29 March 2012

Sitch Tease starter block

There hasn't been a huge amount of sewing chez quiltova in March, what with a few days here skiing, and a few days there in England, but I'm so relieved to tell you I have finished the very first block in my very first bee.  Do you remember I've joined a great group of gels in the Stitch Tease Bee?  I have asked everyone to make pinwheel blocks, arranged in a random fashion.   Here's my starter block

I struggled a bit with the random aspect, and it is way more conventional than I thought it would be.  But even so I'm very happy with it.  Most of the points are pointy, and those centres all meet up quite well.  The medium sized turquoise pinwheels and the four surrounding ones are all paper pieced.   I did make a couple of smaller versions of the turquoise one, but after re-sewing both of them about 4 times, I just couldn't get them to meet correctly. 

In the end I felt that they weren't needed so they got put in the scrap bin!

The back is a bit of a 'mare though! It's never mattered before what the back looks like, because it's covered up well before anyone else sees it.  But now I've got to send it off to the next lady in line, completely naked!   Oh Helen, don't look too hard!

The next stage is exciting as we now have to start making blocks for each other.   If I've got the rules right, I've got to make for Hadleigh next.  No pressure then!!  I just need to dig out my "browns"!

25 March 2012

22 things you never needed to know about me

Everyone seems to be tagging everyone else at the moment, and I got back from my break in the UK to find I've been tagged twice.  Now I'm not sure if you want to know what my thoughts are on 22 different questions, but here goes

Firstly from Susan, at Canadian Abroad

1. What is your favourite cartoon from childhood?
 Bill and Ben, the flower pot men, although I nearly wet myself worrying about the gardener coming back after his lunhc and finidng them!

2. What is your favourite restaurant in the world and where is it?
Well,I'm not much of an international restaurant goer, but the one that springs to mind is a veggie restaurant in Bath called Demeuths.  I'm not a vegetarian, but the food is "to die for"

3. If you could buy any fabric bundle you wanted right now (someone else was paying) what would it be?
I would like a full set of solids - Kona, or maybe Oakshott

4. What is your favourite quilt made by someone else? (Please include a link or photo if that is possible.) That changes from day to day!

5. I need a day on the beach. Where would you recommend?

We found a lovely cove in Zante - no beach but the bar had set up some beds, with umbrellas, and you could dive or jump straight into the sea.   So quiet - we found it on the last day and didn't want to leave

6. If a sewing retreat could be held in the place of your choice and all your friends would be able to attend where would you have it?
Never been to one before, so I would be rubbish at choosing one.

7. What is the first sign of Spring for you?
A smell in the air.  Can't describe it but you just know winter is finished

8. Do you have a favourite smell?
Ha!  Apart from 7 above!  

9. If you drink wine, what do you prefer - red, white or pink? If you don't drink wine, what is your favourite drink?

A good full bodied, oaked red.  Preferably not Czech.

10. What sewing task do your dread the most?

Cutting out, mainly because I don't have anywhere to do it properly, and I don't have much strength in my hands and the ruler always moves!

11. You are making me a desert - what is it, and will you give me the recipe?
You're asking me?  I can ruin practically everything I touch, but I can make a good bread & butter pudding.

And from Sarah Narcoleptic in a Cupboard
 1  Who did you blame for your last public fart?
The dog  - always
2  What's your favourite TV theme tune and why.
Can I have radio - the Archers tune
3  Tell me, what's on your 15 minute mix tape?
Glen Miller
4  Roller boots or roller blades? Boots - never tried blades
5  If a cushion is a pillow what's a pillow?
A pillow is that the slobber ridden thing you rest your head on every night.  A cushion is the thing that stops you from slipping off the settee
6  Who is your Dr. (who)?
David Tenant
7  If you don the ruby slippers and click your heels etc, where you gonna end up?
Somewhere with comfortable chairs and servants to pander to your every need

8  What fragrance is your fabric softener?  Pass
9  Bananas - young and firm or old and soft?
Young and firm (oh those were the days)
10  Why IS a raven like a writing desk?
11  What was the last thing that totally grossed you out?
Embarassing bodies - A UK TV programme that shows in full technicolour, all sorts of nasty diseases/complaints.  Why do we need to see these things on TV?

I know we're supposed to think of 11 more questions, and pass this on but I think we've all probably had enough of this one.    I was terrribly worried about why people knit socks, but Helen has answered that, so I can go to bed happy tonight!!!


24 March 2012

Remember me?

Yes, I'm the long ago blogger from the Czech Republic.  It seems ages since I last posted.  I got back from the UK on Tuesday, and woke up with a blinder of a headache on Wednesday which lasted all through Thursday, and finally dissappeared on Friday morning.   I just couldn't focus on the screen to read or write anything,  consequently I've got behind on my blog reading, and only had about half an hour in my sewing room.  The deadline for the first phase of the Stitch tease bee is looming so I have to get some done this weekend, in between all the work that needs to be done in the garden.

