Thursday, 31 March 2011


My disquietude is only increasing as tomorrow comes closer. Why you wonder? I have to give a presentation. I’m well prepared but I don’t like standing in front of crowds. This is one of the main reasons it is a little quiet on this blog. I have been busy with my presentation and making final adjustments. My mind has been a little frenzied, so not much sewing last week and a half. Will do my best to get back into my rhythm once back from my little trip to Brussels.

Will be going here.

Grotere kaart weergeven

Hope to see some sights of Brussels and not just spending time inside to catch up with old colleagues and meeting new researchers.

The conference, ‘In the Heart of Europe’, will bring together nurses, allied professionals, and cardiologists in a full programme of educational and scientific sessions aimed at improving patient outcomes. This year there is special focus on arrhythmia. I was a little surprised to be invited as a speaker last year, but I have to conclude that I’m happy that there is still interest in my research. My heart goes out to cardiac arrest survivors. My study shows that the psychological & social implications of having received an ICD are huge. I hope to hear that nurses, allied professionals and cardiologist have shifted their attention and focus more on these areas of care management.

My bags are nearly packed. This afternoon I’m off to Brussels.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Wistful Sunday

2011_02_18_Zoë Quilt1-1

PS – with much longing I wished I had been more creative this weekend. 

Gratitude post – week 12

Thankful for another inspiring NLP – Mind Development training session. This time we focussed on Korsybski model. Structural Differential helps us to analyze the behaviour, responses, reactions, etc., of a particular individual in a specific situation. NLP investigates the way people describe/represent their perception of their inner/outer worlds (their "map of the world"). This includes the images, sounds, feelings and other aspects of the sensory experience. We focussed on the fight-or-flight reaction of individuals. Basically tonight's session helps me look at myself and what my primal reaction is in a crisis situation? It is also interesting that with this knowledge you can assess team functioning. Wednesday’s session gives another view on teambuilding. NLP reminds me that we do not in general have access to absolute knowledge of reality, but in fact only have access to a set of beliefs we have built up over time, about reality. So we come back to this quote "Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." — Shakespeare.

Grateful for the great shopping day with my mum. I was very successful. I bought a dress & jacket plus matching shoes which I can wear at the congress next week. Also bought a new bodywarmer jacket. I also bought a new sport bra! I’m still contemplating whether this is a good idea to post thisEmbarrassed

Happy that we are going onto summertime this weekend. Daylight saving time increases the number of hours we have for outdoor leisure activities. We were lucky to have had such a beautiful start to spring this week. I’m still ecstatic about the number of sunny days we had. imageI’m buoyant after having used Hubby’s iPad for the first time. A great gadget to have, although I’m coming to the conclusion that my computer facilitates me better. imageI’m trilled that I had beetroot last night. I love beetroot. Love it either warm or cold. Miss having a slice on my sandwich. Maybe I should buy this more often. Sadly, Dutch people don’t put a slice between their sandwich or burger. But I might take up this habit again. imageI’m all rosy and hyper after my yoga session last Tuesday. I’m contemplating practising yoga at home too. I’ve purchased two DVD’s from Kim Eng: Qi flow yoga & Yin yoga. Have to figure out which room I can practice in the best.

Meditation Yoga pose_1Last but not least, I’m looking forward to my trip to Brussels. Refocusing on the subject of my PhD thesis seems to be providential. This invitational could not have come at a more fortuitous time. It’s electrifying! Who knows what this might lead to.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Do you want to win this quilt

If you live in the Netherlands you could buy a raffle ticket and maybe become the future owner of this quilt. The photo doesn’t do it justice. I was able to admire the quilt last Saturday and I can tell you it is a stunner.

IMG_applique quilt

The rest of this post is in Dutch.

Joke Dingemans heeft deze mooie quilt gemaakt en geschonken. Wil je een kans maken om hem te winnen? Ga dan langs bij Laura’s Quiltatelier om een lootje te kopen. Een lootje kost 5 euro.

Vanaf zaterdag 26 maart worden de loten verkocht bij Laura’s quiltatelier, Muurhuizen 136, in Amersfoort. Het atelier is open vanaf woensdag t/m zaterdag van 12:00 tot 16:00 uur.

