Birthday Game

Hi Everyone!
Sorry for the quiet weeks on the blog, we took a long vacation back in Hungary which was really great although I had very little time to truly relax. Which is ok because after we got back home, our little boy has started the kindergarten and after a couple of weeks now he stays about five hours there every day and I can catch my breath now.

But before we went on vacation, my About page got renewed including a new picture of me. Did you notice?

I would also like to invite all of you to visit my Facebook page where I like to share picture of my creating process, sometimes an article or a video, or if you’d like we could just chat.
I am very grateful to all of my readers: those who have been following me for years and those who just started! You guys keep me motivated, especially your comments and likes! Yesterday evening I came up with an idea and since today is my birthday, I would like to thank you all with a little game! Yes, on my birthday you’ll receive a present! A few weeks back I went through my stash and sorted out a few fabrics that I will probably never use and I came across this really beautiful blue-white print which I purchased in IKEA a long time ago. It was a big piece but in a funny shape, so I cut it up into squares:

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To be exact, 17 big squares (20x20cm) and 29 small ones (5x5cm). It would probably make a lovely baby quilt. (Just an idea…)DSC_3022

If you would like to win these, all you have to do is to be a follower of this blog and comment below that you want to participate in the game and you’re in! If you want to, you can share this post but it is totally up to you. I just want to thank those who have been with me along this sewing adventure!
You can sign up during the weekend and I will do the drawing and announce the winner next Monday. Have a great weekend!

Hungarian Blue Print for Christmas

I know it’s only September and you might ask why am I writing about Christmas? I didn’t go crazy, just let me explain. I was invited to a crafters’ market at the beginning of this year’s advent (which btw. will take place in Aachen) and this invitation got me thinking: last year I participated in a similar but much bigger Advent market where I realized that I should had prepared more “christmasy stuff”. As you probably know that by now, my favorite thing to sew is baby blanket but it is such a big item and at these markets the smaller items sell better. So I decided to figure out a few new items to sew and if it is possible, use the traditional Hungarian blue print fabrics.
In my first attempt I tried to make a Christmas ornament following this video. The ball turned out very well and I think it looks awesome, but it took me a lot of time and material to make it. So I will probably not make more of these for the market, just not worth it. But as a present or just for our family I’ll make a couple more for sure because it is a fun and easy technique and the end-result is really beautiful.

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About a week ago I found an other great idea. The tutorial itself is not very well detailed but with a little bit of creativity and logic you can make the angel ornaments without a problem. First I wanted to use only blue print fabric for this project, as well but then I had so much fun with those cute angels, that I made a lot more of them. I hope they will sell on the market.

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How do you like the other colors?

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I found the tutorial video to my last project just a couple of days ago but I couldn’t wait to try it out. These ornaments are really easy to make, don’t take much time and they look very good. Would you try to make them? This tutorial video is really well detailed and easy to follow, I can only recommend it.

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Elephant Baby Quilt

Last week I worked on an other baby quilt. I wanted to use my newest elephant-print fabric that I found in Hungary on our last trip. I find it very cute and perfect for baby/kids projects, so I decided to make an other blanket. After a long consideration I choose a geometrical quilt pattern and I am happy with the results.

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It wasn’t a difficult project but with my very simple home sewing machine I am not able to make advanced quilts. Anyway, my elephant baby blanket is soft and cozy and kids will love it. I can’t wait until my next craft fair where I will be selling this one, too.

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The binding is hand-stitched which takes a bit longer time but considering that this blanket is only 1x1m, it wasn’t that bad. I really like the fact, that even the backside looks very neat.

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Who wouldn’t want a blanket for his kid like this?

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Nikolausmarkt

I am getting very nervous and excited about the up-coming “Nikolausmarkt” here in Aachen, where I will be selling my little creations for the very first time! This is going to be a double test for me: test of my German knowledge and of course test of my products. As I mentioned before, from January I plan to open an online shop and this market will definately help me to decide which products are sellable and which aren’t.

Please, let me show you a couple of things that I made for this market:

1. The newest pictures sewed from fabric and felt:

Varras+Blog182. Mug and mug sleeve made from felt:

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3. Hand stitched pictures made by my Mom (framed by me):

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4. A recycled throwpillow with air plane theme:

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5. Folders with covers:

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6. And finally my monster: a cover blanket for double bed. I worked on this for weeks and learned a lot doing so.

Varras+Blog17 The Nikolausmarkt (crafters market) will take place in Aachen, Marienhospital (in Burtscheid) between the 6th and 8th of December. Friday 4:00-8:00pm, on Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-8:00pm. There will be good food, drinks, concerts and of course the crafters! Come and have a great time!

