Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Zoë's quilt

It has been some time since I worked on Zoë’s quilt. I thought sewing a quilt with the machine would enable me to finish a quilt top quicker. How wrong I was. The quilt has turned into a UFO!! It has been laying in one of the boxes for more than a year. Quilting with a sewing machine is definitely not my thing. To get the corners and points just right is so tedious work. Making the windmills takes me forever. Why did I decide to make them!! I definitely think hand quilting enables you to be more precise. (Preciseness is important to me.)
But my sister keeps on nagging me ‘when will you finish the quilt?’. According to her, the rate I’m going, Zoë will have out grown her bed and I’ll have to make this quilt even bigger. I definitely don’t want to do that!!
Well I can’t walk away from a challenge, so here I go again. Only this time I’ve called in the troops to help me. Tonny offered to help me. And she definitely doesn’t walk away from a challenge. She has so many beautiful WIP’s and finished quilts. According to her we will finish the top in a day. In two weeks time, you will find us sewing away behind our machines. Hubby is going to the Nurburgring, so we have the house to ourselves.
I’ve thought of everything. Yesterday I went to Carol Cox to buy some more Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Don’t they look colourful?
Now I only have to decide whether I will quilt it with the sewing machine, quilt it by hand or send it of to be quilted. What should I do?
Hand quilting will take some time, but the quilt will feel softer and it is more personal. Sending it away will enable me to finish it before the 4th of July, which is Zoë’s birthday. Decisions, it is so hard to decide, as I have too many choices.

Today our Queen is celebrating her birthday, so I’m off to do all those things you do when you have a day off. Catch up with you later.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Koninginnedag - Queen's Day

Queen's Day (Dutch: Koninginnedag) is a celebration in the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, and Aruba on April 30 (or April 29th if the 30th is a Sunday). It started as a celebration of the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina (1880-1962), on August 31. After 1948 Koninginnedag moved to April 30 (the birthday of Queen Juliana). When Queen Beatrix came into power (1980), she decided to keep the holiday on April 30th as a tribute to her mother.
On the 30th of April Queen Beatrix visits one or two towns where she is shown traditional Dutch dances and demonstrations of old crafts. Usually her family comes along, which is a real treat for all those who love anything royal.

It is also a day when lots of Dutch people go a little crazy, oranjegekte (= orange craze). There are orange banners, orange colored foods and drinks, and you see lots of people wearing orange clothing and creative accessories. The oranjegekte refers to House of Orange, the name of the Dutch royal family. When abroad you see this oranjegekte at international soccer matches when our team is playing, but you will surely see this oranjegekte at the Olympics coming summer.

The next couple of days most of Holland is enjoying some free time as the 30th is a national holiday, but Thursday is a national holiday too.

By the way, coming Friday I will be going to Paris. I have to give a presentation Saturday!!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Wii Fit

Look what Hubby ordered. Are we really going to do this?? I'm glad we can try it out in the privacy of our home !


Last Tuesday it was my birthday. Yesterday, Hubby and I celebrated our birthdays with the family. We had a BBQ! Yes, our birthdays are in the same week. So we can go Dutch!
We received some great presents: a lamp for outside (still need to buy that, but we got money for it). My other pressies are: duffle bag on wheels, beauty case, GPS (Nuvi Garmin) and lots of flowers.

As you can see the cats gave their approval after a good inspection.

Friday, 25 April 2008

More books

During my holidays these books were delivered!
I’ve been so busy, that I forgot to mention this earlier. The ‘feathered star quilt blocks 1’ will give some inspirational input for the autumn course. The other books will hopefully satisfy my graving for information about antique quilts and historical facts about quilting.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

365 challenge quilt

As some know, I keep a journal so that I will be able to make the ‘365 challenge quilt’. I nearly gave up!! During the holiday, I didn’t make any notations and when I got back I couldn’t find the motivation to pick it up. But today I have backlogged 3 weeks and I hope, I’m back in the rhythm. Why give up, so much is happening, so there is enough to write about, I just need to find and make time.

This summer I hope to start sewing the patches together, as I have already cut all the pieces! Then I have to copy my notations from my journal. This is definitely another big project. Why do I always look for a challenge??

Fancy restaurant

I had a lovely diner at this fancy restaurant with a friend, last Monday. Do check it out.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Going to Wales

I'm going to Wales soon. If you happen to know of some quilt shops in the northern part of Wales I would love to hear about it. Please mail me the address. I'm staying at a B&B in Snowdonia!
I would love to pop in and see those welsh quilts. Maybe even buy some fabric or patterns.

