Saturday, November 29, 2008

Getting closer to a finish!!!

I have no idea what just happened, but I just finished a post and it disappeared!!! Man that makes me mad!!!!!!

Anywho, my fine assistants were outside this morning inspecting all the frost. It is bitter cold here right now, no where near as cold as when I was growing up in New England but cold enough. We don't use our central heating unless absolutely necessary (you can see your breath upstairs it is so cold!!!!), rather we use our fireplaces to heat our family room/kitchen. A fire is started first thing in the morning and we keep it going all day. There is nothing more cheerful than a roaring fire on a cold winter day.

I worked diligently on Ciara's quilt and have just one butterfly to applique on the upper right corner of the quilt. While standing at a distance from the quilt I noticed that you can't see the applique because the fabric is so intense!!! Oh dear, we will just have to live with that. The wee ones won't mind!

I was thinking last night that you might be able to make one of these quilts with a layer cake. I used 21 Fat Quarters and the I was able to get two quilts from that amount so a layer cake might just do it. If that is the case then that would be a fairly inexpensive option for making a quick gift for someone. Of course you would need to be careful cutting since you would need every inch of fabric. I came up with this quick pattern because I wanted something that would show off the adorable fabrics and that would resemble a crazy patchwork quilt that appeared to have little pattern. I am not sure if I achieved what I set out to do but then that is what quilting is all about. The journey is more interesting and fun then the final result. I am usually so tired of the fabric by the time I finish with something that I don't always enjoy the final result until some time has passed.

Here is a close up of Ciara's name appliqued. Now I have to cut the borders and get them sewn on, machine quilt it and last but not least the binding... I am setting a goal to have all of this done by next weekend (personally I think that is a bit ambitious). Let's see what happens!

I am off to do some housework, if you saw the beloved boys bedrooms you would recommend that I use a shovel and wheelbarrow -- disgusting is being kind!!!!!

Bye and keep smiling!
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Block of the Month

The Block of Month that I've been working on is pictured over there to the left!!! The middle block in the second row is the only problem but I think I might be able to solve the problem.

I have mentioned this BOM before, it is the Mystery Designer BOM with the Fat Quarter Shop. The fabric is Peace on Earth. I have another 6 months left and I am keeping up with this club unlike some of my Applique BOMs.

Here is the block that arrived the other day and I put it together last night!! This is going to be a beautiful quilt when it is done. If I get a chance this weekend I might pull out the Finishing kit and see about doing some cutting.

Off to my quilt club/gathering tonight. Maybe I will take my camera along for some photos, although I don't think the ladies will want to be photographed but some of their quilts probably won't object!!!!!

Bye and keep smiling!!!
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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

From me and all my friends here on the Farm, to all our family and friends in the United States - Have a Great Thanksgiving!!!! This has to be the toughest day of the year for all us ex-pats, it will be just another day but I and my family will be talking about all that we are thankful for!!!!!!
These pictures are truly disgraceful but then I am always on the other side of the camera!!!!!!! Tsk, tsk, tsk... I feel a diet coming on!!!!
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Baby Quilt Start

Today I decided to make a start on little Ciara's quilt! I have all the small squares all sewn together and matched up with the other various squares to make up the first 1/4 of the quilt.

Tonight I will piece all of these pieces together and hopefully by the end of the week I should have the quilt top finished. After that I will begin to work a little magic in the applique department!!!!

So what do you think of the black??? I think this is going to be very cool for a little girl. It is probably a bit much for a new born baby but then babies grow very fast and this will be too cute for a little girl.... at least I hope so.

Sometimes it can be difficult making a quilt for someone else, you're never quite sure if you have really picked the colors that they will like. And worse case scenario, they may not like quilts and it gets tossed into the linen press....
Here is the right side of the quilt. I will update you as soon as I get the middle section done. I think the women in my quilt group were right when they recommended that I mix in some of the pink and orange.

Bye and keep smiling!!!!!
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Monday, November 24, 2008

Quilt for Ciara

Here is a peek at the next quilt. A couple of weeks ago I showed you a quilt I did for FarmerBoy's grandneice!!! Yes, his nephew had twin girls and I decided that it would be nice to give them each a quilt. The first quilt was pink and orange. The fabric is Lakehouse by Holly Holderman, it came in two colorways which was perfect for this project.

Little Ciara is going to have the purple and black!!!!! Yikes, did I say black!!!!!
I took the fabric to my quilting group and got the opinions of many women and we all decided that it would be stunning but I do need to add some of the pink and orange to lighten it up. So here is the result of my cutting.

