Saturday, July 31, 2010

Clamshell Club Report July

Clamshell report! Hi everyone, this as far as I got. And I have to say that even though it hasn't been a very smooth learning curve, I am really enjoying myself. I followed Jossie's advice and used a strip of white to applique my first row.

My favourite part: choosing and cutting out shells... I am aiming at a little charm quilt, so no repeats.

My least favourite part: Basting the shells.
I knew from the beginning I did not want to use papers. But remembered Anna Maria Horner's Super Circle technique. And guess what! It works!

So I place my cardboard template and fabric shell in a piece of foil-paper. Gather the sides up, making sure my seam-allowance is even, iron and ta-dah! Nice crispy seam-lines! Be careful, the foil does get very hot! :)

... now I need to conquer the actual sewing of them... :)
But I know I will get great tips from you, my fellow Clammers, as I visit you later today!

The Clam Girls

Being Klosjes Saturday, I hope to work on some this afternoon. I hear them calling my name.
And I also want to finish my July BOM My Garden, By Lynette Anderson. ( I am facing a lot of fears this week... living dangerously outside my comfort zone: machine quilting, applique and my first stitchery... :) You guys make me brave! :)

Oh yes, and this is how I cut off the excess of the background strip behind my first set of clams. ( and my replacement thimble. So the question is now: do I need a replacement for the replacement?! hummm...)

I am on my way out for a drive with the family, but will be back soon and visit with all of you!
See you, and thanks for a wonderful week!

Happy Saturday!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Pay it Forward

I just signed up to participate in Gisele's Pay it Forward. She is such a dear friend and an amazing artist, that I jumped at the chance! :)
(hot tip: she still has 2 spots open! rush!!!)

This is a fun way for bloggers to share hand-made gifts with each-other and spread the luv!

Here are the rules:

1. The first 3 people to visit my blog & leave a comment here on this post saying they want to participate will receive a homemade gift from me. You are allowed 1 year (according to the rules) in which to send out the gift, but I plan on making something & sending it on much sooner than that.

2. You must have a blog of your own to participate in the PIF.

3. You must post about the PIF on your blog & you must offer the challenge of a PIF.

By accepting my PIF, YOU agree to host a PIF on your blog, you will agree to send a homemade gift (within 1 year) to the first 3 people who sign up on your blog to participate in your PIF & so it continues.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

One Flower Wednesday-reporting: last week of July

...wasn't yesterday's experiment fun? I hear the Aussie girls made sure our spontaneous Sew-in continued into the wee hours! I will definitely do it again! I am still amazed at how much I got done. THANK YOU!I stayed up late stitching on the binding and I really like the results so far.
I told you about my set-up, right?

So this is where I will be tonight, watching tv and stitching away! This little trolley works so well to hold my sewing supplies in the living-room.

This morning I owed the boys a morning out, and as they are napping I made a hexi-flower.
I am sorry I was late posting my wednesday's flowers last week, so for those of you who missed it (and are interested!) you can click here.

So there is mine on the left and on the right, with a sunny centre...

I got a lovely surprise package from Shirley. Thank you, Sweet Friend! I know exactly where this lovely flower is going. You'll see... :)
xox 4u!

Have a lovely rest of your week! Binding beckons!

ps. I thank all of you for the congratulations on being a Featured Quilter at Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival.It means so much to me because I can share it with you.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

what happens when...

All your blog-friends have fresh new posts beckoning, you have a quilt nearly quilted on the machine, calling you (because you want to show your blog-friends!), and you have your kids planning a revolt because you haven't fed them breakfast, yet, ( it's only 8:24 am... not my fault you were up at 6:15!)...


after feeding the kids...

I have arranged for the boys to entertained elsewhere so I can spend the day with you, QUILTING!

I have so much to tell you, pictures to show you...
So, today I am spending it with you.

It is 8:30 am and we are going into my sewing room

to finish quilting that quilt!
I can't wait to tell you more about this little one: It is going to New York!

I made myself a black tea. Would you like one?
with milk and sugar? (Well, I have goat's milk and Stevia in mine...)

