maandag 30 juli 2012

Jacob's Ladder Tutorial

With it being a slow time when it comes to patchwork and quilting here at home I thought I’d entertain you with a tutorial for my Featherweight Jacob’s Ladder quilt, just in case you want to join in!

My blocks will be 9”finished size. Since I have both cm’s and inches rulers I thought I might use the inch rulers this time and since I have this great 9.5” square ruler I can use to square up the blocks I thought 9” would be a good size block, but any size – cm’s or inches - will be good, as long as you can divide it by three. So here it goes.

Choose a light and a dark fabric to make your block.

Of each fabric cut a strip of  2” by 20.5”.

Also of each fabric cut two squares of 4”x 4”.
Now you have the following:-

Draw a line diagonally, corner to corner, on each of the 4 x 4” squares of the light fabric, then draw a line 1/4 “ on each side of this line.

Put the light squares on top of the dark squares, good sides together (facing each other) and pin.

Also, put the light and dark strips on top of each other, good sides together, and pin.

Sew the strips together with a 1/4 “ seam and sew the squares on the outer drawn lines (the middle line will be your cutting line).

Now iron open en press seams towards the dark fabric.

Your long strip, sewn together, will now be 3,5 “ x 20,5 “. Cut this long strip into ten pieces of 2”wide.

Cut the squares on the line you drew in the middle. Iron open and press seams towards the dark fabric.

Now you have this:-

I find my squares usually need some cutting and squaring up to make them the size you need: 3,5”x 3,5”. When you do this make sure you use a ruler that has a 45 degree angle on it and place it on the seam like so:

That way your seam will always stay in the middle of your square.

Place the ten 2”pieces on top of each other, two by two, dark part on light part and vice versa and pin. You will find the seams will ‘lock’ in the middle, that way your will not get a lot of layers of fabric in one place.

Sew with a 1/4 “ seam and iron, you will now have five 3,5 “ x 3,5 “ squares, each consisting of 4 smaller squares.

You now need to decide if you want to make a light block:

Or a dark block:

Once you have decided, first sew the two outer 3,5” x 3,5 “ squares on each of the middle 3,5” x  3,5 “ squares to make a strip, you now have 3 strips of 3,5” x 9,5”. Iron and press seams (for pressing the seams also see below).
Sew the 3 strips together to make the light or dark version of the pattern. Of course, all sewing needs to be done with a 1/4 “ seam.

Once you have sewn the block together you need to iron it carefully and preferably in such a way that the seams will ‘lock’ again once you sew all the blocks together. I iron my blocks like this:

On the left hand side, you see the way I iron my light blocks, on the right hand side the way I iron my dark blocks. I put them next to each other so you can see that (most) seams will lock once I will sew the blocks together into a quilt top.

And this should be the result once your block is ironed.

Have fun if you decide to make these blocks as well!


vrijdag 20 juli 2012

Some summer.....

Complaining about the weather is a real Dutch thing, we do it no matter what the weather, it is either too hot, too cold, too windy, too this, too that  … but this summer we do have something to complain about… the sign I saw at one of the terraces in The Hague just about says it all……

With school being out and a teenager in the house keeping totally to her own schedule, my own schedule is sort of out of whack, I just don’t seem to get an awful lot done, I did finish the third block of the Jules quilt, though.

Whopper is enjoying the few rays of sunshine we get now and then in our garden. He has taken a particular liking to our rhododendron ……….. tearing off branches and bringing them indoors, or trying to dig it out completely!

Naughty dog!

But with a face like this I can never stay angry long… he turns on that latin charm and I melt!

How is your summer so far?


woensdag 18 juli 2012

A daytrip to Zutphen

With Whopper spending a day in doggy-daycare (yes, it does exist!), DD being busy elsewhere the whole day and me recently being ‘told off’ by my garage for not driving enough highway miles with my car anymore (since Whopper arrived), I decided a nice, long drive to the other side of The Netherlands, to Zutphen was just the thing.

A lot of Dutch quilters will be familiar with the images below but for everybody else… a few pictures of a lovely small town in the east of our country.

The courthouse building

Lady Justice (Vrouwe Justitia) on top of the building

Beautiful passage ways

Oh dear, look at those skies!

