27 September, 2008

a quick gift

... of coasters in the colors of her home, made for a friend of mine - for her birthday, along with some other goodies tossed into a basket. These were made from Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts : my first attempt in trying to make things other than quilts with my fabrics!

It's early evening here and the sun is that beautiful golden color that gives Fall that rich color - forgive the odd color of the photos....

I also picked up my backing, batting and thread for the Texas Star shown in the previous post, but will show a picture of that when the lighting is better - the sun is so golden that it looks like I'm on some planet in Star Trek, the glow is so odd! But pretty.

Anyhow, off to get ready for the party. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

26 September, 2008

UFO Confessions...

It's a good thing that Heidi suggested that together we do a post on our UFO's. For me it was not only a way of going through my stash closet and re-organize, to be reminded of what I already have, but to be faced with projects that once made my tail wag and for some reason or other got pushed aside in favor of a newer and shinier project.

Most of these are from my early days as a quilter - not that I'm a seasoned one, it's been only 4 years or so since my daughter asked me if I would make a quilt for her bed, as I was sitting at a spinning wheel. I was surprised by the request since I didn't sew at all, and up until then only knitted and spun wool. But a quilt she got, after I had taken a private class in a tiny quilt shop found by accident whilst on summer holiday in France during a terrible heat wave. That started a love affair that continues to this day with bits of fabric, colors, textures and forms.

Here a list of projects that are calling out to be completed:

As I mentioned before, I've been a knitter since knee-high to a grass hopper and a big fan of Kaffe Fassett and Rowan knitting patterns. Only natural for me to have his book, "Patchwork" as the first of my quilting library. This quilt is for Ro. It's practically finished but riddled with mistakes ( I have to add fabric to the back as I didn't know then that the backing and batting had to be larger than the top) but the quilting is nearly done.

Sampler blocks from my first quilting class. Here it's clear there was lots to learn about lights, mediums and darks in fabric, which work differently than when knitting a sweater! It's been laying about because, again, it's got plenty of mistakes, and I lost the yellow silk needed to complete the border along the baby blocks, but miraculously, when I went back to the store where I had originally purchased the fabrics, the owner, crawling around on hands and feet, found a box with the exact piece of silk that she had left over! No excuses now, huh?

Another bold project: and blocks for an ocean waves quilt, one of my favorite patterns next to the log cabin.

36 tiny star blocks for yet another ambitious project. For a while I carried the tiny pieces around, piecing them in the car, on visits, while waiting somewhere. Why can't I just make small quilts? Why must they always be queen size? I'm learning....LOL!

And now, an applique project. Four blocks completed. I think I stopped because although I loved doing it, I always had to sit at the table to work, and it was much more fun to join the rest on the couch in the evening and stitch. It's a wonderfully simple design I'd love to complete.

Paper-pieced flowers: painstakingly slow to make, but fun nevertheless when the pattern emerges. I just got tired of drawing, cutting the tiny paper diamonds and triangles needed that fit between the flowers. Who knows if this will ever become a quilt, or something else?

Teeny tiny hexagons, just shy of a 1/2 inch in width. Don't ask. I must have had a moment...

Last, but certainly not least, is one of the projects I'm most proud of, my Texas Star. The star itself is made from Indian woven cotton, of which the warp and weft are different colors. This gives the effect of the colors changing as you walk by the quilt. The background is textured Japanese fabric. The reason I'm so proud of this quilt is that it laid flat after holding my breath as the last stitch of the background went in. It's made completely by hand, and this one is next in line to be worked on. It's been in the closet purely because I didn't know if I wanted to add anything to it such as an applique. Now I want to get is sandwiched, and that will be my quilting project this winter.

Phew! Well, there you go. My confession.

25 September, 2008

warm feet...

Still in the groove, but had to rest the sore fingers from working last night and all day today stitching the binding to the back. My "Winter Garden" is done!

