July 30, 2007

Birmingham Bound and a Knitted Finished Object!

First Real Sock!, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Things are moving along here. I've started quilting my applecore quilt with freehand fans in natural thread and it is looking lovely... I really love the look of the fans on antique quilts, so it is fun to learn!

I have also finished the first sock of my pair, have to cast on soon for the second one lest dreaded second sock syndrome start!! I made this more of an ankle sock with 2 repeats of the pattern instead of the normal 3... I blame genetics and a few extra pounds for my large calves, lol!! This fits great and so far is staying up, woo hoo! This is the first time I used sock wool (instead of heavy wool) and tiny needles, I'm loving this so much better than my first pair of thick socks, even if it takes much longer!! I used Trekking Pro Natura which is 75% wool, 25% bamboo and will have to go look up the colorway, but it is a lovely one!

Any UK or Irish quilters planning on heading to the Birmingham festival of Quilts on Saturday the 18th of August? I got a very cheap flight for the day (early arrival late departure) for Birmingham to see the festival!! I hope to meet up with good friends Katy and Barbara. But would love to meet some other fellow bloggers. Anyone else up for meeting?? Can't wait to see all the quilts and ALL THE VENDORS!! LOL.

If you can believe it, I've been quiilting away on my DJ and am up to 37 blocks now. It is nice to get more done than expected...I'm hoping to start on my 4th row of the quilt tomorrow!!

Tonight I need to finish my next crazy quilt round robin block (deadline to post: tomorrow!!). I am just not very good at it. Don't think I will ever become a great crazy quilter. I'd love to do one more project for myself eventually, but I think I'll focus on more simple stitchery for future projects for a while.

It is sunny today for the first time in a while so might get crazy quilt ready to sew outside while kiddies play!

July 28, 2007

Thank You Friends!

...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?!

July 27, 2007

A little help from my friends

Quilt for Dad, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Could you help me? I want to start on my dad's Christmas present (mom...I am going to make you something special too, but will keep it secret!!) and I have no batiks. This is the view my parents have of the Cascades from their deck...just gorgeous. I thought I had bought the sky fabric in Bend last Christmas, but now that I can't find it, lol, I am starting to think I passed on it because I need a sky fabric where the clouds go in the length and nApplecore Doll Quiltot the width What I need for Dads it can go the whole 64 inch width with clouds going left to right and not up and down. We have no major selection of fabrics in Ireland, so I'm not too hopeful of finding the perfect sky fabric here, but I'd be willing to pay or trade with anyone that could find 2 yards of a good cloud fabric for me in their lovely local shops! I'll put a list of what fabrics I need for this quilt here in a thumbnail, but click please if you think you might have some fabrics that I could trade you for!!

I also have one more favor to ask you (I know...cheeky of me!!). I want to start quilting on my apple core quilt, but what color quilting thread would you use? I have red and natural, but would black be better for this?? Also, if I wanted to quilt baptist fans freehand, would I start from the edge of the quilt or from the center. is there a good tutorial for this? Help!!

DSCF0957And look! Some knitting being done!! I am up to the toe now on my socks. Here is my massive calf and ankle in full glory with my pomatomus sock. Will I take a break and start on something else, or will I get that second sock on the needles?

Aine was so cute today, she wanted to quilt with me, so I gave her needle and thread and here she is (face painted from summer camp with big pink hearts on her cheeks!) "helping" me with my Dear Jane... I'll keep her big stitches in and quilt around them. I'll remove them eventually but they are so sweet I don't really want to now. I'm up to 31 blocks now!!

DJ QuiltingDSCF0967Aine's stitches

July 22, 2007

Home from Portugal!

View from our apartment in Portugal, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

This is the view from our living room in our apartment we rented for the week. You can't see it in the distance in the photo but there is a view of the ocean as well. The lovely pool was a short walk away, and we had access to a kids pool and play area in a neighboring complex. We felt we got great place for a totally reasonable price!

Swimming PoolGirls and Cousins at the Beach Aine and Merlin holding hands...too cute

DH's brother and partner and their two sons, Merlin and Noah, live just down the road, and the kids had great fun getting to know them better. Look at Aine and Merlin holding hands. They did that quite often, it was too cute!!

We went on beach barbeques, a water zoo with dolphin shows, the local zoo where Aine saw her favorite flamingos, saw the local city Lagos, went to the end of the world (OK, the westernmost frontier of Europe, last sight of land for Columbus for a good while!) I swam in the ocean twice, tried to swim every day, read one whole book (The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd) and got halfway through another, finished a doll quilt and got through the heel gusset of my Pomatomus sock. We also had a few late night meals with family, and I was able to get drunk one night (which for me entails about 3 or 4 drinks over the course of a night! I'm a lightweight with drinking, if not literally!!) Not bad for a week.Aine and Doll Quilt in the Garden

I took a silly fun photo for the vacation photo contest on Summer of Socks. Here is my sock at the "end of the world" beyond this point there be dragons!Pomatomus Sock at the End of the World

Today is our wedding anniversary, 12 years now, how time flies!! We got married on a blistering hot day in Woodstock Virginia. The wedding was at a lovely victorian inn called the River'd Inn. I changed out of my wedding dress and into a swim suit while listening to our wedding band playing traditonal Irish music...pretty laidback wedding, lol!!

