31 January, 2007

WIP wednesday...

New to the Quilt Ring, I have been reminded to let you all know what I've been up to on Wednesdays.

Well, I've been working on this and that and nothing at all.
The sewing room, although not exactly the way I want it, is now clean and in order. There are still details to attend to, like hang curtains, and organize some stray magazines and papers. This morning I spent working on my friendship sampler of the month, a border sampler with acorns and leaves as the theme. I can't show you everything, because the person to whom this smapler belongs to may not see this, so I have to be very careful. For now, I'm feeling all thumbs with these cross stiches, it's been many moons since doing this and it's hard to get the back as neatly as the front!

On the quilting side, I've been drawing sketches for a sampler quilt, and fooling around with some fabrcis that were hiding in teh back of the closet. A mixture of Japanese and reproductions fabrics, they're were ment to be for my "Ugly" quilt, a quilt I want to make without pattern or plan. I need to work more on my creativity, and "just starting and seeing where the fabric takes me" seems like a good way to get the juices flowing....
The things I do when I get bored....

You Are: 50% Dog, 50% Cat

You are a nice blend of cat and dog.
You're playful but not too needy. And you're friendly but careful.
And while you have your moody moments, you're too happy to stay upset for long.

Hmm,....not really surprising, since I live with one cat and one dog.....

25 January, 2007

my first meme

Can't find where I got this to give it proper credit, as soon as I do i will! or please let me know! - but it was fun to do...


A- Artist? Yes, I think so. Don't need to be hanging in a museaum in order to be considered an artist.

B- Best Blogging Buddies? Don't have any as yet - I'm new to this whole blogging thing.

C- Crazy or Sane Quilting? Hmm, A bit of both, I guess. I love to be spontaneaous in my creativity, but am still very much into using good technique.

D- Dyeing or Stamping? Haven't done any since many moons ago, but think I would like to try stamping. Probably would end up with more dye on me than on the fabric!

E- Essential Item? good light to work with!

F- Favorite Fabrics? Pfff....I'd have to think about that. At the moment it's Reproduction fabrics, but I'll jump through hoops for a a beautiful Japanese taupe or silks....

G- Great Quilt Design? A quilt that stops me in my tracks and then invites me to come closer. Log Cabin & Ocean Wave blocks keep fascinating me....

H- Hand or Machine Quilt? Hand. No question. Have no problem with using modern tech to make beautiful things, but I just prefer the way handwork looks. There's nothing like it!

I- Indispensable Notion? Hmm, just one? My needle puller I use when quilting. Then again, my little scissor is never far from my side...!

J- Janome or Bernina? Pfaff. But if I have to chose, Bernina.

K- Kits or Original Designs? Original designs. Nothing is more satisfyling to me than to sketch out my own design or block, find the right fabrics in the right colors! Otherwise, where's the excuse to shop?

L- Life in the Studio is? when I get to play and meditate...

M- Most Projects Made in One Year? Gee, I haven't counted...

N- Number of Gadgets? You're kidding me, right? You're asking me to count grains of sand!

O- OH, I wish I hadn’t. . . . .? cut all the fabric for a scrap ocean waves quilt...have a larger collection of fabrcs now and could have included them for more variety!

P- Pet Peeves about Quilting? Sandwiching a quilt. Yuck. All that crawling around the floor and basting...

Q- Quilt Show? Only go to the European Quilt Championships in Waalre, the Netherlands - love to go to Paducah one day though...! But if you're asking if I'd like to enter a quilt? Bit hesitant about that yet.....

R- Reason to Rip Out? If the work is not neat. I'm a stickler for neat work. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be neat and well finished.

S- Sewing or Knitting? Knitting was my passion for most of my life, but if you ask me now, it's sewing.

T- Tag, you’re it! If you haven’t already done this one, consider yourself tagged.

U- UFOs? Enough, but some of them are "on hold" until I decide what to do next.

V- Vexing Quilt Pattern? Gee, hasn't occured to me..hmmm..how 'bout a Japanese Puzzel? Seems a bit of a fuss to put that together!

W- Wishlist Item? a quilting frame

X- Xtra Fabric you will never use? Nothing yet!

