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.


Monday, 8 November 2010

A Plea for Help

I've had my head stuck in the Red & White Blocks bin for the last 24 hours doing a round up of what I've got.

I'm fine for blocks from the USA, thanks to the huge efforts of Carol Egan, Wanda and others.

However, I need blocks from the following countries:

any of the Scandanavian countries
in fact most of Western Europe.

If you haven't made blocks for me before, here are the rules.

The block MUST BE no less and no more than 8.5 inches unfinished and in red and white fabric.  The block pattern can be of your own choosing.  You can get some idea of the sort of blocks other people have sent by going to the blog here.

If you can help, leave me a comment and I'll send you my snail mail address

Thank you so much.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

A Pledge

I've got myself into a right pickle and it serves me right for being over-zealous!

Who knows about Finn's yearly UFO Challenge?  You select the UFO's you want to finish and they have to be completed within the allotted time span.  Normally New Year's Eve.

Well, I got wind of what the young and lovely (cough) Michele is up to.  She's pledged to finish 10, yes 10, quilts by 31st December 2010!

Knowing how busy she is and how once she gets the bit between her teeth there is normally no stopping her, I thought I might just light a bit of a fire under her and see how high she jumps!

I have pledged that IF and only IF Michele finishes all 10 UFO's by 31st December 2010, I will start on 1st January 2011 and try to finish 9 quilts for Quilts 4 Leukaemia by The Young One's birthday on 15th March 2011.  If I finish all 9 by that date, Finn will make a quilt for a Leukaemia suffer in the US.

I do have one, possibly 2 tops already done which is a help, so I suppose I ought to make sure the sewing machines are in working order and start getting myself fired up for what is undoubtedly going to be a very busy 2 months!


Friday, 5 November 2010

Out and About in Dordognefordshire

So called because of the huge English contingent, which does seem to be getting smaller as more people up sticks and return to their native soil.

I'm going to take you out and about today - reviewing some of the photos I've taken over the last month.

Perhaps this will be become a regular feature.  Who can tell.  Makes a change instead waffling on about The Boring Quilt.

Right - lets see what photos  Blogger will let me upload today.  They were playing silly B's yesterday and although I uploaded all 3 at once, when I went back to insert the other 2 they weren't there!  Not funny if you are on limited broadband.

First off.
The sun breaking through the clouds on what started out as a pretty gruesome day.

Breaking Through

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Seen in Thiviers a few weeks ago.  It wasn't until I looked at the photo again for the 365 Project that I realised the vertical lines in the photo.  Look at the drain pipes on the left, then the chair legs and then the window display.  Kinda cool!

My 3 girls.
 Not really Dordognefordshire - more Charente.

We had a lovely day last week mucking about in Angouleme.  
Do you know who is who?  They grow up so fast!

Mr Marco the Walnut Picker

Our lovely neighbour collecting our walnuts by hand.
The big plantations pick mechanically, but us poor people have to wait for the wind and rain to bring them down and then get aching backs and black hands!

Autumn Morning
We come round full circle.
This is the opposite of the first photo.

The sun broke through the mist and the day looked as if it was going to be glorious.
4 hours later it was dark, grey and miserable;

Heigh ho!

Hope you enjoyed yourself.  

Let me know if you think this should become a sort of regular feature.


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Non-Paying Guests

The Young One has joined the Pet Club at Lycée and has become the temporary owner of our latest guests.

They have spent the holidays with us and go back to Lycée next Monday. They have been ideal guests, albeit a bit smelly.

We've had lots of fun with them and are looking forward to them coming to stay again at Christmas.

Mrs Chinchilla
 Isn't she sweet!
Mr Chinchilla
T.Y.O is allowed to name them if she wants to.  I thought of Coco and Chanel as she is mad about anything Chanel!

The problem with having a boy and a girl is that he has been "trying" and she is "trying" to escape.

Life is certainly not dull at the moment!


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Slightly Preoccupied ......

...... and overwhelmed by Autumn chores, putting the garden to bed, pruning trees and sweeping up leaves.

Will be back as and when, but in the meantime, I've managed to a bit more on That Boring Quilt.

The letters got smaller towards the end as I was running out of the already cut pink solid and didn't want to cut into another FQ.  Kinda cute in a funny way.

Back soon.