Quilt bee with Dutch Modern Quilt Guild at my home.

Trying out quilting safety pins. Bought at Het Naaldbos, a webshop that gives good advice and makes their parcels into little presents.

Before I got the pins I “basted” the sandwich, starting in the middle. This is not regular in quilting I learned:

I’m quilting the layers together with handspun silk, making little sidesteps to embroidery because the back ground fabric is such fun. The backing is quilting cotton but in between is an old, washed woolen blanket. Lillepoes and I are going to enjoy this blanket very much.

After working on it for 5 (yes FIVE) days I finally cleared the table, with 3 minutes to spare:

Research into Bossche bollen:

Quilting Bee with the Dutch Modern Quilt Guild. Interesting talks about designing and techniques of quilting. Comparative research into Bossche bollen.

And I cleared the table in the first time in years…

I’m doing big stitches with handspun silk. Mulberry silk which has long fibers and won’t fray or pill or get a halo.

It was lovely and we talked about improv and I did not have to defend my style but could talk about the finer points instead. Maria Shell, Gwen Marshton and Jean Wells are my inspirations.

In two months we will have another bee.


suddenly designing like a quilter

look at this sequence. Did I just unlock an achievement to design like a quilter?

I went from reproducing a known pattern to pushing blocks around and sewing connections between them in shape and colour. Foreseeing how they might connect once quilted. What a lovely discovery!

It feels like I’ve borrowed someone’s glasses. And solved for x.

Spring Quilt: first improv piece done

it seems my method works for me, the first improv piece is finished, with a 0,5 cm seam allowance:
I am going to piece it in or make a yellow block around it somehow.

For the whole quilt I have made paper templates of the shapes I want. First I made the design, leaning heavily on artist Pasmore:

Then I cut out the shapes:

Then I cut out the silhouettes or outlines of the shapes:

These are the ones I use for determining how to fill it up with improv. I’m looking at colours, fabrics and values:

I work in one shape but I also work in the overall look:

Where do the cats go. Make sure they all have a level of contrast. Shapes that emphasize the individual “stone” shapes.

On the green parts I added a yellow strip. To make sure it was straight I worked towards one thread of the fabric:


I’ve then zigzagged around the green blocks with yellow strip. They are now ready to be topstitched, before I quilt them and assemble them.


planning Spring Quilt: topstitching in stead of quilting

I came to think about the subject of the size of quilting patterns. A small pattern will make the resulting quilt stiff. A stiff quilt is excellent for a wall hanging or a base to make a bag or medieval corset from.

Spring Quilt is meant to become a lap blanket and I’d like it to be a bit puffy too so my initial assumption to handstitch and handquilt every little piece is not correct. There is a difference between top stitching and quilting and I should explore it. Meaning I get to work on the quilt top a bit before I make it into a sandwich and hand quilt it and QAYG.

My next step in making the top will be making a paper template, a reverse template, a mask if you will, for the stone shapes that will be filled with improvisational pieces. I’ve been sketching on Photoshop:

I overlaid the art work from Victor Pasmore that pleases me so much on a digital mock up of the top that I have. I played a bit with my fabrics, looking at values:

Now I have the idea to make these stone shapes more actively improvisational quilting. More curves per shape. Slivers of moon. Contrast.

The quilting lines will run mostly vertical. They will be wavy, inspired by the yellow fabric with its plants and stems. Except perhaps at the white and hare-y part.

For that part I will do some topstitching, by hand, in thin thread, not the handspun silk I plan for the quilting.

Design decisions on the Spring Quilt

Some sort of vertical organisation, so I can Quilt As I go, sewing the strips together with my sewing machine. Strips will be (hand)quilted before that.

For combining strips the top layer and batting will be sewn together:
 pics by Instructables
Backing will be folded over/under and stitched through all layers, with the sewing machine. Gold yellow thread —> all strips will have one side with the nice golden yellow fabric. This is where the sewing seam will be.

(Another method is putting the strips flush and putting a neat band on top and at the bottom: CraftyKimberly explains here.)

