A blog about quilts'n stuff

A blog about quilts'n stuff

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Getting ready for the New Year

We had a lovely Christmas Day, just the two of us, the Mister and me. All our children (+2 beaus) came the day after which is called the Second Christmas Day.
Now wouldn't you like to live in the Netherlands just for that reason!
We played stupid games, had a row, ate a lot and had good fun: a real Christmas!

As Cille said: it is hard getting back to the sewing machine. Everyone's pace has slowed down and there are so many feelgood-films on telly (a waste of time I know, but still).

I'm planning to make 2 baby quilts for 2 dear friends. One baby is due half January, the other one in February/March. So I'd better get a move on, as I'm a slow worker.
One will be like this one and the other will have rainbow colours on one side and soft white and neutral colours (Bento boxes?) on the other (if I do make a doublesided quilt).

I'm also planning to start with two new project in blogland:
  1. Quokka Quilts will start a quilt along with free motion quilting and quilt as you go; you can join here.
    She also had a contest on her blog: can you make a great fat quarter bundle? Join here.
  2. And over at pinsandbobbins will start a great quilt along in January.

I'll be back in 2012 with some great news, which has absolutely nothing to do with quilting ...

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a GREAT START in 2012!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

You can smell Christmas here

Here's an easy recipe to get the smell of Christmas in your home. That is if you don't already have a wonderful aromatic tree.
I found it here, where there are plenty more ideas!

Holiday Stove Top Potpourri Mix
  • one whole orange or just the orange peel 
  • 1/2 cup cranberries 
  • 1 Tbsp. whole cloves 
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon or a small handful of small pieces of cinnamon 
  • a bit of grated nutmeg if desired
1.    Quarter the orange. 
2.    Put all the ingredients into a saucepan.  Fill pan with water. 
3.    Place on the stove on the smallest burner, on the lowest setting. 
4.     Refill water as needed. Mine is on the Aga day and night: lovely!
I don't know if I'll be back before Christmas, but whether I do or don't:
                Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Rainbow goodness

Looking outside we could all use some sunshine, perhaps those of you who live in Oz or California ...
Well anyway I do.
So I was soooo happy when this arrived:

From the Colorwheel Charmswap organised by Kati.

Haven't got an idea what to do with them. For now I will only look ...

Colorwheel Charmswap organised by Kati.
Haven't got an idea what to do with them. For now I will only look ...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Getting ready for Christmas

Unfortunately I had a bad week and couldn't do any sewing. But Im much better now and ready for the finishing touches for Christmas.
The tree is beautiful and like the rest of the house: filled with decorations. I love it!
Our Sinterklaas was wonderful by the way: lots of fun and beautiful presents. And come to think of it, I've only got photos of the shawl that I knitted. Yes, me, knitting! Fortunately for me as well as for the recipient it was very easy.
the yarn
it's more like a net

only 7 ....

the result: I loved it.
It's a big hit in the Netherlands, you can buy it everywhere (in the craft shops).
Here's a video of how to.

So I've got lots to do as I'm sure you have!
Have a great week.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Occupy your sewingroom

Catpatches is having a do at her blog
Or rather, you're the one doing the action by occupying your sewingroom for a day this week.
So I thought I'd join in the fun and get these Christmas things ready.

Quilt # 1
After 45 min of quilting quilt #1 I cannot go on because I'm out of the right colour thread, yes upper and under!
Just a little bit to be quilted.

Quilt #2
I had already cut the fabric so this was just easy piecing, or was it?
It went wonky and wonkier!
So now I'll just leave that till after the weekend.
I'm afraid I'll tear it to shreds ... but perhaps I can restrain myself.
I haven't ironed it yet, perhaps that's it?
Sinterklaas presents:
This year I'll be home for Sinterklaas; he's our Santa. In the Netherlands it's usually celebrated around the 5th of December, which is his birthday.  It wasn't easy to pick a date on which we all could come. Our family is growing: two lovely boyfriends have been added.
So it'll be this Sunday afternoon.
And I have to get a move on, because I've put nearly all my time in the quilts mentioned above.
I'll show them to you next Monday.

Next project:
A quilt for my former colleage and friend Karin, who'll be sailing for the UK today to live with the love of her life: Ian. Good for her! She's going by car and by BOAT and it's stormy over here, so that's even worse at sea. But she's assured me she'll be fine: probably standing at the deck in the wind and rain all the time. Wishing her love and happiness!
Their quilt will be a surprise for her; well she knows they'll get one and she's told me the colours of their bedroom. Nearly the same as in my sewingroom! She's clueless about the rest and I'd like to leave it that way, till it's finished. I can't blog about it, cause she's a follower.
Patience please.

This week I received a package with the most wonderful fabric. I'm so thrilled!
What shall I make of them? Or just leave them in my cupboard and just take a peek every now and then?
Sandi Henderson's Henna Garden, from Farmer's Market and Meadowsweet 1 and 2.
Life is full of choices, some very hard.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

And the winner is ...

At one minute past 10 pm I took this photograph from my phone to show you which number Mr Random had chosen:


Which means Catherine has won the beautiful Klona Sea Hurricane Bundle from Backstitch.
It came from the UK and now it's going back to the UK, isn't that funny?

Congratulations Catherine!

Monday, 5 December 2011

I want to thank my husband, my family, snif, sob ...

Just kiddin'
Sandra over at Sana Saroti has a very nice blog (don't you love those cherries in the URL!) thought I should have this award:

for which I'm grateful, thankful and joyful!
No really, it's nice when somebody else likes what you do.
(It's very Dutch (for the Northerners anyway) to deny this)

Thank you very much Sandra!! I'm very pleased with the award.
She asked me to share seven things about me, so here we go:

  1. I have a thing about pens, then handbags and now I can add fabric to that list; yes, I'm somewhat a hoarder ...
  2. I'm an incredible easy crier: a film, a song, certain music, a baby's smile (even now, just thinking about it).
  3. I LOVE not having to work any longer; not being part of that great big (bad) world, but don't think I'm anywhere near a recluse! I love being with friends and having a great old chinwag.
  4. I'd like to have a dog or cat again, but the Mister's favourite animal is a dead one, on his plate, รก pointe.
  5. I always thought of myself as Mrs Gadget (no, not to the inspector): I love gadgets, anything with buttons and settings. But now I find I'm not always at friendly terms with Blogger or Google Reader ...
  6. I loved driving my convertible car: like driving a motorcycle (loved that, too) but in a really safe way. My car was wrecked in a minor accident, no-one was hurt (blogged). Maybe someday ...
  7. I am absolutely potty about anything English; I love the country, been to a few parts of it, love the language, the politeness of most of the people. Always have been.In the Netherlands there's an expression for 'those kind of people' : being more catholic than the Pope. There are some exceptions to that rule, though, like soccer, rugby, Bingo, Bob Monkhouse, Midsummer Murders (= overdone) and The Sun (paper) to name but a few.
Now for the most difficult part: I have to forward this award to 15 other bloggers: I might have to ponder about that. But I'll come back on it and let you know who I chose.

What I saw when I opened my blog is that I have 45 followers by now.
Thank you all for joining! I hope to keep you all entertained.

Now just a bit of the everyday stuff. I had a great day sewing yesterday. I decided to join in on the fun at catpatches to 'occupy your sewing room for a day' this week. Read all about it here and join in!
Unfortunately I was out of quilting thread yesterday. I decided to go ahead with the quilt for my Danish friend Annie; and I'm nearly halfway piecing it!

And decided to make a quilt for a former colleague & (not former) friend Karin who's moving to the UK to marry the love of her life Ian. Ahhh ain't that nice!

And there's still time to join in in the giveaway here!

Have a great week all of you!

