Tuesday, 29 July 2008

In Loving Memory of Charlie

When your beloved pet dies, it's not unusual to feel overwhelmed by the intensity of your sorrow. Animals provide companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love during the time they share with you. If you understand and accept this bond between humans and animals, you've already taken the first step toward coping with pet loss.

Sunday evening I noticed how thin you were becoming. Before I went to bed I found some blood spots near your basket. Yesterday afternoon I found more blood and I phoned the vet. During the check-up it become clear you were very ill, you had cancer around your mouth, and it had most likely spread. To be sure, this morning an operative examination was done and as I guessed the cancer had metastasized. This afternoon you have been put to sleep.

As time goes by I won't forget,
That you were my beloved pet.
You made me happy when I was sad,
And just for that I'm very glad.

In Loving Memory of Charlie
20 May 1998 - 29 July 2008

How fragile can life be (even for a cat). Only a couple of days ago you were still playing with my quilts and being your jolly self. I’m really overwhelmed by my sorrow and grieve at the moment.


Sunday, 27 July 2008

When you are cooped-up inside, as it is too hot, what do you do? I usually go surfing the internet. Look at the lovely magazines I came across. Very tempting!

''Covering America''. 50 state blocks united in one quilt! This looks like a nice magazine.

Definitely a nice website to visit if you are looking for magazines on our favourite subject: http://www.villagequiltshoppe.com/

A post about the weather, how Dutch!

Last weekend I made good use of the cold and rainy weather and made a shaggy quilt. Our summer has been a little wet and cold so far, but since last Wednesday summer has arrived. However, I don’t like this humid weather we are having at the moment. It is just too humid to do anything. I’m being very lazy and slow today. Although I did sit in the garden (sun) a little while to give me a little more colour (tan).

And tomorrow, the temperature and humidity will rise even more. Look at this weather forecast. I’m glad I’ll be at the office tomorrow.

Those who live in the Netherlands know it is pretty hard to predict the weather, especially a day ahead. The weather can change pretty quickly. Last week it was so cold that I put the heater on as it was about 11 degrees Celsius. Today it is about 30 degrees outside in the garden. The blinds are down, the shutters closed …. The body has hardly any chance to adjust. But it is doing its best .
I’m going to do some ironing now!!


Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Shaggy quilt completed!

The suspense!!

This love heart came out of the dryer. Isn’t it sweat?

The finished effect! This is the first shaggy quilt I made, and I love it.


Quilting Helen

Compensation?, compensating? Or just enjoying myself..

The last couple of weeks I’ve made some long hours at the office. Lots of research proposals had to be written! But today I have got the whole day to myself. So far I’m enjoying myself tremendously. I’ve done some ironing, I’ve sewn the hem of my skirt (this has been laying in the sewing pile for a long time, since last summer!) and I washed my shaggy quilt.
I guess it is finally time to put it in the dryer. According to Kathy Lamancusa: ‘Thin batting gives a quilt an older, antique look’ (guess what I used) and to fluff batting ‘put it in the dryer for a few minutes to increase its volume’. Can’t wait to see the effect! Naturally I will post a picture later on.
I’ve also been reading some blogs and left some messages. Naturally I couldn’t resist searching for some of the patterns that you have posted. I even made an inquiry at an online quilt shop. All this I’ve done in my pyjamas. Well better go down stairs and put the shaggy quilt in the dryer and get dressed.

Have a great day and smile!


Sunday, 20 July 2008

Day 2 - I nearly have a shaggy quilt!

I had one fun weekend! The shaggy quilt is nearly done. I only need to cut around the squares and wash it. Hope to post a picture soon of the finished quilt.


Finally making my first shaggy quilt

Doing the preparations for making a shaggy quilt. This is day one!


Friday, 18 July 2008

Amish quilts

An inspirational site is Womenfolk.com. When a little curious about the history behind certain patterns, I usually nose (surf) around this site. I love the history behind the Amish quilts. The Amish quilts from Lancaster County are another great inspiration. It was the Amish designs that got me interested in quilting some 14 years ago. At that time I did a beginners course and followed some workshops. I’ve kept some items from that period in my history box.
Here you see a sampler with plain quilting
and some star blocks.
The blocks are meant for a 2 x 2m quilt. As you can see I didn’t get very far.

There are two reasons why I didn’t continue quilting:
1 – I started with my PhD project. No, I do not mean Projects half Done! Actually this abbreviation is kind of funny as I did not get very far with the quilt, but I did get a doctorate in health science.
2 – I didn’t have any quilt friends. To enjoy quilting you have to have some people around you, who have similar interests and are just as crazy about quilting as yourself. Since about 4 years I have gathered these crazy quilters around me, and on a regular basis we meet-up and enjoy our crafting together.
But back to the subject, whenever I come across books on Amish quilts I can’t resist buying them. Some weeks ago I bought this book.

And this week the postman brought me this.

Another great inspiration is Quilt Mania. I'm going downstairs now to read this magazine.

Happy quilting, Helen

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Is it Christmas yet?

Yesterday, after work, I went to my LQS. I popped in well before closing. Yes, I left a little earlier then normal. I needed to buy some cotton batting for my Shaggy quilt. I hope to show you the finished quilt this Sunday evening.
Naturally, I also had a quick peek in the quilt cellar, and look what I found, some Christmas fabric. As you can see I quickly washed it when I got home and today I ironed and folded it neatly. It is now waiting to be used for some Christmas project.

I’m still contemplating on which colours to use for the feathered star quilt. I’m inclined to choose red, white and blue fabrics. Or maybe I’ll go for just the red and white fabrics. It is so hard to decide!!

Hugs & Stitches, Helen

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


For those few spare moments, and at the moment they are a few, I found another book of short stories. Again it is a great read. The stories encourage me to quilt. They create a place of peace. They encourage me to dream!


Saturday, 12 July 2008

Staphorst & Westfalen fabrics

Guess what I did this afternoon? I went to Staphorst to buy fabric for the shaggy quilt I want to make. I also found some beautiful fabric for the Advent Calendar. As you can see Charlie is being a little nosy. She wants to know what is in the bag.

Charlie also wanted to inspect the fabric.

These fabrics I’ll use for the shaggy quilt.

These one’s will be used for the Advent Calender.

As you can see it is always wise to wash your fabrics before using them. Look at the red water!
I’m quick!! Here they are hanging to dry. Tomorrow I will iron them.
Naturally I found a new gadget, which I couldn’t resist buying. I can thread my needles and keep them nice and tidy till I use them for quilting.

I did all this in 5 hours. I left for Staphorst at 1 pm, got back at 5.30 pm and the fabric was washed and hanging by 7 pm. I am quick aren’t I??

Enjoy your weekend, Helen

A quilting evening

It always fascinates me, look at those hands. Eventually these hands will produce another quilt.

Here is an impression of some of the works.

Here is me showing of Zoë’s quilt! A work in progress.

Besides working on our projects we usually also admire the magazines that Tonny buys and takes along to the bee. She had just received the newest Quilt Mania. Guess what I saw? I definitely want this book: Material obsession, by Sarah Fielke & Kathy Doughty. You can order it through Quilt Mania or at the ABC shop in Australia! I hope Hubby will read this post and order it for me!!

Happy quilting, Helen

Inspiration for hand quilting

This book is a great inspiration. It is Dutch book that has been translated. The original title is: The quilter’s and Patchworker’s Stitch Bible. I would recommend it as there is a whole chapter on different hand quilt stitches that you can use on your quilts.

Take care, Helen

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Birthdays, cars, naps and ...

Hubby is away for the day and I have the whole house to myself. Hubby and Adri (man in tree) had to try out the Mini Cooper on the Nurburgring. While I’m typing up this post, I’m sure they will have done some rounds already. I'm sure the weather isn't too impressive over there, according to the German weather forecast, the ‘Aktuelle Wetterlage’ is cloudy and 17 degrees.
I first cleaned upstairs and once that was done I thought I would do some sun baking and relaxing in the garden. Sadly, after putting on my bathing suit the sun disappeared. Back inside, I decided to have a little nap (no one has to know ).
After getting up, I decided to try out Google Reader. According to some of you bloggers it is better then Bloglines. I haven’t made up my mind yet. But first impressions, I think I prefer Bloglines.
I’m really slacking; I haven’t done much quilting on Zoë’s quilt the last couple of days (this is mainly due to the long working hours last week). I’ll use this afternoon to catch up.

Friday it was my nieces’ birthday, she turned four. (Zoë is the girl on the right in the photo). She will be going to kindy half of August. My goal was to finish her quilt this month, but it isn’t finished yet. I’m sure I’ll finish it this summer!! But it is really tedious work hand quilting (I know, I’m trying to find excuses). Yesterday, we went up north for a visit and to celebrate her birthday. This was her birthday cake.

Happy quilting, Helen

Wednesday, 2 July 2008


I didn’t expect that. One of the writer of ''around the quilt frame'', Ami Simms, left a comment. How she found my blog I don’t know but I was really trilled when I saw her comment. Hasn’t the world become smaller through blogging? It is strange to live in the Netherlands but still be able to meet up with so many quilters throughout the world.
I would love to know who else reads my blog. Please leave a comment to say hi.

Enjoy your day, Helen