Friday, 29 July 2011

A Celebration!

Today is (or nearly was) The Old One's Birthday.

He really is A Lot Older Than Me and, despite his idiosyncrasies, I love him to bits.

The Young One got up early and arrived in our bedroom with his normal breakfast of brioche, confiture and coffee.

His birthday present from us was The King's Speech as we thought he'd like something we can all enjoy (ulterior motive there!).

We had a relatively quiet day until a long standing friend arrived seeking refuge.  Out came the  rosé and white wines and the carefully planned birthday supper turned into mayhem!

However, in between the celebrations I found a quiet moment and started to hand quilt something which I've been wanting to do for ages.

I'm using a cotton batt which I've never quilted with before. Finding it interesting.

More soon (got to finish off that bottle of rosé).

Thursday, 28 July 2011


This is what happens to scraps of  paper in our house.

The Old One starts a list of things to do or remember.

The Young One doodle's on it when she's texting (okay, while she's waiting for a reply).

I doodle on it when I'm on the phone.

We end up with a complete mish mash of ideas and I love it.

(and then The Old One complains that he can't read his list. I can. Can you?)

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Oh oh oh it's magic!

Or what ever the lyric is.

I think this has got to be my best word yet.

Got to sort that music out though. Too square.

I think this is an unpicking job as that's the only music fabric left after Tonya's Bah Humbug.

I'm also going to jettison the "h" from "Ah"and replace it with the same fabric as the "A".

Tonya - expect lots of spare letters.  On the other hand I may keep that h. I've grown quite fond of it.

More soon.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Getting It Straight

I've been having trouble trying to get my 1/4" seams straight with the Singer 1425. Who you? Yes me!

Very annoying it is too to find the seams vary in width from 1/4" to 1/2" to 1/8", even with a 1/4" foot. The foot was jumping all over the place and I could actually see it moving.

The other day I thought I'd have a go trying to adjust the tension to see if that had anything to do with it.

Got out trusted manual as I couldn't remember whether the lower the number, the higher the tension, or vice versa.

When I looked at the illustration I suddenly realised what the problem was.



Talk about a DOH moment!

There is a lovely man on Ebay who sells all sorts of bits and pieces for sewing machines. Accessories and feet which are impossible to get hold of anywhere else, and for less than half the price they are over here. I mean €8, including postage, instead of the €30+ I found one for here in France.

My lovely Singer is now behaving itself and, yes, I did have to adjust the tension, but only slightly.

Continuing with the subject line, I have been trying to get things straight in the sewing room.

After the kitten invasion, there's stuff all over the place. The Old One and The Young One have been using it as a dump room which hasn't gone down to well. However, I got my own back on The Old One.

This box has been hanging around for years so I've found a brilliant use for it

and a nice little storage shelf at the top for bits and pieces. Can't believe I started quilting using those MDF templates. I don't think he's noticed yet, but it had been in the barn for a few years so what's not used is either sold on, or I find a use for it.

Amongst the massive tidying up I found this project which I had forgotten about.

Tidying up has stopped and I'm playing. I'm trying to make the letters pointy like a magican's hat and the "m" for "magic" is definitely pointed and slightly off kilter. I'll show it when I've done some more.

It's raining chats et chiens so back to the sewing room I go.

More soon.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Squiggling on a Sunday

Round 4 of the Liberated Round Robin has been published.

Yikes!  Curves!

You know me well enough by now to know that I don't "do" appliqué or anything that involves too much hassle. I have an aversion to anything too complicated.

As far as I'm concerned nice and easy fits the bill perfectly.

So I had to think hard and fast about this, to me, challenge.

Then I remembered that sometime ago Marsha at Threadbender wrote an excellent post about making squiggles.

A squiggle is a curve is it not, albeit not exactly a proper curve, but in my book that suffices.

So without further ado I give you my first squiggles.

Well, it's a start.

You can read Marsha's tutorial here. It's so easy a child could do it! Says she confidently. Anyone any idea how I'm going to do 46" long squiggles!

I'm waiting for a part for my Singer 1425. As soon as it hits the letter box I'll start squiggling. I've never felt so ashamed of myself about this particular part, but that's a story for another time

More soon.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Saturday Photo Shoot

Not a lot of sewing going on at the moment. I'm waiting for Round 4 of the Liberated Round Robin.

However, yesterday I took the camera out for a walk. First time in ages.

I had to go into Brantome to do some chores. You know the sort of thing. Go to the bank, post some letters, do a bit of shopping.

I managed to time it just right. The market had finished (if you live here Brantome is to be avoided like the plague on Friday morning's unless you have a death wish!), the streets were clear and most sensible people were finishing lunch.

The old church is undergoing a major refurbishment. They're taking off the cladding, revealing the stone work and old windows.

I haven't got a photo of what it looked like before, but you can see some here.

To think that these windows and walls have been covered up for years. Aren't they stunning.

The Place d'Albret is where the main market is and during high season is a disaster area.  As I said, you've got to be mad to even think about going there on a Friday morning, unless, of course, you are a tourist.

However, when the stallholders have packed up and the street cleaners come in, the place is deserted. In 13 years I've never seen it looking like this, even out of season. Actually it does look like out of season doesn't it?

Where has the summer gone?

There is some sort of exhibition going on at the Abbaye. I love this poster against the brick wall.

Walking back though Albret and along the Quai Bertin, very fast before the heavens opened.

I was tempted, very tempted, to stop for a bite to eat, but they were closing.

I finally made it back to the car before it rained

More soon.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Liberated Round Robin - Round 3 and More

I'm been sewing up a storm here in the land of vin, pain et Boursin.

Weather is dreadful.  Stormy and wet.  However, mustn't complain as we desperately need the rain.

As you know, I've been despairing about this quilt.  I've ripped, sewn and ripped again.  It just wouldn't come together. After my last post I suddenly saw the light and have spent the last 48 hours in the sewing room creating a helluva a mess and having fun. The sewing machines don't think so - more on that in a later post.

So here we are - Liberated Round Robin Round 3 Rectangles.

It's roughly 46" x 46" and is covering up my Haunted Houses quilt.  There are another 2 rounds to go, the next one being published next Friday.  So I wonder how big this will be at the end?

I've been doing a tiny bit of stash building.  I've started fabric shopping on Etsy and found the lovely Julie of Stitchin' Stash. I had a credit card problem and couldn't use PayPal.  The French site doesn't like my UK card.  Anyway, she very kindly let me email her with the card details et voila! A few weeks later these gorgeous fabrics fell into my lap.

I love the skeleton lying on his back

and just love love love this 1950's style fabric by Alexander Henry.

Go and seek Julie out.  She's got some lovely fabrics.  Tell her Clare from France sent you.

While I was fabric shopping I was sussing out rulers at the same time.  I've been after the Easy Angle HST ruler for ages, but with the price of shipping from the US it sort of doubles up the price. Imagine my surprise when this also arrived a few weeks ago.

A gift from my lovely friend Irene.  She's such a sweetie.  Thanks Irene.

This will make you laugh.  The Old One is fascinated by it.  He thinks it will come in useful for woodworking and other "men stuff".  Oh yes?  It's been hidden away!

Then this came through the letter box last week.  Omnigrid 8.5" x 8.5".

My friend Pippa was having a spend up at Hancocks and asked if I wanted anything.  This is perfect for the Q4L blocks.  Exactly the right size!

Such lovely gifts and so useful.  Thank you both so very much.

To round off this rather long post.

She's turning in a beautiful and very affectionate cat.

I'm off into Périgueux to "faire les courses".  However, before I go can I ask one small favour of you?

A dear dear quilting friend has just lost her lovely husband.  Very unexpected.  Please keep the lovely Joyce and her family in your prayers and thoughts right now.

More soon.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Liberated Round Robin Round 2 Again

Okay - forget the last post about this challenge.

There has been a massive rethink and a lot of frogging (rippit rippit).

I'm still not happy with it, but I think I can now see where the problem lies. That centre block and its black border is too much.  My eye is focusing on that and not the rest.

I've got to continue the next round with blue and then do the same big black border.  It may not be liberated, but it's continuity.

More soon.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Happy Quatorze Juillet

Copyright here
To celebrate Bastille Day, we're starting off with a BANG

A HUGE firework display, which will be a riot of every shade of BLUE you can think of.


(Massive drum roll)


(photos are clickable)

Blueberry Fool is finished and I'm loving it!

Phew - I'm exhausted.

Sssssssh let's quieten down a bit.

Have you heard of Google +?  It's the new social networking site.  A lot more secure than FB.  If you are interested in seeing what it looks like, leave a comment and I'll send you an invitation to join.

Whilst we're on the subject of wasting the day away, have you found Pinterest yet? Great fun!  You'll find the link to my page by scrolling down and clicking on the Pinterest logo somewhere down there on the right hand side.

More soon.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Summer Time ....

....... and girls have fun!

The lovely Magaly is with us again and our family is complete.

The next photo is especially for Michele at With Hearts and Hands

More soon.

Saturday, 9 July 2011


Tonya, LeeAnn, Kristin, j.m.b and Bonnie are there.  Michele is going today for the day only.

I'm stuck in France, wishing I was in Oregon.