crafting


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!

I am here watching Mamma Mia at our quilting retreat, working on some scrappy blocks for my brother and sister in law’s wedding quilt, but had to post my last finish for January, the long lasting project, Barbara‘s pink socks for her 30th birthday, LAST SEPTEMBER…uh yeah…just a little late.
January 2009

Will update more tomorrow about our retreat, but here are a few photos!!
January 2009
January 2009
January 2009

So much so that I am actually posting a new entry in less than a week!!!

I managed to get a treeful of birdie ornaments done in time to give to the ladies at our last patchwork group before the Christmas break. I like the way they turned out and kept a few for my own tree.
A Flock of Birdie Ornaments

I also had a knitathon last night, got on a roll till 2am finishing up bath scrubbies as teacher gifts… Tried to go all Martha Stewart on the presentation… I liked em! I gave the teachers some soap I got in Oregon this summer as well…hope they like them!
My fancy packaging for teacher gifts
Aisling's main teacher gift Knitted Scrubbies for teachers

I also finished 3 little elves I got as a kit when I visited Sweden 2 years ago. It is nice to clear out some of my boxes and get the few kits I have had for a while made and being used!! I think they are cute, might keep them and the soft trees out after Christmas, lol!!
Nisse/elves

Big excitement for me this week was receiving my angel from Kris in the Netherlands. Barbara hosted an angel doll swap and look what landed on my doorstep: this gorgeous angel with its windmill trim and wooden shoes. Not only that she spoiled me with chocolate, tea, some yummy fabrics , and a nice needle case with quilting needles.
Amazing Angel Swap goodies

And before I go….don’t tell Cathi, but here is what “Dave” got her at the local lady who sells fabric (it is a pretty decent quilt shop for running out of her garage, despite crazy prices!!) How amazing he picked out just exactly the right poison green and cheddar orange civil war repros for her and all the little goodies she wanted to try that could fit in a stocking!! He also got her a new filofax there, she is forever trying to get herself organized!
Shhhhh! My stocking stuffers "Dave" got me!

Last Friday DH left for 3 days of golfing, and I got down to work!! Don’t worry, I still managed to feed the kids and even go on some walks to clean up the rubbish on the roads (Aine’s idea to tidy up the environment, so cute!!). I managed to get several projects finished and even a few project started and finished over last weekend!! Tell me, why is it easier sometimes to be more productive without “help” from DH :)

First two long term project finishes!! My ocean waves quilt top!!
Ocean Waves Top Complete

And the first of the pink socks…now to start and finish the second one before Christmas!!
First Marilinda Sock done, but...when will I get the next one done??

I also decided to make some jack o lantern bags for the girls to bring on our trip to London (to see Katy and family!) during our midterm break at Halloween. (We are also spending 3 days in Paris at Disneyland for the kids!!) I made up the bags as I went along and they are machine quilted and using up scraps of batting. I wouldn’t want them compared to really nicely finished bags but they are lined and have strong but not perfect straps…and are cute :) I had the girls design their own faces for the pumpkins and I translated them to fabric…Aine’s is the scarier one! I used strips of halloween fabric I got from someone ( I can’t remember who anymore, how sad am I?) so the backs of the bags are cute too.
Patchwork Pumpkin Trick or Treat Bags

With scrap strips from the Halloween fabrics I inserted a muslin center and downloaded a halloween stitchery I traced the design over the weekend and started stitching this week.
Halloween Stitchery

I also made a pillow out of a hand quilted motif I did at a class in April when I was visiting mom in Bend. I used tons of small squares in the same variegated colors of the quilting thread for the back. I like how it turned out!!
Quilted Pillow Back of Pillow

Not to mention I built the two Ikea bookcases and a drawer unit from my successful shopping trip that DH didn’t get around to making during his evenings home during the week. And made homemade (can’t buy pancake mix here!) pancakes and sausage dinner for the girls one night, and did our little walks and litter collections…and kept the house tidy…very productive few days I had!!!

Of course, once the week starts I am off and running again and it took me till this weekend to get this blog post sorted…Only have worked on the stitchery in found moments this week, and catching up with the emails in my inbox. I really appreciate all the comments and encouragement from everyone and hope that you all continue to visit, even if my blog posting is fairly sporadic at the moment!!

Haven’t given an update on mom in a while. She is finished all treatment and the cancer is gone, may it never return!! Her hair is growing back in and she is so much better within herself, getting out on her own, having a lot morre energy… I am so glad she is in a better place these days. Love you mom!!

I hope to do some shopping on my own tomorrow when DH is here with the kids…need to get a new laundry basket and a new basket  for their dressing up clothes…not thrilling but a little retail therapy on my own will do no harm at all. I hope to layer and quilt the halloween stitchery this weekend as well…and work on the angel story quilt…very slow progress there.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!! I’ll leave you with the crazy poses the girls did with the sock when I got it out to take a photo of it.
Supermodel Poses (and marilinda sock)

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I have been away for far too long, but we made it home safely from America after a fun road trip to see cousins and friends. The airplane trip was long and not as great as the one over, but the girls and I survived and I got my Featherweight home in my carryon with no major hassles at security…no one even opened the box!! Amazing. Here are the “few” things I scored on my trip to the States. A lot of the FQs are for the girls…from a bargain bin and very ugly, eek!!

