Wednesday, 28 March 2007

WiP Wednesday

Same as last week I suppose, but I am on the home stretch. One more row to tie and then bind and label. I have to confess that now the good weather is here I would prefer to be gardening than quilting, but we do have yukky April to get through yet. However, one thing I am doing is going through my RSS feeds. I have an awful habit of just clicking on the link and looking at the last entry on a blog. If it looks interesting I will investigate further, if it doesn't I don't. So I was missing out on a whole load of interesting stuff. What I am doing is altering the name of the blog, so instead of the feed saying, for instance, Dordogne Quilter, it will now say Clare's blog.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Mad March Days

Is spring finally here? Is the worst of the weather over? I truly hope so. The Velux in the bedroom is open, the birds are singing (and the grass needs cutting :-( ). I'm off into the garden before the weather changes its mind again.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Belated Blog Birthday and Quilt History

Belated Happy Blog Birthday to me. Hard to believe that just over a year ago I started blogging and look at what has happened! I'm so busy with Quilts 4 Leukaemia that I haven't got time for anything else; I have made friends with fellow quilters all over the world and hope some day to meet some of you in the flesh; my idea of quilting has changed beyond recognition thanks to a certain person; and I have well and truly amazed myself. A big hug to each and every one of you and thanks for stopping by over the last year. Onto the second part of the title. As you probably know, this last weekend saw the 200th anniversary of the abolishment of the slave trade. On BBC Radio 4 on Sunday evenings there is kids programme called Go For It. Yesterday evening the programme was devoted to the slave trade. I wasn't really listening (rarely do), but suddenly heard a woman saying how quilts were used to depict safe houses for escaping slaves and contained hidden messages ( Drunkard's Path, Northern Star, etc). Is this really true? I only ask because this topic came up on Stashbusters the other month and someone said it wasn't. Pictures soon hopefully.

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Madison County

Okay, okay - I guess I'm going to have to buy the DVD. Back to the tying. A bientôt.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

WiP Wednesday

Rachel's quilt is now pinned (again) and I hope to start tying it tonight. I have four more Qs4L to make up and I am starting to think that I am going to have farm these out for basting, quilting and binding. I have a Family Quilt to make up for my aunt's 80th birthday in May and there is still sister's wedding quilt. I desperately want to start these as I know I can turn them round quite quickly, but when. Not enough time, not enough time. What is it the White Rabbit says? I stayed up last night and watched Bridges of Madison County. Never seen it before. What fantastic scenery. Are those bridges for real? Unfortunately I couldn't make it to the end so can someone please put me out of my misery. Did Meryl Streep go with Clint or not? In the meantime, a bit of local colour discovered in the main square in Mareuil last week.

Monday, 19 March 2007

And Another Thing .......

I have been meaning to post a photo of something that I found lurking in the bottom of DH's tool box. These were his mother's needlework scissors - goodness only knows why they were in his toolbox - men!
Anyway, I have retrieved them, given them a new home in my sewing box and they are lovely to use. I need to buy some very fine sandpaper. I'm going to try to see if I can get them back to what they used to be.Posted by Picasa

A big Doh!

Oh drat it and a lot of other words too. Ever so chuffed with myself over the weekend. Rachel's quilt was coming on apace. In the middle of sewing some batting together (beating the batting stash) Sandra from Stashbusters rang - all the way from the States - yoh! Went back to the quilt after a long chat about this that and the other and started pinning and basting the quilt. Got halfway through and noticed that something was not quite right. I had to revert to pictures of Sophie's quilt to decide what the problem was. Guess who had forgotten the border! So, unpinned it all, have to add to the backing material and redo the batting. Back to the grindstone.

