A blog about quilts'n stuff

A blog about quilts'n stuff

Friday, 14 December 2012

Life goes on

I have thought of you a lot lately!
All 75 of you: still hanging in there.
I think that's really amazing of ALL of you.
But I don't kid myself: I know how hard it it to unsubscribe from a blog, I mean technically.

No dears: you've all been GREAT!
After all that I've done to you: you're still here.
That must mean a real commitment?

And that's just not what I could do these last months.
I've been through a bad, dark patch and I still cannot give a real cause.
It wasn't just the autumn, the leaves falling, the light fading.
It wasn't just those horrible hormones.

I am waaaaaaaay behind on the 2 Bees I'm (still) in: the ladies have been really patient.
But I have to get back in the saddle in January and there's a lot of catching up to do.

I finished the quilt for my youngest daughter.
All made of voile: front and back, so it's really soft.

I wanted to be in time, not for my 2nd blogoversary, but for wishing you a wonderful Christmas!
(there's still time)

At the moment I'm making a bear quilt for a couple who are trying to have a family; I'll show you once I'm finished.

Thanks for being here!


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Today is the day!

We've returned from our holiday on Sunday and what a great time we had!
I still have to sort out all the pictures we took from my iPhone, my camera, the Mister's camera and his phone ... So more pictures later this week.

waiting for our dinner at River Cottage, Axminster

And this one is for him, because it's our 12th wedding anniversary!
(and my 50th birthday)

Monday, 27 August 2012

September = holiday

Now that everybody has returned from their holiday and school has nearly started again, we'll be going on holiday.
I hope to be refreshed because I feel totally deflated ...
Cleaning the house and clearing up anything lying around is the chore I will have to do now.

So here I go; wish me luck or even better: perseverance!

Hope to see you again somewhere in September: a totally refreshed Betty!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

It was sooooo hot!

I'm still huffing and puffing not because I want to get rid of any animals in the neighborhood, but because it was so hot this weekend. Our thermometer said 37,1 C.

And I was trying to make a quick quilt for a birthdaygirl today!
The ventilator wasn't at full speed, otherwise my fabric would've been blown away.

So I'm happy today we're back to 'normal' temperatures!
No back to finishing the birthday present!!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Beast is done!

Well finally!
After (at least) 2 weeks of battling with this quilt it is finished.
I'm happy with the result and what I've learned is that I will not use stretchy stuff as backing!

After unpicking stitches so many times because it was stretched too much on the back I am so happy this one is done!

Size: 60" x 60"
Made of fragments of men's shirts (blues), an old dress (red) and an old curtain (white), all cut in 1.5" strips.
Backing is a fleece blanket from IKEA.
Red border and binding is from IKEA too.

And this is what my machine looked like:
That's when cleaning is FUN!

I did not allow myself to start of continue anything else, for I was so afraid I would abandon this project. So no I CAN!

Have fun sewing and quilting or whatever you're going to do!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Fresh Sewing Day

Last month we went to sausage country Germany and enjoyed the countryside (1+2).
I made a baby and a toddler quilt. The baby quilt was made in the same way as Cluckclucksew describes in her tutorial, but my startingpoint was easier with lovely striped IKEA fabric (3-7).
And then, at last, we could enjoy the sunshine!
And our neighbour enjoyed fertilising his land ... (the wind was OK for us that day).
The hydrangea's are green here; by now they are as white as snow.

Linking up with LilysQuilts Fresh Sewing Day.

PS and I wrote and told you about my new iron ...

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Battling & winning!

I was struggling to get this one quilted.
The top is made of sleeves of old shirts: I had 5 or 6 usable 1.5" strips from 1 sleeve. And some (red) strips came from a dress, all from the thrift shop. The white is from a curtain I wasn't ever going to hang up anywhere.
The back (read: problem!) is a fleece blanket from IKEA: nice and soft for a play blanket for a friend.
Here is my result after 4 times unpicking the stitches because the d*** thing kept making waves on the back. If I won't get anymore 'waves' I'll be glad.

The front is beginning to look nice (also).

You can see the circle I drew as a starting point for the initial idea of quilting the bugger, but that was impossible for me: turning the quilt without making waves at the back ...
I'm sure it'll be gone after I've washed it.
The only problem I've had, once I had the first few lines in (the quilt), was my thread.
I was waiting for a bobbin to be filled with thread, when my machine stopped. Look at this:
A knot in my Aurifil spool?
Yes, definitely! (and I didn't make it)
Well, it's all done by people and people make mistakes ...

