Category Archives: Machine-embroidery

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

It has been a grey summer


It has been a long time, hasn’t it. And the picture above gives away a little bit of the reason why. I made this cardigan this summer and it is grey and made with a very straightforward, quite easy pattern ( Drops Design – Weekend Walk). Grey and straightforward aren’t exactly keywords to usually describe my work, but this is all I could manage. A lot has happened, and it wasn’t all good. A good thing was, that our youngest son moved out to go and live on his own. I never imagined this was going to be so hard to me ( yes, the nest is getting empty). Something else was that my father passed away after being ill for a very long time. Saying goodbye just took too long and that was a horrific period as well for him as for the family. I’m sure he’s at peace now and it is good to see my mom is working very hard to make her life worthwhile again.

So, after all these months, I’m trying to go back to where I was and slowly I’ll get there. All I can show now, is a little sneak peek of what I’m working on. (there is evern some colour!)



Groetjes, Dorien

Making ribbon

Sometimes I just don’t know what to do next. No orders, no ideas. That happened to me last week. What I do in at a moment like that, is that I just start with looking at my fabrics and pick one. Just any fabric. Because of the European Championships for Football, everything is coloured orange these days, so I picked an orange fabric. Quite sturdy. Now what to make with it was the next question. And if you have read this blog before, I think you can guess what I started working on: indeed, another bag. I collected some matching fabrics, and started with embroidering a gorgeous design on it in fall colours and motifs.

I used the same pattern for the bag as I almost every time do, and started putting together the panels.


But then for the back I came across a little problem. I always sew a ribbon on the seam where the front of the bag is attached to the back. But I couldn’t find a matching ribbon. Not in my stash and not in the local store. So what to do?

Why not make my own ‘ribbon’?

I picked out a design which I could repeat to make a long ribbon-like piece.

Folding the seams gave me exactly what I wanted:



I hope to finish the bag soon, but in contrast to last week, now suddenly there is just too much to do. I’ve received 3 orders, so this next week I won’t get bored.

Groetjes, Dorien

A little bit of indulgence



For my latest project I started with a few pieces of gingham fabric and some nice ribbon.


and some more ribbon,


And then I added a little bit of (machine)embroidery. Well; not quite a little bit. It took me more than 5 hours to complete this birdhouse. The pattern mentioned 103 minutes. But somehow everything went wrong. Thread broke all the time, the machine wanted oil, the kids kept interrupting, etc.  At the end it was better to stay away from me, because I really needed to cool off a bit.

But it was worth it. I love this kind of patterns.

What it all was for?

004the back


007the front

Do you guess?


I’m spoiled with a brand-new, incredible tablet. And of course that needed a homemade sleeve.

Groetjes, Dorien

My mom, and a blue and red bag

Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been making things. I remember being ill, lying on the couch, with a hook and some yarn, making clothes for my barbie doll. My mom wasn’t really handy with fabric or yarn, so I had to learn it all just by doing it. But she was very encouraging. So whenever I got stuck, she went to the library to get me a book with tutorials, or she asked a neighbour for help. She really was always trying to help me and she always helped to find the right materials. When I first started sewing clothes, she was the first to ask for a skirt or a blouse. And even the garments which didn’t turn out so great, she wore with pride, not only at home, but even to a wedding!  Looking back on that, I realize that as a parent, you don’t need to have a certain skill yourself, to be able to encourage your children to do whatever they choose to. And that is a lot of help, having two boys, while I grew up in a girl’s family.

Wow! Today I wanted to tell you about my latest finish, and somehow I started telling you about what a great mom I have. Funny, how something like that happens.

So, about my latest finish. Again it is a bag. As I already told a friend, it seems like I’m in some kind of bag-making-mood. I really loved making my yellow bag, so I decided to make another one, with the same shape/pattern. This time I used different kinds of fabric; wool, cotton and velvet. The fabric I started with is a woven, woolen, striped fabric. To go with it I found a blue velvet and a red woolen fabric.

