Wednesday, December 29, 2021

What I've Been Up To - Part 2

And just like that, I went on another trip!

A vacation to European Christmas markets has long been on my travel bucket list.  I've been following a small travel company called A Girls' Guide to Paris and Beyond on social media so when I received a promotional email in the late summer about their upcoming trips, I visited the website to see what was up.  One of the Christmas market trips got my attention so after thinking it over, I signed up.  This was not a destination that interests Mr. Main Street (too much shopping for him) and he was supportive about me going on my own.  But with A Girls' Guide to Paris trips, you are not on your own; rather, you have an experienced guide and the company of others on a small, women only trip.  

I landed in Paris on Thanksgiving Day and spent a few days there on my own, visiting museums, shopping, and walking, walking, walking (setting new personal records on my Fitbit with as much as 11 miles a day!).  And I ate really well.  

Christmas lights on the Chanel store on Rue St. Honore, near my hotel.

Ferris wheel in the Tuileries Gardens

Notre Dame, undergoing reconstruction after the fire damage

On Nov. 30, I took the train to Strasbourg where I joined the travel group.  We visited the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, Obernai, Mulhouse, Eguishem, and Colmar, with walking tours of Strasbourg and Colmar, cathedrals, a castle, an outdoor museum, wine tastings, and a cooking class.  Lots of Christmas shopping and great food to eat!

The group of ladies I traveled with in Mulhouse (that's me on the far left)

Strasbourg Cathedral rose window

Christmas market 


I had a fabulous time and would do this kind of trip again.  If you'd like to know more about the Christmas markets in Strasbourg, watch this video from YouTube.

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Thursday, December 23, 2021

APQ Quiltalong Square Dance Quilt Finished

Last March, I joined a quilt along led by American Patchwork & Quilting magazine, making the quilt Square Dance, designed by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life.  The blocks didn't take long to make but I dawdled over finishing.  Finally, the quilt is finished.

Dillie, one of our corgis, saw the camera and immediately began posing.  My fabric choices were inspired by the print on the left, from Laundry Basket Quilts for Andover Fabrics.  I pulled the fabrics for the blocks from a fat eighth bundle of assorted Laundry Basket Quilts fabrics and intended to use the floral print for the borders.  

But once I had the blocks finished and sewn together, in rainbow-ish order, I found the large floral too busy for the borders.  I ended up using a simple tone-on-tone print in light navy (from another Laundry Basket line called Olive Branch) and though you can't really see it, I used a kiwi green tone-on-tone for the binding.  The background is Kona Cream, with a simple beige floral for the sashing posts.

The quilting is a large, curvy floral pantograph.  

This quilt is easy enough for a beginner and the blocks go together quickly.  The blocks are 9" square so it is easy to make the quilt larger or smaller to suit your needs.

This is my last post before Christmas.  We're having a small family celebration at home and I am looking forward to a few days of relaxation.  I hope your celebration is a merry one!

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Monday, December 20, 2021

What I've Been Up To

Wow, I last posted on Sept. 8.  All good here but quilting was taking a back seat to other activities for a time.  

First, #finallyavacation!  Mr. Main Street and I were scheduled to go on a Mediterranean cruise to various Greek ports in April 2020 but of course, it was cancelled when travel shut down at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.  The cruise was rescheduled several times until finally, in late September, we were able to go.  We flew to Athens where we stayed a few days prior to joining our cruise ship.  It felt as safe as possible as all on the ship were vaccinated, we had a test just prior to embarking, then a couple of tests along the way.  We never experienced any problems and had a very good time.  My favorite parts of the trip were Athens, the port of Katakolon where we toured the site of the ancient Olympic Games, and hiking just above Amalfi, Italy.  

The Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens

Our ship, Azamara Quest, seen from Santorini

Site of the ancient Olympic Games

View of Amalfi, Italy, (and our ship), taken while hiking.

We enjoyed this cruise so much that we are already signed up for another one next fall!

Once back home, I got back to work on Flowers for Emma, a quilt project with hexie flowers I had been working on for a couple of years as my portable project.  (Pattern by Sherri McConnell of A Quilting Life.)  My flowers were finished a while back but I had more applique work to do then sewing the blocks together with the sashing.  

I enlarged the quilt to 48 blocks, which is generous throw size (quilt holder husband is stretching to hold it up).  I marked the edges for a scalloped border, just need to get it quilted.

The hexie flowers are appliqued to four-patch blocks made up of low volume, mostly white fabrics.  Fabrics for the hexies are all from various Fig Tree Quilts lines for Moda, mostly from a fat quarter bundle of Chantilly that I won as a door prize at my LQS, Pennington Quilt Works.

I'm continuing to focus on unfinished and near-UFO projects cluttering up my sewing space.  I have another near finish so I will be back here soon.

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