OK All my guns reloaded: I have to get back to the battlefield now!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

The Opening Ceremony

The Mister and I were glued to the telly during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games.
We were very impressed, we enjoyed it and we were in awe!
When I caught a glimpse of the last preparations and saw 'farmers' working in a "field",  I thought: this is going to be dumb: we'll have Morris dancers too?!
I'm so glad I was wrong!
The build up to the Industrial Revolution, the forging of the rings, the fire! 
The singing of hymn "Abide with me" brought me to tears: so beautiful, so full of restrain, not out loud. And the dancing during that song was impressive too.
The people that were chosen to carry the flag! All peace workers, you might say.
So it's all about the sports (& having fun), not the politics.
You know that, but now it was super obvious!
Mohammed Ali being there, touching the flag.

I won't relive the whole opening for you; perhaps you have a different view.
Just the relay of the torch: Steven Redgrave and others to the 7 upcoming talents.
And how they lit the Olympic Flame.

Picture posted with Elizabeth Harkin's permission.
More of her pictures here.

Friday, 27 July 2012

A new iron? duh!

Who blogs about a new iron ....
I might be a little ...  well you know ...
Watching this video is a great exercise for your neck, too.

I love it!
It's heavy, it squirts exactly where you want it to and it steams perfectly.
Well, perfect enough for my fabric.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, 26 July 2012


The March for Better Weather was attended by about 30 people last Saturday in Amsterdam, I heard, I didn't go there. And it worked: we've had wonderful weather the whole week.
I hope they'll march again this Saturday.

Our garden is a beautiful mess:

Lots of bees, bumblebees and butterflies though, but not all very colorful. Angus enjoys it so I guess it's all right (2 acres is just a very big garden).

As for quilting news: I've joined one Bee: the Honey Bee of the FQ Kinky Bee (so many wanted to join!) This one has actually started and I'm going to make blocks from this fabric, which came in a bag with a very familiar (Dutch) shop logo this time. All Denyse Schmidt.

Then an invitation came along to join the Sew EuroBee-an Bee: also an off spring from the FQCR (London). I'm looking forward to the start of that one.

And now, just because Cille advised me to,  I've also joined the 3x6Bee making STARS.
We'll be making all sorts of stars (I suppose). I'm such a nincompoop (does anyone still use that word?) at these things for lack of experience. But then every Bee can be different although there are RULES of course, which can be a lifeline.

By the way: my friend was very happy with the quilts I made her baby Roana and son Jesse.

On the home front there's also news (I thought I didn't have a lot to tell you!). Our oldest daughter is in the Carribean fighting crime (drugs) and having fun on the beach.
Our oldest son is in Moscow for a few days and then on to St Petersburg. He's visiting his Russian girlfriend and is having a great time (he told his dad via Facebook).
Here they are with their dad.

On the way back home, we saw this car, wagging its tail.

Happy quilting or whatever your plans are!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Slow progress

Here are the quilts I wrote about in June.
I've not been working very hard, but with 3 quilts on the go this is what I've done so far:
On the front I appliqued a (big) gnome who's sticking his thumb up.
On the back are a number of smaller gnomes, perfectly regimented.

Here you can see the quilting in detail, it's an embroidery stitch on my machine: little leaves.
Poor gnomes ...

And this is a baby quilt, the one made from old shirts and an old skirt. 
The mother requested a blanket to play on. So it'll have to be nice and soft.
Top, batting and as a backing I thought I'd use a fleece blanket from IKEA, but that's a hard nut to crack while quilting it. I suppose I'll have to spray (glue) it first and then baste it by hand before I attempt to quilt it again.

Do you have another suggestion?

On another note: today I heard there will be a March for Better Weather tomorrow in Amsterdam!
I wonder how many people will join in.

Have a great weekend.

Friday, 13 July 2012

We were in Ankum

In case you'd missed me, I treated my hardworking husband (& myself) to a few days abroad.
We drove 2 hours, arrived in Ankum, Germany, where I'd rented a Norwegian wooden house.
30 years ago a building contractor wanted to build a holiday park full of these beautiful wooden houses, but then he went bust and just two model houses remained.

Henk and Annet, the owners built an extension on the left, south side.

It was wonderful!
The weather was great and we cycled all day Saturday. On E-bikes: bicycles with a turbo boost if you need it: electric power. The first time it felt like I got a gentle push in my back to get me going.
It was great in this somewhat hilly landscape: where I live we don't have any hills, except ancient burial mounds. Or man made hills to build a church on in case of spring tide flooding (from the sea).

