30 December 2013

I think I'm indecisive

... but I'm not really sure!

I have spent some time over Christmas working on my Stitch Tease quilt, but despite help from my IG followers, I have come to a point where I cannot make my mind up, so I've photographed it and put it away.  I'll sleep on it and see if it's any clearer in the morning!

I have turned my 25 blocks

Into a medallion-style quilt

But now it needs a border.  I rejected a plain border, or a floral border, in preference to a pieced border.  That's what medallion quilts have don't they?

I put the three choices on IG, and the vote was more or less equal between
No spacers
Small spacers

 So I made one border with spacers (which, despite extensive mathematical calculations, is still too short!)

and one with no spacers

And do you know what?  I still couldn't make my mind up!

24 December 2013

A Chtistmas day out

Yesterday we had a day out in Brno.  We started by going back to the hotel where we had our Christmas party, to reclaim the un-opened bottles of wine that the hotel would not refund us! Then we got a bit lost getting back into the city centre, and lo and behold, we found ourselves very close to the only decent fabric shop in the area!   They only stock Makower fabrics, and I knew they had the new "Henna" range in.  It is absolutley gorgeous - the colours are like jewels and the fabric is so smooth and almost has a shimmer to it, it is that soft.   I'm afraid I couldn't resist.

The green is for the back of my stitch tease quilt, the pink is the binding. 

We then went on into the city to the Christmas market

After that, we walked up to the Annapurna restaurant for a curry

In England, all towns, and even many villages have at least one curry restaurant, so we take it for granted.  In czech, they are pretty rare, so this was a real Christmas treat for us!

And then to top off the day, we went to see the second part of the Hobbit.  It was the first 3D film I've ever watched, and I was not too thrilled with it. It made be feel slightly sick, and I felt I needed to sit much, much further away.  The film itself was pretty good though.

So that's it for me now.  I'm shutting off my computer for a couple of days, so I'll wish you a Merry Christmas and all that jazz!

21 December 2013

Winding down

Well that's it, we've finished work now until January.  We've done our partying

The food shopping is all done, and with the exception of a present for Gordon (I'm contemplating making him a cushion!) we're ready for santa.    The tree is up
We went for one of those toilet brush type trees this year.  Mmmm... not sure
I've had a go at making a couple of wreaths

They wouldn't win any prizes, but they didn't cost anything, and they look natural.

And my dresser has been pimped up for Christmas
 I saw Lynne's dresser all decked out for Christmas last year, and decided to make more of an effort in future! Here's a little close up of my owl bunting.

The fabrics a bit naff - I made them a couple of years ago, before I discovered "nice" Christmas fabric - but I'm not re-making them!
We're having a smeg-out day today, but may walk down into town this afternoon for a coffee and to see if anything is going on.   There might even be some sewing time!  Hope you are all enjoying the build up to Christmas and not getting too stressed!

18 December 2013

Hello Dolly

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 
A couple of weeks ago, Gordon came home from his Czech lesson with a doll.

And instructions from our freind, Lenni, to make some clothes for it!  Lenni thinks that, as I make quilts, I can make dolls clothes.  Well, there's a first for everything, so I trawled the 'net for some free patterns, and managed to make a few things.

A strappy summer dress

A little top teamed with either a gathered skirt

Or made more casual with a pair of leggings
All very simple, both to make and to use.   The top is reversible, with a litttle sweetheart neckline, but after I'd sewn the two pieces together, I realised it wasn't big enough around the bottom.   I had no more fabric, and it was too nice to throw away, so I put a popper at the top where the back closed, and called it a cross-over!
It ruches up nicely, and no-one would ever know it wasn't intentional!

So all I've got to do is take up the hem on a pair of trousers for himself (he's been waiting and moaning for a good two weeks now) then I'm going to do some Christmas stitching for me

It probably won't be finished before Christmas, but I'll have it ready for next year!

08 December 2013

Now we are three!

A couple of years ago, I came across a fellow quilter and blogger who lives about 60 or 70 kms away from me.  Jitka and I have met a few times, and jokingly call ourselves the Southern Moravia Modern Quilt Guild.   And yesterday, we became three!  Jitka and Vera travelled all the way here to have a sewing day, hopefully to put together a quilt to show at the Prague Patchwork Exhibition in April.

I was most disappointed then, to wake up to this

Even the dogs weren't too happy to go out in it

In England, this weather would almost certainly cause the day to be cancelled, but a bit of snow never stopped any czech driver, and the ladies arrived on time.

We started with 15 mugs, a tea pot, and lots of solid fabrics.  It took a while to get going - there was a lot of moving the mugs around to find the best layout, but in the end, you just have to take the bull by the horns, and make a start

We were sustained by tea, mince pies, and lemon card tarts, which I think was a first for Jitka and Vera! You try and explain why mince meat is so called, when there is no meat in them!. 

 By late afternoon, we had finished the quilt top

The quilt was inspired by Sarah Fielke's "All that and the hatter" quilt in her book Hand Quilted with Love.   Jitka (that's her on the right) made the tea pot in the middle from her own pattern, and has now taken the top away to  quilt it!  Hopefully, it might raise a few eyebrows at the  Prague patchwork meeting!

I had a lovely day, ladies, thanks so much for making the journey.  It is so nice to share the day with someone who is interested in sewing!  And thanks for speaking English - I am so lazy not speaking czech!  Hopefully we can get together again soon.

Those of you in the Sew Euro-bee-an bee may recognise the blocks, as I requested them to be made for my month in October.  But don't worry ladies, I have your blocks safely in a drawer ready to make my very own quilt!


04 December 2013

WIP Wednesday

I'm having a bit of trouble at the moment, starting new projects, then finding I really don't like them much anyway, thus losing interest.  For example, I have made these three blocks

I loved the single block I made for one of the bees I'm in,

and thought it would make a great quilt, but the blocks together just don't flow like I thought they would.  So now I don't know what to do with them.   Any ideas? 
In the meanitme, I have made progress with the blocks from my stitch Tease buddies.  I really wanted to make these into a medallion style quilt, but couldn't work out how. I'm not sleeping too well at the moment, and my mind starts turning these things over in the early hours.  I had one of those light bulb moments a couple of nights ago, so I set to yesterday, and started sewing blocks together.  This is how far I've got

I've sashed the centre block with Sketch charcoal, and added a strip to each block in the next round to bring it up to size.  Next I'll add another round of the sashing, and a final round of blocks.  Yep, I'm very happy with the way this one is progressing. But now I've run out of the sketch, so I need to order some more.  I think I'll get on with some cutting whilst I'm waiting.

I'm linking up with Lee's WIP Wednesday for the first time in a while.

01 December 2013

Fresh Sewing Day

I have been a bit quiet around blog land for the past couple of weeks, as we've been away on holiday.  The internet connection was a bit temperamental, so not much computer time for me, which to be honest was quite blissful!  I scheduled a few posts before I went, and thanks for all your comments, even though I couldn't answer most of them. We were in Gambia, which is where we went last year, so I won't bore you with too many photos.  It is an amazing place that absolutely bombards the senses every time you step out of the door.  Photos just can't do it justice.

The centre photo of the three girls is probably the photo of the holiday.  Having received Lu Summer's book, Improv Quilts just before we went away, this photo may be an inspiration for a new quilt.

Even though I was away during November, I did get a  fair amount done

2 house blocks for Angie in our Stitch Tease Bee, and an extra 2 blocks for my quilt in the same bee,

Trading Cards received and sent. Giant Zig Zag quilt finished, and a little holiday EPPing

December is not a hectic time for us, like it is for many of you, mainly because we have no children, and Gordon is a bit of a humbug too. (Yes Katy, can you believe that?)  Now the garden is put to bed, and the cold weather has arrived, I expect to be able to get some serious sewing room time in.   Famous last words!

I still have 4 things left on my Q4 FAL list, 3 of which are large quilts, so they won't all get done for sure, but I'm aiming to get two done.  We'll see!

Linking up with Lynne's Fresh Sewing Day.