26 April 2011

Nothing happening

It's a quiet day in the Quiltova household.   It's raining so no gardening happening, just a bit of pottering in the greenhouse.   I started some sweet potatoes chitting back in february, and bery dissappointingly, I have only had two shoots off the three potatoes.  I've taken the shoots off the tubers, and potted them on, but we're not going to get very much off two plants.! 

 I can almost hear all the plants sighing with pleasure as the rain has been falling since last night, but it's quite a gentle, but soaking rain.    Should be good for rotovating and planting after a couple of days.

Off to bratislava airport this evening to collect friends from the UK so there'll be very little quilting or blogging activity, although I am hoping I can get them in the mood for a little gardening.  If it stops raining, we off cycling tomorrow and a trip to Cesky Krumlov on Thursday.   Also no doubt there will be plenty of relaxing and drinking wine/beer.   Will report if there's anything of interest.

25 April 2011

Whipping Monday

Here in the Czech Republic Easter Monday is traditionally the day when the men go out with pussy  willow whips like this one.
called a Pomlazka, and visit the homes of female relatives and friends to whip  bottoms (or legs), and also partake in a drink or two (It'd be rude not to).  Pity the poor ladies towards the end of the morning!    It's not likely they'll call on us but just in case we went out for a walk with the dogs!
  
Well the rain has driven me in from the garden, not having achieved anything like I wanted to.  All I seem to have done is stained bloody fence palings, but the fence is half finished and looking good.  The rotovating of the veggie patch was  abandoned because the ground is so dry it's like cement.  It should rain tomorrow so that will soften it up a bit.   We did replace some of the plants that didn't survive winter.   A new cherry tree, a new rosemary bush, a new lemon thyme and a exochorda racemosa (never heard of it) to replace  another shrub that I don't know what it was called, but it's not called anything now coz it's dead!   We also planted a betula pendula ( weeping birch) on the front lawn next to the fence. 


Weeping beech on right



My view from the kitchen window - hopefully it will hide the scutters garden at the bottom

Thunder now rumbling around the town, so I'm moving my paint station to the garage to continue for another hour or so.  Hope you had a good easter

23 April 2011

Big Little George

Despite not really having time, when  Lynne at Lily's quilts started Big Little George, a tutorial for paper pieceing, I thought I'd have a go as it's something I've never tried before.    As I said in a previous post, I had a few problems with it early on, and unfortunately, it never got much better!  I think I must have some problem with spacial awareness, or maybe a block between the left side of the brain and the right, but if I stitched one together back to front, I must've done it 10 times.   Then of course there were the pieces of fabric I cut too small, and I very nearly cut through the paper or the previous piece of fabric whilst trying to trim every thing. My little stitch ripper was smoking!   I eventually got my act together and stopped flapping and actually it's turned out OK.





Let's hope all those pointy bits and seams line up when I sew it all together.

Thanks Lynne for the tutorial - I'm just not sure paper pieceng is the right thing for my one dimensional brain!

Right - I'm off out into the garden for the weekend.  I shall be staining fence panels for the new fence, sewing and planting in the veggie patch, and re-planting our retaining walls with all the plants I took out 3 weeks ago!  Then I shall be collapsing with a glass of wine.

Have a nice Easter everyone

21 April 2011

Spring Collection

This is what I have been wearing through the winter


And to be honest it was getting to be a little tatty and in need of a good wash.  

So I've been and splashed out on a new ensemble for spring



What do you think?

Liska xxxxx

20 April 2011

Is this right?

I only took up quilting since moving to the Czech Republic, so most of my supplies were sourced locally at first, then later through the internet.   I have always bought batting from a local shop which is clearly man-made (The batting not the shop, which of course is man-made).    But reading other quilters blogs, nearly everyone uses cotton batting, so I thought I'd explore some czech websites to see what I could find.  It didn't take me long actually to find something, so I ordered it and it was duly delivered.   

Never having actually seen cotton batting, I had it in my mind what it was going to be like.  I was expecting a huge parcel, and it wasn't.  I was expecting something light and soft and fluffy, and it wasn't.  It's like this


About the thickness of a coin, and looking and feeling like a good quality, thick woodchip wallpaper (if you can remember that).   Well, to be fair it's  softer than woodchip.   This is it compared with the polyester stuff I've used before.




So tell me, have I bought the right stuff?   I didn't read the description too carefully - it was listed with batting and it said cotton, but maybe I've bought ... I don't know ... quilters woodchip?   Here's the label



How does it compare with what you use?

17 April 2011

I'm still waiting..........

I detect I'm probably losing my quilting audience because I'm not posting any quilts at the moment (and lets face it, that's probably the only audience I have!).   Well I'm still waiting for my new sewing machine, and the old one is really only capable of short bursts of energy, so I can't sew much.  I was told it would be two weeks, which to be fair is only just up, but two Czech weeks tend to come out a bit longer that the standard 14 days.  Anyway hopefully it'll be this week.

