Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Quiltville Mediterranean Quilt cruise

After getting acclimatized in Barcelona for a few days with my travel partner, we met up with our group last night for a welcome dinner at our hotel. Today we met Bonnie and her hubby Dave as we were waiting for our bus to take us to the port. She is warm and friendly as she appears and I'm so very blessed to be on this Quiltville cruise. 

We arrived at the port early. We are all checked in and managed to get our shore excursions booked for Rome and Florence. That was our first stop on board after embarking. The remaining ports will be available on foot mostly.  We had lunch while we waited for our state room to be ready. We still haven't got our luggage but hopefully we will soon so we can empty those suitcases and settle in. 


Two twin beds mushed together European style. Hard mattresses but they will do!  Our porter Reuben said he will separate the beds into two twins while we are at dinner. 
We tried for a siesta but didn't fall asleep.  


Here is the rest of our room. Quite cozy with nooks and crannies for everything. 

We have dinner at 6:30 one floor up and after that Bonnie Hunter and Mary Ellen, our cruise director, will be hosting a welcome meeting. There are three Canadians on the trip, the two of us and one lady from Calgary. 

Tomorrow is our first class with Bonnie!!  Team Canada is ready to party!!

With love from Barcelona,
Mavis


 

Days at Sea

We set sail without the fanfare that I've seen on TV programs. In our state room you'd never know you were sailing except for the gentle rumble of the engines.  Not so much as a ripple in the seas and smooth sailing all the way. Look at the gorgeous teal water colour!!


Our first workshop with Bonnie was the Little Bit Hexie quilt block. The hexie bug had already bitten me so I've brought my La Passion hexagon quilt with me on the trip for hand sewing time. Up until now I've  used glue to fold down my hexies. I will stock pile about twenty or so, then sew them on to the "mother ship". Bonnie doesn't use glue and the method she taught is better than glue and doesn't leave you with sticky fingers.  You baste one in the corners and then with the same continuous thread attach that one. She told the story of a lady who had basted 900 hexies and was systematically adding them on to her quilt when one day the whole stockpile was lost she had to start over. Besides the price of glue this was a great reason for using Bonnie's method. I will try that on my 1/2" hexies. This may mean I can't use my accuquilt die for cutting  the hexies though as there isn't much seam allowance on those precut shapes. Bonnie's method uses squares with ample seam allowance and also leaves the basting thread in which keeps the wrong side flat. The glue method means when you lift the back sides of the hexie to remove the paper they no longer stay flat and will require pressing. If you saw the size of my hexies you'd understand that pressing wouldn't be fun. 

Anyway, here is a photo of my little hexie flower, all finished including the appliqué to the block background. 




The second day was the Spanish Rose quilt which was a class in back basted appliqué. Bonnie supplied all the fabric, needles and even the thread. Our homework from the first class was to find a window and trace the appliqué pattern on the wrong side of the square.

Here are Jan and I preparing for class:



This is a few hours into class. Bonnie is very patient and gives excellent instruction. She is giving our new friend Nancy some one on one help with her project.


I finally got my rhythm and did okay on my leaves but the flower bumps were not easy. With a lot of practice I expect my technique would improve but I'm not sure this is worth the time investment for me.  The jury is still out on that verdict.  Piecing is more my thing.  I've also dabbled in various forms of machine appliqué, so I'm still deciding. It was great to learn this back basting technique though and have it in my toolkit. As for hand work, I know I love hexies. I'm not sure I love appliqué.  Here's my effort so far:



Tomorrow we will wake up in Kotor, Montenegro and explore dry land. We'll see if I can upload the blog posts. I chose not to get wifi on the ship as it is slow at best and very expensive. 

Off I go for now!  There's a cool lemonade with my name on it!

Until next time!
Mavis

Sunday, August 14, 2016

And we're off!!

I am currently in the SeaTac airport awaiting boarding time for a flight to Barcelona. About a year and a half ago I called my dear friend Jan and asked her if she might be interested in a quilting cruise to the Mediterranean.  She took a look at the website and said "let's do it!!"  

