Nearing the Finish Line

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All of my HST have been cut and sewn together, even the big one for the center. Using the Creative Grids slotted ruler to trim to size and square up made the process so much easier! Here are my pieces ready to be assembled!


So far, so good! I love how these two fabrics compliment each other and make each half of the HSTs stand out. Shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete the block (sure!), but it will be done soon. 

I think you already know that I want to use the fabric I bought while on vacation to make a whole Lady of the Lake quilt. Well, what you might not know is that the pattern is still being proofed and won’t be available for purchase for a couple more weeks. I will be first in line, uh, I mean first on the Internet to get this pattern!

A Work in Progress

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As I was reading directions for the “Lady of the Lake” quilt block from the Fat Quarter Shop, I ran across the part where I should use half square triangle paper to make the block.

PROBLEM!

I have only ever seen half square triangle paper at a quilt show, and we don’t really have a quilt store nearby, so I had to come up with a plan b. My solution–cut the squares a little bigger and then trim the triangle square to the correct size. It worked!


This allowed me to make concise pieces for the quilt block. They came out beautiful! My Creative Grids ruler helped as well.

Oh, and as far as making a whole quilt out of this pattern–I think I am going to do it! I found the perfect tan-ish color to go with the fabrics I bought in Ireland. Now I just need to ahold of the pattern, iron all the fabric, cut it all out, etc., etc., etc.!


Wish me luck! 😁 & πŸ’–

My First Quilt-Along!

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The Fat Quarter Shop is hosting a quiltalong and I signed up! I jumped right in without even knowing what all a quiltalong entails. But…in for a dime, in for a dollar my grandmother always said so here goes! Our first block is from the Fat Quarter Shop “Lady of the Lake” quilt pattern.


I have gathered all of the needed supplies. I got this material last January at the Road to California Quilt Show in Southern California with no particular idea of what to use it for. It came is a package of five fat quarters, and I really like these two fabrics. When I went back the next day to buy a couple more bundles, they were all sold out. So I thought this quiltalong was the perfect opportunity to use some of this fabric and become a master (cough, cough) of the half-square triangle! If all goes well, I have a bigger plan in mind 😁.


This is the fabric I found in Ireland while on vacation last month! I did get two fat quarter bundles (fortunately) and enough of the orange print for the setting triangles. I am now on the hunt for a light tan to use for the background fabric.

Wish me luck! 😁 & πŸ’–

Going Home

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Today is the day we go home! It was sort of poor planning on our part to come home on the 4th of July–sorry Sid! But we are SOOO ready to get home. Jim says when he gets home he is going to lay on the floor and let the dogs lick him to their heart’s content. I might just join him on the floor!

The journey home, for me, is always difficult. I have already made the decision to be home, why am I not there? Our return flight is Dublin to London, and then London to Los Angeles. 

Dublin to London–piece of πŸŽ‚! It’s the London to Los Angeles that’s the killer. It’s 11 hours long! And of course they don’t want you roaming the aisles of the plane. But I make up for that by going to the bathroom about 100 or more times!

We took the bus back to the airport. It only costs seven euro each and the stop is just around the corner from our hotel. From here it only takes about 30 minutes to get to the airport, and they deliver you right to your terminal! We got to the airport at about 10:30 am.


Our flight from Dublin to London went smoothly, but I told Jim as we were landing that I wished we were landing πŸ›¬ at LAX instead of Heathrow! He agreed!

When we checked the Departure board, it said that the our flight to Los Angeles had been delayed just a little–about 25 minutes. 

I found these little shoes sitting in the window of the airport. They must have left in a hurry and not even realized their child’s shoes got left behind!


One thing that has become quite clear this trip is that when you put people in an airport line or bus line they lose their humanity. They forget all about the way of life–do onto others, wait your turn, etc.! People…you all have assigned seats in the plane! WAIT YOUR TURN!

That being said, we finally got in the plane going to Los Angeles at about 4:00 pm. This meant that our takeoff was delayed about 20-30 minutes. Hopefully during the long flight they will 1. Serve something yummy, 2. Have new movies to watch, and 3. Make up the lost time so we can arrive at our original landing time.

Well…we made to Los Angeles! A little bit late but better late than never! So of course we have to go through customs and lucky me–I get a giant X on my automated receipt! This means that I have to go through the customs line that takes forever!!! 

BUT…we made it through! We are now in the car, on the way home, with Sidney driving. I can’t wait to see Shadow and Rosie 🐢🐢!

Thanks! 😁 & πŸ’–

Our Return to Dublin

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Our plan today was to take the subway to the train station, then take the train to the coast to catch a ferry to Ireland, and then ride a bus to our hotel. 

