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

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

FALL IS COMING.....

Remember yesterday evening ? At last, I knew what I was going to do for the 4 Seasons Quilt Swap : a simple (big) square in a square (accuracy is not my cup of tea), with lots of applique.
WOW, I spent a terrific evening (and night - I went to sleep at 3.30 am - HeeHee), sorting out, cutting, basting flowers, leaves, vines...(needleturn is not my cup of coffee), and I had so much fun ! I was even ready to stay at my working (kitchen) table until breakfast, but feared some looooong moral speech from DH, about my precious health, so I tiptoed to bed, still making plans, my fingers burning to keep going... You know what I mean, I'm sure...

The most difficult part had been to choose the background, but I stick to it : black is just perfect to highlight those wonderful Batiks.... The two fabrics you see next to my block are for the triangles (the orange one) and the binding (the green one).

Boy, how I love it ! And yet I'm feeling anxious, somehow : Will the recipient love that black background ? - Does she appreciate Batiks ? (not everyone does !) - Does it really show autumn ? - OMG how difficult it is to create for someone else ! Well, I've decided to tell "her" to feel free sending it back to me if she doesn't like it, and I'll make something else (yes, but what then ? LOL LOL). In the meantime, I'm making it very heartfully and I'm having so much fun !

Back to my applique now ! (Tomorrow I'll tell you about the quilting workshop I had today, it was GREAT !)...

PS : THANK YOU so much to those who have the patience to email me, when they cannot post a comment on my bl...... Blog ! And my sincere apologies that I still can't post many comments on your Blogs, you can be sure I'm reading all of you, first thing each morning (and last thing each evening). Smiles !

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

FLIP, FLIP, FLIP...... FLOP !



I had decided to start my -Autumn- quilt, for the "4-Seasons Quilt Swap", due September 30th, which leaves me about 3 weeks until shipping day... O.M.G. !

So I (very) quickly accomplished my GH (Good Housekeeper) tasks, and started browsing through my books, and magazines...

I took the first pile... flip, flip, flip.....
then the second one......., flip, flip.....

and a third one..... flip, flip, flipping again....

At noon, it was a complete flop ! I couldn't find was I was looking for (OK, I admit I didn't know what I was looking for)...

In the afternoon, I changed strategy : went to my stash and sorted out the ones speaking "Autumn" to me.... two hours later (yes two, because each fabric reminds me some quilt, or project, or place, or friend) my living room was totally invaded with browns, rusties, burgundies, greens, yellows, golds, oranges,... (did I tell you that autumn is my favourite season ?).


So now, I'm going to DECIDE and PRODUCE ! I promised myself I won't go to bed without a project in progress on the table...


Blogging is wonderful : while typing this post, I realize that the project is emerging from this little brain of mine... yes, I can clearly see it now.... oh yes, it's going to be nice... and not too difficult (smiles)...


So, hopefully, I'll come back tomorrow, with something to show you....


In the meantime, I still have two pics : now that Anne Ida (Quiltoholic) has got her stitchery swap from me, I can share it with you (thanks for your patience).


It's a Bronwyn Hayes pattern, from her "Polka Dots Girls" book and I really enjoyed doing it (May Britt says I'm progressing... practice, practice...).




GRATITUDES :

- A letter from my youngest sister, with nice photos of my mother

- Many forgotten patterns, while browsing through my books & mags.

- A new one-year quilting class, (once a month) with a GREAT teacher, starting tomorrow at our small quilt shop (seven seats only, and I got mine !.. I'll stick to it!)

- New - successful - recipe tonight for supper.

- New shoes.

TODAY's QUOTE

Creation is 30 percent inspiration

and 70 percent perspiration...

Monday, August 27, 2007

MY 150th POST !

EDIT : I know that some readers are experiencing some problems to post a comment on my Blog, and I thank you sooooo much to email me, should it happen to you (renauxnadine@yahoo.fr). You can be sure I'll put your name into the drawing, as well !

I couldn't believe my eyes, when checking my Blog this morning. It seems like yesterday, when I timidly posted my first entry and picture, and the happy dance I made when getting my first comment (from Jeanne - Spiral - if I remember well)...

