Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Altura - the many miles quilt

I’ve shown this quilt before. It’s started with a few precut charm packs of batik fabric. I am not overly in love with batiks, I found them to difficult to read, somewhat muddy. Still those had caught my eyes with their happy colors.

I only work of those blocks when I am travelling, and preferably in flights. And since they are needle turn appliquéed, I am not expecting to finish this anytime soon. So far I have 64 squares done.

Slow progress is still progress. And I like the idea of associating this quilt with some holiday memories (some of the blocks have been literally around the world).

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Sunday finds - SF 3

I did plan to do a Sunday Finds last Sunday, but obviously it did not happen. I was not prepared, I hadn’t not collected all the things I wanted to speak about, and honestly if I want this post to get out on Sunday, it really needs to be written by Friday night. Lesson learnt, I will aim to be better organized.

So here are my finds, some are new, some are old.

Meat free Monday
Do I see some eyes rolling? Where do I start? I am not a vegetarian, nor a vegan, but I am concerned by the state of our planet, by the state of our health… Years ago, I heart the McCartney’s campain, and to me everything they are saying make so much sense. Please go and read the About on the website. Then last week-end, I listened to a French podcast On va déguster: Cuisine végétale et bienfaisante (sorry, my non French speaker friends). I was in shock, a whole one-hour programme on vegetarism and how it is beneficial for the body and the planet on a French radio. I could elaborate on how this is surprising coming from French foodies. But I’d rather encourage you to give it a try. At first, it might feel like you have no idea what to cook (and that when you go to the Meat Free Monday recipes tab), then hopefully it will become a way of life. At first, I was very intentional about it, then I extended the Meat Free meals to my #craftytuesday gatherings (thank you my Friends to going along), and now it is part of our diet. I don’t think in term of what can I cook to replace a chicken casserole for example, but more in term of which flavors do I fancy today. Please, please give it a try and let me know what you think.

News stands
Have you notice all the christmas magazine covers on the news stands. It is too early, far too early and it makes me despise those holidays. Having said that, I pick the first issue of Goop, Gwyneth Paltrow’s magazine. First, let’s talk about the cover photo. Actually, I don’t know what to think about it: Gwyneth almost naked covered in mud with obvious nipple patches… Have I lost you already? It’s a wellness publication. The first issue goes from ’the power of healing and transformation of crystals' (?!) to some interesting lunch box recipes, to articles like ‘Find your inner sex goddess’ or ‘Adore your pelvic floor’ which is actually a hot subject for Gwyny (do a search on her site and see by yourself. Warning - you might want to do the search in a private setting)… netherless to say that the jury is out, just let me read it, and if you want to have a look at it ask for my copy.


Gladdening Light
Now I am not going all ‘guru’ on you with this Sunday Finds, but I want to point your attention to an upcoming event: The Gladdening Light Symposium on January 25-28, 2018 at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. The keynote address is Krista Tippet, the one from the podcast On Being. This will one more step in my soul searching journey.

Brioche
Now something very light. I want to learn how to brioche. I have seen this book recently: Knitting Fresh Brioche by Nancy Marchant, and I am obsessed by this stitch. I’ve done mono-colour brioche in the past, but it was very basic. This bi-colour technic is intriguine and the final results are gorgeous. I have two patterns in mind: the River Rock Scarf, which could be a perfect Xmas gift, and Carmine and Rocko in varigated yarn that give even more depth to the project. Those will have to wait, I currently have two major projects on my needles.

Have a wonderful week, and if you have a ‘thing’ to share, please let me know.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Slice and Insert improv quilts

Isn’t is time I blog about a quilty project? I think it is, and I have two finished quilts.

It all started a few months ago when Jacquie Gering came to our Guild for a week-end of workshop. I was lucky to take part in both classes: Crative quilting with the walking foot, and Slice and Insert improv. Those two classes were quite out of my comfort zone: I am not an improv person, and straight line quilting looks tricky to me! However having Jacquie teaching is such a treat, she is fun, shares lots of information, she makes everything easy.

Slice and Insert Improv class was quite fun and fulfilled my need for matching seams and clean lines. Initially, I planned to make one large piece, but the quilt(s) took a different direction.


I really like the architectural feel of these 2 quilts.


Next obvious step when making a Jacquie Gering kind of quilt, was straight lines quilting with my walking foot. Oh my! It look rather simple, but it is not that easy to sew a straight line. I chose to quilt narrow lines, 1/2 inch apart. The first quilt is quilt on the diagonal from edge to edge. That wasn’t fun or fast but at least I did not have to burry any threads. For the second quilt, I decided on a similar approach with horizontal lines, but before I highlined the H shape, probably not the best decision as I had a lot of stops and gos and therefore gazillions thread ends to burry.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sunday finds

Hello Friends, and welcome back to Sunday Finds!

A week ago, waiting for Irma

For this 2nd edition here are my 3 things:

Lets talk shoes
I love shoes, pointy shoes, colorful shoes, flats of heels, all of them. My new shoes are my current preferred one: flat, pointy, cool design and they are helping save the planet; they are knitted out of recycle material, they are washable. Here to see what they look like.

A new knitting project
A while ago, this cardigan has been on my queue for a while: Marmor from Regina Moesmerr. Look how perfect it is. So classy and timeless. It is knitted with Luft from Woolfulk. What can I say about this yarn: a mix of merinos and cotton, it is organic. The fibers are already knitted in a cord. I can’t wait to start working on this project, just waiting for my friend to come back. Who wants to knit along with us?

