30 June 2013

Looking Forward to seeing you....

 Hello and welcome to a not so sunny morning in the Czech republic

My name is Di, and I'm English, living in the Czech Republic with my husband (also English), two dogs and two cats.  I hate having my photo taken, but my husband caught me unawares with this photo and I like this one!

We live in a beautiful of the world, there's a few posts here and here if you'd like to see a bit more. 

I've always been a knitter - mum must taught me when I was young, and I've since taught myself to crochet. But around 3 years ago I got bitten by the quilting bug, after finding Elizabeth Hartman's blog "Oh Fransson".  As I am now lucky enough to me semi-retired, I get to spend lots of time sewing, as well as my other love, gardening, walking and cycling.   If you pop round to our house, you will find me either in the dining room (commandeered as my sewing room) or the garden, depending on the weather!

Here are some of my quilts and things I've made for swaps

  I am in 3 bees, and am currently trying to finish my first ever bee quilt, from the Stitch Tease   ladies.

I have made a name badge for my secret partner, and finished my swaps for the sample swap

For those going to the retreat for the first time,  I can guarantee you will have a great time, although be warned, it is exhausting and will fill your every waking hour for days afterwards!  Last year I left on Sunday afternoon with Helen, and we were so busy talking over what a great time we had, we walked half a mile in the pouring rain, in totally the wrong direction!

Because I fly, I can't take a machine with me, but I found last year there was no problem in using the borrowed Pfaff machines.  I'm hoping it's the same this year, because I have signed up for Trudi's quilting workshop, and Lynnes Precision pieceing workshop.   If I can't get a machine, never mind, I will just enjoy being there and think I will learn a lot from just listening and watching.  I will be the one at the back grinning like an idiot.

Last year I learnt how to do English Paper piecing, starting with Tacha's snowball.   I was hooked and one snowball, well it sort of snowballed and one  became 10

and having infected my sister in law with the bug too, we now have nearer 30, and I am starting to think about sewing them together. This year I am taking the curved paper piecing class, and who knows where that will lead. 

The final class I am taking is Mandy's hand quilting class.  Here is my piece I have prepared for hand quilting

Well that's enough I think, so I'll leave you now, and look forward to seeing everyone in just under 3 weeks! 

26 June 2013

WIP Wednesday

I dropped Gordon off at the airport yesterday evening, so for a couple of days, I can please myself. As I wasn't at work today, guess what I've been doing.  Apart from my Czech lesson this morning, and a break for lunch and a tidy up, I've sewn all day.  

My main priority was to crack on with this little baby

It's been a long time in the making, and quilting it hasn't been without it's dramas!  But I got it finished this morning and got straight on with squaring up the edges, and sewing on the binding.  I've already made the binding, and using Susan's brilliant idea for a binding holder, I had it finished in next to no time.

Wind your binding around an old cotton reel, slip the whole thing onto an old CD, then pop it all onto the spare bobbin holder on your machine (if it has one of course).  Bind as you go!  I honestly makes the sewing on of the binding soooo much easier.

So tonight I am all set to sew the binding down, and I should be OK for the Q2 FAL!   I just need a good film to watch.  Any recommendations?

21 June 2013

Art Trading Cards

I have waited patiently for my little Art Trading card to arrive, as others in the swap are getting theirs.  But it was worth waiting for

Isn't it sweet?  And Danice couldn't have know that our last house in England was a black and white timbered cottage with a typical cottage garden!  It's a reminder of home, and will have pride of place on our dresser.   Don't forget this little card is card is only 3.5 x 2.5 inches and the stitching is teeny tiny!  Danice must have really good eyesight!

I have really enjoyed this swap, so bring on round 2!

19 June 2013

WIP Wednesday

As I write this at 8 o'clock in the morning, I should have been sitting in a classroom with my husband, taking a czech examination in order to get a permanent residency permit.  But I'm not.  As is often the way here in Czech, life throws up little surprises, some good, some bad.  On Monday we went across to the Ministry of the Interior offices in Breclav to get our free voucher for the exam, but that office had closed in February, and we had to drive 50 kms to the nearest office Brno.  After waiting for around 30 minutes in 30 degree + temperatures, we were told by a puzzled man there, that as EU citizens, we didn't have to take the test!  We had both checked the requirements on the internet, as had our teacher, and the examiner!  So we filled our forms in and just have to wait for the residency permit to arrive in the post!  Simples!

