Some would think I became French when I married…

Almost French by Sarah Turnbull

Reminiscent of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence,  Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull was an enjoyable read.

When asked how she came up with the book’s provocative title, she said – “It’s tongue-in-cheek. It sums up the main theme… expatriates’ struggle with identity and their sense of belonging. On the one hand, after eight years in France, I’ve adopted some French customs and I’ve been very influenced by French ways of thinking. Yet I don’t feel French at all and I know I never will. If anything, as each year passes I feel more Australian. This permanent state of only ever being ‘almost’ French – never ‘entirely’ or ‘completely’ – is really the essence of my book.”

Makes me want to return, but for a much longer time, next time.

Eiffel Tower

Posted in Books, Reading, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

It takes some serious pondering to make a great quilt.

Sitting here with my feet in the sand,

Anna Maria Island, FL

thawing my winter weary bones.

Anna Maria Island, FL

Thinking about it being National Quilting Day and not a needle in sight….

Pondering making a beach quilt and wondering if I should put batting in it or make it as an old-fashioned counterpane/summer quilt…

Anna Maria Island, FL

I would think it would carry home less sand, that way…..
Leaving more for others to enjoy….

Posted in Favorite Things, Quilting, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Stack of Books and a new toy

I recently splurged and bought myself a new light box. I was using a 25-year-old Princesses tracing box until the bulb went out and apparently they are not replaceable. Or I’m not as smart as a 5th grader because I couldn’t figure out how to get the bulb out to replace it.

Then I dug around and found a Lion King one. Same bulky idea, where the top opens to store all your stencils for tracing. This was only about 20 years old. Well, that one didn’t last much longer before it gave up the ghost. That’s when my lightbulb went off and I decided it was time for me to get my very own, grown-up light box.

I studied them all, read all the reviews and finally decided on the Artograph Light Pad Light Box in the 12″ x 9″ size.  After finally deciding on this brand, I struggled deciding which size to order. I let reasoning take over and came to this decision based on most often using the printer, in conjunction with tracing, and with traditional sized printer paper size this would be a perfect fit. And it is. I love this thing!

DSC_4478

It is lean and clean, lights up evenly and is beautifully bright.

DSC_4473I tried many different methods of transferring lettering the lettering and for me, my trusty blue pen, and fonts pulled off the computer, for tracing worked best. And if I was a wiz at identifying the fonts of the book titles I choose, or even a font with similar characteristics, things would be going even faster!

DSC_4474

This project is taking me forever, but I’m learning to embrace it.

Book Quilt

Not really. It is a perfect example of faking it until you make it though. I’ll fake knowing what I’m doing. And liking it. And smile all the while. :)

And two years later, it is still the quilt project I keep coming back to when nothing else is prepped to work on in front of the evening TV.

Kona quilt

I just keep reading and just keep stitching… And adding books than made an impression, on me, as I go.

Books quilt Sewfrench

Linking up with:
Fabric Tuesday
WIP

Posted in Books, Design, fabric, Fabric Tuesday, Favorite Things, hand quilting, Quilting, Sewing, WIP | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Granny Squares Quilt

When I was in 5th grade one of the things we did at recess was to make granny squares, by crocheting. Rene, who one of my best friends, had a grandmother who was an award-winning crocheter. She taught Rene, who then shared her skills with the rest of us. Not sure who supplied the yarn and hooks, but it sure was fun. Much more fun than chasing boys like some of the girls did. :)

I wish I had kept up the crocheting, but I didn’t. I’ve pretty much forgotten it all… I turned my granny square talents to quilting and have a Granny Square quilt to share. It is finished and gifted. This one went to my youngest sister, Amanda, for Christmas.

Granny Square quilt

I used a Kona Ash gray and two charm square packs of Malka Dubrawsky’s fabric line A Stitch in Color. I just love this line! I bought, and hung onto, this fabric for quite some time, waiting to come up with the perfect project. When I came across the Granny Square quilt, I knew this was the perfect quilt to showcase these fabrics.

The charm packs are 5″ squares, so they just needed to be cut in quarters to make the 2 1/2″ squares used in this quilt.  This saves a LOT of cutting time, lets you get right to sewing. This is one of the very few quilts where I have stuck with one fabric line, for the entire quilt. And because this fabric is so different looking than almost any other fabric out there, I can’t imagine combining it and have it work as beautifully as it does alone.

