Sunday, 30 January 2011


As I really didn’t want to start wrong on my ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ quilt, I thought I’d better check-out what a stem stitch is.  I found this tutorial:


Well that looks real easy. I think I will have a go now.

If you are looking for other stitchery tutorials go and visit Needle ’n thread, here.

Just to be sure, I also checked if I was right about the technique of the basis backstitch.

In the collage below, you can see my first update of this stitchery quilt from CrapApple Hill.


Gratitude – week 5

Looking back upon last week I can say I’m grateful for

  • discovering dru yoga
  • meeting up with an old colleague
  • starting on the stitchery of ‘twas the night before Christmas’ quilt
  • being reminded that you can’t change things over night
  • discovering the TV series Downton Abbey, while feeling a little under the weather. (To be truthful I was pretty sick, I stayed in bed all Saturday and slept and slept).



Love Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham, Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley, Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley and Brendan Coyle as John Bates. Shall I go on? Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Countess of Grantham and Dame Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham. The below stairs characters in Downton Abbey are sublime, as some of you already know. As you may imagine I can't wait till September 2011 for the new series. I wonder how they will handle world war II. Will Matthew and Mary get together?

Friday, 28 January 2011

Book report

I’ve finished another good book a couple of days ago! I however can’t remember buying it. But last week when looking for something to read, I came across it in my bookcase in the study.


I must admit I hadn't heard of Penelope Lively. So how did it get there. But I really like her style, so I suppose I’ll become one of her new readers of her books. Will definitely check out her new book ‘Family Album’. As you may imagine, my list of books to read is getting longer and longer.

Will go and sit in the lounge and ponder on how this book got in my bookcase and try to remember how long it has been there!

PS – what will I go and read now? Any suggestions?

Mini Quilting Bee

As some readers already know, I met up with a quilter friend last night. Berna showed these awesome quilt tops. I’m always amazed how some people are able to create time to make these beautiful works.

2011_01_27_little Bee Berna2-1 Some weeks ago I let on that I wanted to start on ‘twas The Night Before Christmas’ quilt, as I’m itching for that Christmas mood.

2011_01_27_little Bee Berna1-1Here I’m tracing the pattern on the fabric. At the end of the evening the top border had been traced. I can start stitching!! Berna is working on a ‘non Christmas’ related project. But it seems she is having this itching feeling, so who knows she might join me in making this quilt.

2011_01_27_little Bee Berna-1

The new issue of Christmas 365 arrived yesterday!  So you can imagine I’m itching for Christmas even more! Coincidences doesn’t exist, as you can see. Very clever of Mark Lipinski to post this issue so that it would arrive on the day that I planned to start on this project.

I’ve noticed that so many of you are already preparing for Christmas 2011. There are even some online Bee’s you can join.

I’m bringing the merry back – to my spirit, to my quilting, to my life.

I’m creating new memories and having fun.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Wishlist update

Oh, this is so cute. Accuquilt now has a GO, baby fabric cutter. Look here. image


And this pink bag is also a must have. Love the name they gave it, the Baby Fabric Cutter Diaper Bag. It is adorable!


If you also get the GO strip cutter & GO tumbler dies you’re ready to go, to make this Tumbler quilt.

imageI’m still contemplating whether I want it, need it, and if I would ever use it.  I’m a quilter who prefers the old patchwork techniques. But I’m also a person who loves gadgets. I’ll have a good think and will let you know if I will indeed put this on my wishlist.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Australia Day


Happy Australia Day to those of you way down under.


On Australia Day Australians come together as a nation to celebrate what's great about Australia and being Australian.


Click here for some bush poetry about Australia.

Let’s celebrate!!!

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Gratitude – week 4

This week I’m thankful for

  • early morning light. I’m noticing that the days are becoming longer again.


  • our home. Being able to live in this beautiful house.
  • celebrating my mum’s birthday
  • that all my efforts past year were not in vain. My blood pressure & blood levels are back to normal (according to GP). It seems my new life style agrees with me.  The low salt diet & exercise (cardio-fitness) plus yoga have paid off. To be truthful I feel great.

According to The Universe

Always speak of the past, gratefully. Of the future, excitedly. And the present, with bobbing eyebrows and a Cheshire grin.

Hear, hear!!

Love celebrations, love tales from the Celtic culture. It is nearly Imbolc, the start of spring according to the Irish. Imbolc falls midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara).

These events are from the Wheel of the Year.


Wouldn’t this be a lovely quilting design for a quilt?

The wheel of the year, beginning and ending with Nos Galan Gaeaf (welsh) or Samhain as it is more commonly known (on the 1st of November), when the Earth begins to go dark and when the goddess goes underground; it turns full circle through the waxing light of Spring to the Summer Solstice, then through the waning light until Yule (winter Solstice), when the spark of fire is rekindled at Imbolc (Gŵyl y Canhwyllau - welsh), around the 2nd of February, when the sun begins to return. 

