Wednesday, February 18, 2009

International block swap

My quilt group has just received a box of blocks from an American group for our patchwork block exchange. I set this swap up with a fellow blogger Karen. We had the ladies make blocks sharing something about our area, culture, history or ourselves. This is the results of the blocks made by the Dutch ladies...

"Windmolen" or Windmill ~ block by Nell

Some choices for our quilt blocks are very obvious as is the Dutch windmill. Holland has always been known for its windmills that were used for various purposes. There are windmills in polders used for irrigation or mills used for pressing seeds for oil or grinding various things from making flour to powders used for paints.

"Klompen" or Wooden shoes ~ block by Hanneke

What person in the world does not associate Holland with wooden shoes? They are still a useful item to this day for many Dutch people. You see people wearing them in a garden as they are a great way to keep your feet dry. You will even see a farmer on his bicycle wearing his wooden shoes.
"Tulpen" and "Bollenvelden"or Tulips and Bulb fields ~ tulips by Albertha

The Dutch are famous for their fields of beautiful color where they grow various flowers for their bulbs. Some examples are hyacinths, daffodils and tulips. These fields are like artwork until it is time to cut off the flower heads to prepare to harvest the bulbs. Blocks of color in perfect rows can be seen.

The Dutch brought the first tulip bulbs to Europe in the early 17th century from Turkey. It became a prized and expensive commodity.

Block by Elly (see description above)

"Botter" or Dutch sailboat ~ block by Heidi

Ship building remains an important part of the Dutch culture. During the Golden Age, the Dutch were leaders in ship building. So much so that the Russian Tsar Peter came to Holland with a group of Russians to learn the ship building trade incognito. In this day and age, sailboats are popular in Holland. The "botter" is a special wooden sailboat that is seen on the waters. It is noted for having brown sails.

VOC Golden Century period of Holland ~ block by Anita

The Dutch were leaders in the Golden Century in bringing many precious commodities back to Europe. They found and imported items like spices, porcelain, fabric, coffee and tea. We have two blocks representing this period. The first is teapots for tea import. At that time, tea was considered more precious than coffee. The woman of the house would keep her tea leaves locked away and mix them for the servants to make tea. The servants would then be allowed to make a pot of tea from the used leaves.

"Sitsen" or Chintz fabrics ~ block by Enny

The Dutch imported much fabric from India and the Far East. These Chintz fabrics were called "Sitsen" in Holland and used for the dresses. This block represents the idea of the colorful and heavily patterned fabric imported.

"Trapgevel" or Step gable ~ block by Joke

Dutch architecture of old is well loved the world over due to its various gabled houses in the major cities like Amsterdam, Haarlem or Amersfoort. Amersfoort is the city where the ladies of the Gouden Draad Quilt Groep are from. A gable is often named after the shape of its roofline. Here is the step gable named for its jagged roof looking like a step ladder.

Delft blue tiles ~ block by Bep

One tradition still going strong in Holland is the Deflt blue tiles being produced. They have seen a new found popularity lately. These tiles were produced originally in the city of Deflt. The technique using paints the turned the shades of blue while in the kilns.

Dutch tea towels and washing ~ block by Mieke

Dutch women have a love of order and neatness. They enjoy hanging their sheets and towels out on the washing line in the fresh air on a bright sunny day.

Dutch buttons and trims ~ block by Saskia

There used to be many wonderful haberdashery shops in Holland. Unfortunately, they are slowly closing but there are open air markets where a wide choice of buttons, trims and laces can be purchased. There used to be button factories around the country. As women started sewing less, these factories closed.

Dutch royal connections ~ block by Miep

The Dutch still have a royal family but there is a connection to a Dutch king in America. The Dutch king William III married the British queen Mary II. They gave a royal charter to the college baring their name in Williamsburg which is the second oldest college in America. The name of the college is College of William and Mary.


Nancy said...

These blocks are just wonderful. I love every one of them and they so do show what they are mean't to show. Great work from your wonderful ladies once again. They can be so proud. It will be fun to see what you get from the USA.
Love you, Mom
I am soooo releved you FINALLY got you appt and can now move forward.
Love you, Mom

angelasweby said...

Oh heidi,
How lovely to read those beautiful names, all ladies that we met and spent such a wonderful evening with.

I love all their designs - each one with a symbol of life in Holland. What a wonderful exchange. You always have so much energy and create the best possible otcome in every task you undertake :>)
Hugs, Angela

mainely stitching said...

Oh my goodness, Heidi, what a treat for the eyes!! What a gorgeous quilt and what talented quilters!!

Roberta said...

Heidi, just am amazed at how wonderful the quilt blocks are that your ladies made. They are just fantastic, I know the exchange gals will just love them.


Pondside said...

What a lovely idea, Heidi. I'm sure that the American quilters will be thrilled with those blocks!
I'm all for anything that makes the world a little smaller and leads to friendship and understanding.

Ginny said...

Each of the ladies in your group is to be commended for so beautifully depicting life in Holland. What a treasure these blocks will be to to their recipients.

DonnaTN said...

Each block is lovely and so well done. It was such a treat reading the Dutch history and culture associated with each one.

hazel c UK said...

The exchange blocks are beautiful and so in keeping with Holland, it is also special to me for I have met these ladies last year when you invited some of us to stay with you. Please tell them all they are truly lovely. Warm hugs, Hazel (UK)

Anonymous said...

Hoi heidi.Onvoorstelbaar dat alle blokken zo goed bijelkaar passen zonder dat we eigenlijk de stofjes uitgezocht hebben.
Heel natuurlijk,ben stik benieuwd naar het totaal
Love Joke.

faerieeva said...

Those are absolutely wonderful blocks! Fun too to recognise some things from my college days in Holland. I remember the facade of the 'Winkel van Sinkel' in Utrecht when I look at the trims and buttons block.
I am certain the exchange ladies will be thrilled and I hope we will get to see what they send back!

Margaret said...

What a wonderful collection of Dutch squares Heidi. A great exchange project.

Julie said...

This is a lovely and informative post, Heidi. Thanks for the history lesson. I thoroughly enjoyed every word. :o)

I just recently read an article about samplers in the Netherlands.

The quilt blocks are so gorgeous - thanks for sharing!

Brigitte said...

Heidi, I can't get enough looking at the blocks that Dutch ladies made. This project is a real treat. I'm looking forward to see the blocks of the American ladies ... Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Dag Heidi

Wat zijn ze leuk, zo bij elkaar. Misschien moet ik mijn plan voor het in elkaar zetten van de blokken toch maar wijzigen! Ik ben ook heel benieuwd naar de blokken uit Amerika.
Ik hoop dat het goed met je gaat en wens je een prettig weekend.
liefs, Elly

Karen said...

Beautiful blocks Heidi - I can't wait for my group to see these and then see how they put them together. It was so much fun to open the box :).

Hugs - Karen

Carolien said...

Oh I have seen some of them at ├Żour place, Heidi, and they were so nice! I love the final result, the new ones are nice too. It's a great swap. I am also eager to see the American ones!

Have a nice week & hugs, Carolien