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

Thursday, November 30, 2006

AN "OLDIE"...


No quilty news, today. So, for once, I wanted to post some flowers....

I made this quilt 5 years ago. It is totally hand pieced (English paper piecing) and handquilted, some of the fabrics are from aprons from my dear Grandmother.... It took me 3 years to complete it ... This photo was taken during the only official show we had with our bee.

New photos tomorrow (Laura's quilt is progressing....)


Gratitudes
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Gigglings with a good quilter friend
Good book finished
It's freezing... I love it !

Monday, November 27, 2006

"WHAT ELSE COULD I DO ?"



Visiting May Britt's nice blog (Abyquilt), a few weeks ago, I fell in love with her applique blocks from Faye Anderson's book "Applique Delights".... So I ordered the book (what else could I do ?), and had the pleasure to get it last Thursday.

This book is a treasure and I'm so happy to have it ! The next step was to choose a color scheme... May Britt told me "choose your favourite colors !"...
The problem with me is that I like ALL of them ! It took me one day (and almost one night), + intensive search into my stash, to reach the most pleasing combination (at least to me, of course). The "light" came from the background fabric : a sweet pastel, tone on tone printed, pink that I had bought in Spain.
I thought that this would cool my mind, after the strong colors I'm using in Laura's African quilt. The rest was easy : greens, yellows (no quilt without yellow, for me!) medium and dark pinks + a touch of purple (which I love very much).

So everything was settled to start by next January..... but then a tiny inner voice kept saying "why don't you give it a try ?"... you now the rest of the story :what else could I do ?...

This first block is not perfect, as I'm practicing a new method (to me) with freeze paper (thanks, May Britt), but the result is quite acceptable for a first trial (sorry, second trial, the first one was kind of disaster...). There are 50 blocks to make, so I think I will improve. (What else could I do ?)

As to Laura's quilt top, I'm working on it and I'll probably post a picture tomorrow.

GRATITUDES
***************
- 18 degrees Celcius, today ! (Is it spring again ????)
- Cheerful emails from dear friends
- the firewood was delivered on Saturday : what fun all together to stock it !
- Christmas presents to prepare secretly - Whisperings behind doors....
- A good book to read.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

OH, HAPPY DAYS !!! (PART 2)








Henri, the postman, rang my bell this morning........ "Again ?????"
"yes, he said, this time it's from Finland! Got some coffee ?"...
I must have been blessed by the Quilts Fairy ! The parcel was from Jen (Hedgehog), who wished to thank me for a pattern I had sent to her....
What a treat ! >>>>>> Christmas tea, chocolate, liquorice sweets (yum!), napkins, a beautiful Flying Geese card, and a cute piece of fabric !
How nice and sweet, Jen ! Thank you so much!

Thinking about all this fills my heart with gratitudes, for the incredible joys and true friends I have found in quilting and blogging. In this Thanksgiving period, my heart is deeply touched, and I wish to say THANK YOU, my blogger friends : Darlene, Darcie, May Britt, Hanne, Lucy, Jen, Patti, Jeanne, Judy, Bonnie Illinois, Finn, Bonnie Hunter, Cynthia, Tazzie, Nancy, Bingo Bonnie, The Calico Cat, Dawn, Laurie, Suze, Sharon, Pam, Simonetta, Eileen, Rowan, Libby, Joyce, Cathy .... and many other ones for :

- your kind words,
- your encouragements,
- your bright ideas,
- your generosity
- your talents
- your helping hands
- your sense of humour
- your personnality
- your true friendship

OH, HAPPY DAYS ! ! ! (PART 1)





Oh, my friends, what a day, yesterday ! I just couldn't believe my eyes !
You certainly have noticed a beautiful nine patch quilt top, growing in cute 30's reproduction fabrics, by Darlene - "Dazed Quilter" -, during the past few weeks...
She explained she was making it as a surprise for a good friend of hers.
Guess what ????? >>>>>>>>> it was for ME !!!!!!!!!
My door bell rang, yesterday morning and the postman had a big parcel for me. I was waiting for some books I had ordered two days ago, so it was too early for them to arrive......What was it ? Then I read the sender's address : Darlene ???
And look at this ! (I would have liked my photos to go under the text, but well, I still don't understand how to manage with blogger...)

