Tag Archives: Hexies

Day trip to Paris

On Tuesday, I went to Paris for the day.

I know, it sounds awfully decadent, doesn’t it?!! But Lausanne to Paris is just 3 hours 40 on the TGV, so it’s actually quite do-able if you’re willing to get up early… And it’s been so hot and humid here recently that I actually found a 5.15 am wake-up quite refreshing. For a change!

The main reason of my visit was to meet up with some American friends who are over on holiday, but a catalogue of problems with my iPhone meant I was rendered incommunicado for most of the day. Sadly I didn’t manage to meet my friends. I did, however, take full advantage of my time in Paris – after all, how often does a girl get let loose all alone in such a magical place with a fistful of Euros ?

Before I left, I’d promised myself I wouldn’t buy any quilting fabric or bits and pieces, and I’m proud to say I kept my promise. Nothing quilting-related was purchased (unless you count a pack of hand sewing needles so I could continue my hexie-thon on the train home, my intention to sew my way to Paris and back being somewhat scuppered by the fact that I left my needles behind – oops!) I did, however, visit some splendid fabric shops, where I could have easily spent hundreds, nay thousands, of euros. In the end, I feel I was very restrained…

Enamoured by the success of my nearly-completed sundress, and motivated by the fact that I’m almost at my goal weight again, I’ve decided to branch out and make myself a couple of simple summer tops and skirts. So I shamelessly ogled my way through a succession of couture-quality fabric shops, before hopping on the metro to Montmartre to check out the more reasonably priced ones. And I don’t think I did too badly.

I bought these fabrics to make a cool summer blouse with contrast shoulders…
Blouse fabric

… and these to make skirts with…

Skirt fabric

I particularly love the turquoise one with the red Eiffel Towers on it! How cool will that skirt be???

Eiffel Tower fabric

And when it got too hot to shop, I wandered along the banks of the Seine people-watching, with an ice cream in hand to cool off. Unfortunately this was consumed too quickly for any photos to be taken, but take my word for it, it was goooooood! (Lemon curd raspberry ripple, if you’re interested…)

By 6pm I was back on the (lovely air-conditioned!) TGV and on my way home, absolutely shattered but feeling deeply contented and knowing that I’ll certainly be back again soon.

Paris, je t’aime!

A busy week all round

It’s been a busy week here in Lausanne, and weather wise very hot and sticky. Yuk! It’s been so muggy that the kitties haven’t even had the energy to be naughty… Mimi Bubba has spent the week lying on her back showing off her kitty bits to all and sundry, while Mr. Boy has been lying in the remnants of his favourite cardboard box, looking like a scarecrow.

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So it would seem unlikely that I would spend my time sewing. Mais non! I have actually been very busy this week…

First of all, I’ve been working on my sundress, which is now nearly finished. The hem is done and the zip’s inserted. It’s made out of a beautiful Valori Wells cotton voile, underlined with plain white cotton batiste, and about to be lined in a gorgeous peach-coloured viscose. I’m desperate to get in finished in time for our trip to Barcelona at the end of the month.

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As for quilting, well, I was starting to feel guilty about the pile of tops in my cupboard that need finishing. I always think they look so pretty when I’ve finished piecing them, and I’m convinced that I’ll ruin them with my inexpert machine quilting. But, as has been pointed out to me on numerous occasions, I’ll never get better if I don’t practice. So I decided to stipple the baby quilt I made with some of the fabric leftover from Baby Chase’s star quilt, firstly because it’s reasonably small to start with, and also because it has no intended recipient as yet, so it could always be used as a picnic blanket if it went horribly wrong. And here are the results…

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It’s actually not too bad, and although I still have some problems with thread tension and stitch length in places, practice makes perfect, as they say, and it certainly got better the nearer I got to the end of it. All I have to do now is finish the binding and it’s done. Yippee!

I’ve also made good progress on the Flumpagon quilt – so called because it’s made of hexagons, and some of the fabric has elephants on it…

Flumps

So far, I’ve pieced the hexagons in halves, and now I’m trying to work out a pleasing layout so I can sew them into rows and then put the rows together. As always, Mimi Bubba has been lending a helping hand…

Mimi and flumpagon quilt

And talking of hexagons, I’ve also been working on my English paper piecing. It was so hot on Sunday that RR and I took a boat trip from Neuchatel to Yverdon-les-Bains. It was baking hot on land, but there was a glorious breeze to cool you down when the boat got moving. I managed to while away the afternoon admiring the beautiful scenery and basting more hexies – bliss!

