Thursday, March 31, 2011

Quiet around these parts.

The daughter and I are fighting off a nasty cough/cold so not much has been going on around here.

I was excited to see that my Serendipity quilt was featured on the Modern Day Quilts blog the Friday just gone. Suuuper excited.


Although I'm spending most spare minutes in bed, I've managed a little work on another baby blanket (their bub was born a few weeks early so I'd better get a wriggle on).


Yes, another disappearing 9 patch. This time in super spring-y colours.


 I feel healthier just looking at it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

When we went to Aidan's house.

Aidan and I 'met' through blogging, and then really met at the Blogapalooza she organised last month.

With the expat experience and our like-aged children, Aidan and I have a lot in common. After Blogapalooza we got our families together over morning tea at my house; and this time Aidan and her mari kindly invited us for lunch.


Now, I love to eat. If you know Aidan's blog, you'll know she likes to cook. Very scrummy looking food too. We were obviously meant to be friends.


Saturday, we loaded the family into the car and headed off to Montpellier, to Aidan's house.


I looooove Aidan's house. It's comfortable and classy and so French. It also came with some awesome chandeliers.


And fittings.


Plus Aidan's lovely things.


And check out this wallpaper in the loo. Yes, I took photos of her bathroom, I am shameless. I also think I may have disturbed her eldest (Mommy, why is that lady taking photos of our house?)


Forgetting my traumatising of Aidan's children for a moment, let me just say that France put on her finest weather for us that day. It was beautifully warm and the sun reminded us all of how fantastic spring and summer in southern France really is (you kind of forget after 5 months of cold weather.)

We sat on the sun-bathed terrace overlooking terracotta roof tops and evergreens, sipping beer and rosé.


And lunch, well Aidan didn't let us down (or the mari with his BBQ skills). It was a Cuban affair, with marinated BBQ pork, rice, beans and guacamole and salsa made from scratch. Heaven.


After scarfing down seconds I really regretted not wearing my maternity jeans. I could've just expanded gracefully without anyone knowing instead of having to undo my buttons.

To try and encourage digestion (had to make room for dessert) I took a trip around the garden, which was also loving the spring weather.

Aidan's youngest was my little garden guide.

Aidan and her mari entertaining the mister while I skulked around the garden.

The kids had a ball together, we barely saw them the whole day.

Please note this pitchfork had nothing to do with that. 

Aidan and family, thank you so much for your wonderful hospitality (and my very own can of chipotle peppers). We will have to do it again soon!


Friday, March 25, 2011


On of the great things about living in Provence is that you can't drive for half an hour without stumbling upon a gorgeous village or two.


Whenever we have a half day spare we love to load the kids in the car and explore one of these nearby villages; we've never been disappointed.


A few weeks ago we visited the town of Lambesc.


The view across a vineyard and farm on our way there - Mount Saint Victoire in the background:


Lambesc isn't a tourist town but that doesn't make it any less picturesque or a joy to explore.


The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption (built in the 1700s) sits within the town centre:


This wall below one side of the church has what looks like war/bullet damage but I couldn't find any references online to Lambesc being the site of fighting. Should've asked a local...


A sombre monument to those who have died in war lies before the church:


In 1909 Lambesc (and surrounding villages) suffered considerable damage in an earthquake which measured 6.2 on the Richter scale. Over 40 people were killed and the earthquake remains the worst in France's history.


The streets are old and atmospheric:


I have a serious addiction to photographing doorways and windows which Lambesc shamelessly encouraged:


For those looking for non-touristy streets to ramble, I would definitely recommend Lambesc.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thanks Keith...

For giving me the Blog of the Week Award for my Puss in Boots post the other day. It gives me no end of satisfaction to know my discomfort has amused so many people! Anyone want to up the ante with a prostate exam post? Anyone...?

To celebrate my award I bought a baguette and an irresistible goat's cheese.

Isn't she beautiful?

All creamy and crumbly and begging to be eaten straight from the knife (it's okay, the kids didn't see). 

As for the rest, it was enjoyed in the traditional way.


Yum! Hope you're all having a great week. Will have another travel-type post for Friday.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Process Post: Innocent Crush

Another overdue finish; I hand-bound this quilt on the weekend (the quilt top was completed in Nov '10). A long time for a baby quilt that's only 100cm x 90cm (40'' x 35'').


When Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush came out I planned to buy a half yard of all the non-purple fabrics (I don't like purple) and leave it at that. However when I saw what Ashley of Film in the Fridge had done with the line and knowing that one has to grow as a quilter, darling, I decided to buy the FQ set.

Backed with one of Anna Maria Horner's Folksy Flannels

When it arrived I freaked out a bit. How was I going to make all these amazing fabrics play nicely together? I didn't want to just copy Ashley's design, but then again I didn't want a quilt that looked like an explosion in a crayon factory.

Ooh look: a quilt in a tree


As always after a while an idea came and I started to cut and sew. The pinwheels didn't last long.


Then came a design closer to the final layout.


With a few adjustments the quilt top ended up like this- the idea being that patchwork rectangles were formed along the diagonal.


It was still kind of an explosion, only in a good way. But it needed something else. More cowbell.

I asked myself What Would Rita Do? You know, Rita from Red Pepper Quilts, the doyenne of modern quilting. Is is often the case, whenever I ask WWRD the answer invariably comes back: add more white.

Right. White. Then I got it in my head to try some appliqué. A simple shape repeated in white to tie the whole thing together.

I auditioned stars.


Bow ties, or reflected hearts, however you choose to look at it.


This one was a winner for a while until I realised it looked like an armada of little swimmers looking for an ovum (I was just pregnant at that stage...). I couldn't have put a baby on that with a clear conscience.


So I figured I'd ask WWAMHD? Anna Maria Horner actually sorta spoke to me because I found the answer in her fabric design.


See the flower surrounded by dots in both the blue and mauve fabrics above? That became my applique motif.


I decided I would zig-zag my shapes to the quilt top before I made the quilt sandwich.

The lady at my local quilt shop put me onto this stuff.

Thanks stunt peg, what would I do without you?


I have no idea what it's called as the whole conversation was in French and there is no writing on the product's paper backing. But it is a very light and flexible iron-on glue in a lattice pattern.


I ironed it on the quilt top seams directly behind where I wanted to machine sew my appliqué shapes. After it cooled, I peeled off the paper backing and the lattice held my seams down neatly. Then I could twist and turn and appliqué the quilt top with gay abandon, not having to worry about the seams getting all caught up.


Nice and neat. Just try not to iron over it again as you apply it to your seams as it goes gooey.

Only a few more decisions remained. How to quilt it? I wanted to make the rectangles more obvious.


So I quilted in a grid pattern highlighting the rectangles. I used white thread on top so it couldn't be seen on my Kona White appliqué, and a cream colour on the back to blend into the flannel.


I also tossed up appliquéing on another flower motif but in the end decided it might have been overkill.


Lastly, I needed to decide whether I would bind in white to match the applique, go with a single Innocent Crush fabric or to do a scrappy binding. The later won and I think I like it most, it adheres to the explosion theme.


That was the Potpourri palette, I still have the Petal palette to use.


Rita's telling me to use more white.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...