Passion for quilting



Doors, doors, doors…fascinating subject. I’m working on a doors project and the hard part is choosing which doors to use.

A bricked-up door in Italy

A garage door in Holland

Church doors in Holland

Front door in Holland

Front door in Mexico

Another Mexican door

Another door in Mexico

I like Mexican doors, this is another one

and this,

and this as well.

There are still more doors in my file so you can imagine I’m having a hard time choosing. I need at least nine doors for this project and if I have time (there’s a deadline) I could maybe do twelve… I’m going to thread paint them individually and then put them together to make one quilt. I’m using batik fabric as a background, different for each door.



So, what do you get is you take five girls (ages 9-11), some sewing machines, fabric, fusible web, thread, batting, embellishments and a bit of time? Now before you answer, the girls have little or nog experience with the sewing machine or any sewing activity for that matter. Too hard for you? Well here’s the answer:

They all had a lot of fun working on their quilts and so did I. Maybe the thing they enjoyed most was working with the big Janome 7700 sewing machine. Guess what’s on their wishlist…


Meet the angels…

They’ve been around for a while but I haven’t gotten round to writing about them, my Christmas angels. I’d been wanting to make some angels since I fell in love with a little glass angel my parents brought from Mexico. There’s a little glass dove too that we’ve already used for the cradles of the twins and for their quilts as well (see the babyquilts of Emma and Eva).

Do you remember this piece of needlefelted fabric? It’s the perfect material for my angels.

I finished the pieces of the angels with gold yarn and then appliqued them onto the background. The background was quilted and then finished with gold cord.

There was still some fabric left so:




Danger! Approach with caution!

I really think embellisher machines should come with this warning. Of course, there are warnings in the manual of the embellisher, about keeping your fingers away from the needles for example. But nobody tells you how addictive the machine is. You don’t believe me? Look at the picture I took of this lady at the workshop I gave last Friday.

She doesn’t hear or see anything except her work. The result:

This was the first piece she made, to try out the machine and the different fabrics. Then she went on to do this piece, it’s not finished yet so she placed an order for the embellisher (I said it should come with a warning).

These are the pieces that were made by the other ladies:

Sample by Carla

Another piece by Carla

Sample by Cobie, she plans to frame it and hang it on her wall.

In case you’re wondering, Carla ordered the machine too, Cobie is thinking about it. Oh, and the owner of the shop where I gave the workshop ordered one too…Like I said, approach with caution!!!



A hole in your tights?

I’ve been wanting to use my embellisher to fix holes in sweaters or something. I keep telling people you can but I’ve never really tried it. But now I have, my niece Anna was kind enough to fall down and put a hole in her new tights.

An excellent challenge for my embellisher. Together we chose the colours, a pink dot (of course), a purple dot and yellow heart. A few minutes later Anna was ready to show her better-than-new tights!

But the embellisher can do more, much more. I love using it to make ‘new fabric, like this one in white, cream and gold.

The next step is stitching, lots of it.

And when it’s finished, it looks like this. The colour changes between the pictures are changing light, not changing colours…

The next step…to be continued.

Some more stitching, I finished my threadpainting!!! I love this technique and am definitely planning to do more.


Since I know…

This is the title of an exhibition by Mrs Channah Zwaaf. Her mother was a Dutch Jewess who made a mixed marriage. The title of the exhibition refers to the fact that little Channah discovered that her mother was a Jew when the German occupier obbliged her mother to wear the star. Her marriage saved her mother but the rest of her family never came back.

Mrs Zwaaf is an accomplished pianist. She started painting later in life.

These aquarels depict twelve Jewish feasts.


Happy Monday

A week ago I ordered the complete series of Masterpiece-Superior threads from Barnyarns and they were delivered today. Seeing all those wonderful colours together and thinking aboutr all the things I will be able to do with them always makes me very happy. Before they arrived I had been wondering about how I would store them and hadn’t yet found a solution. Happy surprise: the threads came in two thread storage containers, courtesy of Barnyarns. Thank you!



The finished quilt, Butterflybaby! The photographs are hidden under the butterflies. My grandson Koen posed for the picture I used to make the silhouette of the baby.



New babyquilt

As you can see on the babyquilts page of my site, I have started a tradition of making a quilt for every baby that is born into our family. I try to use the card the parents send to announce the birth as a source of inspiration and combine that with what I know about the colours in the baby’s room and pictures of the newborn, his/her family (including pets), funny presents, etc, to make a quilt. I originally intended them for the crib but they all hang the quilts on the wall. That’s an advantage because I can be a little more adventurous with the embellishments. The youngest addition to our family is my nephew Morris, he was born in May and is still waiting for his quilt (or rather, his parents are waiting, I don’t think Morris is at all bothered). He’s my youngest sister’s son and she made it really hard for me this time. The card was a completely different style and colour from the cards she sent for her daughters, I would never have guessed it was hers. The colour was different too, check out her bedquilt on the ‘other’ page and the babyquilts of Anna and Julia. I had been thinking in purples and greens before I got the card but that went out the window when I received it:


I did a lot of sampling, colours, sketches, babies, butterflies, then I had to look through something like a thousand pictures my sister had given me to find the ones I wanted to use. I also wanted to use my new free motion quilting skills (thanks to my wonderful new Janome Horizon sewing machine) on this quilt. Up to now I have mostly stitched straight lines of quilting, my old sewing machine did not take kindly to anything more challenging than that. This is the fabric I used:

And now the quilt is finished. I’ll show you in my next post…



It’s been a very busy week, hardly had any time to breathe, let alone write on my blog. So, a quick update.

Last Tuesday I went to talk to the owner of one of the local quilt-shops (De Witte Pimpernel)about starting a children’s course. While I was there we had a visit from a journalist from the local paper who wanted to write an article about quilt-shops. She was so enthusiastic about the idea for a children’s course that she wrote us a great article in Friday’s paper, including a photo of the shop with Ria (the owner of the shop) and yours truly. Getting free publicity is wonderful but we still had a course to put together in time for the Open Day at the shop on Saturday. Despite the fact that absolutely everything and everyone seemed to conspire against us (unexpected visits, the weather, you name it), we managed to finish everything just in time.

The Open Day was a great success. We had a lot of visitors interested in the various courses on offer. I had a wonderful time talking to all these people about the wonderful world of quilting. Some of the ladies were very interested in the children’s course. Not for their children though, they wanted to do it themselves! So now I have to write an adapted version of my course for adults. It looks like I have a busy autumn ahead!

There was also a lot of interest for my needle-felting work so I think I’ll be teaching a class with the embellisher (in Dutch: punchmachine) as well. Isn’t it great to be able to share what you love doing with others?


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