you just have to surprise yourself and do something on the spur of the moment
(and not plan ahead long before as we usually do)!
So…when during a phone call our friends from
Houston mentioned they would be travelling around the UK for a holiday and would be spending the last night
of their holiday in London (but due to work commitments did not have the time
to come to The Netherlands) , we looked at the hub’s work schedule, found that
we could take the time to fly over to London, booked tickets, a hotel and a
table at a Covent Garden restaurant and off we went.
was gorgeous from beginning to end!
early flight we did have the greater part of the day to spend around town. As
you may know we love London and I have visited frequently for the past 35 (!!)
years, the last 21 (!) with the hubs, so we have seen a thing or two, but this
time we went to a part we had not been to before: Brick Lane in the East End.
It was busy,
colourful, fun and I wonder why we never went here before, especially after our
visit to the Beigel Bakery. Open 24/7 they are famous for their beigels (they
look like the better known bagles) that are constantly being baked in the back
of the shop. You eat them on the spot with various toppings, but we opted for
their (apparently) famous hot salt beef, and oh boy, it was good!
meantime there was food everywhere and cozy coffeeshops (you know, the ones
that actually sell coffee) , trendy clothes shops etc.
something for the hubs, which is the reason we went up here in the first place
Brick Lane, will definitely go back again.
Lane a ride on the tube and a walk across Tower Bridge with a spectacular view
of the new London skyline, reminding me how much this city has changed since I
started coming here
At the other
end of Tower Bridge: Shad Thames, also a
first for us
heading back to the hotel and the dinner we actually flew over for. Needless to
say that was memorable, lovely to see our friends in this wonderful city.
The next day
we still had a few hours to do the usual things before catching our flight back
home again, which for me of course meant a visit to…
love it here, and I don’t know why, maybe because I was there when it opened
and the weather was so nice and everybody stayed outdoors, but the place was
very quiet, lovely to just wander around and look
I have heard
about glamping, but this….. a tent made of (one of my favorite) Liberty
Christmas department was already open !
year at Liberty’s Christmas has gone to the dogs!
this a walk through sunny Chinatown
then the flight back home, with wonderful memories of a very special 36 hour trip!
was always going to be for Nancy. A dear friend for many years, I knew that one
day I wanted to make a quilt for her. So when I came upon this pattern (click)
by Jeni Baker, I saw straight away: this was going to be Nancy’s quilt.
gifted jewelry designer and goldsmith, makes and showcases her own and other
jewelry designers’ items at her workshop and gallery in Schoonhoven (click). Her designs have a classic basis but are executed
in clear, clean lines and materials. A bit of the old, a bit of the new. The
same holds true for her house, a beautiful old building furnished with
classical but modernist furniture. A bit of the old, a bit of the new.
So her quilt
had to show that too: a bit of the old, a bit of the new and clear lines.
patterns don’t come more traditional than a star, but this pattern (click) looks
modern because the star is so huge and the only shape in the quilt.
I always wanted to work with Liberty fabrics but somehow never got around to it
and with Liberty fabrics being the classics that they are this was the perfect
Liberty fabrics are hard to find in The Netherlands so over the past three
years, whenever I was in London, I bought one or two pieces of fabric for this
Lucky for me
my Liberty fabrics collection for this quilt was completed during our last
visit to London, because early this summer Nancy announced a big party at the
end of August for a special birthday, so for me the race was on this summer to
make and finish this quilt by then!
My local quilt shop (click) did not let me down when it came to finding the
perfect background. A classic gray, a bit modernised by a white polka dot
pattern. The fabric was the perfect contrast to those Liberty classics.
handquilted Liberty Star in a very basic way, the big stitch quilting technique,
no hoop, with the perle 8 thread I love working with when I use this technique.
The bigger stitches with the bigger thread nicely contrast the very fine
(patterns of the) Liberty fabrics.
it came to finding the fabric for the binding (not easy with these Liberty
fabrics) Evy had the perfect fabric (from Laundry Basket Quilts) in her shop.
So, this is
Liberty Star, a quilt I loved making and I am really happy with the way it
turned out. The quilt lives with Nancy now and I hope that it will keep her
warm this winter and many more winters to come.
Size: 173 cm x 173
cm / 68”x 68”
Quilting: handquilted with DMC Perle 8
Batting: Hobbs 80/20
Fabrics: 100% cotton, mostly Liberty Tana Lawn
quilt is also the reason it was a bit quiet on my blog (especially with regards
to quilty things) the last few months. As Nancy reads my blog,I could not show any of this, so this was one
of the two secret projects I was working on this summer. There will be a later
blogpost about thetechnical challenges
of this quilt and of working with Liberty fabrics.
Now it is back to qulting my second Feathergirl quilts, which was sorely
neglected this summer!
weather showing signs of changing into fall I think back of the lovely holiday
in Italy we enjoyed just a few weeks ago in Italy. Besides some
city trips, Italy was new to us and the only thing I can say is that was fabulous!
