maandag 31 december 2012


Listening to John  Lennon’s Imagine on one of those Top 2000 things on the radio 2012 passes through my mind. Like every year 2012 had its ups and downs. Some downs more serious than average, some ups really memorable.

One of the ups: I started this blog and apart from the fun of thinking up and writing blog posts it also brought me new friends in the quilting and blogging community, which I greatly appreciate.

Another up: the arrival of Whopper in our country and in our family. He brings us so much love and joy every day, it is difficult to imagine daily life without him anymore.

And let’s not forget a wonderful holiday to the US, New York and the great state of Texas and a few months later my trip to the Quilt Festival in wonderful Houston.

So while I get to choose which one of these gifts to put in the fridge for this evening

I would like to wish all of you: a healthy, happy, wonderful and inspiring 2013!


dinsdag 25 december 2012

Merry Christmas!

It is finally here, so enjoy! Have the most wonderful, warm, cosy, cheerful and happy Christmas you can possibly have!

I took this picture in the rotunda of the beautiful, classic, covered shopping area called De Passage that was built in 1885 in my hometown, The Hague. It must be one of the loveliest settings for a public Christmas tree in my country.

Merry Christmas everyone!


vrijdag 21 december 2012

A break from Christmas preparations

Getting away from the Christmas preparations we had a bee-away-from-home-day last Monday in Delft, where we rented a space for the day. Unfortunately not all the girls from our bee could make it, but those that could got a lot of work done.

Like my fellow Feathergirl I took my featherweight (The Duchess) with me, I worked on my Jacob’s Ladder and finished some more blocks. This is what it looks like now. Since these are only 25 blocks and I am planning to make 63 blocks (7 x 9 blocks) I don’t know how I am going to fit it all on my design wall and make pictures of in the future, but we’ll see.

It was really nice to work on The Duchess and do some patchwork again.

Have a good weekend,


zondag 16 december 2012

Xmas finishes

At Dorry’s Christmas party last Saturday we were given a pincushion kit to work on featuring a snowman. Because I was in too much of a partying mood I did not do a lot during the party itself, but I finished it this week. And I finished my knitted Xmas ball, it wasn’t easy, but once I figured it out I enjoyed it.

Dorry’s choice for a snowman was a great choice, because this holiday season I have fallen head over heels in love with snowmen, because of this… the best Christmas commercial   E V E R …


Enjoy (it’s only 1,5 minutes)!


maandag 10 december 2012

Getting into the spirit of Christmas

Saturday evening Hubertine and I went to Tilburg to enjoy Dorry’s brand of southern hospitality during her wonderful Christmas Party. In her cosy and beautifully decorated home we were welcomed by a nice warm fire and Christmas music by Dorry’s husband and daughters (and a proud grandmother in the front of the picture!)

With some warm gluhwein we were given a seasonal pincushion kit to work on, but give me some wine and good company and my work ethic is out of the window, I will catch up this week :-) !

Even Mr. Bingley was dressed for the occasion

Dorry & helpers made us a delicious Christmas dinner

Oh, and that dessert, applecrumble with warm vanilla sauce, mmmmm!

For me it was a wonderful, warm way to start the Christmas season, thanks to Dorry, her family, Jose, Dorien and the great company of the other ladies for a memorable evening.

‘The hostess with the mostest’

No rest for the wicked as they say, Sunday afternoon I was off to the Wassenaar Library for a workshop by Wieke van Keulen: knitting Christmas balls, made famous by the book by Arne and Carlos

We received a bag with knitting needles, some nice wool (exactly the colors I would have chosen!) and the pattern. This time I did work hard, it was not easy. I had to start over and over again and again. I was not the only one, all of us found the start really hard so Wieke and the lady she brought with her to assist her, literally had their hands full. Although in the past (loooong time ago) I did a lot of knitting but never with 5 needles before. Near the end of the workshop we did all get it, phew, that was a relief!

Busy week ahead of me now, trying to finish these projects and decorating my own house for Christmas.


dinsdag 4 december 2012

Phebe .... we have a problem

Phebe is what I have been working on, here is an update:

The centre piece is finally ready, with the first dogtooth border.

That means the garland applique border is next.

The way I do my applique placing is by drawing the pattern on see thru plastic foil. I can place that on top of my fabric and then place the prepared pieces underneath. I learned this method from Nanny de Haas and I really like it. Apart from not needing one of those light boxes underneath my fabric to be able to place the applique pieces correctly, this time I there was another – unexpected – advantage.

Parts of the Phebe pattern when you buy it are in pieces because of the size of the pattern – this garland border is copied on various sheets of A3 size paper – you have ‘complete’ the whole pattern by drawing one A3 piece next to another one, next to another one etc. So I did this on the plastic foil and hung the result on my design wall.

Then I noticed that contrary to the original quilt where the garland is in one piece, continuous, going anti-clockwise, here there are two garlands (or one, broken in two) each flowing in another direction, meeting at the bottom right hand corner. Below is a picture I took from the picture in the pattern (sorry about the quality), this is the original quilt by Di Ford, do you see the difference in the garland below and above?

I checked and checked again, but I did draw the pieces of the garland as indicated on the pattern.

So what to do? I really do want one continuous garland, so…….  I have some pattern adjusting to do, I guess. Hope I can make it work, back to the drawing board, as they say…


maandag 26 november 2012

A long Sunday

Yesterday the alarm went off at:

Yes, on a Sunday! Why? Because I am married to a Rolling Stones fan, yesterday was the first concert in five years of the RS and of course DH had to be there in the O2 in London. So off they went, six crazy fans in a rented minivan thru the Chunnel. After the concert they will drive home the same way again, so hopefully by the time you read this post DH will have arrived back again from his 30 (or so) hours concert trip. Madness…. and they will be doing the same thing again this coming Thursday for the second RS concert!

DH’s picture from the O2 yesterday evening:

Of course Whopper can’t tell time so at 4.30 a.m. he refused to wait any longer for his walkies, but just when I stepped outside with Whopper I saw a young man making a quick departure from our drive way in the dark… with the huge amount of house burglaries in our neighbourhood (and an attempted burglary at our house during our summer holiday) he was up to no good I am sure…

This long Sunday gave me an opportunity to go downtown to a few shops (open every Sunday in The Hague), among others I always pop into:

It opened up last summer and I think it is the biggest store of this chain, 4 floors and a restaurant, I love it especially with the Christmas decorations.

To my surprise this well-known butcher (few doors from Riviera Maison) was open on Sunday too , if for sandwiches only:

I grew up with these and it is great that some things stay the same: the classic Dungelmann croquette (on a white bun, with mayonnaise for me, although most people have their croquettes with mustard), really the best croquettes!

My ‘diet’ went out the window, I had two of these!

The Sunday openings at Dungelmann are for a trial period for now until January, so if you are in The Hague on a Sunday (but also any other day), please go!

Back home Whopper spent most of his Sunday in this position, catching up on lost sleep:

For dinner, with DH away – he doen’t like this – I gave my old Magimix a workout and made lasagne for me and DD, I always use this recipe (click), with just one change, I put all the prosciutto in the lasagne, none on top:

Comfort food, great for such a blustery day, yesterday we had a typical November storm here on the coast.

The evening DD and I spent watching the first (double) instalment of the second series of Penoza , a Dutch tv-series I enjoyed a lot last year.

Just heard that DH is near the Dutch border, better take Whopper for a walk now and be ready with a cup of coffee to listen to his stories from last night.

Have a great week,


woensdag 21 november 2012

Last post on the Quilt Festival... for now

One last post about the Quilt Festival, though I may mention it in the future. There is so much to tell you about it, which is a good thing because at this moment I am working on Phebe and the going is slow, so I don’t have much to show you that way.

At the Convention Centre there was one booth I came across that was different from the others. It stood out in its simplicity, just a lot of folded quilts and only one lady ‘man’ning the booth. This lady, Suzanne McNeill, was selling her collection of heirloom handmade quilts. She showed me a few of her quilts and there is one – with her permission - I’d like to show you, I have never seen a quilt like it…


Look at all the different fabrics and how the maker used the striped fabric to make the church, isn’t that wonderful? What would be the story behind this quilt?

The Festival is also about friends, meeting ‘old’ ones (you may have already seen this picture on Hubertine’s or Yvonne’s blog :-

And making new ones, through Yvonne I met Sharon, who had a lovely booth with Quilt Therapy, some really nice ladies working there as well.

And then there was Linda of the Quilted Pineapple blog. We had connected over the internet only in the weeks before the Festival so it was a great chance to meet up. She was working in the Primitive Gatherings booth (always one of my favourites), check out her amazing quilting skills on her blog, The QuiltedPineapple.

It was great meeting you all, ladies!

Great thing this hobby/passion of ours, not just about making and seeing beautiful things, but about really nice people too.




zondag 11 november 2012

Ah, the Quilt Festival ... The exhibitions

A large part of one day of my visit to the Quilt Festival was devoted to visiting the various exhibitions. Again, there was soooo much to see, such a variety, such great idea’s, such wonderful workmanship. I came away just itching to get back to fabrics, needles and thread!

First stop, of course: ElaTED, the fabulous quilt by Ted Storm, a very deserved price winner of the Founders Award! The quilt just jumps at you, such great design, vibrant colour, so much to see, different designs in each corner, and her explanation so wonderful: ‘I started with a fabric I really did not like…..’(the plaid fabric) the sign of a true artist to make this out of it!

Then, America Let It Shine by Sherry Reynolds, Best of Show Award, all to do with the maker’s love for her country. Just about everything in the quilt had a meaning, the various hues of blue, the different kinds of red, quilted text from the Declaration of Independence etc.

What I liked was that her original – now plasticized - sketch (contrary to the quilt itself which was totally machine made, this was done the old fashioned way, with paper and crayons) was available to be looked at.

This piece of wonderful workman ship is from the quilt Baltimore in the Provence made by Ellen Heck, second place in the Handmade Competition.

And look at that hand quilting:

If you want to have a look at all the prize winners (there are two more Dutch prize winners, Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga and Antionia Heering) you can click here.
Of course there were some really cute quilts by Japanese quilters, this is Spring Farm by Yuko Sawada:-
And The twelve days of Christmas by Osami Gonohe:-
All the ‘snowflakes’ you see, there must hundreds – maybe even more - of them, are embroidered French knots.
This quilt is called BBK, loved the name, it stands for: Bookcase Before Kindles!
Made by Margaret Kessler.
Some other quilts that caught my eye, this is Sunburst by Connie Watkins (handpieced, handquilted):-
This is Four block Democratic Rose, unknown quiltmaker, c. 1860:-
You have to love this name again: TGIF by Becky Stehpenson, quilted by Cynthia Clark , TGIF in this case stands for Thank Goodness It’s Finished J !
Then on to my favourite exhibition this year: the Quilts de Legende exhibition, French handmade quilts, inspired by antique quilts:-
First,  Clarissa by Aline Joulin:-
Detail: a lesson in how to make a simple pattern look different using different values of fabric..
Second, Bath by Marie-Louise Stipon:-
Detail: notice how not all blocks of triangles are the same size
Alice Springs by Annick Tauzin:-
This year a lot more exhibitions were allowed to be photographed than the last two years, and there were so many beautiful quilts, it was dazzling! Unfortunately after an hour my camera refused to put any more pictures on my memory card (a new 4Gb, with only about 100 pics on it…) so I had to use my telephone to make pictures, watching my battery go down, down and further down. Made less pictures than I was planning to but hope you enjoyed these!