And now I visit you every day (I miss you when I can't), and I feel like entering a friend's house each time I do. All of you have brought so much sunshine into my life, so many encouragements, so many bright ideas, so many good reasons to keep trying and progressing (and so many good reasons to buy fabric ! LOL)...

These many things are not necessarily all quilting related :

- I started listing 5 gratitudes, following Jeanne's example, and this "forced" me to meditate about my day (or week), to become more receptive to the positive - sometimes insignificant - events in my life.

- Reading about your everyday life, taught me about your family recipes, your housekeeping tips, organization, but also love, courage and perseverance. You made me laugh, you sometimes made me cry, but you always made me feel so happy to know you...

- You made me progress in English, not only with my posts but with the books you mentioned in yours. (Amazon love me !) - I love being funny, which is not always easy, using a foreign language.

- You made me progress in colors, seeing your pictures and making mines.

This absolutely deserves a special treat, don't you think so ?

Well I chose that cute house tin box, among my beloved ones, because you all make me feel -at home - when I'm with you . Of course, I'll fill it with goooooooodies and yummmmmies, and then I'll send it to the name I'll draw from my hat, by next Monday 3rd September, night.... so don't forget to write a comment on this post !




Shall we sing it all together now ? OK...

Grab your coat, and take your hat
leave your worries to the door step
life can be so sweet
on the sunny side of the street !



THANK YOU MY FRIENDS !

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

MY QUILTING BEE

Today was a very special day, as it was my last quilting bee meeting. I think this deserves a nice post. So, sit by me, have a cupa, and read the story :

Twelve years ago, my mother died in very dramatic circumstances. Despite the fact that we were never too close, I was in shock, mourned what had never been, what would never be now, and fell into depression... A very wise doctor (bless him) advised me to start some handy craft : "there are no pills for happiness, give your mind some rest and try to make something beautiful out of your hands"...
I was doubtful : my parents always told me that I had "two left hands" I can still hear them saying :" you'll never see Nadine without a book in her hands, but don't ask her to cook some bread !".... So I felt very unsecure about using my hands. Besides... use them to what ???

I still don't know what (or who ?) made me read that small advertisement at the local bakery : "Come and visit our patchwork group, every Wednesday afternoon"...
Patchwork ? Quilts ? I had always been interested, and they captured my eyes when I watched "Little House" on TV (I loved Laura Ingals, and was in love with Charles).
So I went to the rendez-vous, that was going to change my life...

Imagine five respectable "old" ladies (I was 44, and the youngest) - all retired and widows , sitting around a large table, covered with a huge amount of fabric scraps, sewing notions (all labelled at their names), sewing boxes, sewing machines, coffee and biscuits...
"I can't sew a button", said I... They "scanned" me from the top of my head to my toes tips, and just said "sit down and have a cupa" They introduced themselves, and asked many questions, among which : "do you understand English ?" - "I do" (at least something positive ! Whew !) ... "adopted !" said the eldest, who seemed to be the Master Commander. And they immediately organized a show and tell for the next Wednesday. They gave me fabric, a pencil, a ruler, an old X-Ray sheet, which I understood was used to make templates (!), and said "lesson one : the square !"....

Three hours later, I proudly went back home with my first handpieced "square in a square" block, my heart ready to explose with joy and contentment !

This started a very strong friendship, even a sisterhood, and we never failed meeting each and every Wednesday afternoon, in joy or sorrow. They taught me, helped me, materned me. They offered me their wisdom of life and their simplicity, I gave them lots of laughters and some help, translating some books and instructions. These clever, loving, sparing ladies (I never saw them with more than one Ufo - they don't know what the word "stash" means) gave me their hearts, as I gave mine to them....We never sat around any quilting frame, but many quilts were made with twelve hands, somehow...

