Thursday, 21 December 2006

A Finish

Look! I tied it! I loved doing it so much that I am going to tie the rest of them. There is a errrrr doh though! Found a new way of doing the binding and just went full steam ahead, without thinking. The binding is on back to front, but the general concensus of opinion here is that it looks good that way. Oh how I love that backing fabric.

Monday, 18 December 2006

Christmas Greetings

Seasons Greetings to family, friends and all my new pals in Blogland. May 2007 be the year that us quilters get our UFO's finished! With love, Clare, Rex and Alexandra xxx

Friday, 15 December 2006

Hold the Front Page

I was just about to sign off for the day and then heard this on the radio. Fascinating.


or kitchen roll! Isn't it great! Since when does one put beer in crepes! One Christmas tradition in this house is the making of chocolate walnuts. Alex and I are going to start making them this weekend. I am putting the quilt away and will be sitting at the kitchen table all day today cracking walnuts, literally, hoping they come out in halves and not itzy bits which are useless for dipping in chocolate.

Thursday, 14 December 2006

What Christmas Ornament Are You?

You Are a Bow
You don't think of it as the holiday season - you think of it as the present season!

Blocks Required

I need more blocks! My sister Sophie has a few people waiting for their own special quilt and I have enough blocks for probably another 2 or 3 quilts. Anyone going to come to my rescue?

Free Piecing Crazy Scraps Challenge

An addendum to the previous post. The instructions for Tonya's lowercase letters have now been uploaded onto Quiltville. They can be viewed here.

Yesterday's Photos

Both taken from our balcony and it looks as if it is going to be the same this morning. Time to bring the Lemon Tree in and wrap the plants up I think.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Pèrigord Vert Matin

We had our first proper frost last night - only a month late! The sky is bright blue, but oh my is it cold! Ha! Blogger isn't playing today - photo will be uploaded as soon as Blogger lets me. In the meantime, sewing and quilting are on the back burner. Yesterday was spent Christmas shopping, today is being spent wrapping the presents, although I can't do Alex's as she is at home this afternoon. We are about to go into Brantome for a quick supermarket shop and to see if there are any decent sized cardboard boxes in the box bin for Christmas Hamper pressies. Deciding to go back home for Christmas is turning out to be a bit expensive LOL.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Sophie's Quilt II

Thanks to all for your comments and ideas on this. To be honest, having never machine quilted I am petrified of practising on this quilt. So I'm going to duck out and do as Fiona has suggested - tie it. Should be interesting and it gives me an excuse to go out and buy some more embroidery thread!! Talking of which, buying thread has overtaken buying material, but now that I have quit Kim's Fabric Diet for December, its spend up time! May as well make the most of it - it's only for December.

Monday, 11 December 2006

My Cherries

Sorry girls. They've got to go. This template is driving me nuts! If and when Pannasmontata gets her act together I will go back to it, but for the moment I'm going back to Minima. And whilst on the subject of templates, I have found a useful site for advice on customising the Beta templates - Christine's Blog Templates.

Sophie's Quilt

I'm stuck! I really really don't know what to do with this now. It looks so lovely that I dare not quilt it. Anyone any ideas on how I should machine quilt this, having never machine quilted in my life! And what about the backing material? Javerlhac were selling it off at 5 Euro a meter. I got 1.5 meters and might be going back to see if they have still got it. I love it!

Friday, 8 December 2006

Wooo Hoooo

Done it! Went to my Dashboard this morning and Blogger had decided overnight to let me join Beta. AND my cherries have come with me! Just going to check if the Leukaemia blog is ok and then carry on doing the top for Sophie's quilt.

Thursday, 7 December 2006

If you can't say something nice ........

then don't say it! Kim at Peach Quilting has been on her soap box about people leaving anonymous and not very nice comments on fellow quilter's blogs. I don't want to have to turn off the anonymous comments, but I will if you leave any nasty comments here.

Free Piecing Crazy Scraps Challenge

Here we go then! Something to chase away those January blue's which tend to set in after the New Year celebrations. 1. Must be scraps only - nothing from the stash unless it is a "scrap". I suppose FQ's count, but the material mustn't be bought especially for this quilt. 2. No design - go where the scraps want to go. 3. No specific colours. 4. Any size (table runner - small table cloth - cot quilt - wall hanging). 5. Must include Tonya's letters, either upper or lowercase (instructions for the lower case letters can be found on her blog). 6. Must be quilted by hand. I am going to quilt this using Tonya's Fantabulous Fans and shall probably stitch the letters in the ditch. 7. No time limit. What you do with the quilt is entirely up to you. I am keeping this one. Thought it is about time I made something for myself! So what do you think? Oui ou non?

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

And Then There Were Nine!

This is for Tamzin and Tom! Huge huge congratulations on your engagement - I'm going to have to find a space for Tom on Ma's quilt now!

Monday, 4 December 2006

I Don't Like Monday's !!

Back again. Up and running with a super French keyboard (excuse spelling mistakes) and a much faster machine. Thanks to U.N and Xian for helping me to set it up. November Goals - Family Quilt finished, Sunburst still being cut, 2 rows sashed for Sophie's quilt and I'm working on a surprise to keep you occupied when the winter blues set in. I hope to finish the top by the end of this week, so keeping watching. I think some of you may like it!