The first part of the journey went off without a hitch! We even had time to stop at Starbucks for coffe and a frappuccino! Just across the stree we caught the subway to the train station. At the train station I found a real, live copy of my favorite quilting magazine. I do have an electronic subscription, but it’s nice to have a paper copy!

Everything seemed to go well once we got on the train. It was to be a 3.5 hour ride to the coast to catch the ferry. A our an hour into our trip, they stopped the train due to mechanical problems at the next station and made us all get off! Between the garbled PA system and the announcer’s accent, it was difficult to understand WHAT we were supposed to do next! We just followed the crowd–sheople, that’s us πŸ‘!

So…we got on a second train to Crewe. From there we had to exit the train and get on another one to Chester. From there, we were literally crammed onto another train headed to Holyhead. I was squished into a jump seat in the luggage are between a bicycle, a rolling cart, and the back of the regular seats for about 30 minutes. Poor Jim had to stand in the aisle the whole time!

At the next stop enough people got off for both Jim and I to get real seats. I sat next to an older gray-haired gentleman who was a wealth of information! He and his wife have a little farm near the coast. He said he enjoys taking his granddaughters to and from school every day and reading medieval mystery novels. I really enjoyed talking to him.

Along the way we got to see lots of farmland. Cows and sheep dotted the countryside. They also had harvested what I thought was hay. Hard to tell though, as each rolled bundle was vacuum covered with light green plastic–my guess is so the rain doesn’t destroy the hay. 

They also had was appeared to be a healthy crop of solar panels–just like at home!

It was a long train ride, but the scenery was pretty amazing! 

The train route ended in Holyhead. It’s just a little station in the middle of nowhere near the coast.

There was not much at the station. Nothing to eat, and by this time (2:30 pm) both Jim and I were quite hungry! Outside the platform was a bridge that took us in to town. We didn’t know that when we started on it, but thought “What the heck!” We had two hours to kill and lunch to find. 

We found a little cafe for lunch, not of course they only took pounds and we didn’t have any! Fortunately there was a bank down the street so…problem solved. The meal was not worth photographing. It was edible and served its purpose. On the way back to the station to catch the bus to the port, Jim spied a castle-like building.

This is the kind of place I would like to spend more time exploring. On the was back over the bridge I saw this and thought it was interesting. It must be true of the people who live here as others described this area as a wasteland. I would like to think it’s a diamond in the rough, with a whole lot of unexplored potential.

At 4:30 pm they opened the ticket booth so we could board the bus to the port for the ship that took us to Dublin. Because of the broken train, we missed out original ferry and had to take a later one–sound familiar??? Anyway, it gave us a chance to breathe and realize we were no longer in England, but Wales!

But we made it on! Jim and I found a seat near a window so we would have something to look at for the next two hours. This was our parting shot of the port in Holyhead. Bye Wales!

Shortly after we left the port there was a community off to the left along the cliffs at the shoreline. I would imagine that winters are just terrible here, what with the wind and rain. But an interesting place to visit in the summer–one I would like to!

A mere two hours later we were pulling up to the Dublin port. They ushered us on to a bus and we were very quickly delivered to Dublin city center. 


As we were cruising through the city we came across this statue? Not sure what it is called or what it stands for, but if I had to guess I would say maybe their fight to gain independence? 


We ate at TGIFridays. It was weird–no matter where in the world you eat at Hard Rock Cafe, your food tastes as you expect. The same is NOT true for TGIFridays! 

And my last picture today is of a beautiful bridge that crosses the river that separates North Dublin from South Dublin. 


Thanks! 😁 & πŸ’–

Hello London!

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We are off and running again! We got up early this morning so we could catch the bus at the corner bus stop at 7:00 am that would take us to the airport. I wish we had one of these at home! The transportation systems in big cities are one of my favorite parts of visiting places–Ireland was no different.

When we got outside we were greeted with a completely cloudless sky. I have not seen one of those for 19 days. Oh, how I miss the sunny days on the high desert!


Yesterday I told you about that mysterious nightclub? Well, I still don’t know where it is but I’m our way to the bus stop there was a young couple still kissing! He didn’t look too bad but she was still blotto. I know they had been out all night because she still had on her fancy dress, high heels, and nighttime makeup. Bet she is hatin’ life right now though!

The bus trip was quick and painless, as was the flight to London. The plane looked small from the outside but it was fairly spacious in the seating area.


Here is the great part about London–you come in on a plane, take the express train from the airport to Paddington Station, and then from there you can take the subway to anywhere in the city you would care to go! So convenient! 


