We have had an amazing road trip in the last week through California into Oregon, visiting Disneyland, Hollywood, Big Sur, Monterey, San Francisco, Napa Valley and the Redwoods then into Oregon and a visit to Crater Lake…Here is a collage of some of our photos…

I threw in some sock progress photos from Venice Beach, Monterey, Alcatraz and the Redwoods, lol The first monkey sock is progressing nicely, not much more till it is done…

I also found several knitting and quilt shops along the way, of course!! The first one is in Cambria California just before we headed to Big Sur, Ball & Skein & More, where I bought a great crochet kit for a market bag, some cool crochet hooks, and a skein of super soft alpaca wool sheared locally from two alpacas called Polaris and Pablo!

The next day we were at Monterey where I visited the quilt shop Back Porch Fabrics and had a wonderful visit to Monarch Knitting, where I bought yarn, needles and a book to learn how to do patterned Scandinavian gloves, Selbuvotter.

My lovely husband spotted the Fat Quail Quilt Shop in Laytonville where I might have picked up a few Japanese taupe fat quarters… Here is the photo of fabrics I got at Back Porch Fabrics, Fat Quail, and also at the Purple Pincushion  quilt shop I spotted in our last road trip stop, Grants Pass Oregon!! Some taupes, and some sampler fabrics, and a few other bits…

I also happened to decide that I really needed a Jim Shore nativity set for Christmas when I was at Purple Pincushion! I didn’t have one at home and had been meaning to get one and there really isn’t a more perfect one for a quilter!!

I finished all my drunkards path quilt blocks while flying over to the States and have that top and the Dear Jane throw to hand piece together the next few weeks we are visiting, though I might look out for a yard sale sewing machine again this time… I doubt I’ll have such luck as to find a three dollar Singer Featherweight again this time though.

Hope to show a finished sock and some quilting progress next week. I’ll update after the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show!


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!

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!

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

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!!

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!!

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!!
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!!


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!!

Beth and Sharon at Sew Many Quilts
The day before the quilt show I was able to do a bit of shopping with a bloggy friend or two. They were both lovely and were bemused by lack of spending: only $5 in one shop and less than $20 in the other. But look at all the goodies I got!!

I lost the run of myself the next day at the Sisters Show, only one quilty purchase, but a major one, a sterling silver charm bracelet and 6 charms (chi-ching…way too much money dropped there, but I love it!!)
Charm Bracelet

I went to Sisters with my dad and my oldest daughter, Aine, who ran around snapping photos excitedly of the first 30 or so quilts but lost momentum after she realized there were 1200 quilts on display!! We had a great time, though I didn’t see anyone I was supposed to meet at the Sisters Library at 1pm, where were you guys? I did manage to meet up with friend Kristin for a quick chat, but hope to see her more in the summer for some kiddy playdates and maybe some knitting meet ups!! Dad wants me to mention the totally excellent parking space we found in a shaded area just off of Main Street too…

Here are a bunch of photos of quilts around town. Wish I had gotten a chance to meet more fellow bloggers. Maybe another summer?? Or any other Oregonian quilters that want to meet up sometime for a shop hop here or in Portland at the end of my trip, let me know!!

First I just want to say thank you for all the wonderful comments I got from last week’s post. It was a bad week for me and you all made me feel not so alone at all…husbands are great support but there is nothing like a whole community, virtual and real life, out there being so wonderful!

I’m feeling much better, my taste buds seem to be coming back without the use of antibiotics I was threatening to get! Friends still listen to me and tell me I sound horrible, but I’m feeling better so that is okay!  It has just been one of those months where we are all reinfecting each other with ick, and I don’t think the airplane rides ever help for colds either!!

I am still slightly panicked about next Tuesday’s driving test, lots of things to memorize this weekend (rules of the road, location of various engine bits we need to know, geesh) but apparently it is a rare person that passes their first driving test here in Ireland. I took one when I first arrived with no lessons and only days using a stick shift car, I don’t count that one, lol!!

Anyway, as I become a golf widow today, I am going to relish in the fact that the kids don’t have to go anywhere today, and I can stay in my jammies all day! So little crafting has been done, and I don’t get as exciting mail as my friend Katy does, nothing squishy in the mail this week…but I do have some pictures of shopping and gifting from my weekend in London!!

