Thursday, December 25, 2014

Advent mystery solved.....

The mystery of my advent quilt is revealed today...Christmas Day. Here are the 25 little quilt blocks on the reverse sides. I really enjoyed stitching them all. You can see the other side on this previous post.

There are references to the patterns my quilt group members turned in along with some things dear to my husband and I. A few examples are in the photo below but enlarge the first photo to see all the blocks. The "Joyeux Noel" as my way of saying thank you to the various French sites where I found some designs, a candle in a lantern on the 13th for Santa Lucia as Jos and I lived in Sweden when we were first married, the nativity for the 25th, a pretzel which reminds of the German Weihnachtsmarkts which we love so much and my kitty Dagi and Miss Pickles the Elf. These are just a few of the motiefs I used. 

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas wherever you are celebrating and may 2015 bring you happiness and many creative moments!


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Quilted Christmas 2014.....

Last week was our annual Christmas party for my quilt group. Each year, we have a 3-course dinner which is planned by half of the group members. This year our theme was "Nederlandse Nostalgie" or "Nostalgic Dutch style". We started with old fashioned Dutch vegetable soup with bread and herb butter. Our main course was kale stamppot, hachee (goulash style) meat and a sauerkraut casserole. Dessert followed with ice cream tarts and homemade orange bavarois. We topped our dinner off with coffee or tea served with assorted Christmas chocolates. It was all delicious!

It is quite something to see the tables all set up for 16 people. The feeling of belonging together among this group was very obvious around the table. Christmas cheer was in great attendance and we all had a fun evening.

This year, there were two challenges. The first challenge was for everyone is the group. I gave them each four small squares of various Christmas fabrics from my stash. They all started with those same four fabrics and were asked to make an ornament to be swapped during the dinner. They were allowed to add their own fabrics as long as the original four were in the ornament. Above shows the results of everyone's labor. It was fun to see what they all made. 

This is the one I made. A wooden spool tree with my fabrics glued to the spools. 

We also had a mug rug swap for those who wanted to do something extra. Names were drawn and you made a mug rug for a specific person. Eleven of us participated and here are the results of everyone's creativity. They all turned out beautifully!

I had drawn Bep's name. She loves going on vacation in her caravan so I made her and her husband each a mug rug to use while out travelling in their caravan. 

It is hard to believe that a another quilt year has passed so quickly. As the year draws to a close, I am working away now on the quilt theme for 2015 for our group. It promises to be a fun year to come.....


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A quilt season comes to an end.....

Each year, I choose a theme for my quilt group. In December, we have completed our theme ready for a new year. 2014 was the year of a season of trees in rag appliqué technique. For each season, the group used the same background and tree shape but created the season around it. My trees were then sewn into a patchwork window frame to reflect a season in each pane. 

Here are a few peeks at some of the quilts from a few members in the group...

"He who plants a tree
Plants a hope."   - Lucy Larcom

Next week, our group will celebrate Christmas with a large dinner party and admire our gifts being made for each other. 2014 went by so quickly and we are now looking forward into 2015. 


Monday, December 1, 2014

The advent of peace and happiness.....

It seems impossible that December has arrived. I spent the last few months redoing my advent quilt. This quilt had been a project I designed for my quilt group's theme in 2012. Throughout the year, the ladies were allowed to submit pattern ideas for each other to use on the figure side of the little quilts hanging on the large quilt. This quilt became something I could not appreciate any longer after a rift some members of the group caused. I needed to do something to give myself the gift of this quilt back again. 

So I went about carefully taking my blocks apart and redoing them all in red French inspired stitching. I did use the ideas of most of the patterns from the group but in my own way. I am really happy with how it has turned out and it has become a symbol for me of the peace and happiness that Christmas is all about! 

For today, I am sharing the number side of the quilt blocks and the first block of December's figure...a house in a winter mountain setting. 

So as the holiday season begins and we await the arrival of Christmas, I am inspired by the council of many of the quilt group members who have given me wisdom over the past year...

May your December be a time of special blessings in your own life.....


Note: More blocks on my advent quilt will be revealed as December progresses.....

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Catching up a little.....

Having lost our new kitten Elwin really threw me off kilter over the summer. Click here for the story if you have not already read it. I have been so sad about it and although I throw myself into my handwork I have not been sharing much lately. So I thought I would post a couple of finishes from over the summer. 

