Free Motion Quilting

At the beginning of the year, I chanced upon a Quilt-along by Karen from Redbird Quilts here I´ve been wanting to practice free motion quilting for a long time but didn’t want to mess up any of my pieced quilts. So when I saw this quilt-along using a panel, and such a cute panel it is, from Susybee, I knew this was the perfect opportunity I´d been waiting for.

So off I went looking to buy the Lew the Ewe panel, but as usual here in Portugal where I live, there was nothing, Quilting is not really a thing here. My options were to order online from overseas, but postage costs from the States are crazy, and even from the UK it was just too expensive, I opted to buy the Hildy the Goat panel also from Susybee from Italy, and try to adapt the free motion quilting to this panel.

Well, I must say the whole experience was very interesting, I had never sewn with 12wt Aurifil thread before, which of course, I also had to order from overseas…..Maybe I should just move overseas 😊, hopefully, one day I will find Aurifil thread in this country. Well anyway, I love the look of the 12wt thread, it´s so bold and adds great dimension to the quilt, I used it to highlight the clouds and on the borders, will definitely be using it again in the future.


Ok so my free motion pebbles are a little rugged and wobbly, and my meandering across the grass is more of a lurching along the grass 😃 still it was rather fun, I also tried the swirls shape in the sashing between the squares. During the swirls, my thread kept breaking in spite of me trying new and different size needles, so I didn´t have the heart to try sewing feathers, because I knew this pleasant experience would turn out to be a frustrating one instead, so on the outside border, I just quilted my usual wavy lines.





So here is the panel all finished, or as finished as I wanted it to be, you´ll notice I didn’t quilt the sky, in this case, I thought less was more, well that’s what I´m telling myself anyway 😊


So, what have I taken from this experience? Well, I´m very happy I tried it, and now I know that if I practice some more, I will actually be able to sew great looking pebbles and meander along like a pro. Having said that, I don’t think I have the patience for this type of free motion quilting, it would require too much of my time and I get easily frustrated, and I still don´t understand why my thread kept breaking during the swirls. So I think for now I´ll stick to my straight lines and occasional wavy line quilting.

This gorgeous panel is now meandering off, to hang on my 2-year-old granddaughter’s room, she really likes the goats and bees 🙂





Holiday in Israel

I recently came back from a holiday to Israel. It´s been on my bucket list forever!

We only went for 5 days, so of course, we didn’t get to see everything, but we still managed to pack in quite a few sites.

Here are a few photos of the different places we did see.

The old town in Jerusalem, which is divided into the Jewish quarter, the Christian quarter, the Muslim quarter and the smallest being the Armenian quarter.




The Western Wall, in the Jewish quarter, was one of the highlights, especially at night with the men  singing.


Men on one side, woman on the other 😉


The temple mount, we weren’t allowed inside the temple, non-Muslims are not allowed, but still wonderful to see from the outside, with wonderful views. Hubby and I were wearing shorts to the knees but still…. BOTH of us were ordered to wear long skirts loaned to us by the guards. I had such a laugh seeing my husband in a skirt 😊


The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, in the Cristian quarter containing the two holiest sites in Christianity, the place where Jesus was crucified, known as Calvary or Golgotha, and Jesus’s empty tomb, where he was buried and resurrected. We waited for about an hour and a half in the queue, to see the tomb.


Massada – where the famous siege took place between the Jewish people and the Romans, in +- 74AD,. Here you can take the cable car up and walk around the ruins, it´s very interesting.


The views are incredible!



The Palace Guards 🙂


An Original mosaic floor


Thank goodness they have the cable car, some people actually walk up and down, but I’m not that sort of people 🙂20190528_092243

Ein Gedi –  A nature reserve, with lots of small waterfalls along the trail. We spent quite some time alone in this little waterfall that emptied into a tiny little pond, it was gorgeous


The Dead Sea, which I have wanted to go to all my life, I finally made it, and what can I say…. I loved the experience, however, it´s so salty, that when a few drops fell into my eyes I had to rush out to wash them because they started burning so much. Actually, the recommended time for being in the water is only 10 to 15 minutes at a time. Still, it was loads of fun.



Of course, we had to spread mud all over our bodies when it´s washed off the skin feels really soft, but a little smelly from the sulfur 🙂


The garden of Gethsemane, the spot where Jesus said his last prayers before he was arrested by the Romans.


The Basilica of the Agony, or church of all nations as it is also known, enshrines a section of rock where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest.


The Garden Tomb – Considered by many to be the actual site of Jesus´s tomb and where the resurrection took place. It´s quite lovely here, very calming and relaxing, definitely worth the visit.


On our last day in Jerusalem, we visited Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the victims of the Nazi Holocaust,


This was a very sobering and moving visit, I found it very hard to keep my emotions in check and not cry. The world certainly needs this memorial so that it never forgets what happened.


Our last day, we spent in Tel Aviv, and at the beach, which was great.


I could go on and on about this trip which was so fascinating, however, I´ll just end with this interesting custom I saw during our visit to Jerusalem. Water is so precious that all the public bathrooms and outside fountains have these containers so as not to waste water, they pour water into the container and use that water in the container to wash their hands, I love this idea, I´m going to get myself something similar and apply this at home. One of the things I love about traveling is seeing how people do things differently and learning from other cultures


Time to start planning the next trip 😉