Monday, 23 November 2015

Petite pièce

After last week biggie, here is a tiny.  I made it for Alice’s Bday.  I’ve started long before the due date, but still did not manage to finish it on time.  I should really learn my lesson

Finish the top
Make the sandwich

(for my non-quilter friends, it has nothing to do with BLT, it’s a fabric sandwich, still very yummy)

It shouldn’t be difficult!

Log cabin2
The main fabrics are a variety of Cotton and Steel.  The background ones are from some other sources (which I can’t remember, which is a shame as I really love the ‘I make stuff’ one).

Log cabin

The tiny heart is made of 1” stripes, a lot of tiny stripes – I don’t think I’ll make a king size quilt out of them.

Log cabin1   Love the little details :)

Monday, 16 November 2015

The meaningful quilt

I had so many other titles for this post

The Big Bad Ugly Quilt
The Wedding Quilt
Sooo Slooow Sewed
Once upon a time
Better late than never
The Imaginary Quilt
MP & B before Bb’s
The long lost quilt
The Beast

Now here is the story behind the quilt.  Once upon a time, my very young God-Daughter got married with her very young sweet-heart…  I was not so young, but I had 3 very very very young kids, a travelling husband, a full time job… and I should have known better… still I decided to make a quilt for the young couple… and I told them…

Of course, the quilt was started but never really finished.  At first, the couple teased me - when are we getting our quilt?  But with time they dropped the subject… And then we moved (nothing new here, it is the story of our life).  Then they moved, more than once.  They started a family.  And honestly, it was much more fun to knit little cardis, tops for the Bbs, it’s fast, the Bbs looked cute in them = instant gratification.  Still I had the big big guilt hanging around, and this half finished quilt made it more than once on my UFOs list…  So this year, 10 years later, I though it was time to move on.  And honestly, MP & B are still married 10 years later, they deserve this quilt ;)

Construction wise, the centre had been done a few years ago.  I added a border and felt it was a bit too small.  I pieced second border – still too small, so I added a third border.  Now it is big enough, not quite a king size but very close.

Search results for Wedding Quilt1

The blocks: each blocks are made from one dark and one light triangle.  The first seam is at 1/4” parallel to the long side of the triangle, then 2 more seams on each side of a line drawn parallel to the firs seam.  Then you cut on the line, obtaining a large bicolour square, and some sort of a sleeve which is then chopped resulting in 5 small HSTs.  The main seams are on the bias which makes it challenging for beginners (which I consider I was 10 years ago).  I love this block because once you have your 6 HSTs then it’s all fun… there are so many way to arrange them.

Search results for Wedding Quilt

This quilt has been started at a time when machine quilting or long arm quilting was not part of my world.  Up until 5-6 years ago I was hand quilting all my quilts.  And that was my original intention for this one, but honestly I don’t think I want to have this quilt unfinished for the next 10 years.

Now it’s where I must send a very big THANKS to my quilting friends (#quiltingfriendsarethebest).  They pushed me, they nagged me, they teased me, they even let me borrow their long arm machine, they pushed a bit more until I finished free motion quilting the borders on my domestic machine…

Wedding Quilt

So now 10 years and almost 3 months later, I can proudly show you the MP&B before Bb’s wedding quilt!

Wedding Quilt2

On a closer inspection, you might be horrified by my choice of fabrics.  I need to explain a bit on this subject.  I didn’t choose my best fabrics.  Actually, I put in some pretties, some uglies, some pieces were new, some were recycled from our wardrobe (baby’s clothes, husband’s shirt…), and most of all nothing is coordinated.  I put all the dark fabrics in a bag, all the light ones in a different bag, closed my eyes and pulled one triangle out of each bag.  It does make some very un-conventional combinations.  And really when I think about it, it makes the perfect wedding quilt because when you get into a marriage you come with some baggage, with some pretty-happy bits, but also with some not-so-pretty, not-so-happy bits.  In the end everything goes in and you make it works.  You might notice things that don’t work together if you look closely, but the big picture is different and harmonious.  I’m so please that I waited that long to finish it, I’m so glad that the 2 non-pieced borders are not of the same fabric but very close, just like their two kids, different but similar, bidding the whole thing together.

Wedding Quilt1The whole process has been very slow, not always enjoyable, many times I though of giving up and now I’m so happy to have produce this meaningful quilt, and I really wish it will be with them for a very long time.

