Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy 2011

Now that we get a chance to start a new calendar, let me wish you all a happy 2011. We still be the same people tomorrow with same friends, families, and life; but I hope this will be chance to make everything better. May 2011 be a great year for all of us.

Agora que temos a chance de começar uma nova agenda, quero desejar a todos um feliz 2011. Seremos as mesmas pessoas amanhã com os mesmos amigos, familias, e vidas; mas eu desejo que esta seja uma oportunidade de fazermos tudo melhor. Que 2011 seja um ano maravilhoso para todos nós.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December work and play

These are the 2 quilts I am working on this month. Who needs to get stressed over the holidays?
Photo below is the mystery quilt by Bonnie Hunt from Quiltsville blog. It is called Roll-Roll-Cotton Bowl. From left to right are my samples of steps 1-4. I am making half of the recommended number of pieces because I don't want a bed size quilt. My fabrics are 1930's reproduction given to me by a dear friend.
Roll-Roll- Cotton- Bowl 30's
Stars and Sprigs
The appliqué blocks above are blocks 13-15 of my Starts and Sprigs quilt; and a few stars that will go among the sprigs. This is a design by Kim McLean.
I am not baking cookies and all that this year. Just trying to keep the health and weight in check for the year. Making delicious soups to keep this cold out of the bones:-)
Just focusing on friends and family and moderation on the food intake with  fewer desserts. I hope it will work.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Netherlands2- Amsterdam

The little movie is Harllem, a town just outside Amsterdam. It is beautiful, lots to see and do. This mill is a museum. We were lucky to be there when it was operating on a Sunday morning. The other 2 pictures are of the breathtaking Amsterdam. These are 2 of over 400 photos that DH took. My favorite canal is the Prince Canal. If you are coming from the center (Dam) the 3 canals are Lord, Emperor, and Prince. All way too gorgeous! Their Dutch names are very long, so I just think in English.
Amsterdam is an easy city to walk or take the trams. I am not brave enough to bike there. It is hard enough to walk among cars, bikes, trams and tourists. Plus, 2 wheels and below freezing temperatures together are not my idea of fun anyway.
The last picture is of the famous Dutch pancake (pannenkoeken). One was with bacon (speck) and the other apples. DH and I shared them, that is why I have 2 halves. I also recommend the banana one. Add "stroop" or syrup and have a wonderful meal. If you go there in the winter time, make sure you eat the split green pea soup "Erwtensoep." It is only available in the winter and is delicious. It is not a vegetarian dish.
A few years back when I spent some time in the Netherlands, I became a fan of the "La Place" which is a food court for the V&D department store. I don't usually recommend food courts of any kind; but this one is really good. Give it a try if you are in the area.

O filminho acima é de Harllem uma cidadezinha encostadinha em Amsterdam. Este moinho é um museu. Tivemos muita sorte de estar la no domingo de manhã quando ele estava funcionando.
As fotos seguintes são de Amsterdam. Duas das mais de 400 que o maridão tirou. Meu canal favorito é o do Principe. Se você está vindo do centro (Dam) os canais são Lorde, Emperador, Principe. Todos belissimos!
Amsterdam é uma cidade para andar ou pegar um bondinho. Não tenho coragem de andar de bicicletas la. Já é dificil o suficiente andar no meio de tanta bicicleta, carro, bonde, e turistas. Além do mais, bicicleta e temperaturas abaixo de zero não são minha idéia de diversão.
A última foto é da minha panqueca favorita, uma metade de bacon e a outra de maçã que dividimos. Coloca-se o stroop por cima e fica uma delicia. A de banana também é divina.

