I love quilts, especially antique quilts, either applique or pieced,
and I want to share my journeys in quilting !

But, my "Threads and Treasures" sometimes include embroidery, painting, or spinning wool
and weaving or knitting with them
.

It is great that you are visiting, and I hope you feel at home here.
I would love it if you left a comment.

Or you can - email - me, if you like.



Friday, 31 December 2010

Oliebollen and little Baltimore eyes

Every New Year's Eve in Holland we baked oliebollen. My dear English Alan loved them so much that he took to baking them, and has done so now for years. I am totally convinced that he makes the best ones ever!!!!
I am already looking forward to tonight when we start eating them. With lots of icing sugar sprinkled over, of course.
And then there are all those little eyes...... Baltimore birds need eyes, they always look very strange without them.

So during the past few years I have been collecting eyes. Someting like 20 different sorts of fabric so that I can choose which eye goes with which bird. Madness, perhaps, but............some need to look wide-eyed and innocent, some are quite shrewd, and their eyes are smaller. Some need yellow eyes, or dark, or light. Mormeltje is supervising the whole process.
With this I want to wish you all a very happy and quilt-filled New Year!
Take care
Jane

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Surprise Carolplayers on Boxing Day

What a surprise! I was sitting quite happily working on my Baltimore Birdies, when the doorbell rang, and there they were with their instruments. A group who go round all the farms in the area, collecting for charity. I could choose a favourite carol, and it was lovely to have our own private concert!

If you want to see them playing and share in the experience, you can watch the video below. I asked if they minded if I filmed them, and they didn't. They played and sang "O, Holy Night."


video
It has brought a lovely warm feeling to this day!
Now back to my applique, even happier than before!
Take care,
Jane

Friday, 24 December 2010

Buying fabrics on Christmas Eve??????????

Well, we just had to go into town for some last minute things. So my Dear Alan took me in the Landrover. The ride was beautiful.
In town I just popped into the embroidery shop, where they have a small stock of quilting fabrics. You just never know....
So I came home very happy with these: (for which quilt?)

Back outside, to feed the birds, I just had to take a picture of this robin.


And I thought that the sheep on the hill behind our house did not look all that happy with the white grass.

Early this morning I had been feeding the colony of blackbirds at our side door. A few weeks ago there were two. This morning I counted 18. It is very difficult to try and get them all in the picture as they move about (and fight!) so much, but I think there are about 11 here. When I open the curtains they are all sitting there waiting!

I wonder whether I will get to the Nursery rhyme: "Four and Twenty blackbirds baked in a pie"....Oh no, I couldn't do that!! :o)
Happy Christmas again!
Jane

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Happy Christmas

I wish you all a wonderful Christmas. This little robin was photographed by my husband, and I modified him......   Don't you love the way he is posing, with one foot higher than the other?                             

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A special Baltimore bird

I am really enjoying working on the border again. The overall plan is not quite clear yet. I design as I go along, although I have all the birds drawn. They all come from the Mary Simon quilt pattern. I put those quilt-blocks in a drawer so that I could finish this Baltimore quilt, and they are coming to see what I am up to!
Here is a very special one:


I am hoping the others won't get jealous! This one has some lovely reverse applique patches, and I have chosen the same silk that is in some of the stuffed flowers on the blocks. It is such a lovely orangey colour.
You may want to know how I am making these birds. I draw templates, and cut them out carefully so that I can use the 'left-over' bit for fussy cutting if necessary. I really love fussy-cutting, so I do it whenever I can.
Then I draw with a white Clover pen (wax, which irons out) round the template, as you can see in this close-up: (if you click on the picture, you will see it bigger)

The reverse applique I do off-block, so that I can just applique the bird on later. I always use needleturn applique, not because it is the best way, but because I enjoy it so much.
This little bird is calling me now, so I'll see if I can get him(her?) to join the others today. There are 20 birds, and I have to do 5 more....
And of course, Irene is right, using the same fabrics as in the blocks will unify the whole thing. That is a consolation when I find it too restricting...!
Enjoy your day,
Jane

Monday, 20 December 2010

Baltimore Birds

Now I have at last finished all the small things for Christmas I can get back to my favourite applique! The border for my Baltimore is in the making, and the birds are flying happily on there.