Please, forgive the mess. It's a beautiful quilting mess, you know the one... Hey, I rather have you here with me than spend time cleaning up for the perfect picture. Today we do it without the airbrush! :)

8:40 am
Ok, finding my groove again. Last night it was going so much easier.
Don't you just hate it when you know that you are only an hour away from finishing... (ok, it's never only an hour! ... And the kids really do want a goodnight-kiss, And hubby does want your company, besides charm hexies are calling you from the sofa!!!)
Ok. It's going ok.
Straight stitching, using my walking foot, making sure I pull the bobbin thread up so it will not get tangled on the bottom stitches...

10:10 am
Quilting is going well. Almost done. I hand-basted my quilt so I pull out the threads as I pass that section. I find that 'marking' my lines with my Clover Hera finger-press gives me a crisp line to follow. The stitches are looking good top and bottom!

Oh, Little one, I have missed your humming so... ( Ok, My 'Little' Brother QC1000 is a bit chunky, and can't be moved easily, and she needs to go for her yearly 'spa' cleaning and oiling soon... But she is sooo loved and a really hard worker, too!)

Ok, so you have your tea? I have some great news to share with you. I am so thrilled, I don't even know How to tell you. It's easier if I just show you... go here.


11:30 am
Ok, I am not blushing so hard any more... But it is such exciting news. Again, thank You Amy, for organizing the Blogger's Quilt Festival, Natima for encouraging me to take a chance and join, and all of you who nominated me. It's a tremendous honour.

and most of all to YOU, who I am sharing this with... YOU mean the world to me, dear friends!

And the quilt is done! I think it is... I will now take a picture.

in the meantime I will start thinking of the binding... I am thinking green... hummm, any suggestions?

12:15 pm
Had a few visits from the kids. They are just upstairs and wanted to get some more toys and movies.
They will have their lunch upstairs as well, Yeay!!!

Ok here's a picture. Not a great one, but you get the idea. Don't you find it hard to take a picture of a quilt when you are on your own?
How I wish I had a garden and a clothesline. Humm, maybe I can have a clothesline in my sewing room...

So let me tell you some more about this quilt. This Comfort-quilt is going to Victoria. She is amazing, and such an inspiration:

in her own words last night in an e-mail:

No, it does not need to have a house on it.. that was for the first part of this project... I am making the quilts with the house blocks, (aprox 80 quilts) which will be auctioned off at their fundraisers

the charity project it self, is for completed quilts, of any kind that go direct to the families... ;-)

Didn't I tell you?
Please, consider helping! Especially if you are in North America. Your quilt might become part of someone's family history, providing a soft refuge in a harsh reality.

Thank You, Victoria for being you!

12:55 pm
Hubby brought Lunch!!! Chicken Souvlaki for all of us. (I will take a picture!)
So let's take a little break, and I'll be back after I put the boys down for their little siesta.
It has been an unforgettable morning, Thank You!
And I can't believe how much I got done, too!

What a fab and quick lunch: Grilled breast of chicken, in a grilled thick pita, with ripe tomatoes, sweet onions, thick greek yogurt sprinkled with Greek oregano...
My hubb's is topped with french fries, mine with fresh cucumbers... And a tall glass of lemon& lime Mint sparkly delight...
I had to tell him all about my fabulous morning. He just smiled and rushed to read the post!

The boys are not settling down. I can hear them having a party in their bedroom. So I will stay close and work on some charm hexies for now. I haven't counted out how many I have yet. But I have really enjoyed the Moda White Chocolate Candy bars and the Petit Fours. A great way to add little 2 1/2" squares in fabric lines I might otherwise not have access to.

2:40 pm
They fell asleep, finally! I can't wait to get back to finding a binding for Victoria's quilt.
I will first measure the quilt to see how many strips of 2 1/4" I need.

(but first some chocolate...)


3:37 pm
I chose a minty green stripe for the binding. I really like stripe-y bindings!

I have sewn my 6 strips and now I am ironing the binding in half. I always slide the pressed part away from me, so I don't burn my fingers.
I hold the iron in my right hand and slide the folded fabric from left to right, rolling the pressed binding neatly to my right. (if you are a lefty just reverse the process!)
Next I will sewing the binding on.
Couldn't resist taking this picture of the back...

You can see the quilting a bit more...

