Friday, January 19, 2018

A cover for my calendar

I decided that my calendar needs a cover showing my passion for fabrics. And especially for this cute fabric with paw prints. It is so easy to do and just needs about half an hour. And this is how to do it:

Measure the outside of your calender, don't add any seam allowance at this point. Measure the complete width backside, spine and frontside - a tape measure works best for this.

Add 2 cm/1 inch to the width and to the height for seam allowance and cut 3 pieces out of the chosen fabric. I did cut all three pieces from the paw print but you can use a contrasting color for the inside piece and/or the flaps.

If you want to make your cover softer cut a piece of batting in the same size.

Cut one piece of the fabric into two halves. My piece has a width of 28 cm (see measure tape in the first picture) and 2 cm of seam allowance which makes 30 cms. So I cut 2 pieces of 15 cms.

Fold each of these 2 cut pieces into half, right side out and iron them. These are your 2 flaps.

Lay out your piece of batting (if you use one). Lay the first piece of fabric (which is the outside of your cover) on the batting right side up. Lay the two flaps on the ends of the fabric and align the open ends with the end of the fabric.

Put the last piece of fabric (which is the inside of the cover) on top, right side down. Pin all the layers together.

Sew around the cover leaving approximately 8 cm/3 inches open in the middle of one of the long sides. Backstitch at the beginning and the end of the seam to secure the thread. Leave 25 cm/10 inches of thread at the end of the seam.

Trim the batting almost to the seam and cut off the four corners. Be careful not to cut into the seam.

Turn the right side of the cover out through the opening, iron and close the opening with hand stitches using the leftover thread.

Iron once more and put your calender/book/notebook/sketchbook/... into the new cover.

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays" blog. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Grande Finale

… was the title of the very last show of Since 1997 Olga Prins-Lukowsky and her team organised 8 exhibitions showing the very best of European textile art. When Olga (who is a great textile artist herself) decided to retire she organised one last show with 150 pieces of textile art by 75 artists from 18 different European countries. Each piece was once exhibited in one of the 8 European Art Quilt Shows.

Lucky me – I happened to be on vacation in the Netherlands during the last 2 days of the exhibit. I arrived at the Amsterdam airport at noon, rented a car and immediately drove south to Goes where this show took place. By 4 o’clock I was in the museum – an old schoolhouse where the quilts were hung in small rooms over 3 floors. The quilts got plenty of room on the walls and a lot of daylight. It was a wonderful show – but have a look for yourself:

“Daily Walking 5” by Cécile Trentini of Switzerland

The quilt “Daily Walking 5” by Cécile Trentini does look colorful from the distance but not too impressive. But when you get close and you can see how it was made it’s a very different story. Cécile took pictures of her daily walks and quilted the streets, ways and pathes in different colors. Many photos were assembled to make this quilt where the colors are leading you right into the pictures. What a great piece.

“Chaos and Order” by Charlotte Yde of Denmark

“Confusing Dreams 1, 2 and 3” by Bente Vold Klausen of Norway

“Shapes and Lines” by Heide Stoll-Weber of Germany

“The Blue Line” by Jane Lloyd of Great Britain

“Diptich Daedalus and Icarus” by Irina Voronina of Russia

“Aftermath” by Leslie Morgan of Great Britain

“Crime and Punishment” by Isabelle Wiessler of Germany

“The Arrival” by Brigitte Kopp of Germany

One of the most heartwrenching pieces for me was the quilt “The Arrival” by Brigitte Kopp which shows the arrival of refugees and the indifference and sometimes hostility of the people living there.
Brigitte also did a great job depicting the skyline of the city with embroidery.

It was a wonderful show in a very nice location (although a little bit away from the main routes) and I felt really lucky that I was there in time to see it. If you want to see more of this or the previous European Art Quilt shows there are still catalogues available at

Thank you Olga Prins-Lukowsky for your dedication to the European Art Quilt. Enjoy the time to come and I am looking forward to seeing your quilts in quilt shows around the world.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In the Netherlands

A few weeks ago I spent a wonderful week in the Netherlands, the land of windmills and cheese. And cows and sheep and ships and canals and tasty, international food and great coffee and cakes and a beautiful, windswept landscape and cute villages and …. and …. and …. You get the point – a beautiful country with nice people. I really loved it.

The vacation was built around my husband’s schedule of conferences. He happened to be there and I just joined him. So it really was a coincidence that at the same time the Quilter’s Guild of the Netherlands had their annual show in Alkmaar. And since nothing is really far away in Holland we drove to Alkmaar, for me to see the show.

The quilts were hung in a beautiful and really huge church with enough daylight through the large windows to see the quilts in their real colors. The quilts were all by quilters from the Netherlands and it was an interesting overview of the different styles. One could see everything from traditional to contemporary, from appliqué to paper-piecing and everything in between.