To me Germany is a country of unknown beautiful villages with old croocked buildings
Church in Ankum, street & Church tower in Quackenbr├╝ck
Cycling through the countryside.
I love walking of cycling through a landscape like this with everything nearly ready for the harvest.
Sausages of course and beautiful works or art
(but I could be talking about France or the UK here, substituting the sausages for wine or chips) 
sausage takeaway shop sign, George slaying the (3-headed) dragon once again; both in Bremen
Joyful graveyards, full of flowers and some beautiful tomb stones.
Real strawberries in the field and the blue stems of wheat.
Henk and Annet are Dutch and speak English and German. They're also very very good at making you feel at home: pro's in hospitality!

I'm sure you know these guys from Bremen ....
If not, read all about them here

Next post will be about quilting again, promise!
Have a great weekend.



Thursday, 5 July 2012

How to quilt this

I'd meant to enter this quilt in a competition, but the competition is cancellled due to life-threatning illness. So now I can do with it what I want, but that's just it.
It was already finished in March, when I showed it to you here
When the competition was cancelled, the need to 'get a move on' was no longer there. And I've been thinking all that time :
what do I want with it?

leave it as it is?

add a border?
(it would be about this wide
but my quilt is bigger than my design board)

 I've already got the backing, so at least that's sorted.

How should I quilt it?
Lines from (over) the middle?
Should I quilt the star in a different way from the green surrounings?
What would you do?

I really would like it to BE quilted ...
Therefore I entered this competition by the very generous Chelsea.
There's still time for you to enter as well!

Who knows and all my (or your) problems will be whisked away!
And while there's still time I'll be linking up to Freshly Pieced WiP, hosted by Jess.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

More art

Yes I found more ART, I think it's the real stuff. Mostly because it makes me laugh.
I was cycling in the neighbourhood I passed a house with a beautiful beech hedge.
But there was something sticking out!

ahhh, she's even lost a shoe!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Munch, munch, munch!

For a lot of people their summer holiday is in sight and just in time, summer has arrived too. Don't say it too loud or autumn will be here early! I beg your pardon ...
We won't be going for another 2 months but a weekend away might be a good idea.

As for the baby quilts: I've not heard yet from the mum with the baby girl, as I don't have her address. She's busy and the quilts will be ready as and when.

I wanted to join a bee at the beginning of the year and I did not succeed. I wrote to 3 and got an answer from one: their bee had stopped. So the whole idea was chucked in the bin, until right after the FQCR in London: I'm in TWO bees now!
Sew-Euro-Bee-an and the FQR Kinky Bee which has its own button (on the right). The other Bee Button is in the making.
I'm really looking forward to these bees going ahead and I know how it works in theory, but now it's for real!

As for me, myself & I: we are on different medication and it makes me want to go to sleep all the time. Or do I go to bed that late that often? I don't know which one it is. I'll let you know once it's sorted!
The extra effects are that my heart beats regularly now, no, never skips a beat. And my bloodpressure is down, which is good too.
So now you know the (heavy) stuff I'm taking.
I'm not sure which is better: migraines twice (?) a week or these pills.
Yes, once that's sorted, I'll let you know too.

It's just good to see that some creatures on this earth will always be busy munching away!

 Have a great week!

Friday, 29 June 2012

23 years ago

I became a mother.
Well I had been at least for a year (for wanting a baby), but having a child puts the cherry on the cake.

I was young then (28).
No grey hairs there!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

New pages

I'm sorry to cause confusion in publishing
the tutorial for the strip quilt again.
Now it's not on a separate tab but on a separate page.
I wanted to get all my tutorials on one page.
That's always handy if you find them quickly.
And there will be more.

Wednesday's Work in Progress

I finished a few quilts lately: a baby quilt and two a little bigger.
A friend of mine was expecting and I was sure she was going to have another boy as I can imagine her easily with a flock of sons around her.
Then she had a girl and I had to adjust.

I made a quick and easy quilt for her baby girl:

Don't you love IKEA?
And one for her two year old son

The original quilt will be for another friend of mine who requested a playmat for her baby son.
It's made of bits 6 old shirts,  1 old dress and 1 old curtain all from the trhift shop. It'll get a red border a both of these need to be quilted and bound. Today and tomorrow!

So I'm very happy everything has turned out well for the moms, their babies and the quilts! (&me)

I'll be linking up to Felicity wo's guest posting at Lee's Freshly Pieced.

Strip quilt tutorial

My stripy, brown and cream quilt Over the Moon was made by adopting the Jelly Roll Race pattern: I didn't use a jelly roll, but I made fat 8ths into honey bun strips to get a finer, more delicate feel to it.

