September 24, 2007

Time to Party and are you up for a Swap??

I think she likes her new smock, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Aine is now fully ensconced in school, she's got three party invitations for the next 2 weeks, she's going home to play with her friend today and then being dropped off at ballet lessons...eek! Her schedule is more full than mine!

Her first party was last Friday and she was horrified at the thought of going to this painting party having to wear her dad's tshirt! So what is a crafty momma to do? After dropping her at school Friday, I found this paint smock tutorial here, and whipped up a smock with some fabric and elastic I had in my stash. Katy tie dyed this fabric for a backing for me ages ago and it just didn't quite match the blue on the front of the quilt, so I've been using it in other quilting projects ever since! She's now got a stylin' smock and I think she likes it :).

Also for party time, I have a birthday quilt finished for a friend, but since I haven't mailed it out yet, I'll only show the back. I'm pretty happy with the quilting I did, but not with the horrible tension issues I had with my machine, so don't look too close!!
Machine Quilting on Secret Project

I did a clean out of my office yesterday while working on my projects, and thought it might be fun to do some swapping. If anyone is interested in any of these patterns or in swapping some magazines, let me know!! I'd love to swap for American or Australian magazines that you are finished with, any scraps of Civil War repros, Japanese taupes, or some yarn, esp. more Sugar and Cream cotton yarn for my plans for Christmas gifts !! But make me an offer, it would be fun to do a few trades and clean out my office of things I don't need anymore!! Maybe you can do the same and we can both win out...
Patchwork Magazines
Knitting Magazines
Patterns to swap

September 16, 2007

Momma's sick room

Momma's sick room, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Hello from the land of germs! The girls wanted to play outside while I sniffled and shivered, so I set up camp on the deck with laptop, quilt, kleenex and stitchery project yesterday... The lovely string quilt was a housewarming gift from Katy. Thank you very much, by the way, to those of you who joined me in sending a few little cyber hugs her way.

I don't have a lot of blogworthy shots done for the week, again just small progress on ocean waves blocks (4 done) a christmas tree skirt 4 patch (chain sewing them into pairs now) my DJ quilting (up to 85 or so now) and my secret stitcheries (one done and gifted, the other nicely underway...).

While feeling miserable yesterday I spent a lot of time following one link to another for some wonderful Australian quilting and stitching blogs. There seems to be a wonderful community of stitchers and patchworkers there! I wanted to see what shops I might be able to visit while there, and saw several people doing Dear Jane quilts and designing wonderful stitcheries, lots of creativity. Check some of these great blogs out: Leanne's House, Melly and Me, Gail Pan Designs, and Wildcraft Farms....there are so many more wonderful ones out there, I spent hours looking through them, starting to dream of a lovely trip of sightseeing and quilt shopping. Probably won't have time for any classes or retreats, but I hope to make it to a few shops and buy at least a few Aussie designed patterns to remember my trip. Sigh. A perfect way to spend a low energy day as a golf widow (DH came home late after a golf outing with his work colleagues, needless to say, today he is main food giver, fight moderator, and question answerer!!).

September 10, 2007

Help Me Send Cyber Hugs to a Friend

Swans and Ducks on Lough Derg, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

I think many of you that read my blog, read my friend Katy/Kate's blog ( I've called her Katy for 20 years, it is too hard to change!!) and have probably seen that she got bad news early yesterday morning. Her father passed away at 65 quite suddenly. She will have a very emotional and hectic next few weeks, and I'd love to do something for her. When lovely Lucy's dad passed away, many of us sent her some of her favorite fabrics to let her know we were thinking of her and giving her a hug from across the distances... I'd love to do the same thing for Katy and plan to package up some goodies to send to her. She loves doing hand dyed fabrics, batiks and african fabrics, postcards, inchies, and her new thing she is trying is push molds and using sculpey and fimo... I plan to get together a little goodie bag to send to her with items for embellishing, maybe a few bits of sculpey...things that I can find here in Ireland, and some bits from my crazy quilting stash and bits of fun wool... Anyone else want to join me? Please leave a comment for me, or send an email to catherineoneill at carrigeen (dot) net and I can send her address out to you.

