Well, I made it here to Italy!  I’ve been anxious to get back to sewing and back to blogging but these things take time.  We sold our house and moved out the end of April.  Then we stayed with my Mom for a few weeks while we waited for our Visas to come.  We arrived here in Italy the end of May and it’s been a whirlwind of finding a place to live and a car to drive and figuring out how everything works!

I’m happy to report that almost everything we mailed arrived in great condition.  The small Janome sewing machine I bought came in great shape.  The cutting mats and squares that I brought in my suitcase arrived fine. The boxes with my fabrics and kits were another story.

One of the first boxes that we mailed was full of fabric and patterns.  It came last and was in bad shape.


It seems to have weathered a bad storm.  Things were pretty wet; I had to hang the fabric up to dry and lay the patterns out.  I was glad I put my kits in big plastic bags.  I was really confused when I noticed this on the bottom:


Hmm, I really don’t know what kind of route this box took to Italy but I think it was the long one.  I guess that’s a mystery I’ll never figure out.

While we were staying at our temporary apartment, I had some time to work on my English paper-pieced project which is all hand sewn.  It’s a good project when you have absolutely nothing else to do.



I guess I’m making some progress on it, although not much to show for a project that’s 3 years old.  It’s bigger than a doll blanket but not quite baby sized yet.  I hope that someday it will be big enough for a full-sized bed.  A project like this teaches me patience.  Most quilts are overwhelming projects when you first start but it’s always amazing that the little pieces eventually become something.

I’m learning patience with my new life as well.  I spend enormous amounts of time trying to figure out what should be simple, little things.  There’s a very steep learning curve here.  This morning, I spent probably an hour trying to get to a message on my phone. ( The phone I bought from the PX was all in German and didn’t have instructions.) After lunch, I didn’t know which trash to throw the potato chip bag into. (Is is plastic? Paper? Plain trash?)  I have 5 different types of trash.  I remember what it was like in Germany but there are some new things here.  Our house has only 3 kilowatts of power so I’m always thinking about what I turn on and what kind of power everything uses.  I have to get a transformer for my sewing machine so I want to get just what I need and not one that’s too big.

I do a lot of math here.  Kilometers to miles, Celsius to Fahrenheit, watts to kilowatts. Euros to dollars. What are the buttons on the washing machine, what are these buttons on the car?  Do I kiss on the left cheek first, what does this text message from my cell phone provider say?  Is this the right train?  Should I not have waved at that person for letting me in on the road?  (After someone gives me what looks like an angry wave. Uh-oh.)  What are they saying?  What is this word?  What am I eating?

I’m learning Italian words very quickly – by what I need or the situation I’m in.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to put them all together and make sense.?

It can be overwhelming to start a new life as well.


Hexagon Quilt Update

Hexagon quilt

I started this English paper pieced hexagon quilt back in April since it seems like everybody and their brother is making one.  I don’t want to be left out!  I think it’s cool when the new craze is really something old.  I thought it would be a great take-along project to use up even the tiniest  scraps.  This is a variation on the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern.  Most of those patterns have another layer of colored fabric around the flower but as usual, I dove into this project before really looking at the patterns so this is how mine is going to look.  That’s what I love about quilting, there’s really no wrong way to do things.

I found a free hexagon template sheet online and printed it out on card stock on my printer.  One sheet had 28 hexagons on it and I think I’ve printed out 3 sheets now.  I cut out the templates and they make a nice stiff pattern to sew around but are still flexible enough to pull out.  This is sort of an inch-worm project.  I cut out some tiny pieces of fabric, sew them into hexagons using the templates/patterns, sew those together, pull out the templates on the inside pieces and start over.

This is a great project for watching TV, long car rides (when you’re not driving of course), watching 3 hours of talent at the Miss Missouri State Fair pageant, etc..  I’ve done a lot of these activities this summer so I’m making pretty good progress.  Now that I’ve gotten this far, I started thinking about how to finish this project.  I wasn’t sure how to square things up.  A quick search online looks like some just go with a jagged edged quilt and some just cut the hexagons to make a straight edged quilt.  Obviously I have a long way to go but you get to thinking about these things when you’re piecing little tiny pieces!