The past couple of days the weather has been spectacular. I'm writing this post Thursday afternoon. Yesterday I kayaked while Chris went on a guided fishing trip and then our from from Boston arrived to hand out with us the rest of out stay. Today we took a hike on Beech Mountain as a warm up to an 8 mile hike up Cadillac Mountain (1500 feet) tomorrow. Beech Mountain is on the lake where we stay and the house we rent is right at the point of the yellow arrow.
You've got to love a park where they can create sections of trails with granite steps! There's lots and lots of granite around here.
This is just a photo that I took while I was out kayaking Wednesday.
I doubt if I'll post tomorrow. Our hike will likely take 5 -6 hours and I expect a long nap when we return.
I haven't gotten a lot done on the sewing front because we've been busy visiting and catching up. Next week we'll get to meet up with some other friends who will also be in the area. We haven't seen them in 3 years so I'm really looking forward to seeing them again. I do have 2 more sets of blocks done and have started a third.
On the crochet front, I've finished off 1 skein of yarn for my baby blanket (no photo). Yesterday I snuck out for a couple of hours to shop in Southwest Harbor. There's a nice quilt/yarn shop there. I picked up 2 skeins of yarn to swatch up to see if I'd like them for a pocket shawl that I want tp make.
The Remix is nice but not particularly snuggly enough for a pocket scarf. I could see this for a very loose crochet summer cardigan or shawl or maybe tightly stitched for a tote.
I absolutely loved stitching the Cumulus yarn and loved the way it looks but I was concerned about this one pilling. A scarf gets a lot of wear and friction so I rubbed this swatch a bit and found my concerns validated. I'm glad I only bought one skein of each of these. I'm not sure what I might make with either of these but I certainly won't be buying more.
There are a few more quilt and yarn shops around here that I'll probably check out Tuesday when Chris and Dave are away on another fishing trip.
If I don't die on the hike tomorrow! We did the steeper version of this hike last year for as my birthday goal so I expect we will be fine as long as we pace ourselves and take plenty of water. I know for sure that I'll hold the boys back and I'm fine with that.
This was yesterday (Monday) so that means it was sewing and crochet day. We squeezed in a 4 mile walk in the neighborhood between showers but that was the extend of our outdoor activities.
This is today! Today was hiking and floating in the lake day. This morning we headed out early for a 6 mile hike on a path called Aunt Betty Pond and the return path would be by Eagle Lake for a total of 6 miles. A good challenge but not a killer. We got about 2/3 way through the hike and found out the the return path was closed so we had to return the way we came for a total of 8.2 miles! That was a little more than we planned but it was doable. When we came back we got the floats out and tied up to the dock and floated in the lake for about an hour. It's possible that I napped a little. When we went out the lake was flat as glass and the wind only came in after we got out of the lake.
The coolest thing happened when we got out. A family of black ducks came around the dock and it was clear that they were expecting some food. I stuck my left hand in the water and all 3 of the ducklings (almost adult) came up for a nibble on my wedding band. That has happened to me once before when I was floating in the lake so it wasn't totally unexpected. I don't know why they are attracted to the gold band but it was really cool to be so close to them. Sadly, I disappointed them.
On the sewing front, I finished the 4th veteran's quilt top. I like this one a lot.
Then I geeked out when I reached the end of this 500 meter (547 yard) spool of thread. It was brand new when I arrived in Maine!
Next I'm going to work on a couple of blocks before I pull out another veterans quilt kit. I pulled out one block set yesterday and got it about 1/4 put together when I realized that I didn't cut out the right number of pieces. No surprise there.....
The crochet blanket is making big progress. This pattern is really easy and fast. I've made a couple of errors but they were easy to fix in the next row so I didn't have to frog too far. I've been anxious to see how far one ball of yarn would go to see if I'd have enough and now I know that I do. This will be about 39" wide and, based on where I am now, it should be at least 48" long using all 4 balls. That's perfect so I'll keep hooking. I'll crochet until I run out of yarn and that's how big it will be.
The gloves are helping so much. I can crochet for a couple of hours a day. I have overdone it a little today so I'll stop and rest my hands until tomorrow. But I'll say that the Copperfit gloves are still magic for me.
Now, on to a funny story that we still can't figure out. This is the dock that we kayak and float off of. We park the kayaks here on this bridge. When I took this photo Chris was out on the one that I used our first day here.
