Friday, March 25, 2011

A Quilt for Australia

I made this quilt for a lovely lady in Australia! I can't wait for her to get it and let me know what she thinks, I really do get quite a kick out of sending quilts so far away. She was so nice to wait a couple weeks while I was busy with my daughters wedding. I meet the best people through quilting!

The fabrics in this quilt are from Sandy Gervais Frolic line. Very fun and fresh looking. I love Sandy's designs, and have gotten quite adept at spotting the new ones when they arrive in the quilt shop. I think she is one of my favorite Moda designers, though I must admit there are several that I like a lot! The pattern is a simple disappearing nine-patch. It was fun and easy to sew up the top and really looks nice.

My next big project is a Wedding quilt for my daughter and son-in-law. I've purchased a fat quarter bundle of Origins for this one, but haven't decided on a pattern yet. Anyone have a good one for fat quarters to make a queen size quilt? I can get some additional yardage for borders, but am just not sure how I want to use the fat quarters and haven't made too many large quilts using them yet.

I am glad to have time for quilting again, and am looking forward to some small projects for my Etsy shop. Mug rugs seem to be popular right now and I'm thinking of trying a few just for the fun of it. As well as some mini quilts. I probably won't be making any more of the quilted checkbook covers and wallets, as I've had quite a few of those around for a while and they don't seem to be selling. I have a LOT of projects in the works and really want to work on those - I am planning several table runners using charm squares - those are a lot of fun, and I have a couple made up and ready to quilt already, plus ideas for a couple more so far. Just need to make time to do the sewing!

Here's to lots of quilting and new projects - may your weekend be a quilting one!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Paris - Monday Morning Meandering

What a thrill it was to wake up on my 50th Birthday in Paris! Both my daughter and I had slept well, and since we had a pretty low-key day planned we both slept as long as we wanted. The plan for the day was to go pay a visit to "Les Puces" - the Paris flea market! Then we thought we would pay a visit to the Bon Marche, and just generally spend the afternoon getting acquainted with the city before changing for a nice dinner at the George V restaurant on the Champs Elysees. The rest of the week we meant to cram in as many museums, monuments and churches as we could fit in, so we thought a nice quiet day would be a good way to prepare ourselves for our sightseeing.

After we got showered and dressed we headed down to the hotel lobby and got directions to the nearby subway station (since we had not managed to make it the most direct way when we first arrived!) We zipped up our raincoats and headed out, anticipating a wonderful petite dejeuner in a french cafe. It was raining, but our spirits were high as we merrily set out for the subway. Unfortunately we had not realized that french streets do not meet as neatly as ours do, and turn left at the first street, walk two streets then turn right for one block might sound easy, but when five streets come together, what is straight? Unfortunately we once more took the wrong path and missed our station. We walked on, thinking that eventually we would have to either find a restaurant or a station, but found neither. We did find this beautiful church:

With this statue in front of it - we recognized Joan of Arc immediately!

Onwards we walked through steady rain. Eventually we got to where we could find where we were on the map and made our way toward the Arc de Triomphe, figuring that there should be nearby restaurants as we were getting quite hungry and it was almost time for lunch! It was a very quiet morning, not a lot of traffic or people about. Finally we neared this landmark, and I could not resist framing it in the trees. We continued walking, smelling food and eventually found a street with several restaurants to chose from.

As it was my birthday, I got to chose our dining spot - and after looking at several places, decided to stop at this one! Isn't the decor wonderful! Definitely a one of a kind place, very unusual and though we were too late for croissants and coffee we dined on a very unusual pizza for our lunch. We had the deluxe pizza - and it came with a most unusual ingredient - a very lightly cooked egg right in the center! Neither of us could finish our pizzas, and we were in awe of the french girls seated nearby who practically inhaled theirs - how in the world do those French girls stay so skinny, we thought. Well, during that week, we definitely found out!

I hope to figure out what the name of this restaurant was, but I will always remember our meal there!
Next week I will tell you about the flea market!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Versailles, Finding Dinner and our First Night in Paris

Sorry to leave you all hanging about the rest of my trip, life has been a bit busy! I figure it's time to get back to a somewhat normal routine, and how better to start than to reminisce more about the trip.

We enjoyed touring several of the rest of the buildings on the Versailles estate - unfortunately jet lag must have caught up to me because I have no pictures of the Domaine, the Petite Trianon or the Hamlet. They were all lovely, and we walked for quite some distance before we discovered the Petite Train (your run of the mill tourist tram!). For just a few coins we were shuttled from place to place for the rest of the afternoon. We were just slowly going through the sights not even thinking of time, when suddenly we realized that the last train of the afternoon was being announced! We hopped on, and fortunately were treated to a wonderful tour of the backside of the Palace, and were able to see the huge gardens and countryside before we were dropped at the gates.

By this time we were quite hungry and anticipating finding a restaurant for dinner. We found an area that looked promising, but found nothing open, then decided to head back toward the train station as I had developed a very sore leg and was starting to limp. We found another small chain type restaurant (my daughter refused to visit the very convenient McDonalds right outside the train station!) and ate some premade quiches for our dinner. Mine had a very strong goat cheese on it, not really my favorite, but nourishing. After refueling we made our way back to the train and found seats for the ride home.

We were both exhausted, having been up for too many hours without much sleep and were ready for our cozy room and bed. I had a very painful cramp in my thigh and was having trouble walking, so was thankful that our hotel was a straight shot from the train station. Our plan for monday was pretty low-key, just shopping at the flea market and celebrating my birthday with a dinner at the George V Restaurant on the Champs Elysees, so I was hoping that my leg wouldn't be a problem. I already had several blisters on my feet and was resigned to wearing my daughters running shoes as comfort was definitely going to rule over style!

We happily fell into our cozy bed and fell into a long and much needed sleep - Monday would be my 50th birthday, and I was going to celebrate it by living out a life long dream. But for tonight, I was simply worn out, having walked 14 miles through airports, trains and palaces, all while being drenched in rain. Quite the first day in Paris, and well worth it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where have I been?

Is anyone wondering? I have been here and there and everywhere. I've made 4 quilts, and 15 round tablecloths with purple edges. Altered a wedding gown and two bridesmaids dresses. Watched my youngest daughter dance in a competition, played with my little grandsons, and enjoyed the wedding of my sweet daughter Tracy. It's been a whirlwind, but a blessed and happy time, too. I can't wait for life to return to somewhat normal, though! We have one more dance competition, then my ladies retreat and life should slow down for a bit after that! At least I hope.

Life is good!