Wow, my first blog post in 3 weeks! I have been a busy bunny recently! So, what’s been happening here to keep me from my laptop???
Well, we took a trip back to the UK to watch our team, Bath Rugby, beat local rivals Gloucester. It’s the one match we try and go back for every year, and as usual it didn’t disappoint! We had a great time, it was lovely to catch up with our rugby buddies, and we managed to fit in a good amount of shopping too. What’s not to like?!
We also had some friends come and visit us here in Lausanne for the UK half term break. Since we left the UK 5 1/2 years ago, we’ve only managed to see them sporadically when we’ve been back visiting family, so it was wonderful to spend some proper time with them, and get to know young Master I, their lovely little boy, who is nearly 5. Master I was the recipient of the first quilt I ever made – in fact, his impending arrival was the reason I decided to learn to quilt in the first place, so I guess he has a lot to answer for! He’s a total sweetheart, who likes making dens out of quilts and cushions (no problem with that chez nous!), playing with Lego (cue one very happy RR!) and making up wonderfully imaginative stories to entertain us all. He also thought that Mr. Boy and Mimi Bubba were wonderful – though I have to admit the feeling wasn’t entirely mutual…
Oh, and there was also the small matter of the long-awaited quilt show – but more of that in a future blog post…
In between all this frantic activity, however, I did somehow manage to fit in some sewing time.
I finished quilting and binding the tumbler quilt for baby Jacob – I used a wool batting for the first time, on the recommendation of Miss JJ, and I have to agree with her that it’s a dream to quilt! I love the puffy loft it gives, it’s all snuggly and just perfect for a baby. This was also the first time ever I didn’t bind straight edges on a quilt – I kept the sloping sides of the tumbler blocks on the outside edges and although I found it rather fiddly, I really like the way it turned out.
I’ve also been working on Mum’s Christmas present – a cute Aeroplane bag. I made my first one of these at the quilt retreat back in October, and loved the pattern so much that I made another, although I quilted the main body of this one to give the bag more rigidity. Mum’s bag is dog-themed because she is the proud owner of two Guide Dog brood bitches, Barley and Anna, around whom her entire world revolves. Fondly referred to by my sister and myself as The Evils, these dogs keep her happy and active, up to her knees in puppies, and (in the main) out of mischief. So when I saw this fabric, it just cried out to be made into something for Mum! The bag’s almost finished, but I’ve screwed up the zip somehow, so I’m going to have to do some unpicking to try and put it right. Ho hum.
The Kitty Camouflage quilt is also coming along well. The fabrics aren’t my usual style or colours, but I really liked them, and I thought they’d be perfect to make a bed-sized quilt which could disguise the copious quantities of cat fur that always seems to accumulate everywhere (hide the cat fur? who am I kidding???) I love the pattern (the Chain Saw quilt from Kimberly Einmo’s Jelly Roll Quilts and More book), but of course I had to make a few modifications to it, adding a couple of additional borders so it will fit our bed and to balance out the colours. I’ve now sewn, pressed and trimmed 140 half square triangles ready to make a pretty sawtooth middle border; they’re currently sitting in a little Ziploc bag, waiting for me to sew them together. Hopefully I’ll get round to this tomorrow, then I can add the final border and the top will be finished! After which I can start thinking about quilting it, and decide what to do with all the leftover fabric, of which there is plenty…
Finally, I’ve been working on my summer polka-dot blouse. I started it back in August, but progress has been slow, really slow! I’ve now successfully added the sleeves, but I need to adjust the position of the button loops because one of them shifted as I was sewing it together so they aren’t evenly spaced. And then I need to take it in some because I’ve lost weight and it’s now too big. Given the current cold, wet weather in Switzerland, though, I doubt I’ll be wearing it for several months yet, and as my weight is bound to fluctuate between now and next summer, this project may well be put on hold for a while 🙂
So now that life has finally quietened down a bit round here, I’m looking forward to getting back to my machine and sewing up a storm. Next project – some special placemats to take to our friends at Thanksgiving, and another baby quilt for another new arival. Looks like I’m going to be kept busy over the next few weeks, so watch this space!
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.
… and these to make skirts with…
I particularly love the turquoise one with the red Eiffel Towers on it! How cool will that skirt be???
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!