Saturday, May 29, 2010

Catching our Breath

Today 5 Little Klosjes joined the gang, making them 289 in total. I am so happy to at least have stitched these little ones, slowly and carefully, as I hurt my wrist this past week. It makes stitching and being at the keyboard painful, so I will keep this short.

We had a few more ups and downs this week, reminding me how important spending time with family really is, holding my babies extra tight, and telling them how much we love them every chance we get.

One thing that doesn't seem to hurt my wrist is cutting little charm squares for my charm hexies with my handy spring-loaded scissors. I have been enjoying revisiting my fabric stash and seeing the rainbow of colour come together.
Oh, the simple things that make everything else bearable.

I am grateful that I ended another great teaching year, making this the beginning of my summer vacation, Jippie! I am also grateful that my Beloved and MIL are helping me out with the boys so I can go be with my sister in Holland when she has her second baby in the next few weeks.

This means that I am getting loads of Klosjes and Hexies prepared to take along with me. Looking at the "Bright side of Life"!

Appropriately enough I got this poem in my inbox this morning.
My uncle wrote this as part of presentation he was doing at a Senior Centre:

Little bird in the sky

Dropping white stuff in your eye

You don’t worry, you don’t cry

Just thank God that

Cows don’t fly!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wow... Amazing quilts and lovely new friends being made...

Hello My Lovelies,
I must confess that I have not stitched at all this weekend.
Ok, does 1 and a half Klosje count?

I have had a very busy week at work, and this weekend I have been enjoying my family and touring the wonderful exhibit of quilts hosted by Amy. Have you?

I have come across such beautiful quilts and I have laughed, cried, been challenged and certainly have felt supremely humbled and inspired.
The Blogger's Quilt Festival runs until Friday, so you still have time to join with your own quilt, or visit the hundreds of quilts on display, including mine presented in the previous post.

I have also met some amazing people in the process. Here are just a few:

I have taken a pledge: To discuss and be open about the whole process of creating and constructing a quilt. This Transparency can be very liberating and extremely creatively constructive. Blogging can be such an amazing tool to encourage and support us in mastering and promoting our craft and I was delighted when I found Rossie echoing those same feelings and challenging us to do something about it. She refers to an article written by Cheryl who very eloquently expresses something I have been feeling for a while now ( and have had a chance to discuss with some of you in our personal mail). I highly recommend you take the time to read Cheryl's observations.


I, _Valentina_, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them into words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.
I also joined a Hexies group.
Yep, another one... and this one is sheer self-indulgence!
So here it goes: in the name of transparency in process:
As I have been making Spotty Dotty Hexi-flowers and My "Al Fresco" Hexies, I have been secretly putting aside hexies for a 'someday' Charm quilt.
In comes the lovely Melanie, Ms texasfreckles, herself! I luv that name! :) ...anyway, Melanie proposes a Hexagon Charm Quilt Piece-Along... How could I resist, please, I am only human! :)

And since we are confessing: I have also joined Jossie from Cybele's patch in making a small Dollie-quilt version of her clamshells quilt.
I really want to practice Applique, like some of you already know, so I thought this is the perfect opportunity for me.

Please, don't judge me for filling my plate up so high at the buffet table... I know I cannot do it all. But I have also seen the power of encouragement. And I have enjoyed knowing that I am working alongside you to achieve a common goal. So I will continue to do my best and enjoy myself while doing it.
Life is serious and challenging enough as it is...

Therefore, I have also pledged to make 2 baby-quilts for Shruti.
Shruti is requesting help to make baby quilts for an orphanage of new-borns in India. She can use anything you can provide, from UFO-blocks, to extra pieces of batting and binding. I am sure I am not the only one with fabric in my stash that no longer makes my heart sing... So I have enlisted my boys' help to me make a quilt 'for the little babies'.

Hope you are enjoying a lovely weekend, and I will go and visit some more quilts!
See you soon!

ps these are some more Roses I wanted to share with you from my MIL cottage garden.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival, May 21-28, 2010.

What an honour it is for me to be able to participate in this year's

that is held from May 21-28,


Organized by the one and only Park City Girl, Amy, who had this amazing idea last year of organizing a Quilt Exhibition By Bloggers for Bloggers: a virtual tour where for a whole week we can go and be inspired by fellow bloggers' Quilts and the stories behind them.

I remember last year's Festivities as it was during this week that I became aware of, and consequently hooked on Blogs. I discovered many of my now favourite Blogs through Amy's brilliant inspiration.

So, like I said, it is a great honour for me now, one year later, to be able to participate.
Natima reminded us a few days ago to be ready, and immediately My Baba's Old Country Quilt came to mind.

