Saturday, September 15, 2018

Day 39

Block 30

It's amazing how much progress one can make with unobstructed time.  (That could also be read "when one ignores household tasks that need to be done.")

Yesterday morning my 100-block count was at 23.  I made 5 more Friday ...


28 - needs a good pressing
... and 2 more today.

On our trip to NC last weekend we stopped at three shops and then hit another two in the Lake Junaluska (Waynesville, NC) area.  I was able to pick up several more grey and yellow FQs to add to my variety.  I also chose to include some conversation fabrics that I thought would be fun to find and reminisce over when I'm old-er and gray-er.

Baby Blocks

In future blocks watch for more Halloween and Star Wars.  I have cut 10 more blocks and have a good shot at catching up by the end of the week.  But I REALLY need to catch up with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge first!

Friday, September 14, 2018

100 Blocks - 100 Days

Status Report

Wondering how I've been doing with my stated goal?

I made my first block, a variation of Nancy's Choice, on August 4.

Followed quickly by a second block, 
as I knew I would be out of pocket for quite a few days in August.

Well, 38 days later I have completed 23 blocks.

Not bad, considering I have been away from home about 20 days.
If I make 2 a day for a week, I'll be caught up!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

When in Nome ...

... Support the local economy

While we never got close to Nome, Alaska on our recent cruise, we quilters made our best effort to support the local quilt shops in the towns we did visit!  Generally speaking, quilt/fabric shops in the cruise ports are geared toward tourist traffic with a lot of Alaska-themed offerings, whether it be batiks, panels, patterns, or kits, and many of the shops had the same things.

Bears, Caribou, and Moose batiks
Dall Sheep and more Bears
DH and I arrived in Fairbanks too late in the evening to shop (dinner at 10 p.m.)  Our next stop was Denali National Park; I passed on a shop that advertised "fleece" but I heard it had some fabric, too.  So on to Anchorage.

The Quilted Raven is a very nice shop in downtown Anchorage that is open on Sunday!  And they made special arrangements to open early so that we could stop in before our train left for Seward.  I was determined to get some of the dogsled batik that the shop had used in a row-type quilt.

Mushing - the official Alaska state sport
Too cute!  This shop had mostly batiks, both themed and plain.  They had a nice selection of patterns, panels, and FQ packs.  I also picked up a couple of their Row-by-Row license plates.

Once we boarded the ship, our first stop was Haines.  The closest shop was in Skagway, a 45-minute ferry ride so I missed that one -- not because I didn't have the time, but the ferry was already fully booked.

Our next stop was Juneau where Changing Tides Quilts was an easy walk from from the dock.  It didn't have a wide selection, but they had gone out of their way to make us feel welcome and added a gift to our purchases, in addition to a discount on fabric.

B/W prints to go with an Aboriginal panel
The last stop was in Ketchikan.  We were told the Whale's Tale was "at the end of the pier."  What they didn't say was "The END of the PIER" at Berth 1; we were at Berth 4, nose to stern with 3 other ships!  Undaunted, DH and I made our way uptown in a drizzle and it was well worth the effort.  This shop had a bigger selection of traditional quilting cottons so I picked up a few yellow and gray FQs to go in my king-size quilt.

If you are ever shopping in Alaska, tell the owners of these shops that they were approved by Libby in Tennessee.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Quick Update

Life's a Bear

Haven't had much time to post the last few days as I had a couple of health issues that required attention following the cruise and then I was off to Life's a Bear Retreat at Lake Junaluska, NC.  In fact, I have had very little time to catch up with my favorite blogs/bloggers or comment.

Lake Junaluska
Just a quick look at what I've been working on in this beautiful mountain lake setting.

Twisted Ribbons
The first day we learned how to make "Cut-no-kites" stars,
a quick and easy technique developed by our teacher Cindy Williams.
Yesterday we built the blocks for the ribbons.

I'm hoping to get a few more blocks done so that I can add another row
 before we head home this afternoon.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Rainbow Scrap Challenge


Taking a break from the Alaska travelog to report on my RSC18 progress ... 
which wasn't a lot, as it turns out.

