Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hanneke's Quilt for Her Daughter

This time I would like to introduce you Hanneke, our friend from the IWC quilting group. She just finished her quilt, what she made for her daughter, Katy. I took some pictures of this beautiful, colorful quilt during our quilting session at the IWC office. Hanneke kindly offered to write about her inspiration for the quilt.

Katy's African childhood quilt by Hanneke Wood

"I had been thinking for some time about a quilt for Katy to take to University with her -while we were visiting the School of Stitched textiles last summer (I am doing an online City and Guilds course with them) Katy spotted and fell in love with a border fabric, warm colours and African people and I found an equally enchanting fabric with African mothers and babies (both Timeless Treasures but discontinued I think). To complete the challenge Katy found a very bright and vibrant green batik to include in the quilt.

Where to start - we poured over books, looking for inspiration, and finally used some ideas from Roberta Horton's The fabric makes the quilt (Lafayette, 1995)- her design concepts were particularly helpful, "Repetition makes things go together" , "It's important that the line is'nt straight" , "Don't centre", "Keep the eye moving" and "If it's too big, cut it off. If it's too small, add on to it."
I explored my stash and 'auditioned' lots of fabrics, a continuing process in the making of this quilt as it evolved! I used lots of batiks, some 'klimt' fabrics (Makower ) whose colours were perfect, and some of 'Jabulisa's' African printed fabrics. I then started my making 'wonky blocks' centred around the themed fabrics, and the quilt started to grow. After much rearrangement, the quilt top was complete, bordered with a deep red batik from Evy at Quilterspalet here in The Hague and I chose to back it with a soft checked flannel - I asked North Sea Quilters to machine quilt it for me, which Marybeth has done beautifully, quilting in the ditch and including a border pattern inspired by the recurring zigzagging triangles in the African fabrics.

The warm vivid colours, and the liveliness of this quilt remind me of Africa where
Katy spent the first three years of her life. Absolutely the best quilt to accompany her on the next step in her life!"

Thank you Hanneke for sharing your story behind the quilt. We were lucky in the IWC patchwork group to enjoy looking at and quilting beside this cheerful quilt for a while and we didn't let Hanneke to take it off from the wall until it was time to go home.
I wish Katy that this quilt will bring her the comfort and the warmth of home when she her new life at university.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Carol's First Quilts

We would like to use this blog also to create a forum for our friends, clients to show and introduce their patchwork to other quilters. If you would like to tell about your quilt, please send us the photo of your patchwork and your story behind the quilt.

This time I would like to show you the photos of Carol's quilt. She is an expat quilter, living in The Hague and this is - better say - these are her first quilts. Can you imagine that she just started to quilt and she made immediately two big quilts? These two identical quilts were her Christmas presents for her daughters. It is a beautiful, true scrap quilt. In the quilt Carol cleverly incorporated fabrics, she collected during her traveling/posting, like African fabrics. Look at the beautiful color of her quilts. The blues and the orange accents work really well.
We quilted them on the new Statler Stitcher, using an overall pattern of "Baroque swirl."

Carol's daughters really loved their special Christmas present. I'm sure they will be happy to snuggle under the quilts in their dormitory and they'll be very proud of their mum.

Carol's daughters wrapped in the quilt and the two quilts together

The back of the quilts, quilted on the Statler Stitcher, pattern Baroque swirl


Little Amsterdam Course Started

Yesterday we had the first lesson of the ten-weeks course of Little Amsterdam in the new studio. We began by focusing on tips and advises on the design elements of the quilt, than we choose the fabrics for the houses and started to make the bases for the regular houses. The three hours passed very quickly and it was already time to write down the homework. Everybody enjoyed the class and are looking forward to the next Tuesday.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Long-waited Patchwork Weekend in Hamburg

Since autumn we were looking forward to this weekend, where finally we could enjoy quilting without the distraction of the worry about cooking, cleaning and other every day's job. So Last Friday we hit the road and after about 5 hours drive we arrived in Hamburg at Adreas Wolf's patchwork shop the Quilthouse to attend a weekend course with Ilka Rave and learn how to make a quilted jacket. After the warm welcome of Ilka and Andreas (and of course the delicious cakes) we immediately jumped into work. First we choose the wool for our jacket, which I found quite difficult, as Andreas has a good selection of beautifully colored, soft wools and I couldn't make up my mind. (Of course on the last day we couldn't resist to buy another piece). Than we wandered around the shop to find fabrics for the strips and the inside of the jacket and find more treasures, like the deep colored hand-dyed fabrics. After cutting our strips the "working" day was over. We walked in the neighborhood, did some window shopping and had a nice dinner.
Saturday we worked really hard the whole day, we only stopped for lunch and "cake/tea" break. Ilka was always there to explain, help, give advices. She is a wonderful teacher. In the evening after a walking tour along the lake we had a nice dinner in a Greek Restaurant. Sunday we continued on sewing and by the afternoon we were ready to wear our jackets. Only few things needs to be done (sewing the bindings by hand, the final touch). I think our sewing machines were releaved that we finished the machine sewing, the eight layers of fabrics (four of them wool) was a little bit too much for them, but they managed it really well. These Bernina and Husquarna Viking sewing machines are reliable "friends" for us since many years.

As to the jackets, they are beautiful, see for yourself!

Thanks for the lovely patchwork weekend Ilka and Andreas!

Working in the morning... working in the evening.

Maria and Leslie and the back of their jackets

Marybeth and Ilka and the back of their jackets


Wednesday, January 9, 2008

"Picasso in The Hague" Exhibition

At the moment we are quite busy with making our plan for the year 2008. It would be very boring for you to read about that. So I thought I would draw your attention to an exhibition, I visited during the holidays.
I think for us quilters it is important to get inspirations from other art forms, learn from them. You never know when you find your big idea.
I went with my guests to the Gemeente Museum in The Hague where you can see the Exhibition " Picasso in Den Haag" or shall I say Picasso in The Hague. The big part of the collection came from the Ludwig Museum in Cologne and it gives an overview of Picasso's entire carrier. The earliest work at the exhibition is a sketch, made of his father by Picasso, when he was 18. You can also see his early drawings and paintings from his early years in Paris, work from his Cubist phase, his Classical Period (like Harlequin with Folded Hands), the period of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. One of the amazing exhibits is the whole 100-print "Vollard Suite" in its entirety, which he created between 1930-1937. It was named after its publisher, the French art dealer and critic, Ambroise Vollard. The artist visualizes his obsessions, using neo-classical and classical subjects, like the artist's obsession with his model (Pygmalion), the transformation of the artist (Minotaur). This is also a tribute to his lover, Marie-Therese, who inspired him in creation of this masterpiece. I myself, admired and was attracted to the fine lines of his drawings in this series. Living my "obsession to colors" period I was also impressed by the colors of some of his other works and took a picture of them. May be one day when I'm looking for a color scheme.....

Bullfight, 1935

The "Vert-Galant" Park, 1944

Head of Woman with Hat, 1962

I hope you have a chance to visit the exhibition. While you are there in the Gemeente Museum don't miss out the other exhibitions, like the Rozenburg, if you are interested in porcelain. But let's leave something for the next blog.


Monday, January 7, 2008

Beginner's Sampler "Zinnia Patch"

InDecember our six week course has finished. This sampler quilt was designed by our teacher, Leslie Carol Taylor for beginners to learn the basics of quilt making.

During the course they learned how to cut fabrics quickly and precisely using a rotary cutter, special mat and ruler. How to sew them together neatly (by machine) and how to press the seams to make a nice flat and square top. They also learned how to look at fabrics and put them together in combinations that they like.

The quilt contained different blocks, like “Summer Winds”, “Ohio Star” and an adaptation of “Churn Dash”, “Log Cabin”, “Monkey Wrench”, “Maple Leaf” and “Pinwheel”, “Nine Patches”, “Four Patches”, “Quarter Square Triangles” and a ”Tree”.