Vertical organisation: in a few thin strips with a broader strip of blocks in between. Outer measurements of these strips will be fixed and neat, as to end up with a rectangular quilt.
like such:
 quilt by Kirsten Chursinoff
 pic by John C Campbell Folkschool
 quilt by Ann Schroeder.
I don’t know (yet) how to vary the width of strips and still end up with a rectangle quilt:
quilt by Janet Windsor

But with clever combining colours on both sides of the strips it is not necessary to make wavy lines:
 quilt by Jean Wells
 quilt by Beth Van Wyngaarden
These quilts consists of overal organisation of straight vertical strips. This is what I’m aiming for in Spring Quilt. Only with visual bend accents, like leaf edges.

Inside organisation of the strips can be free (style). Handquilting in big stitches, in wool, handspun, silk, thick thread. In shapes bigger than the smaller components a strip is made up off. So not making small blocks and QAYG but making big strips first and then quilting those.

Thin long yellow fabric as a constant… The white fabric provides a base. Printed fabric as little patches for the eye to rest on. Small pattern and solids for shape and lines.

Size 1.50 x 1.50 m. Or 1.20 x 1.20 m. Lap blanket.
Lillepoes joined me in a little research:

Ah, it doesn’t need to be quite so big. 90 x 110 cm is fine.

Handquilting. This will be a pleasurable phase. So blocks I work on must be manageable: 30 x 30 cm. 45 x 45 cm. Or 30 cm x 75 cm.
Lauren Hunt, My Aunt June
Victoria Gertenbach
I’m just using the thread to quilt the layers together, I don’t aim to create a certain fabric like the two examples above. I like a little poofiness. And a variety of threads.

Big Stitch Quilt. Improv.

After playing with my Advent Quilt a bit I now know I am not constricted to a certain size because of what I can push comfortably under the sewing machine. I can roll up to 80 cm of quilt and still sew a strip to it. So I don’t need the vertical organization in “trees” that I started this blog post with because of QAYG.

So size of a block is determined to what is comfortable to hand sew. I think 45 x 45 cm. 30 x 75 cm.

Now I’m looking at an overal design and now I’m much more free than the vertical lines I thought I needed up until now. I’m looking at Pinterest and keeping my fabrics nearby for honing in on my goal.
I love this work of art:
 art by Victor Pasmore

A strip on the left, probably in three portions, in all light coloured fabrics. Two blocks on the right with details, featuring the more expressive fabrics. Dark details. All improvisational. Only the outer sides of the blocks are fixed.

The light fabrics will be the back ground: the white, the white with scribbles, light green, the hares and the yellow.

This is as far as I get today. I’ll play with this idea in my head for the rest of the day.

planning a Spring Quilt

Something to drape over my knees. Bought fabrics at Bossche Quilts and More:

bossche quilts 1

Lovely prints:bossche quilts 2

These are inspirations:

Green Venus by Helen Howes. Quilt Fest 2015. Contemporary Quilt.

 art by Debrah Andrews

 quilt by Cyntia St Charles

 quilt by Paula Kovarik

I will again quilt with wool and handspun silk, just like I did with the Advent Quilt. Coarse hand quilting. Big Stitch quilting.

 quilt by Lauren Hunt, My Aunt June

Thinking about shapes and sequence of construction.

altering a suit and becoming The Good Wife

Bought this suit, to look more expert less adorable in the court room:


I spend yesterday evening and today altering it. Shortening sleeves and pants, adding two buttons, prying loose the lining and taking in the darts in the back a good 2 cm. Sway back.

The raspberry blouse has got a little hack at the front neck, to make it less unruly.


Can’t move my arms though, both shirt and jacket have arm holes that are not close to the body.

Looking good.


hacking the collar

The collar of my new fitted dress shirt was too long for the collar stand. I didn’t feel like seeing a new one. Sooo:

Hack it down the middle!

Not terrible neat but who’s going to notice? The splash of colour will distract the eye from details like that.

Colour accents, by the way, to facilitate wearing an intense coloured lipstick with this professional attire. It’s the only make up I wear and without accompanying colours framing my face it will look weird.

The photo shows the inside of the collar and stand on the outside. I’m about to do the top stitching.