These are my headphones that I wear all day every day to listen to books. I remember packing them somewhere when we left Greenville but I didn't remember where I packed them. When we arrived here I could not find them. I went through every bag twice and they were no where.
The first day Chris and I kayaked and I didn't take anything with me. No phone, no towel, no water.....nothing except the life vest. The next day Chris went out to fish and found these tangled in the seat of the kayak that I used.
Absolutely no idea. I don't even know how they stayed in the kayak since we store them on their sides. They should have fallen into the water. But I am so glad to have them back.
Yesterday was a rainy day here and we expect more of the same today. I expect we will be able to get out for a walk today but I'm perfectly happy to read and sew all day too. Today's postcard is actually from last week.
The day that we went to Moxie Falls near Moscow, Maine we cam upon this scene heading north on 201 toward Jackman and came upon this sight!
Bird houses of all shapes and sizes on a random retaining wall. It was awesome!
I waited to share it until I had internet access and could research it. You can read all about it here. I absolutely love that it isn't' organized in any way and no one is trying to take it down.
According to the article, the smart people put theirs near the top so that they don't get damaged by the snow plows. Isn't that the coolest thing?
Yesterday I was itching to start a new crochet project. I must be a grown up now because I actually swatched it to decide on a hook size. The bottom rows are a K hook and the top rows are done with an L. I decided on the K.
I'm 8 rows in and have been testing 2 brands of hooks. The lime green is Clover Armour and the ivory one is from Webs. I like both but I give an edge to the Clover. It's a tad less grabby.
Here's how things look this morning on Long Pond. We're expecting overcast, misty and rainy for the next couple of days while Henri does whatever Henri is going to do. We don't expect really bad weather here and after the storm passes the rest of the week is going to be gorgeous. If I have to spend 2 days listening to books and stitching then so be it. I'll get by.
I do have a finish to report! This is my car travel crochet project and it's the 3rd one that I've made in this pattern. It looks like I cast on 115 stitches for this blanket. The original post for this blanket with all the stitch info is here. The yarn is Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn. The body is 3 full skeins of Crushed Raspberry and the border is about half a skein of Hot Rose. The Hobby Lobby Yarn is so soft and just wonderful to work with. I buy it on the alternating weeks when it's 30% off.
I started this one last October when we went to the Great Smokies for a hiking trip. I only worked on it in the car so I'll need another project for the ride home. I'm thinking that I will do another version of the shawl that I posted last week. The car project has to be easy and that shawl is really easy.
The border of this blanket gave me fits. I started it 3 times and it still ended up wavy. I'll block it at home but it's not horrible and would probably look misshapen after a few months of use anyway. I usually hate pink but I felt that this blanket needed a bold border and I like the look of the dark pink on this one. I do still hate pink though.
Here you can see just how simple this pattern is. It's all double crochet and chain stitches worked in rows of 3. it does make for a good car project but 3 of this pattern might be enough. If I don't do a shawl I might start some granny squares. That would be a great car project because they never get big enough to be unwieldy. I'll see how my mood is by the end of next week.
For the border I worked one round of double crochet, one round of alternating double crochet and chains and a final row of double crochet. I'm calling it good and done because I'm ready to work on something else. I brought yarn and a pattern for a ripple blanket that will not have a border!
But today, if the weather stays dodgy, Ill be here at my sewing corner. We really miss not having our friends, Ian and Laura, here with us but I won't have to fight Laura for the sewing machine today and tomorrow.
We've made the move to the Acadia area and we have internet again. It's truly sad how dependent I am on the internet all day. I really need to work on that. I like to look things up all the time. I was reading a book last week about the recovery of a shipwreck and I so wanted to get on the web and see the recovery photos and watch the interviews and documentaries about it. Plus there's all the time that I waste on crochet porn on YouTube. But the big thing is blog reading. As of now I have 376 posts in my reader to catch up on. We're expecting rain from Henri at some point so I expect I'll have time to catch up.
Here's one of the last sunsets from our place in Greenville. It was really beautiful and peaceful there and we hope to go back next year. It's a lot less developed and more remote than Acadia, of course, and that's really appealing.
Chris had some really good fishing there. One trip was a guided bass fishing trip on a lake and he caught at least 60 fish! He said is was the best day of freshwater fishing in his life. He's ready to go back for sure.
Out last hike was around Big Moose and Little Moose ponds. There weren't any moose but it was a really good hike with lots of varied terrain great views. My one note for next year is to double spray the bug spray.
