Friday, October 28, 2011

It's that special time of year!

And of course I mean Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival! For us in Cyprus it's a long weekend and I intend to make the best out of all the wonderful quilts, quilters and their stories.
I am also looking forward to the inevitable inspiration overload :)
Thank you, Amy, for your generosity in organizing this wonderful week-long event.

I was so looking forward to sharing this quilt with you.
This is my Scrappy Dresden and it has been a long time in the finishing!
Let me tell you about it.

I started it about 10 years ago and my Dresden Plates have 22 petals each. I hand-appliqued them to their backgrounds and assembled the quilt top quite quickly, considering all the work involved. It's because I had been looking forward to hand-quilting it so much. I had brought batting with me from Canada and  I soon had the quilt on my hoop. I quilted and quilted. And had a wonderful time. My cat Cleo would join me, crawling under the hoop, and purring as I quilted. Heaven! She had been a mature cat when she adopted us, and had moved with us from Canada to Cyprus.

Then, when she got sick, we continued quilting together. It was a long and difficult illness and quilting became a very special time for both of us. As you can imagine, my quilt became covered in cat hair. But I didn't mind and patiently cleaned it, considering how much comfort this quilt was already providing us both. However, to my absolute horror, I soon realized that that wasn't all cat hair; could this be what they meant by BEARDING!?! ---that awful thing described in quilt books : HORROR!
Were the polyester fibers from the batting truly traveling through the cotton fibers and showing up like long stringy 'hairs'... I didn't know what to do... and continued hand-quilting...
Eventually the sad day arrived, and these where the last stitches I did by hand on this quilt.

The quilt was put away until I could decide what do do with that bearding. It took me a long time to muster the courage to take my seam-ripper and start undoing my hand-quilting. I had managed to quilt over 3/4 of the quilt. And un-picking gave me a new respect to the strength of hand-quilted stitches. It took for ever, but it was eventually done. And I never used polyester batting again! It took another few years until one day, late spring, as I was swapping quilt-stories with a dear blog-friend, out came the Dresden top. An avid hand-quilter herself, she encouraged me to get it machine-quilted. If the problem had been the quality of the quilt-top materials, then cotton batting with scrim would do the trick. So I asked my trusted friend Irene, who does machine quilting, and she lovingly took it on.

Isn't she a beauty? And she is done!

And Cleo would love snuggling under it, of this I am sure! :)

This week we had another quilt story at home. My littlest asked me: " Ma-maaaah, can we make a quilt for my friend? It's her birthday and she is ALWAYS my friend... So all other projects got shoved to the side and out came the "36-patch" scraps. Within a few days he was the proudest boy bringing her a big wrapped gift to her birthday party...  so cute! I'll never forget that grin... :)

And these are my Farmer's Wife blocks for this week: #39 Friendship and #40 Friendship Block- How appropriate, wouldn't you agree? Because without you this wouldn't be as much fun!
Farmer's Wife Blocks 39 and 40

Wishing you a lovely weekend, full of inspiration!


And here a close-up of the back of  Cleo's Quilt.
The quilting is a loose overall feather...
Can't wait to wash it and see it crinkle!

Friday, October 21, 2011

sixty-four teeny pieces

and 4 days later... I hope you agree it was worth it  :)

The basket, on the other hand, only took yesterday afternoon- but oh, how I like it!
So, yes, my little pile of hand-stitched Farmer's Wife blocks is growing and I am so loving the colours.

36 blocks, that makes it a third of the grand total!

I finally managed a picture of my Basics quilt. I hope to have in the mail for New York City on monday

It really has an autumn feel to it, and the machine-quilting wasn't too bad with the walking foot. I liked it so much I would like to make one for myself. (and I believe I still have a Dahlia lying around somewhere... You'd be surprised what I have lying around! LOL)

I really like the texture and colour of this aubergine.
This week had some quilter's therapy. Yep. I needed a pep-talk and a kick in the pants and some blog-friends gave me just that. Kathinca said to me: what applique phobia?! And Danielle told me: just do it! and Tineke said 'get cracking' and Terry said 'Don't be precious about it...' and Shirley reminded me how every little helps, Una told me she loved me and Nadine showered me in XOXOXOXOXOXOXOX's
Thanks Friends, and it goes without saying: thanks to all of you that always leave me the loveliest, most encouraging comments-

So out came the 1 1/2" half-square triangles for Camelot
And today I took the time to get over my... well, what ever was stopping me for enjoying this!

Life is too short!

sending you my love,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello All!
Friday came and went, and I haven't really stopped long enough since to post my Farmer's Wife progress for week 9. It was a lovely and busy weekend and we spend most of it outside. Me, dreaming up new gardens and gathering seeds, and the boys getting lots of fresh air chasing red dragonflies. I can totally imagine a rocky hillside covered in Creeping Thyme... :)

It was so hard to take a picture, but I managed to 'hang it' from my wardrobe!
But if you press on the picture you can get a much better close-up.
Turned out nice, huh?

This morning I put the last stitches in my gigantic 36-patch quilt top. And I can honestly say that I am itching to start hand-quilting it. However, it will have to wait its turn, because my Klosjes-quilt is finally getting quilted in these cooler evenings. 

Farmer's Wife Blocks 28 and 30

Farmer's Wife Blocks 32 and 31
Farmer's Wife Blocks 33 and 34

Farmer's Wife Blocks 35 and 36
I am still enjoying stitching these little blocks. They are so portable! And if I take a bit to mark and cut out the pieces, then I can take them along with me and stitch when ever an opportunity presents itself.

I hope you all have such unexpected moments of stitching bliss in the coming week,

Friday, October 7, 2011


 having a nasty stomach bug visit my whole family this week
a little sneak peak...
Some things got done.

This morning we are all at home, eating crackers and watching cartoons.

Earlier this week I finished machine quilting the Dahlia and started the binding. I really liked overall the effect and might just need to make one for myself. I think I have another 'practice' Dahlia hiding some place... :)

I still have one side to go.
It has been very slow and sweet progress, as sometimes,
I have had to stitch with someone crawled up on my lap
 and watching or 'helping' with the stitches... 
Tuesday morning I had a break from my nursing duties and used my time to start turning this pile of 36 patch blocks

 into 5 strips of 8 blocks each. These are the ones I enjoyed working on last August. Still 4 strips to go, but so far, I really like how it's looking. I am so looking forward to hand-quilting it, this winter :)

The bug caught up with me by wednesday, and this morning I also have to contend with a runny rose... sneeze!
However, last night I was well enough to be able to put the finishing touches on these two: Farmer's Wife block 29 and 27.

Hoping you are doing better! Boy, for being sick, these kids sure are hungry!!!
See you soon,

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