Sunday, May 12, 2024

Monday Meanderings 5 - 13 - 2-24

It was great to be able to spend a lot of time in my studio this week.  There were no rehearsals to go to and not much reason to go out except our normal morning workouts 4 days a week. So, yep! I got all my goals done this week.  And I finished four actually 6 books and audio books this week. I'm not sure how I did that but I often have 2 books going at the same time. I did spend a lot of time reading since I hadn't been able to do that much the week before. 

5/6/24

✅Finish Ombré log cabin top — done! 

✅Keep making bow tie blocks — all blocks made for the top.

✅Continue processing scraps/fabrics on cutting table … fold and replace or cut into usable sizes — cleared off cutting mat by cutting and returning fabrics to correct locations.

Attend ‘Annie’ in Maryland where 2 grands are performing — great fun watching Annie Junior at their middle school.


Finished ombre log cabin top spread out to be measured.


And this week ----


5/13/24

Quilt Jenny’s quilt

Put border on pinwheel top

Make another basket block or two

Cut, layout, and start stitching the stars quilt top for Va Star Quilt Guild

Sew misc blocks — RSC, FCQEquilters


And, I had another great week for the 15 Minutes to Stitch. Sometimes it was knitting and sometimes I was sewing in my studio. I've decided both activities count as stitching along with needlepoint and counted cross stitch. Every week I stitch for all 7 days raises my success rate.  Yea. Maybe next week I'll make it to 9.5%! 


W/ending 5/12 133

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April =  12/12 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 126/133 days
  • Success rate = 9.47% 
Because I finished all my goals early on Sunday I decided I would start planning a quilt with these fabrics. I picked up the top left gold fabric on the free table at the Country Piecemakers meeting when Sharon and I went down to it in April. The following week I picked up the cute forest animals at the Virginia Star Guild free table the following week. The grey, black and orange and black plaid were in my stash.  I've gone through two of the Ursula Reikes baby books.  I only have 17" x WOF of the animal print so I am trying to pick a pattern that will let me use most of it. I should make a decision soon as to the pattern and then get it cut out.  I'm going on a retreat in July and will need quite a few cut out projects to work on. 


Now, on to more of our Costa Rica trip.  In Monteverde we went to an agro tourism farm that showed how coffee, sugar cane and cacao are grown and processed. El Trapiche tour shows a bit of the culture of Costa Rica through these crops. 

Kevin and Ellie in front of sugar cane.

Young coffee plants are nurtured until they can survive in the fields.

Our guide showed us four colors of the coffee beans.

Teddy was fitted with a basket just like a coffee picker would be.  Luckily he wasn't put to work picking the beans. 

The beans at this farm are hand picked so that only ripe beans are picked.  Many commercial coffee plantations also are hand picked as it is difficult to get machinery on the hills where plants grow.  



This was one machine used to sort the coffee beans.

Truth be known I am not a coffee drinker so I wasn't paying close attention to the coffee bean information. For more info about what happens to the coffee bean to become a cup of coffee check here.  


We also learned how sugar cane used to be processed.  They demonstrate using old equipment that squeezes the sugar out of the cane. If this was a commercial operation the juice would then be clarified, concentrated and crystallized. You can read about the steps needed to make sugar out of cane here. 

Old fashioned way of processing sugar cane.

On the tour the sugar was boiled so cane candy could be made.  The four grands had a chance to push the hot liquid around to make hard candy.  Surprisingly it wasn't all that easy.  I don't think I got more than a taste of the candy and I'm not sure what happened to the rest of it. (It was pretty sticky so the moms may have tossed it out.) 

We also learned how chocolate was made from cacao. I'm pretty sure the green one is unripe while the yellow one is ripe (or almost ripe enough.)  


We were given a taste from a raw cacao pod. 

Aimee is checking out the inside of the cacao pod.  

We were each given a taste of the white liquid that surrounds the beans. The beans don't taste very good until roasted and sugar is added. The white liquid was sweet with a hint of chocolate flavor. 

At the end of the tour we were able to sample some chocolate, coffee and a traditional taco. There is a nice gift shop where you can buy some of their products.  I bought several dark chocolate bars to take to my stitching group.  Dark chocolate which has less sugar was recommended because it holds its shape better in heat. I was afraid our luggage might ended up sitting on the tarmac in various airports or even sitting in the car as we drove back to the airport.  Most dark chocolate I enjoy but this was a higher percentage of dark chocolate than the Ghirardelli chips I buy. So it was almost bitter. 

It was definitely an informative and fun tour.  The grands were engaged most of the time.  It was pretty hot during the tour but we all seemed to enjoy it. You can read more about the long history of cacao and chocolate at this link.

I've only got two more days of the trip to share.  I haven't decided if I'll do next Monday or the next two Mondays.  Check back next week to see what else we did. 


Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 







Monday, May 6, 2024

Monday Meanderings 5 -- 6 -- 2024

It's a late start on my blog this week.  It was a really full tiring weekend so I went to bed early instead of writing it Sunday night like I usually do.  Surprisingly I did get all my goals accomplished this week. So here's last week's goals. 

4/29/24

✅Bind quilt — done!

