Friday, August 27, 2010

Frosty Flakes block #4

Am pleased to being staying on track with this project. One little hexagon flower with a bit of embroidery and bead embellishment isn't much but it goes a long way on the "I've accomplished something" list.

Check out the Flickr album for more pics of other Frosty Flakes.

I'm busy plugging away in my studio, a quick trip to Ikea last night resulted in the rest of the "design wall" storage.

Today, I've got the music cranked ... what may seem like a strange mix of language and styles ... but it's keeping me going ...

* Pink Martini
* Michel Bublé
* Paolo Conte ~italian~
* Katie Melua
* Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu
* Neil Diamond
* Michel Sardou ~french~
* Reinhard Mei ~german~

So if you'll excuse me ... I'm off to get some more of this mess cleared away. Pin It Now!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Plugging Away ...

So it's still a bit of a construction / re-organization zone around here.  The furniture "lift" came Friday night to move our two sofas upstairs via outside and through the french doors (there's no way they'd go up the staircase.   But we still need to drill holes and pull the cable wire upstairs so for now we're watching TV evenings in my studio - courtesy our garden chairs.  It doesn't feel very elegant, but by the end of the day of sorting, shifting and piling up (see those tables that still need to get sorted out!!) we're quite happy to plunk down, put feet up and just watch a bit of something funny.  

The shop and classroom area are coming along nicely and I can hardly wait to re-open on Wednesday just to see everyone's reaction.  By the time we're finished with this re-fit we will have doubled our shelving space for bolts and added a comfortable classroom table for six with a view into our little courtyard where weather permitting we can gather to stitch on a regular basis.

Thankfully I'm still able to carry on with hand projects in spite of this disaster zone.  My Courtyard Quilt is coming along nicely - I ended up adding 3 more fabrics to give it a bit of a lift and have pretty much decided on the layout ... it would be nice to have it done before our open house starting on the 1st of September.  

Block three of Frosty Flakes was posted last Wednesday.  I was glad to have already prepped and appliqued the "flowers" so it was just a matter of  adding the embroidery and beads.  Voilà!  Here she is ...  Plus I've posted a pic of the first five flowers so you can see the color pallette I'm working with.  plus Dawn started a Flickr group where you can see what everyone else is doing.

Happy Sewing!!   xox  Jovita Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Yesterday was my Wedding Anniversary ... 13 years!

I thought I might show you a pic or two but my scanner isn't set up yet in the new studio and the only one I can find on the computer is this one of my dad and I.

It's hard to imagine that so much time has passed but then we have to admit that we have packed a ton into those 13 years. We've moved "across the pond" three times, into homes in England, the States, Germany and now Belgium for a total of five household moves. For the sake of sanity we won't count any moves involving storage units, the shop or classroom.

Axel is working very hard right now - they are right in the middle of "the season."  So we decided to wait until the weekend to go out for an Indian in Gent - I can hardly wait - my mouth is already watering.

Since we stayed in last night,  I made his new favorite dinner ... it's a variation on a recipe I found here. Only I make it with chicken using a combination of this recipe and a family favorite that my mom just called "soy sauce chicken wings." I'll post my adaptation soon.  For dessert we had his favorite cake - the same one we had for our wedding day and later for our reception - with thick Cream Cheese Frosting.

Then I got to thinking ... it's been !13! years ... and we *still* don't have a quilt on our bed. Not that he's that bothered being a European duvet kind of guy.

But still ... I've started two ... isn't it time to get one finished ... but which one first?

I think I need to make quite a few more of the Monkey Wrench blocks for it to be big enough but will be easier to quilt (maybe?).

The Amish 9-patch, on the other hand, just needs two borders ... but how will I quilt it?  (you can read more about this quilt here).

And then there's the whole question of size ... did I mention he wants to get a King Size "Long" now?  We have had a custom bed for some time now - Queen Long, the mattress is 60" x 90" / 152.5cm x 229cm (Queen is usually 80" / 203cm long).  A California King is only 84" / 214cm long.

Then again, my first quilt does fit ... so maybe I should just leave it there for a while ...