Saturday, 2 December 2006


Old computer has finally decided it has had enough. We purchased a new one on Thursday, only to take it straight back on Friday as the hard disc was not "attached" and the computer wouldn't boot up. So, I am in the process of backing up the new computer before moving over a whole load of stuff from old computer. New computer doesn't have a modem yet (its built for ADSL (sniff)) so am keeping in touch with the www and blogs via old computer. Am I making sense? Probably not! Kim - I have reloaded the html from the old, saved template and hope it works. Everytime I log into Q 4 P there is no code in the box. I have tried mailing you, but Comcast is bouncing mail. The internet has been really weird these last few days - nearly every single mail I send has bounced, and it's not jut me either! Will write more as soon as I can. In the meantime, I will update on November goals, December goals and some "hot gossip" soon. Keep warm and have a great quilting weekend!

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Comments and Templates

Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments regarding the Family Quilt. I loved doing it, but am glad it's finished. Fiona - no I haven't done a label. Really must do one before it is handed over, or at least sew the name and date onto the back. I have been testing out templates on Beta Blogger just in case Blogger decides I can transfer over. Unfortunately this template and the one on Quilts4Leukaemia don't work. It looks as if Pannasmontata who design these templates is working on the problem so I hope that, if and when I transfer over, it won't be too long before I get my Cherries back!

Sunday, 26 November 2006

We Have a Finish!

Step Father's name at the top. Mum's at the bottom. Us girls' names are on the roofs of the houses. Names down the left hand side are various horses and dogs that the family has owned (there are loads more - ran out of space!), Rex and Matt's (Floyd) names are on the blue sashing, Elmsted is the family home and the rest are terms of endearment.

Thursday, 23 November 2006

For Tonya

Like Sassenach over at Force Majeure, I too have been thinking about our Lazy Gal and wondering how she is. Get well soon Ton - we miss you.

French Food

Jane Anne has been talking about French shopping and chickens. geese and turkeys being sold in French markets "intact". This photo is typical of large markets at the moment - an enormous marquee full of trestle tables with beautiful white table cloths and piles of duck carcasses, magrets, duck and goose fat et fois gras, naturally! Just to make your stomachs turn even more before you tuck into your Thanksgiving Turkeys (have a great time all), we are in the middle of the Foire au Gras season when the supermarkets and markets are stocked to capacity with duck, goose and pork. Magrets (duck breast) are my all time favourite - huge slabs of meat and when the flat is melted down and they are flash fried, they are gorgeous! Then there are the carcasses which still have meat on them, can be boiled down for stock and cost about 2 Euros. Then there is the duck itself. Sold with its head still on (and sometimes the feet are still attached). Cut the head off, and boil the neck up for stock with the bones. And then there are the aigulettes (don't ask), the geziers (warm Perigordian Salade with geziers, foie gras, chopped walnuts and lettuce - yum!), the hearts, etc, etc. As for the fois gras - need I say more. Duck fat? Brilliant for roasting potatoes in with garlic and rosemary, although don't use too much as the potatoes will go soggy. However, when it comes to the pork that's when I draw the line! I will not buy a whole piglet (for some reason these are popular at Christmas time) and nor will I buy "la tete". However I do fill the freezer up with chops, loin of pork, potrine of pork and pork for cooking on the rotisserie. At roughly 4 Euros a kilo it is a bargain. The French "recycle" as much of the animal/duck as they can. Pates, rillettes (gorgeous), confit (mouth watering), boudin noir (black pudding) the list is endless. Sorry I can't add any more photos, but I will try to take some at Brantome market on Friday if we go down (and if it is sunny). To get back to the normal topic, I finished Family Quilt last night. I am just about to bind it. Went to fabric shop this morning and got batting and backing for the Leukaemia quilt so must stop chatting to you and get some sewing done.

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Wednesday WiP

Well, I'm sitting here going through Bloglines, unsubscribing from the feeds that aren't working and transferring them to Fizzle. Computer is running really slowly, my mails aren't getting through and it has been raining all day! So, WiP. I'm hand quilting the top row of Family Quilt and have machined two rows of the first Leukaemia Quilt. Really great to be machining again after so long. Sunburst has come to a grinding halt after cutting loads of yellow, pink and red squares. Still got 50 odd to do! This picture was taken last Saturday at Nontron.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Debbi's Blocks

And you guys on Beta think you've got problems! Debbi sent these to me by Express Mail some 2 weeks ago. Bless her heart, she then sent me the pics which were huge and it took me half a day to download them. It has taken me all this time to reduce them to a size that Blogger would accept. Et voila!

Sophie's Diary

I came across this blog whilst searching for something else. I can't read much of it as I keep on getting a lump in my throat! I'd like to send her one of our quilts. If you all agree, I'll get started on Quilt No.1 as soon as possible.

Monday, 20 November 2006

Four Things About Me

Things you may not have known about me... Four jobs I have had in my life: 1. Senior PA (secretary) 2. Secretary 3. B&B Owner (for a short time) 4. Saturday Job at Littlewoods' Restaurant (yuk) Four Movies you would watch over and over: 1. Gone with the Wind 2. Four Weddings and a Funeral 3. Notting Hill 4. The Godfather Four places you have lived: 1. London (loads of places) 2. West Sussex (loads of places) 3. Surrey (loads of places) 4. France! Four TV Shows you love to watch 1. The Amazing Mrs Pritchard (though I think it has finished now) 2. The repeats of Pie in the Sky on ITV3 (sad I know) 3. Eastenders cos its getting soooo awful! 4. The repeats of Brideshead Revisited on ITV3 Four places you have been on vacation: 1. France 2. France 3. France 4. Spain and Italy (which counts as 5!) Four of My Favorite foods 1. Garlic king prawns 2. all pasta 3. Steak 4. Fresh fish Four places I would rather be right now: 1. Happy here thank you. 2. 3. 4.

New Blogger

Welcome to my fellow Crafter, Dawn, who has just started writing a blog about her weaving adventures at Aquitaine Yarns.

Friday, 17 November 2006

Foggy Friday

Thanks for all the comments about the new template. It was a tough decision to make - there are so many gorgeous ones on the Pannasmontata site. Time to get skates on - due out for a Viveurs' lunch in Perigueux, friends staying tonight so have to tidy their room, make the kitchen look presentable and then we are possibly going back with them tomorrow to stay overnight, coming back Sunday. In the meantime, this is a picture of the first quilt I ever made. It has been taken out of its summer storage and is back on Alex's bed where it belongs (though this picture is our bedroom. If you turn round and face the other way you would be looking at my sewing/computer corner). See you on Monday.

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Template find! It is still in the process of being "tweaked" so please excuse the borders. Having been reducing Bloglines today to a readable amount. Have got down to "Q" so still a bit of a way to go. Hair cut tomorrow :-) Wednesday Update - they aren't apples they are cherries! I think I have now sorted the sidebar.

Forgot to say

Am going to remove my Bloglines "blogroll" for the time being. It is taking up too much space and the page is looking messy. I am in the process of trying to find a nice template. Anyone any ideas (not for Beta please!)?

Photo Time!

Not very good I'm afraid as it was late last night when I took them. One more house block to finish and them I am on to the border, then bind it, put the "tube" on the back et voila! You can still see the soap lines on this and my name isn't that clear. Think I may have to outline it in pale green. D.H still hasn't done the rail for BJWH (sniff). Bit of a problem at the moment with the electrics. The whole lot tripped out twice last night when I turned my reading light on. Guess who was wandering round in her P.J's with a torch at midnight!

Monday, 13 November 2006


Sitting in the car yesterday waiting for D.H and D.D, notebook and pen in hand, this came into my head. To be continued .................... On the home run on Family Quilt, and Guess What! I've started cutting Sunburst - wooo hooo. Have lost this post once already so won't push my luck. A demain.

Friday, 10 November 2006


Is this font size a bit easier to read? I'm trying out different fonts and colours. Our view just before sunset. Look at that sky! The valley was full of mist this morning, but by the time I had opened my eyes properly, made my morning mug of tea and found the camera it had gone.
And these are grus, or cranes, flying over our house last week on their way from Holland to Spain. Our little part of France is slap bang in the middle of their route south to north and north to south. Their arrival in March/April marks the beginning of Spring and in October/November, winter (brrrr - shiver!).
Did a bit more on Family Quilt last night. The Fantabulous Fans are a bit off course, but I like the look of it. If I can get this block finished today you may get piccies tomorrow. In the meantime, D.H has said he will try to get the rail up on the bedroom wall today for Blue Jeans Wall Hanging so I suppose the quilt had better go through the washing machine. A+

Thursday, 9 November 2006

160+ down to 50

Hi all. I'm trying to catch up on all the blogs. I down from 160 odd to 50 which ain't bad. I am reading you all, I just haven't got the time to leave a trail of comments and my connection is reallllllllly slooowwww :-( Back onto the quilting - only two more blocks and the border to go and then I can bind it - yea ha! I tried Tonya's Fantabulous Fans on one block. I surprised myself with how well they turned out. Photos will be uploaded as soon as connection speed has gone up a bit!

Tuesday, 7 November 2006

Still Here (just)

Have been really really busy over the last few days. Lovely friend Megs from the Pays Basque came up on Wednesday afternoon with her step-son and two of his friends. They stayed until Sunday morning. Thursday we took the kids swimming and then ice skating at Nautilis at Angouleme. In between acting as taxi service Megs and I managed to fit in a few craft shops and I found another fabric shop :-). I didn't buy any, although I was sorely tempted with some black and white fabric. Friday they chilled out in the morning and Megs and I walked round Brantome market (she bought me a gorgeous squishy soft handbag with loads of pockets). Then back to chez moi for lunch and off to Bourdeilles where we dumped the kids for an hour's horse riding. Saturday dragged them into Perigueux where they either went to the cinema or did some retail therapy. Saturday evening the kids were falling asleep over the dining table. So how come they suddenly got their second wind and were playing hide and seek in the dark until about 11.00 p.m! Managed to get a tiny weeny bit of quilting done, but not enough. 169 blogs to read so ....... A bientot Oh - thanks to Kim for the November badge

Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Woo Hoo!

Hey girls take a look at this.