Look at this beautiful sampler Katy gave me as an early birthday pressie. I want to get back into cross stitching and stitcheries, but right now my life is mainly blowing noses, watching kids and sleeping early, not a lot of extra energy.
Lovely Early Bday gift from Katy

My goal of finishing the borders on the DJ was not met in February, but that is okay, it was a bit of a hard month for me. I have five of 13 triangles done, none of the plain tris marked for quilting yet… I did however buy the fabric for the binding and made all the bias binding strips for the scalloped border for the quilt. I am hoping to finish the border this month and start on the border. Katy gave me the great idea of working on sewing the binding on and then turning it over as I go along, so that I am actually finishing both sides at the same time, I hope it works! Here is a photo of the binding fabric I bought (the blue swirls on the left) and some other nice things I couldn’t help myself picking out for a repro swap I am doing. The moda cross stitch fabric I just love…will use it as background for something in the future.
Repros from the Quilt Room

Katy also gave me some pieces of her pink and purple fabrics for a few baby quilts I am behind on doing…figure a few quick 6 inch square pieced quilts will work.
Pinks and Purples

Will let you know about the Tuesday results, and hopefully show the 2 funny hats I’ve made for mom when she starts chemo. She is still sore, but she is in good spirits. We try to talk everyday and I have the web cam set up on Skype so that she can chat with the kids and just watch them play sometimes….she loves that, feels like she is in the room with them. Often there is not much new to talk about, but it is just nice to have her as part of our day! Makes me feel a little less far away.

Have a great weekend, I plan to spend most of mine in jammies, cleaning, studying and hopefully sewing! Of course, mothers day is tomorrow here in Ireland, so I plan on reading in bed for a long time while dad and the kids make breakfast for me! My mobile phone is dead, so I am thinking a cool new phone is a great mother’s day pressie as well, gonna go order one online now!! Later!!

Aine and our tree!Whether that be my own home with my good DH and gorgeous girls, or my parent’s home in Oregon! DH did a great job getting the girls where they needed to go, but said I needn’t go away again for a few years. There is a big difference between being on call 24 hours and being there evenings and weekends, lol!! I guess he finally can appreciate the kind of work a mom does! Dad’s do great jobs with their kids too, but sometimes they forget how non-stop it can be for the moms.

I had a great time visiting Oregon last week. Hard to believe I’m home again already! I did so much shopping: lots of quilting goodies for our local ladies, some fabric and books for me, lots of yarn!! I got a swift and wool winder to help me wind up my skeins of yarn. I got enough yarn to make lots of felted goodies: some felted clogs, some felted ballerina slippers for the girls, and a huge gorgeous bag for me!! Here are some photos of various goodies.
Quilting goodiesYarn Acquisitions!Goodies from Sisters, Oregon

I love the new Fig Tree Quilts book with the houses quilts, and I also got some taupes, some repros and some folky prints for me. I got some cool felted soaps for gifts and just look at those beautiful felted stockings that Kristin made for us! You may notice a drop spindle to try my hand at, and the wooden egg darner that I found for my vintage/antique knitting and sewing tool collections.

I met with Kristin several times on the trip. Thank you so much for your lovely company, and for letting me tag along to your guild party, Kristin!! I had a great time playing quilter’s bingo and I even won a lovely book (oddly enough, donated to the cause by Kristin herself as I found out later!)! The cool blocks that Kristin made were donated later to make charity quilts by the guild, what a great idea!

We had an early Christmas dinner and present opening at my parents house last Friday. Mom and dad liked their gifts. One of our local patchworking ladies made a gorgeous wooden angel for me to give my mom, just because… how nice is that!
Dad with his quiltMom and her dollMom and her wooden angel from Alison
Here is a photo from my parent’s back deck of the Cascade mountains I put in dad’s quilt. I just love seeing the snow covered mountains, there is nothing so high here in Ireland!

Bend Mountains

I’ve got MIL’s tea cozy to finish and lots of wrapping to do! Guess I will be doing that in the evenings, as I just realized that all my mornings are already booked for the rest of the week. Nothing like diving right back in to it all!!

The Girls at Birmingham Festival of Quilts, originally uploaded by Cathi O’Neill.

Well, not really. But it was stopped after a purchase from the Netherlands (really Petra Prins gorgeous stall at the Festival) and one from the UK within 20 minutes of each other, my credit card company thought something must be afoot!! But I wasn’t to be held back from my purchases, I left the festival momentarily and got some CASH!!

