25 December, 2009

holiday wishes

Wishing you all very happy holidays and a very good New Year!

26 November, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all celebrating!

Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart. 

Just wanted to wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving to all those celebrating the holiday today.
Here at home we'll be celebrating the holiday with friends on friday, because it's only a holiday for us ex-pats who live here in Holland.  It's really my favorite holiday, a time to spend with friends and reflect on all that we're grateful for.

In the meantime, I've been very very busy sewing like I've never sewn before, finishing three quilt tops in this month of November!  That's the main reason I haven't been blogging, every available minute of the day has been dedicated to piecing and completing tops, ( now perfectly ironed, and folded ) so they can be ready next week to be sandwiched for quilting ( with the generous help of my quilting friends ), some by machine, others by hand.

...and now's there good reason to begin new projects already in planning) for after the new year..... (wink!)

Have a great holiday everyone!


28 September, 2009

St. Marie-aux-Mines

Jimmeny Cricket!
I just can't seem to get it together with blogging with all else that's going on, but I hope that will settle soon so I can blog more often!

I went to the 15th Carrefour Europeen du Patchwork in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, France.  What an experience!  Together with my friend Nanda, we spent a weekend seeing beautiful quilts, meeting wonderful people, and shopping, of course!  The fact that it was impossible to see everything (unless we ran ourselves ragged like chickens without heads remembering this trip as only one long blur) wasn't as important as focusing on what we wanted to see, and really learning about the quilts and their history.  We took our time, and enjoyed every moment, leaving us inspired, relaxed, and joyful of the experience.

So without further ado, some photos...

Lecture and discussion of the Quilts of Gee's Bend presented by Rudolph Dittrich, Phd. 

Exposition of the Quilts of Gee's Bend in a beautiful chateau in Ste. Croix-aux Mines
I have the book, The Quilt's of Gee's Bend, and was so struck by their power, but seeing them "live" was a whole other ball game! Can you belive it that we were told that some visitors were outraged (yes, that was the word they used) that such ugly quilts were hanging here? Ok, well, we all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder....

The towns are beautiful to stroll through with their little stands filled with local products...



In the theatre of St.Marie-aux-Mines was the Amish and Mennonite quilt exhibition...

...and it was a pleasure to see the 30 years work of Yoko Saito ( who was present together with her students) and The Ottoman quilts and costumes of Elizabeth Strub-Madzar....



After seeing so many quilts, and doing "a little"  shopping, what better way to relax than to find a spot on the grass and share experiences and treasures found?

This was absolutly the most wonderful quilt event that I've been to in all the years that I have been quilting, made better by not only the sun, the kind and friendly people that we met, but also  going with a good friend!  Should you have the chance to go, I would really recommend it, it's worth it!

17 September, 2009


I'm off to the European Patchwork Meeting in St.Marie-aux-Mines, France. It's just for 3 days and for the first time. It'll be a 6 hour drive or so, and whirlwind weekend where I'm sure we won't get to see everything, but hopefully, a lot of some things.

Next to packing P.J's and checking my playlist on my iPhone, I prepared some Cathedral squares to have some handwork on hand....

I did these by machine to save some time, and will finish them off completely by hand from here on in. Now to see if there will be time to actually get some stitching done!
It almost makes you wish for a traffic jam, doesn't it?
(ah...maybe not.....)

16 September, 2009

little treasures

Two little old quilts found in the attic during the "Purge"...

I bought them years ago in New York and somehow they got lost during the many moves.

I'm a happy clam!

28 August, 2009

not far to go...

It's been a hectic few weeks with birthdays, what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation get-togethers, and the continual purging and deep-cleansing of the house to free up some of that positive energy. In between these events however, I did manage to keep on my minimum of a 2 block per day schedule to keep work on my log cabin going. Long chats with friends on the phone, did help a lot; what better way to use that time than to sew up some extra blocks! It never ceases to amaze me how much I get done while on the phone..lol!! Plus, I think my friends are getting used to hearing the background humming of the machine....

