"Whatever your hands find to do, verily do it with all your might" Ecclesiastes 9-10

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A VERY SPECIAL PROJECT...


My youngest daughter, Laura (18) has always loved birthdays. No only hers, but ALL birthdays in the family. She is a "walking calendar"....
Yesterday afternoon, we were quietly talking together, sipping coffee in the kitchen. exchanging some "women secrets"....
The conversation turned to the next birthday to be celebrated :

- the next one is yours, mum. You're the last in the year.
- Aha.... And then, you'll be the first next year, darling.
- I know, I know..... (she looked quite "bizarre", with a strange smile on her face)
- Are you trying to tell me you ALREADY know what you want to get ?
- Well, I'd better, mum : 'cause I'd like a QUILT !
(Oh, my God, oh my God ! ... AT LAST, one of my children asks for a quilt !... Up to now, I was quite devotionally piling them in a nice cupboard, waiting patiently for such a request... And THE day had come ! Praise the Lord ! )
- Would you like to choose one in the cupboard, darling ?
- Nooooooo : I'd like something VERY special : an African quilt ! And I want it all designed by you...
(Oh my God, oh my God ! Why are you doing this to me ? I've got about 15 beloved and ready quilts (not speaking about the UFO's -and she wants another one !)
- Aha, African ? Of course, darling, no problem ! (you know how mothers are... and you begin knowing me, too).
- Shall we go this Saturday to the fabric shop ? You know it takes some months for you to hand quilt it !
- For sure, baby, my pleasure !......

And a BIG pleasure (and challenge) it will be !
I had a difficult night : turning and turning myself in bed, hearing tam-tams, seeing bright colours, etc..... Strangely, I felt VERY good this morning. Actually I was thrilled and proud !

My conclusion is this : NEVER refuse an unexpected project. It could be the present of an angel ! (... and she's an angel!)


GRATITUDE
*************
Unexpected projects !

Sunday, October 29, 2006

NOVEMBER AT THE DOOR...


I can't believe we're almost in November, time flies so quickly !
While doing some handpiecing, this afternoon, I was thinking about my quilting goals for this coming month. Better write them black on white, before they vanish :
"Gratitude" >>> Judy Laquidara's 1 hour a day new project.
"Sunbonnet" >>> finish the top (= piece the borders)
"Shipshewana Blessings" >>>> piece 10 blocks. (2 or 3 a week)
"Country Bears" >>> finish the hand quilting. (evenings)
Redwork enbroidery >>> make 4 more squares. (1 a week)
I'll stick to these five items, as I want to give me reachable goals, in order to avoid any frustration by the end of the month (I've learned my lesson...).
I should also work on my "Primitive Folk Applique Group" project, but I feel a little bit "lost", discouraged, way way behind. I 'm not very far with my 2006 project (I think I chose it tooooooo big), and we're already planning a 2007 one (which is logical). I should have passed my turn for the coming year, but once again I was "trapped" by my enthusiasm..... (did I say I'd learned my lesson ?).
I was feeling kind of blue these days. The tradition here is to flourish the graves in November, to celebrate our beloved ones. I think about my mum, my grandmother. I miss my mum. Not for the good moments we shared (there weren't so many), but for the ones we never knew. Now I know it was not her fault and I know she loved me her way... I miss my grandmother, who did sooo much for me, trying to "balance" my life. She laughed (and loved) so easily, and she could make miracles with one penny ! She would be 100 years old now. I bless her....
So I decided to fight against that blues. Guess how ? A new project, of course !
For a long time, I wanted to try some machine piecing "à la Bonnie Hunter"... and I did ! I pieced a nice "Trip Around the World". Oh, I just love it ! I still have to put borders and then I'll send a photo...
"QUILTING HEALS THE WOUNDED HEART"...
GRATITUDES
***************
* A peaceful Sunday.
* A good Belgian home made lunch : "chicons au gratin"
* My grandson Andrea walks since this morning !
* Today, we tasted (and approved) the Lemoncello liqueur that we made last summer with my sis'-in-law. (Next week she's going to Italy and will bring back big jars olive oil for the whole family...).
* Feeling better now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

KEEP ON (running) PIECING !





