Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Round Up

Which means not a lot!

Learnt a few things.  Like how to adapt, expand and extend.

Liberated Strings

Back of Liberated Strings
Thanks to Tonya for such an fantastic liberating class (Liberated Amish Challenge).

Ummm - what else?  Can't really think.

2010 seems to have been taken up with the Liberated Quilters Yahoo group and web ring.  Fun fun fun, but time consuming.

Quilts 4 Leukaemia has also taken up a lot of time - Quilt #32 is finished and I'm about to start on Quilt #33 - woohoo!

Meeting the lovely Viv in July was great too.  Hope we'll meet again one day.

Oh - musn't forget!  I suppose the 3 highlights of the year were the publication of Liberated Quiltmaking II, then receiving a letter from Gwen herself and, of course, the best thing to happen this year.  The publication of the most talked about book in Blogland this year.  Word Play Quilts.  What a year it has been for liberating books.

What a year it has been too for forging long lasting internet friendships.

So here's to 2011.


Monday, 27 December 2010

An Inspiration Challenge

A couple of days ago I challenged the ladies and gentlemen on Lib-Quilters to take their camera with them where ever they went, even if it was just to the supermarket, and to look for inspiration.

Not necessarily liberated, but any form of inspiration.

Today we went to Angouleme which is so full of inspiration my brain positively hurts with trying to take photos of everything in sight.

Hmmm - interesting.
Black and white with a hint of citrus perhaps?

The day I attempt a quilt like this is the day you know I've
lost the plot!

Can we do joined up letters I wonder?
Don't you just love those reflections!!

Not so much inspiration as intriging.

Friday, 24 December 2010

It's Arrived

Oh joy oh joy oh joy.

Doing the happy dance!

It's arrived!

I forgot how amazing Holly's quilt is!

Did someone mention peeling veg and preparing lunch for tomorrow?  Forget it.  I'm busy!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Quilts 4 Leukaemia Challenge 2011

I was at the starting gate waiting for it to go up on 1st January (see side bar) and it went up a month early.  I think it might have something to do with Michele and Finn.

Anyway, up it went and although I was slightly startled at the early start, start I did!

Quilt #30
Quilt #31
These quilts were made for Gracie and Megan in the UK.  11 year old twins.  The quilts arrived with their new owners the day before yesterday.

As I type this, Quilt #32 is hanging on the clothes dryer and will be sent to its recipient after the festivities.

So that's 3 down, 6 to go!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Taking the weekend off

so no words at the moment.  

Just peace and quiet and the whirring of the washing and sewing machines!

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Day 0 - Let's Celebrate

I'm going to open the party with a quilt that was totally inspired by Tonya, her love of letters and her most favorite time of year, Halloween.

Haunted Houses
I made this for  Tonya's  House, Home Pantry class.  I have a very funny feeling that I started it in the class before, but anyway, it took ages and ages - I think about 2 years.

This is the first quilt that I finally felt happy with, that I quilted in the way I wanted to and went the way I wanted it to.  I wasn't influenced by anyone (apart from Ton LOL) and I love it to bits.

I'm going to open the Liberated Quilters Web Ring "International Tonya Ricucci Day" in a minute, but before I do, I'd just like to say a few a words.

Tonya - you have inspired so many quilters, you have changed the way of quilting for a lot of people.

You have held our HANDS, HELPed us on our WAY, PUSHed us, cajoled us, persuaded us, made us JUMP.

I really HOPE your book is a HUGE success.

You really DESERVE (that's a BIG WORD!) it.

And now, Michele, after your wonderful post, I ask you to cut the ribbon.

I officially declare 7th December 2010, 


(the slogan "International Tonya Ricucci Day" is the copyright of
Michele Bilyeu)

I'll be opening a bottle of cyber champagne later on.  If anyone cares to join me come back later (hic!)

Monday, 6 December 2010

1 Day to Go - "Words Words Words"

I've just typed those words  into Google and found this wonderful web site (click here).  Great inspiration!

