Saturday, 24 June 2006

Forgot to say ...................

Happy first wedding anniversary to Sophie and Floyd. Hey guys - what were we doing this time last year? Running around like chickens with their heads cut off that's what!

Leukaemia and Quilts

In September 2005 my sister's then boyfriend, Matt Julians (aka Floyd London, guitarist for The Almighty (not my sort of thing I hasten to add)), was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. To quote Sophie : "His type of AML was quite rare (1:70,000) and he was treated with 4 courses of aggressive chemotherapy. Unfortunately a bone marrow biopsy was out of the question as the procedure alone carried a 40% mortality rate. Floyd's chances of successfully beating the cancer are 50/50 but he still made it to remission after the first course of chemo, and he's still there now!!! We have another 4 years to get through before we can say he made it! Floyd is a tough wee lad and we know he's going to beat this leukaemia." Floyd went into remission and they got married in June last year (we flew over for the wedding and Alex was a bridesmaid). I was just about to upload some lovely photos, only to find they have disappeared and Alex and I have just spent the last hour going through every single CD in the house trying to find them. Here is one that thankfully I uploaded to Yahoo Photos. Quality isn't very good. You should have seen what Floyd looked like in January! Have you a photo Soph? Anyway, the point of this post is to ask if any of you fellow quilters out there would be interested in donating a quilt for auction in order to raise funds for Leukaemia Research. Sophie and Floyd have already raised over £25,000 through two charity concerts and various other events and I thought it would be a great idea to auction some quilts. Sophie is in contact with the Fund Raiser for LRF and she would probably be able to help us to set it up, but in the meantime has anyone out there done this sort of thing before and, if so, how do you go about it? I was thinking to putting Sunburst up for auction, but I haven't started it yet. Blue Jean Windows is a third of the way there (ish) so, depending on the time scale, would probably donate that one and make a duplicate of Sunburst at a later date if it works out as planned (hollow laughter). Let me know what you all think and hope you can help.

Monday, 19 June 2006

Crafters who Brocante!

Yesterday Jennifer, Sue, Alexandra and I had a field day! 11.30 am saw the Northern Dordogne subdivision of Expatcrafters on parade at a Vide Grenier (car boot or empty attic sale) at St Jean de Cole (the same place where the Foire de Floralies took place). Jennifer and Sue found a stall selling silk threads in various forms. Reels of gold thread, sheets of thread in various colours and boxes upon boxes of small reels in assorted colours. We managed to restrain ourselves and not buy the boxes (the colours were not that brilliant). Look what I picked up for the total sum of 4 Euros!
I might use the gold thread in double strands for part of Sunburst, but then again I might not. The other lot (aren't the colours beautiful!), I am tempted to frame. Either way both are going to be wrapped up in brown paper and stored somewhere safe. We then upped and moved to the brocante at Thiviers where Jennifer, Sue and Alex picked up 8 boxes of blank French visiting cards for 4 Euros. Alex had a lovely afternoon splitting their hoard into 3. At the same shop we saw some 1950's embroidery patterns which Vivi would love. I was tempted to buy some, but will be passing through Thiviers again in the foreseeable future so Vivi keep an eye out for Mr Le Facteur. All in all a fruitful day.

Friday, 16 June 2006

In a State of Shock!

During our weekly shopping trip to Perigueux yesterday I spotted a "coupons" (end of roll/remnants) sale on in a fabric shop. Naturally, we had to stop so that I could have a rummage. I am after lots and lots of red/orange/yellow plain fabrics for Sunburst. No fussiness and frills this time thank you and I'm in charge of the design, not the material or the quilt! I have been into this particular shop once before, enticed by the words "patchwork" all over the front. I forgot how expensive it is compared to Javerlhac. Okay, they have some lovely materials which Javerlhac doesn't have and they have loads and loads of patchwork specific material (words getting mangled up again), but honestly! 20 Euros a meter!!! I have trouble trying to spend that amount at Javerlhac where they weigh by the kilo in most cases. Even the cheapest coupon was about 20 Euros and it was mostly heavy curtain stuff anyway, or satin based. I have now stuck a Post-It note on the car dashboard. "Ignore Totem - Don't be Tempted". Boy - is that the time - supper! A demain peut etre.

Wednesday, 14 June 2006

Bonne Nouvelle et odds and sods

Just got back from monthly check up. Blood pressure way down (110/70). Prise de sang tomorrow morning and then an appointment with the specialist if Mr le Medecin is not happy with results (got it the wrong way round!). Nothing mentioned about alcohol and I'm still on the tablets. Tonya has been having Blogger problems - your Live Bookmark Feed isn't working! I don't know if you all know, but there is a Virus doing the rounds. It mainly infects Yahoo mail addresses and Yahoo Groups. You can read more about it at This could be the reason why Blogger is on the slow side. Yahoo Groups are too, in fact so much so that Viveurs was down on Monday and Crafters yesterday. BJW has been partially unpicked - I tried to do too much too quickly and pieced it together the wrong way round - DOH! Sorted out the thread problem too. A demain peut etre.

Wednesday, 7 June 2006

News Flash and Threads

I tried to send this last evening, but the connection kept on timing out and it isn't too good today either. Who was a busy bee yesterday then! This is the middle section of Blue Jean Windows - only another 12 sections to do. Colours haven't come out very well have they. I was on a roll yesterday and was up until 12.30 am pining and machining seams so today am exhausted! I'm running out of blue thread and other bits and pieces so am hoping to persuade DH to go into Perigueux for a shop. Tonya - question. On the next project I want to use a different type of thread. - A bit thicker and contrasting colours to the background so it will have to stand out. I have read your "Threads, Threads & Threads" article on and am at a bit of a loss re "perle" thread. Is it the same stuff that they use for crocheting in France and is sold in rolls, rather than reels. Am with you on embroidery thread, which presumably you have to buy by the lorry load if you are doing a bit project (comme moi!) LOL and yes I can see it would be a devil to thread. My eyesight is bad enough as it is without needing a magnifying glass to thread a needle! Mind you, I tend to use very thin darning needles which have big eyes Must get going.

Saturday, 3 June 2006

Gwen Marston and other quilting authors/books

Tonya - you have a lot to answer for! I have been hunting for the Gwen Marston book, Liberated Quiltmaking and found it on for about £23, but there is a 6/9 week wait. Whilst searching for that, I came across Liberated String Quilts, also by Gwen Marston. Whilst looking at the blurb on that, I found Thinking Outside the Block by Sandi Cummings and Karen Flamme which looks interesting. All that lot will have to wait until July now. I was lying awake last night thinking of all sorts of things (dear friend's marriage is heading for the rocks) and a new idea for Sunburst came into my head. I will need to see if it will work so will let you know if it does. Still no news of an appointment with the Liver specialist and I've got another blood test in 2 weeks, and another check up for my repeat prescription. I thought the French health service didn't have waiting lists :-)