Tuesday, September 12, 2023

How I Spent My Summer

I continued to work on UFOs this summer.  I made this block a couple of years ago then sidelined it after realizing I did not want to make a whole quilt with these blocks.  It is English paper pieced and called the Mandolin block, by Tales of Cloth.  I got this brain wave to turn the single block into a throw pillow and it was a very easy finish.  I appliqued the block to a square of fabric (it is a pale yellow and white polka dot), made a zipper closed back out of the same fabric, then used the bright pink to bind the edges, giving a piped look.  

It looks good on the slipper chair in a corner of the bedroom.  The pillow is 18" square but I used a 20" pillow form to give it a more stuffed look.

A few years ago, I began working on these circles for a quilt called Dot Dot Dot by Laundry Basket Quilts.  It can be made using any applique method you prefer.  I decided on machine applique but am kind of regretting not going with fusible web because it is a lot of work.  I cut out fabric circles as I was cutting for other projects, then every once in a while, I tackled some of my stash.  Last winter, I started basting the cut fabric circles around circles I cut from cardstock.

This summer, I began appliqueing the circles to the background fabric squares.  I use the #7 stitch on my Bernina 440Q machine, with the stitch set very short and narrow.  I'm using an off-white thread to match the background fabric and it is near invisible.  With this step nearly finished, I am almost ready to sew the blocks together.  

In July, I went on a wonderful vacation to Paris and Provence, France.  It was a group trip of eight women.  I added a couple of extra days up front in Paris by myself because I wanted to see Giverny, Claude Monet's home and gardens in Normandy where he painted the famous lily pad paintings.  It is about an hour train ride from Paris and really worth seeing.  It was quite crowded but still a great experience.  

The first "official" day of the trip, we went on a food tasting walking tour of the Left Bank area of Paris.  It was wonderful, with the best eclairs I've ever eaten!  

The next day was Bastille Day which the French celebrate with a military parade.  We watched the flyover from a bridge by Notre Dame (closed to the public while undergoing restoration from the fire) which was pretty impressive.  

Saturday, we took the train to Avignon and moved into our "villa" for the week, a six-bedroom, six bath house with a huge kitchen, living and dining rooms, outside patio dining, and a swimming pool.  A caterer brought our dinner every evening and we ate outside.  During the day, we visited little towns and villages.  The outdoor markets are a lot of fun.  It was an excellent time, very relaxing, with great company.  

I was home for 10 days then drove to Michigan to visit my mother.  My sister flew in from Boston and the three of us went "up north" to Traverse City for a few days of lakeside beach, wineries, restaurant meals, and cherries.  This area is the cherry growing capital of the US and you can get cherry everything.  It was a very good time too.  

Now, back to regular life.  I am still working on Dot Dot Dot and have a new project in mind, but more about that later.

photo signature_zps7mcw44cc.png