Monday, 26 November 2007

They have arrived!!

The postman delivered a little package today which contained 3 patterns that I ordered from Candleberry Country. Two are for Christmas and the other one is not for any season particularly. This was a nice homecoming.

Don’t you just love these stitchery patterns?

Yesterday didn’t have any time to blog. I worked on the quilt for my little niece, Zoë. I find that sewing a quilt on the sewing machine doesn’t mean it is finished quicker. Getting the windmills just right is hard and tedious work. I might just improvise a little bit to get this project finished quicker.
Coming weekend I will be babysitting my little nieces, I think I might start with the ''angels in disguise''. I better not forget to pack my DMC treads and needles!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Winter Workshop

Yesterday some of the ladies of the Crazy Quilters’ Bee did a workshop in Garderen. The theme of this workshop was ‘winter’. As you can see in this first picture there were lots of little projects you could do.

The workshop was very well organized. When I got there I got a lovely piece of cake and some coffee. To start your day with coffee is the way to go. We were allocated a table. Luckily, I sat at the table with Jacqueline and Caroline. Caroline organized this :) A little package, which contained some fabrics and all kinds of patterns, laid waiting for us on the table. I got started straight away. To get our attention Henny, the organizer and teacher, had a bell.

Here is Caroline helping some other workshop attendees.

We also got served a lovely lunch. Henny had prepared a wild boar stew. Her husband had hunted this boar. In the ‘Veluwe’ we are having some problems with boars. There are just too many. Well there is one less now. The stew was very different to what I’ve tasted before.
As you can see, I was not the only one enjoying my day.

This is my project.

As you can see this is a WIP. I like doing these little projects, but I prefer making big quilts. Hopefully I will find time to finish it soon.
I also got the recipe of the cake I had in the morning!! I'm going to try to make it myself one of these days.

Challenge quilt

Some weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to start with the ‘365 challenge quilt’, well today I bought the fabric. I also bought some fabric for my ‘house & compass quilt’.
The first two fabrics are for the ‘house & compass quilt’; the next 7 are for the ‘challenge quilt’. Don’t you just love them? This will be my first pink coloured quilt. I’m changing Leanne’s quilt a little. The dark pink fabric (the one on the bottom) will be used as sashing between the 16 rows and for the border. The size of this ‘365 challenge quilt’ will be 210 x 240 cm. I’m still contemplating whether I will put a larger border around this quilt. I’ll get started first and will decide when the top is nearly finished. This will be sometime around the end of October 2008.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

There is so little time to quilt. Time flies

One of my UFO’s really needs to be picked up so that I can finish it. My goal was to finish it before Christmas but there is still so much to do. I have to sew all the blocks together, sandwich it and then quilt it. Where will I find the time? I phoned my sister today to let her know that I might not finish this project in time. My sister is starting to think I will never finish it, at least not before Zoë has outgrown her toddler bed.
Another Sunday has gone. For the last 4 weeks I have planned to pick up this project, but other things have higher priority. Like today, I had to do some work for my day job, had to clean the house, do the washing, hang up the washing and iron the clothes.
How do you manage to find time for all your projects?

Flashback: Christmas 2005

Fondue-ing isn’t always easy. This can happen when one of the bottle tops isn’t fastened.
As you can see I’m not very impressed but the rest of the family had a big laugh.
When shaking the sauce bottle the top came off and I got all the sauce over me. Cleaning up the mess took up some time and getting it out of my woollen jacket wasn’t easy. Please do not ignore this advice: when doing the fondue preparations please check if sauce bottles are secured properly before shaking. If any manufacturer is reading this blog – please put this warning on the label (next time I might sue )

Time flies

In the winter I’m usually busier and I seem to have less time. Before I know it the week has past and weekend is here. Only the weekend flies by as well. Time really flies in the winter!
Last week I was a busy bee, spent a lot of time working for my day job, met up with friends after work and did some quilting. The quilt top is nearly finished!! At least half of it is together. It is pretty big and I’m impressed with the result. It is all coming together.
Yesterday I met up with my mum and also got some Christmas shopping done.

Donna from Chookyblue wanted to know what I do for Christmas.
Christmas is pretty busy time for us.
24th of December
Christmas evening we go to mass. We go to the church where my FIL plays the organ and my MIL sings in the choir. It is a small picturesque church in a very small village down south from us. After mass we go and have a typical Dutch Christmas diner. This diner is pretty late; usually we don’t sit around the table till 11.30 pm. This is very much past my usual bedtime. We have hare, potatoes, potato croquets, kerststol (stollen = bread-like cake made in Germany and the Netherlands), peaches, ‘Preiselberen’ (=cranberries), stewed pear and applesauce. For starters we usually have salmon salad. With a filled belly we go back home to sleep.
25th of December
Christmas morning we drive up north to my mum’s place and meet up with the rest of the family. The first years in the Netherlands it was only us girls (mum, me and my sister). The family has grown with 2 SILs and 2 grandchildren. All the presents we have brought are put underneath the tree. In the afternoon we usually go for a walk or play a game (I hardly ever win). Around 5pm we usually start with the diner preparations. For starters we have shrimp/prawn salad. For the main meal we have fondue bourguignonne. The fondue pot is filled with oil and brought to simmer. Each person spears small cubes of beef, chicken veal or meatballs, with a special (long and narrow) fondue fork, and fries them in the pot. We have an assortment of sauces for dipping. My mum usually also provides some potato croquets, a fresh salad and some kind of vegetable, like long beans or broccoli.
In between fondue sessions we unpack the presents. This last tradition has changed a little because of my little nieces. Fondue and child safety don’t go together, so last year as Zoë was only 2, we unpacked our presents in the afternoon before diner. This year we have two little children walking around, so I think we will be unpacking the presents again in the afternoon, next to the log fire and Christmas tree.
Late in the evening we drive back down south to our home.
26th of December
On Boxing Day I make a Christmas diner with all the trimmings. My mum and PILs come over to our place. The main meal is stuffed turkey, baked potatoes and pumpkin, cranberry sauce, potato croquets, peas, and broccoli. As desert, I serve my now famous Pavlova.
I love Christmas. We put up our tree pretty early, as early as possible. JW hangs up all the lights. We now have two Christmas trees outside, one in the backyard and one in the front. It is nice coming home and the yard is lit up with all those little lights.

How I love that Christmas feeling
How I treasure its friendly glow
See the way a stranger greets you
Just as though you'd met him Christmases ago
Christmas helps you to remember
To do what other folks hold dear
What a blessed place the world would be
If we had that Christmas feeling all year

I couldn’t resist copying Bennie Benjamin and George Weiss little poem.

As you can see Christmas for us is being together with the family, travelling, giving presents, cooking and eating. If anyone wants a recipe for any of the above, just leave a little note and I will e-mail you it.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Craft meme

As promised….

''Why you craft meme''

The rules are: Answer the following on your blog and then let five other bloggers know that you have tagged them to complete the meme.

1. When did you start to create and make craft?
At the age of 4 I won my first prize with being creative. I entered a picture that I creatively pasted with all kinds of different colours of crepe paper. The jury seemed to be impressed. I started building at an early age using the old small Lego blocks. I loved playing with Lego. The Lego travelled all over the world with us.
In my teens I started sewing and I continued doing this for a long time. I sewed a lot of my own clothes.
In third form I switched to technical drawing, I really enjoyed these classes. For a long time I wanted to follow in my fathers footsteps and become an engineer. Around my 16th I chose art and art history as one of my subjects for my HSC (Higher School Certificate), I planned to go and do interior design. I was always designing and drawing. Then my father died, and this changed my perspective on life and career.
Art class was great, I learned to paint, printmaking, photography, darkroom photo development, and pottery. You name it and I learned the basics. My art teacher was fantastic. When she talked about architecture, I was all ears. The way she talked about her European trips, wow. Her photography was great. She introduced me to Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, etc. I think I idolised her.
After my HSC, we moved back to the Netherlands and I went to Nursing School. This is when I started knitting. Knitting was a nice creative let-out and it was also very practical. I knitted a lot of lovely jumpers. I even made my own Irish Jumper; this was a pretty tricky pattern.
Around my 30th birthday I got introduced to quilting by a friend. We did a course together and after that I did another course. Sadly, once I started with my PhD, I found I had less and less time for my creative outlet. I lost touch with my creative side.
Two years ago I picked up quilting again, and love it. I’m slowly re-finding my creative notch.

2. Why did you start creating?
There was this itch and sometimes you just have to give in to it. Nearly three years ago, after finishing my PhD I had to give in to this itch again. I had been to the local quilt shop numerous times and I finally put my name down to do a course. I wanted to work with my hands so badly. Everyday, since then, I’m glad I picked up quilting again.
Quilting has also brought me new friends. The ladies I met in my first class now have become a tight little group. We see each other often and do many quilt related activities together.
Quilting has also introduced me to blogging. I love the contacts that this has brought.

3. Why do you create?
I need to work with my hands and try-out ideas and new techniques. I try to improve my skills. I have so much to learn. The extra benefits of quilting, it is therapeutic. It enables me to empty my head, it de-stresses.

4. What do you create?
Big king size quilts. The bigger the project, the bigger challenge.

5. Has this changed since you began crafting?
I’m still getting into the zest of things. As I prefer hand piecing, making big quilts is very time consuming. I still need to finish my first big quilt. I love learning new techniques. The compass quilt is turning out pretty nice. I’m looking forward to making my first kaleidoscope quilt, the feathered star quilt and log cabin quilt.