Only one quarter of my Loosey Goosey column ...

though all the geese have been made ...

and the Squared Away Sampler Block ...

all I have to show for the month.  

Since we were on the road for over two weeks of the month, I feel good that I did what I did.

Of course, the squirrels I chase here and there didn't help, either.

Linking up with Angela at soscrappy.

Friday, August 31, 2018

More Alaska

So why was I in Alaska?
Mr. Lakeside and I were on a quilting cruise aboard Holland America's Noordam!  

Noordam docked in Haines, Alaska
This was our fifth cruise with Quilt Seminars at Sea, the last one being over 10 years ago before MIL came to live with us. We were thrilled to be cruising again.

I am frequently asked, "What do you do on a quilt cruise?"  I'll tell you.

There are quilting classes, but only on "at sea" days.  Since I don't enjoy swimming in the pool and I'm too cheap to spend time in the spa, what else would I be doing anyway?  When in port it's like any other cruise with all sorts of touring and shopping options.

No, you don't have to bring a sewing machine.  Depending on where the cruise originates and ends, machines may be provided for you by a sponsoring shop or manufacturer -- with the added benefit of purchasing at a reduced price at the end of the cruise.  However, if the cruise originates or ends out of the US, Customs can make it cost-prohibitive for a shop to bring machines on board so handwork projects are offered, instead.  Such was the case on this cruise that originated in the US (Seward, Alaska) but terminated in Canada (Vancouver, BC).

And Mr. Lakeside -- what did he do while I was in class?  The same thing he would do on any cruise:  surf the internet in the Library Lounge or read a book on the verandah and bring me things when I call and meet me for lunch.

When cruising with a group like this there will be special activities, like our sew-and-tell cocktail party and playing R-L-C with strips and exchanging blocks with each other.

Teachers on this cruise were Karen Combs and Kathy McNeil.  While Kathy's work is stunning, I'm not an avid applique-er so I opted for classes with Karen on both days.  In the first class we learned about creating illusion of translucency as if fabrics were overlapping.

The diamonds should look like they are laying on top of the square.  If I had used dark gold triangles in the diamonds, it should look like the square is on top of the diamonds.  The fabrics I had brought for this exercise were not the best but I was able to paste up one decent sample block.  We also learned how to convert a traditional quilt block into an isometric (60-degree) cube.  My pencil sketch on graph paper is less than photogenic. You can get an idea of what we were trying to do on Karen's web page.

While traveling through the Inside Passage on the last day of the cruise, we experimented with several methods of dying using silk scarves.  First, we used a water-reactive tissue paper.

We layered paper in between folds of the scarf and sprayed liberally with water as we went. It was a fascinating technique that I might try again.  Note: this method is not color fast, but how often does one wash a silk scarf, anyway.

Next we tried our hand at Shibori-style tie dying, this time using, of all things, Sharpie® markers!  In this case the color was spread with rubbing alcohol.

I didn't have the patience to do a lot of tying (plus I had serious doubts that this would really work) and I cut my ties before the piece had dried (should have been listening and not talking) so my results here are less than stellar.

Our final project also used Sharpie markers, but in this case we laid the scarf out flat and drew on it.  Then we sprayed liberally with rubbing alcohol to disperse the colors and blend.  Adding salt while it was still wet created some interesting effects.

I just drew a bunch of squiggly lines in blue and yellow and let the alcohol do the work.  I can see making these for Christmas gifts -- in a well-ventilated space.  Six of us were working in a small meeting room and the fumes became a bit overwhelming.  When we opened the door to the promenade deck, we discovered the crew was painting/varnishing just outside our room so those fumes were worse!

So that's the "quilting" part of our quilt cruise.  Next post will be about the other days of the cruise.

Linking with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday

Observed on the Tundra in Denali National Park, Alaska

Dall Sheep
What, you can't see the white dots on the hillside?  Maybe the view on the bus monitor will help.

Not much help, huh?  Well, this is what they look like up close and personal -- not that we got up close ...

