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)

DSCN2026
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!!

DSCN2057
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!!
DSCN2059
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

And look at what was waiting for me!!
Gorgeous ALQS Quilt!
My ALQS quilt from Toni!!! It is gorgeous!! I love the colors and they are blocks from the Civil War Diary quilt, very cool. And not only did she make me the quilt but gave me all the leftover fabrics that she used in the quilt, very generous!!! She sent pirate duckies for the girls which already have had adventures on the “high seas” bathtub, and some Old Bay seasoning for me to remind me of my Maryland roots!! Thank you so much Toni, you are very good!!
Prize from LIse!!
I also won this gorgeous stitchery prize from Lise, the Chocolate Cat. I think I may start this one over here in the States!
Anni Downs Books
I also got a package with these goodies from Weronica in Sweden. She sent me these and I will be getting a few things from the States for her in return!!

Oregon Coast
We have seen a lot of Oregon so far, a lot of driving since we arrived: a day in Portland with my brother and cousins, a drive to see a high school friend living near the Washington state border and watching her small town of Clatskanie’s 4th of July parade (where the kids received their body weight in candy from folks on the floats, and each got a free stuffed teddy!) and a very short overnight stay at the Pacific shore in Lincoln City (no photos: it rained most of the time!). It was a bit whirlwind as I had to drive another 4 hours over the mountains to Sisters to drop my Dear Jane off in time for a July 5 fiber arts stroll event.
Patriotic Aine

Sunday I tried to take my mom up to see the Dear Jane hanging up in Sisters, but the clock shop that it is displayed in was closed!! She just had her chemo yesterday, and I had wanted her to see it while her strength was better, bummer. We ended up have lunch in town and bringing the girls over to the park for a “Summer Faire”. Girls had a great time on the playground and getting their faces painted.
Butterfly Aisling Aine Getting Face Paint at the Fair

We have cousins here now visiting from St. Louis Missouri, so lots of activities are going on, though minimal quilting ones!! I have managed to hand piece the start of a Dear Jane block for my ongoing swap with Katy, while watching the kids at the local Mc Donalds play area. Will probably make that a once a week activity for them, as they loved the slides there, and once a week isn’t so bad!!

Today the girls and I plan to do a crystal growing experiment (I was too cheap to buy a kit from a toy shop we were in, so told them about rock candy…then spent the next several days fending off their requests to do the candy immediately (never cotton string or wood skewers around when you need them!!)) and possibly some swimming. Cousins, brother and dad have headed off for a white water rafting trip down the Deschutes river today. We plan on going to Sisters tomorrow, so hope to show you the Dear Jane in its display place!

Quilty content in future weeks I promise, but might be a bit sparse for this week!

Sorry I disappeared off the face of the earth for a few weeks, but I am back!!

I have finished 5 quilts to label stage now!! Let’s Celebrate!!!
Cheers

First one: My Dear Jane!!! Here is a graphic of the label I sewed on…
DJ label
Please excuse the weird color, will have to figure out how to fix it…

I also put the label on my machine quilted ALQS quilt. It will be heading….somewhere this week!
ALQS quilting

The other finishes were the 3 baby quilts, ready to give away now… won’t show more photos of the same thing :)

I also have other reasons to celebrate: the generosity of quilty bloggers and friends. I have a story to tell soon of some lovely Australian designers who all helped me to get some quilting souvenirs for my husband to bring home from his trip (halfway through…he is home on Friday!!) But I also won an AMAZING package from Dawn Hay. I can’t believe how HUGE this prize was. Thank you so much Dawn!! So many lovely things, I love it all!!!
Gifts from Dawn Hay!

 My wonderful blogging buddy Barbara in Sweden sent over this goodie package. We are encouraging each other to lose kilos and sending sock yarn for each kilo… so far I ‘ve lost 2, so some sock yarn came my way, and the bag handles for a bag Barbara is helping me make!
Gifties from Barbara

I have been crazy busy with kids: birthday parties, goodbye parties, sports day, school play, playdates… if you are interested in seeing some photos or movies, check out my Flickr or YouTube!!  This week has more insane schedules, end of school, more playdates, some mommy quilting and knitting playdates, and packing for the States! Tomorrow I head into town to get those few “surprise” kids magazines and sweets I can pull out during our travels.  Guess I can slow down sometime after the Sisters Quilt Show!!

 

 

I went outside today with DH and kids to photograph the Dear Jane. Here is the photo we got…not perfect, but Aine is quite under the weather and we couldn’t go far afield. A trip to the doc for a bad sore throat (strep?) is on the cards for tomorrow.
Dear Jane in the Wild (outside our house)

Here is a behind the scenes photo showing you that it was our 5 year old daugther who took the photos for us, bless her litte sore throated self! She was excited to do it though, so we went for it.
Trying to get a good photo of the Dear Jane!

Have a look at the girls 2 years ago, when I was starting to construct the top, my how time flies!
Girls on Quilt May 2006

I finished 2 tree quilts, one for myself and one for my swap partner in the ALQS. If you are reading swap partner, which one do you prefer. I actually like them both, but neither is perfect. I hope to have time to hand quilt the swap quilt before I leave and mine over the summer.
Tree Quilt Tree Quilt Green Border

I have neglected to get a photo of my little ballerina shoe knitting which is currently languishing as I work on my DJ wallhanging I still plan on giving away (and hope to time it with my 200th post…yes it has taken this mostly once a week poster 3 years nearly to get to 200!!).

I have to tell you about a visitor we had on Thursday. She found me while surfing for quilters in Ireland and quilt shops in Ireland (almost none to speak of!). She saw the blog and emailed me, and we arranged to meet in Limerick during her bus trip around Ireland. Kay is from Brisbane Australia and came bearing goodies, and a large stuffed dog, Digger, that Aine fell in love with. She had to take Digger around for the day and take photos of him, it has something to do with beer money for the party the last night? Here are some photos of Kay (blogless) and Aine and of Digger with a Killaloe backdrop.
Kay and Aine Digger Dog Does Killaloe

I think she had fun seeing a bit of our countryside and visiting some of my friends and seeing some of my quilts.  My patchwork group leader is the sister of a well-known rugby player/commentator, Keith Wood, and her tour leader is a rugby commentator in Australia, so we stopped in my favorite cafe where the big brother of Mr. Wood is the owner/chef. We hope it duly impressed her tour leader, lol.

She brought me this wonderful stack of magazines and Lynette Anderson’s Saltbox Sampler pattern and some yummy scrummy fabrics!! Thank you so much Kay, I hope you enjoyed the visit, Aine had a great time with you!
Huge Stack of Aussie Quilting Mags from Kay!! Lovely Fabrics and Saltbox Sampler from Kay!!

Katy and family will be visiting next Friday for the week. We are all looking forward to the visit. Katy promises to teach me how to make quilted postcards (plan to make some for the Sisters Quilt Show fundraiser for my mom’s cancer unit in Bend!!) and I will teach her to knit!!

Mom is doing okay, they didn’t stop her treatments, so the doctors aren’t too worried about the shingles for the moment. She is hanging in there!

Thanks again everyone who visits, all the comments and friendships really make my day.

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