But first I need to get more put away in my office, the sewing machine(s) set up, pressing and cutting space organized ... and then, ~then~ ... I CAN SEW!  In the meantime, here's a peak of the shelves that are starting to look more like this :) Pin It Now!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

One Step Closer

I am moving my office / sewing room / studio *again*

I wish I could tell you it looks like this.

But alas, I can't, and I have to tell you this lovely room belongs to Jenny B Harris and you can see more here.

I've lost count of how many times I've done this move and am only slightly encouraged knowing that every move has meant more storage (not always a good thing) and more organization (something I always welcome).

So today our old living room looks looks like this ... um, no ... I can't show you a pic of that.  The sofas are still here - pending the lug *upstairs* and boxes/piles look like they are going to slide everywhere.  Never mind the ladder, the tool box and vacuum cleaner.

The best I can show you is this.  And yes, it is only the beginning of my storage wall for fabric and projects. Your seeing about 1/2 of it - when it's finished it will measure 276cm / 9ft high x 300cm / 9-3/4 ft wide. Huge!  But I can hardly wait.

The upper portion will be covered with doors that will act as a design wall - which I would have preferred went to the floor but isn't possible due to one very helpful tail and the cheeky face that goes with it.  Plus this gives me some lower storage for things I am working on at the sewing table.  I think the one row of shelves will remain open for easy access to the Workbasket.

So another trip to IKEA is in order to buy a few more cabinets that will go to the right of this.  Then I can start filling it will my stash so it will look something like this ...

I fold all my fabrics around a 6" ruler, they fit on the shelf perfectly and I found a great tutorial here if you'd like to try it for yourself. Pin It Now!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Two posts in two days is probably not the goal I want to set for myself, but I was too excited to not share with you this sweet little project I'm working on.

Frosty Flakes #1As many of you know, I have a million projects and I should *really* think hard about starting another. But ... first they were snowflakes and there are only nine (9!) of them.  Then I started thinking about using silk for shimmer and well I think reason left me there.

But it's true, they're quick and easy and a delight to make.  And something I might will definitely finish - by this Christmas.  There I posted it here, so you can hold me too it.

The 10-week project is posted one block per week on Wednesdays by Dawn Hays of "As Sweet As Cinnamon".  It's a lovely project and easy to take anywhere or to work on while enjoying a movie/sofa night - last night I began block one and today finished two.   Think about joining us - just click on Dawn's button to the right.
Frosty Flakes #2Project details:  silk dupioni (in 5 shades of blue/aqua), white and blue hand-dyed variegated threads from Weeks Dye Works, pre-cut 1/2" hexagons and seed beads in opalescent white and turquoise.  the background is a fabulous white-on-white snowflake print.  All product (except beads) are available at Jovita's Patchwork Atelier.

Greetings from a summery Belgium!  
xox Jovita
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It's been too long ...

Yes, it's been ages since you heard from me ... at first I thought it might be just the summer ... then the summer turned into autumn, there was a winter to be endured, spring came and went and another summer arrived full of activity.  It's nearly 16 months since my last flight from the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

I can honestly say I'm quite settled in Belgium.  And I'm loving it (ok ... I hate the wind & winters) but the rest is a all doable and more often than not very very enjoyable.

Courtyard Flowers

My Courtyard Flower Garden
Using 1-1/2" hex and a selection of
fabrics from Fasset, Mably and Jacobs.
Life here has been incredibly busy, last December we moved to a bigger house (smaller yard) which includes built-in shop space.  In February Jovita's Patchwork Atelier opened ... the new shop is even smaller than our little one in Mukilteo but it has been warmly welcomed by many.  I still carry the gorgeous ribbon from Germany and silk of course.  New additions have been the wonderful and colorful works of Philip Jacobs, Brandon Mably and of course,  Kaffe Fasset.

I am also doing a lot more hand-work which I've always enjoyed.  So English Paper Piecing, Needleturn Applique and Wool Applique keep me quite busy.  When I'm not "working" you'll find me puttering in the garden, cooking up a storm, playing with our animals or sitting with my knitting or crochet.

There's a lot to catch you up on including projects, anecdotes from life in Europe, design ideas, free patterns and tutorials.  So I hope you'll bookmark my blog and come back often to visit.

xox Jovita Pin It Now!
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