Sunday, 30 November 2008

A Quart......

into a pint pot....... aka the continuing (quilting) adventures of William !!

If I tell you that the basket is only 10 inches long and that Will is a BIG cat, you'll understand the effort he made to fit in !! Now guess what's underneath him - Yes! You've got it!! The fabric I need to carry on sewing!!!

Anyone care to explain the built-in radar that cats seem to have for finding the most inconvenient bed !!!

Friday, 28 November 2008

Catch Up

Back on this post I mentioned how much I'd enjoyed making the little bag from Stitchers Angels and that I was tempted to join in the Noah's Ark BoM - well, I did join in and have managed to catch up !

It is many years since I've done so much hand stitching (!!) and I am VERY rusty , but I've really enjoyed it and I'm waiting patiently for block 10 !

I think I can now put the little 'Noah's Ark' badge on my side bar with a clear concience!!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


To All My American Friends & Readers - A Happy & Peaceful Thanksgiving Day !!

Cold & Frosty Morning !

Our weather has been very strange the last few weeks, one minute wet & cold with high winds and the next wet & mild without a breath of air - the only thing that has been consistent is that it has been very GREY ! Even the odd mornings that started off reasonably bright deteriorated rapidly as the day went on.

Our normal routine is to try for a walk after lunch but this has fallen by the way lately because of the weather pattern, so as this morning was very frosty but bright

we changed our habit, left the housework and went off to the Voie Vert ( Green Way). As you can see from the web site(translated by Google from the original French language site !) this is a traffic free zone

that is about 5 minutes drive away , nearest marker on the map is Neant-sur Yvel

One of the best things about the Voie Vert is that you can walk there in any weather and keep out of the mud - the draw back is that you have to walk 'there and back' which can be a bit daunting at times

When it was first opened, it was very stark as the 'lane' was newly metalled, and the verges were inches deep in red gravel, now though nature is taking over and turning it into a real 'Green Way!

Cold it might have been but well worth the effort for views like this !

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Slow News Week

It's been a very quiet week here in Brittany mainly due to a bit of a bad start after having my anti 'flu jab .

This is only the second time I've had the jab and as I reacted badly the first time, I said never again, but given the kind of year I've had healthwise, I listened to the Dr's advice and put myself right back in the frame for several nasty 'flu type days as a result!! DH has it every year as he is one of these 'at risk' people ( cardiac disease) and never has a problem - just goes to show doesn't it !!!

One thing accomplished though is that my Holiday Booty Swap quilt is finally finished, packed and ready to go on Tuesday when the Post Office opens . I've only just made the deadline, which is silly as it's been finished for an age except for sewing down the binding - anyone else hate this job?? A little peek but before the binding went on !!

I have a question for all Log Cabin fans - how do you quilt your tops ? I have one almost ready but can't decide how to machine quilt over all these seams - any advice anyone ???

I shouldn't really mention the Wales v New Zealand rugby match last night (!!) DH is still in a state of shock especially as he thought Wales was on a roll at half time - isn't it sad to see a grown man cry (LOL!!!) Having said that England didn't do any better against South Africa and it was left to Ireland & Scotland to salvage a little British pride in their matches against Argentina & Canada !! France & Italy also lost to Australia and the Pacific Islanders respectively - doesn't say a great deal for the Northern Hemisphere teams does it - perhaps its lots of sunshine that equates to better (!) rugby players !!!!

Monday, 17 November 2008

Busy! Busy!

Not a lot of sewing going on over the last few days as it was DH's birthday on Sunday! The place been like Piccadilly Circus with all the comings and goings all over the weekend, and added to the days of preparation before hand, I am ready for a long lie down in a dark room!!! Actually, it has been good fun with good company and lots of laughs !!

All I have to show at the moment is a new book
which contains what is possibly my next project - what do you think !!

This will be another first for me as I have never really been a fan of paper piecing, but I would love to try the New York Beauty block and this pattern is certainly in my comfort zone !! Can I do it I ask myself or will this turn into another step too far !!!!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Coming of Age.....

....or the story of a quilt made twice !!

