Monday, August 30, 2010

Accumulation of quilt tops and a win

How many quilt tops do you have that is waiting to be sandwiched?!
Just say it - I know you have some, don't you?! :))
I have too many at the moment! By "too many" I mean four that are done (the tops);

1) Split Hourglass quilt
2) Hello Betty
3) Marion's quilt
4) Mystery quilt

5) Pinwheel quilt*
6) Polar Bear quilt*

Those marked with the *, the tops have yet to be finished.

These days I'm working on the Polar Bear quilt. It's a challenge, because the blocks are four different sizes, and if that is not enough; the fabric is limited and I don't get more. I had to purchase approx 0.50 yards of some of the fabrics that are still available. Hopefully I'll get it at the end of this week...
My intention is to start sandwiching one of these quilts already this week...
I should not be tempted to start another project before at least half of these tops are quilted and finished!!!! :) If I do - please remind me - lol! :)

This is how it looks like now... I have added together some of the blocks. I'm not sure how to proceed, need to take the fabric into consideration...

I fell head over heal for this design!

A while ago I bought a layer cake and jelly roll; "Evening Mist" by Sentimental Studios (Moda). It has bothered me - lol - that I didn't find a suitable pattern for it, but some days ago the pattern was just there, in front of my eyes - in a magazine.
This is just part of the quilt. I had to purchase fabric for the inner- and other border, so this one is "on hold". :)
While waiting for the purchased fabrics, I hope to get my *** moving and start sandwiching - the most boring part of finishing a quilt - isn't it?!


I never win - and I'VE WON!!!!

I'm the OPAM 2010 winner for the month of July!!!! :)))
OPAM - One Project A Month - is hosted by Kris and Peg.
Peg sent me a Timeless Treasures charm pack; "Hampton Blues" and a darling
Lynette Anderson pattern; "Beehive Home". I LOVE IT ALL!!!
Peg, how did you guess my favorite color is actually blue?! :)
Thanks a big lot!!!


Yesterday I made yummy carrot- and ginger bran muffins....

Yes, I was greedy; had three of them yesterday itself - and more today! :)
Interested? Click for the recipe here.
Love the taste of ginger!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A little of this - a little of that

I wanted to do a post some days ago, but then I thought; I have nothing to show and tell, because I haven't sewn much lately - just a little bit... 

I think I'll start with something that makes me quite excited!

A fun swap - a fun contest!
Click HERE to read more about the swap/contest and to sign up.


I have done a little bit sewing over the last days though; tea coasters for an exchange. It's not a secret exchange this time, but I don't want to spoil the suspense by showing it before my exchange partner Usha in Malaysia has received it. :)

The last couple of days I've sewn a few more blocks for the Polar Bear quilt.

I still haven't decided how the quilt is going to be... I'll make some different blocks and then trying to figure out a design.

I like these blocks; Arkansas snowflakes - as they are called.


I participated in NNC's birthday exchange 2010. You can read more about the wonderful gift I received from Diane (no blog) here.
My birthday partner is Alynn over at My Cross-Stitch World.
Since this is a secret exchange, the participants don't know who their partner is until the parcel arrives. I was quite mean to Alynn - I sent the parcel approx one month before her birthday, so the poor girl had to live in suspense for weeks before she was allowed to open the secret gift! :)

I made a table runner for Alynn.

A close up...

You have guessed right; Alynn's favorite color is purple! :)
There's a little story behind the table runner; I spent weeks figuring out what to make, and in the end I decided on two different blocks. The set-in parts in the lilies were a little bit tricky - I made only one mistake (that went into the bin!). :))
My intention was not to make it as big as it turned out to be, but taking the lilies pattern into consideration, I believe it had been difficult (at least for me!) to make the blocks smaller. (Total size: approx 18 x 49 inch / 0.45 x 1.25m).
I forgot to take photos of the other small gifts, but over at Alynn's blog you can see what she got from me as well as read more about it. 
I'm glad you like it, Alynn! :)  


Have you ever tasted zucchini brownies? Or apple brownies?
 I'm a follower of Lori's blog, and this is the second time I'm trying one of her recipes. I tried the zucchini brownie recipe; it turned out delicious! Lori, thanks for sharing the recipe!
Click here for the recipe.
(I forgot to take a photo!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mystery Quilt revealed and WIP's

The mystery quilt "Sun Burst" by Susan Claire at Gourmet Quilter, was revealed on August 1st. It consists of 6 parts - done over 6 months.
This was the first time I've done a mystery quilt... The quilt turned out much better than what I had expected. When I worked on the first parts, I thought it would be too many stars! I got tired of them! But what to expect when the quilt is called "Star Burst"?! :)

The photo isn't very good - of course it had to start blowing when I got the quilt top out on the porch - but you get an idea how it looks like.
It was the first time I've done a mystery quilt. I don't think that's going to be my craze. I enjoyed doing this one, but I'm not sure I'll do other mystery quilts.


