gifties received

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!!


Folk Art Easter quilt top
It is a day late for Easter and it is only a top, but heck, I am working at a slower pace these days, trying to enjoy my crafts and not guilting myself if I don’t finish thing by a self-assigned deadline!  It is very naive/imperfect/primitive and drawn by hand from motifs I have liked from other quilts and folk art… I like it, but how should I quilt it?

Katy's Socks DONE!
And look, Katy‘s socks are finally done!! We did a little swap and she finished 2 cross stitch samplers for me before I got her socks done. Here is a package I got from her that shows the latest cute sampler she sent me, another part of the inspiration for my quilt! She also added some cool cut-outs in pretty papers for me to use in card making, so nice!
I also did a few quick baby onesies for a friend who we visited last week…forgot to take a photo of the onesies before I packed them up in their cute little gift basket…
Baby Vests for Fionn
When I got out of hospital I was surfing blogs as I always do, and came across a link to The Vintage Pearl. She hand stamps these lovely necklaces, and Dave got this for me as a mother’s day pressie. Isn’t it lovely?
New Necklace

I also finally finished the quilting on my cousins quilt, it is designed for a specific room to match the colors in there and fit an area behind her sofa. I did a Missouri Star for her since she lives in St. Louis, the blue border is great, has the words family, friendship, love…very appropriate… and I even quilted some shamrocks into it, lol! The colors are based on a Navajo blanket she had in her room. Hope you like it Col!!
Col's Quilt DONE!

LOSER UPDATE: I am up to 181.2, which means I am still down 10 lbs despite my side track with my hospital stay and MS diagnosis. I hope you fellow losers can be patient with me, as I still plan on really joining back in the next few weeks, but am not quite  ready yet.

I am going on a trip next week to visit Barbara and Katy, I can’t wait!! A week without the girls with crafting, shopping, sightseeing in Stockholm and a show (Wicked!) in London’s West End. A bit of mommy recharging time, just what the doctor ordered. And the doc told me to wait till returning from the trip to start my injections…something I am not looking forward to, but will use it as a line in the sand for starting my healthier eating regime, trying to cut out as much processed food as I can, i.e. junk food, my favorite stuff!!

And just because I don’t have enough photos in this post, here are several more of the girls.  Mommy did a bit of bunny crafting with the girls and our little neighbor one day, I find these masks slightly disturbing, but the girls had a great time making me make lots of stuff for them, lol!
Here is the one decent photo I got of the girls doing their easter egg hunt Easter morning.
Easter Morning Egg Hunt
And finally, my big girl Aine learned how to swim and ride her bike last week, all within days of each other…here is the biker girl!

I have been doing some bits of sewing and knitting since my last post, I am working the free motion quilting on my quilt for my cousin, and some blocks for my brother and sister in law’s wedding quilt (making it official this year!!) I am starting on the heel of the second sock for Katy…so progress is being made, but not much to photograph. One thing I can show is the Paddy’s Day quilt hanging up on the entryway quilt shelf!
St. Paddy's Day Quilt 

What I do have to photograph are some wonderful pieces of mail I’ve received in the last week or so…
More Gorgeous Fabrics from Elise
These gorgeous fabrics arrived from South Africa from Elise, whose daughter lives here in Ballina/Killaloe. I gave her some fabric and freezer paper, I think I won out on this trade!!
Cool Postcard from Zizzy
This gorgeous postcard came to cheer me up from Zizzy in Florida. I love it!! Thank you so much!!
Goody Bag from Katy
Katy sent over lots of goodies: two of our DJ blocks for our exchange…the sampler we are doing for our sock for a sampler swap…a gorgeous card and some yummy japanese taupe fabrics!!
Lovely Package from Jane!
Jane sent over a lovely card, this covered journal, Mary Engelbreit card making bits, and 3 gorgeous FQs. So thoughtful, and much appreciated. Thank you!!
Ann sent these gorgeous cards from Brittany to cheer me up and wish me Happy Birthday (next Wed the 25th, lol!!)
Lovely Package from Andrea!
Andrea sent another lovely package today. Craft projects and chocolate for the girls (long gone before I took photo!!), some gorgeous sock yarn and civil war FQs and a great little bits and bobs bag with ribbons bows lace and zips. Thank you so much!!

I really appreciate all the cards and presents people have sent to cheer me up, totally unnecessary, but very much appreciated. The blogosphere is a great place, thank you so much for your constant encouragement and support, even before all this happened!

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!!

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!

Have you ever had so many ideas in your head and started and stopped on a half dozen projects without focusing?? That has been me for the last while!