✅Sew sashing on pinwheels, sew quilt top — done trying to decide about borders 

✅Make more bow tie blocks — Many finished with more cut, ready to sew

✅Knit more hats — another 2 or 3 done 

✅✅Sing at Spotsylvanians rehearsal and 2 spring concerts — LOTS of singing done this week


I've changed the layout of the bowties this week.

Will you look at that? I'm missing a block in the second to last row. Never noticed until I looked at the picture on the blog. My goal is a 7 x 10 setting. So quite a few more to make. 

Here's what I'm planning to do this week.

5/6/24

Finish Ombré log cabin top

Keep making bow tie blocks

Continue processing scraps/fabrics on cutting table … fold and replace or cut into usable sizes 

Attend ‘Annie’ in Maryland where 2 grands are performing


I hope to figure out and do whatever is needed to finish the Ombre top. I decided I didn't like how big it was and I took it apart to remove one diagonal row. It's been sitting in a back room waiting for me to start on it again.  This is the week.  It should be a fairly easy fix and then I'll sew the two sections together.  (Or at least I hope it is easy.) 





Week ending 5/5:

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April =  2/2 days 
  • 15 minute days/May =   5/5
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 119/126 days
  • Success rate = 94.44%
Not a bad week considering how busy I was.  Most of the stitching is knitting on hats.  Although I did finish several bow tie blocks too. 

I realized I haven't been keeping up with my fabric usage versus fabric coming in.  I finally finished March statistics.  Yea! More fabric used than brought in.  Don't think I'll have such good results for April, but I might be surprised. 


2024

Fabric In Month

Fabric In Year

Fabric Out 

Month

Fabric Out Year

Total In or Out Year



Mar

2.5

8.75

13.125

39.50

30.75


I'm posting this late so will only share one picture from the Costa Rica trip.  This is the house we stayed in while in Monteverde.  The other two houses looked pretty much the same.  It was a nice set up in a lovely setting. 


I'm going to link up with Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Design Wall Monday, and Monday Musings


And here's one last photo -- me, and the rest of the sopranos singing our  hearts out at our concert.



Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie 


Thursday, May 2, 2024

Malted Mystery

I just realized today is the last day to link up my finished Malted Mystery top to Cheryl's   I'm doing a short post today to share the finished top.  Cheryl does a great job keeping the quilt a mystery until the end.  

Here's a new photo of Malted Mystery.


I really like the end result and that many of the fabrics came from stash.  But, boy the dark purple really looks dark, or really black. In real life it doesn't overpower the rest of the colors so much. 

Here's a trip down memory lane (my earlier posts) about Malted Mystery.







It's been a great year.  Many thanks goes to Cheryl for her wonderful design and a fun time.  Don't forget, her next mystery is Marble Mystery starting on July 4.

Hum, looking at the first picture with my fabrics maybe I should have realized my dark was really dark!  Oh well -- I like this quilt anyway. 


I'm linking up to Cheryl's Malted Mystery Linky Party.  It's really fun to see all the different colors quilters used to make this quilt.  Amazing finishes and fun to see the different interpretations.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


May 2024 Mysteries and Sew Alongs

I missed the start of Say It With Flowers a stitch and quilt along by Joy who blogs at Days Full of Joy.  Every month an embroidered flower design will be available free during the month it is released.  If you forget  to pick it up there is a small charge for the design.  The first month you get the setting block pattern. Joy says it’s likely the blocks will remain free for the first few months as she figures out her options as she closed her Etsy shop.  https://www.daysfilledwithjoy.com/2024/03/26/say-it-with-flowers-our-new-2024-quilt-block-of-the-month/#when-do-we-start   


Sandra who blogs at mmm.quilts has already started her annual quilt along. This year it is Luminous Layers QAL. Check out this post to get the details and catch up with the sewing. https://www.mmmquilts.com/2024/04/luminous-layers-quilt-along-schedule.html


Vintage Bowtie Sew Along starts May 14 and runs for 6 weeks. The pattern is from Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts book Strawberry Garden.  https://blog.figtreeandcompany.com/special-announcement-today-strawberry-garden-book-sew-along/ $


Material Girlfriends is hosting a 3 Yard Quilt Series sew along in 2024. I think it started in April. Here are the details: you must sign up to get a notice around the 15th of every month.  You will get a link to their sew along page which will direct you to the current free pattern. There is a small catch — you only have 10 days to pick up the pattern. **I noticed they said the April pattern will last until April 30th so hopefully you’ll be able to pick it up before it expires.** Here’s the link to the quilt along info and the link to the first pattern: https://materialgirlfriends.com/2024-3yd-quilt-series-sew-along/


Pat Sloan is offering a free quilt along called Heart of America.  Check out her post about it here: https://www.ilovetomakequilts.com/2024/04/-christmas-all-year-and-more-.html.  Here’s the link to the free pattern at the Fat Quarter Shop. https://www.fatquartershop.com/heart-of-america-quilt-pattern-free-pdf


Have fun checking out these mysteries and quilt alongs.  A quick tease -- Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs has announced her next Mystery -- Marble Mystery -- starting July 4.  Stay tuned for more info or visit her announcement page https://meadowmistdesigns.blogspot.com/2024/04/marble-mystery-quilt-along-announcement.html


Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Monday Meanderings 4 - 29 - 2024

 Hello All -- do you realize it is almost MAY? Good grief -- time is zooming by, or so it seems. In case you were wondering if I have gotten over the cold I caught right after our trip -- the answers is no.  In fact a few days ago I made an appt with my doctor thinking I could get something to help it go away.  Um, that's not happened yet. I'm coughing my head off and the nose is dripping.  I'm not sure if this thing will ever end.  I have an antibiotic coming from a mail order pharmacy, hopefully Monday.  In the mean time I've been either reading or in the studio doing "stuff." 

