Sunday, 31 July 2011

Gratitude post – week 30

I’m thankful for my own personal Quilt frame easel (quiltbok). FIL was so kind to make one for me.


Chuffed with these nieces of mine. We had a fun afternoon at the zoo yesterday.


A mood-collage 2011_07_30_zoo

Very pleased with my progress on the Dear Jane. Had a delightful afternoon last Friday. You can read about it here. It amazes me how many Janiacs there are. Janiacs is a term used for those who are hooked on making the blocks from the Quilt made by Jane Stickle. Looks like I will be meeting up with another Janiac. After being a follower of her for many months, admiring her DJ & Phebe and our occasional e-meet, it looks like I will finally meet her.

Still a little exhilarated after saying goodbye to my employer this week. The career move is making me serendipitous. I realize however “There are times to cultivate and create, when you nurture your world and give birth to new ideas and ventures. There are times of flourishing and abundance, when life feels in full bloom, energized and expanding. And there are times of fruition, when things come to an end. They have reached their climax and must be harvested before they begin to fade. And finally of course, there are times that are cold, and cutting and empty, times when the spring of new beginnings seems like a distant dream. Those rhythms in life are natural events. They weave into one another as day follows night, bringing, not messages of hope and fear, but messages of how things are.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa.

Very pleased with my Krups Milk Froth maker.


Enthralled as I have 31 days off before I start with my new job. 

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.  ~ Epictetus

Friday, 29 July 2011

Dear Jane club update

I just posted a post about my progress with the Dear Jane. Just click here and you can read all about it on my other blog.

‘De Quilthoeve’ in Naaldwijk

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go to Naaldwijk to visit the Quilthoeve. I though it would be around the corner and on hindsight I misjudged the distance. Boy, was it a long drive. Nearly 1,5 hours!!

Grotere kaart weergeven

Gave my regards from Berna to Wendy. It was Berna's post that made me want to visit this quilt shop. I can tell you it was worth the trip. Look at these pictures:


Look at that happy smiling Helen in the right hand corner. Underneath you can see some of my purchases. Not all at quilt relatedEmbarrassed Absolutely love the little wooden houses.


If you want to visit too, just click here. Would love to visit again sometime. Maybe I can encourage some of my quilter friends to join me in a Quilt Verwendag (translation: Quilt Pamper Day).

As I had some time on my hands, I drove towards the sea after finishing shopping.


Grotere kaart weergeven

After my walk, I drove back to Capelle aan den IJssel to meet up with a friend for diner. Compared to the previous drive, this was a very short drive of only 40 minutes!

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wednesday – a Simple Woman’s Daybook

simple-woman-daybook_old_700 Please visit The Simple Woman's Day book


27th of July

Outside my window... I wish!! Today it looks a little grey. This picture was taken last Monday morning. Still, I do see that the sun is really trying hard to push its rays through the clouds.

I am, I got myself a Kindle (an e-reader). Amazed that I’ve finally taken the plunge. I think one follower will be surprised. Wondering if I will be able to part with the real thing or will I start making different choices.

I am thankful... for being able to buy myself a new totem (a diamond ring). A daily reminder that things eventually turn-out ok. As Mark Twain said ~ “All good things arrive unto them that wait - and don't die in the meantime”. Wink

In the kitchen... all the ingredients to try out a new recipe.

I am wearing... jeans, white t-shirt, blue sweater and a necklace. It is just too cold. According to the weather site it is 19° Celsius. But it feels a lot colder. I’m really cold. I know it is cold as the tips of my fingers look a little blue. I’m having a hard time believing it is really summer.

I am creating...another baby Jane: F8 – Church Window. Yesterday I completed H6 – Pie Sale

IMG_5646_F7_star struck

Really hoping that that Juud reads this blog.

I am going...on a little mid-august break with my mum. The vacation we had planned for September fell through because of my new job. That will start in September. We are going to Germany. Staying in a hotel in Meisdorf. 

Grotere kaart weergeven

From there we will visit Dresden, Leipzig, Magdeburg, and Erfurt. Maybe even do a round of golf.

I am wondering...actually about nothing. Isn’t that hard to believe?

I am reading... the same book as a couple of weeks ago. The distant hours by Kate Morton

I am hoping...that this ‘time’ will continue for ever. Feeling very bliss.

I am looking forward to... visiting to the Quilthoeve in Naaldwijk.