I designed this quilt myself and it is super easy, just a lot of cutting and you can add some appplique to spice it up and draw your eye. This is going to be really pretty and the best part is that I will have enough for a third and fourth quilt for my little sidekick's room!!! Not bad for about 40 fat quarters...

The only problem that occurred while organizing this was typical of my stupidity!!! I had everything laid out on my big cutting mat which was sitting on my bed. I organized all of the different sizes and colors into piles for separate quilts -- keeping everything balanced. I would like to mention at this point that I have an antique four poster bed that is very high. I picked up the mat and started to turn so that I could put it in a safe spot and that is when the corner of the mat hit one of the posts, the mat bent downward and off slid all the fabric!!!!!!!! I could be heard in three counties, the language being rather colorful to say the least....... Now I have to sit down and reorganize it again!!!

I am hoping to get this done soon since I have so many quilts that need doing and some have deadlines. I also have a few patterns that need writing up and I haven't even given any thought to Christmas yet. I need more hours in my day....

Bye and keep smiling!!!!
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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holiday Update!!

Well, our trip is behind us and we had a great time!!! Here are just a few pictures of a walk on one of the local beaches near the home where I grew up!!! This particular beach is bordered by a private golf course.

Connecticut is a beautiful state and if you ever have a chance to visit it you really should.

This was a very difficult trip for me personnally, the night before I left my husband was informed that his job was being made redundant. I held off from telling the children, no need to ruin their holiday. I however was really torn, part of me didn't want to go -- how can you justify an expensive holiday when your financial rug has been pulled out from underneath you. So off we went and tried to enjoy ourselves as best as possible.

The children had 12 days of eating all sorts of fabulous foods that are not available here in Ireland. Freshly pressed apple cider, DS#1 drank an entire bottle (about 1 litre) in one sitting!!!! Ice Cream sundays with sliced bananas, cookies, candy, pizza and of course Root beer!!!!! My mother opened her big mouth one night and told them about how their great grandmother used to love root beer floats. Well, you know what happened next don't you??!!!! Vanilla ice cream was bought and that evening after dinner we were making root beer floats!!! For those of you that don't know what I am talking about, here is the recipe. Two scoops of vanilla ice cream in a nice tall drinking glass and then pour root beer soda over it!!!!

We had a 12 day food feast!!!! My three kiddos were also in love with foot long hot-dogs, they just could not have enough of those.

The three kiddos were totally over the moon about Halloween, we brought back about 10kg of candy - disgusting but good!!! Another observation that they made was how friendly everyone is! They were a bit taken aback one day when a man opened the door for us has we approached a shop door, he held the door open and said hello and was very friendly and then he went on toward his car. DS#1 turned and said to me, "why are people so friendly here?". I don't like to run down the country I live in, I am a guest here after all, but there is a friendliness and politeness that exists in the US that you don't even come close to over here. People you don't even know talk to you for no reason when you are out and about. When you are shopping and the order has been rung up, the clerk smiles and tells you the total, and when all is finished they say thank you and wish you a pleasant day!!! I know that Americans are made fun of "have a nice day"!!! but to be honest with you it is really nice to have someone treat you with friendliness after you have just spent money in their establishment rather than the treatment you get over here. I shop here and they don't even tell you the total, you don't even get a smile or a hello and god forbide NO ONE ever says thank you!!! Sorry for that little tirade but it was especially noticeable on this trip.

Anyhoo, we are back home and Farmerboy was sooo delighted to have us back. He was very lonely and the pets just weren't cutting it as companions. They are not very good conversationalists!!!

I did do some quilty shopping!!!! Nothing very exciting, just alot of necessary instruments. I bought alot of rulers of various sizes, needles, thread (a massive amount of thread!!!) and of course fabric. I didn't buy as much fabric as I had originally planned but enough bits and pieces to make the coming winter enjoyable.

I have a pattern complete for the next issue of Irish Quilting Magazine and a few more in the works. I am enjoying coming up with my own creations versus using patterns, a nice challenge!! I do however have a few BoMs and kits that I do need to finish up and/or start.

As I write this I am feeling very nostalgic for home especially since next week is Thanksgiving. Even though the next few months are going to be very difficult for us financially, I am very thankful that I have such a wonderful family. Three great kids and a wonderful husband. We always pull together in times of difficulty and we have plans for the farm that involve eco-tourism and cycling/walking so the future is looking good. I just hope people continue to come to Ireland for their holidays.

Bye and keep smiling!!!
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