You should have seen me crying, laughing.... And you should have seen the postman's face ! He is a kind (and curious) old man, and is used to get a cup of coffee from time to time. You bet he stayed, eager to know what was in this big parcel from the U.S. ???? (not so usual in our small country village). When he saw my deep emotion, he went to my neighbour, Simone, (a very kind old lady), shouting : "Simone ! Quick, come ! Nadine has got a big parcel from America ! It's full of "fabric", and now she's crying! There must be a big problem !"
This made me have the giggles !
And so, there were the three of us, around my kitchen table. I told them the story about Darlene, the deep friendship we had developed for the past few months. How she had experienced a deep quilting slump, and tried to go over it, making nine patches, with my encouragements (among others). How she had spent her time, her energy, her money, just to please a new friend.
"Well, you have to thank her for that ! said the postman use your "speedy machine" that you call "the net" Imagine, this parcel could have been lost or stolen!" (this gave me retro fears !)
So, my special friend Darlene, I hereby use my "speedy machine" to thank you again, from the bottom of my heart ! I will carefully handquilt your present, with very special thoughts !.........

to be continued.....

Thursday, November 16, 2006

AFRICAN QUILT - ROUNDS 2 AND 3.

Question : what is "optimism" for you ??
Nadine : well, optimism is create a center medallion square, for a rectangular quilt !

See what I mean ? Sooooo, I rumaged around this center square, with the beautiful applique flowers I had prepared and I didn't like the result. The "movement" was broken. Actually, the solution was just under my nose : let the fabrics "speak", use them as they are, let them take the commands ! (Why make complicate, when you can simplify ?)

I agree, finally it was easy.

I had also made some applique squares, which I could use for round three.

Up to now the result is pleasing me...


Next step : circles on brown background for top and bottom borders.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

QUITE TRUE...

Your Life Path Number is 6
Your purpose in life is to help others
You are very compassionate, and you offer comfort to those around you.It pains you to see other people hurting, and you do all in your power to help them.You take on responsibility, and don't mind personal sacrifice. You are the ultimate giver.
In love, you offer warmth and protection to your partner.
You often give too much of yourself, and you rarely put your own needs first.Emotions tend to rule your decisions too much, especially when it comes to love.And while taking care of people is great, make sure to give them room to grow on their own.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

AFRICAN QUILT - ROUND 1







For days, the bright fabrics were displayed on the table, and and all I could say was : "aha, good choice ...", but I couldn't start cutting ! I have a predilection for strong colors and contrasts, but here I just felt paralysed.

What can a "broken" quilter do in such a case ?>>>>>>> I browsed through my friends blogs. Inspiration came from Jen (Hedgehog), with her medallion quilt.

I wanted to enhance a particular fabric, with beautiful dancing women, so they are part of the "medallion" , surrounded with simple courthouse steps in coordinating fabrics. The whole forms a 9 patch, like the 9 Kenyan tribes.

The next steps will now be considered as a round robin, around "the 9 tribes".

For the second round, I intend to put a wide dark brown border, with applique African flowers, plants and trees, as Kenyan women are traditionally "Nature's guardians".

For the third round, I intend to contrast with a wide yellow/beige border (arid grounds in the plains), with African MEN guarding the cows and other animals, as this is their traditional job.

That's what's in my mind, for now !

This is my first quilt without any guideline, except the theme and the fabrics. I keep telling myself : "come on, let go, relax....", but it's quite an experience. Maybe I'm going to produce a disaster, who knows ? That's a good exercise on self-confidence !