Friday, 2 December 2011

Blogoversary = today

giveaway is now closed

Today it's party time. So I'd like to start with a song everyone likes and annoys AND you'll be singing it all day. (Leave it on while you read the rest )

My blog has its birthday today and you might want to know what it is I'll be giving away.
It's out of my own pocket as I don't have/want any sponsors. It doesn't always make the blog more interesting; there are exceptions, ofcourse.
I chose something I'd really like to have because I luv the colours and this is it.


It's the Hurricane - Sea bundle by Backstitch who are based in the UK.
There are 14 fat quarters of Klona Cottons ( a medium weight, plain cotton)
The width of this fabric is not 42" but 53" so the fat quarters are bigger than usual at
26,5" x 19,5"

What is it you have to do to win this?
  1. Don't follow my blog if you don't want to; I've had too much trouble myself with that. You can if you want, but you don't have to. Leave a comment what you're going to do.
  2. After that decision, tweet about the giveaway @bettyvanos; leave a comment if you've done so.
  3. Are you a FaceBook fan, then spread the word there too; and leave a comment if you've done so.
  4. And last, but not least, tell me (one of) your biggest dream(s); I'll tell you mine in a bit.
Mr Random.org will choose a winner at Tuesday December 6 at  10.00 pm my time (Central Europan Time). 
At the bottom of the blog I have added a world time clock: click on the area you live or where I live to see the time there.

Here's a link to a clock that does work. Click it so you can see what time it is in Amsterdam (my time). Entries close at 22.01 my time.

My dream is to see this one day

I have to see to my guests now as they are pooring in.
Yes coffee and cake's on the way.

Good luck everyone!

giveaway is now closed

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Packed with info!

Last year around this time I went to Sweden for a short holiday: snow everywhere and -19 C at night. Wonderful sauna weather, because it took only 15 minutes to cool down (outside of course).

It was just before we left (my friend & I) that I started this blog.

Tomorrow will be my blogging birthday and I'll be having a giveaway, so come back tomorrow! (sneak peak >>)

My Christmas quilt is nearly finished!

The next one will be one for my Danish friend Annie which is a copy of this quilt by Amandajean
Hope mine will be as beautiful.

I still have (a bit of) time before it's Christmas, don't I?
Too close to Chrismas to send it?
Then I'll have to bring it: Copenhagen, here I come!

I've read some blogs about that date in June for Fat Quarterly: would be nice to go to!
Would also be nice to meet other bloggers as Leila is tempted to go too.

Yes, I will defenitely have to save that date and I'll start saving money now (I wish)!

Every now and then I read about virtual bees and I'd like to join one.
How do I do it?
Well there's a list to choose from so if you'd like to join a bee too next year, here's a list of the ones in Flickr (thanks to Lee).
I joined this swap for a starter because I really loved the scrappyness of Leila's quilt:

+ & X blocks Quilt
Love those summery shoes
And especially for you (!) I've updated my (profile) picture.
The hair's short and grey, but the fun's still in the same amounts!!

Deleting blogs worked thanks to Laura's advice, see her comment in my last post.
(OMG she's got two blogs; how does she do it!)
So now I've more time for sewing and deleted 45 from my 80+ blogs!

As you might have noticed: this post is absolutely stashed with links, so it's no wonder that today I'll be linking up with Lynne!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Today is a good day!

Yes, it is! I could quilt for a long time on my Christmas quilt and now it's nearly finished (positive thinking!!)
Bind & wash & finito!
I had a lot of fun doing that project and Flurry is such a happy set of fabric.
Here's the tutorial for the quilt, and here's the quilt:

in the sunshine!
like my pink quilting gloves?

Last time I blogged about not being able to keep up reading all those magnificent blogs, because there are only so many hours in a day. A lot of people recognized this.
What I've been trying to do ever since is to cut down on blogs by unsubscribing from the least interesting. You know, sometimes you start to follow and it turns out it's not your 'thing'. Or you signed up just for the giveaway?
But I found it very hard to accomplish:

Method #1
I read all my blogs through Google Reader: so I clicked on each blog to 'unsubscribe' Do you want to unsubscribe? Yes.

