Friday, December 5, 2014

December Already???

It's been a long dry spell with no posts on my blog.  I didn't mean to neglect it so badly but I'm going to try to be better.  I have just been busy with life and traveling.  Things have settled down since my last trip to Turkey.  We celebrated my granddaughters first birthday last month.  My, how time is flying by with this little one.  She is such a character and I can't wait to see what the next year brings.
 
 
A few weeks ago I decided to actually attempt a quilt job on my domestic machine.  It's a queen size for our bed and I got all the stitching in the ditch done around the sashing and borders.  I got a few diagonal rows done and now here it sits.  Why?
 
 
Because of this!  The Bonnie Hunter mystery, Grand Illusion Mystery.  I am doing turquoise, red, and green as my main colors and following Bonnie's pattern with the black and yellow.  A mystery during the holidays!!??  What a glutton for punishment!
 
 
 I hope to have some updates on completed steps as the weeks progress.


Friday, June 6, 2014

New Machine in Turkey

Well, Saturday, hubby and I went to Ulos, one of the many shopping areas here in Ankara.  We somehow communicated to a store clerk that we needed a new adapter (mostly by pointing to the broken adapter).  Luckily, the man spoke just enough English to tell us, "Light...signal...right...elektrik."  Okay, got it.  Off we went, got the adapter, walked around some, I got prices on some inexpensive machines should the adapter still not work and I found a fabric store that carried some cottons!  I bought a few gingham-type checks and got a few colors as fill ins for a few projects I had.  ;)  And then home.  I tried the new adapter with my Janome Jem and still nothing.  I get power and then an error display message so it must need some work or it's just not taking the 220v power. 

I've been cutting "kits" and pinning project pieces together so I was staying busy during the day.  I'm not sure but I must have had the most pitiful look ever on my face because on Sunday night, hubby told me I should go back to Ulos on Monday and get myself a new sewing machine.  Saturday they had a Singer for around $200 US dollars.  I really didn't want a Singer but hey, I didn't want to complain.  I'm unemployed now, you know.  lol

So, on Monday, I got out the English/Turkish dictionary and wrote down a few phrases like "left" and "right" for the taxi ride and "how much".  :)  Before I was ready to leave, I called one of the wives that I've become friends with, Debbie.  I told her my plan and she eagerly said she would go with me.  I almost climbed through the phone line to kiss her!!  lol  I would've gone alone but she's been here for three years and knows a little Turkish, how to get to Ulos and is just knowledgeable about things here.  Talk about relief!!

This photo is behind the main street.  The shops go for blocks but the "main street" is where the sewing machine stores are.  They have Pfaff, Juki, Singer, Janome....just about anything you would want.  A lot of friends and family have asked if I have to wear a scarf or keep my head covered.  There are many Muslims here, from the full black dress with just their eyes showing to ladies who wear the trench coat and scarf to just a head scarf.  I know there are names for all of those garments but I don't know them.  If I take time to look it up, I'll never get my post done!  lol

 
So, below is the machine I got.  It's not a Singer and it wasn't $200.  lol  I'm telling you, it's a wonder Richard even lets me come to visit him!  :oD  This week I blew up the iron!!!  lol  Anyway, this hobby machine was just over $400 US dollars so it's not horribly priced and I'm hoping when I come back in September, toward the end of that visit, I'll be able to sell it on the expat site since it's 220v and I won't be able to use it at home.  So far, she's been doing a great little job.  Since I had some of my "kits" ready to go, I was able to start sewing strips together for a Yellow Brick Road quilt.  She's nice and quiet and would've been a nice extra machine if she wasn't 220v.
 
 

None of the fabrics I brought with me looked good with the YBR monkey fabric so I sure was glad I picked up those ginghams on Saturday.  The brown seemed to work just fine. It looks kind of crazy in the photo but it's just a small check.
 
 

 
I also sewed my granddaughter Emily a little soft counting book.  It was an easy panel and it was all cut and pinned together.  I just had to sew it up.  I can't wait to see her and give it to her.  I'm sure it'll go right in her mouth!  :)
 


 
Well, it's raining heavy hear and it's after 10:00 a.m. and I'm still in my jammies!  Love, love, LOVE days like today!  TGIF!!


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Munich, Germany

 
I was only in Turkey for a few days before we went on a little vacation.  Hubby took a week off of work and we went to Germany.  I had no idea how close Austria, Italy and Switzerland were to Germany.  I believe I was gazing out the window during high school Geography!  I really need to study a map!
 
Anyway, hubby picked this fabulous hotel in Munich.  The people who own it are very nice.  The staff was all fluent in English which made asking "tourist" questions a lot easier.  We stayed here for two days.
 
 
We arrived at the hotel at about 5:30, or maybe later.  It's all a blur.  lol  The staff told us we were about 3 or 4 blocks away from this palace.  The grounds/garden was open but the palace was closed.  He let me use this book so I could read about it.  I'm glad we were so close to it because it was worth the walk!
 

