Monday, June 27, 2011

Summertime!


After a week of rain the summer is here! So my bf and I both took the day of and went to the beach to fully enjoy the sun. We weren't going sunbathing because that would turn me bright red and the seawater is still cold so no swimming either... I don't think the water of the North Sea is ever at a nice temperature actually. But we went to the beach and sat in the shade on the terras of a beach bar, had a nice cold IceTea and ate lunch. Then we walked along the beach with our feet in the water, got ourselves some ice-cream and when we were tired (of doing nothing...) we went home! Unfortunately we got in a traffic jam and it was very hot and we don't have air-conditioning in our car so I got sunburn from driving back home from the beach on one arm and half my neck..... :-(

I don't think I am going to do much quilting this week in between working, taking a few days off to enjoy the weather and bf's birthday this week but we are scheduling a Home sweet home quilting day soon!
In the meantime I'll show you one of my recently finished projects later this week...


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dutch TT Assen

No quilting to write about today but something completely different... Yesterday my dad and I went to the Dutch TT Assen. Its the motogp race in the Netherlands! I used to watch the race every week and I am a huuuuuge fan of Valentino since I was about 11. We have been to the TT in Assen several times, just me and my dad or the whole family, but this time was different. We got 'leftover' VIPtickets from a collegue of my dad! We had no idea what to expect but the brochure was promising (free drinks, lunchbuffet, paddocktour).
We left on the motorcycle around 6 am in the morning because it is a 3,5 hour drive to Assen, and unfortunatly it was raining already :-( The closer you get to Assen the more motorcyclists you see and the last half hour or so you drive with hundreds of them to the circuit. We had special parking and we could take a shuttlevan to the 'VIPvillage'. When we got there we did not really know where to go (everybody else seemed to know where they were going...). Where we were supposed to be was one of the VIProoms of course!! I did feel a bit out of place because you dont know anyone there and a lot of people are there for networking with other companies etc. But once I walked outside and saw Valentino Rossi driving by about 10 metre away from me I sat down in the best chair and decided to stay there the whole day!


But we did leave our chairs for a paddock walk! In the picture above you see me walking in the middle of the paddock! The red trucks on the left are the ones from the ducati team, Valentino Rossi is numer 46 and Nicky Hayden is 69. Unfortunatly they werent walking around, I think he was putting on his leather suit because their race was to start in an hour. I did see another driver (Alvaro Bautista) driving by on a scooter and two of the 125cc drivers walking by but I did not recognize who they were. When we got back we were just in time for the lunchbuffet. Lasagna, shrimps, grilled vegetables and much more! I dont think we ever had such a lunch at the TT... The people across the circuit were putting up their umbrellas because it had started to rain but we didnt have to worry about that either, we were under a roof!
The some of the races were very exciting, a lot of riders fell off their bikes because of the rain. It was a bit slippery here and there but they stil go around the track with 300 km/h! The last race was the MotoGP with Valentino.... It was not the most interesting race to watch because a few rider fell and everyone was driving a few seconds apart, so no fights for first, second or even fifth place and Valentino came fourth over the finish line. But, seeing him drive by soooo close is enough excitement for me ;-)

The first time we went to the TT I thought I wouldn't be such a screaming, loudly cheering fan as the girl next to us was (and she wasnt even cheering for Valentino ;-)) but as soon as he drove by I started screaming and cheering and yelling so hard, surprising myself and the man next to me! He told me to save my breath because the race was going to last another 25 laps... hahaha. So maybe it was not so bad the MotoGP race was not THAT exciting because the VIPvillage was not the right place to be screaming I think (I read on twitter our vice prime minister was in the VIPVillage too) ;-)

At the end of the day we both got ourselves a t-shirt to remember the day and we drove home in the rain. But accompanied by the other hundreds, or actually thousands, of bikers who had come to see the races. And alongside of the road, on every viaduct, on every parkingplace near the highway and even in the emergency lane and on the guard rail (!) were people watching the motorcycles and waving at them.
Now, to end this post another picture of Valentino (and others) driving in the pitlane and a short video! (In reality the track was much closer than the video shows)





Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Finished top!

This weekend in between all the visits to my dad and my father in law I finished the log cabin top. I went through my mums stash to find some fabric for the sashings. And this is it, polka dots for the sashings but still mostly a black fabric so the blocks pop out!



