A Bit of Tech Talk, A Quilting Capitulation, A Hatbox Hiatus and a Very Special Link

I have recently emerged from a 5 day internet blackout due to some twonk disconnecting our cable whilst connecting somebody else up.  It didn’t help that it happened the day before a public holiday which fell on a Thursday and, it being France, they like to take the Friday off as well so that they get a nice long weekend – a phenomenon I won’t comment on as I have to live here.   I would like to tell you that it was a refreshing change of pace for me and enabled me to catch up on projects and chores long forgotten but, in reality, it was a pain in the arse.  I had no fixed phone line on which to make international calls so couldn’t contact my Mum, husband or eldest daughter, no telly, no Spotify and, what was worse, no Google.  Mr. T had to cancel his flight home as he needed to have an internet connection on the Friday and I closed my Etsy shops in case anybody bought anything as I wouldn’t have known about it.  What about your mobile I hear you ask.  Well, I did eventually set up a hot spot to check my emails and so many came through – some with photos! – that I whizzed through my data allowance pretty quickly – well, I did stream a Netflix film through it too on Saturday night which might not have helped so now I am data-less until 22nd June.   However, it did make me think that I could pay to have a whopping amount of data and do away with the dreaded ‘livebox’ and reliance on the wobbly pole that holds all the cables over the road.  The only thing stopping me – I think, as I have to look into it a bit more – is the international calls which come free with our current tariff.  Does anybody exist with just their mobile/cell/portable – how is it for you?

Now, having bored you rigid with my decidedly non-tech tech-talk, on to the ‘quilting capitulation’ of the title .  Remember this quilt top that I had put together and even got as far as spray basting it with the batting and backing?

 I decided to machine quilt it by following the lines of the ‘braids’ across the width of the quilt.  I was soon disabused of this notion as the constant stopping and changing direction for the chevrons was making my layers shift  – which is actually a very good euphemism for how I was feeling.

So, I said ‘enough’ -or another couple of words that I won’t put into print – and decided to act on my previous deliberations and send it off to be professionally quilted.  I have never done this before but I thought I’d give it a try.  It has been done and, as we speak, being sent back to Mr. T.’s office in the U.K. and he will probably be able to bring it back with him next Thursday so I am waiting with excitement – and a little trepidation – to see how it has turned out.  I found the price for quilting very reasonable although, once the batting and backing materials were added on it gave me a jolt but then I would have had to have bought those in any case – it’s just seeing the cost all in one place.  Anyway, as soon as it has arrived and I have put the binding on I will let you know how it went.  I could have had the binding put on professionally too but I thought doing it myself would allow me to ‘reconnect’ with the quilt again which sounds really pretentious but you get my drift.

So, on to the ‘hatbox hiatus’.  It is the end of the month and Kate over at Tall Tales from Chiconia and I are still busy with our hatboxes.  Mine are all finished now as I only needed twelve for a wall hanging but Kate is making a full size quilt so is still constructing her boxes.  I now need to make decisions regarding sashing and backing.  Here are my blocks, just to remind you, and they are definitely not in their final layout due to the pesky but lovely deep gold and pink one which I’m finding hard to place but I’ll get there in the end.

The backing doesn’t really matter as you won’t see it – although I’ll know it’s there so I don’t want anything too nasty – but I’m not sure whether to use a plain colour for the sashing (which will only be about an inch/2.5cm wide) or something patterned.  These blocks are 12.5 inches square each so I don’t think I’ll put on a border as it might make too much of a statement on the bedroom wall and Mr. T. might complain.  Anyway, there it is at the end of May and, by the end of June, I should not only have made some decisions but acted on them too.

Speaking of Kate, I haven’t shown you better photos of my Walthamstow Market fabric haul yet but I will sneak this one in as it will be used to make a couple of blocks for the new quilt Kate will be assembling for auction in aid of Ovarian Cancer Australia.  You may know that the ribbon colour for Ovarian Cancer is teal blue and the quilts Kate makes primarily by her own efforts but also with donated blocks feature a lot of teal fabrics and the names she gives each quilt reflects her love of puns.  So far we’ve had ‘Time for Teal’ (which featured lots of teapots, cups and saucers) and  ‘Tealed with a Kiss’ (lots of crosses).  Anyway, the next one is called ‘Signed, Tealed, Delivered’ and will have a postcard, letter type theme.  So, look what I found.