Now I have to tag 5 people. I’ve been looking around and lots of people have already done this meme, but I’ve found six people who might like to reply: Sweet P , Leanne’s House, Chookyblue, Natalie, Caroline, and Annelies . I would love to know why you craft.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

A very congested week

Rain, rain, go away...
Last week was pretty busy: long working days, lots of traffic congestion, lots of hard winds and very wet (boy it really has been raining). The leaves have nearly all fallen from the trees, the beautiful autumn colours have slowly disappeared. We are really ready for winter! According to the weatherman we will see some sun tomorrow but today it will remain grey and wet. And what have I planned for today, a garden day. Yes, the last winter preparations need to be done and I’m not going to let the rain get me down. We need to replant some plants for our hedge. Hopefully next spring we will have a nice full hedge on the side of our house, bordering between us and our neighbours.

Quilting class
Thursday we had our quilt class, I was late because the road home was so congested that I took 1 hour and 45 minutes to travel 41 kilometers. We learned to do curvy appliqué. It was hard to concentrate, as I was sooooooo tired.

Getting older
I’m getting a little older! At least according to the eye-specialist. I need glasses for when I’m sitting behind the computer. I had my eyes checked out a couple of weeks ago as I sometimes have neck and shoulder pain when working behind my computer. I seem to have developed some RSI-related problems. The eye-specialist kept on repeating himself, as you’re above 40 we advise you to get these glasses. I know I’m above 40 but what has that to do with my eye-sight? He remained very calm, and kept on repeating himself you are above 40 therefore there is an indication for these glasses. I now have glasses for seeing far-away, glasses for when working with the computer, when will I need quilt-glasses????
This afternoon I’m getting them fitted. Hopefully I will find a nice pair.

Parcels
This week I received lots of parcels. The ZIG-pens I ordered have come. I also got the Kaleido-Ruler, the Thimble quilt templates (large and small), and two rotary cutters (small and large). Online shopping is great, except when our customs department wants to charge some extra taxes.

356 challenge quilt
My journal is coming along nicely. Have made an entry everyday. Now I have the pens, I only need to get the fabric and I can start with the ‘356 challenge quilt’. It is a little hard to be thankful or grateful for something every day. Do you find it hard to be positive about something everyday? I do, still I’m surprised that nearly everyday I have some good thing to be grateful for and that I can truly say I lead a great life.

MEME
Karol-Ann has tagged me about a week ago to write this creative meme. I hope to get it done this weekend. I see that Laila, Jane, and Kate have already done so. Ladies, I enjoyed reading about how you came to be so creative. The nice thing about blogging is you meet new people. Because of Karol-Ann I found another nice blogger, Gudrun. These meme’s personalise the blog and you get to know the blogger a little better. Hope to post mine tomorrow!!

Do you know what a meme is? Or means? I didn’t till a couple of minutes ago. Wikipedia is so helpful.

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Honoured

This morning, yes on Sunday, I wanted to solve my light problem. Didn’t want to wait another day; luckily Ikea was open. I quickly showered and got dressed and off I went. As I was early, hardly anyone was there yet. I ran up the escalators, took the shortcuts (yes, I’m no stranger to Ikea) and found the light department.
I need more light when I’m sitting in my red chair quilting or piecing. Usually I sit at the dinner table, but this is hard on my shoulders and legs. The table is a little too high for me! The red chair is a lot more comfortable. Ikea was able to solve my light problem. I found the lamp I wanted. The ANTIFONI is nice looking and not too expensive.
JW fitted all the parts together, which wasn’t hard as he has so many helpful tools!

This afternoon, I got working on my appliqué project. I’m making a house! The compasses that I made some weeks ago will be put on the corners. Coming Thursday, we will learn how to appliqué. As you can see I’ve ironed the ‘freezer paper’ onto the fabric. Luckily, I mirrored the roof before cutting. I phoned, Caroline, just before I started cutting as I was a little unsure how to do it. I needed her advice. She is a little ahead of me with this project and I was able to profit from her experience.
Last Friday I had another surprise. I’ve been invited to speak at a congress next year May. I feel very honoured that they thought of inviting me. I think I will accept the invitation, even though that means I will need to plan in some time to make the presentation (that means I will need to get back into some old habits). Looks like I’ll be going to Paris!!

Ready for the winter workshop

In two weeks time I’ll be going to a winter workshop with Jacqueline and Caroline. The rest of the group is going on another day. When you work fulltime you have to juggle with your time and it is not always possible to do all those things you want to do through-out the working week. As you can see I’ve washed my stash. And I’ve ironed them into nice little packets.
Don’t you love the Father Christmas? I bought him yesterday. It is from Jim Shore. I would love to own ‘Roly Poly Santa’ and ‘Dreams fly’.
The snowman in the left corner we will be making. It is a small calendar quilt; you can change the picture according to the season. I’m looking forward to this day.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

First row

I finished piecing the first row of my ‘star quilt’ top. It is pretty long; I needed to stand on the chair and hold my arms up high. Is the quilt going to be big or am I small :)

Magazines

Look what the postman delivered to me yesterday; my first subscription of Australian Country Threads Patchwork and Australian Country Craft. I’ve had a little peek and the content looks terrific. I’m looking forward to browsing through them this weekend.