Photos again (in disorder, as usual, thanks Blogger !).

Sooooo :

Photos 1 + 4 : here it is ! My hexagons tote bag... (photo 1 is the bottom of it). I love it, love it. It was a long job (4 months), as I quilted each (5/8 inch) hexagon, but the result pleases me. I intend to make another one (well, not immediately), as a present for my sister (she hates hand sewing, but she's very good at machine piecing).

Photos 2 + 3 : last summer, I had pieced 48 "square in a circle" blocks, as a portable project. Now I've pieced them together, as I wanted a big pouch... for my portable projects !......

My next portable project ? >>>>>>>>> applique squares (thanks to Lucy ! Well, did you guess what ?)

GRATITUDES
**************
Nice, encouraging msgs from blog quilters friends.
A good laughter with my youngest son, Oliver (20)
"Stash envy" : a very funny quilt novels book, that I'm reading for the 3rd time
No rain today : a sunny autumn day (colors !)
Supper for 2 tonight .


Monday, October 23, 2006

PROGRESS...



At last !... I could sing frank Sinatra's "I'm beginning to see the light !"

Yes, I made some progress.

First photo : I completed a top, which was in my cupboard for one year. Easy work, but I like the fabrics. They seemed to combine so naturally, it worked like a breeze ! Once again, I don't understand why I left it aside for such a long time... Yes, it's one more on the quilting pile..... at least it's on stage two ... one stitch at a time.

Second photo : I'm hand quilting my country bears . I didn't want to just surround the appliques. For once, I wished to take my time. So, I chose a 1 inch grid. It is quite a long process, but worth the result (well, I think so).

Third photo : I had almost forgotten this one ! It slept a long time on the shelve. I think the reason is it's not my usual color scheme with this light pastel rose background. Anyway, I tried to finish the top, and the result is pleasing me : it has that "oldie, faded" look that I like.

Good news : my hexagons tote bag is FINISHED ! Yesssss ! No, you won't see any picture today : I had to lend it to a good friend of mine, who is finishing hers... You'll see it this week, promised !

At the moment, I'm working on my "Sunbonnet Sue" appliqué top. One more block to complete, then work on the sashing, cornerstones + borders (oh, my God !) and it will join the pile ! No emergency to quilt it : it'll wait for the day I get a grand-daughter (which apparently is not scheduled for the moment)...

Other projects are on my table, too (just to ensure variety, of course, you know what I mean) : the "Shipshewana Blessings" blocks (amish sampler) are done slowly but surely (five blocks done, out of 28). It's not so easy as I thought it would be (as usual, Nadine !) : the pieces are tiny, and they have to be machine pieced with extra care and precision... To tell you the truth, this is not my "cup of tea" : I just feel like "an elephant in a porcelein shop" ... But I'll make it, no matter how long it takes me !.... Then, to rest a little bit, I take some redwork embroidery on my delicate knees....and I fall asleep !

As a "cherry on the cake" : I'm planning to join the next Judy's "one hour a day" quilt and I'm soooo impatient to see it ! This is KILLING me ! Isn't that crazy ?

GRATITUDES

***************

An unexpected giggling, this morning, with Mae Britt (Abyquilt)

A funny reunion with the Italian family about Christmas plans, this year

Andrea, my 16 months grandson, at home with us for 3 entire days ! (but he only wanted to be with "nonno", my DH... I was just good enough to feed him...Isn't that frustrating ? I just LOVE him !)

We spent 3 entire days (and a bottle of Moscatello) with my dear sister in law, preparing dryed tomatoes in jars, for this winter.

My youngest daughter, Laura (18) is changing, she's becoming a woman, I can see it day after day...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

TRADITIONS


No quilt pictures today (progress, anyway !) but I was thinking about traditions, old and new. Thanksgiving is not observed in Belgium, but I like the sense of it, and I'm feeling in the mood of giving a Thanksgiving dinner, this year, to my family....