Since then there has been much anticipation of this day. And here we are!


We flew out of Victoria this afternoon at 12:47 and have about a four hour layover at SeaTac. It is a confusing airport but we have managed to find our gate and will be boarding in just over half an hour and on the way to Barcelona.  And I found some time to sew my hexie a as a true Bonnie disciple (or Bonniac as we call it).

My dear friend Jan and I have known each other for over 30 years. We have travelled together before, a bus trip to Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, to be specific. We get along great and walk about the same speed. This is good 

We don't know quite what to expect on this trip. We meet up with Bonnie Hunter and the rest of our group on Wednesday evening before we board the ship on Thursday.  There will be lots of beautiful scenery as we make our way through the Mediterranean to ports in Montenegro, Croatia, Italy and France.   We're ready for the adventure. There will be some quilting workshops while at sea and for me this is a huge bucket list adventure. A trip to the Mediterranean AND classes with Bonnie Hunter. Pinch me !!!

Our flight will be long and we won't arrive in Barcelona until tomorrow. We expect to be tired and are glad that we have a few days to get rested up before the cruise. 

So here're go! The adventures of Winetta and Ethel chapter one. We nicknamed each other about 25 years ago and have never stopped using them. Back in the 80s we both lived in Israel at different times and wrote many, many letters back and forth.   That was before email and Facebook. Lol.  Working in the envelope factory there wasn't much excitement for me so I started writing under alter ego names and embellishing my letters home for humour's sake.  And we still laugh about it.  And we still call each other Winetta and Ethel.  That's just how we roll. 

Time to pack the electronics away and stretch the legs before a long sitting stretch. 

Next post will come from Barcelona. 

Until next time,

Mavis aka Ethel

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Where did July go!!??

I'm now counting down the days until I fly with one of my besties all to the way to Barcelona to meet up with Bonnie Hunter and 48 other cruisers as we embark on the Brilliance of the Seas and make our way through the beautiful Mediterranean.  Gasp!!  This has been a long time coming and I'm beyond excited.  We had a change in projects a few weeks ago due to the supplier of machines for the cruise going belly up and shutting their doors.  In true Bonnie fashion, she took that curve ball and hit it out of the park as she quickly planned and then created a new project for us.

This will be my first ever workshop with Bonnie Hunter.  I've followed her online since 2009 when I did my first mystery quilt "Double Delight".  I'm now following her blog, facebook and instagram pages, and watching her on Quiltcam from her basement studio.  Suffice it to say I'm a fan. Just a little bit.  ;)

Anyhow, I was more surprised than anyone to log on to write a blog post today and note that my last post was from June.  I'm not sure where the heck July went except for the fact that there was lots of overtime work in July due to the crazy real estate market.  This can make for long days for conveyancers.  That must be where the time went.

There were a few quilty things in July that kept me sane through the real estate crazy town days of July.  Here are a few things I've been working on:



There was a two fabric bargello




There was binding and finishing off my Blooming Nine Patch.

Punctuated by walks in the neighbourhood with my doggies, Cooper & Sophie.  We realized today that we got them three years ago today (thanks Facebook reminders!)


There was FINALLY some quilting on the borders of my Memorial Quilt in memory of my friend Janet who passed away a few years back.  This was a UFO from her husband's garage sale of her quilting things.




There was some progress on my Florabunda quilt (free pattern from Bonnie Hunter's Quiltville page).  Some of the progress was made outside on my deck with my featherweight, Ferdinand.


There was some quilting in protest.  This was supposed to be our cruise project (Razzle Dazzle).  When we got word that there wouldn't be machines on the boat after all, I decided...what the heck...I'm starting this quilt now...almost as a way of expressing my disappointment and trying to turn lemons into lemonade.  We will still be learning some cutting techniques for this quilt, even if we aren't doing the actual sewing on the cruise, so I've put it away for now.