Method # 2
Go to the blogpage itself, to the section where all the follower's photos are displayed.
Already a member? Sign in  
So I signed in via Google
Then your own picture appears above all the other members.

Click on the triangle after Options and then click on Site settings
Another window opens where you can Stop following this site
Click on that.
And you're done, or so I thought.
It doesn't work.

Method #3
Put all those blogs you don't want to read anylonger in one folder, which I called X.
Doesn't work either, it just builds up.

Who knows what to do?

As for my blog birthday: it's very soon!
And not only cake and drinks go with a celebration, but also a giveaway.
So come back in a few days.

Friday, 18 November 2011


Yes, I finish! And I was really in need of one. This is made from a layer cake and a charm pack of Flurry by Kate Spain. I followed this tutorial and it was quite easy. 
The top is done and it needs to be basted and quilted, which I'll start today. Haven't decided how to quilt yet: stippling or straight lines.
I bought the same solid light green for the backing yesterday.

Christmas quilt top ready and displayed on my mobile designing board in our hall.
Kati from the blue chair has made me paused to think.
Her last post on blogging realling made an impact on me.
I'm sometimes reading more blogs than actually getting any sewing done. I was following 72 blogs!
That just takes too much precious time! Yes even though I don't work my time is precious too (I just don't always realise it). Even now: I just missed going to Pilates class because I'm stuck on some of those blogs. It's sometimes getting in the way of life and that's not what this is all about!
I want to sew, have fun, a finish every now and then and some inspiration.
So I've ended my subscription (through Google Reader) for a lot of big blogs: they won't miss me. I now follow 25 blog and that's enough.
That feels good!

On a personal note (as if the previous wasn't personal).
Yesterday I was talking to a dear friend about this song we heard on the radio; I wrote about that song before. Well it was played at my father's funeral.
He died 8 years ago today and I can still cry my eyes out (but not all the time).
I'd just brought back my mum from hospital after she'd been through quite a tough spell in (the operating) theatre. He was so happy to have her back home.
That night he had a massive heart attack and died instantly: quick and at home, just like he'd wanted it.
Life goes on and a lot of things have happened since: good and bad (such is life).

As we're speaking of dates: my one year blogging anniversary is coming up in two weeks. I'll have to think of something nice to all you followers. A party at my home with cake (a cupcake party)? Or we all meet for a drink in town? Or something less strenuous on your part?
I'll think of something.

I'll be trying to link up to a Sew and Tell somewhere, but on the other side of the ocean everybody's still asleep.
Yes, linked up to Amylouwhosews here:

And she's back!
Crazymomquilts Finish it up

Wishing you a wonderful weekend: have fun whatever you'll be doing!

Monday, 14 November 2011

FMQ and more

In an attempt to practise more free motion quilting (fmq) I'll be joining the quilters over at Fluffy Sheep Quilting: Every Friday a new project.
The videos are all by Leah Day and by now she has so many videos and two books. I thinks the videos are most helpful. Gosh she makes it look so easy. But then, she also says : practise makes perfect.
More on that this Friday.

I have abandoned a few projects, though.
I joined the Farmers Wife Quilt along very enthusiastically but haven't even done one block!
So I've chucked it out as I'm not even going to start on it in the next year. Well, the book's still on the shelf.
As for the sewing by hand project (easy to take with you on holiday or in front of the telly) hosted by Lynne:

no, the hexagons didn't fit when I sewed them together and I didn't have the courage to unpick them all. Maybe I can go over it by machine? I don't think it'll look nice then.
I've abandoned that one too, but it'll keep brooding at the back of my mind.

Last week I got all of my Christmas Charms as promised by Emily from the Strawberry Patch.
Aren't they just beautiful?
I think I'll make a herringboneblock (look-a-like) tablerunner of them.

As for the rest of life as it happens over here: I've not been sewing at all these past 2 (3?) weeks because my head won't let me. If the migraines are not too bad or non existent I don't feel fit at all. So I'm more of a zombie at the moment, which was appropriate for Halloween, but not any longer!