Se você for la no inverno não deixe de comer a sopa de ervilhas verdes. Não é prato vegetariano e só tem no inverno.
Alguns anos atrás quando morei por la, eu fiquei fã da area de refeições da loja V&D que se chama "La Place". Nunca recomendo areas de refeições, mas esta vale a pena.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Star and Sprigs 2

Photographer I am not! I see a New Year's resolution coming up. But this is my progress on my blocks for this quilt. The photo on top shows some of the finished appliqué blocks and 3 of the pieced stars. I have more stars cut out just need time to sew. The photo below shows blocks 11 and 12 completed on a trip to Europe and back. They were missing for 24 hours. They were on my carry on bag that was checked in per airline request; but did not come home until 24 hours later. So happy to see them back. The third one on the right is block 14 all cut up and ready to sew. Block 13 is not pictured yet.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Netherlands 1- Rotterdam

Last week I was in Rotterdam and Amsterdam with DH. It was a lot of fun to be back. This is my favorite view of Rotterdam. I love the "Cube Houses". The bridges are also wonderful, of course; but these buildings speak to me. This city is lovely. You just want to walk around a look at all the buildings. Rotterdam was destroyed during WW II and the rebuilding of the city became a major pride and joy today. It was cold; but the coffee is outstanding, so it is worth it. If you go, don't rent a car. Parking in the center is very expensive (30.00 Euros per night). Meters are .75 Euros for 17 minutes. (Why not 15 minutes I ask?) The traffic jams to go anywhere between Rotterdam and Amsterdam (Gouda, Delft, Den Hague) are huge. So take the Train, Tram, or anything that can move instead of a car. So remember to pack lightly. You have to carry your stuff and the places will be small anyways. Yes. I did buy fabric. More later.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Soot and Ashes Quilt

For the last few months I have been making this quilt top. It is called "Soot and Ashes" and the directions came from the blog: The blocks are 5 inches finished and she gave the directions for one block at a time. So it was my first mystery quilt. The last part is the appliqué for some of the blocks, sashes, and borders. That is the part that is missing here. I have not been able to work on this top for several weeks. The white paper shows some of the appliqué designs that will be incorporated. The extra block next to my left foot (oh well!) will be my label. I made it with some left over strips; it is not on her instructions. I used black/gold fat quarters; and the gold fabric is about 1 yard I had left over from previous quilt.  I will post the finished quilt. It will be probably next year. :-)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Toledo, Spain

Toledo is an incredibly beautiful city just a short train ride from Madrid; but so worth the visit. You can take the Avante (fast) train from Achota Station in Madrid in the morning and return in the afternoon. It has more to do than a day trip; but for some of us it is all the time we had. An important information, if you are planing to return the same day, make sure you by your return ticket before you go. It is a very popular destination and the trips may be sold out. There is a city bus from the station to the center of the city; but if you like to walk and has no problems with stairs and incline, it is a great walk. This is the view from outside the city walls.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New quilt started

These are the first 6 blocks from a pattern that I just got a couple of weeks ago. It is from Kim McLean and it is called "Stars and Sprigs." Pardon my unpolished blocks. They are not trimmed and ready to sew yet. Just finished sewing them and could not resist the temptation to post. The pattern can be purchased from I first saw it several months ago on  Like the one in this blog I am using my Kaffe's fabrics. I have been collecting these fabrics for many years. I am ready to use them. The stars will be pieced and I have not started them yet. The quilt is 96 inches square and the borders are also appliqué. I am having too much fun and I am sure I will be doing these for many months to come.  I have to keep the mantra "I think I can, I think I can." If you want to see this quilt and other patterns by Kim go to the site above.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Romania September 2010

The first 3 photos are of Bucharest. This first one is a building inside a building. The old building was the secret service building before the revolution of 1989. I love the idea of "new from old." The bullet holes are still visible in many buildings. But Bucharest is a very vibrant city. Photo 3 is the marble floor pattern in one of the rooms of the Parliament House. Many quilt ideas from the floors there. 

 Here is Transylvania. The Royal family summer palace in the mountains, and the following pictures are from Brasov- lovely town; and the last one is Sibiu. There are many more wonderful places and a book could be written about each place in these photos. As a matter of fact, many books exist. So, before you go, just read a little and you will be so glad you did.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


These are my quilts and jacket hanging on the DOQ quilt show from October 22 to 24, 2010. The show is gorgeous. The talent of the quilters here is amazing. But this post is all about my bragging. Sorry about my lack of shame; but I am loving the ribbons in all of them. This is mostly so family and friends far away can see my work on the show. Enjoy.

Friday, October 22, 2010

DOQ Show Donation Quilt Challenge

This is my donation quilt challenge for our 2010 show. The members buy the required fabric (fat quarter)and make a quilt using it. The quilts will than be donated to the children hospitals in our area. Duke University and University of North Carolina children hospitals usually get the quilts. The challenge fabric is the black one with the airplanes on the picture on the right. I enlarged one of the planes for the "dream" cloud. The bunny inspiration came from a Japanese magazine with small bunnies. I just drew a large one looking at the pictures. I used polar fleece for the bunnies and cotton for everything else. The batting (wadding) is also 100% cotton. I hope some kid will be happy with this quilt.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Apple Cake

It is apple harvest in North Carolina. We are 7th in the country in Apple production. My friend gave me a whole lot of them and after I peeled and diced them I came to 32 cups. So did some freezing and shared some with friends. I have been making apple cake to take to groups. This is a very easy one to feed a crowd. I adapted this recipe from one found in a magazine. Sorry; but I don't know which one. Anyway, I change the amounts of the recipe to make it.

1 cup oil (250 ml)
2 cups sugar (I decreased this to 2 &3/4 since my frozen apples have sugar)
3 eggs
3 cups plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups diced apples (2 large)
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans (walnuts are also good)
1 tsp vanilla

Topping: (optional)
1 cup brown sugar
4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven at 350 F (180 C) Mix ingredients in the order listed. Batter will be very thick until apples are added. Pour into a greased and floured 9x13 inch pan. Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Pour the topping on cake while cake is warm.

To prepare the topping:
Mix the ingredients on a sauce pan and on medium heat cook it until boiling. Cook 2 more minutes stirring constantly. Remove form heat and add vanilla. Pour over the cake.

PS. I love cinnamon and it would be a good addition (1Tsp to the batter). The photo shows 2 pieces with the brown sugar topping and 1 piece plain. Enjoy.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Romania 1

Just came back from 5 days in Romania. I loved every minute of it. What is not to love about spend some time with great friends on a beautiful country? Photos in future post. Waiting on DH to do some fancy "stitch" with them.
On the right are some future crafts projects. Romanian fabrics, ribbons, and magazine. I love the ribbon with the colors of the flag. The white paper is from the Peasant's Museum in Bucharest. I bought small pottery items there (not on the picture) and my friend gave me the most gorgeous blouse from the gift shop. This is a must see museum.
When I travel I like to read the "Lonely Planet" guide books. They are very "cranky" on their reviews of everything. So you are prepared; but you also realize that, most time, it is not so bad. I also like Ricky Stevens guide books.
I am glad I did read the Lonely guide (thanks CH library). I am very ignorant on Eastern European EVERYTHING; and the book was wonderful to get the basics.
Just want to say: Romanian people, my hats off to you! Thanks for such great memories.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Donation projects done

Sorry about these photos. My camera will will not stay on. It turns itself off and it will not even close the lens. The batteries are fine. New batteries will not make it work either. So, these photos are all I can do for now. The crocus quilt and the clutch will be donations for the silent auctions at the DOQ quilt show October 22-24 on Bay 7, American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC. Hours: 10:00-6:00; but on Sunday only to 5:00PM. Admission $5.
Both auctions will benefit cancer research.
The Crocus quilt is a pattern by Eileen Bahring Sullivan publish in 1998. It came from the estate of Shirley W. a friend that lost her battle with breast cancer in 2009. The donation for the sale of this quilt and others will go to breast cancer research.
The clutch bag is from Anna at noodleheads blog. She has a great tutorial. I love the pink zipper that you cannot see in this picture;-( Need to read the manual and see if I can fix this problem.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Modern Quilt Guild Challenge

This quilt in progress is made from a package of 40, 10" squares donated to us by the Robert Kaufman company. Thank you R.K. and John for getting the fabric to us. It is lots of fun to work on this quilt. The use of these fabrics in a project is our challenge for our October meeting. The fabric line is "Glam Garden." The light fabric I added from my stash of fabrics. I still have 5 squares left and I will make another small quilt with it. The blocks are 8" and the quilt is 40" x 40". This is the size that works well for the top of my stairs.
DH saw this quilt and said "India." He has been to India for work a few times and love the place and people. He said it reminded him of the colors of India.
Oh, the messy studio was organized after I saw these pictures and decided it was time to organize it :-)
In addition, I have to make a 12" block and it will be put together with blocks from other members of the guild for a donation quilt. Better get busy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quilts at the museum

The Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC had invited the Durham Orange Quilt Guild to have a show of quilts with animal theme this summer (2010). No domesticated animals to be displayed. I have submitted 2 quilts. "School day" based on the work on symmetry by Ruth McDowell and my "Hungry Caterpillar" based on the book by Eric Carle. The fish quilt I drew to make small fish than Ruth has on her book; and they don't have the 3-D fins that Ruth designed. The caterpillar I also drew from the pictures on the book.
I had fun making these quilts and hope that it was fun for the visitors of the museum to see our quilts. This is a great museum to visit, specially with your little ones.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Amazon Kindle Cover

The proof that no good deed should go unpunished. I made this kindle cover for my DH using the directions posted by Kim Walus on It is called "the bookkeeper" The problem was that I made it as a surprise. The suprised self found out that it does NOT fit DH's kindle because he has the large one. Who knew that Kindle comes in more than one size? I do now.
Oh well, back to the drawing board. This size can also be used for small books, make-up carrier, sewing pouch, and so on as suggested by Kim. So it will not go to waste at all.
Better get busy with the large version of the cover.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Wagga Jacket

This is my jacket that was inspired by a French movie about Coco Channel. (Sorry Coco); and my love for Wagga quilts from Australia. The jacket was made using a sweat shirt (aka jumper)as a foundation. I used the sew and flip method. Take a strip sew it to the foundation; flip the seam open. Add another strip to the edge of the previous one until the whole foundation is covered with strips. The jacket is made of 100% wool that I recycled from wool pants. I did wash the wool on my washing machine. I have a front loader and it did not felt the wool as I had wished. I had to clean the lint from my machine many times before the seams were all covered. Vacuum cleaner to the rescue. It will be entered at the Durham Orange Quilt Guild show October 22-24 2010.
Now to answer your question. A "Wagga" is a utility quilt made of wool remnants in Australia, these quilts are wonderful; and the history behind them is very rich. (Google it if you want to know more). I have been collecting wool to make one; but had to do a little detour with the jacket. I learned a lot about sewing with wool and this will be great when I start my Wagga.

Friday, August 6, 2010

NSW 2010 Quilt Challenge

It is done and in the mail. This is my 2010 challenge quilt. It is 16" by 24" and made with a challenge fabric that was provided by the quilters' guild of NSW in Sydney. It was mostly made with me Singer Featherweight. The challenge fabric is the dark one in the center of the 8 points star. The pattern is from Karen Doak's book 50 Fabulous stars. This one is the Tennessee star. I named it "Star'87" after a great Tennessean born in Nashville in 1987. I did reduce the star to fit the challenge size of the quilt. The original ones in the book finish at 12". These one are 8".
Now I am working on an inspiration by a French movie about Coco Channel. More to come.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

July 2010 summary

This singer machine was made in 1935 in the USA. It is in very good shape and uses a knee control to sew. It belonged to someone(s) that smoked and it needs some air to take care of the smell. But sews really well. I love the way it looks. Just need to work on that smell of ashtrays.

July was a very busy month around here. Check out the new gifts for my B-day from DH. I love my new to me toys. My Featherweight is another one of my gifts . It was made in 1952 in Elizabeth Town New Jersey. The paint finish is in need of some TLC; but the machine sews like a dream after some much needed tune up by Woody in Elon. He has been fixing sewing machines for 69 years. North Carolina used to be an important textile center before manufacturers moved to cheap labor ports. So he new a thing or two about this machine and showed me how to keep up with the care. I may have the paint done sometime in the future.
Next post I will show the first quilt made by me using the Featherweight.