I'm always looking for inspiration and could quite happily spend a day going through the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.  I love Lynne's "No Rules" quilts that she made for Tonya and Julie.

So today I've decided to show some words.

My Scrappy Mind 
made for the AAQI Liberated Challenge 2010

 Made for Tonya for her Slither Eek Boo quilt.
Woohoo.  I searched her blog for links to that quilt and have just discovered that my little word is going to be on The Quilt Show when they broadcast Tonya's interview next year (scroll down to the photo she took of her quilts being hung).. 

Joyeux Anniversaire Fanny

 Another mini qult made for the AAQI Liberated Challenge 2010.
I've actually forgotten what I called this. 

Joyeux Anniversaire Magaly.

and last, but not least

The back of the quilt I made for Tonya's Liberated Amish Challenge.
I'll really looking forward to getting this finally quilted.  It's the next on the list.

Tomorrow see's the publication of Tonya's wonderful book and what will be my last post on the subject, bringing you up to date with

Just as a matter of interest, what is the official publication date?  Does anyone know?

Patchwork Place are saying tomorrow, The Book Depositry says today and it is now out of stock, and says today, but because that's Amazon in the US, they haven't woken up yet and it's not available :-) !

Tonya!  Has it sold out already!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

2 Days to Go - Jumping in at the Deep End

In 2008 Tonya started the Lazy Gal Summer Class 2008.  Up until then I'd been a bit wary of joining up with others and showing my work.  I still wasn't sure of my letters and didn't think my work was good enough, compared to that of Quiltingdiva Julie, Kristin and Lynne.

However, there is no time like the present so I jumped from the upper most board and, oh boy, did I have fun!

I started liberated stars and made a quilt for my niece.

You Are a Star!
I then joined up for Tonya's Priority Hope Challenge, and managed to make a quilt for AAQI which was a lesson in itself.  How do you make those letters fit that space!

There is Hope

The next 2 photos are a table runner I made for Mum at the end of 2007. My step-father and I had private discussions about the length and width of the dining room table and what colours.  Mum must have wondered what on earth was happening when he was measuring the table, especially when I lost the measurements and he had to do it again!

I can't remember the measurements now, but it's huge!

That's all for now - I've got Sunday chores to do.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

3 Days to Go - Gaining in Confidence

After I'd finished the Take the Leap Challenge quilt (which was given to the baby boy of friends of ours and I haven't seen it since!), I decide to jump from the next diving board up.

The Young One and I started drawing designs for wonky houses and these little houses came into being.

The second one has always been my favourite.  So much so that I couldn't use it in the quilt I was intending to make.  It has been made into a mini quilt and  now hangs with others of the same size, and this picture appears a lot in Blogland and on one or two listserve groups.

The first house did end up in a quilt that has been loved by its recipient ever since.

Remember this from, would you believe, November 2006 - 4 years ago.

Family Houses

If I remember rightly, I quilted it with Baptist Fans and then went over it again with words in stem stitch in various coloured threads, mostly 3 strands of embroidery floss.

It's not as big as a lap quilt and was meant as a wall hanging, but Mum uses it every winter to keep her knees warm.  I bet she's using it at the moment!

More tomorow when I jump from an even higher diving board!

4 Days to go

How I "met" Tonya.

Well.  I'd just started quilting and I knew I wouldn't be able to make seams and points match, let alone quilt, and I was in despair.

I surfed the internet about hand quilting and found her tutorial about quilting without a hoop.  Then I came across the quilt that changed my life.

Tonya pushed me, persuaded me, cajoled me, held my hand and finally I jumped.

This was the result.

Not brilliant, but then again not bad for a first effort, considering it was machine pieced on a Singer hand crank!

Stayed tuned for more Tonya inspired quilts as the day draws closer.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Quilting Acronyms

That Mad Woman (aka Michele at With Hearts and Hands and a very dear friend) has compiled the most amazing list of quilting acronyms.


