Saturday, November 16, 2013

A new pillow

Hey everybody!

Long time no see :)

I haven't been particularly productive but I did manage to make this pillow for Lola during round three of the SWAP°PEN pillow swap. SWAP°PEN is a group for German quilters and it was so much fun to see all the pillows that other quilters made. 

 If you recall, I participated in round one and made this pillow.
Aylin is the mastermind behind this group and she organizes it all. I don't know how she does all she does, maybe she doesn't need sleep like the rest of us mortals :)

I had asked on Flickr if there was a need for a tutorial but I need to ask here again: would you like to see a tutorial for this pillow? It isn't traditionally nor paper pieced and doesn't use open edge or freezer paper applique, so I am guessing that my approach is a bit different that the one normally used in the quilting communinity.
Just let me know and I see if I can come up with one in december.

Picture taken by Lola

Have a good weekend!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Updates and a quilt like fruit salad

Good morning everyone!

I hope your summer was fun! Mine was spent in libraries, conference rooms and my appartment and I couldn't be happier. My thesis is coming along, not as fast as I was hoping and not with the amazing results I was dreaming of but isn't it always like this?

I finished the quilt for my brother which I have been working on for quite some time. The letters were all made by my friends from Bee Europe so most of the work for one side was already done and I just had to deal with the other side. Oh, and quilting!(which looks quite adventurous in the pictures but in person, it is actually quite ok)

I think the colors look like fruit salad, so I might call it that way. Up until now, it was J.'s quilt but I am guessing he's ok with having a fruit salad quilt :)

Thank you to everyone who helped me with the survey and to everyone who is still reading this blog (even though I post something once in three months)! I would love to say that posting will get better but I still have one month on my thesis left and then there will be THE final exams... So blogging and sewing will most likely be at the end of my list for another 6 months.

On another note: I was planning some giveaways but haven't found the time for getting everything ready/taking pictures etc. so that will have to wait until after I am done (I know, another month!). Sorry! But I promise it will be fun!

Have a great weekend! What are you up to? I hope you find some time for sewing!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

More on my survey

An online newspaper wrote about my project (in portuguese! Scroll down to the next post to see me talk about it in English).

Si vous êtes ici pour le sondage sur les usages linguistique des jeunes d'origine portugaise in Luxembourg, cliquez ici pour le petit article sur mon projet (en portugais) et pour le sondage (en francais!).

Thanks a bunch to everyone!

Hope you are all having a great weekend!


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A cry for help

Today’s post is a bit different than usual.

As you all might know, I try to not talk about my personal life here; truth is that there is so much going on, I would not know where to start :)

But today I would like you to help me.

As some of you know, I am studying linguistics and sociology. More precisely: French, Spanish and Sociology.
Currently, I am finishing up my master’s degree and right now I focus all my energy on my master's thesis.

Together with my professor who I adore (because she is great!), I picked out a subject we both thought would be interesting to research and write about: language use of students at secondary schools with Portuguese background in Luxembourg.
Yes, at first sight that might look like another one of those scientific topics that everyone but the writer finds – well – boring but bare with me and you’ll see that it is actually quite interesting.

  • First, we consider the overall linguistic situation in Luxembourg: throughout Europe we have countries that have exactly one language as their official language. All of Europe? Well, not entirely. One small country named Luxembourg has three! Yes, that means that children grow up with Luxembourgish, a dialect a bit similar to German, then German and then French. And since we are in Europe, we need at least one “normal” foreign language, which tends to be English.

Now, as a linguist, I adore that constellation!  Luxembourg is a small country, at least compared to Germany - which in turn is tiny compared to the states.
Of course, not all people who live in Luxembourg are trilingual but let’s just assume that this is the norm.

  • Second, there are quite a bit of immigrants living in Luxembourg, in some regions up to 50%. Now it’s the turn of the sociologist in me to rejoice! How does a country manage to integrate that many people? Their cultural identity is in some cases very different from that of families who have lived in Luxembourg for generations. Other countries face a ton of problems regarding integration but apparently, Luxembourg seems to deal with it just fine.

  • Third, immigrants from the same country seem to always form a community when living abroad. I know quite some German communities in Spain and some friends live next to a Turkish one in Germany. They deal with language and cultural issues on their own and help each other. On the other hand that doesn’t really facilitate integration for their children. Now, the Portuguese communities seem to not have that problem at all. There are a lot of Portuguese organizations in Luxembourg but students seem to succeed in school like any other trilingual raised students. Even though they are probably learning four languages just for their daily life.

Now, I already have trouble with my four languages and this already includes English (for students with Portuguese background that would be five languages!) so I can’t really imagine that those students still use and practice their Portuguese.

And this is where my thesis comes into play. Some studies suggest that Portuguese is well alive within Portuguese communities in Luxembourg but those studies were made among adults. But what about their children?

Now, I need your help!

If you (or someone you know) know anyone who is Portuguese or lives in Luxembourg (or both! Yay!), would you please show him/her this entry/the link below and ask them to ask them to invite anyone they can think of?