Since my last post I switched from my vintage blocks to work on veterans quilt tops. These 2 were cut as a set and I sewed them at the same time. Having pre-cut kits is so nice! I need a cutting genie for all of my sewing projects.
I suppose the Accuquilt is sort of a cutting genie because this one got cut fast using the Accuquilt and it sewed together really fast. I have another set of HST blocks and will work on that next now that my new space is set up.
Before we left Greenville I also finished these 3 hats. I'll sew on the toppers when I get home. They have elastic strings that you are supposed to just feed through and tie off but the heads are too floppy. I think a few stitches will make them better. I hope the boys (Ella's brother and cousins) like them.
I forgot to take a picture of my sewing set up here but I'll get one tomorrow. It's got the best view! All of my projects are on a guest bed that will not be used until our friend gets here later in the week. For now, this is my attempt at organization.
The first crochet thing I'll work on is getting the border on this baby quilt. This is my car crochet project and I finished the body of the blanket on the drive. The border required some trial and error and math so I couldn't do that in the car. I can get this wrapped up by the time Henri has passed through and then I can move on to something else. Of course, there's another project bag just waiting to be opened!
I'll leave you with moon rise over Long Pond last night. We are so lucky to be able to be here.
But let's start with the hiking report. Yesterday we hiked Pemetic Mountain and it was quite a workout! This is part of the trail on one side. Lots of steep scrambling but a lot of fun.
It was worth it for a lot of spectacular views all along the trail. We were both pretty exhausted (in a good way) after that. Today was a quieter day. I kayaked in the morning and then ran some errands, even visiting 2 quilt shops. In the end I didn't buy anything but thread but it was fun to visit fabric.
Two people asked on the last post about the yoga app that I use. I've tried several yoga and exercise apps and my current favorites are Down Dog and HIIT, both by Yoga Buddhi Co. I use the HIIT app most often but do occasionally use the yoga app. There are good options for types, duration and skill level and you can choose the voice and music. I like the Aussie guy for yoga and I don't like any music background. They are paid apps but I think you get a trial of 5 workouts of something like that and when they introduced the HIIT app you actually got both for one price. I absolutely love the HIIT app. The workout can be as hard as you want it and it's really helped me build strength and stamina. They have other apps for prenatal, barre and beginners.
Between hikes, paddles, eating and relaxing I've kept going on the veterans quilt tops. These last 2 rail fence tops went together fast. I finished this one yesterday.
...and I finished this one today. These will look even better with my stars and ribbons pantograph.
Here are all 5 together. I'm really pleased.
Tomorrow we expect rain. There's a remote possibility that we get in a short hike early but otherwise it will by a sewing day. That would be just awful, wouldn't it?
My next project is to start in the big Mardi Gras star quilt. That one is going to be for me!
In my last post I finished the Groovy quilt top but I'm switching to another quilt now.
Now it's time to start some quilting and I'm starting with the puppy quilt. Remember this one? It's been aging for a couple of months and seems to be ready for quilting. I dyed a spiral back for this one so the top needs to be centered on the back. This tutorial shows how I do this.
It's basted and ready to go. It's getting a simple Square Spiral pantograph. I expect this quilt be become a blanket and get lots of use so custom quilting isn't necessary.
In other news, we sort of skipped Christmas this year. With our friends here from England we all decided that it might be fun to take a Christmas trip so we headed off to Nashville. I've never been and it was one of the places on my "list". Well, it's not off the list because we had a great time. What a wonderful city! We are all already looking forward to going back. We were only there for 3 full days (with 2 days off travel time) but we packed in a lot.
On Sunday Chris and Laura headed to brunch and then Laura went to the Symphony for Handel's Messiah. Ian and I went straight to Nissan Stadium to watch the Saints and Titans. I've been to a couple of NFL games but both times I was in a box with a group and it was impossible to really watch the game. This time we sat in the stands and had a great time. They gave away Titans scarves to the fans and the next day every homeless person in Nashville was decked out in them.
Our hotel was in the city so we could walk everywhere. After the game we met up with Chris (and all the celebrating Saints fans) to watch the Eagles game in a bar on Broadway.
The evening was spent mostly at The Stage on Broadway. The quality of music on this street is amazing.
We started Monday with a walkabout of the city. We couldn't go through the main park because the park was closed preparing for the Keith Urban New Year's Eve concert. I can't even comprehend the security work required to prepare for these type of events. But we did walk around this plaza with a scale map of the state and lots of information about the geography and history of Tennessee. It was very interesting.