I’m looking forward to paper piecing a few envelopes as I haven’t had much call to do FPP lately and I don’t want to get out of the habit as I was progressing nicely.

Remember I told you my daughter was going to Comic-Con London 2017 dressed as the above character  – who is called Link and is the main protagonist in a popular Nintendo game called ‘Legend of Zelda’.  (FYI Comic-Con is a multi genre fan convention mostly featuring comic books, science fiction, fantasy, art and design etc. and people often go in costume – the biggest one is in San Diego)

So here is my very ‘special Link’ .  She made her tunic and hat

her Dad make all the leather bits – straps, belt pouches, sword scabbard, arm protector thingy but not the boots which were from eBay.

and for any of my readers who are Doctor Who fans.

I wish now we’d done something about her ears when she was a baby 😉



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  1. #1 by katechiconi on May 31, 2017 - 12:44

    Fab fabric! It’s going to look amazing, and what a brilliant find! I’m beginning to look forward to the next OCA quilt already, even though I have a lot to get through before it starts 🙂
    I think the gold/pink hatbox block still works, but it would make better visual sense if you spread the yellow/gold featuring blocks out a bit more so they were further apart. The yellow gives a lovely ping of colour and it’d be a shame to lose any of that.
    Oh, and Link’s outfit is gorgeous too – that arm protector thingy is called a vambrace. More trivia you never knew you needed…

    • #2 by tialys on May 31, 2017 - 19:18

      Yes, I will be placing them differently – just being lazy and using the same photo from last time.
      Mr. T. wasn’t here to ask about the arm protector thingy so thanks for that – is there nothing you don’t know? I don’t really need Google when you’re around.

      • #3 by katechiconi on June 1, 2017 - 01:03

        I have a long term fascination with arms and armour and the names of the bits… here’s a sample: greaves, cuisses, gorget, paldrons… I can forget where I put my keys in a flash, but nonsense like this sticks in my brain!

  2. #4 by KerryCan on May 31, 2017 - 12:52

    Such a lot packed into this post and most of it lots of fun . . . except that pesky business with the internet. I’d be in big trouble if we lost our access . . .

    • #5 by tialys on May 31, 2017 - 19:14

      It was a bit traumatic – which annoys me really because it shows how dependent we’ve become.

  3. #6 by Lynda on May 31, 2017 - 13:39

    What a fun filled post! Your quilting projects are turning out nicely. No internet? 😯

    • #7 by tialys on May 31, 2017 - 19:19

      No internet for five days – we’re back now. I nearly turned to drink 😉

  4. #8 by claire93 on May 31, 2017 - 14:17

    I’m looking at that last photo trying to remember which Dr Who girl that was!

  5. #9 by nanacathy2 on May 31, 2017 - 15:01

    Love this post.

  6. #11 by nanacathy2 on May 31, 2017 - 15:02

    Catherine Tate in the brides dress?

    • #12 by tialys on May 31, 2017 - 19:22

      That’s right. Do you remember her comedy show before that too? – one of her characters was Lauren the sassy schoolgirl – catchprase ‘am I bothered?

  7. #13 by CurlsnSkirls on May 31, 2017 - 15:46

    Still considering your internet woes… many people over here only have cell phones & no “land line.” They are also very attached to their giant tellies+cable+net connections. It would be traumatic to suddenly be without, considering today’s very wired world.

    • #14 by tialys on May 31, 2017 - 19:26

      It’s a bit worrying really isn’t it? I didn’t realise how many times I looked up things on Google until I was without it. How many years for a Ruby Wedding Anniversary? What was the name of the actor who played so and so in that film? Remind me how wide the strips need to be for the quilt sashing in a quilt as you go project? etc. etc. We’re so used to instant answers now and I haven’t got enough books to cover all the questions I want answers for. How did we cope before?

      • #15 by dezertsuz on May 31, 2017 - 20:50

        Encyclopedias. Reference Desk Librarians. LOL Sometimes I’m reading a book written in the 60s or 70s and I’ll think, “Why doesn’t he just look it up on the computer?” Or “Why doesn’t he just call?” Then I have to remember that was before such things! =)

        In 1967, I was going to Japan and stopped to see my cousin in L. A. He was so proud to take me over to his work place and show me a Selectric typewriter, connected to a room full of computer – yes ONE computer. You could type a question, and it would type the answer. How far we have come! We can do more on our smart phones than they could do when they sent the first astronauts up in space on their huge computers.