We flew to
Bologna, such a different world after a flight of just 1,5 hrs! We spent the
first night there, our hotel was part of the famous portico’s (a Unesco world heritage
site), so all we had to do is walk via the portico’s to the central piazza of
this very elegant town. We had a lovely dinner underneath the portico’s, a
great start to our holiday.
McDonalds looks elegant in Bologna! Sorry about the fences, they were re-doing
the road surface.
was yummy, the Italians start the day with something very sweet (cakes etc) and
perfect coffee , our hotel had a professional barrista present at breakfast who
made your coffee to order.
The next day
we went back to the airport to pick up the rental car and drove 2,5 hours to
the apartment we rented at La Giravolta (click) just outside of the village of Barchi, in Le
Marche. The last half hour it was pouring with rain, so when we arrived with
the help of the owner, we quickly put our luggage into our apartment, I made
dinner with the groceries we bought on the way and went to sleep early.
Next morning we woke up to
this: beautiful weather and a gorgeous view.
As it turned
out I made the right choice both with regards to the area, Le Marche,as well as with regards to where we were
staying. La Giravolta is a property that consists of two buildings, beautifully
restored, with a few spacious, modern apartments and a great infinity pool. The
atmosphere was great. To be honest, their website does not do it justice, the www simply
can not. The views, the silence, the smell of lavender everywhere, it was so
beautiful and so relaxing.
I loved that
groceries was special too. The village of Barchi was a walk up a path behind La
Giravolta, through a field, rather steep, but you got your reward walking back
down again! That view made it so special!
honestly say that this walk down to La Giravolta made these trips the best,
most special shopping trips ever for me.
The area of
Le Marche is beautiful, with its hills, winding roads, medieval villages etc., and
– important for us- not packed with tourists. It is located on the Adriatic
Coast and there are very nice beach resorts, the sea is turquoise and warm.
food, oh the food. Soooo delicious, as are the wines. The restaurants? A lot of
them, because of the hills, have terraces with beautiful views, it is like
being on a movieset, constantly.
We made the
most of the (sea!)food and the restaurants!
Dinner is mostly
an all-evening affair
We did do
other things besides eating…
villages have been beautifully restored and are impeccable. So, so clean, not a
piece of paper (or chewing gum) on the
streets, nothing. The people really respect their history and their heritage
and they are very disciplined about their waste and garbage.
So we did
some sight seeing.
A walk up to
the upper town of Urbino (again, the town was spotless), I loved all those
small passages and open doors everywhere. Also this famous place, there were
tourists but not very many.
Mondavio, 15 mins from where we were staying:
the month where all the factories are closed so most people are on holiday. It
is also the month where there are a lot of town parties, they can last 3 – 4
days. So we enjoyed a few of those.
(again) , the medieval plays in the evening time:
Also here, mostly local people,just a
few tourists and a great atmosphere.
Eline spent a few days staying with one of her friends whose family has a holiday
home about 2 hours from where we were staying.
She spent the
better part of a week there with her friend and family, had a super time but
was a bit unlucky too.
Eline and her friend went horse riding in the fields a few times during those days.
Unfortunately the last day not all went well. While galloping Eline was unable
to avoid a branch with thorns and she suffered a deep cut in her right arm
which needed stitches, so she was taken to hospital. The stitches have been
taken out now, looks like they did a good job and we just feel lucky it was her
arm and not her face, because it will remain a scar.
this happened only two days before we were due to go home, because swimming was
out of the question after this.
So we decided
to end this wonderful holiday doing something all three of us love…..J!
horse riding incident it was a lovely, wonderful, relaxing holiday and we thoroughly
enjoyed it. We will come back to this beautiful place!
reasons: I was busy on two secret projects I showed you bits of before and I
went on a lovely holiday, still getting used to being back home……
But at least now I can show
you at least one of the secret projects, a goodbye (not farewell, that much is
sure!) to my dear friend Emma who moved back to France recently.
is a (very accomplished!) quilter herself it was no use making her a quilt of
any sort, so I had to come up with something different.
that as a busy mother of two younger children she is always juggling all sorts
of schedulesand reminders in her head I
thought a brocante looking memory board would be nice and also I could attach
to it small reminders of the fun times we had together as well as some small
gifts. As I am only handy with fabrics and not much else I bought the memory
But I did want to make her something myself (and not just give presents that I
bought) so I made her a keyring for her beautiful renovated home in France.
As our dogs
Whopper and Bailey are also best friends and spent many hours together during
their playdates (that recently involved a red stuffed chicken J) a picture of
Whopper could not be left out.
around the corner from me and having so much in common we spent lovely mornings
and afternoons together, I will miss being able to just pop over for a cuppa
and a chat.
And while we
are on the subject of presents for friends, I never showed you the finished
present that I made for fellow Feathergirl Hubertine when it was her birthday
earlier this year.
I bought a
small tray (to take small sewing items with her around the house or her roof
terrace) and made a mini quilt for it.
And now back
to sorting out all those pictures from our holiday…. Hope you had a lovely
summer too, either at home or elsewhere.