“Colourful Escher” by Henny Meerman. 105 x 105 cm / 41 x 41 inches

“Mijn papavers” by Ria van den Bosch. 110 x 110 cm / 43 x 43 inches

“Geometrisch Alfabet” by Laurence Schoemaker-Aaftink. 125 x 175 cm / 49 x 69 inches

“Indonesische sawas” by Nelleke Kooij. 10 x 100 cm / 39 x 39 inches

16 quilters from the quiltgroup “De Lakenquilters” made this groupquilt, clearly inspired by the great painter Piet Mondrian.
“Stijlvol 2017”. 120 x 180 cm / 47 x 71 inches        
“Paleishet Loo” by Maaike Bakker. 160 x 214 cm / 63 x 84 inches

“Losing my marbles” by Marina Brito de Campos. 162 x 162 cm / 64 x 64 inches

“Amish Circles” by Ingeborg Nyqvist. 129 x 129 cm / 51 x 51 inches

“Zweven” by Jeanette van der Linden. 150 x 110 cm / 59 x 43 inches

The quilters of the Netherlands always had a special affinity towards appliqué and I remember breathtaking quilts which weren’t only marvelled at in Europe but also in the United States (i.e. Ted Storm won at least 3 times Best of Show at Quiltweeks). And they still make beautiful appliqué quilts…
“Slingerkrans” by Ineke Goulmy-Hendriks. 250 x 210 cm / 98 x 83 inches

 … or use a combination of piecing and broderie perse.
“Antique Wedding” by Jannie de Wilde-van den Eijkel. 160 x 160 cm / 63 x 63 inches  

“Ximeroni” by Jenny Kanakis. 85 x 55 cm / 33 x 22 inches

“Elke dag een draadje” by Marjan Rijnders. 240 x 240 cm / 94 x 94 inches

“Spanish dream” by Anja Kok. 185 x 200 cm / 72 x 79 inches

Holland was not only a great place for vacation but also a marvellous place for the travelling quilter (there even was a second, totally different quilt show – more about this one next week).

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Who would have tought

Let me start with this statement: I am not a sentimental or romantic person. I don't collect things from my childhood, not even things from my daughter's early years. I have no problem when my husband forgets our wedding anniversary or if somebody doesn't call me for my birthday. When my grandmother died I didn't keep anything from her stuff as memento and when my father died I only took over his BMW because it's a really nice car and I'm an only child and my mother couldn't use it.

The same goes for my quilts. If I make a quilt for someone I don't care what they use it for. Fine if they wrap the baby in it (as intended), equally fine if the dog sleeps on it. Really! I couldn't understand my friend who was heart-broken when a quilt she gave to a friend was nailed to the wall (with really large nails, producing holes the size of a quarter Dollar).

And last week that all changed.

Maybe you still remember what I told you about the "Portrait Shuffle" organized by "Through our Hands", a textile art group (click here for the blogpost). The idea was to make a portrait on a canvas, it will be hung at the prestigious Festival of Quilts in Birmingham (England) and then the portraits will be shuffled and a random one will be sent back to you. "Through our Hands" established a blog to show all the great portraits they received - one more beautiful than the other. You could be the lucky receiver of a portrait/quilt by Alicia Merrett, Mirjam Pet-Jacobs, Jette Clover, Linda Barlow, Sandra Meech or of a lot of other celebrities of the quilting world.

I was thinking about my portrait for a long time. It should be a kind of quilt not a drawing and it should be in the bright colors that I so love. I was thinking about a Picasso-like face or a Venetian mask - but no idea was really that appealing. And then I looked down where my dog Felix was happily snoring away under my desk. How about a portrait of Felix? In bright colors?

I looked through my photos of Felix and found a suitable one. I traced the outline and divided the forms, the lines mimicking the fall of his fur. I fused colorful fabric to the background trying to leave very small gaps between the fabrics. In these gaps I hand-embroidered black lines. (From pre-school on this was always my favorite way of coloring - black outlines filled with the brightest colors.) I glued batting to the canvas to get the quilty feeling and mounted the portrait. It looked fabolous and exactely like Felix.

And then it happened. I was not able to put the portrait in an envelope and send it to England. It was impossible for me to send my own dog away. What if the portrait goes to someone who doesn't like dogs, to someone who will throw it away? For the first time in 28 years of quilting I understand the meaning of "I put all my heart and soul into it".

For several days I tried to convince myself to send the quilt but I couldn't bring me to do it. As much as I would like to own a quilt by Alicia Merrett or Annabel Rainbow Felix will stay at home. Sorry "Through our Hands" I would have loved to be part of the exhibition. Next time I will make an unknown horse.

I am very much looking forward to seeing all the portraits in Birmingham in a little bit more than a week. You can see a preview of many of them by clicking here.

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday".

Friday, June 9, 2017

Have portrait - will shuffle

Look what I've got.

This is the pack for the Portrait Shuffle (without the fabric, that’s from my stash).

The Portrait Shuffle is a great idea from the “Through our Hands” textile art group. You can sign up for this pack (once again – no fabric included), create a portrait of any kind (person, animal, flower, …) in any way (draw, paint, collage, patchwork, photograph, …) on the canvas and return it to the organizers.

All the portraits will be exhibited at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England in August. After this the portraits will be shuffled and you will get a portrait back. Not your own but somebody elses. So you get back an original work of art by an artist from somewhere in the world. Exciting, isn’t it?

The pack costs 20 British Pounds and all the funds raised will go to “Save The Children”, an organization dedicated to helping children all over the world. To learn more about them click here.

Join in! The more portraits the better the shuffle! And you will
  • be exhibited at the Festival of Quilt (the largest European quiltshow),
  • help children,
  • have fun,
  • receive an original work of art.

Hurry up – the deadline for the canvas being in England is July 31st, 2017.
For more information go to