The photo here is one I took a few miles from our house, where the Shannon River widens out into a lake, Lough Derg... The girls had a great time feeding the ducks and swans. Makes you stop and appreciate the beauty all around you when you hear news like I did today. Gorgeous girls, sunny day and beautiful lake... I have to remember never to take any minute of the day for granted, like my few hours of silence this Monday morning before I hear about the exciting mornings my girls spent at school.

Have a wonderful day...

September 7, 2007

Productive Afternoon

Patchwork Dinos for Merlin and Noah, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

I caught up with my housework and had a chance yesterday work up in my office/craft room! I got to work making up some crazy pieced patchwork dinosaurs as gifts for my little nephews, one of which has a birthday next week and loves dinosaurs. His little brother is 2 and will need a dinosaur as well, lol, but the 5 year old birthday boy gets a Dinosaur encyclopedia as well!  I just printed out a coloring page I found on the internet and made a general dinosaur shape based on it, and then sewed on the line I traced for the pattern, pretty quick to do it all, plus I used some old fabric for the foundation and got rid of  a little more stash!

I also put together a quick little needlebook for Ruth, as I was sending her some size 10 and 12 betweens to start hand quilting. It went together so fast and I used some of the gorgeous South African indigos she sent.

Needlecase from Indigo Fabrics

I am up to 80 blocks quilted on the Dear Jane now, moving ahead!

I have a few secret project I am working on, more will be revealed in a week or so...

But wait...I have some important news to share...

We're going to AUSTRALIA!!!!

Dave's youngest brother is getting married to an Aussie girl and we are going to Melbourne next June for the wedding!! We have plans so far to rent a campervan and go touring for 3 or so weeks before the wedding. So far it is a daunting amount of miles, but we hope to see Melbourne, Adelaide, Uluru, Great Barrier Reef, and Sydney and more points in between that big circular route. Any Aussies out there be willing to meet up with a small Irish/American family driving around in a campervan? Where would you recommend we see, what are some not to be missed destinations? I'd love to hear!!!! I am also going to check out the difference in airfare for a round the world ticket, so that I might still make it to Oregon in July. If it is only a few hundred more, I might just keep heading east and go visit my family!!

Plans for the rest of the week? Finishing up a wallhanging to give to my mom for her birthday and some more gift making, some knitted projects...

September 4, 2007

Catching Up

Finished Pomatomus Socks, originally uploaded by Cathi O'Neill.

Boy I wish I could be like Katy when I grow up. She has using small snippets of time down to an art form. When they visited last week, she managed to blog and upload photos nearly every day, while I kind of wandered through the house aimlessly... She cooked several meals for me, bless her, I only did one of the four that we had at home!! She made me a quilt as well... What was I doing during all this? Probably not much! Getting more organized, definitely one of my goals!!

I did get some chances for sock knitting in the car on a few long road trips with the troops. Look my Pomatomus socks are done and I LOVE THEM!! They fit!! I did them shorter than the pattern (did 2 instead of 3 repeats of the pattern. They are so warm and comfy.

Katy and I decided to do an informal block swap of Dear Jane blocks using some purple Civil War repro fabrics she bought from a friend clearing out her stash. She kindly shared them with me, so woo hoo again, more repro fabric, gotta love it. We will each do 2 of the same block and keep one and send the other with no deadline for doing it...just alternating turns. I like the low stress swapping!!

Fabrics for our Dear Jane Swap

I have been very remiss in thanking a few cool bloggers for some lovely packages I got last week! My Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap partner sent me an awesome package! All kinds of sock yarn: Knitpicks, Esprit, more yummy Trekking, and Mountain Colors Bearfoot, it all looks wonderful. There were some postcards and a map from Philly, but no cheesesteaks, guess those don't travel well! I got a calendar, a cool quilters recipe book. She went above and beyond, thank you so much Bev!!

Knitter's Virtual Vacation Swap Package

Quilting Video from HanneI also got a wonderful copy of the Roxanne hand quilting video from Hanne, who heard my plea for help figuring out how to do a proper quilting stitch. I am still intimidated by it, but the video is great!!

Big news on the home front: Aine started school yesterday!! Check out my cutie here ready for school. And if you want, there are some videos here of her first day! No tears, but got a little misty eyed...she is so brave and serious about school. Sigh.

 Aine Ready for SchoolAine in her uniform