February 27, 2006

Dear Jane Quilt....Under Construction!!

Okay...I've got the first two blocks sashed to each other...a small start, but a start... I don't know how long this will take me, but if I always have the next block ready, I can do it as a quick, mindless evening task...one straight seam after another...relaxing really! The blocks look strange because I've removed the freezer paper templates in some areas and not in others!

We have another viewing on Wednesday...so at least we are getting more people starting to look! We are hoping to hear back from the family that looked on Saturday, but you never know...so we are still keeping all fingers and other appendages, LOL, crossed!

Still working away on some swap blocks, and now the big Dear Jane. I need to get some batting for the baby quilt, and I was thinking of piecing a flannel backing for the baby quilt for a softer back...It will not really go with the front, but since I never really work from any patterns or big plans, I guess I'm a kinda "maverick" at heart, though I'm not sure if I'm maverick enough to join the maverick quilt ring, as that is by invitation only!!!

So...projects to choose from at the moment: quilt my long waiting star sampler quilt, a wedding gift for a friend (wedding last year!), piece two flannel backings: one for my flannel quilt and one for the "amishy" baby quilt, buy batting, get quilting thread for the Dear Jane wallhanging, finish the swap blocks, start on my baby's 2nd birthday quilt...and the list goes on and on...

Tonight I'm finishing up a pregnancy pillow for my sister in law Roisin (ro-sheen) (I know...lots of weird Irish names on my blog!!) it is basically a life sized pillow in the shape of a C to keep her happy with a big bump!! I made one when I was pregnant, but I used some fabric that I liked on it and took it apart to make a quilt from it!!! This time I had plenty of muslin, so made a nice plain one she can throw in the wash. Posted by Picasa

February 25, 2006

A Second Viewing...and Quilt Top Done!!

My non-tradtional baby quilt... I don't tend to make baby quilts with black fabric, but I had these blocks from a swap and my friend said she wanted bright things for this baby girl's room, so I thought the black and bright quilt would suit. She didn't want the normal pastels for babies.I plan to wait to quilt this till the baby comes sometime within the next month or so (due mid-March) and then quilt the name and date, and maybe a quote or two, or just stars, hearts, etc... now that I'm using a softer fabric, I know I'll be able to do the free-motion quilting I want for this one!

We had a second viewing for the family of the woman who looked on Tuesday! They seem to really like the house and the gardens! I have a nice size berry patch in the back, some apple trees, and herbs scattered throughout...haven't managed a bigger garden with the two kids to keep me busy, but this seems to be a big attraction for them.Since they just saw the house this morning, we won't know if they are interested enough to make an offer, but please keep all those fingers, toes, eyes and elbows crossed for us!!

Off to work on some of my 4 patch swap blocks before the kiddies come home. Have decided to be like my organized quilting momma hero, Evelyn, LOL, and prepare some blocks that I can sew a seam or two on in 5 minute snatches. If I have stuff set up, then between playing with kids, getting them places they need to go, looking after house, cooking dinners, working on my paid work, LOL, then I can find some time for quilting too, woo hoo!!

I finished my DJ wallhanging and will put it aside till I sort out quilting thread and needles. Can I just use the Mettler thread I use for hand piecing I wonder? Or is it not strong enough for the quilting part? I also think I'll use sharps instead of betweens, as the shortness of the betweens scares me. I should learn someday from a long-time quilter, but till I can find one in Ireland or on my travels, I'll just wing it for the moment.

I pulled out and started preparing sashing for my big DJ...hope to sew some of row A together tonight...beginning a new part of my Dear Jane journey! Posted by Picasa

February 22, 2006

Sad Excuse for Progress

I've got the blue border on the wallhanging now, and started the scallop border, which I won't touch until after the quilting is done!

We had visitors again this weekend, and a christening, so I didn't get any quilting done at all. Now that I'm back on my own again during the week, I've been falling asleep on our sofa at crazy hours like 8:30pm... I think I'm 35 and over the hill!!!

