Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Double Dutch Random Sampler Quilt Along - Block 4

If this is new to you we will start with some introductions:
  • you can find the announcement of the Double Dutch Random Sampler QAL here at Lotjes blog. 
  • you can find the tutorial for the first block here on her blog. 
  • you can find the tutorial for the second block on Muriel's blog here
  • you can find the tutorial for the third block on Eva-Marie's blog here
  • you can find our dutch modern quilting group "double dutch" on Flickr here- and you can join the QAL on Flickr here


This month we are going to sew curves. It is a bit tricky, but fun to try if only this one time (at the end you can also find a no curves option).

DSC06121 2

There are of course lots of different ways to sew curves. We are going to make improv curves. For instructions watch this  tutorial. The curved part start about after 6 minutes. There are also other tutorials, pick the one you like best, but do watch a video, that really is the best way to see how it works. 

Here is what you need for 6 inch block:

- two strips of the solid (yellow in my block) measuring 8 x 3"
- one strip of both print fabrics measuring 8 x 3"

That was easy, right?


Then you but one solid and one print strip on top of each other like on the picture above. You don't use the ruler for cutting, I just put it there to keep the pieces in place (not sure that helped much). Keep in mind that the final blocks needs to be 3.5" so don't make the curves too deep.

I have made the measurment generous on purpose, so you can start cutting with straight line (1/2" or so). That way you get an easy start when you start to sew. If you wish you can trim the straight part of when your done. For instructions how to cut please see the youtube video, here is the link again.


Sometimes when I use this method in the end the strips don't match. That's fine, you just trim that off. Here the yellow fabric is also a bit thicker than the print fabric which made it harder to sew, so if possible use same kind of fabric.

When you press the finished strips I like to start on the right side of the fabric so that all weird creases that you sometimes get with curves stay on the back side.


Then you make of each strip two 3.5" blocks, assemble them and sew them together. 


For the quilt I might put my blocks on point.

Please, no curves!


As promised here is a no curves option. Repeat the steps above, but when cutting make a diagonal line with your ruler instead of curves. Quick and easy!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


Catching up.....

Better never than late... Quilt group Double Dutch has started a Double Dutch Random Sampler QAL!For more info go here here and here. And be sure to go HERE to see Lotje's amazing quilt that was the inital inspiration to start the QAL.

I haven't had time to start yet, but I will be soon! I already have a theme and a "color scheme" for my quilt.

The color inspiration is from a piece of paper I found lying around kids craft table:


And the name and guide line I have chosen for  my quilt is: RIOT! So now I start  to hum this song every time I think about the quilt. I predict a riot!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Blogger’s Quilt Festival - For Me

For me


I started this quilt fall 2012 and only finished it this January. I wanted to make the coziest and softest quilt just for me! The front is voile and back flannel, all Free spirit fabrics from Anna Maria Horner and Joel Dewberry. For batting I chose wool for the first time. Choosing the fabrics was sort of an exercise in letting go of all ideas what I like or don't like and be bold. That is also the reason why it took so long to finish. Every time when I was working on it and started to second guess my choices I stopped and let it rest.

I first quilted it by hand with two shades of blue pearl cotton - also a bold choice for me. To be sure that the quilting was steady I added some simple free moition quilting curls on it. I'm still FMQ beginner so did not dare to try something more advanced.

After all second guessing I really do like this quilt and it every bit as warm and soft to cuddle under as I imagined it would be.

I entered this quilt to Blogger's Quilt Festival in category Original Design Quilts. I though that would be the best category for it - all made and designed for me by me!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Warning! Knitting can cause severe neck pain

At least if you are stupid enough to knit with circular needles that cost €0.70 ($0.96). I was so  eager to start with the follow your arrow kal that I just bought them from a local shop dedicated to anything cheap (Wibra) because they where fastest ones to get. Of course the thread constantly got stucked between the wire and the needle causing lots of frustration and combined with a pattern that I kept getting wrong I managed to hurt my neck and shoulders like never before and the only choice was to stop knitting. This was in February.


