Thursday, July 14, 2016

Typical Day

What is my typical day when I am in the south of Italy on holidays?

Well, I walk down to meet the fish guy early in the morning. He drives around to the smaller paese to sell fresh fish.

He often says hello to me through his van loud-speaker which always makes me laugh!

Then I walk down to the beach and as I do, enjoy the views.

I swim for a few hours. I actually think of nothing when I swim!

I meet up with friends. The older folk always like to tell stories of their interesting past. I am glad to listen and laugh with them.

I come back home and on the way I knock at Signora Rosa's house and ask if she has anything from her garden she wants to sell. I use that fresh produce for lunch.

She sometimes gives me a recipe suggestion- like today: grated Tropea onion with grated zucchini in a pan with some oil. Let it cook and reduce. Add zucchini flowers and cook till creamy texture. Add cooked pasta and mix well. Add a handful of grated cheese.

After lunch, I sew or sketch or record stories I heard at the beach. My balcony has an amazing view of the sea and a breeze which is much appreciated on hot afternoons. I sometimes go back to the beach.

In the early evening some locals gather near the only store in town. We sit outside and chat...think Dolce Gabbana ads... and I sometimes knit. We wave to friends in the passing cars. There is lots of laughter.

It's summer and I have no clock to run my day. It's un-thinking time. It's just ...being.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

You Might Like It...Eventually

I love the look of hand quilting.

My baby quilt has a few folds from being in my suitcase!

I have done very little of it myself.  My work is usually machine pieced and machine quilted, free hand. I have tried to like doing the hand quilting myself but it never clicked with me. I never had much success and it wasn't something I found pleasurable. It was definitely NOT relaxing.

Having the baby blanket up close as I quilt,  I enjoy looking
at all the scraps I used to make it.
I really do love scrap quilts,

I know how to do theory, that is. If anyone asks me, I can tell them how to do it, how to hold the needle, that a shorter needle is better to use because you can "rock" it while you make the stitches, that the spaces should be the same size as the stitch length, to use hand-quilting thread that is usually a little thicker than regular thread. I can advise on what pattern would work well with their quilt design. But again, I have not made very many hand-quilted quilts myself.

I have a friend who has a shop near where I stay in Verona. In the afternoon, she sometimes sits outside if there are no customers and does hand work- knit, embroider, quilt or piece.

The other day I went out and asked her for advise on how to quilt by hand. She laughed because she could not possibly teach ME anything. But I sat beside her and we chatted and I just quilted and ...guess what? I actually DO like quilting by hand....after 25 years of trying to like it!

So I have brought my baby quilt here to the south of Italy where I am now holidaying. After four hours at the beach I come up for lunch and then do some hand quilting on the balcony.

It is very enjoyable....finally!