Wednesday, 28 January 2009

My first journal quilt

I just finished my first journal quilt for the Aus/NZ Art Quilters group. The proposed theme for January 2009 was Heat - of course you're free to use your own themes, but I thought this one was very appropriate. The idea that I had worked out quite well - I painted the map on Vliesofix and ironed it on some muslin, then quilted the (iso...?) lines.

I do think my thread writing needs some practice though, and am not too happy about the edges (satin stitched, but it makes the quilt wobbly)... Maybe I'll put on a binding after all.

Would love to hear your comments!

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Daylight photo of the Aussie Quilt

Quickly, between the (sub)tropical showers, I made this photo of the Aussie quilt outside today.

Now that this quilt is finished, the next project to work on will be the January journal quilt for the Aus/NZ Art Quilters group. The suggested theme for this month is Heat and I think I will go with that - it certainly is appropriate!

Yesterday I finished this postcard for the Dutch Fibermail group that I recently joined. The theme of the 'card of the month' was Africa - I guess followers of this blog are not surprised at the way I approached this theme ;-).

Friday, 23 January 2009

Aussie quilt finished!

I just finished the Aussie quilt for Hugo's 6th birthday! Of course I should wait until tomorrow and make a daylight photo - but then he would see it, and besides, I can't wait that long, I have to show it now!

This is the backside, with the world map on it. It looks much darker here than it is IRL.

Last year I participated in a birthday swap organised by an Australian quilters mailinglist (SCQuilters) and asked for Australian fabrics to make a quilt as a memory of our time in Brisbane. I decided to use them in a quilt for our oldest son, Hugo, who was 4 years old when we came and will remember most of the time we spend here.

Of the 20 blocks, 15 are made with fabrics I received in the swap and 5 with fabrics I bought myself. Most of the borders around the blocks are hand dyed fabrics, made during the Cotton Dyeing Basics class I did at Quilt University last year. The black and beige fabrics were bought at my local quiltshop.

I first saw the pattern at the Dutch quilters mailing list I belong to (Quiltkletsers). In the Netherlands and in Belgium, this is known as an 'Aussie quilt', probably because a Belgian quiltshop sold a kit with aboriginal fabrics to make this quilt. I think the Quiltmania magazine also featured this quilt with aboriginal fabrics a few years ago (I don't know who was first, the shop or the magazine). Of course this pattern, also known as 'floating blocks', would be suitable to showcase any large print fabric (flowers, animals, landscapes...).

Although this quilt is far from perfect technically (too much in a hurry... the birthday is February 2nd. And hey, Hugo won't look at the binding and tell me I should have hand stitched it), I am very happy with the way it has turned out.
Now I just need to make a label and stitch it on (yes, by hand).

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

We are going to the Netherlands!!!

Just wanted to share my happiness! We have booked the tickets for our holiday in the Netherlands, from June 14th until July 8th. After more than 2 years in Australia we will finally be back home for a few weeks. I'm so excited!!!

Although I am usually quite happy here in Brisbane, I have bouts of terrible homesickness. Of course I miss my family and friends, but I also miss my country, my language, the way of life in the Netherlands (especially riding a bike everywhere and not having to worry about aggressive car drivers the way you have to do here). I am quite certain now that I do not want to stay here forever, it's just too far away! I would be happy to live in another European country, but also I more and more feel that I want my children to live in the Netherlands for a few years at least, to know what it is like to be Dutch, to speak Dutch all the time - to really develop a Dutch identity before we move off again to another country. Funny how this identity thing does not become an issue until you are actually living somewhere else for a longer period of time.

However, we will be here for at least another 2-3 years and that is fine - but it will be lovely to be in the Netherlands for a few weeks, meet up with family and friends, visit the places where we used to live and show them to the boys, shop in Dutch shops!!! (buy lots of licorice), speak Dutch all the time... Oh, I am so looking forward to it!

To illustrate this posting I have added a few photos of the Dutch city of Groningen, a place where I lived for 12 years, first as a medical student and later while working in various health care positions. It's not as famous as Amsterdam, but a lovely old city (much older than Amsterdam, actually!):

It has a very beautiful Central Station - this is the (not so remarkable) outside, where you can see what I mean about riding a bike everywhere:

And this is the way it looks inside - it was beautifully restored a few years ago:

And finally, to show you that it's not just old stuff, here is a pic of the Groninger Museum. This building caused a lot of commotion when it was build (in my student days) but is now considered one of the highlights of Groningen. It houses an interesting collection and often has great, sometimes controversial, exhibitions.

End of the Groningen promotion! ;-)

And to keep this blog on a quilty note: I finished quilting the Aussie quilt and hope to attach the binding tonight or tomorrow. I'll be glad when it's finished, I want to start on new things! (I can't work on the Hawaiian quilt as I have to get some other thread. No time to go to the quiltshop at the moment, so it will have to wait until next week)

PS As you can see, I have added my Facebook-profile to the blog. If you are on Facebook too, let's be friends!

Sunday, 18 January 2009


Nothing to show here yet, so just some flower pics that I took the other day with our new camera. I'm thinking of signing up for the Flower Power Class starting on February 6th at Quilt University...

I have quilted 14 blocks (of 20) of the Aussie quilt and hope to finish it this week.
I have also started appliqueing the Hawaiian quilt (needleturn). Hard work - but I am enjoying it.

Monday, 12 January 2009


My Hawaiian Quilting class at Quilt University has started. I have just finished the first lesson; this block is now ready to be appliqued (which we will learn in the second lesson).
So far this has been fun!

I have also sandwiched the Aussie quilt and quilted 2 blocks (of 20), in the ditch. Not my favourite part of making a quilt...

Thursday, 8 January 2009


Here are a few postcards I received in the last few weeks. This beauty is from Ellen.

The following cards are from fellow ATWI20Q members Lynn, Sue, Joy and Simone, for an end-of-year swap we did in December.

I sent an Australia postcard to the overseas ladies (Lynn and Simone) and these cards to the others:

I love making postcards! I prefer them to ATCs because of the larger format.

Speaking of ATCs and postcards, the Cyber Fyber Exhibition is starting today! You can see the online exhibitions of postcards here and ATCs here (postcard nr. 209 and ATC nr. 24 are mine). Do take a look at these wonderful collections!

I finished the backing of the Aussie quilt and hope to sandwich it tonight!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009


Thanks for all the nice comments on my last posting. I must say that after 4 days camping it still looks terrible to me, but I will buy some fabric for the border on Saturday and, in due course, finish the quilt. Of course the background needs some work as well.

In the meantime I am piecing the backing of the Aussie quilt for Hugo. Only 4 weeks to go until his birthday, so this is my priority now. He has seen some blocks, but not the top as a whole yet.

I have committed myself to making an A4 sized journal quilt once a month this year with the AusNZ Artquilters group (a yahoo group that I belong to). There is a list of themes and techniques for every month, but you are free to do your own thing if you like. I haven't decided yet but think that I will make journal quilts based on things happening in my life.

Of course there is also Around the World in 20 Quilts, my online artquilt group. An idea for the Brave New World Challenge is slowly forming in my mind. When the Aussie is finished I will start on that.

And to end with some photos: even when we are camping there are quilts around!

When the boys go to bed, it usually is quite warm still, but it gets colder at night, so when we go to sleep we cover them with the quilts.
DH is complaining that the boys all have one or more quilts (and Hugo is getting another one!), but there is still no quilt for our bed! ;-)