I am hearing...lots of birds chirping in the background & neighbours mowing their lawn.

Around the house...lots of quilt related stuff laid out everywhere. Yes I’m creating.

I am pondering...whether someone's theory might be right. Last couple of weeks some strange things have been happening. Last night a telephone central in the west part of our country malfunctioned. Emergency services like the ambulance & fire brigade weren’t accessible. Then there was a fire in a television sending tower some weeks ago. I mean if we can’t use internet, call or use our radio & television big chaos can break out and lots of people can get hurt. Communication facilities are essential during an emergency. Is someone preparing to attack us? We have just seen how much damage one person can do in Norway. How much damage can one person make if all communication facilities are down too? I’m amazed that know one has picked-up on this. No journalist anyway.

One of my favourite study.

A few plans for the rest of the week: going to the zoo with my sister and her kids. Meeting up with friends, catching up on all their doings. Lots of quilting.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Cats are dangerous companions for writers because cat watching is a near-perfect method of writing avoidance” ~ Dan Greenburg

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A violet crumble moment


Hubby discovered a Violet Crumble bar in the kitchen cupboard last week. I had forgotten it was still there. Had a Violet Crumble moment Monday morning outside in the sun with my café latte. This is the last one I had………………. it is all gone now.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Gratitude post – week 29

Grateful that the second part of 2011 is looking pretty good.

Joyous, as I can finally say after 525 days (or 1 year, 5 months and 10 days) that I can close this chapter of my life.  Besides being a quilter, I’m also a career woman. My job is important to me. The past 525 days I have had to reassess what I want out of my career, my job. In hindsight I can say I lost the courage to focus on that which aspires me. The ‘others’ seemed to have an hold on me. I settled for what I had and didn’t aim for all that I could achieve. I have to admit I needed a little encouragement in letting go, wasn’t happy initially for the shove but now I’m grateful.

I’m beaming as I got a new job! After applying for several jobs and having lots of interviews the past weeks I can now say that this was a successful endeavour. I’m finally going to do what I love, …. again.

Still feeling merry after getting two jobs offers. Had to do a lot of soul searching, but I made a choice Monday. Amazing how you perceive the world differently, when things are going your way. 

To treat myself and to remember this moment I got myself a present.

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” ~ Orson Welles

In my case ‘every end is a new beginning’ and for that I’m thankful.

I’m also thankful for the help that I received from a good friend and from hubby.  I’m liking my study more and more.


I’m still feeling elated! It is hard to imagine I will be in Houston in 99 days for the International Quilt Festival and meet Amy as well as the quiltmakers that I’m going to interview for the AAQ.

It is a little hard to write this post as I’m sooooooooooooooo grateful for the big things that it is a little hard to focus on the little things.

I’m absolutely chuffed that I now have six week off to enjoy all those things that I haven’t been able to do the past 525 days.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Another baby Jane completed

Should I post this on my other blog or should I post it here. Decisions, decisions. As I don’t have much time today, here will have to do.


This is what the postman brought this week. Aren’t they lovely?


Will be washing them this weekend & let them hang to dry. Naturally, I will than iron them and then they will be put away till I need it for another baby Jane. I do think I now have enough civil war repro fabrics!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Houston, here I come

Isn’t this unexpected??? Actually, I still hardly can believe it myself. The last couple of days I’ve been contemplating signing up as a volunteer for the Quilters’ S.O.S. – Save Our stories project. Well this morning I made my decision. I’m going to assist the team in documenting the stories of quiltmakers at the International Quilt Festival in Houston. Isn’t that cool?

This means I need to check-out flights, accommodation, weather, workshop schedules, etc. To help me plan, I first did a search on Google Maps. I mean where is Houston? I also looked up where the convention centre is. 
Grotere kaart weergeven

Next on my list is what is the weather like in Autumn? It seems it is quite warm in Houston, with temperatures averaging from 20 to 28 °C during the day. Compared to the Netherlands that means I can take my summer clothes with me. Cool fronts that move through the region during the fall can bring rain. Well, we have lots of rain in our summer so that won’t discourage me and I do expect I won’t be bothered much as I will be inside the George R. Brown Convention Centre most of the time, interviewing quiltmakers in the morning!! How cool is that? It is still a little unreal, can’t believe I am really going to the International Quilt Festival?

