Thursday 31 December 2020

New Year, new planner

Having made planners for the Finish-A-Long for many years now, I have become used to having a planner page to keep track of my projects. I am no longer involved in the FAL, but I still need a planner to at least try and keep order of my many WIPs. I confess, my list is not getting any smaller...!


So this year I have redesigned the planner, and even better (I think), I have designed two slightly different planner pages. One is specifically designed with quilt projects in mind (blocks, basting, binding, etc.) and the other for craft projects in general. Find both as a free download from the "Project Planner" page.

And good luck with getting your projects finished in 2021!


Friday 9 October 2020

New pattern coming

Hello everybody!

This spring and summer, with everything going on, I did not have much chance to set up my sewing machine on our kitchen table like I usually do. My oldest had taken over the table as a work-from-home office during the day. And in the evenings I was just too tired to set up anything... and then putting it away again, too.

Instead of sewing I spent plenty of time sitting behind the laptop, in any spot in the house that's available on the day, I might add. So now I am - finally - working on the pattern for my curved log cabin.

Pin basting for quilting

I worked out fabric amounts and cutting instructions. The order of sewing has been described with plenty of diagrams to explain it all. It isn't a difficult pattern, but it needs to be clear, right?
There will be a colouring page, too.

At first I was making it too complicated for myself. Don't we all do that? My mind was (and still is) whirring with all kinds of variations, fabric options, size changes etc. But I finally realised that including it all was the way to sure madness, so I have focused on what is really important: Writing the pattern clearly. I'm leaving the variations for another time...

So now I am rewriting, and making it (hopefully) good enough to send out into the world...

Almost done!


Tuesday 15 September 2020

Autumn has arrived

A few photos from the garden today.

The berries are colouring, spiders are busy making their webs, and the mist shows up their work beautifully. There is a decided chill in the air...


Saturday 11 April 2020

Summer will come

Following on from yesterday's post, I am back to tell you about another pattern!

Several years ago I made a lovely beach bag/tote. With its colourful pieced beach huts and appliqué sun, bucket and spade, it makes me long for summer days outside!

Unfortunately, the coast is way more than the allowed 2 km from our home, but I am dreaming of the days to come when we can take trips again...

Even without a beach close by I do use the bag often, mostly to go to quilt guild meetings, though those don't take place now either, of course. If you want to make your own beach hut tote, the (free!) pattern can now be found on the blog! And if anyone really has no use for a beach/tote bag, the pattern can also make a lovely summery wall hanging or a cushion...

Find the pattern below or on my Patterns page:

Beach Hut Tote pattern

As the current advice goes: Stay home... and sew!


Friday 10 April 2020

Baltimore style blocks

We are living in strange times! We are almost completely in lockdown with all of our little family working and studying from home, only allowed out to do the grocery shopping and for an odd short walk within our 2 km limits. But we are safe, and doing our very best to stay healthy, and sane...
And we're lucky: We have a garden and it is in a better state than most years with all the time we can spend on it. The weather is helping, too!

With table space at a premium (five desk spaces required) my work "desk" is quite improvised.
And in my free time I don't get to take the sewing machine out at all any more. So to relax I try to make time to do some hand sewing or hand quilting. My knitting comes out regularly, too, as well as a sketchbook or a colouring page... I even found a book I haven't read yet!

The whole situation has spurred me on to do something I have been thinking about for a long while: I am putting some of my patterns up on the blog! So today I am starting with some Baltimore style appliqué patterns I created many years ago. Some are based on traditional Baltimore blocks, others are my own variations. The pattern set is quite basic in the sense that it only consists of a couple of pages of instructions and full size drawings of the twelve blocks.

The method our quilt group used originally was to prepare the appliqué shapes by tacking the fabric onto paper templates, but you can use the patterns for any method of appliqué you are happy with. And while they were created as traditional hand appliqué patterns with the edges turned under as in needle turn, you can also use them for raw edge (bonded) appliqué, by hand or machine (any free motion stitchers out there?).

For now I have decided to make these patterns freely available to anyone. At the moment I just don't have the patience to work out how or how much to charge for them...
I would love to see how you use the patterns, whether you're making a block or a couple, or all 12. So if you are using Instagram please add the hashtag #sewofcoursepatterns to any pictures!

The patterns are now available as a digital download, here:

- Baltimore style block patterns -

Stay home and sew...!


Wednesday 12 February 2020

Warm ears

I finished a hat! And not only that, I finished knitting a hat. From real wool yarn... that I dyed myself, too!

The wool for the hat came in a kit meant for dyeing and then knitting into a small pouch. But I figured that I would have more use for a hat.

This was the start, the wool has just been dyed:

Which looked so much better once dried and wound into a skein. I was so proud of this! You can read a bit more about this dyeing journey in a post from last year...

Aren't those colours  scrumptious?!

Then I found a hat pattern. It is called the Antler Toque by Tin Can Knits and is available for (free!) as a download from their blog or on Ravelry (search for Antler Toque or Tincanknits).