This quilt has become part of our living-room decor for the last few years, as stitch by stitch it is slowly being Hand-quilted. My young sons have received countless cuddles under it, they have watched tv lying on it, and like a journal of the little joys of our family's life with has already coutless memories stitched into it. I don't consider it a UFO with all the guilt and anxiety attached to such. This quilt just is...

The quilt was inspired by this piece of Fabric, a scrap of Green Paisley, that I remember as my grandmother's- My Baba's dress.

Too bad that I don't have a picture of her wearing that dress but here is a picture of her and my Grandfather.
Theirs is a true Love story, of courage, loss, struggle, hard work, love of family and true wealth.
Being separated during the Second world war, they found each other again in the chaos of retreat, they suffered detention camps together, they endured the fate of being labeled as Displaced Persons, being shipped to South America to find work and to build a home, not knowing where they were headed to, and finally immigrating to Canada.

My Baba always had a smile for us, always sneaked candy into our eager hands, always baked the best bread for us, always had something being stitched, crocheted, sewn, and later in life through their senior groups, even hand-quilted ( together with my grandfather!).

My Baba taught us the secret powers of a good back scratch, and how everything tastes better with sour cream. She instilled in us the love of flowers, especially daisies and sunflowers, and home grown vegetables. She would let us sleep in or wake us early so we could go and pick big raspberries from her gigantic bushes while they were still wet with dew. Then she would give us a few dollars so we could roller-skate over to A&W for ice-cold root-beer for breakfast...

My Baba always cried when we had to leave to fly back home, and I always felt that those tears were the most beautiful testament of her enduring and unconditional love for us.
And even though we did not share a common spoken language, she knew my heart and I knew hers.

psss... She also had the best fabric stash, ever... I think I get my love of fabric from her!
She was so proud of me when I started showing an interest in quilting and got to see one of my first quilts before she fell asleep in the Lord.

So this is My Baba's Old Country Quilt,

dedicated to
the woman who never met a print she didn't like!

Making it I learned to be confident to improvise, takes chances, and that things do not have to match to be beautiful. Also it gave me a deep sense of peace that having young kids did not mean the end of 'me'-time. And that my boys can be part in the making of my quilts. (They often ask to sit on my lap to see me hand-quilt...)

Now I hope you go and find a special quilt to share, and go join the hundreds of quilters participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival through the next week.

Thanks Amy, once more for organizing this for us, and Thanks to YOU, for visiting me in my little corner of the world,

from Cyprus, with love,


Thank You, Elena, for helping me photograph my quilt at your beautiful Shop

Monday, May 17, 2010


First of all: Thank you!
I cannot believe the encouragement I got from you through your comments, emails and birthday wishes. I am a lucky girl to have such good friends like you. I was overwhelmed by your cheering me on and believing that even though it was a nutty thing I was doing, that it would be worth it in the end! And you were right!!!
The birthday party was a success and I did not lose my cool or transform into
Godzilla-mama, but actually enjoyed myself to no end. The boys were over the moon and the food... WOW!
Thank you, guys... I mean it. Thank you for being there for me, so I could make beautiful memories for us as a Family.

The cakes...

The munchies...

the hush of approval... You know they are enjoying their food when they are sooo quiet...

On Sunday we went into the mountains to unwind and see Grandmother's roses before they were gone.

We have been feeling the heat this past week and the roses are quickly reaching their end.

The boys got to enjoy their new wheels, and I got to spend some time stitching and taking pictures.

The party favours: The Boys chose the giant sunflower seeds themselves and 'helped' me to put them together. We even got to plant them with Grandma's help...

And when all was said and done, I had to get back to stitching...

It's therapy, it's celebration, it's my way to unwind... and besides I have two weeks worth of Klosjes to report: 37!

This is another family heirloom: My mother-in-law remembers this table cloth being woven at home by her grandmother. It's all vegetable dyed and the colours are so very vibrant.

I will share the rest of the roses next wednesday.

Thank you for sharing this whole wonderful mad adventure with me, and now I hope to go and enjoy what you all have been up to. I am also really excited to get back into the sewing room and finishing some projects that have been patiently waiting their turn.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One Flower Wednesday-reporting: 2nd week of May

Hello my Lovelies!
Hoping you are having a wonderful week. These are the first of the roses from my MIL cottage garden... How I wish I could share their perfume with you...

I am in the midst of a swirl of classes, workshops, tummy-aches and planning a birthday party this coming saturday for 40 3-4 year olds! It's our Big Boy #1's 4th birthday and we decided to include Big-Boy #2 in the festivities, even though his b-day is 4 months away... But they are excited and chose their own cakes and have been helping Mama out with the party favours... :)

So here is a quick Hexi-flower report since I have noticed that the crazier my life the more I need to stitch something in the evenings in order to unwind...

