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. 


✅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. 


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 

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Monday Meanderings 4 - 22 - 2024

It was a light week for me sewing but not for reading.  If you've read my blog for long you know I'm a big reader and I generally read with the Kindle app.  I read books every day and Kindle keeps track of my days read.  Unfortunately, on April 7 I was reading a book that was only available on Libby and I forgot to read my other book on Kindle.  So after a 720 day reading streak, I missed a day and my number went back to 0.  It's been 13 days.  But I am going to keep track on my own so I figure I've read for 734 days.  I'm hoping to keep it up until I hit 2 full years... or maybe longer. I do enjoy reading. 

Now on to my goals.  I did pretty well this week although my list wasn't huge. 


✅ Sew label on Spider Web quilt — done. 

✅ Make the rest of the pinwheel blocks and sew them together — blocks made but not sewn together, I'll be sashing them.

✅ Catch up on some reading — finished 4 books this week! 

✅ Plan top with older bow tie blocks — planned and cut out several blocks.

Knit another hat — finished two. 

I laid out my existing bow tie blocks (these are not the blocks I'm making for the RSC this year.) I've decided I want to set it 7 x 10 so I'll have to make 31 more blocks.  I've got about 10 ready to sew and will be choosing fabric and cutting it over the next week or two. The picture was taken of the blocks just put up with not much thought to colors and patterns.

Below are the pinwheel blocks.  I need to decide where to place each block and then get on with cutting and sewing the sashing and corner stones. I realized I didn't have all the blocks on the design wall when I took this picture. I think I have 4 more... I'll have to check this week.  The blocks are 10" finished. 

On to my goals for this week.


Quilt customer quilt

Sew sashing on pinwheels, sew top together

Work on bow tie blocks

Keep knitting hats 

Baste my patriotic quilt to be quilted (later) on the domestic machine

I've finished a few quilts this year and have just now gotten pictures.  Here's Old Zig Zag finished. (Hum, did I put a label on it?  Might need to check that.) 

These are half square triangles that I made years fact I have no idea when I sewed them. I'm guessing I used them for leader enders and eventually put them into the quilt top.  It spent a few years in a plastic container that said 'tops to be quilted.' I was checking out the bin earlier this year and decided it needed to be quilted.  I added a very dark navy border to stop the motion. I used a blue backing and used the leftovers to bind it. 

    The quilting pattern is Random Clams.  Although evidently I didn't pay attention how it was being held so the quilting design is upside down. I used So Fine thread.  

15 Minutes to Stitch 

W/ending 4/21/24 (112) 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April =21/21 days 
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 105/112 days
  • Success rate = 93.75%
I'm happy that I've been able to spend at least 15 minutes every day stitching or organizing my stitching.  Saturday and Sunday I spent a bit of time cutting up some of the scraps that are taking up space on my 2nd cutting area.  Although I've kept at it I still have more to do.  But I like being able to see and use the 2nd cutting area. 

On to Costa Rica happenings.  On our third day at Jaco we were going to leave the beach area and go to the mountains.  Except, first we were going to go Zip Lining!! I had spent quite a bit of time talking to a friend who had done it and also talked to my daughter about it.  I decided I could do it if I was one of the first few to go. No waiting until the end and then backing out!  The whole family went from 7 years old to the 73 year old grammy. 

Me with my two oldest grands. It took a while to get the harness on and the helmet.  But eventually all 10 of us were ready. 

Have I ever mentioned I don't like aerial trams? No riding ski lifts for me. I once refused to ride with my teen age kids in a tram because I thought they would rock it and scare me.  I went with the tour guide who wasn't interested in rocking. Plus, I'm not really fond of heights -- no walking up lighthouses or the Washington Monument.  So of course, the first thing we had to do is go up the mountain on an aerial tram. Sigh. No rocking but the oldest grand kept teasing me about every stop, every tower we passed, etc.  But surprisingly I wasn't all that nervous or scared. It was smooth and not a bad ride except we kept going up and up. 

Four grands, one daughter and Grammy.  The kids would be going first  with an adult going right afterwards.  Teddy, 7, was not quite heavy enough so a few times he had one of the workers go with him so he didn't get stuck on the wire.  But everyone else went solo. 

Not the most flattering picture but proof that I definitely went zip lining. Hum, I was suppose to be holding my legs up and my feet crossed.  I guess I did't always remember.  I should have been able to zip facing forward but most times I got turned around and tried desperately to turn the cable (or the hook?) around so I was headed forward.  On the other hand it was neat to see where I had been. And, once we could look out and see the Pacific Ocean in the distance. 

Here we all are 3/4s of the way through the zip lining.  There were 9 platforms.  At the 7th or 8th one we had to hike down the mountain with the help of "stairs" made from tires.  Um, not all that helpful. Lucky for me Kevin stayed with me and I held on -- I just didn't want to fall and roll down the mountain!  The adults from left to right: Kevin, Aimee, Bonnie, Pat, Jenny and Brian. The kids, l to r, Teddy, Ellie, Natalie and Sophie. 

I'm pretty sure I'm going to use this photo on my Christmas cards this year. I need to brag! 

I am so proud of myself for going and I actually enjoyed it but I was totally worn out when done.  I could go again some day but I don't think I will.  This week I was thinking of my grandparents and realized there was no way any of them would have gone zip lining at 73! Heck, neither would my parents.  It was a memorable day.  

Afterwards we went back to the house to pick up our luggage and we all drove to Monteverde.  Each family had a car and we didn't coordinate our departures nor our lunch.  That's it for the 3rd day of our trip.  I'll share some more next Monday.  Although, honestly, the most exciting day was the zip lining! 