Quilting Meme

Thanks again to Shelina. Being a relatively new quilter I won't have done a lot on this list, but it gives me some goals to work to (and we all know about me and goals don't we! LOL) Have You Ever? 1. Taken a quilting class 2. Paper pieced 3. Hand quilted 4. Hand pieced 5. Created your own pattern 6. Published a pattern in a magazine or book 7. Gone on a quilting retreat 8. Gone to a quilting convention 9. Met someone who wrote a quilting book 10 combined your quilting with some other craft 11. Done any three dimensional quilting - like fabric origami 12. Made something using Thimbleberries fabric 13. Made something using batiks 14. Dyed your own fabric 15. Made a landscape hanging 16 Made a New York Beauty quilt 17 Made a baby quilt 18 Made a wall hanging 19 Made a journal quilt 20 Submitted your journal quilt for viewing 21 Made a fabric postcard 22 Made a artistic trading card (ATC) 23 Exchanged artistic trading cards 24. Mailed your own postcard 25. Made a lap quilt 26 Made a twin size quilt 27 Made a full size quilt 28 Made a queen size quilt 29 Made a king size quilt 30 Donated a quilt to charity (Does Qs 4 L count?) 31 Sent a quilt out to a quilter 32 Thrown away a UFO 33 Given away a UFO 34 Cut up a UFO and made something else with it 35 Ripped fabric instead of cutting it 36 Made a quilt exactly like the pattern, with no changes whatsoever 37 Done any Sashiko 38 Quilted your own quilt 39 Did free motion quilting 40 Put any embroidery or beads on your quilt 41 Given away your quilt to a stranger 42 Swapped fabric 43 swapped blocks 44 participated in a round robin 45 participated in an ostritch round robin 46 kept a journal about your quilting 47 written a letter to someone who made an antique quilt 49 kept a blog about your quilting 50 participated in a gift exchange 51 sent a quilting random act of kindness 52 joined a newsgroup about quilting 53 made a quilt using a pattern from quilterscache 54 joined an online block of the month 55 made a block of the month quilt 56 subscribed to a fabric of the month club 57 bought fabric at an online store 58 bought fabric from ebay 59 own more than one sewing machine 60 have a room dedicated solely to sewing 61 hide a fabric purchase 62 finished making a holiday gift before July 63 spent more than $200 in one quilt shopping trip 64 made a quilt using a book from the library 65 worked with someone else to make a quilt 66. joined a quilt guild 67 become president of a quilt guild 68 taught a quilting class 69 helped someone else get the quilting bug 70 taught a child to sew 71 made a Dear Jane block 72 Made a miniature quilt 73 watch QNN - quilters news network 73 subscribe to a quilting magazine from your own country 74 subscribe to a quilting magazine from another country 75 buy fabric from another country 76 swapped completed quilts with someone else 77 asked for quilting help online 78 gone to a quilt shop to ask for quilting help 79 bought fabric at a local quilt shop 80 traveled more than 100 miles to go to a quilt shop 81 used nontraditional fabric for a quilt - something other than cotton or flannel 82 made a quilt using instructions given to you on a blog 83 make comments on someone's quilting blog 84 meet a quilter in person after only having talked online 85 had a quilting retreat in your home 86 own quilting software 87 made a quilt you designed on your quilting software 88 done any quilt research - history, interviewing quilters, etc. 89 had any quilt related subject published anywhere 90 donated a quilt to a museum 91 bought a quilt from a thrift store 92 made a quilt using fabric from a thrift store 93 made a quilt using photos 94 made a pastel quilt 95 made a quilt using brights 96 made a quilt using ethnic fabric from another country - African, Asian, etc. 97 made a quilt using leftover blocks from other quilts 98 had your quilt in a magazine, newspaper, newsletter, TV, etc. 99. submitted your quilt to a quilt show 100. won any ribbons with your quilts 101 had more finished quilts than UFOs 102 made a quilt using reproduction fabrics 103 took a break from quilting that was longer than a year 104 made money with your quilting 105 had a job in the fabric / quilting industry

October Goals

What did I achieve? Not a lot! Ox and Xs got finished and is now keeping its recipient warm. I started my Family quilt and am about 1/4 of the way through quilting it. BTW problem! One of the seams has split. Can I use webbing to close it up again? I suppose getting "my corner" sorted out was something. Anyway, one item crossed off, one job nearly done and I'm going to start cutting Sunburst soon and piecing so that I can take it to the UK with me for quilting. Still no joy with a long arm quilting machine, but I have a cunning plan *wink*
And this is our view from the balcony and kitchen/lounge windows. Taken, I think, one September a few years ago, the Walnut tree to the left is no more - it got blown down 3 years ago. I will post some more photos at some point of the same view in different seasons.

Monday, 30 October 2006

Dead End Day!

No photos, hardly any quilting, haven't been myself since the clocks went back (it always hits me in the solar plexus, whether it be backwards or forwards). Chores piling up, Halloween supper to go to tomorrow evening and can't motivate myself for it. Great friend coming to stay with 3 kids on Wednesday through to Sunday so need to get going and get something achieved, even it is just cleaning out the bedrooms and making the beds. It is a beautiful, beautiful day here today and feels like Spring. I can't believe that it is the 30th October and yet the long term forecast is gloomy from Wednesday onwards - huge drop in temperature and they are threatening the first frosts. We get snow - sometimes a couple of inches - but it only last 48 hours. However, we do get very severe frosts. Some days the temperature doesn't rise about 0 degrees C, but those days, although cold, are sunny with clear blue skies. Those are the days when I *Will* sit out on the balcony in a fleece and hand quilt. I will I will! Thanks for all your comments and Susan - no I haven't found one!

Friday, 27 October 2006

Conversions and Translations

On my hunt for someone relatively close by with a long arm quilter who is prepared to quilt the Leukaemia quilts for me, I found this web site. Thanks Pippa for pointing me in that direction. I then found 2 really useful pages on that site. This one and this one.

Look what arrived in the post just now

Talk about wow factor! These are stunning!

Thursday, 26 October 2006

My Little Corner

Well here we are. Nearly sorted, but I thought I would introduce you to "my space".
My sewing table which was the dining table in a previous life, bookshelf holding "favourite books" and various odds and ends stuffed in and on the shelves. "Sunburst" material waiting to be cut (yes!) and that bluey tub thing is my new scrap bin. Boxes bottom left behind the table leg contain "the stash" which is threatening to take over the room! The white board to the left of the bookcase is a temporary design wall (piece of formica work top). As that wall is the "chimney" I am going to have to rethink what I was going to do. DH says he can't drill into it so back to the drawing board. In the meantime, the old work top will suffice. And then if you turn to the left you will see my desk, which, being me, is full of junk. Believe it or not I know where everything is so no one is allowed to touch it. Next purchase is an office "swivel chair".
So now you know where I sit when I am chatting to you all.

