Gift and remnants

About 5 years ago I bought some fabric with the same design as  the old postbags used in our little country. I made two bags with them (which you can find here and here), but there was still a bit left.

So for Father’s day this year I decided to make a toilet bag for my husband.


I started with cutting 2 rectangular pieces from the fabric, as well as 2 similar pieces for the lining. This fabric is coated, and therefore perfect for the inside of this bag.


The zipper was sewn in between both layers.

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The boxed bag was sewn together with right fabric and lining at once. I tried to make pictures of this, but it was too hard to see anything. There are many tutorials on youtube about how to do this.


So there it is; a boxed pouch with no raw edges!


Something else what has been on my shelves for a long time are red fabrics my mother-in-law brought with her from India. I did make a blouse with them, but had leftovers which I didn’t really know what to do with. The fabric is very thin and slippery, almost silky. and most pieces were too small to really use; except for a patchwork infinity scarf.


I’ve sewn the pieces together with straight lines, folded the whole piece and stitched the long side. Then it was turned right side out and both ends were sewn together, leaving a small piece to handstitch.

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Groetjes, Dorien

A little update

Today I finally had time to clear up and clean my workroom and it made me realize that it had been a long time since my last post.

So a little update on what has been going on is in order.

The first item is a new notebook I made for my nephew. He is training for a 1/8 triathlon, so he needs all the encouragement he can get.

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The next is a gift for my sister. I needed 26 colors to embroider a celestial design on fabric with a sort of eggplant color.


Then I made this into a pouch with a cotton lining.



Up to now I usually hesitated to machine embroider freehand. Although I’ve quilted quite a lot, this was something that seemed out of my reach.
But as it usually is, just try and make a lot of mistakes, and then at some point. I will kind of get the hang of it. I won’t show all the experiments.

This little girl is world famous (and now I see it without her balloon this picture seems very wrong)


Using a light box I sketched it on the fabric and started embroidering. With the feed dogs down, I moved the fabric under the needle, with black thread ‘painting’ the picture.

I think it worked out pretty well, except for the nose, that will need some extra work.

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Groetjes, Dorien

Some finished projects

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It has been a while since my last post, but that doesn’t mean it was very quiet over here. Lots of life going on, and lots of projects finally finished. The first I can show is this little quilt.
A few months ago, I was very happy to get the wonderful EQ8, a quilt-design software. I’ve been playing with it a lot and designed the most fabulous quilts, which I’ll never make because they are far too complicated.

WC Quiltje

But this one is completely made by me. I’ve designed three blocks (which are probably to be found somewhere on the web, but what is the fun about that?), and printed the templates.

Each block is 10”inch , and with the border the quilt measures 22”inches (56 cm).


Then all the pieces were cut and the patchwork done.


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After quilting (which is not my forte!) I’ve made the binding and a sleeve to hang the quilt. And maybe you’ve noticed: I did the sleeve on the wrong side, so now the large starblock is on the bottom left instead of on the right.

Then, because winter is over, I finally finished this warm, soft cardigan.


Pattern: Weekend Walk
Yarn: Drops Air (Orange)

And last but not least a new tunic, made of linen.

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The fabric is screenprinted by hand at a Dutch company: Vlinder

The neckline is almost square. You can’t see any stitches, because I understitched it. This gives it a very clean look.


The sleeves have little box pleats.


And because I really wear a scarf every day, I made one from the leftover fabric.


That’s it for now; I’m going to practice on my quilting skills.

Groetjes, Dorien

Finished quilttop (almost)

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the quilt I was making. A landscape quilt with a little river, some mountains, a house, a tree and a sun. The top is now almost finished. The only thing left to do is embroider names and a date, and because I can’t show those, this is the last moment I can make pictures to show.

The first thing added since last time was a little bird.

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The cows moved to the left bank of the river and I decided that the little pigs and lambs had to be left out of the quilt. Then the flowers and leaves were drawn, cut and put on.



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Every flower and leave has been sewn and there is a little embroidery too.


(You can click on the image to enlarge to see more detail.) Everything is stitched now, including the mountains and the sun.

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And then one last picture, of the complete quilttop.

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This is an order from one of my neighbours. His daughter is getting married and this is going to be his gift to her.  All elements are what he asked for. Now he wants me to embroider both names and the date of the wedding and after that I can make a proper quilt out of it with a back and some batting. I’m not going to quilt a lot, just a few lines.

Groetjes, Dorien

Indian silk, notebooks and poppies


The other week my husband should have gone to India for work, but because he hurt his back he had to stay at home. Of course I had asked him to look for some gorgeous indian fabrics, maybe sarees. And he passed this question on to his colleagues. So this is what I got:

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Beautiful silk fabric in wonderful colors. Both pieces are about 6 meters long, so that really is a lot of fabric. I’m going to look at both of them for a long time, before I’ll decide what to do with them.
Naturally I wanted to thank both ladies who took the effort to pick these. And of course there had to be a link to India.So I made these two notebooks with an embroidered design on the front which was inspired by Mehndi, one with a lotus and the other with a peacock.




Since a couple of years I have been making these flower scarves, usually with tulips, bluebells, oxeye daisies, or with roses. Now someone asked me to make a scarf with lots of red flowers, including poppies. I never made poppies before, so I had to find a pattern. But there wasn’t a pattern I liked for a poppy with a stem, neccessary for a scarf like the ones I make. So I made my own.



The poppy is crocheted with a limegreen center, it has red petals with a few black stripes. The stem is also limegreen. 



The lady who ordered it was very happy with the scarf, and actually, so am I. So I guess I’ll be making more scarves with poppies; not yet sure in combination with which flowers.

