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!!

Ponies for the Twins
Making a stable of ponies!!!

September is always a crazy month for birthdays here…the last two weekends have seen the girls at 2 parties each weekend. Nuts!! Moms and dads are asking for less expensive presents as Ireland like everywhere else is in recession and presents can get crazy expensive, both girls have received some amazing things for presents, way above and beyond the call. This year I decided to spend time and not money on many of the gifts, speared off by one mom’s search for a unicorn stuffed animal for her daughter.

I started off with a complicated pattern which I mangled, ripped and threw across the room, it wasn’t pretty! Then I remembered lovely Tone Finnanger (aka Tilda) had a lovely horse pattern in her book, Sew Pretty Homestyle. Here is the first of the horse/unicorns with the Tilda pattern behind it…I changed it to a unicorn, and made it stand up (sort of!) what a lovely simple design!!
Unicorn

I forgot to take photos of all the softies, but I made one gecko, two ponies and two unicorns for all the girlies (one party was for twins in case you noticed 5 softies made for 4 parties…lol). Kids seem to love them, the girls made cards for them, so frugal gifts and cards, made with love by me and the girls together, rather than just buying cards and presents. I know there will be times when I am frazzled and just don’t have the time and will buy cards and pressies, but I think I will try to keep up the handmade presents for a while.

The girls school, activities and playdate/parties, always keep this mom on the move (my Mondays are a nightmare, lol, with 2 ballet classes and a fiddle class, extra friends to remember to bring, and lots of killing time in 20 minute increments (not efficient for getting much done!) My crafting (except for party gifts!) has suffered for it. I really have nothing else to show for the moment…just a bit of knitting on my felted bag here and there, and a bit of hand sewing on my drunkard path blocks…

I do still work one day a week now at our local quilt shop. While cutting out fabrics for kits last week I had to take some yummy repros home with me…aren’t these nice?
Fabrics from Maeve's

I am still swimming three kilometers a week, and still slowly making better food choices…hopefully this will continue. For all those friends that still keep reading my blog, despite the sporadic postings, thank you! I am so behind answering emails, but promise to get caught up again soon.

Edited to add: I survived Aisling’s first day of school, she is liking it so far. Here are pics of the girls on the first day of school!
Fearless Aisling
Home from School!

I have been making some progress over the summer in fits and starts, but have found the lack of structure to the days to help me be very very lazy!! We set up play dates and swimming for afternoons and can often still been seen in our jammies here near noon! Nice for a little while but when you are mostly surfing the computer and moving slow, the guilt catches up with and so does the housework…

I have a few things to show though…
Drop Stitch Scarf and Fetching Mitts from yummy Manos Silk Blend
This is the drop stitch scarf and fetching mitts that I finished while on holidays in Portugal.

I found the patchwork scraps from the handbag I made and made some little accessories (no pattern): a keychain, zip bag and sunglasses holder.
Some matching accessories for my handbag I made...using leftover scraps

I couldn’t wait to make 50 gazillion double-sided blocks to see if I could piece them together the way I wanted, and felt my chest of drawers needed a runner, so I did a test drive on doing the sashing for the double sided quilt. I finished it all by machine, not quite the proper quilt as you go method for the last seam, and machined down the binding as well, which I never do…but all in all I like it. It isn’t perfect but I like the wavy line quilting (great for imperfect quilters!) and like the way the runner turned out…here are some pics of both sides of the runner…
Double Sided Table Runner for my Chest of Drawers
Neutrals side of runner..Civil War Repro side of runner....

My friend Anne Marie is going to open up her own little shop over in Wexford and while I was up visiting her earlier this month I got these yummy fabrics and two patterns…
Purchases from Anne Marie

When my brother arrived last week from the States he brought me these…note the Fig Tree Quilt theme: 2 patterns from Anne Marie and now an FQ stack of Fig and Plum fabrics by Fig Tree Quilts (thanks Anne for selling these to me and throwing in the lovely Terry Thompson fabrics!)
Fig and Plum FQ Stack and some extra goodies from Anne

My brother arrived last week and we have had great fun visiting with him. The lovely guy brought me my newest toy, a waterproof case for an Ipod shuffle. I have finally bought an Ipod and now listen to my music and podcasts while swimming my 60 lengths (1 kilometer!). I have a hard time walking for exercise these days, though thankfully it isn’t an MS issue but a fallen arch in my left foot and the doc seems to think some orthotics fitted into my shoes will make a big difference. Swimming is something I’ve always loved and can do well, so for the last three weeks I’ve swam three times a week. I haven’t started changing my eating habits yet (bro brought too much yummy food and margarita mixes!!) but plan to start when school starts next week. Watch this space for a hopefully shrinking Cathi as I swim and get my eating habits in order. It will all help with MS symptoms too…the healthier the diet the better they say.

