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Quiltville Custom Quilting

On April 22nd 2006 I travelled to Haarlem, The Netherlands to spend a week with my close friend Lucy. While there I posted to her blog instead of my own..after all, I was on her side of the pond! I saved these excerpts so we wouldn't have to go digging in the archives for them. This page is in blog format with the beginning of my trip at the bottom, the last day at the top! (I'm too lazy to switch it around!) It is wonderful to meet other quilters from around the globe! I have learned something I have probably always known...Fabric is the Universal Language! :c)

I took about 175 pictures while I was there, I need to sort through them and write about them, hoping to add to this page the other thoughts and memories of this wonderful trip. Right now.....I'm still dealing with jet lag and unpacking.  I hope you enjoy your sneak peek at my visit to The Netherlands!

These first posts were on MY blog to direct readers to Lucy's where I was posting:

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Goat Farm Adventures :c)

Yesterday Lucy and I had a fun day taking her little girls to the goat farm! We also had a wonderful evening with her quilting friends and collegues at the shop where she works.

You can catch up with both of us on Lucy's Blog!


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Too Small for Stash Shopping!

Just putting a quickie pic over here because there was no more room over on Lucy's Blog! I have hogged it all! I wonder if space on her blog is like "roll over minutes" My posts are long, hers are short...so she has more room for mine?! :cD

When I read "The Davinci Code" a couple of months back, I was curious as to what a "Smart Car" was. Today I found one! I think I can even put it in a SPACE BAG and bring it home with me :cD

Today's installment IS over at Lucy's Blog, so please stop by and follow our travels through the Waterland!


Monday, April 24, 2006


A Week In Holland...

This week my installments of my trip to The Netherlands will be found on Lucy's Blog! I hope you will come to her page and find out what we have been up to!

I will give you one hint....no sewing has happened yet at ALL..although we have talked about it a bit :c) This fun pic brought to you by " The Junior Birdman Chapter of Haarlem!" My only regret is that Lucy isn't in the pic...she was behind the camera!

Bonnie & Lucy

These posts from Lucy's Blog:

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Zondag--Sewing Day!

You can tell that my time has been winding down by how the posts are running out of steam and energy! There are other things to post about, pictures to share, but today instead of being on the computer too much, we spent time with the kids at the Kermis (carnival rides) and do some much needed sewing. Need we say more than these pictures say about the good day we had making a mess with our scraps and working on our projects?

My next post will be from my OWN blog! I am returning home to South Carolina tomorrow, leaving here at 8am for a 12pm flight Nederlands time....and getting home in Columbia, SC at 11pm Eastern US time! It's going to be a very long day! I have had a wonderful memorable trip and I will cherish the time I have spent here with Lucy for the rest of my life! I can't wait until August when she brings her whole family to MY HOUSE :c)

This mess brought to you by Bonnie & Lucy!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

St Bavo Kerk, Haarlem

We got to town pretty early, and we had time before the next tour of the ten Boom house was available, so we walked over to St Bavo church (kerk) in the town square. It is HUGE and magnificent with stained glass, and the floor is paved with grave markers of people actually buried beneath the kerk floor. Some of the stones are very ornate! This picture is from above looking towards the center of town. You can see all the red tile roofs and the old buildings. The old buildings are SO wonderful!

This next picture is down by one of the canals looking towards town. You can see the spire of St Bavo behind all the rooftops! I enjoyed looking at the stained glass.

The organ is GORGEOUS..we got to listen to the organist playing for some school children, and that was a treat. There is just this "timeless" feeling when you are standing in a place that is so old and has so much history. I also loved looking at (mind you, not reading..because I can't understand ANYTHING, but looking at!) all the old dutch inscriptions on pillars and other paintings on the walls. So ornate and so beautiful. I wonder what those people's lives were like...

This organ has been played by Mozart in 1766 when he was 10 years old. Handel played this organ too!

Another fascinating thing is that the floor consists entirely of grave stones! In total there are about 1500 grave stones, the oldest of which dates back to the 1400's

And that is it for this installment of "Bonnie goes to Haarlem!" We will post about Queen's Day and Amsterdam some more when we come back from taking the children to the "Kermis"in town...a carnival !

Bonnie & Lucy


Friday morning was spent in Haarlem. We had made plans to bike down town to visit the Corrie ten Boom Museum
I hope you will take time to click the link and read the story, because it is a lovely story about the "hiding place"in Corrie's house where they helped many Jews escape the hands of the nazis.

The tour guide was very knowledgeable, and gave a great presentation on the history of "the hiding place". Unlike the Anne Frank Museum, the Corrie ten Boom house is furnished with period furnishings, so you get the feeling of what it would have been like during that time. All the houses I have been in are very tall, and have narrow climbing stairways which helps you understand how things were for people hiding there. There is a false wall built into Corrie's bedroom..they did build it with brick that they smuggled in in the cases of grandfather clocks from the clock shop (so neighbors wouldn't suspect they were building a brick wall in the house) and the hiding place was through the closet, behind the wall.

