30 July 2012


Last year's crop of sunflowers growing in this years wheat - volunteers

29 July 2012

Summer lovin'

The ongoing story of a summer love affair..................

..........withsummer veg.  I know, I need to get out more

This pan of roasted veg was from a few weeks ago. Of the 7 veg, only 3 were from our garden.  The beetroot, carrots and shallots. (23%)

This week, I made the same and was able to add our own tomatoes, potatoes and courgette.  Just the peppers and chillis to go in, in a couple of weeks time.

The veggie crop this year is going well.  The peas and broad beans have long since finished, their lives having been shortened by the very hot weather.   The last couple of weeks have not been so hot, and we've had thunder storms most days so that saves me watering!   The tomatoes (24 plants worth) are doing well but still manageable.  The ones in the greenhouse though, didn't fruit any earlier that those in the garden.

And at last my flowers are coming on - the first vase of zinnias were picked this week.  But the rest of the flower beds and trees are pretty sad, because of the dry weather.  As are the fruit trees and plants.   My neighbour came around the other day in his capacity as fruit adviser, and basically my trees are a disaster - badly pruned, too dry, the trunks are scratched by the cats, so we're putting wire around the trunks to protect them, and he's going to help me prune them at the approriate time!  So maybe next year I'll get a better crop - better than a few manky apricots, some scabby apples and a few scrawny plums.  Oh and there is one nut on our nut tree.   We don't know what nut it is (it was from the afore-mentioned neighbour) but it looks like a walnut to me.

The only thing that seems to survive the hot weather is the weeds, and they are scooting away now the weather has turned warm and humid!

So there you go - my garden at the end of July.  There would have been a few more photos but it's raining again.  Never mind, with Gordon on his sick bed with a bad back, that means I have every excuse to get some sewing done!

It stopped raining so I went a took a few photos

Can you see which bit I weeded?

There are some potatoes there somewhere - about ready to be lifted

My tidy tomatoes

25 July 2012

Bee News

Envy is not a nice emotion, but I think that there was a lot about at the Fat Quarterly retreat in London. 

Don't jump back in horror!  What I mean is, many of us were envious of the Brit Bee girls who we could see had really "bonded" and had produced some fantastic work.  On the tube to and from Baden Powell House,  Helen (runquiltknitwrite) and I discussed the possibility of starting a Bee of our own, with a European theme.  Although we're British, living in mainland Europe has made us feel truly European, so we thought we'd start a Bee with a more European feel.  So we asked several of girls that we'd met at the FQ retreat, if they'd join us.  We were absolultely amazed how many people were keen,  and due to this enthusiasm and an inability to count, we are now 13!   We are either ex-pat Brits living abroad, ex-pats living in the UK, or true blue Europeans.

We have a button
Sew euro 6

and a plan for who's doing what, when, and we are due to kick off after the summer holidays.  So keep an eye out for what we get up to won't you?  Here's a link to our flickr group .

The second bee that I am in is the Stitch Tease group.   I got a little behind over June because of work commitments, but I've now finished my block for Katy.

I'm not able to reveal the whole block, because it has to be a surprise when Katy gets the whole assembled quilt top next year, but here's a sneak preview

In the words of the great Rolf Harris, can you tell what it is yet?

I've also started my next block which is for Annabella.  Annabella has asked for curves and circles which is causing me some problems.  I thought I had cracked it this morning, but then realised that I had calculated 3 x 6 inch blocks to make up the larger 24" block, but actually the one I made was  6 x 12" so that was that!  I did get 'o' level maths, honest.  I just didn't get 'O' level imagining what it looks like when it's finished!

 Plan B is being formulated as we speak!  

23 July 2012

A day out

Yesterday we had a day trip to Vienna with friends from England. Because of the nightmare of a journey we had in the car when we went to visit Di a few weeks ago, we went by train.  I should have been easier, which is was, but the ticket machine at the underground station ate Gordon's 10 euros without giving us the tickets.   We had to buy some more and then some-one will call us when they empty the machines and make sure he wasn't lying about the 10 Euros!   I'm not sure then how we get the 10E back, but we'll see.  This put Gordon in a mood all day (do your husbands get wound up about small things like this?  Must be his age!) but it was a good source of jokes and mickey-taking all day. 

