Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is September really gone?

I honestly don't know where this month went to......I feel like I missed at least a week of it!

I've been seriously busy with the cruise quilt!  I can't show it until the 2nd cruise I have a bit of time to finish it up......and I'm loving it!  Everything about it is out of my usual crazy for me!

And I've been searching, thinking, muddling over, and making myself a little nuts, trying to figure out what kind of quilting to do on Jeanne's wedding quilt.  I didn't want to try and do the same thing in every large square, cuz if it's a little off here or there, you'd totally see that jumping out at you.  So a random pattern was also a thought, but I really would like to follow the design of the quilt, too!  It's a dilemma!  I have a smidge over a month to figure it out and do it, so I'm not in panic mode yet.  But I would really like to get working on it soon, so I need to decide!

In the meantime, I've been doing Bonnie Hunter's Maverick Stars as leader/enders with the cruise quilt, and a few days ago, I just needed some mindless sewing, so I just sewed up a I have 62 of these little gems, and I'm LOVING THEM!

I put them up on a dark grey the contrast!  I haven't trimmed them to be wonky yet.....I'll wait until I have a plan for them.  But I am liking the sashing around them......maybe something like a windowpane of 9, and then a larger sashing holding all of those together.  We'll see.

A few weeks ago, hubby and I went to my favorite spot to get fabric, and I came prepared!  I had been there a couple weeks before, and had bought over 40 assorted yards of mostly civil war repros.....this is the place that has them for $1.99 a yard!  So 40 yards was only $80.....I just can't pass that up!  Well, I didn't want to mistakenly purchase the same print again (THAT would be horrible, right!?!  HA!) I made swatch pages of the larger chunk pieces I had......all organized by 1 yard, 2 yard or more than 3 yards on hand.  They are on half sheet scratch pages, and fold in the middle, so they fit easily in my purse.

I took my little swatch pages with me, and was able to easily tell if I had that particular print already, and how much of it.  Of course, anything I already have a 1/2 yard or less of......well......why not buy more, right!?!  No need for swatches of that!

Do you do swatches, and how do you organize them?  And do you remember to take them with you?

I remember way back when, when I was collecting all those 30's repros, and I had a hoard of them, but I could never remember if I had a particular I made similar pages of those swatches......I loved having all that info right there with me at the shops.  So I'm really glad I did this again.  Of course, the civil war repros are the only fabrics I'm really buying anymore, except for neutrals.  Can't have enough of those!  So I only need to swatch the repros.

Last night was our little quilt group meeting, and one of the gals, Pat, arrived with armloads of stuff!  She has just sold her house, and they are downsizing by about 1/ she was purging the non-essentials from her stash!  And we had a ball!  There was quit a pile on an 8 foot table, including some books, and quilting hoops, and cans of sandwiching glue spray...... and all the fabric left that nobody HAD TO HAVE, is going into a big tub to be used for our charity quilts.  I came away with a bunch of beautiful yellows, and several pieces of Jinny Beyer border prints.....Pat has been hand piecing a Jinny Beyer quilt at our group for the last year, and I've been eyeing it every time, thinking I would love to make one of those.  So now I have the fabric.....yippee!  Thanks Pat!  :o)

And for non-quilty news......

Our middle son, Chris, is visiting for the next 10 days or so, then he heads for Bahrain.  He'll be stationed there for about 18 months, and he's really looking forward to it.  He's been there before, briefly, so it's not totally new to him.  And we're so glad he was able to spend a few days last week down in SC, to see his son, Corey, graduate from Marine Boot Camp.  We are so proud of our grandson, and he sure looks good in that spiffy uniform!  He's the first Marine in our all-Navy family.....what a rebel!  lol

Hope you are having a fun filled get off the computer and go quilt something!  :o)


Monday, September 5, 2011

Back from the Cruise

Holy cow!  What a cruise!  It was awesome in every way!  I've never cruised before, so it was all new and exciting.....every minute!  We stopped in 3 ports, and had our days at sea for sewing our brains out with Bonnie Hunter!  She is as genuine and wonderful as she is on her blog and website.  I got to walk/run with her and Lori (from Humble Quilts blog) every morning, and it was the best thing......cuz I just weighed myself, and I am EXACTLY what I was when I left!  Yahoooooey!  Thank you Bonnie and Lori for helping me keep that extra 10 pounds off my behind!  lol

It was all so much fun.....and of course.....I captured a few fun moments in pics!  Hope you enjoy them, and if you were EVER considering a cruise, be it with quilting or not.....DO IT!  I am definitely going again and again!

Here's the boat we sailed looked SO huge from the dock!  And it was even bigger once you got on!  We got lost almost every time we left the room!  lol

That's me on the dock of Nassau, was blazing hot that day, but still managed to wander around and buy a few souvenirs.....the visor was a necessary purchase!

In our room each night after dinner, we had a sweet little guy waiting for us!  Our steward even used my sunglasses on the cute little pup!
Koala bear!
Elephants bringing chocolate......yea!

This was a project that someone (sorry don't know who) was playing with during the cruise.....but this was NOT the cruise project with Bonnie.  Can't show that because there is another cruise in November doing it.....and we don't want to spoil it for them!

