Friday, May 30, 2014


I am still processing my visit to Jewish Town in Prague. Yes, that's what they call it. I visited 5 synagogues and will share photos and my thoughts in another post. While admiring all of the amazing buildings in Prague and Budapest, there is always the underlying history that accompanies the landscapes. These cities have very complicated histories and some of it has to do with the Jewish story.

For now, I'll just share my photos of Budapest. Some were taken during the day and others at night during a lovely, but damp river cruise.













Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Something's Fishy Here

I try to be nice to my feet. I walk 5 miles a day when I'm home. I punish them when I ride my road bike for miles in rigid shoes. And I try to do Zumba as often as I can. I have battled Planter Fasciitis from time to time. I need to treat them special.
In the Old Town Square here in Prague there is a Thai spa. As we walked by, I could see men and women getting foot and leg massages. It looked so perfect after walking my feet off all over this city. We went inside to check it out. Not only did they have pedi massages but they also had Fish Pedicures. Fish pedicures? I had seen it on TV. The fish nibble off the dead skin and it is supposed to increase your circulation. Hmmmmm. Do I dare? It took me all of 2 minutes to decide to be adventuresome and give it a try.
First they washed off my feet. (Wouldn't want to kill those fishies!)
Then slowly I lowered my feet into this long fish tank. It was lit with this glowing green light.
After lowering your feet in, they told you to relax. Really?
So how did it feel after 25 minutes of these little fish nibbling at my feet? At first it was vey ticklish. Then it felt like tiny little bumps. I certainly could tell without looking when more and more fish found my delicious feet- anyway, delicious to them. A fun vacation adventure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Prague Day 1 & 2

Prague is a beautiful city with quite a mixture of architecture. It was founded in the 9th century and is currently the capitol of The Czech Republic. You can imagine all the different types of buildings that were constructed over all those years. Not much damage occurred to Prague during WW II because there was not much resistance to the Nazis. It is quaint and charming and quite walkable. There are many bridges crossing the Vltava River.

Our days have been filled with touring and eating. I thought I would have food issues, because I am a fussy eater and pork, which I don't eat, is quite popular here, but I have found lots to eat. I have had goulash a few times, even once in a bread bowl. And apple strudel is quite yummy.


Today we will visit the Jewish quarter where there are 5 synagogues. The weather seems iffy, but surprisingly, I am prepared with a rain jacket and an umbrella. I also will share my experience with a fish pedicure, but maybe not in the same post!












Sunday, May 25, 2014

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 39th wedding anniversary and we're spending it in Prague. How lucky can a girl get?

I've decided to try my hand at art journaling, again! Just for this trip. My thoughts were that I might run out of stitching on my quilt (ha!) and it's a lot quicker to document a trip this way instead of making a fiber book. So here I am this morning, trying to make artful pages.

I color washed a bunch of watercolor paper while I was at home. Why did I use watercolor paper? While I was looking for tracing paper last week in my studio, I noticed I had a lot of watercolor paper that I had bought at various times, forgetting that I already owned some! Why not use it. I cut the paper into a booklet size sheets and will assemble them into a book when I get home.

So here's to my honey and a day full of joy and adventure on our 39th anniversary in this beautiful city!




Saturday, May 24, 2014

Getting Ready

I'm getting ready for a vacation trip to Budapest and Prague. I always have a list of things to do.   If you are a book reader, part of trip preparation is making sure you have enough reading material.  If you are a quilter, the most important part of trip prep is making sure you have handwork.  And that is the first item on my list.  This trip involves a long plane ride accompanied by layovers that are quite lengthy.  I have been thinking about what to bring for a couple of weeks. It had to be compact.

I don't do a lot of handwork these days. My sewing machine is  I applique by machine and I even put my bindings on completely by machine.  But I do love stitching circles down by hand.  So this hand project would be the start of a new Curvalicious quilt.  Some women in my workshops used batiks.  I liked them a lot, so that was my choice.

My fabrics- washed and ready to go.

The pieced background

with the appliques

I had to prep about 200 circles.

Then fused a bunch of them to the curvy strips for stitching.

I like using rayon thread to stitch down the circles.  Since I wanted to minimize the stuff in my carry on luggage, I wound bobbins with the thread and put them in this great red bobbin keeper.  I have high hopes that my threads won't get tangled.