It makes me happy that the days are slowly becoming longer again and the sun shows it self more.

Day light today

Sunrise at 08:36
Sunset at 17:08
Length of day 8h 31m 57s

On Imbolc the 2 February 2011
Sunrise at 08:21
Sunset at 17:28
Length of day 9h 07m 38s

In 3 months time on the 22 of April 2011, my birthday!
Sunrise 06:29
Sunset 20:50
Length of day: 14h 21m 23s

Love long days!!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Clover mini iron II

I would really like this!


I’ll be putting these things on my birthday wishlist.

  • EU8003 Mini Iron II The Adapter(EU Version) =
    € 49,00
  • 9103 Adapter Iron Tip(Large) = € 9,00
  • 9109 Cooling Stand = € 19,50
  • 8006 Mini Iron II Tote Bag = € 9,75

This websites get me drooling. Click here on Hinterberg Design. I lurk around, but so far haven’t bought it. I would love this Heritage Hand Frame, yes the 93’’ one (which is 236 cm). That should enable me to finish those big quilts that are laying around to be quilted. They ship to the Netherlands!! I’m mentioning this in case someone reads this and wants to order it for me (lol). But as you can see this frame does not come cheap. I think this is an cheaper option.



But I will have to go to my local lumber store to get some extra wood for the trestle and poles, to complete this large contraption. Will need someone’s help to assemble it! Who might this be??

Would love to know your experience with these items? Is it as handy as I think it might be. Would love to know. Leave a comment please.

My birthday wishlist is getting bigger and bigger!!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

My weekend

The weekend has once again disappeared in a blink.....last time I looked it was Saturday morning......and here it is Sunday night already.  I did a lot yesterday: went shopping for food real early in the morning, came home and unpacked the groceries, pottered around the house, vacuum cleaned because I dropped a needle, hung up 3 small loads of washing, folded two loads of towels, ironed hubby’s shirts, the pyjamas and lots of other clothing, did some quilting in the afternoon and evening and finished a book (Sarah’s Key). Never found the needle, so we had shoes on all weekend (except in bed).

Sunday morning, I cleared my desk in the study and got my finances in order. Just before lunch I tried driving on the Nurburgring with GT5. Hubby has recently gotten the Driving Force GT. It was an experience! However, I’ve concluded I’m not cut-out for driving on the Nurburgring, even if it is a simulator. Was feeling very nauseous, sick!! Needed to lie down afterwards. I felt so dizzy!! I think my vestibular system is  a little off because of all those bends. Or should I be saying that my sensory system is sending the wrong signals to my brain. I don’t have any problems going fast, in a straight line. Still, I didn't do too bad, my average speed was about 50km per hour and I got around half a track!! And, this is only my first time!!!

IMG_2166In the afternoon, I quilted some more while watching a movie. We watched The Diplomat.


It had the most strangest ending. To be truthful, I think they forgot filming the end. They left me hanging, when Ian Porter runs away after an agent and his wife were killed.  I’m wondering if we only saw part one. Will check this out. Loved the scenes from Sydney and those of (most likely) the Blue Mountains. Loved hearing the Aussie accent.

Just before tea I made myself a new header for this blog. It turned out pretty well if I do say so. I’m liking Picasa 3 and Adobe Photoshop more and more. Trying to figure out how these tools work isn’t easy....but loving  them nevertheless. I’ve most probably only discovered about 2% of all the possibilities. I hate manuals but slowly realising I either start reading them or do a course. I really like pimping-up my blog. If you have any suggestions, on which courses to sign-up for or which graphic software to get, I’d love to hear from you.

We had ovenbaked potatoes and sausages for our tea. Naturally I had some  green beans with that.  No dessert but a nice Americano.

Did some more quilting on Zoë’s quilt after dinner. I’m pretty impressed with my progress this weekend.


I also got the outlines of two blogs worked out. Will post them sometime this week. I really spend a lot of time contemplating what to write and how to write it. This contemplating encompasses everything from topics, to word choice, to what is appropriate to write on my blog. Maybe I spend too much time pondering.

It was a busy but very satisfying weekend. Going to bed now and catch some ZZZzzzZZZzzzZZZ.

PS - let me know what you think of my new header.

Sunday morning

It is still a little dark outside my window. But I wanted to share!

I’ve finished another book!! This one


It took me 4 hours last night to finish it, but once half way I couldn’t put it down. The author has an easy writing style but the emotions are stirred. Wonderful book.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Zoë’s Quilt – making progress

Inspire, create, fun. 


keep calm  & quilt on_blue

Am I abnormally addicted to blogging :)

Who would have thought!!

