Sunday, 29 June 2008

Around the quilt frame

At the moment when I have some spare time you will find me reading Around the Quilt Frame. It is a little book with a compilation of short stories about the common bond between quilters. I really recommend this book. You will find stories written by some well-known quilting writers: Helen Kelley, Ami Simms, Lisa Boyer, Patricia Cox, Jean Ray Laury, and Sandra Dallas. I really loved the excerpt from Double Wedding Ring by Patricia Wendorf and Rembering Odin by Elise Schebler Roberts.
Maybe you can borrow it from your local library or buy it.

Happy reading, Helen

Relaxation, fast cars and .....

It is Sunday and my goal was to relax today. But last Friday I knew I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goal. For we have to deliver a report coming Tuesday and we haven’t finished writing up our conclusions. So guess what I did this morning, yes, writing.

But I wanted you to see my new little relaxation spot. We have finally decided where the chair swing will stand coming months. Eventually it will go to the pergola, which stands in the centre of our garden, but we will first have to do some readjustments of the pergola, so that it can hold the chair swing.

I bought some cushions yesterday to make the swing more comfy to sit in. They are lime green and white. They look pretty, although you can’t see much of them in the picture. I should have made some cushions myself, as there are some beautiful patterns out there, but I just don’t have the time to sew them at the moment. And, I wanted instant gratification!!

Hubby has got hold of a very fast Mini Cooper. He allowed me to have a test drive. I usually like driving, and boy do I drive a lot (about 45000 kilometres per year), but do you see me concentrating? I’ve got my tong stuck between my lips!!

This car handles completely different to all the cars I have driven. Before you know it you accelerate away, when changing gears. For those who are interested in cars, it is a MINI Cooper S with the John Cooper Works GP Kit. It is a mini racing car. Is that why it handles differently to normal cars?? The nice thing about driving this car is that you do appreciate your own car more.

I’m now going downstairs to relax and do some quilting.

Take care, Helen

Saturday, 28 June 2008

I need shoes!!

For some time I’ve wanted some new shoes. I’ve had some success as you can see. I bought two pairs. One high heeled pair, brown ones, for work and a casual neat pair in blue.

These shoes are however not from my usual manufacturer. I went to Schiphol especially as they have a Gabor shop there. Why do I go all the way to Schiphol? Well this shop is (was) one of the few shops in the whole of the Netherlands that cater in blue shoes. So you can imagine my disappointment, when I found out the shop wasn’t there anymore. Gabor shoes always fit me and I never have blisters after wearing them the first couple of times. But things change!!
I still need to find some nice high heeled black shoes. Lucky me, the shops are getting their winter stock soon, so in a couple of weeks I’m sure I will find a nice pair in black.
I met up with a friend of mine, Kirana. Before my shopping spree, we had a nice lunch. I had a ciabatta sandwich with latte coffee, which was really nice, but also very filling. I’m so stuffed that while I’m typing this post, I’m still not hungry. Hubby and I have decided to have a light dinner tonight. Kirana didn’t buy much except some chocolates from Leonidas. Guess who will have a nice evening munching away those yummy chocolates. I couldn’t resist temptation and bought myself a travel coffee mug from Starbucks. I’ve wanted one for some time. I also bought some stuff at the Body Shop for my hands and nails. All in all, I had a lovely day although it didn’t start out that good. My glasses seemed to have broken during the night. I drove first to my local shop to get it repaired. I had expected they would need some time to repair it, but I was lucky. The centre screw had broken, they put in a new one and my glasses were fixed. When I drove up to the shop I thought this would be a very expensive repair, but do you know how much I paid? Nothing! This is what I call service.

Charlie and Teddy are a little curious. As you can see they needed to inspect the things I had bought.

Take care, Helen

another get-together

I wish I could say it was mine.