The rest of the day was spent on Broadway. Since it was the day before Christmas Eve we were almost alone in every bar we attended which meat that we had virtually private bands playing whatever we requested!
Most of the city is shut down on Christmas Eve. Ironically it's open Christmas Day! I didn't expect that when we planned the trip but it worked out great because we headed out to Radner Lake State Park for a 4 mile hike. This park clearly gets a TON of traffic but it's really well maintained and we saw lots of wildlife (6 point buck, flock of turkeys, ring-necked ducks) including this Red-Tailed Hawk. The wildlife is very accustomed to humans because we've never gotten this close to a hawk even in our own yard. I expect it was hoping one of the hikers would flush a mouse or something.
We ended the day with dinner at The Diner, a cool 5 or 6-story restaurant that's open every day of the year.
If you are ever contemplating a visit to Nashville I highly recommend Bode apartment-style hotel. Because of my allergies I have to stay somewhere with a kitchen so we can prepare my food. Bode was clean, reasonably well equipped and perfectly located just a few blocks from Broadway, Nissan Stadium and the Country Music hall of Fame.
I don't like many cities but I think I could live in this one.
Chris and I went on quite an adventure over the past 8 days.
We started out in Silverthorne, CO visiting with my best friend and her husband. I don't ski but I was happy to hang out with this cutie while they skied. Ginger and I had planned lots of walks and plenty of relaxing and stitching.
That plan went totally awry. The condo was at 9600 feet and I got an astounding case of altitude sickness. After drinking lots of water, to no avail, they got me oxygen and that helped enough for me to have the energy to book a hotel in Golden for the last 3 days. Chris dropped me there and I Lyfted all around Golden and Denver for a few days.
While Chris skied I checked out fabrics stores in the area. One of the highlights was finding this quilt shop. Have you heard of Wooden Spools? They sell beautiful yarns and fabrics and have the coolest business model. They BUY and SELL fabric! If you have unused fabric that is still in new condition they will buy it and they offer it for sale at wonderful bargain prices. You can tell they they are picky about what they buy so it's all great quality. If you are ever in Denver be sure to check this place out.
I also found the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum and was thrilled with the current exhibit. The theme is "It Takes Two" and the show features famous artist duos Claudia Clark Myers and Marilyn Badger, Sue Nickels and Pat Holly, Jan Hutchinson and Gail Stepanek, and collaborations from Christine Perrigo with Chawne Kimber, Latifah Saafir, Kathleen Probst, Karen Lee, and Stephanie Ruyle. It's a wonderful exhibit! I took lots of photos and will try to get them edited to post next week.
When Chris and I planned the trip I considered the first part "his" vacation so I added on a "her" vacation and that was to stop in Flagstaff on the way home so I could finally see the Grand Canyon. I had adjusted to the altitude in Denver so an extra 1000 feet wasn't a problem. We only had 2 days but we filled then up! There's no describing the vastness of the Grand Canyon and I'm so glad we stopped to see it. We drove to the lava flows at Sunset Canyon, visited the meteor site and even went to Winslow so that Chris could get a photo "on the corner" and pay homage to his favorite band. Between the meteor, lava and canyons we definitely got our science on.
The second day, after visiting Winslow, we drove the stunning Oak Creek Canyon drive to Sedona and I got to meet Patricia Caldwell! That's the exact same Patricia Caldwell who makes so many beautiful things with my fabric. We visited the gallery where her work is sold so I got to see several pieces of hers along with the fabulous photos of her husband, Bill Caldwell. They took us on a great tour of the red rocks around Sedona. We are definitely going back there sometime.
We had lots of adventures with flights and rental cars. Going out we just barely got up the mountain before the blizzard hit because our flights were delayed by 2 hours and then the rental car company couldn't seem to give us the right car. They would send us to a parking spot but it would be the wrong car. On the third try they were so embarrassed that they gave us a Mercedes SUV. It was a lovely car but we are so inept that we had trouble figuring out how to even turn on the windshield wipers.
When we got to Flagstaff there were no cars! She actually offered us a 15 passenger van. We were about to take Lyft to the hotel and wait for a car to be delivered the next morning...which was fine. But then she gave us a big Nissan SUV that she wasn't supposed to rent out. It was a nice ride. Much nicer than what we paid for.
