donderdag 14 juli 2016

She did it! And a trip to Rome, bellissima!

Has it been that long since I blogged… high time for an update!

With a lot of other things that happened I did manage to get some patchwork done during a visit from fellow Feathergirl Hubertine, she was quilting her scrapquilt while I was working on some pyramids

Enjoy making these, it is not going that fast, because I am also working on other quilty projects and also this happened!

And we are more than proud, not only did she have to work really hard to get her vwo (IB-equivalent) high school diploma, but with one extremely :-( teacher making her life very difficult, a sudden operation earlier this school year and having to re-sit one exam, she proved that she is a fighter.
So we were able to join in this Dutch tradition:

Woohoo! Flag out with her very worn schoolbag attached to it.

For non-Dutch readers, in The Netherlands when children graduate from high school between the time they hear they have passed their exams and the day they collect their diploma’s you hang out the flag and attach the bag they have used all those years to carry their books to school with.
In a nutshell our high school system works like this:  we have high schools at different levels (you take all the subjects at the level of your high school) the last year is practically completely taken up by sets of exams. You either pass or you don’t, if you don’t, then you have to re-do that last year. Completely.
But when you pass your exams, you get to graduate and the flag goes out for you.
It is a fun tradition, for a few weeks early summer you can see this all over our country, we had a few more graduates in our area:

Between the time she finished her exams and getting her results she went on a week long exam trip with some class mates. Another tradition: to celebrate the finish of their exams they party for a week at a sunny location, a bit like spring break in the US.

So that gave the Mr. and myself a chance to take a trip to….Rome!
What can I say, having fallen in love with Italy during our holiday last year, Rome was just a continuation of that, we had a super time.

We stayed at a lovely, little apartment right behind the Piazza Navona

The Mr. (having been to Rome twice before to attend Rolling Stones concerts, he is a huge fan) was one again in awe of the Colloseum, while I was so impressed with the Trevi Fountains

For both of us the absolute highlight was a 7 a.m. breakfast in the gardens of the Vatican, to be there before the Museums open, before the madness of the crowds start, in those beautiful gardens, it was still so quiet, so serene.
This was followed by a very early tour with a very knowledgeable guide (himself a painter) of the Museums, the old papal apartments, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter Basilica,  still before it got busy, great. To give you an idea, on average 16.000 people a day pass through the Vatican Museums on a daily basis, in summer time that goes up to 20.000!
So our early visit with such an extremely small group (20 – 30 people) was very special.

In one of the old papal apartments the floors were full of inspiration for a quilter!

Some other sightings in Rome….. J

Other highlights – as always with us – involve food:
Loved the markets, the terraces, the small trattoria’s, the ice cream and the special Roman dishes like suppli, a sort of croquette filled with risotto and melting cheeeeeeese, yummmmmm!

And speaking of traditions (above) I really fell for the Italian tradition of enjoying an aperativo before dinner at a terrace, loved these Aperol Spritz’s!

My love for Italy certainly continued during this trip, we saw so much beauty, had such wonderful meals, all the people we met were friendly and the city was so clean.


donderdag 9 juni 2016

Feathergirls scrap quilt update

Besides being busy with the pyramids (click) I am also still busy with my scrapquilt, the third project Hubertine (click) and I are working on as the Feathergirls.

This is what my efforts look like on my designwall right now.

Having started with no real plan at all, I first made flying geese, a block which I like looking at and also like making. Then I decided to make 9-patches, and why not, 4-patches as well. A block of a totally different size was then called for so I made a row of courthouse steps, a fun block to make and then I decided to just go on making rows in different simple shapes. So this is the result so far and that is now the plan.

I still have a bunch of these 9-patches… should I use them ….

or make more different shapes? Or both?


dinsdag 31 mei 2016

A gift = a new project

Linda of Quilts in the Barn fame (click) and I are a bit like ships passing in the night, missing each other at various quilt shows (one day we will meet in person Linda, for sure!), but of course there is the internet, so we do keep in touch via the www.

Knowing that our tastes are similar regarding (antique) quilts I was excited to learn that she was publishing a book with Quiltmania about a selection of her antique quilts, I could not wait for it, for sure it was going to be wonderful and I was not disappointed, I love the book! I got my copy a few weeks ago and it has been near me ever since, so many lovely quilts in it, beautiful pictures, so much inspiration and so many great patterns.
Not only did she have her book published recently she has also designed sets of templates for some of her quilts. She introduced these at the quilt show in Nantes recently and we were supposed to meet there, but unfortunately my planned trip did not happen….. so again…. no chance to meet in person…

But Linda made sure I did not miss out on all the fun and via Willemke (click) she sent me a set of her templates as a gift!

Happy mail!

This set is designed for hand piecing her beautiful antique Pyramids quilt (Linda also has templates available for some of the quilts that are in her book). This Pyramids quilt is not in the book, but has been published in Quiltmania # 94 (March/April 2013).

So I pulled some fabrics out of my stash and boy, these templates are so easy, quick and fun to use!
First 5 blocks done!

This will be a great stitching project for the summer, so easy to take with you anywhere, also on holiday, just get enough triangles drawn on fabric before you leave, one spool of neutral thread (Aurifil 2370 in my case), a needle, a small pair of scissors and a few pins, that is all you need to keep stitching this summer.

Working on my next few pyramids now ….

