maandag 18 mei 2015

Quilting in France


Last week we spent at a really beautiful place in Brittany, France. It had been 15 years since we were last in France and we probably would not have gone now if it had not been for our friends Jeanin, Roderick, Charlotte and Thomas who decided to make France their home some 6 years ago.

We had not seen each other in all this time, but kept in touch via Facebook etc. During the years we saw the pictures of the house they bought, the changes they made and we thought it was high time to take a look for ourselves and catch up.

So off we went and after an often scenic roadtrip we arrived in Ploërdut … at Chateau de Guernevelien

 






Next to the main building is the old couch house which they converted into a gite, this is where we were staying this week. It was lovely, warm, cozy and very comfortable. Jeanin had thought of everything, there was spring water, beer and sparkling white wine in the fridge, red wine at room temperature (started on that straight away after the long trip J ) and fresh eggs from their own chickens for breakfast the next morning.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In the kitchen everything is present to cook a nice meal like oil, vinegar, all sorts of herbs and spices etc. All you have to do is get some great ingredients at local markets and shops to make yourself a great meal, which we did a few times.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Apart from visiting markets we drove around, seeing the area

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

In the village of Guėmenė-sur-Scorff,  a 15 minutes drive from Ploërdut, we found a lovely little bistro, we could not resist the juicy beef burger, served on a delicious bun, with homemade fries and mayonnaise.
 
 
 
 


Back at the Guernevelien, the two dogs, Dastan and Mila, are not allowed into the gite, but once they found out we loved taking them for walks around the estate when they were let out of the big house, they would come to the gite to see if we were in for walk with them,
 
 
either in the large garden

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 or the wooded area that also belongs to the property.
 


The cats are not allowed into the gite either, but Droppie really made an effort

 


Now and then it rained and it was a bit chilly, so unfortunately we could not make use of the hot tub this trip

 


so we stayed indoors some of the time too, which we did not mind at all. The gite had wood burning stove which we loved using. It was nice and warm and so cozy!
With my husband and daughter reading and me quilting we spent lovely hours in the gite.
 

 
 

It was a lovely and relaxed week, Jeanin and Roderick have great plans for Chateau de Guernevelien, including a second gite that should be ready next year. We will definitely be back in the future to see the changes.


Should you be interested in the gite that we stayed at, you can find it here: (click) and their Facebook page (click)
 
Enjoy your week!
Phyllis

woensdag 15 april 2015

Finished Feathergirl tops! And a few words on seams....


Recently the Feathergirls got together because….



we finished our second Feathergirls (Feathergirls 2.0 we called them) quilt tops!

And like with our first Feathergirls quilts (click and click) it was so much fun to see the finished tops together! And again like last time it was the first time we saw eachother’s finished tops, a special moment!

My top was made of Ohio Star blocks, placed on point with alternating single fabric blocks. I decided the whole thing needed a bit more color with all that brown and had a beautiful red in my stash, but unfortunately not enough…. I found it online (isn’t the www just wonderful?) at a shop I had never bought from before, they did a great job, the needed fabric was here in no time. In the meantime I found this wonderful blue fabric with just that bit of red in it, so the whole top came together.

 
 

Hubertine (click) made her quilt from lots of churndash blocks, one of my favorite block patterns, with lots of different blue fabrics, so fabulous! You can see it here (click). As well as information on how she sandwiched her quilt.

 
When I posted a picture of the back of my quilttop in an earlier post (click) I received questions about my seams….. aren’t they supposed to be ironed to one (dark) side?
To be honest I left that idea completely when machine patching small seams. The whole idea of ironing your seams to one side for strength of the seam  I think comes from the world of hand stitching. And there it makes perfect sense and I strictly adhere to this rule.

However machine patching is a completely different technique. Your stitch is made of 2 interlocking threads with very even stitches, therefore your seam is much stronger. Also the quilting you add later on will make the seam more durable because it will reduce pressure on the seam during use or washing.

Also I remember years ago, when I still made some of my own clothes, some of which were pencil skirts and with an office job, sitting down practically the whole day, there was pressure on the seams of my clothes and we still pressed them open and they never came undone (luckily ;-) !

When you are able to press (yes, I press my seams) open they lie much flatter and your points are much sharper.

 
 


However, on the long seams - as in this top with the blue and red borders - I do still press my seams to one side, toward the outer edges of the quilt top. There is no need there to press them open.




So there you have it. This is the way I do my seams when I machine patch, but there is not one perfect way of doing things. Use the technique that you are most comfortable with, that one will be best for you.

Enjoy the spring sunshine this week!

 

Phyllis

 

zondag 12 april 2015

Just a few quilty things


of the past few weeks….

First of all I worked on a small gift for a special friend (click)…



Also some other quilters came over for a visit two weeks ago, Ageeth (click) brought me some lovely gifts (thank you Ageeth, love them!) , the chocolate is gone by now (it was jummy!), the fabrics will find a nice place in one or more projects and the very special scissors I will cherish…

 
Diana and Emma (no blogs) joined us which resulted in three Di Ford Quilt Mania mysteries in one room (none of which are mine, I did not participate in this mystery)
 
 
 
and two Phebe’s (Ageeth’s and mine)
 
And yesterday I visited the Quiltshow in Rijswijk (Patchwork and Quiltdagen), not a large quiltshow but well worth a visit. I had fun trying out the new Bernina longarm quiltmachines, especially the Q20 table model, I absolutely loved it (and I am not much of a machine quilter, so that is saying something)!

At these shows it is always fun to see familiar faces!
 
Like – the always cheerful - Mascha at the beautiful booth of her shop the Quiltster (click)
 
And – always ready to help me out with her knowledge, thank you again for that this week! - Evy (and assistant) from my local quilt shop the Quilterspalet (click) at her booth
One of the exhibitions was to celebrate 15 years of Elly Prins longarm quilting (click), a few examples of the quilts on show:
 
 

 
 
 
And this last one was very special, unfortunately there was no description next to the quilt, I asked one of the girls at Elly’s booth who made the quilt,  it turned out to be Elly herself who made the complete quilt (not just the quilting). She used different techniques to make the top, in the middle block the girl was even wearing a real earring.
Elly celebrated her 15 years in the quilting business by treating her customers to some great discounts on batting she was selling especially for this occasion. Of course I celebrated with her ;-)!
Back to some patchwork now, need to make tops for these battings!
Have a great week everyone!
 
Phyllis