Friday, July 30, 2010

Surprise visit

I haven't had much time for sewing lately; I've been grouting some of the floors and thereafter cleaning out the dust. Hopefully there will be time for crafting during the weekend.
Yesterday, when I was moving things around on the kitchen counter, this little fellow appeared under the toaster!

We know there are snakes in the area we live, but hadn't seen any for 4-5 years. When I settled here, we lived in the neighbor house for some months, and there we also had two snakes that came in, all the way to the third floor! It has been quite some rain lately, and I believe (I'm not a reptile specialist!) the snake tries to hide from the rain, wet and cold. I'm quite sure it came in through the water pipe from the kitchen sink, because that pipe is open where the water goes out to the tank.

Most people fear snakes. When I lifted up the toaster and discovered this guy, I could have screamed, thrown the toaster and run out, but no... It's rare to see snakes here, especially so close as this one, so I had to get my camera in a hurry to get some pictures. I'm not afraid of them, but I don't like it when they come to near, and I don't like it when they come inside the house!
We had to be in a hurry to rescue it, before it got the chance to hide somewhere else, so DH managed to get it into a bucket. We kept it there until the evening, then let it out in the free - outside the gate. Since they are not poisonous there's no reason to kill them.
Here in Mauritius they call it "couleuvre", which is the French word for grass snake.  There is no real snakes (poisonous) in the wild here. I found this info about snakes in Mauritius on the net.
Here people also believe it is a sign of bad omen to see a couleuvre around your house.
I don't believe in that, and I don't know why a snake should be a bad omen! I grew up on a farm in Norway, where we often saw snakes (poisonous) in the fields and sometimes in our garden. They never did any harm to any of us, and no "accidents"  happened after we saw them either.....

Monday, July 26, 2010

Friday out - Mahebourg and Blue Bay

I don't know for how many days we've talked about going South, but the weather has not been on our side. Friday last week there were no down pours in the morning, so we headed out. We decided to take the Mahebourg Express bus from Port Louis, which takes the shortest time; approx one hour to reach Mahebourg. It means a 20-minutes walk to the bus stand, but that is OK.
We had decided to walk from Mahebourg to Blue Bay, but first of all we had to meet aunt Lila. It was so great to see her again, after more than 2 years! Yes, we should be ashamed, shouldn't we?! 2 years is a very long time, especially when it doesn't take more than approx one hour to get there.... But sadly that is how it has turned out to be; family members/relatives get to meet only at weddings and funerals, because they "don't have time" to meet each other more often!

We had a stroll in town to find something to eat before we started our walk to Blue Bay. I had to take a short walk down to the Waterfront, just to drool over this beauty of a place; the tiny island with the cute, little house...

Isn't it idyllic?!

Majestic Lion Mountain, just outside Mahebourg. It is possible to climb the mountain, but so far we haven't done it.

On the way to Blue Bay... This is a huge rubber tree! I remember when living in Norway I struggled to get a rubber plant growing - here they become monsters! DH is standing under the tree.... look how tiny he is compared! :) 

The entrance to Preskil Beach Resort, one of the many resorts on the island.

Part of the resort.

We reached Blue Bay after approx 1,5 hours walk - a distance of 6,5 km (4 miles). It is said Blue Bay is the most beautiful beach on the island, and yes - I agree.
This is the area most people gather and during the weekends it is very crowded. Children in Mauritius have 4 weeks school holiday now, so there were quite some people here. We knew this area from earlier, so we went to the left, out of the crowd. That part of the beach was deserted - wonderful! We met a nice police guy, chatted with him and spent some time just relaxing after the walk, and smelt the sea air.

Here I am - enjoying a rest and the fresh air!

Instead of walking it all the way back to Mahebourg, we took the "short-cut" from Blue Bay to Beau Vallon. OMGosh what a long and boring road! In the beginning, it goes through part of Blue Bay and then all it is to see are fields after fields with sugarcanes - on both sides of the road. The only exciting thing we saw, were a few planes that took off from the airport. (If that is exciting!)
I believe the distance of this road is approx 4 km (2,5 miles). We waited approx 10 minutes for the bus back home, and had another walk of approx 1 km (0.6 miles).
All in all we did approx 13 km (8 miles) walking, which we really enjoyed.

I didn't take as many photos as I wanted, because the batteries of my camera went flat even if they were charged the whole night. This area of Mauritius is very picturesque. We'd like to do another trip to the Mahebourg area soon again.... More interesting places to be seen.

Sunday, July 25, 2010



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

NYB, Mystery Quilt and Scones

First of all, please welcome Elzaan to blog land!
Elzaan is a friend of mine, and after nagging (her word!) her :), because she makes beautiful quilts!,  she has taken the first step into blogging. :)
Once again; a very warm welcome to blog land, Elzaan! I'm sure you will enjoy it!


Ever since Monday we have thought of going to the south coast, but the weather is so nasty; local showers and strong wind. Dependent on buses, none of us are tempted to venture out in such weather. This is typical Mauritian "winter", with temperatures varying from +20C (68F) on the plateau to +26C (79F) on the coast. I know! I know! It's not cold, but when 90-95% humidity is added - BRRR!
The best to do on such days is to snuggle up in front of the sewing machine (if that is possible!) with a hot cocoa and do some cutting and sewing.

I think Birre-Liten feels that he doesn't get enough attention! Why does he have do sit on the cutter?! :)
Actually I was working on part 4 of the "Mystery Quilt". This part was released June 1st, but I have been busy doing other things and put it on wait.

Part 4 required quite some sewing, which took most of the day.

Part 5 was released on July 1st, so I cut and started sewing these small stars too.
Part 6 will be released August 1st and then the quilt will be revealed too.


