quite a lot

Onze Lieve Vrouwe kerk=church in Maastricht, the statue of Mary, Sterre der Zee/Star of the Sea with lots of lit candles; the church is situated along the square just around the corner from where my old folks live in the centre of town. I popped down for a short visit with friend M. who had never been inside this church and so we wandered in to witness this spectacle; there are always people coming and going, lighting candles, praying kneeling taking pictures, she is obviously still very much a part of Catholic life - I am an onlooker, at my age baffled by the faithful, yet I hope respectful of their intentions and beliefs

back home on the north facing kitchen window sill a new addition: the doll's display table with two willow pattern tea services, the smaller incomplete version from my own childhood plus a slightly larger version with the van Nelle brand printed on it, which by coincidence was given to me by the same friend who accompanied me to Maastricht; the red metal cups and cutlery basket come from my paternal grandparents' house as does the display table, I remember playing for hours and hours with those toys

despite the cold weather and thanks to new beds for the boys I have started a fresh dye pot with pomegranate/red and yellow onion/avocado peels, tea leaves and a residue from a forgotten dye pot, hence the blue; this is not a natural dye, but comes from a bottle with blue biester powder which I dropped into the forgotten pot and I am glad I did because the blue finally took to the cloth as can be seen below:

although this might also have something to do with Maria's rinsing advice (I visited her last week and we had a lot of fun revealing one of her dyeing experiments, will show pics of that at a later, more appropriate date) fix the colours with vinegar! I only just remembered in the nick of time as I saw the blue seeping out of the fabric as I was washing it under the running tap, so blue and muddy greys. Fine.
Two more reveals in images below, one with the
blooming tree, where I'm sewing running stitch in horizontal and vertical lines in the small squares created by the invisible baste (very much visible on the back of course)so now we see undulating motion in the plains......

detail above on front; detail on back below....got me wondering: what if I started off with a removable baste followed by the horizontals and verticals and then after having removed the original baste was then left without the basting lines altogether? just running stitch squares in opposite directions

here more details on the stark tree cloth: the sheer curtain fabric has been kantha-d as well
just to clarify what my dyeing has to do with new beds for the boys: their new beds are 30 cm wider than the old ones, meaning the mattress sheets are too small, leaving me with a choice: either sew old sheets together to make them fit, or buy new ones for them (yes) and use the old ones for dyeing (even better) you can probably guess what I chose.....we all win, I now have a vast supply of dyeing material as the sheets are white and cotton, whilst the boys enjoy large beds, fresh linen and have admitted to having not slept so well in a long, long time (despairing parents of teens know how they love their sleep).

mooie momenten zakje = fine moments pocket

card from Maria, well this post is full of those


i am so so Happy that you two could
meet and tell and laugh, which i know
there would be laughing.

Your kanthaing is getting just
beyond amazing...so so FINE

and hooray for sheets
Saskia said…
ha this is funny Grace, as I was composing an email to you, you had left a comment here!
Liz A said…
The kantha is luscious! Have you been using one strand of floss or two?
Anonymous said…
hey saskia , yes i'm smiling by remember your visit , we talked to match and forgot to make some pics
The blue in the cloth is good looking and what a lot of patience make kantha
Patty said…
The first two photos are somehow
related. The first is a formal
altar. The second altar builds around what is beyond the glass. Nature. I could sit at the second
one for hours.
Dana said…
Tea things are irresistable no matter what the size or who the drinkers. They epitomize domestic comfort, especially with the chilly damp of winter in the window behind. Your stitching is achieving such exquisite texture. Really beautiful, like ripples on a pond.
Nancy said…
Love the blue in the cloth. So many, many stitches...coming together to make a place, a space for eyes to wander. New sheets do feel grand, and even better are sheets that fit the mattress well and don't pop off during the night's sleep! A pet peeve of mine I must admit. Wonderful is time spent with a friend.
Yvette said…
win win situation....
so glad about you and Maria
how's puppy?
cantha yes cantha....
glad " knowing " you
what is blue biester??????
Saskia said…
biester was originally made from the ashes from burnt and then ground up walnut husks, resulting in a yellow-brown powder; the old masters used bister/biester for washed drawings, pen drawings, sketches etc.
You can mix the powder with water to acquire ink or dip a wet brush directly in to the powder and use it to paint. So far the definition I found on a Dutch site

the blue bi(e)ster I used comes from a bottle, is artificial and has nothing to do with the original walnut bister, they only share their name. I can only guess at the ingredients. It's water soluble, so the fixing of the blue is very tricky and so far I have removed two bundles from last week's batch, one's a pale grey, the other slightly darker, are they blue? not really; will post images soonish



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