Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

There's still an hour before it's officially 2008 here in Denmark, but I thought I'd take the opportunity to send my best wishes for a very Happy New Year! I hope that the coming year brings joy, peace and happiness to all of you! 2007 was my first year of blogging and I just want to thank everyone who took the time to comment on my writings! I've had a lot of fun both posting and reading all the wonderful blogs out there! So very, very inspirational! Have a great evening!
Cheers! Mary Ann

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Angels...

Here is my little Christmas tree that I finished last week. It's made of six stuffed fabric stars that are skewered onto a sharpened dowel and then inserted into a wooden stand. I sewed entirely around the stars and turned them inside out through a slit in the centre. I had four of these cute little plaster angels and thought that one would perhaps look nice on top of the tree. I used my trusty Dremel tool to drill a hole in the bottom of her so that the dowel would fit! I used a bit of glue to fasten her to the dowel, the dowel to the stand and then sewed on beads for decoration. Voila!! Our Christmas tree for this year is ready!!! And no needles to vacuum up!

And speaking of angels, one must have been watching over us this past Wednesday, when my husband and I were driving home from Copenhagen. We were involved in a serious accident on the freeway after being struck from behind. We emerged miraculously unscathed from our totally wrecked car and I am just so very thankful to be sitting here today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Some Things Are Hard To Live Without!

If someone had told me 10 years ago that I would one day suffer terrible cravings for Campbell's soup, well, I think I would have laughed out loud!!! Well, the other day, I happily discovered some tins of Cream of Mushroom soup in a local shop which regularly imports "goodies" from across the pond!! Needless to say, I stocked up!! Now if they only would find some Kraft dinner, too!!! And graham wafer biscuits....2 lb jars of Peanut Butter...Red Rose tea...Baker's semi-sweet chocolate...oh, the list goes on and on!! Thank goodness I make yearly trips back home!!!

Last evening, we had a little dinner get-together with a few ladies from our guild. Here are the quilt-inspectors at work!! This is the quilt that I'm making for my Dad. I'm aproximately half-way done with the quilting. It's been tough working through all that flannel and cotton batting, but I'm getting there!! Left to right: Else, Solveig, myself and Inger. We had a great evening!

Some Finishes For Today...

This is a little "Altoid" candy tin which I've covered in fabric. I got the idea from Val on the Dear Jane list. Many thanks for the inspiration, Val! I picked up a few of these tins on my last trip home to Canada! I think I may to find some more, as they would make nice little gifties!!!

I sewed this little pin-cushion a while back from a pattern from designer, Heather Bailey. I had originally filled it with sand, but wasn't 100% happy with the results, so today I replaced the sand with fibrefill! Much better!!!

Note the little antique "fly"hat pin! I found it at an outdoor flea-market last summer. A bit macabre, but nonetheless, extremely original!

Last, but not least, tulips from my dear husband who continues to brighten my life, especially during these dark, December days! xoxoxo

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Another Cinderberries Needle-Case!!!

After making one of these great little needle-cases for a friend a few weeks ago, I decided that I needed one for myself!!! I'm working on the embroidery now and hope to have it done tomorrow. I was visiting a rather gorgeous quilt-shop called Patchwork Butikken last week and found this pretty fabric from Northcott. I also want to make a bag with this fabric and found the perfect ivory pom-pom trim to accent it!!! I remember this trim from the sixties when it was used to embellish sombreros and vintage cars!!! Now, it'll work great on my new bag!!!!

This needle-case pattern, as I mentioned in a previous post, is a freebie from Cinderberry Stitches. Many thanks to Natalie for posting this great design!

I'll sign off with a picture of my favorite pair of "nisser", or elves in english! I didn't make these two myself, but couldn't resist buying them last year during a Christmas shopping trip! I think that they're just wonderful and they sit happily on my shelf all year round! I've heard somewhere that it's good luck to have "nisser" in the house to keep watch over things!!

Until next time....Mary Ann :o)

Christmas is Coming....!!!!

....and I'm getting very motivated with regards to creating a bit of holiday cheer around our house!!! I've been making a lot of sweet things from my new book, Tilda's Julehus, by Norwegian designer, Tone Finnanger. It's full of wonderful ideas which I've been very busy with!! This is a plate of yummy apples!! They're just cloth, but still are very delicious-looking!!!! I've made three dozen of these, by the way!!! :o)

I've also made 36 of May Britt's pincushions which I thought I'd let double as ornaments for the tree...I added a string to hang them with!!! I may also thread some of them together with the apples and create a nice little garland! I've used a lot of mother-of-pearl buttons from my collection...I think they add a nice touch. These little pin-cushions/ornaments are actually quite addictive to make! You can get into quite a rhythm winding the string around the buttons!! I had some DMC pearl cotton which I used for this.