Monday, 9 November 2015


20-year old – this is how old/young is my first child!  The one who made a mum of me, the one who made a family of us.  The one who’s always been so mature.  Our caring, beautiful, grown up girl.  The big sister, the crazy cat lady, the world traveller…

Sorry Alice, I know your friends might see this post and make fun of these pictures…

000 Temp10 000 Temp9
For the 4th year now, we are not around to celebrate her birthday (still it did not stop us from having cake :)…  I can’t wait for Thanksgiving's week when we go to London and we can have some time together.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Our (almost) vegan week

Remember, last week I said we’ve been raising activist kids.  So this week I am presenting my Vegan boy.  Yes, your heard it write Victor is gone V E G A N… actually, it is an experiment for a month.  All started with his Environmental Studies Course and a documentary they watch in class:  Cowspiration – The film that environmental organizations don’t want you to see! (such a cheesy subtitle).  It is available on Netflix, has been produced by Leonardo di Caprio.  I haven’t finished watching it (yet), I have mixed feeling about this documentary, there are some very interesting facts but I don’t (really don’t) like the conspiracy tone of it, I found it quite catchy and to my opinion it lessen the impact of the whole thing.  However, if you are interested, you should watch it and probably read this post which summarises quite a lot of what I think.

Anyway, back to my subject, Victor, who used to be the biggest meat-eater of our family, has asked me to cook vegan while he was with us on holiday.  So here it is:

Vegan week From left to right and top to bottom
Carrots and Pumpkin soup, Tofu and Tomato salad with Sesame spinach, Lentils Kale Tomato and Avocado Mexican-ish Salad
Breakfast Fries with Polenta Salad, Tomato and Three-bean salad, Chickpeas Tomato Coriander-Potato chips Soup
Squash Risotto, Pure Vegan – where I got most of my recipe for this week, Broiled Tofu Carrots and Shiitake Mushrooms

Honestly, it hasn’t been too difficult to cook this week vegan.  What I learnt is that rather than trying to replace animal protein with something else, I just had to think our meal totally differently.  Ok, not exactly a revelation, I’ve been practicing for a while with Meat Free Monday.  However going vegan means no egg, no milk, no honey… and NO MILK in my coffee does NOT happen so it made me thinking a bit further.  Is cow milk really really bad compared to almond milk?

I read this article from the New Yorker (I love the New Yorker!)  ‘… the battle between Team Almond Milk and Team Cow Milk is surely the wrong fight. It’s monomania borne of monoculture. Our faith in the power of one ingredient—pomegranates, kale, Greek yogurt, acai—to save us, heal us, give us eternal life, perfectly mirrors our post-war cropping style: single-minded devotion to the One, and pure hatred for the Other.’

Now I can go on a long argument how human beings are the problem in general, how we are so very dam blind that we don’t do anything about anything that is bad for us...  But I suspect that you don’t come and visit my blog for this kind of talk.

Just another thought: ‘Some will argue that the measurement of gallons per pound isn't fair -- we should consider water consumed per gram of protein. In this case, pulses (including beans, lentils, peas, etc.) win out at 5 gallons per gram of protein, followed by eggs at 7.7 gal./gram, milk at 8.2 gal./gram, and chicken at 9 gal./gram. The numbers only go up from there, with beef topping the scale, requiring 29.6 gallons of water per gram of protein.’  This comes from this article from the Huffington post.

So now that Victor is back home, we are getting back to a vegetarian-flexitarian diet, trying our best to be mindful while choosing what to eat, beef hasn’t been a big part of our diet for a long time anyway.

And it is going to be party time, because I received Jamie’s latest book !


Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Girl Power - raising activists

I don’t know how this happened! Actually, let me rephrase this, I think I know how this happened and still I’m surprised and impressed: it looks like we have been raising activist kids, kids with convictions and values…
Introducing Juliette – my little one, my shy one, ‘ma douce’ (my sweet one, as Victor used to call her when she was a baby)… the one who took the stand in front of her pairs during a whole school assembly because she felt the urgency to share her thoughts about last year terrorist attacks in France… And my baby has some strong convictions when it comes to feminism.  So she asked me to make her a special T-shirt for her school Home-Coming week – the theme: Heroes vs. Villains.
Girl power Ts
The concept was: a T-shirt with the feminist symbol (the fist in the feminine circle) surrounded by flowers, a bandana around her hair like the We-can-do-it girl from the war time poster, paired with her shortest skirt because no girl should be expel from school for what she wears!
Girl power Ts1
That’s my girl!
Crafty-wise, I had fun appliquéd the symbol and the fussy-cut flowers on her T-shirt.  I really hope she’ll wear it again.
Next time, I’ll tell you all about my vegan boy.