completed project


Where am I going? I am going to Disneyland!!  And then Dave and the girls and I are doing a road trip that will take us to Hollywood, Big Sur, Monterey, San Francisco, Yosemite, Napa and the Giant Redwoods, if we can fit that all in about 2 weeks! We’ll end up in Bend Oregon where my parents live for the 4th of July.

So sorry that it has been over two months, so sorry that my blog hasn’t been in my priorities for a while now…that needs to change again, I miss the community!! The girls are always keeping me busy, but I keep on with my projects and I am sure I can make the time once a week or every two weeks if I just do it!

Things are going pretty well…I had to postpone my foot operation because I would have had to cancel our US travel plans, the doctor didn’t give me the full picture about the recovery time for it! I have orthotics to keep the pain away and will pace myself at Disney to be sure! I just had my MS six monthly appointment with the neurologist, and besides the bit of numbness in my right toes, and lack of graceful balance (not horrible, but not great either) the doctor thinks I am doing well, which is great! I have lost 32.5 lbs since February, and though I plan on gaining a few back in the next few weeks, I will be going to Weight Watchers with my mom in the 5 weeks we are staying with my parents in Oregon…

There has been some crafting going on:
Quilting on the Guest Room Quilt
Guest Room quilt finished!

I finished a simple squares quilt for our guest room. Eventually it will have matching roman blinds on the windows… I just did an allover meander and will NEVER put a big quilt through my machine again, ouch, my arm muscles hurt wrestling that through!
Knitted Scrubbies for Boher School

These are some knitted cotton scrubbies for a fundraiser for a local school…
Baby Vests for Ruby

Some baby vests for little Ruby…

I am also working away on my Dear Jane lap quilt with blocks that Kate and I have swapped…I have prepared all the setting triangles and muslin squares to make the quilt top and hope to hand piece that while in the States… I also have a small drunkards path wallhanging to piece together…only a few blocks left and then can piece the top which will be 30 inches square…

I’ve also started a knitting project for my travels, some Monkey socks for my mom!

I hope to update again soon with some highlights from our road trip, I hope to go to one or two quilting and knitting shops on the road, and get some car knitting done…car sewing…not quite as easy, and often painful on twisty roads, lol!!

I hope to update next in two weeks, not two months, cross your fingers for me!!

I have continued working on lots of projects since February, so this might get a bit picture heavy, as usual! I also had a lovely 2 nights away to Rome for my 40th birthday celebration (where I knit a sock at all the big sights to give my gimpy foot a rest and for fun!) and got some lovely gifts I’d love to show as well…

Here is a project I am so glad finally have finished, it is years in the making, my felted knitting bag! Here is the size prefelting:
Bag and Pocket pre-felting
Pattern: Constant Companion

Here is the finished product:
My Felted Bag

I have also been working a lot on some hand piecing projects: my usual, Dear Jane blocks, to finish up the blocks for a lap quilt;
Dear Jane Swap and the last few to do...

a drunkard’s path, made from fabrics and template that Barbara gave me as a lovely present when mom was diagnosed with breast cancer; it is really starting to look nice now! This is from a beautiful quilt we both admired on Supergoof.
Drunkard's Path quilt...coming together nicely so far

and another block that Barbara gave me of an 8 pointed star pattern using Japanese taupes, on it’s own the block isn’t exciting, till you realize the lovely star pattern made when you put four blocks together!
Hand Pieced Star block
8 pointed Star Blocks

I have some of these all in my handbag along with my sewing tin so I can pull something out when I have a few minutes and stitch away. I also keep my sock knitting in the bag…it is amazing what this smallish bag can hold!
Handbag o' crafting!

I have started a pair of the very familiar by now Broadripple socks I have made several times for Katy. I used Cascade Fixation yarn, which is cotton and elastic as she is allergic to wool, poor girl! I am making this pair for myself, as I love the colors and I had to buy some spare yarn when making Katy’s and had enough leftover for a pair for me. Here is the first sock…
Broadripple sock for me and second one just started!

Dave and I had a great trip to Rome for my 40th birthday celebration. It was amazing, we walked everywhere, and had great food as well! Like I said before I took along the sock and the hand piecing in my handbag. Wasn’t as easy to hand piece around Rome, but the sock was dead handy to take out when we were resting in the sun!