It was good to come together on a regular base and sew together, make new friends. In the group there were absolute beginners and experienced quilters, but everybody learned something new. And the most important is that the quilting community became richer with new members, as the ladies got infected by the "patchwork bug". Here are some photos from the last lesson and of course the finished blocks.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Santa's Midnight Runner One-day Workshop

I wish all of you a Happy 2008 Year! A New Year, time for the New Year's resolutions. One of my New Year's resolution is to write more often in our blog and of course to catch up reporting on events, which we had at the end of the year.
One of them was a one-day workshop where we made a table runner, using Mt. Redoubt's Santa's Midnight Runner pattern. We pieced the background from different blues, than we placed Santa and his reindeers to the background, using a raw-edge appliqué technique with the help of fusible web. It was fun to go through the pile of fabrics to find the right choice for each piece of the appliqué.
Though each participants used the same background fabrics, each table runner turned out different, very unique. By the end of the day we finished the top and the homework was "just" to embellish your top and quilt it. I hope this table runner became a nice center piece on the Christmas table.

This day was not only about "hard" work, but also fun, helping each other, chatting, drinking coffee and tea, having a good time and eating home-made cakes and
Marybeth's delicious soup.
Here are some pictures, capturing the ladies while they are tracing the pattern. You can also read some testimonies.

Hanneke: "Loved the day, did far more work in one go than I ever do at home, and
enjoyed the company and the food! "

Elaine: "Thank you for great day out yesterday - Maria for the delicious4 cakes,
Marybeth for the lovely lunch and tips
on satin stitch and last but of
course not least - Leslie for your patience with fusing those blasted reins!
I had a great day and have all sorts of ideas for embellishing the quilt."

Sandra: "Many thanks for the workshop today. I had a great time - thanks for all your help, especially Maria for battling with my sewing machine!!!! Also for the great lunch."


Friday, January 4, 2008

Little Amsterdam with a Twist

I would like to introduce you some quilts which were made by our friends, using our pattern book Little Amsterdam.
Fiona Williams made her "New Amsterdam", using her fabric stash just within two weeks. It's a true scrap quilt, the only fabric she bought was the "sky". According to her this project is really addictive, she could hardly stop making the houses.
Here is the result:

Elaine Suller made a cot quilt for her little niece. She adapted the pattern and make three rows of houses from the funky Moda fabrics and the result is a very cheerful baby quilt.

She used the fancy stitches from her Bernina sewing machine to embellish the roofs and windows. Here are some close-up photos:


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Updated Quilt Competition List

If you are interested in Quilt shows and Competitions you can find an updated list of links to different competitions and exhibitions in the Netherlands and all over the world on our link page
On this website please go to Patchworkwedstrijden, you can scroll down (Click on meer Patchworkwedstrijden) to find the complete list of links.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Quilts, Cats, Christmas

Have you ever wondered why do cats love patchwork? How is it possible that they always find quilts, even in hidden places? My cat always sleeps on them, even if just a tiny spot is available for her (the rest is still under work - "unwanted" obstacles, like sewing machines, rulers or me prevents her from taking over the whole quilt). I took this picture during the Christmas holidays. It didn't take long for our cat to discover the patchwork tree-skirt under the Christmas tree and since then this is her new "bed". I'm afraid it's not for long.

Luckily she is also happy to share the new quilt with my daughter, which was a Christmas present to her from all three of us, the North Sea Quilters. It is a lovely Carol Armstrong's design, which we couldn't resist to make it. There are still some Cats in the Cabin kit available on our website.

With these pictures I wish you a very Happy 2008 Year and a lot of fun quilt projects and many happy patchwork hours!

Maria - a new website by NSQ

We've created a new website in order to share useful links, regarding to patchwork with other quilters. The site is bilingual in Dutch and in English. It mainly contains links, concerning the Dutch patchwork community, European quilt exhibitions, competitions, quilting associations and of course the North Sea Quilters. We will continuously add more information to the site.