This summer, they told me they were all reaching their 75 - 80's, and felt "tired" with quilting, preferring turning to some cross stitch, or crochet. Some of them wanted to make some travels with their children, others wished some tranquility in a senior retirement home.... I respected their decisions, and we scheduled our last quilting bee for today, with a big cake (and a glass of champagne). I had brought some small presents and "goodies" to thank them, when they began to talk ears to ears, as conspirators, and presented me with this quilt :






And here's what they said to me :

"we quarreled a long time about the pattern, and finally decided that each of us would make
-her own house, so that you don't forget the road to our homes,
-we pieced an owl, for wisdom and sparing spirit (we all know that you're buying waaaay too much fabric !)
- we put evergreens, for youth and strength,- we chose some yellow fabric because you've been our sunshine , and we put a green border for hope
- we embroidered ivy on it, for the attachement we feel towards you,
- and we used a variagated quilting thread because we're all sooo different....


Look at the details .....








What could I say ? ..... Nothing but thank you, and take them in my arms.....




Tonight, I'll cuddle under my new quilt, and I'll be grateful.... VERY grateful , and I'll count my blessings...

Monday, August 20, 2007

SOME PROGRESS... AND ARCHEOLOGY

These rainy days are the best for sewing, and I managed to make good use of them, step by step...

Progress

The "Little Sweetheart are a breeze to stitch. I reached number 9 and couldn't resist arranging them with sashings and cornerstones.... 11 more to go.




I managed to piece some "Blooming Roses" blocks (but I'm calling them "Blooming Stash"), cut some blocks into 4 parts, and then pieced block nr. 1... Nice start...


Archeology :

While digging through my stash, I unearthed 24 Dear Jane blocks. I was amazed and didn't understand why I had abandonned them since 3 years. No comment... (I should be ashamed of myself !)


I finished my stitchery swap and it is ready to be shipped to...... I can't show any picture, as the recipient is reading my blog. Well, a little corner, maybe ? HeeHee

A finish :


And the postman still loves me, since he brought me this cuuuuutie cow, from my stitchery swap secret partner : Fiona - Dragonfly - Australia. I was delighted !





GRATITUDES
- Rainy days = sewing days (and it rains 300 days/year in Belgium)
- An envelope from Australia today (THANKS Jen !)
- A nice visit from an old friend
- Pizza tonight
- A new book to start reading
TODAY's QUOTE
My husband is a human pincushion !











Wednesday, August 15, 2007

SOME UPDATING... AT LAST !

It feels soooo good to be posting again - from my son's "computaaaa" - (but I won't be booooring with my laptop miseries, I'll just tell you that it's still in stand-by).
Wait and see.....

Of course, I wish to thank all of you for the kind comments and e-mails you have sent to me. I really appreciated them, it was like some chocolate after vinegar ! Smiles...

I'm so sorry I couldn't answer, or leave comments on your blogs as I usually. I'm sure this is only temporary.

What's the news, here ?

- Our kitchen is getting some lifting (fresh painting, new wall paper, etc....), which means that my house is a complete mess ! LOL

- We're having serious concerns about my in-laws's health. Fortunately we're sharing our caring times with my BIL's and SIL's ,God bless them.

- DH is under medical testing. Nothing too serious, I hope, but quite stressing...
(eventual little prayers, always welcome !)

- All these life interferences didn't lead me to great sewing accomplishments, but I managed to put a stitch, here and there, in the late evenings. So, I finished (yess, you're reading well !) my Stitchery Swap (due August 30th - organized by sweet Paula - the Coffee Time Quilt Studio). However, I can't show it now, as the recipient is reading my Blog. Cross my fingers (and toes) she will like it.....

- I was soooo lucky to get quite a few packages of happiness, these days.

They brought a big smile on my face, and warmth in my heart.

Let me show you :

First of all, I still hadn't posted a pic. of the beautiful stitchery bag that May Britt had sent to me last June. She wanted my prepared works to be safe and cosy for the travel to Italy. Isn't it cute ? I love it, thanks again, my friend !


The first bell ring, last week, brought me this adorable pincushion from Darlene (my first ever quilting prize !), together with a cutie, cutie "Traveller's Sewing Set" tin box... (she knows how addicted I am to these lovely tin boxes)... Both are standing proudly on my work table, of course ! Thank you, thank you, my dear friend !