Groetjes, Dorien

House renovation and a bit of gardening

Last week I showed you the quilt I’m working on. It had some mountains in the background, a river, a sun and a house. Lots of empty space to fill.

But I wasn’t too happy about the house. It was dull and I wanted the house to have a bit of personality. So I made a new house.

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It’s a lot lighter, and not nearly finished. Later I will make window frames and probably give the house more detail. It already has a bit of garden and some animals.

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Right now the animals have only been pinned on to the fabric because I’m not quite satisfied with them. The plants also need some detailing and  I ‘m not sure wether it’s going to be done with thread (embroidery) or by coloring with a pencil.

Next step:


From different shades of green I cut different shapes. Some quite large, and the lighter tones quite small. This is going to be my tree. I already had a treetrunk, and some branches cut out and put on the quilttop.


The heart in the center is there because the quilt is going to be a wedding gift. Now it looks quite odd, but I’m sure that when it’s finished it will look like a natural woodknot.
Now it’s time to place all the leaves. Before cutting, I had double-sided adhesive (like Heat and Bond lite) ironed to the back of the fabric and after cutting, removed all the paper on the back. So after putting all the leaves on the quilt, all I had to do was ironing.

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Because the sun is on the right, that side of the tree will have more light and that has to be shown in the leaves. So on the left are more dark tones, becoming lighter and brighter to the other side. I wasn’t too particular about placing. The smallest, lightest leaves came last, and then all was set by iron.


Groetjes, Dorien

Lots of hugs


Lots of hugs, that is what these words mean. And that is what is very important in anyones lives, but it is kind of a theme these days in my life.

It’s with reason that I’ve been absent for so long. I don’t think anyone is waiting for me to elaborate on this but a lot of hugs were needed.

Now I’m on my way back, still a long road ahead of me, but I’m getting there. Since a few weeks it’s possible again to craft. A few simple things are already finished, and some larger ones are in progress.


I’ve started to make a landscape quilt. The first pieces have been pinned down, and step by step I’m adding elements. Because I’m a bit unsure about this kind of quilt, I’m watching lots of tutorials and looking at lots of Pinterest pictures; it’s very time-consuming this way, but it gives me lots of ideas. Piece by piece elements are added.



This is the other side of what looks like a potholder, but is actually a kind of postcard made of fabric. The front is embroidered with a beautiful spring design, and quilted with swirls. The back was embroidered on a quite stirdy denim fabric, and then all layers, including the stabilizer on both embroidered pieces, were put together, with a binding made of cotton cut on the bias. A little card for my mum.

Groetjes, Dorien

Posh produce bags

Back in January I told you about the little produce bags I made to use for vegetables, fruits, nuts and so on. You can find this post here. They are great to use, and ever since I didn’t use any plastic bags anymore.

But, I don’t have to buy all my veggies myself, since my neighbour started a little kitchen garden and especially in the summer she comes over with her hands full of the most wonderfull vegetables. Of course I thank her every time, but now I wanted to make her something special. So I thought of the little produce bags (she has to do some shopping in the winter, doesn’t she?).  But not the plain bags as I use them.

I made three bags with a blackwork embroidery. This because the fabric is very light and doesn’t hold a heavier design, but also to keep the weight of the bags as little as possible.


Every bag has its own design: ‘homegrown vegetables’, tomatoes and carrots.


My neighbour was very happy with the bags; she even didn’t want to use them because they might get dirty!

Because I liked the bags so much, I decided to make more of them. A couple for myself, and a set for the shop. In the next couple of days I’ll make more of them and list them as soon as they are finished.



The bags measure 25 x 31 cm (10 x 12 inch) and have emboidery designs of tomatoes, bell pepper and lettuce.

Groetjes, Dorien

It’s a wrap!


Not exactly the most unique title, I know, but I couldn’t resist.

Although everyone is talking about a heat wave and extreme drought for this part of the world, I finally finished this warm, cozy shawl. I started it about two years ago with only 3 stitches on the needle. The final needles counted around 1000 stitches!

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The pattern is a combination of 2 patterns by Christel Seyfarth: Caledonia Jakke and Lily Shawl. I also added a few leftover yarns from my Bird Jacket.

Again, this pattern was with a steek, which had to be cut open. Not as nerve wrekking as the first time, but still a bit scary to do.

First I stitched a zigzag on both sides of the steek, then I cut it open:



At this point the top of the border was already knitted.


On the right side of the shawl I used fading blues and on the wrong side of the border I used shades of red.

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Now, I long for some cold weather to wrap myself in this warm and soft shawl. (and not only because it is finally finished!).


Groetjes, Dorien

A Washing Line

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Nice little washing line, isn’t it? It was time to make a new laundry bag. The one I had was torn and was beyond repair. That is, the bag itself; the wooden frame however was not perfect anymore, but still good to use. So I made a new laundry bag, and because just a simple, plain bag was not much fun, I decided to make a washing line on it.


First I drew some clothes and sketched  an outline of what I had in mind. The clothes are already on scale. Then I traced them on to some fusible web, ironed this on some fabric scraps and cut them out with a little bit extra around the final cutting line.



The next step was washing and ironing the main fabric ( shrinkage!) and then arranging the ‘clothes’ on a line. After I was happy I cut out the pieces on the final line and ironed them onto the main fabric. I sew around the pieces with a nice large stitch, and embellished a few with a ribbon and some beads. The line itself is just a simple piece of cotton which was sewn on with a small zigzag-stitch.



Then all that was needed to be done was make the bag itself, put the buttons on and that’s it.

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Groetjes, Dorien