Thursday, August 30, 2007

My new pinkeep tray

I have been making so many pinkeeps that the sea grass basket I had purchased to put them in was over flowing. You could not see the pinkeeps in it any longer.I found this cute tray in a second hand shop and immediately thought it was the perfect thing to use for pinkeeps. The low ends and high middle make it perfect for standing them up in. I
am keeping the sea grass bowl for my 12 pinkeeps from LHN's thread packs. I like having them displayed together.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Marquoir Marie~Rose part 8

I am finished with the 8th part of this sampler. This is really coming close to the finish line. I will start stitching the last part today. I am stitching Marie~Rose's name and the date she originally stitched it on mine. I just love doing reproduction samplers and cannot bring myself to not include this. Anne~Valerie left that decision open to us as to how we wanted to stitch it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Patchwork scissor holder tutorial

I have a set of scissors that I use when I do my sewing. This tutorial shows how to sew a simple patchwork holder for a pair of scissors. Don't forget to enlarge the photos for detail throughout the tutorial.

First, you need to sew a 5~1/2" to 7~1/2" patchwork block. The size of the block may vary depending on your scissors. I would not recommend anything larger than a 7~1/2" block. The two samples I have sewn are using the smallest (5~1/2") and largest (7~1/2") measurements. It is best not to choose a 'fussy' patchwork block for this as it will not show up in the end product. Beware that patchwork with many triangles will not show up well when the holder is sewn.

Once you have sewn your patchwork, cut a piece of thin batting and your backing fabric to the same size. Now cut a small length of cord.

Lay the batting behind the patchwork. Place the cord at what you wish to become the top corner and pin in place.

Lay the backing fabric right side down over the patchwork and pin.

Sew together at a 1/4" seam allowance being sure to leave an opening in which to turn your quilt block when sewn.

Clip the corners.

I find ironing at this stage really makes a nice edge in which to hand sew the opening shut. This also helps create flat edges around the now sewn block.

Fold the right edge over.

Now fold the left edge to cross over the right and pin in place. Hand sew this seam along the edge and crossed section of the top to secure.

There you have a simple patchwork scissor holder. This has been based upon a gift my sister made me back in the early 80s when this was popular made with store bought potholders. I thought it would be cute to use a patchwork block. It is not necessary to quilt these before sewing them. You could also use one of the cute patchwork look fabrics on the market which would elimanate having to sew patchwork if you wish. These are quick to sew and make wonderful gifts.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fun mail!

Well, now I know what it will feel like perhaps for Hazel, Roberta and Joni when their gifts arrive. I went to pick up the mail that dropped on my doormat. (Yes, we have a slot in our front door and the mail is dropped through it.) There was an envelope from Mary Kathryn ( containing the sweetest handmade beaded scissor fob. I had won this on her blog. I put it on one of my scissor right away and here is a photo of it. It is just so adorable! Thank you so much Mary Kathryn!

And speaking of blogs and give~aways, I wanted Roberta and Joni to know their gifts are on the way and Hazel's will be out soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Happenings this week...

I have been so busy this week that I have not been blogging as normal. On top of DH having to have an emergency appointment at the hospital with a dental surgeon, I seem to be trying to be effecient and feel like I am getting nowhere fast. A tornado has officially hit my quilt studio as I found a cute idea for a new doll's quilt. I am going through my scrap box and that is never a good idea for me. The scraps are taking over like the invasion of the quilt monster. Forget Godzilla, this is much more scary ~ LOL!

On top of that, I came up with an idea for my Christmas ornament swap for one of my Yahoo lists for this year. Now we are talking the invasion of the wool felt monster ~ LOL! Are you getting the idea yet???

I am trying to keep up with two SALs I am working on ~ the Marquoir and the PS 12 Days of Christmas ornaments. Now I am getting my fabric and threads ready for a new SAL which I will start with three friends on Labor Day. I am sharing my choice above in the photo. I am using the recommended DMC colors and a cream 26 count linen. I want to stitch this design over one. Like I need to start yet another SAL comes the invasion of the SAL monster ~ LOL!

Now I have to share some great customer service! I had been noticing black graphite while using my rotary cutter on my quilt fabric. I then found the actual knife was slipping in the holder. I tried to tighten my blade as I thought that it must not have been placed correctly in the holder. To make a long story short, I discovered that this blade was actually cutting into the metal pin which holds the blade on the cutter. It is my newer of my two rotary cutters.

DH contacted Fiskars which is the company who makes this rotary cutter. We were emailed that we should send the cutter to an office in France which was our nearest representative in Europe. We had contact with someone in that office. The rotary cutter was posted to them and we were still waiting to hear something back. I got an envelope from France last week expecting to find they had repaired my own rotary cutter. Instead, I found a new one like the one I had, a brand new model and a new specialty blade. I was so surprised! I am unable to buy Fiskars cutters here in Holland and was thinking I would have to maybe replace mine with a different brand but I think this is a wonderful surprise. The customer service is amazing at Fiskars!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Marquoir Marie~Rose part 7

Here is my Marquoir Marie~Rose up to now. I have completed part 7 and will start stitching the next part now. For anyone not yet familiar with her blog, Anne~Valerie has this sampler available there. It can be found at
I am always so amazed at the beautiful design that people make available to us online. I thank Anne~Valerie for this pretty sampler! I am enjoying stitching it.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

And the winners are...

Hazel wins the stash and Roberta and Joni win the cupcake pincushions.

Thank you all so much for the comments and emails congratulating me on my first year of blogging. I really enjoy the friendships I have made through my lists and blogging.

I am looking forward to my coming year of sharing my passion for needlework with you. I will be starting it off with a tutorial again this week that I know a couple of you have been waiting for ~ the patchwork scissors holder.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

'De Lander' and an adorable frog quilt

I went to the quilt shop called 'De Lander' again while I was in Brugge. It was too sunny on Saturday and I was not able to get photos of the pretty windows because of the glare. I asked if I could take a few inside the shop to share with you. Here is Lander, the golden retriever, who the shop is named after. He is the sweetest dog.

The shop owner designs patterns for quilts and bears. Katie is very talented, enthusiastic and very welcoming. She also sells her patterns online so you can go to her website ( to see them close up and also click on the photos to enlarge the photos I can included here. I am not affliated with the shop just a fan and customer.

I fell in love with the July patchwork kit which is a frog laying in the sun under a parasol. Everything is contained in this cute little box to make the quilt. It reminded me of one of my favorite books from when I was a child. Did you ever read 'Frog and Toad are Friends'? I still have my book with my name written inside. I will make up this adorable little quilt and sit it together with my book.

Be sure to continue signing up on my previous entry for the drawing if you have not done so already.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Happy Birthday blog!

I just cannot believe an entire year has gone by and this blog is 1 year old on Friday, August 17th! I have loved doing the blog and it has developed into more blogs. I am going to hold a birthday give~away. During the past few days, I have had to put my stitching and quilting aside to work on some wool~felt pincushions. I will be giving away three gifts. The grand prize winner will receive stash which I will reveal when I have drawn the names and two runners~up will receive one of my homemade birthday cake pincushions as shown here. I am having lots of fun making these.

To be part of this give~away drawing, simply leave a comment on this post! On Sunday, August 19th, I will put all the names in a hat and draw the winners. You will have to be willing to email me with your full name and address. I will announce the winners this coming Sunday.....

Sunday, August 12, 2007

A weekend full of lace.....

The Lace Days in Brugge, Belgium are held each year in August. There are demonstrations from lacemakers around the world. Here are some of the young girls from the lace school who are lacemaking just outside the exhibition hall.

Inside the hall which is part of beer brewery "De Halve Maan", one of the oldest brewery in Belgium. There are stands set up for lacemaking groups from all over the world to share their craft with others.

Various pieces of lace are framed like artwork and put on display. Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them and see the detail of the lace.

There is also lace in display cases set up throughout the hall so you can really examine the lace well.

Some lace really is a form of painting with thread rather than a functional piece. Notice this girl and the dog in the center of the lace.

This year, it was quite warm and sunny on Saturday so I felt for the girls sitting outside working at their cushions. Here some have decided to take a break.

And finally, what could be prettier to share with you but a windmill made entirely from bobbin lace? I feel very fortunate to live within easy distance to places like this where handwork is a part of the culture!

We enjoyed the weekend in Brugge and, as always, the people of this charming city are warm and friendly. We discovered a few new restaurants which will be added to our list of favorites and revisited with old friends.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Bronte Samplers link

It is very early morning here on Friday for me and we are up getting ready to drive to Brugge, Belgium for the annual Lace Days. I decided to check my email and, of course, had to pop in here to check my comments. I love reading all of your responses!

I thought you might like the link for the Bronte samplers so you can see all three. They are hanging at the parsonage museum. They are sold in kit form there with the thread and linen being similiar to those which the sisters used themselves. The three sisters all stitched a sampler as a girl as did their mother in her time. To see these samplers which were reproduced by Moira Blackburn, go to . I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

*** A close~up photo of the Anne Bronte sampler I stitched a number of years ago. ***

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A passion for my mother's work and the Brontes!

I had recently done a blog entry on my other blog ( about The Bronte Sisters. I really love all things Bronte and decided to pull a little trick on my mother which she sometimes pulls on me. I was at the Bronte Parsonage with my English mum and we went to look in the gift shop. I had picked up the kit for Anne Bronte's childhood sampler and saw they also sold the knitting pattern for Charlotte's shawl. Well, I really wanted this shawl but I don't knit. My mother does! So I bought the pattern to give to her as a 'gift' for both of us. :-)

We picked out some yarn for her to knit. I went with a heather yarn for what could go better with the idea of Charlotte Bronte? Here is a detail of the pattern. Now I am not a knitter as I said but this has a pretty leaf pattern on the edge. I am not sure what you would call the patterns used for this lovely design. I love this shawl and use it constantly. I keep it on my leather reading chair and use it to wrap me up like a big hug from a wonderful woman who I am lucky enough to call my mother. I love you Mom!

Here is a sneak peak at my newest quilting project. You will see more of this next week.....

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

...and now sharing a new finish

This is my first ornament in the Prairie Schooler 12 Days Wreath SAL. I think it will be best to actually finish each ornament as I go so I don't have to work on all 12 at once. I deliberated today on 3 various finishing ideas and decided to go for a flat soft ornament. I am using some of my vintage lace for the edges.

I am going to work slowly on these since our SAL will run through December. I will take a break and start another one in about a week's time.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Sharing an old finish...

This is an old finish that I finally could really call a finish today. I feel a quilt is not finished if it does not have a label as I have mentioned before. It is something I used to not always get to before and have quilts I need to go back to document with labels. Nowadays, I do them as I make the quilts or I don't call them finished.

This was the swap project I did with my quilt group last year. We are all finishing them off now and although I had done the hand quilting a couple of months ago, I had to wait until I had all the signatures for the quilt label. Two of the older members in our group are having some health problems and I had to wait until they were here and able to sign this label. I am happy to say I finally sewed the label to the back of the quilt today.

For my log cabin blocks, I choose the colors of reds and browns. Each lady signed up made a block for me in my colors and I one for them in their color choice. The results in the group have really been great and each quilt has turned out so beautifully.

I used one of the log cabin blocks in the quilt label along with a poem I found online:

Quilting Bee

In Fellowship they meet,
Their long days to invest,
Snipping and sewing, only slowing
To visit, to eat or rest.

Calico scraps, heaped on laps,
Each one an exact size and hue.
Fingers nimble with thread and thimble,
Create pretty patterns anew.

Heads bent to the task, you need not ask
If these ladies love to quilt.
Their talented touch, expresses as much
As piece onto piece it is built.

Friends try to perceive who will receive
Each quilt that is stitched from the heart,
With needlework fine, the patterns entwined
A treasure, a true work of art.

(Author: unknown)

Click photos to enlarge for details...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Marquoir Marie~Rose part six

Here is the completed part 6 of my Marquoir Marie~Rose. This part was the mirror image of part 5. I am started on part 7 and cannot believe we are now rounding the bottom corner. This sampler will now be finished soon. I will have to start thinking about looking at frames now.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Origins of Lace

I have not shared much on my blog about one of my other hobbies. I make bobbin lace. I love using it around the house. This lace is displayed on my sideboard in the living room which is set up as a writing table. I have some of my antiques on the table... well as many of my antique books which I collect. I think the lace really adds to the antiques and collectables. It has a delicate old world charm.

Lace can make a simple item like this paperweight stand out. It is a shame that many find lace an old~fashioned item. It adds pretty touches to a home. For me, it is even more important that I am able to see the things I have created as all of this lace is made by my own hands.

I normally like to make lace pieces that are totally done with lace. This was a piece I had to make for a class which was to be used in a frame as a matting for a photo. I decided to sew a piece of cloth into it to make a doily instead. It adds a nice touch to this square tray.

This is one of my current projects which I will use once finished under a flower vase.

A piece of Flanders lace which I started for a class.
If you would like seeing some of the lace center that is located in Brugge, there is a website. can be seen in English, Dutch and French. Next week are the annual Lace Days in Brugge and my husband and I are looking forward to going once again.
Here is the lace legend which Belgium holds as the origins of bobbin lace. I think this is such a sweet story and would love to believe that it could be true:

'The Legend of Serena'

Once upon a time there was a fair maiden in the enchanting town of Bruges. Serena was her name and she loved the young sculptor Arnout. Alas she could not marry him, for she had to spin day and night to work for her widowed mother and four little sisters and a brother. One sunny autumn day she went walking and dreaming of her forbidden love, she fell asleep. All off a sudden silvery threads fell from the trees into a beautiful pattern of flowers on her apron. She awoke, gazed and then rushed home. With threads cut from her spinning wheel, she made the wondrous design over again. When it was finished a wealthy merchant bought it. Soon many people wanted the same marvellous lace-work. Serena became rich and finally married the prince of her charms. They lived happily ever after.So came into being the art of lace, which for over five hundred years made Bruges famous as the world capital of this fairy-like art.