It is almost like when I look outside and see all the birds from around our fields gathering in our garden!
The greatest sensation today was the loaf of bread that hadn't risen very well in the breadmaker. Later I cut it in half, and at the end of the day there were two nearly empty shells left.


The little Baltimore birds on the border are very busy too, but I am not going to let the secret out just yet.....! I am making things rather difficult for myself, because I am only using the fabrics that are in the blocks, so these birds are going to have some very strange feathers...
I hope you are all busy stitching with something.. and happy.
Jane

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Christmas Tree Skirt in the snow

After making miles of bias-binding ( I thought I'd just buy some red, but they didn't have it anymore...) I finished the tree skirt.
We had some more snow last night, and thick fog in the morning. this is what it was like looking down to the valley.

This was the first bit of the world we could see. Until then we were on our own...
So I went for a little walk round the garden, and I thought you might like to see a few pictures. The fox had been there first.


We can just see the roofs of our neighbours' farm from our garden.
The little road down the hill was white too:

And our drive. The wire in the picture is our telephone line...........:

So we are not going anywhere today... I think I might do some stitching later.
Keep safe, wherever you are!
Jane

Friday, 17 December 2010

Snow and letters of gold...

These past few days I have been stitching and embroidering like mad. All that for a Christmas Tree skirt. Before last year I had never heard of such a thing, but then I bought the Irish Quilting magazine, and there it was.
Here is a little peep:
This is the centre, not completed yet, and all around are letters, you can just see a few.
It was one of the attractions of this pattern for me. I just love letters in pictures. Perhaps that's why I like samplers so much? And Baltimore? And medieval Psalters... Letters add meaning and mystery.
The letters on this tree skirt are the last two lines from an old Irish Christmas Blessing:
"The joy of a thousand angels to you.
The love of the Son and God's peace to you."
And, oh what joy...In my shoe box with lots of gold threads I found exactly the right one to stitch these letters. It is black, with gold woven through it. At first sight it looks like one of those threads that take 10 years from your life, but... it behaves like a lamb - the perfect find. It is called 'Gold Rush', and I bought it at least 20 years ago in a sale, I don't even know if they still make it.

By now I have finished the embroidery, so I can sew the whole thing together. This afternoon the tree is coming in, it is sitting in the garage after my Beloved dug it up at a tree farm on Monday.
In the meantime, everyone, is gathering round the crib. There is the devout Welsh lady, and the French couple, and the Mennonites.

The crowd gets bigger every year.

There are lots more 'critters' on the slate mantelpiece, but they will have to wait for a photo till next time.
Because now I am off to sew the skirt together.
Just a quick look at a corner of the garden,

and our plough, which always looks nice, but especially in the snow.

Have a great day!
Jane

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Frosty views and folded star

Just for a change I decided to finish a folded star (also called Somerset patchwork) coaster that I had started years ago. All it needed was a ribbon round it, and now I have something for Christmas.

After the snow almost disappeared we had a lot of fog, and the next day everything was white, after a hard frost. I like getting up in the morning to see a white world! This is the view from the kitchenwindow.
But the birds are not quite so happy with it, so I give them some food several times a day. By now I get 5 robins, 5 male and 2 female blackbirds, two thrushes, and numerous finches, wagtails and of course sparrows.
The bluetits, coaltits and greattits have their own 'playstation' with sunflower seeds, fatballs, peanuts, and a coconut shell with homemade filling (fat, raisins, seeds and, oh the irony of it, finely ground catfood !!). They love it, especially as there is a huge dogwood bush next to it, so they all sit in there waiting their turn. There are dozens of them!
The robins always likes to try and get some of all these things, and love to sit there.

Now it is time to make some coffee, with mince pies - lovely and cosy by the logburner! And then some applique on my Baltimore border.....
Have a great day!
Jane
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