You can find the survey here (in French because I don’t speak Portuguese) :

Once I get results I can use for my thesis (hopefully in about a month), there will be a massive celebration here on this blog (with quite a lot of giveaways). Hope you are having a great week and thank you, thank you, thank you!

Xo, Johanna

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dani's Quilt

Hello everybody,

a few weeks ago I got an email from a reader saying that she had used my tutorial for the diamond quilt to make her daughter a quilt. I took one look at the pictures and just had to ask her if she was okay with me posting them here.

Dani is such a talented quilter and sewer and put together the most amazing color combination. The quilt is just perfect for spring (which is what we seem to be having right now) and I am sure that Dani's daughter will forever love her first quilt! I know I would!
If you love the quilt (and her model!) as much as I do please tell Dani so in the comments; she doesn't have a flickr account or blog but I am hoping that we will get to see more from her in the future :)

I hope you are all having a great day!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A few things to give away

Update: All gone, thank you!

Hi everyone!
Long time no see :)
I have a few fabricy things to offer and was wondering if anyone of you might like them.

1. First of, a bag full of HSTs, they should be 4.5". I wanted to make a quilt with them but simply cannot find time for it and so they have to go. Most of them are quilt shop quality, but there are also a few retro fabrics in there.

I ask that you pay shipping for them, which is listed at the bottom of this page.
And please don't resell them, I would like to give them to someone who wants to sew with them.

2. And then I have a bag full of shapes used for kaleidoscope quilts: HSTs (4") and that other shape used for it.

Again, I wanted to make a quilt with them but simply cannot find time for it and so they have to go. Most of them are quilt shop quality, but there are also a few retro fabrics in there.

I ask that you pay shipping for them, which is listed at the bottom of this page.
And please don't resell them, I would like to give them to someone who wants to sew with them.

3. Third on my list is a bag full of scraps in colors yellow, red, pink and purple. There are more then 14 ounces of quilt shop quality including some hard to find fabrics and a few solids. Some of the scraps are just a charm squares, almost all are quite bigger.
I would like to get 10€ plus shipping for them.

4. Fourth on my list is a bag full of scraps in colors greyy, blue and green.
There are more then 14 ounces of quilt shop quality including some hard to find fabrics and a few solids. There is half a charm pack of Bella in there, the rest of the scraps are a lot bigger.
I would like to get 10€ plus shipping for them.

5. Fifth on my list is a bag of selvages. I don't really know why I keep collecting them, I never seem to find time to use them.
I ask that you pay shipping for them, which is listed at the bottom of this page.
And please don't resell them, I would like to give them to someone who wants to sew with them.

6. Sixth, I found a bag full of squares in the back of my closet, the solid ones are 4.25", the quilt fabric squares are 2.5".
I ask that you only pay shipping for them, which is listed at the bottom of this page.
And please don't resell them, I would like to give them to someone who wants to sew with them.

If you would like one of these items, please contact me at Jonalili {at} gmx. de or just leave a comment and I will contact you.
Thank you everyone, I hope these packages go to someone who really loves sewing with them.

Have a great week!

Shipping for each of these items is: 2,40€ within Germany, 3,45€ to the rest of the world.
I won't send them insured and they cannot be tracked.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Rainbow explosion and THE perfect pillow

I just realized I never showed this pillow on my blog.
I made it for the X-Factor Swap more then two months ago when I still had a bit of time. The theme of the round was scrappy squares and I decided that making the pillow out of squares of the same size would be too easy so I cut squares in two sizes.
Bonus: this way it is much more complicated to get the layout right then if all squares were the same size :)
Extra bonus: piecing is a huge pain and there really is no easy way out :)

After all votes were in, I was surprised and sooooo very happy to find out I won first place. Which meant I got the pillow that won second place :)
It came all the way over from the US and was made by Melissa. Thank you again Melissa, it truely is a beautiful pillow!

And while I am at sharing beautiful pillows, this one was custom made for me by Susanne. I'll never know how she could sew a pillow this perfect for me because we have never met in person; but the second I saw it, I knew it was mine! Aqua and orange with white, triangles, clear lines, paperpiecing and a little twist (see those little triangles at the bottom falling out?). It can't get any better!
Thank you Susanne!

I hope you are enjoying the weekend!
I so wish I could have gone to the quilters' meeting in Berlin this weekend but it just wasn't in the cards for me. Girls, I hope you are having fun!


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sweet Divinity Diamond Quilt - Repost

This Post was originally published at the Quilted Fish in 2011. In the mean time I made another quilt with the pattern which you can see below.

Just another word on pinning: I have seen people pin the image below but without a link to the tutorial which led to other people repinning and even blogging about it but wondering how they can construct the quilt. So, to be fair to everyone, if you pin, then please include a link, either to this site or the original. Please be fair, not just for me but also for your fellow quilters. Thank you!

Also, if you don't know the original source, you can always do a google image search :)

Sweet Divinity Diamond Quilt

Hi everyone,
Let’s get started right away with a nice and easy diamond baby quilt!