Granny Square quilt

I opted to machine quilt this one and I chose to do a long stretched zigzag. On my machine, Janome Memory Craft 6600, I set my stitch width to 5 and my stitch length to 4.

Using my walking foot, and putting in some practice, in worked like a charm. This created just the texture I was looking for.

Granny Square quilt

“Granny Squares”
12-25-2013
For my sister Amanda
50″ x 60″
Machine pieced, machine quilted
A Stitch in Color and Kona cotton fabrics
Quilter’s Dream request cotton batting

Linking up with:
Beauty Observed’s So Fun
Finish it Up Friday
Link A Finish Friday
TGIFF
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
A Stitch in Time

Posted in 2013 completes, A Sttitch in Time, Can I get a Whoop Whoop, Crazy Mom Friday Finishes, Design, fabric, Family, Gifts, Linkys, machine quilting, Quilting, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , | 31 Comments

How many different stars in a constellation?

That is what I have been working on this week.
Counting the stars.

Lots of stars by Sewfrench

I pulled out a dozen, or so, quilting books and after flipping through them all, I picked out a variety, of different stars, and started making them. It’s been very relaxing. Perfect for the cold, snowy, lazy weather of this winter.

No pressure, no deadline and only a slight plan. I feel like a kid playing creatively.

Steven King

I finally got around to starting Steven King’s, time travel book, 11/22/63. I am really enjoying it, he is such a great writer. Reading free Kindle books, is all fine and dandy, but reading a well written book is a whole ‘nuther game.

Life is good.

Linking up with:
Fabric Tuesday
Freshly Pieced WIP
Let’s Bee Social

Posted in Fabric Tuesday, Linkys, Quilting, Reading, WIP | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Seeing the Forest through the trees.

Can you feel the breeze blowing through the trees?

Quilted wind pattern

This is the second, hand-quilted, tree quilt where I used the idea of creating the feel of the breeze blowing through the trees. Freehand quilting is definitely not as easy as it looks, but I am really happy with the results that hand quilted lent to it.

hand quilted tree quilt

And for the back, I think I came up with the perfect woodlands fabric, Riley Blake’s Fox Trails.

Birch trees quilt

Does it remind you of last years “What does the fox say” video?? I thought so, too!

Hope you love it, Baylor, and know just how much love was stitched into it, especially for you!!

hand quilted wind Birch Trees quilt

“Birch Trees”
inspired by Amanda Jean
12-24-2013
For our great-nephew Baylor
45″ x 45″
Machine pieced, hand quilted
Kona cotton
Quilter’s Dream request cotton batting

Linking up with:
Beauty Observed’s So Fun
Finish it Up Friday
Link A Finish Friday
TGIFF
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop
A Stitch in Time

Posted in 2013 completes, A Sttitch in Time, Can I get a Whoop Whoop, Crazy Mom Friday Finishes, Design, fabric, Fabric Tuesday, Family, Finish it Up Fridays, Finishes, Gifts, Linkys, Quilting, Sewing, Show it off Friday, TGIFF | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

What do you call this pattern?

If a quilt has a traditional name, I try to use it. No creative cutesy name here. And I do think creative names have a place. Like when you create a new design. You create it, you get to name it!

Kansas Twister quilt

Since this quilt design is known by Whirligig, Kansas Twister, Texas Trellis, Whirling Triangles in a Hexagon…. Yes, it is even considered a hexagon quilt… I’m wondering if every pioneer woman gave it, its own name based on her experiences, where she lived, what her quilting bee might have called it. It is a really old design. It dates back to at least the late 1800s. And this is where my mind goes when piecing quilts! I plan on calling it Whirligig

This is the third, in a series, of serious scrap busting. I say series, as in since I pulled all this fabric out and haven’t attempted to fold it back up and put it away, this is the third top I’ve created. By making all these tops, from fabrics that have been around for probably 25 years, I hope never to fold any of this fabric up, again. Well, except in quilt form.

When I get around to the backings, I know I will have the opportunity to really make a dent in it.

Hoping you are having a Wonderful Wednesday!

Linking up with:
Fabric Tuesday
Let’s Bee Social

Posted in Design, fabric, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments