Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Celebrating holidays and travel

Saying hi to the reader!
Tomorrow I go back to work. As I'm trying to stay positive and zen about the whole thing, I have decided to share some of our travel pictures - for inspiration and to celebrate! I've had a wonderful  holiday and was able to travel to Spain and Paris, as well as take two weeks to rest, read and play. I am very grateful and need to focus on this as I get back into the routine :-)


You will notice that most of the photos are not panoramas of sites, but generally small things, including art, that caught my eye. The photos were either taken by my husband or I.

These first two photos are of a statue in a park that was between La Rambla and our hotel in Barcelona. Almost every day I would walk by and say hi to the girl reading!

Statue of boy playing and girl reading
Just off of La Rambla is a lovely food market. I don't usually take pictures of food, but I couldn't resist this one! Aren't the colours amazing? I'm sorry to say that I didn't eat one of these.
Take out food in the food market - La Rambla

Something that I find fascinating is all of the art everywhere. Since there is little snow in the places we visited, public art is on buildings and fences, in the subway and even the ceramic on the ground.

Art in the Barcelona subway

Fence outside of Gaudi's Park Güell in Barcelona

Art on a fence in Barcelona

Colourful tiles outside of the WC

You've probably heard the old joke of a quilter taking pictures of the tiles in the bathroom? Well, here are some tiles just outside of the washrooms.
Washington Irving stayed at Alhambra
while researching his book,
"Tales of the Alhambra"


I would go back to Granada. We only spent a few hours but I would have loved to visit for a few days. We saw a small part of Alhambra. I also got my husband to take a picture of me in front of the statue of the writer, Washington Irving, since his "Tales of the Alhambra", published in 1832, essentially caused re-interest and eventually the preservation of the Alhambra.
View of Granada from Alhambra

I haven't read the book yet, but it's now on my To Read list.

I love these beautiful narrow streets. Since it was early in the morning, I could stop and take pictures without worrying about traffic. This is probably what I was taking pictures of....

More art on the walls
Taking pictures on the old streets of Granada
Art on the walls of
buildings in Granada


Here is a photo that I should have included in my last post. These are the depressions within which the vines are grown. It was winter, so they are not dead - just dormant!

Growing vines in the volcanic ash in Lanzarote
Alicante, Spain

Alicante has a beautiful waterfront area. Here is a photo of the tiles in one of the plazas. Isn't it a great representation of ocean waves?
Whimsical structures - Alicante
Waves in Alicante

Here is a side street with whimsical art and structures for children.


Finally, after the cruise, we had time before our flight home, so we flew to Paris for three days. Since I'm bilingual, it was easier to get around, even if I had to take out my "good speaking French" (that means no slang and better enunciation!)

My husband is working on his photography skills, so right dropping off our luggage at our hotel, we took the metro to the Eiffel Tower. This is my favourite photo.

Eiffel Tower at night
We spent the next morning at the Louvre. It would have been great if my daughter had been with us. After a few huge rooms full of art, I was totally overwhelmed. An Art History student as a guide would have helped a lot 😊

This is one of my favourite area of the Louvre - the apartments of Napoleon III. See how I match the decor? I think that this may be the Grand Salon.

Apartments of Napoleon III
Art on the Ship

On the ship, I attended an art auction. It was a very high pressure event but since I had no money to spend, it was fairly easy to resist. I did, however, find an artist, Donna Sharam, that I really liked. When I first saw her art, I thought that it could have been an art quilt. Once I was home, I googled her and found out that her background is indeed in textiles. What do you think? Isn't her work fabulous? She also has a beautiful series of trees and plants.

Merchandise based on Donna Sharam's art

I couldn't resist finishing my tour with this lovely piece of textile art that was on our bed one day. How fun is that!
Textile Art on the Ship
Quilting during my holidays

In the last week, I decided to work on a few UFOs.

