Sunday, April 29, 2012

The kindness of Quilters world wide, and our travels to date.

When standing in line waiting to enter at Nantes, a lady beside me asked if l
was Linda Collins? She admitted she was taking a risk but worth the question.
She is a Belgium reader of my blog and had seen my picture. Of course, we
chatted some, then when she mentioned she lived in Gent in Belgium, we declared
we were visiting that city soon. The morning after we arrived in Gent we rang her, 
and she came into the city to meet us, take us on a tour of her city, 
then drove us all back to her home for coffee, cake,
 and an afternoon of stitching and exploring her sewing room.
Thank you Francoise for taking that risk. 
We sure enjoyed meeting you and seeing that quilters around the world are the same. 
Generous and giving.

This castle in the town of Gent was worth exploring.

We had hot chocolate, the Belgium way.

Francoise showed us some of her PHD's.

 Then it was time to leave Gent and head off on more adventures in Tilburg.
Our first stop, Quilt it and Dotty.

Here we were welcomed most happily by Dorry and taken to her kitchen for coffee.

We were also here to meet with Jeanneke,
who showed us  her Building houses from Scraps  progress, among other quilts.

This one is a replica of an antique owned by An Moonen.

This is also a replica of a quilt owned by An Moonen.
Jeanneke sells patterns for her small quilts and her patterns can be found here.

After a very pleasant visit, we moved on again, to an appointment we had with 
An Moonen to see her and some of her antique quilts at a guild meeting nearby.

Imagine our delight to see the original antique quilt that inspired Jeannekes  reproduction.

Back in the car and off to the windmills at Kinderdijk.

In a small fishing village nearby we saw more mushroom varieties than l believe existed.

A women in traditional dress.

Plenty of cheese, dutch style.

These pretty flowers for sale. Orange of course, 
to commemorate the Queens birthday holiday on Monday.

Our next stop.
Petra Prins Quilt Shop in Zutphen.

This shop is a must visit if you are near by.
Bursting at the seams with reproductions fabrics and inspiration.

Then on into Amsterdam.
Where this is the scene that greats you in almost every direction.

Bikes of all kinds.

Even more flowers.

And boats of every kind.

Our main destination?

Where we all bought the most divine dutch chintz fabric

And had the chance to chat with Petra, Reiko Kato ( who was there teaching) Nel and Elspeth.

Our journey together was coming to an end.
And what a journey its been. So much fun and wonderful times shared.
 Bev and Claire have left for a few days in Prague, before returning home,
and here in this shop l said goodbye to Randi, who was heading home to Norway,
to prepare for our visit in a few days.

Back in the car with Petra and a return to Zutphen,
the next day held a workshop with Reiko.
This was the project we all worked on, and l must say, my applique skills
definitely improved while working on these small pieces.

l was fortunate enough to sit next to Janke, who showed me nothing but kindness and friendship
all day and spoke English to me, while the room around us reverberated with Dutch.
She also gave me a gift of local tea, which is the Queens preferred tipple.
( You can see it in the yellow packet)
 Thank you Janke, and l hope our friendship continues.

Then a chance to meet for coffee with a dear friend Helen, who lives in Holland.'
 ( Janke, she took me to the shop where the tea comes from)

After finally meeting up with my DH, who had been doing his own tour of Europe,
it was time for a final ice cream.

And that brings us to an end of our grand  European vacation.
 Tomorrow, we catch a plane to Norway, where our grand Scandinavian vacation will begin.
Thanks for coming along on our journey.
Its been fun, fun, fun from start to finish.



  1. You should be a travel writer! I now want to go to all these places, see all these wonderful shops, and visit with all these wonderful people! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Linda, you are having such a wonderful time and even though it's only across the channel have been to far more places in Europe than I have been . You have inspired me to put them on my bucket list.

    Ice cream looks good even though it must still feel like winter in Europe.

    Take care and continue having a great time.

  3. Well what a lovely time you must have had! Enjoy Norway.

  4. I am so jealous! you getting to visit shops I would love to and meeting bloggers who's work I admire, Dotty and Janneake and Petra......and now in Amsterdam with a few more people I would love to meet
    Sorry that Lucy is in Texas right now you would have loved meeting her and seeing her quilts too.
    I love what you made in the workshop, what fun you got to take a class too
    oh and shopping in the place with the chintz fabrics D and W oh my a dream! and meeting An
    LOVE her books!
    yes I can see your having an amazing vacation!

  5. I have been enjoying your posts about your European adventures and admit to feeling a little twinge of jealously at you visiting Holland. What a great time you are having and looking forward to reading about your trip to Scandinavia.

  6. Looking forward to our next meeting. Have a grand time in Norway and the States.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your journey, certainly wish that I could have traveled with you but it was great to follow along with you on your blog

  8. And the fun continues! Your photos remind me so much of a bike trip that I took years ago with a friend in Holland and Belgium. Ghent was one of our favourite stops, and the chocolates a real high point. We missed all the lovely quilt shops that you are seeing though - nice to see that quilter hospitality is universal.

  9. Wow, what a grand adventure! So much fun to meet so many other quilt enthusiasts from around the world.

  10. Do you like applique now?
    Say hi to Randi for me!

  11. Lovely pics - thanks for taking us along on your trip!

  12. What a wonerful time you're having,thank you for sharing. And I'm curious have you been buying much fabric along the way ? And if you haven't how do you resist???? (lol)

  13. You're having the most amazing time meeting tremendous people, seeing amazing shops and places. Thanks for sharing with us and I want to know if you've got the applique bug too.

  14. I'm so enjoying your travel posts!

  15. Again, Wow! Such great photos and such wonderful people! So glad you're enjoying your trip. x

  16. Hello Linda, what wonderful photographs! I have ordered quite a few patterns/fabrics from Dorry, she is just the most lovely lady. My heritage is Dutch and I hope my DH and I can have a holiday there in a couple of years. You took gorgeous pictures that really showed what a beautiful country Holland is. I am glad you had such a great time. I also ordered the 'Sue & Billy' book by Reiko Kato and some Japanese background fabrics, I can't wait for them to arrive. The Quilting world seems to be very small now! What a lovely kind lady Francoise was. Kind regards, Ann


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