Friday, 4 May 2012

Warsaw, New York and Japan!

Today's post has a very international flavour to it. I have finally got around to putting together some of my photos from our recent trip to Warsaw, and as you can see we had blue skies and brilliant sunshine for the whole of our time there. The sunshine was great when we were enjoying watching the passing parade with a refreshing ice-cream to hand, but not so great when we were lost trying to find the photograph exhibition at the last of the tenements in the old Ghetto!

As you can see we did eventually find the exhibition (it is the right hand photo in the bottom row), which was a montage of photographs of Polish Jews donated by survivors and neighbours from the Jewish Ghetto in WW2. The last tenement is scheduled for demolition in the next year, so we were pleased to have been able to see this exhibition in its natural installation. The Old City was similar in some ways to its equivalent in Riga, but it was an odd experience walking around an Old Town that was, in fact, rebuilt almost entirely after WW2, but looked as though it had been there for over a hundred years.

Despite some lack of activity on the paper-piecing front recently, partly due it has to be said to trips like the one above, I have managed this week to get back into my NYB QAL blocks. Only one to add to the small, but growing, pile I admit, but I have now printed off all of the rest of the templates, so the spirit is willing! Next week will be the last week of the QAL, which has been interesting and frustrating at the same time. I am delighted that I have even been able to manage half of the blocks within the time frame, but frustrated that each one takes so long to do. Despite all the time and effort put in I will have nothing more than a pile of blocks to show for it at the end, unless I make even more blocks!

And for the final part of my international post, a bit of Japanese Zakka-style! This week's project in the SAL was a small pencil case, which has had some comments about quite how small it was i.e. not long enough to hold full-size pencils! It is, however, long enough for pens so I made his and hers versions, husband's for pens, mine for chalk and vanishing ink markers. I had thought of using mine for crochet hooks, as it is the perfect size, but as I only possess one crochet hook at the moment it seemed like overkill!

They were fairly straightforward to make, although it took me two attempts to sew the final stage as I managed to get the lining on the wrong way round in the first attempt and then the pocket inside on the second! That is when you wish you hadn't used linen for the outer plain fabric as ripping out seams on linen is no joke.

It is not much of a finish I admit, but I am linking up to TGIFF anyway, as this is about all of the finishes I am going to see for a while I think.


  1. Love hearing about your trips! The exhibition in Warsaw must have been quite moving.

    Well done getting back to the paper pieced blocks! Looking lovely!

    As far as I'm concerned, a finish is a finish! Your pen cases look fab :)

  2. Amazing pictures! I'm loving seeing your pictures from a whole different part of the world.

    Love the NY Beauty - and yes they do take a long time. I can see your predicament with the block size. That's probably why I did 4 of each. I'm happy to say I've paper pieced all the remaining blocks. Just need to cut out the background and sew them together. 3 x 4 = alot of sewing that I don't anticipate getting done this weekend.

    Keep up with the sewing - you're doing great!

  3. It is very interesting to me that the last tenements of the ghetto will be demolished. Is that because the Jewish population want to erase the buildings? Or is it something more practical like safety?

    I am with you on the Zakka SSA = I found the last few instructions had me scratching my head too.

  4. Warsaw sounds a very interesting place. Your nwb is fantastic - it's a shame they take so long - and your pencil case is lovely too.

  5. That was a virtual world tour there ;o) Warsaw looks fascinating, and lovely in the sun

  6. You get to see such amazing places, Warsaw looks wonderful. I love the pencil cases too - is that a fish on your strap?

  7. Warsaw looks amazing. It's definitely on my travel bucket list. Great job on the NYB! I still have yet to try that one. Also, your zakka-style pen holder rock! I'm wondering if you can add a few inches to the dimensions to make it longer. Hmmm...

  8. Warsaw looks very interesting. I always like getting a taste of places I've never been to. Germany is very similar - many of the old town centres have been rebuilt after the war. In Frankfurt the 50's / 60's buildings were torn down to rebuild the centre of the old city in the early 80's to look as it had down centuries before.

    Love the zakka pen cases!

    1. Thanks, parts of Warsaw were a building site, some of that was due to the upcoming European Football Championships next month, which are being jointly hosted by Poland and the Ukraine. So I think having rebuilt most of the city (it seemed) after WW2 they just never stopped!

    2. It wasn'ta building site when I was there - it was all 40s and 50s socialist realist buildings! Love it! i just left you a long comment but I'm not sure if my computer stole it...

  9. oh, you've made me all nostalgic! I miss Warsaw so much, it really is a wonderful city. I say that, but it was special to me as it was my home. What did you think, did you like it? When I first arrived, the school I worked for rented me a flat in the old Ghetto for the first few weeks, just across the road from the tram station you may have arrived at when you visited? Can't remember for the life of me what it was called. It was a man's name. A captain or something...

    Love the pen cases!

  10. that NYB block is amazing! your first pic reminds me of a cathederal in Macau :)

  11. I love that new York Beauty block. Lovely fabric selections. I normally don't care for those blocs, but yours looks almost Asian.

  12. I can't believe the NYB QAL is almost over, that went so fast! Good job on getting half done! I have 1.5 blocks :D! You did a beautiful job on yours and I love your color selection!

    The pen cases are adorable! That final stage of the pen case construction was kind of crazy. At that point, I just stared at the instructions for about half an hour!


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