Monday, 29 July 2013

3 Sleeps...

....left and then we're out of this there hot house and somewhere a little more comfortable.

As Julys in Marrakech go, this month has been 'exceptionnelle' with temperatures hovering comfortably around the mid thirties most of the time but the Sahara Chergui wind is on its way and over the next few days, temps will will hit the mid forties (around 115°F).

So to say the least, very little sewing has been done round here. However, Zaki and I are off to my mum's and she has been sewing and has just finished her first quilt!

No, no...not this...this isn't a quilt, silly!

My mum loves to paint but it has been a while since she has done so as a couple of years ago she rediscovered sewing.  Growing up, I remember her making clothes - they were run up in an afternoon and you never inspected the inside, she screen painted silk and made lampshades, did needlepoint, knitted and embroidered.

She is good at whatever she turns her hand to and is incredibly creative. Recently, she has been doing these fusions of cross stitch needlepoint and appliqued fabric The amazing Dodo up there (I love that bit of Amy Butler Lark fabric in the centre) and these are her waterlilies inspired by The Majorelle Gardens here in Marrakech.

But a few *ahem* months ago (think the gestational period of a dolphin), she decided to make a quilt and this week, after much badgering motivation from across the seas, she finally finished it!

She used a pattern from Jane Brocket's The Gentle Art of Quilt Making and I think she has done an amazing job. Look at the lovely wrinkly texture the quilting gives it...

...she hand stitched the vertical lines and FMQd in the focus fabric - go her!

Why then is she saying this will be her last quilt? Despite having reserved a couple of very clever stitchy blog names, she hasn't ever blogged - pleading time and technology constraints yada yada yada which I think is just downright selfish ;) So if you like what you see, leave a suitably motivational comment (she'll be reading alright) and perhaps she might make another! And anyway, she can share her other stitchy creations  :)

I shall try and share with you before I leave what little stitching I have done...unless that Chergui gets me first!

Monday, 15 July 2013

FAL 3rd Quarter

Well I'm not sure why I'm putting me or you through this again after the second quarter was such a washout with none of the four quilts on the list anywhere near finished, we have hot weather gauranteed for the next couple of months and I'll be in England for August but hey, there's always September!

So here's my list for what I would like to finish over the next 3 months.

My beautiful Stitch Tease quilt! I think I might add a scrappy border to it but this is definitely high on the list and will be done!

My Godson's quilt, which has made some progress and I'm nearly done quilting it..I 'm not happy with it but if I procrastinate any more he'll be too long to lie under it. I would like to finish this so that I can take it back with me next month and finally hand it over...but with temperatures in the late 30's early 40s I'm not taking bets.

What else? Oooh, my giant Cameo star quilt...I have the backing so just need some batting and binding.

...and just to make the list extra fun, let's add in my orange aqua and grey hexie quilt...yes, a hand sewn project!

I think that's more than enough especially given I have bee blocks and other sewing commitments which are long overdue!

Wish me luck...with 7 hours to go, I'm linking up with Leanne at She Can Quilt.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Past, Present and Future

...and I'm back!

Wow, that was a blogging break...after 5 weeks of reading no blogs, writing no posts and no sewing and my unread posts toppling 1000, I think it's time to take stock.

My TEFL course is done - I lived and breathed it for a month, seven days a week. It was worth the 6 am starts, the 1am finishes and the working day of input sessions and teaching practice, the fleeting glimpses of family, the bad diet and occasional bad humor. I made new friends, learned a ridiculous amount, had fun, cried tears but I passed and can now teach English as a foreign language!

Anyway, I am so glad I had a break...the weirdest thing happened when half way through the course I could hardly recognize my quilts - I looked at them and I couldn't believe that I had made them. It was good to do something meet new people, share new experiences and has made me love this adopted country again and appreciate the things I make. All good.

I know I have missed so much but have no hope of catching up so will press the Mark as Read button and move on. A couple of highlights which I have caught up on is the wonderful work done by Jude and her Bee Blessed ladies to finish the Siblings Together quilt top I made back in May. I asked for help to finish it here and Jude immediately put her hand up. I so want to meet Jude but I guess I shall have to wait a little longer. In the meantime, this is the completed quilt - thank you so so much. I love it! Jude will be taking it with her to the FQR this week before handing it over..

Siblings Together Quilt 001
Siblings Together quilt top (photo courtesy of Jude)
Another highlight was Cindy and her partner receiving a secret quilt which a group of us made for them. Cindy and Brian had had a tough springto say the least and well it seemed a good idea to make them a quilt. A bunch of far flung friends across the globe made some blocks and sent them to Susan who beautifully coordinated the whole thing, including collating the blocks, piecing them, basting, quilting and embroidering the quilt before packing it off to Ireland. The quilt is appropriately called Circle of Friends after the book by the late Maeve Binchy.
Circle of Friends quilt courtesy of Susan
I'm sure there are loads of things I have missed but I can't wait to see what everyone gets up to in London next weekend at the Fat Quarterly Retreat.  I shall be watching from afar and sad that I won't be meeting everyone and joining in the fun...particularly my Stitch Tease buddies.  Next year?  Perhaps third year lucky?

Now I have to work on my FAL3 list before the linky closes tomorrow evening...seeing how atrociously I did in the last quarter I may just be cutting and pasting FAL2!