5:15 pm
The Binding is on!
...and the kiddies are up from their nap. Let's go find them something to nibble on until Daddy comes home from work.
I love the way the binding looks. I think I will start sewing it on as soon as I can. Maybe more pix will follow!
Now I need to trim the excess batting, and prepare my workstation...
I like to quilt or sew on binding resting on the back of an arm-chair or sofa.

This has been such fun...
and we haven't gotten to the cruise pix yet!

We'll leave that for another day?
Thank you so much for sharing this lovely day with me!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Klosjes and a hexi-crush...

Five new Klosjes

I have very few Klosjes to report, but they are very special ones. I made them on the ship. We had a great time as a family, and no one jumped overboard. Oh--- and I had nightmares about that! But it was fantastic. It was no luxury cruise by any means... These 'local' cruises never are. But the smaller boats have their own charm in that you get to know more people and they are affordable. Ok, we had odd leaks in the cabin, but it added to the ADVENTURE!!!

(ok. honestly. I love my boys. and THEY had fun. I was secretly longing for my bed, my home, my food, my stitching!!!)

Please let me know if you are interested in some more 'touristy' pictures, ok? I can prepare a nice post for you, if you like.

Now I want to share some very special fabric with you:

These are amazing gifts I have gotten from some of you for my Klosjes quilt. I don't know what gave you the idea that I am in need of more fabric... I have a quite voluptuous stash. But I love the fact that this Klosjes quilt keeps asserting itself as a Friendship quilt: Sweet Tineke gave me some amazing Delft blue fabric. It is washed and ready to prep (the ones in the background). Bedankt, lieve meid!

On the right, you can see the lovely Dutch lapjes that Ria gave me ( and the ones we acquired during our escapade!) Oh Ria, I will never forget that perfect day! And on the left Michele's lovely charm squares, her contribution to Klosjes and my Hexi Charm Quilt. She had sent me the loveliest of care packages to Holland. Thank you so much, my friend! I will make you proud one day, Master Teacher!

It has taken me over a week to feel that I am finally home. ( and mourn the loss of my thimble... yup, I rather lose my thimble onboard or OVERboard than one of my kids! ...keeping things in perspective... :)

So, I have been crushing on hexies! As I told some of you: I had horrible hexi-withdrawal symptoms in Holland! Oh, I missed these babies...

a sea of nautical hexies... swoon...
these are slowly becoming lovely blooms every wednesday afternoon...

This week was a HOT one... Oh, I know many of us are having hot summers but... I am a wimp. I need AC!!! So imagine our delight this week to discover this lovely indoor kids-park. I was sooooo happy as I was able to make these hexi-flowers, while the boys just got out all that pinned up energy! Happy mama! ( but when it came time to report we had no connection to the internet... so sorry girls, I am late reporting!...did I tell you it is stifling hot?! ...the wires probably melted... :)

I still have so much more I wish I share with you, but it is getting harder and harder to ignore the chaos around me: These little acrobats need to be taken out!
But I will be back soon... ok?

Sending you my Love,



Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lazy days of Summer

a little inspiration...

a last minute encounter with a dear Blog Sister at the airport
as I was about to leave Holland...

a little reading...

a little ocean breeze...

Makes being back home so very special.
I feel like I can finally catch up with myself and process this past month. I have a profound sense of 'mission accomplished' and 'all is well'.
We really had a wonderful Family Vacation,
and it makes me so happy to see that the boys don't even remember me having been away.

Now a little stitching, a little ingenuity to keep the kids entertained, plenty shade and cool to survive the summer heat...

And I think we are well on our way to having an unforgettable summer 2010!

how about you, my friends?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Taking some time off...

I arrived home and was cuddled flat by my guys! But I am not home for long as we are leaving for a week to spend some time together as a family.

I will have loads to tell you when I get back and loads more pictures to show you.
Please, take care, keep stitching if you have the chance, and we'll see each other soon!

Love, Always,


My Patchwork Family Through Adoption

A Bit of Africa and China
Came knocking on our door
And in a home where there was longing
Now empty rooms no more

Like a Quilt of Many Colours
Our Family stitched together into One
God's Love and Grace for us Abundant
In the Miracle of our Sons

Written by Valentina