27 June, 2008

it's all in the pinning....

Made some more half-square triangles. While doing that I decided to make large square units of 5 blocks down and 5 across since it may be easier to put the top together that way instead of working with very long strips of blocks.
This quilt is planned to be 240 cm by 240 cm (or a bit longer) so that it will hang over the bed. 900 of those blocks to make, so steady as she goes! Good thing about it though, the stash will be finally used. Since Mieke's charms are primarily rose and flower fabrics, I'll be adding plaids and other charms from my own stash. That should give me some more room in my closet!

Work has to proceed slowly and accurately to make sure the points don't get "eaten" up in the seams. It's fun and quick to work with the machine, but I still think I have more control when working by hand. The cardinal rule in this project? It's all in the pinning!

Going to stop here for today and do some things around the house as we have a big weekend coming up.
Wishing you a good weekend!

26 June, 2008

triangles quilt

The phone rang all day, and I spent half the morning chatting with my friend on Skype (she lives in France), but still managed to get something done.
I dove into the stash my friend Mieke gave me and found lots and lots of charms packs!
I have a bunch of my own that have been lying about, so what to do with them?

This is what I came up with.

A simple quilt made up of half-square triangle blocks. Easy, quick to do on the machine, and there's (hopefully) enough muslin to complete the project. Since I chat with my friend in Paris a lot, and the computer is in my sewing room, I can talk to her and sew these little blocks at the same time. Sounds good, right?

This was a quick post, and it's time to walk the dog!

22 June, 2008

Happy Birthday Darwin!!

Two years old today!
He used to be like this:

I didn't manage to get a proper photo of him today: Darwin did what he always loves to do most, lots of swimming and rolling in the mud!
Can't even imagine life without him! Our big bear....

21 June, 2008

Holland v. Russia 1-3

We're out!
That's Dutch coach Guus Hiddink on the Russian side celebrating his teams' win. Happy Clam!
Now there will be people rooting for Russia just because Guus is coach...hmmm....

All I know is that I'm still a EK-widow until sunday next....LOL!

19 June, 2008

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week June 18th

This week's SBQ is:

Do you currently subscribe to any stitching publications or have you
in the past? (Either in print or online) If so, which ones?


In the past I used to buy magazines, but too often they were filled with patterns that didn't suit my taste., so it wasn't worth getting a subscription.    Now I only buy magazines very occasionally if there's something in it of interest.  The last magazine I just purchased was the back issue of Sampler & Antique Needlework Quarterly (summer 2007) because of the knottedoek pattern that I want to make and would love to see hanging in my home.

Buying patterns is preferable to me, what you see is what you get, and they take up less space than a collection of magazines.  Not that I don't have any: I have a large collection of Rowan knitting books, Spin-Off and Vintage Quilts.  The preference for separate patterns also comes from the fact that when moving home in the past across oceans, I ended up ripping the magazines apart, saving only those patterns that I wanted to keep in a binder.  Now, in a effort to finish what I start, and keep my stash under control, I've become very careful with what comes into the house.  After all, I'd prefer to enjoying decorating my home, or making someone happy with the real thing and not dreaming about it when looking at a picture.

a "thank you" gift...

This is a very old quilted envelope that I've had for many moons. I bought it in a knitting shop to keep needlepoint projects in. Now that I cross stitch, I keep my current project in it.

Several months ago, my dear friend Mieke, who, due to failing eyesight can no longer quilt, gave me a blue plastic box. This was in it.

It sat here in my sewing room, closed and unsure of it's fate. Until I was cleaning out the room this past weekend, re-discovering my precious fabrics, WIP's and UFO's. Mieke is undergoing a stressfull move, due to health reasons. I wanted to cheer her up a bit in a little way. So this is what I did:

I made her an envelope just like mine. She's always liked it, so hopefully this will cheer her up a bit. She can keep her cross stitch work in here, and still enjoy the fabrics she loves, but had to give away. My daughter came up with the idea of placing the heart the front flap.

Now Mieke has given me all her fabrics to do with as I please. It saddens us both that she can no longer quilt, and there are many unfinished quilts lurking in those boxes now stacked up in my room. You know I'll be working up something special for her. It would be nice if at least she could enjoy the fabrics she spent time collecting in her home. But shhh...mum's the word, ok?

EDIT: Mieke was very, very happy with her envelope!

18 June, 2008

Holland v. Romania 2-0

of course, it helps to dress for the occasion....!

17 June, 2008

red & white sampler ...

Its a beautiful sunny day here, the perfect day to hang out white linen..

So between chores of cleaning, laundry, dog grooming and the all-important chat-with-the-next-door-neighbor-who's -returned-from-holiday, I managed to take a picture of this mammoth! I couldn't get a good shot standing on a chair and hoping for a good aim, so I fixed it to the hedge in the garden.
did manage to sneak in some stitching this morning early over a quiet cup of tea - the numbers under the dragon.

Happy Wednesday!

16 June, 2008


new additions to my pattern collection....
all by Carriage House Samplings

The Houses Of Hawk Run Hollow

Sweet Humility

Willow Tree

15 June, 2008

just had to share the fun

Just do me a favor and check out this site:


I still have cramps from laughing -curious to hear what you thought!

happy sunday,

14 June, 2008

13 June, 2008

the rotation of projects or am I really making progress?

It's a cold, grey and rainy day here in Holland.  Normally these are good days to do some stitching, but alas, not as much as I had hoped.  Here's my progress so far.....