First, the crazy quilt heart is something I made when my cousin Shari and her husband Matt came over to visit. I wanted to make her something she could keep that would also remind her of her visit. 

I made a sampler pillow using various red and linen fabrics combined with a fabric with a sampler print, zigzag trim, laces and buttons. Originally I wanted to make this to use out in the garden but when Jos saw it he said I could not use it outside. He thought it was too nice. I put it on our bed instead. 

Finally, I finished a shawl that I was inspired to make after seeing this one found via Pinterest. I have been searching for a nice pattern and this was just right for a new kind of yarn at a shop called Zeeman here in Holland. This yarn is so pretty and this vintage pattern was just the thing to show the yarn off. Now all I need it for autumn weather to arrive. *grins*

So even though a sad heart has kept me quiet in the blogland, I have had busy hands as you can see.....


Friday, August 15, 2014

My very own Vasarely!

Well over a year ago, I joined a CAL on a wonderful French blog, Le Blog PurPle. The pattern was so unique and inspired by the artist Victor Vasarely. First I took my time looking for just the right yarn to use. I decided on Scheepjes Highlands in beige, grey and heather pink. These yarns have a tweed look and are rather heavy. I wanted a tight blanket and used a 5,5mm crochet hook. It measures 107cm/42in x182cm/72in. After sewing together stacks and stacks of diamonds, here is my own Vasarely........

I used a moss stitch border around the blanket to finish it off........

I am really proud of this project as it was one of the harder ones I have tried due to how much work was involved. It took me much too long and the CAL has long ended but I just love my Vasarely blanket! Thank you Marie-Line for this fabulous pattern........


Friday, July 11, 2014

Meet Edwina and Winifred...Christmas in July

Meet Edwina...

and Winifred...

They are sweetly dressed up and even have bloomers...

It was Christmas in July once again for my quilt group last week. Our buffet table was decorated...

and everyone was looking forward to sharing a fun evening together...

with fabulous food...

When it was over and we were playing some games to win prizes, Wilma stopped me and told me I had to sit down. She surprised me with Edwina including her little watering can with a baby kitty inside. I was in tears for her thoughtfulness after loosing Elwin when...

MiekeW also came up with another gift bag and there was yet another beautiful cat...Winifred with her pail and kitty inside. 

Thank you both so much! I am so touched and love both my new additions to the family. They are my companions while I quilt. 

Next post will be a tutorial for our Christmas in July project. A simple project that might be a fun thing to make this summer. See you next time...


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Among the roses.....

Jos and I have been searching for a new kitten lately. The loss of Dagi was hard for us but we have so much love to share with another kitty. In May, I saw the photo below that a breeder posted online. Meet Elwin...a red oriental short hair. He was adorable and it was love at first sight. We arranged to bring him home the day after we returned from a week's vacation in May. I grabbed some yarn from my stash and started on a kitty pod. I used this pattern but needed to wire it like a tent to help it keep its shape.  Then I made a mattress with some quilt fabric so he would have a "bed of roses".

Jos en ik hebben lang gezocht naar een nieuwe kitten. Het verlies van Dagi was wel zwaar voor ons maar we kunnen heel veel geven aan een nieuwe kitten. In Mei zag ik de foto hieronder die een fokker op internet gezet had.

Ontmoet Elwin: een roodharige orientaalse kat. Hij was erg leuk en we waren op slag verliefd. We hebben afgesproken om hem direct na onze vakantie naar ons huis te brengen. Ik heb snel naald en draad gepakt en een klein kitten igloo gemaakt.  Daarvoor heb ik dit patroon gebruikt en metaaldraad gebruikt om het als een tentje neer te zetten. Daarna heb ik een matrasje gemaakt met quilt stoffen zodat hij een rozen bedje zou krijgen.

The big day arrived and we drove the hour to pick up Elwin. His brother Joep climbed up on my lap and looked at me as if to say "You are not going to take Elwin and leave me here, are you?". So Joep came home to live with us too. 

It quickly became apparent that Joep needed a man's strong guiding hand. I was not able to cope with his and he was constantly playing so hard with Elwin that it left Elwin with scabbed scratches. We made the difficult decision after a vet looked at Joep and said his aggression would probably not deminish as he became an adult cat. He was all personality so this was a hard decision to make but he was returned to the breeder.

