Category Archives: Patchwork

A new workspace

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Hello to my new studio. I think I may call it that. Up to now I used the dining table in the living room as my work space, but that wasn’t ideal. Luckily we have a table in the kitchen to use for daily meals, but still all my mess in the living room wasn’t a very nice sight.

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Because one of the boys moved out some time ago, we have more space , and it was possible to clear one room just for me. And the last couple of weeks we have been moving around a lot of cabinets and boxes. I had my stuff stored in almost all the rooms of the house, and it appeared  that I had quite some materials and tools twice. Now everyting is in the same room and near at hand.

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The table was found at a thrift store and measures a massive  2.2  by 1 meter. It was a bit of a hassle to get it upstairs because of its size and weight, but the men of the family managed it and I’m so happy with it.

If you look at the first picture, you might see that the only ironing board in the room is quite small. Perfect for small patchwork, but for larger pieces not really appropriate. So again I went to the thrift store where I found this beautiful old wooden ironing board.

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Perfect, but it did need some work.

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So I took everything off; cleaned it and made a new cover.

First I put on some underlay from the carpet store (!)

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Guess I’m all set now.

Groetjes, Dorien


Meeting again

Just a quick post to let you know I’m still around…. kind of. The past couple of weeks have gone by so fast, and still there is not really much to tell you.

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This is a chair I have upholstered nearly 5 years ago. I just liked to play with the fabrics and try to make something out of this plain grey chair. It is still one of my favorite pieces in the house and it is holding up quite nicely.

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I had some fabrics left and this time I used them for something much easier: a simple draught excluder.

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It is just half an inch too long, but I did that on purpose, because the draught on this door is really too much, and this way it definitely will help ( I at least hope so).

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And then there is this:

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This year I didn’t have any New Years resolutions but one; to read more books in English. It is so easy to read only Dutch translations, but as one of the reasons I started this blog was because I wanted to improve my English, there are more ways to do so, and reading is actually one of the most obvious. So for a good start, I bought these three novels ( and read the first two).

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The covers of these books are simply amazing, don’t you think?

Groetjes, Dorien

Criss-Cross Pillow, tutorial part 2

Hello! Time to give you the second part of the tutorial for the Criss-Cross Pillow (first part can be found here). Today I want to show you how to make the top into a wonderful pillow.

First thing to do, is quilt the top. For the lining you can use any piece of fabric, although cotton would be best. Because I like my pillow covers washable, I used a washable batting.

Quilt any way you like, free motion, straight lines, particular motives, in the ditch; anything is possible.

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For this pillow I used a heavy linen fabric for the back, but this is again just as you prefer. Cut your fabric a little bit higher than your top, and about 8 inches wider. Make a seam at both ends, and cut it with one piece exactly have the width of the pillow. This is going to be on top.

On this side you can make buttonholes, or as I did, loops made of bias tape

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Now put both top and back on top of each other (right sides out!), and stitch.

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As you can see, I’ve zigzagged the seam. I like to do this, because then it is easier to attach the binding. It isn’t necessary though, and if you do, it doesn’t have to be too neat.

Next step is the binding. Cut strips of 2¾ inch, with a straight grain, and fold double.

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Sew your binding on, with the open side along the seam of the pillow. You work on the right side of the pillow. Stitch with a seam allowance of ¼ inch. Stop ¼ inch before the end. Fold the binding straight up,

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and fold it down, along the seamline.

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Stitch, starting at the beginning.

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This way you make all 4 corners. Close your binding and fold it to the back. Handstitch it.

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The corners are nice and tidy.

Next step is the closure on the back. Of course you can use colourful buttons from your stash, but I always like to make my own fabric covered buttons.

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Sew your buttons on and all what’s left is to insert a pillow!

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As I mentioned in the 1st part of this tutorial , I’ve made a pillow like this before. But with a few differences:

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The scraps used were overall just a bit larger, and accordingly, I made the white strips a bit wider, `1 inch. This means they are twice as wide!

And the back was made by quilted pieces:

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Instead of a binding, I sewed front and back panels with the right sides together. So, no binding needed.

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Groetjes, Dorien

Criss-Cross Pillow, tutorial part 1

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When you make patchwork, no matter if it is for large projects like quilts, or for smaller ones like pillows, you always have leftover pieces of fabric, which seem too small to use and too large to throw away.

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A few years ago I already made a pillow like this as a swap-gift, so with my boxes of scraps getting a bit too full, I decided to make a new one. And because it is such fun, I made a little tutorial for you.

This is what I used: lots of scraps in different colours and sizes, and an old white pillowcase. This white fabric had a few stains and soft spots, but it was large enough to cut around them.

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With the rotary cutter  cut strips of 3/4 inch wide. The strips have to be cut with a straight grain, because they are going to hold the shape of the pillow.
As you can see, some are quite small, and some are large. That is perfect, as long as you keep a few long ones to use at the end.

Then, just start sewing the scraps to the strips; it doesn’t matter what side you use, or what size the scraps have.

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Iron the seams in the way you prefer; this time I ironed them to one side.

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If you have an idea about the finished size of your pillow, you can go on making pieces like this, until you have the size covered.

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The next step is to sew the pieces together. It is important to make sure the coloured pieces are always sewn together with a strip in between. Especially on the sides of the pieces this can be tricky.

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I made seam allowances of 1/4 inch.

This way you make a lot of blocks, which become larger and larger as you sew them together.

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When the blocks become larger, you start ‘looking’ for long lines, to finish the top.

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And there you have it; a finished top:

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Next time I’ll show how to make this top into a pillow.