Anyway, I actaully remembered the camera so here's a few photos

Stephensdom - cleverly covered whilst they are cleaning and renovating

Fancy a carriage ride - there are hundreds waiting in line and business was very slow
The Hofburg
The national library
The gardens at the Belvedere
A very nice restaurant where we had lunch - typically austrian
And finally - the man who was the first president of the new Austria after WW2.  I know none of us like politicians, but really, would you trust this man?   If I were him, I'd have asked for my money back!

Vienna is a big city - spread out and the buildings are HUGE, but it's not my favourite city.  I feel there is no real heart to it.  But each time we go, we discover something else, and this time we found the museum quarter, and will be going back to visit some of the exhibitions over the summer.


21 July 2012

A little bit of sewing

There has been a little sewing going on at Quiltova towers.  I spent most of last weekend sewing with my Sister in law.  By the time she went home the quilt looked like this

and the back looked like this

Do you see the little duck on the left.  Bridget loves ducks and has decided this will be her logo, on everything she makes (more quilts?).  Here's a close up

Neat, or what?

We had lengthy discussions about the binding, and we have finally settled on the lime green square dots.  An order is in already, so I have a couple of weeks to get  the quilting done.

Bridget got on with this herself, with only a little instruction from me, so I was left free to do a bit more to my terraced garden (AKA the stained quilt)

Love it, love it, love it!

I'm thinking of putting a 3 or 4 inch border on in the charcoal - so that it is more bed sized.  Do you think it will be too heavy?

And last, but not least, I've finished the 3 extra blocks on the supernova quilt and I've started to sew them together.   I've not got any photos yet, but will get on to it next week.

I'll leave you with my favourite photo

Notice the stylish slippers - we all need nice slippers!

Have a good weekend


17 July 2012

Missin' y'already!l

Just got back from taking my sewing buddie to the airport.  We've had a fantastic few days together, and although the weather has been pretty naff, this means we have had plenty of sewing time. 

And Bridget's first quilt, now named "Whizz Bang", is almost finished

She's already talking about filling a cupboard in the study with fabric and putting a sewing table in the bay window.   I think we have a convert!

So now my sewing room is empty and I'm very lonely! 

16 July 2012

So proud

I've never had kids, so have never experienced that proud moment when they pass a ballet exam, or play joseph in the nativity play.   But how about this for a proud moment

Bridget has done this largely on her own (with a few tips, and hints from yours truly) and I think she has done a brilliant job.  Here's a quick close up

In Bridget's words, not bad for a slightly dyspraxsic nurse!

Now she's planning the back

The wine helped - trust me!

14 July 2012

Moravian Modern Quilt Guild

I read a post a while ago, can't remember who it was, saying that as there was no modern quilt guild near their home, they were thinking of starting their own, with one member.  It was a humerous post about e-mailing herself, meeting with herself etc. etc.  You get the gist.

So as there is no modern quilt guild anywhere me, I've started my own, the Moravian modern quilt guild!.  But it does have two members not one.  My sister in law, Bridget and I.   She's staying with us for the weekend (without her husband who couldn't get away) and we're sewing!  She has a friend who is having a baby in September, and asked if I'd make a quilt.  Well, as she's here, rather than me make it, I'm teaching Bridget how to do it!   Fortunately she is an experienced sewer, just never made a quilt before, so all it took was a bit of basic cutting, sewing a 1/4 inch seam and she was away!

Careful measuring and cutting!

Concentrating on the 1/4 inch seam

More cutting

Chain piecing (and yes, that is my supernova quilt in the background)

Squaring up the blocks - I wish some-one had told me I could do this when I first started!

End of the first day!

We've done a bit more today, and now we're off shopping.

Fat Quarterly retreat it ain't, but we're having fun!!

11 July 2012

Quarter 3 FAL

2012 Finish-A-Long

Well I'm still around - a combination of high temperatures and lots have work have rendered me brain dead by the time I get home.  That's why there have been few posts, and I've not been commenting.  I feel so dull and heavy that I'm just not able to find amusing, enthusiastic and bright things to say!   It is a bit cooler and fresher today, and it's my first day off for a few weeks, so here's to a new start.   

I don't have many promises for this quarter's FAL with Rhonda, just these two old chestnuts

Stained QAL

It's almost there - look

Just 5 more bits of sashing and the top is done.  So I will get this one finished.   Thanks to my loyal readers I now have a name for it.  There were ideas on a garden them and a storm theme (it was thundering at the time, and these are fairly stormy colours)  but my favourite came from Canadian Susan - so now it is the Terraced Garden.  Thanks Susan!

My second finish is the Supernova quilt

Because my friend has a LARGE bed, and want it to go over the pillows and down the sides, I now have to make another row of stars and add a huge border to accommodate this.   But my target is the end of August.   MMmmmm - we'll see!

So there you have it.  Keep your fingers crossed!


06 July 2012

Di and Di

Well over 18months ago, I came across another Di writing on randomthoughtsdoordi.  I enjoyed the way she writes and her mix of family, travel, sewing, gardening, and we seemed to hit it off together.  Late last year she invited me to join in with her Stitch Tease Bee, and yesterday we got to meet!

Di is over in Europe, combining sightseeing with catching up with friends and meeting up with long lost members of her family, ending up in Vienna, which is only an hour away from me.  The plans for meeting up changed several times along the way, but finally we agreed to meet at a beer garden at 4pm.  We decided in the end to drive rather than take the train, which turned out not to be a good decision.   What should have been an hours journey turned into nearer 2.  The traffic was awful, and half of Vienna is covered in road works.  But after a bit of a stressful journey we made it! 

Di was there with her husband, Mr Romance and her friends that she had been staying with in Austria with.  Di and I got on like a house on fire, and fortunately Mr Romance and Mr Quiltova got on very well too, because they didn't get a word in edgeways with Di and I.   They have already organised a tour of all the London pubs next summer when Di comes over for the FQ Retreat!

It was a very hot day, 36 deg c, but as we were sitting outside in the shade, it felt a lot cooler than that.  But then the skies darkened and we had to move inside to avoid the storm, where the temperature was well over 36 degrees!   The photos we took showed two slighlty boiled Di's, glowing somewhat (ladies don't sweat, they glow)

I'm the rather red looking one on the right who forgot to remove her glasses! 
I was lucky enough to receive that lovely bag from Di - she really is the queen of frame purses!

We left them in the early evening to get off to their hotel and prepare for the long journey home today.   It was great to hear about their travels, but I know they are looking forward to getting back home. 

 And I look forward to seeing you again next year at the FQ Retreat.  Thanks for a lovely afternoon.

05 July 2012

FAL Quarter 2 finishes

Hi there everyone.  It's a long time since I've posted anything, and even longer that I have posted about anything sewing related, so it's good to be back!

I'm posting a link today with the 2012 Finish-along over at Rhonda's place.  In my original post back in April, I wanted to finish 3 things.  I thought this was achievable, but sadly only made one finish.

I am very happy with my cathedral windows cushion.  I loved making it, if you don't count all the ironing, and but because of the ironing, I don't think I'll be doing another one!

The two other projects that I haven't finished are moving along well.   The stained quilt top is almost pieced.  I just have another couple of bits of sashing to sew together, but my machine didn't like the charcoal thread I bought, even though I use the white one all the time.   And I already have the binding, the backing and the batting, which is unusual, because I usually don't buy this until I've made the top, thereby holding myself up even further

I had finished the 9 blocks for my Supernova quilt and there was a vague hope that I'd get this finished, but then made the mistake of asking my friend if she would like another three blocks so that the quilt would reach over the pillow cases.  Guess what the answer was - so now I have to make 3 more!.

Well that's for the Quarter 3 post.   Wish me luck in the prize draw.  Last quarter I was lucky enough to win a $10 voucher for the Zippit shop and chose these lovely zipper pulls. I've nearly used them all up.

So this afternoon, I'm off to Vienna to meet up with my bloggy friend Di and her husband, coming to the end of their grand tour of europe.   I'm very excited about meeting her and will try to remember to take the camera to take some photos!