Sunday, 7 October 2012

I've been busy!

Yes, I have been. I've been working on part 11 of the Caroussel quilt.....not finished yet! But, if you can't wait for me, check out what it should look like at Françoise. She designed the whole thing. And yes....she finished part 12 already! No pictures here, still just a pile of blocks! Gorgeous blocks, but still.....

I've also been working on the Wish quilt. Just the stitchery for now......I'm almost ready to start putting the blocks together. No pictures yet......but the link will also show you the whole quilt. You can still join in! Just hop on over to Bronwyn

Leafs Me Happy ScheduleAlso quilt related....I've been following a blog hop over at Cherry Blossoms. She is the official cheerleader of this hop. And an amazing hop it is! Not surprisingly, it lead me to a lot of new blogs to explore and loads of fun projects I will just have to try! Lots of great poems and saying about fall, giveaways and - of course - amazing quilting! The link will take you directly to the master schedule, so you can see what I am talking about. However. Be careful.....I've been experiencing some side effects due to bloghopping. You will find yourself cheering on all those quilters, so much so that you can't stop leaving cheery, supporting comments on any blogs, Facebook, Twitter and even in real life! I also experienced an awe for the season I normally detest! So, be careful out there!

In other news. The Antwerp to Banjul Challenge has started again. You can follow "our" teams over at Team Kalidoe. No less then four cars and one motor are driving all the way from Antwerp (Belgium) to Banjul (The Gambia). The vehicles will be auctioned off on arrival. All the teams have been working round the clock, to get as much sponsoring for the drive as possible. All that money means that the Second Home Foundation will be one step closer to its goal! Amazing.

This is Tonnie, in his other life also a board member of Second Home. Now he is a rally driver!
So, we just had to go say goodbye to them all...... in Antwerp! Great fun. 

On the same day my godchick - who is 15 already....- left for Bordeaux to spend a week with a French family in a school exchange programme.....She will do great (I've heard from her, the family is very nice and there is a two mile long shopping street)!

So that is what I have been doing lately..... I will be back soon with some quilt related pictures!
Lots of love,

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Mystery part 10!

I am still on schedule! I finished part 10. It was supposed to be some "light assembly work". Well....I did not have to cut a lot of fabric, but still it took me some time to get it all done. Results:


Attaching two triangles to an existing block. It now forms a new triangle..... Not so much hard work involved, since the pieces were all ready.

The whole stack of them.....32 in total! It took some time......

This one just had one triangle attached to it. 8 times.

 Same as the last one. 8 triangles added.
I also had to cut a further 8 triangles. The good thing about all this is that my pink-box-of-mystery is almost filled up....which in turn means that I will soon find out how to fit all the pieces together! In part 12 we get to piece the whole top together and finally see what the mystery looks like!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The diet, an update

I have to be completely honest. I've managed to fall of the wagon a few times. Not hugely, but still. I fell of.

An example: I went to The Gambia in April. Since this diet makes you eat fresh, raw vegetables a lot I knew that was not going to happen. You can of course eat raw vegetables there, it's just that the weight loss will be a lot less comfortable. And so will your holiday! So I decided before the trip that the diet would not be a part of it. I managed to gain only a pound, so that was not that bad.

The biggest example: Last week I had a huge migraine attack and felt so sorry for myself that I had chinese food. Well, after the headache left the building and took the nausea with it that is. Then for desert - as you do - I needed ice cream.....

The day after, my niece turned 13 and my sister made here a cloud cake (chocolate and whipped cream, what is not to love!). I had promised myself a piece of that weeks ago, and so I did. And then the diner that day. It came from McDonalds, need I say more? Not on program...... Still, even with me stuffing my face with all the wrong things, I did not gain any weight. Mind you, I didn't loose any either....

To keep motivated, I reward myself with shopping money. If I stay on program the whole week, I get to put € 10,00 in my big jar. I'm really looking forward to the shopping trip after I'm done. All new clothes (the old ones really don't fit me any more, but this time in a good way!). Falling of the wagon means that I do not get that money. For some stupid reason, this really works for me. I want that money!

