Sunday, May 26, 2024

Monday Meanderings 5 - 27 - 2024

Not a whole lot of stitching was done this week.  But I did get at least 15 minutes everyday.  Here's what I did get done on my goals list. 


✅Quilt and bind one of my quilts — quilted, binding to come later.

✅Finish the inside of the star quilt for VSQ — ready for 2 borders.

๐Ÿ‘Ž๐ŸผPlan something for May UFO challenge — nope!  — nothing done. 

✅Cut out a quilt using the scattered forest animal print — done! 

๐Ÿ‘Ž๐ŸผPull out a block set and plan a top — nothing done. 

Here's a picture of the quilt I quilted...I don't think I showed it when I made the top a few weeks ago. (And yes, that is remarkably fast for me to quilt a top but I found that red and white polka dot fabric in the stash.) 

Several years ago I found this Knuffle Bunny fabric on sale.  Then I found Baby Goose from Villa Rosa. I actually changed the sizes of the flying geese because I had a Accuquilt die for the half square triangles. When I get it bound I'll share better pictures.

Next up my goals for this week.  


Make some placemats (3 -4)

Bind Knuffle Bunny quilt

Pull out a block set and plan a top

Quilt one of my quilts 

Sing in local community concert 

Look what I found last week! He's known as the white seed bug. And he is a real insect. You can read a little about him here. The biggest issue was he was in our sun room which is open to our living room and the rest of the house. Pat heroically caught him and put him out side. I've never seen one of these before all though they are suppose to be all over North America and South America. 

I've nicknamed him the Quilt Bug.  Nice red, black and white.  Hum, do you think I should make a bug quilt with him as the star? Aimee might like a quilt honoring this bug. 

On to Stitching Stuff. I succeeded for another 7 days with at least 15 minutes of stitching. Unfortunately not very many days bloomed into hours of sewing like they often do.  Maybe this week will have some 'blooming' days. 

Week ending 5/27 — 147 days in to 2024. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April =  26/26 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 140/147 days
  • Success rate = 95.2%
Here's why I didn't have as much sewing time this last week.

The Spotsylvanians sang the National Anthem at the Fred Nats baseball game Friday night. (I would be standing next to the gal in the red shirt except I took the picture.) Afterwards we were in a Sky Box and had a nice ball park meal. We'd invited some old friends to join us.  I have been friends with Barb since freshman year in high school.  We reestablished our friendship once I moved to the East Coast from the West Coast.  We get together a few times a year.  Barb and I chatted all during the game and have no idea what the guys talked about. But we both noticed they were talking just as much.  The night ended with some great fire works.  We were gone for about 5 hours due to the early call time so we could sing and then stayed until the fireworks were done. Pat and I were both exhausted. 

The next day we were meeting Kevin and family at the local Renaissance Faire which was about 30 minutes from home.  We were there for the very beginning where Queen Elizabeth I was welcomed to the town. I'm sure it is an honor to play the queen at these Faires but it was mid 80s by the middle of the day and people were sweating like crazy.  I loved her dress but I sure wouldn't want to wear it in that kind of weather.

Aimee and Ellie dressed the part but Theo only came with his sword and shield. (wooden, of course.) 

Kevin and family ran into traffic so we had some time to spare. We spent it listening to a flutist who was really wonderful.  Everything was improvised but was beautiful and calm.  I suggested Kevin get me her CD for Christmas.... I was just being helpful, eh? 

We spent some time at a field that was used for several events. (It had seating and was covered.)  Basically we saw some medieval style hand to hand combat with swords and long swords with men in armor. Several times the fights were stopped to determine points and to make sure the fighters were okay. Can you imagine how hot it got in the armor? 

Next up was some falconry.  There was a beautiful barn owl being shown. Unfortunately I didn't get a good photo of her.  Last up was jousting, again in metal armor.  I can't imagine how the people were holding up under that armor!  We lasted until a little past noon and then decided it was time to go home to hydrate, sleep, and read.  I enjoyed it a lot but the weekend had been pretty busy for people who tend to hang out at home a lot! 

Now to finish the last of our Costa Rica trip.  The last day was a doozy.  We said good bye to Kevin and family at 8 am.  They had an airplane to catch about 2:15 or so. Jen's family was staying in San Jose that night. And we were flying to Panama in the evening and then on to our local airport that night.  The rest of us left around 10:00 am or so.  