I knitted the larger size, apparently I have a large head. I am not at all an experienced knitter, but with a bit of care I managed fine. It just took quite some time, but being a (very) slow knitter I kind of expected that. The pattern is clearly written, and once I "got" the cables I could do the repeats without checking the pattern all the time. Slowly, mind you.

I used a circular needle, and switched to double pointed ones for the last bit. I found out later that I could have continued with the circular needle and use the magic loop method. That will be for next time then...

I have a little yarn left, and I keep changing my mind whether I should use it to make a pompom. What do you think?

Anyway, when I have to go out in this cold weather (do you see the snow behind me?), I will have warm ears. And in the mean time I have started another knitting project!


Thursday 2 January 2020

Making Plans

Well, that's been a long time coming! I haven't posted a non-finishalong post in I-don't-know-how-long!!! High time to say hello to all of you and let you know of some changes...

I am generally not one to make special resolutions for the New Year. I find the bleak winter months difficult enough to get through, without adding extra pressure by making extreme changes. Of course, I could do with shedding some pounds, keeping better on top of housework, working harder, do exercise, and more of those issues that keep nagging at me to do better.

But this year I think it is time to focus on being KIND. Does the world ever have enough kindness??!

And, that means I have to be kind to myself, too.
Who can be kind to others when not in a good (mental) place themselves?!

So, I will not be promising anything apart from allowing myself a little time (hopefully every day) to do things I enjoy:
  • I will try and allow myself more time for creativity with fabric, fibres and thread - I have so many ideas for things to make! And I hope to make time to post about that journey here, too.
  • I have started a drawing/sketching challenge #30daysketchbookchallenge - though the second day prompt has me already wondering what I've let myself in for... If I don't give up on it, you may get the odd sketch post in between textiles.
  • I will try to deal with a WIP (one at a time) by treating it like a new project - maybe making it into a different item than originally planned, or giving/throwing it away if it really doesn't inspire me any more... I hope to be joining the FAL to be accountable, but no long lists, I think.
  • And I will be KIND - to others as well as myself!

Another change I am making is that I will no longer be a host, co-organiser and social media person for the Finish-A-Long. I am still a host for your finishes from Q4 of 2019 (click for the link-up), but after that linkup closes I will send you to the new hosts for 2020. I have been actively involved for the last three years, and it is time to hand the baton to others. Saying that, I have been asked to still host the 2020 FAL planner, so I will be posting that soon.

Time to put some of these ideas in practice, I'm off to sketch bottle(s) apparently...


Wednesday 1 January 2020

Link up your Finishes from the last Quarter

With the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020, we also have reached the end of Quarter 4 of the 2019 Finish-A-Long!!  Of course, this means it is now time to link up any finishes from the list you linked up in October (doesn't that seems ages ago)?! I hope you have been able to complete a lot of the UFOs from your list and have had an overall successful year.

The 2019 FAL is hosted by a great community of bloggers. This year our hosts are:

Each finish you link up will be in the draw for great prizes, so let's give a huge thank you to our fantastic sponsors:

Aurifil Logo
Winner's Choice of 1 Large 12 Spool Collection
Sew Sweetness Logo
$80 Gift Certificate

2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

Fat Quarter Shop Logo
$50 Gift Certificate
Sew Me a Song Logo
$25 Gift Certificate
Happy Quilting Logo
3 PDF Patterns

2 PDF Patterns

Blossom Hearts Quilts Logo
2 PDF Patterns
Make Modern Logo
1 Six Month Subscription
Bonjour Quils Logo
2 PDF Patterns

Hillstitches Logo
$30 Fabric Voucher

2019 Finish-A-Long Logo

The 2019 Quarter 4 link for your finishes is now open below on this blog and on each of the hosting blogs - you only need to link on one blog for your finish to appear on all host blogs.

Link-up "Rules":

Add one link for each finish.  If you want to link a round up post of all your finishes, use that link to enter one of your finishes and then link the rest of your finishes separately.  Please, only one link per finish, as your link is an entry into the randomly drawn prize draws. 

Please ensure that the photo (Instagram or Flickr) or blog post you link up contains a link or reference back to your original list so that we can verify your entry (make sure it is from the right quarter, too). On Instagram the best way to do that is to tag your photos with #2019FALQ4yourname (where yourname is unique to you), this makes it easier for us to match your finishes with your list, which also should have this tag.

Please become part of the FAL community.  Check out the links of others and leave a comment. We all need encouragement so let's applaud each other.  The 2019 FAL Facebook page is HERE and you can follow us on Instagram @finishalong.

Our hosts will also link up their finishes to share in the community but they are not eligible for any of the prizes.

The Q4 Finishes link will stay open from now thru 11 pm EST on Thursday, January 9, 2020 (that is 5 am GMT on Friday, January 10) - since we are global, do check your time zone to determine your last possible time to link. You can also see how much time is left below the linked up images on the right.  It is best to link up your finishes early and if you have a last minute one, add that one later so you don't miss out.  The prizes will be awarded as soon as we can verify all the entries and do the drawings.  We will post the winners on each host's blog.

2019 Q4 Finishes Link Up: