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

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A heartwarming giveaway...

Three days left in January including today and guess what??? I am sticking to my UFOs only so far. Yep...no new starts as hard as it is. My willpower is holding its own although the temptations are great indeed! *grins*

I spent some time yesterday afternoon setting up my Valentine's tree and a few decorations here and there. I now have to get my red quilts out to hang on my quilt ladder today. While getting things out, I came across my heart penny rug candle mat. I have never used this after making it for a tutorial back in 2008. So I thought it would be fun to give this to one of you to say Happy Valentine's Day and celebrate my achieving my goals of no new starts for January's end.

If you would like a chance to win this penny rug, just leave a comment on this post. If you do not have a blog yourself, please include your email address on your comment so I can contact you if you do win. I am pulling the winner's name on Wednesday, February 1st when I will also start a new project. A day of double celebrating being able to have the excitement of a new start along with sharing something I made with one of you! Good luck...

Just a note...those who commented on my last blog post will receive an extra chance at this giveaway. Thank you so much for your comments!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friends old and new...

I had to laugh when I read the comments on my last blog post. You see...someone who knows me well now for a while commented that it was easy for me to promise no new starts in January. No my dear Joke; it is not an easy promise to make! I can get myself into major trouble with new starts with just a day left to the year let alone the six days I had at the time. I am resisting all temptations which is not easy...

You see...I received my first issue of Mollie Makes in the morning mail. Oh my! This is such a beautiful magazine and inspires you until your head spins. There was even a beautiful little package of cotton trim included. So I took a UFO break with a pot of tea at my side to look through the pages. I first heard about this magazine some time ago on Christine's blog. Since I had no way to see it, I looked into it online. I still could not find enough information to decide I would subscribe. Then I saw one in my local magazine shop when I went to purchase my monthly British Country Living magazine. It was wonderful but the price wasn't at 12,50 euros for one issue. I did however decide to get a subscription.

And Joke, if you do not believe me just look at this...

I have two crochet and one stitching project all lined up to get started. I will not start them in January....I WILL NOT start them in January....I will not start them in JANUARY! *grins*

And now back to my granny square afghan UFO and Christmas pillow UFO... You see I am really trying to be a good girl.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Stringing along some finishes...

Thank you all for the wonderful comments with your own reminiscences about family heirlooms in my last blog post. It was so heartwarming to read them all! I have been wearing my scarf and it keeps me warm inside and out due to the connection to my grandmother. I think of her when I put it on.

I now have my 5th finish for 2012...woohoo! It is really addicting to pick up UFOs and finish them. Actually there is a 6th finish but it is a secret for a little while longer. *grins*

I made a Celtic knot ornament in bobbinlace. It has been on my lace cushion forever waiting for the last curve to be stitched. In 2011, I had two lace finishes one of which was this tree which was completed but needed stringing to help it stand as it hangs in the Christmas tree. My other finish was the singing angel.

Bobbinlace has taken a backseat to my stitching, quilting and crocheting but I am trying to keep a little on the go to be sure I do not loose the knowledge of how to make it.  I am now going to start a larger project on my lace cushion. For now though it is back to a crochet UFO which I pulled out. I have decided that there will be no new projects in January giving me a great deal of time to get some projects cleared up sitting in my studio.

Fingers crossed that there will be another happy dance before this month is out. *wink*

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I love Granny!

I grew up with the sweetest, most magical grandmother on earth! She was so special and I just loved her to bits. In my memories of her, she would sit for hours in her special chair and crochet the hours away. Those beautiful hands of a very old lady creating afghans and tablecloths. Everyone in my family have some items she made. One of the things I have is a granny square throw she made once at my mother's house. My mother got out a big bag of scrap yarns and dumped the bag out at her feet. She got to work using up the scraps and this is the result...

Dagi decided to help model the afghan. *wink*  This afghan inspired me to grab a number of various colors from my yarn stash...yes, I now have yarn stash and lots of it...and my grandmother's crochet hook...this was one my mother brought to me...and started crocheting...

I had seen the pattern (Flower in a square) on for this block on Sucrette's blog. It was perfect for my spin on my granny's granny square afghan come scarf. 

Here is the result which I am just totally thrilled about. I told my mother that my Gramcrackers (as I called her) made it since it was done with her own crochet hook. *grins* 

It is not even the end of January and I have three crochet finishes under my belt...woohoo! I am really hooked on these UFO finishes. I had been working on this since the autumn so it was also a UFO. I decided to keep up the challenge and turn up the rate to maybe 4 or 5 finishes before I can start something new for myself. Once you get started challenging yourself, it comes easier than you think. How about trying it too? 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Way back in July of last year, I happy danced my way to you with this Quaker Row sampler. I stitched it up and for some reason, it sat unnoticed. This past week when I discovered it while sorting out things dumped in a room upstairs when we moved in a year ago. I am going to create a second guest room in this space. I have no idea how I forgot about this until now. I even had the fabrics I was considering to use with it for the framing set aside with it. I choose the fabric and Jos helped me get it into the frame. In my bid to use what I have, I used a frame that had a poster in it that I was no longer using.

I am really glad that I have a first stitched finished piece for this year. I have decided to give myself what I am calling my '2 for 1' challenge. I have to finish two UFOs before I can start a new project. I have finished two UFOs already this year and my new project is a gift I am making which I cannot share for a little while. I am also working on a bigger quilt UFO at the moment. It is going well and I hope to share it soon. I am also grabbing a crochet UFO tonight to get busy with. It will be fun to keep a quilt, stitching, crochet and bobbinlace UFO going side by side. I work on things I am in the mood for unless it is a gift that has to be finished so keeping the various things going works for me.

Anyone else out there in blogland working on clearing out their UFOs this year?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Hooked on finishes!

I had said I was going to review my year of crocheting in this post. What a year it has been! Now I can also show you my first two finishes for 2012 before I share my 2011 finishes. I have been beavering away at a rather large afghan for my husband. I had been wanting to try a ripple afghan and found this pattern which I adapted a little to make more masculine.

He is 6' 5" so this had to be long enough to cover him well. The afghan is 6 foot in length. It contains more than 1300grams of  yarn so should be nice and warm for the winter months. Yes...I am still hoping for a couple of real winter weeks here in Holland. *grins* 

The afghan matches our couches perfectly. I had fun making this ripple pattern and my next goal will be to try a granny ripple but first I want to finish a couple of other crochet projects that I already have going. 

I received a crochet pattern calender 2012 from my mother for Christmas. One of the first patterns for January was a ribbon scarf. I wanted to make something for a dear friend's birthday and this was just the thing. She is a member of my quilt group. Our group is named De Gouden Draad Quilt Groep which translates The Golden Thread Quilt Group. I had this ribbon yarn with hues of gold.

This is not a scarf for warmth but almost a piece of jewelry. It is worn as an accent to an outfit. I hope you enjoy wearing it Bep (no blog)!

Here is a scarf I made in December 2011 for Ginny. I could not show it until she received it in the mail which I found out this week that it arrived. She has read my blog since almost the beginning and I thought it would be fun to surprise her with this red neck warmer. Now all she needs is some winter snow to go with it. *wink*

Crochet finishes for 2011:
Red lacey scarf - giveaway for Catherine
Red neck warmer for Ginny
Red double cowl for my mother
Pink angora cowl for my mother
4 blue and white coasters - gifts
4 hot cocoa mug cozies - gifts
blue and grey scubbie -gift
blue and grey pan handle cozy - gift
blue and white magic hot pad - gift
Project basket
Freedom Poncho
Shell dishcloth
Black, grey and white cowl for Barbara
Granny stripe poncho
Purple double flowers scarf
Denim cowl - giveaway for Barb
Brown-black cowl
Purple cowl
Granny square stool cover
Japanese flower scarf
Kitchen twine potholders
Baby blanket for Abigail Lynn
Brown variegated scarf and beret
Grey angora wristies

Thursday, January 5, 2012

More finishes from 2011 and stitching goals completed...

I was a busy elf in December and worked on a number of gifts. It was why I was so quiet on the blog with my nose to the grindstone.

I participated in an ornament swap with some friends in an online housekeeping group. I made them each a patchwork tree...

Our theme this year for the Christmas party gift exchange was cloth napkins. I got napkins made of batik fabrics with a Christmas/winter look. I used them when I set the table and really love them. Elly S made them for me.

I had Joke's name and she wrote about using silver and crystal on her table during the holidays. I knew as soon as I read this that I was going to use this blue, grey and silver metallic fabric. It brought to mind her table setting. 

I finished them and then decided that she needed a special quilted pouch to hold the napkins when they are put away. 

I spent every moment I could working on 13 crochet gifts for the door prizes this year for the quilt group. I made 4 hot cocoa mug warmers, 4 coasters for large tea mugs, a magic hot pad, a scrubbie, a pan handle pot holder (slips onto the handle) and two crazy quilt pincushion...one made in an egg cup and the other in a sunflower tea light holder. I totally forgot to take photos of the gifts before I packed them up so this photo is the best I can do to show you what I made. *grins*

I had made an extra set of napkins for Mieke. I was concerned the person who had her name would not make it and wanted to be sure she had a gift. I took some fabrics from my stash and created a set of green and gold tree napkins for her. 

2011 was a year of stitching also and here are the projects I was able to complete last year:

Christmas tree pillows - Christmas
                                        Holly and berries
14 Sajou letter ort jars
Blessing to all pillow
Dagi's sampler wall - Crows, Corn and Cats
                                   C is for Cat
                                   S. Claws
                                   Minerva cat sampler
Alsace Heart ornament
Little Red Riding Hood Christmas pillow

Next time I will review my year of crocheting...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Quilts in 2011

I have been neglecting my blog once again but it is because I am really busy with Chirstmas 2012. Yes...I said 2012. Tomorrow evening is the start of my quilt group's new year and new theme. I am really looking forward to this year! It is exciting to start a new theme at the best of times and this year should be really fun. So I have been working on the design which I will keep that under wraps until I have had my evening and can post a few sneak peeks. So stay tuned...

I had my friend Sonja and her husband over for dinner on 2nd Christmas Day (December 26th is still a holiday here in Holland). We had been out one Saturday afternoon and I found this jolly wooden Santa in a shop. I knew as soon as I saw it that he needed to hold this...

I grabbed my Christmas fabric stash and got started making St. Nick his very own quilt. I am afraid I no longer know what size it as I forgot to measure it before I wrapped it but it is small. The pieces of the four-patch blocks are only 1 inch each. A label to mark the date and some wrapping...

Off the Santa and quilt went to live at Sonja's house...

I had a pretty good year for my finishes. I will reflect on them as I post in the coming week. I like to think back and see that I accomplished more than I thought while setting some fun goals for the new year. Here is a list of my quilt finishes for 2011...

Merry Christmas mini quilt for Mike and Sonja
Tree shaped cloth napkins for Mieke
Black crazy quilt heart hanger for my mother
Tree shaped cloth napkins and quilted holder for Joke
Lucy's Little Stars doll quilt
Trees and house patchwork mobile
Civil War blocks patchwork bag
Vintage fabric cloth napkins for Tammy L
Quilted casserole cover for Saskia
Black heart crazy quilt hanger
Victorian's Not So Crazy doll's quilt
The Meaning of Christmas quilt

My Farmer's Wife sampler quilt, which was the quilt group theme for 2011, still needs the hand quilting completed so this is going to be my first UFO finish for 2012.