I have some quilt tops ready to be sandwiched - yes, I know - should have done them - but that does not prevent me from starting a couple of new projects - does it?!

Last year I purchased fabrics from the "Arctic Adventure" collection  The fabrics have been sleeping in the closet ever since - almost... I don't know how many times I got it out of the closet for so to get it in again, simply because I couldn't decide on any pattern or what to make.
The fabrics had been on my sewing table for some weeks before I finally decided to cut out the pictures from the panel. Thereafter I decided on two blocks I'm going to use. Here's one of the blocks and one of the pictures from the panel. I believe it's going to be a bed size quilt, but have no idea about the size yet...

I have some Tina Givens fabrics from different collections I wanted to use for something.  I used two of her fabrics making this quilt, and I do love it! It has become my snuggle-quilt! :) I came across a very easy pattern in a magazine and started cutting fabrics right away! :)
The first block I made - 10 inch square.


Here are a few more....

It's going to be a bed size quilt. I need 24 blocks for the center and 40 smaller blocks  for the corners - hope I have enough fabrics for the blocks, but I believe I'll have to purchase a couple of yards for the top and bottom as well as the binding...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Another day out

We didn't really plan the day out Tuesday this week, but we decided to go North. We longed for a good walk, but didn't have any fixed plans were to walk. We are a bit "allergic" to plans; we prefer take things as they come...

We could have taken a bus heading North not far from where we live, but instead we walked it down to Rose Hill. DH insisted there's a "taxi-train" going between Rose Hill and Flacq... Even when he asked the taxi driver if he goes to FLACQ - the taxi driver said "YES"! When he started driving, we noticed he went in an opposite direction than we were supposed to go! When DH asked again if he's not going to Flacq, he said: "No, I'm going to FLAT"! While clearing up the misunderstanding and confusion, another taxi came and gave us a lift back to the taxi stand in Rose Hill! We got it confirmed that there is no "taxi-train" running between Rose Hill and Flacq!!!
What a start! LOL!
I think I should explain "taxi-train"... It's not an ordinary taxi, but one that waits for passengers to fill up the car, which means cheaper rates for everyone than an ordinary taxi. DH is not sure the expression "taxi-train" is in use by the younger generation today, but in earlier years it was widely used.

The town Flacq isn't much to write home about; a rather boring inland town.
It was already lunch time when we reached Flacq. Around a corner we came across a Hare Krishna guy selling vegetable burgers, cakes etc.

I've always heard they are making delicious, vegetarian food - and I was right! I had a burger and DH some cakes. Even the brown burger bread was much tastier from what we're used to where we live. I can still remember the taste of mustard from the burger dressing - delicious!

We had a quick stop at the quite new shopping center in Flacq, where we bought chocolate and Doritos (chips), before we took the bus to Goodlands - another typical Mauritian town. It has a very crowded main street; shops on each sides and the traffic also goes through the town center - quite chaotic - if you ask me!

I detest crowded and polluted places - like Goodlands - so we got into a "taxi-train" heading for one of my favorite places on the island; Grand Gaube - a rather small fishing village.

I have always loved this place for its tranquility and picturesque position.

I can't get my eyes off this beauty of a restaurant in Grand Gaube! It's stunning! I believe it belongs to the Veranda Paul  & Virginie hotel. I love its architecture and the fact that there's a path between the hotel and the restaurant, where people have access to the public area! Not all hotel managements allow that.
We had a rest here, sitting on a bench under a huge tree, eating the chocolate and Doritos (chips) we bought in Flacq. :)

Since we were out for a walk and still hadn't had one  - except from home to Rose Hill - we decided to walk the coastal road from Grand Gaube to Cap Malheureux (fishing village and the most northerly town) . We have walked the distance some years ago, but didn't remember how far it is. It was already almost 3 o'clock in the afternoon so we shouldn't miss the last bus home!
We asked a couple of guys for the distance, where one said 6-8 km (4-5 miles). The other guy said it's about 45 minutes walk - and not to forget their surprise when we said we'll walk it up; MARI LOIN!!! Very far - LOL!
Mauritians don't walk - that's a fact! :))

DH refilled the water bottle from a public tap in Grand Gaube before we headed - by foot - to Cap Malheureux. We thought; if we can't manage the distance, there's always a bus...