Yesterday I laid out the blocks to check to see if all was in balance, and if any bits of light or dark needed to be added here and there. Last night I got stuck in and finished the last five of the 60 block that are green and brown. Now just 30 more to go in the brown background color.

This is to become a wall quilt for our living room that has soft greens and neutral beiges and white as the main color. The dark brown will add some contrast and warmth to the room, at least, that's the idea....
There's all sorts of fabrics in this quilt, Civil War reproduction fabrics, batiks, lots of Japanese woven and textured fabrics. They may not have worked together in another quilt pattern, but with these small 1 cm strips, it's all about the colors and one of the reasons I keep returning to log cabins because they never stop fascinating me.

If all goes well, I hope to have this puppy sewn together today ( I just can't wait to see it in one piece ) and pick up sewing on the background blocks next week.
So, off I go to roll back the carpet and play with blocks!

have a wonderful weekend all!

19 August, 2009

happy birthday to me

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

- Abraham Lincoln

17 August, 2009

textile noodle soup

It feels good after working hard to finish the Quaker samplers to get back into quilting. I hadn't split my time between the two as I had intended, but somehow I feel a little less pressure now that some major projects are done. Now it's time to relax at my machine and sew away, catching up on some quilting podcasts I'm waaay behind on!

40 blocks done, 50 to go!

12 August, 2009

Watching Beckham bend it

I know, I should be focusing on the guys in orange in this Netherlands v. England match, but hey, can a girl enjoy some eye-candy during a game?

Here a shot just before the game. Cool huh, all that orange, no?
Current score: Holland 1 -England 0

Edit: great game, end score: 2-2

-- Post From My iPhone, Amsterdam Arena

29 July, 2009


Some images to share with you while I unpack ...

spinner - Dyer's Souk, Marrakech

crocheted caps, Medina, Marrakech

drying scarves, Dyer's Souk, Medina, Marrakech

Terrase des Epices, Artisans Souk, Medina, Marrakech
a restful place to eat, cool off. and relax - beautiful use of color

drying scarves, Dyer's Souk, Medina, Marrakech

a place to hide from the Scirocco's hot wind...
Cafe Clock, Medina, Fez

A wonderful trip, my senses are saturated with sound, color, scent and spices.
Inspired again, I'm eager to try out new things, new colors, new ideas, and in what form, who knows...?

21 July, 2009

Commes les serpents

.... And that's exactly what we are doing. Like the serpents in the desert, we are keeping very, very still, sipping water, not moving until the worst of the heat passes, after five, six o'clock.

-- Post From My iPhone: Fez, Morocco

26 June, 2009

cheerful little tumbler quilt

Another reason for the silence here at my blog: not only was I hard at work on my Ann Grimshaw sampler (now complete), but made together with my quilting friends a quilt for our good friend who's getting married in Paris. This post is therefore post-dated, as our Parisian friend also reads my blog and this quilt had to remain a surprise, even though I really wanted to share this with all of you!

As the the three of us live in different parts of the country, it took four weekends of driving quite a few kilometers north, south and east, late-night sleep-overs, and early morning breakfasts to get this accomplished. We moved living room furniture, crawled on floors, fought and won small battles with irons and sewing machines. We could have gotten this done a lot sooner, if it weren't for the fact that we only had one template to cut all the pieces with, so each of us had a task in order to keep things moving along. One would cut, the other laid it down, another would choose and iron fabrics for cutting.

When all the pieces were laid out, rows were made and numbered, and I took the quilt home and sewed it together. The next week I returned with the top, and we sandwiched it, and spent until past 2 am in the morning knotting each and every corner. I took the quilt home again, cut and made the binding, popped it into the washer and dryer, and it got that wonderful vintage look we were looking for. I would have loved to quilt it, but since the wedding was planned very quickly, we had to move quickly as well.

Oh yes, and then the label...it's still a bit of an after thought for me, making a label, but the day before departure, I managed to get that done as well.