Het Handwerkfestijn wordt voor de 5e keer begin september in Bunschoten georganiseerd. Op de website vindt je de meest recente informatie over het Handwerkfestijn. De opbrengst van dit festijn gaat naar het Diabetes Fonds, ten behoeve van wetenschappelijk onderzoek . 

Wil jij ook een zelfgemaakte creatie schenken voor de loterij, neem dan contact op met Marja, een van de organisatoren.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Quote of the week

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." Galileo Galilei.

Baby quilt

One of the ladies from our ‘FIETS-groep’ made a baby quilt for her grandson. We haven’t seen it finished. Thankfully she e-mailed a photo of how it looked and she gave her permission to share it with you. Didn’t it turned out looking great?


For those who have forgotten the definition of this acronym FIETS-groep it means ‘Fijn, Individueel en Toch Samen’. In English it would translate to FIT-group (Fine, individually and together).

Gratitude – week 11

Behold this beautiful sunrise. The view from my study window at 6.30 am. IMG_3111I love this time in the morning when all is quiet and you only hear the birds chirping and the buzz of the computer.

I’m pleased that I not only have my quilt MOJO back, but I’ve also re-found my balance. I’m more in touch with my “emotions” and “thoughts”. I’m reaching my optimal inner alchemy. I’m more resilient and less effected by the happenings in the outside world. Most of my energy (focus of the last 20 years) has been directed at ‘doing’—known as yang in the Taoist tradition. I need to cultivate its opposite more, yin, the energy of “allowing”. I’m appreciative towards my dru-yoga instructor for showing the way.

You might wonder how I do this. Well the last year hasn’t been easy but this helps me: positive self-talk, maintaining a gratitude journal, developing my internal locus of control, cultivate optimism, exercise, connecting with people who inspire, getting in touch with my spiritual side (enjoying the benefits of meditation). But most important, trusting the process and working through it.

I’m grateful for being able to learn new things.

I felt joyful while listening to this song by Shelly Fraley.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Last lesson for the Medallion Sampler

Today was the day!!! Today was the last time we would work as a group on our Medallion Samplers. We learned how to baste with pins to make a quilt sandwich and we learned how to quilt the quilt sandwich with our machines.

Here are some snap shots throughout the day. 2011_03_19_Lauras Atelier_laatste les4-1In the bottom collage you see the end result of the tops. They are masterpieces.2011_03_19_Lauras Atelier_laatste les2 I always love nosing around in Laura’s Atelier. There is so much to see. Can’t wait till Laura organizes a workshop to make the Amish dolls. I think I might be one of the first to enrol. 2011_03_19_Lauras Atelier_laatste les3 Last but not least a depicting of the walk towards Laura’s Atelier. Isn’t Amersfoort a lovely town?2011_03_19_Lauras Atelier_laatste les My top isn’t completely finished yet. Today I also learned how to do the corners. Hopefully I’ll find some spare time to do this soon, so that I can finally baste this quilt. I’ll be hand quilting this quilt, although I did learn how to quilt with the sewing machine today. There is a little chance that I might change my mind as Pfaffy really does the job well, but it can’t beat the authentic look of real hand quilting!!

Will post about my progress on this quilt in the next couple of weeks. First I have to find time to work on my Dear Jane, the Log Cabin quilt and Zoë’s Quilt. As you may guess I really never have to have a dull moment or be bored. There is always some quilting to do Big Grin

Friday, 18 March 2011

Medallion Sampler update

I made it, just in time!! Will do the corners during the lesson tomorrow as I want them to turn-out just right, at 45o degrees angle.


Had a little mishap. The needle broke. The first one!!


I think Mirjam and Laura were right. Sometimes you have to redefine your goals.


Although this is not the complete Medallion Sampler as designed by Hanneke Vibeke de Koning, I have to admit that it doesn’t look half bad. Who knows I might give it another go sometime in the future and make the complete sampler. It is amazing how much easier it is when you have the right tools. Pfaffy, really is a great machine.

I’m wondering how the other projects turned out. I know of at least one that will look terrific. Can’t wait till tomorrow to see the finishes.

By the way, we still have a long way to go. We need to baste and then quilt this quilt sandwich.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

On Sunday’s agenda

Next week the Medallion Sampler needs to be finished! Saturday, the 19th of March we have to show the finished result and than we can finally go onto basting. For those who don’t know much about quilting.

