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!

 

Yes, I’m mellowing…

There’s a block in the secret project that has 16 points that meet in the center. I drew this block and knew it would be bulky. I also know that it is possible to make the points (mostly) match (there is that one that is way off)…

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The problem is that even when the points match, the seam allowances on the back are still there…

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It’s like a little mountain in the middle of the block. I could hammer the seams flat, but that’s not a great fix. You know what is a good fix? A circle appliqued over the center which allows me to cut away the bulk AND which is really cute on the block! Done!

In my younger, more hard-core days, I would have worked and worked to on these points. I feel much calmer now that I am willing to let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies :-).

It’s the little things…

Australia feels both very familiar, and different. Happily, I speak the language, but there are differences between Texas English and Australian English. Here, I’m the one speaking with an accent. There’s a look tossed my way when I speak which isn’t bad, it’s just odd. It’s good to be reminded of what it’s like to be different.

On our walks about town, I’ve noticed the house numbers. I don’t know the exact fonts. Some have serifs, others do not. But across the board, the numbers are clean and clear and big enough to be visible from the street. It feels like a cohesive system.

There is a lot of street art, both colorful and subtle. I want to go home and paint the side of my house. When? I don’t know…

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And then there are the cute light switches.

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Like I said, it’s the little things!

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The Cathedral in Newcastle…

We visited Christ Church Cathedral this morning.

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It’s a beautiful, old Anglican Cathedral that occupies a high point of the city of Newcastle and it was open this morning.

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I was surprised to find a church filled with needlework! The banners are collage quilts!

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As was the altar piece.

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These quilts fit the space so very well. It’s impressive! But wait… there’s more!

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There are needle pointed kneeling cushions in every pew! There may be repeating designs, but I didn’t see any.

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These lovely fiber quilts and cushions, made by hand, make this space feel warmer, more comforting. I am impressed.

Sign-ups have begun!

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Registration for next year’s Empty Spools Seminars has begun and I would love to see your smiling face in my class! I’ll be teaching a colorful independent study.

‘Independent’ means that you can work on any project you like. It can be one of my patterns or someone else’s design. It can be any style from traditional to modern to art, pieced or appliqued, by hand or machine.

‘Colorful’ means that I’ll share lots of information about color for an hour on set-up day. The next morning we will spend some no-sew time playing with color before you jump into your project. This is a simple, yet powerful, exercise that my students always love. What you learn will help you make fabric choices during the rest of the class.

If you’ve never been to an Empty Spools class, it is definitely time to treat yourself!

Click here for more information.

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Now that we’re home from the Grand Hotel…

Elanor spent the day catching up and shipping orders. Three big bags of packages will go to the post office first thing tomorrow morning.

There’s one order from class with no name or contact info for side-threading needles. If you think that’s you, please email me at becky.pieceocake@gmail.com.

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I spent part of my day going to doctors. This morning I saw my foot doctor. I have a toe that curls under its neighbor and it has begun to hurt. For now, I can wear a tiny little silicone sleeve on it. In late July, he’s going to do a ‘1-stitch’ procedure to fix it. I think that means he’s going to lop off the offending underside of that toe. If it works, the other foot will be having the same thing.

My mother told me that when I was a baby she did her best to straighten up those two toes, wrapping them to make them grow straight. It didn’t work but, Moms, they know so much.

I went to the dermatologist this afternoon. I have a line under my thumbnail that a physician/student suggested it would be good to have it looked at. My doctor looked at it and my other fingernails. Turns out, I have a similar thing going on under other nails, just not so pronounced.

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After much deliberation we both decided that it was probably not melanoma, but that it was prudent to watch it. I’ll be going back in 3 months. He measured but didn’t have to do a biopsy today. That’s all good news. The bad news is that I need to forego polish for 3 months. Dang!

Donna, who takes very good care of my nails so that they always look good on camera, will make even unpolished nails work for me. I’m sure of that. However, the transition from one to the other might not be so lovely so it’s good that I’m not on the road teaching again until August.

FYI: If the line under my nail gets wider and irregular, that’s bad. If you have that, go to the doctor NOW!

Side note: I wore a dress in case he needed to look me all over. Turns out, he did. Nothing of note, thankfully.

And, lastly, I should show you this room at the Grand Hotel. I took the photo as we walked by and the door was open, between guests. All of the rooms are decorated differently and I didn’t see that many, but I really like this one!

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The predominant colors at the Grand Hotel are green, red, and aqua. This guest room also has a touch of periwinkle which is very nice. Many, if not most, of the ceilings are pale aqua… just like my very own bedroom at home. Sweet!

So much pattern! Big prints! Strong colors! I don’t want to bring it to my house now but it is loads of fun to visit :-). You should definitely visit the Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island. It’s an amazing place.

 

Show and Tell

You all are finishing things right and left! Judie Fleming made a Magical Unicorn 18” pillow for her granddaughter. Judie reports that her granddaughter really likes it, as do I!

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I have to admit that I never thought of making the block into a pillow, but that is a fantastic idea! I asked Judie how she got the pattern that small and it turns out that she enlarged the color photo and traced the pattern from that. Quilters are such creative thinkers!

Thank you, Judie, for sharing!