I'm linking with Oh Scrap, Life in Pieces, Design Wall Monday and Monday Musings.  Take a tour of quilting blogs starting at these Linky parties. 

Happy Quilting All!  Bonnie  

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Monday Meanderings 4 - 15 - 2024

It's been a great week.  I got a lot of my goals accomplished. My friend Sharon came and we've had a great time. We haven't gotten together since October. And, I think I'm really getting rid of my cold, finally.  Let's start with the goals list. 


✅Make label for Spider Web quilt — made but will be applied soon.

✅Attend mystery quilt class at Country Piecemakers — lots of fun. Cute little wall hanging done. (see below.) 

✅Machine embroider some scissor covers and quilt block key chains — tried but gave up as I didn’t like the results.

✅Knit a couple of hats for From the Heart — done.

✅Have fun sewing with Sharon — we’ve had a great time.

✅Finish some more miscellaneous blocks — all the blocks that were cut out are done. 

Bind ZigZag quilt — done! 

I can't believe I got so much done.  What?  I took absolutely no pictures of things I've worked on. Thanks to Sharon I have this one picture of the mystery quilt we made at Country Piecemakers.  Sharon designed the quilt and wrote the mystery directions. Most everyone got the 21" top finished including me although I was one of the last ones to finish. (BTW, I didn't take time to iron this before the photo as we were trying to clean up and leave.) 

I did really well on the goals last week but this week I'm going to take it much easier.  You can see below what I hope to get done. Of course that doesn't mean I won't do some things not on the list! 


Sew label on Spider Web quilt

Make the rest of the pinwheel blocks and sew them together

Catch up on some reading

Plan top with older bow tie blocks 

Knit another hat

On our way back from Powhatan where the guild meets we decided to go to Bobbin and Bolt, a quilt shop in Richmond. Sharon used her gift certificate from the October retreat. I bought one yard of a blackish fabric for a baby quilt I'm going to make -- sometime. (Doesn't it sound strange that I'm going to use black in a baby quilt?) 

I also picked up some free fabric at the quilt guild meeting. 

And the final eye candy are these terrific blocks Sharon made this weekend. The pattern is free from Missouri Star and is called Disappearing Pinwheel Illusion.  It takes one layer cake (or 10" squares) and yardage of background fabric. It's amazing but Sharon says it's a little fiddly to construct the blocks.

15 Minutes to Stitch -- Week Ending 4/14/2024
  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April =14/14 days 
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 98/105 days
  • Success rate = 93.33%

It's time to share our next day of our travels in Costa Rica. . .  

Our daughter planned all the accommodations for the family.  Our first house was in Jaco fairly near the Pacific Ocean.  The weather was hot -- 95 degrees and very high humidity. The bedrooms of the house were air conditioned but we had a limited amount of free electricity. Luckily we didn't go over that amount. Surprisingly, we really only turned the AC on at night in the bedrooms. The biggest treat of the house was the pool. The grand kids used it a lot and most of the adults went in a bit. 

Our first excursion was a Monkey and Mangrove boat trip.  It was so much fun and we all learned a lot about capuchin monkeys. 

 My arm isn't long enough to get the whole family in the picture. At the way back in the middle, you can barely see Teddy on the left and Sophie on the right with the sun glasses. Next are Aimee and Kevin, our son, followed by Brian and our daughter, Jenny. Natalie and Ellie were right behind us.  Pat's hat made the picture but the rest of him didn't! 

The guide really knew the monkeys and could tell us about the families and who ruled which group and where they live.  The hope is that the monkeys will leave the date palm groves and move down to the river where there is more healthy food and plentiful water. 

As we floated down the river we saw more sleeping monkeys. When the boat was pulled close to the river bank at least one monkey was coaxed to the boat. (I know there was more than one monkey checking us out, but honestly of all the pics I have it looks like only one monkey was willing to eat the mashed banana from our hands.) 

Although the monkey has a name, I don't remember what it is.  But Natalie and Ellie thought it was a fun, if weird, time! 

This monkey wasn't sure about coming on board the boat. But, he looks like the monkey who came to eat the mashed banana off of our hands. 

Our granddaughter Natalie took this picture and then posted it with this comment on our family message group: "A monkey being surprised by how shiny Peka's head is." Cheeky girl!  Peka is the name our oldest grand started calling Pat and it stuck. 

We saw many different wild animals along with mangrove trees.  Here's a few of them. 

The time of our tour coincided with the midmorning nap the monkeys usually take. This fellow kept an eye on our boat but was in the normal sleeping position.  Doesn't look comfortable to me!

This raccoon was walking by the river and stopped to check us out. 

An iguana was perched in a tree keeping watch.  I missed a picture of a large snake. 

After the boat trip we were looking at things in the gift shop when our guide called us to come down to another tree.  There was a sloth in the tree.  Which we all oohed and ahed over.  Here's your change to see a real sloth. 

 Ok, so he wasn't the most accommodating animal.  This is a picture of a sloth's behind or so we were told.  If you look closely you should be able to see one of his long claws holding on to the tree. 

Next week I'll have more exciting photos of our trip to Costa Rica.  Come back to take a look.  And if you want to see a better picture of a sloth check out this one I took in 2020. FYI -- I take all my pictures with my iPhone 11 so it's amazing I get good pictures. (Hum, is it time to upgrade my phone? Maybe.) 

Linking up with these parties: Oh Scrap, Stitching Stuff, Design Wall Monday, and Monday Musings

It's getting late and I'm worn out.  Hope you have a quilty week! 

Happy Quilting! Bonnie