Tuesday 24 December 2013

God jul/Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a wonderful and pieceful holiday!
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Front cover

The latest number of the member magazine for the Norwegian Quilter's Association arrived last week and I just have to share - my Loyal Union Sampler is on the cover:

I'm so proud! And it's relly fun that both my large Elm Creek Quilts samplers have made the front cover of the publication of our national guild - no. 4/2011 and no. 4/2013 are looking good together, aren't they?

And of course someone jus had to be in the picture - wondering what his twolegs are up to

Can you believe we have lived together for just over four years now? He is such a little sweetie and just a part of the house ;-)
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Monday 9 December 2013

Värmland winter light

Just wanted to share a few pictures from a walk my friend K and I took while visiting their family house in Värmland in Sweden this weekend - loved the light on Saturday

Only a little sewing has been going on, but haven't shot any pictures of it yet.
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday 17 November 2013

A weekend of vitamin Q

On Friday nine women packed our sewing machines, fabrics and notions, ongoing projects and patterns for new ones, and went for a weekend stay at Lapp-Elisa's in Lennartsfors in Sweden.

I think we all were in need of some vitamin Q. Lots of sewing was done, all of us working dilligently on our projects. Friday night I finished my last block for my Christmas quilt (and forgot to take a close-up picture, but it's the one on the top left corner), and yesterday I worked on the setting for the blocks.

I managed to get all the sashing stitched, the center of the top together and add the inner border before it got too late Saturday night

And before breakfast this morning the outer border was attached. Just as the blocks in this quilt is from a Jennifer Chiaverini pattern, the setting is found in her pattern book Traditions from Elm Creek Quilts, however my borders are a bit narrower. 

A few pictures of the sewing room with some of Elisabeth's colourful quilts and quilt tops, as well as all our stash spread around. the tables

We have already started planning our next get-togeher here - the date is set and we have started thinking of what to do.

Of course I spent some money, but I haven't unpacked my bags yet, so that will have to be shared in a later post.

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday 10 November 2013

Back from an adventure in India

This year the birthday present from me to myself was a trip to Northern India.  Along with my friend K we have had a wonderful week with lots of impressions in an area filled with sounds, colour and scents.

I have lots of pictures to sort through, lots of memories to save in a scrap book, and even some materials for a new quilt.

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Thursday 31 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I have been following the Blogger's Quilt Festival for a few seasons now, and I have been amazed by all the beautiful quilts made by the talented quilters out these. When Amy's e-mail arrived earlier this fall I immediately knew I would enter my recent pride and joy: Anne Ida's Loyal Union Sampler - here hung on the attic wall:

I was and still am thrilled to have been able to make this quilt ahead of the Loyal Union Sampler book being published, and honored a picture of my quilt was included in the book.

My quilt consists of  the 121 sampler blocks featured in the pattern book, and 56 Birds in the Air blocks for the border - each block 6" square. The quilt itself measures 90" square.

The few bits of applique in this quilt is done by hand, but most of blocks are machine pieced and the quilting is done on my Bernina Activa 135 - also known as Bernie :-)

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Monday 28 October 2013

Christmas Greetings substitute

In an earlier post I mentioned I was probably going to substitute a block or two for my Christmas quilt. However, I  wanted it to thematically still would work in a Christmas quilt, and not be too different from the block i changed. So the choice of a Snow Chrystal block wasn't so far fetched:

In my part of Norway there's a bit of a jeopardy if there's snow on Christmas or not, but still there's always the hope of waking up to a white Christmas.

What block did I replace? There's no secret I have a teeny-tiny scare of applique, and of course one of the final two blocks in the original sampler has some applique in it - this is Flower of Christmas:

Picture copy: block from the original 
Christmas Greetings from Elm Creek Manor by Jennifer Chiaverini

Not too different are they?  Just the center that separates these blocks, and I wanted to do a block that had more or less the same overall appearance as the Flower of Christmas.

The Snow Chrystal block is patterned in the Elm Creek pattern books, but the pattern is for a block with lots of Y-seam construction  made from diamonds, triangles and squares. I don't really mind doing Y-seams, but strip-piecing is rather quicker, and since I do own the Rapid Fire Lemoyne star ruler, and have become quite smitten with it (it's not a love-match, though), I decided it would be a good way to go. However, using this method there will be some more seams to cross when quilting...

