Saturday, 22 October 2016

Summer knitting projects

In 10 days we move to very small temporary lodgings, so I have started packing. My sewing room is full of boxes and most of my fabric stash is already packed, so no more sewing or quilting for me this year... boohoo! It will all go in storage until we have found a place to live in Sydney and moved there, which we hope will be in mid-December, when the boys have finished school here in Brisbane.

So knitting it is now - the Tumbling Blocks baby blanket is halfway finished (it's rather time-consuming), and I have also started another project: a summer scarf. Spring has sprung here and temperatures are rising, so no more beanies or wrist warmers, but an airy cotton scarf to use on summer nights. I found the pattern here and decided to make it in my favourite colour, turquoise:

My BFF in the Netherlands sent me a gorgeous belated birthday present: this beautiful yarn bowl.

I absolutely love it, and am glad that I will have something of my own in our temporary living space that will make me feel happy whenever I look at it!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Knitting Needle Case - Tutorial

Since I rediscovered knitting in July, I have finished quite a few projects (you can see them all here on my Ravelry page) and collected a lot of stuff - knitting needles, circular needles, cable needles, a crochet hook etc. With our upcoming move to a temporary smaller place in mind, I decided to make a case to keep it all together.

It was a quick and easy project (finished in less than two hours) and I thought I'd share the instructions here for those of you who would like to make a case of their own. You don't need to be an experienced sewer to make this case - it is enough if you can sew a straight line.

You will need:
Outer fabric (I used a heavyweight home dec fabric from Ikea):
- 18'' x 20'' (46 cm x 51 cm) rectangle
Inner fabric (I used plain muslin/calico):
- 18'' x 20'' (46 cm x 51 cm) rectangle
- 18'' x 26'' (46 cm x 66 cm) rectangle , folded in half to create a 18'' x 13'' pocket
- 18'' x 16'' (46 cm x 41 cm) rectangle, folded in half to create a 18'' x 8'' pocket
- 18'' x 8'' (46 cm x 20 cm) rectangle, folded in half to create a 18'' x 4'' pocket
Ribbon: 36'' (90 cm)

Note: If you want to use a lightweight cotton fabric for the outside, I would add a layer of batting between the outer and inner fabric.

You will also need:
- measuring tape
- thread in a matching colour,
- pins,
- scissors,
- fabric marker and ruler,
- sewing machine,
- iron and ironing board.

1. Lay down the 18'' x 20'' inner fabric rectangle. Lay the 18'' x 13'' pocket on top with the bottom edges matching. Lay the 18'' x 8'' pocket on top of that one, bottom edges matching, and the 18'' x 4'' pocket on top of that one (see photo below).

2. Lay the 18'' x 20'' outer fabric rectangle on top of the inner fabrics with the right side facing down. Trim off both top corners as shown in the photo below and pin the layers together:

3. Sew around the edges using a 1/2'' seam allowance, leaving a 6'' gap in the middle of the top edge. Trim the corners. Turn the case right side out through the gap. Use a pointy tool to push out the corners (I use the end of a paint brush). Press the case, folding in the fabric edges at the gap. Top-stitch all around, a few millimetres from the edge, thereby closing the gap.

4. Use a fabric marker and a ruler to draw vertical lines on the inside of the case. I decided to make (from left to right) two 1'' sections, four 2'' sections and two 3'' sections, but you may want to use different sizes. Sew along those lines, starting at the bottom edge, and backstitching at both ends.

5. Find the middle of the ribbon. Sew it to the front of the case, just above the middle pocket. Stitch back and forth a few times, over the top-stitching that was already there.

6. Fold down and press the flap at the top.

I decided that the bottom row of pockets was too deep (the darning needle got lost in it), so stitched a horizontal line 1'' from the bottom edge.

Put your knitting stuff in the pockets, roll up the case, tie the ribbon and admire your handiwork!

Tuesday, 11 October 2016


Since we are moving to Sydney in December, we drove down there in the September school holidays to check things out, and to do the touristy things with the kids, who had never been to Sydney before. We all loved Taronga Zoo, and the photo above is my favourite from the trip. Of course the Opera House always looks great too:

We stayed in Narrabeen in the Northern Beaches, which is the area we hope to live in. So beautiful!

