Sunday, July 30, 2023

Monday Meanderings 7 - 31 - 2023

Phew -- a fast week -- it just zipped by but it was a productive week. Sharon stayed through Wednesday morning. She got 3 fairly big quilts finished while she was here. Ruthie was on her best behavior!  

Is it just me but is anyone else surprised that August starts in another day? Yikes.  As someone has reminded me I haven't even started the Christmas ornaments for the 4 grands. I better get on that one soon. 

In the meantime let's look at my goals for last week.  Look at all those check marks! 


✅Bind Moose in Winter quilt — finished. Needs a label.

✅Bind Floral String Bean Blocks  finished! Also needs a label.

Make one more FCQ Equilter block and put in the mail — not in the mail yet.

✅Sew Two by Two blocks into a top —done.

Pick a quilt to quilt— back is loaded.

Here's my String Bean quilt finished.  I used a lot of florals in it. It is a very fast sew if you have all the strips cut before hand. On the other hand, it takes a long time to cut out all the strips especially if you are making it scrappy.  

Not a bad week. Now this week. 


Quilt big pinwheel quilt

Mail blocks to FCQ Equilter

Figure out dog biscuit recipe and cutter

Finish border of 30 Something quilt and sew top together 

Sew Flower Song blocks together. 

I've got a couple of things scheduled this week that might cut back on my sewing time. But I'm hoping to have a successful week regarding goals. 

I also finished putting my Two by Two blocks together. (That's Accuquilt's name for the block as I cut them all with one of my dies.) Here's the finished top.

Again, this was a fast sew up.  The blocks at 9" finished about 45" x 54". I was thinking it needed another row but when I measured it I realized it really didn't.  What do you think?  Does it need a border and if so what type? I don't think I have enough of any fabrics in the block.  And, no, I probably don't have backing either. Hum, the second row, third block in -- I might have enough of that to border it with. (or maybe a backing...I need to check.) Whoops! The beige around the quilt is the carpeting in the studio. 

And now, the last full day of our cruise on the Baltic Sea. It was the only day we had bad weather -- it rained.  But really it wasn't terrible. We docked in Helsinki and took a bus tour to Porvoo, Finland. Talk about a long history! After a lovely scenic drive we arrived in Porvoo.  Yep, 1346 is a year. Porvo was colonized by the Swedes in the 14th century according to this article at Wikipedia. These buildings overlook the Porvo River.  

And, these wooden storehouses are also on the Porvoo. 

Porvoo has chosen to maintain their old town and built a newer section next to the old section.  Sometimes the newer buildings echo the old buildings but with a bit more modern look. Check out the way new housing echos these buildings by scrolling down the Wikipedia listing above. 

We had some free time in Porvoo so we did a little shopping.  I fell for a beautiful hand dyed sock yarn.  I'm not sure when I'll make it into socks but one of these days. I'll try to remember to take pictures of some of the things we bought on our trip.  You may not see some of them until Christmas as they are presents for some people. We really didn't buy all that much. And surprisingly we didn't need to declare anything coming in to the US. 

As we rode back into Helsinki we stopped at the Helsinki Cathedral. One of the national churches of Finland is Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. The other national church is the Orthodox Church of Finland. This church is the cathedral for the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church. It was finished in 1852. Originally, it was  built as a tribute to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia who was also Grand Duke of Finland. Notice the white dot below the door?  That is a person walking up quite a steep set of stairs to reach the church. (no, we didn't hike up!)   You can see some of the more than life-size statues of the Apostles on the roof line. 


The church makes up one side of the Senate Square. On one side is the Government Palace. The Prime Minister's office is in the building along with several other government offices. 

On the opposite side is Helsinki University in a building that looks like the Government Palace. It houses the administrative offices along with Faculties of Theology, Law, Arts, Behavioral Sciences and Social Sciences. Senate Square is used for all sorts of different events including art events, concerts and even Christmas markets. 

