Monday, January 05, 2009

Quilter's Helper!

Look at ME, Mommy!

Pay Attention to ME, Mommy!! Aren't I cute, Aren't I adorable??

You really would rather be petting me, and brushing me and playing with ME...instead of sitting at that boring old sewing machine, wouldn't you??

And Yes, Part 6 is up!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Just Doodling!

Okay...so working on this mystery non-stop has gotten to me too,and yesterday afternoon I had to get OFF my butt (meaning the chair at my sewing machine...it was about to have to be surgically removed after all these sewing days!)and do something else!

I bet you didn't know that you can burn calories long arm machine quilting? At least I am aware of certain things...I stand taller...as I move from side to side, it's careful and with a purpose, which means I can feel certain muscle groups tightening, and you can focus on holding your belly in during this pass, do your keegle (kagle?) exercises through this block, etc. Put on some peppy music and it can be "Quilting to the Oldies!!" Remember to breathe.. :c)

Who did I put on?? BILLY JOEL!! Yes, this week I'm reliving my highschool music.

SO what did I quilt? Remember some months back I was trying to clear out some random orphan blocks and pieced a couple tops? This one was all 9" blocks. There is even one spare rosebud block from the quilt that went into the book...a scrappy rejected version of another quilt from the book, and some leftover big triangle setting blocks from something else..just a mishmash of everything. No way I wanted to hand quilt it...it's fairly boring. But it made for good doodling.

I think I'll bind it and put it on my dining table. Now that the holiday quilts...Halloween Through Christmas are put away, it needs something new :c)

Off to the binding.....

And yes...Part 5 is now up!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Scenes from Spakenburg

I caught Lucy with my camera as she was walking just a bit ahead of me. This is Spakenburg!

Hard to believe that it was Two Weeks ago that Lucy and I were driving to Spakenburg from Haarlem. We had the music up loud, and even the traffic jam that occurred just outside of Amsterdam didn't dampen our fun! We just turned Marco Borsato up louder and SANG ALONG! Was Mij is a song written about the children of war, and how some children so early in their lives are thrown into carrying guns and killing. Marco is an advocate for organizations focusing on saving these children. The song is very touching. Not only does it have a beautiful powerful melodyand amazing orchestration, but the message is full of hope for these children. "Was Mij" means "wash me". Cleanse the children from things they never should have experienced in their young lives. And for anyone in war torn anywhere..

SO as we rode and sang....we made a stop at the little thrift shop where I got the wooden skates. (Skatjes)

And here, look what I found! Oh, I wish I could have taken it home with me. It was too heavy, and there was just no way this could have made it as a carry on. But I snapped a picture anyway. Look at the mother of pearl inlay!

Spakenburg is a fishing village,oh so quaint! when I visited Lucy before she drove me to Marken, which is also on the sea, but we never made it to Spakenburg. The link is in Dutch,but the photos are lovely! I love the traditional costumes. There are still about 300 women who wear the traditional costume daily, but more and more the younger generation doesn't want to bother, so it is a dying art.

I love the old wooden fishing boats. It's winter now, so my pics show them moored and canvased for the winter weather.

Aren't the boats great? It was chilly that day,but not too bad. It rained a bit when we were in the museum, but the rain stopped by the time we were done. We had the best lunch at a little fish market place where they fry the fish to order. Yummy!

Great memories! The streets are lined with unique shops...there was a market place in the town center with all kinds of vendors selling their Christmas goodies. The only thing the didn't have was a candy vendor selling Dropje!! Darn!

Part 4 of Double Delight is up, if you are following along! But of course, you won't click the link unless you have finished with parts 1, 2 & 3, right? ;c)

Friday, January 02, 2009

Sitting and Waiting...

The Christmas Tree is down. It's amazing how quickly you can un-decorate during a football half time!! It's nice to have things back to "normal". I have always taken everything down on New Years Day. It's the start of a new year, out with the old, so to speak!

You know I've been having internet issues. It seems to be related to my cable service in general. Now the TV is coming in all pixelated. BADLY. So I am sitting upstairs typing on the laptop waiting for the cable guy.

I can't hear the doorbell downstairs in the quilting room, because the doorbell gave up the ghost yesterday! I guess it rang the old year out, the new year in, and died! This is the story of my life I guess! I wonder what else will fall apart around here, it's getting to the point of hilarity.

No matter. The house is quiet. I've got binding to do on the Scrappy Trips quilt..I've got music playing, TV can be OFF for all I care.

If you are following along with the Double Delight Mystery, part 2 and part 3 are now up!

And since all my pics are on the other computer, and I have nothing really else to share with you today (blissful normal friday!) I thought I'd share with you the dorky movie I made at the top of the windmill with Lucy!

