progress


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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!!

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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!!

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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!!

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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 😦
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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!!

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

And of course did a little shopping:
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And crafting:
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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!!

 

 

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.

You are strong and beautiful and loved! Look at all that support behind you. Remember, bald is beautiful!!

Mom has found out she has shingles on top of the chemo this week, but her spirits still seem strong, please keep her in your prayers and thoughts!

We don’t celebrate Mother’s Day here in May, in the UK and Ireland it is tied in with Lent and celebrated in March, so no breakfast in bed for me, lol.

I have been feeling the need to get healthier as I watch my mom going through her battle. I have been overweight again for nearly 3 years now and as I am getting older I can feel it in my joints more than I used to. I will be starting my weight battle today again, despite a First Communion party we are attending this afternoon, wish me luck 🙂 On this Mother’s Day, I plan on making some changes for this particular momma right here!

Thank you so much everyone for the amazing amount of comments on my Dear Jane. I haven’t responded to any yet, but plan to respond to all…took a few days off, lol, though of course I couldn’t help but keep crafting from time to time!

The secret socks are done and I have started on some felted ballet slippers for the girls…as I am knitting them now, they look like they’d fit me, but they shrink amazingly into that lovely felted fabric! Will have  a photo to show next time.

I’ve also been working on a few projects for local friends kids, lots of tshirts and onesies. I may sell these at the local Sunday market in the fall…if I get myself organized enough 🙂
DSCF2791 Shirt for Aine Short Sets for Hannah Vests/Onesies for Baby Lucy

I have started on a wall hanging for Katy’s Another Little Quilt Swap. I am actually making two of these at the same time. I have always wanted to do a tree block wallhanging. I hope my swap partner will like it! I am thinking of adding a brown border, it is already 20 inches so only a small border, or should I just add a binding, and forget the border? I plan to hand quilt it. (I will press it out a bit better and get it squared I promise!!)
Tree of Paradise Block

Many have asked what I am going to do next? Nothing so big for a while, lol. Katy and I still have our Dear Jane swap going on, so I’ll still be hand piecing some DJ blocks, I’ll probably continue to do a lot of hand quilting as I’ve discovered I love it! But…since we will be spending a lot of time in the States this summer… I don’t plan on starting any major projects…right now. I hope to finish my scrappy ocean waves blocks over the summer on a borrowed machine, and to continue knitting. I will work on my cross stitch sampler…lots of little things!

Now, if you made it this far, here is a gratuitous cute picture. Aine’s class did an Irish dancing display on Friday, here she is with her partner in the “old time waltz” display, too cute 🙂
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Thank you everyone who has checked in on me after my blog break was heading for the two week mark. I am doing okay… a bit emotional about being 6000 miles away from my parents during a hard time (dad has since all this started had kidney stones and other issues that need to be checked into himself this week, when it rains it pours). I have not been doing well with eating (food is always my crutch under stress), but have thrown myself into swimming, and activities for the girls and kept busy.

I can’t really concentrate on a lot of crafting stuff right now, but have been obsessed with my DJ quilting which I can do without thinking, just sitting down and stitching away, so I have done that often…late at night or early in the morning, in between crazy hectic days! Here is a photo of a kite and a few triangles quilted in one of the borders.
Kite and Triangle DJ Quilting

I also have been the lucky recipient of a few packages! I did a trade with Jennifer at Moving Hands, I sent a bunch of civil war repro scraps for her Dear Jane blocks and she sent back all these lovely Quiltgate Japanese taupe fabrics, and some other lovely repros for my collection! I love all those muted colors on the taupe fabrics. Thank you so much!
Lovely Swap package from Jennifer

A lady in my Wednesday morning quilting group was clearing out her 1980/90s knitting stash last week and I scored some real Irish pure wool (called bainin…think it still has lanolin in it for Aran waterproof knitting) and some lovely linen cotton yarn. It is a real shame that Irish yarn makers don’t seem to make pure wool yarns anymore…I only see acrylic out there with maybe a bit of wool in it…
Some Vintage Irish Wool I Scored!!

Yesterday I got a very special package from my dear friend Barbara. We chat often on messenger and skype since meeting in blogland nearly 2 years ago and have visited each other, I can truly say she is a very close friend of mine in real life now. She knew how helpless I was feeling so far away from my family at this time and look what she sent to me. A gorgeously packaged quilt kit using her signature shabby chic floral fabrics. I was crying like a baby in the middle of our village after opening the package. Quilters are such generous people. Thank you so much Barbara from the bottom of my heart. I am glad to call you my friend.
Aine and Barbara's Gorgeous Present Box
Yummy Fabrics

Some of the border I finished quilting...

32 comments last week, you are all wonderful with your support and encouragement and prayers for mom and our family. She is still getting all the information gathered… Her MRI says that there is no cancer in any other part of her body, but that their might be one lymph node involved with the cancer, so they are looking into that before a definite course of action is decided. We are all getting used to the idea, and it looks like our trip to Australia might be cancelled so that grandma can get some grandkid therapy this summer. So…my plans for bringing my Dear Jane to Sisters this year, could be back on…we’ll see in the next month or two before we make solid plans!

I have finished quilting one of the triangle borders this week, well all the pieced triangles anyway…I am starting to work on the plain tris with a simple quilting pattern. I figured anything complicated would be totally lost on this design intense quilt. What do you think?
Quilting on the Plain Dear Jane Triangles

I managed to swim 35 lengths or more 3 times this week, and got one walk in. I started Weight Watchers on Wednesday, very depressing amount on that scale, but hope to see it go down soon. Will try to organize a WW page here on the blog soon, along with catching up on my Finished projects, Book list…geesh I have a lot to do!

