Sunday, 27 February 2011

Gratitude – week 8

I’ve got my quilting mojo back!!! I’m really, really thankful for this. I’m enjoying the process more and feel less pressured about how long it takes to reach my goal. This saying is slowly becoming true: I only think about quilts on days that end in "Y."

I’m blessed with having such beautiful nieces. Love who they are becoming. Their primary traits, is what the world really needs.


They came for a visit last Friday. They left with my stuffed Ikea Kangaroo. Joey, is really big!! There was hardly any room for him in the car. But, Zoë wasn’t to be deterred. He was coming along. 

image My niece, Zoë, is really becoming a good negotiator. I wonder, if I will ever get him back.

I’m all dreamy, after Hubby send me this video clip of my hero Mark Webber. I want one too! (you can guess if I mean Mark or the Porsche).  Just looking at the 911 GT2 RS makes me happy. Hubby can drive it. I’m not good in bends. My vestibular system is a little off.


Delightful with my progress on the crosstrainer and rowing machine. Had 3 good workouts this week. Nearly able to adapt my exercise program. I’m aiming to workout 5 times a week. It is hard to change one’s behaviour.  But perseverance is a highly developed trait.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Dear Jane - update


Today I went shopping to buy the background fabric for my Dear Jane. Seven yards is a lot of fabric. For those who are used to the metric system, this converts to 6.40 metres. The 7 yards went into the washing machine, straight after I got back. Within 2 hours, I was able to hang it up to dry. I had some trouble hanging up 7 yards of fabric on our clothes rack. This clothes rack hangs on the door. It is a Dutch invention. I don’t suppose you see them everyday, unless you live in the Netherlands. You can buy them at our Hema, a large retail store.

image It is very practical this ‘droogrek’, especially when it is raining like today. The wash is dry within a day. Tomorrow I can iron the fabric and fold it away for a little while.

Words not necessary!


Thursday, 24 February 2011

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Medallion Sampler update

2011_02_23_mini bee Mirjam

Packed the car with all my sewing stuff and off I went to Mirjam. Travelling through country lanes, seeing a windmill and a beautiful farmhouse along the way. Admiring the alpaca’s. Adding some kilometres to the odometer and enjoying the uncongested Dutch highways.

By the way, one day I hope to fulfil my dream and own a farm, like the one in the picture above, with some alpaca’s.

Today we spend another day working on our Medallion Sampler’s. Mirjam, has nearly finished the outer borders of her quilt. She only needs to fix one block and finish sewing the compass blocks. Her top will definitely be finished for our next class in March.

2011_02_23_mini bee Mirjam1

I spend my time making flying geese. 2011_02_23_mini bee Mirjam2

After getting a little frustrated because the fabric kept on being eaten by my sewing machine, Mirjam offered her machine to me. She took over my machine! It was wonderful to see, that in only a couple of minutes she had the same experience. Some words were mumbled, which I won’t repeat. We have come to the conclusion, we can’t continue trying to sew with this machine. I have high regard for Mirjam’s opinion and when she commented that there was definitely something wrong with the machine, I could only agree. I also have to admit, that I breathed a sigh of relief. It is not me, but it is the sewing machine. We packed away my machine and I sat behind hers. Look at this happy & content face behind Mirjam’s Pfaff! 2011_02_23_mini bee Mirjam3

So tomorrow Mirjam is bringing the machine to her sewing machine technician. Hopefully, he is able to solve the problem and otherwise I will have a new problem to solve. I now want a sewing machine like the one Mirjam has. Sewing is nearly effortless with this machine. I will have to find a replacement that won’t be too hard on my pocket.  It was a pleasure working on her Pfaff, I think I might even start enjoying sewing with a sewing machine. Who would have guessed.

To show that I don’t give up easy, here is a picture of the centre part of my Medallion Sampler complete. However, I didn’t do it all myself. Lots of thanks go to Mirjam. If she hadn’t helped, I would never have gotten this far.


Will end this post on a bright note. Love the sense of spring tulips can give. They give some colour in the otherwise pretty grey day2011_02_23_mini bee Mirjam4

Take the pledge

I, _Helen_, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in words or be sure I’m being totally clear.   I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.  

So, without further ado, take the pledge. Like Rossie I love reading about your works / projects.

The Process Pledge 

Go and visit Rossie’s blog and take the pledge and document your process ... from original concept, to raw materials, to each block in turn, and show a few drafts of the final layout.

PS – I have soooooooooooo many WIP’s!!

To name a few:

  • Star quilt (in quilting phase)
  • Zoë's quilt (in quilting phase)
  • Compass quilt
  • Feathered Star quilt
  • Kaleidoscope quilt
  • Log cabin quilt
  • Dear Jane
  • ‘t was the night before Christmas
  • Medallion Sampler

‘Twas the night before Christmas – progress report

Berna and I met up again last night. A small get-together. We were busy bee’s. She was busy copying a pattern, so that coming  Friday she would be ready to sew a large pincushion together. It looks like an easy project, as before I knew it, she picked up her quilt to do some quilting.