We are hoping to sell our house as soon as we can, so when I get a call for a viewing (we've only had three since the start of the year, pretty sad!) I get stressed out trying to clean with 2 messing monsters, LOL, under my feet! We had a viewing yesterday which sounds promising. The woman liked the house and is bringing her husband to look at it, so keep your fingers crossed for us. The girls are finding it hard to say goodbye to daddy every Monday. My oldest understands on one level, but still wants her daddy. I'm looking forward to the day we can all be in the same house during the week again!! Posted by Picasa

February 17, 2006

Playing with Dear Jane CD

My Dear Jane CD has lots of goodies on it, and is based on EQ5, so I was playing around with my wallhanging design to figure out the size I wanted for the scallops, I've settled on this... Right now I'm sewing the 2 inch blue borders on...tomorrow I might start on the scallops, or maybe not...

DH's mom is coming down for the weekend and we have a christening to attend on Sunday, so I might not get a chance... Scallops are new to me so will take some attention...might grab some quick quilting time this weekend and work on my swap blocks instead. Can you tell I'm intimidated by these scallops?? But I love the look for this quilt, so will persevere!

February 15, 2006

He likes it, he likes it!! He really likes it!!!

The quilt that I made a few weeks ago for cutie Conor has been well received. His mom tells me it lives on his bed and if he has a bad dream, he uses his I Spy quilt to look at the pictures and make up a story so he won't be scared. I'm so glad to hear that he appreciated it, despite my lack of success quilting words into it...sure, he wouldn't care about that anyway, it is the pictures he likes!

It is always nice to know that things you make are appreciated. My daughter insists on sleeping with her pillow every night...I even had to unstuff it so she could lie flat on the bed!

Look at my cutie learning to use the computer

She is actually coloring in Dear Jane blocks, LOL, on my Dear Jane CD. Her object is to turn every block into the same color, but it is teaching her how to move the cursor and click. She loves "clicking" and working on quilts like mommy does...she took my wallhanging to look at its colors for her computer...too cute.

I also managed to get all 9 blocks for the wallhanging together...have decided a string pieced border is too much like hard work by hand! So...a hand pieced plain border and then scallops to work on next. Posted by Picasa

Dear Jane Wallhanging

I am slowly hand piecing the sashing of the six inch blocks of my "false start" DJ. I started it with the larger blocks and then realized these would be too large a quilt for my bed, I needed 5 inch finished blocks to make it slightly larger than the original to fit on our bed... It isn't fast work, but it is coming together nicely...

I will add a border and then scallops to get some good practice in and then practice my hand quilting... Will start sashing the real DJ soon, that is going to be so strange...I need a new project, got to make up my mind the next hand pieced quilting project...hmm...cathedral windows like Mary is doing...lovely 6 pointed diamonds project that Merith did...I'm not interested...at the moment that is...in a Dear Hannah... Any ideas of a good project? Posted by Picasa

Blog Cloud

I can't see my own blog today, but I hope it comes back soon, I'm seeing if I can post an entry even if I can't see it.

I did a blog cloud like many others around the ring have...can see kids quilts, ireland stash home work, and crazed cathi pretty huge there, pretty accurate, LOL!!!

Fell asleep at about 9:30 tonight but now up for a while again...back to hand piecing my Dear Jane sashing, can't manage anything more complicated tonight!!! Posted by Picasa

February 13, 2006

More Adventures with the Crazed Quilter

I am putting up a photo of a queen size quilt top I did for my mom. It is her colors...I'm not a pastel/pale blue kinda girl...I did do all the scrappy blue hearts from stash in all shades from the palest to the darkest blues...nice but kind of sedate. I made it for her 60th birthday a few years ago it is finished and given away, but I never took a photo of the finished quilt for some reason...

