Thursday, 2 July 2015

A different daily commute

For those of you who regularly travel by Metro or Underground, I thought you might like a glimpse of some of the amazing Metro stations that we visited recently in Moscow. We were very proud of ourselves for managing to negotiate the network on our own, as all the Cyrillic language station signs took a bit of deciphering. However, it wasn't until we took a guided tour of the Metro stations in the evening that we realised just how stunning some of the stations are.

The Ploschad Revolyutsii station is the stop nearest Red Square, so it is probably not surprising that it is one of the most beautiful.

The platforms were decorated with 76 bronze statues like the one above, and even included 4 bronze hunting dogs whose noses supposedly needed to be rubbed for luck!

 Clearly lots of Moscow commuters think they need some luck :)

My favourite station was the Kiyevskaya Station, which is the underground station for the railway line from Moscow to Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine.

The Metro stations on the first line built in 1935 were intended to be seen as "people's palaces" and the Kiyevskaya Station certainly lives up to the billing.

The Ukraine was Russia's bread basket so the station is decorated with wonderful plaster mouldings of wheat sheaves as you can see above, and frescoes depicting life in the Ukraine.

I thought at first these ladies were sewing but alas not :)

The lighting in some of the stations was another highlight,

 Check out the platform lighting at Novoslobodskaya Station

and the chandeliers at Komsomolskaya Station. I felt that I should be in a cocktail dress and evening gloves :)

Wouldn't this make a wonderful quilting pattern?

This one just made me think of Discworld!

Apparently the Moscow Metro system is the busiest metro system outside of Asia and the world's busiest by daily users, but every station that we visited was absolutely spotless so you would never have guessed. If you ever get the opportunity to visit some of the beautiful stations on the Moscow Metro, then I highly recommend that you take it. We will definitely be going back!

Linking up to

Live A Colorful Life

Thursday, 25 June 2015

New to Me in June

Welcome to another New to Me Link Party, where we celebrate flexing our creative muscles and trying something new, whether we have succeeded or not :)

My New to Me activities this month are definitely a mixed bag.

First up, my very first published paper piecing pattern.

My Designer Shoe Boot cushion pattern that appears in the latest edition of

Next my first attempt at reverse applique for the Wine Bottle gift bag that was this month's Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew project.

Head on over to Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner  to add your own links and check out Ruth's wonderful So Frosty quilt pattern and Flying Geese tutorial whilst you are there!

And finally, the scary manual challenge laid down by Katy to ignore all those tempting automatic settings on my camera and try to fathom it all out for myself!

So, that's my New to Me activities this month, now it is your turn.

As ever please help to spread the word by linking back to this post in your post and/or adding the blog button to your sidebar.

Check out the other links too and, maybe, leave an encouraging comment along the way. The emphasis of this link party is to celebrate the trying of something new, whether it works out exactly as planned or not, so a little encouragement here and there would not go amiss! 

The link will remain open until 23.59GMT on June 30th, so you have some time to try something new and link up and join the party :)

Friday, 19 June 2015

A long delayed finish!

I have been waiting impatiently for what seems like ages to share this finish with you, so I am delighted to finally have the opportunity.

Sometime last year, I submitted a project to Fat Quarterly which was accepted and the publication date was set for February. Then the bombshell that was VAT MOSS landed, which meant (in a nutshell) that suppliers of digital files, such as quilting e-zines, to recipients throughout the EU now had to pay the VAT rate relevant in each member state of the recipients. The UK solution to this big headache involves quarterly VAT returns that require a working knowledge of VAT rates throughout the EU, so it was not surprising that the editors of Fat Quarterly decided to suspend operations for a while until the ramifications of the changes and an acceptable way of working with them were ironed out.

Thankfully that hiatus is now over and the latest issue of Fat Quarterly has just hit the stands.

Issue 20 is dedicated to paper piecing and contains, amongst some amazing patterns, my very first paper piecing pattern!

The pattern was inspired by a visit some time ago to the V & A museum in London, where some outrageous shoes by the designer Alexander McQueen caught my eye.

Shoe Boot design cushion cover
Designer Shoe Boot cushion
Sadly my budget does not match my desire so I decided to go for the next best thing and make my own version of a McQueen Shoe Boot. Creating the paper-pieced pattern was most definitely a challenge for my poor brain cells, but they managed to survive, just! Of course, I did make things a little bit more difficult for myself by incorporating a zip into the pattern, but it really wouldn't have been the same without it, believe me :) The skull charm is, for me, the icing on the cake.

So, if your taste in shoes transcends the contents of your wallet like mine, and you are looking for a way to scratch that designer shoe itch, now you know where to go. Whilst you are at Fat Quarterly check out the amazing Acrobat cushion pattern by Juliet, I am definitely adding it to the must try list!

Perhaps I ought to attempt one of the cushions as a future Ho, Ho, Ho and on We Sew project to add another gift to the pile of handmade goodies :) Don't forget to link up your Christmas and Holiday crafting this month over at Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner to be in with a chance of winning your choice of a mini Charm Pack from the Fat Quarter Shop

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts

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