vrijdag 30 oktober 2015

Houston..... I've got a problem....

I miss you!! Soooo much!!

There are years when during this week…. You could find me in Houston. Alas, not this year.

Houston in the fall is just wonderful. Full of these colors….

Of course I am more than very, very lucky when I get to go to Houston in this week of the year. I have visited Houston in the spring, in the summer and in this week of the year, and really, this week is the best!

The weather is always superb (much better than those steamy hot summers), those bright blue skies, those wonderful temperatures. The area I stay in is beautiful and totally ready for Halloween, people put so much effort in decorating their houses. Not to mention the fun of Halloween night itself, the place goes crazy.

So, I miss my early morning walks through the beautiful The Heights area


Where the houses are decorated for Halloween (not to mention Halloween itself, it is such fun, even the dogs are in fancy dress)


I miss the morning cue at the George Brown Convention Centre before the Quilt Festival opens, with the friendly sheriffs keeping an eye out (sweet, but not necessary, the quilters here are a friendly, patient bunch)


The excitement of all this, it is huge!

Meeting the quilting celebrities,
Yoko Saito
Linda Hrcka (click)

And the sellers

Like Ronnie from Cindy’s Antique Quilts (click), such a nice man.

And the fun of meeting friends from back home over here
like Yvonne (click) , Hubertine (click) and her sister Annette (click) at the terrace of the Convention Centre, where you can enjoy this view
But I also like to take some time out in the afternoon on my own for some R&R and to take it all in… I buy a latte at the hotel where the barrista’s are creative too…. with my name..
and sit in the park Discovery Green across the street for half an hour or so..


And after about three days at the Festival there is the weekend in Houston, to enjoy a bit of shopping


the yummy food and the delicious margarita’s

College Football night in a bar.. our waiter’s team was losing, poor guy..

Surprise, surprise, running into more friends from back home at my Houston 'local'!

Do your recognize them? Ingrid (click), Laura (click) and Dorry (click), who by the way is about the open up her new shop in a few weeks (click)!
And spending time with my friends who live there, which means so much to me. Although I love Houston, it is such a shame they live so far away and we miss them, which is why we flew to London to meet them a few weeks ago (click) .
Sooo, about the quilt at the beginning of this post? I have not blogged about it before and thinking about Houston and the Quilt Festival this week, this is the best time to show it.
When I go to Quilt Festival I stay with our friend Ranelle in her lovely house in the equally lovely neighborhood The Heights. She is not a quilter, so a few years ago I made her this quilt. The fabrics reminded me of those fall colors I see during my walks in her neighbourhood and the Halloween decorations on the houses.. The pattern is by Brannock and Patek, the fabrics were in a kit from The Stitch Cottage, my lqs at the time (unfortunately no longer in business).
It was my first machine-pieced and machine-quilted quilt.
The quilt at its new home…

Lucky thing it gets to live there!

Yes, I am missing this week in Houston, but I enjoy all the wonderful memories of my previous visits, they always put a smile on my face. If you are there now, have a super-duper time and enjoy everything there is to enjoy! If you have not been yet, do try and go one day, it is the biggest quilty party on earth!












maandag 12 oktober 2015

The Polak collection

Last Sunday I went to Amsterdam to see the Polak quilt collection. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see these quilts, they are superb!
One of the reasons I love quilts so much is the fabrics, I love quilts with many, many fabrics, scrap quilts are a particular favorite of mine and these quilts…. well, I could not get enough of them, have a look!

This quilt (above, 1891 – 1911 Ohio) has 13.158 pieces!

The pieces were soooooo small!

Can you imagine the patience it took to make these..??

This was my favorite of the pieced quilts, love the red/pink fabrics in it and the movement in the quilt (New England ca. 1880).


And then this one.. fabrics, fabrics, fabrics!

Not only do I love the patterns, and the thousands of very, very small pieces of fabric, the quality of the quilts is excellent.
There was a beautiful Baltimore applique quilt too (Baltimore, ca 1860):


(Sorry about the slanted pictures of some the quilts, there was not always enough room to stand back far enough to take a straight picture of a whole quilt.Unfortunately I only had the camera of my phone available.)

The hand quilting was beautiful too:


There were some Amish quilts too, but their beauty does not show on the pictures.

I thought I had seen at least some of the quilts before. During my conversation with Mrs. Polak it turned out they were exhibited in 2002, so I must have seen them then.

I certainly hope it will not be that long before we get a chance to see them again.

I would like to thank the family Polak again for exhibiting these quilts, it was a very special afternoon and I am so happy I was able to take all these pictures, I can just keep on looking at them, hope you enjoy them too.


woensdag 7 oktober 2015

On a whim...

Sometimes 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.

The weather was gorgeous from beginning to end!


Catching an 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!

In the meantime there was food everywhere and cozy coffeeshops (you know, the ones that actually sell coffee) , trendy clothes shops etc.

And something for the hubs, which is the reason we went up here in the first place

We loved Brick Lane, will definitely go back again.

After Brick 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


Before 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…

Yippy!! I 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 fabrics!


The Liberty Christmas department was already open !


and this year at Liberty’s Christmas has gone to the dogs!


After all this a walk through sunny Chinatown


lunch and then the flight back home, with wonderful memories of a very special 36 hour trip!