Nero's Post and Patch

by Teje Karjalainen


North Star quilt top

Happy December my Friends! Καλο μηνα! Today I took photos outside and few from my north Star quilt, too. Weather is really beautiful and we had a lovely morning walk with Hanna. North wind is quite cold so even my furry friends love to stay out, I couldn’t stitch there.

North Star by Teje

I need to improvise new photo shooting places in our home. In the garden there is no place for laundry line. That’s unfortune because in our earlier garden I loved to take quilt top photos so that sun shined through the fabrics and background was green grass and perhaps Nero or his red ball.

North Star quilt top

I tight a rope to the big balcony and this time it works but bigger quilt top wouldn’t fly on the sky like this. My North Star wall quilt is going to be about 52″x 50″.

North Star quilt top

I’m happy the sky was playing with me showing those beautiful shades of blue and grey … colours from my scandinavian style quilt.

North Star quilt top

Last days it has been in the morning full sunshine and then rain in the afternoon. Today it’s really sunny … at least until now. View next to my quilt …


For the quilting I picked red and light blue threads …

quilting threads

Believe me, I didn’t count the threads! I quilt by hand as usually and now I stitch straight, vertical lines. I try not to be perfect…just because. This quilt is going to be a wall quilt for our living room, so I don’t mind if my stitched lines look handmade. Also I leave out the white thread because it wouldn’t show much.

Hanna with North Star

Hanna was with me … and Nero was with me …


Nelli was sniffing in the garden …she can be so funny in her seriousliness.

NelliThe inspiration to start my Christmas quilt became from Svetlana My Finnish friend Anneli (sorry something strange with the links) has already finished her Christmas quilt inspired by my earlier post! Have a look, it’s beautiful!

I need still one evening for the quilting and then have to decide about the binding.

North Star quilt top

My thougts have been ‘smoking’! Soon I shall reach the space limit in my blog and have to decide how to continue. I shall write about this more soon, but if you have any good ideas, I woul love to hear.

Thank you for rreading my blog! You and your lovely comments are very important to me! I wish you lovely December!





1st Advent

Hi Dear Friends! Almost December and time to light our 1st Advent candle!

1st Advent

This year I was in time and inspired to decorate candles for the advent. My first thought was to use small jars and decorate them with some rosmarin and jute cord. But when I was looking for the jars, I found Ikea vases I used in the shop. candle decoration

After all I didn’t want any green for the decor and tight only the jute cord and add the white, linen flower. I made some of those long time ago, brooch or hat decor in my mind.

Christmas tree by Teje

It’s already many days ago when I started to decorate our Christmas corner. I wanted to put the little lights but didn’t want the usual green tree. I placed the drift wood tree (made for our shop) and the Jazz table (made by hb with 3 different legs and painted shabby shic) in our living room.

Reindeer pillow

Lights with hearts … my dear Dala horses and one other old, wooden horse… reindeers of course…lamb furs…wintery scene in our Cretan home. Last days mornings has been beautiful and warm and then every afternoon it’s raining. Then it’s so cosy inside with the lights that I want only sit and stitch my North Star quilt.

winter corner

I have still some ideas in my mind what I want to make for our Christmas corner…except the quilt that will replace that ‘Happy Days’ quilt on the wall.

christmas gifts

Santa’s helper has been busy and hopes to finish the parcels later today. Then have to clean the sewing table for a new quilt project … with stars!

So I guess it’s better open the address book and start.

1st Advent

Thank you for your visit! I wish you wonderful time with your Christmas preparations and hope to see you soon!



Little Fox in my garden

Hi dear friends! I have the most cute visitor in my garden!

little patchwork picture

This little fellow was jumping around in our garden this morning. She sat a while in the lemon tree … then stopped to the pomegranate tree …

fox patchwork mug rug

Some days ago I received a letter from a Finnish quilter friend , Tiina. Reason for the letter was a special fabric but that will be an other story. For my surprise from the letter jumped out something else …


My two favourite forest animals! And what a fox! I’m big fan of Cori Dantini and can’t believe I have now my very own Cori Dantini Fox! I opened the letter while having my lunch coffee and started to arrange the cute scraps.