It was a great place to visit, especially because Lucy had not been inside before either. She knew the story, knew the place, but had never been in. So it was a first for us both and we really enjoyed it.

Thursday Afternoon

Hi Everybody! I am catching up on the weekend...It is Saturday night here, and there have been emails "where are our updates?!?" So I know it is time to sit and rest a bit and fill you in on the goings on here in Haarlem!

We left off last with the quilt shop gathering on wednesday night....which leads us to thursday morning! Biking biking, more biking! Thursday is the day that the open air market is available, and you can buy ANYTHING under the sun (or under the rain depending on the weather) There were booths with cloths, booths with upholstery and curtain fabrics (no quilting fabrics, darn!) fish, cheese, tools, dollar store type items. I bought a pair of sunglasses because I forgot to bring mine, and I bought a bunch of black licorice "drop" at one of the booths. Oh, I love this stuff. If they cut me open, I bet by now I would be BLACK inside!

I also bought some SMALL tiny teaspoons for use with tea cups. All of my spoons are cereal spoon sized american teaspoons, and they are too big with a pretty cup of tea. So this will be fun to bring home. It has been fun just going through the stores, seeing what they have that is different than we do, and also things the same.

After the market, we had to pick up Lucy's daughter from school for lunch. Here the little children (elementary school age) come HOME for lunch instead of eatting at the school. So that means a lot of coming and going on the bike for Lucy, no matter what the weather! When we took Isis back to school, we headed over to her friend Karrin's house for a meeting with Lucy's quilt friends!

There was a lot of laughter and talking (they tried so hard to speak english for me and it was so appreciated. My dutch is nearly non existant and atrocious!) Karrin also showed her quilts, and I got to see what everyone is working on as well. It was great! And yes, I sewed! This is that (*&@#($*&(*@#&$ hexagon project that has been a 6 year albatross so far. But...I'm making headway on it. I think I need to keep it as a hand work project when I have time between clients at the clinic, but that is ramblings for another day...

Thursday Evening we stayed home. Lucy's husband plays guitar, and he and another friend have a band. Rene's friend Henk came to practice, so Lucy and I got to sew at the table while the men played guitar and bass. It was nice!

So there ends thursday....next post will be about friday!

Bonnie & Lucy

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Quilter's Evening!

Last night (wednesday) was the quilter's gathering at the quilt shop! There are not a lot of machine quilters in the Netherlands. Space comes at a dear price, and not many people have garages or room for a large machine, so quilting by longarm here is quite a novelty!

I had 5 quilts that I have quilted for a lady in Amsterdam, and she let us use the quilts for display for the evening so I could talk a bit about machine quilting, how it is done with a longarm machine, etc.

It was a very special evening for me. Everyone was so nice and welcoming. Food was even provided...Everything was so good! (yes, I was trying EVERYTHING again!)

Lucy lives about 6 kilometers from the shop and rides her bike to and from each way. I have loved riding bikes here so much, I wish things were more like this in america. There are bike lanes on both sides of the street....and just like driving a car, you have your own traffic lights for the bike lanes....bike traffic on either side of the street also goes only in the same direction that the auto traffic is going...You don't ride against traffic, either bike traffic or car traffic!

We left the quiltshop at close to 11pm at night! So this was my first experience in riding home in the dark. The streets are well lit, and the bikes are also equipped with headlights and tail lights, just as if you were driving a car or riding a motorcycle. It was fun to ride at night! It was a bit chilly out, but riding the bike warms you up fast enough, and it was refreshing after spending several hours in the shop with chatty quilters and so much good food :c)

Today we have been to the outdoor market....It was fun to walk through the vendors and see what they were selling. I bought a pound of black licorice in different shapes and varieties. They call it "DROP" here, and I love it. I've always loved black licorice, and it amazes people here that someone from america does! The salty stuff though? That takes a bit of getting used to, so I stick to the sweet!

This afternoon is Lucy's small quilting group, and I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and getting some actual quilting done! I brought my hexagons to work on them...we will see if I will actually sew anything! So far I haven't! *LOL*

Bonnie (who is being called by Lucy to come eat lunch!!)

Bonnie Can't Say Geitenboerderij!!

But in dutch it means GOAT FARM!

Wednesday afternoon the younger children are out of school early, and it is a good day for a trip to the Geitenboerderij! We had a lovely time walking along the trail the leads through the trees and out into an open area where the farm is. There is no admission to the farm, but they count on the consession sales of fresh cheese, hand cream (made from the lanolin from sheep's wool) baked goods and dairy items like ice cream (either from goat's milk or cow's milk) to help with the costs of running the farm. What could be a better afternoon? Kids, sunshine, goats and ICE CREAM!

