I’m back! Or: Monthly Sewing Update March 2019

I’m back! But back where is the question I keep asking myself. I’ve been around so many places and started and stopped many things the past few months, so I’ve lost track of where my ‘back’ is. Is back in the Netherlands where I come from, or is back in Nanyuki where I’ve lived the past 6 months and made my home as well? Putting those questions aside, one ‘back’ I am sure about is back to writing weekly blog posts. I am very excited to again share my creative trials and errors with you so we can learn and laugh about them together. It seemed fitting to me to launch my writing again with a monthly sewing update for March so I can bring you up to speed about which projects have been occupying my mind. And from this moment, you can expect a new blog post here every Thursday.

I participate in the ‘Finish itstich-a-long (SAL) at the website of the amazing Galdra where the objective is to finish a list of projects in 2019. In this post, I will talk about my progress with that project as well. Read more about my plans here:

I see that most of the projects I discuss in this post are not on that list, but that seems to be the nature of the sewing game: you always have more projects going on than you think.

‘Look behind the lines’ mini quilt

This is my first finish since I came ‘back’ from Kenya. It is a quilt I’ve started a long time ago to practice random piecing.  I had a lot of fun assembling the triangles but did not know what to do with them after. Then the announcement came for a mini quilt exhibition of the quilt guild in the Netherlands I am a member of. I decided to finish this quilt for that exhibition. The quilt exhibition is 11-13th of April and I am very excited to see my quilt there together with all it’s brother and sister quilts.

Look behind the lines mini quilt
Look behind the lines mini quilt

This is my first exhibition and I am eager to see how people will react to my quilt. I will post pictures after. Also, I am planning a big post about this quilt to explain the process of sewing it and the meaning behind it. For now, I would love to hear your interpretation of this quilt. I’ve asked many people their interpretation and there are so many interesting visions.

Unconventional X stitch cross stitch

If you are a cross stitcher you have hopefully heard of the name ‘Unconventional X Stitch‘. It is run by an awesome lady and producing oodles of amazing creepy, macabre or fantastical cross stitch patterns. I’ve always wanted to try one of their patterns because I like supporting small-scale independent artisans. When they announced a stitchathon I knew it was time for me to dive into one of their patterns. A stitchathon is an event where you stitch as much as possible in a set amount of time. Another small creative entrepreneur I support with this project is Jodyri Designs where I got the amazing purple fabric. This pattern is based on a work by the scientist Pierre Denys de Montfort.

Kenyan quilt

The assembly of all the blocks has started! And while I write this I realise not even all the blocks are finished. This proves that quilting does not have to be a linear process at all. Or at least, it is not for me. This is what I have so far:

Kenyan quilt assembly of the blocks
Kenyan quilt assembly of the blocks

It is a bit wonky at the bottom, but I will fix that when I work on it next time.

Nearly Insane sampler quilt

One of my last posts before my hiatus was introducing this sampler quilt I am making to practice my machine sewing skills:

I work on this quilt whenever I have little inspiration to sew, but do feel like making something great on my sewing machine. Here are some of the blocks I made:

I’m very curious how this quilt will turn out because all the flower fabrics blend together a bit and make this a VERY busy. My belief now is that the quilting of the layers will solve everything.

Crewel embroidery mountain landscape

Embroidery is even harder to make decent pictures of than other sewing work it seems. Does someone have the golden tip for embroidery photography? Or maybe just a small tip to get me on my way?

Crewel embroidery is really fun! I have a lot of fun experimenting with different stitches and designs. More of this kind of projects will follow in the future. Other benefits of crewel embroidery are that it is portable and perfect to use a crazy amount of different colours. This pattern is by Sol Y Mano studio.


New Year cross stitch SAL finished

This one is finished! Made from a pattern of the beforementioned amazing Galdra. Find it on her website: NYE mystery SAL

NYE mystery SAL finished
NYE mystery SAL finished

How am I doing: back in the Netherlands

It is surprisingly easy so far to get used to life in the Netherlands. There are things I am struggling with of course, such as adjusting to different social norms and habits again and the people I met and have grown to love in Kenya. Maybe it is going well because I keep myself very busy. I am working on my report as crazy and I am also doing a lot of sewing and cross stitch. I am seriously considering moving back to Kenya and I want to finish stuff well before I go. This will both improve my chances of finding a good position there and it will also make me feel at ease to leave this country again. So, whatever the future might bring, I can be sure that the next few months will be very engaging, both academia wise and quilting wise!

The last Kenyan men and beer I've seen
The last Kenyan men and beer I’ve seen

Let me end this post with some questions for you:

  • How have you been? Did you start or finish any nice big projects?
  • Are you going to move in the foreseeable future?
  • Do you like hot or cold countries?

See my DeviantArt or Instagram (username: bella.g.bear.art) for more artwork and WIPs. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the button on the left or by filling in your email address. There will be a monthly update at the end of every month and a new blogpost every Sunday or Monday.


  1. Your mini quilt is amazing!! I’m so happy that you’re back! Moving to Kenya? That’s amazing! You really must have enjoyed your time there to consider it. I’d love to hear more about your time away. I missed you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you 🙂 I am happy to be back as well. Missed you and everyone as well. I guess it is a big sense of adventure that’s driving me out of my childhood home at my parents where I’m living now. :-P. It’s only temporarily though! I am working on a lot of stories about my time there and will announce where to read them when ready! I would love to share them because so much has happened, funny tough and amazing.


  2. Give yourself some time before you make the final decision to move back to Kenya. On a more supportive note; it does seem like Kenya is so very good for you. Visiting would be a must!

    Everything you have created with your loving hands is so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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