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Well, yet another week has literally zoomed by, so I’m linking up again with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

And by the way, the second installment of my Grand Reportage is up on the France Patchwork blog – hop on over and check out some of RR’s cool quilt photography 🙂

www.fpdelpatch.over-blog.com

Working hard

Well, it’s been a busy old week quilting-wise. As RR so eloquently puts it, I’ve been in a bit of a quilting frenzy of late! After finally finding the finishing kit for my Block of the Month quilt (in a padlocked box at the bottom of a dark drawer marked ‘Beware of the Leopard’…), I’ve been mainly working on getting the quilt top put together, and I’m happy to say that I’m nearly done! The 2 wrong-sized blocks have been fixed, and another was taken apart and re-pieced when I noticed I’d accidentally sewn the the fussy-cut middle square in sideways (I could have just left it as it was, pretending it was a design choice, but I knew it would just bug me, so out came my trusty seam ripper again!)

So, once I was happy with my 12 blocks, it was time to open the finishing kit. I read the 18 page (!) instruction book for piecing the sashing and borders, and set to with my rotary cutter and various rulers. At the end of an afternoon’s hard work, with Mimi Bubba’s’ help’ , I’d cut all the pieces I needed to complete the quilt top…

Helpful Mimi     Finishing kit cut

… and found that the Fat Quarter Shop weren’t exactly stingy with the fabric! Having frugally saved all the remnants of fabric from each month’s kit, I was left with all this!

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I’m thinking maybe I’ll use it to make the Granny Square quilt on Blue Elephant Stitches’ blog. Well, waste not want not and all that 🙂

So now the quilt top is almost finished, all I need to do is add the middle and outer borders. It’s turned out really nicely, I think, although it’ll be even prettier when I add the final borders…

Almost finished

Then of course the tricky part, deciding how to quilt it. But let’s just leave that for another day, shall we?

Linking up here to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hexies galore

I was back in England this past week-and-a-bit on a family-visiting spree. I managed to visit Mum, Mad Aunty Jean, and my lovely sister, brother in law and niece in the span of 9 glorious but exhausting days. As there were some serious distances to cover, I decided to buy a BritRail pass and take the train – this meant, of course, that I had to take some hand sewing with me to keep me occupied on my travels!

The dog appliqué quilt I’ve been working on has now been put on the back burner, as I’m not a natural at hand appliqué, and I’m fed up of all the fiddly little pieces that need to be stitched on. And as it’s going to be a gift for Mum when I finally get around to finishing it, and Mum would surely see it if I brought it along to work on, I thought it best to leave it all tucked up nicely in its little plastic shoebox until the urge to appliqué strikes once again. Whenever that may be…

So, what to take with me? Easy – my long-standing hexie project!

Admittedly, this is another on-and-off project that has been kicking around for several years, being brought out every now and then in a fit of enthusiam and worked on for a few weeks before my interest wanes once more. But I’ve been working on it again recently, thanks to my lovely quilting friend Ms JJ (http://pragmaticpatchwork.wordpress.com) who has inspired me by posting on her own hexying  (Is there such a word? If not, there surely should be!)

So I set to, cutting out fabric and paper templates, and put together a little ‘Quilting on the Go’ pack, which I tucked neatly into a little Ziploc bag and stashed in my handbag.

 Hexie kit

And as I travelled around England, I whiled away the time basting hexagons one after another and letting my mind wander. That’s what I love about English paper piecing – it’s very soothing, almost hypnotic, and you can get lost in your thoughts because you don’t really need to concentrate on what you’re doing. So as my little pile of hexies steadily grew taller, I let my thoughts drift, thinking about all the quilts I want to make, as well as all the quilts I need to finish, and trying to decide what I’m going to work on next. Perhaps it might even be the hexie quilt (shock horror!) – after all, over the past 2 years, I’ve basted hexagons galore, and I’ve now even started to sew them together…

Box of hexies

stack of hexie flowers

Hexie flowers

But now I’m back home, and I feel drawn to my sewing machine again. Unfinished quilt tops are calling to me, and new project ideas are tempting me back into my sewing room and away from my pretty little hexies. So despite my good intentions, it looks like this is going to be an on-going project for some time yet. Still, I do have a few more trips planned this year, and so, if nothing else, it seems that my hexie quilt will keep me busy and happy on my travels for many months to come.