I got a lot of positive reactions and decided to write a pattern for it.
This pattern is quite often found on the internet; these particular instructions are mainly from: http://www.heirloomcreations.net/sewing-tips/the-jelly-roll-1600/

Two of my quilting friends, Nicolette and Alison, have read the pattern in Dutch and English. Well, they sort of rewrote it, with all the corrections, but that's why I asked them in the first place. I wanted it to be a pattern anyone can read, so anyone can make this quilt.
It's easy, it's fast and the result is GREAT.
I might be prejudiced here ...
So let's start.

First read the Jelly Roll Race pattern. This is the basis for my quilt.
Right underneath this one you can find my pattern.

Jelly Roll Race Pattern
Please read through all the instructions before you start sewing.

Materials needed:
- 1 Jelly Roll (40 strips 40" x 2.5")
- scissors or rotary cutter
- sewing machine, thread
- abric for backing and binding (size depends on adding borders or not)
- batting (size depends on adding borders or not)

1.    Open your jelly roll
2.    Sew the strips together in the order they came or randomly: you sew together the 2.5" sides, with a 0.25" seam.
You can sew them together straight or diagonal (at a 45 degree angle) like you sew your binding.
Trim the triangels from the diagonal seams up to a 0.25" seam.
3.    Then cut off about 18" from your first (or last) strip, which goes into your scrap basket. This will randomize your (diagonal) seams in the quilt.
4.    Find the beginning and the end of your strips (the 2.5" bits). This is where the racing begins:
5.    Sew  all your strips together, which is an enormous length of 1600", by laying 2 jelly roll strips right sides together (again with a 0.25" seam).
6.    At the end a fold wil arise: cut where the ends meet: at the fold.
You now have a long strip of 800" made up of 2 jelly roll strips, from different colours and/or prints.
7.    Repeat step 4 and 5 another 4 times (in total you do it 5 times)
8.    Iron all seams in one direction and cut the sides of the quilt the same size.

Yield: a quilt of approximately 48" x 64"
You can add a border if you like.

The pattern for the above quilt was made with Oakshott Cottons:
 Please read through all the instructions before you start sewing.

Materials needed:
- 1 fat 8ths* pack Earth Chalk  or Earth White Marble (each contains 16 fat 8ths)
- 1 fat 8th of a coordinating print, matching, but subdued
- scissors or rotary cutter
- fabric for backing and binding (size depend on adding borders or not)
- batting (size depend on adding borders or not)
  1. When using Oakshott fabrics, I always give them a quick rinse, which makes ironing a lot easier too.
  2. 1.    Cut each fat 8th into 6 strips of 1.5", which gives you 102 strips of 9" x 22".
    You could cut the print strips up into smaller sections, so they'll be more evenly distributed, but that's up to you.
  3. 2.    Now all you have to do before the race starts, is to cut off 9" from the first strip.
  4. 3.    Follow the instructions from point 4 onwards of the Jelly Roll Race.

Yield: approximately 34" x 62".
I cut the quilt in two at the 40" mark, to make a baby quilt of 40" x 32" and used two strips (40" x 8.5") on the back as you can see in the picture in the middle.

* 1 fat 8th = 9" x 22"

If you have any questions mail me: bettyvanos at likestohearfromyou dot com
And if you've made one, I'd love to see it.

Loving solids @fluffysheepquilting

Cindy of FluffySheepQuilting has set us a challenge and has offered 2 yards of solids in return. Here's my first entry, for I'm sure more will follow:

Loving solids @fluffysheepquilting by Betty van Os

Loving solids @fluffysheepquilting, a photo by Betty van Os on Flickr.
Read all about that here and join in!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Quilt festival Groningen 2

Woodwork in the old churches with Lions,  two-headed Eagles (on the other side, you cannot see it here),  Cherubs and Griffins (I think they are)

You might think it a privilege to sit in these benches, but they're just as hard as all the other ones: it's to keep you awake during the sermon! Which is why so many people brought their own cushion (and left it in the church till the next Sunday)

Even in death I'm still important, don't you forget it!
I hope that you can see some of the family arms: I think this shows the complete descent (ancestry) of the person who died. Yes, this is to commemorate the death of 1 person!  They're called mourning boards (in Dutch).

and quilts 
As the rich were buried inside the church (and dead people don't tend to smell very nice) in Dutch the rich were called: stinkin' rich

and quilts

Here are the cherubs and griffins.

And here's the organ in a Mennonite church; quite a contrast ...

And quilts

So young and already interested!

I hope you enjoyed it even just a little bit as the Mister and I did.
More pictures of quilts you can find in the Photo Gallery here.

Have a great (quilting) weekend.