I haven't had the time to start on the quilting yet. And yes, I should finish my disappearing nine patch blended first. I have that one almost done but then the wheater became to hot to quilt. Since it has been raining for a week now it is quilting time again! But as soon as I have the blended finished this one is ready to go!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Black and white it is....

I didnt know what to use for sashings between my colourful log cabins. The sashings in black and white are the best choice I think. Plain white or black was just not doing it, maybe that's why I couldn't decide. I don't have many black and white, in fact, the piece in the picture is all I have. Luckily I'm visiting my parents soon and my mum has plenty! ;-)


I'm going to take my home sweet home project with me to show it off and get some (constructive) criticism I'm sure. I do hope we get some better weather and a little bit of sun but it looks like it is going to rain in the weekend too.... Great quilt weather though!! Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wonky Log Cabin

I came across a lot of 'wonky' blocks and quilts on the internet lately... I really like those crooked blocks and the whole liberated quilt making idea but I didn't think I could do it. Another thing I'm not good at is working with scraps. I would like to make a scrap quilt and just use every piece of fabric I come across. I tried that once, used a very tiny piece of a pink striped fabric that I didn't really like but convinced myself I wouldn't notice it once it was finished. Wrong. Every time I see that block I see the pink stripes and I think about how ugly that fabric is.

Today I made liberated wonky log cabins with all the fabrics I never really use and my scraps and it turned out great! Halfway through the first block I was still convinced that my block was not going to be as nice and colourful as the ones I found on the Internet, and that I would have to tell you my little experiment failed. But when it was finished I really liked how it turned out and made three more!
That is another thing, I cannot make small quilts. They always end up twin size or bigger... But this is going to be a wallhanging (I think)!



The only thing to decide is what colour the borders between the blocks are going to be, black or white.....

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Open Air Museum / Openluchtmuseum II

Part two of the Open Air Museum! In this little street builde in the 'Zaanse'style was a little shop with Dutch fabrics! There was even a little sign which said you could use it to make quilts ;-) I bought some of the red and white fabric in the bolt under the brown with flowers.








This street is a street in Tilburg (where my mum grew up). Every house was furnished in a different stye/time. The last house was very sixties/seventies and the sewingmachine looks very much like the one my mum used to have!!

I also added another border to the Home Sweet Home quilt! It already getting quite big. The next border is a bit bigger and has a lot of different blocks so it wil take me a bit longer to sew that one. My mum has also begun with this quilt too so Im curious how that one is going to be. Corrine hasn't decided on the colorscheme yet, too many choices, too much fabric! I think it is going to be lemon and pink.... ;-)

Pffff.. blogger seems to think I like having lots of empty spaces in this post.... :-(

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Open Air Museum / Openluchtmuseum

Today we went on a little trip to the Open Air museum in Arnhem. It is like a beautiful park with authentic buildings in it. They have farms, factories, cottages, shops, farmyards, even a brewery and of course some windmills! It is a park full of the history of every day life of the last 200 years. We walked around the park all day and I made lots of pictures. But maybe we should have taken the historic tram because my feet are killing me right now!
Here are some of the pictures:









In one of the first houses we visited was a star made of tiles on the wall. It looks just like my cornerblocks of yesterday!


In the pictures below you see a 'bedstee', a box bed. They are all so tiny it is hard to believe that people slept in those. It couldn't have been very comfortable, sleeping while sitting up because they are so small ... In the third picture there is a sandcarpet under the table. These were made (in some regions of the Netherlands) every saturday so the house looked nice for sunday. On sundayevening they would walk all over it to clean and scour the foor with the sand.





And of course, a lot of windmills were present! I am standing in front of a windmill that is used for grinding wheat into flour etc. The little windmill in the right picture is pumping water. They made this area of the park to resemble the landscape of the provinces Noord-Holland en Zuid-Holland (which I am living in now) and we have a lot of 'polders' (I looked it up in the dictionary but polder is polder in English!). Polders are pieces of land that are supposed to be under water but we pumped the water away... This little mill was in a little polder they created and it was pumping water! The farmhouse you see on the left of it is what we call a 'stolpboerderij', the dictionary translates this in : a traditional four square Dutch farmhouse with a pyramide shaped roof.


