Friday, December 12, 2008

Winter has hit California........

......... I had to put socks on today at 4:30 pm as my poor toes were cold!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Gordian Knot Quilt Class

I spent Sunday at Eddies Quilting Bee  at a Gordian Knot Quilt class and had a wonderful day. There was four of us all together in the class and Bev the teacher was a very interesting lady and taught in a very unique way.  We all worked on the same pattern but used different fabric which created very different results. 

 My good friend, Kathy, attended the class with me which also made it a special day as Kathy was the first person to bring me to Eddies and started me off on this wonderful journey of quilt making. 

Here are the pictures of the Knots created at the class yesterday:

And here is mine, which is finished off after the class by adding the border:

I love how it turned out, next step now is to layer it up with the batting and the backing fabric and actually quilt it. It is the right size for a wall hanging and I have already picked out the wall it will be hung on when I eventually get the quilting done. 

Sunday, October 19, 2008


As I am such a internet geek, soon after I started making quilts I joined an online community on a message board on There I have "met" some wonderful ladies (and even a few men) who have years of quilting experience and I have learnt so much from reading their posts and they are so helpful with my beginner questions. A big part of the community is using their wonderful sewing gift for charity and I decided to join one of the charity challenges.

The Roland McDonald House Crayola Charity Challenge works as follows:

  • Each participant gets three crayons from the crayola crayon box
  • The crayons get mailed out and you have to buy fabric is those colors and only those  but you can use all shades of the colors both lights and darks.
  • Any embellishment is allowed and can be outside the colors of the crayons. 
  • The quilts have to be no smaller than 54 X 70 which is lap size and any pattern can be used. 
  • All quilts have to be completed by December 15th
  • From January 2009 - July 2009, tickets will be on sale for $2.00 each or 3 for $5.00. 100% of the proceeds of this raffle will benefit the Roland McDonald House.
  • There are 40 quilts entered in the challenge and I got a sneak peak of a few of them and they are all wonderful
So I got my crayons in the mail at the end of August  and when I saw my colors I had to just laugh out loud as they were totally outside my color range for  fabric choice. It was going to be totally  a challenge for me!
 The crayola name for my crayons are Chestnut, Melon and Blush which when I look at them  they screamed BROWN, BRIGHT PINK and ORANGE. Here they are:

I took my crayons to my local quilting store, Eddies Quilting Bee and I was eventually found fabric that fitted into the right criteria for the challenge. I am not sure if they ever saw someone there sitting on the floor coloring on paper who was over 4 years of age!! I eventually got  the following fabric:

The first set of 10 blocks I made had a large space and as I just got my new embroidery machine I decided to use up the space with butterflies, here are a few up close:

And here is the finished top:

About two days after I finished the top, another fundraiser opportunity appeared on the board. One of the ladies lives in the Houston area offered to donate her time and her long arm quilting machine in return for a donation to the Mayor of Houston Fund for Hurricane Ike victims. I took the opportunity straight away as a long arm sewing machine does such a professional looking job much more so then I could do with my machine. 

So my quilt top and the backing fabric was mailed to Houston, Texas and I just cannot wait to get it back to see how it turns out. I bet Carol will do a wonderful job, she confirmed on the message board that it arrived and called my quilt top a " real beauty". This made me feel very proud as this was the fourth quilt top I have finished and the other 39 ladies in the challenge have been quilting for years. 

Once it is returned to me I will have to put the binding on and then mail it back to Texas to the person who is organizing the raffle. Here are some more pictures I took before I  mailed it off to be machine quilted.  

49er's Quilt is finished but they still didn't win...........

I eventually got to finishing the quilting on Lar's 49er quilt which was my second wedding anniversary present to him.  I had most of it done in time for our anniversary ( Sept 4th) but I was taking a machine quilting class in the end of Sept - Oct and wanted to wait to learn some new techniques before I finished it.

Here is a slideshow to show the quilt, some up close look at some of the quilting stitches and Lar enjoying it! Especially like the last two pictures where Lar found a creative way to use the quilt at the end of the Giants V's Niners game today. Enjoy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

We had a cute visitor for dinner on Wednesday

I tried to keep him but his Mama insisted on taking him home!! 

