Friday, September 29, 2006

Stitch finishing ideas

I don't always frame my stitching any longer. It is sometimes fun to try to finish your stitching in very different ways. This is a small Bent Creek design that I finished two years ago for a fall decoration at our cottage up north. Since it is in the middle of nature, I wanted something to reflect where we were. I simply sewed this design with fabric strips for a kind of mini quilt decorating it with large buttons. I then hung it from a child's rake for a real fall effect. It is simple but it really works.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Autumn Leaves SAL

Here are the results of the first assignment on the PS Autumn Leaves SAL. I just love this sampler. It has the yummiest colors and an adorable verse.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Quick and easy fall decoration

Here is a quick, simple way to jazz up a candle for your table. Take a large bowl and a small glass bowl. Place the large pillar candle in the glass bowl. Using the glass bowl prevents the pumpkins from becoming to hot and possibly catching fire or having candle wax dripped through them. Add a few drops of water for easy removal of the candle later. Set the glass bowl in the center of the larger bowl and fill around it with mini-primitive pumpkins. I used a scented candle so my room has a warm smell of autumn.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday's fall quote

This Monday quote is from Emily Bronte. I love the Bronte sisters. I love their poems and books. I love Haworth and the moors. I love the Bronte Parsonage and know the guide book by heart when I go through the house. This sampler is one I purchased at the parsonage about 3 years ago. It was a kit created from the sampler Anne sewed as a child that is hanging in the parsonage. Enjoy both the sampler and the beautiful fall poem!

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.

I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night's decay
Ushers in a drearier day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

PS Autumn Leaves sampler

This is my new project. I am leading a SAL for one of my Yahoo groups to make this Prairie Schooler sampler. I just love this. It really represents all that I love about fall! This SAL will be in four parts so before we know it, we will all have a great extra item to decorate our homes with. Here is a photo of my choice of fabric along with the threads and chart.
I will share my progress during the coming four weeks of the SAL.

Alter Echo Sampler

I have finally framed my Alter Echo Sampler. I have made sure I can remove it to add more borders if I want to but decided to 'live with it' for a while to see if I like it as it now is. I have been adding borders to extend the sampler. This was such a beautiful chart which was an online freebie. It is really an amazing design by Isa V and you can see her website at: . She really has so many beautiful things on her site.
The verse on this sampler is so lovely and you can find a French, German or English version.

The verse in English reads:
Entrusted Heirloom
Upon the still fabric
Where threads interlace
You stitch your handicraft
And crisscross history.
Storms in your heart
Bear heavy upon time,
Many nights are long drawn
offered to the pale dawn.
Lost in thoughts,
Silence as an ally,
You drift off in colours
And dream of better days.
How sweet the stitching
As if in a daydream,
Time as an accomplice flows
And is never weary.
Tomorrow a new canvas,
A fresh breeze in the sails.
The dawn of a new dream
A neverending wellness.
Reflected images,
I encounter your victory!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Monday's fall quote

'Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.'

~~~ George Eliot

This photo is my dining table with its fall quilt, flowers and toadstools arrangments I do each year. There is something really cheerful in changing all the details on the table to match the month or season.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Log cabin quilt block swap

My quilt group does a swap project once a year. This year we are swapping log cabin blocks. Each person turned in a piece of fabric for the 'hearth' and listed the colors they wanted to use in their quilt. We each make one block for that person in their colors using our own fabric. The result will be very scrappy quilts in your specific color choice. We will make two a month as we are working on a name rotation so that noone has to do too much at once. Here are a few of the blocks I have made so far. Some are for my own quilt as I need to make at least 9 extra blocks for my quilt to be complete.

Where did fall go now???

We had been having the most wonderful weather ~ cool and lots of rain. The temperatures in the evenings were very low. I was so happy to see Autumn start to appear. Now in the last week's time, the summer has returned. It is hot and sunny. I am like a child waiting for Christmas to come as I wait for the colors to start in the trees.

I will cheer myself up by showing you two more photos of the beautiful woods in the 'Drents-Friese Wold'. The first photo was an amazing find. We were driving back to the cottage and stopped the car to take a photo of the largest toadstool I have ever seen. It was down in a ditch so I was unable to get down close to it and lay something down to show you how enormous this thing was. It was well over 12 inches across. Click on the photo to enlarge it. The size made it seem almost unreal.

The second photo seemed to me to show perfectly how much beauty the Autumn brings. This to me is what excites me about the fall season.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Fall decoration from nature's bounty

Create a seasonal tray for your coffee table. Take a serving tray and place a candle in the middle. Be sure to place it in a glass bowl or hurricane lamp for safety. Now fill around it with items from nature ~ acorns, chestnuts, pinecones, berries, gourds, tree bark, etc.. It is fun to gather items and cheerful to see them on your table.

Progress on Alter Echo Sampler

A quick progress report on adding the borders of my Alter Echo sampler. I am adding borders to this sampler as I found a frame I like and it is perfect for the width but not the length. I added a small border to the bottom and now am adding a wide border to the top in order to make this fit my frame better. I must say that now I really like the addition since the borders have 'rounded' edges.

Gnomes in the woods

The photo I used with yesterday's quote is one I took as you first go into the denser part of the woods at the visitor's center from the 'Drents-Friese Wold'. We normally walk here each Sunday but had not been for a few weeks. The woods right by our cottage are even denser and have more toadstools. I was glad to decided to go to the visitors center on Sunday as I had been trying to find a 'vliegenzwam' (amanita muscaria) which I looked up in English as 'Fly Agaric'. This colorful toadstool is the type Rien Poortvliet used as the house of the gnomes. There is something very magical about seeing them in the fall.

I spotted it and walked off the path to take some photos. A mother had been watching me in the distance and as I walked away she took her two children to the same spot telling them to look what mother had found. She said this is proof that gnomes live here in the woods.

Monday, September 11, 2006

'Pumpkin Party' quilt

This quilt was one I designed for a workshop in 2004. It was a fun and simple design. Snowball blocks make the pumpkin row, miniature paperpieced flying geese and 4-patches surround them with an appliqued greeting of 'Welcome Fall'. I held an all day workshop and served various things made with pumpkin throughout the day. The ladies all got to take home the recipes for all the things they ate during the day.

Use your talents!

'Use what talents you possess, the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best.'

~~~ Henry Van Dyke ~~~

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ladies of Covington

This week I finished the third book in the 'Ladies of Covington' series. The series is really wonderful. It is about three women in their prime who discover a deep friendship after all three ending up at the same boarding house. One inherits a house and they all three move to this charming farmhouse which they fix up and start a new life. I love these three ladies and wish Grace, Hannah and Amelia were my neighbors! Up to now, there are six books in the series. You can read more about it at . If you like books that really get involved in the various characters then this gentle read is a must.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another finish!

I am pleased to say I can show you another finish today. I have been working on three French initials and motifs which I have now framed. The motifs were choosen to suit us personally. Firstly, I choose the acorns as fall is my favorite season. The second motif with leaves symbolize our cottage in the woods. Finally, the tulips are because I married a Dutchman and immigrated to Holland. This has been a fun project to stitch and frame.

Quote for a peaceful day

'Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.'

Raplh Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First WIP of the month is finished

The first of my projects I am focusing on is finished. I have to make a new applique block each month for a quilted calendar I am designing for my quilt group. It has been fun but hard work. Each month's block reflects the month and this is the month of September. Here in Holland, the first signs of fall are all the toadstools, acorns and leaves starting to turn. By the end of this year, the ladies will have a perpetual calendar which is a quilt.

I am also working on the extra border of the Alter Echo sampler and will post a progress photo later in the week.

Mighty oaks.....

This past weekend we took a couple of walks in the woods by our cottage. This is such a beautiful time of year for Mother Nature. I took my friend Diane (FTLOS list) with me in spirit and photographed some perfect acorns I found on the path for her. I know you share my love of these tiny seeds of nature Diane. They are a beauty unto themselves but they also grow into a mighty oak which is amazing. Have a happy fall!

Friday, September 01, 2006

True confessions

Okay, I confess! I love to work on 10,000 projects at once. I am leading a SAL on my Yahoo group in which we are trying to finish many of our WIPs. Talk about the blind leading the blind...

I have found it helpful to list and show what you are working on to stimulate you to really get it finished. I am starting this new month out by showing you four of my WIPs that I am gonig to really concentrate on this month.

1. Rag quilt hearts - hand quilting
2. Alter Echo sampler - add extra border to top and frame
3. Flower sampler mystery - stitch parts 7 and 8
4. Stem stitch the applique and hand quilt the next quilt calendar block - this has to be completed this weekend as it is the sample of my own design for our quilt group.