Yesterday I finished the ‘North Star’ quilt top and already took some other projects to my table to continue them. But then my eye catched the dear fox and I thought to spend some time with her.

patchwork picture

I won’t tell you how long time I was choosing those two other scraps. I wanted them to match perfectly because the other pieces are perfect.

Finally, just when I was happy with these oranges, I remembered some other fabrics which I knew were the best for this. They are from the ‘Pic Nic on the Beach’ quilt. Just the right green and orange.


For the wadding I picked piece of ‘insulate wadding’ that my sister uses for winter curtains in England. Great material!


I didn’t want to loose even one thread so I sew the scraps on the wadding and backing fabric, just slightly over each other.


Then I quilted straight lines but couldn’t stitch over the face of my fox. Binding is double folded 2″ and I sew it by hand. Dark grey frames nicely this little picture.

mini quilt

Last stitches sewn just before felling a sleep, this dear Fox was in my dreams. I love foxes and especially because our little dog was ‘Foxy’. When she came to us as a tiny puppy, she looked like a small fox.

fox mini quilt

We have still fantastic weather, sunny and really warm. But days are shorter, shadows are longer, looks like clouds are gathering, perhaps we get soon some rain. There are autumn colours around …so beautiful with my little Fox…

autumn mini quilt

I’m joining my favourite weekly partys: ‘Sew Cute Tuesday’, ‘Fabric Tuesday’, ‘Linky Tuesday‘,  ‘Let’s Be Social’, ‘Needle and Thread’, All the buttons are also on my sidelist, so you can easily visit my friends’ blogs when ever you like.

Fox mini quilt

Thank you Tiina, for these fun scraps!

Thank you for stopping by! I hope you enjoyed meeting this little Fox and the visit in my garden.



Reindeer Pillow – Tutorial

Hi Dear Friends! Today we are here with Nero and Hanna to show you our new Rudolf The Reindeer pillow!

Reindeer pillow - Tutorial

We love Rudolf and both Nero and Hanna are happy to sleep next to him …

Nero's Reindeer pillow

Hanna and Reindeer pillow

As some of you lovely readers liked to have a tutorial for the raindeer to make a pillow, I thought to make one myself, too. Tutorial for the Fair Isle Reindeer is HERE.

Fair Isle Reindeer pillow

I add 3″ borders around the reindeer block. I cut wadding and piece from a material which is like a disposable sheet. I use that often with the pillows to make the quilting easier and the inside of the pillow nice. You can use also piece of any fabric (old sheet etc.)

quilt sandwich

I use pins for basting and a spoon is a great help. Lift the pin with the spoon so it’s easy to close.

basting with pins and spoon

For the quilting I took my ‘six pack’, Perle no 8 cotton threads and went to sit outside.

hand quilting

Weather has been amazing – sunny and really warm. Nights are already chilly and there is so much humidity, but in day time it’s almost like a summer.


I enjoy quilting by hand and what could be better than to do that outside. I realized that I didn’t sit and quilt outside at all in summer because were always so busy. So I’m really happy to do that now.


When you have finished the quilting, trim the piece. Then cut 2 pieces from the backing fabric. They have to bigger than half of the pillow because they will cover part of each others. On the centre edges I sew stripes about 3″. This gives more steady edge than if you only turn the fabric.



I like to use binding for the pillows. It looks nice and also covers the seam allowance so there is no need to think how to finish them (sik sak etc). If you like to see how to make the binding, read my Mini Quilt Tutorial.

Put the backing pieces on the table right side down (towards the table) and then the quilted piece on them right side up. Then pin your double folded binding around. Sew with machine. Turn it on the backside and sew as you prefer. This time I sew it by hand so the stitches won’t show on the right side. Finished size of this pillow is 21″x 22″ (53.5 x 56 cm).

Nero and reindeer pillow

Now you have a nice add to your Christmas decoration and not only. I can imagine how great the reindeer would look in other colours, too. We enjoy to see Rudolf in our living room which has breath from Scandinavia.