It was too dark inside the windmill to do much videoing..I wish I made this one longer. Look at the thatched roof...it's reeds...packed inches thick on top of a wood frame. You could see the framing inside the windmill in my previous pictures. I love this memory!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ready? Get Set! SEW!

I've uploaded Part One of Double Delight!

I had some fun with this, and coerced DS Jeff into filming a video of me squaring up some units.

It wasn't scripted, and I had a total brain warp in the middle..and my rotary cutter DID have a new blade,but it got clogged with lint inside from trimmings....so sometimes you just gotta unscrew that blade and blow it out of there! DUH!

It also sounds like I talk with a lisp, which I don't..it's just the close proximity of the camera to me as he was filming.....but I think you get the idea!(On second thought, maybe my teeth are full of Dropje!! *LOL* (Licorice bits)

Could I get him to WANT to shoot it a second time? NO WAY! So..it is what it is. Maybe you'll get something out of it. Maybe not...at least maybe, a laugh or two!:cD


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dutch Treats!

I'm having fun going through my pictures, and this morning when I made myself a cup of tea, I thought I needed to share with you what I brought home with me!

Lucy hasn't even seen these.....but these are the tall coffee mugs I found at the AIRPORT! I was trying to find a way to use up all my left over euros.. :cD My only regret is that they didn't have FOUR different designs. They had 3 on the shelf. So I bought 3. I could have bought SIX...then I would have had 2 of each. My family loves them for hot chocolate. They are now my favorite mugs. The designs are based on traditional delft tiles. One of them is the same pattern pretty much to an antique tile that Lucy gave me years ago. I just LOVE these. Maybe I can twist Lucy's arm to bring me more when she comes stateside again?? (6 mugs would have been a pain as a carry on, I had enough as it was)

Limited baggage space, and the cost of things in Europe makes things a challenge. And my favorite thing to do? Thrift shops! So we were able to find some goodies at dutch thrift shops!!

Aren't these tins great? I think the most expensive one was .50 cents SERIOUS! Thrifting is the way to go! I can see the red rectangular one with the hinged lid as a sewing caddy. And it is OLD!

Of course the big thing when shopping in the Netherlands for us Touristas.....DELFT BLUE! This would have been expensive anywhere else,but I found it...at the thrift shop! It is now hanging in my kitchen. And what is more fun is that I have the memory of junk hunting with a good friend to add to the memories. Anyone can shop in a store....but treasure hunting with a friend? Priceless!

One of the funny things while in the thrift shop....hearing "grandma got run over by a reindeer" over the speakers! It was like..what's WRONG with this picture! I wanted to hear Christmas Carols in Dutch :c)

But instead, I found this hand embroidered table cloth! Someone put HOURS into stitching this, it's lovely! I only show 1/4 of it, but the design is repeated all the way around. And it was easy to pack and bring home. I had it on my table for Christmas.

No, they are not minature samurai swords...they are antique wooden ice skates!! These were also at the thrift store. We were headed to Spakenburg, and Lucy knew of this little thrift store. We saw a table of ice skates,but no wooden ones. So she asked the guy...and these were in the back! I guess he thought no one would want these...but I do! Now they are hanging off a rack that also has a quilt on it in my front hall.

Licorice! Or Drop, if you are dutch. I love this stuff....it is AMAZING! And yes, I had twice as much,but Jeff and I have eaten it half gone already (including the Apekoppen that is Jeff's favorite...(Apekoppen means MONKEY HEADS!)

Tonya, the sweetie...found these wonderfully fun BUG dish towels in Amsterdam and gifted one to me. It's shown here hanging on my oven door. I LOVE it! It's just not the normal thing you expect to see in a kitchen. I love textiles, and these are all thread woven into this wonderful pattern. Thanks Ton!

The most touching gift of all:

After the workshops, the shop staff,friends,and others had a small reception upstairs in the classroom area. Treats and everything! I was presented this lovely hard cover book, and it is signed inside by all the shop staff,and the shop owner. I was speechless. Believe me, it isn't often that words fail me,but they did. I love this book of antique dutch quilts SO much. Thank you ladies, I'll treasure it as I treasure all of you!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Quilting The Old Year Out........

Quilting The New Year In!!

One of our favorite movies at Christmas time is "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. It's a black and white classic, and such a hoot to watch. We watch it every year.

In the movie, there is a song for New Years where the chorus goes "Kissing the old year out, kissing the new year in....." And I've been humming it to myself and replacing the word kissing with QUILTING. I guess you know where MY one track mind goes! *LOL*

So yes..I'm trying to finish some older projects before the year gets crazy.(On top of the mystery thing!)

