Friday, 29 February 2008

Post !!

The second book arrived today together with some more fabric - a little like a mini Christmas again!! I have had a quick look through the book but have stopped myself reading it as I really must finish the CWD stories first!! I hadn't thought to make any more blocks before the weekend, but as usual, couldn't resist trying a few from the second book !!

Friday nights this time of the year always bring a few extra sewing hours as DH is glued to the TV watching his beloved rugby and doesn't notice that I am still in my sewing room well after the agreed curfew (!) so here are this week's second lot of blocks - They are a bit of a mixture from both books and mostly blocks that took my fancy and not from the suggested list

Top - Florida has Seceded (LL) Soldier's Box (CWD)

Bottom - My Greatest Trial (LL) Severe Fighting (LL)

Top - Going to Richmond (LL) A Pleasant Campaign (LL)

Bottom - A Consoling Thought (LL) Mr Rabbit (LL)

Making these little blocks is a bit like fair isle or Aran knitting - you MUST get the next row done to see the pattern take shape ! Lots of fun really !!!

The bad news is that I no longer have an excuse to make any more at the moment, as the backing fabric for my latest UFO was in the parcel that arrived today, so its the dreaded task of pinning and basting over the next few days before I can 'play' again I'm afraid !!!

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

A Few More Busy Days !

Been another few busy days - it seems to have been non stop, but I don't have a great deal to show for it !! Ordered some more fabric online, got my hair done (cut & hilites!), arranged for more hay for Megan from the local farmer, which was delivered last night, & a whizz to the local shop to buy some rotary cutter blades when I discovered I had used the last one ! All this in addition to the usual boring day to day chores that one does very unwillingly!! All time consuming but nothing to show for it !!

However - I did manage 6 more CWDQ blocks !!

Hospital (Top L) Oath of Allegiance (Top R) Splendid Victory (Bottom)

Church (Top L ) Mail Delivery (Top R) Baptism (Bottom)

Back to the quilt top now until my 'Love Letters' book arrives !!!!

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Civil War Diary Quilt

My Civil War Diary Quilt book arrived on Thursday - Oh Dear!! What have I let myself in for!!There are some really INCREDIBLE blocks in this book , I didn't know that you could get so many pieces of fabric into a 6" finished block (!!!!) and I am starting to feel that maybe I should have bought the book before committing myself!!

Those of you that have read my Blog know that I am not among the best qualified quilters in the world, but have rather a bit of a 'gung ho!' attitude, so I can't help but wonder where this is all going to end up!! The book itself is wonderful and I have to admit that not too much sewing was done yesterday as I was totally enthralled by the stories even if the blocks frightened the pants off me!!

Now - I am not going to give up but instead I am going to brush up on paper piecing (ugh!) and try to teach myself to use freezer paper templates - that should be hysterical !!! Just to prove that I am determined to go on, I have managed 4 blocks today Oath of Allegiance, A Splendid Victory, Abomination of Desolation from CWDQ and Hospital from CWLLQ. I am still waiting for the Love Letters book so haven't been able to make many on this week's list, so I thought I would carry on with other blocks ( Yes!! OK !! I am choosing all the easy ones first !)but I am sure it will all even out in the end !! Sorry - I can't post photos tonight, guess who's run the battery down on the camera !!

I also managed to get the blocks for my scrappy Coffee & Cream top together today and the first border put on! Considering it is made mainly from 'boring browns', it is looking quite good, again photo to follow I'm afraid !!

Before I sign off - I would like to thank all everyone from ' Sew Many Blocks' who have left encouraging messages - it is so good to know that you are all out there !!

Thursday, 21 February 2008


When I posted my Civil War Diary blocks yesterday, I said that I thought the block in the top LH corner was probably wrong - what I didn't notice was that block in the top RH corner most certainly had a mistake in it!! Just to put the record straight - it is now corrected!!!

