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Sunday, 9 November 2014

St Germain quilt and 25 years of freedom

Last weekend I finished preparing 144 (+ few more, just in case) orange peel pieces for the inner border and started laying them out.

I am using various fabrics, mainly from my stash, to compliment the centre block, but also in keeping with the colorful Saint Germain part of Paris, after which this quilt is named. 

During the week I managed to stitch two shorter sides, using needleturn applique.

I have pinned the 3 sections (not yet pressed) onto a board, so you can get an idea how the centre of the quilt will look like.


I can not let this weekend pass without sharing a memory with you.

As you know, we are celebrating 25th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall, and the domino effect it had on the rest of Eastern Europe.

About 5 months after that I flew to Czechoslovakia (as it was still called) to visit my mum.
During the previous 20 years, whenever I crossed any East European border, I would feel apprehension, I always had a knot in my stomach, when stern looking and unfriendly border guards were inspecting my passport, noting my place of birth.
I always had a feeling of dread, that something terrible would happen and I would not be able to return to the West. Although British by then, I kept my dual nationality ( more for sentimental reasons than anything else), so I knew that they could be silly about it, if they wanted to.
Thankfully, they were too fed up and bored themselves to bother, and there were no computers in those days, so nothing could be found at the touch of the button, as it can be now.
So, arriving at Prague airport in 1990, I felt easy and confident, the knot in my stomach no longer there. I was just another tourist, looking forward to seeing the changes of last few months. 
 I presented my passport to a very smart looking Czech passport control officer, in his brand new uniform.
After seeing the same details in my passport, he looked up, smiled at me and said
"Welcome Home".

That is what the fall of Berlin Wall means to me.

©pleasureinstitching.blogspot.co.uk 2014 


  1. isn't it wonderful to be able to use up some stash xx I LOVE that the wall coming down means that you can feel safe x

  2. Must have felt lovely to feel welcome..

  3. Oh Radka thank you for sharing that very special memory.love your fabrics and blocks :)

  4. Dear Radka,
    This will become a very Special quilt, but your memories are more than Special. Thank you for sharing -

  5. Dear Radka, that made me tear up. I am so glad for you. Bev

  6. Quilt is going to look gorgeous but what a wonderful story you shared with us. I can understand how nervous you would have felt going home during such a turbulent time.

  7. Your quilt looks wonderful!!°

  8. What a lovely passport control officer-- to welcome you home again. That was very touching.
    I watched a programme last night on the Berlin wall, and now I am hearing your first hand experience. Thanks for sharing that.

  9. yes the coming down of the wall was a wonderful thing to happen and I can still picture the scenes we saw on the TV of joy in the faces of those there at the time etc my 25 years have flown by.

    Your quit is looking great all those petals to applique on what a wonderful quilt to be working on during the winter

  10. Just love all the colours in your quilt. Nice project for these darker days.

    How wonderful a change for you when the wall came down. Full marks to the friendly officer who welcomed you home - must have meant a lot.

  11. wow lots of beautiful detail work & precious History as well, this is osne of the things I love about blogging, you get to meet so many beautiful people from around the world

  12. Dear Radka.
    Your quilt will be very beautiful.
    I almost sat with tears in my eyes after reading your memories from before the fall of the Berlin wall and what this ment to you too. Thank you for sharing with us <3.

  13. Glad to see that you have joined FnwFs!! Will think of you sewing too when I am sewing on the first Friday of each month! Lovely.

  14. Thanks for sharing your story Radka, it bought a tear to my eye.

  15. What a fantastic work! Congratulations! Looks beautiful!
    Have a happy time

  16. I am in love with this Radka, so so pretty!

  17. Your quilt is going to be so beautiful. And your lovely story brought tears to my eyes.


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