Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter wreath and mini bunting

Can you believe that Easter is almost here already.  I can't!  Have you been having some Easter fun?  We've been dying eggs and visiting some fun Easter markets.  That poor little bread bunny didn't last long.

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I don't feel that I've gotten a whole lot done this week, but holidays are always like that :)  I have managed to tweak my Spring Wreath for an Easter theme by adding a small nest and a cute chalk board inspired mini bunting.

If you remember, my plan is to use this same wreath all spring by adjusting it slightly each month instead of making a whole new wreath. I made up a little mini chalkboard Easter bunting for the wreath that says rejoice.


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I love using mini buntings in different projects.  They are just so cute.  I've used them over cakes and cupcakes, on baskets, and on wreaths.  The whole mini bunting I designed says Rejoice He is Risen.  It would be nice on many different projects and I have it available to download in chalkboard black and green.  Feel free to download either and use them in your Easter Projects.

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If you do use the bunting, take a picture and share your project with us :-)  Have a happy Easter.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I found a German Quilt shop!

 I know that their are probably many great quilt shops in Germany, but I've lived here for a few years and have had a really hard time finding a dedicated German Quilt Shop in my area. I've been to many lovely fabric stores, but a patchwork store is so much more. A quilt store caters to the fabrics, notions, and supplies that quilters look for, and it is a great place to get new ideas, meet other quilters, and get advice on your projects.

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This is why I'm so excited to share my trip to the Im Patchworkhimmel shop in Gr├╝nstadt, Germany with everyone today. The folks at the Im Patchworkhimmel shop kindly allowed me to photograph their store so that I could share the quilty goodness with all of you!


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From the first moment I stepped into the shop I was so impressed with how organized and well lit it was.  I love a shop that has plenty of natural light so that I can accurately see the fabric colors, and I love a shop that organizes it's fabrics by type and color.  I was also very very happy that they have parking right in front of the store!  Those of you who live in Europe know that parking here can be a real problem, and I'm super thrilled that I didn't have to scour the area for a spot.

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I also love a shop that has seasonal displays of fabric groupings and products.  Look at these bold colors; it makes me want to decorate for Spring! And, if you're searching for a great new pattern to go with the fabric, they have a selection of really nice patchwork books in both German and a few in English too.

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Speaking of seasonal items, this shop also carries a German quilt magazine that the owner, Astrid Reck, is Editor of.  It has many great seasonal patterns in it, and some of the samples are displayed in the shop.

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This cute little bunny table runner is in the current issue of the Patchwork Ideen magazine.  I was so in love with the brown bunny toile displayed next to this runner, and the little log cabin chickens are just too cute.
  
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They also had this gorgeous Spring colored storm sea quilt made by Lieselotte Neurohr, who works in the shop and let me take her picture in front of her creation, on display with their other Easter and spring supplies.  This quilt was made with batik fat quarters and is also in the magazine.  Lieselotte graciously gave me a tour of the shop and helped me find some awesome fabric for my current project.   

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Did I mention that the fabric that they carry here goes on . . . 

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and on . . .

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and on :-)

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They also answered a question that I have been asking since first moving to Germany.  Are there any German quilt fabric designers out there?  The answer is yes.  Here is some fabric by the German fabric designer, Brigitte Heitland, for Moda.  It's called Zen Chic.

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Now, I know that I've gushed uncontrollably about the fabrics and the store, but I also want everyone to know that this in not just a quilt fabric store.  The folks there have all the notions that you need to make many types of quilt projects.  Rotary cutters, rulers, paper piecing, needles, fat quarters, and batting; just to name a few.  They also offer classes in their back room.  Classes are a great way to acquire new skills and meet other local quilters.

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I had such a great time talking and shopping.  I found some wonderful fabric and batting for my current project and I'm so thrilled that I was able to support a local quilt shop.  Thank you Astrid and Lieselotte.  I'll be back :-)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Simple Spring Wreath

Is it that time again already.  Time for a new door wreath.

With everything that has been going on here over the last few weeks, I really haven't had much time to redecorate my door, but I wanted to put something up in time for Easter.  So I dug into my stash and came up with a really simple Spring inspired wreath.

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Yes, it's very simple, but I decided to only use what I already had, and I think that the colors as so bright and cheerful that it doesn't have to have anything else.  I wish that I had had a yellow and orange ribbon to better match the wreath.  I might break down and see if I can find something that works better if I have the time.  I also think that if I want to change it up a little for April or May that  I might just tweak this wreath a bit rather than make a whole new one.

What do you think?  Could I add little umbrellas to this for April?  Any ideas? :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Puppy Birthday Party

This last week I have been super busy getting ready for my baby girl's 3rd birthday.  It's hard for me to believe that she's already three years old!  The time has flown by.  This year, my little lady wanted a puppy party.  She loves (and I mean LOVES!) all puppies.  Many of our neighbors have dogs, and she gets so excited when she gets to love on them.  So, we went puppy crazy this week at my house, and I'm going to share some of the craft patterns and ideas that we used for the party with all of you here.  Make sure to read to the end so that you can get all the printables for your very own puppy party.