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

Busy Busy Busy

Reading Nancy's post about Bloglines and how long it takes to read through everyone's Blog made me realise that I haven't posted, although I have been reading and leaving a trail of comments around the world! Anyway, been busy, busy, busy. Creating a sewing/computer corner in the bedroom with a design wall (yes!). Have just to do a spot of furniture moving now and then all will be revealed. In the meantime, these are pictures of "my baby" - Citronnier Quatre Saisons. Bought it about 7 years ago as a "welcome to France" pressie to myself and it has grown and grown, survived 2 or 3 pretty horrific winters (with temps downto -12 at night), has lost its leaves at least twice, but it struggles on. I do bring it in just before the first frost (next month - brrrr). wrap it up in winter fleece and bubble wrap and keep an eye on it during the winter months. It hibernates in the "laundry room"! Before I sign off for the day, can I ask you to send a quilter's hug to my fellow Crafter and Francophile, Vivi, who is going through a pretty rough time at the moment.

Monday, 23 October 2006

Narrow Escape

Just had to share this. Took Alex to the bus this morning, with Magic the cat in tow, as is normal. She (Magic) has been very skittish lately and a bit of a disobedient madam which is very unlike her. Anyway, she flatly refused to stand by the side of the road with us and sat slap bang in the middle of the road. Along comes car going very fast. Magic runs to the verge on the opposite side of the road to us, decides she is on the wrong side and starts to run back to us, gets dazzled by car headlights and runs back to the verge, very nearly loosing her life in the process. The driver must have heard Alex and I screaming and shouting as he slowed right down. Magic is banned from the "bus walk" from now on!

Thursday, 19 October 2006

Just to Say .....

I'm going on a computer/blog diet. I desperately need to get chores/housework/gardening done and I can't if I'm sitting here reading about all of you lot. Alex breaks up for Toussaint next Wednesday lunchtime and we need to have some mother/daughter time together. In order to achieve this I've got to get caught up on all sorts of stuff. A +

French Carrier Bags and "The Quilts"

Right girls! I am at long last getting my act together on this. If you want a French "recyclable" carrier bag, whether it be like Fiona's Super U bag (if I can find it) or just one in bright sunny colours, then can you please let me know asap. I am aiming to buy these and get them in the post next week. As for the Quilts, I am hoping to book Sue for one day next week (we are meeting up tomorrow with Jennifer for a crafty shopping day *vbs*) to get all the blocks out and decide what is going to go where. I am still waiting for a few more. Don't worry if you have promised one but haven't started yet. I have more than enough to be going on with for the moment and making up quilts will keep me occupied during the long cold months of January and February. In the meantime, I think I might get started with some hearts and the cat and make up a baby quilt.

Wednesday, 18 October 2006

Botham Walk for Leukaemia Research and Teenage Cancer Trust

Sophie has just sent me some photos of her and Floyd's meet up with Ian Botham in Glasgow at the end of his Beefy Bowls Out Teenage Cancer charity walk, details of which can be viewed here. I thought you would like to see an up to date photo of Floyd/Matt talking to Ian Botham.

Hummm - but I also like Autumn

Suze says she is a Spring girl too.
You Belong in Spring
Optimistic, lively, and almost always happy with the world... You can truly appreciate the blooming nature of spring. Whether you're planting flowers or dyeing Easter eggs, spring is definitely your season!

Tuesday, 17 October 2006

W. in P.

Here we go - Family Quilt "en cours". I misjudged the seam under the first E's in "George" and "Jenny" and the Y came out back to front, but hey, wonky is the word! I was going to continue the green border all the way round, but like the effect of the squares on the R/H side.

Monday, 16 October 2006

An Alternative ....

to Bloglines if you use Firefox as your browser. Fizzle

Internet Troubles

Unlike most of you, I am on plain ordinary dial-up (or bas debit) and, boy, does it drive me mad! I have been unable to connect for most of the weekend - I mean not even able to dial out - as Tiscali (my ISP) has decided to sulk, and now I find I am connected to the outside world at a measly 31.2 kbps! So unable to read through the Bloglines list (62 !), but did manage to catch Tonya's, Melzie's (you sound a lot more up beat) and, sadly, Vivi's, who lost her dear dad last Friday. Houses is going great guns and I am really chuffed with it. I promise I will try to upload a photo before we leave for the UK in December, or on the Flickr Free Pieced Quilting group a bit earlier. Alex and I are taking photos of it as it progresses. Alex has left her sports bag behind so we are just about to rush out of the door to take it up to Mareuil sur Belle (kids - don't we just love them!)