And there was a new quilt started.  One of my colleagues requested that I make her a quilt for her granddaughter for Christmas.  The only proviso was that it had to have monkeys.  If you zoom the photo you will indeed find monkeys.  The pattern is Warm Wishes from Quiltmaker Magazine which was a Linus quilt pattern.



and LASTLY...there was some cutting on my Accuquilt GO cutter for Bonnie Hunter's Leaders and Enders 2016 challenge which is hourglass units.  These bright little triangles are now a bin waiting to be assembled with absolutely no deadline attached to them.  I dug into my Kaffe Fassett scrap and FQ bins to find these gorgeous fabrics and have paired them with a buttercup yellow plain fabric as the neutral.

So I guess I have been busy.  It has been a great summer and I'm delighted that I've had some time to sew outside on my deck too.

I probably won't be blogging before we fly to Barcelona and set sail for the cruise, but there will be plenty of photos when we return.

Until then, keep stitchin!

Mavis






Sunday, June 26, 2016

Waltz Around the World...the sequel

Actually I guess I should say the "prequel" because these were the fabrics I originally chose for my latest pattern called Waltz Around the World.




My hubby thought it was too purple and encouraged me to do it in batiks as he thought it would sell more patterns. Now who am I to argue  when the man tells me to shop for fabric?  So the batik version got finished first.


But as I was choosing the fabrics from my stash for the original colourway, I couldn't  help but think of the spicy colours you might find in an outdoor market in say, Marrakech. 




I absolutely love  bright, bold and yes, some would spicy colours!  

I built my palette for this quilt around this top fabric. It's from the Kaffe Fassette Collective by designer Brandon Mably and is called Pom Pom Dahlia.


I ended up taking out the grey and subbed out the dark turquoise for more of a bright turquoise and here's the result. I brought the focus fabric front and centre around the centre blocks and reduced the dark purple involvement. And now, months after the journey began, it's a quilt top!!


On the quilt label you might read "Colours of Marrakech" but the pattern is still Waltz Around the World. 

I'm now deciding on the quilting so I will stare at it for awhile and let the quilt speak to me. 

Pattern can be found on my website:  www.dayspringquiltstudio.com. 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Blooming Nine Patch

I'm so happy to finally have this off my design wall and the quilt top completed. It really seems like forever since I started this project last fall at my guild's workshop called "Fall Frolic".


From there I took it to my retreat in Bowser for four days I November 2015  where I got all the individual blocks done.




The next step was more daunting since I knew it would be a brute taking up two design walls.  My hubby said, "you can't have the floor too!" That tells the story. The longest pieces spilled out from my common hallway design wall right into the floor.  Since we have two Jack Russell pups who are prone to chew anything in their reach I decided it would be best to pin the "streamers" up on the design wall when I wasn't working in the quilt.



And here it is assembled:

 

Now off to the long arm quilter to work their magic. I have lots of the outside row of fabric for the binding which will be my next task before cleaning up this project and dealing with the leftover fabric which isn't much.  I'm happy that there are some leftover 2" strips to feed my scrap strip bins for an upcoming scrappy project.  This has been quite a journey!  Thanks for following along.

Happy Sunday everyone!

Mavis

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Finito Completo!!

Introducing Waltz Around the World. This is my latest pattern which is available for download here: http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/quilting/home-decor/waltz-around-the-world/202656?rceId=1464454258058~uostizw1



It's a rainy Saturday here and the hubster is away until tomorrow. This means that I'm taking a day to sew ALL DAY LONG!!  Now that I've finished the quilt which will be a store sample for the pattern, I'm forging ahead to finish this king sized quilt top (Blooming Nine Patch).


And if I have any steam left I want to get back to my EQ7 to redraft my Tuscan Hillside quilt for appliqué instead of embroidery. It will be my next pattern available. 

Here it is pictured before it came down from the entryway where it hangs in our home. 



It's gonna be a busy day so I best pour some coffee and get at it!!

From rainy Brentwood Bay,
Mavis