While killing time during the hour of Aine’s Irish dance class last week, I did a shop hop in “downtown Ballina” the group of about five shops in our village on the Tipperary side of the river… Cross the Shannon River on the old stone bridge and you enter the metropolis of Killaloe, Co. Clare, approximately one minute’s walk away (at least 2 streets with shops there!) I love my town/s and this is the first time I checked out some of the small gift shops. Look at the lovely wreath I found for 4 euros (6 dollars) at the local hardware shop. I found the cute stitchery at the little gift shop.
Goodies from Downtown Ballina Village
I also got this great group of gifties from Lissa in Australia. I sent her some triangles on a roll to try out, and some civil war repros, and I got Homespun, some yummy repros for me and a lovely drawstring bag with some goodies for the girls!
Goodies from Lissa in Australia!
I’ve also finished another angel for a swap, which will soon make its way to……???? It is a Tilda kit and is so pretty, I nearly want to keep it!
Angel Swap angel
I am also making a flock of these which are also a Tilda design. Can you tell I like her stuff?? These will be ornaments for patchwork friends.
Birdie Ornaments

I have started working on a table runner as well…kinda making it up as I go along…maybe tomorrow I will pick a project and focus on it… I’ve also tea dyed some muslin and am making some stuffed kitty softies for the girls for Christmas! Focus, must focus!!!
Table Runner

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!

Daddy is home and has been asleep since 3pm!! Kids will hopefully get a day to play with him tomorrow, lol, cuz then we’re all off to Dublin and DH is off to Brussels for work Sunday night! We leave for Oregon on Wednesday morning, leaving the car for DH to pick up again on his way home from Brussels. Nuts. Crazy. But what can you do!  I don’t regret going home to be with my folks this year, though we’ll miss DH. This is going to be my first 4th of July Stateside since 1997, so I am looking forward to it. My cousins and and Aunt and Uncle (dad’s sister) rent beach houses at Lincoln City, OR and it sounds great!!

First of all I want to say a HUGE thank you to Janet, a great Australian designer and blogging buddy. She not only sold me some of her gorgeous patterns (and some great ones of her friend Cath of Willow Valley Store as well, cute buttons and notions too!), bought me some great magazines and threw in some awesome goodies for me, mom and the girls… but also went to Foothills Fabric shop and collected some great books and goodies for me and sent them to my husband’s hotel so he didn’t have to spend a day on the train getting stuff for me (though bless him, he was willing to do it for the adventure!) She went above and beyond and for that I am really grateful. I really hope the next time you are back in Ireland that we do get a chance to meet! Come down to Killaloe, we’ll have a chat and I’ll bring you over to meet the local patchwork girls! Leanne Beasley kindly went to the trouble to sign her two books for me and I got a very early copy of Rosalie Quinlan’s book Gift signed as well. Thank you very much ladies, you all are amazing designers!! And I am a very happy girl. And Lynette, I got the buttons to make your Saltbox Sampler as well…now I am all set! I think I may have to visit Australia some day to meet all these talented and FRIENDLY folks!! Have a look at all the goodies Dave brought home…and my necessary tea towel and fridge magnet for the collection!
Books and Patterns
Buttons Fabrics and stitcheries
Lots of Aussie Quilt Mags
Tea Towel and Magnet standard souvenir requests!!

Here is my last photo of my DJ till the Sister’s Show, I promise. I like the look of it at the bottom of my bed! Please ignore the over stuffed bookshelf, we need to buy a new one, I can’t give away books!
Dear Jane at home

Aine and Aisling came to my last Wednesday patchwork group as Tuesday was the last day of school for them. Look at Aine’s concentration working on sewing her little quilt!
Aine Hard at Work!!
Aine and Aisling at Patchwork Group

 Don’t forget to sign up for my giveaway if you haven’t already!!


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!!!

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!!



We had Kate and family here for the week, so of course I neglected blogging while Kate seemed to manage a post daily!! I may have a few thousand photos of course as they’ve built up over the week or two I’ve neglected my blog.

While they were here we did a bit of this:
DSCF2839 DSCF2838

Drank a little bit of this:
(Bailey’s in chocolate cups!!)

And of course did a little shopping:
DSCF2851 DSCF2834 DSCF2832

And crafting:
DSCF2852 DSCF2849 DSCF2837 DSCF2830

I made the little brown drawstring bags from funky napkins I thrifted years ago in Maryland. I have one for my knitting and a friend admired one, so I made one for her and Kate admired one and not so subtley hinted she might like one…they are handy for throwing my current knitting project in with all its bits and pieces (patterns, yarns, needles, etc). Now Kate can have one for her newest knitting project!

I am very excited because I finally went out and bought a free motion foot that works on my machine, after a 6 month break, I am back to quilting machine quilts. I only hope to be as good as Katy is one day! Look at the beautiful quilt she made me to try out my free motion foot! I finished up that Christmas tree skirt I started in November when my foot stopped working, and now will work to get the 3 baby quilts I have waiting, just have to finish the stitchery of the names on them.

Free Motion Tree Quilt

Kate helped me pin down the hanging sleeves for the Dear Jane, so I will be sitting in front of the TV for the month of June with many hand sewing projects: label and sleeves for big DJ, quilt the border of the small DJ hanging, finish the stitcheries on the baby quilts and attempt to get the tree of life block quilt hand quilted?? Might have to end up machine stitching that last one!

The kids have absolutely loved having their friends over this week, and the adults had some great nights playing cards and hanging out. Thanks Kate and co. for a great visit!!



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