Friday, 16 March 2012

Circle of Geese and Shades of Green

Determined not to fall too far behind in the two paper-piecing Sewalongs, FPPFTT and NY Beauty, that I have joined, I have been cutting, snipping and sewing up a storm to get this week's FPPFTT block completed. The Circle of Geese block lends itself very well to becoming a cushion, so I decided to use up the last of my scraps from the Sew Happy QAL to make a matching cushion for my son. I thought that I ought to tackle this block first before attempting either of the two NY Beauty blocks, where the capacity for disaster seems even greater!

Mind you, this block was not without its' fair share of mishaps. Accidentally folding a piece under the wrong way and sewing it to the seam was bad enough, but quickly remedied but slicing through the last sewn piece when cutting off the extra seam allowance was really pushing it! Lesson learnt the hard way, concentrate all the time and more haste less speed will need to be my watchword from now on I think, otherwise those NY Beauty blocks are going to drive me mad.

With tomorrow being St Patrick's Day and an England v Ireland rugby game imminent, Irish feelings are running high in our household. Irish stew will, no doubt, be on the menu tomorrow and I have a recipe for a fruity soda bread that I am looking forward to trying out. In addition, the day gives me my first opportunity to use my Shades of Green handbag.

I really went for the Shades of Green theme with this bag. So the exterior is a fine green tweed, the interior is a brighter green cotton and as you can see I have used green satin ribbon to line the handles. There is more green cotton for my yo-yo trim and as if that was not enough green I added a shamrock button! If St Patrick's Day is not the perfect day to use this bag, then I don't know when is :) The bag pattern is from the City bag collection in Nancy Zieman's Trace'n Create bag templates. I have used them a couple of times and found them very straightforward to use. The patterns call for a number of Nancy Zieman products, which I cannot get here, but they are easily substitutable (is that a word??) with local available hardware, so it didn't cause any problems.

Last night we went to the National Opera house to watch a performance of the Ballet Don Quixote, the tickets were a birthday present for my husband from our son. Whilst sitting in the theatre waiting for the performance to begin, I caught myself thinking that I should have brought my camera to take pictures of the interior to post on my blog! Am I becoming obsessed do you think??

If you are ever in this part of the world, I would definitely recommend a visit to a ballet or opera performance. It is not something we did very often back in the UK partly because of the cost (especially if the whole family were going) but also because of the time and effort required in getting to the theatre. In Riga, the Opera House is within walking distance and ticket prices are very reasonable so whole families go, in fact you can see all sections of the society here at a performance from grannies with their granddaughters to students, visiting dignitaries and all groups in between. The dress code is similarly broad, so at the same performance you will see couples in evening dress, little girls dressed up (in flamenco dresses last night!) and students in jeans and jumpers. The theatre looks like I imagine it must have done decades ago, especially the cafe for the interval, where rows of cups and saucers sit on long, lovely wooden counters and delicious cakes are displayed in beautiful glass cabinets. You can definitely imagine ladies at the turn of the century in their finery sipping their tea in these surroundings.

Hope you all have a great weekend, Happy St Patrick's Day in advance!


  1. My you are very talented. I love the bag - it looks simple but also elegant.

    Don't you hate when you forget your camera - I do it all the time. Your explanation of the Opera House and the people enjoying the performance was enought to get a visual. Thanks.

    Congrats on your win from Ellison Lane Quilts - how exciting.

  2. I wanted to congratulate on your win also, I was so excited for you when I saw your name! Love the block & the bag. Your mishap paragraph made me laugh, because I've done all those things! If there is one thing I hate more than unsewing fabric, it is unsewing fabric and paper lol! The opera sounds lovely, you described it beautifully!

  3. Great job on the block, we'd never have known about the 'challenges' :oD

    Tomorrow I shall be glued to the telly :oD

  4. I found your blog through FAFF and I'm so happy I did. What a great bag you the green satin strap lining! And of course I love your circle of geese. I'm in LOVE with this block pattern and am currently making a quilt using it. I can sympathize with your struggles as I've had similar mishaps but do much better now that I've had practice. Anyway, nice work!

  5. Your shades of green bag looks fabulous, Fiona! Love the shape of the bag and the satin handle finishes it off well!!!

  6. Fantastic job on the Circle of Geese! I love that block but haven't yet attempted it. It'll make a fab cushion.

  7. Hello! I just wanted to say a big thank you for your kind words over on my blog! Always encouraging! I love the bag. It's beautifully made. Do take the camera to the Opera house next time. A blogger can never snap too many pictures! Lol! Hope you had a lovely St. Paddy's Day! ♥


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