Tag Archives: Travel

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!

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.