Monday, January 26, 2015

Jackhammers in the Morning...

it must be Monday!
Yep...just a minute or two after 8 a.m., the jackhammers started! Yep, I was still in bed. I stayed up until 1 a.m. reading last night. I love doing that when my husband is not with me...staying up late and reading. I didn't start reading until 11 p.m. because I also watched my favorite version of Wuthering Heights...Masterpiece Theater with Tom Hardy. 

Oh doesn't really matter. It is raining and a day to be spent inside working on projects that don't require much brain power.

I started a new stocking. I can just hear my husband's exclamation, "Another one!" (He does like to harass tease me.) I'm going with the football theme since the Superbowl is on the schedule. And what do you know...the Seahawks are in it...the only team I remotely care about watching. (I'm more of a hockey fan...and huge Spurs basketball fan.)

The first step when starting a new kit is pressing the folds out of the felt fabric pieces. I sandwich the felt between two applique pressing sheets. I've been doing this for a while...hundreds of times. I melted the top left corner of the stocking!!!

I'm living with it! I'll just be coming up with a wonderful design addition to cover the area at some point. Here's where I got to last night. I was in the mood to embroider so I jumped around to different areas of the stocking 

Yesterday I got lots of sewing done on the next quilt...the Tidal Pool version of Beachside Bungalow. So very different than my previous deep purple version.

It's almost noon! That's what happens when you "sleep in." I guess it was a good thing the jackhammers got me out of bed. And it must be time for lunch...all of the sudden it is quiet outside.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dash to London

London was a quick trip! I visited the V & A Museum...Victoria and Albert Museum. Fascinating, huge museum. Worldwide artifacts...mostly collected by Victoria and Albert. I skipped many sections...not enough time to see much of it.

The two main towers in the photo are actually parts of one gigantic tower from Rome. I cannot imagine the feat of engineering to get it moved to London.

These rooms for architectural artifacts were so incredibly large. I was standing on a walkway that overlooked the rooms. You can see little people walking on the ground floor.

 The expanse of rooms was really amazing.

With the latest interest in hexagon shapes for quilting...just had to snap a photo of this tile floor found in an Italian family chapel that dates back to 1513.

Lots of displays of clothing throughout the ages...those were my favorite displays. 

Huge wrought iron collection...I'll spare you all the photos I took of the iron work. This was my favorite piece. A gridiron from the 18th century. There would have been a wooden handle to turn the roasting meats. Looks like a quilting design to me!

You may have heard about the truck that caught on fire in the Chunnel earlier in the week. The Chunnel was actually shut down for part of a day. The fire was on Saturday. We traveled by train on Wednesday and had to wait our turn at the Chunnel entrance for over an hour. Trucking traffic was backed up for days! My return trip to Paris was on delays.

As usual, I brought a cross stitch project but realized after the first trip that the perforated paper was unevenly punched. The bad piece is on the right. At first I thought it was just one spot so I decided to keep going. Then I realized it was much I stopped and started all over again with a new piece...which is on the left. So frustrating! I could almost have finished the entire piece between my two train rides if not for the paper problem.

And this is where I am on the close to finishing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Making Plans

I want to try and get more photos of my everyday world in Paris. Yesterday, Bryan and I met at the Gare du Nord train station to buy our tickets on the Eurostar for our London trip tomorrow. Since he is going on business, his ticket is paid for by the company, while mine is not. In order for us to sit next to each other it works best if we go to the actual ticket office to purchase our tickets instead of buying them online. So we did. A great excuse for a little outing and we also had lunch together.


There are five train platforms visible in this photo...with at least three more bays this size out of the camera's view. All the metro trains are underground so you can't see them either. An amazing amount of activity. Reminds me of an ant colony.

Yesterday was the first time I failed to see an armed military patrol walking through the station. I'm sure they were there...I just couldn't find them.

After a very chilly walk home from the Latin Quarter, where we had lunch at a Canadian Pub....remember...I was having lunch with hubby, it was a 45 minute brisk walk back to the apartment. Once home, I started working on my stocking kit. So gosh darn cute!