Oops, it seems hurricanes can move into the area from the Gulf of Mexico bringing heavy rains and high winds. Lucky for me, most years see little or no significant hurricane activity. Will look for a sturdy hotel! But flooding seems to be more frequent in October and November. I guess I need to take my wellies

imageI’ve adjusted my iGoogle and added the weather widget, as well as a time clock widget for Houston. Time difference is 7 hours.

I’m on a roll, just booked my room at the Hyatt Regency.  My room looks huge. I expect I might need to get used to that. Everything seems to be huge in Texas.

It is slowly becoming real. In 105 days I’ll be in the States. I still need to check the workshop & lecture schedule, but I still have plenty of time to do that. Naturally I hope to do some sightseeing. Although I do realize I’m only there for 6 days. Will see which tours are available, here.

This is all very unexpected but I’m thrilled that I’m going to be a volunteer for the Q.S.O.S. at the 2011 Houston Quilt Festival and also be able to visit the festival too.  I think I better start saving, so that I have enough cash to buy lots of fabrics and quilt notions.

Lets quilt

I phoned Marja and asked if she wanted to do some quilting. It didn’t take her long to answer. What would you rather do on a dreary day like it was on Monday.


I think we did too much talking. I pieced another little block the wrong way. Focus Helen, focus.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Alliance for American Quilts

Last week I decided to become a member of this alliance.

The Alliance for American Quilts (AAQ) is a nonprofit organization established in 1993 whose mission is to document, preserve, and share the American quilt heritage by collecting the rich stories that historic and contemporary quilts, and their makers, tell about the nation's diverse peoples and their communities.


Becoming a member doesn’t cost a real lot. This way I play a small part in supporting this initiative. One of the projects they realized is the Quilt Index. What a great initiative.

It was great to e-meet with Amy, Executive Director at the AAQ. I would have loved to have met her in Houston coming November.  As a researcher myself I would have loved to help her interview the 80+ Texas quiltmakers for their Quilters’ SOS – Save Our Stories project. Qualitative research is the way to go!

I think it would be great if we set-up a foundation like the AAQ in the Netherlands. So far as I know we don’t have something that can be compared to the AAQ. Still I think An Moonen is doing her best to document the history of Dutch Quilts. I think in the next couple of days I might make some time and look through her  book and admire the quilts of our past.

If you can’t get enough of quilts and want to learn more about their makers, do become a member.

Dear Jane & other quilts

As I mentioned here, I would show you some of Karin’s works.

2011_07_16_DJ bij Karin1

I’m so jealous of her SBS (Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler) and even more jealous of the pin she received from Jennifer Chiaverini's for completing this quilt. I really should start figuring out how I can spend my time more wisely. She even has some quilts pilled up upon on a trunk, another thing I would love to have. The Canadian Star is also a beauty. As is the Dresden block, made from 30’s repro fabric. I must jot down all the names next time I take pictures. I’ve forgotten what the other ones are called.

By the way the tie quilt was bought at a market! Karin didn’t make this one herself. This quilt comes with a great story. You must ask her about it when you meet her.

Again I have to say, I’m really happy having met these quilters (sisters). You guys are great!

Gratitude post – week 28

Thankful to be able to clear up the clutter in my life and study.

Rejoicing that I can close this chapter of my life and start a new one. "Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck" ~ Dalai Lama.

Optimistic about the future. A new chapter in my ‘book of life’ is about to be written.

Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway ~ Unknown

Feeling euphoric! It is great to have to have new quilt friends in my life. It is stimulating to work together on the Dear Jane. Did you notice that the start-up was a little difficult, no one reacted to my call to start-up a DJ-circle a couple of months ago, but all of a sudden more and more quilters want to join us on this journey. Isn’t that fantastic? Maybe I need to learn to accept that some things take time.

Cheerful about my nails. Deportment is important to me. Deportment is a way you present yourself, your speech and your actions. So I’m pretty gleeful about my pretty groomed nails. Deportment is about having elegance, grace, poise and high self esteem. This confidence and poise seems to be rubbing off on other aspects of my life. Negotiations are going well!!

Feeling bliss after a insightful conversation with my coach. Yes, I too have a mentor Eye-rolling. So happy with her and thankful that I can call on her any time. Even when she is on holiday.

Absolutely ecstatic about the praise I’m getting for my blog and for my writing style. Thanks so much. Love the feedback and love the e-meets that have come from this blog.