Friday, 13 October 2006

I Have Done

Copy and pasted from Shelina's Blog. All you have to do is to copy and paste and highlight in bold the things you have done. 1. Bought everyone in the bar a drink 2. Swam with dolphins 3. Climbed a mountain 4. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive 5. Been inside the Great Pyramid 6. Held a tarantula 7. Taken a candlelit bath with someone 8. Said "I love you" and meant it 9. Hugged a tree 10. Bungee jumped 11. Visited Paris 12. Watched a lightning storm at sea 13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise 14. Seen the Northern Lights 15. Gone to a huge sports game 16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa 17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables 18. Touched an iceberg 19. Slept under the stars 20. Changed a baby's diaper 21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon 22. Watched a meteor shower 23. Gotten drunk on champagne 24. Given more than you can afford to charity 25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope 26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment 27. Had a food fight 28. Bet on a winning horse 29. Asked out a stranger 30. Had a snowball fight 31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can 32. Held a lamb 33. Seen a total eclipse 34. Ridden a roller coaster 35. Hit a home run 36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking 37. Adopted an accent for an entire day 38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment 39. Had two hard drives for your computer 40. Visited all 50 states 41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced 42. Had amazing friends 43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country 44. Watched wild whales 45. Stolen a sign 46. Backpacked in Europe 47. Taken a road-trip 48. Gone rock climbing 49. Midnight walk on the beach 50. Gone sky diving 51. Visited Ireland 52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love 53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them 54. Visited Japan 55. Milked a cow 56. Alphabetized your CDs 57. Pretended to be a superhero 58. Sung karaoke 59. Lounged around in bed all day 60. Posed nude in front of strangers 61. Gone scuba diving 62. Kissed in the rain 63. Played in the mud 64. Played in the rain 65. Gone to a drive-in theater 66. Visited the Great Wall of China 67. Started a business 68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken 69. Toured ancient sites 70. Taken a martial arts class 71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight 72. Gotten married 73. Been in a movie 74. Crashed a party 75. Gotten divorced 76. Gone without food for 5 days 77. Made cookies from scratch 78. Won first prize in a costume contest 79. Ridden a gondola in Venice 80. Gotten a tattoo 81. Rafted the Snake River 82. Been on television news programs as an expert 83. Got flowers for no reason 84. Performed on stage 85. Been to Las Vegas 86. Recorded music 87. Eaten shark 88. Eaten fugu (pufferfish) 9. Had a one-night stand 90. Gone to Thailand 91. Bought a house 92. Been in a combat zone 93. Buried one/both of your parents 94. Been on a cruise ship 95. Spoken more than one language fluently 96. Performed in Rocky Horror Picture Show 97. Raised children 98. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour 99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country 100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over 101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge 102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking 103. Had plastic surgery 104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived 105. Wrote articles for a large publication 106. Lost over 100 pounds 107. Held someone while they were having a flashback 108. Piloted an airplane 109. Petted a stingray 110. Broken someone's heart 111.Ridden a bike 112. Won money on a T.V. game show 113. Broken a bone 114. Gone on an African photo safari 115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced 116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol 117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild 118. Ridden a horse 119. Had surgery 120. Had a snake as a pet 121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon 122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours 123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states 124. Visited all 7 continents 125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days 126. Eaten kangaroo meat 127. Eaten sushi 128. Had your picture in the newspaper 129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about 130. Gone back to school 131. Parasailed 132. Petted a cockroach 133. Eaten fried green tomatoes 134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey 135. Selected one important author who you missed in school, and read 136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating 137. Skipped all your school reunions 138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language 139. Been elected to public office 140. Written your own computer language 141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream 142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care 143. Built your own PC from parts 144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you 145. Had a booth at a street fair 146. Dyed your hair 147. Been a DJ 148. Shaved your head 149. Caused a car accident 150. Saved someone's life

Jenni's Blocks and a Cat

Jenni's blocks arrived from Australia earlier this week and they can be seen here. Christine Suisse lives in the next village, is a friend of our neighbour, Pam who made the heart blocks, has made a lovely block for me.

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Family Quilt

Tonya has been talking about inspiration for a Family Quilt and I decided to convert the Houses quilt into a sort of family quilt. Anyway, I started cutting strips for the letters on Tuesday afternoon, got on a "quilt run" and was piecing them together at 5.00 a.m yesterday morning (unable to sleep again). Then I got the bit between my teeth and finished the top at 2.00 a.m this morning. For the first time for weeks I slept like a log and woke up at 8.30 a.m shouting that we had overslept. DH had taken Alex to the bus - huge sigh of relief! Can't upload a photo cos this quilt is going to my Mum for Christmas and sisters and step-father read this blog from time to time. Anyway, S-D's name and Mum's name are free pieced letters and make up part of the border (red on green background) and the rest of the family's names are going to be stitched onto the rooves of the houses. Other halves' names are going to be stitched in the borders of the houses. Other family names and names of animals (past and present) are going to be stitched in the border. So the top is done and I am now going to give myself a day off, do some gardening and chill out! Thanks for your comments on O's and X's. The colours didn't run and it is waiting to be given to its recipient. Yes, I too wonder how D.J managed to quilt by candle light. The kitchen lights were ablaze yesterday!

Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Just Ambling and Wondering ....

Ambling along for a bit after that burst of sewing and got to wondering about quilts and their history. OK, we all know about the Dear Jane quilts and their history, but how? These days we have digital cameras, Blogs, books, etc, etc. How were those quilts recorded before the days of cameras and glossy "coffee table" books. What would those pioneers of quilts think of us these days with our electric sewing machines, special thread, cutting boards, rotary cutters, material especially made for quilting, proper wadding, etc, etc, etc. I wonder? Have finally caught up on Blogs and no one is seeing a photo of my laundry room! It doubles up as DH's workshop, storage room for the plants in winter and, as well as the dryer and 2 washing machines, houses the outdoor furniture and the chest freezer. Oh, and it is downstairs in the "cave".

Monday, 9 October 2006

Look What I Finished Yesterday!

