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Civil war diary quilt

Years ago I received a book for my birthday: the Civial War Diary Quilt by Rosemary Youngs. Rosemary Youngs collected entries from ten diaries that were written by women during the American civil war. She designed a quilt block to go with each diary entry, and when you make them all, you have a quilt with 121 different blocks.

Civil war diary quilt book

It is interesting to read the stories about people’s lives during the civial war. Also the patchwork is interesting because each block is different. I use reproduction fabrics and make most blocks on foundation paper. Here are pictures of the first eight blocks (unfortunately the colors don’t show very well):

Civil war diary quilt blocks

Civil war diary quilt blocks

In Sapporo there is a great craft store called Kanariya. I don’t speak Japanese but I have some idea what that means, looking at their logo:Kanariya fabric store sapporo

If you ever happen to be in Sapporo you must visit Kanariya, it is just GREAT (find a map, directions and more info here). Four floors full of fabrics, quilt supplies, knitting wool, sewing notions, felt, beads, books, buttons, zippers, etc, etc. And there were lots of kits, for example for making your own rabbit-basket (a basket in the form of a rabbit, that is, or any other animal), the cutest needle-felt animals, bags and purses like these:

Kanariya Japanese sewing kitsI just love the Japanese style for quilting and sewing. There is so much eye for detail, and I like the muted colours. There was a large division with Japanese fabrics and I bought a whole bunch of fat quarters. They were quite cheap compared to the prices in Europe.

Before we went to Sapporo, we stayed in a super nice pension in Hakodate. The owners were so kind, and the house was really cosy with hand-made pillows and other things.  When we left, the hostess gave me a wonderful bag and a handmade purse as a gift. I was so delighted, but I also thought I had to give something back. So I used the fabrics I bought in Sapporo to make them a set of 6 coasters for their breakfast table:

Coasters of Japanese fabric

The back is a piece of black felt, attached with festoon stitch. I finished them in a few days and send them by post to Hakodate. One day later I received an email, with a picture showing the coasters on their table:

Japanese table with sewn coastersSato (the hostess) put a cat on the table that a friend of hers made of kimono fabrics, so cute. The pension is called Jokura, by the way, and it is highly recommended for anyone appreciating a clean and cosy pension serving delicious Japanese breakfast.

I’m now making another set, because I like them myself as well :-)

Japanese coasters Japanese coasters

Japanese lotus ornaments

In August, my husband and I have been on holiday in Japan. While enjoying the nature, cities and culture of Hokkaido (Japan’s northernmost large island), I picked up some craft ideas.

In a pension I saw dried lotus seed cones filled with small balls of fabric.  I really liked the idea and took two seed cones home with me, as well as some fabric with flowers. This is the result of my work:Lotus seed cones filled with fabric balls

At first the cones looked like this:

Lotus seed cones filled with fabric balls

To make the fabric balls simply cut a lot of fabric circles, stuff them with cotton wool, tie them and put them into the holes in the lotus seed cones.
Nice decoration, isn´t it?

Lotus seed cones filled with fabric balls

Lotus seed cones filled with fabric balls

Lotus seed cones filled with fabric balls

In a Japanese magazine I saw a garland for the kitchen, made of red peppers and peanuts tied together. I tried to make one yesterday, but it doesn’t exactly look like the one in the magazine because I could only find peppers that were a bit too large. I also did something wrong with the tying, because in the original all peanuts and peppers were neatly lined up while in my garland they stick out in all directions. But I still like the idea. :-)

Red pepper and peanut garland

Red pepper and peanut garland

Red pepper and peanut garland

Rag quilt

Rag quiltOver the past two weeks, I’ve made a rag quilt together with some colleagues. It was a gift for another colleague, who is going through a difficult time right now. She really loved it. On the picture above is the front of the quilt, the side with the ragged edges. On the picture below is the back side, where all people of our group wrote their names on the 32 plain blue-grey squares.

rag quilt

It was such fun to work on this quilt! I had never made a rag quilt before and wanted to try it for ages. We followed the directions of this tutorial. Only, instead of sewing a cross over each square, we sewed a smaller square so that the names on the back would not be sewn over. And instead of having a frilled edge, I added a border with regular binding.

Rag quiltFirst we cut a bunch of 8 inch/20 cm squares of the plain blue-grey fabric and let all our colleagues write their names on them. Some people even added beads or a little embroidery. We also cut squares out of six patterned fabrics. Flannels are perfect for this type of quilt, but we couldn’t find nice ones so we used regular cotton. During two sewing evenings we assembled the quilt, and this weekend I added the border and binding.

Rag quilt rag quiltI washed this quilt at 40 C, but that didn’t really do anything for the frills. Perhaps a higher temperature would have been better, but the fabric markers were only washable up till 40 C. So I called a friend who has a dryer, and that made things a little better. The frills are still not as fluffy and curled up as they can be, but I guess they will get better over time. Rag quilt

 

 

Tillie quilt
Last week I finished a small wall quilt. The pattern is called Tillie, designed by Jeanneke. She has made a lot of very cute doll quilts.

Tillie quilt
It only measures 42 x 42 cm. Despite the small pieces I really liked to work on this quilt.

Tillie quilt
Hanging on the wall in our living room:

Tillie quilt

 

Spring stripes shawl

Nymphalidea spring stripes shawlToday I took a walk into the forest to make some pictures of my newest FO, a shawl. Since spring is very early this year and the shawl has such bright colours, I named it Spring stripes.
It’s made using Schoppel-wolle yarn. The lime green wool is sock yarn named Admiral 4-ply (colourway Oliven) and the other yarn is Crazy zauberball (colourway Frische fische). The pattern is called Nymphalidae and free to download via Ravelry. Here’s also a link to this project on my Ravely page. For some tips and tricks on how to block this shawl, check this blogpost by the designer Melinda VerMeer.

Nymphalidea spring stripes shawl
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The next pic shows the back side of the shawl, which is actually also quite nice:

Nymphalidea spring stripes shawlIt is a present for my aunt, who will receive it for her birthday in May. I hope she’ll like it!

Nymphalidea spring stripes shawlNymphalidea spring stripes shawl

Palempore quilt

I finally finished a quilt that I started working on years ago. It now hangs in our living room and I really like how it turned out!  Palempore quilt

The middle part is a printed panel, the border is patchwork. I quilted around all figures on the panel, and then filled the empty spaces with 1 x 1 cm diamonds. You can read more about this traditional quilt here.

Palempore quilt

Palempore quilt