This little quilt was made with lots of love and so much laughter - lots of positive energy!
It's a large lap quilt, with the basis of muslin, and lots of little scraps of fabric and charm squares from our collection. Many of them are bold bright colors, matching our friend's personality. There's lots of fond memories in those scraps, and while making the quilt we shared those stories together.

We were so busy, that there were not many photos taken of the process, but you'll get the basic idea.

Laying out the pieces

sewing the binding

I think I would have to say, this is my favorite part of quilting: stitching down the binding. The quilt is just about done, and you can just sit and stitch snuggled under the quilt.

The quilt was completed on time, label and all, and presented in a basket of other gifts, goodies from Holland. Here's a picture:

edit: We've returned from a whirlwind weekend of celebration and fun, and the quilt was very well received.

18 June, 2009

A happy finish...

She's done - completed a few days ago, and finally photographed.
Now to find a proper frame, but that will have to wait until summer's end...

I made a few small changes such as adding the completion date and my own initials.

It was also the first time I've stitched over one thread ( Ann's name and year) - I dreaded it at first, but it was not so bad after all!
It was a lot of fun stitching this sampler, but for now I'll take a break from Quaker samplers and pick up some stitching in need of my attention, or will I start something new? Let me enjoy this finish first for a little while....

08 June, 2009

Strawberries & Chocolate

A little quilt I made during a fun workshop this past Saturday to make a quilt top in a day using a brick layout.
It would have been done in that one day, but we had so much fun chatting and laughing so hard, it didn't matter. Who needs a sauna when you have a bunch of hysterically funny quilters in one room?

Although the top is completed, it'll have to wait for the border fabric to arrive at the shop for me to finish it and prepare for quilting.
Not a problem, as I'm heading for the finishing line of my Ann Grimshaw sampler, and have plenty to do outside of the handwork realm!

29 April, 2009

not far to go...

Even though I've been away for quite some time from my blog and you all, that didn't mean you weren't in my thoughts!
With the wonderfully warm and sunny weather, I've been away from the computer and spending time outdoors and with friends.
The Challenge posed be me by my friend Marni I haven't forgotten either, I've been working hard to reach it, but doubt if I will make it - I will do my very best though!

In the evenings, when we haven't had company pop in, I've sat and stitched as much as I could.
I'm still really enjoying this sampler, even with the occasional glitch caused by the faults found in the original pattern, causing me to spend precious time taking out stitches instead of making them! Not matter, it gave the brain cells a workout....lol!

Here's where I've left off.....

...and speaking of workouts, that's another thing I've picked up whilst gone from here, going back to the gym, which is where I'm headed to now!

I also want to say a big thank you to all of you who sent such kind responses and encouragements!
I'll try not to stay away too long....


26 April, 2009

Blame it on the weather

I'm sorry I haven't been around, but me, my family, friends and fellow patiots have been enjoying the most beautful weather here! So we've taken the kites down from the attic and are giving them a full check up here at the Maas Vlakte beach near the Rotterdam Harbor.

-- Post From My iPhone

12 April, 2009

Easter morning

To those celebrating or just enjoying the long weekend, Happy Easter! We're in the Eastern part of Holland, enjoying the holiday with friends. Yes, I took my stitching with me and even managed to do some during a quiet moment yesterday morning. At the present time I'm enjoying a cup of tea in bed, and curious to see if this blog post I'm writing on my iPhone will end up for you all to read on my blog. It's also my way of giving the men who've already risen a moment to have a chat and enjoy their coffee alone.

That's my night table. New York Times Crossword puzzle, sunglasses, reading glasses (actally a substitute for my daylight lamp with the magnifier in the middle at home, used here in combinaion with my portable daylight lamp) Mala/prayer beads, and my Trollbead bracelet. The little tube of Blistex fell out of the frame, but it's always nearby...

Guess I've hung out here enough - I can ony lie in bed for so long before getting figdty, so while the rest of the girls are sleeping , I think I'll grab another few stitches before breakfast.......

How did you start your moring? However did I hope you enjoyed it!

-- Post From My iPhone

01 April, 2009

You Are the Sacral Chakra

You are open hearted and expressive. You let your feelings be known, without being too emotional about it.

