Saturday, May 30, 2009

Laurel Wreath, SBS BOW

I-6 Laurel Wreath was the block of the week. I started this block on Monday, had it all cut out and it took me this long to get it together . Hand pieced. I also did a Star of the Orient, but forgot to take a picture of it and gave it away. I love Star of the Orient! And easy to sew together too. I use Marti Michell templates for everything except the center and things just match. Love it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SBS Blocks

More SBS blocks got done, I finished off the M row, then the D row. Now I have all the blocks done in rows A through F, and M, plus a few more (116 done now!) Only 24 of the original 140 left to go, plus four more for my setting.

M-10 Key West Beauty - paper pieced
M-8 Dogwood Violet - paper pieced

D-1 Hands All Around - hand pieced

Monday, May 25, 2009

Socks - the perfect project for a cruise

Lorna's Laces - first pair I finished on board

I started this pair of socks before we left, from Socks that Rock heavyweight yarn.

Opal Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince yarn - Harry Potter color, great with jeans!
I got three pairs of socks knit on the cruise, not bad. We had quite a few sea days, especially at the end when we skipped Mexico due to the swine flu scare. Need to work on knitting tighter.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Panama trip - Santa Marta

April 23rd - We left Oranjestad, Aruba and sailed overnight to Santa Marta, Columbia, arriving on 24 April. I must admit I was a bit nervous about going there, but all went fine. We did not do a tour, nothing looked all that interesting. So we ran the tourist vendor gauntlet and headed into town. My limited Spanish was useful, at least I knew 'iglesia' which got us a guide to the cathedral. Then we discovered the small history museum and finally headed back to the ship. I almost got one of the bags, but never found one that I liked quite enough.

Once we got back to the ship I had several of my traveling companions ask me if I had made it to the Sit, Stitch and Knit. I missed it, but went to the next one. There were several more that I attended. One lady in particular asked me about my socks every time I saw her, which were my travel project.

25 April - we arrived at the San Blas Islands, which was one place I was really looking forward to seeing. I wanted to get some Molas. We got on one of the first tenders and headed over to the island. The island was the commercial island, rather than where people actually lived. There were clotheslines filled with Molas. Mola means blouse and all of the women wear blouses with a Mola on the front and one on the back (a pair) then the shoulder area is a sheer fabric, with short puffed sleeves, generally. These people are very small, so the molas that were originally in service as clothes are not that big. Some are made specifically for selling, and are larger and not made in pairs. You don't have to buy both of the pair, prices are for each one. I got a couple of pairs, but mostly individual ones.


We have one cherry tree in our back yard. We planted two, but only one made it. Anyway, our cherries are rather hit and miss. This year was a hit. We've been picking, and have more to go, but so far have quite a few.
I worked on getting some in the freezer, more will get there tomorrow (Sunday). They make a pretty good cherry pie, so I freeze enough in a freezer bag (stemmed and pitted) for a pie.

SBS May Challenge

The SBS offline group challenge was to make five blocks from the following list:
A-6 Tennessee
B-8 Mrs. Cleveland's Choice
C-4 Sister's Choice
D-7 Robbing Peter to Pay Paul
E-2 Corn and Beans
E-5 Handy Andy
F-4 Old Maid's Puzzle
G-10 Arizona
H-5 Shooting Star
N-9 Broken Dishes
I had already done several of these, but have now done them all. G-10 was in my last post. I just finished
A-6 Tennessee
H-5 Sylvia's shooting Star (redrafted to be like version in Return to Elm Creek)
and finally, N-9 Broken Dishes.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quilt Retreat - 10 SBS blocks done!

L-9 Rolling Star - hand pieced
H-4 Dove in the Window - machine pieced, easy HST method and templates

H-1 Log Cabin - paper pieced

G-10 Arizona - rotary cut, machine pieced

G-8 Crown of Thorns - paper pieced

G-4 Chimneys and Cornerstones

F-8 Ladies' Aid Album - rotary cut, machine pieced

D-10 Boy's Nonsense - Marti Michell templates, machine pieced

B-10 Friendship Star - Marti Michell templates, machine pieced

A-7 Cats and mice - Marti Michell templates, machine pieced
Productive weekend!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Panama Canal Cruise - Part 2

20 April 2009 - We arrived at Half Moon Cay (pronounced key) at 8:12am, but as not a fan of sun and sand, I opted to stay on-board and have a hot stone massage, it was fabulous! Micky Finn and his wife Kathy (former Miss USA contestant) a fabulous Hall of Fame Banjo player were the evening entertainment.
21 April 2009 - sea day. Tried to see the exploration speaker series about Aruba and Santa Marta, but the Crow's Nest was jam packed and couldn't see a thing. Fortunately, they moved the remaining talks to the Vista Lounge (where the evening entertainment is held). The Panama Canal talk was held there to begin with, and very interesting it was. I still have to finish the book about it, but it helped a lot.
22 April 2009 - Aruba
We docked at 9:40am and it was a warm day (84 deg F), so we wanted to get an early start. Vibrant place! Colors everywhere, especially the tour buses! DH took a bus tour, I went back to the ship after doing a bit of shopping, although all I bought was a thimble and some water and some aloe for sunburn (aloe grows there everywhere).

Cruising through the Panama Canal - Part 1

Saturday, 18 April, my DH and I flew off to Ft. Lauderdale, the departure point for the cruise. DD took us to the airport, good thing she now has a license. OK, it has been about a year now. We had an early morning flight, so left around 4:30am, ouch! Everything went smoothly and we arrived in Ft. Lauderdale. I read Jennifer Chiaverini's new book, the Lost Quilter, on the flight and started a Noro silk scarf in two colors, alternating every two rows. The Holland America scheduled transportation to the hotel went smoothly, although it took awhile for everyone to assemble. We ate at the hotel, not great food, but OK, then walked along the beach boardwalk until it ran out of road.
Next day was boarding day, and Sunday brunch at the hotel. Again, HAL transportation went smoothly. Embarkation onto the Westerdam went well, very smooth. They have mini-cams that they use to take your picture for security, much quicker than lining up for a photographer. Then we got on board and it was a zoo. No one could go to their rooms yet and they had us all herded to the Lido deck so we could eat. We were not that hungry since we ate at the hotel. And finding a place to park was not that easy. We found a spot by the pool where we could leave our carry-ons (subsequently delivered to our rooms) which made it easier to walk around. Then we went to the Explorations Cafe, to become our favorite place to hang out, and had a Mojito, the drink of the day. Pretty good too. While there we heard the announcement that we could go to our cabins now, so found ours and while there my Dad and step-mom showed up (they had the cabin next to ours).
That night we went to dinner and met our wait staff, Mario and Arnold. They were wonderful throughout the cruise. Our cappucinos after dinner became automatic, and they arranged for Hank's creme brulee for dessert too. It is his favorite and he had it just about every night after the first night. Hank and Gwen are friends of Marion's, and became friends of ours too as the cruise progressed. Our evening schedule was pretty much dinner at 5:30, then show at 7pm, Hank and Gwen securing us front row seats, then something, followed by a drink at the Crow's Nest listening to a singer/guitarist, Ian Toomey. Not a great singer, but fun. Sometimes I knit, sometimes not. The Crow's nest was part of the Explorations Cafe, and on Deck 10 forward. Great place to hang out when we went through the canal.