Today I decided to try again. Going straight back to Follow you arrow shawl felt too adventurous so I added some rounds to my socks project. So far so good, so I guess I can start knitting again!

Ginny's Yarn along is about knitting and reading. I can not do those simultaneously, but they do occupy the same moments of the day, so there definitely is a link. So since I have not been knitting I have been reading. I read Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies (affiliate links). Really enjoyed the Wolf Hall, but read a bit too fast through Bring up the Bodies to thoroughly enjoy it. That happens to me some times, maybe some leftover from the time when I had to race to finish a book before I needed to take it back to library? I don't know. Anyhow it was a really nice preparation for upcoming vacation in England, so I decided to stay on the island and just started to read good old Agatha Christie. This is how she begins the story:


Yep, I guess that is me :)

Linking with Yarn Along

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yay to Little Projects!


This table runner was so easy and fast to make. I love love love this Anna Maria Horner fabric, it is magical. When the day turns to evening and the light changes so does the fabric with all the lime popping up. And I love poppies and so does the rest of the family, so we are all enjoying my little home improvement project. 


The project was fast, but even better I learned something new! I used a tutorial from Silly BooDilly how to face a quilt which basically means how to have no-binding-binding. My dislike for bindings is not just about the fact that they are hard to make perfect. I often don't like how they look. I don't want to frame my work. So this was just perfect. Since I used a very strong color for  for the back of the quilt it still peeks out a bit, but I like it. Little ray of sunshine coming through.


 I free motion quilted it and it was so much fun! Have to have more of that. 

What a perfect little project. Makes me happy! 

Thursday, February 20, 2014


To decide what not to do. There are so many things I would love to do and be able to do and last year I feel I was jumping to do this and that resulting not getting that much done. So it is time to let go of something and for me it is garment sewing.

My secret plan last year was to make a me made wardrobe and take part in me made may. I spent hours and hours sewing a fancy dress for a wedding starting with a muslin version first and doing everything the best I knew how. And it did not fit! I pulled it out of the closet just to get a picture for you, but did not bother to iron.

It is not possilbe to talk about garment sewing without mentioning your breast size, is it? Well my issue is that I'm kind of busty and not very long. L is too long and too wide on the shoulders, M is tight on the bust. Buying fancy dresses is a challenge so it would have been so cool to be able to make my own. Turns out that being busty means that patterns will not fit you either and adjustments are a big hassle. I'm not enjoying the process. I just want the damn dress.

I also tried a skirt. Hours and hours of hand sewing...and I don't like the fit. It was from the Alabama Chanin book and I blogged about the making of it here in 2012. After three pregnancies I'm over sensitive about looking pregnant, but still I think the cut accentuate the tummy area in a unflattering way. Of course I noticed that only when I was already done. Also I lost some weight and in the end it was too big. Frustrating. (not the loosing last off baby fat, but spending hours on sewing something that does not fit). Here a small blurry photo of it taken by phone by my then 4 year old. I know, the tummy looks OK here, but there are some other pictures...
Even though I'm throwing in the towel I do enjoy looking at other people's creations and process. I found it fascinating how little changes alter the whole look and how something fits. I love the whole process of creating your own look. But for now I will admire from distance and  put my own creative energies elsewhere. 

After I had wrote the first draft of this post I read Jennifer Louden's blog post about finding your creative medium. Interesting read for sure!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Letter I

I is for Inspiration

I think I was talking about trying to make some smaller projects to feel more accomplished? So now I'm dreaming of big quilts with big shapes....Women can change her mind, right?

I'm dreaming making lot of big triangles and then just play with them. This would however demand a lot of fabric so why not think big and then make a small version of it? Inspriration from here and here and some other places that I can't remember anymore. I think this would be easier with an ruler, but maybe I can just make a template? I still have some template plastic from my first quilt course that I took in 2010. Still haven't finished that quilt.

