Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Crew

This is my crew!!! Delightful looking bunch and very well behaved most of the time. This gorgeous photo was taken last summer on the Ring of Kerry. My parents were visiting and had never been to Kerry so we spent a week with them in Killarney and we picked a gorgeous day to drive around the Ring. Ireland is a spectacular Island and has such diverse scenery, especially when you have great weather. This was one of those days!!! My darling sons have been rather annoyed that their sister, my special sidekick, has already appeared on this blog. Here you are boys!!! My children would make great models for Tourism Ireland with all that red hair. DS#1 is trying to come up with a name for he and his brother, a few of the proposals have been nixed - boys will be boys and potty humor will always amuse. I had to remind them that Grandma is reading these and she won't find that funny..... They still laugh and the conversation slowly disintegrates into nonsense. The other day DS#2 told me I was a nice chick!! What the #*!!^.. Where in the world did he learn that, however I was secretly delighted to be called a chick;-)
Tomorrow is going to be a fun day, I am meeting up with Sherry , we are going to a little quilt shop in Dublin. Actually it is not a shop front per se, a woman has a wooden cabin in her back garden filled with fabric and supplies. For all of you who live near a quilt shop, consider yourselves blessed, truly blessed. Over here we have nothing, nada. There are a few women here and there that have little businesses set up in a spare room of their home or outbuilding and that is pretty much it. The prices are outrageous here in Europe, 14 euro per meter is the average, this is about 17 US dollars per yard. Can you imagine??? I was telling Sherry that I buy all my stash and supplies in the states. Tomorrow it is going to be great to look at fabric and stuff, I can't wait!!!!
So Long and Keep Smiling

Almost There!

Almost finished!!! This beauty has
driven me around the bend, have you ever gotten a quilt finished and found that right in the middle is a block that is turned the wrong way? That is what happened here and not only was one block turned but two! I am working on the border and hopefully will have that done on Friday.
This pattern is from McCall's Quick Quilts, June 2007. The fabric is Thimbleberries Garden Graphics, I am pleased at how it is coming along but I don't think it was that quick. I am a very precise cutter, meaning I measure every square and triangle twice. This slowed me down but the pattern requires a great deal of exactness. The next project is going to be more flexible!
I need to get broadband, yes I know you are all gasping in horror. Pathetic isn't it, I have been trying to download pictures for two hours without much success. I had a gorgeous picture of my feet completely immersed in mud and no it was not a beauty treatment. While I longingly watch the weather reports for my beloved New England and snow, we are building an Ark in our back garden! The rain has been horrendous and the wind quite frightening. Being the great Farmer's wife, snicker snicker, I have to go out and do my so called chores for farmer boy. Well, I usually try to find a hiding place with enough shelter while I pull out my Keepsake Quilters Catalog and day dream about all the goodies I am going to purchase when I go home to visit next fall. Eventually I come out of hiding and feed the sheep and count the lambs and make an attempt at being a good "two bucket woman". That's country talk for strong lass!!!!
So long for now and keep smiling!!

Friday, January 11, 2008

My Special Sidekick

This is the view from the field behind our home. You can walk all the way up to the forrestry and look out over all the fields in the surrounding area, absolutely beautiful. Yesterday evening my very special sidekick and I had to bring the ewes and their lambs into
the yard for their evening meal of sheeps "meal". We have had some horrendous weather here, in fact I was certain that the roof was going to blow off the house on Wednesday night. Now I know how the three little pigs felt!!!! The rain was coming down in buckets or as the locals would say "lashing". Special sidekick and I got all the ladies in and the lambs, some of whom are now two weeks old and are like naughty teenagers who don't cooperate.

Once all were in the yard, we made a discovery. Here is my Special Sidekick and the newest member of our gang. This little lady was born within the hour, she was still fairly wet and wobbly. The mother had found a quiet spot in the above field to deliver her lambs and we had to ensure that they got into an old stone calf shed for the night. A nice warm manger of sorts! Special sidekick and I carried the little lamb and mommy followed, of course it was the longest walk on an extremely windy, cold evening. Special sidekick has the makings of a great Farmer Girl. She just jumps right in, although she did think that the lamb felt gross since it was kinda wet. Sadly I must report that the twin died and the mother has no milk so it looks like we will be feeding this little lady by bottle over the coming months, we will have to think up a name for her.

On the crafty front, I made a label for a quilt that is going out in the mail as soon as I can sew this on. I used the monogram feature on my machine and this is how it came out, not bad if I do say so myself. I have been immersed in a Thimbleberries project and haven't finished anything lately. I have a bad habit of jumping from one thing to the next. I have to finish up some of these projects soon, my B&B season starts in about two months and I need to do some serious spring cleaning and painting.

All the best and keep smiling!!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Show and Tell

I have been dilly-dallying lately and have been slow to finish up a number of projects . After reading Sherry's blog, I ordered my roll of cotton batting and had it shipped from the US to here in my corner of Ireland!!! Thank goodness, the prices are ridiculously high here and even though the shipping was costly it was still a cheaper option. No Excuses now!!! The binding is sewn on and is ready to find a new home. The fabric is Moda and is Celebrate Spring by Sandy Gervais. The pattern was a Legacy Design but I am not entirely sure, I lent the pattern to Sherry so I apologize for not giving proper credit.

I am going to make a confession, I am a huge Moda fan, they have a great group of designers, especially if you are looking for romantic florals or a country cottage look. I love all fabrics and have a no preference for any particular style. Being a quilter means that I can appreciate the work and love that goes into every creation.

Here on my dining room table is a quilt that I was so excited to make but now that it is getting ready to be machine quilted I am not sure whether I like it. The red is a bit overpowering.
The fabric is Moda, 3 Sisters Sanctuary Line. This was on the market last winter and I scooped up oodles of it, very country cottage but I am afraid that my choice of red my have overwhelmed it. The pattern is from Heather Mulder Peterson of . The pattern name is "Walk in the Park". The name of the book was Fat Quarter Cottage.

Hopefully this will be on the machine tomorrow for a little machine quilting. Sorry about the pictures but we have had horrendous weather here in Ireland today. I would love to take my quilts outside for a little photoshoot but we may not see the sun for several months. Major drawback to living in Ireland is the weather, probably why the locals talk about it so much!!!LOL

Farm update!!!! We have 12 baby lambs and all are doing well. One of the wee one's was born with joint evil, or at least that is what Farmer Boy (aka my DH) told me. The wee one is receiving injections and is slowing regaining use of his leg. Since Farmer Boy is computer illiterate and will never read this I will tell you a little secret. I am a city girl and love living life down on the farm, however, I play stupid when it comes to learning about animals. The less you know the less you are required to do!!!LOL I have learned alot about sheep and participate as Farmer Boy's assistant but I pretend to be incompetent, come now girls you know what I'm saying!!!!

All my best to all of you, keep smiling!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Winter Days

I have been slaving away here on the farm, a woman's work is never done! We are in the midst of lambing right now and that means alot of back and forth and up and down the fields several times a day and sometimes several times at night. The night time routines are very spooky, especially when it is particularly stormy, and in Ireland every winter night is stormy!!!! But at the end of the day this is what you get to enjoy outside your window....

I have been busy working on several quilts that I have been puttering around with over the past two months. I starting quilting twenty years ago while I was living and working in Vermont. I took a hiatus (an eleven year hiatus!) from quilting when my children were born and am only returning to it now. I am enjoying these winter months more than ever before, hopefully I will have some pictures to show in the coming days.