I also found some quilt inspiration at the Senate Square.  See the block below? I'm pretty sure it would be called a Bright Hope block. It uses partial seams when making the quilt block but it not for this square.

One of the things I noticed throughout the countries we visited around the Baltic Sea is the use of decorative panels to block the view of construction sites. We saw all sorts of panels throughout our trip but I took pictures of a few in Helsinki.

I don't know if these were screen printed or original art. But I took photos of several different panels.  This one was more detailed than some. ⬆️

This one was less detailed but interesting to see nonetheless.  Hum, could this be the basis for a quilt?  Maybe. We didn't see a lot of graffiti but the pink on this panel is trying to cover some up.  In the background is our cruise ship. 

I still have a few more photos to share as we were heading home and some around the ship. (I have to get some from Pat as I didn't take more than one or two.) I might share what I find next week or wait a few weeks from now.  

Now it's time to end this post and think about going to bed.  As usual I am linking up with my favorite beginning of the week Linky parties. Please try to visit some during the week. 

Oh Scrap

Design Wall Monday

Monday Musings

To Do Tuesday

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Monday, July 24, 2023

Monday Meandering 7 - 24 - 2023

I've had a busy weekend and it continues.  First, my daughter and her family came down for an overnight on their way to the beach.  We're about 2 hours south of them and it gives them a nice head start.  They left early Saturday morning and were at the beach club a little after noon.  

Later that day my friend Sharon came for a quilting visit.  We try to do in house retreats at least twice a year - one at mine and one at hers.  We've spent most of the time in the basement studio. She has two big quilts she's quilting with Ruthie. Needless to say, I've not been as focused on my goals from last week as I should have been.  On the other hand the studio got a spiff up and quite a bit of extra cleaning was done upstairs.  

So let's see what I did get done last week.  It really wasn't too bad -- there are still a lot of items checked off.  


Bind Moose in Winter quilt — The binding is made I just haven’t attached it yet. 

✅Read a book — I probably finished 2 or 3 actually. 

✅Pick up the studio especially the front of the cutting table

✅Find backing and quilt the String Bean Blocks — done, need to make binding 

Have fun with Sharon 


Bind Moose in Winter quilt

Bind Floral String Bean Blocks 

Make one more FCQ Equilter block and put in the mail 

Sew Two by Two blocks into a top

Find a quilt to quilt

Here's my Floral String Bean quilt being quilted on Ruthie.  See those blue tape pieces?  That's how I measure where I need to mark the next row.  The quilt pattern is an old favorite - Ginger Heart by Apricot Moon.

I didn't take many pictures of quilting activities last week.  I'll try to do better this week. Plus I have Sharon's quilts to share too. 

Now it's on to more of our vacation pictures.  The next stop was in Tallinn, Estonia. As Pat commented last week I had the geography wrong.  From Germany we cruised by Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia to get to Estonia.  Tallinn is quite close to St. Petersburg being about one hour by car.  

Below is the port of Tallinn as we saw it walking down the dock to get to our tour bus. I found the stones? (sculptures in front of the building) interesting. 

Our tour in Tallinn was called Estonia's Soviet Past. I know we heard about some of the reasons that Russia was involved in Estonia as well as the Soviet influence but I admit I don't remember all the examples. The one thing we saw that will remain a stark memory was a KGB prison. Don't think big prison.  This was a house in the old part of Tallinn.  And, inside it was grim. I'll share the pictures I took. First a small sign outside the house. The second paragraph read in English: "One of the most notorious and feared prisons during the Soviet occupation. The exhibition speaks primarily of the crimes against humanity that were committed in this house on Pagari Street." The Soviet Union annexed Estonia in 1940 - 1941 and again 1944 until the fall of the Soviet Union.  During that time the building housed what became  the KGB's prison cells. The museum consists of two hallways, six prison cells and one solitary confinement cell. 

This is one of the cells. I doubt anything has been cleaned up or repaired since this was used as a prison.  The ground floor where the displays are is quite small. With a tour of 40 people or so I didn't take a lot of time reading the info but did get these pictures. 