It is becoming more difficult now. The weight loss has slowed to a very gentle crawl now and is sometimes not there at all. I know this happens, but boy is it a pain in the ......well you know. Especially since I know I've got 10 kilograms (22 pounds/1,5 stone) to go! It gets a bit daunting for me. I'm starting to detest some of the stuff on the list (balsamic vinegar, yuck), but I find ways around it..... My body is opposed to almost all movement, so my exercise is made up with my very carefully build up physiotherapy exercises. It is not easy to balance the need for extra movement that way. Ah, well:  A diet is not supposed to be fun, right?

However, the day after the two days before I climbed back on the wagon. After all, I managed to loose 22 kilograms (48 pounds/3,4 stone) since January 31st. Not to shabby! And that is the most motivating thing of all. I am losing weight!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Making your very own ironing mat

Both my sister and I were looking for a new ironing mat. She because of the big move. She simply could not find hers anywhere. Lost in all the boxes of fabric and stuff.....

Me because my darling cat decided the mat was much more use as a claw sharpening tool..... Strangely the manufacturers of this item did not take pets into account while designing their mat. Ah well, it was an oldy anyway. Time for a new one!

Looking for prices (expensive!), delivery times and measurements (not what we wanted) we found several tutorials for making one ourselves. We chose this tutorial from Little birdie secrets. It sounded like fun, so we ordered materials instead of a completed mat. On Thursday we planned our quiltdate and got started.

Even if some people (I won't name names, but you know who you are) have a complete disregard for the diet the other person is on....
It was really easy work..

My sister has no fear of the machine....

I have no fear of ripping stitches....

The sun was shining with all it's might, so we could do some of the glueing outside! Even the fact that - yes - we did have to rip out some stitches at some point (we decided to use regular binding next time we do this), did not really matter that much!

After stitching the binding, we now have two completed, (almost) identical ironing mats. Lovely!

It folds away!


Lots of love,
Heleen and her sister!

Monday, 30 July 2012

Bunny, bunny, bunny

Well, technically it should be hare, but hare, hare, hare just doesn't have the same ring to it......

Front view
I made these for a friend. She is hosting a street quiz this year and since her street has the word hare in the name, she thought it would be fun to have these little guys as prizes. It took me a few times to get it right. The first try looked more like a cat or a really ugly mouse than a hare. So I started again, and again.

Bunny tails for the hares......
I was over the whole hare concept ages before I finished the required 6, but a deal is a deal. So here they are. All six. Ready to go be a prize!

Lots of love,

Monday, 23 July 2012

A birthday gift from years ago

Back when I just started quilting - which is 6 years ago already, jeez..... - I was given a beautiful quilt kit for my birthday. A Petra Prins quilt. White box, tissue paper, fabrics held with a ribbon, the works. A stunning gift.

Up close
Naturally I was completely intimidated by the thing. And so it landed in a storage cupboard. Every once and a while I took out the box to look at all the pretties in there and you know, just say hello. In my mind, the quilt kit became more and more difficult and almost impossible for someone with my limited quilting knowledge........

Helper holding up the quilt, dog not really interested....
So, finally I decided it was time to tackle it! I was going on holiday and was in desperate need for some blocks to take with me. Trembling I took the box out of its cupboard and started.....

The pattern turned out to be- wouldn't you know - really easy. It took a few days to do all the drawing and cutting, but by then I had a very satisfying stack of blocks to complete. I just love it when there is a pile of pieces waiting to be turned in to blocks. I just have to pick up my bag and continue with some stitching. Heavenly! I took the blocks to The Gambia and actually stitched some there and on the plane!

The blocks came together with ease. They formed beautiful rows and the rows came together to make this fabulous quilt top!

It looks every bit as good as the box promised! And now, sandwiching and quilting!

Lots of love,


Friday, 20 July 2012

The NEW mystery!

I know, it is July and the new one doesn't get going until November. But still, I could not get it out of my mind. The name for the mystery - Sweethearts - was enticing enough for me. Then I found out that the new mystery was appliqué, which was a bit scary I admit that freely. So, I was in doubt. The fact that I was already behind on the current mystery and am still quilting the one before that did not really help.

But then, oooooh I saw the fabrics at Françoise's new place and she told me that the appliqué in question was more than suitable for my kind of cheating. And those fabrics were actually soooo beautiful. And I need stuff to do anyway, when everything else is finished, and those fabrics......

In short, I could not resist. Tell me the truth, could you resist this?

Lots of love,

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Mystery Carrousel part 9

There is an upside to falling behind! I got so used to having to piece or cut every day in order to catch up, 

I'm already done!