GRATITUDES

* Many souvenirs of my childhood in Kenya, with my parents working there.

* A quiet day, today, with me and myself.

* It's raining : no need to brush the terrace !

* Good music on the radio.

* Pyjamas.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

THE "LIGHT" COMES FROM NORWAY !

Blessed are our helpful blog friends ! The solution came from May Britt (Abyquilt), who helped me so nicely......thanks, May Britt !
Thanks, also, to all of you who couldn't help, but encouraged me......

Now, I think that my blog will be quite updated in the coming days.

By the way, Blogger keeps sending me msgs, telling that "my new blogger" is ready. Some changes again ????? Oh, noooooo !....

GRATITUDE

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

Blogger friends, always ready to give a helping hand.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

I GIVE UP ! ! !


I tried, and tried, really......but blogger is against me : I would love to use my sidebar with lovely "things" I see by my friend's blogs (eg. YOU) (counters, clocks, calendars, list of other blogs, project list, etc....). But there's no use : each time I try, I fail.....
I've read blogger's help very carefully, tried to copy and paste the html codes, NOTHING HAPPENS ! This is so frustrating.....

Moreover : I've got the same problem with my profile, where I'd like to put a photo of myself, me, moi, in person.......Guess what ? Blogger remains completely indifferent to my image (even though I'm smiling on the picture...)
(well to tell you the truth, Blogger is not the only one - when I'm in front of the mirror, I sometimes refuse my profile, too...) LOL

So, I GIVE UP ! Would any friend try to help me ? I would be grateful !


GRATITUDES
***************
* Friends.
* Being able to laugh of myself.
* Belgian chocolate.
* Belgian cooking.
* Italian hubby.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

LAURA....



Now that you can figure out what her quilt could be, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce you to Laura, my youngest daughter. She's 18, student in her last year's college, and intends to go to the university, by next year, to study journalism....

I'll try to post soon some pictures of my other children, Sandrina, Pierre and Oliver. (not to forget my grandson, Andrea !).....

FABRIC SHOPPING WITH LAURA...

It was a bright, cold but sunny Saturday afternoon. We went to Brussels, as we wanted to get the big fabric choice. Actually, it didn't take long : she knew exactly what she wanted ! And here below is the result !....
On the photo, I've added a first block trial I made this morning (a brown square, with an applique circle). I think the blocks must remain simple, as the fabrics are quite "busy" and I want to bring the eye on them. So, I'll stick to those brown squares, alternating with orange and yellow squares, with yellow and green sashings + brown cornerstones..... We'll see, but I can "feel" the design coming to my fingertips.....


Another idea that came to my mind, while making that circle applique on a square, is that I could "big-stitch" around each circle, instead of traditional quilting. I think it would be appropriate with the quilt.

Then we went to a cosy tea-room, and had hot chocolate with cherry pie, hmmmmm...

The rest is up to me now, but I guess I'll be ready for her birthday (May 4th)..

GRATITUDES

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

A sweet moment with my daughter.

Flowers from my son's girlfriend.

A new recipe tried today successfully.

Warm coffee while blogging.

They all went to Nono & Nana, after dinner. I chose a Glenn Miller CD and was dancing alone, while doing the dishes... A good moment for me alone. Now I'm going to meet them (I think there will be some pizza....)

Thursday, November 2, 2006

A TRIP AROUND THE WORLD "A LA BONNIE"


A few days ago, I told you about this project that I wanted to try.... Bingo !

I like it very, very much and the process went easy like a breeze. Thanks, Bonnie (Hunter) !

The photo was not easy to take, as the weather is very windy today, but I think you can get a good idea of the result....

Now, enough with the sewing machine and back to my hand piecing and quilting

Then we'll go fabric shopping on Saturday, with my daughter Laura ("Africa"!).

GRATITUDES

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

A warm and cosy home

Nice and healthy children

Kind friends

Good books