Monday, June 30, 2008

Gather round the hearth... the name I am giving my latest quilt. I am so pleased that I was able to close June with another UFO finished! I started this quilt in the middle of December 2007. I was enthusiastic with sewing all these logs but then January was approaching and I had to put it aside to work on the quilt group's 2008 theme. There is hang on a quilt rack waiting all this time for some love and attention.

The idea comes from the book "Small Quilts with Vintage Charm" by Jo Morton. I just love the quilts in this book. I always enjoy seeing her Little Women quilts but not living in the States, I cannot be part of a club there.

The Concentric Log Cabin is just the first of a number of the quilts in the book that I hope to make. I did have to adjust this a little as I have 'misplaced' that last three fabrics I had set aside for the quilt. Misplaced you ask? While my mother was here, we were preparing the quilt studio for one of my stitching friends to sleep in and we have no idea where we put the fabrics. I will find them one day but I just pulled out a last red fabric from my stash and did less logs on the pattern.

The quilt measures 26 1/2 inch square (approximately 68 cm) which is a perfect size to use on our table. It is similar to this log cabin quilt I made in our group's last block swap. I had asked for blocks in red and brown. I just love that color combination and now these quilt can even be layered for a display.

As I am on a stash diet, I used fabric from my cupboard for the back of the quilt. I decided on one of my Kansas Troubles Quilters' 'Scrapbook Garden' fabrics. I love this collection and think the fabrics are so pretty just whole like this.

Of course, a quilter will always look on the back to see the quilting and this one has a really neat effect as I hand quilted the logs as they went around the center hearth. If you enlarge the photos, I hope you will be able to see the details better.

I am now going to make my label for as you know, I don't consider a quilt truly finished until it has been labeled.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Good ol' Summertime swap gift.....

...has arrived at its new home in Spain. We had secret partners this time and I pulled Margaret's name. She pulled mine too by chance. I first had decided on strawberries as my theme which would have really been funny seeing what she made me was also with a strawberry theme. Then I was reading my emails and got a notice of some free patters on the Better Homes and Gardens site. I looked at some and just fell in love with this quilt right away. It had Margaret's name all over it as I immediately thought of her lovely balcony in sunny Spain. I could picture this tablerunner sitting on a table on her balcony.

Now I have to admit that I had tons of fun putting this quilt together for Margaret! I know she loves Thimbleberries so I just grabbed my red fabric stash and got started using the reds common to Thimbleberries (although they are not all from them). I had it done way ahead but left it sit on my own table to enjoy for a couple of weeks. If you would like to try this fun and easy quilt, the link for the pattern is here.

I wish everyone a Good ol' Summertime! I know my online group's is starting out right with this swap...

Friday, June 27, 2008

All things old are new again.....

It is almost weekend and I can't believe how fast another week has past. I am still working on hand quilting a UFO and it is taking longer than I had anticipated. I do only have to more rounds to go and I can sew the binding on. This time when I say that I hope to have a finish to share with you next week, I can really mean it.

I am also working on all the blocks of my last border to my own medallion quilt as you can see some here on my antique embroidery table. But look just a little closer...

A few weeks ago, I received a recent eBay win in the mail. I got this wonderful flower frog. It is a perfect and fun way to display some of my antique and reproduction scissor collection. I had them sitting in my wall cupboard up to now and even with the glass shelves, they just did not show up well. A flower frog was the answer. It is fun to use old items for a new function. Do you have any fun ideas for using vintage things?

I hope you all have a creative weekend. Summer is a great time to sit in the garden with your stitching or quilting.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Heartfelt decorating

Although I have been working away at a couple of projects, I have not had any finishes to share with you in what seems to me like ages. There is a little quilt from my UFO stack which I have been hand quilting but it seems to be taking so long to finish. I am just being very impatient with myself so I decided yesterday that I needed to set my quilt UFO aside just for a day so I could make something I have been wanting to do.

If you read my other blog, you will know that I had been working on redecorating the guest room (alias my mother's bedroom). I have had fun working on things for this room. Recently, I found this adorable little white rack at a garden center. I 'antiqued' it by rubbing some furniture wax on it and finally had Jos hang it for me last night.

I have been wanting to make some fabric hearts from one of the Tilda books for some time thinking I would hang them on doors or dresser knobs. This rack was a perfect place to hang these hearts so I opened my stash cupboard and got started. Here are the results of an afternoon's sewing.

You can click on the photos to enlarge them and see the hearts even better.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A summertime swap

One of my online stitching groups is holding a summer swap with the theme "In the Good ol' Summertime". I asked everyone to make a homemade gift and also send along a strand of floss in a color that says summer to them. This is a secret swap so we have no idea who our partners are. I received my swap gift and can show you now what I received.

This package came in the mail from Margaret. She sent the gift along with a few extra items of a chart by Brenda Keyes and some strawberry bonbons.

Margaret made me a thread tidy bag with an attached pincushion stitched with an adorable strawberry motif.

She also stitched me this little strawberry scissor fob. How cute it is with even a tiny strawberry on the back. I am pretty sure that she made the cording herself. It is just wonderful!

The thread Margaret choose is Strawberry Fields by The Dye Is Cast. Ironically, I almost used a strawberry theme for my own swap gift but changed my mind at the last minute when I found a cute idea which also was very summer to me.

Thank you so much for my summer swap gifts Margaret! I love them and I know this thread tidy bag will be a joy to use.

