"Buttons and patches and the cold wind blowing,
The days pass quickly when I am sewing"
~Author Unknown

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Undone work.....

Perhaps I should really take a lesson from this quote by Emily Bronte...

"A person who has not done one half his day's work by ten o clock, runs a chance of leaving the other half undone." ~ from 'Wuthering Heights'

After all, I started this SAL of With My Needle back in March...not that you would know that by looking at my progress. Well, I should admit to lack of progress! So I decided to pull it out and start on a few of the sweet little swirls which are all around Emily and her tulips on the bottom half of the design. As you could see if you clicked on the link, I have done very little since my last update in May.

Now if you are not a regular reader of my blog or you just want to read about it once again, here is why I call the lady on this The Goode Huswife chart Emily.

Since Jeanne is going to join Saskia and I on our next SAL from Blue Ribbon Designs, we decided to put in some serious work on our With My Needle SAL this summer. We are going to do monthly updates at the last week of each month. I am looking forward to seeing Jeanne's as I know she is much farther along than I am.

Of course, with this extreme heat we are having in Holland this week, stitching is best activity to undertake! *grins*

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Come on baby...let's do the Peppermint Twist!

I bet I'll have you singing that song now all day today. *grins* Saskia and I decided to order a number of charts together last week after returning for our visit to the tea garden. HA! Like I did not already spend enough money that day which you can see here. We had rescheduled our play date after I was too sick last Monday and yesterday was the day. Happily, I emailed her the evening before that the envelope containing our charts was laying on my doormat that afternoon. So we decided to start our little SAL with the chart Peppermint Twist by Blue Ribbon Designs.

Now I am a huge fan of Blue Ribbon Designs. I just adore the various design that are set up like a patchwork quilt. It speaks to my quilter's heart, of course. As you may remember, I am already stitching the five sayings from BRD of which I have the first two finished. So it will not surprise you to hear that four of the five charts we ordered are from BRD.

As this one has a Christmas theme, I got out my Little Women DVDs and let Saskia pick which version she wanted to see and we got into the Christmas spirit. A very good thing on a hot summer's afternoon. We did take a break for lunch and for ice coffee with freshly baked banana bread as we needed some refreshments as all stitchers do. *wink*

But the really fun thing about this SAL is sitting together to watch a fun difference come together as we stitch. I am using a piece of 26 count unbleached linen from my stash. Saskia stopped at a handwork shop on the way to my house to buy a piece of 25 count unbleached linen just a shade lighter than mine. But here comes the fun part...hers is being stitched 2/2 and mine is 1/1. I could not resist the temptation to create a miniature version of this as I love stitching over one.

It was fun to see big and little together. Saskia held mine against hers to really show you how much smaller it is. It fits in the top section of hers. And how is this for confidence with a super duper close up. Good thing my stitches are straight and neat. *wink* We have agreed with our goal for now until the quilt evening in July. We will then see each other's work and start our second parts. We are taking it slow and easy so we have time to do all of our other projects so this will be done in 10 weeks time.

Speaking of Christmas! I got the nicest gift in the mail this week too. It is a fabulous book called Jane Austen's Sewing Box and was sent to me by my dancing partner Barb. Barb and I are constantly joking about which happy dance we are doing through our blogs. Hope you are resting up Barb for our next dance? It will be a while now on my side as I have some UFOs running now. Thank you for your thoughtfulness over our friendship and this beautiful book! I have it on my coffee table to constantly leaf through.

And finally...an update on my Between Charming Friends QAL. I should have done an update last week with this stage of putting these blocks together. I cannot tell you how often I wanted to just bin these while I was sewing them. It is so far out of my comfort zone with the bright colors. I kept asking myself what I was thinking while I was sewing them. But I LOVE Susan Branch and so want to make something fun from the charm packs of her fabrics that I have had sitting for ages in my stash. So I swallowed hard and keep up the courage...

...and now that I am sewing the blocks into a quilt top, I am loving it! This is so daring for me as I am also using a plain, bright white for my background which is again very far out of my comfort zone. I am a warm and muddy tones kind of girl. I love autumn and the colors of that season. These colors are like a colorful summer picnic.

Am I glad I ventured out of my comfort zone? Yes, it is good for me to give this a try.

Have you ventured out of your comfort zone lately?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dancing shoes....

I put my dancing shoes on for my latest finish. After fighting with the frame this afternoon, I can finally reveal my Makkum Flower Sampler...

I used DMC 336, 832 and 935 for this sampler. You can read about the reason for my choices on my previous post if you did not already. This was also the post that I went back to in order to choose a fob winner but more about that in a moment.

I have had this frame for some time. It was marked down at a store once and I bought it knowing I would be able to find the perfect use one day. It is just right don't you agree? Why this sampler sat around so long as a UFO I simply do not know. I really do love how it has turned out.

So I entered the 31 comments into the random number generator and the winner is number 30 which was Marsha. I choose to create a fob with a a rose and dragonfly and green beads ending with a watering can charm. This watered my flower sampler and will now be on its way to Marsha's house to dress her scissors up in summer style.

So I immediately went to my harvest basket and pull another UFO right after I put the last stitch in the flower sampler. I have now reached the third of five finishes for the summer. Who knows...maybe I can increase my UFO finishes before summer's end. Who knows...maybe I can even empty my harvest basket. Who knows...I might spend my summer dreaming. *wink* I sometimes feel like the stitching fairy drops in while I sleep and places projects in that basket that I do not even remember starting. *grins*

Hope you found your dancing shoes?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The cutting edge.....

Not a finish to share today but a start. I can blame Mary over at QuiltHollow once again as I read about a new QAL starting on her blog and jumped over to Charming Chatter to join in. You see Mary emailed me to ask if I knew that Lori was having her Strawberry Fields QAL which I showed you in my last post. I have been busy though and had not been well on Monday so I am a little behind and just finished cutting my fabrics.

I am out of my comfort zone on this one! I do not normally use bright colors in my quilts but I am using the Martha's Vineyard charm packs from Susan Branch this time which are bright 1930s style colors with a plain white background. Plain white is all I had in my stash and I am only using stash for this mini quilt. I had to add a few bright fabrics from my stash as there were a few white charms with slashes of color that would not work well in this design. The piecing instructions were posted yesterday so I am off to start on it...

Now all this cutting is just the right moment to share a very special poem that a special friend wrote for me recently. It was due to my having a chronic airways infection due to an allergy. My quilting is literally making me sick but do you think I have a mind to stop? NO WAY! I hope you will enjoy this poem as much as I do and thank you so very much Angela for writing it. You are now officially published. *grins*

Alas, my hobby's blocked my nose
To find the answer I suppose
I should cut out my cutting out
For that's my problem there's no doubt

I've watched my piles of fabric teeter
As I have added just one more metre
Each one with fibres and with fluff
And little filament-y stuff

Is this what's causing me to sneeze
And making my poor breathing wheeze
Excuse my coughing, oh, don't mutter
Just pass me please my rotary cutter!

My hexagons give so much pleasure
My little dolly quilts I treasure
My samplers and my stitchalong
I can't believe these can be wrong.

Without my quilting I would pine
And all day long I'd whinge and whine
I might be fitter but my mood
Might cause me to be rather rude.

I see I need a remedy
To rid this pesky allergy
The spell is just a simple task
I need to wear a surgeons mask.

No need for counting up to three
In moonlight and beneath a tree
Give me a mask and I can play
With quilts and beaded fobs all day.

Dedicated to a devoted quilter :-)
Angela xx

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Don't you just love it when you look at a blog and become totally inspired? And I love to give myself a challenge so when I saw Saskia's new blog template last week, I knew just what I had to do.

This is her template. It is from Fondos Sholy. Well, the right hand side caught my attention and I decided I had to challenge myself to recreate this little wallhanging as one does. Please tell me you do and I do not have some unusual form of the quilt virus that noone else has? *wink*

So I found a piece of background fabric which was a scrap just the right size. Then I pulled out various pinks to create the charm teapot. A couple of tiny scraps of wool felt in beige for the handle and spout, an old button from a button jar and I was on my way...

The word teapot all higgelty piggelty is embroidered under the patchwork and a piece of pretty old lace given to me by Joke...

I signed the quilt on the back...

And borrowed a wire hanger that came with a Christmas hanger I stitched years ago...

The wallhanging is 7 1/2 inches x 12 inches.

I was sad to have to cancel a play date with Saskia yesterday as I had a very bad fibromyalgia attack. I was so sick in the morning that I could not sit up but happily in the afternoon I had started to improve. I sat quietly with needle and thread finishing this off. What contentment it gives me to have my quilting and stitching! Time now to set up a new play date with Saskia...grins...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A little bird told me.....

...that Lori over at HumbleQuilts was asking people to post their progress on the quiltalong on our blogs. If you remember this post, I am calling my quilt Pumpkin Fields instead of Strawberry Fields because of my fabric choices. I must confess that with all my stitching lately, this has been sadly neglected. I will hopefully get to it again this week when my latest UFO project is finished. After all, I have a fob again ready and waiting to give away when this has been finished. *grins*

It is the busy season for birds and I finished my third part of the SoloBrode SAL last week containing five sweet little tweets added to the design. This project stitches up so quickly that I find myself longing for the next part of the SAL constantly. Not like I don't have anything else to work on! *wink*

Are you having a creative Sunday? Back to my UFO stitching.....

