Saturday, March 1st, 2014
The last couple of weeks have been busy – but full of nice things – some spontaneous get-togethers with friends, lunch and a mooch afternoon in Zürich with the lovely Elisabeth from Shark’s Dinner and a flying visit to England to look at an art school with daughter no2 and spend the weekend with her godmother, my god-daughter and the indefatigable Eric, saver of the blog.
(You may have noticed some interruptions in blog service recently – and I don’t just mean my failure to write anything! For some reason I have been the target of a massive spam attack, which managed to bring down the server, not once, but twice. Amazing what the words ‘quilt’, ‘fat quarter’ or ‘half-square triangle’ can bring about….no, honestly, I’m joking, as we don’t know what the trigger was, but it did set me to wondering about the incredible pointlessness of the life of the spammer. Enough, don’t get me started….Eric saved the day (again) and that’s all you need to know!)
We even managed a lovely day in York with said GM and GD, timed impeccably to coincide with the Viking festival. I love York, so any chance of a day there is one that I won’t pass up, even though Betty’s tea shop has become so popular with Japanese tourists that there is no chance of a table unless you are up for a two hour wait outside.
Everywhere we went in York we encountered rather splendid Vikings, who had clearly been tending to their magnificent Viking tummies for a good long while. Daughter no. 2 was somewhat bemused. My favourite sighting of the day were two ‘grannies’ wearing normal clothes, but Viking helmets and fake beards, seriously discussing which tea shop they were going to rendezvous in after they finished their shopping. As daughter no.2 pointed out, you would NEVER see anything like that in Switzerland!
I’m slowly but steadily trying to plod though the projects in hand in the sewing niche – and today saw the final stitches in my Hannah Fettig Lightweight sweater. This might look vaguely familiar as I made a lime green version last year – also using Chickadee wool from Quince and Company. I can’t plug this shamelessly enough – faboolah sweater – just perfect, not too cool and not too warm and the yarn comes in gorgeous slightly quirky shades.
Sunday, February 16th, 2014
The last week has been pretty productive and I’ve finally managed to quilt and bind my Fireworks quilt. The pattern is by Camille Roskelley and the fabrics are Rouenneries Deux by French General. I still really love the red/beige/cream combination and I’m so glad to have this finished. I feel like I’ve been making it since forever. (OK, I HAVE been making it since forever!).
I hummed and hawed a lot before deciding to be very dull and just quilt in the ditch. I really wanted to showcase the fabric and the pattern and not the quilting (which was a little wobbly as you asked!). I clearly needed some quilting in the ditch practice – and it was looking way better by the time I was finished than it did at the start. It wasn’t exactly a meditative experience like FMQ sometimes can be, there was too much stopping and starting for that, but I’m happy with the result….and even more happy that I can get on to other things with a clearer conscience…..!
My boys have been away in the mountains this week, but I couldn’t really justify any more time off work after my Japan trip, so I was here with my girls. We had a good week – had people round for dinner, watched an outrageous amount of the Olympics and I knitted and sewed whenever I could. There is a sweater about to be finished too – it was amazing how much more sociable and productive I was than when the boys are here…can’t think why as we don’t really live in each other’s pockets in the evenings. maybe it was just me knuckling down and doing stuff and it had nothing at all to do with their absence.
I realized though that when I do have friends round and feel like I’m doing things then I feel much more balanced all round. As this is my big goal I guess I have to carry on.
Life is good
Sunday, February 9th, 2014
I’ve been back from Japan for just over a week. It was a wonderful trip, full of inspiration, new experiences and interesting things (and of course the food was utterly fabulous!). I’m sure I’ll go back….the door has been opened!
Now everyday life has resumed. I fought a bit last week with jet-lag, which resulted in a horrible three day migraine. Maybe going straight back to work was a little optimistic….
Even though I haven’t been blogging much, I have been doing things. There’s been a fair bit of knitting going on here and today I knuckled down and basted the Fireworks quilt top. I really hate basting, but at least I could combine it with a marathon watching the Winter Olympics session. This quilt top has been a very long time in the making. The big individual blocks took ages to make, but now that it’s done I’m really happy with it. It is pretty much single bed size.
I have no idea yet how I’m going to quilt this baby. I’m tending towards very simple quilting in the ditch. I want it to be soft and cuddly and too much quilting turns a quilt to cardboard in my experience. The jury is still out though, so if you have a good idea, please do let me know.
It’s incredibly mild weather here at the moment for the time of year, so I also braved the woods and went for a run this afternoon. I know it was good for me, but boy it was really hard work. I can’t believe how much fitness I seem to have lost through being a slob for the last few months. I need to do something about that….lose some weight and get my act together to train regularly. I KNOW I feel so much better when I do. I don’t want to turn into fat, frumpy and fifty ;-(
So things are getting back to normal. There are a few ups and downs with the children, but I’m learning to take the downs with equanimity. Nobody is dying and teenagers need to learn to take responsibility for their
stupidity actions. It has taken me a lot of years and a lot of angst to get to this point. I’m learning to let go and to accept that I can’t make everything right. Sometimes things just don’t turn out how I would like them to, but that’s life. I’ll do the things I can actually do, make the changes I can influence, but a lot of the time things are out of my hands. They just are.
Have a good week out there in the ether and hopefully I will be back before too long,
Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Well I guess I made that one a little too easy as almost everyone who commented was spot on with their answer. I am indeed in Tokyo visiting – among other things the great Tokyo Quilt Show.
My delightful random calculator tells me that the winner is….number 10 of the correct entries, and that is…….(drumroll)
…….Jan, who blogs at www.isisjem.blogspot.co.uk and who I had the pleasure of having dinner with at FQR last year!
Well done Jan – you will be getting an email from me!
So how is Tokyo?
I’m impressed, I really am. More than I thought I would be if truth be told. Tokyo is huge, really huge and is modern as most of it was blown to bits in the Second World War and has been rebuilt since – so there are lots of skyscrapers. There are also shrines and temples and the Imperial Palace, all of which are beautiful reminders of old Tokyo. I have never seem a city that is so clean and runs so efficiently – and coming from Switzerland I think that means something! I’ve travelled around on the train on my own a little, visited department stores etc without seeing another non-Japanese face – there can be few societies left that are as homogenous as this one, or for that matter, few cities as safe. The Japanese don’t on the whole speak any English, but are unfailingly polite, charming and helpful – there is an awful lot of bowing and smiling.
And the quilt show?
Stunning! Smaller than Houston by quite some way even though it is billed as the biggest in the world. Less vendors and those there are sell a lot of US imports or Japanese clothes and bags. The quilts however are magnificent. There is no other word for it! Just what I expected. Fabulous workmanship and leaning slightly more to the traditional. There are no art quilts that cross over the border of what I would really call quilts from what I’ve seen so far.
So if you ever get the chance, Tokyo – quilt show and city – are worth coming to see. I love it and I’m sure I’ll come back!
(I’m doing a tour by the way – run by Country Heritage Tours from the US – it’s the third of theirs I’ve done, and as I have come to expect it’s really well run and absolutely fine for someone traveling alone as I do, but who doesn’t want her hand held every minute of every day – I’d recommend them if you are interested!)
More later…now I have some quilts to go and look at!
Sunday, January 19th, 2014
I know, I know….I’ve been a shockingly bad blogger…..
Life keeps getting in the way, but I HAVE been sewing – my Fireworks blocks are done and I just need to finish gaffing around with placement and then that one will be on the road. It seems like forever, and probably is, since I got anything to a stage where I could quilt it.
Right now though I’m busy for another reason. i’m packing for my 50th birthday gift to myself.
A prize goes to whoever can guess where I’m going and what I’m going to do there….
Here’s a clue…
I’ll choose a winner in a couple of days.
On that happy note….keep smiling