Y- Your Biggest Goof? My very first quilt. The backing is too small, the batting is too much or too little on the sides - it's been laying quietly in the closet for me to get the nerves to fix the mess!

Z- Zip! (and voilá it’s done!) That would be my Texas Star that's patiently waitng for me to decide what to do with it next. I could finish it now and be done with it, but I have a feeling it's not "done' yet - Also, a little Japaenes bag I'm making! Thought that would be a few days work, but no, this one bit me in the nose!

21 January, 2007

nimble fingers

You meet someone at puppy training in a muddy field, and you never know where that will lead to.....

I met Nicole when we were in puppy hunting-training class. We came to get to know each other because I was talking with another classmate (human) about the antics of Darwin in my sewing room. Her ears pricked up (hers, not her puppy's) and before you know it we got to talking.

Fast-forward to yesterday afternoon: Invited by Nicole a few months ago, I went to my first ever cross-stitching group. It's a group of ladies that get together to make a "vriendschapslap" or loosely translated, a "friendship sampler". It works sort of like a round robin for quilters. The first meeting each of the participants come prepared with a few things: linen, threads, a theme for the sampler, and an empty journal. Clockwise around the table, each person tells the group what they have chosen, specific things that they would like to see in their sampler, etc. My theme is letters. All sorts of letters, big and small. Their linen, threads, journal and perhaps book or patterns ( to be used for inspiration ) are then passed on to the person on their left. That person wil now stitch a motive based on the theme requested on their sampler. Then another is past on, and so forth....

At each following meeting, everyone shows what they have done, the person for whom they have done it leaving the room first. Comments, critisisms, questions, everything is discussed. The samplers rotate around the table until about a year after, everyone has added a motive on everyone's sampler when everyone gets to see their sampler for the first time complete. It looks like a lot of fun, the ladies are all quite gifted with the needle.

Finding the right motive to fit takes the most time. Then again, hunting around for the right pattern is kind of fun!
So now I'm doing a bit of early spring cleaning in my sewing room and digging up all sorts of old and new cross stitch patterns.

During our meeting, one of the ladies had something special to share. Above is the photo. This was made by a fellow stitcher using an antique letter box. She stitched the tiny motifs which were sized exactly to fit each of the little squares in the box. This examlple is in blues, with a kitchen theme. Others used different colors and a garden theme, for example. The photos don't do it justice, but it is an increadible piece of work!

My fingers itch when I see work like this - but before I get back into the swing of things, first clean....

stormy weather

during the storm, originally uploaded by Monkicat.

This time it's serious!

Wind Kracht 11 storm is raging out there outside the still standing wall of our house.
Although on the news they've been warning people not to go outside, or drive, they obviously don't count dog owners. In a "lull" around 13:00 this afternoon, I went out with Darwin and got pummeled with twigs and branches, and Darwin with his nose facing into the wind got blown over while trying to poo! No fun for him, but I thought it was funny.....
Other than the questioning look on his face when he tried to get up, he didn't seem to mind the roaring sound of the winds in the trees. No, Darwin had too much fun chasing flying sticks leaves and other debris! He wasn't on the line either because of my hand, and I was very happy and pleased that when I used the whistle to call him he came. At one point the wind gusts got so hard I had to seek refuge in one of the dug-outs on the football pitch! I was also tired. It's exhausting for me and this back of mine to plod through the park let alone in a wind storm!

On the way home I discovered that the large oak tree that normally looms over the play ground, couldn't hold against the winds and is now laying defeated on top of the climbing jungle and swings. it made me sad, such a big beautiful tree...
For Darwin it was like being in a candy store, more twigs and branches to play with!

We returned to the house just in time to watch sheets of rain smash against the windows. Ceara came in a few minutes later from the front door, dripping wet. It seems the school decided to close down - the public busses stopped driving because of the national weather and traffic alarm, and so all the parents were called to come pick up their children. In the meantime, almost all the major bridges in Rotterdam have been closed, Amsterdam Centraal Station had to be evacuated and shut down because of roof collapse, a huge construction crane fell on a building critically injuring 3 people, a car in Amsterdam had a tree fall on it with people inside, and so all over the country the storm is causing damage and chaos.

