lørdag, desember 06, 2008


This is Amelita. She has made all the molas I bought in Portobelo, Panama in Jaunary last year(2007). She sold her wonderful work at a small marketplace there - along with other Kuna artisans.
We asked if we could have a photo taken, and she immediately picked Amanda up for a photo-op. We had been there once before to admire and buy some molas. I do not know why we ended up at her table, but it probably was Amelita's obvious pride in her work and her meticulous and beautiful workmanship. So now it was the second time we were there, and the second time I purchased from her stall. The lady in the stall next to hers apparently (we don't speak much Kuna) chaffed her a little enviously, and turning to me, pointed to herself and said: Mañana! Well, it was one of our last days on the Caribbean coast, and our last visit to Portobelo. But I wish to go back.

Among the Kuna, the women are the ones wearing traditional clothing, at least outside the comarca. If you care to look a little closer, you will notice the broad centerpiece of Amelita's blouse. I have later read that the women cut off the center part of blouses to replace them with their molas. The first day we were there, Amelita wore another 'centerpiece', that was made in two layers, one black, and one pink. I will have to refer to the pattern as a sort of maze or labyrinth. It was just striking. I will never forget it, and my dream is to learn how to reproduce it - one day from that memory.

Later, when we spent some days in Panama City, we actually saw more from the Kuna people than on the Caribbeean coast, which is closer to their 'homeland'. Their craft is also their livelihood, and tourists provide them with a market, and since Panama City is where most tourists are in transit, the Kuna go there to make their living. So on the street corners and benches of the old town in PC they sat and sold their goods that were on display next to them while sewing on their next project.

Here are more of the molas I brought back home, from a warm and colourful equatorial land to a cold and grey January in Scandinavia. As you probably can reckon, the Norwegian December light does not make the colours come alive as strongly as the Panamanian sun would. Hence the rather bleak rendition of the said colours.
Thank you Jan, for encouraging me to show these molas! They bring back memories of a true artist - Amelita.
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søndag, november 23, 2008

A baby present

... for a baby soon to be born. A good neighbour and friend is having her third child. She suspects it is yet another boy - she has two precious ones already. So a present had to be made. The picture is cheating a little, since she already has similar shoes that I made two years ago. I just love making these bitty booties, and I thought the picture would not be complete without some in it. Tee hee. The small ball is made from this pattern.

Now let's hope she is right, or I will have to make some versions a little more girly ;)

lørdag, november 22, 2008

The art of the Kuna, Panama

Two years ago our small family - two adults and two toddlers, then one and three - left the dark and cold season here, for the light and warmth of Panama.

At the time we left I had a vague idea of an indigenous people that I had heard made appliqued "pictures". When we arrived at our first overnight hotel in Panama City, the hotel dispalyed some of them, and I thought they were a treasure they showed, and that I never would be able to see them in person. I was right about how precious the Kuna art is and wrong about never being able to see them.

We spent seven weeks on the Caribbean coast - not far from where the Kuna have their own community. The women own the land, which is recognized as an autonomous territory or comarca.

The handwork of the women who make these Molas is just incredible. The work is reverse applique, combined with the smallest embroidery/quilting stitches. These pics are of two of the four I got to buy.
This with the birds is my favorite. I love the orange border.

The Molas are sold "as they are", so here is a close up of the back. They are made of three or four layers of fabric, and then the top layer is cut and appliqued to reveal the layer underneath. I have not yet attempted at trying my hand at the technique, but one day...
See ya!

onsdag, oktober 29, 2008

Binding fabric found

This small quilt was originally meant to be a cushion cover. I am not so sure anymore. We will see. I do not have a lot of the binding fabric, so I will have to mix and match a little. But it was nice to find it - in my stash, she added with badly concealed pride - so I can finish a five year old project (!)

The day before yesterday we had the urge to bake some cookies...

fredag, oktober 24, 2008

Pin cushion swap

I joined a swap some weeks ago, and Annette from Denmark sent me this sweet pin cushion. It will be perfect for small applique pins. I like it a lot! Thank you Annette!
I sent this pear pin cushion off to Pia in Sweden. My version of Heather Bailey's pears, which I find so cute! In stead of ordering the patterns I impatiently figured out how to draw the pattern. So it is a little more plump and "fat bottomed" than Mrs. Bailey's pears. But I like the size. It's hard to miss with the needles while speedily sewing long seams :D I will have to make myself one as well...

lørdag, oktober 11, 2008

This week

Rainbows have been drawn, along with "heart princesses" to adorn our fridgeOur view - to the amusement of a two year old.
On commission and a collaberation: A summer crown in October.
Dear Elin: See you soon!
Vi har hatt en deilig høstdag på lekeplassen og på tur. Amanda har vært hjelpsom og gavmild mot sin lillebror i hele dag. J: tatt = takk, tot = tog. A har laget "medisin" av soyasaus og yoghurt. Hun kaller det brunsvart sjokolade(!)

fredag, oktober 03, 2008

Giving Karen Edvarda away!

