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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the last moment I find time to make a post in the first month of this year. So much for New Year’s resolutions! Usually I don’t really make them, and this year is no different, except for one thing. I’ve been thinking about this a long time, and kept putting off inquiring about it, but now really was the time to do something. What I’m talking about? Trying to be a lot more conscious about waste. Looking at all the garbage produced by our household is quite shocking. So the intention is to reduce this. We won’t go ‘zero-waste’, at least not now because I don’t think that is realistic for now. But the first step is trying to avoid all plastic (and even paper) bags used for produce and bread.
So I started with making these 4 drawstring bags with sheer fabric. In the first picture you can see them after my first visit with them to the shop. Which was quite strange, because there was nobody else, using their own bags, and at first it was a bit awkward to use them. But I’m sure this will get better, the more I do it.
These bags are just fine for produce not weighing too much, but the onions already were too heavy. So I had to think of something else.
A piece of cotton I cut off some curtains a while ago was just perfect. It still is thin and light, but a lot stronger than the sheer fabric. So I used every inch of it to make bags in different sizes. The large one is perfect for bread (10.5 x 16 inch), and the smallest measure 7.5 x 9 inch.
And making these bags, I realised that one kind of food I’m really fond of, is cheese. So I looked around and found these wonderful beeswax cloth tutorials on the web.
A piece of cotton and some beeswax are all that is needed. After grating the wax and sprinkle it around the fabric, it was put in the oven (fabric folded).
After just a few minutes, the wax melted and holding the fabric to cool down, it became sturdy and ready to use.
I wonder how this is all going to work in reality, and I know there are a lot more possible, but for now this is the first step.
About 3½ years ago I made a pair of cushions for the kitchen bench. But I wasn’t really smart, because I made them with beautiful cotton whicht was meant to be used for clothes. So after sitting on these practically every day, you can imaging how they are looking now. Time for new ones.
This time I bought fabric which is much sturdier so hopefully they will last a bit longer.
First I finished off the edges with the serger. This fabric is woven so it ravels terribly.
Next step was to cover cord to make a piping. I cut strips of 1.5 inch (4 cm) and stitched the fabric folded over the cord. I used a zipper foot to stitch as closely to the cord as possible.
Then everything was ready to put the covers together.
I made a blind zipper on the back.
The cushions are finished and I’m very happy with them. But the bench does need something extra. So I guess one of my next projects will be to make matching pillows.
It has been a while since the last time I made Fleur a new dog bed, but it was very much needed. She has this hobby to kind of dig into her pillow, which is not too good for the fabric. It usually doesn’t take too long before a cover is transformed into a rug that looks as if it is made of rags.
This time I tried something completely different from what I usually make for her. Especially because I wanted to try new techniques. To make a border like this was the challenge this time. It is like a tube filled with fiberfill and to get the corners right was harder than I thought it might be. I’m not happy with it at all.
For now it will do, but I’m already planning to make something new. Fleur doesn’t mind; she’s happy with it.
First I want to thank you ladies for your comments on my previous post. It had been such a long time, and then to see ‘familiar faces’ again, is heartwarming.
It has been a while, but finally I have something new to show you.
The pillow cover I was working on is finished. It is not first time I made a ‘scrabble’ pillow, (you can find the other one here ). And because of all the nice comments on it, I decided to give it another try, but this time for the shop.
I found a beautiful linen fabric which gives the pillow a more natural look, and I made it square (18×18 inch), so a little bit smaller. And of course, this time all the tiles are in English.
On the back a simple closure with buttons. It was so nice to be back at the sewing machine.
For my new camera I got a new bag. That way it is a lot easier to take the camera with me, for example the next few weeks on holiday.
But, do you see my problem? I really like to carry these 2 bottles with me. I’ve seen it is going to be over 30 degrees Celsius, so lots of water is needed. But these bottles don’t fit into the bag, and there is no way to attach them to it.
Do you see the strap on the side of the bag? That is certainly useful.
I made 2 holders for the bottles, with strips with velcro. So now I can carry a bottle on either side of the bag.
