Blogger and I are not getting along. I’ve done 2 very long posts (I even thought I had copied the text into memory…and it was gone!) neither of them have shown.

I got home from a wonderful visit with Barbara on Tuesday and feel like I hit the ground running. We had friends visiting Thursday and Friday. Sandra, Conor and Holly our buddies from our old village came for a far too quick visit yesterday afternoon. Today Aine has a swimming lesson, so soon I’ll be getting us all bundled up for a walk to the pool.

This is a picture of the town where Barbara lives, Vasteras. It is in one of the few older sections left of the town. I love the wooden architecture and the buildings right up on the river!

On Saturday we hit the town shopping. I was in crafting heaven! I went a little crazy, I’m sure Barbara was shaking her head, lol! This pile doesn’t include my loot from her local quilt shop I got on Monday before I left! I got some great Japanese craft books, some cute decorations, a thimble and needle glider…well…just lots… DH took the camera this week on a business trip, but I will show more of my goodies next week when my camera is back!

Sandra and I were just talking yesterday about how much we miss having shops here in Ireland. She is from England and I’m from the States, so we are used to having easy access to crafting items. Here the only thing I find easy to locate with any selection is yarn… Most fabric shops will only have a dozen or so cottons, usually in hideous colors and about $18/yard. There is one quilt shop I know of, and rumors of a few more in the country…I think that brings the quilt shop tally in the country to one definite and 2 small home based quilt “shops”…in the country!! Needless to say…online shopping is done for things I really need right away (peach fabric for my cousins quilt…) and the rest is scrappy stash quilting, enhanced by shopping trips once yearly when I’m home visiting family in the States.

I really wanted some help with my Dear Jane and was so grateful to my wonderful and generous host! It was really special to have a fellow “Dear Janer” help me layer and baste the quilt in preparation for hand quilting. I’ve never thread basted before, only just pin basted. I also never knew how to hand quilt. Barbara showed me the way she learned to hand quilt in all directions. It will take me ages to get the tiny consistent stitches she does, but I got the basic concept. And as if this help wasn’t already generous enough, while I practiced hand quilting Sunday, Barbara whipped up a beautiful huge patchwork tote bag for me in no time at all to carry my DJ on the plane. THANK YOU SO MUCH for everything Barbara, and I only hope I can reciprocate when you and Hakan come for a visit in May.

I have been falling asleep every night so early I’ve gotten hardly any crafting done this week! I finished another name pillow for Sandra to take home with her yesterday. A gift for her godson… I am procrastinating with the crazy quilting, afraid to just dive in! My goal this weekend is to get caught up with the online class assignments and get some stitching done. I also need to organize my crafting stuff…since I have no table right now but the kitchen table, I’ve got fabric everywhere…feeling a bit overwhelmed with all the stuff so need to organize it again up in the future craft room, even if it is just into piles for a while.

Better get going. Aine has a swimming lesson today and since Daddy is away on business…me and Aisling will walk her down for her lesson at the pool! Posted by Picasa

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