We had a great day, a very long day (Aisling chose that night to wake up at 3, 3:30, 4 and 4:30am, at which time it was time to go to the airport for my 6:30am flight!) but a wonderful day of shopping and looking at some really wonderful work.

I even saw a black and white Dear Jane quilt, take a look! I set up an album of some of the quilts I saw in Flickr, click here to see!

Black and White Dear Jane at Birmingham Festival of Quilts

Barbara was there with her friend Celine (a French woman living in the UK), my friend Katy was there with her two daugthers, and my new friend Sherry, who I met through this blog and first met at the airport. It was really great to have a chance to chat with all my bloggy friends and to do a bit of retail therapy together. While I was there, Barbara gave me this wonderful bag she made for me! What wonderful friends I have :)!! I also got back my Crazy Quilt Round Robin, it is gorgeous, have a look!
Beautiful Bag that Barbara made me!!
CQ Wallhanging
Closeup of CQ Closeup of Crazy Quilt 1 Closeup of CQ

Sherry and I had plenty of time after the festival while waiting for our 10pm flight to actually get her setup on a new blog. She is a fellow American also with 2 daughters, a fellow quilter, and also married to an Irishman. We had a great time getting to know each other througout the day, and she and Barbara have also become friends now too. Ain’t the blogging world great!! Please visit Sherry and welcome her to Blogland, tell her I sent ya, lol!!

I bought so many things at the festival…several kits for quilts, a sewing organizer, a doll, and don’t get me started on my search for Japanese taupes…I bought quite a bit! Definitely a new love of mine since Barbara brought over my first taste of them on her visit in May!
Japanese Taupes Petra Prins Kit Fabric from Petra Prins Toy Patterns Trims and Notions Blackwork Sampler Autumn Applique Tablerunner Angel Sewing Organizer Hungarian Folk Art Fabric

No photos of current projects, but am working along on quilting my Dear Jane, knitting my sock and have started a reproduction antique sampler, could it be a new addiction forming?

…For searching your stashes and offering to look for the sky fabric. I decided to take a chance and go to the local lady here in Limerick and look what I found!! Thank you so much for searching your stashes, but it is good to know I have such a huge choice here when I need a specific fabric!! I forgot how huge her fabric selection is, really probably the biggest in Ireland and just down the road!
Sky fabric

I am such a scrap quilter that I rarely buy more than a FQ every once in a while. But look at this sweet fabric, it is part of a collection called Bird on a Wire by Makower in the UK. I got a FQ or two of it a few months ago and saw more yesterday and loved it! Don’t know what I’ll do with it really, but maybe just stroke it for a year or two, lol! I love the modern folky look it has.
 Cute Print for Bird on a WireBird on a Wire Makower UK

She also had a great sale on Civil War Fabrics and Japanese taupes she bought because she loves them, but they don’t sell in Ireland apparently!! Good for me though, as I got some FQs of both for 1.50 each, very cheap for Ireland!! She also has some CW fabrics for sale by the yard for 5 euros a yard!! Most fabrics here are 14 euros a yard, so what a bargain that is!! Will be going back for that soon, as I ran out of money yesterday!!
Civil War FQs from shop Lecien Taupes...going cheap in Limerick!

I can also say now that I’ve received my doll quilt for the swap!! Ritacor in Portugal made me a lovely vintagey flower applique quilt with fabrics from her grandmother’s stash! I had it in my hands yesterday then glanced into our spare room to realize that quilt on the bed there (not done by me, store bought before I got back into quilting… I have yet to finish big bed quilts to keep for myself). Doesn’t it look sweet? THANK YOU RITA!

My Doll Quilt in the spare room!

Christine received my quilt. She is a hand piecer and hand quilter, so I am very pleased that my quilt went to her!! Her thank you email brought tears to my eyes, as she told me the story of seeing my quilt on the Flickr group and wishing it was for her, then her excitement and surprise to see the package from Ireland arrive. I am so glad it is going to be well loved. She is a “wannabe DJer” she has all the fabrics, software and things she needs, so go over to her and encourage her to get started…and check out the cute photo of her Civil War buff son holding the quilt!

Dave has a busy day planned with the girls, and I plan on working on my next Crazy Quilt that is due to be sent out July 31st, my DJ quilted squares of course, and hopefully finishing that sock!! Maybe I’ll get the pair done by the end of the summer! I need to baste up the apple core quilt and try the baptist fans with the different threads to see what I like, maybe I should do that too… and I suppose some housework… why aren’t there more hours in the day?!