Swimming with the fishes…

Well, I swam with little tiny fishes :-). But first, we walked a bit along the coastal paths near Sa Tuna.

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The Mediterranean Ocean is amazingly clear and blue. Actually, it is many shades of blue depending on the sunlight, the depth of the water, etc. The color changed all day long.

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There are a lot of ups and downs on this walk but it’s not all uphill. You do get to go downhill as well.

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And there is so much to look at that will make you smile!

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There were a lot of topless ladies of all ages and sizes on the beach. So many that really, who cares. There were lots of men in speedos… not a look I love but, again, who cares. These folks appear to embrace the bodies they have. I like that.

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The beach at Sa Tuna is wider than you see here, but that little tiny bit of sand (really, it was smooth gravel) next to the rock in the lower right is where Steve and I sat in the shade. The kids sat more in the sun.

We got there early, while parking was easy and the beach was empty. By the time we left at 1:30, the beach was full!

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We have one more full day of vacation and we are going to another beach. I have so many photos to show you once I get back home. The vacation will live on :-).

Palau De la Musica Catalana

After our food tour, we went to the Palau De la Musica Catalana. It is a beautiful space where choirs sing. Not just any choirs… magnificent choirs. And not just classical music, but all kinds of amazing music.

I wish I knew more about music, but I don’t. Celia knows a lot about music and she brought us here because it is a famous, wonderful space. I want to come back to hear choirs sing right here.

Side note: Since I’ve been in Spain, when I google something, it is in Spanish. I don’t want to link to a site you may not be able to read so, if you want to know more, google Palau De la Musica Catalana. You’ll be glad you did.

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Mosaics are everywhere. This space was designed by a contemporary of Gaudi, Lluís Domènech i Montaner,

There are muses that surround the stage, to inspire the musicians. Honestly, doesn’t that sound wonderful? To be surrounded by muses?

And then there is the stained glass, on the outside of the building…

But the best piece is inside, above the stage. It is not flat, but dips down in the center. The space if lit by lovely, colored light…

After this, we went to see the inside of the Sagrada Familia. That visit deserves its very own post!

 

We walked (and walked) along the shore…

I don’t wear a Fitbit or Apple watch anymore, and data is turned off on my phone, so I have no idea how far we walked this morning, but I suspect it was 5-6 miles. Maybe it’s the sea air, but at 4 in the afternoon, I am tired!

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My photo challenge this week is sky/clouds, so I pointed my camera up a lot.

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There were a couple of these huge3 ‘pencils’ tossed about on the rocks. It is concrete and many feet long, and it is tall enough that it could serve as a bench. Catherine had no idea what they were for or where they had come from.

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We stopped for a leisurely coffee on the way home. I’m not sure when I have relaxed so much on a vacation!

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We shopped this afternoon and I bought a skirt. Simple design, made locally. Yes, I could sew it but, no, I don’t want to. It was so much nicer to know that I am supporting an Australian sewer and that I look forward to wearing that skirt for a very long time!

 

Show and Tell

Laurie Schierer took my Pick-Up Sticks class at the Hands All Around Quilt Guild a couple of weeks ago in Normal, IL. Not only is her quilt amazing, it is also quilted and bound! Way to go, Laurie! (The Pick-Up Sticks pattern is in my book, The Quilter’s Practical Guide to Color.)

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During the design part of this class, we put together student blocks in a variety of sets. It occurred to me that you could add triangles to the blocks to form a center (wonky) square. Laurie ran with that idea and I’m so glad she did!

Here are just a few of the other settings, combining student blocks, that we played with:

 

 

Amy Marson, on embroidery…

My good friend, Amy, offered share more about her embroidery art. Yay!

Do you spend a lot of time commuting? passenger in a car? on an airplane? I do! And I am fidgety, always needing something in my hands to keep me busy.  Well last April I started embroidering when I travel and I am hooked. I have done two famous paintings, The Scream and Starry Night. My favorite part of both of these is the sky done in a big chain stitch.

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I am fairly new to embroidery and I like it when my work looks a bit rough (I am a recovering perfectionist) and not precise.  I really enjoyed trying to figure out what colors to use where and how to make certain sections stand out. I made different choices than the artists just for fun and I am really happy with the results.  My Starry Night hangs next door at my neighbors house (a Christmas present) and I am not sure yet what to do with The Scream. I may keep it…

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A few good things to note. To transfer the pattern I used C&T Publishing’s Wash-Away Stitch Stabilizer, a great surface that you can run through an ink jet printer and adhere to your fabric while you are stitching, and when you are done you swish it in water and it melts away!

I got some great needles from Becky (this is a good set) and used a variety of perle cottons (lots of choices here) for much of the designs. I love how the perle cotton sits on top of the fabric. Also, I did not stick with one weight of Perle Cotton, I used three different weights, my goal was to create a lot of texture and I think it worked.

I am a self taught stitcher using Judith Baker Montano’s Embroidery & Crazy Quilt Stitch Tool and I work very quickly with the goal of done is better than perfect. What am I working on now? I sketched a world encircled by houses, trees and a book. I started freehand stitching and it is coming along beautifully! If Becky let’s me guest post again I will show you my latest project. Until then, needles up!

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PS from Becky: Amy, you can guest post any time!

Color(s) of the year…

I’m busy working away on the next new thing that I can’t tell anyone about for months. It is ever thus. BUT, as I’m working, I can’t get these colors out of my head.

First, did you see the Kona Cotton color of the year announcement? The color is Tiger Lily and it does make me happy.

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Click here to see the Robert Kaufman Tiger Lily Look Book. It’s full of designs from their designers using this color.

A few days later, I became aware of Pantone’s color of the year, Ultra Violet. Who knew, right? I remember when there was one color of the year and that was that.

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Do you remember last year’s Pantone color of the year? It was Greenery…

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These 3 colors form a triadic color combination that is both lovely and not often used: purple, orange, and green.

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I’m hoping that now that I’ve shared this with you, I can stop thinking about these 3 colors because it’s very distracting when I need to be thinking about other colors :-).

 

 

 

Fabric love at first sight…

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I love Alison Glass‘s fabric. That’s a fact.

You know that the fabrics in any collection, by any designer or from any company, are designed to work together. I have found that even though I may like a collection, there are only a few fabrics that I actually use. It is a rare thing to find a collection of prints where everything works together as well as these fabrics do. Why is that?

  • In addition to being just luscious, there is a nice mix of values.
  • These particular prints add texture without being distracting. That works really well in both piecing and appliqué.
  • There are both clear colors and gray colors. When used together, clear colors come forward, grayer colors recede. In a quilt, the combination of clear and gray colors adds dimension to the design.

This is what I have right now: a mix of Alison’s Chroma and Handcrafted Indigo collections as well as a text print. It’s a great start but I know I’m going to be adding more AG fabric to this mix because more is obviously better in this case :-).

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If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’m working on a foundation paper pieced quilt. The first quilt top is sewn and I’m now making variations of the pattern in AG fabric. I don’t want to ruin future surprises but this gives you an idea of how these prints work together in a pieced block.

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One last thing: When I was in St. Louis last week I picked up some give-away scraps of vintage fabric from the guild table. Too many quilters are nervous about mixing vintage-style prints with modern prints. Don’t be! This is a happy stack of fabric that would make a great quilt.

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I don’t often go on and on about fabric on my blog, but these prints are special. You should consider adding them to your stash.

Happy fabric shopping (is there any other kind?).