These are all rams.  The females horns do not get that big or curved.

Further down the road we saw a grizzly bear and her Spring cub.

Grizzly and cub
You know, some things are just better viewed from a distance.  Maybe the monitor will help.

It looked a lot better in person, believe me.  This is something like what we were seeing:

The female was a light blond like the stock photo, but this year's cub was still a dark brown.

The bus driver/guide had a camera with telephoto to project onto the bus monitor.  I thought that was a great idea since the likelihood of seeing anything up close is pretty remote.  (And, in some cases, preferred.)

We also saw several caribou (reindeer) -- well, actually, their antlers above the weeds and prairie grass ...

Captive caribou seen on another day
... lots of eagles, and ptarmigan, the Alaska state bird.

Though we saw several moose on another outing, this picture of a stuffed one at a recreated Athabascan village will have to do for now.


Alaska is an incredibly beautiful state with so much flora and fauna to observe.  The downside?  It's a long way from Point A to Point B with limited ways to get there.

We had a great time in the 4 days we had on land before heading out to sea for 7 days.  Watch for future posts.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Wildlife Wednesday

Eagle Sighting!

Sorry, he flew by so fast I couldn't get a picture.  
I had heard we had at least one family on the lake. 
Thrilled to finally see it!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Wedding Update

Quite the affair!  

Beginning with the rehearsal BBQ dinner hosted by Son-1 and DIL  ...

Rising Tide craft brewery
... to the highly-scripted details for the day of the wedding ...

Photo shoot in a Portland garden
With vows exchanged in a turn-of-the century railroad repair shop building ...

... transformed into a candlelit wonderland ...

And a good time was had by all!

Mr. Lakeside and Me

A note to my virtual friends:  I will be off the grid for about two weeks so don't worry if you don't hear from me.  I'll catch you up when I can.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Little Stash Enhancement

Yellows and Grays for the 100 Blocks : 100 Days
Guess where I was

While the rest of the family went to the L. L. Bean motherhouse, I found this sweet shop down the street.  And the best part, one of the clerks had lived in Fairfield Glade!

Seriously, if you are in the area this shop is worth a visit.  
Small but a nice variety of fabric styles.

I couldn't leave Freeport without a visit and remembrance of Wicked Whoopies:

Those of you in the midwest will appreciate this homage to whoopie pies.

Rehearsal dinner tonight.
Tomorrow we go through the minute-by-minute countdown
to the exchange of vows.

GS-2 and his bride

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

One Hundred Blocks - One Hundred Days

Days 4-7

I've had some inquiries about the size of my blocks.  They will finish at 11".  The 9-patch center is constructed from 2-1/2" squares.  But the outside round is cut from 3" strips.  The sew-and-flip star points are 2-1/2" squares.

That allows the star points to "float" or have some breathing room so that I don't have to worry about the points precisely matching when I put the blocks together.

So for one block I need:
     Background fabric
        4 rectangles @ 3" x 6-1/2"
        4 squares @ 3 "
        5 squares @ 2-1/2
     Contrast fabric
        12 squares @ 2-1/2"

Yesterday was only Day 4, but with Grandson's wedding this weekend I thought it wise to stitch ahead.  I devoted most of my time at Devo and Sew yesterday to stitching the sew-and-flip star points because I am never quite happy with the seam allowance on my travel machine, especially when I'm combining parts sewn on different machines (9Ps had been stitched at home) .

However, after prepping about five blocks yesterday, I decided to assemble one to show my progress to everyone.

Day 4
Bad idea!  I forgot that I normally move my needle position to the right on that machine (in spite of the fact that I have a sticker on the machine to remind me), so this block is a full 1/4" too small.  Yes, I could accommodate the difference in the final construction, but I'm not happy with the way the star points don't match up with the 9P seams.

Some frogging will be required at a future time.  Here are closeups of 5 through 7.

Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
You might be able to see that I have duplicated some fabrics, but I am trying not to duplicate the combinations.  With 110 blocks, that might be impossible to accomplish.