30 September 2012

Blogtoberfest 2012

Can you believe it's October already?   Where has the year gone?   This time last year I rashly signed up to the Blogtoberfest challenge of writing a post every day.  I managed it, although I was sick of it by the end of the month, and the standard of posts nose-dived.   So why, you may ask, when I'm already worried by the number of bees etc that I'm in, am I signing up to something else.  Errr....pass, next question.

I really wasn't going to, but then before I knew where I was, it was a done deed!

So, be prepared for some drivel over the next 31 days.  I am going to link up to every favorite things Friday, trivial things Thursday, WIP Wednesday that I can find.  I will be telling of every detail of  all those bees blocks, bags, etc.   And Gordon is already in the corner with his thinking cap on!   The dogs are on standby to do humorous and interesting things.    I apologise in advance if standards drop.  But there again, maybe I can do better than last year!

Oh and it's it a lovely Blogtoberfest button?

28 September 2012

Mod Pod QAL

I've spent the last couple of evenings in front of the telly watching gripping episodes of NCIS and cutting out these

It is boring, but at least I can sit down, I'm not bent over a table for hours.   It seems like I've done hundreds, but I think I'm pnly about 1/3 of the way there.

I had a play with the pieces this morning to check on what they look like.  This was the original idea for a colour way - lime on aqua

The colours here are not showing up too well - the greens are much more striking than this

But then I swapped them around

aqua on lime
And you know, I think I like this better - shows a better contrast than the first.  The only thing then is I don't have as many lime prints as aqua.  But I have signed up to get the monthly stash stack from Pink Castle fabrics, and this month's, which should be here soon, just happens to be lime.

I admit I'm slightly dissappointed that the two don't stand out against each other better, but there again I knew this in my heart of hearts.  They are never going to be such a contrast as if I'd used white for one of the colours.  But I'm committed now! 

Which do you prefer?

26 September 2012

WIP Wednesday

Now that I've got my machine back from the repair man, and thank goodness it seems to be back in working order, I am cracking on with quilting Supernova.

This is the first time I am quilting something so big, and it seems to have multiplied in size several times once it's on the machine.   I'm currently wallowing in the middle of it like one of those bugs that gets stuck upside down , waving it's legs in the air! 

Despite the fact I bought an extension table, the quilt still gets stuck on one or other of the edges or corners.   Add to that the weight of it all, and there is a tremendous amount of drag. It makes it extremely difficult to get any rythm going, and I seem to sew a couple of inches, stop, wrestle it around a bit, then do another couple of inches.  Consequently my stippling does flow very well and is turning into more of a wavy line!  If anyone has any tips to make life easier, they would be gratefully received.

I had considered a more tricky pattern, but decided against it as I didn't want to ruin this particular quilt, as it is for a friend.  Good job I think.  I'll save that for the Terraced garden, which is smaller, more manoeuvrable, and destined for my spare bedroom, so it doesn't matter if it's a bit dodgy.

It's a long weekend here in CZ and we have no power at the factory tomorrow, so it's extended to 4 days.  This is probably what I'll be up to most of the time, so I'm linking up to Lee's WIP Wednesday


25 September 2012

Doing what I said I would never do

When I first started sewing and blogging I could never understand how people got themselves so loaded up with bees and swaps.  I don't want that kind of stress.  And I'd never get myself in that situation, because I'm good at planning and managing my time. Aren't I?


As well as the two bees I'm already in, I've also signed up to take part in the Travelin' Pic-stitch blog hop that Laura and Katy are running.   This means that before my chosen day, which is the12th of November , I have to find, or take, a photograph of somewhere or something interesting, and using 3 or 4 do the colors in the photo, make an EPP block.  I will most likely make another block to go into my snowball quilt, but I've yet to find the right photo.  Here's some possibles

Mm not sure  - I'll just sleep on it.   A blog hop is something totally new to me, and I love trying new things, so I'm really looking forward to it.  Thanks for asking me ladies

Also, just to send me into total melt-down, I have now been assigned my partner for the Mouthy stitches bag swap.   Oh, and she's a clever lady, so no pressure there either!   I've got an idea or two though.

The good news is that I have my machine back and it seems to be much better now.   The repair man told me that it's much better to do FMQ fast and even.  Duh!  Yes I know that, but it's easier said than done.  I'm just wrestling with the Supernova quilt, which seems to have multiplied several times in size now it's on the machine!  It's winning at the moment so I've given it a break for an hour or so!


19 September 2012

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

In an effort to get my confused little mind in some sort of order, I thought I'd join in with WIP Wednesday this week.


Mmm not a lot really

I made a couple of Zakka style pincushions for my two SILs

and two bee blocks for Helen in the Sew Euro-bee-an Bee

New starts

A quilt for a friend, that I claimed for myself, but which is on hold for the time being, because I've started/committed to too many things!


Supernova is now basted ready for quilting

Terraced garden is ready for it's back- just waiting for my machine to be repaired

Sweetwater tunic - is waiting for the sleeves to be hemmed and the binding around the neck sewn down

Snowball EPP - plodding along happily, finishing a block or two every week

The figures

New starts 2
Finishes 2

Hopefully next time I join in, I will haev some finishes!

Pop over to Lee's to see what the others are up to.

18 September 2012

What can a a girl do?

When her machine is at the menders?   A few weeks ago I stitched over a pin, the machine went bang,  and according to my husband, I dislodged a bearing (??!!).  He put it back in place, but maybe I did more damage than at first thought, because when I came to use the FMQ foot, I just couldn't get it to sew properly.  I was pulling my hair out trying to get the tension right.  In the end I called it a day and took it to the repair shop.  It was due a service anyway.

I did manage to buy a some fabric whilst I was there,  to finish off my terraced garden, and for a new quilt for a friend that I haven't started yet. 

I was working on the Supernova quilt, trying to get it finished for Rhonda's Q3 finish along, and I was making good progress, but I don't think there's much chance now.  

Here's what I've managed to do though. My friend wanted a simple back, perhaps just white.  Well, I couldn't leave it plain white could I?   So I used up some of the HST's I was left with, and made a double row of pinwheels - my favourite.

The front is also finished. 

I spent Sunday pressing all the seams flat, then yesterday was spent creased up on the floor basting it

I'm not over keen on this bit as I have to force my body into all sorts of uncomfortable positions to get it done.  We used to play a game call Twister when I was young - it's a bit like that really, but nowadays it's a lot more difficult and painful!

It's done now, but it has to go into a holding pattern in the dining room, until I get my machine back, hopefully next Monday.  I've still got plenty to do though - lots of cutting and some hand sewing, and we have visitors this week too.  The last of the bunch for this year - no-one wants to come in the winter!

16 September 2012

The circus comes to town

Valtice is always full of cycles during the summer months as we get a lot of cyclo-tourists.  But today the hold damned circus came to town!   There is a national organisation called Cycle for Life, and each year they hold a race, or a series of races, in Valtice.  And this year Gordon thought he'd give the 26 Km race a go.  Braver man than me Gungadin!

Here's a few photos

The car parks are filling up at 12.30

So is the town square

The starters for the 40km race waiting for the off
About 200 people waiting for the start of the 26Km race

Not sure if this made their day or not!  They certainly had lots of congratulations, and quite a few photos too!

No 829 raring to go
And they're off

Gordon is the one behind no 1573!  Great photography

And here he is nearing the end, coming past the end of our road.  Great photograph once again

And finally the end, with all the team tents, and sponsors tents.  The chateau over-looking it all - I wonder what the original owners would think?

Gordon did the 26 km in 1:15:46 and came something like 111th out of 337.  Not bad for a fat aging Englishman (his words, not mine!).  All the riders had a token for a free meal and a drink.   Only in the Czech Republic would you serve a good greasy goulash to athletes!  And, heaven help us, NO BEER!

Great day, it's lovely to see our sleepy little town come to life.  Next year Gordon says he'll be doing the 50Km.  And in answer to your next question.  No I'm not.   However, I will try and get my brother over, as he's a big cyclist and I think he'd love it.   Don't worry Dave, although there was no beer, there was plenty of wine!

14 September 2012

Moravian Modern Quilt Guild Part 2

A while ago, I wrote a post entitled Moravian Modern Quilt Guild, which was a bit of a joke, relating to my sister in law being over staying with us and we had a whole weekend quilting.  

But from little acorns, as they say.  I had an e-mail from another quilter in the czech republic, Jitka, who blogs at Patchwork Jitka here.  She was interested to know that there was another quilter close by who preferred modern quilting.   So once summer was over, we arranged to meet up in a small town called Rohatec, which is half way between our homes.   As it turned out it was not a very good choice of venue, as unlike just about every other town in the Czech Republic, the bakers shop didn't serve coffee, the park had no benches and the town had no childrens playground to occupy Jitka's little girl.  But, as Jitka pointed out, we had quilts, and we spread them out in the park!

As you can see, we made ourselves comfortable!  We had both brought some of our WIP's with us, so we spent a happy hour chatting about these, and fabrics and sewing.  You know how it goes.

Jitka didn't want me to take a photo of her this time, because she has a cold and wasn't feeling good!

At 10:00 we moved over to a bar that had just opened.  A bar that didn't serve the latte that I ordered and didn't serve the black tea Jitka ordered!  Oh well, we will have to find another venue next time!

It was very exciting to find I have a fellow quilter llving close by.   Jitka is a very nice lady, and we got on very well.  We hope that we can meet again soon, maybe having found some more friendly quilters close by?

12 September 2012

C is for


Ready for storage

 They just need another layer of sand, and there's room for another layer of carrots.  These should store nicely in the garage if it's not too mild

The beetroot are tucked away too

You're going to have to trust me on this one!

Then there's the tomatoes

I am pleased to announce that the mad tomato woman will henceforth be dropping the "mad"   It would appear that my 21 tomato plants have been totally manageable.  Although I will admit that I am sick of them now!   This little lot took 1 hour to chop and will be boiled down a little and frozen for casseroles etc in the winter.  We also have tomato jam, tomato soup, tomatoes with beans, and roasted tomatoes! 

For the record I grew these tomatoes

Costaluto - This is a lovely beef tomato which I have grown several times before

Herodes - New to me - a beef tomato with a lovely meaty pink flesh and a oval shape, but prone to problems.  For every good one, I've had 5 bad ones

Scatalone - a plum tomato that I've grown for the first time.  OK, but not as good quality or as prolific as the San Marzano which is one I grow every year.  Both prone to Blossom end rot (and you don't want that, trust me!)

Gardeners Delight and Red Cherry - these could be either. Both are prolific
and are worth growing.  Gardeners delight is probably slightly bigger and better flavour.

Moneymaker - I remember my dad growing this one.  Lovely firm, clean fruit with a firm flesh and lovely flavour. 

I'm writing his is a record for myself, so that I'll remember what I've done when I come to start again next year.  But maybe there are one or two mad tomato women out there who might be interested and can swap experiences with tomatoes (That would be you Di - must be in the name!)

11 September 2012

Sew Euro-bee-an

This is the first month for the Sew Euro-bee-an Bee started by Helen and myself.   Helen very galantly went first (I, as always, am bringing up the rear next October!) and requested a 9 patch blog using sea glass colours, and adding a bit of a modern twist

This was our inspiration

and these are Helen's blocks

Helen sent a great selection of fabrics in the colours she is looking for, and I added a few scraps of my own and came up with these two blocks

This is a pattern I've done before, based on a Charles Rennie Mackintosh design (oops missed that thread!)

And here's the second. (looking at this one - it doesn't look like I pressed it!  I think I was too excited about getting a photo! But I have done since - I think)

And together

I really enjoyed doing these - simple enough, but with the freedom to make it a bit random.  They're going off in the post today Helen - I really hope you like them!

08 September 2012

Stitch tease Bee

This month's make for the sitch tease bee is a block for Annabella who requested curves.   This will only be my second attempt at curves, the first being this

which as you can tell was not a huge success!

Unfortunately this is a bit of a non-post, because I can't tell you what I made and I can't show you any pictures of the finished article. Annabella doesn't get to see it until the very end when all the blocks for her have been assembled by the other Di in the group.  So here's a taster

In order to get this picture I pegged my bunting to the gutter, having wiped it first, of course.  But still I marked it, and didn't notice until I had sewn it all together of course.  It took several attempts to get the mark out, but luckily I did with no lasting damage!

By the way the pink thing in the garden is "Dolly's arm".  My old dog Ollie stole it when our next door neighbours daughter left it on the common where she had been playing.   A dolly's arm that has been lightly chewed by a collie was deemed no longer suitable for Dolly and so stayed with Ollie, travelled across Europe with us, and has now been bequeathed to the two younger dogs.  I know not what happened to Dolly, but the owner is now grown up and hopefully is not mentally scarred by the ordeal.

But I digress.  And a quick sneaky peek of the finished block

Complete with the shadow of my head!

This is now packed up ready to post, along with the block I made ages ago for Katy.  I have been putting off sending them out for ages - I don't know why.  I think it's getting them photo'd, then packed with labels, and I hate going into the post office too!  I promise they'll get sent on Monday.

I've also got blocks to make for Helen for the other bee that I'm in.   They're almost finished so I'll tell you about those later

Have a nice weekend


07 September 2012

Mod Pod QAL

There's a make of paper tissues here called Zewa, and their boxes are really cool.  They have several "mod" style patterns - a great marketing tool as it certainly makes me buy them rather than any other brand - and ages ago I saved this one. 

The idea was that one day, when I was a proper quilter, I would make the design into a quilt.  If I could work out how.

But now I don't need to bother, because someone else has already done it.  Julie, at Distant Pickles has come up with the Mod Pod quilt, which is pretty close to my tissue box don't you think?

I actually came across it when Leanne made her Whitewater quilt,

Mod Pop

 and now she's actually hosting a QAL, so I just have to join in don't I?

I needed a quilt to go with the new colour scheme in our spare room as the old pink quilt cover really doesn't do the job any more!

I've bought the pattern and I've pulled out some greens and blues.............

.............and I'm ready to go!

And if you fancy joining in, Leanne is giving away a copy of the pattern, although the giveaway closes today, , and there's a flickr group too.   Looking forward to getting started!