You are very sensual and comfortable with your own sexuality. You are passionate and alive.

You feel inspired, happy, and creative. You are able to live the life you want without fear of judgement.

You have a lot of respect for yourself and other people. You never violate others' boundaries or let them violate yours.

25 March, 2009

You Are a Morning Person

You're optimistic, alert, and full of energy to start the day.

While you would love to party all night, you rather be up at the crack of dawn.

You don't procrastinate or spend time worry about what to do next.

You take life by the reigns, and you like to have an early start.

18 March, 2009

idea for the next quilt?

Your rainbow is strongly shaded white.


What is says about you: You are a contemplative person. You appreciate quiet moments. People depend on you to make them feel secure.

Find the colors of your rainbow at spacefem.com.

14 March, 2009

Until Midnight

Friday the 13th may be an inauspicious date for some, but for a group of 30 some-odd quilters in the small village of Brielle, it was our lucky day!
't Quiltgebeuren, run by owner Wil and "de meiden", Patricia and Janine (the girls), hosted an event called Until Midnight, where participants are asked to bring basic sewing materials from home, and at the store, pick out a fat quarter of fabric and get a packet of the rest of the materials to make....something. You see, it's a mystery! Participants are welcome to bring snacks and goodies, and the evening starts at 7 in the evening, and it usually runs "until midnight".

It was so very good to see Wil and the girls again! the welcome is always very warm, and it feels more like visiting good friends than going to a shop. I was so very pleased to see quilters that I had taken classes with, and met very lovely and funny new ladies this evening as well!
Everyone was so curious as to what we were going to make and kept pressing Wil to finally reveal the surprise. When everyone had their machine plugged in and tea in hand, she finally showed us the project: a roll with 5 see-through pockets to keep you sewing supplies in - handy for on the go!

Ah ha! So that's what we had to bring our zipper foot for! Myself and a few other quilters, had never used our zipper foot before, (and why would you if you basically piece quilts with it?) or had sewn with plastic for that matter, so it was exciting to learn something new. After a quick demonstration, we all settled down and got to work.

Let's see, how does your zipper foot go?

...and lots of catching up to do - how easy it is to forget to sew with so much to chat about!

Taping a piece of paper on the plate, helps the plastic slide along, and using a strip of thin sewing paper on the top prevents the zipper foot from sticking to the plastic as you sew the zipper...

Next to Wil (sitting at my machine at the bottom of the photo) are Tieneke and Els, two wonderful quilters who had us all laughing!

As the evening progressed, you could begin to see the fruits of our laughter and labor, a very handy roll began to emerge from the humming machines...

pretty no?
well, better stop chatting and snapping and get back to my own machine....lol!

I did finally get mine done, thanks to Wil who quickly put a decorative zig-zag on my binding just before midnight. Would've gotten it done sooner if it weren't for Patrica and I getting into a chat and sharing some extra-quilting ideas......lol!

This evening has certainly spurred me on to take a closer look at my machine, beyond the basic things and play a little more with the extra bells and whistles it has to offer.

...and this is the one I made!

Thank you Wil, Patricia and Janine for a wonderful evening! The creative batteries have been recharged and I just can't wait to get my sewing room back and get sewing again! I think everyone really enjoyed themselves - speaking for myself, I did and am very happy with my roll, having learned something new and to have spent time with good friends and quilters.

Looking forward to the next mystery,

09 March, 2009

taking on the challenge...

While the painters are working on our home, and the wind blows cold and hard against the windows, I've been stitching away wondering if I will get Anne finished by May 1st.

There hasn't been much time to have long sit-down sessions, so I've been taking a few minutes here and there, even if it's just to do a few stitches. Surprisingly, it's added up nicely and progress is coming along. I'd thought I'd get tired of the Quaker motifs, but no, it's still just as much fun stitching them!

That, plus the incredibly kind words I've received from all of you who commented on the completion of Hannah Beeby, has, like Chicken Soup for a cold, really done me a lot of good and has motivated me even more to complete this larger sampler. Thank you so much!
Add a challenge from a dear friend with what seems a daunting deadline....