A missed opportunity
As much as Irma has been ‘gentle’ to us, she hasn’t been so kind to people around us, and lots are still out of power, like the Wildflower farm. We had planned to go there for a soap making class this weekend. I will have to report back on this later. I just can wait to go there and get to pet the goats (it’s too lake in the season for Goat Yoga).

Edit:  I do not receive any incentive to share those finds :)

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Cooking up a storm

First thing first! Thank you to all your well wishes, we made it through Irma with minimal damages: a few branches down and our already wobbly fence collapsed in several places. We are all safe: Victor came with a friend and Philippe made to Orlando on Friday. So after cleaning the yard, all seems almost back to normal in our little corner of the world. I wish it was the same for all around us.

Since then, I have been cooking non-stop, it might be some kind of post-stress reaction. So far we have:

  • Chicken casserole: thighs cooked in white vine, canned tomatoes, olives and herb from my garden.
  • Pull pork:  a pork shoulder cooking very very slowly with canned tomatoes (again), vinegar, ketchup, a pinch of sugar and lots of onions.
  • Hachis Parmentier: with left over of mash-potatoes, layered with ground beef cooked with lots of courgettes and chopped tomatoes, cheese on the top.
  • Spaghetti squash stuffed with the same ground beef and veggies mix.
  • Gallons of soup: leeks, carrots and courgettes julienned, slowly cooked with bacon bits and veggie stock.
  • Figue Clafoutis: substitut cherries by figues, because it’s what I had in the fridge.


That’s a lot of food considering that the guys of the family are going to be away by the end of the week. Nevermind, I will fill Victor’s bag with good food and will feel much better knowing that he has a few decent, healthy meals the the next few days.

Now I can go and catch up on sleep.

And here the Clafoutis recipe if you are interested.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sunday finds

I want to try something new today (and maybe on a regular basis if I can stick to some kind of routine), linking to three things that have grabed my attention recently.


This book
Altruism by Matthieux Ricard. Actually I am listening this one on OverDrive. I have been introduced to Matthieux Ricard via Krista Tippett’s Podcast On Being. I was intrigued, so I went to my local library and found Altruism. This is not light stuff, and since I have started reading it, it takes a lot of brain space and I talk a lot about it (ask my family…), but if you want to have a different view on life it is worth reading. Or you might want to read Matthieux Ricard’s blog.

[Side note, as I am copying the link to this book from Goodreads, there’s an ad for Outlanders on the side screen… Mr Algorism, you are making no sense]

This Podcast
A Friend to knit with from Leslie Friend. It is her first podcast and I am quite excited about this. I never met Leslie, but I feel that we are kind of friends, I have been following her blog forever, seen her kids grown (3, the same age of mines) and for no reason I feel some connection (weird? creepy?…). After this first episode, I know I am going to be in trouble: I always loved what she’s been knitting and now I don’t have to take notes, just follow the link from her blog.

This BOM
The Sewology block of the month by Pen & Paper Patterns: I do not need any new project, but really, this one is too cute to resist. And as a bonus, Lindsey offer some pretty freebies to get organized; I should probably start pulling fabric and get ready for the first block.

That’s it! Three things for now. Let me know what you think? Do you want to see more?

Actually, one more thing. This appeal from Brene Brown on Instagram: Let’s talk underwear, as we all want to help one way or the other.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Books, book, books…

I havn’t done a Play list post for a long time and for a good reason, I have been trying to buy less books/magazines. But this summer I had a relapse and got a few new things to add to my collection; I’ll blame summer and vacation for this.

Here are my new acquisitions:

  • 3 craft related books: The Curated Closed (I haven’t started reading it yet), Macramé and a Japanese pattern book

Macramé, it sounds very 70s but Fanny Zedenius brings a modern edge to the craft and her work is beautiful, just check out her Instagram feed.

Japanese Sewing pattern - all the instructions are in Japanese but it doesn’t really matter, the illustrations are very clear and detailed. All the tops are lovely and once I’ve figured out the sizing I hope to make several of them.

  • 3 magazines: Selvedge, QuiltMania and Quiltfolk

Selvedge - every single page is full of inspirational pictures. What do you think of these indian colorful elephants, the red embroidered gimham jacket, the serene white outfit or this black & white quilt?

Quiltmania - I do have a soft spot for the Churn Dash block and Quiltmania, so with the block on the cover of the magazine, you know why I had to get it!

Quiltfolk - it is the third issue of this new (to me) magazine. It is a large format, nice thick paper. It introduce you to quilting communities accross the country and in this issue it explores Hawaii. The pictures and the quilts are beautiful. I love it when a magazine is as beautiful as a book and it makes me want to try some Hawaiian hand appliqué.

A small forest has probably pay the price of my shopping spur, so if you want to borrow any of these (and you are local to me), please reach out.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Summer travels - Europe

Are you ready for the second part of our holidays?

First 3 very short days in London for Alice’s graduation. You know what I am going to say: “how comes she is already graduating?”, “where did time go?”, “she was just a baby yesterday!”…

Do I need to say how proud of her we are? Do I need to say how emotional I felt? Do I need to say how I am excited for all she has to come?

Then another 3 short days in Valencia, Spain visiting Victor who was there for his summer term. This boy had such a great year and again I am so excited for he has to come too.

I love some good street art and those skinny black fellas are all around Valencia (check David de Limon’s Instagram account for more)

And the food, what shall I say, I want all the food.

Now, promised, I’ll resume crafty posts shortly!