Our annual family beach vacation is, sadly, over. We had (almost) all of the family there with some of my best friends and got some great news. I'm going to be a Great Aunt of a little girl to be born in November. It will be Mom's first Great-Grandchild and everyone is beyond excited! What wasn't exciting was the weather. We had one beautiful beach day and one nice pool day. Otherwise it was gray and windy. I did get a daily walk on the beach for a free dermabrasion and a session of grounding.
I also got to binge watch the last season of Mrs. Maisel, ate some fresh Mahi that Chris and James caught, read some books and played games.
On the way home Saturday we got in a fun visit to the Outer Banks Aquarium before heading home to unpack and do laundry. Beach week is always a great kick off to the summer.
I wasn't really in a maker mood last week. I was feeling more social. But I did get 3 chemo hats made. These could be "regular" hats but I use a super soft polyester yarn and, for that reason, donate them to specifically be chemo hats. Most of the yarn is Hobby Lobby yarn that I got on clearance for $1 a skein. I work with whatever colors I can get.
I started a 4th hat in the Divine Hat pattern. I ran out of the pale color and thought I had more at home. I didn't, so I'm finishing it off with the darker color. I hope it will look OK. I know that, at least, it will feel good on a sensitive scalp.
Yesterday, after Chris and I ran some errands and laundry was finished, I loaded 2 veterans quilts to get myself back in the groove.
This week I want to get the binding on the firefighter quilt and table runner and get started on the goldfinch quilt. Both need to be done before August 1.
Depending on when you read this, there may still be time to enter all of the giveaways from last week. The winners will be announced Wednesday!
Saturday I was totally focused on getting the quilt top done and I finished it right before lunch. My camera would do the magic reshaping thing this time. It kept wanting to crop to the inner black border. You'll have to just look at this skewed version.
I don't know when I'll get around to quilting it. I need to dye a backing first but it will be done before August for sure. It will finish about 75 x 85.
After lunch I went for a walk to the other side (sound side) of the island and found a lovely little park with a hiking trail. At one corner there was a pier that provided a beautiful view of the sound.
You can even walk right off the pier into the water for a swim.
On the way back I came across my first beach bunny.....
After my walk I was about to pack up my sewing stuff but started thinking about what to do with the leftover bits. I really don't want to add these to my stash.
Within an hour I had a table runner. I think there's just enough fabric left to make a hanging sleeve for the quilt. I have to go back to Hobby Lobby this week and get some more of the red fabric for binding for both projects.
We packed up and headed home Sunday morning. I spotted this house on the way out. I bet some really nice people live here!
I have so much dyeing to do this week and will get to start a new crochet garment project. But the most important project is the bear that I'll be making from a vintage quilt. That has to be done by Thursday!
The day a miracle happened...
The miracle isn't about finishing my quilt. The miracle is that I woke up early enough to see the sunrise! This NEVER happens. I'm not an early morning girl but yesterday something woke me and I'm glad it did.
I spent most of my creative time yesterday working on the quilt and I made great progress. I only have 3 borders left to do and there's no reason I can't get them done today. There's a 2" black, 1" orange and 6" print. No block piecing required.
I also learned that my new cell phone camera has a wonderful trick. I took this photo with the quilt on the floor and me standing above at an angle. The camera popped up a yellow rhomboid outlining the quilt so, just for fun, I clicked that to see what would happen. This happened! This little feature is going to save me a lot of editing time in the future!
Today is our last day and my goal is to finish this quilt top and take a walk.
Off and on, all week, I've been working on the baby quilt. It was all I had to work on last night and I'm close to the body of the blanket being done. Then I just have to do the border.
FYI, this is an awful photo. The blanket is white.
Here's a close up of the stitch pattern.
Kim and I have also spent a lot of time looking for my next crochet garment project. I think I have it narrowed down to a couple of projects. I'll figure it out when I get home and can peruse the yarn options.
The weather word for yesterday and today is WINDY which you can see from the surf. When I went for my walk I walked into the wind so that the walk back would be easier. I walked farther than I planned because I wanted to see the wind surfers that were way ahead of me. I haven't decided it I admire them or if I think they were crazy. Maybe both!
We're leaving tomorrow so I'll have a final update Monday. It's been a great week. We've both relaxed a lot and have had a great week finishing procrastination projects.
The sweater is done!
I was so close to finishing the sweater that I just had to power through and get it done yesterday. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It fits well and I know I will use it a lot next fall and winter. It's too late to use it now because this is a very warm sweater.