It'll clear tomorrow, and then we'll see what the damage has done.

18 January, 2007


Joy. For the past two days my left pinky and ring finger have been bound together. Why? Well, my over enthousiastic Golden Retriever pup Darwin made a dash for the garden gate (eager to join his walking buddy Sjaan a female Wheaton terrier) while I tried to close the kitchen door and my pink was stuck in the middle of the tug. He may be almost six months old, and weigh in at about 55 Lbs, but when he pulls...!....I should have called him BamBam! My poor pink got a good yank and after a day of being swollen, very sore and a strange shade not matching my skin color, it was time to go to the hospital and check it out. Three hours and three x-rays later, the doctor reported there were no breaks, but a very serious twisting of the joint.

Okay it's not the end of the world, but why did it have to happen when I have to baste the linen in preparation of my first ever Cross-stitch sampler Round Robin? When I wanted to begin making templates and cutting fabrics for my first ever Dear Jane block? When.....well, you get the idea. I shouldn't fuss so, nothing broke, and it was my left hand, yet I really miss the fine motor movents necessary to do the things I love. There's nothing for it than to putter about the sewing room and continue getting it organized. It's the perfect day to do it - strong storm-level winds are pounding against the house and sheets of rain are streaming down the windows. Think I"ll get myself another cup of tea....

17 January, 2007

sunday at the beach

It was a beautiful crisp, cold but sunny day, so we decided to take Darwin to the beach on Sunday. A few days past there had been a very bad storm, so when we arrived more than half the beach had gone! Still, the kite surfers, and dog walkers had enough coastline to enjoy the salty air. It's three days later, and I still have sand in my hair!

Along the way we met a very nice couple with two New Foundlands. I've always loved those dogs - those big fluffy bears....Darwin had a ball playing with them! Here's a shot of (r.to l.) Melvin, Darwin, and Ishka begging for some doggie treats...

09 January, 2007

harvest moon

The new fabrics for yet another baby quilt, this time for a dear friend of mine and his wife to celebrate the birth of their third child, a boy. The mother loves blue, so the background will be blue for this quilt. I've begun to sketch a drawing of what I want, including the applique, but want to remain open about it as other ideas keep popping into my head! Eventually I'll have to make up my mind and pick a direction to take, but more often than not, I'll let the quit speak for itself as to what it wants to be and when it is finished....

04 January, 2007

what I did during christmas holiday

Haven't done much hand work during the Holiday break but didn't want to do completely nothing at all, so I decided to try something new and reach into the scrap bag and play a little....

Don't really know how this little bag is going to turn out, and for now it's just an easy & relaxing task to almost mindlessly sew the little hexagons together while I get my thoughts together for the more complicated stuff coming up.
I seemed to have put so much intensity into the last project, that I really needed a break! When I feel this way, it usually means I take up something completely different, like sock knitting or cross-stitching until I feel settled again. But this will do for now. Come to think of it, there's is a half completed sock lurking around my sewing room somehwere.....

02 January, 2007

Happy New Year!

It's a new year.
For me that means plans to work on new projects and finish old ones. I've made the resolution to complete projects that have been laying around, waiting to be completed, that have been staring at me from the closet while I've chosen to start new ones.
Perhaps I'll get around to completing the list I started of projects in exsitence. This way I can keep better track of what I've got going on!

This also means a vague self-imposed boycott on buying more fabric. That'll be more difficult to impose, but with working with what's already there, and only buying when I need it for a particular project (like batting or backing) I won't have to the excuse to visit the oh so tempting quilt shops.....

Another resolution is to try different things, small projects using new tecniques I've never done before.

The last resolution as far as hand work is concerned, is to work on things for the home. When we moved here a little over a year ago, it was my intention to make curtains, pillows wall hangings, and somehow, that got side-tracked, so it'll be nice to get back to that again!

Who knows what the year will bring, so I've decided not to get all bent out of shape should some of my resolutions go astray, as long as I remain on the right track, all should go well - I hope.


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