Boy was I getting fed up with it! I started the binding on Saturday afternoon and had to unpick the whole lot yesterday morning. It still isn't right, but it's better than it was! Now it is to be washed (she says crossing fingers that the colours won't run), initialled and handed over to its recipient. And today I hope to get the top of Houses finished, batted and backed (heavy sigh).

Saturday, 7 October 2006

Music While You Sew?

I was wondering what people do while they are sewing, especially if they are hand quilting. I have tried watching t.v/a DVD but find I can't to that and sew. So I listen to CD's, audio books and BBC Radio 2 and 4 (sometimes 7 if I am in the mood). We are great Harry Potter fans and have the first 5 books on cassette (or K7 as the French call it - work it out!). Read by Stephen Fry they make superb listening. I bought Alan Bennett's Talking Heads on cassette for 1 Euro at a car boot sale recently and am addicted to that too. So you have some idea of what I do when I am sewing.

Friday, 6 October 2006

Playing Catch Up

Every time I think I am there, someone else posts and the unread Bloglines goes up to 60 again! I'm trying my hardest to catch up. In the meantime, thank you to everyone for leaving comments. Lily - I can't email you as you left an anonymous comment. Go on, just one! Let me have your email so I can send you my snail mail address. I am on the home stretch with Os and Xs and am off to Javerlhac in a minute to find some material for the border and back of Houses and to see what price they will give me on loads of batting and meters of red and white material for the backs of the quilts. I promise I won't get side tracked by anything else. If I do, it will just have to stay on the shelves until next month (by which time it will have gone!). My neighbour, Pam, told me of a material shop in Thiviers. It sells grocery stuff and cigarettes, but if you go right to the back you will find proper patchwork fabric, for a price! I've passed it before, but because it has got the red and white "tabac" sign outside, haven't really paid it any attention. Will next time though :-) This is Magic and Podge on Alex's lap. Magic is getting cross because Podge is trying to push her off.

Serena's Blocks

can be seen here. I love the flowers.

Pam's Hearts

Photo's don't do them justice

Thursday, 5 October 2006

Mini Tempete Hits Ferme de Chabrol Head On!

Tuesday morning was fine - spoke to Megs, caught up on the mails, started reading through my Bloglines and reading and responding to various Q's4L mails. The computer went ping! Rebooted, it went ping again, and again and then no electricity.

Noticed it was getting a bit windy outside, but didn't pay much attention.

Then Rex came upstairs and said would I give him a hand - the Olive tree had fallen over and there was a bit of a gale outside.

Gale wasn't the word! We got the Olive tree inside and waited for the wind to drop. Walnuts flying in all directions, various trees bent double and all a bit scary.

When the wind finally dropped we went out to inspect the damage.

Big green table is no more - it took off, went slap into the fig tree and the normally very solid legs splayed outwards. One sun bed decided it was going to go for a swim and is, thankfully, undamaged. The table took one big terracotta pot and oleander with it. Olive tree has lost its one olive, but thankfully pot is undamaged. One tile fell off the north side of the roof and there are bits of black bache from goodness only knows where. The pool was full to the brim with leaves of various descriptions, most notably walnut and buddelia.

The whole area was without power for Tuesday afternoon/evening and all day yesterday and the phone was off all day yesterday. 7.00 p.mish last night power and the phone were restored, this morning no phone. Phone came back on at lunchtime today.

At least this time we had running water (unlike 1999/2000 when we were without water for a week!), but unlike 1999/2000 we had a nearly full chest freezer to worry about. Thankfully the power was restored within 48 hours and the contents of both freezers are ok.

But guess who forgot to take any pictures! What is the point of having a digital camera if you keep on forgetting you've got it!

Once again, I am catching up on mails, blogs and stuff so please excuse me if you are waiting for an answer re the quilts, or whatever.

Oh and if you are reading this on my blog(s), blocks have now been received from Serena, Juliann, Veronica, Mel, Fiona and Marcie.

Clare xx

Monday, 2 October 2006

What Colour Red are You?

With thanks to Mama Koch. I thought this was appropriate for "the cause".
You Are Apple Red
You're never one to take life too seriously, and because of it, you're a ton of fun. And although you have a great sense of humor, you are never superficial. Deep and caring, you do like to get to the core of people - to understand them well. However, any probing you do is light hearted and fun, sometimes causing people to misjudge you.


Has been moved to here cos the list of contributors was getting too big for the side bar. I wil continue to post updates and photos on here, as well as on the other blog.

September Goals 0 - Stash 1

Oh dear not one goal that I can put a line through and say, with delight, I've Done It! O's and X's is nearly finished, the top of the wall hanging for Mum, as you know, is sort of there and the rest is at a standstill. To punish myself I am going on Kim's October Fabric Diet and I'm not going to buy one little piece of fabric this month, not one. I am not going to get side tracked. I am not going to get side tracked. I have changed September to October and let's hope that this month I manage to put a line through a few things! On the Blocks for Leukaemia front, welcome to Karen at Passionate Quilter. We are now up to 25 blocks and more on the way. I must start (ha ha) thinking about the back, whether or not sashing will be needed, etc, etc. I need a huge expansive of floor, a very big white sheet and a lot of patience! Oh and could you all stop posting please - 62 feeds this morning! Its going to take me an age to catch up!

