Wednesday, 27 June 2007

From Little Acorns Great Oaks Grow

This is what I have decided to call Aunt's quilt.

The middle has been quilted and I am now on the border. I am not at all impressed with the Coats & Clark Multicolored thread. I like the effect, but it is not good to sew with. It is too thin, it knots and it breaks.

I've started using it now so I will finish what I started, but never again.

No way is this quilt going to be finished in time. I'll take it with me, but I very much doubt if Aunt will be receiving it this time next week. I'm relieved in a way as it means I can sit back and not rush it, which I have been doing. I was going to cheat and use the backing as the binding. There is so much "stuff" there, as you can see, so I was going to pin the backing round onto the front, using all that bat and making a lovely squidgey binding. I still might. I rather like the effect. DD said it would look like a large and soft picture frame.

I have just discovered that the photo isn't "clickable". I did say I've got a bit of plumbing to do so please be patient while I try to work out how Wordpress works.

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

A New Me!

Just so you know. I've noticed another Clare has emerged in Blogland so I have changed my sign in name to Dordogne Clare. Same picture, different sign in name. Whilst on the subject of blogs and blogging, I am trying my hardest to get round the rings and keeping up to date with my RSS feeds, but it is getting harder and harder and I get side tracked by a new blogger, or the connection times out, or I get sucked in to doing something else. Please don't give up on me. I am still reading, even if I don't leave a comment. There are so many fantastic quilts to look at these days. Quilt going well, nearly there with the top and then the border to do. Got some lovely Coats & Clark Multicolour thread yesterday and am deciding whether to do fans or spirals. Which will be the quickest I wonder? This quilt has got to be ready in 2 weeks and I'm having panic attacks that it won't be. I was up at 5.30 am yesterday sewing like mad and finally had to give in at 11.00 pm last night when I started doing the nodding dog bit. When I start designing/making a quilt, sometimes I cannot see the wood for the trees and it is not until the last few stitches are being sewn that it all comes together in my head. Are you the same, or can you see it right from the word go? And on that note I will bid you au revoir. Must get some chores done before settling down with the quilt. Sorry - no photos. I've tried but a combination of connection and Blogger is making uploading impossible.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Three Girls - One Thought

Jenni at Fairybread Quilts has put out a plea for Qs4L. If you have been reading all about this little project of mine, but can't sew and want to help in some way, then this may be your chance. So pop over to Jenni's blog and see what she is proposing.

Please Use Your Keyboard!

I have been thinking about what to do with the beautiful beautiful crazy block from Hideko. It really is too beautiful to put in one of the quilts. I thought about giving it to Sophie and Floyd as if it wasn't for Floyd I wouldn't be doing this in the first place. But, I was thinking last night that perhaps the parents of one of the quilt recipients should have it as, after all, they are going through just as much hell as their child. The thought of watching my lovely Alex going in such pain every day! What heartache these strong strong people must be going through I cannot imagine. So, I need your help. Do I send this to the parents of dear David who left us last month after a long battle; does it go to Sophie's parents who are being so so brave for their beautiful little girl; does it go to Rachel's parents who are, hopefully, nearing the end of their daughter's long fight with this disease; or does it go to Kezia's Mum who must feel rather lost and lonely in a country where she doesn't speak the language and her husband is thousand's of miles away. I haven't linked to Rachel's Journal as her mother has specifically asked me not to. However, go the Qs4L blog and click on the Caring Bridge link. You may be able to find her there. Please use your keyboard!!!!!!!

Friday, 15 June 2007

French Quilts

Esteemalu over at Quilting-Mania asked me about French Quilts. No, I don't make them and, no, I haven't got any pictures on here. But, just for you I have tracked down the web site of the Dordogne delegation of Association France Patchwork. There are some fine examples, if this is what you mean by French quilting. If you mean quilting Toile fabric then type french quilts into Google Images et voila! Look at the white one on the left of the 4th row and I love the chickens. They remind me of Joyce's chicken quilt. Alex's Bulletin de Notes has just come through in the post. 3rd over all for the year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Frivoulous Friday (at last)

I wish this rain would stop. It's warm but the minute we have one whole day of wall to wall sun, the thunder and lightening returns the next day for 2 or 3 days. Don't know what is up with the weather this year, but if this is supposed to be global warming where did they get the "warming" from?
Sunset at Le Brouillac last evening
The lemon tree has lost all its lemons and is all leaf because it has rained so much. They hate too much water. The cherries are rotting on the tree or are splitting, the nectarines have already rotted and I can't weed - its either too hot or raining! Ummmmmm - c'est la vie mais bizarre! "Tant pis" as lovely Maryse would say with a French shrug. On to more important things. I finally finished the top half of Aunt's quilt yesterday and have started on the bottom half. Pictures next WiP Wednesday. Anne will be familiar with some of the words I think, having lived in Herefordshire some years ago. Now on to the machine quilting question I asked on Wednesday. Sue over at From the Magpie's Nest answered my question. Quilt it in the way I feel comfortable with. So it will be hand quilted. And the words for the Wedding quilt? I'm sticking with what I suggested in the first place. I haven't got that much material to do it with so short and sweet (thanks again Anne) is the answer.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Wip Wednesday - 13-06-07 and Machine Quilting

