31 March 2014

Marrakech Express

Fancy a weekend away - somewhere really exotic, just a few hours from the UK and you get to meet other lovely quilters too?  Try Marrakech!

I was there last weekend with Helen.  We stayed in a riad belonging to Annabella and her husband Yussef, and met her mum into the bargain!   Whilst it was a realxing weekend, Marrrakech certainly does assault the senses.  The noise, the smells, the people - everything is so unlike England (or the Czech Republic now you mention it).  After being shown the way through the souk to the main square on the first morning by Annabella, we were on our own.  We very bravely wandered the narrow streets without getting too lost, managed to take a taxi, and had a carriage ride.  I'll let the photo's speak for me

My room at the riad

You can buy anything from olives

to a boy with a chameleon on his head

You can barter
Although you know you've not done very well when you see something cheaper in the shop at the airport!

And quite a lot of time was spent sitting in cafes, watching the world go around and drinking mint tea
But you have to take a break from time to time!

I had a great weekend, thanks to Annabella for giving us the low-down on a busy city, and of course to Helen for being such great company. 

18 March 2014

March bees

I have whizzed through my two set of bee blocks this month.

Stitch Tease
Helen wanted us to make her a couple of economy blocks with a few extra rounds.  She asked for bright colours - my blocks are certainly bright - not to hectic I hope

I am very happy that I am delivering these by hand at the end of the week, as we are spending a long weekend in Marrakech, visiting Annabella.

Euro Siblings Together
We are fast getting to the end of a year of this bee, and it's been going really well.  This month Elisabeth asked for a "plus" block in pretty girly fabrics.  Very happy to oblige!

I've had this Pagoda Lily fabric for ages, and I think this has made a lovely block.

Right, off to do my czech homework now, before my lesson in an hour. Bad girl!

16 March 2014

Taking a break...

A coffee break, is all, and I thought I'd use the time usefully.

I spent several hours yesterday on my knees, basting

Oh my favourite job!  Not!  But it did look pretty good, if I say so myself.  And it only took half an hours sit down before I was able to walk again!

Then this morning, in just an hour and a half, I have done half of the quilting

Oh the joy of just doing straight lines instead of FMQ.  I should have this baby finished today!

12 March 2014

On and on and on...

.. goes the quilting on my stitch tease quilt.  We have had visitors, and I've been away for a week, so there hasn't been much time available for sewing.   When I've had a few spare moment, I've bundled the Stitch Tease quilt back onto the machine and done a bit more to it.  I have discovered that I can change the "pivot height" of the foot, and found that by lifiting it slightly, the stitching is better.  But because of all the tension problems I've had, I kept having to stop to correct one thing and another, there are a lot of these

I was so fed up by the end, that I stopped even trying to fasten off threads as I was going along,  in a tidy fashion, so I have hundreds of ends to deal with.

But yesterday, I finished quilting the outer of the three "rounds".  I just have to do the middle block, and the border which I have decided are going to be straight line quilted!  I have officially FMQ'd my last on this machine.   I am now faced with
a) buying a new machine
b) keeping this machine and straight line quilting everything
c) sending quilts out to a long arm quilter (if I can find one)

I have also started to do a bit of hand quilting in each of the inner blocks.  I love hand quilting, but it does make my hand ache, so I can't do much at one sitting.
Please excuse the fact I haven't ironed off the frixion pen yet!

 However, despite the problems I have had with this quilt, and despite the fact it is some of the scrappiest FMQ I have ever done, I can't help but love it.  I know it's taken a long time to pull it together, but I enjoy having to keep picking it up and working on it.  I may even be sad when it's finished!

And so I go, on and on......

Linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

11 March 2014

Happy Birthday to me.....

It was my birthday last week, and as is often the case, we were away on holiday, skiing

No - this isn't me!!! It's a young American, who we happened to stand next to in the next lift queue, and he seemed quite normal.  No scars where they had removed his frontal lobes!!  You can't see the scale from these photos, but we were a long way away, and he was seriously high up!

Bridget and I managed a bit of extreme sewing

 There was a young guy sitting just to my left who was totally bemused what these two old twits were up to!

I had a birthday cake, made by my friend Rose, and carried all the way from England, which was presented to me at dinner, but I have no photos.  

But when I went back to work yesterday, i got the most beautiful bouquet, and yet another cake

I am amazed by the cake - I'm not even sure they know who Wallace and Grommet are, but it is brilliant!!  They were a bit worried that Grommet appeared to be naked, but he's a dog - he doesn't wear clothes. But the bad part of getting a lovely cake like this is cutting it up.  And knowing what to do with the characters on top

Is there any cheese in here Grommet?
I just couldn't bring myself to eat him!

03 March 2014

Euro Siblings Together

Back in May, around about the same time that Lynne started up the Siblings Together Bee, I got together a european siblings together.  We have been plodding along happily and I think I've been rather remis, not having kept you up to date with our progress.  So here's what we've been up to:

I took the first month, only because no-one else wanted it, and requested a giant linoleum block in orange/aqua/lime colours ways

 I've recently finished piecing the top, and it's waiting to be basted, quilted and bound.

 July was Betty's month, and we made rather Christmassy looking block for her
August was Nicolette
And Nicolette has finished her top.
Euro ST August Churn Dash quilt©dutchcomfort.wordpress.com
 September was Sigrun

and she has finished her top too
Quilttop Gardenfence EuroSiblingTogether
In October Pippa asked for a pretty, girlie block
Euro siblings together block for October girl quilt 15.5" blocks please

November was Allie's choice, a couple of AMH feathers

November block 

December was Helen's choice - she's a bit of a star fan!


 January was Agnieszka, who asked for a couple of trees
January block - for real this time
And to bring you up to date, Mara asked for a mosaic tiles block in an assortement of colours

 I chose to make a purple block, which I hope fits the bill.
 Well I hope I haven't missed anone off.  If you would like to see more photos of the blocks and quilts, please visit our flickr group, and leave the girls a few encouraging comments!.