Haven't done a great deal of sewing today with one thing and another, and the usual chores have taken so much longer than normal as I have been walking around like a zombie after setting the alarm for 3.30 am (!!) so's that I could see last night's eclipse!! It was quite foggy here in Brittany, but even so the moon was clearly visible and we did manage to see up to about 75% of the eclipse - after that we were both so tired we decided to call it a night!! However - I did surface about an hour later and took a peek outside and the eclipse was total - BOY!! Was it dark!!! As we live well out in the country we have no 'luxuries' like street lighting ,which is a good thing as it means there is no light polution and we have incredible starry nights as a result, but last night I realised how much we depend on the moonlight, even on a cloudy night!!!!

One thing I did manage today was the monthly Chooseday Challenge. This is a Yahoo Group ( run by Cat, from Oz, and every first Tuesday of the month she randomly chooses a word out of the pool and the challenge is to see how everyone inteprets the theme by the end of the month! This month's word was Acid(!) and I have been wracking my brains on what to come up with - I then remembered that I had some rust and copper dyed fabric (made with vinegar aka acetic acid) and have spent hours gazing at it until at last I 'saw' this !

With a little bit of poetic licence I think it looks like a blown rose - it can't be too bad as even DH said it looks like a flower and if he can see it ...........................!! I don't think I will be doing much sewing on rust dyed fabric though as the Bernina did not like it at all! I don't know if it has something to do with the rust deposit that gets left in the fabric in spite of several rinses, but I certainly had a problem !!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

More Blocks!!

Just a short post tonight to say that my 'Civil War Diary'books still haven't arrived (!!) but I have managed another 4 blocks courtesy of postings on the Sew Many Blocks Blog Ring ! These really MUST be the last for a few days I have so much else to get on with - they are just so addictive though !

The block in the top LH corner is actually wrong (!) it should have been made up in 3 colours, but I have to admit I quite like it the way it is, so if it doesn't offend anyone , I think I will keep it! I should also be naming the blocks and I will correct this once my books arrive and I know what they are!!

Megan continues to improve but is still a bit twitchy about letting you touch the leg ,making it a problem to clean it and apply a new dressing. We bought her some herbal 'sweeties' today as a bribe to get her to stand still - she does so love them and she tries to nuzzle her way into your pocket to fish them out !! Well - its one way to take her mind off me poking about her leg!!! Actually, she is very patient with me !! William is also a little under the weather after his booster jabs and is sleeping a great deal, always a little worrying as normally he races around the place like a rocket, but I am sure he'll be back to his usual self tomorrow !

I also found a lovely box in Rennes today - couldn't resist it ! This is the top, but it opens up into a cute little work box with a sliding tray complete with compartments to hold all the 'fiddly' bits !!

I really must learn to take photos that come out in perspective !! It is different though. itsn't it ?

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

This and That

As promised , here is the photo of Susan Lenz's FPC - isn't it lovely ? The photo doesn't actually do it justice as the colours are so vivid in 'real life' and the texture of the card is quite something !
This is my card, I am rather pleased with it as it is something quite different for me! I have used FME on water soluble fabric to make the leaves and the 'branches' are machine wrapped cord. The background is a mixture of natural and synthetic silks with free motion quilting.
Update on Megan is that the wound is already starting to heal, but the leg is still quite hot, although a little cooler than yesterday. I don't think it helped having the farrier call today - I had completely forgotten that he was due !! She was her usual laid-back self for 3 of her feet but we did have a bit of a performance with the injured limb - however, she eventually calmed down and accepted her fate !!! It would probably have been more sensible to cancel, but getting an appointment with the best farrier in the area is just so difficult !!(Not to mention the fact that it had slipped my mind!!!)
I have decided on the borders for the Coffee and Cream quilt, so I will be leaving the Civil War Diary blocks for the time being as I am still waiting for my book and I think I have exhausted the blocks I can make without it - that is unless somebody else in the Group posts a new block for me to copy !!! I will catch up later, I have so enjoyed making these little blocks so far!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Busy Day !