Jean and John have been quilted and I've nearly finished "Katherine" in stem stitch. Today is wet and miz again so I'm going to catch up on a few chores and then knuckle down and try to get the centre finished. Then all I've got to do is to tackle the border which is giving me nightmares. Onto the next question. I am thinking of machine quilting Tamzin's wall hanging quilt cos then I might just be able to get it done, if not in time then at least before they go to L.A. What thread mix do you use, or what make? I am hoping to get up to the QS at Thiviers on Saturday so can have a rummage in the thread section then. What length of stitch, etc, etc, etc. I don't have a walking foot, just a plain old universal one that does everything. Would you advise me to get one or just see what happens. On the other hand, perhaps I should stick to hand quilting. After all, my machine isn't a posh one and I do prefer hand quilting. What do you all think? And to brighten up what is turning into a miserable day, here is a picture of my Alex lying in the freshly cut hay talking to Magic yesterday evening.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Nothing to do with Quilts ....

If you click on this link, it should take you to the Geoportail site which is the French version of Google Earth. it also loads a lot quicker than Google Earth so is good for those on dial up - I should know! You should see 4 (yes I know) houses with pools. Ours is the one in the foreground.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Wandering Around Brantome

We had a walk round Brantome yesterday before the season really starts and you can't move for Grockles. One of the smaller supermarkets closed its doors recently and I was interested to see what, if anything, had taken its place. Prime site so surely someone would have the sense to open up a sensible shop, rather than a tourist one. Don't be silly Clare! Brantome is a tourist town and don't the retailers know it. Overpriced tat! Anyway, the shop has been taken over by an importer of woven cashmire and Middle Eastern bits and pieces. The scarves are beautiful and not that expensive, but look what I found at the back of the shop. This is part of a folded wall hanging. No batting, but silks machined together and then backed and bound. No quilting. But oh my goodness look at the price! AARRGGHHHHHH! The next picture is a section of one that was hanging up. The workmanship is appalling. Split seams all over the place so how they have the nerve to ask that amount of money I do not know. Towards the front of the shop was some more "patchwork" similar to Tonya's Crusty, but about 3 times the size. Fantastic colours and beautiful workmanship this time, but still horrendously expensive. No photo - sorry. Owner was looking at me oddly by this time so I didn't push my luck, especially as DH tried to distract him by asking the price of a carpet (8,000 Euro). I wonder how much the people who make this stuff get paid? Not a lot. Ok, next bit. In the Place du Marché is a fossil shop selling, apart from fossils, jewellery and the normal tourist stuff, fabric, yes fabric. Not just any old fabric, but hand woven and hand dyed batiks imported from Senegal in purples, blues, greens, reds, blacks and yellows. The price? Wait for it, 7.50 a metre. Yeesssssssss! Tonya - you have just got to see these colours and patterns. Sorry no photo. Don't you just hate it when you are being "watched". To round off this post. I have been meaning to take a photo of this for years. Propped up outside the Au Fil de L'eau restaurant on the Quai Bertin. Lovely setting, lovely restaurant and gorgeous food if you are into duck cooked in a variety of ways and rounded off with a rich Perigord sauce.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

London 2012

I don't usually comment on what is happening in the Old Country and made a promise that I would keep off the subject of politics and what is happening outside my little corner of South West France, but this is something which just goes to show what money is being spent on when it could be going elsewhere. Go to London 2012 logo - can you do better and see what you think. Our quilt designs are better than this! I like the Underground Map one and the Smiley Faces, but then again I would as the designer of the latter is our very own Nick Cliffe who designed the Qs4L logo. Perhaps if you voted for your favourite, Lord Coe would get the hint don't you think?

Wip Wednesday - 06-06-2007

Well, here we go. The first photo of My Family as it is at the moment. I have just about finished stitching "Jean", will then go on to "John", finish off adding names and words at the top and then move down to "Diana" and "Martin". Am itching to get this finished so that I can start on the Wedding quilt, but the weather seems to have taken a turn for the better so quilting is not included in today's activities, whereas grass cutting, pool cleaning and catching up on the laundry is *sigh*. Whoops - picture has come out a bit dark. Bear with me - this camera is taking a lot of getting used to.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

The Wedding Quilt and Fabric Diet

This is the material. The FQ's for the letters cost a Euro each, the background cost a little bit more (ouch), but it was a "must have". Thanks to Kim for this month's fabric diet badge. She's got a lot on her plate at the moment so it was great of her to take the time out to upload the new design.

Its Arrived

And its brilliant. I love it to bits already. Its an HP Photosmart R727 with docking station. Spent most of yesterday mucking about taking panoramic shots and fiddling. Now I've just got to work out various other bits and pieces and we are off. Watch out, watch out, photos galore! Oh and does anyone know how to use the new widget for the header on Blogger? I've tried and all I get is a blank. What am I doing wrong?