Friday, 29 September 2006

Yet More Blocks

From Nicole in Turkey
and from Pippa

William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement

Kathy at The Quilter's Cafe is a girl after my own heart. She has found this fabulous web site - The Arts and Crafts Home. My mother adores the William Morris designs and I can remember some sort of Arts and Crafts design somewhere in the house since I was knee high to a match stick (I'm only 5 ft 2 so I'm not joking !!!). These materials have always been around. Liberty and Heals have always stocked them but at a price, so it is lovely to see them coming back just a tad cheaper. And in the same vein. these are some of the fabrics which can be seen at Charleston House in West Sussex, UK.

Thursday, 28 September 2006

Sewing Boxes

Reading through the daily round of blogs I noticed that pin cushions are being discussed. I don't possess one as I use plastic tubs - one for the plastic/glass beaded top pins, one for my quilt pins and one for quilt safety pins. However, these are pictures of my sewing box which I "pinched" from DH as I couldn't fit everything into my old one. It's a tool box and my goodness is it useful. Alexandra has great fun reoganising it for me on a fairly regular basis so I can never find anything. But its brilliant cos I can just pick needlecases, cotton, scissors, rulers, etc from the kitchen table and dump it all in the bottom until the next day. I'm on the look out for a smaller version for all the embroidery threads and balls of perle cotton that are building up.

Blocks, blocks and more blocks

Brigitte's blocks arrived in the post yesterday, as well as the ones from Vera. Hedgehog has sent me some more and we are now well on the way to creating the first quilt. My friend Sue up the road at Nontron has offered to help me piece them together. Now don't laugh, but a lovely gentleman living in the Lot et Garonne departement, who goes by the name of Ian Gillis, has been inspired by this blog and might, just might, make a block for me, using his mother's treadle sewing machine which has been lovingly cared for over the years. Courage Xian!


I didn't realise that the text I inserted from the email from Floyd wasn't wrapping if you view my blog in IE (it was in Firefox). Sorry if you have been reading a scew-whiff page. I think it is sorted now. Normal service is resumed!

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Proposed Wall Hanging

Et voila! Not a good picture I'm afraid! The bottom of it has been chopped! The "purple" bit is supposed to be a white sheet, not part of the quilt. Border and binding still to be done. A question. As it is going to be a wall hanging, does it need batting? I don't think it does, in which case I can start "decorating" it. Thanks for all your advice. I did a bit of stem stitching on it yesterday afternoon/evening and decided that it definitely does need batting.

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

In Shock!

Every so often I do a bit of surfing trying to find a relatively cheap copy of Liberated Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston. Tonya and I exchanged emails a few months ago about the "secondhand" price of this book so you imagine my horror when I found this on Amazon this morning. Look at the "Price at a Glance" box on the right and then scroll down to the bottom. Yikes! Tonya - you know you said you were going to insure your copies, well you had better insure them for a lot higher than you were originally thinking of! Wonky House Wall Hanging top is nearly done! Couldn't sleep again last night so instead of tossing and turning I got up and sewed until about 3.00 a.m! Because of that we all overslept this morning. Alex is in a major sulk as she missed the school bus and had to be driven into school. Oh the shame of being seen with your mother and having to be driven into school! She turned her head so that she couldn't be "seen" as we got close to the school gates. Kids eh!

Monday, 25 September 2006

Monday Mumblings

The trusted Indesit washing machine has packed up (the programme dial has decided to throw a wobbly) so the ancient, but still working, backup machine is back in use. This is a real pain, mais c'est la vie and I will just have to trundle on with what I have, hoping that this one doesn't pack up too. Mountains of sheets and towels to wash and it is pouring with rain. Spent a lovely time yesterday doing my Wonky House hanging which is coming along very nicely indeed - very chuffed with it. I will upload photos if Sophie promises faithfully not to let Mum see them. Didn't get much sleep last night. My mind suddenly started whirring away with possible quilt designs and thinking about my Take the Leap Challenge quilt. Do I give it to the Bocquier's, or do I hand it over to Sophie? I am in a real quandry about this. The Leukaemia list to the right has grown again - welcome to Jenni in Australia and Debbi in Illinois. Hedgehog says she is posting me yet more blocks today and Fiona's lovely Take the Leap Challenge crib quilt and 2 red and white blocks will soon be on their way to France, as will Serena's, Mel's and Vera's. If you are not on the list and have already contributed, or have said you will contribute, please let me know. To end today's post, I would like to quote from a mail Floyd sent me at the end of last week. I am sure he won't mind (too late he if does LOL).
"Hi Clare, I think this is fantastic, a great blog site, and very good of you to think of something to help. Also seems like a whole load of others need thanking too, indeed a multi-national massive quilt build!! It must take a fair amount of time to make, and hopefully all this effort can be best used for some great causes. I'll bet some kiddies would be delighted with bright colourful quilts from afar!"

Saturday, 23 September 2006

More Blocks Received From ........

2 beautiful blocks received from Simonetta with a beautiful label and a gorgeous one from Jeanne. Thank you both so very much. Brigitte asked about O's and X's. If you go to Tonya's Blog (the link should take you straight to it) you will find a description on how to make them up. Basically, it is shorthand for Hugs and Kisses. It could also be a form of noughts and crosses, or, as they call it in the US, Tic-Tac-Toe. Anne - Alexandra is a huge Tonya fan. Her quilting and eye for colour have really inspired her. Right - must toddle.

Friday, 22 September 2006

Designed by Alex, cut and sewn by Mum!

This is what I have been working on for the last few days and, boy, has it taken time! Lovely design by Alexandra, but sewing fabrics together, cutting to the right size (too short Mum, too big Mum!) has been a nightmare. Finally managed to finish off today while she was at school! Sophie - Mum is not allowed to look! Now that that is out of the way I can concentrate on "my" stuff !