woensdag 30 december 2015

And so this was Christmas

It has been a while since my last post, somehow the festive season always creeps up on me and once that happens there is always so much to do. This year I thought my schedule would be pretty relaxed, but then all of a sudden…. People start organising get togethers, special bee’s etc. and I can’t resist! Have to join in the fun…. So here is a little recap.

There was a Halloween bee

In November we enjoyed our very first ever American Thanksgiving dinner at a neighbour’s/friend’s house, with really the best turkey I have ever tasted. Our host took the trouble (8 hours of trouble!) to smoke that bird…. I can only say thank you to our gracious hosts for this wonderful experience!

Then it was time for a Christmas bee

Ah, an early visit by Father Christmas!

Well, sort of. I had been saving for this for 4,5 years and my negotiation skills have been improved by a few visits to the Far East in the past… the difference between those two facts and the final price… that was the present!

And then the Christmas gift that we as a family gave ourselves, spending Christmas in London, a wish of mine since I-don’t-know-when and it was everything I/we hoped for!

The Christmas lights!

And our favorite this year, Carnaby Street:

Of course (very important to us) great food!

Like the beigel bakery on Brick Lane, open 24/7 in case of beigel emergencies J !

Or Yo-Sushi, where the small plates of sushi slowly find their way to you…yummmm!!

We visited the Houses of Parliament, Eline and I already did so last year, but this year Onno was able to join us as well (no pictures allowed beyond the first hallway)

And – opened recently – the Sky Garden, the most amazing views of London!

We visited late afternoon when it was already dark

And loved it so much could not resist going back there in the morning

Of course we had to go to Covent Garden which had the sweetest mistletoe decorations this year

And Leadenhall Market, which is where the pictures of the Christmas tree at the top of this post was made

During one of the walks we made in the neighbourhood of our hotel, we came across this!

Not just for fun, but for a good cause! Put some money in one of the little brown envelopes and put it through the letterbox of this building, isn’t this wonderful?

After a lovely five days we ended another wonderful trip in London in our favorite breakfast restaurant

Since our return it has been busy with those visits, lunches etc. that usually take place during Christmas, so I have not even had time to take a good look and try out my Christmas present, but after New Year’s that will be top of my list.

That and a get together with fellow Feathergirl Hubertine (click), because I finally finished my second Feathergirl quilt!

And I know she finished hers a while back. So as soon as we can we will photograph our finished second Feathergirl quilts and reveal them on our blogs.

In the meantime I wish you all a safe (oh, those fireworks L )and enjoyable New Year’s Eve and best wishes for a healthy (!), happy, fun and creative 2016!


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.


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