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This is the invitation that I drew for my daughter's party.  I think that most of the puppies are more interested in that cake than they are the little girl blowing out the candles :)  My daughter got super excited when she noticed that I included our neighbor's west highland terrier in the picture.  There's also an old english sheepdog, a pointer, a bulldog, and a red retriever in there.

I'm going to count this invitation as my month of March sketch.  Two birds; one stone! Buya!


The Puppy Party Decor!

This is the sign that my boys made for our front door to welcome the guests.  Sorry my cat loving friends; dogs only.  NO CATS ALLOWED :)


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We did some great and practical decor for the party.  I skirted the buffet with some tissue paper and bought some cheap dog bowls to use for the buffet table.


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A nice red and pink tulle swag with balloons hung across the entrance to the dining room!

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We also made another sign to cover some art I had on the wall over the buffet.  I think my 8 year old did a great job with the water colors.  It's an easy way to keep the theme going without pulling down any of your decor.  It also got me thinking how much my life revolves around art. I think I spent as much time designing the art that we were making for the party as I did on the guest list, games, and food combined.  

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We also made a cute and colorful "Happy Birthday" bunting to hang across the windows.  I wanted to do something simple.  I checked out a few printables available for free online and just didn't find what I wanted.  After a bit of computer work, I came up with a design that was simple, fun, and easy.
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I printed out the letter circles and water colored them to get a fun whimsical look, then I glued them onto flags cut from 12x12 cardstock.

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If you would like to make your own birthday bunting like mine, You can download my simple scribbles bunting circles and flag template here.  I've included the happy birthday sign and all the other letters too, plus the flag template.  These can easily be customized to any style that you want by simply changing the flag paper or printing the letters onto colored paper.  I love options, so the choice is yours.

If you do use my templates, I'd love to see what you make!

I"m also thinking about scanning the final buntings and making them available as finished printables.  I don't know if people would rather have just the water colored circles so they can adhere them onto flag papers of their choice of if they'd prefer the whole flag?  I was just thinking that printing 14 colored flags would use a lot of printer ink!  Any opinions?

Puppy Party Fun!

Here is our Adopt a Puppy station.  Each child got to adopt a small stuffed puppy to take home with them.  They each chose a puppy, named it, and gave it a collar (I found these cheap little collar bracelets as our version of the dollar store).

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You can download the bone sign for the adopt a puppy station here.  It comes in the blue and pink and also a green and blue.

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They then got to fill out and color an adoption certificate.  Again, I look around the net for a puppy adoption certificate that the children could color in, but didn't find exactly what I wanted so I ended up making my own version.  You can also download the adoption coloring page to use at your party here. This was great fun.

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Here's the birthday girl hard at work on her coloring page :) Notice she and her friend are wearing puppy ears.  The kids got to choose from a variety of puppy ears made from felt and glued onto a headband for their puppy makeovers. We also played games and had cake :) All the toddlers walked away sugared up and exhausted.  I know that I needed a nap when it was all over.

I know that this post was long and I'm glad that you stuck it out until the end :) I hope that you guys can use the printables that I've posted here.  Please remember that the images are for your personal use only and not to be redistributed or sold.

Let me know if you like them or if you have any problems accessing and downloading them.  Enjoy!


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Crochet Penguin Hat

It's finally March.  Spring is so close I can smell it in the air, but it's still really cold outside.  On that note, I'd like to share my newest crochet hat with everyone.

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My lovely model L. is sporting the latest in penguin fashion.  She even has a matching penguin sticker, so you know that this girl is serious about her penguins :)

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This hat is my own pattern.  The body is made with a black worsted weight yarn and a size G crochet hook.  The base for most of my earflap hats is a 12 DC round increased to the correct diameter and then taken down to the desired length.  For those who want to make their own crochet hats, there are plenty of basic beanie patterns on the internet in all sizes.  I personally recommend that all crocheters and knitters check out Ravelry as an incredible source of free and commercial patterns for beginners and more advanced yarn artists.

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The magic of animal hats is in the appliques and accents.  The white penguin face, the eyes, the nose, the ears, and the bow are all made separately and then sewn onto the hat base.  Final touches like the edging and braids can also make an good hat into something really special.  

Personally, I just love the little yarn ears and the heart shaped beak.  I loved creating this pattern and I'm glad that my customer was happy with the result :)

Since I'm going to be doing some more crochet soon, I'm just wondering what you all would like to see in the future.  Is there an interest in patterns, tutorials, or does anyone have a specific crochet question that they want answered?    
   
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