This one measures 33x39 inches / 80x96cm and is perfect for that little cuddly baby you want to keep warm  - but you can also just make it bigger by adding more diamonds to the sides if you prefer.
And don’t be afraid of those diamonds, I show you that you absolutely have nothing to fear, we just have to use a bit more pins then we usually do :)
*Some large scraps of your choice – I used 12” squares from all 21 prints of Sweet Divinity
*White fabric for the sashing – ¾ yard
*Fabric of your choice for backing – 1 yard (or 1 ¼ yard if you plan on using a directional print) and binding –  ½ yard
*Template for the diamonds
*Rotary cutter, cutting mat, and ruler
*Your sewing machine
*A bit of time
1. Prepare your fabrics and press nicely.
2. Create the template for your diamonds: First draw a cross on a sheet of paper. Measure 4 ¾ inches across and 7¾ inches upright and mark the axes of your cross there.

Now, you have to connect those marks to each other and add your seam allowances and you get this:

And if you want your template to be bigger you just add some inches to either side of the cross...
Also, if you don't like constructing your own template, just print out the image up there and either enlarge or shrink it to the size you want.

3. Lay the template on your fabric. If you have enough fabric chose nice areas of the prints like those big flowers of Sweet Divinity. My diamonds are cut on the bias because I wanted to represent the prints as accurately as possible. If you use fabric without directions in their prints then chose to cut your diamonds with the edges on the grain (you can also chain piece them that way!). It will be much easier to piece.

4. Cut out your fabric and make sure that all your seam allowances are correct. I used 35 entire diamonds and 12 half diamonds that were cut horizontally (for the north and south ends of the quilt) and 7 half diamonds that were cut vertically (for the east and west ends of the quilt) . If you have a lot of fabric you can just cut 44 entire diamonds and cut 6 of them in half horizontally and 4 of them in half vertically.

5. Cut your white fabric into sashing strips. Mine are 1” wide. If you use a seam allowance of ¼ “ then your sashing strip should be cut 1 ½ “ wide.

6. Lay out your diamonds and arrange them in an order that you like.

7. Take a picture with your camera so that you won’t forget your order or label little pieces of paper and stick one to each diamond.

8. Take one of your sashing strips and begin to chain piece your diamonds to it. Please make sure that your diamonds don’t shift or lose their shape by either feeding then into your sewing machine with the sashing strips on top or pinning the diamonds to the sashing strips.

9. Remember to leave enough space at the end of each strip because we will make a diagonal cut after each diamond. Repeat until you have either all left or all right, bottom or up sides of the diamonds pieced to sashing strips. If a half diamond doesn’t have that specific side because it is sitting at one of the ends of the quilt just leave it.

10. Take the strips and press the seams to one side. Repeat until all strips and their diamonds are pressed.

11. Now align your ruler to the edge of the diamonds and cut along the diamonds and the attached sashing. You should now have 35 diamonds, 5 horizontally cut in half diamonds, and 4 vertically cut in half diamonds with sashing attached to one side.

12. Lay them out in the order you wanted. You will now have rows that have sashing between them and rows that don’t.

13. Now attach the diamonds that have sashing between them to each other. This step is a little tricky because it involves matching diagonally cut seams but don’t worry, with a bit of precision this is really nothing scary.

14. Take two diamonds that lay next to each other. You can draw a little line with a disappearing marker on the sashing at the exact spot where your seams will meet at one edge. Alternatively, you can stick a pin there or cut a tiny mark with your scissors. Now match that spot to the seam allowance of the diamond next in line. Pin along the sashing using a lot of pins because the diamonds are cut on the bias and are more likely to shift.


15. Sew and press your seams to one side.

16. Take another sashing strip and pin it to one of the long sides of the rows you just created. If a sashing strip is not long enough, piece two together. It is important here that you pin a lot. If you cut your diamonds on the bias your rows will want to shift and pinning will prevent this. I usually try to avoid pins whenever possible but it is vital to use them here or you will have to undo your seams because your quilt top will be too wonky to be quilted.

17. Sew and press your seams to one side.

18. Now comes the most difficult step! We now have many rows and each of them has a sashing strip running down one side. They now need to be connected to each other. Take two of your rows (that lay next to each other) and a ruler.

 Align the ruler with the seam of each diamond that runs crosswise to the sashing you have just sewn on. Mark or pin the spot where the ruler and the outer edge of that sashing meet. Let your pin stick out a bit over your fabric edge. You should have at least one mark for each diamond.

 19. Now we match those marks on the sashing of one row to the seams of the diamonds on the next row, pin like crazy (important!) and sew them together.

 20. Repeat with all rows and press your seams to one side. You should now have a wonderful quilt top that you can back, baste, and quilt.

21. If you are like me you would have to learn how to free motion quilt first, but I am sure that straight line quilting would also look fabulous on this one!

22. Enjoy!
And thanks for stopping by!

I made this tutorial, so please don't reproduce, sell or distribute it without my permission. Feel free to pin or share the link with others but please be fair. And please, do share pictures of your quilts made with this tutorial! I would love to see them!