More Quilt fun.......

I was talking to Aoife, Aislinn and their Auntie Fiona on Skype last week and took the opportunity to show Aoife the fabric that I was using to make her quilt. At that point I didn't have all the rows finished and the border was in pieces, I am now happy to report that today I finished the piecing of the top and and here it is:


I really like how it has turned out.  The next stage now is to make the sandwich with the top, batting and back fabric. 

Aoife, call Uncle Lar and ask him to get busy pinning this weekend!  Then hopefully I will have it quilted in time for Santa clause to bring it to you. 

The other good news is that Mr. Frog is on its way to Aislinn and the postman should be delivering it sometime by the end of next week.  On the same Skype call, I showed Auntie Fiona Mr. Frog 

Aoife asked me " I thought you had given that to the postman already" and I have to admit that I was suppose to give it to the postman weeks ago.  
I replied "Well, I love it so much, I cannot give it away".  

A very cute 3 year old voice piped up and told me "Give it to the postman so I can have it and then make another one for yourself".  

Well, the real reason I hadn't given it to the postman was I had one more job left before it was 100% completed and that was to make a label and put it on the quilt. So this week I made the label and put on, here it is:

Hopefully this will make two girls happy as it makes me really happy to work on them!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

No more sewing in the Kitchen

As seen in previous post, I have started a new hobby which is quilting and really enjoying it. I love the creativity and also my local Quilting store has wonderful classes, I love going there to meet new people and learning new skills for my new hobby. One of the draw backs was that the only big space I could use to set every thing up was the kitchen table. At the beginning I used to set up the machine and take it down again but then I got to much other stuff associated to my craft and the kitchen table became my permanent sewing area.

Last week, Lar asked me what I wanted as a gift for our anniversary ( we got married Labor Day 2006) and I told him that all I wanted was the spare bedroom converted in a sewing room. This entailed removing my old bed and retiring it back to the garage, putting together a new corner desk, and bring back in the futon frame from the garage and boxing up some stuff that just wouldn't fit in the room any more. This was a BIG job!!

Friday it was started and when I got home from work about 3pm on Friday afternoon, the bed was taken apart and out in the garage and the task of starting the desk assembly was just about to start. I, of course, started a photo essay of what happened up until the 49er game started and what was done to finished the room on Saturday:

The great news was that half the room was ready with the sewing tables all in place by the kick off of the game and I was able to work on Lar gift a 49er quilt. Of course, you all know that for second anniversary gifts are cotton. I have three and half more days left so I better get my skate on, the top is done but the most of the work is still left to be done!! The great news is I have a wonderful room to do the work in, Thanks Lar, I love my sewing room.

Marcus is home and I have the pictures to prove it!!

Last Sunday we spent a wonderful evening in Morgan Hill, with our friends the Schirle family to celebrate Erin's 12th birthday. Another reason for having a great evening is that Therese, Nls and Marcus are back from their year of travels to Moldova and the summer in Colorado Springs and they were their to celebrate their nieces birthday. They are back now and looking for some where to live in Berkeley. I am so excited to have Therese back in the Bay Area again and it was also just awesome to see Marcus again as the last time I saw him he as a 10 day old baby and now his is a big 15 month old boy. As you can see from my slideshow below he was the focus of most of my pictures.

Honeycomb for my Honey!

About 10 days ago Larry very excitedly presented me with a tupperware container and was looked very nervous as I opened it up.  When I did open it up I got very excited as Larry had made me honeycomb, most Irish people will know what honeycomb is but it is very hard to get it here in the US. Lar found a recipe online and made some while he was at his parents the night before. 

From the first bite, I just know it was a winner recipe and I was in heaven or a little girl back in Ireland eating honeycomb. 

