Category Archives: Swap


Today I want to show you some gifts I’ve gotten this week.

As you might know, we have a host son from Chili, and he asked his parents to send us some gifts. Did I say some?? Two days ago, 2 large boxes arrived, filled with the most awesome gifts for all of us. He just wanted to show his appreciation!!

All of the gifts, for each person, were very thoughtful. So can you guess what was in the boxes for me? Right, yarn. 1200 grams of beautiful, naturally dyed yarn.


Three skeins, quite bulky yarn, and with it, a pair of beautiful wooden knitting needles.

Yesterday, another package arrived.  It was the quilt for the New Beginnings Swap.


It has travelled all the way from New Zealand, and in this detail picture you can see that the maker used New Zealand as inspiration. All these fabrics represent native trees. Most of them I’d never heard from. But isn’t that one of the nice aspects of swaps; learning about other countries and their habits and nature!

You can see the quilt I made here.

Groetjes, Dorien


Hello! Totally unexpected, I didn’t blog for almost two weeks. Last week the boys had spring-break and went of on a camp. So that gave my husband and me the opportunity to paint the living room. This was something we already wanted to do when we moved into this house; 7 years ago!
Funny thing was that the painting itself wasn’t that much work, but moving out all the books and the furniture, that was just a lot of work. But it was worth it.

This week I started sewing on all the circles I made.


Although there are more than 80 circles, I did it in less then 3 days. Because I prepared the circles like I described in my last post, it was quite easy to applique them.

The quilting is free motion, with a kind of curls in the white space. They are not made exactly the same, and maybe even a bit wonky, but I like the way it brings the quilt to live.


Fingers crossed that my Swap-partner likes it.

Groetjes, Dorien

Flowers For Fleur

Time flies when having fun. This is something my husband says almost every day. And it is so very true. This makes every day too short, because there are so many fun things to do. Last week I’ve been making skirt guards, and the last one  of three is now finished. (except for weaving in the ends that is). And after all that crochet I really wanted to sew again. Just a little small project. So this is what I grabbed to work with.


But, before I show you what I made, I really need to show you what I got this week. I’m in a four-season-swap at Ravelry  and this week I received my Summer-package. And it is so beautiful.


A knitted grocery bag. The pattern was also in the package. A skein of very soft, luxurious yarn in gorgeous colours. Candy, as well for me as for the boys. Butterfly picks, and funny pencils covered with the letter D. And the rectangular cheese-like item? That is a bar of soap, smelling great. Am I spoiled or am I spoiled?
(actually, this is the swap I made the hexagon bag for)

Now back to my little bit of sewing.


I cut a strip of fabric and sewed the ribbon on, folded it double.


Attached a D-ring and a buckle. And made the size adjustable.


And there you have it: a new collar for Fleur. And because her name means ‘Flower’, it had to have flowers.
A few weeks ago I tried already to make a collar, but I just wasn’t able to figure out how to do it; how to make it adjustable, strong and nice at the same time. Last night it dawned on me, and of course I immediately had to try it. In total I spend about 25 minutes on this, so that’s pretty quick.

For everyone who asked: my black eye is almost healed. Thank you for your concern and best wishes!

Groetjes, Dorien


PS I really tried to make a picture of Fleur with her new collar, but she is not in the mood today for modelling. Maybe next time!

Blues and Books

Hello and thank you for your lovely comments on my potholders. It is so nice to see that it inspired someone else to make the same pattern: go and have a look at Monique’s blog.

In the last few days I’ve started to think about a few swaps I signed up for, and the birthday of my sister. For all these three ladies, I need/want to make something myself. For the swaps I have to, for my sister I want to, because it is so much more fun to give a handmade item, and I know she really appreciates it.


All three ladies have one thing in common: they all love the colour blue. Makes it possible for me to show a few pictures of what I’m doing.


I started with 5 shades of blue/purple and made a lot of flower like these. Then I made them into hexagons.


You may recognize the pattern as ’African Flowers’. The pattern can be found in a lot of places on the net. Some written, some with pictures. It’s not difficult, but I like it very much.


Now I’m going to join these hexagons into …….  I’m not going to tell, and I’m afraid it will take at least 6-8 weeks, before I can show. But I promise, by then I will.

Besides the yarn and hook, there is something else calling me. All day. All evening. Even in the night I dream about it. It’s a bit obsessive. It’s this:


I already was a huge fan of this author, but this story is indescribable. I love every single page. And lucky me, it doesn’t stop after two books, there is a third one too!! (I just had a look, but it seems the English translation won’t be out before October).

Next weekend, both the boys are out on camps, so I guess I will have enough time to read the whole story. YAY!!

Groetjes, Dorien

A fabric basket filled with extras

In this post I showed you the little basket I made for the Fabric Basket Swap. It was a secret swap and the person I had to send my basket to, was not the same as the person who made a basket for me. Last week a got an email reveiling who was making a basket for me, and yesterday a rather big box arrived. It came from the lovely Monica. She appears to be a very talented and creative quilter, and she made me the most awesome fabric basket.


Some beautiful pieced flowers,


In a vase with some reverse applique on it.

made together this lovely picture


I love the way the black and white fabric is used; it’s almost like a framed painting. Inside the basket and on the back there are two pockets, and the quilting is impeccable.

But that was not all!!  As I said, a rather big box was delivered. As Monica already mentioned in her email, she wanted to add some extra goodies, and she did:


A beautiful charm pack (Dilly Dally by Me & My Sister Designs), a bundle of bright, colourful fabrics and a matching black and white fabric (Night and Day by Robert Kaufman).

One of the things I learned this year since I started blogging, is that swapping is addictive. But this way it really feels more like having my birthday.

Groetjes, Dorien

Fabric Flower Basket

Hello!! I hope you have had a wonderful Easter. We enjoyed the warm, sunny weather and worked a lot in the garden.

Maybe you have seen this little banner in my sidebar


The idea for this swap was to make a basket of 15,5 by 6,5 inch, 5 inch deep. The swap is secret, so I had to go with the preferences which were given by the lady I have to send it to. And she didn’t give any. No colours, no techniques, nothing! And she also doesn’t have a flickr-account or a blog, so I had absolutely nothing to work with. So I decided to make a basket with flowers. Inspired by all the lovely flowers outside. Thinking of it, there are a lot of flowers in my work lately!


Putting the bag together was a lot of fun. It is small enough to have a result quite quick.




Quiling detail


It is lined with a white cotton with little pink flowers.





Groetjes, Dorien

Swapping Scarves

Hello, how nice of you to stop by. Today I want to show you a couple of scarves, which I have made for two swaps. The first one is a Saroyan (pattern at Ravelry), which I made for Elsje. She is my swap partner for a whole year, and this was the handmade item for the first swap.


I made it with Drops Delight, in a green-beige colour.

The leaves are just so beautiful. It was not a very difficult pattern, and the scarf is very soft and warm.

The other scarf I made was for a scarf swap. A while ago I got a pile of old knitting magazines from my mother. The bulk of it wasn’t really useful anymore. But in one of them I found this picture for a man’s sweater.


(Told you it was old!!)

I immediately liked the honeycomb pattern, and decided to use it for this scarf. The reciever is very fond of blue, so that was easy. Then I came up with the idea to knit the scarf in the round, casting on enough stitches for the whole length of the scarf. I added 2 x 20 stitches for the fringe and started knitting. The stitches for the fringe were knitted in stockinette stitch, the rest in pattern. This way the stripes were lengthwise.

After binding of the pattern stitches, the scarf was cut open (in the middle of the stockinette stitches), and carefully I unravelled the fringe.


The threads were knotted together, and the scarf was blocked.




This scarf was made in Drops Alpaca.

Groetjes, Dorien

4 Addictions, and a new project

Favourite number 4. Addictions. Usually not something to be proud of, and I do have a few. Of course you already know I am a fibre addict. I loooove chocolate, as dark as I can get it. And this year I got a new addiction. And it became immediately my favourite. SWAPPING!!!! This really is the nicest addiction one can have. Every time you get surprised by the most lovely goodies and yarn, or homemade items. Up to now, I have never been disappointed. I already have shown you parcels I got, the bag from Sandra, and this week again the postman came with a beautiful parcel.

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It was from Stephanie, my Pillow Swap partner.

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She made me a beautiful pillow which just seems perfect in our rocking chair. 
But not only a pillow, there was more in the package. In our correspondence, I once mentioned that I am a bit envious of the people in the USA, because of all the fabulous quilting magazines that are available. So, she included one for me!!

Picture 027Beautiful ideas and pattern for the Holidays. I just keep looking at them, not sure what I should make.

On my table there is something new. I am trying to make a typical Dutch item. Not going to tell yet what it is.

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As you can see it is partly circular. I am trying, crocheting, and a lot of frogging. I am writing down the pattern immediately, because I have to make two pieces, which have to be the same. (maybe any Dutch reader might know what it is going to be?)    

Groetjes, Dorien


Swapping is very addictive. Since I did my first swap this summer, I just keep on going. It is so much fun to make something for another person who you don’t really know. By mailing you try to figure out what someone would like, what her preferences are, what colours she likes etc. and then put a package together with nice goodies to send. This month the postman, or actually post woman came a few times to my door with a package from far away. You already saw the bag Sandra made for me. Last week I got this beautiful package from Barbara.

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The idea was to put something together with a few balls of yarn and some goodies to spoil your swap partner. Well, as you can see, Barbara did an awesome job! 4 Balls of beautiful wool, a pencil case, a notepad, a pen, a crochet hook, a homemade dishcloth and a bunch of Kool-aid. This is something I specifically asked for, as you can use it to dye yarn. In Holland there is no place to buy it, so this was perfect.

This is what I sent her:

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Then there were of course two new squares for my Friendship Afghan.

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Another swap I joined is the Pillow Swap by Dutch Sisters. I had to make a pillow for Stephanie and se asked for a colourrange which I am not really comfortable with. I found it very hard to use these colours and prints and keeping it all together at the same time.

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I used a tutorial by Oh, Fransson! and it became a pillow I really liked. Maybe I will do more with this kind of colours!

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You simply go on and on with adding patches of coloured fabric, cutting a straight line and adding a white sashing. This way the top gets bigger and bigger, without a pattern or without having to measure all the time. I didn’t do that this time, but it seems to me a great way to use some scraps!

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I used an envelope-style closure with a small border in the frontside pattern. The buttons I made with scraps.

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Groetjes, Dorien

Mail from Sandra

A few days ago a box was delivered, all the way from South Korea. Off course I knew it came from Sandra, who was my swappartner for the Super Style Bag Swap . When I opened it, it already looked beautiful; pink and red tissue paper wrapping with a lovely card:

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Of course, I was very anxious to see what kind of bag she made, as we agreed on a secret swap.

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I am stunned. This girl really knows how to sew. It is perfect. I really like the colours. As I told her already, I never would have made a bag like this myself, but I like it so MUCH!!!
The size is perfect to hold everything I always carry around with me, and even a book fits in.

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And if that weren’t enough, she also put in this gorgeous fabric with little Swedish horses and a package with chop sticks.

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Just don’t know if we will ever use them for eating, because none of us seems to know how to use them. But I always have some chop sticks in my sewing box, because they are perfect to make clean, sharp corners (and they won’t get dirty that way!!)


Groetjes, Dorien