Tag Archives: quilt

Log Cabin Pillow and Template

Log Cabin Pillow

Log Cabin Pillow (back)

Log Cabin coloring

The design

Back in July, I wrote about a log cabin pillow case project. Today, I want to show you the finished project and share a coloring template so you and your littles can design your own. One question with the pillow project was whether or not involving Peanut in the design process would win him over for the finished product. It worked. He took his finished pillow camping this summer and it now lives in his bed. The extra bonus was the fact that working with him was so much fun.

I ran across his original sketches the other day and thought it would be interesting to share them. He started off with some fun and funky designs that were fun to look at but difficult to recreate. After I suggested he use one color per field, he worked towards his final design. I love his color selections and was so relieved and surprised that those colors were in my fabric stash.

The finished pillow more or less matched his vision. I made a couple adjustments to his pattern along the way (with much consultation) to compensate for fabric supply and measurement issues (ahem). After consulting with Peanut, I used the same colors as the front to piece the back and made some binding for the edges. The inside raw edges were also finished with bias tape. The quilt as you go method described by Suzuko Koseki in Patchwork Style worked out great. Next time, it would be interesting to try quilting it at the end next time to see how that works out.

When we were planning this pillow, I couldn’t find a log cabin pattern to color in. Instead, we used copies of a drawing I made up. This weekend, I tried my hand at making one on the computer for you to use. You can download click here to download the Log Cabin Coloring Template and try your own coloring or making project. Giving kids an opportunity to design their own quilted pillow is just fun. You could also put together a bunch of colored and cut out log cabin blocks to make a paper quilt or wall decoration.

Click here to see and download the Log Cabin Coloring Template

Inspiration: Quilt Exhibition

Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed
Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed

Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed

Maria Hofmans: Linnen-Goed

Gert van Raalten: Watashi no Nihon no Takarabako
Gert van Raalten: Watashi no Nihon no Takarabako

Almut Raaijmakers: Wie het oude niet eert!
Almut Raaijmakers: Wie het oude niet eert!

Almut Raaijmakers: Wie het oude niet eert!

Earth Apple Bib

Last Thursday, I went to the Dutch Quilt Guild’s annual exhibition in Arnhem. There were some really beautiful pieces to look at. When I look at a quilt, I think about the massive amount of time, work, and skill it takes to make one. The color, fabric, and pattern combinations are inspiring. In Arnhem, I saw traditional quilts and art quilts. Quilts made with new fabrics, Japanese fabrics, linen, and scraps. A few quilts particularly struck my fancy and I thought I’d share them here.

Linnen-Goed by Maria Hofmans is a gorgeous quilt made of linen. I loved the details. Each scrap pieces was quilted on so that there was a pretty pattern on the back of the quilt, too. The actual quilting was done in a very loose style, which I love because it shows that it was made by hand. Being able to stitch perfectly is important, but letting go of that can often give a more expressive result. The linen squares all vary slightly in color and they’re beautiful neutrals that look lovely together. I love the style of this quilt and am sure this will inspire some of my work in the future!

I also got a kick out of this piece, Watashi no Nihon no Takarabako by Gert van Raalten. The colors are fabulous in and entirely different way. I love the punctuating color in the field of brown. The colors get to pop against the monochromatic background. My favorite detail on this piece, though, is the fact that the pattern runs out in the corner. It is a fabulous surprise to look at the pattern, be drawn into looking at all the individual colors, and then, oops! I love it.

A third piece that made a big impression me was Wie het oude niet eert! by Almut Raaijmakers. It has a few repetitions of the same image, each using a different technique and the same colors. There was some applique, french knots, chain stitching, and beads. Then I took a step back for a bigger picture and realized that all the small pieces were on a background that was the whole image again, but gray on gray. The quilt works as a wonderfully patient exploration of the impact of different techniques.

My bibs and a lot of my work are inspired by the piecing that is the basis of quilt making. Put two fabrics together and way they contrast or compliment each other can be transformative. Last week I made a new series of bibs. I used a beautiful fabric from Amy Butler’s Mid-Century Modern series and paired it with a contrasting rusty red. It’s in my Etsy store now. After two weeks of bib making, I’m going to move on to card holder making this week. I’ve got some fabric choices in mind and can’t wait to see how they turn out.