Groetjes, Dorien

Flowers, Scraps and Strips

The first step of all the renovating in our home has finished! We’ve done all the painting and decorating of the walls and it has become even more beautiful than I imagined.

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One wall is decorated with this amazing wallpaper (Eijffinger). Left from it you can see a purple wall, which is only about 1 m wide, and the rest of the room has been done with white, very white wallpaper. But also with flowers:

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The room is still empty; we have to wait for our new bed which is going to be quite special too. I’ll keep you posted.

On my working table this week, scraps of fabric and strips.

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Again, I can’t give away too much about this project, but a little spoiler can’t hurt.

Happy Stitching!

Groetjes, Dorien

Putting the pieces together

Today I’ve been playing with the designs for the Forest QAL. Some of them I’ve made smaller, and then I’ve put the pieces together for all the animals.

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The Jay, woodpecker and squirrel have been downsized, the other animals are still the same as the original. As you can see I haven’t cut out all of them exactly yet. I think especially the jay needs some modifying.  The pieces are far too small now.

The next challenge is to put them together in a way that they can be pieced together. Maybe something like this.

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Groetjes, Dorien

Forest QAL, All Blocks Made

It has been quiet over here, hasn’t it? But I’ve been working quit hard. It was time to finish all the blocks for the Forest QAL. There were 6 more to make:

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The flower is inspired on Liverwort, a flower with blue-purple leaves. I tried to find the right colours, and the result makes me quit happy, even though there are a few little flaws made.

Red Panda

Isn’t he cute? I never heard of this animal, but I really like him.

Fern Flower

The flower was inspired by a legend as Julianna, who designed this block mentioned. It is fun to read. Because my background fabric is green, I was afraid that it would become boring if I used only 1 green fabric for the leaves of the fern, that’s why I chose to make it like this.

Squirrel

Of course a little squirrel had to be made. Do you see the little acorn?

Pine Marten

Again so cute. I’m not too happy about the chest, but the rock came out wonderful. Took me longer then the marten itself, because I had just a small piece of this fabric, and I wanted to use it as much as possible.

Trillium

Looking at this block I thought it was the easiest of them all. Just didn’t see all the points where the parts had to meet exactly!

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So here are all 12 blocks (in random order). Even though it might not look like that, they all have the same background, so I guess the differences shown now, will be gone when made into a quilt. I’m not completely sure about how to make these into a quilt, but I have an idea. It’s just so incredibly complicated, that I’m afraid it won’t work, but I’ll give it a try.

Groetjes, Dorien

Work in Progress

Hello; how nice of you to visit! It has been a crazy couple of days for me. This weekend I was featured on the Facebook page of Garnstudio Drops Design . Of course that meant a lot to me, and the response was immense! So I’ve been at my computer a lot of time.

In between I’ve been working on my hexagons.

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The pile keeps growing, and by now I’m sure it is going to be another blanket.

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Every hexagon starts with a 3-round circle, and all of these hexies are different. And I haven’t even made circles with pink and purple shades yet.

I’ve also tried to make a little keychain in a heart shape, but I’m not yet satisfied. The heart doesn’t stand out as it should, so I have to work on that.

And then there is of course a new block of the Forest QAL that I’ve finished.

Now I’m only 3 blocks behind! I really hope there will be time to catch up soon. But at home there is work to do as well. I thought it might be a wise thing to do some painting. The woodwork around the windows really needs to be done, so that is what I started to do. But the idea was only the woodwork!

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Our house is more than a hundred years old, and of course we know that you always can expect the unexpected. But this is not really what we were hoping for. Instead of a job for a few weekends, I guess we’ll be working on this all summer.

Groetjes, Dorien

Gordana’s Pouf

Do you remember the  Circles into Squares Tutorial  I wrote a couple of months ago?  A lovely lade from Serbia, Gordana, used it to make a wonderful cover for her pouf. She allowed me to show you pictures of it:

Isn’t this a great idea??

I’ve been working on the 5th block of the Forest QAL, and this time it was an Eurasian Jay. I really loved this, because there is a Jay in my garden almost every day. And because I’m not actually living in a forest, more in the center of a town, I thought it was so funny to find this pattern in a Forest QAL.

This was the first block that really gave me a hard time. Somehow Mr. Murphy joined me when I was stitching this one up, and some of the parts I had to do over. But in the end I was very happy with the result, until…. When I was removing the paper I unfortunately pierced the fabric and now there is a little hole in it!  I’m not sure what to do about it, because mending it would definitely not make the block more beautiful, and the idea of making it all over again, is not very appealing to me. For now I’ll let it rest, and I’ll decide later.

Groetjes, Dorien

I’m going on a trip and I’m bringing….

Hello lovely ladies. How are you doing?? You have all been so kind to me lately, with all your nice comments and questions.

So as I mentioned in my last post, I was thinking of making a new toiletry bag, because I’m going on a trip in 2 weeks. The idea was a bag with a large compartment for bottles, and a lot of smaller pockets. I thought it would be great if it could be hung as well. So, this is the idea I came up with:

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After drawing this, I needed quite some time to figure out how to construct this. I didn’t want the seams to become very thick, and especially the way of attaching the compartment to the back gave me some trouble.

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This is the front, with a fabric button, because I couldn’t find a matching one, I made it myself.

Then looking from different angles:

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Maybe you notice that it became a little bit different than the original idea. I skipped the pockets on the top, because I thought it was becoming too large.

Now there are 2 zippered pockets, and on top 3 small pockets, which I gave a little bit extra space by folding the seams.

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Groetjes, Dorien