Sunday, 14 February 2016

Apples and fruit on the dike

A time and reason to everything! Working too hard, not enough play time, and a computer that disagreed with the installation of Windows10 - all being reasons not to continue with this blog, but I hope to blow new life in it as spring is coming, energy streaming into the house, and retirement around the corner!
Time to catch up on one or two things creative wise and enough to post about the polders and its happenings around us.


The rain on that particular day in summer two years ago was no reason not to give in to the temptation to visit the open house at ‘Quiltatelier Vlijtig Liesje’ at Tienhoven. The car had to be parked further away as – just like me – other quilters just loved to see all the new things at the Atelier and the parking was full. Such a wonderful environment and not one inch of the interior and the summer house not filled with inspirational quilt and needle work.

‘Hey guys, you could do with a nice warm quilted horse blanket!’ I said cheerily. Who knows, a project for some other time? They persisted in their rainy meditation. Maybe one pony looked at me, but the hair in front of his eyes hided no emotion or awareness of my passing by and my bright idea on the blanket. Horses can look so sad with their heads motionless experiencing the moment. The little ponies no doubt comforted each other.

On my way back to the car, with a head full of impressions, the rest of the scenery highly inspired me just the same. A lovely apple tree showed its blushing apples which kept lingering in my head for a long time. 

It was not until the spring time I decided to join the invitation to contribute to Hanneke’s project to make a block as part of a car cover. The apples were going to be part of the block, my scraps were turned upside down. Remnants of a blouse once made (and part of it already used for a carry all) were just the thing for my idea. The pin wheel is such a cheery pattern. I like it best to make colour drawings of my plan first and then work out the pattern parts. This block had to meet a special measure, so it was worked out to size. The block got a name ‘Appeltjes en fruit van de Looydijk’ (Apples and fruit from the Looydijk’. A dike in the polder at Tienhoven.

The block with apples reminds me of the return to Canada of my blog friend Wanda and her husband on that rainy day, and in fact the pinwheel looks like a maple leaf. A tribute also to her husband’s father who was here during WWII, risking his life and contributing to the freedom of the Dutch.

It is not easy to match colours when you want to work with your scraps, and it is also not easy when you are out of routine, which was the very case with me. My husband heard me sigh many times on putting the wrong sides together, or whatever mistakes you make as you go. As it grows from the design to the real block and finish it is amazing what happens and how creative you get. I decided to use rig rag for the leaf stem and fasten this with two different colours of DMC pearl cotton. The pattern originated from ‘Autumn leaves’ in an old copy of Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine. The pattern was bookmarked ages ago as I really fancied to make the published pattern as a full quilt.
Then there was the moment to say goodbye to the block last summer and hand it over to Hanneke, rolled up nicely around the inside of a kitchen paper roll to make sure it would not crinkle. A strange feeling, as someone else was going to give a destination to my block. If it would so happen there was the danger that scissors would be set in the block to make it match the curves of the car. But no, it got a wonderful place at the back. The cover has been travelling and on display on various occasions. It was not until this autumn that I saw it myself as part of the whole project. Fun!

It was more than amazing to see how women had been inspired by all sorts of things, using so many techniques and entrusting their beautiful work to this project! Awesome! There is this whole story behind my block, but I wonder what the other blocks hold as history?

 A second block was made, for the same project, also with a history. Next post!


  1. What a beautiful post Jacoba! We are very touched by your tribute to Cliff...your block is lovely. I am sure you will enjoy more free time for quilting in your retirement.
    Love from Canada..

  2. Hoe komt iemand op het idee om een Quilt- auto te maken. Jouw blok komt heel mooi uit zo op de achterkant en het verhaal achter je blok is prachtig.
    Mooi en knap gedaan, top hoor!!