Friday, August 26, 2011

Just a quick hello from Prague to post my Farmer's wife progress for this week.
Block 4 and 6 were easy enough for me to be able to stitch them before leaving on holiday.
I am so pleased with the nautical weathered look so far. 

It has been fun doing progress report with Kathinca and Marga, and I look forward to catching up to them when I get back.

Hoping you are all having a great time and have a fun weekend planned ahead!

Kisses from Prague,
Valentina and her handsome beloved.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer fun

escaping the heat of Nicosia
and going to the forests of Troodos

There's been splashing in cool pools and hiking up and down mountains. And it has been a lot of fun and adventure. But Mama and Dad are tired! ...and need a quiet break, only for a few days, in Prague...
Yes, we'll bring you lots of presents, and yes, you'll have lots of fun at Yayia's (grandma)...

Enjoying the beautiful nature trails in the Troodos Mountains. 

Oh I cannot tell you how I am looking forward to this 4 day get-away: My camera is packed, I have my walking shoes on, and a good book in my bag... and Hubby all to myself!

It was a great incentive to get my 36-patch blocks done.

If you are interested, you can see all of them on my Flickr set. Okay, I still have 2 to go from the 72, but I always like to leave some blocks till after I lay them all out. Being a king size quilt, there might be some colours that want a bit more support, and having some unfinished blocks gives me that option.
I also had a brainwave for the centre of the quilt. I took an orphan block from a project I decided long ago no longer to pursue, and I think that after some tweaking it might just work.

what do you think?

I send you my love, as always, and look forward to sharing Prague with you.
    Now, I'm off!


Late summers in the mountain villages
enjoying the grapes, figs and cold watermelons...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sad news and new beginnings

I am shocked and heartbroken at the news of Marieke's passing away. We shared the Klosjes quilt journey together and many One Flower Wednesdays. We also shared many stories about raising young boys and will never forget seeing a picture of her Klosjes quilt in Quilt&Zo magazine. I was so proud of her. Imagine this was just her second quilt!
Marieke... like we say in the eastern orthodox church: May your Memory Be Eternal. And through your quilts, the work of your hands, I hope comfort will be imparted to your husband and sons.

This past week has been such a buzz of excitement with Nadine, Elena and Kathinca in planning and getting ready for Farmer's wife. So after deciding on fabrics, preparing of templates and late night piecing, I have my first two blocks. Kathinca had graciously invited me to join her and Marga to report our progress on Fridays. But I never thought I would be showing them to you, this morning, under such sad circumstances. But seeing that I had chosen dutch colours and 2 boys for the second block, I can only say: Marieke, these are for you!

I will close the comments out of respect, and hope you can instead go provide some quilter's comfort to Marieke's husband and sons here.

I am so grateful to have friends like you, and days like this makes quilting so much more relevant and important.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Summer days

Despite the bumpy start, this summer is turning out to be one to remember. The boys do not start school for another 3 weeks and with the soaring temperatures here in Cyprus, there is still a lot of summer to be had.
I am well, and very happy- Thanks again for all the lovely emails and comments. Your love, concern, friendship (and countless jokes!) mean the world to me. :)
So, where have I been and what have I been up to? Plenty!

Thanks to some friends that always seem to get me into trouble-- yes, YOU! :), and me being in a fragile convalescent state (ahum! ok, maybe I am exaggerating a wee bit... :) I have fallen into temptation.

Despite my better judgement and steadfast resolve, I have found myself working obsessively on a new project-  blush blush...
The problem is that I have been having way to much fun to be repentant, and have been having a great time working on my sewing machine again. It's been like being on Quilting Holiday! LOL

I think, I better show you:

These are some of the 36-patch blocks I have been making through Amanda Jean's Quilt-Along. I made the mistake of reading through her very interesting assembly tips, and it became a case of : humm, I need to try this... Famous last words!
She encouraged us to go through our stash ruthlessly, at least that is how I interpreted it. And so my naughty streak took over and before you know it, I was slashing irreverently through my Den Haan & Wagenmaker Dutch Chintzes. Yes, that I have been keeping in the Holy of Holies section of my stash, you know that place... LOL

Oh, but it was so liberating and so much fun. I had been collecting these fabrics for ages, and I am so happy that I allowed myself to see them in a new light; like combined with stripes, polka dots and funky prints.

I soon realized that I could cut an extra strip of fabric and make a second, smaller 16-patch identical quilt. The perfect gift for Nadine, who will be celebrating a very special birthday in december. :)
The funny thing is that many of these fabrics we either bought together last year in Provence or swooned over. So having her be part of the process has been a gift that keeps on giving. :) And she's happy!

There is also a certain Farmer's wife that has been making an appearance around here. My friend Elena brought it up, I refused and gave her a lecture... sorry! :) Michelle caught me off guard with her blocks. I swooned. Amanda and Angela have been having the QuiltAlong.  I had been doing my best to ignore it. Then the Flickr Group, which I have been avoiding... So leave it to Nadine to start sending me pictures! Soon Book Depository delivered the book for free, I fall in love with the cute size of it: it's square and about 1 1/2 the size of a CD... ooohh! Then Kathinca sweetly invites me to join her and Marga to report of fridays... and I can't stop dreaming of what flavour I would like this quilt to have...

What is a girl to do? If you can't fight them, join them, I say!

Which means that from straying I now need even more resolve not to abandon 'Jane', 'Camelot', and 'In my Garden'... oh yes, and my kids! :)

speaking of kids, last week I spend quite some time with my perpetual summer project: my charm hexies. The centre star is done, but not completely stitched together yet. This has made it easier to take along. And these Hexies have gotten around! :)
Now I am stitching 'white' hexies around the outer diamonds, like this.

Once I am done with this part, I hope to stitch them all up into a giant hexagon. I have plenty of charm hexies left, which will fill the background and give me a square quilt. Hopefully by next summer. :)

Sending you my love, and loooots of hot summer sun for those of you that feel you might have not gotten your fill,

By the way: have I ever shown you this? The Ultimate Patchworker's floor! Can you imagine? :)

floor in a greek souvlaki and gyro place in the food court at the Mall!

My Patchwork Family Through Adoption

A Bit of Africa and China
Came knocking on our door
And in a home where there was longing
Now empty rooms no more

Like a Quilt of Many Colours
Our Family stitched together into One
God's Love and Grace for us Abundant
In the Miracle of our Sons

Written by Valentina