 

Elephants

IMGP8782As I promised in my previous post, I am presenting the newest babyblanket that I sewed. I used the same technique (sewing together stripes) but I also applied three elephants on the front and one more on the back. I tried to make this blanket “unisex”, so it would be good for boys and girls, as well. What do you think? I always love most the project that I just finished, so this one is my favourite right now.

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A colourful babyblanket

A tried something new again: a babyblanket made out of stipes and let me tell you, I loved this project! I loved it because it was very easy to make, quickly done and it contains so many colours! It’s like a rainbow but even better because the colorful stripes can come in any order. I can only recomand this project to beginners and for those, who need a quick present for the next babyshower.

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And I am already working on the next, similar babyblanket that I will spice up with a couple of elephants! Are you curious? Well, it’s not done yet but here is a sneak peak:

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An other sneak peak

IMGP8489I have been working on this project for weeks. I mean I started it weeks ago but you know how it is: sometimes you have 20 minutes to work, then you put it aside for days, then it turns  out, that one fabric is not enough and you have to run to the store to get more. Then you wash it and iron it and then nothing happens for days again because you just don’t have the time. And every day when you go to bed, you’re imagining what it will look like if it’s finally done… So this project is exactly that one. But I do hope that sometime soon I will finish it and be able to present it. For the record, this is the largest pice that I have worked on yet.

You asking what it is? I see. I’m not telling but I’d be happy to hear/read your guesses!  🙂

A couple little things

In the last few weeks I wasn’t able to work on my projects and write on the blog as I would usually do because my son had to stay home for two weks. He is starting at the Kindergarten which will take him a few more weeks to get use to it and of course it means that I don’t have the time to work on my projects as I would like to. But after that hopefully I will have more time then I did before, so it’ll be worth it!

In the meantime I do try to sew stuff, even when I just have a half an hour or my son is climbing up on my back while I work on the sewing machine. True story. I couldn’t have done many projects but here are the few that I actually did:

A few more Christmas ornaments for the “Nikolausmarkt” in December:

 

 

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Bookmarks made from scrapfabric.

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And finally a folder decorated with a beautiful piece of traditional Hungarian lace:

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An other babyblanket

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This babyblanket was an other step for me learning new techniques in patchwork. Assembling triangles was new for me and I really thought through every little step of it, I was careful and watched some tutorial videos on youtube. Take a look at this picture below, it shows you the steps how I created this pattern. Yes, it does take time but at the and it will be worth it.

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Now I am proud of the final product.

IMGP8333It’s a 1x1m blanket with thicker batting, so it’s even better for those little crowling babies. I hope a little one will enjoy this blanket for a long time!

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I will be seeling this blanket with all the others at a three-day long maket in Aachen in December. (12. 06-08. Nikolausmarkt in Marienhospital)

Hungarian blue print

I was recently thinking about my Hungarian heritage. I studied cultural anthropology and folklore, now I make blankets and other crafty things. How did this happen? And how could I continue crafting but also represent my culture at the same time? I feel like I have some kind of a mission since I don’t live in Hungary: with my actions and also with my products I represent a little bit Hungary. At least I feel this way. So I figured one thing out so far: I sew and I would like to use a traditional hand-printed fabric called blue print. It’s really a beautiful fabric, although not easy to use because it’s died in indigo and with washing one must be very careful. But I find it very good for patch-working with all the different kinds of pattern.

Some companies make “fake blue prints”. They are actually printed cotton fabrics, that look like blue print but they are very easy to work with. I had a little piece of this kind at home, some old scrap-fabric from a skirt that I made ages ago. And I created an other baby blanket/playing mat using this fabric.

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Take a closer look at the blue fabric, I think it’s very lovely:

IMGP7619I was also experimenting with free motion quilting but unfortunately there is no free motion quilt foot to my Janome sewing machine, so I did this very simple floral quilt with the normal sewing foot. And voila! It looks nice, don’t you think? And it shows of course on the other side as well:

IMGP7635One more picture of the final product:

IMGP7621Well, what do you think?

After I finished this blanket, we traveled back to Hungary and I was able to buy some real blue print fabric but let me tell you, it’s not easy to find! Anyway, next time I want to use blue print fabric, I will use the real ones:IMGP7649

 

 

 

My corner

Who has ever been in our apartment knows, that it is very small, especially the living room. But somehow it works for us and we use it as an office, a play room, a guest room and now as craft room, as well. And the whole room is just about 16qm! Can you believe it? Take a look at my corner: this is where I create. IMGP7159I like this corner because it’s close to the window and it’s bright. The desk was previously a smaller one (about the half size of this one) but with my husband we decided to update and I love this new desk. It works well so far and it smells really good because it’s real wood. And while we were shopping for a desk, I saw this small organizer above on the shelf with the drawers on sale! I was lucky to find it because now all the threads and other small stuff are organized and I can  keep these things away from my son. Practical and safe at the same time!