Friday, 16 March 2007


Been so busy completely forgot about WiP Wednesday. Just to update. Rachel's quilt has reached the flimsey stage, but that is just about it. Weather gorgeous so gardening, gardening and gardening. Yesterday was Alex's birthday so we didn't get a lot of stuff done and now I've got to get showered and changed as we are off to friends for lunch. Go over to the other blog for catch up goss.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Blog Banners

Fiona has changed her blog banner (I think it looks brilliant) and mentioned the link where she found the instructions on how to do it. I did exactly the same until last week when, after a bit of Googling, I discovered Brenda's blog and how to actually place a photo inside the border instead of creating another widget. I tweaked it about a bit as I didn't need the URL code and other bits and pieces and the result can be seen above. If anyone needs any help let me know. Oh and I'll let you have the HTML code too.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Just Had to Share This

I've been picking Tazzie's brains about using Corel Draw instead of EQ for designing quilts as I already have Corel and can't see DH agreeing to an extravagent purchase like that. Anyway, managed to get my hands on a copy of Version 10 as Version 8 was not designed for Windows XP and have been playing. This is the first result And on that note I am off to give the lawn its first mow of the year.

Meme Monday

I found this on Ms Jan's blog, who found it on someone else's. So thanks to Ms Jan and to the "someone else". I am a book freak and that is one thing that I really really miss - my books. My one treat when I worked in London was the monthly visit to Hatchards in Piccadilly. I used to allocate the whole of my lunch hour (or two) for a browsing session and always came out having spent far too much. Working within a 15 minute walk of the shop was a priority whenever I changed jobs LOL. Look at the list of books below:
  • Bold the ones you’ve read
  • Italicize the ones you want to read
  • Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
  • If you are reading this, tag, you’re it!

The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown) Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien) The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien) The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien) Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery) Outlander (Diana Gabaldon) A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling) Angels and Demons (Dan Brown) Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling) A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving) Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden) Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling) Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald) The Stand (Stephen King) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling) Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) The Hobbit (Tolkien) The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger). Sorry I know it is a classic and I should. I have tried, but I can't get into it. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott). Must read it again. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold). Oh boy I love that book. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte). Read it at school. Haven't touched it since. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis) East of Eden (John Steinbeck) Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom) Dune (Frank Herbert) The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks) Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) 1984 (Orwell) The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley) The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett) The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay) I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb) The Red Tent (Anita Diamant) The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel) The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella) The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom) The Bible - does reading it at school count? Anna Karenina (Tolstoy) The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb) The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver) A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens) Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card) Great Expectations (Dickens) The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling) The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger) Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) War and Peace (Tolstoy). Don't laugh - I loved it! Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice) Fifth Business (Robertson Davis) One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares) Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) Les Miserables (Hugo) The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding) Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez) Shogun (James Clavell) The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje) The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) The World According to Garp (John Irving) The Diviners (Margaret Laurence) Charlotte's Web (E.B. White) Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley) Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck) Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier) Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind) Emma (Jane Austen). The best Jane Austen Watership Down (Richard Adams) Brave New World (Aldous Huxley) The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields) Blindness (Jose Saramago) Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer) In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje) Lord of the Flies (Golding) The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck) The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum) The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton) White Oleander (Janet Fitch) A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford) The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield) Ulysses (James Joyce)

Friday, 9 March 2007

Frivolous Friday

We have WiP Wednesday so I thought Frivolous Friday was a good idea. Don't know why, it just sounds good. Soooo - quoi de neuf? I've found another little girl to do a quilt for - 3 years old - just waiting for the ok from her father. The Sunburst Strings are driving me demented. Do you ever get that feeling when you sew and sew but it doesn't get any bigger? I feel as if I've been sewing for months and months. Wednesday night I made a decision. This is as big as it gets and I just ain't doing any more. I have 4 more quarter blocks to make up, then I shall baste and back it and turn it into a rather wide and long table runner. That's the lovely fabric that Pippa gave me which will be the binding. Alex and I planned Rachel's quilt yesterday evening. A few more tweaks and then I can start sashing it. Have added a site feed to this blog for Quilts 4 Leukaemia so you can keep an eye on what is going on over there, rather than hopping from this one to that. Oh forgot to say - look what the postman delivered on Wednesday. All the way from Florida and all Joann remnants. Amy - you are brilliant.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Wanted. Another Co-Ordinator

Is there anyone out there who would be willing to help me co-ordinate Quilts 4 Leukaemia. I am getting swamped and I have a funny feeling that this is going to run and run. What is involved? Perhaps you would like to search for people to gift the quilts to? Perhaps you might know of people in other parts of the world who would be willing to make up some blocks? Perhaps you would like to make up the quilts? Email me at the new Qs4L email address ( if you are interested.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

WiP Wednesday

Wet cold and miserable here today. Finished off another quarter of the Sunburst blocks last night, and am hoping to get a few more done today.