The day started out as normal but when I went up to the paddock to check Megan -over night she had managed to injure herself somehow and had a nasty wound on her back leg! Panic stations as usual and a very twitchy horse who would not let me near her let alone spray her leg with the antiseptic 'first aid' spray!!! Eventually I managed to catch her and get a headcollar on, but she was obviously not a happy person and kept waving her hind leg about - this is never something I am happy about I have to admit (coward that I am !!!). Rushed back home to get some ointment to put on it - but none to be found! It seems to have disappeared into a black hole so nothing else to do but a drive to the vet to get some more. Back to Megs with DH in tow, and with him holding her head and me lifting the waving foot off the ground , we eventually got something on the wound!! Now - so far not too bad, but this afternoon I had to go back to the vet again as William (our cat) had an appointment for his annual booster - so all in all this took care of most of my day !!!

On top of all this the washing machine has decided to 'retire'! Having put a load of washing in whilst I was preparing lunch, there was the most dreaful noise you have ever heard ! A tremendous BANG!! followed like what sounded like the whole of the inside of the machine falling apart !! A quick sprint across the room to hit the off switch stopped the noise, but I was left with a rather unpleasant smell (!)- after all this, I think it would be fair to say that I will be having a new machine before too long !!!

That's finished with all the bad news so - the good news is that I have received my postcard from Susan Lenz of Cyber Fiber and it is beautiful! Mine is packed ready to go , but the post office doesn't open until tomorrow ! I will post pics of both cards next time.

I made another great discovery on my wanders through Blogland - a invitation to join a group of girls to make a 'Civil War Diary Quilt ' using the book of the same name and' Civil War Love Letters'. I have looked with longing at this quilt for some time but never had the bottle to give it a try, but now I have joined in (!!) and have made a start on the blocks. The aim is to make at least 3 blocks per week until there is enough for a quilt. Yesterday I managed 6 so I am off to a good start I think. I have ordered the book but nothing has arrived yet, so the blocks I 've been making are the 'easy' ones that I 've seen on Blogs and have been able to make from the pictures. These are the blocks so far - I think I must find another way of taking the pictures though as they certainly don't look square - but I promised they are !!!!

Before I get too carried away with this project though, I must get the borders sorted out on my 'coffee & cream' blocks and get that project finished before my daughter arrives for the Easter break !!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Catch Up !

I can't believe that nearly a week has gone since I last blogged, doesn't time fly when you're having fun ! Because of the glorious sunny (but somewhat cold!) weather we've been having, I've spent a great part of the week trying to get some walking done to make up for not exercising during practically the whole of January !! Luckily, the area near to Megan is a maze of 'chemins' or lanes used for access to the fields surrounding the paddocks. Totally traffic free except for the odd tractor ploughing now & then, it is a quiet and peaceful place to be especially early in the morning. Because of the lack of human intrusion it is also a bird paradise, and with the sunny days seeming almost like Spring, the birdsong at the moment is delighful !!

On the sewing side I've cracked on with my 'coffee & cream' blocks and only have another 4 to make before adding borders , very satisfying ! I've also finished off the little still life thread painting that I posted earlier on the Blog, no longer a UFO but a small wall hanging !

Two more FPCs, the one on the left is from Brigitte in Angers (Merci, Brigitte!!) for our 1 to 1 swap, 'Fibre Collage', and on the right is my card for her

Talking about postcards, I have taken the plunge and joined Susan Lenz's Cyber Fyber Exhibition ! If you haven't already done so, have a look at her site ( ) There are some beautiful PCs and ATCs still available to swap. I have agreed to swap PC 58 with Susan and I am looking forward to receiving her card and seeing it in 'real life'!! There are some really talented ladies taking part in this venture - I only hope my offering comes up to scatch. It should be ready to post by the weekend and then we'll keep our fingers crossed !!!!

Our plans to get away for a day this month have been put on hold, unfortuately, as the cattery where William takes his holidays is closed for February! As a consolation prize we had thought at least to go to the coast tomorrow for a bit of a walk but as ,we will be having unexpected company for Saturday (!) , it will be off to Rennes to the supermarket instead !! Ah Well! There's always next week I expect !