Elwin was sad the first 24 hours and would not eat or drink. He was missing the breeder and his partner. But finally he turned around and he ate very well and followed us all over the house talking away wherever we went. He had the funniest meow which sounded like those friction wind up flash lights. He cuddled day and night. His favorite sleeping spot was laid over my should with his little sweet head on my chest. He went happily back and forth between Jos and I.

Elwin was de eerste 24 uren droevig, hij wilde niet eten of drinken, hij was te gehecht aan de fokker en zijn partner. Echter dit veranderde al snel en werd een echt cuddlebeestje.

I am using past tense as this is not a story with a happy ending. Sunday he started to get lethargic and stopped eating.  He did still drink when we took him to his water. Monday morning, when I awoke he was laying between Jos and I and at first I though he had died. He was alive but breathing very badly. Then I saw his little belly looked strange. I knew it was serious and he was very ill. 

Ik gebruik verleden tijd want afgelopen zondag werd hij helemaal lusteloos and stopte met eten. Maandag ochtend dacht ik dat hij dood was, ik wist dat hij erg ziek was.

We called the vet and she had us bring him in. His breathing was more and more distressed and the assistant let me wait with his in a well cooled room. The vet drew stomach fluid to test and came back with horrible news. Elwin had FIP. It is viral disease and was in his stomach and lungs. Cats cannot survive this illness. We had to make the decision to put down a beautiful kitten that was not even 4 months old yet yesterday. It seems so wrong that this little life has passed too soon. He should have had many years here with us. 

Op maandag tweede pinksterdag zijn wij naar de dierenarts geweest. Hij kon eigenlijk niet goed meer ademen, wij mochten wachten in een kamer met Airco de hitte kon hij niet meer aan. De dierenarts heeft vloeistof afgetapt uit zijn veel te dikke buik. Daarop heeft ze ons het slechte nieuws gegeven dat Elwin FIP had. Dit is een ongeneeslijke virus infectie. Helaas hebben we op advies van de dierenarts moeten besluiten hem te laten inslapen.

Elwin is buried our under the bench in our garden. He is right next to Dagi where we can go and sit with them. I am totally heartbroken. I miss him so much even though he was such a short time in our home. He fit in! He was instantly part of the family. 

Sweet dreams little Elwin out there with Dagi among the roses.........

Elwin is begraven onder onze tuinbank. Hij ligt naast Dagi waar ik soms naar ze toe kunnen gaan. Ik ben gebroken... Ik mis hem heel erg ook al was hij maar kort bij ons. Hij past perfect bij ons.

Droom zacht lieve Elwin samen met Dagi en de rozen.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Potholder quilt finish...

Thrilled to bits, I can now show you my finished potholder quilt. I finished it last month the day before we went on vacation. This was my quilt group's theme project last year. I tea dyed muslin which is great fun to do. All my choice of drawings for the stitchery hexies are sewing related. 

The back also turned out nice and could be used as well as the front of the quilt. Enlarge the photo or search under potholder quilt to see more details. 

Ik heb mijn potholder quilt in mei voordat we weg ging op vakantie afgemaakt. De potholder quilt was de 2013 thema van mijn quiltgroep. Ik heb ongeblekte katoen eerst in de thee geverfd. Wat een geweldige manier om stof heel uniek te maken! De tekeningen voor de stitchery blokken hebben met naald en draad te maken.

Achter is ook mooi geworden en kan ook gebruikt worden net als de voorkant. Vergroot de fotos om beter de details te zien of zoek onder potholder quilt. 

I made this to use in my studio on the table there but for now it is on the coffee table in the living room. It works well in there too. I am really pleased with how it turned out! I love doing the stitchery as well as making many tiny patchwork blocks to sew into the hexie shapes. 

Bedoeld voor de tafel in mijn quiltstudio mijn quilt past ook goed in de woonkamer. Ik ben erg tevreden hoe het geworden is! De stitchery was leuk om te maken maar de smalle patchwork blokken waren nog leuker om te naaien en dan hexies van te maken.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Time can be beautiful!