This appeared to be a prison cell although I'm not sure what happened behind these doors. 

The solitary confinement unit was awful. Think of a small pantry -- no sitting down, no turning around. And, no, I didn't take a picture. 

One of tour members chose not to enter saying she didn't need to add horrible images and thoughts to her memory.  I think she was right.  

Once we were back out side enjoying the sunshine we walked through Old Town Estonia. 

Tallinn has a beautiful old town section. Since 1997 it has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

This beautiful doorway was the entrance to the Brotherhood of Blackheads, an association of local unmarried male merchantsship-owners, and foreigners. It began in the 1300s although it wasn't until 1407 when it was given specific rights by the Tallinn City Council. You can read more about them in this Wikipedia article. It's amazing how Europe has such deep history.  The Brotherhood is still active in Germany according to the article. 

And here's another paean to a long history.  I took this picture specifically to show the age of the building.  Just below the brown triangle at the top of the building is the date it was built: 1410. You should be able to enlarge it to see the date but it isn't very clear. The building is currently used as Estonian History Museum. Unfortunately we did not get to go into it. (The tours we took were mostly half days just to give us a taste of each location.) 


There is a beautiful town square near the other buildings I've shared.  I didn't take a picture of it, however, the Tallinn Town Hall made up one side of the square. And, there up high is this lovely dragon gargoyle. You can't see it very well here but if you go to this article there is a great picture of one of them. And, you can read about the long history of this building

And, who doesn't like a flower market?  Evidently most of the flowers come from the Netherlands. 

I still have one more day of touring to share as well a few pictures shipboard.

But for now I'm linking with my regular parties. Please take a few minutes to visit some of the other blogs. 

To Do Tuesday

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Monday Meandering 7 - 17 - 2023

What a great week!  I had a wonderful, productive time at the retreat.  There were eight of us ready to quilt our hearts out.  We were paired up to make dinner one of the four nights. Breakfast and lunch were on our own. There were no quilt stores near the location so we pretty much sewed from getting up until going to bed at night with breaks for meals. Before I share retreat pictures I'll share my goals for this past week and next week. 


✅Finish stitching on needlepoint -- photo to come soon

✅Go to retreat and enjoy sewing and friends

✅Finish all Flower Song blocks, put the center together — didn’t sew it together yet

Make progress on Two by Two, String Bean, and 30 Something blocks

And this week's goals: 


Bind Moose in Winter quilt

Read a book 

Pick up the studio especially the front of the cutting table

Find backing and quilt the String Bean Blocks 

Have fun with Sharon who is visiting at the end of the week 

Here are photos of a couple of the goals I worked on at retreat.

I couldn't turn these Two by Two blocks into a top because I was missing one of the white rectangles for the last block.  But here is one of the many photos I took trying to balance the light and dark blocks through out the quilt. I think there are some more changes coming to this one. I forget which color I have left. 

I think I'll call this one Floral String Bean quilt.  It's ready to be quilted. I fussed with the Two by Two top trying to get the darks and lights evenly spaced. This one I just laid out on my bed and called it done.  I hope to get it quilted some time this week. I think I have a floral fabric that will have enough for the backing. 

This wasn't on my goal list but I threw these blocks into the car in case I ran out of things to work on.  I was able to sew them together without a lot of block moving.  I made the blocks a while ago. I used a navy blue dimple as the center string which gives it a strong geometric look to it.  Sadly, I ran out of fabric so this is the size the quilt will be. (Blocks are 7" unf. I stitched them on paper from a small phone book.) I have several left that may be put on the back.

I did make progress on the 30 Something blocks. I think all of the units are done for the center blocks which still need to be sewn together. I still have to make some of the border blocks.  Not sure when I'll get back to this one but I did make great progress on it. 

I didn't take very many photos of the retreat but here are a few two of them. 

Serenity Cottage home during our retreat. 