I’m chuffed! Don’t you love summer berries? Being able to eat a bowl of summer fruits makes me happy.


Thrilled that dreams do seem to come true.  ‘Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil’ ~ James Allen, As a Man Thinketh.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Thursday’s Simple Woman’s Day book



July 14, 2011

Please visit The Simple Woman's Day book

Outside my window... another dreary day. From two glorious sunny, warm summer days Sunday and Monday we now are experiencing some real Dutch autumn weather. How can this be, as I’m sure it is summer, all my calendars are  saying it is Thursday morning 7am. It is very wet outside. The night before last we had a down pore of 60 mm. I can’t say how much rain we had in the last 24 hours as hubby isn’t awake yet. He collects the weather data Disappointed

I am one minute you don’t seem to have any control over your life and the next minute you have it all back. I wish I had feminine power all the time. The power to create those things that are beyond our control.  I’ve been feeling powerless to create those things I value and care about the most: connection, belonging, creativity, self-expression, aliveness, meaning, purpose, and contribution. Thankfully I didn’t lose the power to create love, intimacy, virtual and spiritual connection otherwise I would have been real lost the last couple of months.

I am thankful...for family & friends (you know who you are) who stood by me and encouraged me to hold on and believe in myself. I’m also thankful for the beautiful flowers I received yesterday. I got these for helping a colleague. Wasn’t she kind to send me this? Isn’t this a compliment!IMG_5426

From the learning rooms...I should focus less on myself and focus more on ‘others’ – an area I will look into more is group interaction & cohesiveness. As well as micro-organisational resilience.

In the kitchen... another delicious summer berries salad is waiting for me.


I am wearing... my pyjamas. Love those early mornings, before the hustle & bustle. Sitting behind my PC with a Americano and write this post.

I am creating... my future Party

I am wondering... if I could start a revolution and bring back MANNERS,TRUST,RESPECT,LOYALTY and RESPONSIBILITY. If you want to join my revolution, just let me know. I’m hoping to create a new fad.

I am reading...’the distant hours’ by Kate Morton

My quote for today…… As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. ~ Henry David Thoreau

I am hoping... to get a extra image centre-pivot roof window placed in my study. One of these:

imageI am looking forward to... the next couple of weeks, especially all the mini-quilting bees.

I am hearing... traffic in the far distance for the rest SILENCE.

Around the house...I really should clear up my study. There are books everywhere! My desk is a mess. Lots of clutter that needs to be cleared. I guess today is a good day to start.

I am pondering...about nothing! This is a surprise for me too.

One of my favourite things... The Krups Milk Frother XL2000.

A few plans for the rest of the week: shopping with a colleague/friend, Dear Jane, birthday dinner, household chores.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...


The best B&B in the world if you ask me.  

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

It is all in the attitude!

I’m trying to enforce rule 7 and surround myself with positive people. And it seems to work. I’m less negative. It is all in the attitude! Just click here to learn the other 6 rules for staying positive.

Attitude is Everything Movie

The following mindset really works for me, I’m noticing its effects.

  • When I wake up, before I get out of bed, I take a moment to settle my thoughts and get into the right frame of mind.
  • Realizing this day is mine to live only one time.
  • Make the assumption that others I come in contact with during the day are good people (this is a hard one!).
  • Smile because you are happy, because you are alive, because it is a beautiful day, or for no reason at all. (It is amazing the effect this has on the people you meet, people don’t know what hit them when you walk around smiling).
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember, Que Sera, Sera, Whatever Will Be, Will Be.
  • Be thankful for what you have, the person you are and the people that are part of your life.

My mantra - this week is going to be wonderfulI am positive of it!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Christmas in July

Tonight Berna & I worked on our Christmas projects.


It has been sometime since I worked on this stitchery. Once I got started I remembered how much fun it is.  I nearly completed the top panel tonight. I only have to stitch the sleigh that is filled with presents. The finished quilt will look like this. That means I still have to do 3 more panels.  

imageThe Crab-apple Hill designers stitched Santa's village on a 148.6 cm x 199.4 cm (58 1/2" x 78 1/2") quilt in redwork. They stitched a toy factory, candy maker, bakery, elves bunkhouse and the reindeer stable! Can’t wait to start on the next panel. If you want to order the pattern or read more about it, just click here.

As you can imagine, this gets me in a Christmas mood. You do know that it will be Christmas in only 166 days. Let the countdown start!