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November 19, 2011

Progress in quilts

It's been a while - haven't been feeling well lately. (The aftermath of injuring my head almost 4 years ago.) So I didn't have the energy to write a new entry on my blog...

All in all I am grateful though that there were days that I was able to sew a bit. And there must be some kind of expression about 'a stitch a day makes a quilt in a year's time' ?... Chuckle. 'Cause in the course of all these weeks I was able to finish the top for my husband's quilt and do some more sewing too!

As I wasn't in the energy-flow to start the process of sandwiching and quilting this huge quilt (my husband stood on a chair this afternoon to hold this quilt for the picture) I decided to finish another project I had lying around... It's a paper-piecing lapquilt I started possibly in 2009... It too is from a pattern called 'Right Hand of Friendship' by Marcia Hohn. In 2009 I had made 35 squares...
this picture doesn't show the set of 3 squares I had already sewn... there are sets of 4 that make a larger block.

Just needed 1 more to have a center of sorts for a lapquilt, totalling 9 blocks, each block consisting of 4 squares. If I were to make a nice-sized lap-quilt, I would have needed to sew another 20 squares.
As I lacked the courage to do so I chose to just sew that 1 last square and opted for making lots of borders to enlarge the project to a lap-sized quilt. Here it is on my design wall...
and a few days later I finished the top:
A quilt needs a back, of course...  so again a few days later I assembled some borders around a piece of fabric originally bought for the purpose...

That's how far I got... now I need to muster the energy to iron both top and backing and start assembling the sandwich... LOL.

These past weeks I felt more like making other things. Small projects in between to gather some energy that comes from creativity. You must know how that feels...

So I made a bowl out of fabric (I have the book by Linda Johansen - 'Fast and easy Fabric Bowls' that I bought at my local quilt store 'The Stitch Cottage'. It's hard to find Timtex or other stiff interfacing in Holland, so I cut 2 pieces of canvas that I joined together with an equivalent for Fast2fuse. That worked out OK, though be it was a lot more work...
I had it drying on the radiator on our hallway (This radiator sure needs a lick of paint as I found out through this picture!). My Tupperware salad bowl was just the right size to help the bowl get it's firm round shape!
I don't have a better picture right now to show... I brought it to my mother's house 2 weeks ago for her to enjoy and look at... These pictures give you an idea of the result. I love those 2 blue fabrics, how well they go together, although I bought them at different times and locations.

And then another day I decided to make a fabric basket. This one is made in colors that go well in my living room. The lady who made the pattern is Amandajean from Crazy Mom Quilts. She calls them 'storage cubes' and she uses cardboard as interfacing. It's a bit tricky to make but I enjoyed this project and the result:

So there you have it... lots of little things done these past weeks. It amazes me too... :-)
Bye for now!

October 21, 2011

Great tips from Karen: Hair Elastic Bobbin Keeper and more!

October 20 / November 3, 2011

(Updated) I came accross the blog that Karen keeps and have linked her blog to my list of blogs. Today I just wanted to share with you some of her great ideas and tips like this nifty idea that I read there on her blogspot. Just love these ideas! But do go over and check her blog for many more great ideas. 

"This is such a great idea for those little unruly bobbins loaded with thread. They just keep unwinding and unwinding...especially if you are traveling with them to a class.
Here's your solution: mini hair elastics. They are the stretchy, fluffy kind. They come in many colors, so you can even match them to the thread. Just slip it over the bobbin and that thread isn't going any where. Karen"

Now, isn't that a great idea! Easy, cheap and so convenient. Now why didn't I think of that myself... ;-) (I ordered those pink plastic bobbin keepers from the States last year- cost my a fortune on taxes etc. And to think I could have used this idea if I had known about it. But that's always the case... you don't know till you know.)
Following up on this tip, I found another set of great ideas on her blog
here - Mind you, I'm just 'clipping' out some ideas of hers from that blog that I love most. So go and check her blog if you want to read more.

"Do you have a daily pill case hanging around? If not they are available in any drug store. How about using it as a travel case for your bobbins. Great to take it with you to a class or when you're going on a retreat.

"Don't forget another Tool Time idea of using the mini hair scrunchies to wrap around each bobbin. They hold the thread in place so it won't unwind. Click here for that post.
This is a big pill organizer case that was my mom's. It's a weekly box that has morning, noon, evening and bedtime spots."

"Here's a rectangular pill casewith longer compartments. Perfect to hold all your different sized needles."

"Half could be machine and the other could be hand sewing needles. Karen"

Karen also has a tip to reuse empty pill bottles (with a tight closing lid) to keep all the bits and pieces of broken or dull needles and pins. That's something I came up with too (prior to reading her blog). I love this so I am posting her pictures.

"Label it clearly with "OLD NEEDLES" or "BROKEN NEEDLES"...much safer to store them all in a bottle and then just throw the whole bottle away once it's full." (Or dispose of it through your chemists: here in the Netherlands, we can bring these 'sharpies' safely packaged in such a bottle, to our chemist's who will dispose of it accordingly - like he does for used medicinal needles).

And here's her tip for re-using empty spay bottles (medicinal or other) to make a water-spray bottle for your ironing. Easy to take with you to workshops or quilting and sewing lessons you take! I love the way she embellished the bottle with some fabric and Mod Podge.

So THANK YOU, Karen!

Bye for now,

October 14, 2011

Uh Oh! - I need to resew a whole block....