DSCN2046
I managed to finish AIne’s socks since returning home. Sarah, can I borrow the needles a little longer to make Aisling’s pair?? I have to figure out how to do toe up socks on two circs again all by myself, scary!! It was great having Sarah and the knitting group in Bend to help me out this summer!!

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Stina, can you believe that I have finally started the Angel Story quilt?? The bond-a-web, vliesofix, wonder under, heat and bond stuff I bought in the States has not worked at all…I remember buying the cheapest wonderunder stuff before and having no issues, went for heat and bond (more money) and it hasn’t worked at all…reduced to using craft glue for temporary adhesion till I can get to local quilting lady. What is the best to use for machine applique?? I’d love some tips. Also, do most folks use pencils for tracing stitcheries?? And what about the bits that are on the fabrics that are appliqued, do you just draw them in by eye?? I am such a novice to this type of quilting and the book has basic info but I’d love any good tips from other stitchers!!
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Here is my little lap desk I will use downstairs to hold the stitcheries in for livingroom sewing. Can you see my cool new little computer? It is the size of a paperback book and runs Windows XP, I love it!! I got a design put on the top of it, such a geek am I!! Can you see my applecore quilt on it?

I’ll leave you with a photo of a sad demise. My favorite water bottle I used all summer from the Sisters quilt show…I guess Irish dishwashers are set a little higher?? I has become a little mangled. Wonder if I can still get one of these from the Stitchin’ Post ?? I’d love another one!!

DSCN2045

Hope to get back to weekly or more posting soon, and more family photos and updates. The girls are adjusting well to school. AIne has already been to 2 birthday parties (we’re not back 2 weeks yet!) and has 2 more in the next week…geesh!! Aisling is not too keen on her new montessori but is slowly adjusting and has a friend or two now. Me, I am starting Weight Watchers again tonight and hoping to stick with it this time. Patchwork group is great, and I will be doing a little class on hand piecing for the local ladies so that will be fun…

Hope everyone is doing well!!

I was going to do a post catching up with our happenings here: lots of kiddy activities (off to the county fair tomorrow!) and a little bit of knitting, virtually no sewing :(
-)
But today I went yard saling (something that we don’t have in Ireland, and I love going to yard sales!) and not only did I find quilting scraps, but look at this!!!!!! I didn’t realize it was a featherweight till I got it home, it looked like a 60s or 70s machine, and I thought featherweights were more antique for some reason. This is a 1964 221K featherweight which I bought for $3. I looked it up on Google and the first link helped me date it and the second link had my exact 1964 machine bidded up to $260 on Ebay, wow!! It seems to work fine except it is missing its bobbin case, machine is purring though and it is in great cosmetic condition as well… I thought I could see if it worked and keep it for trips home to America, but now am thinking I might like it back in Ireland…though I’d have to get a transformer to bring the 220 current down to 110… Anyone have any experience with this with Featherweights??? I am so excited!!!!!!!
My $3 Singer Featherweight 221K

In other news, I am making progress on my sock knitting.
Pink Marilinda Socks

Mom is feeling well enough to come out with us twice this weekend, woo hoo!!
Out for Dinner with her Girls!
Strawberry Margarita and Nana!

We’ve had a great time visiting with family and friends, and I’ve spent a lot of the week helping clean and fix things and organize things, so feel useful :) Hope everyone else is having a great summer. Tomorrow off to my first county fair!!

It has been a pretty hectic week here since last I posted. I managed to make it to two knitting groups, start 2 pairs of socks, start free hand baptist fan quilting on the tree quilt I brought over, and keep the kids doing tons of activities!

Here are some of the progress shots of crafty stuff:

Finished Dear Jane blocks. I ran out of pre-prepared blocks!!!
More Finished blocks!Some Finished DJ blocks

So….then I basted and started quilting on the Tree Quilt.
Start of the baptist fan quilting on Tree Quilt

Then the knitting obsession took over. Sarah is teaching me how to knit two socks at the same time on two circular needles, I like it so far!!
Aine's socks!

But I also like DPNs, on which I started some very pink socks for some larger adult feet. They are for the 30th birthday of a friend of mine who likes pink. She picked out the pattern and it is keeping me on my toes, I like it, though the complicated pattern isn’t really showing up quite yet, maybe next week.
Socks for B

Tuesday the girls, dad, and I went to the library for storytime, Wednesday a good day of swimming and playground. Sarah and her kids have been great. We met up with them on Thursday and saw daily for long hours on Friday and Saturday too, I bet they are happy to get a break from us. We went to a horse ranch with them on Thursday, on Friday went to knitting at Barnes and Noble with Sarah while the kids explored the kid section, then down to the library and a gorgeous tea house on the river. Saturday was a very fun Children’s Festival. Add into the mix the usual errands, some yard sales, a paddling pool (aka wading pool) purchase and some sidewalk chalk and a fun and busy week was had by all! Thank you so much Sarah for keeping us busy last week, the girls and I had a great time! And look what Sarah had left for mom before we arrived! So generous!! A shawl she designed and knit herself, tea, chocolate and jewelry, what more could you want! Thanks again, mom loves the presents and the thought! Bloggers are wonderful folk :)
Wonderful Gifts for mom from Sarah!

Check out this link to see shots of the various things we have done over the week. Here are a few favorite photos:
Kids having funKnit Up at Barnes and NobleNew Paddling PoolAisling BuckarooStorytime at the LibraryRock Crystal Experiment a Success!Face Paint!Thu July 17 2008

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