Saturday, 24 January 2015

Grow your blog 2015

Every night's a party night!

Join the party at:

2 Bags Full

Click on the picture for an direct link to the party.

Hello! I'm Marly. Welcome to my blog which is about my quilting projects. I live in The Netherlands, which is also known, not entirely correctly, as Holland, just across the North Sea from England, where I was born.

From Rijswijk looking north towards Leiden.
Densely populated, but with spectacular skies;
no wonder Rembrandt was the master of light.
Since, officially, I retired nearly three years ago I have taken up quilting and am passionate about it. I say officially retired because I was asked to continue working and so still teach Business English but fewer hours than before. I spend all the time I can at my Bernina 440 QE, experimenting  with colour and shape, trying my hand at FMQ and generally amazing myself!

At the moment I am working on an Optical Illusion Quilt I sort of designed myself.

Optical illusion
Study in green, yellow and purple
completed top
Sort of, because I attended a course at "Quilters Palet" in The Hague in which various grids were handed out and then we drew lines and coloured the spaces with crayons. In the end I rejected all my grids with drawn in lines and chose the simple grid but with ten different colours. I wanted to experiment with various shades of adjacent colours and a complimentary colour. Every one of the participants is creating a totally different and unique quilt. (you can read more about the process here and here)

I have discovered over the last year that I find it hard to resist BOMs (blocks of the month) and QALs (Quilt Alongs). Click on the pictures for more information

Quilt Alongs (or should that be Quilts Along?)

Quiltville Mystery: Celtic Solstice
It started with Bonnie Hunter's Mystery Celtic Solstice which I seriously underestimated. I thought it would take about a year, with a clue each couple of months, but of course, as everyone knows, Bonnie gives a clue each week, and expects it to be made within three days! I very proudly got mine finished in June!

Triangle quilt finished just before sunset, around 9:00 pm
 That was not bad going as in the meantime I had made and finished The Sassy Quilter's triangle quilt within the deadline. The last day, the day of the link up of finished quilts, I was literally sewing down the binding within hours of midnight. I was pleased, and still am, with the result which belongs now to my nine-year-old granddaughter.

From both these projects I learnt an enormous amount about piecing and FMQ (free motion quilting) Both Bonnie and Paula gave lots of hints on cutting fabric and putting blocks together which made for greater accuracy which was invaluable to a novice like me.

The Little Letters Project at the Temecula Quilt Company was my last QAL of 2014, and is now an almost finished top.

Little Letters QAL

This will  be my first quilting project in February. As I will be quilting  myself on my Bernina 440, I like to have a couple of projects lined up so I'm not forever changing needles, feet and machine settings - I invariably forget to change something.

For this year I have just signed up to the Elephant Parade at Sew Fresh Quilts, which starts on Monday 1 February. Can't wait!

Blocks Of the Month

Last year I took part in the Rainbow Scrap Challenge. I was so obsessed with the idea of a rainbow that I missed the word SCRAP! I didn't have any to speak of, so was rapidly augmenting my stash by buying FQs (fat quarters) and half metres from Quilters Palet my LQS (local quilt shop) and from "Birdblocks" Quilt shop in Amsterdam.

RSC 14 a month or so ago
Last year's RSC Sampler was several, like about eight, blocks each month to be made in one colour. I enjoyed this immensely, and the funny thing is that when I was putting it all together I discovered that several of January's blocks wouldn't fit, in fact one was almost an inch too small, and had to be remade. Trouble with ¼" seams? You bet! For the other blocks from the beginning of the year I was able to compensate with the seam allowance in the sashing! Gradually during the year I got more accurate which just goes to show:


well, not perfect exactly but better! At the moment the four sections of the top are together (this is going to be quilt as you go technique) waiting for borders and will be my second quilting project for February.

This year I have signed up for several BOMs:
whirling geese
card trick
 Isn't it funny: it always takes more time to make a block than to read the instructions!

Improv quilting
is something I want to do more of, my efforts to date having been just three cushions

first cushion
second cushion
(improv quilting, not patchwork), and and a few practice pieces that never made it to my blog. For this I need to be brave! I need to summon my courage and START! The trouble is I'm a perfectionist and a control freak (hmm, I wonder why I became a teacher!) and want a PLAN. Working without a detailed plan is my goal for 2015. So what are all those BOMs doing on my list? Avoidance? We will have to see if I manage to improvise round the given theme.

I can't resist the idea of sewing along with maybe hundreds, or even thousands of other quilters from around the globe. None of my immediate family or friends or neighbours quilts, so I need the companionship of the internet quilting community to keep me going, especially when facing a dilemma. Being able to consult the collective experience of the community is a lifeline.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my quilting adventures since I started my blog at the end of 2013. While you're here look around at my past posts, and don't forget that clicking on the pictures opens a link to more about that project.

I hope to see you again here soon and to share this wonderful hobby with you. If you are visiting from Grow Your Blog 2015 please leave a message here and I'll be sure to head over to your blog too. Even if you're not "growing your blog" this year, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Happy sewing



ipatchandquilt said...