I was stitching away on my ‘twas the night before Christmas project. I can’t wait to show the finished top panel. Sadly, you can’t see it yet but once finished, you will see Santa is flying over de tree tops in his sleigh with his reindeers in the top panel. Yes, I’m itching & stitching for Christmas. Only 10 months & 3 days to go!!!

2011_02_22_mini bee Berna2

Some time ago, Berna got this large pincushion. Isn’t it a beauty? She is making a copy during her Friday Bee, but preparations had to be done.

2011_02_22_mini bee Berna

On a side note. When I got home from work yesterday, a package was waiting for me. This is what was inside. A Dear Jane button pin, the templates and the Dear Jane patterns on cd-rom and user-manual. As usual, I wasn’t the only one inspecting the contents. Teddy, had to look too.

2011_02_22_mini bee Berna1

Monday, 21 February 2011

Zoë’s quilt

2011_02_18_Zoë Quilt-1

I just had to show the progress I’m making. Slowly, nearing the end!!!

Sunday, 20 February 2011


If you want to order a issue of Vignette in the Netherlands you can go to Aztec Rose Crea & Hobby. If you want to read more about Vignette in Stitches, the mystery BOM, click here. This is the official 'Vignette' blog…. a place for stitchers to share their stitching story and passion for Leanne Beasley's wonderful magazine 'Vignette'. You can also visit Leanne Beasley’s blog and enjoy her ramblings about quilting, stitchery's, photography, retreats,  and travels. I would really love to meet her one day. Wondering when she will come the Netherlands.

Sometimes I wish I stilled lived in Australia. I would be able to meet the following other designers: Natalie, Sarah, an other Natalie, and Catharine. To name a few.

Luckily sometimes these Australian designers travel to Europe and even visit the Netherlands. End of spring Lynette Anderson will be coming to the Netherlands. I’m hoping to meet up with her, here.

Enough ramblings from me. Going to work on a presentation I have to give soon.

Gratitude – week 7

Many things pop into my head through out the week about what I’m thankful for. Last week is one of those weeks that I didn’t have time to jot ’em down. I’m pondering at the moment, trying to recollect my thoughts.


Thankful for this insight: “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don't adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” Confucius

Grateful for the little things, realizing that “This moment deserves your full attention, for it will not pass your way again.”

Pleased that with a couple of words I’m able to get into another frame of mind (= a temporary state of mind or feeling).  

Jubilant for the surprise I got when paying for a tunic blouse that I was buying. Because of the bonus points I had saved, I only had to pay 1 euro! The original price € 135,- Guess who was making a happy dance and left the store with a big grin?

Exhilarated that I’m noticing that some things are giving me energy and not draining it. Energy drains: cluttered surroundings, disorganization, too many commitments, unfinished tasks, unproductive relationships, making assumptions and taking things personally, tolerating friction in your environment, taking care of yourself last, being in control.  I’m realizing that I can only give from an overflowing cup, not an empty one. Basically, I’m back to square one. See quote Confucius.

Tickled that Leanne House noticed that I got an subscription on her new magazine Vignette! By the way have you visited the blog,  Vignette in Stitches?

Friday, 18 February 2011


Last year Leanne published the first issue of Vignette. Sadly, I haven’t seen the magazine in any of the Dutch quilt shops.

Vignette is a new quarterly magazine by Leanne Beasley of "Leanne's House" that features quilting and stitching projects, recipes, as well as ideas for your home, garden, and kitchen.

Here is a picture of the first issue. I copied the picture from Leanne’s blog. Hopefully she doesn’t mind. 


Then Peg from Happy In Quilting posted a picture of the contents this week. Then Leanne posted a link where people living overseas can order an issue. It was getting too hard to resist. I’m sorry to admit that I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer.

After putting in my order, I started to ponder about the meaning of Vignette. Have I been away from Oz that long, that I don’t remember hearing this word? Is my vocabulary lacking? I found these two definitions.

1. A decorative design placed at the beginning or end of a book or chapter of a book or along the border of a page.

2. An unbordered picture, often a portrait, that shades off into the surrounding colour at the edges.

I think it is a good name for a magazine. Wondering when the first issue will arrive, so that I can admire the quilt & stitchery patterns. It seems  that in every issue a block of "Vignette in Stitches" - a 16 block "mystery quilt" – will be published. I haven’t seen many of you posting about this pattern, yet. Would love to know who has started and see your efforts. Leave a note.

As you may imagine, I’ll be looking out for the postman, the next couple of weeks.




Don’t you just love the 4 clocks on my iGoogle homepage? It helps me know the time in Singapore, Perth and Sydney. I also have a weather widget, so that I know what kind of weather it is in Sydney (Australia), Bishop Stortford (England) and Bala (Wales).

Love the to-do-list in the right-hand corner. I also love this picture underneath. imageNaturally, I also want to know where the traffic congestion is! But I don’t really need to check this, as we always have lots of banked up traffic on our highways in the Netherlands. Especially at the times I need to travel. For example; a trip to work (45 km away from my house) means a 1 hour trip early in the mornings. In the evenings it sometimes takes 1,5 hours! However, late at night, it usually only takes 35 minutes, if there are no road works.  

