You may wonder; who is 'Red Needle'?
'Red Needle's name is Astrid. I'm from Norway. I'm residing in the tropical island Mauritius, situated East of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. I settled here in 2003, and have never looked back.
If you have visited my blog - Grandma's Red Needle - I bet you believe I'm a grandma... And if you have visited my other blog - The Love of Photos - you may believe I'm a photographer... Wrong! Neither am I a grandma - even if I could have been old enough for that title - nor am I a professional photographer.
The blog title - Grandma's Red Needle and the blog shop Red Needle's Quilts'n Craft are named after a saying from my maternal grandpa 'Bæssa'. When my mom had some spare time from farming, I always remember her working on 'something'... It could be knitting, hardanger, counted cross-stitching, needlepoint, dressmaking etc, but her favorite pastime was cross-stitching and hardanger. During my first school years, the economy on the little farm, was a bit tight, so my mother used to sew clothes like lovely dresses, shirts etc to me.
As a little girl, I had dolls. My mom used to sew lovely clothes for my dolls too, and she knitted clothes for us all - dolls included - for the cold winters. When mom thought I was old enough to learn, she taught me the crafts she already new. I don't know how many different dresses etc I made for my Barbie's! I had tons with clothes for my Barbie's. I don't know why, but my poor beloved teddybear 'Bamse' never got any clothes made! Poor 'Bamse' - he's still with me - still without clothes. 'Bæssa' (grandpa), used to tease my mom when she was sewing. He used to tell her; 'you are sewing so fast that the needle gets red (hot)!'. By that he meant the friction of the needle would make it red, heated up - hence the name of my blogs.
After junior high school I did one year at technical college; dressmaking. It was this year too, I bought my very first sewing machine. It was a Husqvarna - and it was orange!!! I used it a lot, but sadly it died after being in business for approx 30 years - the engine burnt. Since that time there has been a couple of other sewing machines, until I bought dear 'Nina' - Bernina 440 QE - a couple of years back. The more I sew, the more I love it.
Through the years I've done a lot of knitting, using wool and cotton for making sweaters, tops, socks, mittens, scarves, shawls, woollen hats etc. Needlepoint was a favorite pastime one time, as well as Hardanger, stitcheries and counted cross-stitching. I used to sew my own clothes too, but that happens very rare these days. Nowadays it happens I do cross-stitching, Hardanger, a little bit crocheting and knitting, and my big passion is...
...Quilting! I intended to start quilting when I lived in Norway, but never got around doing it, or didn't have time. I bought books about quilting, some fabrics, cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler... An ex-colleague got into sewing and quilting, and I really loved what she made. It was after I settled here I finally got around quilting. My very first projects were simple strips sewn together, without using any batting - just the quilt top and backing. That was in 2005/2006... Since then I have made mostly quilts for beds, tablecloths and runners, place mats, wall quilts, baby/toddler quilts, tote bags etc.
When I'm not quilting, I love to cook and bake (can't resist anything chocolate!), garden, photography, read, hike the island, write letters (yes, I'm into 'oldfashioned' pen palling), love our animals; one cat and two dogs, and lots more....
All photos and written text on my blogs are copyright.
If you would like to use any photos or text, please email me first, and most likely I'll grant you permit.