Monday, September 30, 2013

summer lingers....

It's fall, I know. Technically. But summer lingers on here and I love it! My flower boxes are just overflowing with hanging geraniums, the sunflowers are in full bloom, trees are still green and the days are sunny and warm. Yet...there are signs....in the forest we see mushrooms popping up, acorns and a few leaves are falling, twilight comes earlier and the nights are cool.

I'm "just" about in the mood for autumn. And I'm just full of anticipation, because fall is my favorite!

But before we move on to the new season, please let me share with you some of very my favorite images from around my house and garden from the past months. Enjoy!
 A beautiful, graceful visitor.
Spooky, my gorgeous but untouchable cat. Such a problem boy, staying away from home for days...weeks...months...but right now, he's incredibly loyal. I'm happy for that!
My boys digging up potatoes. So delicious, fresh from the garden. 
Long summer nights.
 A thriving little wildflower patch my youngest son and I planted by seed in the spring.
Caramel vanilla birthday cake, for me, from my very sweet daughter.

I can't have too many pink flowers! 
Double rainbow over the Rhine river.
A fantastic harvest of the sweetest, juiciest peaches from our young tree this summer!
 Another cake by my daughter, just for fun!
 Sunset on the Rhine promenade.
My sunny window boxes and table decorations.
 Leisurely summer breakfasts on no-rush-for-school days.
 
Grapevines with the sunshine filtering through. 
My daughter (who else!) spoiled us with homemade donuts one day. Don't you think this girl is going to run a cake shop some day!? If you like her style, check out her pins!
 
Pumpkins and sunflowers are the first sign of fall in our garden. So cheerful and sunny.
I love it when summer gives autumn a chance to come gently. 

xoxo 
Karen


Monday, September 23, 2013

Sewing with Amy Butler: Kimono

This summer my daughter and I did a sewing project together using Amy Butler's pattern for the Kimono-style bathrobe from her "In Stitches" book.
  
Our daughter really had longed for her own sewing machine after years of sewing and practicing on my machine, so for her 16th birthday last winter we saved up and bought her a very nice machine. I had received a similar model from the same company (Pfaff) when she was a baby and I really love this machine - it's just as great now as it was 16 years ago. I  was a bit sad to see that the new  Pfaff machines are no longer made in Germany, but that's how things have changed in a decade or two. It's still an excellent machine, I hope. So far my daughter has sewn some little hearts that she filled with lavender, and some covered clothes hangers. But I was looking for a more complex project for her to really get to know her machine better. The Kimono robe was just perfect.
My daughter chose a pretty floral fabric to work with -
-and I went with an Amy Butler print. I love the earthy & sky colors and paisley design.
We then set to work cutting out the pattern, much of it we had to measure ourselves as it was simply rectangular pieces. 
We had our two machines set up on the dining room table and it was really fun to sew simultaneously!

The robes were done in no time (an hour here, an hour there, we were done in a few days). This is a great pattern for beginners.  I might add pockets on my robe later (there was more yardage required than actually needed), but for now, it's just fine and I love seeing it hanging on my armoire when I wake up in the morning!

I really like the  Gypsy Caravan fabrics in violet/mauves and would love to make a quilt for my bedroom as my next Amy Butler project. Maybe next summer :) Take a look at her free online magazine Blossom  -  so inspiring! 
Thanks for looking and have a lovely day!
xoxo
Karen

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Sewing with Amy Butler: Sunday Sling

This was my big Amy Butler project from last summer, the Sunday Sling. This bag was a lot of sewing but so worth it!
My mom gave me a few yards of these gorgeous teal/aqua/green Amy Butler fabrics a few years ago and I just couldn't bear to cut into them. I couldn't decide if I would use the material for home decor project or a tunic or maybe a bag. Such a dilemma. I finally decided I really needed a great tote bag and purchased the Sunday Sling pattern, only to realize I still needed a half-dozen different types of interfacing. I probably could have found the interfacing here in Germany but my sweet mom has a great shop in her town so she sent them to me right away.
This bag took me several hours on two weekends for sewing. There are four interior pockets and two small exterior pockets - or the other way around, as it is reversible. All the interfacing makes it super sturdy and I love the finished details and especially the cute tied handles.
Lots of  pockets are great even though I know if I put my keys in one, I know I'll have to check all four before finally locating them! The bag proved perfect for our trip to Belgium last summer - both for the beach (towels, sun lotion, sea shells) and for city touring (bottle of water, camera) - and at home I have it in use all the time for daily errands, shopping, library books, etc. The colors are just my favorites and it looks especially great when I wear brown, green or aqua shades. It also matches the pretty bracelet my mom gave me when I turned 40 not so long ago (!!). Moms just know best don't they!
 
As a scrapbooker, one of my goals is to make more pages about me (not easy!) to squeeze in with all the kids and family themed pages, so I made a page in my 2012 album about this project.

My final project is something from this summer (wow!) that my daughter and I made together. I'll be back soon to share!
Thanks for looking!
 xoxo 
Karen

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sewing with Amy Butler: Cabo Halter

The first Amy Butler pattern I sewed was the Cabo Halter. I have to admit, I made this about three years ago!
I didn't want to ruin my beautiful fabric so I decided to test run the pattern on a sheet I bought at the thrift shop. It turned out so beautiful, I can actually wear it!
But I will always have that feeling of "I'm wearing someone's old sheet" so I finally cut into this gorgeous aqua/cream shell print fabric. It is not an Amy Butler fabric but Lulu Sanchez from Timeless Treasures fabrics. I just love it.
This pattern was a great opportunity for practicing sewing nice straight lines on the top stitching of the halter ties, which seem to go forever while you're sewing! But fun.
I love how the halter top turned out in this soft aqua fabric. It's comfortable and flattering. I don't wear it as often as I would like to - I'm not often at a pool or beach  - the only places I'll probably wear such a casual top like this. However, I think it's a classic that will always be in style.

I hope to post my next project tomorrow!
xoxo
Karen