Time stamp on the photo says 8:00 sharp about a minute before they went. The distance between Monteverde and San Jose is a little less than 110 miles.  It should take about 2 hours and 40 minutes.  Do you know where this is going?  Yea. Reality hit. We were taking our time as we stopped along the road to get this beautiful picture.

We turned on our GPS and followed it down the mountain. Hum... twisty road and should be a 3 hour trip. Arrival time 1:23. 

We followed the GPS that suggested we take back roads. Sounded reasonable, so we did. This was the new route. We were all by ourselves so could make better time then just sitting in traffic. (Ha!)

There's the car mirror and a field.  No cars around. Just driving a little slowly as we didn't want any damage to the car driving on the dirt road. The picture below might look familiar -- it was the example of fences that grew into trees. Again, no cars in sight. 

We passed a stray house or two, lots of fields, roads going off through more fields. Except, eventually lots of people started down this same road.  There were spots where only 1 vehicle could get by.  Cars overheated.  

Anytime the road was only 1 car wide we waited until it was our turn. Or for oncoming traffic to go.  We also crossed a small river (creek?) And on, and on. 

We started getting family texts. Are you in a lot of traffic? Yes.  We just passed the oil tanks.  Oh — finally we are back on the paved road. It was a mess. I don’t remember what time it was when we hit the paved road and could drive at a reasonable speed.  I was very happy I didn’t have to go to the bathroom! We stopped for lunch and then headed to the airport. 

After turning in the car and going through security we were finally in the waiting area around 4 pm. Lucky for us our flight to Panama didn’t leave until about 6 pm.  Kevin didn't have as much luck.  They evidently made it to the gate but it had already closed. (Yea, about 5 to 6 hours to go what should have taken 3 hours or less!) They ended up finding a hotel with a swimming pool so I'm guessing the grands liked that. 

Here's what greeted us on the way to our gate.  Doesn't Pat look tired from the drive? 

We arrived back at our home at 6:00 am on Sunday morning. We were able to upgrade to business class so it was nicer than our original seats.  I slept for an hour or so although Pat didn't.  We landed at 3:40 am or so but it took a while to go through customs, grab our luggage, and walk to where the car was parked. Luckily there wasn't a lot of traffic on the drive home. I was totally worn out and fell asleep for several hours. 

I’ll end with my own happy plants.  Frequently when we travel I move my house plants into our shower. I use plastic pails and tubs to set them in.  Each tub has water in it to give the plants enough moisture to see them through our trip.  There’s a window that lets in light.  During this trip they seemed to thrive.  Some of the plants I have: fiddle leaf fig, peace lilies, Chinese money plant, jade plant, and a Thanksgiving Cactus. (Or at least that’s what I think it is.) (I originally planned to share this after all the flowers in Costa Rica. But my watering methodology did seem to work well.) 

We have no more travel plans so far.  Who knows when we might decide to travel next. 

I’m linking up to these parties: Stitching Stuff,  Oh ScrapDesign Wall Monday, and Monday Musings. I hope you can take some time to go check out these Linky Parties.  

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie 


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Monday Meanderings 5 - 20 - 2024

Did you read that date on the headline?  May 20th?  Is it just me or is the calendar flipping by a lot faster than I think it should? On the other hand I always have my goals to keep me motivated on my sewing so maybe that is what makes the days go so fast. Here's what was on last week's list. 


✅Quilt Jenny’s quilt — Done, ready to return to her. 

✅Put border on pinwheel top — finished, now to think of backing.

✔️Make another basket block or two — finished a bunch of HSTs but need to cut out basket pieces. 

✅Cut, ✅layout, and ✅start stitching the stars quilt top for Va Star Quilt Guild — almost finished with center portion.

Sew misc blocks — RSC, FCQ Equilters— finished a lot of blocks but probably need a few more Equilter blocks.

Here's the quilt Jenny asked me to quilt for her.  She loves designs by Elizabeth Hartman.  In fact the last three quilts I quilted for her were Elizabeth's designs.  Anyway, this one is a baby quilt for a neighbor.  Here's the last row or so of cats. Did I mention she likes bright colors? The pattern is called Quick and Easy Swirls available at My Creative Stitches. May I repeat that it really is a fast and easy design to stitch out?  

By the way the blue on the orange kitty's nose is blue painter tape I use to mark my rows for the computer. 

One of the things I worked a lot on wasn't even on my list.  Here's the finished Bow Tie quilt. I believe it was the April UFO challenge. I'm happy to have it to top stage. Although I might put a border on it.  What do you think? Border or no border? 

After I got it all together I decided I should have moved a block or two to get it away from a similar color.  Oh well.  It's 42.5 x 60.5".  I'll have to buy backing for it. Although I won't do it until I look through my collection of fabrics just in case. 

Here's the layout for the stars quilt top from the blocks donated to Va Star Guild.  For the most part they are beautifully done.  Although I realized as I was sewing them with the "sashing" they aren't all 12.5".  I faked it so they should come out ok.  Here's the picture I took to make sure I sewed the pieces in the right places. (Um, I didn't. I had to take one piece off of two of the blocks and resew them in the right places.) If you want to see more about this project you can look at my Feb. 15th post. The pattern I'm using ends up being square.  I'm trying to decide if I'd (or the guild) would rather it be rectangular.  It might be used as a raffle quilt for us or it might be donated to a charity so they can use it as a fund raiser.  Do you like square quilts or rectangular quilts? 

Now here's what I want to work on this week.


Quilt and bind one of my quilts

Finish the inside of the star quilt for VSQ

Plan something for May UFO challenge blocks another set of large flying geese blocks 

Cut out a quilt using the scattered forest animal print 

Pull out a block set and plan a top 

Stitching Time! I've been stitching every day this week.  Most days it was in my studio quilting but one or two might have been knitting days. I've got a couple more hats done to donate. 

W/ending 5/19 140 days in to 2024. 

  • 15 minute days/week = 7/7 days
  • 15 minute days/April =  19/19 days
  • 15 minute days/2024 = 133/140 days
  • Success rate = 95.5%

I've share almost all of the Costa Rica trip.  I was going to combined the last two days but I think that is way too much in one blog. So I'll write a bit about our last day in Monteverde this week and next week I'll finish off our trip.  

Our last full day in Monteverde was windy — 35 mph winds whipping around when we woke up.  The whole family went to breakfast together before splitting up for different activities.  We went with our son and his family to Monteverde Butterfly Garden.  A tour guide started us indoors where they had a multitude of different live insects.  Aimee was willing to hold just about anything. She knows her bugs and likes them.  Here she is with a large cockroach.  Despite what people think about cockroaches they are very clean. 

Side note if you have kids or grands 3rd through 6th or 7th grade here's a book recommendation.  Shoebag by M. E. Kerr (also known as Mary James.) Shoebag is a cockroach who like all cockroaches are named after the place they are born.  He lives with his parents, Drainboard and Under the Toaster in a Boston apartment. Shoebag is transformed into a, gasp, person and somehow is adopted by a family.  I haven't read it in years but I remember enjoying it as did the kids who checked it out. That's where I learned that cockroaches are really pretty clean insects. 

She wanted to hold the tarantula but was told they are too fragile. Next up was the first butterfly garden.  We saw a multitude of beautiful butterflies. Bright blue Morpho butterflies were all over the enclosure.  Ellie was hoping to pick one up but no, didn’t happen.  This picture shows one with her hand giving a sense of size.  These were pretty big compared to some butterflies. 

We toured 3 different butterfly habitats.  Here’s Teddy in one of them. (I was trying to get a good picture of Ted I could use as a background on my iPhone.) 

I took a couple of picture of flowers while we were in Costa Rica.  Up first is Red Ginger (pink version..)๐Ÿ‘‡

Flower 2 ๐Ÿ‘‡ Brazil’s White Angel Trumpet. These are pink version.  All parts of the plant are considered poisonous. More info: suaveolens

Flower 3 Noble Dendrobiumis is one of the most widespread ornamental members of the orchid family. These were growing on a tree in the compound in Monteverde. 

And the last flower is a Lollipop plant. I'm pretty sure this was in one of the butterfly gardens.  

I'll have the exciting trip home next week. In the meantime I'm linking up with my normal Linky Parties: Stitching Stuff, Oh ScrapDesign Wall Monday, and Monday Musings. I hope you can take some time to go check out these Linky Parties.

Happy Quilting All! Bonnie  

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. 


✅Finish Ombrรฉ 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 ----


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