The Walk Continued

Back again. We are going to follow the stream back through our land, up the hill and then home, thus completing the circle. Ready? Oh look - Grues, or Cranes to you. They are on their way back north after overwintering in Southern Spain. Right under the electric fence again (a different one). Mind the slippery bit and up we go into the fields. There is a huge badger's sett over there to the right - no photos - it is beginning to spit a bit so we need to step on it otherwise we will get soaked even more than we already are! As we are doing this bit in reverse it is going to be a bit weird to explain. This is where the stream comes out onto Mr Gay's land from ours. It passes under a tunnel/bridge made out of stone and is goodness knows how old. We think it goes back to the time when the monks farmed the land. This is where it goes through from our side. Now you can see the so called bridge and the walls. There are walls like this all the way up our hill in terraces. Someone reckons they are over 200 years old and as the house dates back to the 1770's I wouldn't be surprised. We are standing looking at this getting cold so we need to turn around and walk back towards the stream. Oh look. The Bluebells are starting to come out. Mental note to self to go back down and check next week. And this is nearly where it all starts from. If you follow the silver ribbon with your eyes and look way off into the distance you can see a clump of trees. The land drain starts there and runs down through the valley to the lavoir that we stopped at. It then turns right and goes through the fields we went through to the next lavoir and then starts its journey over to the otherside of the commune - about 3km as the crow flies - where it runs into a huge fishing lake and disappears.
It's beginning to turn a bit chilly so I think a turn around, up the hill to the left
and here we are back home again.
Take those wellies off and dry your feet out. Hope you enjoyed it and aren't too exhausted. That last bit up the hill can be a bit of a killer. Anyone for coffee, tea, chocolat chaud or even a glass of the red stuff if you can stand it. I think the wood burner is still in so we'll sit the kitchen and have a natter while waiting for DH to light the other one in the salon and then we can get the sewing out again.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

A Walk in the Périgord Vert

Put that sewing down. We've done enough today. We are off on a ramble. You will need wellies as the ground is sodden. Out of the front door, into the porch (don't step on the rabbit) and down the steps into the courtyard. Through the courtyard and turn left outside the gate. Keep on the chemin until you get to the main road. That house on the right behind the chicken run belongs to our lovely neighbour Maryse. Look Tonya - its got a wonky roof! Here we are on the main road. Turn left and keep walking down the hill until you get to the bottom. I'll catch up with you once I've got this camera sorted out. I can't seem to carry more than one thing at a time these days and my "rambling" stick has got tangled up with the camera strap! We are now at the lavoir that served the next two hamlets. A bit further on is the one that served "Le B". This one is covered and is in good condition. Water was rushing through on the day I took this so you can't see the washing stones. Bit of a breather. Onto the next bit. We are going into the field behind the lavoir and walking through some rather boggy fields and streams to jump over. I won't use the camera just in case I drop it. Be warned - the water just may go over the top of your wellies. Hope DH built up the wood burner before we left. A bit of a breather - hope you didn't get too wet. Alex is determined to get well and truly soaked before we get home. The next bit is a bit slippy and there is a nasty downward slope at the end. Mind the electric fence. It isn't on but you might fall over it - the farmer hasn't done his yearly check yet and it is a bit slack. Oh look the first Cowslips. When I was little we lived at the bottom of Bepton Down, part of the South Downs, in West Sussex and the fields used to be covered with them. Not any longer so our first Spring here was like going home. The fields are covered with them. Only a few more months to go and the Cowslips will be replaced with Poppies. And this is the lavoir at the bottom of the hill - the one that served "Le B". You can just see the washing stones if you click on the photo to enlarge it. The stream that feeds this starts off way over the otherside, swishes down through our land and finally joins up here. It is really a land drain - dry in summer and overflowing in the winter and spring, like now. I'm going to call a halt for a moment. I need a breather and Blogger is taking an age to load the photos. Chat amongst yourselves for a bit (anyone got a flask?) and I'll be back as soon as I can.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Lynne Edwards and Fabric Diet

