Monday, 4 June 2007

Catching Up

Not having blogged for over a week, I have a bit to catch up on. Here is a pic of the String Star quilt that I made for my son a few weeks ago. As you can see, I didn't quilt it very heavily because it was meant to be a quick quilt, although that goes against the grain because I normally don't like to see so much puffyness. I quilted diagonally through each block, and around the star. To fix down the background, I free-motioned a scrolling feather, which also gave me a chance to get back in practice with free motioning on my Janome after not having the machine for such a long time. My son is really pleased with the quilt and took it on our camping trip, and it was nice for me to see him wrapped up in it over his sleeping bag. (you can just see a bit of a double-wedding ring peeking out from behind, I couldn't clip it entirely from the photo).

This is a cute camera bag I made for myself out of 30s fabrics, inspired by one of the Japanese books I picked up at the Malvern show which is called something like "Tiny Little Patchworks that I love". The book was full of small household objects, like mobile phone holders and notepad covers, and I thought it was such a cool idea that normal functional objects could be beautiful. My eye immediately fell upon my utilitarian black camera case, which works fine but I don't even like black, so why am I living with this camera case?? Using some of the techniques from the book, I duplicated the case in patchwork (with a double layer of batting for safety). Next on the transformation list will be my functional black sunglasses holder.

We've just come back from a whirlwind European camping tour, with stops in Southwestern Netherlands (visits to Maastricht and area), Luxembourg, and Nancy in France. It rained a lot, but the weather didn't hold us back, and we saw so many cool things (not to mention eating so many wonderful meals - I felt hard done by this morning not having a fresh crusty croissant for my breakfast).

We toured around loads of castles and chateaux, including this spectacular one in Vianden in Luxembourg where I also found a patchwork shop called 'Castle Patchworks' appropriately enough. I had a quick look inside hoping to find some European souvenir to take home, but it was all imported expensive American prints.

I saw so many wonderful buildings that would make great dollshouses - why are modern buildings so boring?? Why don't we have cool corner turrets and gothic windows and witch-hat roofs over circular corner stairs? Why is almost every building a bland box nowadays? I didn't find any miniatures shops at all, but I did find a new fridge magnet to add to my collection of 'building'-shaped magnets - I have over 100 now and my husband thinks this is a sign of my general collector's nuttiness. I only buy ones that look like little 3-d buildings, with no background or writing on them, and I have found them in several countries that I have visited which is kind of fun (although I declined to buy the little marijuana parlor and the little prostitute's house magnet that was on sale in liberal-minded Holland).

I also picked up a bunch of cheap clothes at the hypermarket in France, and three cases of red wine (for medicinal purposes of course) at $2 a bottle which is our kind of price (as you can see, we are not wine connoisseurs). I bought a French patchwork magazine called 'Magic Patch' but was a bit disappointed with it as it was almost entirely art quilts which are not really my thing.

But it is great to be home - I am looking forward to getting re-acquainted with my sewing machine some time this week. The blue background fabric arrived that I ordered for re-setting the vintage Lone Star and I think it is going to work really well, I will take a photo and post it on the blog soon. I took some knitting on the trip, a baby cardigan in multi-coloured pastel double-knitting on 4mm needles - these are so much smaller than the huge needles I have been using recently that the knitting feels like it is taking ages even though it is only a baby item. I got the back and one front done, and am part-way through the second front. It is a simple lace pattern so I am feeling proud of myself for progressing in my knitting lessons this far.
It's nice to be back!


Jeanne said...

What a cute idea for a camera case. The quilt for your son turned out very nice and the picture of the castle is gorgeous. I love visiting castles and old, historic buildings.

Kathy Wagner said...

So glad that your son likes and is actually using his quilt! It's a wonderful quilt! I like the feather quilting...I must try that on one of my little projects.

Rhonda said...

Love your son's quilt. Excellent quilting job!

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