A quilt is made up of 3 layers:

  • The top – this is the Medallion Sampler. My tops are always made out of 100% cotton fabric.
  • The back – also made with cotton fabric. Usually you can find special  wide yardage for backings. I prefer king size backing in one panel. Sometimes I’m in luck, sometimes I have to sew some panels together. 
  • The batting – this is the stuff in the middle. I use natural cotton batting as it is thin, dense and flat and I like the way it holds up to hand quilting. I don’t pre-wash the batting as I like the used-look it gets when you wash the whole quilt after it has been quilted.

The 3 layers are held together with quilting stitches. I do my quilting all by hand! It takes for ever but I like the authentic look. Before you can go onto quilting you need to fasten the 3 layers together (temporarily) so they don’t slip and slide around. This is called basting the quilt. Some also call this sandwiching. In fact, when you are done, you have a quilt sandwichHappy.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself as the top needs to be finished first.

2011_03_13_Medallion Sampler   M-T-Z

I will have to find some time this week to put on the outer border.

It looks like one of my nieces might become a future quilter. My sister and her kids popped in for a quick visit. My niece was very interested in the sewing machine on the table and wanted a demonstration. She also wanted to have a go herself, but I think she needs to be a little older before she can sit behind this machine. She is only 6!

IMG_2930But who knows maybe we can try some hand sewing together soonWinking 

IMG_2922Tess, was a little less interested but did want to know when I was going to start on her quilt!! Ohhhh, the pressure! I now not only have to finish Zoë’s quilt but have to start on one for Tess. I already have a name for it: Tess’s quilt. Will have to start thinking what design to use. I already know I will be using Kaffe Fassett’s fabrics again. But first I have to find some time to do some more quilting on Zoë’s quilt in the next couple of weeks. Not far to go and I can say that Zoë’s quilt is finally completed. Only have to add the binding to finish it off completely. 

Will post more of my progress on the Medallion Sampler soon!

By the way, the Pfaff Select 3.0 is a fantastic machine. Still haven’t thought of a name for it yet. Suggestions are welcome. Maybe I’ll call it Pfaffy.

What more was on the agenda Saturday?

Gardening, although this was done by Hubby and not meHappy


I tried out a new recipe. Not everyone was enthusiastic! Luckily our guest liked it! It is a strange combination chocolate with chicken. What will they think of next?


Pie & Tart quilt

I have been admiring Sue Daley’s work for some time. Have you seen this quilt from Sue Daley? According to Sue herself it is easy to make. I think it looks stunning. Love the colour and fabric choices. With the DOWNLOADABLE SHAPES from Inklingo (that can be printed directly onto the fabric), it has become possible to make this quilt faster and easier. Don’t we all wish that?


I’m always one of the last ones to see a hype coming. Visiting Sue’s blog I read that there was a club you could join: the pie & tart club. Sadly, this program ran in 2009. For more information click here

On Dorry’s blog I read that Sue will be coming to the Netherlands this month. She will be giving a trunk show and a workshop. Oh, how I wished that I could go. So I opened up my diary to check the dates to see if I could. Sadly I can’t as I’ll be on my way to Brussels. I’ll be presenting a paper at a congress. If you haven’t seen Dorry’s posting do go and check it out. Let me know if you went as I would love to read about it!

Naturally, I also had to check-out Inklingo. Linda Franz has lots of free shapes on offer, but for the quilt above you have to buy the downloadable shapes.  image

This is great stuff. Check out the online store and see what more is on offer. With this tool you can print out the templates on the fabric. This is a lot easier & less time consuming than tracing around the templates. I think you can also safe on fabric. No unnecessary waste. Watch this video.

Sadly, I have lots of WIP’s that need attention, otherwise I would have bought this Inklingo for the Pie and Tarts quilt. Maybe one day! It is really a beautiful quilt. Let me know if  you are going to start with this quilt.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Gratitude post – week 10

I’m smiling because Saturday I received a package from her with more civil war fabrics. They are absolutely delicious. Can’t wait to use them in my Dear Jane® babies. I am exultant because I started on my first baby DJ block F7 this week.

