Tuesday, 31 August 2010

1 year winner

Without much ado I give you the winners of my 1 year blogaversary giveaway:

The green lot goes to the lovely pinksuedeshoe of pinksuedeshoe who said
“Happy Blogiverary! I think you've picked a great way to celebrate, because oh my goodness that button trim is SO cute! And that little zoo print fabric is adorable, so fun! “

And the pink charm pack from Darlene of SewCalGal goes to Stormy Days who said
“Oh Nina, please don't ever get bored with quilting. What would we do without your wonderful, different ideas?”

Congratulations, ladies, I’ll be emailing you both.

Thank you all for your kind comments; they there’s nothing like a blog to make you feel good about yourself on a cloudy day.-)

Monday, 30 August 2010

"All dressed up"

I have met my One-thing-one-week-goal! The Nothing to wear quilt “All dressed up” is finally finished after months in the making. It has a scrappy binding from my Big Box of Binding and for some reason a pin that I need to remove before I ship it off to its new home.
I hope the homeowner will like it and that the dry spell is over so I can release some of the pent up creative energy. I’m sure is in here, somewhere.

Onto the more disturbing news; one of my quilts from Birmingham may or may not be misplaced; I have no idea. I received a call from a lady on Friday asking if I had received both my quilts back, and I told her I was picking my package up later that afternoon, so she would call me back at 17:30. Well, only one quilt was in the package and I waited and waited, but no call. It might mean that they have sorted it out, but I would appreciate to be informed anyway. I’m thinking that someone has dropped the ball or they wouldn’t have to call me to check what they have shipped. Not a very comforting thought, is it…

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Saturday, 28 August 2010


I have unraveled the top half of the almost finished jacket for grandson. Now I have all these fun little balls with wavy yarn.
This was already a scrap project, and now the process of extending the body and sleeves will probably make it even scrappier.
I’ll use the wrong side out so I get this effect which I like very much.
I love knitting stripes; each stripe goes very quickly and you can literary see the project growing. I’m looking forward to do a little knitting in the evenings and finally finish this project.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Back in the saddle

Giddy-up; I’m sewing again!
It looks like I needed some small kicks in a soft part of my anatomy to get me going, and I’m trying to work my way through the should-have-been-dones. As usual, it takes less time to do them than worrying about them. The first thing I got out of the way was a pattern that I semi-promised before the summer, and now I have moved on to the custom ordered “Nothing to wear" quilt.
It’s quilted with straight lines in different colours. Now I’ll only have to locate my Big Box of Binding before I’m heading out for lunch with old friends. I like to have some comfy hand stitching over the weekend. I signed up this quilt for Amy’s One thing, one week challenge, so it needs to be finished by Monday.
Have a lovely Friday.-)

Thursday, 26 August 2010

I was here

I do have hair, you know; it's the wind!

Hå Gamle Prestegård is such a beautiful place, right at the shore of the North Sea. The light and colours change every minute due to the wind, which yesterday made it difficult to hold the camera still. I wish it could capture the air as well as the image, it’s so refreshing. Hå Gamle Prestegård (gammel means old, prestegård means minister’s residence) has several buildings, and the workshop took place in the main building. Everything is very rustic and sturdy, and there is wonderful artwork everywhere. Even the windows in the barn look like pieces of art.

One table was set up with thread in all the colours of the rainbow and then some. I was early (a lifelong habit), and got to spend a little time with the artist, Lise Bjørne Linnert, herself.
We were a small group, 8 with Lise, which made conversation very easy. She started by telling about the background story of the project, “Desconocida Unknown Ukjent”, which is to create awareness of the femicide in Juarez, Mexico. During the last 17 years, 800 young women have disappeared or been murdered; 2 women a week at the present. We picked a name to embroider and got to work. We were watching a documentary about Juarez made by an American woman a few years ago while we were working.
What can I say? I don’t know what’s worse; the horrible destiny of each of these young women, the grief of their loved ones or the fact that it’s just going on and on and on. It’s somewhere between pulling your hair out and screaming on the top of your lungs frustrating. So what are you going to do? I think Lise’s approach is wonderful; to give these women a voice, to show that they are not forgotten, to show the world that this is happening.