There were all kinds of animals in a petting zoo atmosphere. Chickens, pigs, cows, goats (of course) a pony that pulled a cart that the children could ride...it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon with the little girls. There is also a play ground with swings, jungle gym type equipment, so they can get all their wiggles out before the long car ride home too!

You can buy feed for the goats, as well as little bottles of goat milk for the babies. It was so sweet to watch the girls feed them and pet them. It definately was spring at the goat farm with all the darling babies around.

It was funny as we sat around the table for dinner though. Natasja, Lucy's teenage daughter said "I smell GOAT FARM!" I had washed, but I guess our clothes and shoes had still taken on the aroma. I was sure to change before we went to the quilter's meeting Wednesday night. The last thing I wanted was for anyone to think: "That american was sure nice, but you know, she smelled like a goat!"

Dinner was a treat! We had dutch pancakes...almost like crepes, and filled with apples and cinnamon, or chocolate (OH MY WORD!!) or plain served with powdered sugar or syup (stroop) Of course, I had to try EVERYTHING! (Good thing we biked to the quilter's evening...so I could work it all off!)

A great day was had by ALL!
Bonnie & Lucy (who don't smell like goats anymore!)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Week In Holland, Day 3!

What beautiful weather we have had! Everyone keeps remarking on how beautiful the weather has turned out and I am glad I was here for it! Have a seat, a cup of coffee, tea, a diet coke, a lemonade, a large glass of water, whatever suits you, this post is going to take a while!

Before I go any farther, I want to make a statement on yesterday's pictures. I didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings, or to think that this is all we saw in Amsterdam. We were only in Amsterdam for a few hours yesterday, and the pics are what we saw walking from the train station, to the Anne Frank Huis, and back to the train station. We have more time to spend in Amsterdam on friday, including Den Haan en Wagemakers. They were not open on monday, and that is why we did not go there. We were in a hilarious silly mood when we uploaded yesterday's pictures.

Today we were more traditionally directed! We drove to Marken! Lucy took me to Marken because she loves it so much. They have a sailboat,and have sailed to Marken. When she went last summer she told me about it and how special it was to her and I wanted to see it so much! So today was the day. Maybe you can look at this picture of the boats in the harbor, and imagine Lucy and her family here! I was amazed to see people dressed in traditional dutch costume here. I am more and more in love with the color orange! (yeah cheddar!) and preprations for Queen's Day are well under way with flags hanging all over the little village. A very nice man at the Kerk (church) told us that we were here a few days too early because it is wonderful to experience Marken on Queen's Day! That was okay, we were going to make the most of it, and make the most of it we did!

We walked around the cobbled streets....and everywhere the houses were so unique and beautiful! Flowers are everywhere, in pots by the doors, in window boxes in little manicured gardens. We toured the harbor area, toured a little traditional dutch house set as a museum, sat and drank coffee and tea at an outside table enjoying the view.

We walked every street across bridges and little canals....We went to the museum, and there were pieces of antique clothing for sale...plaids! prints! oh joy! They were about the price of a fat quarter, but these fabrics have a life and a history all their own. So....I can't wait to make a dutch reproduction quilt with them! An Antique store down the road had more pieces of fabric, lots of wonderful items...I looked at each and every and wish I could be bringing home them all! I bought a small antique pair of wood shoes, after watching a man there carving them.
You can buy new ones, but Lucy and I liked the old pair in the antique shop better..they have history.

We grabbed a quick lunch on the go at a little bakery. Ham & cheese cooked inside a yummy croisant, and a filled cookie with choclate on top that was out of this world! So good. This little town also has a grocery store, so it was fun to go in there and see what items they had for sale. It was a very enjoyable day....and we left just in time as 3 big tour busses were pulling in and letting off hoards of...AMERICANS!

Here you can see the man carving the wooden shoes from a log! It was so fun to watch, and it didn't take him long at all before the log was looking more like a wooden shoe. Of course, the silly pic above is of me sitting IN a shoe, because Lucy said so. :cD After Marken, we drove to Monnickendam also part of the Waterland, strolled the streets there and stopped in an antique shop. Not a lot there, but I did buy a fun pastry cutter that I had never seen before. We had a nice dinner at an italian restaurant called La Fermata. Lucy ordered a pizza, and I had a calzone that was out of this world (and I couldn't finish it! Our nice waiter took our pic for us. It's a bit dark, but then you can kind of see the city street outside the window!

It was a wonderful day! There are also many pics that I can't upload them all, so I will plan on loading them MORE after I get home next week! And for dessert...a pic of the treasures we found on Marken.....all antique fabrics, and the little jacket and two little headcoverings, and wooden shoes! (can you find the wooden shoes? Aren't they perfect?? They are old and wonderful and have a history!)

