27 August, 2008

while waiting...

I'm about to go and visit my friend Mieke and give her the two quilts for her birthday.  Another quilting friend An, is joining me, so while I was waiting, I decided to try something new and play a bit with a new program another friend in Paris told me about.  Fun, playing with my computer!  So much to learn!

This is a thank you to my friend Chantal who loves Darwin and took me and him to a new park this past weekend.  She took all the photos while we were there using my camera, so I made this as a "thank you".

It was really a great day - I just can't get enough of those beautiful Rembrandt clouds.....

Click to play A day with Chantal
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Edit: Just wanted to let you know that "Winter Garden", the baby-rib quilt and the Knuffel Quilt (cuddle quilt) are with their new owner who burst into tears when I gave them to her.  It feels really good that she's happy with them...

26 August, 2008

what is a Wang Chung?

Hi Ho,

I'm sitting here bopping on my chair listening to my iTunes blasting at annoy-the-neighbors-level while quilting and suddenly Wang Chung's Everybody have Fun Tonight comes on. Gosh! where did that come from? How did that tune sneak in? So, I'm singing along, flashed back to old school MTV and those "wonderful" neon fashions of the day, wondering what it means to Wang Chung tonight? Dance, Attitude, Fashion? All of it? It's one of those Things That Make You Go Hmmm....
Well, I think I Wang Chunged a bit too much in my chair so now I'm forced to interrupted my regularly scheduled program of quilting and take out some stitching that went Wang Chung.

Wait, this quilting and listening to music is perhaps not a good idea. How am I supposed to Vogue and keep my stitches straight? This is just not going to work!
Hold on - Vogueing - be right with you.....

Sorry about that, where was I?
Oh yes - iTunes is so totally sabotaging my efforts to quilt with any seriousness, so you know what they say: "If you can't beat 'em, join em!!" Come on iTunes, bring it on! I throw down my glove, I accept your challenge! let's groove!

25 August, 2008

a quick project

Here's something I made quickly in an afternoon.  Recently I have begun to try to make small quick projects in between my normally big ones, so that I have the feeling of accomplishing something.  It's a simple pouch to house my soon to start Houses of Hawk Run Hollow in.  I find that if I have my things together, I tend to work on them more often.  So in this pouch I plan to just keep the pattern page and threads needed for each house, and leave the rest in my sewing room. 

This pouch was made from Japanese fabrics purchased a few years ago at the European Quilt Championships in Waalre, and some Japanese fabric squares lurking in my stash closet.  I'm still considering putting some sort of closure to cover the stitching on the front where I had to sew on the velcro.  
Here's the inside:

So now it's time to organize the threads, I think I'll just do it by block and add as I go along since I don't feel like spending the time preparing all the threads in one go!  Ok, call me lazy...LOL!

Well, now that's done, I can finally clear the space on my sewing table, put in a new needle and start quilting on my Red and White log cabin quilt - finally!  Wish me luck on that one  - I'm kind of nervous about it, but the practice of a little free hand quilting on this pouch has given me a wee bit more confidence to just go ahead and stop fiddle-faddle-ing and get right to it.  After all, I'll never know otherwise right?

23 August, 2008

finishes for a friend

Hi Ho!
It's a windy but sunny Saturday here in Holland. Actually, the  perfect kind of weather to hang out quilts and blankets to air.
After spending the morning doing some household chores and re-potting some needy plants in the kitchen, I've finally a moment to post some projects I've completed for my friend Mieke in time for her birthday next week.

As I had mentioned before, I received several boxes full of fabric and UFO's and what-not from Mieke and dug around to see what I could find. This was one of the first things I fished out of the boxes and decided to completed it for her. I believe it was intended for her grand-daughter, so now that it's done perhaps they can read books and snuggle under it together.

This one was from a kit we each bought together at the European Quilt Championships in Waalre a few years back.  I had already completed the top, and it was waiting in the closet for me to complete.  Mieke's kit was still intact, so to save time, I used my top, bought the backing and finished it for her.  I can always make it again using her kit.  I had already chosen backing, binding and batting for mine, so one of these days I'll get started on that as the baby rib fabric is wonderfully soft and makes for a great winter quilt.

Now that those projects are done I'll continue with the triangles quilt and try to get a start on the Houses of Hawk Run Hollow.  I've been running around taking care of things and quite frankly have been too tired to settle down and sort threads and such and get started.  Perhaps tomorrow.  I need to figure out how to prepare the Au Ver a Soie threads to loop them around a hole in the proper lengths.  Anyone have an idea?  Any advice or tips are very appreciated!

Ok.  Time's up at the computer, and off I go!
Take care and see you soon!

22 August, 2008

SBQ of the Week: August 21, 2008

This week's SBQ was suggested by Dawn
and is:

If you had to choose, would you rather spend money on overdyed floss
or hand-dyed fabric?

Gosh, that's not an easy one.
I have very little or no experience with either as yet, so it's tough to choose.
Having said that, I think that I'd choose for the overdyed floss. The subtle changes in the colors would perhaps "pop" against a plainer background linen, and working with such a floss I'd enjoy - seeing the changes in color value with each stitch. The same could be said for the opposite, but hey, you asked me to choose!

A good question that will certainly make me look into using overdyed flosses and trying them in my work.

21 August, 2008

Happy Birthday Ceara!

It's my Monkey's birthday today - 17!
How she grew into a intelligent, bright, funny and beautiful young lady is still a mystery to me.

...wishes of wisdom, health and joy to you my little one, and may I offer you this quote:

Education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.

-John Dewey

20 August, 2008

it's my birthday!

And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

-Abraham Lincoln

14 August, 2008

feels like M.A.S.H. around here...


It's me a.k.a resident nurse here.
Not much time for quilting or stitching, just caring for the men of the house, Ro and Darwin. Yes, Darwin too. Ro had surgery on his right knee a week ago, and is recovering, not being allowed to walk for at least 6 weeks.   Darwin followed two days ago, when he suddenly began limping in the evening and when we tried to find the source and came close, howled in extreme pain.  A visit to his vet the next day revealed that the right hind paw, the little toe, had somehow gotten cut and infected.  It was difficult to see and even the vet had to shave his fur to be able to find the source of pain.  Poor thing - he's been on the leash during walks, so no idea how it happened, but there it is.  14 days rest for him now.  How is it that he too injured his right leg? 

At least both of them are strong and healthy, so they will recover, one sooner than the other, but in the meantime, we'll care for and spoil them both!

That leaves the females of the house to run things.  So off I go, to run  things!

Humor.  I leave you with humor....

10 August, 2008

the saturday post...

Didn't expect this to come so quickly from Gitta's, but here it is: the Hannah Beeby  1816 Sampler by Timeless Designs.  I've seen Carol working on it, and thought a lovely sampler to add to my little growing collection.  Now to study it a bit, and decide on linen and color....
There's a SAL for this sampler as well, I've joined - it'll help me keep working on it!  It's been a bit quiet on the SAL, and Carol's feeling a bit lonely over there, so hopefully I can keep her some company soon.

As for other news - 
It's weather for Ducks here again, so I yesterday employed the services of my daughter and her friend to help me sandwich Mieke's baby-cord quilt.  They did a lovely job, and DD's friend Kim was really inspired and....after having a chat with her, she wants to try her hand at quilting!  Wonderful no?

Later, while listening to the rain ( after walking the dog in it I might add)  and keeping "the patient" company on the couch, I snuggled under the quilt and began knotting it with found wool that matched perfectly with the fabrics.  It's a good thing it's the temperatures have cooled down!

Have to cut this short, Since Ro can't walk, I've enlisted a friend of ours to accompany me on a long walk with Darwin.  Since my back is a mess, I need help getting Darwin in and out of the car, washed down and rubbed after he's been for a swim.  Also, if he gets stuck in the woods, or water I have a strong pair of arms to help me.
So, let me get into my hunting boots and Barbour and get wet!  

(although I just love these walks with my dog, sometimes, just sometimes, I wish he was a goldfish....today is such a day because it's REALLY bad out there and I'd rather be stitching.....LOL!)

08 August, 2008

just in....

Drema from Needlecraft Corner just sent me this ( in three days it arrived, I might add! ):

The Au Ver a Soie silks and 32 ct. Pearled Barley from Lakeside Linens so I can start on yet another project, The Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. This is a shot straight out of the well packed parcel...

Yeah, yeah, I'm late to the party; parusing the blogs I've noticed that many people have been working on it, have completed it or are on the Village of Hawk Run Hollow or The Shores of Hawk Run Hollow...but then again, I'm just a humble newbie and new to all of this!

No matter, the colors are luscious, and I'm chomping at the bit, but first things first.

1. help!  - always a moment of "panic" when starting yet another large project - why can't I ever do just little ones?

2. I've never worked with silks before - should be exciting!

3. How do I organize these threads? What are some of the best ways to keep them neat and tidy?

4. How do I figure out where to start on the linen?  I tend to start my works in the upper right hand corner - at least that's the way I'd like to do it with this pattern, and work my way from right to left, top to bottom.  This part always makes me nervous because you want it to be exact and not run out of linen.  Up until now, someone has always helped me with this, and the projects I've worked on were always on large pieces of fabric (ok - I've only been working on two pieces using only one color - the red and white and the Ann Grimshaw)

I've checked out my sparse library on the subject, but it looks like I'll have to "Google" a bit more and try some things out on my own.  

For now however, it's time to check out the repeat of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.  I missed most of the live show on TV as I was off buying backing fabric ( I know, priorities!) for a quilt I'm making for my friend Mieke.  While watching I'll try to get some stitching done on Ann Grimshaw as well.

have a great weekend y'all!

SBQ of the Week: August 7, 2008

This week's SBQ was suggested by Outi
and is:

What do you do to your thread clippings? Do you just scrap them or do you use them in something else?

Interesting question!  Never thought about doing anything else with them except while stitching, pile them up on the edge of the couch (where I usually stitch) and then collect them all at the end of a session and throw them away.  On my sewing table I do have a large mustard jar, which has been reincarnated into a  snippets receptacle.