Bea and Dorothy sharing their lamb blocks. 

Yikes!  I really didn't take many pictures of the facilities.  If you are interested you can check out more about it and see pictures at Serenity Cottage. It was originally set up as a scrapbooking space but works as well for quilters.  I was invited to go as a replacement for someone who couldn't make it this year. I hope there is an open spot next year! 

The day before I left I stopped at a friend's house to pick out some decorator fabric she was ready to move out of her space. She makes table runners, ironing board covers and other crafty items with decorator fabrics. She had 2 big boxes for me to go through. I was picking out fabric that would be suitable to make walker bags. Virginia Star Quilters Guild will be using the fabric to make the bags. I hope we can make some kits and I can move this stuff out of my house. 

Now back to our Scandinavia trip. Last week I shared our first day in Kiel, Germany. On to the second day -- a walking tour of the city and a brewery tour.  Again, I didn't go wild taking photos but several I did take I found interesting. 

This is a statue of Peter III of Russia. He was born in Kiel and became Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (the area Kiel is in) at the age of 11. When he was 14 he became the heir apparent of Elizabeth, Empress of Russia.  At the age of 17 in 1745, he was married to Sophia. (Yikes is all I can say!) He became the Emperor of Russia on January 5, 1762 and was overthrown by his wife on July 9, 1762.  She became Catherine the Great. You can read more about him and his life on Wikipedia.  He had connections with many of the royal houses around the Baltic Sea area. This statue is in Kiel honoring him.     

I thought the the chair and hassock was interesting. Yep feet of a bird of some sort.

Most of the towns and cities we visited had lots of bicycles and lanes especially for them.  We had to keep a sharp look out for bikes whizzing by and remember to not wander into their lanes.  

We walked by many interesting buildings and areas in the city. Our next stop was at a pub. (I have no idea what the place we went to was called so I'm using the well known concept of a pub.)  It looked similar to a pub except it had big vats as we walked in. There was more apparatus in the basement that we were able to see but I don't remember much about it. 

We sat in a back area and had 3 pitchers of beer to taste and giant pretzels.  

Not being a beer fan I enjoyed the pretzel.  (And, no that wasn't my beer. I had one sip of the lightest beer and then drank water!) 

Somehow we were sitting at a table with just 2 other people, most held 8.  We realized there were a few extra pretzels left. I asked if we could take them with us and was able to take two back to the ship. I know we didn't need to bring any food to the ship but they were so very good. (I did nibble on one off and on for the rest of the days on board. But we decided to take what was left home with us. Because they were going stale we decided to make croutons with it in our air fryer. YUM!) 

By the way you only have to be 16 to drink beer in Germany. In 2020 Germany ranked third in per capita beer consumption in Europe. (Hum, I wonder how America ranks? You can check out world wide beer consumption here. Scroll down to find the per capita consumption of beer world wide. Did the results surprise you?)

One of the cool things about Kiev is that the cruise docks were within walking distance to the city. After our beer tasting we went to a big craft store thinking  maybe it was a fabric store.  It was quite amazing at how big it was and the variety of craft supplies you could find there. They had a bit of precut fabrics (probably meters not yards,) but I decided not to purchase any.  I did buy a wonderfully soft sock yarn and a wooden whale decoration that is sitting on our mantle. I'll try to remember to show you them later. 

I took several pictures of the Kiel Week logo. (artwork? I'm not sure what to call it.) I liked how some of it used elements from a quilt design. No, I don't intend to make any quilts based on the artwork. Maybe I'll utilize the color scheme someday. Notice the beautiful sail boats on the right side panel.  

Our next port of call was Estonia.  Pat's mother's family is from Lithuania so he was sorry we didn't have a stop there. But Estonia was the next country over from Lithuania. Look for our time in Tallinn, Estonia next Monday. 

I'm linking up with my regular Linky Parties:

I'm giving myself a day or two off from quilting this week but then I hope to get right back in finishing up some quilts. 

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie