‘Breakdance’ project finished

It’s done! My first finished patchwork piece after two years’ time.

I’ve started with this hoping to turn the ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. Decide for yourselves if I managed. I think it turned out quite decent.

Started in November 2007, I finished it yesterday. This was on my design wall for quite a while because of me being indecisive about the colour placement. The block design comes from my favourite book again – Tilings & Patterns (I think I mentioned it before once or twice 😉 ). I was surprised when I calculated the number of pieces – 2,196 – I didn’t expect such a big number. The finished size is 59 x 97 cms. As you may have noticed already, I’ve used my beloved ‘crash fabrics’ again. It is completely sewn by hand using the English paper piecing technique, although I can’t tell how many hours it took because I don’t record this anymore (I did for a while). But to give you some clue – basting one block was about 30 minutes, piecing between 30 and 40 minutes.

I feel encouraged by your support ♥ (and Dave’s threats), hoping this year will see some more completed works.

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Breakdance progress

Here’s a quick update on my ‘Breakdance’ project.

Today I cut the backing fabric, pinned it to the top (no batting/wadding as usual) and cut the border strips. I pressed the strips using a bias strip maker. And finally sewed the top and bottom strips to the finished top.

(To be continued)

admiring the backside’s beautiful texture for a last time

…before it vanishes beneath the backing fabric

top and backing fabric pinned with border strip attached

Fixed! Friday 05

Welcome back to this week’s Fixed! Friday.

This afternoon I picked up my last two works that were on display in a local sewing machine shop in the town centre, Starring and Under The Microscope which I will introduce you to in some future volumes of F!F. This has been a crazy week with a lot of work at the office as I had to catch up after a long weekend off. But now I’m home, having a belated lunch of a turkey and egg salad sandwich and listening to the sound of my washing machine.

Here’s one more piece inspired by Islamic art.

Arabische Fliesen (Arabian Tiles)


I really like the intricate patterns of Islamic art and am always looking for some nice patterns to make maybe one day.

This is an original design I made from diamonds with sides of 1.5 cm/ 5/8″. I wanted to test just how small I could make them. Nine small diamonds form a bigger one and are then joined in the ‘baby block’ fashion. For easier sewing, I have used only six diamonds to make a star instead of eight like you would usually find in Islamic patterns.


This was my most time consuming piece which took 197’30 hours to make between April 1999 and March 2000. Size is 71 x 82 cms, number of pieces: 2,016. A thin polyester batting/wadding but no quilting.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Polygon

Fixed! Friday 04

Welcome back to another Fixed! Friday.

As I had a day off work today, I went to shop for some storage containers for the UFO Garage (aka The Boudoir). So if you saw a pile of translucent boxes with a pair of legs sticking out underneath walking the streets – yes, that was probably me. Anyway, I’m home now, and after filling some of the boxes already I’m in my corner of the sofa as usual. With a steaming mug of coffee on the table, I’m trying some new cake – chocolate with an apricot filling. Blasting through the speakers are Dan Baird’s Love Songs For The Hearing Impaired.

Shall we begin?

Kairo (Cairo)

The pattern is from the prayer niche in the mausoleum of Qalawun in Cairo, erected 1284/85. I found a picture in a book about Islamic art. If I see something like this I’m instantly hooked.

No need for designing the templates this time, as they are already provided by the artist/s who made the tiling. Just a little drawing and cutting. Using my beloved ‘crash fabrics’ again, this is the fifth project made from them.

Made between January 2002 and January 2003, this piece measures 69 x 77 cms, is sewn from 570 pieces and took 59’15 hours to make.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Arabische Fliesen (Arabian tiles)

Fixed! Friday 03

Welcome to Fixed! Friday again.

I’m posting a little later today because I’m only home now after a trip into town. Some of my works are still on display in a local sewing machine shop. It’s time to welcome them home soon.
Now I’ve settled down in my corner of the couch with a cup of tea and a little cardboard tray with two wieners, a little bun and some mustard. I know what you’re thinking – Ah, she’s finally run out of Christmas goodies. – No, I haven’t. They’re made of marzipan and were a Christmas gift. On the turntable: Rage And Ruin by Jimmy Barnes.

