dinsdag 24 oktober 2017

Autumn Sewing



I made this autumn bird using some of the pretty fabric I got for my birthday this spring.
I picked autumny colours.

I think it needs a few friends, it's a bit lonely, all by itself in the window.


I joined the advent calendar sew along at A Happy Little Place.

zaterdag 21 oktober 2017

Four Seasons Baby Quilt

Some quick pictures before sending it off to my friend.

This fabric was the starting point for the color scheme.

 I finished a quilt! In record time. I think it was less than a week from cutting to finishing. That is an absolute record for me. I was inspired by seeing Preeti's work. She just goes for it, and finishes a quilt with simple quilting, and they are stunning.

My lucky heart. This fabric is the leftover from the backing on yet another unfinished quilt.


It's a bit wrinkled, because I kept in a roll, ready to send, for a week. Not clever, I should have made some pictures first, also when the weather was still nice.
 This quilt was made for my godchild-on-the-way. I started planning it as soon as I heard my friend was pregnant. But the baby is due in November, and it was October and I still hadn't started. I agonized over fabric selection, pattern, quilting, all details really, because I wanted it perfect.

I like the solid blue background fabric. It always comes out brighter than it is on camera. It's really a jeansy blue, with a hint of purple in it.


I really wanted a more worn, greyish blue, but this is the best they had, and I wanted to make this quilt!

 And all the thinking kept me from making... . Then suddenly, after reading another post by Preeti, I decided to just make a quilt, finish something. I can make a perfect quilt later!
 So I went to my quilt store, bought 1 meter of lovely jeansy blue fabric (I didn't want a white background fabric) and the next day I cut my squares and 2 days later the top was finished!


The back is a fabric called "Acorn Trail". It has lovely little girls enjoying the four seasons. I've had it for years, bought it because it's simply lovely, but never knew what to do with the large scale print.

Here's autumn, raking leaves, and a squirrel hiding an acorn for winter.
 I wanted to do some pumpkin seed (orange peel) quilting, which I thought would be feasible with my machine with no walking foot. After doing three block I ripped it all out, it was horribly wonky. Then I decided to do a simple grid pattern and botched up again, because the two layers of batting (I want this child to be warm!) shifted (while spray basting I thought they would cling to each other naturally, not so!). So I ripped all the quilting out again.

Winter is gathering fire wood and the little raccoon is helping.


I love spring, tending seedlings, but the rabbit is scary. Can you see it eying those seedlings?

 I thought this quilt must be cursed, I can't send it to this innocent little child. It wil bring her bad luck! But I pushed on, and quilted the grid and you'l never guess what happened ... Just as I made my last stitch of my last line, the thread was finished! Surely that is a lucky omen! Nothing like this has ever happened to me before. Behind the sewing machine is the only place I ever swear (ask my husband, he was shocked when he first heard me). Usually the swearing occurs when the bobbin thread runs out, and I only notice after I've sewn for another five minutes... argh! So when this last stich miracle happened I literally jumped for joy, and immeadiately made peace with the wonky quilting, because this is a LUCKY QUILT! The child that sleeps under it is sure to lead a happy and prosperous life!

Summer enjoying the flowers, the birds and the butterflies.

I added the last of this "Birds and Berries" fabric by Lauren and Jessi Jung. It has all sorts of cute creatures: snails, ...

 To add some extra good luck I added my little gold heart in the binding, and I sewed on the binding by hand while sitting in the autumn sunshine in my garden and at a playground. I'm convinced that the good vibes will carry through to my goddaughter.


... birds...

...cobwebs and lady birds ...

... and humming birds.

 I hope my friend likes it, and that her daughter grows to cherish it. When I finished it, I realized I want to finish more imperfect quilts (not that I've ever made a perfect quilt). It's so gratifying to get it done. And the quilt is no less special because it was made quickly, mostly from "leftover" fabric (is there such a thing, really?) or has a simple pattern, because it was made with love!

Fairy garden flowers.

Lots of texture, because of the double layer of polyester batting.
 So I sent it out to my friend yesterday. Always scary, putting something you made and love in a cardboard box, sticking a barcode on it, and sending it across the sea. But I can track it, and hopefully it will reach her somewhere next week. Then I hope it gets used, washed, stained and washed again a lot, because some wear and tear just make a quilt more cuddly and lovely, don't you think?

Snugly!

Catching Up

I just want to dedicate this post to some of my creative pleasures of the summer. I took pictures of a lot of the creative stuff I enjoyed, but didn't get round to posting them. When I looked through the photos, I realized I'd taken none of the clothes I'v been sewing. I did try and keep a list on my phone, and I just counted fourteen items of clothing, sewn by me this year! I'm most proud of the dress I made to measure for my mum, but I have not one picture of it... . Maybe I'll do a catch up post on clothes later.

I grew some cut flowers for the first time this year. Of course I have been cutting flowers (dahlias, cosmos, narcissi, lady's mantle, sweet peas, ...) from my garden for a long time, but this year I enlarged my tiny veg patch and added an actual crop of flowers. It was great fun and quite succesful.

Just some of the bouquets I cut from my new cut flower patch.
Although I got a late start, the sunflowers and the Ammi gave good crops. They looked so pretty in the garden that I didn't pick as many as I could have, but the bees and hoverflies loved them, too. The snapdragons gave some very pretty, bright and pastel colors, but the stems were quite sure, and I don't really like their scent. I think I'll sew them again next year (lots of seed left), but just pop them in the garden as pretty annual. They are still pretty now, at the end of October, with very little care.

In the beginning of summer I knitted another fox from Little Cotton Rabbits. Felix had managed to lose his Floepsie, so I made this grey fox for him. I still plan to make myself one, too, but the children love their foxes and dressing them, so whenever I do feel like knitting I end up making more dresses for them. This is the first fox I did with stockings (light blue and white stripes) and shoes.

New friend and old (very much used) friend.

She's a winter fox, so she got a snowflakes dress.
 This next project is something I did while we were camping in Delft. I got a really bad laryngitis, so I couldn't go swimming. Instead I stayed in the tent, and started planning a tea party sewing bee. Since I couldn't start cooking while on holiday, I painted some invitations. They are teacups with sewing motives: daisy stitch flowers, embroidery scissors and ohio star quilt blocks. I thought that was quite clever of me! You have to pull on the tea bag label to get out the teabag, which has all the information for the invitation. Isn't it pretty? And I'm glad to say the teaparty sewing bee was an absolute succes. I had the buffet inside and the sewing and cutting tables on the porch. There was also a little seating area where we could drink our tea and leaf through sewing books. And we had flowers from the garden to decorate, because that's what I asked my guests (my mum and my mother- en sister-in-law) to bring. Lovely summer memories!

I'd go to the party if I got such pretty invitation!
 Of course, a lot of my creativity flows into the garden in spring and summer.

My succulent garden keeps growing.

I'm not a pastel girl, I love the bright colors of Nasturtiums!

Calendula is my favorite flower. In Dutch they are called Goudsbloem, "golden flower". Their color is like a natural antidepressant to me.

Lovely leaves of "snijbiet".

Tiny courgette. I had only one plant, but more courgettes than we could eat!

The patch at the beginning of summer, with the addition in front, where the cut flowers are just getting going.

Pretty harvest. I made a thai curry for Willem and myself from this. The kids don't like hot food, but they were visiting their grandparents on that day. We ate it in the shade of our cherry tree: summer garden bliss!

Garden path: to the left is a patch I've left unweeded for 3 years now. It's very pretty and the bees love it.

A harvest of tiny "Marché de Paris" carrots and ...
... huge red beets (I think "Egyptische platronde", but I'd have to check)

I bought some japanese anenome "Fantasy Pocahontas" for late summer flowers, ....

... and added this bright orange with pink shine Echinacea "Mood Sympathy" (or was it Symphony?)
 These final pictures are of some sewing and knitting I did for a god daughter who is due in November. I think the dress is lovely, it just needs buttons on the back, and it's ready to go.

The fabric is called "Walkabout" by Geninne Zlatkis. Maybe she'll take her first steps in it?

The sweater is very pretty in itself, ...

... but it's tiny! Only a really tiny baby would fit. And as she will be a third child, she has every chance of being a big baby, so I donated the sweater to Elly, my daughter's doll, and will knit another, in a size that fits the dress.
 I had so many creative plans for this godchild, but I got stuck planning, because I wanted it to be perfect (not a good starting point!). But more on that in my next post!

donderdag 5 oktober 2017

A Sew Along

I found another sew along to join. I'm still hand quilting my Splendid Sampler, slowly but surely, so I'm not taking on any big project right now. I have sewn a lot of clothes in the past months, but I didn't feel like blogging them. Maybe I'll do a post with all of them at once soon, just to catalogue them for myself. I love looking through my old posts, they are like a scrapbook of my creative products. The days are getting shorter though, and getting good light for photographs is hard, so maybe I won't blog them at all, just enjoy wearing them, or seeing them being worn by others in real life!

Anyway, I think I'll be joining the little happy sew along for an advent calendar at Pretty Fabrics and Trims. I am not buying one of their lovely kits, because I have too many fabric in my cupboard already, so I curated my own kit. Almost all the fabrics are from their shop, though. I bought them this spring, as a birthday gift to myself. I took a looooong time picking these, but I'm happy with the result. It feels christmassy to me, but the yellow and purple make it more fun. As you can see I haven't decided on the buttons yet. I was too lazy to get the button tin from my basement yesterday. I really should find a better place for my buttons and trims, but for now they live in the basement. I might buy just a little piece of finer linen, because the one in the picture is very coarse. But then, I've been very busy at work, with no time to spare to do a little bit of midday shopping, so I might just make do with what I have, and feel proud of myself for being so frugal!

My pretty fabrics and trims selection for the little happy advent calendar.
As I look at my "final" selection, I'm reconsidering the green fabric. Should I have another pink or purple instead? But then the green ribbons have to go, and I don't have a lot of purple or pink ribbons, I think. Maybe I'll dig up my trims again, too... . I'm looking forward to seeing the calendars others make, too.

dinsdag 6 juni 2017

My Splendid Sampler™ is ready for basting ... I think.

I am so proud to be able to say I finished the top for my Splendid Sampler™ quilt! Like so many other quilter, I started sewing the six inch blocks in February 2016. I didn't sew all the numbered blocks, a few were replaced by bonus blocks, or by my own blocks. All in all, it was great fun! I learned so much, about sewing techniques, color, being creative when I don't feel like it, ... .

The 2017 on that is probably a bit premature, it will be 2018, for sure!
The big reveal!

Here are some of my favorite blocks, in no particular order:

Simple, yet effective. i see a whole quilt of crosses. Plus it appeals to the doctor side of me.

Pretty and playful.

Positive and uplifting.

Have to love bumble bees!

My great-grandmother's tea cup.

Colorful cross stitches.

A bit of sewing whimsy.

I learned to apply perfect circles on this Kandinsky baobab tree thing.

Too cute! Makes me sad I won't be having any more babies...

Rainbow!

Fresh and fruity!

Light and shadow, so simple and beautiful.

My own improv block. My road to happiness is over scraps of colorful fabric!

Yesterday I finished setting the blocks and I love my quilt! Although I've decided to add just one more set of setting squares and rectangles around the outside, so the edge isn't so thin.


Here you can see my helpers.

I didn't realize until I saw the pictures that my outfit matches my quilt!

I have the batting and 2/3 of the backing. I just have to find some matching fabric for that and then I can baste and hand quilt.