Perfect for the next couple of weeks! It is now after midnight, there is still a pile of laundry waiting for me to iron, there is some cleaning to be done and I have to pack. But then, tomorrow morning we are going to Italy. Ciao!!
And again it has taken me much longer than I wanted, before this post is written. These days have been filled with so many different activities that I just don’t know where to begin. I think I just write about a few of them, the ones that stand out.
It began with the birthday of our son, and the next day when I organized a family gathering. My family lives on the other side of the country, so we don’t see each other that often, especially now that the next generation is of to college and doesn’t live at home anymore. So everyone came here, and except for my parents who stayed at a hotel, my sisters and their families (including boyfriend and – girl), stayed at our house. We had such a great time. So now I’m thinking of a new occasion to do this over, maybe next year.
Then last Wednesday again a day at the Museum. This time the Mauritshuis in The Hague, where an exhibition is with items from the Frick Collection from New York. It is a rather small exhibition, but the works are fabulous. Unfortunately it wasn’t allowed to make pictures; I’m sorry, but you can read more about it here.
Of course I spent a lot of time studying, and in between I managed to make a new dress. Remember the fabric I showed in my previous post?
Very simple, a dress with a box pleat, a square neck line and long sleeves. It is very airy.
And because there was enough fabric left, I made a cowl too. Perfect to wear with the dress, but also mixed with another garment.
When I wrote my previous blog post, I had in mind to blog at least once a week. So 9 days isn’t what I should be. I’m sorry!
It has been a strange 9 days, and I think for once I’m going backwards in time.
Today I finished the birthday gift for my oldest son, who is going to be 19 years old tomorrow.
This is just the kind of sweater he loves and wears almost all the time.
Can you see the inside of the hood? It isn’t lining, it is just the back of the fabric; so soft and warm. And to keep this softness and warmth, it didn’t seem right to make the seams the usual way, so I decided to make ‘French seams’.
All seams are double stitched, so no I guess Mr. Sensitive won’t have itching-issues with this sweater.
Where the hood is sewn onto the sweater, I’ve used a ribbon to cover the seams, because a French seam would become to thick.
That was today, and of course I have been working on it for a couple of days; since Sunday that is. Sunday I went to a huge fabric market. Twice a year this is organized in a town nearby, and it is huge. And because fabric shops are very rare these days, a market like this the perfect place to go to.
These are the fabrics I brought home with me (plus of course the fabric for the hoodie). 3 Linen fabrics and some flowers.
This fabric especially I like a lot. It has wonderful colours and I can’t wait to make a tunica with it. Nothing complicated, a very simple dress it is going to be.
The flower-fabric is going to be the lining of my new bathrobe; the outside fabric will be purple terry.
Saturday was special too. Before we had children, we used to go to the ballet, a couple of times a year. We haven’t been ever since we got our first child; indeed far too long! Saturday though, we went again and it was wonderful.
The National Ballet danced George Balanchines “Jewels”, a ballet in three pieces, with emeralds, rubies and diamonds as inspiration. All three pieces were quite different, one very classic, the other a bit more modern. But all were real gems!
This was such a succes, that I brought home the program for next season and looking at it, I’m almost sure it won’t take another 19 years before I go back.
The days before Saturday (well, actually including Saturday), I paid a visit to Flew-ville, and I don’t think you are desperate to hear all about that…..
Wednesday was great. My husband took the day of from work, and we went to Groningen, the museum there is having a wonderful exhibition with paintings from the ‘Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister’ in Dresden.
Don’t be afraid; I won’t bore you with all the paintings, just a few.
These portrets were painted by Pietro Rotari, and August III, who founded the Gemäldegalerie, had appr. 62 of these paintings. All the same size, and all from the same distance. That seems a lot, but it happens that Catharina II from Russia, had almost 370 of these portraits. And these 16 are already so beautiful to look at.
Finally, something craftrelated.
See the knitting-project-bag in the background?
Even in the 18th century they knew, knitting, wine and pastry are a womans best friends!