Saturday, March 27, 2010

Lobelias and Klosjes

... are two of my favourite things!

With Spring in the air, Holy week starting and the kids already on their 2 week Easter break I am having to spend more time stitching 'on the go'...

I did manage 22 more Klosjes this week and I am very happy to have a chance to prepare some more today.

I hope You have Happy Stitching plans for the coming weeks and will have a very Blessed Easter celebrating with the ones you love.

We will be going to the mountains and I will miss visiting all of you. But I also hope to have plenty to share with you upon returning. ( maybe even some Applique? Thanks Sue-Anne and Michele!)

Happy Easter and Happy Stitching,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Behold the Handmaiden...

As an orthodox christian woman who is obsessed with her threads, needles, thimbles, scraps... I take great comfort in knowing that the Arch-Angel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin while she was doing this:


I am sure that I am not the only one who has felt that sometimes when we stitch and hand-quilt we are in fact stitching our love, our blessings, and prayers for whomever will receive the works we are making with our hands.

Today as we, in the Orthodox Church celebrate the Feast of Annunciation, I thought you'd like me to share this with you.

Icons of the Annunciation in Orthodox Church depict the Virgin Mary busy doing her needle-work. It seems to me she might be holding Spindles or maybe Spools (?!) of beautiful red thread that she probably dyed herself...

The above link is a nice one that explains a little bit more about the feast, if you so wish.

In the meantime,
Happy and Blessed Stitching!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Giving and Receiving

Panic Stations!

Yesterday, as I was happily cutting strips blissfully preparing my March Dollie quilt, a sudden announcement: We need a Birthday present for my baby's Playschool teacher tomorrow! You know when you know you should MAKE a gift? Nothing else will do... I see how her eyes light up when she sees him rushing into the classroom in the mornings to give her a good-morning hug...

So a new Tea-towel, beautiful strips, and staying up past midnight hand-stitching on the binding results in... one very proud little boy!

...and a very happy Mama!

Another type of gift giving:

Once in a while you get a group of students that are so enthusiastic and dedicated that you want to make them happy. They are so hungry to know everything there is to know about quilting...
And If I still feel like that after 15 years, I can certainly understand them.

So a few weekends ago I made up a little project that would introduce lots of techniques in a very simple way.

We did 'Quilt-as-You-Go', 'Stripping' ( like I told Stephanie, these days I can't get strips out of my head!!!), Attaching Rick-Rack, and Rough Edge Applique like the type Kellie taught us through her wonderful turorials, Making Yoyo's and making a simple bag and attaching handles: And I had so much fun doing it! So imagine how much fun it was Teaching it!!!

So how do you think I felt last monday morning when one of them comes with this 'little' gift for me...

Speechless and very grateful!


Friday, March 19, 2010

Room to Play and... Klosjes!

Mama, come KWILTING!

I know I am very blessed to be able to share creative space with my young boys. It is one of the everyday joys of my life. Yes, it's messy, with loads of interruptions... But we blast our music and share laughs and silliness... I love that we can play 'together', talk and be physically close.

And yes, I do my share of refereeing from behind my sewing machine...

But I also get sweet visits 'through the tunnel' and we love to make that old office chair spin in swirly hugs!

Even this week which was mostly misery due to my allergies. I had a patch over my swollen right eye and so I promptly became the Pirate Mama... I felt strangely 'manic' and found it intensely satisfying to stitch anyway: Because my boys were watching...
It was absolutely CRAZY, I know...

but one stitch at the time... I made one Klosje, then two...
and thanks to your encouragement and wise words:

So how do I do Quilting with young kids?!

One stitch at the time


at home- in the car -with McQueen, Diego and Wonder Pets...

and knowing all of you will be coming by!

...and adjusting the rules! That's why we can post a Saturday Klosjes post on Friday!

I have been overwhelmed how 'real' Blogging can be. Your words and e-mails are very real to me. Sweet, powerful, hilariously funny and Life-giving words revealing their authors as REAL women reaching out to me.
Your encouragement finding its way to my mailbox at the right time.
We are all trying to cope with our days balancing the mundane with the sublime...
and I find myself moved by your comments and by the fact that you take the time to come and see what is going on in this little corner of the world.

and how do your words impact my little world?
They are the words I share with my Beloved and I hear echoed back to my boys...

Thank YOU!

With a grateful heart,

(whose eyes are doing very well, Thank you!)