The quilt pictured here is called Star'87. It is my quilt entrance fo

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Victoria and Albert Museum - Patchwork

Check out the link for Victoria and Albert Museum in London. You scan your favorite photo; and the program transform it into a quilt. I have used something similar for cross stitch. It can also be used to make embroidery canvases. I have so many photos I want to scan. It is a great place to start. You could also add or modify the pieces to suite your taste and abilities. The address is:

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sydney Quilt Show

Great news came from an e-mail by Bronwyn.
The Hill house ladies and I had a block exchange last year. I made this bright and happy Halloween quilt with my blocks. I felt really brave; and with my husband encouragement, I sent my quilt to the Sydney Quilt Show; and We won 4th place in the group category.
This is happiness beyond my dreams. I can't wait to see the quilt back home. I am reorganizing my studio to have a place to put the ribbon on the wall :) \o/
To see the show winners check the address below.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Duke Graduation 2010

Daniel graduou no dia 16 de Maio na Universidade de Duke com um diploma de Inglês e com graduação em Biologia e Quimica. Uma cerimonia muito bonita no estádio de futebol (americano) da escola e depois uma cerimonia só para os formandos da escola de Inglês. Os pais estão muito felizes em não ter que pagar mais pela escola (o preço de um carro de luxo por ano).
Em Agosto Daniel começara o seu trabalho comunitário no Americorps. Êle ainda não sabe qual será o seu trabalho, mas vai ficar aqui na Carolina do Norte mesmo. No próximo ano ele está pensando no pós graduação.
Acima, meu favorito "Blue Devil". GO DANIEL!

North Carolina Quilt Symposium

The weekend of June 3-5 2010 was the North Carolina Symposium and Charlotte Quilter's Guild show. I did not participate in the workshops; but went for the day to see the show. Very nice indeed. I did not take a lot of pictures but have read the blogs at Pat Sloan blog and others which contain great pictures. I also went to Mary Jo's fabric store in Gastonia. Well worth the trip. On the way back stop at Ikea to buy some bar stools for the kitchen. Very productive and fund day. My son went with me and while I was at the show he explored downtown Charlotte. I think he had fun also. He are some of my photos.
The top one is by Nancy Pendersen and won Best Hand Quilting. The second one won several ribbons including best of show and it is by Leah Day.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Spain, Andalucia

Photo 1: Granada, photo 2: Toledo
Just back from a trip to Spain. The best 2 weeks! I have been to Granada, Jaen and mountains around it, Seville, Madrid, and Toledo. I gained more weigh than I care to discuss; but it was so worth it. Saw many friends which is always the highlight of everything. In Granada, I had a chance to see Allambra again. My favorite place there. The best tapas are here and they are always free with your drink. The second one is always better than the first, so make sure you order more than one drink in each place. I even got tapas one time I had a lemon Fanta at El Corte Ingles (great department store all over Spain.) While in Jaen, we traveled to Carzola and other villages on the mountains. We stayed in a Parador Hotel. These are hotels around Spain that are in the most incredible places. They are the best. We took incredible walks with great friends. In Seville, we rode the subway, which I had not done before. Husband has this thing that he has ridden the subway in every city he has been. This is no small thing. The man travels overseas every month of the year. Madrid, I saw the Prado Museum for the first time. One word. WOW! If you are from the EU, check out the days you can go in for free. If you are from across the Pond like me, you can get in for free after 6:00PM; but they close at 8:00 PM. This Museum would require days to see it properly. I also visited Toledo by recommendation of our son that said it was worth it. Toledo is a 1/2 hour train trip from Sta Justa station in Madrid. It rained all day; but we loved it. Good taste is genetic! Thanks Du. Going to Spain? Do the google thing and check out this bit of information.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Happy is a quilt on the wall

I am very happy because 2 of my quilts will be in the Sydney Quilt Show June 15, 2010. One is a collaborative piece with blocks made by the Hill House ladies. It is all Halloween fabrics and very bright. The other one is made with Australian fabrics. Photos to come later (after the show).
I also received the most beautiful thank you note from the "Family House" of Chapel Hill for the 2 quilts that was donated to them. Family House is a place for families dealing with medical issues to stay while their loved ones are being treated in one of the area hospitals. I should be thanking them for the privilege to have my quilts on their walls. I just hope the quilts will help bright their home away from home.:)
I will visit them and take pictures to post. But it might be after the trip to Spain next week ;)

Wool BOM- Moon Garden

Lisa Bongean is starting a new BOM called Moon Garden. It will be 12 baskets. Block size about 16" -17" light wool on dark cotton ...