Quilt portrait of my grandmother "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern"

Last Thursday, September 11th, was the birthday of my grandmother.

She does not live anymore, but I still think of her often. She has learned me how to knit, crochet, embroider and sew clothes. She knitted countless numbers of socks for the whole family, in addition to all the other craft projects she made. My love for textiles has come from her. I am also named after her. 

She was a sweet grandmother to me and she's been important in my life, so I wanted to portray her for a long time in fabric. By the end of 2013, I finally had the courage to do it, after I had taken a drawing course and understood much more how to make a portrait. 

And now the quilt has been finished! It has a Frisian title: "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern". (Translation: "Grandmother, with flowers, animals and children"). (My family and I come from Friesland, a region in the north of the Netherlands, and we speak our own language, hence this Frisian title).
My Granny loved nature, plants, flowers, animals, and her (grand-) children. This is what I wanted to express in this quilt. For her face I used a very nice photograph from 1976.

Quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern"

The quilt measures 69 x 99 cm (27" x 39"). The fabrics have been appliqued on a base fabric with the sewing machine. For the intermediate layer a cotton batting was used. The whole quilt was quilted on the machine with a cotton thread.

Detail of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern"

In the face and the hair I used a lot of embroidery. Where necessary, some acrylic paint has been used. 
The embroidery threads come mainly from her inheritance.

Detail of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern"
Detail of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern"

This is the farm where she lived and worked most of her life. Also, I was born here (in this photo I'm in the pram next to the front door). This photo has been included in the quilt.

These four pictures are transferred onto fabric with t-shirt transfer paper. The pieces of fabric are included in the top and later partially embroidered to bring in some color. In the pictures you can see my grandmother with her grandchildren (including myself).

Details of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern": photo's printed on fabric and embroidered.

On the farm she took care not only for the household, but also for the cattle, as I remember from the stories. Hence the cows and sheep in the quilt. 

Detail of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern".
Detail of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern".

In my living room I have a large arum (or maybe the plant is called differently, but this is how I call it). This plant was my grandmother's and I got it many years ago from her. This plant with beautiful flowers has also been incorporated into the quilt.

Detail of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern":
The arum in my house.

When I was a child,  I was staying every summer with my grandmother's. For a long time, this linen cloth with flowers was hanging on her kitchen wall. With great care, I have cut the cloth into individual parts and used them as a basis for the bottom of the quilt.

Linen cloth with flowers I used in the quilt.
Parts of her clothing were included in the quilt. The brown skirt is confection, the others are self-made, most likely by herself.

My grandmothers' clothes that have been used in the quilt.

Finally, I always sign my work with my name.

Detail of quilt "Beppe, mei blommen, bisten en bern":

Art quilt "Rose"

"Rose" was initially intended as a practice piece to learn the applicationtechnique of Leslie Gabriëlse (a Dutch art quilter). Now I consider it as an art quilt which has a nice place in my house. 
Besides the application of used fabrics, there are also acrylic paint and embroidery techniques incorporated. The fabrics are all from my patch basket and some may be 60 years old. Also, most of embroidery yarn is old, left over from the time when I, being seven year old, made my first embroidery. Most of the yarn came from the legacy of my grandmother. An old flannel cloth serves as padding.

The quilt measures 47 x 39 cm (18,5" x 15") and is completely hand sewn and hand embroidered.

Art quilt "Rose", 47 x 39 cm (18,5"x 15")

Art quilt "Rose", detail
Art quilt "Rose", detail

Art quilt "Rose", detail

Art quilt "Rose", detail
Art quilt "Rose", detail signing
Art quilt "Rose", starting point

Art quilt "Rose", sketch

Duffel bag in quilting technique

This duffel bag was made ​​of used fabrics and with the foundation-piecing technique. It's been padded with fiberfill and reinforced with vilene. 
The bag is quite large: 46 x 30 x 25 cm (18" x 12" x 10"), with large opening at the top, ideal for sportswear. On both sides there is a small front pocket for keys, keycard and phone.

Duffel bag made of used fabrics with a memory: memento bag
Top of duffel bag

Bottom of duffel bag

Buckle of duffel bag

Top open of duffel bag
Duffel bag: detail of quilting inside
Duffel bag: detail of front pocket

Very warm quilt

I completed this very cuddly quilt on the hottest day of the year in 2012. It's nice and warm for winter, it keeps my legs warm while I'm watching tv. 
A quilt made ​​of remnants plush, teddy and wool. An old blanket I got from my grandmother of the 1950's, serves as padding. Only the fabric for the back was purchased.

Warm quilt, made ​​of remnants plush, teddy and wool
Warm quilt, backside
Warm quilt: cut pieces before stitching
Warm quilt:sketch and test
My cats loved this quilt!

Wallhanging "Firebird"

"Firebird" I made when I was a teenager. The tapestry measures 210 x 230 cm (83"x 91") and I have been working on it during schoolholydays for three years. There have been used all kinds of remnant fabrics of my mother, grandmother and friends. Many patches have memories attached to them. 
It is more than 20 years old, but I'm still proud of it. 
Machine-sewn, partially padded and quilted.

Art quilt "Firebird", 210 x 230 cm ( 83"x 91"), I made as a teenager
Art quilt "Firebird", detail
Art quilt "Firebird", detail
Art quilt "Firebird", detail


  1. Love your quilts, so much detail in each of these beauties. I especially like the one of your grandmother, probably because I also had a wonderful relationship with my grandmother (my mother's mother). She was the one who taught me to sew, embroider, crochet and love fabrics. We have been so blessed.

  2. Thank you, Bev! Yes, we've been very blessed by such great grandmothers.