You may recall this quilt top from July 2015 (Ok, maybe not..)
Loosely based on Mary Patterson's Street Art quilt 
It started with a great idea....I was going to make two quilt tops and use this one as the backing. It's an idea that I haven't given up on, but after spending so much time making both quilts, I just didn't have the heart to put both of them together. This quilt is loosely based on Mary Patterson's Street Art quilt from the Quilt Trends magazine, Summer 2014 (see Related Links for more info). I've named it "Not playing the supporting role!".
Not playing the supporting role! quilt
I hadn't quilted this one because I thought that it was too small. Over the last couple of years, I even bought fabric to add to it. When I took out the project box that included this quilt, the magazine, left over and backing fabric as well as the new fabric I purchased, I realised that the quilt was bigger than I though, and was perfectly fine! Bonus!!! No extra work to do except to sandwich it and start quilting. 

I also sandwiched my latest Batik Lap Quilt, as well as a baby quilt that I will talk about in a later post. You can read all about my adventure in sandwiching these quilts in the "What I learned" section below.

Life will get back to normal, so I may as well plan my next quilting week and month.

For my OMG, I will free motion quilt (FMQ) my "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt. It's still cold and I want to snuggle under it to read 😊

Since I haven't started my Starry Bright Sky block for January, this is my To-Do Tuesday goal. The post is due February 4th, so I still have a few days. 

What I learned
  • I'm really glad that the "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt is large enough to be a comfortable lap quilt. I put the unused new fabric into my stash and, I'm very proud to say, I actually cut out all of the binding. It's all ready to use and stored in a very obvious place so that I will be able to find it when it's time to use it!
  • I did this for a previous quilt and really hope to keep doing it whenever possible. It's so nice to be able to finish the quilting and then just put the binding on without looking for the matching fabric!
  • I've probably mentioned this, but I really, really dislike sandwiching a quilt. It's my totally least favourite part of the process. I didn't think that I would be able to sandwich 3 quilts in 2 days. I sandwiched the "Not playing the supporting role!" quilt first, using my usual method of pinning. I just dislike the fact that once it's pinned, I have to flip it over, re-pin most of it to get it flat, and do this at least another 3 or 4 times. 
  • As I started sandwiching the Batik lap quilt, I got desperate. Why did I have to pin the quilt when I was only going to have to move all of the pins anyway? Good question! Since I had nothing to loose, I just placed two pins on the quilt and proceeded to flatten it the 4 or 5 times required. I only had to move one pin once, and then when it was to my liking, I pinned it all down. WOW!
  • The thing is that I was never taught how to pin a quilt sandwich down. Maybe what I discoved on my own is what I was supposed to do? When I learned to sandwich a quilt, it was with adhesive spray. I stopped using it because I found that it gummed up the needle and was a real pain to flatten out those 4 or 5 times. Anyway, the baby quilt took me 5 whole minutes to sandwich. Gotta love it!
Related Links
Linking Parties: I will be linking up to February's One Monthy Goal as well as the following link-ups. Let's see what's happening in the quilting universe! To-Do TuesdayMidweek MakersLet's Bee SocialQuilter's MondayLinky TuesdayMain Crush Monday, Needle and Thread Thursday, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? Finished or Not Friday, 

I am linking this post to Free Motion Mavericks' 300th linking party. Thanks for reading!


  1. What a lovely trip - I hope to go there some day!

  2. Your travel photos look a lot like MY travel photos. The last time I was in Paris, I was taking pictures of all of the wrought iron balconies, grates, and door hardware for free motion quilting design inspiration, and I took lots of photos of the mosaic floors in the Opera Garnier with the idea of making them into a quilt someday. I love those tiles outside the bathroom, too!

  3. Great photos Andrée. I think i would be drawn to all the street art too. Love the whimsical statues in the street.

    Good luck settling back into work tomorrow.


  4. Nice photos. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and good luck with your project.

  5. Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures. I would love to see all the art in Spain.

  6. Your travel pictures are so beautiful! What a wonderful way to spend a vacation and relax!

  7. Beautiful photos, it was so interesting to see the grape vines and rocks! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Oh my goodness Andrée, I was in Alicante in November. I recognised the wavy paving immediately. It is amazing, but if you look down for too long you think you are going to fall in a rut.

    Your Napoleon III settee outfit is totally hilarious.

    Love, Muv

  9. Hello again Andrée,
    Thank you for linking this post for the 300 week party. I love seeing photos of Spain, and it is such a laugh seeing that picture of you and the settee again!


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