Mosaic quilts

The new theme for the autumn quilt season is mosaic. You can sign in for a class and learn to make a mosaic quilt. If you want more information about this technique and how to make a mosaic quilt come to the Start Day on the 30th of August.

For those who want to sign up for a class, please contact the Stoffen & Babystudio, “De Quiltkelder”, Klaas Bosstraat 14, Putten. Tel. 0341-360717

Invitation - Quiltmarkt & Startdag in Putten

This is information is for those quilters that live in the Netherlands. That is why the invitation is in Dutch. But if you happen to be in the Netherlands for a visit/holiday, please visit our annual Quilt markt or Start day of the new quilt season.

Op 31 mei, de jaarlijkse Quiltmarkt !
(zaterdag van 10.00 – 16.00 uur)
- U ziet Quilts en werkstukken die in het afgelopen seizoen gemaakt zijn.
- Demonstratie van naaimachines door familie Van Huissteden uit Barneveld. U kunt zelf allerlei types naaimachines, naaivoetjes en verdere hulpstukken uitproberen.
- Demo’s van diverse quilttechnieken. Interessante aanbieding op stoffen.
- Het nieuwe cursusprogramma; de docentes zijn aanwezig. Door vroegtijdig in te schrijven is uw plaats zeker. Er wordt gewerkt in kleine groepen.

Op 30 augustus, de Startdag !
(zaterdag van 10.00 – 16.00 uur)
- Bent u klaar voor het nieuwe Quiltseizoen? Of wilt u toch graag overleg over het nieuwe quiltproject dat u in gedachten hebt. De docenten en medewerkers van de Stoffen- & Babystudio staan klaar om u te helpen bij de stofkeuze. Ook kunt u bespreken of het raadzaam is een cursus te volgen of toch een maandelijkse Fietsgroep, waarbij u met een eigen project individueel geholpen wordt.
- Demo’s van diverse technieken, onder andere van Jeanette Evers. Zij demonstreert “crashen” en laat hiervan prachtig creatief werk zien. In deze techniek wordt met soluvlies, vliesofix, stof en stoomstrijkijzer gewerkt.

For those who want to come and visit, this is the address: Stoffen & Babystudio, “De Quiltkelder”, Klaas Bosstraat 14, Putten. Tel. 0341-360717

Spring is here!!

Here is a small impression of how our garden is doing.

Get together

Yesterday we had our monthly Bee get together. Maybe we should change our name to 2BQT (2 be Quilting Together)? What to do think? Can’t wait to receive the reactions on this name change. Our Bee consists of people who enjoy meeting up and working on our projects. Our bee doesn’t consist of a fixed group of people. We have been seeing some new faces the last couple of months, they are usually friends of the Fiets-groep, or someone we have met in the many workshops we do. Yesterday, Yvonne joined us. Yvonne is making a 12-month Sue Bonnet quilt, just as Tonny is making.
Some people had other appointments and could not come, so it was a small get together.
The frequencies of our get-together will increase once summer is here. I really need to make a new schedule soon. We try to have a 2BQT every fortnight.
Yesterday we decided to do some stitchery. This time the 2BQT was at Tonny’s house. We all enjoy Anni Downs works. Her book ‘A gardener’s Journal. Hatched and Patched’ is a real beauty. Tonny bought her book recently, and after seeing it, and making one of her stitcheries, some of us have decided to buy her book also.
We had a great day, lots of coffee and cakes (Tompoes and Truffels). We had a delicious vegetable soup and sandwiches. With all that eating and catching up with each other we hardly found time to work on our stitcheries. In the slideshow you can get an impression of our day.

Saturday, 19 April 2008


Last Thursday we had our monthly FIETS-groep. What does this mean? For those Dutch readers, Fijn Individueel en Toch Samen. By the way, fiets also means bicycle in Dutch.
For those who are not Dutch I’ll try to translate: Fine Individual but Together. Sadly, this doesn’t make a word. FIB is however a word; according to the Merriam-Webster this means a trivial or childish lie. Is it wrong to tell a fib? In some cases it makes life a little easier, this way you don’t hurt someone’s feelings. But usually fibbing gets you nowhere. Why do we call it the fiets-group, because taking a bike brings us further and that is why you go to classes, you want to learn as much as possible.
Here is a slideshow giving a small impression of our works.

Miniature quilt (or small quilt)

Last Thursday as usual Riek came after the lesson. And look what she is making, a real miniature quilt.

We are able to learn this technique in year 7. This will be over 3 years!! Can I wait this long??

In 2008 the feathered star,
In 2009 Snowflakes,
In 2010 Log Cabin,
and in 2011 the miniature quilt.
Isn’t it fun to make quilts and sharing the learning with fellow quilters?

Feathered star

This quilt is made by Riek. Riek is the owner of our LQS. Coming fall we are going to make this quilt. Isn’t it a beauty? The one I’m going to make will most probably be just as big!! Although I’m thinking of making this quilt a little smaller then the Star quilt. When finished I hope the feathered star quilt will be 160 x 180 centimetres. Mine will also have other colours. I'm contemplating on using the following colours: red, white and blue. Once I found the fabrics I’ll make a photo.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Workshop cancelled

I couldn’t resist signing up for the workshop. Sadly there will be no Rag quilt. Or as the Aussies call them ''Shaggy quilts''. The workshop has been cancelled.


A lot of you are going to retreats! It sounds lovely just being able to work on your quilt projects and enjoy being with other quilters. A couple of weeks ago, one of the Bee members received this flyer with information on a retreat in Friesland (a province in the north of the Netherlands). The Quilt Kabinet is organizing a quilt party. The party is from the 15th of November till the 29th of March 2009. During that time you can visit the quilt exposition at the ‘Fries Museum’, or participate in the workshops given by Kaffe Fassett or listen to his presentations, and naturally you can also visit the quilt shop in Earnewâld. During that time you can also follow some masterclasses.
The Quilt Kabinet created a quilt village. We couldn’t wait to book one of the bungalows. Marja took initiative and contacted the organizers. Can you believe it, we have booked already! We will be staying there sometime next year. I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to our retreat, as are the other Bee members.

Quilting the Star quilt

Yesterday evening I started to quilt the Star quilt. I haven’t quilted for some time and it took me a little while to get back my rhythm. It is extremely hot sitting beneath the ‘nearly’ finished Star quilt. After a little while I had to remove my cardigan. I even contemplated on putting on some shorts! To be truthful, it is going to take me a while before this big project is completed.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

I'm back

If you want to hear about my holiday and me nag about how terrible it was then please continue reading this post. If you rather hear about my quilting activities you will have to wait till my next posting.

On Sunday the 30th we left for Spain. Our first night was spent in the Notre region, in a little village called Fontevraud-l’Abbeye. It was a long drive. More then 800 km. This wouldn’t have been too bad if it hadn’t rained all day. It was really pouring, visibility wasn’t too good. We avoided the Peage, taking the country roads. The Loire Valley is beautiful, even in the rain. Sadly I have no pictures to show you. Can you believe it, something went wrong while saving the jpg’s to the image tank (a kind of memory key). This however I didn’t discover till I got back. Lucky me, Hubby has some software that enabled us to recover some of the photos that were on the memory card. Of the 350 photo’s I took, we recovered 50!

While driving from Fontevraud-l’Abbeye to Hondarribia my car all of a sudden stopped driving, it just stopped and the alarm lights went on telling me that the fuel system needed to be checked. Here I was standing with my car somewhere in the country far away from home. Words can’t explain how I felt. But my heart was beating at a faster rate and I started swearing. I couldn’t contain myself. I always need to swear when I lose control (this is my coping trait). Luckily I was able to steer the car to the curb. While frantically searching for my phone, I thought, why not try to start the engine again. Somehow everything worked again and so we continued our journey to Hondarribia.

This little town is situated just across the border into Spain. It is an old fortified town. The next day we did some exploring of the region. We stayed two nights in Hondarribia. We saw more rain. This part of the coast isn’t what I had expected. It seems that everyone lives in apartments or high rises. You don’t see any houses in the cities or towns. To be truthful, it is kind of depressing. I really would not be able to live there.

On our 4th day we continued our travels further down south. We first had to travel through the mountains. It was pretty misty and at certain points visibility was really poor. You could hardly see the cars in front of you. After an hour or two we finally found ourselves in the Alava / La Rioja region. The countryside is completely different to the northern Basque country. Here you drove through stark plains, vineyards, sliced by high sierras with coxcombs of raw limestone. We saw lots of windmills (the kind they use for wind energy) and fields that were filled with photovoltaic cells. I hadn’t expected the Spaniards to be into wind and solar energy.