Yesterday evening I found out another reason one can benefit from having a design wall... As I was checking out the direction of the sashings around the sampler-blocks for the top- right block, I saw that I had altered the direction of the sashings of the bottom right block... Oh No!!
  As the right and left wide sashings run from top to bottom, the ones around the sampler blocks should do so too... And for the sake of uniformity in the quilt... as the sashings for the top left block in the left panel of this Indigo blue quilt for my hubby run in that direction, so the sashings in other identical blocks should also....
this is the block on the top left of the quilt (left panel)
 It took me a while before I mustered the courage to start ripping up the seams... It helped to look at it on the design to figure out what would be the easiest way to tackle the job.
These pictures were taken yesterday evening... you can see a part of my sewing table!

And so I needed to cut two long sashing strips. So glad that I had enough fabric left over....
 I wasn't able to finish it yesterday evening, so I stitched the last sashings back in place this morning.
See the difference?....

My husband was sure that no one would have seen the mistake... That's really sweet of him, isn't it?! His idea would have saved me a lot of work. But I'm sure quilters will see it. And if they wouldn't, I would always know about it... so I just had to repair the block. And now I am grateful for the result. It was more work than I thought, because once you rip open so many seams, all those uggly little threads start to appear... So I roller-cut all the edges again, getting rid of all the loose threads. And a lot of pressing with my iron was part of the job too of course. But hey, we're used to that aren't we? LOL.

Oh well... one is never too old to learn! I hope I won't make this mistake ever again.

Top right block of the right panel
In order to finish the the top right block of this panel, I needed one more sampler block. So I appliqué'd 2 butterflies wednesday. They are part of the design of the fabric that I am using as the basis for this quilt. It's an indigo and cream fabric I bought at Ikea in Delft years and years ago. This is how the block turned out:
I hand-embroidered the butterflys' antennae.
As the 9 sampler-blocks are now joined together with the narrow sashings, I 'only' need to add the top-to-bottom oriented sashings and the 4 wider sashings around it. Yippee! that means that I will be able to join it to the other part of the right panel. That will bring me to the final part of joining the left - middle - and right panels which means that the quilttop is almost finished...

Back to sewing now...
Bye for now!

October 12, 2011

It's so sweet... to have grandchildren!

Last year, when I purchased my great new computer-controlled sewing machine (the Janome Horizon 7700QCP) I wanted to learn how to sew on her before starting a large project. So I made this little wall quilt.
I found the pattern for Sam and baby Sue at

and added some vintage band around the bonnet of baby Sue.
 The grass she sits on is a combination of embroidery stitches and I added some monogramming on top too:  ' Sweet'  surrounded by hearts and bows.
it was an experience in precise-stitching to do the applique stitches!
The finished block size is 9 1/4" square. (23,5 cm square). It symbolizes my 2 first Grandchildren: a boy and his baby sister. I love them to bits!
Meanwhile we have another grandson... he was born this year. Still need to make a new block I guess with 3 kids in it. Chuckle.

I did make a few things on my sewing machine for this grandson. But that will be the entry of another blog soon.
It's windy and rainy out there today. Not one of my best days either (pain). Will try to do some sewing now on the Indigo Blue quilt. I'll take pictures to keep you posted if I get around to sewing.

Have a great day!

October 11, 2011

Introduction and Design Wall

later in the same day

Design Wall

Other quilters work with them, I saw on the internet. A Design Wall seemed to me a perfect item, but what could I use to make it? Then this week it dawned on me.... We have an extra tabletop that we put on top of my sewing table in our living room, next to our dining room table (which is oval shaped) to sandwich my quilts and to square them off.
When not in use, we keep the table-top that used to be our son's train table, in our cellar. Why not cover it with a large bed sheet + flannel and have it double as a Design Wall?... so I got it out of the cellar yesterday (a perilous action, so glad all went well...) and covered it as planned and Voilà: my new Design Wall!
 Just in case you wonder what this is... this is the new king-size quilt I am making for my husband. It's made out of shades of Indigo-blue fabrics. Still a long way to go, but I'm so glad with the progress made until now!


Yes! I did it! I started my first blog ever...
 After having seen and enjoyed so many other blogs, it's time to start my own. I named my blog 'Sew Happy 2 Quilt' because I indeed love to quilt!
This love is young... I started quilting last year and am totally hooked. It started out as a therapy to rehabilitate myself after suffering from a major head injury but it has become a new love ever since. 

My first quilt is the 'Shades of Beige' quilt, a paper-pieced one.

This picture shows a section of the quilttop hung in front of an open door... you can see the light shining through. Almost looks like a stained glass window, doesn't it?

I used the pattern by Marcia at  called 'Economy Quilt'.
 When I started out, I was only able to sew half a block once in the so many days... gradually I was stitching 1 block a day and then 2 blocks a day until I managed 8 blocks a day, a few times a week, months later. You can imagine my thrill when I finished the top... This quilt has become a symbol to me of the progress I was able to make.

Meanwhile I have finished 2 large quilts: the 'Shades of Beige' and this one: 'Beach View', made after a quilt I saw in the quilt shop in Bergen, in the Dutch province of Noord Holland (North Holland) called  De Dekenkist. I bought the fabric (Makower) there too and love the fresh colors. As I love the sea this was a pleasure to make!
I quilted this quilt with the thread-painting method.

+ 2 crib quilts as well as other sewings that I will share with you in other postings.

From now on I will regularly update this blog to share what I am working on...

Hope to meet you here!