Here is the progress at the Colosseum…
Sock at the Colosseum!
A little later in the afternoon at the Spanish Steps… (yes I am strange…I can’t help myself!)
Sock at the Spanish Steps
Heading towards evening at the Trevi Fountain…
Knitting by the Trevi Fountain

A sock tour of Rome…

And here is a collage of a few photos around the city…
Rome 2010

My birthday celebrations lasted for weeks and included a little party with my patchwork group, who instead of giving me a voucher for more fabric (I might have a little more than I need, just a little…they mentioned something about “bringing coal to Newcastle?”) they gave me this beautiful fabric art done by local artist Lynn Kenny.
Lynn Kenney - Washing Line

Katy gave me this lovely tree themed quilt, knowing my admiration of the tree as a graphic and as a symbol…she did it for an exhibit a few years back, but gifted it on to me, isn’t it gorgeous?
Gorgeous Tree Quilt from Katy for my 40th

I also got some gorgeous perfumes and some jewelry from friends and a beautiful Nicholas Mosse pottery bowl…I was very much spoiled this year!

In mid-February, I finally rejoined Weight Watchers, and as of last week I have lost 22 lbs. I still have a lot left to lose, but I have made some good progress, and have been doing a lot of swimming that must be helping too…add to that the constant activities of two small girls and lack of energy for big quilting projects, and you have my excuse for not keep up very well with this blog. I will try to be better, but hope you don’t delete me out of your blog list even if my posts are sporadic…

I am lucky that my MS has been very much in the background at the moment. Unrelated to the MS, my left foot is finally going to be seen too…the arch has fallen and it has been more and more painful to walk on it the last few years. I tried to lump it in with the MS, but the neurologist insists that this is a totally separate bit of bad luck, having to do with mechanical damage…wear and tear and bad genetics causing the arch to fall, blah! I will be having an operation to remove the damaged tendon in my left foot, replacing it with another tendon in my foot, ewwww! I’ll be on crutches for six weeks.

So next week I will be bringing down some of my sewing room, as Dave and I are moving into the downstairs guest room to save me hopping up and down the stairs all the time (his idea, how thoughtful, kinda makes up for a few of those golf widow moments…maybe 2 of em…) My right foot won’t be in a cast, I can still press the pedal on the machine, lol! I will also prepare a bunch of hand piecing work to keep me out of mischief!

Until next time!

…just in the nick of time.

Here are those projects for the girls I had mentioned back in January…
Some headbands that I based off of one the girls received…
New Headbands
Headbands

These are some very simple dolls I made out of the girls drawings, belated handmade presents for Christmas!!
Dolls

Rereading my post last month, I have started making some of the changes I had hoped to: I joined Weight Watchers and so far so good, I am down 8.5 lbs and sticking to the plan. I am also swimming 30 lengths 4 times a week…I am drinking more water and adding veg and fruit to the diet… Here’s hoping I can continue it. This week a year ago I was in hospital getting tests done that lead to my MS diagnosis. I have been very grateful to mostly have light symptoms, long may it continue and healthy eating and exercise should help it…

Again this month, I am mostly continuing projects already posted. I finished the red Christmas wholecloth quilt (photo later…), I started another set of the same socks, this time for me! I think I have done one or two more rows on that felted bag…and a few dozen more of the drunkard’s path blocks!

Today I ended up being really productive with a few home projects that I had in my head for a while, using the gorgeous Rouenneries fabrics I bought when in DC in December… I covered the grotty seat cushion on a bench in the living room with a simple patchwork, and used scraps to make the tissue box cover…with a sensitivity to chlorine and a lot of swimming going on, I have a feeling I will be using lots of tissues!!
Tissue Box Cover

I am working on getting a dozen Dear Jane blocks prepared for hand piecing, I have decided to take the blocks from my swap with Kate and make a lap quilt, I always love to have hand piecing ready, so will enjoy finishing up those blocks.

Here hoping that it won’t be another month before my next post, my 40th birthday is March 25th and Dave and I plan to go to Rome for two days (sans kids!) for my present this year, and no big party, not my scene, though I will have a meal or two out with friends and family!

Boy I have really let my blog slip on my priority list! It is coming up on 2 months since I posted last. Again, I have been steadily working on a few little projects, hence finally getting up off my heiney and updating!

We have had a lot of extra time off of school, lots of sub zero weather and ice and one nice day of snow. Here is a collage of our snow day, the girls had a blast!
Collages

I finally finished the pair of broadripple socks I was working on for Kate‘s November birthday :). Yup, you have seen this pattern before, as they are a pattern made for the cotton yarn that I use and they look nice, so have done Katy three pairs!! (One for her 40th bday, one for an exchange and one for this birthday…hope she hasn’t gotten bored with the design yet…next time a new design I promise, though I might make a twin pair of these socks in this pattern for myself!)
Kate's Socks

I finished the hand quilting on my tree of life quilt and love it. I took it on my week-long visit in DC in early December and finished sewing down the binding on the plane.
Tree of Life Wallhanging

I also finished these two blocks which I am making for a Dear Jane themed quilt for President Obama with this Yahoo group. Took me ages to finally sit down and do them, but as of this week they are flying over to the coordinator of the group quilt in Tennessee.
My blocks for the Obama quilt

My lovely friend Barbara sent me a quilt kit she made up for me of a drunkards path quilt, perfect for hand piecing. Again, I brought these for hand work on my DC trip in December and worked on them on the plane, in airports, on trains, and the odd quiet minute on the rest of my trip. I rented a car (a red PT Cruiser is what I ended up with, cute!) and saw different friends for lunch and dinner, I kept moving all the time and had a great time! I was glad though, after all that driving (from Northern VA to North Baltimore) that we had a break coming up from school and we could have lots of lazy mornings!!