Now for my new adventures today. Picture this, an incessant soft rain... My replacement license arrived finally today, good thing, as I would have had to pay a larger fine and go to court for my huge speeding ticket, going 70kph in a 50kph zone (or as I can understand it, being the Yank that I am...45 mph in a 30 mph zone) (going down a hill on the outskirts of our village, can we say SPEED TRAP, LOL!) . Anyway...I needed the license to show while paying the ticket, and today was the last day of my 28 day period to get it done...nothing like cutting it close...but had 2 weeks of hoops to jump through (driving tests to arrange, etc, forms to be signed by policemen for the loss of the original license...). Did I mention I still have my US license with a clean record, but it isn't accepted here, have to take more tests and get Irish version...

Anyway, I pick up Aine from school and go straight into town...dumb move...everything practical closes during lunch hour in Ireland, so forget about paying bills, PAYING FINES, doing anything but eating and shopping...I had the girls in this lovely Irish misty rain...got there, found it closed for the next hour and quarter, had to put new parking discs on my car, as I'd scratched off the wrong time and would risk a parking ticket on top of the speeding ticket. Did that, then took my two damp kids down to their favorite eating establishment, known the world over: "Donalds"...that passed the time for us pretty well, so we trekked up the mountain back to the police station, payed the fine, got the necessary 2 points on my license for my excessive speed of 45 mph and came home... I will blame myself if my little damp kiddies get colds...what a day...

But I haven't finished yet...one of my cats was trapped in my office while I was gone, I hadn't even seen her come in. I let her out and was hit by a smell...yes it was...my cat had soiled my next quilt all pin basted and ready to go...it was on my chair in the sewing room... I will have to cut out some of it, which was luckily on the edge, but will have to unpin the quilt and put it through the wash.

It is never boring Chez Crazy Quilter! Need some more textile therapy tonight but have several hours of work to do then too...hope those stains come out, YUCK!! Posted by Picasa

February 12, 2006

Conor and the girls!

OK...remember my quilt I did a few posts back? Here is cute little Conor who I made the quilt for, and my darlings all rolling around in my scrap stash which is barely able to fit in that large basket there behind Aine! One of these days I'll organize them into useable sizes, but for now I kinda just dive into the basket to get fabrics I want! I've pulled out novelties and hand dyes...those are separated, but most other fabrics are happily living side by side for the moment.

I am working on a scrappy 4 patch swap at the moment, nice and simple, but am working up to starting on the alphabet sampler quilt I want to do for Aisling (ashling) my youngest there lying in the scraps, for her 2nd birthday in June...

I am watching Conor and his 14 month old sister Holly from 9am-6pm today along with my kids! Tis only fair, as his mom and dad were the ones that took my kids a few weeks back when I had my dire food poisoning and slept all through the day that Friday! Luckily DH is home at weekends. He's taken the older kids off for a trip to the soft play place down the road (which in Irish terms is about 40 minutes away, LOL!!) I've got the babies and can hear them playing with plastic cups and plates in kitchen...they were across the hall in the bedroom...guess I better go check them out!! Posted by Picasa

February 10, 2006

More textile therapy tonight

I finished the pillow for Aine using some lightweight fabric from my stash...I do believe I made a "prairie" type skirt with that chambray print, back in the days when I wanted to be Molly Ringwald and sew all my own funky clothes, LOL!! I found some fabric up in my parents attic and brought it home, figuring I could use some of it in my scrap quilts and find other uses for the lighter or heavier stuff (foundations, home dec stuff...) It was fun to use up some of my very old stash! And she likes her name on the pillow...plus this used up all of my odd bits of batting...extra bonus!!

Those are my first row of DJ blocks for my wallhanging...going more slowly than I had imagined it would...but should look nice when done...

Did I tell you that my 18 month old got her MMR injection on Tuesday, but actually didn't... They called me yesterday to say they had injected her with the water part of the mix, but forgot the actual vaccination...I'm not impressed.