I've been making little changes to this kit...all thanks to suggestions from other Bucilla kit enthusiasts who share their ideas. My "And SewForth" Facebook page is mostly dedicated to these kits as I get questions now and then through the construction videos I have posted on You Tube. It's the easiest way for me to interact with people about these projects. And while it is a little extra work for me...I have gained so much from this interplay with others.

I've been adding backings to pieces that weren't originally backed in the kit. Some of the places I've added backing to are the bear's ears, the snowman's scarf and now I am backing the evergreen boughs and holly leaves. I just happen to have some dark green felt yardage in my Paris stash which was a good thing because there wasn't enough scrap felt for those pieces in the kit.

And I pulled out the Tide Pool Bali Pop and decided how to divide up the strips for this quilt. The Beach Bungalow pattern only requires 23 strips and there are 42 in a Bali Pop. Many of the strips in this Bali Pop are the same colorway...just a different pattern to the design. I pulled out four strips that were just too light for this design and set them aside for another day. I will use the entire length of the solid strips but I am going to use half strips of all the other pieces since they "read" as the same 8 colorways I've organized the strips into. I did a little of that in the purple version of this pattern. I'm going with the light background and the square print will be the setting triangles. It will look the opposite of my last version.

Tomorrow we make a quick trip to London...just two nights. I am planning to hit the Victoria and Albert Museum while Bryan is at his business conference. We won't have time for a show this visit. Hubby has to leave on Friday for another business trip. There aren't too many tourist attractions in London left for me to visit.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Flimsy Finish

I love this pattern. This is going to be fun to quilt...lots of feathers come to mind. I used the Bali Pop, "Cherry." A quick and easy pattern! Lap sized, 57 x 68 1/2-inches.

Kim Brackett's, Beachside Bungalow from  her book, "Scrap-Basket Beauties."

I have another set of Bali Pops that would be fun in this setting...Tide Pool...completely different colors...will be a fun comparison.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Mini Finish

Hurray! One Boutis sampler finished! This will be made into a pincushion but not until I get back to Alaska where I have a big bag of crushed walnut shells to use as stuffing.

I 'm making car parts for the stocking.

And today I started sewing blocks together to make rows...and then sewing rows together. I'm pretty sure I'll get this all put together by the end of the day. I absolutely love this quilt! So girlie! 

Instead of a brisk fitness walk, yesterday I did a leisurely stroll up the Champs-Élysées, getting to the Arc de Triomphe at sunset and then turning back for our apartment. 

Today it will be a brisk fitness walk. And I have to make a quick stop for the groceries I forgot to buy...lost my list early in my stop at the grocery store yesterday...I hate that! I forgot eggs and garlic. We always have eggs for breakfast on Sunday morning...and I need the garlic for salad dressing. My little trolley cart that I use to cart all my groceries home was too full for anything else to fit in it. I am so glad I do not have two growing boys living with me here in Paris...I would have to shop every day if I did.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sewing Marathon

Yesterday was just one of those day. I put on an audio book and the time disappeared.

I finished sewing together all the  1 3/4" HSTs from my scraps that were covering my design wall. I'm thinking the purple blocks may be a runner at some point. I need access to my Alaska fabric stash to finish this piece. 

The earth tone scraps with the cream background will become pillows. I've been working on twin-sized quilts from these fabrics for several years that will go on a set of bunk beds in one of our guest rooms.

And I finished the components for the ring blocks. This will be a great quilt to have on hand to gift to someone. No recipient in mind at the moment but it makes me think of the pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness.

I sewed until 6 p.m. yesterday. I did take a lunch break. So by the time I sat down last night to do some handwork I just worked on my stocking. I used a pipe cleaner in the windshield frame instead of stuffing it with fluff. It was a good idea!

Now I have to catch up on all the things I didn't do yesterday while I sewed like mad. ( shopping.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Making Rings

Here's my design fun to start putting blocks together! But I need to sew all those little HST's together  and get them out of the way before I can make anymore big rings. 

I was diligent about working on my boutis design last night. I'm getting close to finishing!!!

And I even worked on my stocking a little bit.