Then came Pam's package ! With a gorgeous Traveller's Sewing bag, (with all sorts of gooooooodies inside) + another cutie tin box, filled with yummy Canadian chocolates ! (Chorry, friendch, I'm chtill eating one, jucht now ! LOL).

Not to forget an Australian Country Threads magazine, that I love...

THank you soooo much, Pam !



And last but not least, came this beautiful "Piecers mat'", that I had ordered to our friend Tazzie (Tazzie Quilts). I had noticed it on her blog, and thought it was so cleverly designed, with a piece of flannel to be used as a tiny design wall, and three pockets to put your sewing notions, while you're handpiecing...

Isn't it lovely ?..... I'm delighted and I'll certainly go back to Tazzie's "Etsy Shop" (see her sidebar) : it's lovely, easy, speedy and secure....


Look at the backing : there's even an "anti-slip" material sewn on. So clever !





Well, I think that I was "particularly blessed in all this mess" ! LOL

Sometimes, life comes to remind you you're not always sailing on a dream-boat, but friends are there, to comfort you, in words, surprises, and thoughts...
That will be my GRATITUDE for this post.



QUOTE FOR TODAY
****
Count your blessings,
Stitch them one by one...
****









Saturday, August 11, 2007

WHERE DO I GO ? ? ?


I was so happy yesterday, when my laptop came back from checkup.....

I checked everything, I could read my Blog and yours, and had only lost my "favourites" list. I spent the whole evening, collecting all Blog addresses (through my comments section), and remaking my beloved list.... OK.....

BUT...

Ha ! Though I can still READ my Blog.... I can't CONNECT myself to Blogger, and so I can't POST any new message ! So I went to my son's computer (where I'm writing to you now), and had no connection problem to Blogger, at all ! ? ! ??? !

I contacted my tech. assistance, this morning : the only thing they can figure out is this :
it's not a problem coming from Blogger, it's my laptop : this one was certainly "infected" (virus) through Blogger, somehow... so now the laptop protects itself and refuses any connection with Blogger.
Solution ??? >>>>>
Open a new Blog... but NOT through Blogger ! My laptop will refuse it !

Whew ! 3 x Whew !!!....

I don't want to do this : I love my "Friendship Threads", and I got used to Blogger, etc (you know how it feels,...)
On the other hand, I can't see myself posting through Blogger - via my sons computer , and then use my laptop for the rest....
Soooo, I have to MOVE and choose another servor (not blogspot)....



WHICH ONE ?


I'm feeling totally lost in this foggy Web world......





Back to my laptop, now...... I'll keep you informed, my friends.....

(sorry to bother you with all this)


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

ATTENTION !


Be VERY careful, my friends ! I just got an e-mail from Dawn , telling about computer virus, and she's wondering if there's anything to do with a strange Web "GREETING CARD" announcement, asking you to open it...


Well, now I remember having got that mail on my -poor infected- PC. Naive as I am, I opened that mail.... and all my problems started from then on !


This msg keeps coming on my son's computer mail, but we don't open it and send it to the bin. Yet, the "beast" is obstinate : it keeps coming back every day...


SO, BE CAREFUL !


(I'll be back soon, with my recovered laptop)


Monday, August 6, 2007

THERE MUST BE A PROBLEM.....


A few days ago, my beloved PC was "attacked" by a virus... Norton - my security system - detected it and fired it immediately...
Unfortunately, I could no longer switch off, and I kept getting the same message :

"YOU HAVE BEEN DAMAGED, SOMEHOW !"

... Well thanks, dear ! Im 55, and I know that, baby !... LOL

"The poor thing" still being under warranty (it's 3 months old !), we brought it to the Tech. Center, for a complete checkup.

In the meantime, I'm using my son's computer, in his own bedroom (!)... Needless to say I can't stay long and post some photos of my quilting/stitching progress. But I won't be long (cross my fingers... and toes). In the meantime, I'm still visiting all your wonderful Blogs... when my son alloooooows me ! Smiles...