I'll be mostly unpacking, washing clothes, and working on some quilting. We have both decided that today is our first day of Weight Watchers again, so Dave will be cooking a nice but healthy meal tonight!! better get going, hope to layer my doll quilt for hand quilting (have fallen in love with hand quilting!) and cutting out some more ocean waves blocks...and unpacking...and....

July 13, 2007

Doll Quilt Swap Quilt - Finished!

Doll Quilt Swap Quilt - Finished!, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Package Ready to Send!I got this finished yesterday, woo hoo! It will be out the door and on its way to....???? before our trip to Portugal tomorrow. I feel I cheated on it slightly as I decided to machine the binding on, though I hand finished only the binding was done by machine on this. I really want to keep it, lol, so that is a good sign right? It is the first thing I have hand quilted and finished!

I've included some scraps and had fun wrapping it with a wide strip of Civil War repro fabric...

Here is a photo of the back of the quilt, you can kinda make out which blocks are where with the quilting designs...Back of the Doll Quilt

I plan on bringing my sock knitting and a hand piecing project, my applecore quilt, to Portugal for evenings and quiet times, if there are any!

Pomatomus sock coming alongHand Pieced Applecore quilt

The cool protectors for the ends of my sock needles I bought off of etsy from lunastrixae

July 11, 2007

Doll Quilt Swap WIP

Doll Quilt Swap WIP, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

I am currently hand quilting this little baby for my Doll Quilt Swap partner. I am loving being able to work with a hoop and listen/watch TV while quilting it! Who knew that I'd love hand quilting so much! I am up to 24 blocks now for my big Dear Jane quilt!!

I had hoped to post on Sunday, but here is a photo of my two cuties. We are doing our Sunday tradition of making American pancakes from scratch. The girls love to help me make things and have gotten pretty good at pouring and mixing. Aisling (my youngest!) loves to crack eggs into tiny pieces, I get to fish out the broken shells!!!Making Pancakes with Mom

Our group quilt was hanging up on display with some of our group quilts in a shop window in can see a lot of reflection, but the quilt turned out pretty well!

Brian Boru Quilt

Knitting is on temporary hiatus until our trip on Saturday...I'm sure I'll work on it a bit over our vacation, and my try to get some fun photos of the sock on vacation in Portugal, lol, as part of a contest for the Socks of Summer knitalong I joined. My Virtual Vacation swap package will have to be gathered in August, it is somehow impossible to find 100 percent wool yarn in Ireland!! I need to source some independent spinners and dyers. The only bainin (Irish wool typically used for Aran sweaters and with lots of lanolin and sheepy smell left in it!) I have found is in the States...wonder if I can contact their source directly! End products are easy to find, yarn isn't, unless I want acrylic!!

Check out this cool sock yarn that Barbara sent over. It is from Lapland and I think would look great for some aran cable socks I fell in love with on someone's blog!! Gotta put that on my to do is getting long! Darn all this internet inspiration!Sock Yarn from Barbara!

July 5, 2007

Belated Happy 4th of July...From Ireland!!

Happy 4th of July...From Ireland!!, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

DSCF0751Sorry for the belated post. Last week was a blur of illness (kidney infection and antibiotics, yuck!), quilting (I'm now up to 17 blocks quilted!) and piecing my doll quilt swap quilt (nearly done my 9th Dear Jane block and hope to get top pieced tomorrow to get it hand quilted over next week!)

I feel much loved my our blogging community. Thanks for the emails asking me if I was busy or okay!! I was both, just hectic. We had Dave's mom visiting as well, which is nice, but I try not to be as computer addicted as I usually am when we have visitors!!

I am going to eventually aim to post every few days, but I somehow let it slide too easily, what with chasing kids around, housework, and just life in general. I'd love to take photos during the days to remember this time in my kids life. It passes by way too quick. Aine will be in Kindergarten this year (they call it Junior Infants here in get to be a Senior Infant the next year!) blink and years go by! Would you guys mind a mix of family and crafting in my posts? I feel like I need to include them more in my posts, my mom, especially agrees!

DSCF0749I have put a link on my sidebar to a little Etsy shop I opened. It has one item in it, lol! I am thinking of making patchwork bibs, balls (baby toy with a jingle bell inside) and these decorated onesies to sell locally and maybe in the Etsy shop... If you have a baby to buy for this year, take a look at my onesie!

I keep plugging away at the Dear Jane blocks...won't post them all, that would be overkill but here are a few more if you are interested!


I am still knitting, I've turned the heel on the Pomatomus sock, though it is taking a back seat to quilting for a little while till my doll quilt is out the door... And when it is out the door, so are we!! We are heading to Portugal to visit with Dave's brother and family for the week on the 14th...better load up on the suncream!

My camera was left behind at a 4th of July party we went to yesterday with some other American families here, was a lot of fun!! I promise some photos of doll quilt progress in the next few days, when I get the camera back!