I will share the gift I made as soon as I hear that my partner has received her package in the mail. It should arrive today or tomorrow but I cannot say where... Are all you ladies out there guessing where it will arrive? *grins*

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Medallion quilt project ~ parts three and four

I can now show you more of my quilt group's medallion quilts. This border assignment was a representation of our family members. Part four I will not be showing as they were to add a strip of fabric to the quilt in order to create a certain size for their final borders. You will notice the very last two photos have this fabric edge added. They are now busy working on the last assignement.

Here are the members results for third assignment...

Elly ~ She choose the quilt block 'Pages of time with bookends' which symbolizes all her friends and family that have been her support over the years.

Miep ~ She choose to use a diamond shape, one each for her three children and 9 grandchildren. She choose the rose prints as they are her roses. The corners are done in crazy quilt blocks as her (grand) children are a little crazy she says with a wink and a smile.

Jacomina ~ She choose this border more as a symbol for the fabrics. Her siblings, two brothers, are much older than she. As a result, she did many things with her mother alone and one of them was to go visit the castle 'Menkemaborg'. This border stands for the rose gardens at the castle.

Bep ~ Her quilt has little symbols denoting her parents and brothers along with her nieces and nephews. The hearts in the corners are for her dear husband.

Nell ~ She did two mini medallions which are now turned into pillows.

Enny ~ Her diamond shapes stand for smooth sailing in life with her family.

Albertha ~ This is the first time you have seen her quilt so I will start with the center which is the symbol of her first grandchild. At the time she sewed this compass block little Joshua was not yet born. He is now a healthy little three week old baby. Her next border uses four different blocks on each side which are her four children who are all very different boys. Her last border is all the family built around them.

Joke ~ Her border has crossovers throughout which stand for the difficult moments in life. The four yellow squares are for her four grandchildren. The four corner crossovers are symbols for she and her husband, her son and daughter. The background fabrics in the corners are symbols for she and her husbands parents.

Saskia ~ I shared her center block earlier but her first border is the friendship star block used in the pattern forming tumbling stars. This was because it was the first project I had done together with the quilt group after we started many years ago. Saskia was part of the first group and the first person to join my quilt group. Her second border has trees in the corners symbolizing her grandparents. The apple tree on the right is for her mother (Joke is her mother who is also in the group) and the red maple on the left is for her father. At the bottom, there is a red maple leaf and a green leaf which stands for herself. One the top, which I unfortunately cut off a little, are two doggie paws which symbolize her adorable chocolate lab Rover.

These ladies are doing a marvelous job on these quilts. I am humbled by them each month as we show them once again. They are really allowing these quilts to tell their stories both good and bad letting them become a spiritual journey. I feel very honored to lead this group of very talented women!

Monday, June 09, 2008

At last!

I can finally share a finish with you. It seems I have so many things going and nothing to share lately. I was behind on my stitchery blocks for the Noah's Ark SAL project but today have caught up. Here are my first four blocks hanging on my quilt design wall.

Block three was 'Rainbow and cows'. As you can see, I am using a scrappy look for the log cabin strips sewn around each block.

Block four is 'Kangaroos'. This has been fun as not being from Australia, I never considered putting kangaroos in the ark. Aren't they adorable?

You can still join in on this fun free online project. Just pop over to Lynette Anderson's blog and check it out. She is really a talented quilt designer.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Meet Charlie!

Sometimes, you come up with an idea that just does not turn out as you expected. Back in 2002, I thought it would be nice to bring the idea in America of making quilts for sick children to Holland. After some kind help from a friend that works in our local hospital, I realized that this idea was very much frowned upon here in Holland. We had to give up the idea and rethink as we had already started making the quilts in my quilt group. All the fabric was donated and the ladies happily went to work sharing the tasks of making these quilts.

Here are a couple of the quilts we made:

In the end, my mother took many of the quilts back to the US with her to donate to a children's hospital there. We did receive a wonderful email from one mother who thanked us for her son's quilt. He had come all the way from Nepal for treatment in the US. This was the whole reason we wanted to do this shed some sunshine on families needing it. We never heard anything further after that.

There are a couple of quilts that were left. I am still giving these out to children whenever I hear of a someone who is ill. One was given to my neighbor's grandson who has a very serious liver disease from birth. Another was taken home again last month to give to my cousin Gary's little grandson who was born prematurely.

Meet Charlie! This little boy is a real fighter. He was born so tiny and fought with all his soul to turn into this beautiful little man you see before you. Isn't he just adorable? Charlie's little smile as he sat on one of my quilt group's creations really makes my day! Thanks for sharing the photos with us Amy (Charlie's mommy). It is moments like this that make having done all these quilts worth while.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Birds and projects in the air.....

Quite some time ago, I showed you the first block of a new online SAL project that I had started. With having company, this project has fallen behind. I did finish my second block last week and wanted to show you my dove. It worked up very quickly and I am now working on block three which is the rainbow and cows. This one is not stitching up as quickly but I hope to share it next week. I want to catch up for the release of the fourth block which I expect will be out any day now.

I had not been feeling well after my company left and am behind on the medallion quilt project as a result. I had been thinking through a number of ideas but finally decided last week on what I wanted to do for the last border as a closure to the story. Here is a sneak preview and this too will be revealed next week along with the story of this border.

I showed you my latest hornbook in my last entry. I have designed a little sampler (enlarge any of the photos for more detail) for it now which I am anxious to start stitching. I will be kitting this up to take along with me when we go to Cranberry Cottage for the weekend. Now to decide on thread colors and linen.....