I finished quilting this a couple days ago,and the binding is on. I just need to sit and do the hand stitching on the binding and sleeve. I just couldn't make myself do it when all that was on the TV was FOOTBALL! It's not that I mind the football itself...it's the NOISE...the announcers, the crowds, the way the commercials are even broadcast louder than normal. It's like fingernails on a chalk board to me. But this is what I get being the only female in this household.

So TONIGHT...I'm claiming the TV for myself right after dinner, NO FOOTBALL...and I'm binding!

I had a hard time getting pics to turn out right...the color is most correct in the outdoor shot,but the sun is shining on the quilt, and you cant see it...so..between all of these, maybe you'll get the idea!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Down with the Dogs!!

That would be my INTERNET CONNECTION...not me!

It has been the hugest pain to get the computers back running in this house. What should be simple, just ISN'T! We also had to take back the cable modem and swap it out, and then take the router we bought back and exchange it for something else....it's been mind numbing. Not to mention I've got a very grumbly DH over the whole thing.

So...I went upstairs to the guest room and took a nap! I think I needed it :cD

Here are a couple pics of Lucy's dog Joseph! You have to say it the Dutch way tho.....YYYYYYYYOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOseph! Especially when you are out walking in the woods with him and he takes off after many various smells that catch his fancy :c)

He is a lovely dog, so friendly and affectionate. And I could tell he accepted me right away, because it didn't take long for him to discover the body bag full of quilts as a great place to curl up and take a nap.

I've managed to add a "printer-friendly" link to the Double Delight Intro page for those who are interested.

I've been sewing the units ahead of you as you know, and I found that the amounts I had figured on the brown were VERY close, in fact, I needed a bit more, so I have upped that yardage to be 1.5 yards instead of 1 yard. I ended up using more of it than I thought due to a slight design change that improves the overall quilt design greatly! Hey, this is the design process, and I reserve the right to switch mid stream if I like it better ;c) I'm sorry if that causes anyone any problems. Remember, your browns can be scrappy, or you can even have half of one and half of another, using two browns if that works for you.

I've been doing some thinking....someone asked me where my focus fabric was, and though I never thought about it much, I realize that I work a bit differently than other mystery designers. I don't work with focus fabrics! I tend to work with a color palette, using many fabrics that might not even be related to each other, other than their color family. If you asked me which was medium and which was dark....I don't even see it that way. I see colors. In this case, Pink, Blue, Brown, Gold (neutral as the background).....and I see pink as the dominant color, but none of the other colors come about due to what colors are printed in the pink fabrics. I just like how colors play together.

If you want, you CAN choose a focus fabric, use it in place of your "gold" and choose 3 other colors from within your focus fabric to go with it. I also have used a focus fabric for pulling colors together, and then REMOVED the focus fabric, just using it as a guide to choose the others. This works really well. So it might be a funky dinosaur print you want to use as a "color guide".....because of the colors in it, but you aren't actually going to use that dinosaur fabric IN the quilt, get my drift?

Tomorrow is Monday. A whole week since I came home. Why doesn't it feel like it yet?

You know what I am looking forward to the most? Having the house to MYSELF on monday and tuesday before ANOTHER long holiday weekend kicks off!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Double Delight....What about the indigo??

It was brought to my attention last night that I forgot to include the amount of indigo blue for the mystery! My ftp program wasn't working so I couldn't upload my edit...I found out why...the router had died. Bllahhh. I'm hooked up on my laptop in the dining room directly to the modem. I can't upload the website from here, my files are on the other computer.

But..just in case.... 3/4 a yard to 1 yard should do it..maybe a bit less....and it can be scrappy or not!

The rest of the info on the mystery quilt with the other yardage requirements can be found HEREalong with a bigger pic of my chosen fabrics.

Someone posted on quiltville chat: WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE BROWN? Well, choose something else! The quilt is basically 4 colors. Pink, blue, cheddar, brown. Neutral is neutral. The law of substitution applies. Switch your colors around, but as this is a mystery, I can't help 3,000 people individually make their fabric choices. :c) So what you can do, is sit out a couple steps. See how things are coming together for others. Join quiltvillechat@yahoogroups.com and see the pics in the files of what everyone else is doing, and maybe something will spark your interest.

Or... you can wait a few weeks until people's quilts are DONE...and even though it won't be a mystery anymore, you'll know what goes where, make your choices, and then start sewing.

As to the time I'm writing this post? Oh yes..it's only 5:40am. I've been up an hour. *YAWN* I guess that body clock is still way off......

