Friday, 14 November 2014

Pearls, paints and a seaside quilt

It has been ages since I wrote a post for the blog, I have neglected you all in favour of travel, there is no other excuse. And also sometimes there is nothing to say that I think you would like to hear about either. But now I can tell you about this month's quilt and a little view of Amsterdam, which is, I think, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Canal in Amsterdam
 The canals run throughout the city and everywhere the light shines on the water and the autumn colours of the trees reflect back in russets, yellows and greens. Cyclists have priority everywhere and go at great speed. Tall houses line the canals, painted in soft pinks and blues which echo the pale tints of the sky. And there are such wonderful flower markets, even in October and packets of seeds which promise of beautful gardens for next year.
                                                 Seed packets in a market, Amsterdam

 I must confess I love the tiny rows of pottery Dutch houses, clogs and windmills too......

Pottery houses and tiny clogs, Amsterdam

But the best part of the trip was visiting the art gallerys, seeing my favourite paintings for real, especially The Girl, you can guess who I mean...I'm sure lots of you have seen her too....

The Girl with the Pearl earing
Now I can confess, I am a big fan, I love the book,the film, but the painting is amazing. Her eyes follow you around the room, she is just about to speak, to say what, who can guess? Every little touch of Vermeer's brush adds to the magic. And this is what artists in Amsterdam painted with, oil mixed with minerals and semi precious stones to get those wonderful colours.

Ground powders for mixing oil paints, Rebrandt's house Amsterdam

and the brushes with which they achieved such delicate textures.....

Rebrandt's brushes, Amsterdam
We walked for miles along the canal paths, looking in windows shamelessly and sometimes people looked back at us too....

I hope my friends and I will have many other holidays together until we are like this.... but still travelling!

elderly ladies in a shop window

Now I am back in the sewing room and today I have finished this quilt:

Ronnie's Seaside quilt by Green Star Quilts
I love the way the colours all blend together to make a soft, gentle quilt, the colours of a sky in Amsterdam. Here is the little train which runs on the pier at the seaside....

Little train on the pier
seagulls, tractor and trailer

The retro style fabric its in the middle of the big stars, with the promise of long days playing on the sandy beach,  the quilting in the middle suggests a sea shell....

I have also used it in the fill-in blocks....

And the last thing I want to share with you is this painting by Iaasc Israels, my second favourite memory from Amsterdam... 

Donkey Rides on the Beach by Issaac Israels
Just the thing to look at on a very wet winter day here in Lincoln. Some of you will have lots of snow now, so I hope this blog post makes you feel a little bit warmer for a few minutes,
Kind regards,

1 comment:

  1. I really like the way you see pictures with a quilters eye - the seed packets, and the shop. I really must get myself to Amsterdam - I too loved the film of the Girl with the Pearl Earring? There was a fabulous exhibition at the Fitzwilliam a while back with some beautiful Vermeers, but alas not that painting. Have you read The Miniaturist? A little dark, but a compelling read and full of Amsterdam.


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