I have mentioned on other occassions that I am inclined to see a quilt and think 'I can make that !' only to find out later that I can't really!! This is the story of such an occassion that happened when I first decided to try my hand at making quilts some 3 years ago.

I saw this particular quilt in an Australian magazine , and it was so striking I decided to have a go so out came the Singer Starlet , the only machine I had at the time!

A nice reliable little workhorse that saw me through my first attempts at this craft even allowing for the fact that she must be over 30 years old (if not more!) as I have owned her for 26 years and I am her third owner - still going strong I might add, if a little noisey !!

Together we stitched the necessary sections ready to put together for the finished block - then disaster!! In my ignorance (!!) I had photocopied the template and omitted to verify the size which was smaller than the original, so the overall pattern was lost!! After kicking myself, I then did what I think maybe most would have done - put it in a drawer and forgot about it ! I couldn't let it go though as I had really fallen for the pattern, so some months later I got it out, unpicked (yes!!) every section, redrafted the template correctly and reused where possible the bulk of the fabric and remade the flimsy! This time it worked, but I was faced with a second problem - what to do with all those white areas ? That I can't hand quilt has already been established and until recently haven't had the bottle to try FMQ, so back into the drawer it went!!

This week, I steeled myself to finish the quilt and today put the last stitches into the binding, and now that it is finished at last I am just so glad that I did perservere as it was worth the effort! Voila - my Spider's Web !!

Not perfect by any means, but to me its great !! My oldest UFO finished at last !!

Just before I go, a line about my posting yesterday and the comment left by Touring in Brittany. In case anyone is wondering, I should explain that in Brittany many people still speak the original Gallic language or 'patois'. In our little village alone the language spoken amongst our older neighbours is Breton ,although when they are in 'mixed' company French is the order of the day. During 1914-1918 Breton would have been the language of the men going to war. At this time the Province was still a bit of 'the poor relation' in France , somewhat isolated from the rest of the country , and French had not yet been adopted as the official language .

Brittany is extremely proud of its Gallic roots and this is apparent throughout the Province in many shapes and forms.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Armistice Day

Armistice Day this year marks the 90th anniversary since the end of World War I, the war to end all wars.

November 11 is a National Holiday France, which allows everyone and anyone to attend the Remembrance Services held across the country to mark this day - if they so wish.

Our local village was no exception, and this was the scene this morning outside the church after the service.

Just a single wreath of fresh flowers, but where it is speaks volumes .

Brittany has reason to remember WWII as it suffered greatly not only throughout the occupation, but also through intense bombing by the Allies. St Malo,Rennes, Nantes, Brest, St Nazaire & Lorient were the main targets, the last 3 being occupied ports and/or shipyards which suffered greatly.

Talking to our older neighbours can sometimes be like re-living history . Just last week out on my walk past one of the nearby farms I stopped to talk to Monsieur (82) & Madame (81) and after catching up with the general gossip we got to the subject of the influx of British residents in the area ,always a favourite topic ( incidentally we are known locally as 'OUR English ') - Monsieur told me that the first time he heard spoken English was when he was 18 years old and the American liberation forces drove past the farm just a few feet from where we were standing !

I am too young ( just!!) to remember WWII, but I can remember my Dad , who was in the RAF, sharing his memory of being caught in the London Blitz and being buried in the rubble for 2 days , and I can't help but wonder what kind of memories our elderly neighbours must have of this most terrible time .

Lest We Forget ................

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Cats & Quilts

I'd just been reading Andrea's blog and her comments about quilts being cat magnets and thought I must show you what happened 10 minutes later when I tried to tidy some of my stash !!

Sweet William - what would I do without your help !!!!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

And Yet Another !!!

How's this for yet another coincidence - I do seem to be having a run of them at the moment !

My ALQS2 swap mini arrived this morning from Lisa Jo - a lovely quilt called Wonky Pineapple Blues

( I 'stole' the photo off the ALQS site as I've not had time to take one myself!)

Also this morning I got a mail from Trish to say that she'd received my quilt called - wait for it - Exploding Pineapples !!!

Now what do you think the odds would be for us both to have picked not only such a similar pattern but also in the same colour family !!

Thank you very much Lisa Jo for the delighful quilt, and thanks to Kate for organising the swap .