It was already in use before it was completed: last night, I had finished sewing the binding on, came downstairs with the quilt tossed over my shoulder, sewing box in hand, ready to begin with closing the quilt. I dropped the quilt on the couch, went into the kitchen to do the dishes, and when I came out, the quilt was gone. In the midst of wondering aloud where it went, I turned and found the man and the dog under the quilt, "watching" the football/soccer game with their eyes closed (how do they do that? I always seem to miss things when I do that...). It took some maneuvering, but I managed to get my feet under a little bit of it and begin sewing.

No doubt this will be a hard working quilt that will see lots of competition footie, or weekend movies. At least our tootsies will be warm and cozy...

Ok, back to work - don't want to lose that groove.

21 September, 2008

still here....

Gosh, has it been that long?

No, I didn't go anywhere, I'm just in a groove right now, full-speed ahead sewing, making blocks for my triangle quilt, and knotting up the baby-rib quilt at night and finally catching up on those podcasts that are still from 2007!
Have you ever had that? Just got to work on something, you're in total rhythm, feeling the project, got it in your fingers, and don't want to stop? I got it now.

10 September, 2008

I went to the Quiltersgilde in Arnhem..

held in the Eusebiuskerk in heart of this beautiful and historic city with my friend Diane and not only did we enjoy the wonderful quilts by fellow members of the guild, but I brought back some souveniers/goodies (of course! ) as well:

some fun fillers for the stash collection......

and some cool taupes....

The works were wonderful, the quilts varied in styles, sizes and colors, and I was personally pleased to see a bit more traditional quilts hanging with surprising twists that made them refreshing and memorable.  It was good to see familiar faces, meet and chat with new ones. How easily we laughed with fellow quilters!  

The day was refreshing and inspirational and  while I should have been exhausted and weary from pain, I felt charged and energized, inspired by what I saw and the conversations I had.  It's also  made me consider the question that has been asked of me - when I would submit a quilt of my own, but I'm a bit scared to do that as yet.  

I really did try to take some shots of the event to share with you, but many just didn't work out the way I wanted, but here are a few....

The last one is my favorite!  The fountain was glowing and sparkling and kids were playing in it in their underwear.  Not very wordy today - still tired from the long but wonderful day I had and my sewing room, which I started to re-organize ( and to dig up and photograph some UFO's for the blog- a promise I intend to keep to Heidi) is still waiting for me, plus not a stitch has been made yet either for a quilt or cross stitch project, so I must say "adieu" and get on with it!

see you next time!

05 September, 2008

01 September, 2008

not much stitching goin' on...

on a lovely sunny Sunday, the last of August.
First, a walk in the park with Ro and Darwin. Ro is now allowed to stretch his legs and walk a little with help of his crutches.

Football season has begun and there they were, warming up for the first game of the season.

The new artificial field has just been put down and hasn't been used yet - just had to sneak up and feel it. Ro had told me that although it looks pretty, it's no fun to play on. It's hurts and burns when you make a slider, and for the goal keepers and the gymnastics they have to sometimes perform (or forget to perform) to keep the ball out of of the goal, they end up with some admirable bumps and bruises.
What literally caught my eye was the incredible glare that bounced off the field. That didn't seem very practical either. Still looked tight though - as new fields do....
Here's what it looks like close up:

Hey! wait up for us!

After a settling Ro back for lunch and a rest, it was time to go back out again, this time with my friend Chantal to take Darwin out for a swim. After taking a wrong exit and heading towards The Hague (north) instead of Zeeland (south), we finally arrived at the Grevelingen Meer.

The sun shone, the water was perfect, and Darwin was in his element.

It was a fine feeling to walk kneed deep along the shore in water of perfect temperature and play with him. He loved that we were with him in the water, and so we walked along the beach, tossing his dummy for him to catch.

Good boy!

It is so wonderful to watch him happy and in his element!
I told Chantal that I would really consider getting one of those high-waisted pants that fishermen wear, just so that I could wade in the water with him during the colder season.

So, that's why there's no guilt this weekend for done not a thing as far as handwork is concerned. I figure there'll be plenty of grey and rainy days to play catch up, no?


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