Reindeer pillow Tutorial

The first Fair Isle Reindeer I made has a place in the ‘North Star’ quilt I’m making now.

I hope you like this Reindeer and the tutorial. If you have any questions, I’m happy to help.

Thank you very much for reading and following my blog! Thank you also for the wonderful comments you write!



Fair Isle Reindeer – Tutorial

Hi dear friends! Time to show you how you can make your own, Rudolf Reindeer! This was the first Fair Isle block I made and it’s my favourite.

Fair Isle Reindeer - Tutorial

Here is the drawing with few shades to help you to see how it’s separeted in sections.




1 x [10.5″x 4.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [2.5″x 2.5″]

3 x [6.5″x 1.5″], 1 x 4.5″x 1.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 1.5″], 7 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 13 x [1.5″x 1.5″]


1 x [7.5″x 6.5″], 1 x [6.5″x 5.5″], 1 x [5.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 3.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 2.5″], 3 x [2.5″x 2.5″],

1 x [6.5″x 1.5″], 1 x [5.5″x 1.5″], 3 x [3.5″x 1.5″], 8 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 12 x [1.5″x 1.5″]

FINISHED SIZE: about 17.5″ x 16.5″

reindeer tutorial

Here are the pieces we need. Seam allowance is 1/4″ so each square measures 1″x 1″when finished. This helps you to create your own Fairl Isle patterns. If you need for example retangle 4″ x 3″ you will cut 4.5″ x 3.5″ piece.

Sew in sections. First I sew the smallest squares together. You can consider this one kind of log cabin block. When you have sewn small squares, you can add the next bigger piece etc.


When you look Fair Isle pattern, find the places where you can draw straigh lines to share it in sections.

There is many ways to share the pattern in smaller pieces. I try to create as big as possible pieces to make it easy and quick. I still like also the idea to make this kind of pattern using only 1″x 1″ squares, but that takes a lot of time.

Below you see the legs of the reindeer.


You can press the small seams first with your nail. When you have made some bigger pieces, press the seams with iron. I like to press very often, because it gives better result. When there are lots of little seams, I do like this to save time.


sewing reindeer

Keep the pieces all the time in order on their places because it’s very easy too mix them or to sew them upside down.


When you have the sections ready, press them well and trim a little bit if needed.

reindeer quilt block

And voila! You have made the cutest Reindeer! Now you can use it for a quilt, pillow, wall hanging, table runner or for any other great idea you have! HERE is the pillow I made with the reindeer.

If you like to make Fair Isle Man and Woman, HERE is my tutorial.

North Star quilt project

I hope you find this tutorial easy and helpful to create your own Fairl Isle quilt blocks! If you have any questions, I’m happy to help!

Happy quilting!



Fair Isle Man and Woman – Tutorial

Hello dear friends! I’m so happy that you like my North Star quilt project and the Fair Isle blocks I have made. They are fun and easy to make.

Fairl Isle man and woman - Tutorial

So lets go to see how I made this happy couple! First I draw the picture and used few colours to help you to see how pieces have different sizes. Each square = 1″ finished size. We use 1/4″ seam allowance, so for example for 1″ square we shall cut 1.5″ square etc.




Red shirt:

1 x [5.5″x 3.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [7.5″x 1.5″], 2 x [2.5″x 2.5″], 2 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 8 x 1.5″x 1.5″]

Light grey head and trousers:

2 x [3.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 3.5″], 3 x [1.5″x 1.5″]

Dark grey boots:

2 x [3.5″x 1.5″], 4 x [2.5″x 2.5″]

White background:

2 x [4.5″x 4.5″], 2 x [7.5″x 3.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 3.5″], 3 x [3.5″x 1.5″],

2 x [2.5″x 2.5″], 6 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 10 x [1.5″x 1.5″]

Finished block size is about 16.5″x 13.5″.


Photo above shows you the pieces.

! I have one correction that I noticed later: two squares on up corners are too big in this photo (they have to be 4.5″x 4.5″ as in the cutting list).

Sew in sections. Start sewing the small pieces together and then continue connecting them with the next pieces etc. It’s like making a log cabin blocks.



Press the seams (the more often the better) but at least when connecting the sections.






Red shirt:

1 x [4.5″x 3.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 2.5″], 2 x [2.5″x 2.5″], 2 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 8 x [1.5″x 1.5″]

Light grey head and skirt:

1 x [8.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [4.5″x 2.5″], 2 x [2.5″x 1.5″]

Dark grey skirt and boots:

1 x [8.5″x 1.5″], 4 x [2.5″x 1.5″]

White background:

2 x [4.5″x 4.5″], 2 x [8.5″x 2.5″], 4 x [2.5″x 2.5″], 1 x [3.5″x 2.5″], 2 x [2.5″x 1.5″], 16 x [1.5″x 1.5″]

Finished blog size is about 16.5″ x 12.5″


Here you see all the pieces. I have already started to sew from the boots. Sew again in sections as with the Fair Isle man.

Fair Isle woman

I hope this tutorial is clear and easy. If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer. When you make your Fair Isle blocks, you will see that this is not the only way to share the picture to sections.

Fairl Isle man and woman - Tutorial

Thank you for reading! Have fun sewing this couple and I hope this gives you inspiration to create also other Fair Isle blocks!




Nero’s Post {Puppy Portraits} – Voting!

Vof Vof friends! Nero here with my dog gone cute puppies! Oh, I’m so bone happy for my own super quilt! I love each puppy! Voting has began and I shall show you new photos of my for ever favourite quilt so you get really excited and vote my puppies!

Puppy Portraits by Teje

Can you see me there just going out and Hanna on the couch?

We had a great company of puppies at our breakfast table …


One day Hanna had a laundry day and she washed also our puppies.


Hey Tim, you feel better now after having a bath?

Hanna and puppy quilt

I want to show you some detail photos that I didn’t add to my first post (because there was already so many photos).


Every portrait has a ribbon and nail to hang it. Background and backing fabrics are my old duvet cover. It looks like a wall paper so I thought it’s perfect for this project.

dog quilt

In the middle there was a space like waiting for something little extra. I picked solids from the portraits and made tiny squares. Later I thought that they could present ‘negatives’ like we had for photos in old days.


Each puppy is hand quilted around.

puppy quilt

This quilt is a challenge to photograph because it’s quite big. I’m not tall enought to hold it and we tried to hang it on the wardrope. Unfortunately we can’t leave it there – it would be really nice to have my puppies near to our dining table all the time! But the doors are not opening now and soon Teje may want to take something from there.

Puppy Portraits by Teje

There is often too less light or too much light… we’ll try outside …

Dog Gone Cute by Teje

But now I think it’s enough photo shooting and I want my coocies!


Hmmm, I hear something … like someone is eating …


Hey Nero, I smell coocies! Did you eat them all alone?!

Nero and Hanna

Don’t worry Hanna, we have enough coocies for everyone, welcome for coocie party anytime you like! But now let’s go to the Linky party’s voting to Lorna’s blog!

VOTING for “Dog Gone Cute” has began and you have three votes! That’s so great because it’s not possible to choose only one puppy quilt. Voting is easy: just click the heart on the corner of the photo you like. Here is also the link to the voting post. 

If you adore my puppies, please vote – there are fantastic presents and I would love to win some fabrics to give to Teje. Perhaps she would make a quilt for Nelli or puppy pillows for me!


Our internet line is sleeping now for few days. We change for better line and perhaps get it to work again on Monday. So unfortunately you won’t hear me barking for next few days. I hope to be back very soon and until then we are preparing the TUTORIAL for the Reindeer Fair Isle block. It gives us many great ideas.

Puppy Portraits by Teje

I leave you with my favourite puppy photo. I like those green light so much!

Thank you for reading my story and if you vote, I give you a Biiiiiiiiiig Fuuuuuurry Huuuuuuug! And Hanna will Kiss you!



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