Tuesday, April 15, 2014

New Pattern and a little Give Away

A couple of weeks ago I got a question from the very kind Janie, who asked me to make her a pair of skirt guards in rainbow colors. Because the yarn I usually use, didn’t have the right colors, I had to find something else. Here you can find a blog about my new yarn: Schachenmayr’s Catania.

Because the yarn has a different gauge, I couldn’t use the old pattern, so I designed a new one. Two rounds of small flowers, and a less repetition.


Janie was very happy with her Rainbow Skirt Guards, and because I liked them too, I made myself a pair too, but with a burst of colors, just the way I like it.


I guess my bike is ready for lots of sunny weather.


Of course I made a pattern; it’s in the shop 

And because I just feel like it, I’m going to give away a copy of this pattern. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. I would like it if you are a follower of this blog. Make sure I can contact you if you are the lucky one.

I’ll draw a name at the end of the month.

Groetjes, Dorien 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

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.


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


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


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.

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,


and fold it down, along the seamline.


Stitch, starting at the beginning.


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


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.






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



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

Picture 015

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:

Picture 017

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

Picture 016

Groetjes, Dorien

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Criss-Cross Pillow, tutorial part 1



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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

031 032



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



And there you have it; a finished top:


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

Groetjes, Dorien

Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy Stash

One of the things that make me very happy, is stash. Fabric or yarn; both are very valuable to me and I love to add to my stash. It’s not about having; it’s all about going through it time and again, and think about all the possibilities, but also about not having to wait whenever I have an idea to work out.

So last week I told you about learning to know about a (to me) new yarn: Catania Cotton (Schachenmayr). And I love working with it. So much!


It’s smooth, it doesn’t split, it has a great shine without being too shiny, and it comes in the incredible amount of 51 colours.

If you’ve read this  blog before, you just might know that our kitchen is being renovated. This comes with a lot, and I mean A LOT of noise. So at the end of the week I was kind of feeling sorry for myself and I thought it would make my day to give myself a little present. Only….I couldn’t choose so it became a rather large present.


This definitely made me feel better!!

All I had to do now, was put it in a box. Well, I don’t just put it in a box. I have all my stash in transparent boxes, but the yarns I have a lot of, like Drops Safran, Finlandia Shetland and now, Catania Cotton, I also make sample-cards with name and number.

It takes a few hours to do this, but I love having these little cards. Whenever I’m looking for colours to make something, I don’t have to use the skeins themselves; it’s easy to take them if I need some fabric or buttons to go with the colours, and whenever I run out of a colour, it’s easy to find out the number to re-order it.


So, here it is: a completely filled box with the cards in a zipper bag on top.

When I was doing all this, I was wondering: how do you organize your stash??

Groetjes, Dorien

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Something New and Something Old


Usually I’m using Drops Safran for almost every crochet project I work on. This time I was asked to make skirt guards with the exact colours of the rainbow (as a symbol for the LGBT Community), and this wasn’t possible with the Safran. The colours just aren’t bright enough. So I went out to look for a different brand in the same category and I think this just might be right. It is Catania Cotton from Schachenmayr. The skirt guards are going to be different from the usual in the way that I’m going to make 2 rows with small flowers. A new challenge to get this right: different design and different yarn.

I’ve told you before that we are renovating the kitchen. Last weekend it was finally completely stripped; walls, ceiling and floor: all was gone.


And especially the space under the floor was filled with a lot of rubbish, but also something very nice:


A paper half as old as our house


Unfortunately it couldn’t be touched without falling apart to crumbles, so all I could do was quickly make a picture before it was gone. Too bad; I would have loved to read the paper and see not only what the news back then was, but also in what way the language was different from today.

Groetjes, Dorien

Monday, March 17, 2014

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.


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:


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.



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

Happy Stitching!

Groetjes, Dorien

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bits and Pieces


krokussen Molen van Piet Feb 2014

Flowers all around! It is Spring and I must admit I don’t really feel like staying in today. Lots to do, but I guess it is better to go out in the sun today.

Our bedroom is getting renovated and as it always happens in an old house, the amount of work is at least twice what you anticipated. But the not so nice part of getting the wallpaper down and the paint scrubbed with sandpaper is done now, and now we can start making all beautiful again. Hopefully I can show you soon! But at least then you know why I’m not blogging as much as I should.

Before starting on the bedroom, we had to empty it. And one of the things I found was this:


Lots of yarn left over from a cardigan I made more than 10 years ago, and which I still wear almost every day! I think lots of people have a cardigan or a sweater which is always by hand, and which you wear whenever you feel  cold or when you need comforting.


It’s a design from Kaffe Fassett and I simply love it. If you take a close look, you can see it isn’t that beautiful anymore, with lots of pilling and threads getting worn. But still, I guess it’s going to be with me for a long, long time.

Looking at both pictures, I’m not sure where the yellow comes from. And I didn’t use it again. Everything else I used in a very simple but nice little project, which I can only give you a little preview of. It’s part of a larger project I’m working on. When time is there, I’ll tell you all about it, but until then:


Groetjes, Dorien