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

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fun with finishes!

This month, I entered Beth Twist's challenge of Heartstrings Around the World. This is the photo I sent to her which she selected to take part. It was fun seeing my photo among the others...

I received a wonderful pattern from her which I hope to start in the coming weeks. First, I have to spend more time with needle in hand as I have set myself a challenge to bring 2011 to a close. I want to cut back on the amount of UFOs I have in my quilt studio. I am not even thinking of those I stored upstairs when we moved in. I will move to some of those next year. Yikes!

My challenge is to use or complete some of the bits and pieces I have in my studio now. It will involve sometimes simply finishing a project. Other ones will mean rethinking something I am not happy with or needs a finish. This is the first finish from those UFOs and to read more about it, go to my blog TheCranberryChronicle by clicking on the blog name. I use this bag so often but it was not the nicest looking bag and I love it now that it has been "prettied up". *grins*

While we had our week up at Cranberry Cottage, I had also taken a ball of cotton yarn that is in my yarn basket in the studio. Part of this challenge is finally using the yarn I have bought for certain projects. This cotton yarn had a fabulous coloring which I bought in a little shop in the Mosel area of Germany. I used it to make this pretty crocheted dishcloth. I just love this shell pattern! It turned out to be just enough for one dishcloth as what you see in the darning needle is all the yarn I had left.

My current crochet UFO is coming along nicely but I will keep that for the next post but here is a peek...

Have any idea what it is? Off now to bake a cake for a SAL day tomorrow. Nice thing about baking a cake is that I can stitch a little while my cake is in the oven....

Monday, September 19, 2011

Dagi's sampler wall - Crows, Corn & Cats

Thanks so much for all my comments on my last entry about my Dagi sampler wall. I had mentioned that I kitted up the next design to take with me to Cranberry Cottage. I found a little scrap of 32-count evenweave fabric in my stash and used the recommended DMC colors with the exception of the cat in the lower right corner.

Since autumn has started here in Holland, it was fun to stitch this design while enjoying the time at the cottage. We had a couple of storms during the first few days we arrived so it was the 'purrfect' weather to stitch. Who am I kidding? Any weather is good weather to stitch in my book. *grins*

This is the cutest little design! It came out about 4 inches square stitching this 2 over 2. I kept the naughty cat climbing the corn stalk in black as this represents our neighbor cat. She has a rough life as an outdoor cat and is always here begging for Jos' attention. He fed her while the neighbors were away on summer vacation and since then...well...Jos has a girlfriend. *wink* She is black with little white tips on her paws. She is also quite a naughty little cat but then she does have to fend for herself outside at all hours with very little food to eat. Poor thing! Dagi is in the bottom corner looking at her antics. *grins*

My wall is taking shape and I am going to start another design this week. I hope to get out in the next week or so and see if I can find three more square frames. I need to be able to base my linen count on the frame size since those square frames are hard to find. Before I get back to another cat sampler, I want to stitch a Halloween design (already almost done) and do some crocheting. I am working on a gift. Oh how I love being an elf! *wink*

Don't forget you can click on any photos to see them in more detail...

All the cat sampler patterns are by The Goode Huswife.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

C is for Cat - Dagi's sampler wall

....is coming along now in leaps and bounds! I had set myself a goal to do this wall in 2011 and have realized that if I want to accomplish this goal, I am going to have to concentrate on it in the coming months. It is September and the year is approaching its end faster than we think. Why does time go by quicker each year???

I finished Chester who is not Chester but Dagi. I changed the colors once again to reflect my handsome little man about the house. He is quite in charge here in our house...meow. *grins* The colors I used are all DMC: 3033, 3782, 3032, 3790, 844 and 504, 502, 500. I tea dyed a piece of 30-count linen.

This design really does look like him. Dagi is a lilac tabby-ticked Mandarin or Javanese cat. When he was a kitten you could see his tabby stripes on his belly, paws and head. Now they are only visible a little on his forehead. He is starting to grow his lion's mane again in his neck so the cold weather is coming.

He was curious what I was doing and crawled into the antique cradle by my table. He was very unhappy at the fact that the cradle rocks though. Silly cat!

I have purchased a few frames for my upcoming designs. I still have 3 more frames I need to find all of which are square. They are more difficult to find. Since we are off to stay at Cranberry Cottage, I have kitted up the next design which is much simpler than Chester and I should have finished in no time. One of the cats will again be changed to Dagi's colors of course. It is an autumn design which is great for stitching in the woods as autumn begins! Can you see my smile? My favorite season is beginning!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Time flies!

You know the old saying 'Time flies when you're having fun'? Well, where has 25 years gone? It cannot be 25 years can it since I am not even that old. *wink* But today, 25 years ago I arrived at Brussels Airport to start my life with Jos.

I arrived with two suitcases packed with clothes and stitching supplies hoping I was going to like this new life. I had no idea what was in store for me. Since then, I have learned the language but more importantly the country's spirit. I have become Dutch. Funny that when I was a little girl, my father used to always tell me "Don't be Dutch" which is a cute way to say don't be silly. I can still hear him saying it to me. *grins* Sorry Dad but here I am 25 years later....being Dutch.

I have met many wonderful people here in Holland and have had the good fortune to lead a group of ladies here in my own home for a monthly quilt group. One of them is Saskia. She was the very first person to call to join the group when I placed the pamplets at a quilt shop. She showed up at my house one late afternoon last month on her way home from work with this basket full of gifts and instructions. I was to open one gift a day until today, September 6th when I was to open the one gift with blue lace trim on it.

Each day for 24 days, I had a gift. All wonderful although Jos is claiming the cookies and licorice. I will share with the exception of those speculaas...well, maybe just one... *wink*

This morning I opened the final gift. I removed the lace holding the stitching to the roll and what did I find???

How cute is this? I will be making some patchwork around it and turning it into a very special little quilt in honor of a very dear quilt friend! I just love Saskia...my quilt sister! Thank you so much for making this silver anniversary that much more special Saskia!

In an hour, she and her mother will arrive. We are off to a country tea house for high tea. See you both soon...

Note: Thank you all for your warm and caring comments about my last post! I am still busy emailing each person individually if I am able to see your email address. Your thoughts and prayers mean very much to me! I feel very positive about this and will make it through. All of you are a big help in that process.