Also on today’s menu:

LPP42-13

If you ever see one of my pieces named like this you can be sure it’s another one from my favourite book of all times: Tilings And Patterns by Grünbaum/Shephard. This is #4 in the crash fabric series.

I love the transparency effect where the hexagon ‘rings’ overlap each other which was created by using a light colour and a dark one. As soon as you think you know which one is on top the layers shift. Your eyes can wander around in this one never finding a fixed point.

This is the sketch in which I have outlined the blocks.

Made between May and December 2001, size is 82 x 82 cms. It took 66’25 hours to sew the 475 pieces in this un-quilt together and add the borders and back. I’ve used a thin polyester batting/wadding this time for a little more ‘body’.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Kairo (Cairo)

Fixed! Friday – 2

Welcome back to Fixed! Friday. Comfy again on my sofa with a cup of coffee next to me, dipping in some crunchy leftover Christmas Spekulatius (traditional German kind of advent/Christmas cookies). Dave is watching me from his corner of the couch. On my CD player today: No Plans by Cold Chisel. This rocks!

So – everythings ready for today’s second part. As our beloved WP reader has undergone some slight changes, I hope enough of my post shows up to get you interested. Make yourself comfortable in front of your screen. Here is –

Waben (Honeycomb)

This is the second piece in the ‘crash’ fabric series which was inspired by a TV programme. They were showing a honeycomb lit from the back so you could see the two layers and how they were interlocking. I’ve found a picture in a magazine to show the effect (see centre of the picture).

I’ve made a sketch in the original size, the length of the sides of the black diamonds is 2.5 cms/approx. 1 “. Also, there are hexagons in two different sizes. The dotted lines indicate the sewing lines between the pieces.

Made between September 1996 and November 1999, it took 86’40 hours to sew. Size is 69 x 70 cms, number of pieces: 707. The red fabric has also been used for the back.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: LPP42-13

‘Breakdance’ top finished

Ignoring housework in an act of bravery I spent yesterday finishing the Breakdance top. Maybe I should also mention that I was massively threatened by Dave the Muse to get it done. (I didn’t threaten her, I just pointed out – in detail – possible consequences. – DTM) Well, whatever – here it is.

I’ll have to check now if there’s a big enough piece of this fabric left for the back. I’m also considering a narrow border. Need to see which one of the colours works best.

It’s Fixed! Friday

I’ve made myself comfy on the sofa/settee/couch after getting soaked on my way home. Outside it’s still raining cats and dogs. Next to me I’ve got a thermos full of tea, some leftover Christmas chocolates (yes, such things do exist) and my last cinnamon scented candle is spreading it’s warm light. And I’ve put some soothing music on – Away Again by Mikael Rickfors.

Welcome to my first Fixed! Friday.

As I already mentioned in my last post, the archive pages with all of my works are no longer publicly visible – I’ve set them to ‘private’. But I’ve decided to pull out the best bits one by one and give you some more information on the pieces than was available before. So every Friday I will write about one piece – the fabrics used, my inspiration, maybe share some design sketches or detail photos in case I took any.

Let’s start with some pieces made from some of my favourite cotton fabrics. I call them ‘crash’ fabrics because of the printed pattern and because I don’t know their real name.

Würfel (Cubes)

This is an original pattern, the first one in a row made from the so-called ‘crash’ fabric. As far as I remember I saw this pattern in a book and made a sketch. This was back in 1989.

I remember buying the pad I sketched the pattern on. A well-known local stationery shop in the heart of town. I asked the saleswoman for a pad with 60° isometric triangles. At the end of the 80s this was still sometimes used for drawing in technical education, but the golden age of CAD had already begun. For a second she looked at me as if she was going to call the police, obviously thought of it again and went down to the basement from where she produced the pad. I’ve still got a couple of sheets left. With no hope of a replacement in sight I’m lovingly caring for them.

I started sewing in April 1996 and finished the piece in September 1997. The size is 70 x 72 cms, number of pieces is 611. It took 87.5 hours to make, using the English paper piecing technique. It is unquilted, as my pieces usually are, and there’s no batting/wadding.

Looking forward to your comments. Maybe you made this or a similar pattern, too.

Next week on Fixed! Friday: Waben (Honeycomb)