The lamp in the corner was a full-length standing lamp until my son ruined it as he started to crawl. Then I cut the bottom part off, put a lace on it and now it helps my work beside the desk when it gets darker.

And finally there is the green cutting mat and rolling cutter on the left side of the desk. I got those just yesterday but I already tried them out: they are very useful and looking forward to work with them. And of course there is a picture of my husband and son on my board. They inspire me the most… 🙂

Plans

As I mentioned in my previous post, recently I sewed two baby-blankets using new techniques. I didn’t have pictures of the second blanket but I do now and I would like to share them with you. Unfortunately I did not take picture during the sewing process, therefore I can’t give you a step by step tutorial. But if you look very closely, you’ll see that this blanket is actually a visual illusion because I sewed only squares together. Each square has four little triangles on its side using the other color.

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Put two squares next to each other that are “negatives” or “opposite colors” and the pattern will turn out very neatly!

IMGP6954I feel like all the math-classes in school were after all worth it because finally I can use that knowledge! Yeay!

This blanket it approximately 70x140cm, so it would perfectly fit to a same sized baby bed to cover it when it’s play time and not sleep-time. For the back I used the darker, deep-red fabric.

And it’ll be for sale soon on a website, called dawanda. It’s very similar to etsy.com or meska.hu in Hungary. Anybody with a payPal account can use it. And yes, I am planning on starting a small business. This is the reason why I don’t have so much time now to write: I am busy planning and researching but hopefully soon I will be able to introduce my own online business. Fingers crossed!

Learning phase

I decided that I would like to learn new sewing techniques and in order to do that I bought a great book online: it’s called the “10-Minute Blocks 2” by Suzanne McNeill. I came across her video on YouTube where she explains a couple tricks and recommends her book as well. And right now it’s the perfect learning material for me!

IMGP6906I am trying out these new techniques from my brand new book and I have to tell you that I really enjoy them! The working process is not very complicated but of course it takes a bit of time to practice, so let me share a sneak peak with you until my new “master piece” is complete!

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Lately

Lately I have been working on couple of things but nothing really new.

I made an other felt-picture but this time I put it in a real frame and it looks much better this way.

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Then I sewn two new notebook covers (U-Heft Hülle). It is very amazing that on a simple product how many changes can be made! Use a different fabric, or just change one color, maybe put onto it a ribbon…really there is no limit!

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Well, there is a new thing that I created: a small apron for my son. I know it’s a very girly thing but I tried to use darker colors and I put the letter “B” on it, as well. (You know because his name starts with B.) Unfortunately I don’t have a picture of him wearing the apron but hopefully soon! What do you think?

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And finally two baby blankets. The first took me a while to finish it because the stars in it are so complicated but it’s finally done! It’s really not perfect if you look closely but for now I think I did a good job. I made mistakes and I learned a lot, so next time it will be better.

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For the other blanket I really just wanted to use my scrap-fabric because it had been piling up and we do not have a space for that. It was a simple project: I cut out the same size squares from the left over fabrics: as many as possible, then I laid them out on the floor and played with the pattern until I thought it’s gonna be nice.

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Notebook cover

In Germany every child has a notebook which contains medical information from birth until they turn 18. In German it’s called “U-Heft” which is short for “Untersuchungs-Heft” and that means “examination notebook”. I don’t know if in other countries there is something similar, probably yes. At least for keeping records of the child’s vaccinations.

Having a baby sower and getting tons of presents is very common also in Germany (I think). So why not make a nice and practical cover for the “U-Heft” what the parents will receive right in the hospital? There is no limit, the variations are endless: you can put an image onto the front, decorate it with ribbons, sew the baby’s name onto it, use different shades of one color, etc.

One of my friends organized a baby shower and she asked me to sew a cover for her friend’s “U-Heft”. Well, take a look at my version below!

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As you can see, I used two fabrics and one ribbon for the cover and one neutral linen fabric for the inside because the yellow fabric was too thin and transparent.

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IMGP6220The front may seem a bit “empty” for some but it’s because once the baby is born I will sew her name onto it. I hope you like it. And the great thing is that you can make this simple covers for any kind of notebook! Get creative!

Hedgehog on a pillow

When I started to make felt-pictures I got a little bit carried away and had the idea to make pillows (and many other things…) using the same technique but the tree that I used before did not fit onto the pillow I had. So I figured out a different pattern but I wanted to stay in the “animals/forest-theme” and this is how I came up with the idea of the hedgehog. And also they are cute and kids like them. Check out my new pillow:

IMGP5702First step: planing your pattern to the size of the pillow (or smaller, this way you can make a frame to the picture later as you will see below). When everything is in the desired spot then sew down the pieces.