      • #16 by CurlsnSkirls on June 1, 2017 - 17:19

        “How did we cope before?”
        Perhaps we’ve become more curious ~ more willing to look it up for an answer instead of just to wonder . . .

      • #17 by tialys on June 2, 2017 - 11:14

        ….and much more impatient. When we need to know something, we need to know NOW – it’s what we’ve become used to I suppose.

      • #18 by CurlsnSkirls on June 3, 2017 - 01:27

        😳 Yes, I suppose so, too.
        Favour? Next time you chat with your dear friend (the one just elected 😉), please thank him for his gracious invitation. 💞 his accent!

      • #19 by tialys on June 3, 2017 - 09:15

        Will do – I think he’s round for a barbecue this weekend actually. When shall I tell him you’re arriving?
        Let’s hope his promises come to pass now he’s been elected – there certainly isn’t any slack cut for ‘entrepreneurs’ or any other small businesses thus far – which is why a lot of French people go and work elsewhere :/

      • #20 by CurlsnSkirls on June 4, 2017 - 00:31

        Veddy interesting… Hope he makes changes, cause ol’ entrepreneurial moi ain’t doin’ more than visitin’ (when the leaves are good-Sep/Oct?) w/o attitude adjustment. Might suggest references on the Valley’s (Silicon) growth & concerns aligned with EU’s. 😉 Heigh-ho.
        Have fun at the barbe… 🍤 🍷

  8. #21 by magpiesue on May 31, 2017 - 18:41

    Talk about being cut off from the world! Glad you’re connected again. I would be inclined to look for a small scale print to use as sashing between your hat boxes. Something that will help to blend together all the other background prints you’ve used. I think a solid would stand out, not in a good way. But that’s just my humble opinion. Had to share the pix of your Link with my son whose favorite character is also LInk. He tends to dress up as a Dr. Who for events though. Right now he’s working on a new doublet for this year’s production of Comedy of Errors. I envy your access to wonderful leatherwork. 😉

    • #22 by tialys on May 31, 2017 - 19:30

      Yes, I think you’re right about the solids – I tried laying the blocks on top of a length of a plain colour and it didn’t look right. I’ve spotted a teeny print in a local shop and will keep that in mind as it is the right scale and colour I think. I did buy some backing today because, even though it won’t be visible, I will know it’s there and it will bother me if it’s not right. However, it wasn’t expensive so I’m excused (by me 😉 ).
      My daughter went to a party as Dr. Who once – she was the Matt Smith version in a tweed jacket. Sounds like your son is skilled in other fabric manipulation apart from the quilting – if it’s the same one that is.

      • #23 by magpiesue on June 1, 2017 - 18:41

        Yep, same son. He actually started his sewing/quilting career making costumes for our local Shakespeare productions. I used to cringe at his lack of finesse in his costumes but happily that has improved with time and experience (as I expected it to if I’m honest). And for a stage production it is less critical that things be finished to a T. 😉

        I know what you mean about the backing for a quilt. It may not need to “match” but it certainly needs to coordinate or make sense in some respect – at least, in my world. And yours too apparently!

  9. #24 by M. L. Kappa on May 31, 2017 - 20:36

    So fun! Especially the ears!

    • #25 by tialys on June 2, 2017 - 11:36

      Apparently, the ears were the thing that attracted most attention on the train over to the expo centre – despite the fact her boyfriend was in an all in one leatherette suit complete with mask.

  10. #26 by dezertsuz on May 31, 2017 - 20:47

    Your daughter looks fabulous, and how nice of her dad to help her with all of this! I’m excited to see your quilt finished. Was she also going to do the zigzags? A lot easier with a longarm, maybe! Perfect fabric for Kate’s quilt! And … so glad you are reconnected! You’re waiting for Kate to finish her blocks before you go on t sashing? I’m thinking plain. There are a lot of prints already. =)

    • #27 by tialys on June 2, 2017 - 11:34

      I think I went for a pattern called twine for the quilting as anything too complicated would be lost and, to be honest, if I had been capable of it I would have liked to have had an all over pattern.
      I did try a plain fabric but it didn’t look quite right so I think I’m going to go for a very small print for both the sashing and the backing.

  11. #28 by sew2pro on May 31, 2017 - 23:06

    Wow, you travelled to the past?! The closest I’ve come to your experience is when once every few months I forget to take my mobile to work and then I can’t fiddle for the latest junk mail every 20 mins…

    That’s a very cute Link you’ve got there!

    I’ve been following SPA Carcassone and loved the blog post you reposted re Tesla. But my plea to husband and daughter to travel to south of France in half term and adopt the most beautiful pooch whose picture was on Facebook a few days ago have fallen on deaf ears.

    • #29 by tialys on June 2, 2017 - 14:33

      Family can be so cruel.
      How are you? I’m missing your posts but I suppose you are too busy these days. Are you finding time to do some sewing though?

      • #30 by sew2pro on June 2, 2017 - 22:25

        I’m well, thanks Lynn, and things are going well, with the teenager revising hard and almost-teenage daughter just discovering the hell that is clothes-shopping for parties. The real reason I’m not sewing isn’t so much to do with time (I have about an hour each evening) but that my wardrobe is teeming with clothes and even the least favourites are too nice to be rid off. But I’m experimenting with trousers, though it’s slow it’s progress. I do feel in touch with the blogosphere thanks to you and I do notice when you’ve been relatively quiet. It’s always a relief when another post comes up!

      • #31 by tialys on June 3, 2017 - 09:19

        I can completely empathise with the wardrobe situation – it’s why my dressmaking has almost come to a standstill.
        Good luck to your son with his exams and your daughter with finding a suitable party clothes – I’m surprised she hasn’t enlisted your skills to come up with something unique for her?

  12. #32 by Frivolous on June 2, 2017 - 01:18

    I still only have a basic mobile. I only cope on the laptop and don’t know how people do so much on a mobile. I secretly wish I could be one of them but even if I had the money I don’t think I could be as elaborate poking with my thumbs.

    Thanks for the costume photo – very good – and the Catherine Tate photo…which I assume was grabbed on the fly and not paid the £££ such people charge at most these evens these days.

    • #33 by tialys on June 2, 2017 - 11:18

      Apparently, the going rate is £30. However, my daughter said Ms Tate was really pleasant and just let people take photos on their phones with her which, considering the queue to get to see her involved a wait of over an hour, I think was very decent of her. My daughter bought the poster of the tardis and her aim is to get as many Dr. Who actors to sign it as possible – might take some time – but Billie Piper was scheduled to appear and cancelled fairly last minute so she could have ended up with two in one day.

  13. #34 by Dartmoor Yarns on June 2, 2017 - 10:15

    Sorry to hear about the blackout. No idea about surviving just on a phone only. Mmm that pink one is sticking out, but I swear one always does with patchwork whatever you do. Look forward to hearing about your professional quilting experience. Remember now i was going to give you a number too. Sorry, completely forgot. Blame LH being off work, he is completely addling my brain. Funny enough my daughter ended up at Comic- Con too. But it was very last minute because her boyfriend had been doing something work related with it so got invited. As for Catherine Tate, I still do impressions of her when discussing my father-in-law’s behaviour. Although he doesn’t swear like she did, he has her ‘approach’ to life/people 😦

    • #35 by tialys on June 2, 2017 - 11:22

      It drives me nuts when my LH is home at unusual times too – I can’t seem to get on with things as normal although I don’t know why as he more or less does his own thing.
      No worries about the quilter – I used somebody in Yorkshire and, if I am happy with the result, I will consider it a good deal. I’ll let you know.
      Do you mean Catherine Tate’s ‘Nan’ character? I love her and she actually reminds me of my dear, departed Nan – swearing and all.

      • #36 by Dartmoor Yarns on June 2, 2017 - 11:49

        Mine’s driving me nuts too – although as you say they’re not doing anything to even really getting in the way. I just can’t get in the head space with him her. Of course i don’t have the same trouble with Mr Hicks.
        Yes, Nan. It’s two faced stuff that I’m thinking of with FIL. Hopefully your nan wasn’t too much like that.

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