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday 27 October 2013

LUS BOW: Beacon Lights

I didn't get around to making last week's LUS BOW, but I probably won't make all 120 blocks this time around, and have plenty of time to decide if I'll play catch-up on that block, or if I'll just skip it. For now I have enjoyed making this week's BOW: A-7 Beacon Lights:

Not really sure what's going on, but I feel these LUS blocks came together so much smoother when I did the brown/pink/gold version. Might be the background fabrics I used - the white-on-white is fairly stiff, so it might have helped stabilize the pieces better than the fabrics I'm using now - which is bits and pieces from a layer cake and scraps of beige left over from my Dear Jane adventure... This is the block I made for my brown/pink/gold LUS:

Happy Sunday!
Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday 20 October 2013

Sunday walk to the LQS

The weather forecast actually says -1 centigrade and mentioned something about snow in certain areas tomorrow. So when I had the chance today I went for a walk to the local quilt shop in the area my parents live, enjoying the last of the Autumn colours.

What I bought? Cotton batting for my Christmas quilt, a stencil (thinking maybe doing some hand quilting...) a marker, a ruler and some quilting thread. All stuff I plan on using fairly soon ;-)


Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Saturday 19 October 2013

Christmas Greetings: the Christmas Eve block

Haven't really had time or energy to sew much since last weekend, but this morning I managed to get the Christmas Eve block for my Christmas sampler together. Not all the points match perfectly, but I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

However I'm wondering how well the yellow points will show once the block is sewn into the quilt... Oh, well, this is the colour combination I felt like ;-)

The block is sewn on freezer paper, which is not my favorite technique, but with all the bias edges on the pieces in this block I figured it was my best bet without having to have to do lots of frog-stitching.

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday 13 October 2013

Loyal Union Sampler BOW and a Christmas block

This week's BOW for the Loyal Union Sampler yahoo group is Winged Square - this is my version made in Harvest Home by Blackbirds:Design for Moda. The picture doesn't do it justice - the background is actually a warm brown, not the horrible pink as it looks in the picture:

This is the one I made for the pink/brown/gold LUS quilt that's in the book - the focus fabric is from Jennifer Chiaverini's Joanna's Collection for Red Rooster:

I have also made a tiny progress on my Christmas quilt - one block down, three more to go. This is Pine Tree:

I had a look through my project today bag, and it looks like I have very little red fabrics left, so I' m thinking the last three blocks needs to be mostly green and gold... or I have to come up with something...

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Wednesday 9 October 2013

Christmas Greetings revisited

Early 2011 I joined a BOM with a yahoo group making quilts from Jennifer Chiaverini's pattern books. The pattern for this BOM was Christmas Greetings from Elm Creek Manor:

I stitched diligently the first few months and made it through six blocks before I completely lost focus. I did try, cutting pieces for blocks ready to stitch, but they lust lay there in their little plastic baggies until our sewing getaway at Lapp-Elisa's in April. After which my tally was 8 blocks.

I still have to make the remaining four blocks (perhaps I'll substitute a couple) as I have decided on a setting for these blocks that's on a 3x4 blocks grid. The setting is also from a Jennifer Chiaverini pattern but it's not the elaborate setting of the original Christmas Greetings quilt. Hopefully I can get this project finished by Christmas as the fabric I ordered for the setting and border arrived last week:

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Sunday 6 October 2013

LUS BOW - Abel's Favorite

Keeping on playing with the fun block of the week over at the Loyal Union Sampler yahoo group. This week's block is A1- Abel's Favorite:

It turned out a bit wonky, not sure what I did wrong since I didn't have any problems with my first one, but it was fun revisiting the pattern for this block. Amazing what difference the choice of fabric makes - this is the block I made for my original LUS quilt:

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Saturday 5 October 2013

Le Grand Macabre and a need to vent

Tonight a colleague of mine and I went out to see György Ligeti's burlesque opera "Le Grand Macabre

It was a very entertaining but quite bizarre experience... Loved the scenography, especially the lights and the use of bits of film/movie. The performers did a great job, but the story took some getting into - the day after a drinking binge, anxiety thinking the end of the world has come - and the music had some weird bits in it. But all in all well worth the visit to the opera house. 

So why does my heading say "...a need to vent"? This summer I bit the dust and exchanged my old cell phone for a smart phone - yes I have issues with technology, I have just started to get used to the idea I can use my phone to do more than call and text message ;-) As on most theaters, when the show began one of the attendants came on stage and asked everyone to please not take photographs or record any of the performance. She also asked people to please turn off their phones and to only update Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during intermission. Show begins, the woman next to me shoots a picture of the stage. I think "Ok, she violates the regulations getting a souvenir, but will put away her phone after this". But no! She kept on using it - and with the screen quite close to my face I could clearly see she was on FB, she was texting, she was flipping through her photo album and whatever else. Since the light from the screen was interfering with my vision I asked her to please turn it off  - TWICE! And she just kept going! This was a woman about my age (mid 30s), so she should be grown up enough to respect people and shut off the phone when it clearly violates regulations and is an annoyance to people around her! If she though the show was boring she could have left during intermission, but she kept on playing with her phone trough the second half as well! 