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Flowers and fairies.....

Have you been visited by stitching fairies lately? I have! It was them that brought me this wonderful seat frame all the way from England. I am having problems with developing a rash now along with swelling and pain in my joints when I hold my stitching. It is from rheumatoid arthritis which seems to be developing. I needed a way to keep my stitching up so decided to give this system a try. I have had frames before but never liked them. I had a floor frame that ended up literally in the woodstove.

I place my seat frame between my legs as I found placing it on the side was not good for my back. I twisted ever so slightly and want to keep a straight and very relaxed position as I sit. I can even stitch with both hands.

As you know, I picked up on old UFO to finish this month. I am enjoying doing it so glad I got it out of my stitching basket. I completed another 'tile' on this sampler and stitched all the lines around each tile so far. I have only one more tile to stitch in the bottom right corner and then will have to complete the border edge around it. I should be able to complete it in the coming week.

I added my initials to the center block...

It is fun to read a book that connects somehow to what I am stitching or quilting. I picked a book called Flower Fables by Louisa May Alcott to read while stitching this sampler. Written in 1855 when Louisa was only 16 years old for Ellen, the daughter of Ralph Waldo Emerson. There are 9 stories in the book about the world of fairies. It is a fun book to read in the summer when flower fairies are out and about. *grins*

Monday, June 7, 2010

Meet Amelia!

There has been much talk about dolls lately on one of my Yahoo lists. I was asked to share a photo of the doll my sister made. Meet Amelia.....

She did not name this doll and actually made it for my mother. My mother brought it over to me a couple of years ago. I have a fabulous teddy bear that she made me. I had a bunny but sent that to her youngest daughter to keep since she did not have one.

Amelia is sitting on her own miniature Windsor high back chair holding her book. It is miniature version of A Little Golden Book 'We Help Mommy'. I found it once while visiting my mother back in Ohio. I loved this book and had it (regular sized, of course) when I was a little girl.

I have named her Amelia. We had the original Amelia Bedelia book when I was little and just loved it. Giving her doll this name makes me think of fond memories of that wonderful book. I wonder if my mother still has it? Now for any of you in blogland who do not know who Amelia Bedelia is...she is a housekeeper who takes everything literally. When she reads her list of things to do, she does them...so she dresses the turkey with clothes or dusts the furniture with powder or puts out the lights on the clothesline or draw the curtains she takes up paper and pencil to sketch them.

I really must come up with a special quilt for Amelia but in the meantime, she is showing you a patch from my latest doll quilt. I have been so busy stitching that I have been neglecting my doll quilt. Perhaps I should let Amelia sit on her chair next to my sewing machine so I work harder?

Now for those of you waiting to see my new frame...it is coming in the next post I promise. I wanted to try it out first before I put it on the blog and guess what? I LOVE IT! Will show it to you soon. In the meantime, it is back to the frame to stitch away on my flower sampler.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Sunny days of summer...

The weather has turned to summer. No lazy days for me though. I have made a bunch of fobs to giveaway with each finish as I have every intention of having lots of finishes this summer. *grins*

After my last finish from a week ago which I shared in my last post, I decided I needed to pick out one of the really old UFOs in my harvest basket. This is what came up. It is the Flower Sampler by Kirsten Schmidt (Kissy). She had a SAL online many years ago and I started it with two online friends. Now I am not even sure when the date was. The last posting I did about it was back in 2006 on my old blog. Yikes! Even then it was a UFO. Not for long though if I can help it. I picked out colors that are used in Makkum porcelain here in Holland. For some reason, I saw the Makkum plates or a vase when I first saw this design.

Since the weather has turned warm, it is great to sit in the garden and stitch. That is just what I will be doing up at Cranberry Cottage. We want to get up there to get away from a rock concert being held in the park just a block from our house. All I want to hear is bird song. *wink* I am taking my new seat frame which just arrived about an hour ago. I will post about it later. I want to have time to play with it and see how I like it.

It is like being outside at the moment with this pretty bouquet of peonies that my quilting friend Anita gave me on Wednesday evening at our quilt night. She did it to celebrate the fact that our house sold quickly. Thanks Anita! And yes, I do have to post the latest quilt blocks but I must confess I want to finish my own first.

Carolien and Sonja joined the quilt group and came for the first time. It was nice to have them there and they fit in so well that it was like they were always part of the group. Carolien totally spoiled me with the gift of the DVD Cranford. Thanks Carolien! Oh how I love this series. I want to live in Cranford and have Miss Maddy as my neighbor! So now I will be wishing for a rainy day to sit inside with this on while stitching.....

Have a happy and creative weekend!
Don't forget to stitch in the sunshine!