...and you've got me signing off so I can go back to my Ann!

06 March, 2009

Handwerkbeurs in Zwolle (long post, lots of pics!)

It took me a while, but here it is, a "quick" digest of my trip...

Two weekends ago I attended the Handwerkbeurs in Zwolle. Over a 140 merchants presented their wares from all sorts of crafts: quilting, spinning, knitting, cross stitch, sewing, tatting. There were stands that had the necessary tools of our crafts, merchants from not only Holland, but Belgium, Germany, France and England, to name a few. My friends Diane and Nanda (who are unfortunately still blog-less) and I got an early start Sunday morning, so we could scope out the place before the crowds arrived.


knitting tables, to chat and hang out...

First things first: out slipped the lists, with our "necessities": Daylight lamps, adaptors, threads, needles, wool, patterns, batting, scissors, fabrics for quilt classes, and other bits and bobs.

I have a standing Daylight lamp, you know the one that looks like a big glowing doughnut with the magnifying lens that allows me to do micro-surgery on torn pockets and teddy bears, next to letting me stitch for hours on end...
Finally a portable Daylight lamp to take with me on trips and visits!

Another little light I use for reading in bed when the man wants to, or is already asleep is the Mighty Bright Mini light, a handy lamp you clip onto a book or even your clothing. I bought it at my fave quilt shop, and it's even more compact than the table lamp. When I got it home at the time, I was checking out what batteries it would take, and if it could take an adapter - oh oh..it's American! At the same stand in Zwolle, we were happy to find that it had one for Europe! So I had to grab that puppy fast!

Let's see...what else....and what did it look like over there?
It was a well set up place, lots of room for everyone, even for those in wheelchairs and scooters.
Everyone was very helpful, friendly, customers and merchants alike.

fabrics for projects...

my friends picking up necessities...

and not so necessary necessities...

This stand got the girls buying sock wool, and me to promise to teach them how to knit socks (with pleasure!). It was tough for me to resist, but I have a full basket at home of all colors waiting to become socks. There is nothing like a hand knitted sock!

I joined Merkwaardig, a national "sampler society" as they call themselves, that focuses primarily on historical samplers and their history, bringing those with the same enthusiasm for these works together.

Now, since I've not been quilting for some time now, because of work being done to the house and my sewing room still functioning as storage room, and I've been keeping to my New Year's resolution of finishing works in progress and NOT starting new ones, I've been left with no choice but to cross stitch (Gasp!!-woe is me! lol!). Having said that, you can imagine my interest led me more to the cross stitch stand than anything else.

Picked up some patterns that caught my fancy for a while now:

Amager Panel 1799- NeedlePrint

Rebecca Blake 1809 - Needleprint

EA 1798 - The Marking Samplar

Into the Ark - Blue Ribbon Designs
I have a thing for Noah's Ark designs....

I just couldn't resist picking up a book or two....

Simple Quilt by Yoshiko Jinzenji (French Translation)
Les Editions Saxes

and a signed copy of -
Geschiedenis van de Nederlanse Quilt by An Moonen (Dutch)
Uitgeverij Van Gruting
ISBN: 97890-75879-414

What else? hmm..some bits of marbled and dyed linen, now tucked away (and I'm too lazy to pull it out to photograh) and a few teeny weeny patterns that will undoubtedly show up in this blog one of these days as little weekend projects...

All in all, a great day with friends, lots of ideas, lots of itchy fingers ready to get into the next project, so many new things, gadgets and goodies, so many tips and tricks learned from merchants and fellow enthusiasts. We were completely recharged, and have lots of plans to do lots of things together and individually, all of which I will share with you as they present themselves.

So there you go! I haven't figured out how to put photos next to each other to save a bit of space, so forgive the length of this blog - hope you enjoyed reading, and if any of you went to Zwolle, I'd love to hear what you thought of it!

Now back to my regularly scheduled stitching......
heidi out.


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