Monday, 9 September 2013

Final Fling

Well, at least for a few weeks as it's just a few days now before I disappear off to hospital in search of a new knee , but before I go I've a couple of things to share with you !

Firstly, a new member for the UFO club :-)

From a pattern in APQ April 2011, another scrappy quilt, but rather a pretty one I think. A couple of first for me as I've not made an on point setting quilt before and I certainly have never sewn so many Flying Geese !!  I have a feeling that this might just jump to the top of the 'to quilt' list. 

We all know that there are lots of new things to be learnt from wandering around Blog land, and this little quilt is certainly something different, and I love it !

Just 16 1/2 inches square, it's from Vicki's  tutorial for her   Whirly Twirly Dresden block .  I went with the black background , but go and have a look at the  different colour variations.

Lastly, I saw this very simple, very quick but very useful pouch on Connie's blog, and followed the link to this blog for the tutorial.  Don't you just love following links and finding lots of treasures ?

I had a practice piece of FMQ lying around, which was only enough for one , but I am sure it won't be the only one to be made.

So - that's me for a little while, time to cover up the machines, switch everything off and go pack my bag!  See you soon!!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Last One

Well, at least for the time being :-)

A little playtime with feathers a la Diane Gaudynski and a little smattering of Wandering Feathers from Leah Day's Free Motion Quilting Project. Not sure why the second photos is so dark, but you'll get the idea.

Time to switch off from FMQ for a little while, and get down to some piecing I think before it totally takes over my life :-)

Ooops!  Forgot to mention the size - 12 1/2" x 16 1/2" approx.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

The Big Reveal

My little Doll Quilt has made it safely across land & sea to Utah and thankfully has met with approval from my swap partner :-)

This month's theme was based on the ever popular 9 Patch, and my partner's tastes are 'country' which I wasn't quite sure of .

Whilst I did start off with 3 x 1 1/2" strips , this is what I ended up with which is a kind of  " 9 Patch-gone Seminole-gone Shabby Chic " which finished at approx. 16" x 21" .  Think maybe I failed on both counts,  which is why I am so relieve she likes it :-)

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Minis Month

August is quickly turning into a month of mini quilts, first there was this one that I so enjoyed making I just had to try again

My attempt at a Celtic Knot, and the back is almost as good !

Finishing  at 15 inches square, it was another fun personal challenge.

Just a little larger at 29 inches square, another red & white mini

  Both are waiting for binding, and there is a reason for this  -  I'm scheduled to go into hospital mid September for a knee replacement, so I'm trying to organise some sewing whilst my new knee settles down.  Now we all know about my aversion to hand sewing, so I thought stacking up some binding might be one way to keep occupied.

There is actually a third finished mini, but I can only show you a sneak peek of it at the moment as it is on the way to my swap partner in the Doll Quilters Monthly Group,  and I know she follows my Blog :-)


As the weather continues to be in the 30s most days, it's been great working on these smaller quilts rather than wrestling under a full size project - and my display wall is filling up nicely ! 

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Pets on Quilts

Seen this link on a number of Blogs over the last few days and thought I'd enter my old man - no, not DH but William my 13 year old 'kitten' !

Will has been seen on my blog from the very beginning, and has always been very helpful, as you can see here and here.

 He also  likes to help in the garden , but most of all he loves having his chin tickled !

Here I come....

No!  Not yet .....

Nearly there.....

Will somebody PLEASE tickle my chin ???

That's my boy !!!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Learning Curve

Some months ago I decided that I really would like to be able to improve my free motion quilting, so I joined Cindy Needham's   'Design It, Quilt It' course at Craftsy.

If you're a fan of Cindy's then you know that she does some seriously gorgeous work  and to be able to quilt anywhere near to her standard is just a pipe dream, but -  we all have to start somewhere don't we ?

After hours of drooling over the  instruction videos, then drawing on any scraps of  paper lying around and followed by many more machining hours spent producing samples like these

I finally took the plunge and tried my hand at my first whole cloth quilt


Just  14 inches square, and not perfect by any means - I don't think Cindy has to worry too much about the competition (!)  - but not too bad for a first attempt.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Car Boot Sale.....