After a long drive we found Consuegra. Isn’t a GPS a fantastic invention? I just enter the street name and without too much trouble we found the hotel. After checking in we decided to climb the stairs to the Molinos de Vientos (windmills) on top of the hill. A little out of breath but the climb was worth it. Luckily some photos were recovered.

The next day we left early, after enjoying a very Spanish breakfast. What can go wrong after such a good start, yes my GPS died. I only saw a black screen even after pressing the ‘on’ button numerous times. Luckily, my mum still has some good map reading skills and she guided me to Cordoba. There we visited the Catedral de Cordoba. The Mesquita is an old mosque and is known as one of the great creations of Islamic architecture. It was indeed beautiful. However, we were unable to recover the photos I took of this mosque. I think I really lost some beauties. After visiting the mosque we walked back to the car and continued our drive to Benagalbon. Did I forget to mention that I had to pump up the front left tire! The air pressure light indicated there was not enough air in the tire.

We had some trouble finding our B&B. That happens when you have become too dependent on a GPS. It was situated high in the mountains and we had to travel some roads that are more suitable for a 4WD. It was pretty scary as the path (road) was very narrow and steep. After some phone calls the owner of the B&B guided us to her place. My mum straight away voiced her opinion. She was not very happy with this situation. As it was late, we decided to stay for one night and continue our travels the next day. Initially we were meant to stay 5 nights at this B&B. As the facilities didn’t meet our standards and there was hardly any privacy and the access to this B&B was pretty bad, we continued our travels pretty early the next day. If I had it my way, I would have driven home, but my mum encouraged me to stay positive. We decided to take the coastal route towards Valencia and start searching for a hotel around 4 pm.

There is only one word to describe the southern coast of Spain; terrible. It is amazing how the Spanish have ruined this countryside. You only see greenhouses everywhere, these steel framed constructions covered in plastic cover vast areas. Lucky for you I can’t show the photos to prove it.
Late in the afternoon, after first getting lost in the city of Torrevieja, we found this hotel in Guardamar del Segura. It was situated along the beach. We first booked a room for one night but the next day we decided to stay a little longer, after spending a whole day lazing on the beach and near the pool. I finally found some sun!! I even have a little tan to prove it.
As we really enjoyed our day we decided to stay another night. Lucky for us, the hotel wasn’t fully booked. We stayed 3 days at this hotel. Sunday, 7 days after leaving home, we spent another nice day on the beach, reading and soaking up the sun. In the afternoon sadly the wind and clouds found us.

Monday we started with our trip back home. Once I turned on the ignition, the alarm lights went off again. Total feelings of panic came across me. Yes, the left front tire was too flat to drive according to the car system. I ran back into the hotel asking where the next fuel station was. I really didn’t want to change the tire! With lots of hand language (not many Spaniards speak English) the receptionist tried to explain where I had to go to. After driving more kilometres then I wanted to, we found the fuel station. I pumped up the tire and hoped for the best.
From Guardamar del Segura we drove up north to Castelló d’Empúries. A nice B&B but they had no parking facilities. We had to leave the car unattended and as the B&B had no lift we also had to leave our luggage in the car. There were too many stairs to carry the bags up to the room. I didn’t sleep very well that night! I couldn’t wait to get home.

The next morning we left early to be able to cover as many miles as possible. We eventually decided to find a B&B near Langres, France. Without too much trouble we found a B&B. If you ever need to find a B&B, go to the site of Logis de France or use their manual. We had a lovely diner at AUBERGE DES 3 JUMEAUX ET JUM'HOTEL and had a very restful night (we were not bothered by snoring men in other rooms!).

As you can guess, the tire was flat again when we decided to leave. We went looking for another fuel station. At the third attempt, we found a fuel station which a working air pomp. This time I also had to pump up the tire in the rain. The whole drive from Langres to Holland was wet. We saw the sun again, once we crossed the border at Maastricht. Wednesday, two whole days earlier then planned, we returned home.

What have I learned from this trip? I’m not going to undertake another trip that covers 4300 kilometres. I need a new GPS and camera.

What springs to mind when I look back on these two weeks:
- I’m very dependent on my car, gps, camera, and mobile phone.
- I love my home and I love the Netherlands
- I missed Hubby

Next time I’m just going to book a package deal. Fly to the sun, stay at one hotel (full board), and hope for the best.