Beautiful Janome Horizon machines were provided for us!  What a luxury!  And they were discounted for purchase if you wanted to pick one up!  A really great deal, I just wish I hadn't already bought my Juki months ago, or I would have jumped on this machine like a monkey on a cupcake!  (ok, that phase is not original to me, it was from Everyone Loves Raymond.....but I love it, and I get to use it!  lol)

This was controlled chaos......really!

Need a little more room for your fabric.....pile it up behind your chair!  lol

 The piles were everywhere!  lol

 Pressing stations were in constant use!  It was so nice to have irons.....we didn't expect to have them (the boat doesn't allow irons in the rooms, and they confiscated several being brought on!)

Everyone busy at there machines!

This was the boat that was within a couple of hours of us throughout the cruise!  I think it was called the Oasis of the was enormous!  Holy cow.....look at all those balconies!  Yikes!

This is the monster water slides on our boat!  Woohoo!  And I captured a few brave souls willing to take the plunge!

Here is Laurie, Sarah and Kathie......I think they're wondering were everyone is!


The Bonnie and Lori joined them......woohoo!......NOW we're ready to go!

 Up up up!
Holy cow......that's a long way up!

Here's Bonnie......"What the heck just happened!?!"

Too much fun.....that's what!

Kathie taking the plunge!

Oh my god!  That was so much fun!!!!!!

Laurie having a blast!

Lori......totally surprised at the end!

Bonnie and Kathie taking on the race challenge!


Kathie......definitely saying "Uh, Bonnie.....that would be ME winning this race!"

We had a really nice sit and stitch session out on the deck one evening!  It was so nice out there, with a little breeze to cool us down.  Here's Sarah, Emily and Lu keenly listening to Bonnie.  The poor gal in the background reading was sitting amongst us, and I guess my comment of "Are we all really going to squish in here?" sent her running to the next sectional!  Sorry!  Didn't mean to chase her off!  lol

Here's Sherry, Ada and Suzy stitchin' away!

Bonnie working away on her hexie quilt.  She gave several lessons on doing the hexie's with the English Paper Piecing method......I think she has a few new hexie followers!  Bonnie also gave a couple of lessons on making the Maverick much fun!  And there was a ton of scrappy goodness on the sharing table to  whip out a bunch!

This was one of the appetizers one night at dinner.....a melon soup.  The server makes a presentation of it by pouring it around the little island of melon.  Yet another beautiful dish......every one of them was a work of art!  We had the most delicious food every evening......a few of my favorites were the giant prawns and the salmon, and the desserts were amazing.....the creme brulee, raspberry and dark and white chocolate cake, tiramisu, hazelnut cake, and the list goes on and on!  Sheesh, it was amazing food!


And notice the window seat we had......this was our view at dinner every night!  Amazing!

This was one of two Afternoon Teas that were given.  It was lovely!

 This is the tram ride to the top of the mountain on St. Thomas.  You could see everything from up here.

 A wonderful view of our boat docked in St. Thomas.  A bit of weather in the distance, but not where we were.

 At the top of the tram were several observation decks, a little bar/restaurant, a couple of shopping kiosks, and some birds and animals.  Fun!

Peacocks walking freely.

A pic of Bonnie and Lori at the opposite viewing deck.

The goats were so cute!

One night we had a little frog in our room!

And one night there were little frog legs in a dish!  (And no, I did not order those!)

Here are people heading out to shop in St. Maarten!

 Run little shoppers, run!

And I got to fly my kite in St. Maarten and in Nassau!  I was so proud of myself being able to put it together without the assistance of my hubby!  He's the kite flyer, not me!  But it flew each time perfectly!  Yay!

 This is the pool deck......there were two pools, this is the one where families can go.....and the other one was just for adults......peace and quiet......beautiful!

 This is were I got an awful sunburn!  My usual tan is a golfer's there are parts of me that have never seen the light of day!  Needless to say....they are a hideous shade of crimson/purple right now.....but they will turn to a tan soon!  Just need to keep the aloe close until then!  lol  And that's my new St. Thomas orange tote bag.....of course it's orange!  What other color would I pick!?!  lol

 A pic of the harbor at St. Maarten.

Jet skiers in St. Maarten.......which made me realize that I NEED to get my hubby to go on a cruise with me!  We would have had so much fun jet skiing in this beautiful bay!  Like a dream!

Well....that's my little taste of the Carribean.....hope you enjoyed it!  I know I did!  And get this.....we docked on Saturday.....this is Monday......and I'm still feeling the the rocking of the boat!  My retired sailor hubby says it lasts a few days usually!  And what's really funny, is that all those times he came off a ship from 6 to 8 months out at sea......he NEVER mentioned that he was still swirling and swaying days later!  I remember making comments to him many times like, "What....are you drunk?  Why are you bumping into things!?!"...... and he never said he was still feeling the ocean!  Crazy, huh?  As I sit here typing, I'm swaying!  lol

I still have laundry to do, and I have to work tonight!  Cripes!  Vacation is officially over!  Dang!

Hope you all had a great Labor Day Weekend!