In the meantime, I have got stuff stacking up to do.  There's my summer picnic blanket, Beyond the Sea, just waiting to be quilted



(photographed at around 8 o;clock this morning)

And a cushion to match


Then I started Lynne's QAL at Lily's Quilts.  I don't want to  go any further till I've got a machine that will stitch s-l-o-w-l-y and will stop with the needle down.  This is how far I got



And then Lynne came up with Big Little George, and despite the fact I told her I was too busy, she still posted it and I still joined in.  I've never done paper pieceing before so I couldn't not do it could I?   Here's the first quarter.



All was going well until I sewed one piece on upside down and back to front.

And then bugger me if I didn't do it again on the second section.   I threw it down in disgust then. 

I was't sure what to do with these, but we have two nice looking but extremely uncomfortable wooden garden chairs, so I think I might make these into padded seat pads for them.  .

I've also cut this out to make a baby quilt.   It's not really a design, but I did make it up myself 9Not very good photos, sorry)



I've called this one "Sweet Dreams"  I'm not sure whether to use the pink or the brown as the binding. What do you think?

And then finally, I really do feel as if I've designed this one myself. 

 

It's another baby quilt/play mat.  It's not complicated (I can't do complicated yet) but I've tried to follow advice from fellow quilters.  I've worked through the process of starting with an idea - the applique sun (first time for applique too), and I just picked out a few blocks to go with it.  I rejected several until I came up with a combo that I thought worked.  And as soon as I saw the finished plan, I thought "Happy Days".   I'm going to use this yellow and green spring fabric I bought locally a few weeks age,

So that's my WIP (quilting anyway - I have loads of crochet and knitting to bore you with).   Hope you like it and stay with me to see how it pans out.

PS   Sorry to be a nobby no-mates. but I've still got two free places here on my Handmade - pay it forward.  If you know anyone who might like to join in, give them a nudge in the right direction.

TA

XXX 

15 April 2011

Handmade - pay it forward


Since starting blogging I have been dying to join in a swap or something similar but have been wary about over-commiting myself.  However, when I saw this on Janices blog spot, I thought it was a really nice idea and because there is 365 days to make something, theres no pressure. 

So what is it all about?

  1. I will make a little something for the first 3 people who comment on this post. It will be a surprise and it will arrive when you least expect it.
  2. I will have 365 days to do it in. What's the catch? To get a handmade present from me, you have to play too! This means YOU pledge to send a little handmade something to 3 readers of your blog.  It doesn't have to be quilty - just handmade.
  3. You must have a blog.
  4. Once you receive your "little something", you must post about your Pay it Forward on your blog to keep the fun going - be sure to use the Pay It Forward badge
I do hope that you will join in with me.  I'm already looking through books/internet/mags for some ideas. 

14 April 2011

HAVE YOU GOT THE TIME?

A couple of weeks ago I entered a giveaway to win 3 FQs of fabric and a "surprise" present at pings and needles and would you believe it, I won.    Post takes about a week to get to Czech from the Uk, so I was checking my post box every day in anticipation.  And yesterday it arrived.  These are the 3 fabrics I won





I don't know what I'm going to do with them at the moment, but they are a welcome addition to my small, but slowly increasing stash.

and this is my surprise pressie



Isn't it it great?   It's already in use and my husband loves it because
a) it's big enough I should be able see it OK.    This is a rather snidey comment because I bought a really pretty swatch watch, the face of which is black and silver with silver hands and no numbers,  and I've never been able to see it properly.
b)  maybe I won't drop pins on the settee and all over the floor now! 

Thanks to Sarah for the photos - her hands are much younger looking than mine!

If you don't know Sarah and her blog, I should hop over if I were you.  I found her when she wrote a piece about blog etiquette. She is very funny and quilts a good quilt too.  

Thanks again Sarah

11 April 2011

Gardening in April

The weather here has picked up, although it has been VERY windy her up on Windy Ridge.  The greenhouse is filling up nicely, although many of the plants I wouldn't normally start off in the greenhouse, they would go straight into the ground.  But at this moment in time, my veg patch looks like this.  



We are having some work done to level off the ground and improve the ground drainage.   Hopefully it will be finished within a week or so, then most things can get planted up without losing any time.  That's the theory anyway.

The sweet potatoes I started off in February have begun to shoot.  

It's a slow process and you have to be patient.

And the mahonia is out now



And the best news for me is that my new Wysteria, only planted last spring, is going to flower - well I think it's a flower anyway.




We had one at our house in England that didn't flower in 5 years.  I think it was because the previous owners had planted it on a north facing wall.  Anyway, it got the chop I'm afraid.  It was a source of amusement to my neighbour, George, who had a Wysteria that flowered beautifully on the same north facing wall.!