Meet Karen Edvarda! Let us have a give-away, I thought while making her. I will carefully wrap her up and ship her to you if you leave me a note before next friday. (Drawing on Saturday 11th)
We'd love to hear from you - near or far!

She has been given a name and a face since the last time. Her name is a combination of the names of two of my great-grandmothers. I have just found a genealogy site, and it is incredibly interesting to find out how far back the lines go. One is dating back to 1570.

Karen Edvarda says good bye for now :-) So do I as I head off to find out more about my ancestors.

fredag, september 26, 2008

Home again

Settling down to quilt a bigger quilt is like coming home again. I cannot explain why. All I know is that that is what it feels like.

Autumn is slowly approaching - but still we have some roses in the garden. A has decided to bring the game of tossing leaves inside. And our stove is ready for giving us some warmth.

tirsdag, september 23, 2008

Habari gani!

We have been to the land of blue seas and white sands - Kenya. My husband's parents have been residents there since the mid eighties. It was the first time our children saw their house and dogs and turtles and trees to climb. Our three weeks were much needed and our batteries are recharged anew! Here are some glimpses. Bahari ya Hindi - the Indian Ocean - just a five minutes walk away!
One of the glorious Baobab trees surrounding the house - in a sunset no less. These trees are a favorite of mine - maybe because they also are called Elephant trees, maybe of the part they play in The Little Prince, by Saint Exupery...
The children have fed giraffes and ridden a turtle, which we really could not take home for our garden. Maybe we will have to settle for planting some maize - which is also high on the wish list of a little girl.
Some flowers from the garden - meticulously gathered by that same four year old.
Happy feet - resting with powder coral sand.

torsdag, august 21, 2008

Good morning!

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A table mat I finished some time ago without the binding. Did that this week. Could not help but had to use it, before I finished sewing the binding down. I have not done it yet. Saving it for a little later...

Snekkerne kommer og går. Det nye rommet står med pæler til andre etasje. Travelt før avreisen neste uke. Siste dag i dag med litt pusterom, kanksje til søm?

onsdag, august 20, 2008

One more try: Thanks to Ma boite a tresors - a small bag

I have made quite a few of these. They come together in just a few whiffs. Well they do after some careful dechifring of the Japanese explanations. I went with the 'numbers' - 40 cm here and 24 cm there - to make up a rectangle, and so on. I found the photographed pages of this Japanese book here. It went into my folder of favorite pictures, and I found it - rediscovered it as it were - a while ago. They make up lovely small gift bags. I tried my hand at smocking on my first, but it did not turn out well. But I have found it really does not need the smocking to turn out nicely.

lørdag, august 16, 2008

Jason M. on a lovely August evening

Just a quick note on a Saturday night. We have a quiet evening, just hanging around, reading. I found a to me new blog, Linnea Paulina, tonight. She linked to this, and I had to put it up here:

Hope it works.

onsdag, august 13, 2008

Random color generator

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Choosing colors

... is a difficult matter. I landed on the bottom two. Maybe I was wrong. I will never know.

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tirsdag, august 12, 2008


Now I think I know why they started to call them ragdolls. Always in awe of the inventive and industrious women and the footprints they made for us to walk in.


looking out the window. A summer girl not properly dressed yet. Her maker is undecided as to what creation to adorn her with. - Will we have some more summerly weather this season?
Work in progress... This time I have decided which fabrics to make six blocks from. I usually do not plan ahead, but follow my whim as I make the blocks. These will make up some bow ties. Ugly but nice... I like'm
One block ready to be sewn together. I am expecting - full of hope - some time to piece by hand in the company of our children and their grandparents.

onsdag, juli 30, 2008

A wall hanging I made for a dear friend and her husband for their wedding eight years ago.

Amanda ville ha to smokker i kveld. Hennes far spurte henne: Du har to ører. Du har to øyne. Hvorfor har du da ikke to munner?

Det er fordi jeg kan ikke snakke med to munner.


tirsdag, juli 29, 2008

July - living easily

For the first time we have had some young friends staying over night. We all had a lovely time!
Lesson learned: Grown ups should know how difficult it is to fall asleep at night with one of your bestest friends next to you!

søndag, juli 20, 2008

Nye lapper

It was difficult taking a shot of fabrics blowing in the wind. But this is a lot of fun sewing. Just remains from other projects. I wonder who machinequilted the backdrop quilt that I bought on sale at a local shop.

Patches I long to get back to. I printed out some new hexagons, so what is hindering the process? Nothing really - just about ten other projects ... such as quilting the last bits of this border...

... which is immensely soothing! Nice pastime for a rainy week end.

Det regner. TV-dag. Alle slappe og giddalause. Store avgjørelser gjøres ang. to eller en etasje. Ser vi kanskje en lysning? Magen til A fungerer igjen etter en uke med "bæsjeleken" - unnskyld uttrykket, men vi har løpt ganske mye fram og tilbake til et visst rom i dette hus i det siste.