Her installations include 600 names that are public + “unknown” in different languages to symbolize all the other women that disappear. Here is my humble contribution to her project (you could probably pick them out by the colours).Maria Santos Ramirez; you were here. I will remember that.

I know it takes all kinds and all that, but people who trade women like commodities, use them and abuse them then throw them away when they’re done like they don’t matter at all? Really??

Now I’m going to hug my loved ones.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Preparing for a workshop

I’ll be going on a little road trip today to Hå Gamle Prestegård about an hour south of Stavanger. I have been there several times before enjoying the art and the scenery, but this time is different. I’ll be taking part in a workshop for the international art project “Desconocida Unknown Ukjent” by the Norwegian artist Lise Bjørne Linnert. The project puts the spotlight on trafficking, violation and murders of women through embroidery.

Since the beginning in 2006 2200 people all over the world have participated and more than 4000 patches have been embroidered. The project has been exhibited at museums and galleries in Norway and abroad. You can read more about the project at Lise’s blog.

I’m sure it will be heartbreaking working on someone’s name knowing they are missing or dead, but I really want to do this. As a woman and mother I find it horrifying how many women who are raped or murdered or just simply disappear.

I’ll let you know how it went as soon as I have dried my tears.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Happy feet

Here it is; the result from a bit of knitting over the weekend – a pair of woolen socks for grandson.
He loves his new socks, but trying to get pictures of socks on the feet of a 3 year old is another story…

Monday, 23 August 2010

World class knitting

There is now a new world knitting record. On Saturday the 21st of August 2010, at Amfi Madla, Stavanger, Norway, 984 happy knitters knitted in peace and harmony for 20 minutes. Peace and harmony is a bit exaggerated as this guy in a pink suit (the entertainer/leader/guide/timekeeper) was running around and talking in a microphone the whole time, but it sure was fun.

I arrived 2 hours early, and was handed the mandatory T shirt which I changed into in the restroom. Here I am, ready to go. Isn’t that a lovely T shirt? I’m going to wear it all the time, and yes, I'm tall, 5' 11".

Noticing the turned soda crate seating arrangement (benches; yeah right!!) on arrival, I bought 3 seating pads and found myself a comfy ottoman where I could wait. While making a new friend (a lovely lady from Scotland who had lived here for 60 years) and meeting up with a fellow guild member, we were helping out preparing starter kits.
Unfortunately we were kicked off the ottoman and banished to the crates. I don’t think I’m built for soda crates any longer and neither was my new friend who was in her 80ies, so the seating pads made a whole lot of difference and the crates almost bearable for the 3 of us.
Everybody was so excited to see if we would make it and people were signing up until the very last second. The poor shoppers who wanted nothing more than doing their weekend shopping were bombarded with "Sign up! Join in! Come on! Come ooon!" as they made their way along the rows of eager knitters. Even a group of army recruits joined in on the fun. The previous record was 937 people knitting for 15 minutes, so we made it by a large margin. Kudos to the people who set it up; well done!!

In addition to the fabulous and flattering T shirts (now stretched out of/into shape)
we got yarn and needles from Viking. Too bad it's a bit too girly for grandson. It sure was fun to participate though.-)

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Preparing for Guinness

This morning I’m getting prepared for a record in Gunnies world records. I’ll take part in what will hopefully be a new knitting record – 1000 people (hopefully) will knit for 20 minutes (hopefully) at Madla Amfi in Stavanger at 13:00 today. They’ll be putting up an 865m serpentine bench and if I’m lucky I’ll get to sit or it might get a bit of an uncomfortable experience. I understand this is serious business with sign ups, registrations, t-shirts and police. It’s going to be fun though and hopefully they’ll be able to reach their goal; I’ll do my best and knit like the wind (probably more like a soft summer breeze).
I have unraveled a mitten I started knitting for grandson 2 years ago and have now started on a sock for him, just so I’ll have something to knit. I’m using 2 strands of baby wool which goes in the washing machine. I knitted a lot for daughter when she was little and used baby wool for years. It’s thin and comfortable and takes constant use and washing very well.