Drunkards Path Blocks

I saw two quilting friends, one of whom was my best friend in kindergarten who after receiving a very imperfect quilt from me for her daughter a few years back, took quilting classes and is now the Vice President of her Northern VA quilt guild!!!  Bonnie and I did a bit of shopping (including some really nice Donna Sharp handbags!)… I also got a chance to meet up with Toni in Mt. Airy and did a bit of damage in her quilt shop then went out for the yummiest barbeque I had in a long time!! Here is a pic of us at her shop, I am sporting my new patchwork handbag, lol.
Meeting Toni at Patches

Look at my haul!!
My haul!

I have finally put my ocean waves quilt on my big quilting frame and marked the celtic knot design I wanted in the open muslin spaces. I have put in my first thread and hope to start doing at least one thread a day on the quilt.  I am also working on a red wholecloth little quilt as well…
Ocean Waves on the Quilt Frame
Closeup of Celtic Knot pattern...
Christmas Wholecloth

I am slowly working on a knitted celtic knot designed pocket for my felted bag I have been working on for years now it seems…nearly done with that one…woo hoo!
Felted Bag, starting on two color pocket...

As far as resolutions for 2010 for me, I want to eat more healthily, swim more often, and continue knitting and quilting as often as I can. I am thinking of starting a Baltimore Album style quilt…but still a little scared!!

I was going to wait and post this after the weekend when I plan to finish a bunch of little projects for the girls, but this is getting way too long, so will possibly do another post on Sunday, imagine that!! I am not going to promise anymore about posting more often, I am just going to try!  I am very active on Facebook most days if you wanna see what we’re up to round here, click on the link here and sign up or add me as a friend!

Except just a busy life. The  MS has been fairly minor symptoms, and even my worse symptoms I have had since February didn’t compare to what got me diagnosed back in the hospital. I consider myself lucky. I have to learn to pace myself and I do get tired more easily if I push myself, but in the scheme of things I am grateful. I am still swimming but have struggled with my eating and am disappointed in myself because of that, I will be realistic and won’t try to lose weight over the holiday, but just keep maintaining…The new year and my 40th birthday approaching in  March I hope will spur me on to get fit again, it has been years now since I was slim and trim and I miss it!

Why haven’t I posted in the last few months? The busy social lives of my kids, lack of energy when they are in bed… I have gotten quite a few projects moved forward and one very important one conceived and finished and loved since my last post…

My most special project I did was when I learned that my aunt’s partner Ann lost her son in Afghanistan October 3. I felt the need to make a comfort quilt for her in memory of her son Aaron but wanted one I could reasonably finish before she and my aunt arrived for a two week visit in November. I remembered a heart block I had done using 1 inch blocks and translated the 1 inch blocks into 5 inch blocks, asked her favorite colors, and came up with this:

Ann's Memory quilt for Aaron

I did a meander pattern for the quilting and quilted in words that my aunt sent me that described Aaron along with the meandering. I think she liked the surprise of finding the words about her son in the quilt.

Here is a photo of the label I but on the back.
Label for Ann's Memory Quilt

I have also been working on a pair of socks for a certain friend who has already received 2 similar pairs (I am afraid to change the pattern since they fit her well!) This is her second pair of birthday socks, though these ones will be late, I am aiming for Christmas!

More Sock Knitting...

This final project is one I finished piecing years ago it seems now, and pick up from time to time. I am doing freehand baptist fans on it and like the way it is looking. Not too much longer for this one, I hope!
Freehand Baptist Fans Tree of Life Wallhanging

I have finally put up my quilting frame again and have my ocean wave quilt on it. I will show some photos of that one soon, as well as the start of machine quilting on a simple quilt I did for our guest room… I really  hope to get back into a rhythm of posting more often again.

For all my fellow Americans, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! I plan on roasting a chicken and making a mini Thanksgiving for the girls and me tomorrow while DH is away on travel for work. A boy in Aine’s class has an American dad and he has generously offered me a can of imported jellied cranberry sauce for the meal since I didn’t get some for this year, woo hoo!!

More soon…or sooner than this time anyway!!