I finished Dave’s slippers and felted them…they are a bit misshapen, but they fit him just fine. I knitted it double stranded so the slippers are more like fraternal twins rather than identical with their patterning…one is more striped and the other more mottled…eek!!
Dave sporting his felted slippers...

make-my-day.jpg Ruth tagged me with a lovely award, the You Make My Day award. I have to say, it does make my day to receive these kinds of awards that go around blogland. I love to know that people out there enjoy reading my blog!! I’ve seen this award go around many of the blogs I read several times over, but there are a few out there that I enjoy reading that haven’t received it yet, so I’ll focus on those ones, but with 178 feeds on my Bloglines, I enjoy many many blogs out there and appreciate every comment that I get. Thank you so much everyone for being such a wonderfully supportive community!

Here are a few favorites of mine, hope you take the award and pass it around to other blog friends that make your day!

Sandra's Teddy
Got a few things finished today! Figured I was on a roll with blog posting and with crafting, so I’d keep going.  Here is the bear I made for a friend from her mother’s robe and a skirt for the bow. I’ve had the clothes since last year and am glad I finally focused on it and got it done. I hope she’ll be able to squeeze this squishy bear and get some comfort from the fabrics she saw her mom in.

Finished First Slipper!Dave’s first slipper is done now as well…will get started on its mate tomorrow, but won’t felt them till I have both, so they shrink evenly.

I have a partner in crime for Weight Watchers here next week, that should help me stay motivated, I hope! I stood on the scale yesterday, I was sad to see that my weight wasn’t even 175, but 181.6, I have a long road ahead of me.

I haven’t finished my DJ triangle for today. I need to get a good rhythm with it going if I want the time to get the quilt finished. I think it will take more time than I think rather than less, so want to keep ahead of the curve. Guess my focus tomorrow will be to get caught up on my quilting. Too tired to do any more tonight!

Appliqued Onesies

I  got everything done I said I wanted to do and I have photos to show it!

  1. Eat healthy throughout the day, and drink 1 1/2-2 liters of water!! I did sneak in a little bread and nutella tonight, but drank 1 liter of water and ate healthily today, much better than I usually do!
  2. Quilt a Dear Jane Triangle. Got one done!
    Tonights Dear Jane Triangle quilting
  1. Sew a gift for a friend. Got a few or 6 baby vests/onesies done for my fertile friends! Baby Catherine arrived last night, twins Paige and Holly and little Dorothy arrived in November…they each got their initials as design elements on the onesies. I also managed to get started on my friends memory bear.

    Start of Memory Bear

  2. Knit Dave’s felted slippers. Got more done! Here is Aine modeling.
    Slipper Hat for Aine
  3. Going to pull out the rag rug that I bought 10 or more years ago!! Took a minute to remember how, but got back into it tonight
    Rag Rug
  4. Go for a walk. Walked with the kids down to the park. Lost sense of taste again tonight with head cold though.
  5. Use my dishcloths and scrubbies instead of sponges and paper towels. Check.
  6. Read a book in bed by 11pm. Katy thinks this is the only one I won’t be able to do…hmmm…seeing as its 11:06pm as I type, I think she may be right, but will continue to try for this…there just aren’t enough hours in the day!

Tomorrow I hope to continue working on the teddy bear, the DJ triangles and the slipper. Dave is back to work, but kids and I still have our lazy days till next Monday!

Tree Skirt Quilting
Help! Not just anybody…someone that can save my sanity and help me figure out what is wrong with my free motion quilting on my home machine!!! It is a Pfaff Hobby and I have a free motion foot for it… The stitches keep skipping, but the tension seems to be okay…the stitches look fine on both sides, when it is not skipping an inch or so before continuing on again… It is so frustrating! I have changed the needles, the bobbins, cleaned it, changed thread…it goes fine for a bit and then skips again. Will I have to bring it in for a service? When I do regular sewing/piecing it is just fine, it only skips when I use the free motion. I am trying to quilt my Christmas tree skirt and just don’t know what to do. I am scaring our local patchwork ladies, lol. They consider me some what of a quilting expert and gadget guru, and don’t like to see me stumped, lol!!

On a cheerier note, I got these lovely cards last week as a thank you for some of the patterns I gave away! Thanks very much blogless Kate, they are gorgeous!!
Notecards from Kate

My Dear Jane is coming along well…I am one block away from the last row!!! I should be done all the square blocks in the next few weeks and then have the triangles to start!! Here is a photo of my latest blocks quilted.
DJ Quilting Progress

I have my mom’s present to sew and I have my dad’s quilt waiting to be quilted too, I need to sort out this sewing machine and soon!!!

I am actually always knitting, believe it or not.  But at the moment, it is the bath scrubbies and striped funky tea cosy for Dave’s mom… I am using that photo as a guide, as the instructions were ridiculous…it is obviously stockinette stitch in the photo, yet the pattern has no purl rows… I am doing just stripes all the way up!
Tea Cozy

Not many photos of the girls taken this week, but here is a funny one I found when trying to climb the stairs with laundry one day. The girls were putting on a “Barbie Show” these were members of the audience, LOL!!
Audience

Dave has been away all week and I have a scary schedule till Christmas, so things have been hectic and not as much done as I’d like. I’ve got Aine’s birthday in a little over a week, then our American Thanksgiving here with 2 other families the next Sunday, then DH’s 40th birthday the next weekend, then a trip to Oregon the next week… That brings me to the week before Christmas. I am tired just thinking about it! HELP!!!

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