So here we have 2 "Al Fresco" and my first ever Fussy Cut hexies, after being severely smitten by some of your gorgeous specimens... I had some non-quilting Provencal material and I hope to make a nice summer cushion with them.

Have a lovely rest of the week and I will be visiting your gardens after the craziness is under control,

Thinking of you!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mothers Day!

For all of you that know how to Nurture, Love, and Care...

For all of you that empty yourselves and give in abundance... And understand the meaning of 'being there no matter what' and 'no matter how long it takes'...

For all of you who know the power of a smile, a touch, an encouraging word, when to hold on a little longer, and when to let go...

whether you have kids, whether you care for someone else's, whether you are a Mother, Grandmother, Aunt, Godmother, Teacher, older sister, Care provider, Mama to your four-legged babies...

Happy Mother's day...

and now let's get Real: No one says it quite like Animal!
... and may you get spoiled like Miss Piggy!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Clara and Penny arrived just in time for Tea on One Flower Wednesday

Imagine my delight in getting to know the Girls over tea this afternoon. Let me introduce you to Clara and Penny of the Muffinpies of Quebec. They are the creations of my friend Monique over at Blueberries in the Fields. Isn't she incredibly talented?

Monique, they told me all about their trip and the hideous volcano delays. But they seem to be settling in nicely and were all excited when we started discussing a new summer wardrobe and started tossing ideas around for their quilts.

Between this and that we made 2 new Flowers. These are for my "Hexies al Fresco" quilts that I hope will go for my boys. I have been collecting and sharing fabric with Nadine for this for a while.

I was also inspired by Danielle's hexi-pincushion and started making one... Oh how fun, Daantje! A girl needs a hexi-pincushion as she is working on her hexies, niet waar? I am hoping to have it done soon. Thank you for sharing the pattern with us! You are a Doll! :)

And look at this lovely crocheted piece. Cyprus is very well known for its lace and I hope to share some of it with you, in due time. This piece was made by my Mother in Law's grandmother and it makes tea-time so much sweeter...

Hoping your week is going well. Mine is too, despite having had a nasty stomach flu visit our household. The News has called it an epidemic, we call it a break from the routine!

With much Love,

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Month of May: Strawberry Fields and Klosjes

I think it impossible for me not to be passionate about May.
I was an ardent Candy Candy fan growing up, the japanese anime orphan who decides her birthday will be celebrated in May, because if one should have a choice it had to be the month of flowers... Terry was my first love and heartbreak! Terry!!! (of course all this pre-teen melodrama happening in Spanish...)
Well, I also loved Heidi, another freckled orphan... :) Oh, the things that mold us...

Today, the 2nd of May is my BFF from high-school's b-day : Through thick and thin, Mari! Pabien! The things we haven't dreamt up and gone through together... I love you!

I became an aunt for the first time in a Dutch Springy May. I was so blessed to be in the delivery-room and be completely swept off my feet by this lovely Being making her grand entrance into this world... It is one of the greatest gifts my sister ever gave me and I am not sure she even realizes it. :)

And May of 2006, when my life was turned upside down and inside out by 2 phone-calls: We met the birthparents of our youngest, and in the next few days, as we were waiting for their reply, we received another call from social services and became parents 2 days later: being there as he was born, being blessed by being able to bond with him. The nurses decided that I should stay the night and stowed me away and so I could feed him, change him and bathe him. This helped me feel confident enough to take him home in less than 24 hours. 4 months later we became parents for the second time and our Fantastic Four was complete!

Oh, the month of May! 'May' this be blessed a One!

My mother in law's rose garden will soon be in bloom and she will start distilling her own rose-water... Ohh! That's a nice idea for a give-away...

Ok... For of those of you that just skipped to the pictures: I have Klosjes to report! Reaching 200 was a great incentive to keep going. I am still aiming at 500 plus since I want a quilt to crawl under... My Klosjes are 2 1/4" finished size, so maybe 500 will not be enough... We'll see.

First off: I stitched all day yesterday because I really wanted to show you these:

These are the V&A commemorative fabrics. The prints are so bold and dynamic, I hope my pictures do them justice.

And here are some more Blues +

I love these Prairie Paisley ones:

Last week I joined Lori in her Strawberry Fields Quiltalong (Thank you, Kathie for pointing us in the right direction! xox)

I have to tell you these little blocks came together like a dream...
Yes, look at that V&A fabric! swoooon...

Thank you, Lori! I am learning so much and this little beauty is bringing me one mini closer to my 2010 goal of having a miniature wall!

I hope you are all enjoying your stitching this weekend.

yours truly,

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