I'm going to see a neurologist for the migraines and I'm sure I'll get the right pills this time.
And then I can really get started!

Now I feel good and I want to get some sewing done, so I can show you something on Wednesday.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Quarter inch tutorial

On the web I see the most fantastic tutorials, in fact that's one of the first things I'll spot on a quilting blog.So it's about time I joined in!

Most tutorials are about quilt blocks or how to tackle a certain technique itself. Some are about the basics of sewing, like this one about unpicking seams. Hang on, everybody knows how to unpick something. And when I actually did read it, I learnt something new!
So I hope you'll have the same AHA-moment here.

There are many tutorials on the quarter inch seams, here's one and here's one, but this one comes closest to my approach.

Let's start with a roll of masking tape; I mean the kind of tape painters use: easy to take off and cheap. Cut through 10? to 15? layers of tape with a sharp knife.  Then about 2" further you make a cut as deep as the first one. We need this 2" chunk of tape later on.

Next is when a quarter inch foot is really handy. When you've got something like it, attach it to the foot of your machine. Mine looks like this:

Now for the measuring part. I put my smallest ruler right next to the quarter inch foot; I really push it against it.
 Then I put my needle down to see where it touches the ruler.

If it's to far off, I adjust the position of the needle on my machine: I move my needle to the right so it fits a scant quarter inch.
I adjust the needle position with the - + button: by adjusting the width of the stitch the needle moves to the right (that's what I want here)

When all is set, get your masking tape and tear it off the roll (always easier with two hands):

Stick this chunk right next to your ruler and press down
The best thing about this chunk is that you can really push your fabric against it, which (sometimes!) makes pinning unnecessary.

Press down

Remove ruler
You can see here how battered my machine is ...
But it wasn't me! I bought it second hand.
And start sewing!

One more tip:
I check this every day before I start sewing: I take my ruler and push it against the foot. I let the needle down and check whether it's still right and sometimes adjust it.
Because I know it can change overnight (leprechauns in the Netherlands?)

Have a great week!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Tidying up, part 2

I'm so sorry for not blogging earlier, but an unexpected migraine got the better of me.
So you couldn't find me again ! in the Small Blog Meet or Fresh Sewing Day all hosted by Lynne: I'll be there again in December!

In the meantime, about 10 min. a day, I have been able to finish what I started. At last!
So, from this:

To this:

What a relief!

If you're wondering what the picture on the wall is in the last picture: it's a picture of Mousehole in Cornwall I took a few years ago. I love those colours.

I found a few WiP's:
1   Movin' on up: top needs finishing.
2   Starry Sashings: top needs finishing.
3   Red yellow green: border needs to be added, then it can be quilted
4   disappearing 9-patch christmas quilt: quilting needs to be finished.
5   My Asterisk quilt: haven't acutally found it, but needs more work.

So I'll know what I can do the rest of the week, if my brain'll let me.

Have a great (rest of the) week!

Friday, 28 October 2011

Tidying up ...

I have so much 'stuff' and 'things' lying around in my room, I can't work in such a mess.
So I have to do a bit a lot of tidying, throwing out and rearrarranging to do.
We all hate that, but I just keep thinking of the result!
From this

to this

O, dear, not ready yet. Come back Monday and it'll be done!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dead Simple Quiltalong by Lily's Quilts

Lynne started a quiltalong a while ago
At first I thought: another quiltalong where I'll stay behind or not start at all?
But then it was locked in my mind.
It's really very simple!
Choose some colours you like and then make a quilt of e.g. simple squares.

So I went to design seeds and had a look at some beautiful pictures, like these:

But then something like that was also possible with my own holiday snaps. You know, the ones that make you feel REALLY GOOD.
I chose a few and went to another site where you can upload your own pictures and get a colour palette:

The problem is I love them all, but I know I have to do something with this!
Which do you like best? Can you explain or is it just gut feeling?
Tell me, please.