I'm also thinking about to make something very minimalistic and then add a very dense and busy free motion quilting. Inspiration came from here.

Sugar Block Club 2014 January
Sugar Block Club January - Intention

I is for Intention

To make this happen, or even to make some of it happen I really need to be more intentional with my time -which was the team of first Sugar Block Club block. I'm so glad that I participated. I made my blog at the beginning of the month and it does give me an accomplished feeling to know that at least I did that.

My plan for the Sugar Blocks is to use a lot of yellow with some orange and green accents. I have wanted to make a yellowish quilt with traditional blocks for the longes time and it is finally happening, yay!

I'm starting to think that key to planning is not only to decide what you do but also what you don't do. I really look forward to working with my "old fabric quilt" (I need a catchier name for that) but have been very strict with myself - that project is for february. This keeps me from feeling too busy and using less time wondering "what shall I do" when I actually have time to do something. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good Things in Life that Begin with Letter S

S is for Socks. 
Woolen socks that is. I don't have any strong feelings about other kind of socks. I asked from Santa sock yarn and look what I got! Will keep my hands busy for a while. I finally decoded the heel and have put together my own sock pattern that I like. I'm testing it now with the purple one and will post it here when I know for sure that it works. It is nothign special, just a easy to remember formula so that I don't have to look for a pattern every time I want to make socks.


We got finally Netflix here in the Netherlands in September and that is now how I spent my evenings when I should be folding laundry  - watch Netflix and knit. Makes for guilt-free TV watching because I'm actually doing something at the same time. 

S is for the Signature of All Things
Love love love loved it! There is so many things in this book that resonated with me. I don't know even where to start. I won't put any spoilers here but I must say that I was happy not to have read anything about the book before I read it myself. So this is not a book review and maybe not about the book at all. It is more a list of thoughts that the book evoke in me and you probably learn more about me than the book.

I loved the book because it reminded me how I loved nature programs on TV, visiting botanical gardens and dreamed of traveling to remote places, to live on an remote island and study whales, explore the world and of course being dissapointed that there where no white spots on the map anymore in 1980s. 

It also reminded me why I stopped dreaming about those things. I got older and realised the horrors of the white mans explorations, stopped believing in the importans of science and felt that nature does not need us to study it and that I certanly did not have the need to do it. I was just looking for an excuse to sit on a boat and watch whales all day. 

And then it reminded me why I don't really want to be on that remote island, how I in the end dreamed " live withing humanity's most recent moment, at the cusp of invention and progress". 

And finally I loved the Dutch connection and the fact that in less that an hour I can visit some of the places she talks about in the book.

In Elizabeth's own words the mega success of Eat Pray and Love paid for this book. If you ever get your hands on big amounts of money I could not think of a better way to spend it! 

Linking wiht yarn along

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I'm back from the Christmas holiday that was very relaxing even though some of it was wasted on a nasty cold. I was very exited to get back home and make plans for the coming year. I have also chosen a word for the year, and this time it is:


At first I thought of making some kind of recap of the previous words, but then this one just came to my mind and felt perfect. I will however incorporate the previous words to this one. Connection guided by trust, joy and confidence. 

To more concrete plans for this year I signed up for Follow your arrow mystery kal and that will be my knitting challenge for this year. Otherwise I will continue making socks. I finally tackled the heel ;) More about that on another post. 

What it comes to quilting my first goal is to continue with a quilt that I started in September made of all kind of old fabrics from my childhood home. Can't wait! Secondly I got very inspired by all the hand made gifts during December and I'm hoping to make some small projects like table runners and quilted tote bags. I'm finally able to free motion quilt thanks to my husband who build my machine an extension table and with little projects I can start to play rigth away and don't have to wait for a whole quilt top to be finished. 

I would also like to feel a bit more accomplished this year which makes little projects perfect. Accomplished rather than productive even though I'm always envious to really productive people. What I do not want is to feel busy, so it is a fine balance. Will see how it goes. 

Maybe a bit belated, but Happy New Year!