78%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?


I scored even higher than Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville blog!!

The questions from this quiz do get you thinking. I have to admit, I don’t just like writing about certain topics but I also love reading the blogs of others.  Google Reader is a great tool that enables me to nearly follow 300 other bloggers. I spend at least 3 hours a week keeping up with all their goings ones. Some blogs I read word for word, others I give a quick glance. Most of the blogs I follow are from other quilters, a few are from bloggers that write about their faith and small minority write about the art of photography. 

Most of the blogs enrich/advance my knowledge of quilting ‘way beyond what it would be otherwise’.

Photography & web-design is another area that I want to look into. 

Lots of blogs inspire me and I get inspiration from the internet, Facebook, my newspaper, magazines I read, books, people I meet, my own thoughts, shall I go on? We live in a amazing world. 

This world enables me to dream, create, laugh. Blogging gives me joy.

Blogging also provides a nice distraction. It helps me reflect and order my thoughts. It is my quiet time! Me looking from inside out.

If I look up the medical definition of addiction: addiction is a persistent, compulsive dependence on a behaviour or substance.  Some researchers speak of two types of addictions: substance addictions and process addictions.  If any psychologists are reading my blog, am I right to think blogging is a process addiction?

The diagnosis of addiction is based on five criteria:

  • loss of willpower
  • harmful consequences
  • unmanageable lifestyle
  • tolerance or escalation of use
  • withdrawal symptoms upon quitting

By self-diagnosis, I can truthfully say I’m not addicted to blogging. Do you believe me?

If you made it so far, I have one more request. Would you sign in and let me know you follow my blog. Just click here and look for the Followers widget in the left top column. You can sign in by clicking on the Sign in button underneath the widget. I’m sure I have more than 14 readers!! Would love to know who you are.

Gratitude – week 3

This week I’m thankful for

  • the birds chirping in our garden. I wonder if this is a sign that spring is coming. According to the weatherman, I shouldn’t get my hopes up too high. 
  • feeling healthy and being rewarded with a better physical condition
  • clarity
  • the ability to create
  • having gotten an higher education and therefore knowledge
  • yoga and having my own meditation pillow


“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” author unknown

Friday, 14 January 2011

I’m reading……

I think I’m  one of the last persons who has picked up this book to read. So many seem to have already read it. If by chance you are one of those who hasn’t and you want a book that you just won't be able to put down, then Sarah's Key is definitely the one that will keep you turning the pages!


I started reading it about a week ago, after finishing one of Dan Brown’s books, The Lost Symbol. Which was another page turner, but calling upon different emotions.

So dash to the library or bookstore and grab a copy of Sarah's Key. Maybe you can lend a copy from a friend. You never know!

I’m going to put her new book on my birthday wish list! For those Dutch readers, I understand it has already been translated and available in your local bookstores.


Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Medallion Sampler

Mirjam and I decided a little while ago to pick up our Medallion Samplers, which are PhD’s (=projects half done). The deadline to have the top finished is pretty close, so we thought it would be better to plan a couple of dates to work on this project.

Remember Mirjam’s Medallion Sampler? A beauty isn’t it?


I’m amazed how many blocks she has already done for the border. Sorry forget to take pictures because while we were admiring our works we noticed that my Card Trick blocks didn’t quiet fit. I just wasn’t precise enough. Although we both agree that this is mainly due to my sewing machine. We had a tedious work-out. We practically had to undo all 4 blocks. We both agreed that it would be a costly mistake to leave it as it is. Here is an impression of our efforts.


I mainly unpicked my earlier works and cut fabric for the blocks under re-construction and Mirjam using her better sewing machine and sewing skills was busy sewing the card trick blocks back together again. Five hours later, 4 blocks have been re-constructed!!


I’ve concluded that my sewing machine is not suitable for sewing tiny winy blocks together, especially when precision is needed. I think I need to start saving for a better one. Maybe I can trade-in my machine for a sewing machine that is more suitable for patchwork & quilting. If I asked your advice on what I should get, what would your answer be? Mirjam, thinks I should get a machine with double transport (upper and lower). I want one where you can change the position of the presser foot /needle position so that I can manipulate the stitching position.

Hope to find some time coming weekend to finish the flying geese border. I might even make an attempt in sewing all the blocks together. In two weeks time, Mirjam and I will continue with our projects. Deadline is approaching fast!!! Half March the top needs to be finished. Will we make the deadline?

On my wish list

I really would love the new iPod Nano. You know that tiny winy little one. Why, because I want this minimal and ergonomic wristwatch accessory for the iPod Nano.


Doesn’t it look cool?


Do you want to know how it works? Click here.

And they are available in so many colours!


It is my birthday soon, so I guess I will be putting this on my wish list.