I have considered using the snippets that collect in there to add in stuffing, but it always takes so long before you've gathered enough!

a knee, tattoos, jokers and Ann

Hey ho!  

It's past the Witching Hour, and therefore my bed time, so I'll be quick!
Things have been a bit hectic around here: Ro just had knee-surgery. Got new tendons after they tore off during a soccer match. Now he's bed-ridden and needs lots of coddling and care for the next 6 weeks (if all goes well). While he was under the knife, I was sat, waiting , iPod in my ears, and needle in hand working on my Ann Grimshaw sampler to pass the time. There's almost disappointingly little progress on this sampler, but here's a shot of it anyway:

I would've gotten more done, particularly when we were on holiday, but almost everything that I had stitched, which were the top row half-hexagons, had to be taken out because when Ro made copies of the pattern (so I could keep the original at home just in case), the very top line was missing!  It took me a while to figure out why they weren't working out -( please, don't say "duh" - it was hot over there! ), and when I did, had to spend quite some time ( with some @!&*-ing under my breath) to take it all out.  In the greater scheme of things in the universe, it wasn't such a big deal, I guess, but hence one of the reasons for the set-back.  Other reasons: other projects, preparing the house for the knee patient, and picking up yet more chores that would other wise be done by Ro.  At least it's for a good cause!

Also, while I was gone, a package came in the mail for me.  One of my quilting friends offered to have the package sent to her home, so it wouldn't get lost on it's last leg from the States to Holland.  This fabric is for a quilt, for a friend who just moved out of the parental home into his very first home.  He's a lover of Rock and Heavy Metal music, and his bedroom (where the quilt will be on the bed) is completely black.  He's a sweet-heart and good friend.  Darwin adores him (always a good sign!).  I could have made a quilt using different black fabrics (still can) but I happen to see this fabric and thought it could have potential - besides it's such cool fabric!

Since this friend of ours is also Ro's soccer team buddy, and that the boys often get together to play Poker, I thought this bit of fabric could be meaningful to work into the quilt as well...

I'm thinking of a strippy quilt - wide strips with solid stripes?  
Actually, I have no idea what I will do - all is open and swirling around in my head.  There's no rush for this quilt, so that a good thing!

Any suggestion?  I'd gladly hear them - I could use some ideas here!

I have more news to share, but that will be for a next post - It's past one in the morning and as is my usual ritual, still have some reading to do in The Historian.


04 August, 2008

productive monday...

Happy Monday!

Not much to report: except that I finished machine quilting the baby quilt for Mieke, took a break from that after an unsucessfull search for a proper/matching binding fabric, and decided to work some more on the triangle quilt, as you can see in the quick snap taken above.

Now DH is BBQ-ing outside and the smoke is coming up and in through my sewing room window....and I'm being "smoked" out of my room!....

Hmmm, guess it's  time to finish up, close the window and move downstairs to do some work on a sampler?

Hope your Monday was less complicated!  lol!!

03 August, 2008

saturday before breakfast

A nice walk early morning yesterday with Ro and Darwin.

everything is so lush and thick..

Our furry fish!

Darwin: "aww, do I have to get out already?"
Me: "yes, before you turn in to a furry prune..."

Love walking in these cool woods
Makes for a great start to the day!

01 August, 2008

from Mieke's stash

Slowly getting back into the rhythm of things since coming back from vacation.
Yesterday I managed to sit down between batches of laundry to do some work on the Ann Grimshaw sampler, and today, again, between household chores, sat down to work on a quilt from my friend Mieke's stash.  I was planning on showing some goodies brought back from Italy, but haven't had the time to sit and photograph those yet - call it laziness!

As I've mentioned before, my friend Mieke is no longer able to quilt for health reasons and so has given me her stash to do with as I please.  In return (shhh!  don't tell her!) I've been going through her stash, pulling out unfinished projects to complete and give to her so she may enjoy them.  It's my way of thanking her.

So here's a shot of a baby quilt I found in one of the boxes: it was cut and pinned, but not very well, so I took it apart, replaced the original thick polyester batting that my machine would refuse to make good stitches for, and replaced it with a cotton batting that my Pfaff is much happier with.  I'm machine quilting it in a simple cross-hatch pattern.  Once that's done, I'll dig around my own stash and try to find a matching fabric for the binding.  It was intended for her granddaughter and started before she was born, but can still be used for nap time, or snuggle under during reading time.

It took a bit getting used to quilting by machine, the fiddling with the fabric, keeping it neat so the stitching would be straight.  Even though I was careful to make light pencil lines using my quilt pencil, the lines came out quite dark, so I hope they will come out in the wash!

This is good practice in either case: my red and white log cabin quilt is still rolled up, waiting to be quilted, so hopefully I'll be more confident when I get to that project, which will be very soon! 

There's another project for Mieke coming up soon, this time from a kit we both bought a year or so ago.  My top is already completed, and waiting on the WIP pile, while hers needs to be cut and sewn.  This time I'll be employing the help of another quilting friend to sew it together so we can get it done on time to give both quilts to Mieke for her birthday this month.  Will we get it all done in time?  Stayed tuned to find out!


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