Here's last week's goal list.  Not very big and not all finished. Sigh. 

4/22/24

✅Quilt customer quilt. — done. 

Sew sashing on pinwheels, sew quilt together -- nothing done.

✅Work on bow tie blocks — cut a bunch of pieces and started sewing them together.

Keep knitting hats — knit two and turned in 4. 


Off List:  I realized I really want to get another quilt finished in April so Sunday I loaded and quilted a 3 yard quilt. It is called Roman Holiday and comes from Quick As A Wink 3-Yard Quilts by Donna Robertson.



Here's a section of it after I took it off the long arm.  I used a new-to-me edge to edge pantograph called Quick and Easy Swirl by My Creative Stitches. Once it is totally finished I'll share some more pictures.  What is really weird is I can not find any leftover fabric from the dark brown.  I have just a few scraps from the beige. Luckily the extra backing fabric will work for the binding.  


My friend Karen has made a bunch of stuffed bunnies, dogs and bears. I decided they would make great models for some of the hats I've been making.  I found a pattern for knitted hats for adult and youth that are knit flat and then the back seam is sewn.  I find knitting the hats so much easier on my hands than using the frame.  I've been making two or three a week now for several weeks. The stuffed animals are being donated to the Fairy Godmother Project through the quilt guild.  The hats are being given to From the Heart, then distributed to worthwhile causes locally in Fredericksburg through the Richmond area.


A bunny --- 



And a cute dog --


Here are the four hats I turned in last week. Two are for adults and two are for youths.  I give them to a friend at the Monday stitching group and she takes them to From the Heart. There are several gals making various items that are given to From the Heart.  I was given a bunch of yarn recently so I'm trying to knit it down. (Hum, the adult hats are folded in half.) 


We'll see how well I do on this week's list. 

4/29/24

Bind quilt

Sew sashing on pinwheels, then sew into top

Make more bow tie blocks 

Knit more hats 

Sing at Spotsylvanians rehearsal and 2 spring concerts


We'll see if I get much done.  Between coughing and catching my drippy nose it might be a sparse week for finishing things. 


Now more about our trip to Costa Rica.  One of the things I noticed driving in Costa Rica, especially away from San Jose, the capital, was the fences. They looked pretty weird to me as they appeared to be leftover branches of trees. Some even had some leaves still on them. 



My first thought was, boy they are using their resources well or they couldn't afford a real fence.  But my son had been reading about Costa Rica and told me they do this on purpose to allow trees to grow on the fence line.  I'll tell you more about this road in a later post.  It figured prominently when we departed Monteverde. But it shows how the "fences" grow into trees. 



We all eventually got to our "compound" in Monteverde which was in the mountains.  We had three houses which we divided up to each family. Of course the kids had their own ideas where to sleep. The oldest grand slept in our upstairs.  They are really into reading and we offered the quietest area. The two middle girls slept at our daughter's house, and I have no idea where Teddy slept.  Of course there was a small problem when Jenny and family left for breakfast one morning and all of Ellie's clothes were locked in that house. Sigh. I'll share pictures of the compound on another day as I've probably rambled on. But, wait! 


Kevin found a Jewel scarab beetle on the mat in front of our door.  It was golden! I had to look up this beetle to find out more about it.  Yes it does look metallic, doesn't it?  It turns out they live in areas from southwestern USA, through Mexico, Central America and into a few countries in South America.  The first picture makes him look really gold. The second is a better shot of what he looks like but not as golden.  





When I did a search on Mr. Google I came up with interesting articles. One being how come they look metallic.  Wikipedia gave me the best overall information.  What was really weird was you can actually buy one of these beetles. Heck, Kevin had a $50 beetle in his hand and we put it back. Nah, we wouldn't have tried to sell it.  But it was a wonderful find. 


Next week I'll share our trip to a coffee plantation that also had cacao, sugar cane, and banana trees.  


Oops! I forgot to mention my 15 Minutes to Stitch results this week. Yep, I did get 15 minutes stitching this week. Most days I got some knitting in and a little studio time. I've actually been making some inroads on the leftover fabric strewn across the front of the cutting table. 


   W/ending 4/28/24 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April =28/28 days 
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 112/119 days
  • Success rate = 94.41%

I'm linking up with Stitching Stuff, Oh Scrap, Design Wall MondayMonday Musings and Melva Loves Scraps.  I'll link up to the other two tomorrow. 


Happy Quilting All! Bonnie