Sooooo........ would anyone like to share some recipes ? (turkey, of course, + veggies to go with, etc....). I know there are many recipes on the web, but there's nothing better than family recipes.........

Thanks !



GRATITUDES
***************
A nice kitchen

The pleasure of cooking

Postcards in my mailbox

Projects to elaborate

A new warm jacket

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

LUCKY ME !


Oh, this quilt world is fantastic ! Needed help for a magazine, yesterday.....
a "quilting angel" read me and the magazine is flying to me !

THANKS LINDA !
GRATITUDES
***************
This blog and the nice people I meet through it
A quiet day at home, quilting and reading
A phone call from my daughter, Sandrine
DH, smiling alone while watching TV
sunshine the whole afternoon...

Sunday, October 8, 2006

NEED SOME HELP...

No pictures today : the kids went to the park with my camera...

Anyway, I need your help (if possible) :

I'm looking for an APQ magazine back issue : Jan/Feb. 2005.

I visited the Better Homes & Gardens site, found an offer for a subscription to APQ, but couldn't find any back issue.

Would anyone, among this quilter's world, have that issue ? If so, is there an angel ready to send it to my postal address ? (magazine price + shipping cost refunded, of course !).

That would be my lucky day ! Cross my fingers .....


GRATITUDES
*************

A good quilty week

Visit from good friends - souvenirs - lots of laughing...

Very good lunch today with all my kids around the table

A sunny Sunday

Lots of birds peeping in our garden trees, two visitor cats patiently WATCHING them - no victim...

I'll give you today's special menu (elections day, today)
(as a compensation for the lack of pictures - LOL)

- Crazy salad

- Chicken "en gabardina" (home breaded filets + parsley and garlic)
- sweet red peperoni "coulis"
- Basmati rice
("Beaux de Provence" red wine)

- Autumn fruit salad (prunes, apples, grapes, kaki, prickly pears, ....)
with a glass of home made "lemoncello"

VOILA !

Sunday, October 1, 2006

CRAZY FOR CHRISTMAS - FUN FOR THE BEE





This week, I just felt like doing something for Christmas ! (Yes, I know, I can hear you saying :"what about your UFO's list ???" , and you're right !
Well... "mea culpa!" Better doing something than nothing... I was feeling quite inspired. Besides, I think that we've got to use our inspiration whenever it comes, instead of stocking it in a corner of our mind and then maybe forget it... Oh well, good or not, that's my excuse)
When I told that at the bee, they laughed and said : "you're crazy !"
Crazy ??? OK, let's go for crazy ! So, I sorted out some nice fabrics in my stash and handpieced a crazy square... I liked it so much, that I embellished it with some pearls and ribbons (see photo nr.2 - don't know why blogger loads them in disorder- must be crazy too !). Then I wanted to go on , and pieced three borders (see photo nr.3)... That's where I stopped for now, but I just feel it's not finished. I think I'm going to make another border with the beige and red fabrics, and then....... who knows ?
While sorting my fabrics, I found a panel asleep for at least two years on the shelf. The purpose was to make a "Christmas book". I cut and prepared it, now I have to layer each page and do some quilting (see photos nr. 1 and 4).

Now, let's come back to the bee. We always laugh (and eat) a lot (we also sew... a little). My friends asked me to prepare "something easy and funny, as a block exchange" for next time. Hmmmm.... I thought : Maria is crazy about tea-pots, Jo is crazy about hats, Simone is crazy about bags, and I just love shoes...
I had the idea, flipped through my books and found these "piece o'cake" designs.
(see photo nr.5). I'll just propose that each one of us makes three squares for the three others... until we have enough of it. I think that'll be funny....


GRATITUDES
**************
- Enthusiasm.
- Imagination (and Vliesofix)
- The pleasure of laughing with good friends.
- A pleasant family lunch, today
- The sun on my computer screen right now...