Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Breaking the Rules

There are a million things on my to do list.  And these weren't on it ... but I finished our quarterly sales taxes and needed a little boost.  Cut a folded a few bundles of fat quarters of some of the new fabric that came in this week and whipped up three of these beauties.  Well I have to call them that but to be honestly I think I broke every rule in the book ... cutting was iffy, sewing was squiffy, marking was .. um .. non-existent.  But all in all they turned out ok.  I have enough pieces cut to make six more blocks ... do I keep going?

Le Moynes minus the rules

Oh, and ignore my foot and the floor (of my studio with whom I have a love / hate relationship).  Both were in the way but wanted to post quickly and figure out what's for dinner tonight.

I'll be back tomorrow to introduce Mary as she takes her rightful place in our gang Under the Willow Tree and post the 3rd block of Got Dots ... I missed the 15th - how did that happen??

And then of course there are Contemporary Jane blocks to show and and and .. really, things are hopping around here and it's not just the Easter Bunny ...

... seriously, have we seen enough of these? ...
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Monday, April 11, 2011

Everyone's a Winner!

Congratulations to Jennifer and Els ... you've both won a kit to make the easy-peasy Easter pennant.  Send me your addresses soon and I'll pop them in the mail to you!

But honestly, everyone is a winner! I thought I'd tell you all how to make this quick pin cushion.

I sewed mine by hand but if you're comfortable with a couple Y-seams it's not difficult to stitch by machine.

You'll need:

  • Twelve 60˚ diamonds
  • Six matching hexagons
  • Two cute buttons
I made mine using 2" diamonds and hexagons and it measures a whopping 7" - the advantage is that I can never lose it!

Here's a pic to show you how I pieced it together.

And another to show how I  pressed my seam allowances.

Once you have this, you'll join up the side seams and sew the star on the other side.  Leave one side seam open to fill very full with batting.  
With a button on top and one below, sew through several times and pull tight.  

Enjoy!  Jovita
p.s. if you make a pin cushion, please post a pic to JPA's Flickr group, thank you!

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Crazy Spring (Give-Away)

Spring has most definitely sprung here .. gorgeous weather, sunny days, blue skies and warm nights. Yesterday we switched our winter duvet for the summer one .. and slept sooo much better for it.

Today was our monthly "Crazy" class ... instead of a typical crazy quilt we do a variety of things using various fibers and techniques.

This is today's result and I couldn't be happier ...

"Crazy" Spring

The nest measures just 1-1/2" (3.8cm) wide and uses 6-threads of Weeks Dye Works floss in two colors plus a few strands of 2mm silk ribbon.  The moss is worked with 2 and 3 threads in french knots of 2-3 wraps.  The leaves and flowers are both 4mm ribbon.  It's tiny and I love it!  I will smile every time I look at this little piece.

Yellow Easter EggI also made this sweet egg last week using felted wool and embroidery. I tried to take a pic of it in the window of the shop but alas it's just too sunny ... sorry

But see that pennant line hanging above ... would you like to win one??
 It's not complicated really ... a length of rick rack and a stack of diamonds cut from 30s repro fabric then pressed in half and hung over the line.  Voilá - it's cute, simple and hey - you can always use the fabric to make one of these pin cushions after Easter!

Hand-Pieced Pin Cushion
It's easy to enter ... just leave a comment before the end of the weekend.  I'll do a drawing on Monday and get it in the post to the winner so you can add it to your Easter decorations!

I know many of my friends are not enjoying the surprises that Mother Nature has had in store the last couple of days so I hope this cheers you up a bit ... here's a shot of my courtyard garden (the chicken wire is *supposed* to keep Whisper from trampling things)

Anyone have a theory why that one daffodil not only shot up 6" above the rest but refuses to face the sun in spite of 3 days of gorgeous sun ... Pin It Now!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fresh Tomatoes

I can hardly wait ...

Not only will I get them from our local CSA but I have plans to plant quite a few in our garden too.  You can never have enough tomatoes in the summer.  Heaven knows store bought in or out of season never tastes the same.

I think I'm going to piece this up to hang in my kitchen!

If you'd like the pattern for my tomato, 
leave a comment (be sure your email is available)
and I'll email it to you :)

If you'd like to design your own, visit the V&A, it's very cool and I could play way too long.  But nope, I'm off to lunch then work ... today is one of those days when I absolutely LOVE my job!

This was one of my first big juicy toms from our garden in Schellebelle.

I do love my toms!!

Tom Collage Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lettuce Pause

Two weeks ago I bought the tiniest of lettuce starts on a local market. 10 for 1€ ($1.43) so we bought a variety and I planted them up in window boxes in the kitchen. Look at them .. they're huge!

Tonight's dinner? Salad! (Check out The Little Grey Cookbook to find out what we put on it.)

It looks like we can finally stop buying it - hip-hip hooray!

Do you yearn for fresh vegies too but don't have a garden of your own?  Have you thought about joining a CSA (Community Shared / Supported Agriculture)?  I am so excited that we have one near us.  It's the first year but capacity often fills up fast so we jumped on in.  I know -we have a garden- but now I can concentrate on some unusual things and stuff to preserve, etc.