I am relieved that my handwork is prepared.  
Now I can focus on cleaning the house and packing my clothes.
Prague, here I come!

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Made In America Giveaway

Road Trip!

There is exciting news in the quilting world.  As many of you know almost all of our quilting fabric is manufactured overseas.  Now, there is a company called American Made Brands, that is manufacturing cotton quilting fabric right here in the United States.  They are even growing the cotton here.  I am so happy to be able to help share this news.  

To promote this line of solid cotton fabric and spread the news, AMB came up with the idea of celebrating America with a road trip from sate to state.  They have invited one blogger from each state to make a block in the shape of a license plate that is representative of their state. 
 And guess who is Miss Pennsylvania?

The road trip will visit the blog representing each state in the order  in which it joined the Union (for the most part) over the course of 25 days.  If you know your history, you would know that Pennsylvania was the second state. (Delaware is the first state and you can see it on the sign on the highway whenever you cross the state line.)
This is a bit scary to be kicking off the tour, but here we go.

I used all American Made Brand fabric to create it.  My design inspiration was all of the history that started right here - from the house where Betsy Ross made our first flag to the Liberty Bell. The solid fabrics were just perfect for this design.  If you want to download the pattern, click HERE.  If you want to read more about how I made the curved strips, click HERE.

I shared my license plate at my quilt guild last week, and several people thought they would make a quilt using the patterns for the license plates of each state that they have visited. 
 Sounds very kid friendly.

Each blogger will be giving away a fat quarter bundle of American Made Brand fabric.
To follow the road trip, visit AMB's blog.
There is the entire list of the states, the bloggers with their links and the dates.
 Make sure you read the post to determine how to enter.

I live near Philadelphia and it is definitely an eating town.   There is always a battle as to who has the best cheesesteak and you can find hot pretzels everywhere, including the ubiquitous convenience store that started here, called WAWA. Tastykakes makes a big range of favorite treats that we love.

So in addition to giving away a fabric bundle from AMB that will include 8 fat quarters, I will choose a second winner to receive  a box of Tastykakes and a stack of 5" squares of solids. 

 For both giveaways, you must have a U.S.mailing address
 and make sure you leave an email address where I can contact you.
I will choose the winner on Wednesday, May 21 at 9:00 PM est.
Comments are closed.
The winner of the 8 fat quarters is Carmen N.
The winner of the Tastykakes annd the 6 " squares is suz.
Don't forget to check out the other very cool license plates that the other bloggers/designers have created.

and thanks for stopping by.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

OK. I know it is a little early for Memorial Day, but our guild challenge was Wednesday.  It was a paint chip challenge.  Anyone who wanted to participate was given 3 paint chip colors to use to make a quilt that was at least 24" x 24". 
These were my colors.
Red, white and gold! To me, it said PATRIOTIC
It was an opportunity to use the Curvalicious tool in a new way
 to create a quilt that had a flag waving in the breeze feeling to it.  

Read on if you want to see how I created the quilt with this tool:

The first step is to cut the fusible wavy strips.  
Start with 1 yard of the white fabric or whichever one is the applique.
After washing, cut it to 28" x width of the fabric (or selvedge to selvedge.)
Back this with fusible web and then remove the paper. Fold in half, right sides together.
The curvy strips for this quilt are offset.  To cut the strips, after cutting one, line the tool up for the next one using the cut edge of the first one. 

7 strips are needed.

Using 1 yard of the red fabric, press a crease down the middle, parallel to the selvedge edges.
Align one of the curvy strips on top of the crease as the spine for the quilt top.
The best way to do this is to fold the strip in half and line it up with the ironed fold.
The first strip in place.
The wavy look is achieved by offsetting the strips.
Use a ruler to make sure they are 1" apart, from bulb to bulb.

Work outwards from the middle strip towards both side edges.

 until all of the strips re fused down.
Trim the top and bottom if needed.
After fusing all of the strips, stitch them down.
(I like a blanket stitch.)
.Make 10 star blocks that measure 7" unfinished. I made mine "liberated".

 Create a top and bottom border with 5 blocks each.

 Add enough fabric on each of the sides so they measure the same width as the body of the quilt
Then add  3" borders on each side.
It was such a beautiful day, that I took photographing the quilt as an excuse to play outside.

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