Sometimes you stumble onto a brilliant idea! I was searching for some inspiration for my hexagon quilt that I am making along with my friend Sonja. I decided on sewing them together as diamonds to place between red hexies. Here are my first 3 diamonds. Sorry the photo is bad but I took it with my phone to send to Sonja over the Easter weekend.

Soms kom je een bijzonder idee tegen. Terwijl ik inspiratie zocht voor mijn hexagon quilt die ik aan het maken ben samen met mijn vriendin Sonja. Ik heb besloten ze als diamanten te plaatsen tussen de rode "hexies". Hieronder zie je mijn eerste drie diamanten. De foto is helaas niet helemaal scherp omdat ik alleen mijn telefoon bij me had dit weekend en geen echte camera.

I stumbled on Kimono Reincarnate blog with a fabulous idea! I loved it so much that I drove to IKEA the next morning to buy a Smycke clock and get started. My diamonds would have to wait a little longer...

Ik ben Kimono's reincarnatie blog tegen gekomen met daarin een fantastisch idee.  Ik vond het zo goed dat ik direct naar IKEA gegaan ben om deze Smycke klok te kopen en te beginnen.  Mijn diamanten moeten maar even wachten.

With various fabrics picked out of my stash, I got to work tracing the hexagons to the exact size for the pieces of the clock. Having the center hexie white didn't look nice with my fabric choices so I carefully snipped the hexie to fit around the clock itself. ModPodge and foam brush in hand along with a couple of hours to sit and glue all the fabrics and this is the result...

Ik heb een aantal stofjes gekozen uit mijn kast en ben aan de slag gegaan om hexagons uit te tekenen die precies even groot zijn als de onderdelen van de klok. Het middelste blok heb ik ook bekleed anders zou het wit afsteken tegen de rest. Dit moet je wel voorzichtig doen. Met ModPodge lijn en een speciale kwast heb ik de klok in een paar uurtjes gemaakt en alle stofjes erop gelijmd, hieronder zie je het resultaat:

I love it!!! Thanks Melanie for some wonderful inspiration that has added a personal touch to my quilt studio. 

Het is geweldig! Met dank aan Melanie voor deze fantastische inspiratie die het mogelijk heeft gemaakt om een persoonlijk tintje aan mijn quilt studio mee te geven.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

An Easter surprise.....

Last night was our first surprise quilt evening. On these days, the group gets a list of items to bring and I have a surprise project for them to start. Sometimes it is a quick and simple project and other times a little more involved as this surprise was. They all came in and took a place at the tables. Then the surprise was revealed.....

Gisteren was ons verrassingsavond bij de quilt groep. De dames krijgen een lijst met benodigdheden om mee te nemen. Soms is het project klein en snel te make en soms wat groter. Als iedereen zat aan tafel was het spannend moment...het project was...een paasquilt!

A little Easter quilt!

The quilt is based on a sweet little design I saw in an Anna magazine. What I liked about this one is that each person can play with the elements in the design to create something for themselves. It is done on a piece of linen using the addition of ricrac, ribbons and buttons. The "brick" borders are added and it can be quilted. Can you find the little butterfly that I quilted in mine?

Mieke and I had spent a quilt weekend at Cranberry Cottage. It was there that she bought the magazine and I changed my plans for our surprise evening to do this. Mieke made a sample quilt along with me and hers was also ready to show (see photo below).

De quilt is gebaseerd op een idee uit de Anna. Wat leuk is ... elke persoon kan hun eigen creatie er van maken. Borduur je met hulp van borduurgaren, zigzagband, organzaband en knoopjes een paas-tafereeltje. Naai twee rijen "steentjes" er om heen en quilt het door. Zie je de vlinder in mijn quiltwerk?

Mieke en ik hebben een quilt weekend in Cranberry Cottage gehad waar zij de Anna hadden gekocht. Daar krijg ik het idee om een quilt van deze ontwerp te maken. Zij heeft samen met mij een voorbeeld al gemaakt voor de quiltavond. Die zie je in de foto hieronder. 

The ladies were very quiet at times as they worked away with needle and thread. There are some really cute quilts that will be made over the next couple of weeks. I am excited to see them at our next meeting. 

Our group has grown once again. We welcomed 4 new members to the group last night. What a start for them to have this surprise project on their first night! Welcome to Ineke, Dinie, Hannie en Corrina. 