Hoi Marly!
Wat heb je weer mooi werk getoond vandaag! Prachtig!
Je FMQ ziet er ook indrukwekkend uit!

Dasha said...

Hello Marly. Loved your thoughts on what you do. Even though I've known you since the last GYB party, I still didn't know half the things you get up to. I'm like you - I really struggle with the whole Improv thing. It actually doesn't interest me. I prefer straight lines and organised curves. LOL Will be watching you....

Christine Barnsley said...

Hello Marly! I am visiting from the Grow Your Blog party and I am very pleased to meet you! I love your quilts and it looks as though you are making great progress with your FMQ. It is something I have been struggling with for a long time and am also trying to improve! Hope you have lots of visitors today! :) PS. your link regarding being a no-reply blogger is great! I also followed the same tutorial and it is super easy to follow the instructions! :) x

Karen H said...

Sew alongs are so much fun as are BOMs. I'm participating in a quilt along by Katja Marek. We are making a quilt called New Hexagon Millefiori (not to be confused with Willyne Hammerstein). It is English paper pieced and it is so much fun!

Tanya Quilts in CO said...

I added your blog to my blogroll, so I can keep track of everything you are up to. I participated in the Little Letters Quilt Along and really enjoyed it. I have joined the RSC15 for the first time this year. I look forward to seeing all your work.

kathyinozarks said...

your quilting is beautiful, I am stopping by from the Party. Hope you meet lots new friends.
I do a little quilting but also do some other crafts too
nice to meet you Kathy

Heather said...

Hoi Marly!
I loved reading your blog...we have so much in common! Though I'm not Dutch, I lived in Wassenaar and worked in Rotterdam (and moved back to the U.S. about 4 years ago). I am also involved in many of the same online quilt alongs for the same reasons. I'll be following your blog and hope to visit again, soon!
Tot Zeins!

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Hi Marly! As a greeter from GYB 2015, I'd like to welcome you on behalf of our hostess Vicki and my fellow volunteers :)

I've enjoyed reading about your past and ongoing projects, which are so lovely. I used to quilt, mostly utility quilts when the boys were small, but still love seeing what you talented creators are up to these days :)

Following via GFC and Bloglovin.

Chantal said...

Hello Marly. First time visitor via GYB. I've joined RSC2015 for the first time. Love your work and I am now a follower. Good luck with your goals in 2015.

Emily Carroll said...

stopped by from the grow your blog party! i did the triangle quilt along at a later time, but absolutely loved the result. the colors you used are fantastic! reminds me of lemonades. can't wait to peek through more of your posts!

A Nudge said...

Marly, I love your work. It is so fresh and colorful. I especially like that illusion quilt. Great design. Good to meet you on this GYB event.

barbara woods said...

i am also a retired quilter from Ga. USA and came over from Vicki's and am following you now

Skootchover said...

Hello Marty. Loved your blog. I can soooo relate to your comment about not being able to resist a QAL or BOM. Every one I see I think, oooo, I need to do that! Ha Ha. So far, I've only committed myself to about 3 plus a bee I joined, but I'm lusting after several others. Started following you via Bloglovin'.

Pauline G said...

Hi loved finding your blog on the party link - you sound a lot like me and I will be following you to see where 2015 takes you

Sue Kosec said...

Ohhhhhhhhhh, Marly ... beautiful colors in your quilts. Be proud.
You throw a great party. Thank you for inviting me!

So that you know, I've become a Follower and when time permits, I'll be back to see what other beautiful things were made by your hands!

What this party is all about is to GROW your blog and I'm hoping to do the same. When you get to Section One, check out A Country Chic Retreat and SuZeQ Creations, my personal blog, in Section Fifteen I'd love for you to follow and subscribe to.

Happy crafting!

Ruth said...

Love your illusion quilt. I've been watching it grow! I hope to do the elephant one too next month!

Sally Hurley said...

Dropping by for GYB. Interesting stuff! I haven't tried any BOM - I'm not sure if I'll take the plunge, but in the meantime, I'll watch you! Nice to meet you.

Sandy said...

I really enjoyed this post. You definitely learned a lot since you officially retired! Love seeing your work.

Judy Cooper Textile Images said...

Visiting via GYB from St. John's, NL Canada. Lovely quilts. Thanks for sharing.

Andee said...

Love your whirling geese!

Cozy Expressions said...

Hi Marly! Lovely works!!!! Blog hopping with “Grow Your Blog”. Its so great to meet you. Wishing you the best!!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Your quilts were fun to see - thank you for inviting us over to see them!

Wendy said...

Hi Marly, nice to meet you. I'm visiting from the Grow your Blog hop and it's lovely to see your work! The Rainbow quilt is going to be a beauty and I love the colours you chose for Bonny's mystery quilt along.

Anonymous said...

New follower via Bloglovin'. Glad to have found your blog through the GYB Party. Beautiful quilts!
-Brittany @ Pickles Quilting

Anonymous said...

Hello Marly, I found your blog via GYB-party and enjoyed reading your posts and admire your work. I am still a new quilter. Your optical illusions quilt is wonderful!
Kind regards from Germany, Annett