Isn’t it a beauty? Tonny, has been working on this Round Robin for about two years, and last week she sandwiched the layers. The back side is really nice as well. She used a checked red fabric. Sorry, but I can’t show how it looked as I didn’t make a picture of the back.
Here are all the ladies.
This time we met up at Janny’s home. As it was a beautiful evening we were able to sit outside. I love summer, the long evenings, gives you this feeling that the day is longer then is actually is. Last weekend was the longest day, it co-insides with the start of the summer. In the northern hemisphere, in the Netherlands, the sunrises around 4.30 am and it sets around 10.30 pm during the summer. With so much light who wouldn't enjoy the summer.

Have fun, Helen

Sunday, 22 June 2008

The big tree is gone!

Yesterday the men worked all day to clear the tree. Sadly, we were asked to remove it, as one of the neighbours felt hindered by the tree. To be truthful, I can imagine they hated the tree as practically the half of the branches was hanging over the fence giving them lots of shade in their garden. So now they can enjoy the sun.
I however, can’t get used to the bare spot. I liked the privacy the tree gave. So coming autumn, around October, we will have to plant something that will provide us privacy and lots of green to look at. If you have any suggestions for a tree that doesn’t branch out, and remains green throughout the year, I would love to hear about it. We definitely need more green in that corner.

As you can see it took the men a lot of effort to clear the tree, but our friend had lots of fun with all the tools. However, one of the tools broke, we had to get a new one.
I played housewife and cleaned the inside of the house. After all our work we had a BBQ and I found some time to do some quilting.


Friday, 20 June 2008


I feel safe not to call myself a novice quilter anymore. After seeing works from others and doing some comparisons, I think I shouldn’t belittle my own work. So from now on I will call myself a quilter. Although I have a long way to go before I can say I’m an expert. I still need and want to learn lots of new techniques.
My preference goes towards traditional quilts and big king size quilts. I’m so much looking forward to autumn as we will start with a new course. We are going to learn to make a feathered star quilt. This quilt will consist of 9 feathered star quilt blocks. The feathered stars blocks are derived from Le Moyne-based stars or grid-based stars. I’ll post my progress coming autumn
But first we have the summer and I will need all the time that I can get to finish Zoë’s quilt, the star quilt, and compass quilt!! I think I have too many goals here. I will focus on Zoë’s quilt.

Happy Quilting, Helen


Sometimes Hubby is full of surprises. Yesterday when I got home from work I didn’t find Hubby lounging in his chair (like he usually does) but working in my study. Look what he made for me!

I now have some additional space for my books. He put up the rails so that the books are able to rest along a slanted roof. Hubby really surprised me!! I like the effect, but I do see that I need to cleanup my book shelves.

Enjoy yourself, Helen

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Quilting news

Last Thursday we had our fortnightly quilting bee. There were only a few of us. Matty was unable to come as she’s still recovering from her operation. Marja was celebrating her daughter’s graduation. Mirjam had to work and where the two other quilters were, we don’t know. We will find out in a fortnights time. So who did make it? Tonny, Joke, Janny and myself.
Tonny has nearly finished her Sue Bonnet quilt top. Doesn’t it look great?

Joke has been working on het compasses.
First the blocks were meant to become a pillow, then a fold-away to store quilt blocks, and now it is meant to become a table runner. So who knows what she will decide next time. But anyway, the compasses look great and please admire her tinny winy centre compass, isn’t it neat?

Joke has also nearly finished stitching ‘weeding the garden’ from The Garden Journal. This is one of the beautiful stitcheries that Anni Downs has designed.

Janny has completed quilting one of her compass blocks. This table runner is becoming a beauty.

I am still quilting away on Zoë’s quilt. Here is Zoë’s quilt in progress. The quilt looks really nice next to this huge flower pot.
My PIL left this behind after visiting our house during our holidays. They have been busy bees as this wasn’t the only thing they left behind. They also left a beautiful neat garden behind. They did some necessary maintenance, which we kept on putting off.
In the next picture you see a close-up of my quilting. And, in this picture you see the watch I got as a present from Hubby. It is pretty pink.

The last bit of quilting news, is that I received a sweet little flower basket stitchery design from Cath. I haven’t started on this stitchery, but I will soon.
By the way isn’t this stamp beautiful?
I couldn’t contain myself and had to make a close-up with my new camera.

Happy Quilting, Helen

New Iron

When we got home from Wales I naturally had to do some washing and ironing. When I plugged in the iron Friday morning, I blew the fuse and the whole house was without electricity. In first instance I didn’t think it was the iron, but when we tried a second time, again we blew the fuse. So off we went to buy us a new iron. After some internet searching we found the iron I wanted. We ordered it online and picked it up yesterday. Here is me ironing away with my new Philips GC8220 iron.

It is a pressurised ironing system which produces non-stop steam to make my ironing easier .
I am actually glad my old iron broke . This is great.

Swing chair

Yester while shopping for the flower basket I came across this swing chair. I’ve wanted one for a long time. I took some photos to show Hubby and he liked it as well. So in the afternoon after my visit to Matty, we went back to the garden centre to buy the swing chair. Naturally we also came across something else. Yes, we also bought a little garden fountain. It looks like a small waterfall.

So yesterday afternoon Hubby was busy constructing the swing chair. It is pretty big, as it fits 4 people.

This morning it was great to sit on the swing, rocking in the sun.

Sadly, it has become overcast, the sun has gone, it is pretty grey and dark outside and we hear the thunder in the distance. Will it rain later?

Happy Stitching, Helen


A week ago Matty went to the hospital for an operation. In first instance the operation was planned sometime after the summer but as her complaint and discomfort increased she opted for last week. The operation went well and Matty is back home recuperating. No work for her the next 6 weeks, but hopefully she will have enough time to quilt and read. To make her time a little more enjoyable the girls chipped in and bought a flower basket. Matty loved her present and as you can see it looks pretty nice.

I popped over to her house yesterday to deliver the basket. The other ladies of the Bee will be going Tuesday.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Another impression of Wales

As you can see, Wales is truelly beautiful.

An impression of Wales

Please view the slideshow.


We had a fantastic time in Wales. Yes, we are back. North Wales is so beautiful. I can’t wait till next year as we have planned to go again. The reason for it being a great holiday was firstly the B&B. The hospitality, the views, the luxury of the room and ensuite, and the quietness made it very special. We will certainly go back to this B&B.

The B&B from across the lake

Secondly, meeting up with friends. We had a glorious weekend together. We met up at Dolgellau, which is where they were staying, and found a pub. We didn’t leave it, till we had to go to dinner in Bala. There was so much to talk about. The next day we met up in Harlech to visit the castle and afterwards sat on the beach. Boy did we get burned. Yes, we forgot the sunscreen. Learned my lesson and will put some in my backpack.
Before the weekend we took the train up to Snowdon. The views are great. After visiting Mount Snowdon, we set ourselves a new goal. Next year we will walk down. That means we will have to do some training as I’m not at all fit. This also applies to Hubby.

We went and visited Portmeirion. It is very touristy but worth the visit. We also went to Llangollen, Colwyn Bay, Betws-y-Coed, Corris, Dinas-Mawddwy. We took the following roads the past 8 days: A487, A470, A494, B4403, A5, A4212, A4086, A4088, A4085, A487, A496, and A542. It is really worth it, to go and drive them yourselves. I also visited a quilt shop in the Crafts Centre in Corris. I can truly say that I’m not a novice quilter any more. I seem to be more skilled than I thought I was. As you can see I also found some time to do some quilting in Wales.

Happy Stitching


Sunday, 1 June 2008

An impression of the Quilt Day Market in Putten

I hope this impression of the Quilt Day Market at my LQS will give you some inspiration for your own projects.
It always surprises me how many people come to this event. It is always extremely busy in the cellar. Quilt classes will start again in the fall. We will have to content ourselves the next couple of months with completing our projects.
This summer I’ll keep myself busy with Zoë’s quilt, the Star quilt and Compass quilt. The first two only need to be quilted!! I still have to do lots of work on completing the top of the compass quilt. I got myself some extra compass block patterns for 4 blocks in the size of 30 x 30 centimetres from Aagje (my quilt teacher).