On assignment for Karendianne's Blogging to Learn Feature: How do you hand-piece?
I found that putting my stuff in a square tray, on a pillow, on my lap very efficient. ( I found this 'tray' at an art supply store, maybe intended for decoupage or a 'hard-surface' canvas?)
I use the empty tissue box for my scraps of fabric and leftover threads. The empty white box collects my finished Klosjes for the week, and the other box is my tag-along kit.
signing off:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Klosjes Saturday! Welcome Friends!

Welcome to my little City Balcony,

I have made some of Nadine's favourite Tea and Karendianne is bringing some scones later... Have you seen her Great Recession Spools: they are fantastic and she will surely make you laugh!

I thought you'd like to sit outside, even though it is still a bit chilly, I am sure for all you longing for Spring this will be just right. And for those of you enduring the heat of summer: Be refreshed. Maybe I can serve you some cold home-made Lavender Lemonade instead?

It has been so much fun visiting you all this week getting to know you better
and sharing your Klosjes.

Today I would like to welcome Rose Marie to our Little Band of Spoolers. She is doing such a lovely variation: applique... Please go see for yourself! And she assures me that the Maple Syrup harvest this year is looking to be a good one! :)

As for me, I have been keeping myself distracted from allergies by making another 30 Klosjes.

I passed the 100 mark without even realizing it! Yeay! I am having so much fun with these-- and getting to know all of you in the process is sheer Delight! I love sharing this project with you...

I also sent my Spring Surprise yesterday.
Here's a teaser for my swap-partner Tammy...

Hoping you enjoyed our little visit together.
Now, shall we perhaps continue this conversation at your place?


ps. Please, go see Gerda's KlosjesQuilt:
she's almost done hand-quilting and it a sight to behold!

pps. And go Welcome Bea and Annemieke who also joined us this week, oh wow!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Dollies Online

Spring is in the Air!

I have been busy with my Dollies Online 'homework' these past few days. What fun it has been working with such lovely reds...

My heart kept skipping a beat!

This time around it's Sarah Fielke's 'What a Star' pattern. I enjoyed the challenge thoroughly and even though my rendition is sprinkled with mistakes, I love it! I want to hand-quilt it and then I'll show it to you!

Dawn Hay is inviting us to participate in a very exciting opportunity for us quilters to make a difference in a very concrete way: She is offering a beautiful Bag Pattern and all proceeds go to help the Boseco people of the Philippines. It comes to a little more than 3 euros. Not much for us, but a world of difference in terms of medical supplies and housing for them! I will share my bag with you when I get mine finished.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Klosjes Saturday! And what a week it's been for these Little Spools!!

From Holland with Love... KLOSJES!

(pronounce 'Kloss' ( like Boss) that is a big Spool, and then add Shu (like 'sure' without the 'r') and add an 's' ...and you have many many Klosjes haunting your dreams and making your fingers crazy with the itch to stitch!

I would like to thank our Dutch Sisters for sharing their passion and incredible talents with us, and for being so very welcoming and supportive in this Spool-adventure, especially:
Ingrid, Joke, Peti, Balsemien, Daantje, Jeanette, Hennie, Guusje, Marieke, Fleur, Katrien , Ria and Debby, who are just a few of a much larger "Klosjes-club" in The Nederlands.
Hartstikke Bedankt!

And a very warm welcome to Janet, Sue-Anne, Ann, Julia, Shirley, Ranette, Nat, Pamina, Robyn, Christine, Karendianne, Cathi, Karen and Heike who have caught the bug this week. It is such a pleasure and honour to share this project with you!
And these are just the ones who wrote me, so I am sure there are many more out there! Sharon and Sally I know you're next... :)

As for me, I am in the midst of a crazy Klosjes-crush! (ik ben helemaal Stapel-verliefd!)
I made another 35 this week, and I just can't get enough! 500, here I come!

...and to think that I started to blog a month ago today. Thank you for such a warm embrace and support!

... my Klosjes are calling me!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oh, Canada!

Maple Syrup coursing through our veins this morning in downtown Nicosia, Cyprus...

What a sweet Victory, worth staying up late last night for the Hockey final!

what a start to the week and to my birthday month!


what, hexies?... sorry, the Olympic challenge was a not a success around here: even though I had my hexies on hand, I got so swept away and forgot to stitch...

I hope you have a wonderful beginning to the month of March wherever you are, with lots of Happy Stitching

The above picture is Parliament Hill in Ottawa on a clear summer morning taken last time we were home

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