Anyway, I had a lovely weekend with my two sisters -in- law in Ashby-de-la-Zouch.  We spent most of our weekend chatting, eating, shopping and relaxing.   Just the things I miss over here!   I don't have anyone who I can just ring up for a shopping trip or a coffee, although I always have Gordon, but that's not the same!  Actually I may have a new friend here, both bloggy and in real life  - more of that later

I was picked up from the airport and whisked straight off to John Lewis Home, a new shop in Tamworth.  Oh my goodness.  It's a good job I don't live in England, I would spend a fortune in this shop.  I did see a nice dresser, a snip at 1500 pounds!   And loads of Cath Kidson, Orla Kiely and other  lovely designery things that you urgently, desperately  need!   And on Thursday evening we went to the local for a couple of glasses of wine and FISH AND CHIPS.   I never ate F & C very often in England, but when you can't get them, they become a craving!

Friday I met up with my brother for a walk around Calke Abbey, a bit of shopping in the National Trust shop and a pub lunch in the pretty village of Ticknall.   You may have noticed by now, there are no photos of these lovely places.  I have no particular excuse, I just forgot.  Too busy talking I guess!

But the photos started on Saturday.  The main reason for my trip was a spa day at Ragdale Hall in Leicestershire. We had a couple of treatments booked, but the rest of the day was free to swim, take in a couple of exercise classes, use the gym (yeah right!)

When you arrive you are greeted with tea or coffee whilst waiting for the nice lady to arrive with your "programme" and bath-robe.

Even the changing rooms are ever so posh

There are lots of places to chill, chat and drink coffee

and the quiet room where they actually provide quilts so that you can snuggle down for a snooze, which I did manage to resist!

I had a wonderful back massage and facial, but I was a bit embarrassed when they asked what my cleansing regine was.  A quick wizz around with soap and water?   Not good enough for "a woman of my age" apparently!

We also signed up for a overnight stay, and look at the cute room we got

Previous occupants included the three bears!   We had three beds, three chairs, three cups and saucers, three towels, in fact three of everything.

Here we are in the dining room - the three witches!   The food was beautiful, although it being a health spa, there was a noticeable lack of cream and chocolate!

I've got some great pictures of us at bed-time, and breakfast, but modesty forbids me to make them public!

However, here's breakfast, delivered to the room!

And before we left on Sunday morning, I just had time for a jigsaw puzzle!

If anyone is looking for a spa day as a treat, this place is fab.  A bit pricey, but for a special treat, it can't be faulted.  Nothing was too much trouble for them.  And all the extras (coffee, drinks, a couple of little shops) are not at rip off prices like so many of these placeswhere you are a captive audience.

The rest of the weekend flew by.  We made a trip to the cemetry to wish happy mothers day to Gordon's mum, a visit to Gordon's great niece, a bit more shopping, and a trip to Tesco's.  Yes, for me a trip to good old Tesco's is a treat!  We also made it to a fabric warehouse.  The patchwork fabric was not great, but I bought some lovely decor-weight fabric - one with wellies and watering cans, and the other with beach huts.   Should make nice bags or cushions.

Well I think that's about it for the weekend away.   I had a lovely time, but of course, it great to be back home!

15 March 2012

Yours, excitedly

Just a quick post to say woo hoo!   I'm off to the UK for a few days R n R with my sisters in law.  If I were organised i'd have set up posts for whilst I'm away.  But I'm not! So I didn't

So I\ll see you next Tuesday

PS If this post is badly spelt, it\s because my glasses are packed away, and I can't see what I'm typing!

12 March 2012

Stitch Tease - First block

I've started to make my first block for the Stitch Tease Bee.  My first Bee block ever.  Small fanfare please!

My idea was to make several pinwheels in different patterns and sizes and piece them randomly.   It all started very well, although for the life of me I cannot do random pieceing - I just have to straighten them and make them look tidy!   I'm happy with  the colours - although they are cheery colours, they are all on the chalky side, not bright jewely colours.

So far so good - I even paper pieced two of them.  This isn't the final layout, just a practice.

I love the little one on the left, although I have to remake it because I didn't cut it right for the paper piecing and there's no seam in the middle!

 But then I really wanted to make this one -called a double pin-wheel, but the only templates I could find were for a 12" block (the others are 8", 4" and 2"), and my maths is not up to changing them!  So I made the 12" block.

But I just don't think that 12" block looks right.  It dominates the others and leaves no room around it for any smaller blocks.  I'm happy with  the colours - although they are cheery colours, they are all on the chalky side, not bright jewely colours.

What do you think?  Should I ditch it for another 8" block?  I could always save it for the back.  

11 March 2012

Checking in

We've been away for a few days doing a bit of this

And some of this

Quite a lot of this

 And a fair amount of this

So the diet's gone to pot.   I'm only back for a few days, then I'm off to the UK for a long weekend with my sisters-in-law.  So I'd better get caught up on blog reading and get some sewing done!