I learned a long time ago that if you are nice to the customer service people they will generally bend over backwards to help you. When we were leaving Richmond last week our flight was delayed so much that they had to book us on a later connection in Charlotte. While I was at the counter a couple came up INSISTING that the nearby gate be opened to let them on the plane (because the plane was still at the gate). "They didn't hear the flight being called and we were sitting right there". The guy was really ugly and the counter lady finally said "Are you sure you want to be so rude to the person who is about to help you?" His wife finally pulled him away. They seriously acted like it was the airport's fault that they missed their flight. Well, they wound up sitting beside us on the flight to Richmond where I learned the truth.....they were in the bar while the flight was boarding! There are 2 people who are always going to be disappointed in what life hands them.
Meanwhile the American agent was kind enough to wave a $20 fee for me.
I went to NYC this weekend with 3 other women to celebrate Lora's 5oth birthday. It was a quick trip but we had a great time. We didn't do a show. Instead we went to The Cutting Room for music Friday and The Flatiron Room for whisky and jazz Saturday. I was in heaven at the Flatiron.
Our hotel was in the perfect location in the garment district and only a few blocks from the Empire State Building. We had this view from a rooftop bar next to the hotel. Right around the corner was M&J Trims and across from the hotel was Gotham Quilts!
I'm happy to report that I didn't by anything because I didn't NEED anything. But it was fun to visit the shops.
But what I will talk about a bit, if you will indulge me, are the 2 museums that we visited.
The first stop was the Cooper Hewett, one of my favorite museums anywhere. They had a special exhibit of weavings from Richard Landis and they are AMAZING color studies. He weaves with thread! This is a bad photo. The camera didn't want to focus through the glass but you can see some of his work here and listen to a great interview here.
In the next room was my nirvana, an exhibit on color and color theory! I could have taken and shared dozens of photos but decided to focus on taking it all in. On the left is a page from the Munsell Color System, the system I use for my Color Wheel fabrics. On the right is a page from a very rare book with 2592 natural dye recipes.
The next day we decided to check out the Morgan Library that was only a few blocks from the hotel. It was a wonderful surprise for all of us. There was an exhibit on dragons represented in historical texts. Some of the illuminated books are over 1200 years old. There's also a great exhibit on handwriting with hundreds of original handwriting documents and signatures from historical figures including political, controversial and artistic people. These aren't contemporaries. Some of the documents go back hundreds of years. It's an amazing collection.
The library was built by Pierpont Morgan to house is vast collection of books, art and other artifacts. These photos are from some of the rooms in the library. The building itself is a work of art.
It was a fun trip but now it's time to get back to work. I have a goal of binding the baby quilt this week and quilting a couple of veterans quilts.
Vacation is over and I'm back!
We had a great time at the beach in Hatteras, NC with my family. I have 3 brothers and we are never all together at the same time. Having a beach vacation together seemed like a fine idea and it was. Mom had a great time having everyone together. We all enjoyed it. I even had a few friend visit. I think we had a total of 15 people there over the week. Some stayed all week and some for a few days.
It looks like you had a great time too. We had lots of entries and it's time to announce the winners:
Day 1 - Cool colors - Kathy Sevebeck
Day 2 - Warm Colors - Judy Hudgins
Day 3 - Purples - Gene Black
Day 4 - Art Pack - Cherie Vidovich
Day 5 - Greens and Mistyfuse products - Leslie Griffel
Day 6 - Waste Fabrics - Cindy Pilkington
Bonus - Scarf - Shirley Bruner
I'm not quite back on the swing of things here. My friend, Laura, from England goes home tomorrow and Mom is here to go have cataract surgery today. I'll be back to sewing (or something) tomorrow.
I didn't take a lot of photos on vacation but here are a few.
There were so many flocks of these little sandpipers and I had fun watching them on our walks.
This gull loved the leftover shrimp that my brother was using as bait.
I got to go kayaking twice and on one trip we got to paddle around with a big flock of geese. That's my friend Lora ahead of me.
We had all kinds of weather. A few cloudy days, a couple of perfect days, one rainy day and one beautiful sunset. We took full advantage of all of it. We were on the oceanfront and I was able to catch this sunset over the sound from front of the house.
Everything about the week was perfect. I didn't take one stitch. I just relaxed and enjoyed the week. I ready to get back to my routine now.
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In Bloglovin you need to search "Colorways By Vicki Welsh" to find the blog.
I'm Vicki Welsh and I've been making things as long as I can remember. I used to be a garment maker but transitioned to quilts about 20 years ago. Currently I'm into fabric dyeing, quilting, Zentangle, fabric postcards, fused glass and mosaic. I document my adventures here.