Saturday, 24 April 2010

Outside Inside

Deep blue sky and warm sun, warm enough for the huge Rheinaue Park to attract people with barbecues - if they are families then they often bring a wooden trailer with all the needs for the day, food, games and equipment. Badminton nets are set up, football games started and babies shaded. There is a great sense of relief all round that we have the warm weather we think we deserve...

We began by going to the optician and choosing some new glasses for me. I still like the ones I have but the surface of them has deteriorated over the years and they look as though they need cleaning but cleaning doesn't help. I chose some of the new 'Switch-it' lenses so that I can buy different colours and styles of the interchangeable sidebars (is that what they're called?) and nose pieces. Quite an ingenious idea. Of course, the varifocal lenses were horrifically expensive but they are what I need and spaced out over the years I have had my last lot it doesn't seem that much to spend. Even after all the detailed close work I've been doing, my eye test revealed no change in the last six years. I was so pleased.

Then Stuart and I went into the park (there are no gates - our community is on the river and adjoins the park) and had a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants, sitting in the sun, gave Logan a walk round one of the lakes and then came home - simple but lovely. Here is a sample of the blossom just now:

And then Stuart did some work and I made another Nearly Insane block:

So a nice mixed day - now for a pot of tea...

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Block 20

Moving forward with the Nearly Insane little bit by little bit. I need to be more careful cutting my spotted fabric in the right direction.

I was meant to by flying to England today for a couple of days to visit my parents but have been so irritated by the volcano and its consequences that I've cancelled and will fly over in two weeks instead. The flights for German Wings are seemingly going to plan today but I had spent so many days thinking 'Will I be able to go, won't I be able to go?' that I got sick of it. There were worrying comments online that short haul flights were likely to be cancelled or delayed to make way for getting people home to Britain from long haul destinations. As I was only going early Friday morning and flying back late Saturday night, it didn''t make sense for me to sit at the airport for hours - it just wouldn't have been worth me going. Luckily, my parents aren't too disappointed as my visit is now only two weeks away.

So, a suddenly free weekend - Stuart and I have found a lovely place for brunch either Saturday or Sunday, the weather is getting warmer for the weekend and I plan to sew, sew, sew... (lost a bit more weight and the sewing keeps me away from the fridge which is a Good Thing).

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Block #19 Nearly Insane

Finished this one today.

And just look at the magnolia now - so luxuriant.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Sewing again...

This the beach at Noordwijk in Holland where Stuart and I went for a couple of days last week. We were very lucky with the weather; it was warm and very sunny, cloudless skies. There was a chill wind but we ate dinner sitting outside at a beach restaurant with glass wind protection and saw a wonderful sunset.
Our hotel was at the quietest end of Noordwijk and this is how I like my beaches - wide and empty. The dog loved it too.
This photo is of one of the tulip fields as we left the Keukenhof bulb and flower gardens at Lisse in Holland. I took it from the car window as we drove by - lots of these tulip fields look like abstract paintings.

Where have I been for the last two weeks? Doing research for my family tree and I don't think I've ever done anything in my life that is so addictive. Unlike a lot of families, I don't have many anecdotes handed down about members of my family - both my parents come from large families and seem to know very little about great-aunts, cousins, etc. I have found myself intensely following the trail of documents available online and alternately getting frustrated, overjoyed, sad and incredibly excited at the thrill of the chase and the real lives that I'm discovering along the way. Quilting has been put on the back burner but now I'm back at work for the new school term and I will not have so much time and quilting will take over until the summer holidays (or maybe a bit at weekends). The problem is that an hour is not enough - there is always just another search you can do that may turn up something interesting. As I say, addictive. Off for dog walk now and then to finish Nearly Insane Block 19 which is coming along very nicely.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Block # 18 (229 pieces)

At last, it's done. I have a few things to say about this one!

Firstly, if you start it, finish it - don't leave it for five months half done because you won't want to come back to it - ask me how I know.

Secondly, because of the number of little triangles, it doesn't seem possible to get the colours to go symmetrically so you end up with 'odd' bits in the pattern. I did not copy hers exactly because I didn't like two consecutive sides of flying geese and then different patterns on the other two sides so I tried to make all the triangles go the way I wanted - foolish wilfulness! I've still ended up with a pattern that doesn't quite work but that is partly because I made a couple of mistakes. I will correct these before I put the quilt together otherwise they will bother me...

Thirdly, it struck me that if I had put together 229 larger pieces I would have a complete quilt top and not a 6 inch square, which is a strange feeling.

And lastly, I just want to say that I've been seriously wondering about Salinda Rupp and her motivation for doing this. What was she thinking of? We are doing this because we see the construction of her quilt as a challenge and that's where I'm getting my satisfaction (and it looks good). But she did this for herself. When you are on the umpteenth tiny triangle and matching all those points and seams, you can't help asking yourself if this woman was seriously bored and deliberately setting herself challenges or did she have so much time on her hands that she had to make everything complicated? It wasn't just the look of it because there are already other blocks that look similar. Maybe she had a competitive friend who was making a similar one and they egged each other on to greater complexity but the other quilt is lost. Who knows, but I certainly couldn't help myself reaching back through the years to try and understand her.

Off to the hairdressers now, shall probably doze off while having my hair done!

Saturday, 3 April 2010


Happy Easter to everyone! No chocolate for me, though. We did the usual Easter things a week early because my daughters were here, so the chocolate is done. Having lost 5.2 kg now, I don't want to go back up the chart again.

I've been doing lots of family tree research and am totally involved with it - it has given my sore quilting finger a welcome rest. I have, though, nearly finished the Nearly Insane block that was hanging over me - I shall have conquered it later and prove it with a photo. Off to speed walk now.