So ... if you live near Kalken ... be sure to check it out.  Here's an email we received today from our "farmer."  There's more info on the website but be sure to contact Rony he'll answer all of your questions!
Hoera!!! Het heeft geregend, en het werd tijd! Al wat gezaaid werd de vorige weken, is gekiemd of staat zelfs al boven: erwten, spinazie, rucola, meiraapjes, raapstelen, tuinbonen, ..., het gras op de paden. Ook de ajuintjes die voor de regen geplant zijn, beginnen al te groeien.  Totnogtoe nog niet teveel onkruid ... hopelijk blijft het zo.

Alle ajuinen en sjalotten zijn geplant, de aardappelen nog niet ... nog 30 kg pootgoed te gaan. De rogge die we in het najaar lieten zaaien heeft de grond schitterend doorworteld, maar is nu redelijk lastig om zonder drastische maatregelen weg te krijgen ... redelijk arbeidsintensief. Ondertussen staat het plantsysteem hier ook op punt, en loopt alles redelijk vlot.

Een deel van de aardbeiplantjes zijn ook al geplant. Mmm. En Eva heeft een hele resem kruiden gezaaid in trays, lijst zie volgende nieuwsbrief.

De tomatenplantjes groeien dag na dag
 ... we moeten dus dringend de tunnel plaatsen. Een aparte oproep volgt. Het is een grote klus, en we kunnen zeker wat helpende handen gebruiken.

Iedereen welkom op het veld !
Groetjes,  Rony & Eva

If you're not near us .. then check out where one is locally in your area.  There are so many reasons to do it:

  • no packaging
  • fresh from the ground and into the pot (with a quick rinse of course)
  • many CSAs are bio (ours is - yippee!)
  • your kids get to see where there food comes from

I apologize for the multiple posts today .. but I've been having problems with my photos showing up in google reader and on facebook.  This seemed the only way to check ... hopefully I fixed it :)
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Dear Blogger ....

I am having a blogger issue that I can't seem to find an answer to .. BUT THE PROBLEM IS NOW FIXED .. ONE LITTLE MISPLACED BUTTON.

Thanks for your patience :) Pin It Now!

Jump on our Jane Train!

Jane x 4
Clockwise starting top left:
D-13, A-5, B-4, J-6

For me the Jane train has been circling for years - do it, don't, do, don't and all the pros, cons, reasons and guilts why I should or shouldn't.  But I've finally decided to jump on and thoroughly enjoy the ride.  I have to blame Maria ... she finds things that just get my blood going, then there's a sleepless night, a stack of fabric pulled from stash plus some more and what do you know?  

So .. what's the plan?
To get you involved of course!

We *know* you want to join us.  Maria and Deb are in for sure!  I think we have Karen convinced ... Jill and Cathy are talking about it and Lesley is thinking about it too!  This could be so much fun.

Maria, Deb and I are all going modern / bright / rainbow / Kaffe-inspired / not-traditional.  Not sure about the others yet but I know they'll let us know.  
My Color Palette
If you need more inspiration ... check out my Pinterest board.  

I've made six blocks to "test" my background choice - Kona cotton solid "Bayou."  These are my four faves so far ...  Sadly, it's raining so my pictures are limited ... in fact these are scans (which explains the odd shades of the bayou - my scanner is being temperamental ... but hopefully you get the idea.  The upper left corner is most accurate for the "Bayou" and the sashing will be the same.

So here it is .. the plan is to start mid-May / June and do a minimum of four blocks per month.

To give you an idea of how easy going we're going to be here's my plan: It's important to me that I make MY quilt and not one like the many many Janes, Baby Janes, etc that are out there. So here's what I'm thinking about and where I might to go with it.
    Fabrics:  Kaffe, Jacobs, Mabry (I carry these in my shop in Belgium) plus some of my own faves from the stash.  What's great about some of these large-scale prints is you can get multiple blocks from the same fabric without them looking the same.
    Background: Yep, it's for sure - Kona cotton solid "Bayou".
    Blocks variations:  I will make all the blocks I like, probably leave out some that I don't and add a few of my favorites (ex: a churndash and maybe a little house)
    Size: it all depends if my honey and I like where it's going .. if so I'll make it bed-size but will have to *add* a lot more blocks then because our bed is so long to accommodate all 6'8" of him.  
    Border: probably not the triangles, but don't worry we'll still post about them as we go along.
    Methods: machine piecing (traditional and maybe foundation paper-piecing) hand piecing and hand applique ... a couple of reasons for this. I am going to do what works best for each block and I'm not worried about "mixing techniques."
So, go do some browsing - my pinterest board and google images are good places to start ... then get your thinking cap, choose your colors and find the fabrics that get your blood pumping. And stay tuned ... we'll tease you with more right up until we start .. and even then it will never be too late ...

and p.s. if you find out that you love Pinterest as much as I do and don't want to hassle with the wait, let me know and I'll send you an invite. Pin It Now!
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