So as to the burnt out wireless router? Needless to say, I'll be off to Sam's Club this morning for a new one!

Inside a Working Windmill
In the mean time, before the router went belly up, I was able to upload my windmill pics to webshots....here you go! The name of the windmill is De Zandhaas. it is in Santpoort, NL, right outside of Haarlem.

It was built in 1779 (you can see the date near the top carved into the reeds that make the thatched roof). As a working windmill, it is used to grind flour. The wind turns the blades, the blades turn the stones that grind the flour.

There is a little shop inside where you can buy baking items as well as the flour. It was just so quaint and lovely!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Karen Alexander, Quilters Hall of Fame!

I received an email from Karen Alexander, past president of Quilter's Hall of Fame. She is now in charge of Public Relations and asked me to post the following press release to you! Perhaps there are some of you who would really like to join in on the following challenge.

Karen writes:

Hi Bonnie,

I just stumbled across your blog tonight. What a difference the Internet now
makes in the lives of quilt historians! Just think of all that information
right at our finger tips about what is happening out there is the larger
quilt world beyond our libraries!

Would you be willing to post press releases from The Quilters Hall of Fame
on your website? I have dropped one of the latest ones in below.

Also, here is a link to an exhibit I current have up at our wonderful

Unfortunately, the bio info is already outdated since I just stepped down from the Board of TQHF after 8 years, 4 as president of TQHF. But they have given me a new job --Public Relations!

Thanks for you help and Happy Holidays!!

Karen Alexander

Yes, of COURSE I will post for you Karen! Here you go!:cD

The Quilters Hall of Fame, Marion, Indiana

The Quilters Hall of Fame cordially invites you to enter the TQHF Triple
Anniversary Challenge
They Left Their Mark: Celebrating the Honorees of The
Quilters Hall of Fame.

The Triple Anniversary Challenge 2009 will hang in Marion, Indiana, July 16
thru July 19, 2009.

The Quilters Hall of Fame's annual 4-day Celebration honoring quilts and
quilt history, has been taking place in Marion, Indiana since 1992.

At Celebration 2009 we will not only induct quilt historian Merikay Waldvogel
of Knoxville, TN as our 39th Honoree, we will also honor Marie Webster's
150th birthday; The Quilters Hall of Fame founding 30 years ago in Virginia;
and the fifth anniversary of the grand opening of the restored Marie Webster
home as the headquarters of The Quilters Hall of Fame.

To participate in the TQHF 2009 Quilt Challenge, select one of the Honorees
of The Quilters Hall of Fame who has influenced you in some special way and
interpret this influence in a new work.

You may review a brief biography of each Honoree at www.quiltershalloffame.net
for ideas, or purchase the book "The Quilters Hall of Fame" which contains the story of each Honoree.

The book is a three-ring binder format to which you can add the additional
supplements about new Inductees that are published every other year and is
available through the TQHF Museum Shop and is currently available at 50% off
as a special BONUS to any who join TQHF before the end of the year.

Founder's Purchase Award: Hazel Carter, the Founder of TQHF, will donate
$500 as a purchase award for one quilt that best exemplifies the theme of
this Challenge. The quilt will be a memento of this Triple Anniversary TQHF
Celebration Challenge and will become a part of the permanent TQHF education

Conditions of Entry in brief:

Challenge open to all quilters age 18 and older; must be made by the person entering the challenge; must be no largerthan 160" total of all four sides and shall consist of three layers of textiles stitched together; photo and narrative must accompany the entry; Intent to Enter Form and fee is to be received by June 1, 2009. A second
check to cover the cost of return shipping must accompany your quilt at the
time you ship it. WRITE us at TQHF 2009 Challenge, P.O. Box 681, Marion, IN,
46952; E-MAIL us at quiltershalloffame.com; or CALL 765-664-9333 and request
the complete entry Form.

Please feel free to email me if you have any further questions.

Karen B. Alexander
Past President, The Quilters Hall of Fame

New Years Eve Mystery, Anyone?

I know it's nuts. This is the way my life is.......short notice, always on the go, always at the craziest time, hey....let's do a mystery!

I'm working on quilts for the next book, as you know, and there is one that I just KNOW you will love. This is a color controlled mystery so you can choose your palette.

The quilt center finishes at 63.5 X 76.5 approximately.

The colors I am using? Double pinks, shirtings, indigo blues, and a deep chocolate brown, and....some cheddar or gold! :cD Yes, I'm going to the strip bins first for my lights and my pinks and blues....they can be scrappy. The brown and the gold will be uniform yardage to pull every thing together.

Yardage amounts are posted HERE....this will give everyone a few days before we start the new year! I'm thinking of starting New Years Eve Day......