IMGP5705Make a frame as seen on the picture. Use the same fabric what you will use for the back of the pillow-case!

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IMGP5783Do not forget the label (if you have one) as I did… 🙂

IMGP5779And voila, the pillow-case is done!

Pillowcase for Christmas season

I sewed this pillowcase in an hour, it was fest and fun and it certainly looks great on the couch in the Christmas season.

First I cut out the shapes (heart, pine-tree, star): I used my cookie cutters for pattern. From the red fabric I cut out a little smaller shapes, from the white felt I cut out a little bigger ones. Then I measured the green squares: they should be a bit bigger then the heart/tree/star but not wider then your pillowcase!

Next I pinned down the shapes onto the green squares and sewed them, after that I pinned the squares onto the pillow case fabric (only front) and sewed them.

 

Finally I made the pillow case itself and also put a little label on the side and a button on the back. What do you think?

 

Birthday bib

My son turned one years old in September and I thought that I should make him something fun besides the gifts he got. We didn’t have a party for him for two reasons: 1. I don’t see the point for a one year old to have a party and 2. he and also my husband caught cold. (Don’t get me wrong, I love organizing parties!) And then the idea came to me to sew a birthday bib with a matching hat for him.

I used and other bib to make a sample out of paper. I cut the shape out twice, one out of an eggshell colored fabric and an other out of a brawn fabric. I also cut out a circle and the number “one”. See the picture below.

First I sewed the number onto the blue circle, this was a bit tricky on the edges but with a little patience you’ll succeed! Then I attached the circle onto the brown fabric.

Next I sewed together the two bib-shaped fabrics with a blue ribbon on the edge and finally I attached small velcro on top. It’s really not a complicated project and it requires only an hour, a bit of patience and some leftover fabrics. For the hat I just used paper for the base and I glued onto it the blue and white fabrics. As I thought my son didn’t really like the idea of the hat, that’s why I didn’t make it more permanent.

Look at the results, how cute is that?

 

 

Pillowcases

One of my very best friends is also expecting a baby. It’s gonna be a baby girl. Hopefully… (As I mentioned in our case it turned out to be a boy after 7 months…) This Friday we are traveling back to Hungary for a nice vacation and we’re also going to visit these friends, so I thought that I will create something for this little  baby girl. A few weeks back I made a funny-looking pillowcase for ourselves with a bird on it.

I really enjoyed drawing a sample, cutting out all the pieces then sewing them together, so all the detail-work! So I thought that I will use the same technique for the next pillowcase as well. As I said, it’s gonna be for a baby girl, named Anna. I needed something girly. Finally I decided on a flower, frills on the side and putting her name on it, which is risky because the baby still can turn out to be a boy… Anyway.

Here it is: the final product:

When you want to make something similar, you must plan all the layers and steps of sewing it together very carefully. I cut out first the front of the pillowcase. Then cut out the blue layer and sewed the curly lines on it. After that I designed the flower on a paper, then cut it out from a yellow material and sewed on the blue layer. The final step in making the flower was to sew on the dark-blue circle in the middle. When the whole flower was done, then I sewed it on the front of the pillowcase.

The next step was cutting out and sewing on the letters:

Because the letters are so small, I had to sew them very slowly and carefully.

Then I made the frills on the side and the back of the pillowcase. Actually this was the hardest part: sewing together the frills with the two side of the pillowcase because you need to sew it inside out and the frills were always in the way somehow. But after the third try I could finish it.

I think it looks very lovely and all the hard work was worthy.

The backside of the pillowcase:

Baby blankets

Since we are expecting a baby, I decided to make a nice baby blanket. I’m not really good at patchwork but I like to try it out sometimes. In May the doctor told us that the baby is going to be a girl. Most likely.  So I looked for that old pink-red material that I bought about two years ago in Detroit. Of course, it wasn’t big enough, so I bought an other pink material and used it on the other side of the blanket.  The pattern of the blanket is very simple. And I put some filling between the two material. Unfortunately I have no idea what’s the name of it in English. Could someone please tell me?

Anyway, here is the final product:

But I also got some blue materials, just in case… Then I got to know that my sister-in-low is also expecting, and it’s a girl, too. I thought that I make her baby an other blanket, so I used the blue materials but somehow made it very girly with lots of flowers. Their baby is going to be named after a flower anyway. This time I tried to make more pattern on the blanket and I think I succeeded. First I sewed on the flowers on both sides, then the filling on one side, finally I sewed the two layers together. It is really not complicated.

PS.: Yesterday we went to the doctor again and had a big ultrasound, and as it turns out we are having a boy… No comment.