And this is one of the little angels...also from Ms. Finnanger's book. I chose to make her hair a bit on the wild side!!! I still need to attach her wings! I'm currently working on three more of these little ladies for Christmas gifts. Very fun to do!!! She measures about 19 inches from head to toe and is supported on a little wooden stand. I am considering making the large version of this angel to welcome guests in our entry hall. I'm just in love with these little gals!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cinderberry Stitches Needle Case

I just finished a little needle-case as a gift for a friend. It's made from a free pattern I found on Cinderberry Stitches . Natalie Lymer is a fantastic Australian designer whose patterns are heart-warming! Check them out! It was great fun to stitch and should hold lots of goodies!!! I glued some rhinestones onto the stitchery as accents and the dragonfly is a little magnetic pin...just for fun!!

What every quilter needs - needles, thread & CHOCOLATE!!! This variety is the famous, yummy Danish marcipan, covered in luscious dark chocolate! I fused a couple layers of pink felt together to make a nice, thick cushion for pins. There's also a couple of straps so the holder can be carried like a little bag. I think I just might have to make one of these for myself!!!!

Mormor's Little Pumpkin!!

I recently received pictures of our little grandson from Hallowe'en that I thought I would share! Axel was able to choose his own pumpkin this year! What a difference 12 months can make!! Last year, he wasn't quite walking yet and now he's running through fields of pumpkins!!

Squishy, squishy!!! Now that's quite a big pumpkin for a little fella to empty all by himself!!! I'm hoping Axel got a little help from Mommy and Daddy to complete this task! Maybe there was some yummy roasted pumpkins seeds, too??!!

Axel's favorite movie character is none other than Mr. Shrek, so that's who he was for Hallowe'en!

Love those green eye-brows, Axel!!!! Hugs & Kisses from Mormor & Morfar!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Miniature Baby Jane...

Hand Quilting

I was quilting a bit today on my miniature Baby Jane. The little quilt consists of 25 2.5 inch blocks that I re-sized with the Dear Jane pc program. This project has been in the works for quite a while now, but I'm fine with taking my time finishing it. I've been using it as a practice piece for when the time comes to assemble the larger version of this quilt! It's been great for learning how to sash the blocks and set the corners in so that everything fits properly! It's given me the courage to tackle my BIG JANE! Which, I should say, is getting very near completion. I finished my 30th triangle for the borders today, so that leaves just 22 more! Oh, I still have the four corner blocks to make, as well. They'll be a bit of a challenge, so I thought I'd leave them for last!

I can't wait to actually sleep under this quilt one day!!! My helper, Kiki, thinks that would be great, too! She's been the official quilt inspector since I started this project 3 years ago!!! She does her job quite thoroughly, don't you think???!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007


I've been thinking a lot about mountains today. I sometimes get this incredible urge to climb to the top of a peak, listening only to the wind and experiencing the wonderful hugeness of it all. Living in Denmark, it's not that likely it'll be happening anytime soon, but that's when my photos and memories of Canada keep me fulfilled.

This a view over Peyto Lake, in Banff National Park, from our summer holidays this year. I would have made it to the top in my younger days, but this sufficed quite nicely!!

Well, so much for day-dreaming!! I'm going to retreat into my sewing room and see what I can create! There's a pin cushion pattern that I've been meaning to do a little experimenting with!!! Have a nice day!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Threads and Buttons....

I was doing a bit of fun stuff this weekend... playing with some Japanese flower patterns! It was quite contagious...I made several different varieties!! These are quite simple. You just start with a little circle of fabric, whatever size is up to oneself, but I used 1 1/2 inch diameter for mine. Fold it in half and then in half again, hand-baste the unfinished edge and pull the thread tight.

Do this eight times and VOILA! You have a sweet little flower! Add a yoyo and a button for the centre and it's complete! Many thanks to Rosane for getting me started on these!!!