I've got to get ready for American visitors tomorrow...my dad's cousins from Wisconsin (would that make them second cousins or first cousins once removed...I can never figure that out!) should be nice visit. Posted by Picasa

February 9, 2006

Confessions of a Crazed Momma Quilter

I didn't have a bad day yesterday...I just had A DAY... My husband was out of work for several months last autumn, got a job which would have had us move 5 hours away, didn't like that job, found a new job 2 hours away...all of this while I was away for Thanksgiving with the girls at my parents house and then coming up to Christmas. He got the new job and seems to like it, but he is gone Monday to Friday night, and I am here alone with my kids. My youngest is teething her final painful molars and my oldest is getting into a very whiney three year old phase, it just never seems to end.

I am out of the house Monday through Friday taking the girls to either montessori or to a playgroup every morning...two mornings while the oldest is in montessori, I have the youngest babysat while I do the graphic design work that I do from home... I try to keep the house clean and cook some of our meals (though I must say chicken nuggets and potatoes are a standby a few nights for the kids) and I try to make time for myself to sew and to write my blog journals... Our generation of women are supposed to be superwoman...marriage, kids, career, we can have it all...but having it all is very tiring!! I don't want to give up my little bit of work I have, but feel guilty leaving my youngest to be babysat. Somewhere in the middle of this all I would like to get fit as well, but swimming is hard with two small kids, and even walks with whining kids can get difficult. And of course food is a crutch for me, so I am struggling with weight issue as well.

So I find I use my quilting as a stress reliever these days. After a day of what seemed like constant fighting and whining with my kids yesterday, I pulled out some 9 patches from a swap last year and got them up on the design board for a baby quilt I want to make. It really is a calming influence to fondle the fabrics, LOL. I figure I'll put a black border around these and machine quilt either words (this is an easier fabric than the last one!!) or stars, hearts, etc something cute...I might try quilting the 9 patches across the diagonal which I've never done before, just in the ditch... I have 8 of the 9 patches left and will probably make a 5 block by 5 block wallhanging with black alternating blocks and get some perle cotton to try some fun quilting...will probably give it to the girls for their room...

Anyway...sorry for whining. I do apologize...it is hard being far from your home (Maryland!) and your DH when kids are so young!! But what doesn't kill me will make me stronger, LOL, or even more of a crazed quilter!! Posted by Picasa

February 7, 2006

While She Was Sleeping...

While the baby was sleeping this afternoon, big sister Aine (onya) picked out fabrics to make her name. We had fun...and I just winged all the alphabet letters...very freeing! We'll turn this into a pillow for her bed!

This went together very fast and was very addictive! I see lots more letters in the future, especially like using upper and lower case... Posted by Picasa

Finished the I Spy Name quilt...more plans for letters!

I finished my friend's son's little I Spy name quilt...kept it simple, stitched in the ditch and around the letters. He'll love it! I tried to free-motion words into the blue areas, but the hand dyed fabric was so tightly woven, the needle kept bouncing off, and my access to different needles to try out isn't great...not many places locally to sell sewing things. Quilting things...well there is a quilt shop about an hour away, luckily, but it is very small...

I am planning on practicing lowercase letters next to make some name pillows for the girls. I also have a simple scrappy 4patch swap to get started on.

I've started hand sewing the sashing on a smaller Dear Jane wallhanging using my false start 6 inch blocks. We don't have a large bed, so a Dear Jane quilt done with 6 inch blocks would drown our bed. I restarted on my 5 inch blocks this time last year...I'll start on that more daunting construction task next week! Posted by Picasa

February 3, 2006

Not so Wonky Houses

This is a quilt that I won on Ebay. It is a Debbie Mumm original, signed and dated, one of her earlier ones before she had her own line of fabrics. I got it for a reasonable price and for a good cause, and was very pleased. I even ordered the book it was in from her website and she sent that out along with the quilt. A lot of her patterns are too cutesy/country for me, but I really love this houses quilt.

I haven't been doing much quilting lately, as kids and work are keeping me busy. I am trying to quilt the I Spy quilt I did recently, but having issues with the thread, tensions, and other such fun... I really need to get my DJ sashing and cornerstones started, as I miss having a hand work project.

Does it ever get easier? my kids are only 19 months apart, and this crazed mama is tired... Posted by Picasa