I started with embroidery for the front panel.


Then I assembled the outer bag. As you can see, the colours of the striped fabric are also used for the embroidery.


For the bag itself I used black ribbon for the binding, but that didn’t work for the panel. I was over in the haberdashery shop for more then one hour, before I found the perfect solution. A bright, yellow-green ribbon. I love it!


Red roses for the back, with a few little butterflies and a cute parakeet.


And of course a few pockets inside. The strap is made of black velvet and adjustable. Again, I learned a few new techniques, like sewing the green ribbon between the front and lining of the front panel.


Groetjes, Dorien

Yellow Spring Bag


Hello! It has been a wonderful weekend, with lots of warm and sunny Spring weather. I even managed to work a little bit in the garden, which isn’t really something I like to do. No green fingers over here.

Today we celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. It makes me feel rather old but also it makes me proud that we have managed to come this far.

In the meantime I finished the Spring Bag.

As always I started with not a clear idea about how it had to become. I collected a few fabrics and embroidered a panel. Then I started sewing pieces together in a way I liked it. Bit by bit the bag grew. I decided it had to become a messenger bag and by then I knew how to put everything together.

009The front



The back



A look inside



The closure



The strap




The strap length is adjustable and the bag has an inside pocket with a zipper. It closes with a little strap and double D-rings. It measures approximately 12 x 10 inch, so big enough to put all your stuff in.


Groetjes, Dorien

Starting a new bag

Are you enjoying the beautiful Spring weather as much as I do, or are you in a part of the world where the sun isn’t shining so much? I’m enjoying being outside again. Everything looks just so much better now.

And Spring calls for a new Spring  Bag. So I gathered some matching fabrics.


Then I chose an embroidery design and started embroidering it.


And a bit more,


And more! But since the machine is still very busy I can’t show more. It takes always a lot more time than anticipated. So this will take me the rest of this day.

Don’t forget!! Tomorrow is the last day you can enter my give-away if you want to.

Have a sunny day.

Groetjes, Dorien

About a great guy

Hello and a very Happy New Year to you!

We are still having a nice week at home. Lots of lazy doing nothing. It is something we haven’t had in a very long time, and we all enjoy it very much.
Today I want to tell you about a tough little big guy. He is thirteen years old and already has had quite a troubled life so far. I’m not going into details, but I am so very proud of him. He has been rejected from school, friends and society over and over again, because of his behavioural disorder, and still he is a very happy, bright boy who is very sensitive and always looking at the beauty in life. It makes me feel very thankful to be his mom.

He is also the only one in my family who keeps asking me to make things for him. This week he wanted a fleece-cowl. But, because of all the ice outside, I was to scared to go out and buy some fabric. Well, he went on his own! The only advice I gave him was to buy fleece in a colour which would match his black coat and his grey/white hat. This is what he brought home:

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After that he sat at my computer browsing all the designs for machine embroidery for quite some time and finally chose one, but he wanted to add something. He designed it himself and all I had to do was make it.

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As his shirt already pointed out, it was ‘damn good’.

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Groetjes, Dorien

Dutch Knitting Bag 2


Remember the Dutch Knitting Bag I wrote about a few weeks ago? Well, I thought it was about time to finish it! So the last few days I did some embroidery:

Picture 010bewerkt(on a Dutch bag, there should be tulips don’t you think?)

After that I sewed the panels

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Did some quilting

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And after sewing everything together; TADAAAAAAAAAAAAH

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   On the bottom of the bag I made a divider to prevent the yarn from ravelling.

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Well, I know what I am going to do tonight; sit on the couch with the jacket I’m knitting.

Before I forget; there was surprise-mail for me today. For the ‘Friendship Afghan’ I got two beautiful squares from Linda from Minnesota USA.

Picture 020One knitted and one crocheted. Both in beautiful warm wool. I loooooove them, even more because Linda used just the perfect colours.