Friday 29 January 2010

Len's Quilt!


DH is moving into a new room at work in the next few weeks, a room of his own (he's sharing a room with 3 colleagues now), so this is a perfect timing!

I'm glad it's finished - I have a plan for a new quilt which involves some screen printing, and I just received the supplies for the lino cutting class... Can't wait to get started!

Wednesday 27 January 2010

Weekend away

We had visitors from overseas here last week and spent a long weekend with them on North Stradbroke Island (commonly known as Straddie). So I haven't done much quilting, but I did get to photograph some gorgeous scenery.

I love this Umbrella Tree:

I also love my hubby and bubby ;-)

I have amost finished quilting Len's Quilt and hope to finish it this week. It helps that school is back on this week and that bubby is starting Kindy on Friday!

Wednesday 20 January 2010

International art

This week I received this beautiful little painting from Elspeth in Trinidad and Tobago. Although she didn't mention it, I assume it is part of the International Art Exchange that I participated in a while ago. Thanks Elspeth, I love it!

Today I received this gorgeous postcard from Sally in Tasmania. The feathers are lino printed, she took Dijanne Cevaal's lino printing class - and got me so envious that I have signed up for it too! It starts next week, I'm really looking forward to it.

This beauty, that I received a few weeks ago, is from Nadia in the Netherlands, she blogged about it here.

And finally, this card is from my blogless friend Emma in Sydney. I inspired her to make fiber postcards; this is her very first one! Well done Em!

I sent each of these ladies one of my Dutch Houses postcards. I still have a few left; if you would like to swap a fiber postcard just drop me a line!

Monday 18 January 2010

Dutch Apple Cake

Yesterday we celebrated DH's birthday with some friends and colleagues. I made this appeltaart (Dutch apple cake) that everyone loved. The recipe is the one my best friend Hylkia, the Apple Tart Queen, sent me (zenks, Van Meer). I have had a go at translating it - cooking language is not my forte, but I hope you will be able to understand it!

Just under 2 kilograms of apples*
300 grams plain flour, sieved
200 grams cold butter, cut in cubes
150 grams caster sugar
2 eggs
juice of 1 lemon

Put flour, butter and sugar in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl, keeping a few tablespoons apart. Knead the dough with a firm, cold hand (as it says in Dutch cooking books) until it forms a ball. Put aside in a cold place.
Peel and core the apples, cut into small pieces, put in another bowl. Add lemon juice, a few tablespoons of sugar and a lot of cinnamon. Add some more cinnamon (these are the exact instructions of my friend Hylkia).
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Grease a large springform pie dish and use 3/4 of the dough to cover the bottom and sides. Add a layer of the apple mixture, then a layer of raisins, then another layer of apple mixture etc. End with the apple mixture (if the raisins are in the top layer they will burn).
Use the rest of the dough to make a lattice topping on top of the cake. Brush with the remaining egg and place in the oven for 1 - 1,5 hours.
Traditionally, appeltaart is eaten cold with whipped cream, but it is also very yummy when it is still hot, with vanilla ice cream.

* Traditionally in the Netherlands goudreinetten are used for appeltaart. I haven't been able to find these apples in Australia and use Pink Lady apples instead.

PS I generally don't like to read recipes on quilt blogs and I certainly do not intend this blog to become a food blog, but after mentioning that I was going to bake a Dutch apple cake on Facebook I had so many requests for the recipe that for just this one time I will put it here!

Friday 15 January 2010

Len's Quilt Top, part two

While looking for a black and white fabric at my LQS I found this black and red, and thought it would be perfect for the border of Len's Quilt. What do you think?
(yes, those corner blocks are a bit wonky, but DH and I can live with that)

As I was sewing it onto the quilt, the boys were playing very nicely together. Meet my superheroes!

Wednesday 13 January 2010


We had a lovely weekend in Melbourne. We stayed in colourful St Kilda:

Had a delightful lunch meeting with four other members of Art Quilts Around the World:

Enjoyed the Royal Botanical Gardens:

Saw quilt designs everywhere:

Browsed the city:

And spent a lot of time in both locations of the National Gallery of Victoria, where it was nice and cool on Monday, when it was 43.6 degrees Centigrade outside. They have a wonderful collection of Indigenous Art and also some impressive international art. I loved the Wisdom of the Mountain exhibition, with beautifully painted barkcloth from Papua New Guinea, and I discovered a German artist, Christiane Baumgartner, who makes monochrome woodcuts from film and video stills. You can see some of her work here. Oh, and I bought this book about Op Art. Enough inspiration for lots of optical illusion quilts!

PS More traditional holiday snaps can be found on our family blog.

Friday 8 January 2010

Len's Quilt Top

Today is DH's birthday (39!) and his quilt top is almost finished. I want to add a wider border in a black and white fabric, but do not have time for that today. However, the most important part is finished - and you can be sure I will not ever make this quilt again!

Tomorrow DH and I fly to Melbourne, while the grandparents mind the boys. We will be there until Tuesday and look forward very much to a weekend strolling around the city, having leisurely meals at restaurants, visiting museums etc! On Sunday we are having lunch with the Melbourne members of Art Quilts Around the World at the Observatory Cafe at the Botanic Gardens. I'm really looking forward to that as well!

Sunday 3 January 2010


We have visitors from overseas, so it took me a while to write this posting, but here I am. My plans and goals for 2010... I have been thinking about it a lot in the last few days.

A few months ago I joined the Quiltart mailing list. This is an American group, but there are lots of members in other countries. I really enjoy the discussions on this list, sometimes they provide a different look at things that can be very refreshing. For instance, a while ago there was a discussion about 'thinkers' versus 'feelers' and someone wrote 'I am definitely a thinker. I do not have a sketchbook because my ideas never appear as visual images. When I write down ideas, they are always in words'.

I was so relieved by these words - I feel almost guilty for never using my sketchbooks, but I am just not a visual person! (strange, for an art quilter!)

But I digress. In the last few days, there has been a lot of talk about 'the word for 2010'. What is your guiding word for this year? As a word person, I felt attracted to this idea and I have thought hard about my word. It is identity. This year I want to develop more of a personal style in my art quilts, an identity. I think it is already forming but I want to consciously develop it further. (does this sounds terribly pretentious?)

Some more concrete goals:
- make at least one quilt to enter into a juried art quilt exhibition;
_ participate in Dijanne Cevaal's KISS challenge;
- make 4 quilts for Art Quilts Around the World;
- make a traditional quilt for our new niece or nephew (expected in February);
- finish the Lens Quilt for DH and the play quilt for Robbie.

I have more plans; like making a journal quilt every month on a theme that is relevant to me at that time, and practice my drawing skills regularly, but they are not set in stone.

The photos in this posting were made at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens at Mt Coot-tha, that we visited on December 30th.