I was leafing through the January 2007 edition of Country Living UK and came across an article about Lynne Edwards. Now being a relatively new quilter and not quite au fait with the celebrity quilters, I was thrilled. There are some gorgeous photos of her quilts, her applique, tote bags, etc. Oh and a picture of part of her stash! If anyone is interested in seeing a copy, I can easily scan it as a PDF document and email it to you. There was something else I was going to say, but I've forgotten what it is! Oh I've just remembered. In the same article there is a list of where to see quilts and the Quilt UK Show at Malvern on 17 to 20 May is mentioned, as is the Festival of Quilts at the NEC Birmingham on 16 to 19 August. No it wasn't that! Just to say thanks again to Kim for her lovely March Fabric Diet badge.

200th post and Quilts 4 Leukaemia

I meant to post something quilty for my 200th post, but life has got in the way so I haven't been doing much. So instead here is the latest Qs4L update. Somewhere in Leicestershire, UK is a little girl who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia on 11th February 2005 - she was just 4 years old. Rachel is now 6 and is determined to fight. I quote from an email I have received from Rachel's mother.
"Rachel's main characteristic since being diagnosed is a stoic refusal to acknowledge that she is unwell, or that she is in any way different from any other child. She NEVER complains, eg today a school friend is having her birthday party which is a swimming party - she has gone to watch everyone else swim (she can't swim because of her hickman line) and to join them for the birthday tea afterwards. Not once has she moaned, complained or been downhearted, it's just how it is, and she gets on with it. She can't actually remember not having leukaemia now. We try to treat her the same as our other daughter, and we don't make a particular fuss of her - which might sound a bit harsh but we think it makes it easier for her, and certainly she is a happy, bubbly little girl of whom we are very proud. It is just unthinkable that she won't beat this disease, but it will be April 2010 before we know if she has or not, so we hope to give our children lots of happy times between now and then, because just don't know what is ahead."
So this is where the next quilt is going. You can follow Rachel's progress by clicking on this link here. Onto Sophie. Please continue to support her by leaving comments on her blog. She is going through a pretty rough time at the moment. Again - thanks to all of you for your support and help for this worthwhile cause. These kids have a got a long way to go. As I said to Sophie, every time she cuddles her quilt everyone who helped make it will be thinking of her.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Just Chit Chat

Amended 02.03.2007 Sophie's quilt was posted on Monday so hopefully she might have it either tomorrow or Saturday. She is not too good at the moment so any positive thoughts left on her blog would be appreciated. We finally got out of the house for a few hours yesterday. Although warm, it has poured with rain and we have been beaten by gales for what seems like forever. Not good for the Vacances d'Hiver! Anyway, we had to go to check out the whereabouts of the new doctor at Lisle which is about 20 kms drive from here. Look what we found. Before washing machines and tumble driers, women used to do their weekly wash at the local "lavoir". We have one of these at the bottom of our hill on the way to the main road, but about 2/3 of the size and not in such good condition. Ours has a corrugated roof, but its original washing stones are still intact and this one's aren't. As soon as it stops raining and the sun comes out Alex and I will go down and take some photos. There is also another one which hasn't got a roof on it, but will give you some idea of what I mean by "washing stones". Alex took a picture of the water. It is so clear you can't see it! When we got home the wind had dropped a bit so I managed to get some spring like pictures before it picked up again and the rain started. Violets in the garden,
the Nectarine is beginning to bud,
and the Prunus is just about to blossom. The Cherries on this are not edible. I thought they were and got told, in no uncertain terms that they weren't! And to finish - this is our commune. For those of you who know my address, this is the "L" word. In France each village is in a "commune" which in turn is in a "canton" which is in the "sous prefecture" which is in the "departement" which is within a "region". Our commune is "L", which falls under the canton of Mareuil sur Belle, which comes under the "sous-prefecture" of Nontron, which is in the Dordogne, which is in the Aquitaine region of France. If I have got this wrong then no doubt someone will correct me, but I think that is how it works.