Monday, 31 December 2007

New Year's Eve

My favourite. I much prefer it to Christmas.

Hardly any sewing being done, except for a small wall hanging for the friends we spent Christmas with. They live on a small holding and I thought this would be perfect for them.



Just some ties and I'm machining the binding. I've lost the momentum to sew and quilt and hope it will come back "next year".

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments regarding my allergy. I now don't think it's the batting, although it does make me itch and I'm going to wear gloves in future. Mum thinks it could be the blood pressure tablets I'm on, or the cat!


Fancy using these scissors ????


A sign for a coiffeuse in the same street I love it!




On that note I'm going to wish you a bonne année et bonne santé pour l'année deux mille huit. May your blocks not match and may your wonky letters become even wonkier.


Bisous pour tous .


Clare x




Friday, 21 December 2007

Quilter's Rash!

I've developed an allergy to poly batting and sweat polaires (fleeces).

I was fine until I started using the Quilter's Dream poly batting from Quilter's Quarter for Qs4L.  Then I started itching and a red rash appeared on my hands.  I didn't think anything about it.  After all, I do get eczema so I slapped on the anti itching cream and forgot about it.


I "pinched" some of the Quilter's Dream for the Lucky Day quilt and I can't touch it now without itching.  The doctor has given me some strong cream and antihistamine (sp?) pills to see if they'll work.

If they don't then I'm going to have to invest in very fine cotton gloves.

Anyone ever had this problem?  If so how did you get round it?


Have I shown this before?  I can't remember.  This is AB Fab in progress.  I've done a bit more since taking this photo.  The orange swirl is finished and I've moved over to another black bit.  I could have sworn I took a photo but obviously not cos I can't find one!


Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Getting Ready for Christmas

A confession. I've been so busy over the last few days I've hardly done any quilting. Instead I've been trying to get my head round the Christmas preparations. Not for Christmas Day, but for the afterwards. I suddenly realised that this time next week Christmas Day will officially be over, but for us the fun starts tomorrow week!

So this is what we've been doing








Just a bit more tweaking to do and Alex has promised me she'll decorate the tree this afternoon. Then I can safely say that Christmas is on it's way, apart from the endless lists and the tidying up which in this house is a major chore and can take days - no storage space you see.

I got Lucky Day (Tamzin's quilt) out last night and did a few more fans (or hoops!), "looked" at the Ab Fab project (the supposedly hand quilting masterpiece ;-) and, I have to admit, put Haunted Houses back on the UFO pile (sniff). I tihnk I mentioned that a friend gave me some old curtains which have been lined with poly batting. I've only got to unpick the lot before I can use it!

Before I go any further, I'd just like to say that Dordogne Quilter on Blogspot has been "removed" from my Blogspot profile. I was going to delete it completely but would loose all the old photos if I did that. So the only blog that shows on my profile is Quilts 4 Leukaemia which has a link to here at the top.

3 posts in just as many days is way over my self-imposed quota so I'm going to read a few more blogs catch up on mails and then clear a space for the tree before Alex gets home.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Christmas Decorations

Photos of Christmas decorations in Périgueux. I wish we could have stayed until the Christmas lights came on, mais c'est la vie.


Above and below - the Rue St Silain from (above) Rue Tallifer and, below, Place Hôtel de Ville.


The knife shop in Rue Limogeanne. It looks like something out of Charles Dickens.




A Christmas tree outside the charcuterie in the same street.



A penguin for Tonya. Not very good - the light was bouncing back off the window.



Now some photos taken in Brantôme.

Two door decorations



A Stanta climbing up the chimney. Can you see the intricate stone carving? This house has recently been restored.


And last, but by no means least, one of the restaurants



The Christmas trees outside the restaurant line the main streets of Brantôme. Lovely to look at, but with narrow streets and narrow pavements they get in the way of pedestrians, especially on market day :-)

Not a lot of quilting going on. Instead decorating, tidying the house up and trying to keep warm. There is ice on the pool this morning and all the world is white. -6°c last night and today is not going to get much above +4°c. We've got a couple of days like this and then back to grey days and rain. Alex breaks up on Friday, winter officially starts on Saturday, Christmas Day the week after, then Jane arrives, then New Year and perhaps, after 7th January 2008, I can get back to normal.

The Secret Santa present hasn't been posted and neither has a small surprise I have for someone in France. Hope to get those in the post this week, but doubt if they will reach their destinations before Christmas.

Have a good week.


Friday, 14 December 2007

Another Christmas Surprise

I love Indesit washing machines.  Don't ask my why, I just do.  AFAIK they are the only make of washing machine that really really spin.

We have a clothes dryer hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen for drying washing in the winter months so it is a necessity that the clothes come out of the machine not dripping water all over the place.  We do have a dryer, but that is used for emergencies only - the electricity bills are high enough as it is without using that!