Friday Check-In

Boy watching caterpillar

This week was the second week of school. It’s the week where we start to settle into the routine, start to see where we might have some problems and try to think of solutions. It’s also a week in which the weather finally turned and the sun has been shining. It feels absolutely glorious after the rainy cold end of August. Now, on to some questions!


1. How are you moving forward at work?

Without a doubt, the single most exciting thing that happened to me this week was seeing my Kokka Messenger Bag on the U-Handbook Facebook page. I was dancing around the house with glee. The lady who designed the pattern liked the bag I made from it! It’s like being back in school and having the teacher like your creative writing assignment (which never happened to me, by the way). Total satisfaction. The bonus was a lot of new website traffic (hi, all, hope you’re sticking around!) and I discovered some neat folks by checking who was commenting!


2. How did you improve your home?

This week I managed to keep the house neat. It was an improvement over last week when we were in “a bomb exploded in here” mode for most of the week. I also put together a slightly wonky tent-like drapery for over the kid’s new kitchen playing area. It’s starting to look really cozy.


3. How did you take care of yourself?

Just this afternoon, I took myself off to Arnhem for a visit to the Dutch quilting guild’s annual show. It was wonderful to take a break and to soak up some inspiration. I’m trying to take more, smaller, meaningful breaks for myself. This outing was a winner. I came home feeling refreshed and energized.


4. How are things going with the daily writing project?

This week was the first time I nearly forgot to write a couple times. The days got away from me and somehow, after writing about it for the first time last week, part of my brain must have been satisfied with how far we’d gotten. But the point is to keep on writing every day. It wasn’t always so easy this week, but then on the train this afternoon I found myself bursting with ideas again. I’ve got seventeen dots now. That’s only fourteen away from my first full month. I can do it!

5. Talk about the picture.

Last night after dinner, I checked on my kale and sprouting broccoli plants. The white moths have been busy laying eggs this week and the larvae are not invited to the garden buffet! During my search, I found a caterpillar. The kids spent a good long time watching him crawl on the table and up and along this stick. We even watched the caterpillar poop. Seriously, who ever gets to see a caterpillar poop?! It was neat to see Peanut especially so engaged in watching this little creature.

As I’ve gotten more serious about my writing and my work, I feel a need to be more accountable for maintaining balance in my life and for working on long-term projects. In order to do that, I’ve decided to transform my Friday Moment into a Friday Check-in. Here’s the plan. Every Friday, I’ll post a picture and answer five questions. They will be about my work, my home, myself, my project or goal, and the picture. We’ll try it for a season and see how things go!

Inspiration: Surprise quilts

Passacaglia with Penrose

Made by Restless Hands

A couple weeks ago I attended an event at the Radboud University. A friend was giving a lecture and I went to listen. Outside of the lecture hall were these amazing quilts by Willyne Hammerstein-Schoonderwoerd. These quilts were mostly hand pieced and made of pretty much the tinies pieces of fabric I have ever seen. On top of that, some of the patterns were so complex, I could only see them from way across the foyer. I was totally taken with these two, Passacaglia with Penrose and Made by Restless Hands.

Continue reading

Open house, open mind

Wenche Wolff Hatling's quilt

Workshop prep

Apparently, the local (this corner of Europe) Moda distributor is 30 minutes from my house and hosts an open house several times a year. What choice does a girl have? Last Sunday I went to their open house! It was my first wholesaler experience and it was an eye opener. I saw beautiful fabrics, patterns and notions and learned about the business cycle for fabric. It was overwhelming, but also super interesting to start thinking about all the possibilities that access to fabric like this presents. They also offered a workshop by Wenche Wolff Hatling from Northern Quilts to show her upcoming fabric line, Winterfall by Lecien. Despite being full, they let me join in and a couple nice ladies from atelierathome.nl offered to share their machine and good humor with me, so I was in!

Continue reading

Inspiration: Pittsboro

Inspriation: Pittsboro

We’re back in Nijmegen now, but what an amazing trip home. It was our best in years. I particularly enjoyed having a project to work on besides clothing and entertaining the family. My thoughts constantly returned to getting this site and my little business started. As a result, it seemed like inspiration was everywhere. There were so many pretty things to see – there were bags to examine and fabrics to admire. There were colors to fall in love with and patterns in nature that I’d never noticed before. It was a treat and filled me up with things to think about for the coming weeks.

Continue reading