After some kilometers walking, we met two women cutting (harvesting) sugar canes. DH had a chat with them and we were told we were halfway to Cap Malheureux.

The sugarcane harvest usually begins in July and lasts up to end of November. Many people still do it using a kind of machete. It's heavy work and I do admire the women working in the fields.


An old - now protected monument - sugarcane factory chimney.

On the roadside; black lava rocks partly hidden by gorgeous red flowers.

Not everywhere there's a bus stop like this one! :)

The famous Cap Malheureux church - with the red roof.

Imagine we were laughing, after walking 6,5 km (4 miles) only! For most of the locals this is a very long distance - for us; a short walk.
I bought some postcards at a souvenir shop in Cap Malheureux, before we headed to the bus stop for the bus to Port Louis.
The bus trip from Cap Malheureux took more than 1 hour; it was dark when we finally arrived at Gare du Nord in Port Louis. DH was hungry and wanted something to eat before another almost one hour bus trip home, but Port Louis was "dead"! All shops were closed, the market (food court) was closed... every little shop closed - before 7 o'clock in the night - Port Louis' "dead".
We walked it to Victoria Square (bus stand), went into the bus heading home - we thought.... Since it was dark, we couldn't see properly where it went, but definitely not the road it should go... Well, it ended up the engine made a strange sound so the bus did only a circle for so to return to the bus stand! We had to jump into the next bus...
Another one hour by bus - then 15 minutes walking - and finally -
home sweet home! :))
An eventful trip to the Northern part of the island, and even if we didn't get to walk as much as we hoped for, we did about 11 km (approx 7 miles).

Mark Twain quote;
"You gather the idea that Mauritius was made first, then the heaven; and that heaven was copied after Mauritius"...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Yes I can FMQ and other updates

As I've mentioned earlier, I haven't had time for any sewing over the last couple of weeks - just a little bit cross-stitching while waiting for a slow Internet connection.
Some weeks earlier - when I made this quilt - I also decided to make two table mats for the kitchen and dining-room.
The table mats are small, and after reading Michelle's blog and post about FMQ (Free Motion Quilting), I was determined to try it too! Thank you Michelle, for posting about FMQ! You have encouraged me to jump into it too! :)

My camera doesn't take the best closeup photos, but if you click on the photo you should get a better idea how my first attempt on FMQ went. It went better than I had expected, but I realize I need a lot of practice to manage an even movement on the project I'm quilting to get the same stitch length.
I consider buying this Free Motion Slider - is there any of you using it? Do you use gloves when FMQ? I believe the most important is a right sitting position, where hands and shoulders are relaxed. After doing these two small table mats, I felt pain in my shoulders and elbows...
In this post Michelle recommends a couple of books for FMQ. I have purchased the books, but won't get them until middle August - I have to wait for another book that is not published yet.

The table mat for a small corner table in the dining-room.

Table mat for the kitchen cupboard.


Saturday last was like Christmas Eve - if not even better! We hadn't been to the post office since Wednesday noon - and this is what DH brought home;

As you can see - Birre-Liten doesn't bother about the parcels!

And this is what was inside the parcels;

The three light fabrics are tone-on-tone cream and white, while the others are batiks. Before you ask me what I'm using it for; some of the batiks are for the NYB blocks while the blue ones in the middle are for a bed cover. The tone-on-tones are: just good to have! lol


This is what has kept me busy over the last couple of weeks;

When the tile layer did our floors 3 years ago, his assistants didn't do the grouting as it should be - the joints were too deep - according to me. Everyone knows what too deep joints mean; dust collectors! :(
Last year I re-did the joints in the kitchen- and dining-room and now I've done the TV-room, stairs & corridor and the main bathroom. I didn't have this tool they use for grouting; I used the kitchen spatula - and the grouting was done in a jiffy! LOL!
The worst was the cleaning afterwards! Fine grout dust everywhere, and even if we have cleaned the floors several times already, I feel there are more of this fine dust...