It was just a short hop to the hotel to drop off our bag, and then on to Piccadilly Circus. Jim and I stopped for lunch at a Jamie Oliver restaurant. We ate light, knowing that dinner was only a few hours later. Their nachos were really baked ravioli.


A little while later we strolled around the square and we came across a fabulous bookstore called Waterstones. It has six floors of books, books, and more books! I could have spent all day in there! This is what a bookstore should look like.


And look at this ADORABLE bad I found at the bookstore to carry all my treasures in. Not only is it cute, it’s PINK!!!


It must be protest season in Europe! As we were walking around there was another large group of people marching down the street yelling something. They were carrying signs but the signs were too small to read. Maybe they just have more passion than Americans?!?


Dinner tonight was at Bill’s on Brewer St. Jim ordered the peach and mint iced tea and I ordered a pink lemonade. Look at how cute the bottle is!!! The husband isn’t so bad either!


Both Jim and I ordered the rib-eye steak with garlic butter for dinner. It was delicious. It was so good I almost ate it all before I remembered to take a picture of it!


After dinner is was a quick walk around the corner to the Criterion Theatre for the play The Comedy About a Bank Robbery. It was not all that! It was created by the same people who created the play we saw in Ireland the other day, but that one was much better. We left halfway through😬 and decided to get Cinnabon cinnamon rolls instead!

Both Jim and I are weary from our travels and looking forward to being home, not the LOOONG flight home, just being home. We have one more day of adventure tomorrow, and the next morning we head for home!  

Thanks! 😁 & πŸ’–

It’s the WEEKEND!

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Not that it really matters–I am on vacation and every day feels like the weekend! I have lost all track of what day of the week it is, or even month we are in. This morning, however, we were greeted with sunny skies. Yippee-hooray 🌞!

You know that old adage I mentioned a few days ago about giving and taking away? Well it happened again! The sunny morning was out giveth and Adele cancelling her last two concerts was our taketh! We made special arrangements to go to London just to see her concert! So…Plan B–Jim and I got tickets to a play called The Comedy About a Bank Robbery in London. We were going to go see the Harry Potter play, but it would have taken our whole day AND cost about $800 so we decided to wait until it comes to New York.

Afterwards Jim and I headed out for the day. We had not had a real breakfast in a LONG time so we decided to try a restaurant called Flannigan’s in the downtown area. It was pretty good–very much like home (except no salsa). Jim asked for wheat toast and the guy told him they only had brown bread. He said he would take an order of brown bread and I said I would as well. When it was delivered…yup, it was wheat toast! 

After breakfast Jim and I found a gaming store Clayton wanted us to visit and get him a t-shirt. Of course they don’t sell t-shirts. I asked Clayton what else he would like and off he went in his crazy gamer lingo. There was a young man hanging out in the store and I just handed him my phone and asked him to listen and see if he understood what Clayton was talking about. He did! We ended up buying Clayton a figurine model for his collection. 


Jim had been wanting to visit the National Wax Museum here in Dublin, so that was our next stop. I did a little light reading with Harry…

Then we spent a little time going through some shops. By then we needed a rest so Jim suggested we just hop on the next bus that comes along and ride it to the end. So we did! Then we got off, got on a different bus and rode it back into the center of the city. 

Our hotel is conveniently located close to everything–even the last place you need to go! This is just down the street.
On our way back into the city there were signed posted everywhere about a pro-life rally today at 2:00 pm.


At about 1:45 pm people just started POURING out of everywhere, including the police, and converging on Parnell Square. There were picket signs, sirens, everything! I was glad I was on the bus and not trying to navigate all that foot traffic!


Once back at our hotel Jim worked on his Sudoku puzzle and I got a couple more quilt blocks done while watching episodes of How to Train Your Dragon. I love this show! It’s my inner child coming out!


Later Jim and walked down to Boojum for dinner. It was very much like Chipotle at home. They didn’t have steak, which made me a little sad, the mild salsa was pretty spicy, and the chips were not made in the restaurant, but on the positive side… the rice tasted the same, the portions were generous, and the guacamole was tasty!

A couple more interesting shots. We call them Yellow Cabs, but here in Ireland they call the Green Cabs!

The local eye doctor had some interesting things to look at in their shop window.


And while I did not go in, if I owned a pub I would want it to look like this (sensing a theme yet?).


And last but not least…as we were returning to our hotel room after dinner there was this GIANT party bus parked across the street with many young men getting off the bus. I know there is a nightclub somewhere across from our hotel. You can’t tell by looking at it but you sure can hear them laughing and singing until the wee hours of the morning. I only know this because I got up in the wee hours, not because I could hear them over my, and Jim’s, snoring!


Off to England tomorrow.

Thanks! 😁 & πŸ’–