Yesterday I did two more New York Beauty blocks. I've used the same fabrics as the first one... I struggle a bit with the curves, but I believe that's part of being a NYB newbie?! :)
ARGH! The small curve doesn't look like a curve, does it?! Not on the top left one.... :( 
I paper piece the middle part, then pin - with millions of needles (it looks like that!) - and then sew them together... Is that the right way doing it? 

Well, not that bad after all... Huh? :)


There's a cooking program on local TV every Monday, and this week scones were made. I didn't pay much attention to the recipe, because there are so many of them on the net.
When I googled "cheese scones recipe", about 201 000 recipes are available on the net! I picked the first recipe - very simple - and done in a jiffy! I think it lacks a bit of taste, so next time I'm going to add cayenne pepper and mustard powder, as I saw in another recipe.
Click here to go to the recipe. 

Even the dogs like the scones! Here they are asking for more! :)


I'm currently working on some cross-stitched Christmas/Winter ornaments, which I can't show due to a secret swap later this year.


I'll have to change the blog background now. I've just got the message the current background will disappear this coming Friday...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Organizing scraps

How do you organize your scraps?
For a long time I've intended to buy some plastic containers to get more organized with the scraps. Finally last week I bought four plastic containers and during the weekend I've been cutting strips.... and cutting strips.... PHEEW! :)

This big shoe box was full of small and bigger pieces, plus another smaller box and a plastic bag... Time to get organized!
I don't know what I'll do with what is left in this box... The pieces are quite small and I believe it won't be used - not even for applique - as I intended to keep it for... Who knows; one tiny little piece in that specific color might be useful.... won't it?! :)

And this... what do you do with it? I don't throw it; I keep it for making pillows... to sit on... That is my intention! I already have two big plastic bags full, which should be enough for 2-3 pillows... Don't ask me when I'll do that.... in the future - on a rainy day... lol!

Here's the result of one evening and one mornings cutting and organizing. Four containers consisting of strips cut into; 1", 1,5", 2", 2,5", 3", 3,5", 4", 4,5" and some bigger squares.
It had been great making a scrap quilt out of all these strips - on a rainy day too! lol!


My previous post has a photo with view from my sewing room on a rainy and cloudy day. Here's the view on a sunny day - do you see the sea today? :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Backing turned into jiffy quilt

Have I confused you with the head line? Read on...
You may remember I made this quilt some time ago? The top is done, but I didn't decide on backing at that time. After some deep-thinking over the last couple of weeks, I decided to use leftover fabrics from the quilt to make the backing. I already had some pieces that were already cut into 4,5 inch strips, so I decided to re cut them into 14 inch long. I divided the fabrics into groups of colors; red, blue, purple/lilac etc. I thought I had enough fabrics, but I had to add a few light colors from my stash.

I kept cutting and adding strips horizontal and vertical....
As the supposed quilt backing progressed, I slowly changed my mind...
I love it too much using it for backing! A new quilt top was born - in a jiffy; hence the name "Jiffy Quilt". :)
It went really fast adding the strips together.

I'm very happy with it, because I have used fabrics from my oldest stash! Most of the fabrics I got from my friend Ragna (no blog) 4-5 years ago and some of the other fabrics I bought here (that long ago too) - when there still was a shop selling suitable cotton fabrics. No idea what happened to that shop; it's no more...

After finishing the quilt top, I was left with some strips. I've made two tops (in blue) for small table runners for our kitchen/dining room (forgot to take a photo of them), and two other table runners in purple/orange.

These are far outside my comfort zone when it comes to colors, and I think they look a bit dull too, don't they? My idea is to applique either some hibiscus in orange or green leaves to brighten it up a bit - what do you think? I'm also thinking of fussy cutting some hibiscuses for the applique....
Dear readers - I'll appreciate your opinion! :)


Diane (no blog) at NNC is organizing a 9-patch blocks swap. We voted for bright floral and white tone-on-tone, and to make two 12,5 inch blocks each. We are only five participants.
Here are the two blocks I've made for the swap.

I have already received two blocks from Janet - thanks Janet! :)


And finally.... "Marion's Quilt" (from my previous post).
I thought a border would be nice, and here it is. I added red, yellow and red strips together and did a mitered border. It's the first time I didn't have to struggle with mittered borders! :))
Now it's ready for batting & backing! :)


"Winter-weather" in Mauritius!

The photo is taken from my sewing room a couple of days ago, when we had such a lousy weather. On sunny days I see the sea from here.... Do you see the sea?!
Right now I'm seeing the sea, from where I'm sitting. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Marion's Quilt

I'm not sure I have much to tell, simply because I haven't done much lately.
Well, that's not the right way to say it... I have done quite a lot, but most of what I have done are secret swaps and therefore no photos allowed until the recipients have received it. :)

Remember I did some log cabin blocks awhile ago (here)?
Last week I spent some days assembling the blocks. 

It looks like Birre-Liten likes it, or he wants to tell me there's something missing where he's sitting! :)) I thought so too; it looks like one row of blocks are missing on each side. Luckily I had more of the same blocks, so I added what I thought was missing.

I had to use red/yellow/pink blocks in the corners, but all in all I'm more satisfied with the look of this one; square.
I thought I had fabric for the border & binding, but no... I'll have to wait a couple of weeks before I get it and hopefully then I'll finish it.
This is going to be a gift for my dear friend Johnny's mother. She moved house this weekend, so I thought a quilt (for the winter) will keep her warm & comfortable.
I thought I had enough blocks for two lap quilts, but since I did the addition on this quilt, there are not enough blocks for another one... I've decided to put the remaining blocks aside and make more later on... I still have fabric from "Art to Heart", but not much left of "Cider Mill Road" - as I've used in this quilt.