I also finished this little wall-hanging. It's an embroidery from Bronwyn Haye's book, Miss Millie's Flower Patch. I just love her designs...they're so cute! Now I just need to find two buttons to go onto the straps...I can't believe there wasn't something suitable in my rather large collection of buttons!!! I'm quite proud to say that over the years, I've scrounged through many a flea-market to acquire my fabulous buttons! There's nothing quite like the feeling of rummaging through a cardboard box and discovering an old, worn metal tin full of some dear grandma's treasured buttons. It's really wonderful to be able to bring them back to life!!!

I'll sign off with a picture of a rather dramatic sunset taken from our back yard. In our hectic world, the beauty of simple things can sometimes be taken for granted. Pictures like this one can very quickly remind me of my love and appreciation of nature.

Have a great week!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Canada Vacation!

On July 18th, we left for a three-week vacation in Canada. We had a wonderful time visiting family and friends and even had the opportunity to do a little bit of camping, as well! This photo is from Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park. Breath-taking.

We had our grandson, Axel, with us for most of our holiday, which was just fantastic! We don't get to see him that much, living on different continents, but the time we had together was so special. He is such a wonderful little fellow!

The photo of my husband, Kim, and Axel is from Mt. Revelstoke National Park. We were on a little day hike with Axel in the back-pack! He absolutely loved it!!! .

We timed it right, as the wild flowers were just starting to bloom. At such high elevations, they unfortunately only last for a week or two.

This little antique frame and doily were waiting in the mail-box upon our return home. They're from my friend, Debby, and I immediately thought of putting this picture in it. It's my Mom and her sister (my Mom on the right) on the day of my Aunt's wedding, probably circa 1945. I think the era fits the frame perfectly! Thanks so much, Debby! I just love them! :o)
I'm keeping busy these days with hand-piecing my Dear Jane triangles. I have 28 made so far, so only 24 to go, plus the four corners! Then I can start to hand-quilt! Yay!!

I'll be posting more pictures later...just wanted to check in and update my Blog!!! People have been asking for "new material"!!!
Until then, greetings from wonderful, wet and windy Denmark!
Cheers! Mary Ann

Friday, July 6, 2007

Long Time, No Post..!!!

Well, here I am's been forever since I posted a comment or two! I guess I've just been busy with life's daily events!!! A few milestones have also come and gone since I last wrote. I finished the 169th and final centre block on my Baby Jane quilt! I'm quite pleased, that after almost three years, I can finally say they're sewn! Of course, there are still the border triangles to complete, but I do have 20 of 52 done, so I'm anticipating that they'll go together quickly...I'm just SO motivated!!! Woo hoo!!!

Speaking of milestones, on June 20th, I turned 50! It was relatively painless...not as bad as I had imagined! My husband and I had a wonderful day together...he even made me a lovely birthday cake, decorated with traditional Danish flags! I also received flowers, cards and best wishes from friends and family, including a special card made by my little grandson who is 16 months old! Thank you, Axel! All in all, it was a nice day, full of sunshine! Of course, there was also breakfast on the terrace, with strawberries and champagne.....I felt quite spoiled, I must admit!

Here is a picture of the wonderful little hand-sewn quilt, made by my friend, Rosane, for my miniature wrought-iron bed! It's just adorable! Thanks so much, Rosane!

Another good friend, Else, gave me the dearest little miniature "Madame Blå" coffee can (on the kitchen table) and matching cannisters(hanging on the wall)! Thanks again, girls! I'm so lucky to have such thoughtful friends! Thanks for helping to make my birthday so special! :o)

I've also been spending a lot of time trying to figure out how to use my new iPod! I am just loving listening to audio books while hand-stitching my Jane Stickle triangles! It's so enjoyable! I'm really looking forward to taking my iPod along on our trip to Canada this summer. I still have lots to learn regarding its operation, but I'm sure I'll soon figure it out! I can also save pictures and video on it...the possibilities are endless!! What a great technological age we live in!!!

Until next time, Happy Quilting and the best of summer to you all!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Morgenmad På Terassen!

I awoke this morning to the wonderful aroma of pancakes and coffee, the scrumptious scent wafting up to our second floor bedroom! My husband had gotten up early and prepared us a delicious breakfast on the terrace! Despite being just after 8 am, the sun was hot and we soon had to change into shorts and tees! I just love this time of year! Even though our spring weather can be very unpredictable, I don't mind, as long as we get a bit of sun once in a while! And yes, that IS Canadian maple syrup that you see on the table! There are some things that a gal just can't be without, even though it costs an arm and a leg to purchase it here in Denmark!!!!