The first thing we came to was an opening and we could see this beautiful garden.  We walked in and strolled at first and then picked up our pace as the sun was going down and we wanted to see as much as we could.

 
There were several buildings on the property which in the book said were "guest" cottages.  (Bigger than my house times 3!)  Then we came to an opening and saw the palace.  Oh my.  To think this is a working palace.  So beautiful.

 
I'm having a heck of a time loading pictures with this weak Internet in Turkey. I hope to share a few more pics soon...if it doesn't cause my blood pressure to rise too much.  :) 


Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

 
Being out of the country, I almost forgot it was Memorial Day.  Hopefully, my friends are enjoying a nice long weekend and having a chance to do something you enjoy.  Lastly, I hope you make time to reflect on those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.  To those families who lost loved ones in the military, no words can express what you have gone through.  Thank you for fighting for our freedom.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Darci's Dress Up, Part 1??

Look at me trying to be a good little blogger and post some updates!!  :o)

I haven't figured out the sewing machine situation yet so in the meantime, I'm plugging along on prep work.  Doing what I can to prepare for when I have a working machine here in Turkey. 

I've had this pattern and layer cake kit for...oh, about two years I guess.  That must be my "simmer time" because that seems to be my average of projects I brought with me.  I guess I had to bond with my fabrics and kits first....like raising a family.  Hold 'em tight and then let them go.  hehe

Anyway, no sewing but there is quite a bit of prep work for this project, Darci's Dress Up.  The dresses need to be fused onto squares of background fabric.  I'm using Steam a Seam 2  I'm hoping it doesn't make them to stiff but I'm guessing this will be a wall hanging and hopefully, it will be fine.  (Sorry for the poor quality photos.  My camera's on the charger.)
 

 
The need to be fused, attached by blanket stitch, blind stitch or whatever your choice is.  I'm probably going to blind stitch them on.  There are collars, sleeves and pockets.  You can also add embellishments like lace, rickrack, buttons.  I brought a few things but not a lot.  We'll see how far this project goes.
 
 
I brought a charm pack of 30's but not big pieces.  I'm not thrilled with all of the fabrics I have to use but I'm going to go for it.  The background blocks and dresses are okay but once I pulled all that I liked, there wasn't much left for the little "pinwheel" border. 
 
 
I'm guessing it'll take me some time to get the dresses done so who knows, I might be home by then.  lol 
 
We'll be going to Munich in a few days and will be gone for a week.  Thus the Part 1, question marks.  Who knows what I'll get done while I'm here.  :o)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Attempting to sew in Turkey...

I have my little sewing space all set up in the living room of my hubby's apartment.  We moved me out of the back bedroom so I could have access to the internet to use the wifi for music on my tablet or to watch tv while sewing if I wanted to.  Um....since I blew up the tv in the back room last time I was here.  lol
 

I brought a suitcase full of things to sew since I'll have quite a bit of time to myself while the hubby is at work.  When we're not traveling, I'll be playing with fabric.  Things I bought quite a while ago and didn't have time because of work or because of someone named Emily.  :)
 

 
The first thing I thought I would try is this little kit that I bought probably two years ago on a quilt run.  I bought it at a favorite little shop called Stars and Scraps in Corona.  I always find something cute in that store!
 
 
I got about almost to the last step of adding the bottom binding and my machine went kapooey.  The machine quit working, gave me a beep and message on the screen that I'm sure has something to do with the power difference between our 110 and Turkey's 220 power.  Grrrr.  And this is with the surge protector I'm using.  I was "very" persistent and turned the hand wheel to finish the binding.  This might be my only finish while I'm here.  :(
 
 
 
This caddy is a pretty generous size of almost 9" across and almost 6" tall.  I love the fabrics in the kit.  They were very generous with the amount of fabric that came in the kit too.  
 
 
Pockets on the inside although they're flimsy so my stuff wants to fall over.

 
Well, off to see what I can cut up and get things ready for sewing....whenever that happens.  When I thought I blew this machine up on my last visit, hubby took it to have it fixed.  Maybe he'll remember where he took it and we can take it back in.  Either that or maybe I can find a little used machine in one of the shops here.  There are about three machine stores we've seen in sopping area, Janome, Pfaff and Singer.  I ought to be able to find something, right?  lol





Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Another trip to Turkey

My bags are packed and by the door.  I'm off to Turkey again for six whole weeks!!!!  I'm going to spend time with my hubby, do a little traveling and a little (hopefully a lot) of sewing!!!!
 
 
 
I will miss my girls and especially my little Emily something awful.....oh, and my friends and family too.  lol  I think it's just worse with Emily because I am lucky enough to see her little face every day and I know she's going to change sooo much.  Good ol' Skype might keep me from being too homesick.

Happy sewing to you all.  I'll share any finishes I might get done along the way.  Sheesh, in six weeks with no grandbaby distraction....I should hope I could share something!  :)