Maybe I should finish the cardigan I almost knitted for grandson as well. It was only missing the last finishes, but now I’ll have to unravel the top half and make everything longer. He has grown quite a bit and it’s too bad to just leave it laying there after all that work. You know how it is.-)

Friday, 20 August 2010

"View from the park"

This is one of the quilts I shipped off to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK earlier this summer. I have blogged about parts of the process with a few little sneak peeks here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For those of you that are not that familiar with the Festival of Quilts – it is the biggest European quilt festival with around 1000 entries and 30000 visitors. There are 9 different open competitions, from Art Quilts to School Competition.

“View from the park” (104cm * 96cm) is my contribution to this year’s Quilters’ Guild Challenge with the theme “Summer in the city”. Artist’s statement (always a challenge to sum up your artistic vision in 20-30 words…): View from the park – flowers, skyline, blue skies; my favorite memories from visiting a big city in the summer.
The quilt is super simple and heavily quilted with straight lines in different colours. I had lots of ideas for the houses, and was planning to add window shapes in some way, but decided to drop them. I am very glad I did as I’m very pleased with the result. And guess what; so were the judges. I actually won an award! Me! A real monetary award! At the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham!

All the awards were presented at the gala dinner last night, and as I’m right here and not in Birmingham, the international representative of our national quilt association (NQF) called and said she would accept it on my behalf. Now I have people accepting awards on my behalf.

The fun thing is that when I first noticed I had missed a call from UK on Wednesday night I thought Oh no; my quilt is stolen/ruined/did not make it there on time, but then I listened to the lovely lady on my voice mail congratulating me (4 times; listening, not congratulating me) and I exhaled. I was way too excited to get much sleep that first night as an award winning quilter though, and waited anxiously to call her back the next morning.

I definitely want to thank the Big & Strong Program that made it possible for me to jump up and down and run around for quite a while. Happy day indeed.

I was planning to post more pictures, but my photo editing software license expired 12 minutes ago so I have to get a new one. I hope to have it installed in time to show the award when it arrives.-)
Have a fantastic Friday!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

All play and no work?

Playing is not always all play; not if you are a quilter and get to play with colours and shapes. The Plus Plus blocks from this post is still among our favorite pastimes.

Remember I said you can use these little plastic puzzle pieces to design quilts?

You make a little plastic quilt
and try out different layouts and colour combos
and replace borders or centre when you’re pleased.
Take photos along the way and you might have a design for a new quilt, or study them and use what you learned in future projects.
Wouldn't you love to live in one of these little houses?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Hi Ho Hi Ho

and off to work I go – replacing the line in the flag that hangs outside when we stay at our cabin. It’s really not a flag but a streamer that can stay up at all hours. I love this tradition; it reminds me of my grandparents and their much beloved cabin.

Anything that stays outside in our part of the woods needs to be sturdy, but being forgotten and left outside for several weeks was too much for the line that got twisted and turned and weighed down by 2m soaking wet (and now wrinkly) fabric. Husband brought it home 2 weeks ago and yesterday I finally got the proper line and set up for a little repair session.

Armed with a sharp seam ripper and glue stick
I got the seams unstitched (heavy polyester thread, yuck)
and glued back on and properly pinned down
I dusted off the sewing machine, patted it a little and apologized for ignoring it for so long, and voila – it’s done and it didn’t take half the time I have spent thinking about it.