We drove home via Armidale, where we stayed for two nights, and did some sightseeing. The Wollomombi Falls were spectacular:

My husband and eldest son went for a walk together and saw an echidna! Hugo managed to take this photo with my DSLR:

I did a lot of knitting in the car (we drove more than 2500 km in 8 days) and managed to finish my Josephine Shawl:

Not too happy with the yarn I used - it does pill a lot, but I like the shawl!

And now it's time to start packing - in 3 weeks time, on November 1st, we move out of this house into temporary lodgings. The location is perfect (close to schools, gymnastics, hubby's work) but it's very small, so all our furniture, including my sewing machine, will have to go into storage until we move to Sydney.

So sadly no more quilting for me this year, instead I'll be knitting and designing quilts in Illustrator!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Road Home Row Along - South Holland, the Netherlands

UPDATE: Quite a few people are having trouble getting the instructions and/or the template on Craftsy. If you are not able to download them there I am happy to email them to you. Just leave me a comment, but don't forget to add your email adress!

Today it is my turn to show you the row I designed for The Road Home Row Along, organised by Marian of Seams to be Sew and Amy from Sew Incredibly Crazy.

When Marian asked me to be part of this Row Along in April, I immediately knew what to do for my row. My home is, and always will be, the Netherlands - even after almost 10 years in Australia.
I have lived in many different places in the Netherlands, but in the last four years before we moved to Brisbane, we lived in a small town in the province South-Holland, close to the famous flower fields. They have inspired me to make a quilt before - Thinking of Holland, in 2013. It hangs over our dinner table and is still one of my favourite quilts:

That quilt clearly has a vertical orientation, and I was keen to try and make a horizontal design this time. I pieced the flower fields, added the blue fabric for the sky and appliquéd the windmill shape to it.

I did not trim my row to the required size of 40.5'' x 12.5'', but left it a bit larger to make it into a wall hanging. I densely quilted the flower fields and quilted the sky a bit more loosely, using matching Aurifil threads.

This little piece of Holland is now hanging in our bedroom:

The pattern for this row is available in my Craftsy pattern store - and it's free!

I also get to give away some stuff! The first gift is a 12'' x 18'' Calibre Art cutting mat - sadly this is only available to US residents because of the shipping costs:

Just leave a comment on my blog and enter through the Rafflecopter widget below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have an embroidery machine, make sure you enter to win this great design CD by Anita Goodesign - no restrictions on shipping here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There is another giveaway on Marian's blog, so make sure you visit her for a chance to enter for a chance of a $300 bundle of goodies from the Fat Quarter Shop!

Last but not least, don't forget to check out the other rows in this Row Along, there are some fabulous designs included. Here is the full list:

September 6
Allie-Oops Sweet Happy Life creates Harrisville, MI Sunrise Coast
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
creates Adelaide South Australia
Kissed Quilts
creates Grand Coulee, Washington
Renee’s Quilting Addiction
creates Alberta, Canada
September 8
Sew Incredibly Crazy
creates Colorado
3 Patch Crafts
creates Bulgaria
Just Let Me Quilt
creates Las Vegas, Nevada
Quilt in Piece
creates Amanzimtoti, South Africa
September 13
Tweety Loves Quilting
creates Edinburgh, UK
creates Heber City, Utah
Seams To Be Sew
creates Idaho Falls, Idaho
Pine Valley
creates New Zealand
September 15
bdieges designs
creates Road to Tehachapi (CA)
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
creates Worcester County in Central Massachusetts
Patti’s Patchwork
creates Toronto, Ontario Canada
Seacoast Quilter
creates New Milford, Connecticut
September 20
creates Denmark
Heleen Pinkster
creates Netherlands
MooseStash Quilting
creates Alaska
Rebecca Mae Designs
creates Northern Maine
September 22
Words & Stitches
creates Beaches of California
Quilt Art
creates Africa
I Can Quilt 2
creates Baltimore, MD
Any Pattern
creates Port Angeles, Washington
Patchwork Breeze
creates West Michigan Shoreline
September 27
Creatin’ in the Sticks
creates Dodge City, Kansas
Sue Griffiths Featured At Just Let Me Quilt
creates Northern Rivers Region, NSW, Australia
Seams To Be Sew And Batts In The Attic
creates Hollywood/LA
(Dual Posting)
September 29
Quilted Fabric Art
creates Burlington Vermont
Westend Quilter
creates Manitoulin Island, Canada
Pamela Quilts
creates Oregon
Quilt Fabrication
creates Silicon Valley, CA
October 04
Patchouli Moon Studio
creates Central New Mexico
Linda Robertus
creates Netherlands
Elm Street Quilts
creates North Carolina
Sarah Quinn Featured At Seams To Be Sew
creates Outer Space
October 06
Cheryl LaPlant Featured At Quilt In Piece
creates York, Maine
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse
creates New Hampshire
Bumbleberry Stitches
creates OklahomaNeedle in a Hayes Stack
creates Mojave Desert
Cloth and Paper Studio
creates North Georgia Mountains
October 11
Show N Tell Day