And the fruit trees are beginning to blossom. This is my apricot tree


That's it - one solitary blossom.  I don't have very high hopes for fruit this year, but it's a start!   The apples, pear and plums are in their second year and so I expect a little more effort from them.
And finally an update on the greenhouse

Celery - germinated (very small!)
Butternut squash germinated
Spring onions - germinated
Carrots germinated
Parsley not yet germinated
Sweet Peas germinated
Broad Beans germinated
French Beans germinated
Potatoes chitting in the greenhouse.
Seeds sewn this weekend - Sweet corn, Courgette

Spent most of the weekend painting preservative (two coats) onto a huge pile of wood that my husband is turning into a fence.   BORING.   And now I'm off to paint it all again with wood stain.   Even more boring!

08 April 2011

Stylish? Me? Apparently


I was very pleased to learn last week that Sarah at Narcoleptic in a cupboard had awarded me the Stylish Blog award.   Sarah is exactly what it says in the title, and , and like me is fairyly new to quilting.  Because of her narcolepsy, she had a very unique view on life and quilting.     Thank you for the award Sarah.  

The "rules" that accompany this award are to

1.  Link back to the person nominating you
2.  List 7 things about yourself
3.  Then pass the award on to your 6 recently discovered great bloggers.  

Actually I'm going to cheat a little here.   I'm doing the first two but not the third.  There are several reasons for doing this, but the main one is I found it very stressful to decide on 6 blogs, and then pass on the award.  I know that sounds stupid and feeble but blame the menopause.  I find stupid things stress me out now - things that NEVER would have before.  And I NEVER thought it would happen to me.  So I make a point of avoiding things that stress me - the only way I keep my sanity and also my husbands.   Don't worry girls, it may not happen to you.  (You may just get fat, lose your confidence, lose any sense of how to dress and sweat a lot - nothing much really)

Well here are 7 things that I don't think you will know about me.

  • I once met John Wayne.  Well he was in a taxi and I got his autograph (circa 1975)
  • I am allergic to hairy caterpillars and very probably seafood.  Not 100% sure about the second but not about to put it to the test as I was very ill after the last fish pie I ate and all the others who ate it were OK.
  • I am a lacemaker and was once treasurer of the Lacemakers Circle in the UK.  I still have my bobbins and cushions, but don't do it these days.
  • I love books and libraries.   I know everything is available on line these days, but for me, it ain't as good as the real thing.  I do hope current government cuts in the UK will not see the end of libraries.
  • With my husband, we run a company in Czech republic and have 14 employees.  We're both very proud of this.
  • In 30 years of married life we have lived in 11 houses, and owned 6 of them.
Not exactly riveting is it?  
Hope you forgive me about passing the award on, but there are hundreds of blogs there that give me huge amounts of pleasure, so thank you all of you!

PS I also received the Leibster Blog award  a few weeks ago from Shiela at Blue Patch Quilter and for much the same reason I didn't pass that on either.   Thanks Shiela - it was very kind of you

05 April 2011

Prague Patchwork Meeting

Have been away for a few days hence the lack of posts.   It was a joint weekend to celebrate out 30th Anniversary and also for me to visit the Patchwork exhibition in Prague.   I had a lovely day, and there were some amazing quilts, but of course I never took the camera with me did I?   The range of fabrics available was dissappointing,  as I thought it would be - very traditional, with very few modern amercian fabrics.   I did however manage to spend quite a bit of money.


 

I have bought this fabric to join in the Supernova quilt along in  freshlypieced'sblog, but honestly there isn't enough.  I need another 10 or so FQ's.  This a mix of RJR fabrics - Everything but the kitchen sink, Mamma's apron strings and something doggie - which is a couple of years old.   The colours are sort of chalky, muted, and is just what I want for a quilt for our bed.   But now I'm stuck either trying to get some more or finding something else to match.  I need more pink, blue and gold, and then some green.  Does anyone have any ideas?

I also bough this Michael Miller fabric.  I have no particular use for it but have always liked it


The I bought this buttony material just because....


And then finally I bought this girlie fabric to have a go at making another baby quilt.  It's Itty bitty Bella from Marcus fabrics


And last but certainly not least I have ordered a new sewing machine.    It'll be here in two weeks - that's two Czech weeks so who knows when.  It's this one, and frankly, I can't believe that it's going to me mine!   Unfortunately I've got to go for my lesson on how to use it IN CZECH!!.  That should be interesting.   Needless to say I'm rather excited.

Well, I'm sorry the photos aren't very good.  To be honest, I find it a bit of a drag setting up the photos, then downloading them onto the laptop, then onto flickr, and onto the blog, only to find they're crap.  There has to be an easier way than I'm doing it, and I'm going to have to be a bit more inventive with the setting (these are on the worktop in the kitchen) .    How do you deal with it?