It was helpful that it has rained virtually non-stop here. Nothing else to do but sit in my rocking chair (yes I am that bad) and piece, piece, piece!
All eight blocks together. Looking at them, I thought maybe day....I'll make a whole quilt like that. Hopefully I will not find another message from Françoise, telling me I got it wrong.....

I also cut 64 triangles and stored them in the pink-box-of-mystery. No doubt I'll find out what to do with them some time......

The little mystery quilt required some assembly, so no new blocks there. This is what it looks like now:

I'm regretting the choice of Christmas fabric here. I might have to remake the whole thing in some nice, bright colours. Then again, I might not..... But, that is just what a mystery is. No clue what the thing is going to turn out to be. 

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Square pincushion

You remember the great round pincushion disaster....If not, read all about it here. I told you I was going to cheat (again). I think it turned out way better than the round variety.

 It did turn out nice and big....So you can pop in the pins from a distance, without having to take your eye of your work! As it turns out, square really is better. Well, for me anyway.

I've been inspired by this pincushion, I going to enlarge it into a pillow. And something else, but more on that later!

Don't you just love the butterfly! I'll give you the link one more time: Red Brolly. Be sure to visit. Bronwyn has the most adorable patterns and ideas!

Lots of love,

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Mystery Carrousel part 8 - take two

All damage has been undone. It took less time than I thought too! I found out (by row two of course) that I did not need to rip out all the seems. Helpful! It would have helped also, if I had bothered to iron the pieces again... Ah well. It went quick enough.

Now, that does not mean that I was any less moany or grumbly about it. It is just so stupid to NOT read the instructions. I think I will put this one under the label Experience......It does however mean that I am a little happy that it is done......They joined all the other blocks-in-the-pink-box that are ready and waiting for the assembly at the end of the mystery!

I have received part 9 on Thursday. Let's just say, it is in progress....

Lots of love,

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Mystery Carrousel part 8 NOT

I thought I was finished with this one:

Thankfully Françoise was paying attention....since I clearly wasn't.

This is how they should have looked:

That means a LOT of seam ripping for me.......and then a whole load of stitching.....again!
Can you imagine that I am a bit grumbly and moany about this? I'll just get started, shall I?

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Mystery Carrousel part 8

Pffffffew. Done. I had to cut all the pieces earlier, which turned out a really, really good idea. Since I was behind with my mystery, this was a great possibility to catch up. Don't get me wrong, it was a lot of work. A lot, I am not kidding. BUT.....I'm finally done. Plenty of time till the next assignment (arriving next Thursday.....).

This is one of eight of these sets. That's right......EIGHT. That is a lot of pieces. Since I piece by hand (old fashioned I know, I know), pinning them to my trusty pillowcase proved difficult this time. I have a few bent pins to prove that theory. So I started thinking, I even had an idea to replace my pillowcase by something else. More on that later (I hope).

To prove that I actually finished all the sets, I'll show you this:
You'll trust me about the bigger ones, right? Difficult to photograph!

The little mystery had one block this month:

This elephant was then joined by the horsy and the carriage from earlier assignments. Now it looks like this:
 The picture is not that clear, but frankly....well fill in the rest!

As I said, the new block will be in my mail by Thursday, and I still have some other projects to work on!

Lots of love,

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Do you ever have enough pincushions?

Well, do you? I don't I can tell you that. That is precisely why I get all happy when I see a freeby pincushion. Especially when a needlebook is also in the mix..... Thank you, thank you Bronwyn over at Red Brolly!

So I dived into my stash to find some scraps to make the projects. And then - of course - found out I stink at round shapes. My inability to form a nice round shape does not limit itself to appliqué.

I did really love the stitchery and so I decided to cheat, like I do more often then not. I'm making a new one......square! Now I just have to buy some filling......Pictures later then.....

The needlebook was easy to make (because its lovely square-ness) and looks amazing.

Thanks again Bronwyn! You should really check her blog for all the great ideas!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Mystery Carrousel part 7

Continuing the catch-up, part 7 is now finished as well! A lot - really a lot - of cutting fabric again. I think it is the shapes that are getting to me now. Turns out, I really like nice, square shapes. Easy to draw and cut. Maybe next time....

Since I hand stitch everything, it feels like I've been working on these blocks forever!

No less than 32 blocks this time! There was a choice this time, I could make four, eight, sixteen or all blocks identical. I made all of mine the same.