Tomorrow we are staying home in the morning to rest and maybe do some sewing (sewing?? What is sewing?!?) and in the afternoon we are going with the little children to the GOAT FARM!! The children are excited to go and we will have fun spending the afternoon watching them have fun with the goats...feeding them, petting them. Laughter and smiles are the same in every language!

Lucy & Bonnie!

Monday, April 24, 2006

When In Amsterdam

Monday! Amsterdam! Need I say more?? :cD

We rode our bikes this morning to the train station in Haarlem. I should have gotten a pic of the SEA of bikes. It looked like a tangled mess of tires and handlebars everywhere with no end in sight! I only regret that I didn't get a pic of the bike mess, but I was so overwhelmed I couldn't think straight. This picture is of the train station in Amsterdam. BEAUTIFUL!!

The weather today was springy and lovely, perfect for even being out later in just shirt sleeves or a light sweater, but early in the morning we needed our coats. We had so much fun walking from the train station to the Anne Frank Huis (museum) and it was an amazing experience. I first read Anne Frank's diary when I was 12 and in the 6th grade. It has stuck with me all my life so this was one place I really wanted to see on my trip to the Netherlands.

One problem though...we got there only to find out that we were not allowed to take pictures there (verboden!!!) so we had to find alternate photo opportunities!
Here I am in front of one of Amsterdam's many cultural highlights and tourist traps! Mind you, this was attracting people at 9am in the morning..I'd hate to see what it is like at night!

Amsterdam is also known for the prolific availablilty of medicinal herbs. :c) This pic is for my sons who were teasing me about why they really suspected I wanted to come to Amsterdam. (But I really would rather have the fabric!)

Isn't this a beautiful topiary tree? All the houses in Lucy's neighborhood and in the cities have beautified their small corner by planting beautiful flowers. I suggested this one might look good in LUCY's front garden?? She says "NEE!" I'd take it home with me but I don't think the customs officers on the other side of the pond are going to let me back in the states with this beautiful flowering bush, so it will just have to stay in Amsterdam and beautify the sidewalk where it stands!

Tomorrow our plan is to go to Marken, a little island fishing village, famous for the people, the buildings, the traditional costumes, and the way of life. When Lucy is on the sail boat with her family, it is one of her favorite places to sail to and visit. I am really looking forward to seeing EVERYTHING!

Bonnie & Lucy

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Our Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean.....


I'm sitting here at Lucy's desk uploading a pic that Natasja just took of us sitting on the couch...the same couch I have seen in pictures for over 2 years....today I SAT ON IT!

The flight was long.....I slept a little bit, but there was a man 2 rows up who would snore and snort intermittently and break the silence. Just when I was finally getting some better sleep, the pilot came on announcing that we were 1 1/2 hours from Amsterdam, and breakfast would begin being served, Good Morning! *AUUUGHH!*

I have had a wonderful time meeting Lucy's family today, being treated like a queen with wonderful food (You should smell the indonesian delicacies marinating in the kitchen downstairs for dinner! mmm!) and we went on a fun bike ride through the old part of Haarlem to see the bloemencorso....it is a bunch of "floats"covered in flowers that are on public display through the weekend. The fragrance of the flowers was wonderful! (have pics, will post more later)

Right now I'm really running on almost no sleep. It's just past 3pm here, hard to believe it's just past 9am....I feel like I'm ready to go to bed to sleep a whole night through! My goal is to stay up at least until it is DARK with night here..and sleep the whole night through and then maybe by morning I will feel semi human :c)

Lucy just asked me to write about the most amazing thing I have seen so far...... I would have to say it is the BUILDINGS. They are incredible....all brick..several stories high, and many built in the 1600's. The architecture is wonderful.....There is a cathedral in the center of the down town area where we were that was SO BEAUTIFUL...and everywhere There are things on buildings like dates written in the mortar, or things like gargoyles, pelicans (made out of concrete?) men's heads....just amazing detail. I'll post pics later to my own blog.

Riding bikes here is amazing....special paved lanes for the bikes, and the bike lanes have their own stop lights too...when you come up to a stop light, you have to push the button to get the light to turn green so you can cross the street...kind of like american crosswalks, but these are for bikes, and the green light is a green bike image :c)

We went into a couple of antique shops. I found an old apron....from a traditional dutch costume. It is hand made, with smocking at the waist......a wonderful traditional stripe fabric. I also bought a cute antique (?) travel iron that is really small, and will be a decoration piece next to the old toy sewing machine that Lucy gave me last year when she came to visit.

The old basket quilt top hanging over our heads in the pic is one I brought for Lucy as a surprise. It has been in my hands for the past 10 years and I know I'll never get around to hand quilting it. I think it looks great over "the couch"!


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