18 June 2011

Passing the time....

Until Monday when I hope I will get my new machine back.  So that means another journey to Znojmo.  I have nothing against the town itself, in fact it's very nice, and the journey there is quite pretty too,  but there's lots of other things I 'd rather be doing. I understand the machine is OK, but they have ordered a mechanical quilting foot for me.  I do hope they don't think I'm going to pay for this!  I paid a lot of money for a Sapphire 875 Quilt sewing machine (there's a clue in the question) and I'm not about to pay more to make it quilt properly!

We had a few days out last weekend as we had visitors from the UK.   Despite the forecast, the weather was beautiful and we managed a few trips out.  We went out on our bikes on Saturday to Mikulov and back with quite a few stops for beer/wine/food.  This is turning into a bit of a ritual now - bike a bit, stop for a wine, have a look around some interesting monument, bike a bit further, stop again etc. etc.  You get the picture.    Then  a long walk with the dogs in the Dyje National park on Monday.    The park saddles the Czech/Austrian border and at one time the "iron curtain"  went right through the middle.   There is section of the wire fence which has been preserved and claims to be the longest remaining section in the Czech Republic.  

If you double click this, you should be able to read about it

We live right next to the border ourselves, and often walk the tracks that would once have been manned by the border guards.   There's nothing there now, other than the old barracks, but even on a hot sunny day, it  send shivers up your spine.   Along the cycle track to Mikulov, which runs very close to the original line of the fence, there are a series of new information boards, which show pictures of what it looked like, and tells stories of individuals that made it across to freedom (and some that didn't).  Unfortunately it's all in Czech and German, so I didn't understand all of it  

Moving to something a bit brighter I've also been doing a bit of knitting.   Firstly let me tell you about Gordon's mum.  She was a great knitter and crafter, and when she died I, as the only serious knitter in the family, was given all of her half finished works, plus patterns and wool.   And of course a moral obligation to continue the tradition.   At Easter there house was filled with little yellow knitted chicks with Cadbury's Cream Eggs stuffed up their bottoms (For none English readers, this is a small chocolate egg filled with white and yellow fondant cream, which appear in the shops shortly after Christmas.  They are perfect for stuffing up the bottoms of small knitted chicks). She made and sold them by the hundred.

I have yet to make more than one test chick to date, posing above, which makes me feel very guilty.(in my defence, my middle sister in law got all the sewing projects, and I don't believe she's made any Mr & Mrs Teddy bear night-dress cases either).     However, in my role as family knitter, I was presented with a pattern earlier this year for a baby comforter, and was asked if I could make one for the Church Summer Fete.  Actually, the request was for half a dozen, but I think she was only joking.   Here's what it looks like so far, although as it has no stuffing, it was very difficult to photograph.......

Scary isn't it?  It looks like some homicidal maniac has come along, ripping it out it's bones.   Frankly I am terrified to put the features on.  Let's face it, if I get it wrong I could scar some poor child for life.   If it looks scary now, what will it look like with eyes too close together and a nasty smirk on it's little teddy face?   Coz that's what'll happen.  I've got to bite the bullet and get it done this weekend though and get it off in the post.

Also I started a little crochet mat when I was at my sisters.   I bought the thread out there, because it looked so good on the reel,but It's not really right for the pattern,  It's too busy.   This is what it looks like now.

Not very impressive, it's a bit limp like the teddy, but it's almost finished now - just one more round, then some very heavy blocking.   And there's only one small mistake, although I have just frogged quite a bit of it to get rid of a couple more.

Well we've got a day planned in the garden today, then visitors coming for a barbie tomorrow, when of course the weather forecast is for storms, which has ruined many a good barbie (see here).  Have a nice weekend everyone.


  1. Knitted ted looks like he'll be gorgeous! Have a great weekend and hope your machine comes home to you soon! x

  2. My girls have little yellow duckies - but the eggs have been extracted and consumed. Funny how that happens. Hope the weather holds for your barbeque. Still all over the place here. Nice one minute, tipping it down the next. I am having my late lunch post fete and about to sort out dinner pre dance show. I want tomorrow to happen now, please.

  3. I am enjoying your blog so much, both as a new quilter and as one whose husband's family came from Czechoslovakia, when that was a place. Thank you for sharing glimpses of your life there!
    My new sewing machine was giving me fits, too. It was a little embarrassing to find out I was using bobbins that didn't fit, even though they looked the same size. I recommend you pick up a few at the shop, just in case!

  4. My nan used to make little chicks to stuff with cream eggs! I have no knitting skills but they are cute!
    And the teddy thing made me laugh! Although I am sure that once you stuff and put the face on it will look great!