I will show you some more tomorrow, if you are interested ;-).... Now I am going to put my feet up and have a nice cup of tea!


Friday, June 10, 2011

Practice makes perfect!

Well, almost perfect. I sewed the next border of the Home sweet home quilt today. When I looked at the design of the corner blocks my heart sank because it is a very complicated star with a lot of tiny different shapes. I wanted to be calm and relaxed while machine piecing today so I chose to make a different star and I think it looks really nice! And my corners are much better today, the triangles are pointy so I'm a bit proud of myself ;-)





Thursday, June 09, 2011

Blood, sweat and tears....

I think I just lost 5 pounds trying to sew the border to the center block of the home sweet home quilt. Oh my god...
My mum has been (trying/practising) machine piecing for some time now, even finished a big quilt top with machine sewing! I heard that my mum found it sometimes very difficult to get all the blocks neatly together and I thought I did not have a problem with it. How wrong I was... I have only sewn blocks consisting of squares on my sewing machine and with squares it is a lot easier to make all the ends meet.

But now I had to sew a border with corner blocks with all triangles and get all the pointing ends together.. The first try was a disaster, the second time still very bad and the third time I did not dare to look at the outcome. I ironed the whole thing blindly and decided that it was humanly impossible for me to do any better... When I turned it around it wasn't as bad as I feared. Of the 4 corners one is bad still, one is ok and the last two are something in between. The trick is not to look at it for too long I think ;-)













Now what did I tell you! Scroll down quickly! This is a much nicer picture...






Another small disaster that kept me busy yesterday is some of the red fabric I bought the other day. When I washed it it looked like I slaughtered a chicken in my sink.... I washed it again and again and let it soak in vinegar for a few hours then washed it again but the water still turns red. I'll try the washing machine today and if it still loses color I will have to find some other fabric :-( I sometimes hear people saying they never wash their fabric before use and that I don't understand. They obviously never experienced the horror of pulling your quilt out of the washing machine and everything white has suddenly turned pink.....!

Edit: I'm looking at my border and the one on the original pictures... Turns out I have my corner blocks upside down! And does make it more difficult to get it all right.... Should I tear it apart just one more time?




Sunday, June 05, 2011

Cannenburgh

Yesterday we had a lovely day in Vaassen at a castle named Cannenburgh. The last time a quilt exposition was held at this castle was 4 years ago and since then they restored the castle and the grounds surrounding it.



It wasn't allowed to make pictures inside but if you are interested in how the inside of the castle looks like take a look at my mums blog....
The exhibition was nice and the quilts just look great in such an environment. There was even an 17th century quilt on the bed in one of the rooms. Maybe the robber knight who used to live here a long time ago slept under it! In the basement and kitchen were a lot of stores and outside were tents with shops too.
I bought some reds and greens for the home sweet home quilt and got a few fabrics from my mum :-D (I had little money to spent because of a speeding ticket...).


And to top it off we sat in shade in the park, looking at the castle and it's surroundings eating this:





Yummy! And with such a view... I hope we don't have to wait another 4 years for a day at Cannenburgh! :-)

Friday, June 03, 2011

Home Sweet Home

A few weeks ago we went to a quiltshow and our favorite quiltshop (www.quilterij.nl) had a little exposition there of the 'Home Sweet Home' mysteryquilt. They were all very nice but I completely fell in love with this one (made by Suzanne van der Schoot).


I like the pattern and I just love the colours of this particular one... So we bought the pattern and I also bought some green, white and red fabric to start with. And because today was too hot for quilting (27* in our house) I started with the center block of this quilt.

The original pattern has a 'crazy house' block in the center but I liked the idea of putting your own house in the middle to personalize the quilt a little bit. But the apartment we are living in now does not make a very nice center block and our previous apartment was an old cloister so that is too complicated for 30x30 cm. After an hour of drawing doodles I 'designed' this:


Bit dark picture because it was made with my phone but, this is the door of my student flat! The first time I was living on my own (in my own home) and were I met my boyfriend. So with the thought of 'home is were your heart is' (a bit cheesy but so what) this is the perfect center block of this quilt. Maybe I should call it home is were your heart is instead of home sweet home now... ;-)