So instead of sitting in a hot classroom, I have been sitting in a hot sewing room, making my bee blocks for Katy.  She wanted a feather

And some flying geese.  All was going well until the final cut to trim off the excess seam allowance, and look what I did

Top right, I managed to cut through the fabric too!  So that'll have to come off now.  All I can say is I'm hot and mithered!

I have also been working on a little something for my Stitch Tease block in July.  A little hand sewing in the shade!

All those french knots make it very slow progress!  This could be ready for July next year!

There's lots of other stuff hanging around not getting finished, maybe for another post. And it doesn't look like I'm going to have many finishes for this quarters FAL, but hey ho!

Have a good Wednesday!

15 June 2013

Le Challenge

Le Challenge

It's been so exciting round these parts I completely forgot about revealing my Le Challenge make this month.

Firstly I went to get my machine re-repaired yesterday.  I've not tried it out yet, but it worked OK in the shop.

Secondly, yesterday was a red letter day here chez quiltova.  We were finally connected to the main drains!  Yes, that is VERY exciting.  If you live with a septic tank, you will appreciate just how brilliant it is! I could talk about it for hours, but you have to be a septic tank owner too, otherwise you will drop off to sleep! And I know, all you non septic owners will think this very sad.  Never mind!

On to my make for the maritime theme of this months Le Challenge.   Now I'm not really a Hello sailor sort of girl, nor do I really do blue and white, so I was struggling a bit.  Then I found this block

It's called The Marines Star and  appears in Quilters Cache and is made by Michelle.  Obviously it's patriotic in red white and blue, but not really my colours.  So I dug out some pinks and greens that will go with the colour scheme in our lounge, and made my own Marine's Star

I like the back side of a paper pieced block - it looks so tidy!

And I've got a nice bit of Modern Meadow put aside for the back

Sunflower in Berry

As you can see, I haven't actually finished making it into a cushion yet, so I don't know if Lucy and Nat will allow it, but I have a good excuse.  When I go to the Fat Quarterly Retreat next month, I am taking Mandy's hand quilting class, and I shall be taking this with me to work on.

Why not hop over to Le Challenge to see what everyone else has been making.  There's all sorts of different things.

12 June 2013

Modern Mini Challenge

If you are visiting from the Modern Mini Challenge linky at Ellison Lane, welcome to my blog. 

I am resolved at the moment not to start anything new or join in anything new until I have finished some of my outstanding projects.  So when I saw that the Modern Mini Challenge was coming up, my first thought was no, nothing new.  But then I found  I can enter something I've made in the last 6 months, and I knew I wanted to enter this little baby

I made it for the first round of Le Challenge, the theme being geometrics. There are so many firsts for me in this cushion.  It's the first cushion I have made for myself.  It is the first thing I have made from a pattern design which I drew up myself.  The first time I used anything other than white as a background - it's Sketch by the way, and I love it and will be using it often!  And finally it's the first time I did any proper hand quilting that looked reasonable!

I used the same fabric for the backing.

And fitted a zip in the back

I love this cushion.  It does get badly treated by my cushionophobic husband, and is regularly thrown across the kitchen.  It is also a favourite place of one of the cats, but is a survivor!

Pattern:  A geometric pattern seen somewhere in t'interweb and turned into a foundation paper pieceing template by me
Made for:  Me (for a change!)
Fabrics:  Pagoda Lullaby and Indie for the main blocks and binding, and Sketch for the background and backing
Size 16" x 16"

I hope you are enjoying all of the other minis over at Ellison Lane, and thanks for visiting my  little blog!

10 June 2013

FQR Sample Swap

The good news is that I have my machine back, and am able to get on with finishing things.  The bad news is that they have put the feed dog slider on wrong, and it's stuck with the feed dogs on up, and the slider on down.  So I can do straight stitching, but not free motion quilting, and I have to make ANOTHER 130 km round trip this week to get it fixed!  I'm not a happy bunny!

But I did get on and finish my swap goodies for the Fat Quarterly Retreat.  I know it's a bit last year, but I've made some little pencil cases from the Zakka Style book.  I'm very much a last year sort of girl!


 As you can see, there are 5, so you have no idea whether I'm in a group of 3 or 4!  You'll have to wait and see!

Whilst I was in the mood, I made myself a little needle-case, using this pattern.    I've been meaning to make one for a while now -  I was using a scratty little bit of felt, which whilst it was perfectly functional, was not aesthetically pleasing.  I think this is a lot better

We've been out for a bike ride today, and now my hip is killing me, so I'm going to sit quietly on the settee and do some hand stitching.

Have a good evening everyone!

07 June 2013

Name Tag Swap

Most of you know about the name tag swap for the Fat Quarterly Retreat in July, so I won't go on about it! 

So without further ado,

tah dah

  Minus the name of course.

  I hope you like it partner

05 June 2013

ATC Swap

My very first ATC card has been finished and went off to it's new home yesterday.  It's fairly conservative (like me really!) but for a first effort, I'm really pleased with it.  Hope my secret partner likes it!

Thanks to the wee folk at  Wee Folk Art for the pattern, which I had to shrink right down to make the 2.5 x 3.5 inch required size.   I would normally say I'm not very neat at had sewing, but I think my stem stitch was spot on!  I stiffened it with a piece of thick canvas fabric, and edged it with a stitch I found on my machine, leaving the edges raw.  I cut the stiffening fabric slightly smaller, and didn't realise just how much it showed up until I took this photo, which was too late!   Lesson learned for next time.

I did write on the back, but forgot to take a picture.  It's OK, it wasn't very interesting.

Now I just have to sit and wait for my card to arrive.  When you make these secret swap goodies, it's only at the last minute that you remember someone is making something for you!

04 June 2013


Thanks to everyone who has enquired about my safety, because of the flooding in Czech Republic.  Fortunately we are in the south, not where the worst of the flooding is, and we live and work in towns where there are no rivers.   But it really has been horrendous weather - pouring with rain on and off for the last 4 days, and 10 degrees to boot.  We have fought off putting the heating back on, but we've been having fires again these last few nights. 

Because of the weather, I have had every excuse to stay indoors and sew, but here I am with no machine!  I've done some re-organising of shelves/drawers/containers etc and been prepping as much as possible.  The good news is my machine is finished - repaired and serviced for the grand total of around 17 quid, and I'm off to pick it up tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's some nice photos to cheer me up!

A well freshly stocked, well ordered wood shed all ready for winter.

 A pretty flower covering up a grey concrete wall

The wild flower meadows in the Chateau Park, last weekend

 The herb garden in Valtice Chateau gardens

 The poppies n the field next to our house

And my friend Carol and I being more than a little bit silly

Keep your fingers crossed for better weather!

01 June 2013

Fresh Sewing Day

May saw the start of several new bees related to the Siblings Together charity.  I started one up for quilters in Europe and we are already on the road, making Lineoleum blocks for me - that's mine in the middle.  We are still one person short of a full bee, so how about it?  We only have to make ONE large block per month, made from our own stashes, so postage costs are minimal, and you will get to know some lovely ladies!  And of course, it's for a very good cause.

The other two blocks are for Di in the second round of the Stitch Tease bee on the right, and for Christine in the Sew Euro-bee-an bee on the left.

I also posted off my Siblings Together 2012 quilt

The theme of this round of Le Challenge was wings.  My contribution was called "Wait for me" and was inspired by the geese that are always flying over our part of the world, on their way somewhere!

The theme for the next round is Maritime, and whilst I have started mine, I probably won't finish it if I have no sewing machine

I made a couple of small bags for the SMS giveaway

And finally, I made my first Art Trading Card, but that deserves it's own post, so I'm only going to show my part finished card

Today I'm linking up with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day, and if you joined me from there, thanks for calling in!