Are you game?

This is going to one of those where I post the steps as they are ready.....my life is going to get crazy starting mid January and who knows when it will slow down, so I can't plan it like "post one step every two weeks". It just doesn't work, but you know what? It isn't a race, and you can just go at your own pace. Leave it for 2 weeks if you want to, and come back to it.

The mystery will remain online until it is time to publish the book, at which time it will be retired from online availability.

The name of this quilt? DOUBLE DELIGHT!

Couldn't you use some Double Delight in your life right now?

Come on! You know you want to!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

What a Lovely Christmas!

The ham is in the oven, the potatoes are on the stove to boil.

And other than a small disaster with the garbage disposal......all has gone well here! Temps have even reached 63f! Waaaahhoooo!

Do you hear that Lucy? I'm running around in sunshine with NO COAT on! :cÞ

I just wanted to take a few moments and wish you all a wonderful Christmas! (and Hanukkah tomorrow) and let you know just how much you mean to me. I love how the internet has brought us all together. I am in complete awe and amazement with what an impact this technology has added to our lives.

I was the one waking up at 4:45am this morning unable to sleep. So I came down here and puttered in the basement while the rest of the household slept. I've loaded a scrappy trips top into the machine, I think I might be able to do some more stitching on it tonight. It's my goal to get some tops quilted in between now and mid January when my schedgie for 2009 takes off full throttle.

Oops! Potatoes are now boiling! I better scoot....catch you soon------

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Prettige Kerstdagen en een Gelukkig NieuwJaar!

It's Christmas Eve....and I don't know where the time went!

It's the body clock thing again!

This pic is of Lucy's lovely Christmas Tree. It was so fun to help her decorate it. She tells me they always have a "REAL" tree. NOTHING smells as good as a real tree, and I agree. However..in my house...it's the fake tree. *sigh* Oh well, at least I did get it UP this year, and I didn't have to do it by myself, so I am counting my blessings!

I got home monday night around midnight...just zonked. I don't remember much of yesterday (tuesday) But it included sleeping in, a late breakfast, groceries for Christmas and getting ready for company to arrive last night.

Dave's Boise State team was playing in the Poinsettia bowl, and he had a bunch of work buddies over to watch it and play poker. It was fun...he decorated with blue and orange balloons and streamers...which are coming down TODAY! Boise lost by 1 point. Sad sad Broncos :c(

Come 1am...I was so wide awake....stupid body clock!

Jason and Kim are here and they brought along their friend Matt who had no where to go for Christmas. This will be nice.

The Big Christmas for us this year.... is getting a new heating and air system installed in the house...TODAY! I can't believe they are doing it TODAY,but that is where we fit on their calendar. Our old system is just that...OLD...and the bills were so expensive....this new unit will pay for itself and do a better job just in the money we save.

So I'm typing from my studio room, which has it's own wood stove. The rest of the house might get a bit cold today, so I'm sure I'll have company joining me in here shortly.

I've uploaded the pics from the workshops into the following slide show!

Workshops in Haarlem, NL 2008

I'll upload more when this hubbub is over :c)

Have a wonderful Christmas, a warm Hanukkah, enjoy the chaos, embrace the craziness of the season, take some stitches when you can to calm your soul....

Much love to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hello from Haarlem!

I'm at the end of my whirlwind trip to Haarlem, The Netherlands!

since I am at Lucy's house....I have made a post on her BLOG so you can come over and visit with us!

My flight home is tomorrow, and I will be back in bed by midnight east coast time. My own bed.....ahhhhh! BLISS!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Saturday's Helpers?

Or is it HINDERERS?!!

Bless their hearts, they look too cute to be malicious, but so much for my layout!*LOL*

By now, Tonya is in Amsterdam! And I'll be joining her there on Tuesday! I'm dreading this flight. Mostly because of the length of time it takes to get there. My flight is at 12:15pm here from Greensboro, but Jeff has to be to work at 10am, so he is dropping me off at the airport so I don't have to leave a car in the lot. Still, that puts me at the airport 2 1/2 hours EARLIER than I need to be. Which makes for a very long day.

I fly first to Detroit, where I have ANOTHER 2 hour layover. UGH.

My flight to Amsterdam is 7 hours and 40 minutes...blech blech blech.

And arrive in Amsterdam...at 6am! UUUUUURGHGHGHG. Quiltmania is coming at 10am for the interview. Can you say ZOMBIE?! How do you say ZOMBIE in Dutch anyway? Is this a word I need to know? :cD

I'm going to TRY to sleep on the plane,but that has never worked for me in the past. Just too excited, too nervy, too wired!