I really, really, really hope I never become that attached to my phone! However I used it on my way out to take a picture of their lovely stage curtain

Its a piece of art made in cotton, wool and polyester by american artist Pae White, and she called it "Metafoil". Unfortunately the picture doesn't do it justice, however it does kind of look like scrunched up tin foil ;-)

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Friday 4 October 2013

Loyal Union Sampler - appliqué blocks

There aren't many appliqué blocks in the LUS, luckily for me who still have a bit of a scare about the A-word. However I love the look of the appliqué that's there:

E-8 Honney Bee:

I-8  Slave Chain:

...and one of my favorites J-3 Tea Leaves:

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Tuesday 1 October 2013

Sylvia and the Civil War

Doing the posts on my Loyal Union Sampler and seeing the LUS blocks popping up on blogs and in the yahoo-group I feel my fingers itching to stitch little 6" blocks again. I'm a member of both the yahoo-group for Sylvia's Bridal Sampler and The Loyal Union Sampler. Both groups are doing a block-of-the-week program, so I'm gonna join in the fun using a layer cake and some cream fabrics from my stash:

Not sure how far they will take me, but at the moment it's just about having fun with some blocks along with everyone else. Perhaps they someday might turn into a Sylvia and the Civil War quilt?

This week's block at the LUS-BOW group is B-2 Camp Curtain:

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Saturday 28 September 2013

Quick Comfort Food

A few days ago I found a draft for a post I made ages ago but didn't post. So I  figured it's time to share. It's a simple cooking recipe - this is the yummiest thing you can eat when craving comfort food, and apples are in season at the moment. It is quick and easy to make, and definitely not suitable if you're on a diet *lol* For ca four portions you need:

2-4 chicken breasts (depending on size, some are huge!)
1 medium size yellow onion
1 red pepper
1 green apple
1 bag of Bearnaise sauce powder
2 tbsp cooking oil
water (according to liquid announced on the sauce packet)
1 tub of creme fraiche (3dl)
salt; chili flakes, any other spice you might wish ;-)

Dice the chicken, onion, pepper and apple. Soften the onion in some oil in a pan on low heat, leave it for a few minutes before adding the pepper - leave it till it's shiny and soft. Remove and heat the pan so you can brown the chicken pieces. Add the sauce powder and water and bring to a boil, add the veggies, the creme fraiche and the apple. You might need to add a tad more water. Season to taste - some salt, and a pinch of flaked chili gives it a nice heat if you like that,. Let it cook till the apple is soft, but not mushy.

I didn't have a pepper in the house when I made it today, so I skipped it. Makes the dish look a little bland, but the taste is still great. There's just something comforting about the richness of the sauce, the softness of the chicken, the sweetness of the onion and the tartness of the apple. I love to serve this with noodles but it works wonderful with rice as well - yummmmmm!!!!

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida

Thursday 26 September 2013

Loyal Union Sampler - Favorite Blocks

I have changed the header for my blog - now including a section of my LUS quilt. And calling this post "favorite blocks" is a bit risky as I know taste it is a very subjective theme. But when doing a sampler there are blocks that speak more to the maker than others. It might be the over-all look of the block, it might be the fabric combination for that particular block, it might be overcoming the challenge of difficult piecing. Here's a selection of some of my favorites from the LUS:

A-2 Abigail's Swing - was a challenge getting the block looking symetrical, the seams kept pulling and it looked very crooked for a while, but I'm very happy with how it turned out: 

A-2 A house Divided - something just so pretty with the simplicity of this block and I would love to use this block in a two-block quilt someday: 

A-4 Anneke's Choice - just love the illusion of curves in this block:

B-4 Castle Wall - this was a tricky block to do, but I'm thrilled with the result. The Castle wall block is an important block in the Elm Creek Quilt novels, starting with the memorial quilt that is made for Sylvia after her husband is killed in WW2, and it's a block that has fascinated me since I first read about it in "The Quilter's Apprentice":

B-6 Charlie Stokey's Star is a block designed for this quilt - Charlie is a character in the novel and there is a passage in "The Union Quilters" describing the star made by his loved one. This is one of the blocks I keep dreaming of making a whole quilt with the one block repeat:

E-2 Granny's Favorite actually looks a bit simpler than it was to piece (I get confused with over sized pieces that needs to be trimmed after the block is sewn), but I love the simple look of it, the four patch more or less floating against a two-colour background. Another great pattern for a one block repeat quilt: 

K-1 Vermont  came together so smoothly, which I never would have guessed looking at the 36 strange looking triangles that are in this block: 

K-8 Wisconsin is just glowing, isn't it? ;-)

Hugs and stitches from Anne Ida