Having read on blogs and in articles that cross stitchers rotated their projects, it seemed like a good idea to try it.  The idea wasn't really new, but sometimes it's good to be reminded of them, and then there's the right time for them to be implemented. Now, I don't have anywhere NEAR the amount of projects that many people have in progress, but I do know the unpleasant feeling of that little voice nagging me to work on a project when entering my sewing room, or seeing it lying there in the closet, or when picking up that favorite project of the moment, leaving that poor WIP waiting for yet another day.

So.  Ann Grimshaw will be put aside for two weeks, and my red & white sampler will receive my undivided attention for the coming two weeks.  As mentioned above, the hope was to get more work done, but the "spring cleaning" I've been doing in the house, and some small quilting projects have taken in some of that time, and let's not get started on the sudden runny nose, teary-eyed, sneeze-fest that suddenly came over me this week!  Do you know how hard it is to cross stitch with all that going on?  Right - so that's another reason progress has been slow.

This morning, while attempting a few more stitches, I discovered a mistake.  1 stitch!  Grrr...
In the greater scheme of things it's not a drama, I'm just wondering if I should take everything out to where the mistake was and start all over again?  I'm not afraid of frogging or ripping (whatever the proper term is to cross stitchers) but am more concerned about the pattern not working out as I work my way to the edge...

Any thoughts on that?

Furthermore, work on a small quilting project will resume shortly after this post is published.  It's actually a "copy" of a quilted envelope I use to put my needlework projects with me.  It's around 20 years old now (gasp!) and before recently only served to store my needlework canvases in.  

Oh, and may I say thank you to every one who has so kindly responded and corresponded with me since I've begun posting regularly again?  It brings a smile, stimulates and encourages.

Thank you!

11 June, 2008

practice makes ... the worry less

I was planning on some stitching today as I'm very pleased with how Ann Grimshaw is coming along, but the red & white log cabin is laying rolled up in the guest bedroom waiting...

So I dug up some muslin and scraps of batting and started to practice quilting by machine.  It's not really quilting though is it?  It's basically stitching through three layers of fabric.  So, I stuck on my "stitch-in-the-ditch" foot on my Pfaff which has never been used even though it's been part of my sewing arsenal for over a year, asked the heavens to smile upon me and...it's easy!  Ok, so you have to go slower, use a bigger stitch size and at the beginning take your time taking the first stitch back and forth three times to anchor it.  Take a deep breath, relax, and let the machine do it's thing!

Thought it would be a big learning curve, but admittedly, it wasn't as bad as it seemed.  Visions of my machine eating fabric, bunching threads, bending needles....all for naught.  Silly rabbit!  

I'll finish up this little block just to get the feel in my fingers and then pull out the quilt - or perhaps I'll make a sample log block and practice on that to see what it will look like?  Depends on the amount of patience and confidence I have.  
Now that the mountain has been made into a molehill, it's time to take a break and have a nice relaxing walk with Darwin.  

See Ya!

10 June, 2008

a little pride

Holland wins 3-0 against the current World Champions Italy

Hup Holland, Hup!

07 June, 2008

for the "nut" in you...

Have you ever had someone say to you "wow, I really like..." or "I have a thing for...", and once they said it, you consequently see "that" everywhere? (I have it for Noah's Ark - don't ask me why) Well, my new stitching friend and fellow namesake Heidi mentioned in the last post that she loves acorns. Now I see the little nuts everywhere!

So Heidi, this post is for you:
I just wanted to share the adorable little patterns I saw that showcase these favorites of squirrels everywhere...the acorn.

Acorn Ornament by Lakeside Linens
seen at: Shakespeare's Peddler

Oh Splendid Acorn by Homespun elegance
seen at: The Silver Needle

I came across these patterns while searching for Carriage House Samplings' patterns, The Village of Hawk Run Hollow and The Houses of Hawk Run Hollow. I'm considering making tackling one of these in the future, but don't know which one and want to know how much I need in my piggy-bank in order to buy one. Oh yes, yes I know - finish what I have first! By the time I complete one of my samplers (my own red & white sampler or the Ann Trump) I hope to have gathered the materials to get started on this Mammoth project...

Back to the European Championships Portugal v. Turkey... (read: time to stitch )
Have a great weekend all!

04 June, 2008

Ann Grimshaw sampler - progress report

not in the mood for sorting through attic boxes....

...but after completing two more motives, it's seems like the right thing to do...

02 June, 2008

Stitching Blogger's Question of the Week May 29th

This week's SBQ was suggested by Jan and is:

Do you ever get to a point working on a project that you've had for so long, you start to wonder what possessed you to start it in the first place?

Yep.  And that's not only for stitching projects either!
The sampler I bought a few moons ago, "Hollandsche Schone" or "Dutch Beauty" is just such a project.  What was I thinking?  I had no idea what I was doing, didn't really know the proper way to stitch, have since changed the direction in which I cross my stitches, the question remains if it will ever be completed.
I consider myself a newcomer in world of cross stitch, so there's lots of things to learn, but as far as other crafts are concerned such as knitting there have been many projects - some still up in the attic and official UFO's - of which I really asked myself "why?"  Hubris?  Hope?  
Often the beauty and quality of the materials got me through a project, but sometimes, even that wasn't enough.

My take on it?  Ach, it happens.  A lesson learned.  Some projects did get finished when I had more experience and tech know-how, or help from someone more knowledgeable, others, had a less happier ending.  It's all part of the process.


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