So imagine my dismay when the old and trusted Indesit that has moved from England to France and has washed and spun our clothes, quilts, Alex's soft toys, trainers and sand shoes for the last goodness only knows how many years decided to spring a leak and chuck the water all over the floor!  DH tried to repair it, but I think the poor old thing (the washing machine!) decided it has had enough.

The washing has been piling up and Alex has been complaining about the lack of clean clothes (she has to have clean clothes every day, even jeans!).

So, yesterday DH gave in to the fact that he won't be able to repair it and we came home with this!

Indesit Moon

Look - no silly draw to collect gunge from the powder and fabric conditioner and get clogged up. The dispensers are inside the door and are self-cleaning.

More in a bit - got some photographs for you.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Father Christmas has come early.

I've wanted one of these for ages et voilà.


I don't need to stop quilting anymore to cook supper :-)

Monday, 10 December 2007

Christmas has started


Alex has started putting up the deco's on the windows and the boxes of decorations have been retrieved from the barn.

All we've got to do now is wait for the wind to drop and for it to stop raining so that we can start collecting the "greenery". DH found a Charlie Brown Christmas tree yesterday. Alex decided it wasn't good enough and it has been consigned to the bonfire heap (sigh).

Look what Mr Le Facture delivered about 10 days ago.


Recognise it?  It's one of Anne's beautiful pot stands.  It can't go on the woodburners as the heat is so intense it will scorch so we are using it as a table mat.

We are going to our great friends at Thiviers for Christmas again this year.  It will seem odd not being with Mum and all the family like we were last year, but DS-D and her partner are coming out on the 28th to celebrate New Year which means we will have a family gathering.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Secret Santa Saturday

In other words - if you are part of the Denny family you are not allowed to look any further.  If you do you will spoil your Christmas!

 This is deliberately upside down so that certain people can't guess what it is (hopefully).  This is part of the word on one side

 and this is what is on the other


Thursday, 6 December 2007

Picfolio Testing

Nick Cliffe has been doing some tweaking on the Picfolio Photo Gallery site.

This is a test to see if the URL linking the photo to the site works.

Autumn Colours


Yee haa !!


and again


Notre hameau


Wednesday, 5 December 2007

WiP Wednesday - 05-12-2007

Not a lot going on - surprise is progressing well, hand quilting has come to a grinding halt and Alex is off school with a really bad bout of flu.

Yesterday DH and I went out to lunch with fellow Viveurs to a resto (Au Bien Bon) in Périgueux. Gorgeous Périgordian nosh in a lovely setting. 15 English people chatting away - goodness only knows what the French thought!

Lovely things to look at on the walls - baskets, posters ..............................


And here is Magic showing off her beautiful black pads, asleep on Alex's homework!

Oh Magic - not on Alex’s homework!

Got some more tinsel yesterday to replace the rather old tatty ones we've been using up until now. Alex and I are going to decorate the house sometime over the next week. We usually cut lots of conifer and bay tree branches, put them on top of the cupboards and intertwine with tinsel and other glittery bits. The smell is gorgeous when the fires are going.

Also trying to design a winter/festive header.


Friday, 30 November 2007

What on earth is she doing now!



Do you really want to know?  Really?  Well I'm not telling.  Except to say it is 15 inches wide  and about 6 ft long and has got to be finished in 2 weeks.  Don't know what the reaction is going to be as it isn't exactly what has been requested.


Do you know what this is?




It weighs an ton - I can hardly lift it - but DH says he can fix it to the wall so it won't fall off and then with either a white sheet or some batting pinned to it we have A DESIGN WALL!


Ok - plug time.  You know we have Flickr, Photobucket, Webshots, Picasa, etc, etc, etc.  Well now we have ( big round of applause and open the champagne) Picfolio, created by Nick Cliffe of the Quilts 4 Leukaemia badge fame.  It is still being tweaked and, as far as I can see, I can't upload photos to the blogs, but it is early days.  Go over a take a look when you have a minute or two.  There are some lovely photos of Nick's little bit of Shropshire.


The weather has decided it is winter - yesterday was cooollllddddd ( brrrrrrrrr ) and foggy.  Today is wet, grey and miz, but not so cold.


I'm off to reclaim my sewing corner and see if I can persuade DH to get out the power drills!  Have a good weekend - don't do anything I wouldn't do :-)


Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Patch Périgord à Chateau L'Evêque


My first ever patchwork show. No! I don't mean as an exhibitor - I mean as a spectator. By the time I get to hear about expo's they are normally finished, or miles way, but a friend of ours belongs to this group of ladies and told me about it. It wasn't so much quilting as patchwork.


DH voted this the best in show. It's made by our friend who is a quilter/patchworker extraordinaire.