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Customer Service - Continued !

My fabric from the USA arrived in yesterday's post - pretty impressive, eh!! 6 days from placing the order and 5 days after being posted from New Hampshire!! As well as the excellent service I've received , there was a 'welcome' gift of a free fat quarter. There is no doubt that I will be purchasing again from Old St Nick - it has been a pleasure to do business with them !!! I should mention that I am still waiting for any kind of answer to the mail I sent to manufacturer 2 days before I contacted Old St Nick !!!!

Yesterday also brought a FPC from Carolyn in Canberra . Carolyn and I have a private swap going for almost a year now, but there are no prizes for guessing what the subject is!

The photo doesn't really do it justice. Thanks Carolyn - it's great !!! Now - what can I do to represent France I wonder !!!!!

Friday, 8 February 2008

Market Day

Yesterday was market day at one of our local towns, Malestroit
( As well a having an excellent fresh produce market, the town also boasts one of the few English language book shops in the vicinity, so as you can well imagine, it is very popular with all ex- pats !!
Malestroit stands on the banks of the river Oust, part of the Nantes-Brest canal system, and is a very popular tourist town
in the summer months. Yesterday, thanks to the extremely heavy rains the Province has been experiencing lately, the normally sleepy Oust was full to overflowing, and had burst its banks just outside the town, flooding surrounding fields.These photos were taken in the town centre from one of the many bridges spanning the river - not a pleasure boat in sight !!
Unfortunately, because of all the markets stalls and people milling around, I wasn't able to take many photos of the lovely old dwellings in the town , but managed this one without too much 21st century intrusion !!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Customer Service

Having played about for far too long, I decided to start another scrappy quilt using the large number of boring 'browns & neutrals' that I seemed to have gathered when buying stashbuilding bundles. Now, I know many of you would not even consider a scrap quilt, but I love them and to me they epitomize 'patchwork & quilting'. Having pulled out all the offending colours and made a few trial blocks, I decided that it didn't look too bad at all, especially if I kept the background colours all the same. Out came the rotary cutter and off I went happily cutting away then ....Horrors!!! I didn't have enough background fabric !! I got in touch with the shop I had bought from original but they had sold out -so I contacted the manufacturers to ask if they would supply me out of their stock, or tell me where I might find some. This was about a week ago, and I am still waiting for an acknowledgement of my e-mail ! In desperation I Googled the fabric and eventually found a shop in New Hampshire that had stock!!

Now - this is a lesson in Customer Service ! I sent out an e-mail on Saturday evening asking about shipment to France, got a reply on SUNDAY morning and my fabric was posted Monday!! All this from a shop that I have never dealt with before !! I had not even expected a reply before Monday so to have this kind of service was wonderful, even more so given that it is only a small order. It just goes to show that small is best and I will certainly be buying again from Mary Jane Carey at !

Friday, 1 February 2008


I really do not like the month of February! Out of the whole year I find this the most difficult month to deal with - don't quite know why!

Perhaps its because it seems to be the one month of the year that there is nothing to look forward to. January is spent recovering from the Christmas festivities; March means daffodils showing their bright faces & being Welsh this is very important to me; April & May mean better weather (!) and longer days; June, July & August are usually filled with visitors from the UK ;September is our holiday month and then before we know what has happened is November (DH's birthday month )and then off we go into December and the build up to Christmas !

Normally in February we try to give ourselves a little treat just to break up the month, this year though everything has been put on hold because of my health problems....BUT as I am feeling much better and have even got my own voice back, I feel a special day out coming on! At the moment it is a choice between a day in Paris and maybe another visit to the Louvre - an easy day out and one we often take advantage of thanks to the wonderful TGV (Train Grande Vitesse or High Speed Train) service that we have from Rennes which gets us in Paris in 2 hours 10 minutes OR a trip to Jersey in the Channel Islands, again just one hour by ferry from St Malo, to do some 'British' shopping!!
Difficult choice!!!! - Anyone like to help me decide ??