So for those non-Irish who read my blog, here are some pictures to show you what it looks like:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saturday afternoon quilting project

So I was ready with another quilt to sandwich yesterday and Lar graciously accepted the challenge of helping with another pinning adventure. As stated in an another post below, Lar did most of the pinning for Aislinn's Mr Frog  but yesterdays quilt was  much bigger 76 x 76.  Here is a slideshow to show the end product:

And yes, the game had started before we finished the project, now that show that Lar is a real trooper as usually nothing takes him away from his recliner and a 49er game.

Where would you rather work.......

On Friday we had our Summer Lunch in the AOL Courtyard in Mountain View, CA and from the photos below in the slideshow you can see we had a good time. Good food, good company, great weather, nice setting - obviously  from the smiles  everyone had a nice time. 

In the meantime, August 15th was Indian Independence day and here is a video our colleagues produced in our AOL Bangalore office to celebrate :

Now where would you prefer to work???? Doesn't  it look like so much fun in Bangalore??

Mahesh, do you have a job for me??

PS  Lar you will get used to Indian food after a few months and we can get NFL on satellite :-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Introducing Mr Frog.............

As  I explained in my earlier post I have taking a quilt class recently and one of the reason was to learn how to finish off a quilt I had started in January for Aislinn. I had worked on the individual squares which had applique hearts and then it just sat there as I got physical therapy for my shoulder injury.  In early June I decided to take a class at Eddies Quilting Bee, a local quilt store to get some tips on how to do the quilt assembly and then to learn how to do the actual quilting. 

Here are the squares that I took pictures of to show Aislinn when I visited home in April:

I did applique the hearts but the butterflies and fireflies are iron ons!  During my class I did finish off joining all the squares and adding the boarders.  oh  I forgot to mention, Aislinn, Uncle Lar cut out the hearts! 

Two weeks ago with Lar's help ( he has more patience than me to do this) we did the quilt sandwich which is putting the top, batting and back together with pins to have it ready for the next step the quilting. We had to move the coffee table and do it on the sitting room floor. Since then I have been looking at it wondering when was I going to get the courage to do the quilting and the binding. I learnt what to do at the class but that was with the teacher behind me or there to call when I had a question. Now I was on my own! 

Friday I came home from work and was going to continue on the piecing of another quilt top, the easy part and decide "No lets do some work on Mr. Frog". So I changed to a walking foot on my machine to do the quilting at about 3:30pm and began working and working and working. I got totally carried away and at 10:30pm I sat back and realized  I had not had dinner but I kept going as I was on a roll. Here was the result at 2:15 am on Saturday morning:

Here are some close up for more details ( click on the pictures to see the detail) :

And a look of the back:

I am very proud of the results. I have caught the quilting bug and my sewing machine has taken up permanent residency on the kitchen table which we now call the sewing room! The ironing board and kitchen chairs all covered with different fabric strips and quilt blocks.  I just ordered some awesome fabric  to start Aoife's quilt which will remain a secret until I get the top done, all I told her was it has butterflies, I wonder where she got her passion for butterflies!! :-)


So what have I been doing over the last few weeks when I haven't been blogging, one thing was I spent a fun time on four Wednesday evenings at Eddies Quilting Bee doing a quilting class. Santa brought me a new sewing machine for Christmas and I started a quilt for Aislinn thinking I could bring it home with me in April  for her birthday but then I hurt my shoulder and arm and also realized I bit off more that I could chew thinking I knew what I was doing!!! 

The class was great fun, the teacher was awesome and the other in the class were great to hang out with. We all started with the same pattern, for a Rail Fence Quilt but with everyone choosing different fabric and patterns and laid the blocks out differently we all created very different quilts. Here are some pictures of my quilt I took during the class:

The first photo is at the end of night # 2 when I had the top piecing all done and the borders added, the second picture is the middle of night 3 when I had the "sandwich" of the top, batting and back all laid out, pinned and ready to quilt. A number of people who saw picture # 1, think it is bigger than actually is - it is just a little under 50 X 50 inches - perfect size to have on the couch to pull over me when watching TV. 

Here are some of the other quilts made by my class mates:

And here is my finished product :

Here is a view of the back where you can see I brought some of the colors from the front in to make it more interesting:

And yes for those of you who will ask, there are butterflies in the boarder material, here are some close ups: