Thursday, January 25, 2007

More on Dutch Fabric

Dutch Fabrics
While I'm obsessed with Dutch fabric, this is a little quilt I made back in the middle 1990's when we lived in Germany. I bought the fabric when we went on vacation in the Netherlands for a week. As you can see, I like hearts. I didn't realize I was using so many of them!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dutch Chintz Fabric

I found the website of the company that creates the beautiful Dutch chintz fabric. It's expensive, but soooooooooooo beautiful. A little can go a long way in a scrappy quilt. The name of their store in Amsterdam is: Den Haan & Wagenmakers bv It truly is the most beautiful fabric I have seen. I bought a couple of pieces today that were about 16 x 20" and they were 7 euros a piece - so basically for one fat quarter I paid almost $9! I figure I will pick up one or two when I go look around at shops and slowly increase my collection. I'm not sure what I want to do with it yet. I keep coming back to the idea of flying geese (must be coming from my subliminal hatred of flying!)

I Have a Headache

Well the second day of my "quilt winkel" adventure has given me a headache. I started off about noon today amongst pea soup visability. I got the good old Tom Tom out and headed west. I drove about 45 minutes and reached my first stop. The first quilt shop was in someone's house. I tend to be on the shy side, so I am not one to just go up to someone's door and ask - can I look at your quilt stuff?! There were no cars out front, just a teeny little sign - so I kept on driving.

I then drove about 30 minutes to Zutphen. I was looking for the shop Petra Pins The Tom Tom kept telling me to go down one way streets the wrong way or pedestrian zones, so I ended up parking. I had good walking shoes on so I thought what the heck. Well, I walked and walked and walked. I was very dorky and kept looking at the Tom Tom in my purse trying to figure where to go. I could not figure it out. I went into a shop and asked a salesperson if they knew where the address was located. She was very abrupt and said, "No, I do not!" I even bought some cards there! I then went into a coffee shop hoping to find something to raise my blood sugar and help with directions. I evidently did not close the door all the way to the store. This guy starts yelling at me! I didn't do it on purpose. Needless to say, I left quickly (closing the door securely of course!)

At this point, I'm hating life, including my husband for bringing me here (sorry Ed, I still love you.) I had no idea where the car was, just that it was by a canal and a big old church (narrows that down!) I tried again to get some coffee at another cafe and thank you God for having a nice person there! Also, the cafe had the best apple cake I have ever had. The waitress was so nice and helpful. When I was leaving she even walked with me for a block to show me where the store was. Just goes to show you there are nice and nasty people wherever you go.

The quilt shop was wonderful. They have a huge collection of reproduction fabrics. I picked up a few of the traditional chintz Dutch fabrics. They are so beautiful. Too pretty to cut up!

I did manage to find the car. I was thinking boy it would be nice if Ed were here and he could drive! I would definitely be taking a nap!

I then headed off again to my last quilt shop for the day - about 20 minutes away. Again this shop was located in a private home, so I decided not to go in. I know, I'm a chicken. Maybe if someone was with me.

All in all a good day, but like I said, I have a headache!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Yeah Quilt Shops!

I'm so excited! I found a website today that gave all the information for the quilt shops in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany! With my limited Dutch and German I have not been very good at tracking finding them. Within an hour of finding the website, I was in the car off to two of them. Ed has flown to the states for a week, so this will keep me busy! I found the first shop ok that was located in Delden. The TomTom makes it pretty much fool proof unless I put the address in wrong. I never did find the second shop I was looking for. I felt like I drove in the country forever. I never did find it. The TomTom said, "You have reached your destination" but I sure didn't look like I was at a quilt shop! Some farm in the middle of the country was more like it. Well, I thought I better get out of there before I got myself into trouble! I love the Dutch countryside so I didn't mind getting lost at all. A woman was walking her two huge draft horses down the road, they were so beautiful. I have another list of shops I want to try and find tomorrow (I better leave my debit card at home!)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mariners Compass

This is a Mariners Compass quilt that I finished a couple of years ago. I had never worked with a dark background before. I tend to usually stay with white and off white. It was a nice change, (plus it hides stains!) It's hand pieced and hand quilted. Don't look too close - it's definitely not perfect! It was a nice challenge though.

Funny Quote from a Book

Last night I had yet another episode of insomnia. I picked up one of my quilting books on the way to the bath tub to hopefully get me in the mood for some sleep. I picked up a book that I found at a yard sale years ago called, "The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting" by Marguerite Ickis. It was published in 1949! It's wonderful to see how times have changed in the quilting world! I'm pretty confident that quilting would not be as popular today without our wonderful rotary cutter and rulers! I had to share this one short paragraph, it cracked me up.

Not Too Dramatic
The quilt should take its proper place in the whole decorative scene of the room. It should accent but never drown out the other beauty spots about it. As a covering for the bed, it plays a dramatic role, but must harmonize in color and refinement with the color and proportions of the bedroom. In other words, your quilt must blend into its surroundings.

I don't know about you, but as many quilts as I have made, I do not have one quilt on any one of my beds! They are all hanging on walls or "artistically" (of course!) draped on a chair or maybe at the end of a bed! Over the years I have seen what animals, children and regular use can do to a quilt! I make an exception for baby quilts. I love to see my baby quilts being used. Maybe I would not feel as protective of my quilts if it didn't take me so long to get them done or my hands didn't go numb!

I also found it funny that the author thought the quilt must blend into its surroundings! I don't think so! It must be the gray skies and short days that I've been seeing here in the Netherlands for the last couple of months, but I think the more color the better!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sampler Quilt

This is one of the first few quilts that I made. It's a quilt that has very special meaning for me. My mother bought me the fabric for this quilt the summer she died. It was difficult to work on it as I was so sad. This quilt is in memory of her.

The quilt at the bottom of the bed is an embroidered quilt from the 1940's, maybe 1950's. I found the top at a Salvation Army Store in Colorado Springs, Colorado and paid $5 for it! I finally had it machine quilted a year ago. The quilting lines were already marked on the quilt in pencil!

Star Quilt

This quilt is English paper pieced and machine quilted. I enjoy small projects that I can take in the car and work on, (keeps my mind off my husbands driving - especially on the autobahn!) I'm not too great though at English paper piecing, my stitches usually show on top. My friend Susan does beautiful English paper piecing; none of her stitches ever show! I felt like it needed a little something, so I added some antique buttons in the middle of the stars. I love buttons.

Hearts Quilt

This is a quilt that I have had done for a few years. The hearts are hand appliquéd and the rest was machine pieced and then was machine quilted. Sorry for the bad angle, but I have it hung in a narrow hallway. It's hung on old wooden skis that Ed and I got when we lived in Alaska. It's amazing people could ski on those things!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Sewing Room

This is my happy little corner of the world; my sewing room. I like to collect old sewing notions and antique toy sewing machines so I have those scattered around. And of course buttons, lots and lots of buttons. The best part is my sewing machine, a Bernina. I love my sewing machine. It's such a joy to sew with, and I no longer swear when I sew (except when I goof up, I only have myself to blame.) It has the stitch regulator on it for machine quilting. It is fantastic. I do feel like I'm "cheating" a little bit by using it, but my machine quilting is much nicer now! I use to have an old Singer that was made the year after I was born (1961.) I bought it for $50 at a US Army thrift store in Germany. Krisi, my daughter is now the proud owner of it.

I share my space with the washer and dryer. I don't mind as long as it it not hot outside, then I just have an excuse not to do laundry because the room will get too hot!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Current Project

This is the quilt I'm currently working on. It is in honor of Ed's and my 25th wedding anniversary on the 30th of January. I can't believe we've been married 25 years (even more, I can't believe we haven't killed each other yet!)

The rings and flying geese are paper pieced. The flying geese represent the 17 times we have moved during our marriage. I was machine quilting it and decided it looked bare, so I added appliqué flowers and leaves. It's been difficult on the fingers appliquéing after quilting, but I'm glad I added it. Hopefully I will get it done by our anniversary on January 30th.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Wedding Quilt

Krisi and Chris' Wedding Quilt

This is the wedding quilt I made for Krisi and Chris. Hand appliquéd and hand quilted with a little bit of machine piecing. I injured my shoulder one month before the wedding, so I had a difficult time trying to complete it, but I was determined to give it to them before we moved to the Netherlands. Krisi is my pink girly girl, so of course it had to be pink!

Monday, January 8, 2007

Kelly and Tommy

walking cat 022

My daughter is crazy! I love her for taking such good care of my cat, Tommy! (Yes, she is walking him)

Saturday, January 6, 2007


Christmas was wonderful! First of all, the kids were here! It was so nice to see them! It was bitter sweet though - cuz it only makes me realize even more that life has definitely changed, and my children are now grown! I am so proud of them, they are all terrific , good and kind human beings. I am very fortunate. I still struggle with what to do with my time these days. I don't see an end to the frequent moving for the next 20 years or so, I will have to adapt. Wow did I just get melancholy, sorry!

Again, Christmas was wonderful! I caught a cold, but that was probably a good thing. It gave me an excuse to stay home and Ed took Krisi and Chris to Amsterdam for a speedy jam packed tour. They were definitely able to cover more ground without me!!! I would have been asking "where's the cab!!!!" We went to Mannheim, Germany to see our good friends, Steven, Susan and Jonathan. It is always wonderful to see them. They are just like family to us! We went to a Christmas market in Strasbourg, France that was very beautiful. On the way back from Mannheim we drove up along the Rein river valley to see the beautiful castles. I think it is more pretty in summer, but it is still awe inspiring in winter!

Christmas is not so commercial in The Netherlands as it is in the states or even in Germany for that matter. It was very nice and understated! I probably gained 5 pounds over the holidays, sampling all the goodies. They have the best spicy goodies here!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Christmas Markets

The Christmas Markets in Europe are so much fun! They definitely put me in the Christmas spirit! There is nothing like walking through a 1000 year old town on a cold December night holding on to a mug of gluhwine (actually kinder punch for me.) The largest market we went to was in Dortmund, Germany. It was huge and very crowded! I think weeknights are the best time to go, but it's not always possible for Ed to get away from work early.

The gluhwine comes in ceramic mugs made especially that year for that cities market. We have a collection from when we lived in Germany in the 90's and I must say they have gotten prettier since then. Of course, there is lots of food: bratwurst, frits and even pasta!

Some markets are more commercial than others. I prefer the smaller ones as they tend to have more handcrafted items.