I know a few Dutch quilters have already ordered their templates and Linda is organizing a sew along on Facebook, look for the  Panama Pyramids sew-along 2016 group, so why not join in the fun?

Thank you Linda for your kind gift and Willemke for your assistance, love the templates and will have a lot of fun with this new project!


woensdag 18 mei 2016

Beautiful, sunny Zutphen

With the weather having changed to that familiar greyness again, I thought I’d cheer you (and myself!) up with a few pictures of a visit to beautiful Zutphen 1,5 weeks ago. Most Dutch quilters will have been there, so this will look familiar to them, but for those readers of my blog who haven’t had a chance to go there, here are a few pictures of a lovely day. I have been to Zutphen quite a few times by now, but with the beautiful springtime weather and the blossoms on the trees, this is the prettiest I have seen it.

A visit to Petra Prins’ shop is a must and with the weather being beautiful I think even quilters were doing other things, it is the first time I was the only customer in the shop, if only for a short time.

Really, the municipality or local tourist board should give Petra a prize, with quilters from all over flocking to Zuthpen the amount of Euro’s she is bringing into this town also to other businesses…. Because we quilters need to care of our inner self too, don’t we?

Ah, the terraces of Zutphen, not to be missed on a sunny day.

Usually I go to Zutphen by myself or with a fellow quilter, but for the first time I went with the Mr.
Funny enough for the past few years he has to go to Zutphen now and then for work, but when he does he never has the time to walk around the town, so this was a first for him. As he is usually too busy to think of original gifts and with it being two days before Mother’s Day, the combination of Mother’s Day presents and Petra Prins’shop was a win-win situation for me!

Let’s hope the beautiful weather returns soon, in the meantime…. they call this ‘stitching weather’ for a reason!


maandag 9 mei 2016

Feathergirls 3.0, reveal time!

Recently, I read a blogpost by Audrey from the Quilty Folk blog (click) the other day where she wrote: "I just stare in disbelief at how little stitching I have accomplished for the entire day" and I know how she feels, only in my case I went days without stitching and that happened for weeks on end. Life sometimes takes over, too many people and too many ‘must-do’s ‘ pulling me in different directions and each of those directions was always away from my sewing.

Although things have not completely returned to normal yet, they have settled down enough for me to find some time for sewing, so I was able to turn my attention to our current Feathergirls project again.

The same goes for fellow Feathergirl Hubertine (click) and so, having made a good start on our third Feathergirls project, this time with a scrappy theme (click), we got together last week and showed eachother what we were working on….. tadaaaaaahhhhh!!

On the left hand side is Hubertine’s start, visit her blog here (click) to see and read more, on the right hand side is the beginning of my quilt top.

It is always so much fun to see what the other is doing and now that we work with the same theme it is so inspiring too!

In my case, there really is no plan. Which may be indicative for the crazy period of the last few months. I just could not find time enough or concentrate well enough to come up with a plan. There were so many shapes and patterns I wanted to use for a scrappy quilt and not being able to decide I just started sewing and made a number of blocks of various patterns, nine-patches, four-patches, flying geese (a favorite!), courthouse steps (another favorite!) …. 

Having made a bunch of each I decided to just sew them into rows and go from there.

So this is where I am at, what to do now? More rows yes or no…. which blocks…?

Mmmmm, I dunno…… so I will just go on this way, working without a plan, just picking up a ruler, a rotary cutter and diving into a pile of scraps….

To be continued J !


zaterdag 19 maart 2016

Happy Worldwide Quilting Day!

It has been a while since I posted on this blog. Sometimes life is a bit gets a bit too busy, but with it being Worldwide Quilting Day today I thought I really needed to catch up with you and write a little post about the quilty things that have been going on.

A few weeks ago I went to Judith’s (click) show and tell at Karen’s B&B (click). Pictures have appeared on other blogs already, which is a good thing, because I did not have the best seat in the house to take good pictures, wooden beams were a bit in my way when Judith was ‘showing and telling’ , but never mind, it was a great afternoon. She is a good speaker, loved listening to her stories, getting a close look at all those beautiful quilts and seeing familiar faces.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day, the Les Soeurs quilt by Judith and the Drayton Hall quilt made by our hostess Karen, they both ended up on the table next to me. So much inspiration in this picture.

Some other pictures from the show and tell:

Petra Prins (click) was also there with her shop and as usual she made it look beautiful.

Another one of Karen’s smaller quilts on a table:

In between all the other things that were going on I did manage to do a bit of quilting myself.
Started work again on this ufo, the Jules quilt, at the time it was a BOM from Dorry (click),  I had already pieced and appliqued the blocks,the work now is the quilting, the quilt-as-you-go method, a first for me.

I mostly use this thread for quilting, Aurifil Mako Cotona 12 (red spool), which is wonderful to work with. It is has a lovely shine to it, a beautiful color, glides through the layers and is so strong. At the time I bought this from Laura (click) during a workshop and I hope that more quiltshops will start selling the large spools in more colors of this thread, I see the small spools here and there but they work out a bit expensive to use for quilting. This color blends well with a lot of my work, it is 2326, for darker quilts I use 2370.

And I made a start with this, the third Feathergirls quilt (click) and (click), scrappy things going on here!

So Happy Worldwide Quilting Day, I have a nice quilty trip planned for today, hope you get a chance to celebrate this day in style too!