She also made this one which I voted for. Labyrinth. The background is the vertical view of a labyrinth somewhere in Ireland. The labyrinth you can see over the top is the view from above sewn on to gauze and then flipped over the hanging. It's so so gorgeous.

I fell in love with these cats.





Another of Sheila's - look at the needlework that went into this one!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Monday Mutterings

Quite a lot to say, but not all quilting related.

First of all Tamzin's quilt.  I hand quilted "alway"s in the ditch, then stem stitched "love" to the left of it.  (You can see where I had started in the photo link).  The whole quilt puckered up and could not be smoothed out.  Desperate attempts to try and sort it out without unpicking everything, but it was not to be.  So spent most of Saturday unpicking it all - hurrrumph! 

I know the "official line" for quilting is "start from the centre and work outwards", but a word of warning.  If you hand quilt Tonya's Fantabulous Fans (which I do on most of my quilts), then start from one of the corners (I prefer bottom right) and work upwards (or downwards) and outwards. 



If you start from the middle, even stitching the ditch, it won't work.  Well that's the conclusion I've come to anyway.

November is the time for pruning trees and shrubs.  The weather has been so bad - either pouring with rain or freezing brrrrrrrrrrr cold - that I haven't been able to get outside to do it.  Sooooooo I've been pruning my blog roll instead.  There was over 200 quilting blogs alone - OM Goodness!  I got out the pruning shears and pruned and pruned.  I decided that if I hadn't commented on a blog for weeks or months, or if the person hadn't posted for a long time (certain people excepted), then that blog was going to be snipped.  That's why I haven't been commenting a lot.

There was something else I was going to say, but I'm having a senior moment.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

WiP Wednesday 21-11-2007

Drum roll please :-)

Haunted Houses 5

Can you spot 2 pairs of legs behind the quilt? DH was holding the top up and Alex decided to join him.


Now the quilting starts. I've got 3 quilts to hand quilt so the sewing machine is going back in its box for a while. Perhaps if I get fidgety and the fingers start itching I'll make up some Quilts 4 Leukaemia quilts



Saturday, 17 November 2007

Hiver arrive et mise à jour DH

Winter is here.  3 nights of really heavy frost.  The Banana tree has collapsed, but, surprisingly, the geraniums are still in one piece.  Must take them in before they get blasted tonight!

The wood for the wood burners was delivered on Thursday.  Deux brasse of oak stacked up against the wall ready for DH to saw into 50 cm  lengths.  I think we shall be warm this winter.


DH is doing fine - he can't believe all the get well wishes flooding in from all over the world and is very very touched.  The nurse has been coming in every day to change the dressing.  Today she said the wound is healing very well and he can make a rendez vous with the medecin next Wednesday to decide when the stitches have to come out.

The top of HH is nearly there.  There has been a slight hiccup (quoi de neuf LOL).  I was going to put piano keys along the bottom but it didn't look right so "halloween" is going in instead.  "Haunted houses" and "ghoulies" have been stitched to the inner border so I guess I am 75% there.

It has taken me years to get a photo like this.  I love the way the branches reach up to the sky like fingers.


Have a great weekend.


Thursday, 15 November 2007

Not WiP Wednesday

because I haven't really done anything, except some hand quilting on Ab Fab.

Tonya has shown on her blog some photos of a brilliant building somewhere in Paris so I thought I would change the subject today and show you some photos I've taken over the past year or so.

Squashed Deux Cheveau

This photo was taken about this time last year. It's a squashed Citroen 2CV on the front of the old chateau at Nontron, which is one of the principle knife making areas in France. The trademark of the knife factory is this arch.

Arch at Nontron

One of my all time favourite buildings is a privately owned chateau not far from us in a tiny village called St Pardoux de Mareuil. The chateau is at the end of what we call the secret walk, hidden away from the tourists, with peacocks strutting their stuff around the gardens, peace and quiet and not a person in sight!


Hard to believe this was taken this summer. Sitting outside a cafe/bar/resto in Thiviers on a gorgeous sunny day, I couldn't resist the yellow parasols with the granite brick.


And back to quilting/sewing.

I'm trying out various different sized needles on Ab Fab. This quilt is beginning to turn into a teach myself hand quilting lesson.


The needle on the right is a hand quilting needle size 10.  The middle needle is the one I use when I'm quilting with embroidery floss strands. 3 strand or 6 - it doesn't matter as it threads through the eye and doesn't knot as I pull it through as the needle is the same size as the floss! The needle on the left is embroidery size 10 which I am using on Tamzin"s quilt. This needle is dangerous! It slipped into the batting and I couldn't find it. I turn the quilt over then folded it and ouch! Huge ghash on the inside of my thumb.

And last, but least, my quilting threads stored in a tin that used to contain prunes.