I've deleted the list as Michele keeps on adding to it!  She can't stop thinking of new ones!!!!

Click HERE for the most up to date list.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Nature Interlude

As you know, we had a really heavy snowfall here on Friday evening.  Completely unexpected for SW France at this time of year.  February yes.  November no.

Anyway, I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but we have what has got to be the oldest and tallest walnut tree in the area in our garden.  It's a wonderful tree and I'm very fond of it.  It's stunning in the Spring and Summer.

However, since the middle of August we have had a nest of Asian Hornets right at the very top of the tree.  Impossible to get at and not very nice, especially when you watch them decimating the bee colonies.

On Saturday after the snowfall we had a lovely surprise.  No more hornets.  Dead! 

The first we knew of it was when we looked up at the nest and it was covered in Great Tits munching away and trying to get into the nest.  Slowly, but surely they have pecked away and it is falling to bits.  The bottom fell out this morning.

It's the size of a small dinner plate.

If you look very closely at the next photo, you might just be able to see a Great Tit in the bottom left hand corner.

This shows the base of it - see the size of the hole!

The whole nest is about the size of 2 footballs and the shape of a rugby ball!

Unfortunately it seems that the queens might just still be alive waiting for the weather to warm up next Spring so they can zoom off and build a nest elsewhere.  Our neighbour has a friend who has a telescopic rifle.  He's coming round this week to try to shoot the nest down   We shall be standing at the base of the tree armed with hornet killer sprays!  That's if the birds don't get to the queens first!

On a nicer note, the last of the cranes have just flown over, heading south to warmer climes.

Now all we've got to do is wait until March to watch them fly back north to Holland.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Early Doors!

There is just over a month to go before I start my Challenge.

However there are two little girls (twins) who live in the UK and have been waiting for their quilts since, I think, last March.

I'm hoping to get the quilts in the post the week after next.  Hopefully they will receive them in time for Christmas.

Just keep your fingers crossed that La Poste and Royal Mail oblige.


Friday, 12 November 2010

Family Trees Update

On the Liberated Quilters Yahoo group we have a database to record our hand quilting projects.  I've found this a great inspiration not to get downcast by the lumpy batting on this quilt (read here).

I've got 1 or 2 projects on the list which add variation and make sure I don't get bored with one project.  I'm just about to add Ab Fab in the hope it will persuade me to pick up needle and thread and get it finished!

So I've been diligently sewing away at Family Trees, smoothing out the lumpy batting as I go and am not too disheartened at the moment.

 I think the lumpy bit is where "Jane" is

A friend went up to Paris recently and got me some more white Perle Coton 8 from Tissus Reine (oh how I love that shop!) so I've got no excuse not to finish this prior to the Quilts 4 Leukaemia Challenge 2011.


Thursday, 11 November 2010

Des Racines et des Ailes

Des Racines et des Ailes is a programme on France 3 and is about the only one I ever watch.  (Did you know that French television is fine if you like game shows, reruns of German detective stories, old films and documentaries about Claude François or Johnny Halliday?)

Click on this Wikipedia link to read more about Racines et Ailes in English.

Last night The Old One  was "flicking channels" as men do (don't you just hate it when they do that!) and up came R et A.  It was about hidden Paris from the roof tops.

The camera was on the table in front of me (never move without it!) and I just had to try and capture some of the shots.  I don't know if taking photos from the t.v and publishing them is legal, but I have copyrighted the photo to France 3.

Did you know there are bee hives on the roof of the Opéra Garnier and that somewhere in Paris there is a huge potager on a roof?  It was just at that point the battery died!


Tuesday, 9 November 2010


Going through my photos for last month I found these.  I forgot I'd taken them.  How could I!

Floor in Champ de Mars, Angouleme

Floor in Champ de Mars, Angouleme

If you were presented with a quilt pattern like this what would you do with it?

I can see solids. 

I might do something weird and wonderful once the marathon sew-in is over.