Tuesday, 29 October 2013

mad in the attic

TC often used to worry ( or was it a threat?) that I would end up a mad woman in the attic from getting overstressed at work. Then we moved here and when I saw the spare room in the attic, with its big skylight windows and lovely view of the lake,  it was love at first sight - that's going to be my den I promised myself  (well a girl has to have somewhere to retreat to especially if she's married to a musician who likes to practise).  And so, out of the visitor season, MY room is a haven where I can escape and listen to whatever I feel like. The sewing machine can stay out and I can make as much mess as I want to.

I've been up there a lot lately since I got bitten by the patchwork bug. I have  loved sewing and making things since I was small but it's something like 20 years since I did any patchwork and then only one design (grandmothers garden  English patchwork style)and  I've never got as far as quilting so there's a lot to learn. My sampler quilt blocks are going well - well at least I'm pleased with them - the old hands at the patchwork group are very difficult to impress although always encouraging.

So far I've done 8 of the 20 blocks I need for my quilt. I had intended to quilt each block separately and then join them ( a perfectly respectable method according to my patchwork book) but a tentative enquiry soon made it clear that would be totally disapproved of in the Laguepie patchwork group and I should not even think about it! Apparently when the top is finished all the tables will be pushed together and it will be all hands on deck to get it backed ready for quilting - there's a great element of community in the quilting tradition which is lovely.

I also love the names of the patterns, so far I've done log cabin, tumbling blocks, maple leaf, corner to corner, card trick, spiders web, strip rail, and attic windows. It's fun working with the different colours and prints and fascinating watching the patterns unfold. I shall enjoy having another creative outlet when its too cold for the garden.

So this week maybe grape basket  and drunkard's path ? ( no rude comments please)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

how time flies when you're having fun

Three years ago this week we moved into Ségala and the fun began. We woke up to our first Ségala sunrise, the first of many, and pinched ourselves to make sure it wasn't all a dream.

Our furniture had been in storage for 3 months so we improvised !

I never have been good at keeping diaires but a blog seemed a good idea as a way of recording our progress. The problem is finding the time especially during the summer months when we live out of doors most of the time.

Looking back over the three years it has just flown by. We have made Ségala well and truly ours, inside and out, and have a very busy social life all year round. This year we have even met some English people! I could never have settled for the six month in France, six months in England option which many choose, we would miss out on so much real French life and I'm sure I would make worse progress with the language.

Another reason to be here all year round is that many associations only run in the winter. One of our dancing courses has just begun again and this week I have started going to a patchwork and quilting group - its a very long time since I did any patchwork and I have never done quilting but I was inspired by the group's exhibition in the Spring and am already hooked. The next exhibition is in three years just enough time for me to learn enough to make sure I have something on display! ( I already know it will be a wallhanging called Ségala sunrise and the design is coming together in my head). It is good for me to get out and meet more new people and practice my French without having TC in the background to help and as always when meeting a new group of French people with a common interest everyone was so friendly, welcoming and helpful.

So now we are preparing for our third winter here, the wood is being stacked, the garden cleared and bulbs planted, the swallows have left and Bernard is chucking sheep poo around with abandon. Hopefully afterwards he will bring us a nice pile of our own as in previous years. The potager has been very productive this year thanks in some part at least to the addition of copious amounts of "fumier de brebis".

In the meantime the Autumn sunshine and blue skies are keeping the pool around 20degs so TC is still getting his swims although cooler nighttime temperatures are forecast for the end of the week so there may not be many more opportunities and I think I'll be waiting til next year!