Quickly to Petra Prins’ quiltshop before the rain starts again!

Look inside, isn’t this just gorgeous?!
Di Ford’s Antique Wedding Sampler
After the weather cleared up (and I finished my shopping at Petra’s, thanks for your help again, Gerda!) a nice walk through the almshouses of the Oude Bornhof.

Time for the (almost) two hours drive back home, it was a nice day,

donderdag 5 juli 2012

A playdate for Black Beauty and The Duchess

Hubertine and I thought it was high time to do some serious sewing on our Feathergirls quilt project therefore we organised a ‘playdate’ for our beloved Black Beauty and The Duchess.
So we got together, got our heads down, our Featherweights got their feet down and soon the place was buzzing! They made a lovely sound and turned out lovely blocks for our quilts:-

For me and The Duchess this was the result:

So in all I now have these blocks:

I managed to do some work by hand as well this last week, so this is block 2 of the Jules quilt finished:

As of today school is out over here, DD came home with a great school report today, so I may post a little less over the next weeks, hopefully will be able to spend some hours here and there on the beach & things like that (maybe get a bit of quilting in as well…).

Let’s hope for some sunshine!

Bi everyone!


maandag 2 juli 2012

Happy memories and a shocking discovery

This week I was busy with other things than quilting.

For years I used to put our photographs in albums, everything in chronological order, no special albums for special occasions, just everything in the order as it happened. At one stage because of two house moves in 6 months and all our albums and photographs staying packed up in boxes for about 8 – 9 months during that period, I stopped and just never got around to picking it up again.

It always gnawed on me …..  when I saw the 45 albums already made on the top shelf of our bookcase …  and knowing that each year I was adding more and more pictures … just to put them away in plastic bags or boxes.

Sooooo, a few weeks ago I decided to empty the plastic bags and boxes and sort out the pictures, last week I bought a stack of albums and started pasting the pictures in them…. I had to start with 2005! Do you remember what you all did in and looked like 2005?? Well, I had the chance to have a good look again, oh boy, haven’t  the kids grown and weren’t DH and me really a bit younger looking back then….??

Which brings me to the following …… this Saturday we went out for dinner with friends to a lovely restaurant, Allemansgeest. Usually wearing jeans I wanted to dress up a bit, so I delved into my closet and got out some nice skirts, dresses and various pairs white pants I had not worn for a time.

Well, I knew I was a little bigger since wearing them, so I tried one on a skirt … ok, that first one did not fit… on to the second skirt…… oh dear, that one didn’t fit anymore either… surely the third skirt would still fit …..  or a dress……or another dress…….shock ….. horror …….. nothing fitted anymore,  by the time I got to trying on the pairs of pants DH had joined me because he needed to get changed as well and did not improve things by saying: “well, that one is a no-no” or “I wouldn’t even try that one”, by the time I had only pulled up a pair of pants as far as my knees! He couldn’t help teasing me, watching my frantic efforts to try one piece of clothing after the other to try and find at least one piece that still fitted me. Thanks dear, I love you too!
When I finally did find a pair of white jeans that fitted me, the same happened with some of the nicer pairs of shoes I have …..

So the result is this…..

can all be thrown out!
And only because I stopped at one stage, there is more where that came from, I am afraid.
Not this pair though, they do not fit anymore, but these were my wedding shoes, keeping these for ol’times sake…. Happy memories!

Never ever before have I experienced this, except for during my pregnancy I was always the same size ever since I was about 17-18 years old……… size 38 (US 8/UK 10) where did you go??

I have decided I do not like this getting older thing…. No-I-do-not-like-it-at-all :-((  !!

To finish on a happier note, had a really nice visit from Yvonne this week. Also here quilts were a bit in the back of our minds, we chatted mostly about our love of travelling in the US. She brought me some great picture books of her travels over there to look at and I showed her my pictures of the Quilt Festival in Houston I visited in 2010 and 2011. Yvonne is lucky enough to there this year! It was a really nice morning and time was too short, so much to talk about.

Next time a nice quilty blogpost, time for a Feathergirl update, don’t you think?

Bi everyone!