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2016: Colourful Pencils

Here is my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival hosted by Amy Ellis from Amy's Creative Side: Colourful Pencils. Regular readers of this blog have seen it quite recently, for I made it only a few months ago.

It is inspired by an original art print designed by Melbourne-based graphic artist and illustrator Harper and Charlie. I saw this print last year in November and immediately thought that it would make a great patchwork quilt. I contacted them to ask for permission to make a quilt inspired by this design and was very happy when they said yes!

Colourful Pencils is quilted very densely with Aurifil 40wt threads in matching colours:

For the binding I used a lovely stripey fabric:

The quilt measures 31'' x 51''. It now hangs in my son's room - he loves the 3D effect. The pattern for this wall hanging is available in my pattern stores on Craftsy and Etsy.

I am entering this quilt in the ROYGBIV Quilts Category (rainbow quilts). Do check out some of the other quilts in the Festival as well - there is so much eye candy and inspiration to be found!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2016: Starimekko

It's that time of year again: the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2016 is on, hosted by Amy Ellis from Amy's Creative Side. I am entering my quilt Starimekko in the Large Quilt Category (it is 67'' square).

I love making Lone Star quilts, and in July 2015, when I had finished my red and white Lone Star (which was one of my entries in the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2015), I decided to make a more modern version. For that version I used the iconic Unikko (Poppy) design by Maija Isola for the famous Finnish company Marimekko in nine different colourways. I had been collecting these fabrics for quite a while - I bought most of them at the Finnish Etsy shop OttaShop.

I used large diamond shapes to showcase the fabrics, and added white 1'' sashing strips. The binding is yet another Unikko print.

For the back I used a large Marimekko print called Hetkiä (Moments), designed by Maija Louekari:

I quilted this modern Lone Star in straight lines through the diamonds, ½” from the seams, continuing in the white spaces outside the star, using a walking foot and white Aurifil 40wt thread. It has a thin cotton batting, so it's perfect for early spring nights here in subtropical Queensland.

After I showed this quilt on my blog and on Instagram, quite a few people asked about the pattern. It took me more than a year to write it down (much longer than it took to make the quilt!), but it is now available in my pattern shop on Craftsy and Etsy.

Don't forget to check out the other quilts in the Festival and stay tuned for my second entry!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

New pattern: Lone Star Baby Quilt, made with half-square triangles

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that I love Lone Star quilts, and that I have made quite a few.  Many people admire them, but I often hear that they wouldn't dream of making one - too hard, with the diamond shapes and inset seams.
As a quilter who thought so myself for many years I can relate to that - however, there is a way to make a Lone Star quilt and avoid all those issues: by using half-square triangles (HSTs).

This Lone Star baby quilt measures 40'' (100 cm) square and it is made up of squares, rectangles and half-square triangles. It is pieced and quilted with white Aurifil 40wt thread. I quilted it 'in the ditch', with the lines continuing in the white bakground fabric.

For the back I used the same aqua fabric that was used in the top, and it shows the quilting really well:

I had a ball taking the quilt out for a photo shoot!

The pattern for this quilt is now available on Craftsy and Etsy. I have just started working with Adobe Illustrator and am quite proud of the diagrams I managed to create!

The pattern is very suitable for beginning quilters. I have included instructions on how to make multiple HSTs at once - quick and easy!