I’m exhilarated by all the responses on my new Dear Jane® blog.Dear Jane button-size100Designing this new blog and thinking about its content makes me rapturous. I’m thankful to live in these times. 

I’m also thankful for this fantastic week I had. I had a whole week off from work and was able to spend my holiday the way I love. Sunday & Monday were primarily spent working on my blog. Tuesday I went to my mum and did a walkabout in Groningen. Wednesday I worked on my Medallion Sampler with a dear friend. Thursday I bought myself a gift, a new sewing machine. Friday I went to Zutphen and met up with other Janiacs. Nearly forgot to mention the wonderful beauty treatment I had in the morning: a facial & massage ( I won’t mention that I had a leg wax too Wink) Saturday was mainly spent cooking & baking, getting ready for a dinner with a friend.

I’m a little giddy by all the e-mails & comments I received this week. Thank you. You know who you are. I would also like to show my gratitude to Elisa at Postpartum Quilter. I’m glad to read that you have started your own Weekly Gratitude Post. Why should we be grateful? Gratitude is a way of life. Gratitude is quality that we should aspire to as part and parcel of personal growth. According to psychologists and other researchers gratitude is positively related to such critical outcomes as life satisfaction, vitality, happiness, self-esteem, optimism, hope, empathy, and willingness to provide emotional and tangible support for other people. I don’t need research to prove this (although I’m a firm believer in research, mainly because I’m a researcher too) as I’m noticing the effects!! In combination with yoga my appreciation is growing and I’m re-finding my flow.

Translating thoughts into concrete language – words, whether oral or written – has advantages over just thinking the thoughts. It puts things in another perspective. Writing helps to organize these thoughts and facilitates integration, and also helps me accept my experiences and puts them into context.The key is to be mindful of everything that is good in your life – be it big or small – and making a conscious effort to increase your awareness about this gratefulness. I’m wondering whether others will start their own gratitude journal? I’m still thankful for having started with this practice. Hopefully I’m not boring you with these posts.

I’m thankful for the sneak peek of the coming spring. The daylight hours are getting longer. Coming Monday when I go back to work sunrise will be at 6.58 am and sunset at 6.42 pm. Length of daylight 11 hours and 44 minutes. I won’t be driving in the dark to work! Just thinking about it makes me smile.

"Nothing is either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
— Shakespeare. I read Hamlet during High School. One of the compulsory reads. I don’t remember Hamlet saying this to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern as they banter back and forth on the state of Denmark. (Act II, sc. 2). I do remember this line - get thee to a nunn'ry, why woulds't thou be a breeder of
sinners? This was the start of my fascination in history & theology.

I’m thankful for the memories I’m creating and sharing them with you.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

May I present….

Drum roll please……. here is my new sewing machine.IMG_2799This morning I went early to Barneveld to Huissteden a sewing machine shop there. The service was fantastic. If you need a new machine or a second-hand sewing machine, it is definitely worth your visit. I got to practice before deciding to buy my new sewing machine. Don’t you love her? It is naturally a she Smile, it just can’t be a him. Will have to think of a name for this baby. Anyway, I got a terrific price for my Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118, which enabled me to purchase the Pfaff Select 3.0 for a really good price. I think I got a real good deal. I’m so happy!! So if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, than you need to go here

Grotere kaart weergeven

Here I’m unpacking the box. Getting ready for my first practice session. 2011_03_10_Pfaff Select 3-1

It looks pretty much like the one Mirjam has and it definitely feels the same. The high presser foot clearance makes it easy to place several layers under the presser foot. The fabric feeds simultaneously from both the top and bottom so absolutely nothing can slip (this was the main reason for the purchase). The Pfaff IDT is a fantastic invention. It’s wonderful piecing quilt blocks / fabric together. The lines / pattern even match exactly!!2011_03_10_Pfaff Select 31-1

I phoned Mirjam to tell her I got ‘her’. She was pretty quick in offering to give my flying geese blocks back so that I can sew them together myself! She was pretty adamant. I guess she needs all the time she has to get her house in order (lol). Yesterday, she mentioned that it was a mess.

There remains one question I need to ask you, what shall I name her? Love to hear your suggestions.

I’m so content with this sewing machine that I might even sew my log-cabin on the Pfaff. Who would have thought!!! I think I might even like doing patchwork on the sewing machine.