30 May 2015

To blog or not to blog

That is the question, and one that has been on my mind for quite a long time now.  When I started blogging about quilting and my life here in the Czech Republic just over 4 years ago, I'm not sure what I was expecting from it.  The need to be part of something? A way of "meeting" people with a similar interest? Lots of followers? A place share my sewing and life in general with others?  I was never sure either, whether I was writing for me or for my followers.

Certainly I've got to know some lovely people, all over the world, who "get it" when many friends and family don't.  I've learnt loads from all the generous people who share their tutorials, experiences and tips.  Blogging was just what I needed when I was feeling a little isolated over here, and maybe not fitting in anywhere, either here or in England.  It is also a brilliant was of documenting all the quilts that you make, and I get a lot of pleasure from looking back over previous makes. I've also improved my photography skills (in my humble opinion!)

But for a year or so now, I haven't been able to drum up the enthusiasm for blogging - it takes quite a while to decide on a topic, sort and edit photos, then write it all up, then having spent all that time, the number of readers and commenters gets less and less.  I can't really complain about that, because I'm as bad - I read fewer blogs, and comment on even less.  Maybe blogging has passed it's prime, and we are all moving on to Instagram?

So rather than drag on for ages writing a post here and there (which has always annoyed me when others do it!), I've decided to give it up altogether.  I'm going to have to find another way of documenting my quilts - maybe a photo album or scrap album that is a physical thing I can pass down through the family.

I will be carrying on with Instagram, in fact I'll probably using it more, so please, if you don't follow me already on instagram,( @quiltova), come and join me there.  And for those of you that don't use Instagram (I'm thinking particularly of Helen and Rosemary here) now's a good time to start!!!

So thank you all of my loyal followers over the years - I know we will keep in touch, maybe meet up in swaps and bees, or quilt retreats.

Take care everyone!

23 April 2015

A weekend away

This afternoon I shall be winging my way off to Geneva, to spend the weekend at The Patchwork in the Peaks retreat in Morzine, in France..  I've not been before, but I've heard great things about it, and now it's close, I'm getting really exited!

We are sewing this pattern in a class on Friday morning
Red-Yellow Swirls

and as curves are my nemesis, I'm hoping I'll get them beaten over the weekend.  Here's my pile of fabric

And a girl can't go away without a new bag, can she.

I used the Fairly Bucket Bag pattern from Sew Mama Sew.  It was very easy to make, with the exception of that little webbing stopper on the cord, which took me 4 goes to get right!  Gordon also helped me with the rivets.   He punched the holes in the fabric, rather than trying to make the holes with scissors, which made it neater and more accurate, and all together less stressful - a job is so much easier when you have the right tools. This bag was also on my list of finishes for the Q2 FAL finish.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

So, before I go, I'm just going to cut a few more strips to make some scrappy trip blocks, and hopefully get my Stitch Tease 3 quilt pieced whilst I'm there.  Well, I have a full luggage allowance (not flying ryanair this time) so I'm going to use it!

20 April 2015

How does your garden grow?

Spring ATC sign up

The latest round of  Very Berry Handmade's ATC swap is Home Sweet Home.  As one of the most important things for me is my garden, I thought I'd make it the star of the show

This is also my first Q2 FAL finish.  Off to a good start!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

It's a beautiful time of year in the garden.  We've had a mixture of sun and cold winds over the last week, but everything is now bursting into life

Add caption

11 April 2015

Quarter 2 Finish Along

Well, we've got a few projects left over from last quarter, and a few new ones.

1. Socks - we are visiting the UK in May, and hope to hand these socks over to the new owner, so these have to be finished,  I started to cast on the second leg the other night, but I really wasn't in the mood.  I had about 5 goes and gave up.  I started again next morning, and did it first time!

2.  Modern Trellis
This one also has to be finished by Mid June, for my nephew's wedding

3. Fairly Bucket Bag
This is almost finished, I just need to put some eyelets around the top and add some cord.  Just add some eyelets!!!!! Easier said than done.  That's the bit I'm dreading because if I mess it up, the bag is ruined.  I want to finish this for my trip to the Peaks retreat, which is less than 2 weeks away now.
4.  ATC Swap
We are into another round of the ATC swap.  Our theme is Home Sweet Home
My garden is the inspiration for my card

5.  Scrappy trip around the world
I asked my fellow Stitch Teasers to make these blocks for me this time around.   My aim is to make a really big quilt, which will fit over our large bed with bags to hang down the side, which hopefully would stop the night time arguments about who has all the quilt!

This one is not time related though, so is likely to be the one that doesn't get done.  Spring is busiest for me in the garden, so sewing has to take a bit of a back seat, and I won't get so much done.

So that's it for my second quarter of the year.  Most of these have to be finished, so keep your fingers crossed!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

06 April 2015

Q1 FAL 2015 Round up

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
Just a quick round up for the first quarter of the 2015 FAL.  I identified 7 projects to finish and have managed 4 of them
1,2, and 3 are the butterfly seat pads and table mat ( which I have seriously over-blogged today, but I need to get another post in to claim the second seat pad!)

The 4th claim is for my Teacups quilt, which I blogged about here

So that just leaves a quilty stitches cross stitch, a medallion quilt and a pair of socks which are languishing in a cupboard, waiting for quarter 2!

More butterflies

To go with the butterfly seat pads, I have made a small table mat using the same pattern and fabrics.

As it was only small, I let myself have a bit of fun with the quilting

I actually like this much better than the seat pad, maybe because there are only 4 butterfiles!

This was on my original list of finishes for the Q1 FAL 2015

Butterflies vanquished

Sometime during last summer, I was asked by my friend Oli, if I would make her two seat pads for her settee.  It's leather and strikes cold during winter.  I did try to dissuade her, as I'm pretty sure they would slip about all over the place.  But she was insistent.

She chose this pattern from a selection I made for her, and oh how I have grown to hate these butterflies


She wanted them making in a colour of provencal lavendar fields, which would not be my first choice of colours to be honest. It seems such an old fashioned colour scheme - it makes me think of grannies, lavendar water, and zip-up slippers.  But I have tried my best to  keep it modern and fresh looking, whilst staying true to the colours

This was a project that always found it's way to the bottom of the pile. but finally after about 6 months, I could breath a sigh of relief as I  had the two tops pieced, together with the small table mat that she asked for.  

As these are going to spend their time under peoples bottoms, there are going to need to be pretty sturdy and stable, so I thought  a simple stipple would be the best idea.
To keep the costs down, I used an old quilt cover for the backing.  I thought it went  perfectly, but it was a bit of a headache to quilt, as it didn't glide very well over the table of my sewing machine.  I guess this is because it's been washed several times, and the fabric has lost it shininess.

It's getting very last minute, but these two quilts will be my second and third finish for the Q1 FAL hosted by Adrianne at On the Windy Side, but as I can oly claim one per post, I'm going to have to do a little jiggery pokery!.  I have also got the table mat to show and claim, so that will have to be in a separate post.

2015 Finish-Along

28 March 2015

From Cellar to Cellar

There is a small village not far from us called Velke Bilovice,  that has around 650 wine cellars ranging from small family cellars to commercial enterprises.  Each year they have an "open wine cellars" day when many of the cellars, this year 50, open their doors to the public, and you can sample czech wines from the very good to the truly awful.  My brother came over from the UK this weekend especially to visit.  We managed 21 out of the 50, and I'm pleased to say, we can all walk in a straight line and talk sensibly.  Mind you, like everything else in this world, each year the price goes up and the measures get smaller!

It could be a quiet night tonight!