You can see I also have a countdown widget. I really need to know how many more sleeps before Christmas. Have to be ready for Rudolf & Santa!! kerstmannen8

In the header I have a photo of the Blue Mountains. To cure me of my homesickness.

Do you have any other suggestions on what to add on my iGoogle page? Just leave a note.

Words of wisdom

Check out this post. Thanks Lenna Green, for reposting your  most-requested column.

PS – having a Latte Macchiato and doing some work at home.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Monday, 14 February 2011

It is time for a Meme again!

Laurie and Polly from Minnick and Simpson were asked some questions last week. I thought it was time for a meme again, so I’m going to try to answer these questions too.

These are some of the questions Lissa asked Laurie and Polly..........

And here are my answers.
What is a little known fact about yourselves? I’m turning 47 this year and I still ask myself – what do I want to be when I grow up.

How do you relax? I don’t know how!!! I try, the only thing that helps achieve this goal is yoga & sometimes quilting.

What do you sleep in? Usually men's pyjama bottoms and a t-shirt.

What kind of pillow do you like? One that is suited for people who sleep on their tummies. Sometimes I even throw the pillow on the ground, and rest my head on the mattress. I like little pillows.

When you were young did you sleep with a stuffed animal? I don’t remember. However, as a adult I do sleep with a stuffed animal. He keeps me warm and as me, he likes to lay on his stomach.


He is microwave proof. For 2 minutes he goes into the microwave just before I go to bed. He keeps me warm till I fall asleep.  


When it is not night, he sits waiting for me.


Do you sew in bed? Read? Watch tv? Eat? You got to be kidding. Do people really do these things in bed? I didn’t know! Usually as soon as I put my head on my pillow I’m asleep. The first 4 hours you need to make an effort to wake me up. Sometimes when stressed or have too much going on, I pick-up a book to read. Sometimes I read around 2 am. After lots of tossing & turning I give up and put on the light and read. Sometimes the book is so good, I do an all-nighter, I just can’t put it down. I’m usually sorry in the morning!

Early to bed or all-nighter? I’m an early to bed person. Always have been. I’m also a morning person. Who would have guessed. For me it is an effort to stay up late.

Who would you most like to have a pillow fight with? I think Mark Hamon as Jethro Gibbs.


Happy Valentine’s Day


Sunday, 13 February 2011


Dream, create, happiness, peace, joy.

This weekend I was busy making this doll called Jane and dreaming lots of the Dear Jane quilt.

I bought the pattern for this doll from Atelier Bep at the patchwork & quilt days in Vijfhuizen.


2011_02_12_doll making


2011_02_13_doll making

The result

2011_02_13_doll making1

Jane’ reminds me of the dolls in the series Little House on the Prairie. Loved that show! Loved the books.

What do you think of ‘Jane’?

PS – I too am going to start with the Dear Jane, the Jane A. Stickle quilt. Will be joining a Dear Jane Group. This has been decided this weekend. First get-together will be in March. Can’t wait to meet the other quilters in this group. I expect it will be very motivating and hopefully they can give me some pointers.

Gratitude – looking back on week 6

Noticed the little mess-up in the header? It seems I haven’t been counting the weeks right.  Actually my calendar options in Outlook wasn’t set right.  This post is about week seven, oops 6 (6th  - 13th of February). Silly me, for not noticing this before. Silly you, for not mentioning this. A wise lady told I wasn’t wrong at all. Therefore lots of strikethroughs in this post.  I’ve set-up Outlook correctly now, I think!

This has been a difficult week, learning lots of new things about myself and others. I’m really making an effort to focus on the positive.

I’m thankful for the new insight in participation law. Especially, on speakers' committee law. It seems employees have more ways to have their voice heard. Collaboration enables us to strengthen our voice. It widens our reach. It empowers collective clout to change policies within organizational units. Yes, we can!


I’m thankful for being able to work on a dream and make it true (create).

I’m thankful for being able to manage my spending spree a little better. This is what I contently ask myself when browsing inside shops and tempted to buy something:

  • do I need it?
  • will I use it?
  • can I afford it?
  • is it worth it?
  • have I checked if it’s cheaper anywhere else?

I’m thankful for all you guys. Or should I say gals? You write such lovely posts. I love your blogs. I now follow 304 bloggers. I’m amazed sometimes by your stories. Love your works and dream of the day that I can make a similar quilt. Love it when you leave a note.

I’m thankful for my hay fever as that means spring is nearly upon us. At least here in the northern hemisphere. I’m allergic to tree pollens. Flowering trees pollinate just before they start to blossom. And when we see tree blossom we know this means spring!! Because of this allergy I’ve also developed an oral allergy to certain fruits (cherries & apples) and nuts (primarily hazelnuts). The symptoms aren’t too bad, and usually I only suffer for about 4 weeks, mainly in the mornings. Will need to re-order my meds. After the 4 weeks, I can enjoy spring and summer.

IMG_2177There is still a spot for me! I’m thankful that I’m able to join a Dear Jane group. The first bee is next month. I too will be making a replica of the Jane A. Stickle quilt.


Making a happy dance at the moment. Will be posting more on this subject soon. 

Dream, Create, Joy.