De dames waren af en toe stil van het werken met naald en draad. Ik kijk er naar uit om de quilts van hun te kunnen bewonderen bij de volgende quilavond. 

Ons groep is groter geworden. Wij hebben vier nieuwe dames erbij en wat een spannend avond om te beginnen! Welkom Ineke, Dinie, Hannie en Corrina. 

It is not too late to start something small for Easter. This little quilt works up very fast and is the perfect addition to an Easter display. 

Het is nooit te laat om te beginnen met een kleine quilt voor de Pasen. Deze was snel af en leuk om de paassfeer in huis te brengen. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Cherry blossoms.....

All around us the trees are starting to bloom. As I also was teaching my quilt group to make rag appliqué blossoms on Wednesday, I got out my crocheted cherry blossoms and put them on branches in a jug on the table where we worked. The pattern can be found here

Overal om ons heen zijn de bomen in bloei. Woensdag gaf ik les aan mijn quiltgroep. Wij hebben "rag appliqué" bloesem gemaakt. Erg toepasselijk om een kannetje met takken en gehaakte kersen bloesem op tafel te zetten. 

"I love better to count time from spring to spring; it seems to me far more cheerful to reckon the year by blossoms than by blight."

- Donald G. Mitchell


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

In the mood for crocheting and quilting

Tuesday again and time to show some progress on my Mood Blanket. I just added a lilac/creative square. Yesterday was purple again and it made me think of Marsha's sweet comment. She said she wished she could visit me on purple days. That would be fun! But I also need to explain about the purple/lonely squares. 

I am never is just a rare thing for me to feel if you use it in the sense that most do. For me the lonely days are the days that Jos is working out of the country. This year has seen him constantly running to Switzerland or England. Each departure day has been marked by a purple square. One is not marked since he had to go to London for a meeting. He flew over and back in the time he would normally be away at his office and was back home for dinner. That was a happy day as I did not have to miss him. 

I am linking to Hazel's blog today with my progress...

Het is al dinsdag dus weer tijd om mijn Mood Blanket te laten zien. Net een lila/creatief blokje gehakt. Gisteren was paars en ik moest denken aan Marsha. Wat een lieve reactie van haar! Maar even een uitleg over de kleur paars. Ik ben bijna nooit eenzaam maar paars is voor mij het kleur als Jos moeten reizen. Hij werkt veel in Zwitzerland en Engeland sinds het begin van het jaar. De dag die hij weg moet is paars.

It is spring here in Holland! We have been having some beautiful sunny days. I decided to go sit outside and work on my heart jubilee quilt today. Danielle thought I was using wool fabric and did not have a seam allowance. It is not wool but woven Japanese fabrics. Many years ago, I bought some at De Lander is Bruges, Belgium. They were put away knowing one day I would have a special project to use them for and this heart quilt was just the right one. 

Het is lente! Ik ben in de tuin met mijn quilt gaan zitten. Heerlijk toch. Danielle dacht dat ik met wol werkte dus geen naadtoeslag maar het zijn de bekende Japanse stofjes ... geweven dus. Jaren geleden gekocht in Brugge om te bewaren voor iets bijzonders. Mijn 50 harten zijn bijzonder. 

I am using a simple method to appliqué my hearts. First trace the heart on the back of the fabric. With a really sharp small pair of scissors, clip the seams all the way around the heart. The cuts must be deep stopping just before the drawn line. 

Ik gebruik een makkelijk methode om te appliqueren. Teken de hart aan de achterkant van de stof. Met een scherpe schaar knipjes geven tot net voor de getekende lijn.

Using a glue pen, trace the line just inside the drawn line. 

Met een lijmpen trek je een lijn net binnen de getekende lijn. 

Now using a seam ripper, press on the drawn line and fold the seam over onto the glue line. This method give you a nice sharp edge to then hand appliqué your heart to the background fabric. 

Met een tornmesje druk je tegen de lijn en vouw je de naad naar binnen over de lijm heen. Jij hou een scherpe rand over om te kunnen appliqueren met de hand. 

To share a little spring from our garden here are my grape hyacinths, daffodils and hearts ease (a favorite of mine). 

Nog een blik van mijn tuin met onder andere bosviooltjes zo lief!