I have started a new hand piecing project, a drunkards path that Barbara sent me the fabric and templates for back when I got the bad news about my mother’s cancer (she is cancer-free for a year now, woo hoo!!). I hope to be able to show you the progress on that quilt as it grows slowly. I love to have a hand piecing project and aside from my sporadic Dear Jane blocks I am doing for my swap with Katy (latest block received from Katy below…)
DJ Swap with Katy

I definitely like the look of the dresser runner I did, so will work on the full double-sided bed quilt this fall…But have an itch to start some new projects, hmmm…what will I do next? Something with that yummy stack of FQs?

My youngest, Aisling, starts big school next Tuesday. How does time fly by so fast!??

Tinahely Open Quilt Competition 2009
Woo hoo!! I don’t think I will enter tons of competitions, so this may be the only actual official ribbon I ever win and I am very excited!! My Dear Jane got Very Highly Commended (Bed Quilt category) at the National Open Quilt Competition at Tinahely.
Here are some photos of some of my friends quilts. All the quilts in Tinahealey were gorgeous and some amazing colors, designs and quilting were to be seen.

Tinahely Open Quit Competition 2009

Tinahely Open Quilt Competition 2009

Before the quilt show I went up for a visit to my friend Sherry for a quilting retreat and I finished a quilt top, a very simple one!! Here it is on the guest bed, I will be making roman blinds and doing a backing for the quilt with the fabric on the border. I am thinking of doing free motion quilting myself on it though I am tempted to have it long armed…
Tinahely Open Quit Competition 2009

I decided I needed 2 big quilts since I have two daughters, so I am thinking that I will learn how to do Baltimore Album quilt as my next big project and will start working on my double sided quilt again too… always lots on the go…so many quilts so little time!!

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!!

I am fine. Just in case you might have wondered, the MS is still there, and the injections are going fine. I still have numbness and tingling in my feet and sometimes my hands…but really in the scheme of things, if it remains this way for a while to come, I would be grateful!

I have managed to get a few projects done, but haven’t taken photos of all of them…the latest news is that my Dear Jane won another Viewer’s Choice!! This time at our local Limerick Quilt Show! I won a hundred euro voucher to the quilt shop I work a few hours at weekly!
DJ at Limerick Quilt Show

Here are the girls and I in front of the quilt…
DJ and the Girls at Limerick Quilt Show

Here is my friend Riikka’s great applique quilt for her son. She just started quilting. Last October. She started this quilt in March, had the applique and top and hand quilting done by May…wow. Hope you keep in touch when you move back to Finland, Riikka! She has started a Dear Jane, I expect she will be done next week sometime, lol!! Okay, maybe next month…
Riikka's Maritime Quilt

We had a nice display of quilts in the Limerick City Hall…
Limerick Quilt Show 2009

My friend Nicola and I made more of these scrubbies for a friend’s school fete. I added the soaps to help them sell better, lol!!
Scrubbies for Sale!

I should have blogged much earlier, but the days are so busy with kids activities (Aisling turned 5 last week, where did the time go!) and I just let it get away from me. Here is a photo from today’s activities, the kids made a mummy, vampire and various other scary creatures with my fabrics…love that they love playing with the Tilda kitties I made them!
Mummy and Vampire kitties!

I have been working on some fingerless gloves and on my felted bag on the knitting front, can show one finished glove next time. The bag still looks like a big green blob of knitting, so not really exciting. I have finished the wedding quilt for Dave’s brother and his partner…well the top anyway…but never took a photo. When I start the quilting on it will try to take a photo and maybe update the blog a little sooner? Maybe??

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