While we ate, we sat and watched our tiny friends, busily flying back and forth from their little bird-house, feeding their hungry brood. I was amazed over the fact that they didn't seem to mind that we sat only a metre from their home. Their instincts regarding good-parenting are obviously stronger than their fear of humans! We keep feeding the birds in the summer months. Not a lot, but just enough so that they'll remain in our garden, keeping us entertained with their songs and antics! Do we dare lift the lid and peek into the nest?!

The shrubs and perennials are blooming in abundance and every week brings new and different varieties of flowers. It's a joy seeing this vibrant and abundant display of colour and it's certainly giving me lots of photo opportunities! These pictures are from the area visible from our Sunday morning "breakfast nook"! The clematis is one I planted about three years ago. It's been quite spindly the past while, but is now finally starting to take hold. The colour, a very pale pink with a touch of lavender, is one of my favorites when it comes to the clematis flower. They say that the clematis loves the sun, but not on its roots. So, I tried solving that problem by planting a low-growing perennial (the name slips my mind just now!) at it's base. It seems to be working!

With A Little Help From My Friends...!

It's nice to be back sewing and quilting in full-force! I had gone through a period where my desire to create had been somewhat lacking. Quite unlike myself, I might add! Several months had passed since I'd constructed one of these little Jane Stickle blocks and I was feeling a tad guilty! One of my dear friends, knowing I was in a slump, offered to sew a block for me. Well, that seemed to be the inspiration I needed! If she wanted to sew a block for me, then I would certainly want to do something nice for her in return!! Hmmm!! What about sewing HER a block??!! What are friends for, if not to give that little push that we all need once in a while??!!

Here is a picture of the "working stage" of M13, Lynette's Diamond! I began by hand-piecing the four muslin back-ground pieces together, while at the same time, setting in the centre square of green. Then, I appliquéd the four green quarter circles onto the muslin piece, trimming away the extra fabric after completing the stitching. I really enjoyed making this block, even though it's the second time around for me! I actually think that this M13 turned out nicer than my first attempt! :o) Isn't that always the way it goes???!! Thanks for your help, Lee Ann! You don't know how much I appreciate it!! ;o)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Snips of Thread!

Well, judging from the date of my last post, it's been quite a while since I've written here! Perhaps it's because I've been very busy with my quilting these days, working on several interesting projects! A few months ago, I joined a Dear Jane Signature Swap along with 160 other fellow "Janiacs" from around the world! I've since sewn and decorated the same number of "Siggie Blocks" and they've now been swapped amongst all these wonderful ladies! It was a fantastic experience, especially when I received a Special Delivery package last week with all of those beautiful blocks in return! I think that every colour of the rainbow is represented, as well as an unbelievable number of countries and states in the US.

Here is a picture of the blocks arranged upon my design wall. After starching and pressing each individual block, I then trimmed them to five inches, which took the most part of a whole day! It was great fun, though!! It was like getting to know each quilter individually, working with their wonderful little creations! I kept the scraps, as I thought they were so pretty, all lying together in a pile of colours! I'm still expecting a few more Siggies to arrive from some private swaps I've been in, but am looking very much forward to piecing this top together! Different layouts have come to mind and I may try to use some contrasting fabrics to create a rainbow effect!

Speaking of rainbow effects, this picture of a Signature Quilt made by a fellow quilter in Germany,
is a unique layout utilizing all of the different shades! I really like the way this lady made the colours work's so harmonious! I have several different ideas in mind as to how I will piece my Siggie Blocks together, but this one is high on my list!

Another project I'm working on these days is a flannel quilt for my Dad. He will soon be transferred to a care facility from the hospital where he is now, so I want him to be warm and cozy. This quilt is a very easy pattern, consisting of blocks sewn first into nine-patches and then cut into four sections and sewn together again. The quilt will consist of five by three blocks of twelve inches each. Quite a simple technique which hasn't so far required too much concentration!!! Working with flannel was a new challenge for me, though. I used lots of spray starch, made sure I cut exactly on the grain of the fabric and was very thankful that my dear Pfaff machine is equipped with a wonderful, built-in walking foot system!!! I plan on adding a dark red border and backing the quilt with the same and using, perhaps, one of the greens to bind it with! I'd like to hand-quilt this project, too, but I'll have to decide that when the time comes, after seeing how my arthritic fingers are holding out! Anyways, I'm sure it will be a while before I reach that stage!!!