Thursday, July 6, 2017

Welcome to Germany: Quilter's Style

The sum total of my stitching choices while I wait
for my sewing room to arrive.
As we told you in our post "Going Global," I (Kara) have moved to Germany! We found out that we would be moving here last October—two days before Teri and I left for Quilt Market in Houston. I waited to tell Teri that it was official until we had arrived at our hotel, and she was sitting down with coffee in hand (wine would have been better, but it was only ten in the morning). She took the news well, and we proceeded to enjoy all the wonder that is Quilt Market and Quilt Festival. I was told so many times in that week, "You had better stock up on fabric, because it is so expensive in Europe." So for that week and up until we left, I took those words as a personal challenge and built up my stash. My stash is currently on a boat, working its way to me, and unfortunately, I don't expect to see it until the beginning of August. I did pack my Academy of Appliqué 2018 block, a crazy quilt project, and an English paper piecing project, but that is all the "quilty" stuff I have.

We have been living in a hotel for about three weeks now, and while stitching on the above projects is fun, I was definitely craving some quilter companionship. Thankfully, the Black Forest Quilt Guild had their monthly meeting the last Friday in June. My new friends—Birgit, Lisa, and Becky (thank you Facebook)—let me know the place and time and off I went to the meeting, driving by myself for the first time.

The guild meeting is held monthly in a community center very near our hotel. I was a bit early, but I was warmly greeted by those who were there. The guild, almost 20 years old, is made up of ID card holders (military and civilian) from the Stuttgart area, as well as residents of the greater Stuttgart area. 

A view of the library table

A beautiful hall to host the guild meeting

The guild began with a little business first, and then a lovely program about traveling with various quilt projects. The speaker brought quite a few handy items—such as bags, tools, patterns for bags, and many tips and tricks. 

The speaker (on the right) sharing some of her quilting travel trips.
Because this is a German/American guild, both languages are represented,
so this presentation was given in English and interpreted in German.

Then some of the members showed their favorite quilt projects for travel. One project that someone brought was a quilt done in the Japanese fabric folding method, atarashii. I had never seen this method before, and it is a bit difficult to find much about it on the web, but it is beautiful and very portable. You can see some tutorials here and here, but you must use Google translate, unless you are fluent in German. I was fascinated by this method and can't wait to give it a try.

I love the color choices!

Demonstrating some of the prep work.

Sharing this method's portability.
Each piece is quilted individually, so there is no need for quilting once
all the pieces are connected.

After the presentation and a break, it was time for Show and Tell. The quilts that members showed varied in size, style, and method, but they were all wonderful. I didn't get pictures of all but here are a few. Note: While the hall was beautiful, the lighting was not the best for taking pictures.

As part of the travel theme, members were asked to bring quilts,
 if they had them, about travel. 

This quilt with mini campers was adorable.

Many of the places visited during this quilter's time in Germany,
are represented in this quilt.

This quilt represents a visit to the northern part of the U.S.

Another gorgeous quilt highlighting places that were visited. 

This beautiful quilt was made from different shirtings.

A T-shirt quilt made for her husband.

This quilt was made for a close friend. Wouldn't you be thrilled to receive this?!

My new friend Birgit and a child's quilt she made.

She cut out and quilted some of the individual
panels to create a memory game.

The green in this quilt started life as a tablecloth.

A sweet child's quilt, lovingly made.

This quilt is stunning in person!!

A patchwork garden

A beautifully done Bonnie Hunter pattern.

This guild does two different block of the month projects each month. Those who want to participate, make the block for that month—either modern or traditional—and then they have a chance to win all the blocks. 

The traditional June BOM.

The modern June BOM.

Someday, when my ship comes in (meaning the boat that is carrying my sewing machine), I will definitely take part in these fun blocks and all the other exciting activities this guild offers. They even let you ask for a block to be made by fellow members, to commemorate a birthday, farewell, or other special event. One lady asked for a birthday block, and passed out materials and guidelines for the block. I will share more on that in another post.

The Black Forest Quilt Guild has been one of the most welcoming guilds that I have been privileged to attend. It proves my theory that quilters are some of the nicest people, no matter where you are in the world. I am looking forward to jumping right in with both feet and a sewing needle! Hopefully you have enjoyed reading about a guild on this side of the world, and if you have a special story about your guild, please let us know!


  1. I miss being there. I was a newbie quilter and everyone was very helpful and friendly. I always enjoyed the demonstrations and the show and tell.
    Hopefully I will get back that way again.

    1. I hope so too! What a fun and helpful environment it must be to a new quilter.

  2. you are so very blessed to have a new to you guild in your area! We've moved away from one that I was a founding member in, and I miss the encouragement and friends I had there. Going each month encouraged me to want to have some project done to share. Now I don't piece as much as I did, living way out at least 80 miles round trip to one possible guilt, and about 2 hours drive from my original guild.

    1. I am very blessed and I'm sorry that you have to travel so far. Hopefully, you can find some other quilters in your immediate area.

  3. Hi Teri and Kara,
    Much to say... I was looking through my long list of bookmarks and say the name of your website. I haven't stopped by for a long, long, time. Sorry! So I've just spent the last 1 1/2 hours reading a lot of your posts. Oh my gosh! Life has certainly changed for the two of you. Is this move to Germany a permanent one? You both must have been so sad to have to say goodbye, but what an opportunity. I just loved looking through the German quilting guild pictures.There are some talented women there. I can imagine that you are so anxious to get your sewing machine back. Well ladies, I'm so glad I found you again and I will certainly check in my often. God bless you both.

    1. So glad you found us again! Yes, life has definitely changed for both of us but we are committed to going forward—and excited about it too! My husband and I will be here for three years. The Black Forest Quilters are a talented group of ladies and I look forward to spending more time with them. Thanks for reading and as an update, my sewing machine made it here safe and sound.

  4. I am happy that you have joined the Black Forest Quilters. I think the guild will benefit from your stay here in Germany .