......Breton style !

.......... saucisse frites anyone ?                                                              
                                      man's junk is another's treasure                                                                                                                                        

.....glad I didn't have to clean all this

....hard  to resist, but do I really need more than 4 sewing machines ?

Vide Greniers are good fun and there is always a bargain to be found !  I had to fight hard against buying the little electric Singer, from the mid 1950s and complete with the original instruction book, spare bobbins & feet, at 20 euros it was certainly a bargain - I just hope it found a good home .

Have I mentioned we're in the middle of a heat wave ?

 Average temperatures over the last 2-3 weeks have been 34C with highs of 39C!  Not that I am really complaining , but I can't help but wonder what happened to Spring  this year as we seem to have missed it somewhere along the line .


Saturday, 20 July 2013

It's been a While ...

......but a finished quilt at last :-)

My floral half  hexies done !

Think the feathers are improving too :-)

Talking about feathers - have you seen the videos on this Blog -  amazing !!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Italian Interlude - Part 1

Its been a while since I first posted about my cruise and as time seems to be flying by as usual,  here we go with Part 2.

We arrived at Sardinia early morning and anchored about a mile off  Alghero,  a lovely town surround by beautiful beaches.  A nice sunny day but still the darn wind blew. Not very good, this being one of the ports on the itinerary that called for transfer ashore by tender - not for the faint hearted or anyone prone to 'mal de mer'.  Wheeee!!  Here we go!

The idea was that we would spend some time looking around and then chill out on the beach and maybe a swim.  No chance with conditions like this !

Enough swell to tilt a 77,000 tonnes plus ship, and this wasn't our worst sea !

The choice was between being sandblasted on the beach and pulled off your feet by the surf , or ducking into the town and taking a tour on one of these

Before all the horse lovers shout 'shame!', the horse wasn't actually doing anything other than having a little exercise as the cart was fitted with an electric motor to do the work - got to be a unique definition on the term 'horse power' :-)

A stroll down main street

Something that caught my eye was this church dome

Now where have I seen this before  - maybe here ??

After spending the morning wandering through the town having our heads blown off, we decided enough was enough, so grabbed some lunch then headed back to our ship to watch the tenders scuttling to & fro

All of them eventually getting back safe & sound and stowed back on  board.Looks a lot calmer here in the lee of the ship  doesn't it ?  Watching all this going on reminded me of ducklings chasing after Mother Duck to tuck safely under her wings :-)

Hope you enjoyed Alghero - next stop Pisa & Florence.

Sunday, 14 July 2013


Bonne Fete A Tous !


Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bon Anniversaire !

( photo courtesy of Le Tour )

100 years of the Tour de France, the biggest FREE sporting event in the World, and we are lucky enough to live very close to Stage 10 of this year's route, so off we went on Tuesday to cheer them on and enjoy the show.

First came the parade of  the sponsors' advertising vehicles



Just a few of the weird and wonderful vehicles that hurtled past us in a cavalcade that lasted just on an hour ! My apologies for any blurred photos, but they were moving some:-)

Then there were cars covered in cycles

as well as motor bikes by the score

We even had a flight of helicopters - look closely !!

then eventually, the real stars of the show - the competitors !!

The Leaders

These 5 riders led the race until within a couple of kilometres of the finish, and it was a little sad to see them being swallowed up by the rest of the field after such a grand effort.

The Peloton - well, part of it !

I got so caught up shouting encouragement to this year's great British hope, Chris Froome , that I missed the photo of him in the Yellow Jersey :-)

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of negative publicity about the race over the last year or so, but when you stand at the roadside in temperatures of   30C,  you cannot help but admire the physical effort of the competitors passing you at speeds over 40 kms per hour, and hope that this year it will be a controversy free Tour de France. 

                                  Vive le Tour !

Footnote :

The Tour is very close to the hearts of all Bretons as one of their own sons , Louis Bobet, won the race 3 times in the 1950s and lived just a few miles away -  today's stage passed through his home town as a mark of respect. Brittany was also represented today by Julien Simon , one of the leader riders in the photo above.