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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Truly scattered moments....

This whole week has flown by with scattered moments. Now I cannot share them all with you as I have to await a few gifts to arrive but here are some moments I can share. I am enjoying Peppermint Twist but you will have to wait to see that when we are finished with part 3 of our SAL. In the meantime, this week I was busy putting the finishing touches on the 3 needlebooks for my giveaway. I loved being able to be so frugle and use up every scrap of this quilt.

The lining is from the charms that I could not use as they were too white and would have blended into my white background. They made perfect linings though. Each person has a different lining.

I added colorful flower buttons to the front and back with ribbon to close the book if wished. A few colored glass beads added that last little touch. The books for Dawn and Nancy (my mother) are on their way in the mail. Carolien's is wrapped and waiting for her since I happily get to see her next week.

I got a big surprise in the mail myself. I had won Marsha's birthday giveaway and look at all the wonderful surprises. I have to make a fob for my new scissors, stitch that chart and sew the tote (she even included the fabrics!) as soon as I can! Thank you Marsha but you really spoiled me too much.

I am packing our weekend bag for Cranberry Cottage. As always, my first thoughts are what I am packing in my project bag. Here are a few peeks...

I normally stitch my blocks for Heidi's House and then sew the patchwork but I am behind and have to have block 6 done by our quilt evening on Wednesday. I sewed half the block together and a part of the remainder and will stitch it this weekend. I should be able to get the rest of the block done on Monday and Tuesday.

And here is a glimpse behind the candy cane curtains of Santa's Workshoppe. Miss Pickles the Elf has been at the drawing board and I am going to try something as part of my Christmas present for my Secret Sister in my quilt group. I cannot reveal too much yet but I will be anxious to see if I can finish this project as I have in my mind's eye. I will let you know if it works...

For that last scattered moment for now, it is the end of the month once again. Where has July gone? Jeanne and I are going to update our With My Needle SAL at the end of each month. I call mine the Emily sampler. *grins* I took Emily with me to the cottage last weekend but did not do as much stitching as I would have liked. Still, my friends, there is a little progress.

I wish you a wonderful weekend filled with many scattered moments with needle and thread!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Come on, let's twist again...

A day late but dancing away to the Twist...

Be sure you put on your speakers and enjoy the video while dancing along. See my side bar.

Saskia and I had a play date on Wednesday. She came over to my house again for the day. We had goodies to eat since I baked brownies and banana bread and made lunch. We also worked on our Peppermint Twist SAL. I had to work on part 2 which should have been done before she came but since my QAL project had the same due date, I had to make a choice which to finish. In the end, I was only two days late since I finished my 2nd part last night. Be sure to visit Saskia's blog to see hers!

One of the fun things about this part was stitching the cardinals (red birds). I have had Dutch friends actually ask me if these red birds are real. Yes, they are! I included a photo of one from the Ohio Nature website.

And it is the Ohio state bird so I felt like I was stitching a little piece of home. *grins*

Now, if only winter were here! *sigh*

Is anyone else getting really sick of this hot summer? I know I am ready to see the season change. At least I have my stitching for company when I cannot be outside because it is too sunny. With my chronic skin condition, it is shade only for me! I do venture out to sit under the awning when it is not too hot and stitch away the day.

Have a very stitch-y weekend bloggers!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Strawberries, Cupcakes and Sweets anyone?

Phew! Nothing like working your fingers to the bone. And in this heat! I just finished my Between Charming Friends QAL quilt just in the knick of time. Tomorrow was the deadline to be part of the quilt parade. I made it but it was touch and go. You see, I am a hand quilter and extreme hot summer weather is not the best for quilting. I really did want to get this completed in time so I have been sitting in my rocking chair upstairs in our bedroom in front of our fan to quilt this. Well, we all have to suffer something for our handwork, right? *grins*

When I commented on my blog about how difficult it was for me to go out of my comfort zone with these bright fabrics, you were all so encouraging. Thank you so much. I had a good bit of scraps from the strip piecing left over and found it was enough to repiece them into 3 needlebooks. I decided my surprise finishing giveaway this time will go all out and there are not one but three winners this time.

First, take a look at the name of my quilt - 'Strawberries, Cupcakes and Sweets'. Does it sound familiar if you read the comments on this post? Well, it was actually someone elses idea. I knew the moment I read the comment that it would be the name of my quilt since it was such a cute title. This person is the first winner of a needlebook. Who, you ask? Carolien - thank you for naming my quilt and now you will have a reminder. *wink*

I then put the 42 comments from that post into the random generator and the winners for the other two needlebooks are...


Please email me from my profile page Dawn with your address so I can send you your needlebook. I am still sewing them together but should be able to get it out to you all three by next week. They are all about half done. I will share a photo of them too when I get them sewn.

Remember, I am holding surprise giveaways for this entire summer each time I finish a project. I never tell you which post I am using for the giveaway but if you do not comment you cannot win. So stop in to say hello and perhaps you will win.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Christmas in July!

Well, it was that time of year again. Christmas in July! Each summer, I celebrate Christmas with the ladies in my quilt group. Now Christmas is July is not a well known thing here in Holland like in America. I have fun bringing these little moments to my Dutch friends.

