Sunday, March 1, 2015

Big changes are afoot!

After living aboard for almost 30 years we have decided that the time has come to move back to Switzerland. I can't say that it was an easy decision, but with both our mothers old and my mum very frail, we feel it's where we should be. I'm vacillating between being exited and having panic attacks.   It certainly will be a challenge as I have lived more of less half of my life away from Switzerland, first in Australia and then in various Asian countries. I was a young woman of 30 with a baby in tow when we left "home" and this year I'm going to be..... well, I'll let you do the math. I'm not quite ready yet to write that number ;)! I feel like I have to reinvent myself as being an "expat" has somewhat become my identity and belonging nowhere and anywhere has given me a strange sense of freedom.

But we can't leave Asia "cold turkey".  We are trying to buy a little holiday house in Bali (or villa as they grandly call it) but like everything else in Indonesia there are a few hoops which need to be jumped through first.  But I'm sure we'll succeed  in the and and no doubt it will provide a welcome escape during the long and often dreary winters in Switzerland and I hope it will be a place where we can welcome family and friends.

Of course I'm going to miss my friends, especially my quilting buddies and we will certainly miss living the "easy" life in Singapore. And I've been trying to soak up this wonderful view we've been enjoying for the last five years.

I've been preparing some appliqué work as I won't have my sewing machine for a while.

The second corner on my Auntie Green

and a couple more blocks for My Aunt's Quilt 

 And this is the finished second block. 

All the corner and side blocks are prepared too and I'm taking a stash of fabric with me in my suit case to carry on when I have time. 

Tomorrow bright and early the moving company will be here to start packing up our belongings. I still have to prepare my suitcase for the next six weeks or so as that's how long it will take for the container to reach Switzerland. In the meantime we will be staying in my mum's house, which we will start to clear and prepare for sale. As you can imagine, it will be a busy time.

Vreni xx

Sunday, February 8, 2015

My quilts are back!

Last week I picked up my quilts I had sent to the Philippines (through a local quilt shop)  to be hand quilted.  

Both quilts are heavily quilted and I'm pleased how they turned out. I would never have the patience not the stamina for something like this. Because both quilts were hand or English paper pieced I felt they deserved to be hand quilted. 

I'm happy to have two tops done but there are still about eight more waiting in line! Oh well, a quilters work is never done!
Vreni xx

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Aunt's Quilt update

I'm quite behind with my appliqué blocks; to tell you the truth, I've only completed the first block. But I have decided to make all the pieced blocks in one go and here they are.

I have also made blocks for a charity quilt the "Shanghai quilters alumni" are putting together. We were all members of the Shanghai quilt group at one time or another.  Some lovely ladies in the US will collect all the blocks and put them together and another lovely lady with a longarm machine is going to quilt it.

I hope you are having a lovely weekend.
Vreni xx

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Burmese Days

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and a good start into the new year. Our Christmas was low key as it was just the four of us. We had our traditional Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange afterwards (as we do in Switzerland) and on Christmas day we went to our favorite hotel for brunch. On Boxing Day we left early for the airport to fly to Burma, or Myanmar as it's called now . What a beautiful country and people. After many years of brutal military dictatorship it looks like there are at long last some democratic reforms, although opinions differ whether the transition to democracy is really underway. I guess time will tell.

I will just let the pictures tell the story:

The famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, which  is undergoing substantial renovations at the moment, hence the covers and scaffolding  

 Bagan - a truly magical place -  located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. It is home to the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world with many dating from the 11th and 12th centuries. 

 and at sun set

I love visiting fresh produce markets

and couldn't resist buying a big bag full of dried chilies.

 Traditional arts and crafts:
tapestry with gold threads and semi precious stones

 Hotel pool with ancient temples in the background  

Sun set on the Irrawaddy River

Another golden temple

Manaday, Kuthodaw Pagoda

U Bein bridge,
the iconic teak wood bridge, the oldest and longest in the world  

Next we visit Amarapura, an 18th century capital city, to see the monks lining up to receive their food and gifts from donors at the Mahagandhayon Monastery. Monks only eat twice a day, lunch being the last meal of the day. 

From Mandalay we flew to the Inle Lake and enjoyed being taken on several tours in one of those narrow motor boats.

Fishermen "ballet" 

 Houses on stilts

Kids coming home from school, on boats of course

floating gardens, where tomatoes, bitter gourds, flowers and more grow

rickety stairways and walkways, not so easy to navigate for people like us (or me I should say)

Visits to the hill tribes 

 We had a few amazing days on and around the lake and I would probably say, that it was the best part of our holiday. 

The last night we spend at the iconic Strand Hotel in Yangon colonial life as its finest.

I congratulate you if you are still reading, but it was hard to choose only a few pictures out of the 600 we took.

Happy weekend.
Vreni xx

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 in pictures

Finished quilts and tops

Bags and pouches


Christmas crafts

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and interesting New Year.

Vreni xx

Merry Christmas

I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and hope you'll enjoy this beautifully animated Russian Christmas story.

Vreni x

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A couple more Christmas gifts

Two pouches made with Cotton & Steel fabrics. I especially love the stripy tigers.

Isn't the lacy zipper cute? I just had to get my head around the fact, that the lace had to be on the  outside tough, but managed it after a "false start". 

My daughter wanted a grocery bag dispenser like I have so I made her this. Only when it was finished did I realize that the flowers are upside down. Oh well! 

And the cookies are bagged and mostly handed out already. 

My next task is to decorate the Christmas tree. We got a live one as always but had a bit of trouble as apparently a strike in the US ports delayed their arrival.

I hope you are also enjoying the season.
Vreni x