is a square block, like below, but I thought it was a shame to cut the corner pieces. How to describe this easier? Below, you can see the block with a dark green triangle in the corner. I did not use TRIANGLES but SQUARES to connect the blocks. This is extremely difficult, because I sewed four "Y-Seams" onto every block! It was my first time with "Y-seams," so, I ripped ALL of them at least four times. Most of them came out square though. This is a rarity on a pineapple quilt.


I was the most happiest with the appliquéd pineapples in the corners and the QUILTING. I found a good starting quilting design which changed the total feel of the quilt. 


--Thank you, Brigitte Heitland of QD Service in Germany for enhancing my patchwork with your wonderful quilting and design talents!--


I happily gave my mom her quilt when I visited her again, back in North Carolina in fall of 2010.  I think she enjoyed it, but was a little disappointed with the machine quilting. You know, it is always hard to please a hand quilter! ;-) I was very proud of this quilt, because it was and remains one of the most difficult things I have made. I attempted the Y-Seam only one other time in the five sisters block which I also gave to my mom.


I love you Mom!

Anniversary Quilt for the Ackva's - 2005

My in-laws are very kind and respectful people. I wanted to repay them by giving them a gift completely from my heart.  I used a pattern of a typical Irish chain quilt in very tradtional colors.  This measures 2 x 2 meters and is ALL HANDQUILTED.  This was the biggest project that I have ever handquilted. I now only hand quilt small baby blankets usually just for my immediate family.


I know that Helga enjoys this quilt, because it still adorns their guest bed in their home. It is always very well ironed. I appreciate it and snuggle under it every time I visit them.

Thank you for checking out "the story behind the quilt".

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