So I set the table and placed my small Christmas tree with my primitive ornaments on the table. Each year, half of the ladies make a buffet dinner for the group at Christmas in July while the other half will treat us to the dinner for the Christmas party in December. Once again all the food was fabulous!

I had a big surprise this year when Zwarte Piet stopped by to join the party. Funny that this Piet looked like family of our own dear Saskia! *wink* He passed out gifts and stayed for dinner and then said he had to go back to Spain...

This year we have Secret Sisters and brought a little gift for our Secret Sister with only her name on it. The excitement is rising as we guess who our sister is. We will not know until our Christmas party when she gives her sister a handmade gift and reveals herself.

We played games after dinner to win door prizes. Our ages ranging from the 40s through the 80s is no longer relevant when we have a party like this. We are all children once again!

Enjoy the slideshow. It is long but fun to watch I hope.

This year's theme project for Christmas in July was the SinterKlaas quilt I made last December. You can read more about it here.

I wish you all a wonderful weekend and hope you are being creative. Maybe a hot summer's day in July is the perfect day to make someone a Christmas gift?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Home comforts.....

Two posts in two days. I was sitting outside have a sandwich with Jos for lunch when my postlady came into our garden with our mail. On top was a manila envelope and I knew it was my mother's stitching for me. She told me it was finished and she had dropped it in the mail. By chance, I was talking to her on Skype while having lunch so she knew I was opening it.

I ran upstairs after lunch to see if perhaps I had a frame that would work for the design. What luck! I had the perfect frame so I got to work immediately lacing the stitching and framing it.

This was a free chart from Claire's blog Gazette94. When I saw it, I asked my mother if she would stitch it for my new house. Now I cannot wait to move into the new home and hang this in the entrance hallway. *grins*

Anyone who knows me well knows this saying applies to my lifestyle so very well. I am what the Dutch call a sparrow which in the language is 'huismus'. This is used to describe people who are contented being in their home due to home ('huis') being in the name of the bird.

Thank you mother.....I just love it!

"There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort."

~ Jane Austen

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shall we dance???

Yes, it is that time again! While I should be getting that slideshow put together of my Christmas in July party I had for my quilt group, instead I am sitting stitching away to get another finish. And here it is.....

This Quaker sampler really reminds me of autumn which is my favorite season. I did the sampler in autumn tones of browns and beiges.

I am showing it as finished even though it is not yet framed. This one is going to be a puzzle to find a frame for. It is 13cm x 44cm so any of my Dutch readers who could give me a tip of a shop with a very long skinny frame would be greatly appreciated. *grins*

I decided to go back to the blog post where I showed you that I was getting back to this project for my next finish. I entered the comments to find a winner......

.....and Jantine's number came up. Please contact me with your address Jantine so I can send you this autumn themed scissor fob. I hope you will enjoy using it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Twisting along and giving gifts

Today, I should be showing you some pictures of our fun quilt evening. Each year, we have a laughter filled evening at our 'Christmas in July' party. I am having trouble getting the photos in the correct file so I promise that slideshow soon.

Last night however, Saskia and I were Peppermint Twisting together since she is in my quilt group. We have our first step of the SAL completed and decided on the second step. It remains so fun to see the big (Saskia's) and little (mine) version together.

Since I cannot show the party yet, I thought I would share one of the door prizes. This was the grand prize. Now I love taking the business books and bags that my husband used to get and transforming them. With the economy as it is, he no longer gets these items. They are really high quality books or bags but who wants to walk around with a business logo? Not me when I can transform it with patchwork!

I used the stitching from a Christmas card that Joke gave me last year and dressed it up with patchwork to create a Christmas in July look new front.

And this is who won the book...Saskia. I calligraphied her name on it after she won. The fun part of this is that Joke is her mother. She it is a little of both of us.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Welcome to my little cottage.....

It is a little red brick cottage with clay tiled roof. There is a flower box under the window.....

Time to raise the roof and what do we find?

A little needleholder for my stitching.....

The inside of the cottage holds three thread rings.....

There is a band inside to hold the thread in place.....

And now I can stitch with my overdyed threads in style. *grins*

This was a very old UFO which was on my list of goals for this year. I sewed the little house a couple of years ago which I had intended to make into a little purse for my grand niece. But seeing it sewn, I decided she was too old for it. I put it aside and later thought it would be cute finished off as a needlebook. This week, I decided it needed to be taken off my list of things to do and came up with the idea of using it as a thread holder. It must be that it had to remain a UFO until I came up with just the right idea!

Now speaking of needlebooks! I used the random generator on my previous post to pick a surprise giveaway winner for this needlebook.

Do you remember this doll quilt I made? I cut fabrics to make one extra block so I could make a needlebook to give to one of my readers.

The lining was one of my favorite fabrics from the quilt. There are four wool felt pages to hold needles. The back is a simple stripe block to add the other various fabrics from the quilt.

And who was the winner? It was Jenny in California. She does not have a blog. I am so happy to be passing this needlebook on to you now Jenny and hope you will be able to use it to keep your various needles for quilting and stitching.