We are going on holiday to Portugal for 10 days but wanted to show you the quilt I did for the wedding we are going to there…I still need to sew the binding on, but the wedding is a week and a bit away so should be fine!
Wedding Quilt...piecing and quilting done...binding and label to go...

I also got this beautiful pinkeep in time for the 4th of July holidays. Thank you so much Barbara for thinking of me.
Gorgeous Pinkeep from Barbara

We had a display at the local Brian Boru festival of all our quilts… My quilt has been going on tour!
Killaloe Brian Boru Festival Art Trail Window - Quilts!

And here is my latest knitting…some Fetching gloves and a Drop Stitch Scarf started with the beautiful Manos de Uruguay Silk Blend yarn that Weronica sent me. Thank you so much again, I love the color and the feel of this yarn!!
Fetching Gloves and Drop Stitch scarf

I’ve got the binding on the quilt, a freehand fan quilting project (my tree quilt wallhanging from last year!) and two knitting project for 10 days, think I won’t have any chance of running out of projects, especially since one is my second try at lace knitting a shawl…that will take ages!!

This post was a long time coming!! And so was this…

Redwork Cushion Swap Cushion on the sofa
This gorgeous redwork cushion was for a swap whose receive by date was May 5th. I sent mine out a few days late, but the girl that was SUPPOSED to send to me dropped off the face of the earth and sent nothing. Luckily our intrepid leader Maree was able to organize that the girl that was supposed to send to this girl who dropped out without a word would send to me instead, otherwise I would have gotten nothing at all. Thank you so much Rebecca for the beautiful poppy cushion with the Keats quote and yummy chocolates, and thanks Maree for helping me out. I am very pleased with my new cushion and think it looks right at home on my red sofa with my patchwork cushions!!
Great Package from Rebecca
This is the cushion I sent out to Paula at Coffee Time Stitches.
Redwork Cushion Swap

I am sorry it has taken me so long to do a post, I have actually been fine, MS wise, nearly a month now of injections with no issues really, just the odd sore area but no side effects really! I am hoping that with better eating and the injections I can keep the big symptoms of MS at bay for as long as possible. If I can shake my Diet Coke addiction, I know that will help too…I went cold turkey for a few days, but am back to one a day, an improvement from my usual routine of several cans a day…

The main reason I haven’t posted has just been the crazy pace of life with 2 busy kids and their friends, and a few fun nights myself, including dancing to 1am last Friday with some friends at a local fashion show event that had dancing afterwards…

I have not had a lot of finishes, but I did get my bunny quilt finished. I did a crosshatch grid and like the look of it, will do it again for applique…now if I can only master the rocking stitch with my hand quilting!
Hand Quilting on Easter Quilt

I have had some great mail lately, but let me start with the ones I am several weeks late in acknowledging.

Paula sent me this great stack of Civil War repros, just because… Thank you so much!!!!
Lovely Scrappy Goodies from Paula

Lise also sent a great package from Oz. Thank you for the great magazine and other goodies. The girls took most of the chocolate!! It really made my day to get these packages just because!
Lovely Pressies

Vicki and I did a little swap. I sent over some shwe shwe from my collection that she admired, and she sent back these gorgeous hand dyes and cute potholders (which I use all the time by the way!).
Cool Goodies from Vicki

Weronica sent another just because gift, so kind! Look at the great pattern and gorgeous yarn she sent. I already have plans for this yarn, I’ve started on some Fetching fingerless mitts with this gorgeous merino and silk blend yarn. Thank you again everyone!!
Lovely Package from Weronica!!

My friend here in Limerick, Nicola, who I met while I worked my few hours at the local quilt shop made me this amazing birthday present! It is a needlecase with an Angel Story(Hatched and Patched-Anni Downs) stitchery on it and some great cross-stitch. She did it all by hand and used Japanese taupes, my favorites!! I really have been spoiled by generous friends!
Needle Book from Nicola
Inside of Needle Book

I have been working on a felted bag called Constant Companion for a while, not hugely exciting knitting, but I am making progress. I would like to do a celtic knot on the pocket but have to figure out how to get a chart I can figure out how to knit! It is huge now but should felt up nicely.
Progress on my Constant Companion Felted Bag - Prefelting!

I am also working on a wedding quilt for my BIL and SIL who are officially tying the knot in July. I have all the centers done now and am working on the insane amount of HSTs needed for the blocks, snore! Here is a little sample of the blocks… I am hoping to make more progress on this soon.
Wedding Quilt Progress

Now if you have made it to another of my long posts, here are a few pics of the girls. Aisling is always hard to get photos of with a smile, she hates getting them taken! But here are two good ones!
Ballerina Aine
Cute Smile

I need to get better about posting more often…my posts will be much shorter!!

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