Some playing around with the blocks is allowed I think.....

The little mystery consisted of three appliqué and stitchery blocks. They still need to be joined by their friends from an earlier part. 

It is a good thing I'm done, since the new part is already on my desk! Now Francoise promised us an easy part 8. Aaah... unfortunately it looks like another full month!

Lots of love,

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Mystery Carrousel part 6

After my little trip to The Gambia and all the work that came out of that.....I needed to play a little catch-up for the mystery. Part 6 took time. Mostly the cutting of all the pieces! During the piecing, I found out that I had cut some of the mirrored pieces wrong......sigh.

But - finally - here they are! All 16 blocks finished and ready to join all the blocks from part 1 to 5 in the box, waiting for the big reveal!

And, as always, there was a block for the little mystery as well! I think it is the roof of the carrousel....but I could be wrong of course! What do you think?

Lots of love,

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Appliqué phobic? Do what I do!

I am a self-confessed Appliqué phobic person. I've told you about this before here. All my round shapes automatically turn square or - even worse - some distorted triangle shape. So, what to do?

Simple. Just cheat your way through. 

Once upon a time I only used a blanket stitch to cheat my way through the appliqué piece. Not any more. Not since the very talented and generous Helen challenged her readers to stitch! She named the challenge Stitched Sunday. I could not resist.

Learning the stitches, while making beautiful things.......does it get better?

I started thinking: Why not use some of these stitches to make appliqué fun again?

Simply use your favourite sticky product to keep the shape in place (sure, you could go with pins, but why?), select your stitch and start stitching!

An even better reason to cheat? People usually don't realise I am cheating my way through the appliqué, they seem to think I am making a creative choice........Lots of applause.....for cheating!

Lots of love!

Thursday, 31 May 2012

The upside of being extremely messy?

Easy. You lose stuff. Lots of stuff in fact. Usually this is not really an upside I agree. Especially since losing things all the time also means a load of running around in a frenzy, screaming at everyone else,  trying to find it.

Sometimes you lose stuff that you really need. Stuff that needs to be replaced. That can only be remedied by one thing: 


Since I do most of my shopping online now, there are no bad salespeople, no unclear, stinky stuff on the things I want to see and no parking wars. Shopping is really therapy this way. 

My reward?

A brand new, shiny camera! Doesn't it look fabulous? Thanks to the price-checking-thingy on the web at the lowest price! How good can it get? Now I just need to take out the book and see how to operate it. 

Watch this space for all the pictures I am going to post. I need to, since I did do a lot of stitching and quilting while I was running around in a frenzy, looking for the loader cable of my old (pink) camera......

Lots of love

Monday, 7 May 2012

What to say....

Well. I am back. Have been for some time even. I just needed some time to think about what to tell you about my fantastic holiday to The Gambia. Because it was. It was short, yes. Only 8 days. Unfortunately my camera decided to give out on day two, so almost no pictures (and believe me, that might be a blessing!).
Lunchtime views

I did have a load of stuff to do for the Second Home Foundation (self-afflicted of course). I was completely ready to get to work and make sure that everyone was getting to work as well. In other words, I went to kick !@#. That lasted until the airplane doors opened and I felt the warmth and smelled The Gambia. I felt like a load was lifted of my shoulders. It felt like coming home, after a long, long time. Still, I managed to do all the work and more. But that was during the day and I am planning to shed some light on the less serious....... If you want to read more about the serious part, check my report. Here for the Dutch version and this one is in English.

The nights - however - were a completely different story. Let me be clear upfront. I do not drink. Ever. Really, never. This week I did. Lots and lots and lots. Pear pressure and that, you know...... :-).  I was started off on Sambuca. Those of you that have drunk this, you know all about it. The ones that haven't. Try it, definitely try it. It all went down hill from there.....

We found the perfect hangout. A place to meet friends (old and new), eat and YES....drink. I was spilling a lot (and being made to wash the tablecloth), breaking glasses (lots of threats of being hit with a big stick......).
Big stick.....

I even belly danced one night......But mostly we had a ball. It was one big party, every night again. Lots of great food, lots of drink and loads and loads of sheer, unadulterated fun.Given the chance, I would go back today. For the foundation, of course....but also for the sunshine, the people and the fun.

For now, it is back to the more serious life.

Lots of love,