Here are a few notes:
Pattern is a YouTube tutorial from LaDria LaVey. The hexi cardi is very popular right now and there are dozens of version on YouTube and other sources but I thought hers was a little more stylish than some of the others. The yarn is Jeans from Lion Brand. It's a 4 weight acrylic and very soft. It's a little splitty and this dark mottled colorway is a little hard to see stitches. I tried a couple of other patterns with this yarn first but got frustrated trying to see stitches. A granny style cardi was a perfect solution. I used a J-6mm hook.
I made a number of adjustments as I went along to alter for size and sleeve length. With this pattern, changes are easy to do on the fly.
The front edge has bobbles and I used my trim stitches to draw the front edge up a little. Again, it was easy to adjust on the fly.
Now I can go home this weekend and look through my little stash of garment yarn and pick something new to make. While here, I have the baby quilt to get back to.
But that's not all!
I also made some good progress on the firefighter quilt. The pinwheel borders are together. I need to do some measuring and make some coping borders so that these will fit. It was late enough last night when I finished these that I thought it was a little late to be doing math. This will be my project for today.
But it wasn't all inside work. I didn't take as long a walk yesterday but we did get out for a walk on the beach once and went out other times just to feel the sand. It was warmer, about 70 but the wind has really kicked up. For exercise, it was yoga day. Today it's supposed to be about 72 with pretty high winds. I am planning for a long walk in between quilt sewing sessions.
It was a great day!
Overcast but warmer
Yesterday we had a high of 69 but not so much sun. It still made for a more pleasant walk. I headed east this time toward the pier. It was about an hour to the piece and back. There were lots of shore birds and gulls out today. I love watching the fast moving shore birds on the surf. I was a little surprised that my camera caught this one as well as it did because it was really booking.
If this guy looks annoyed it's because he should be. There were 3 young women on the beach who thought it would be a good idea to offer one of the gulls a chip. Of course about 15 of them flew in, scared the women and they screamed and chased the gulls away. This one landed right in front of me without a snack. He was indignant.
It was a great sewing and crochet day as well. I got all of the pinwheel blocks made so today I will cut the background pieces for the pinwheel border. After the pinwheels there will be a narrow black border and a narrow orange border before the last border of the fabric at the top. It's coming together nicely I think.
The hexagon sweater is making great progress! I got the back seam done and wove in a couple dozen ends and I've started the bottom hem. I am going to really love this sweater and look forward to wearing it in the fall. I know I'm a little lates to wear it this season.
I would say that I'm confident that I can finish both of these before I leave Sunday but I don't want to jinx myself. So I'll just say that it's possible to finish both of these before Sunday.
A beautiful and productive day
Depending on whether you are following Kim's weather app or mine, the high yesterday was either 59 or 63. It was a beautiful day and I got in a long walk to the West end of the island and from here I could see over to Hammocks Beach State Park, which, I think, is only accessible by kayak or boat.
I probably looked ridiculous on the beach because I decided that a 2 hours walk was the perfect opportunity to test out my new hiking boots. But at the beach no one really cares. The boots performed great with no rubbed spots on my feet or ankles. I'll need a few more test runs before we go to Maine in August.
Most everyone was bundled up pretty good on the beach but there was one family in shorts and swimsuits. I'd bet money that they were Canadians. I cheered them on.
I thought I'd share a couple of photos of our set up here. This is the place where we are staying. On Emerald Isle, about half the houses are duplexes and ours is one. We are in the unit on the West side, closest to the camera. The couple on the other side is from Massachusetts. It's a very comfortable house with great natural light. Being West facing I expect that this unit is pretty hot in July and August.
We picked this house because it had such a nice sewing table! Yesterday Kim finished the red jacket that you see hanging on the back of one of the chairs and she undid the ribbing and a few rows on her white sweater, to shorten it. The raveled yarn made a pretty wool waterfall.
She helped me fit my hexagon sweater Monday so I finished off the body yesterday morning and will seam the back and start the ribbing today. It's very possible that I can finish this sweater before we leave. That would be really nice. I've decided that this is my before breakfast project.
After breakfast I got back to the quilt and made the 4 corner pinwheels. Here you can see the firefighter themed fabric that will be the background for the pinwheel border. The 14 small pinwheels are cut out and I've start sewing them together. I should be able to finish those blocks today.
On my walk yesterday I decided to "shop" for the house I would want and I picked this one. I love all the big windows and I can't imagine what it would cost. Certainly more than we could afford! But a girl can dream.
Started the fire fighter quilt
I've been putting this quilt off for a couple of years mostly because I just don't like working with panels. It drives me batty that they are never printed even close to square. But now I have a deadline (August) to get this one done so it's the only sewing project that I brought on vacation.
After several tries, this is the layout that I decided on. The fabrics in this rendering are just random ones from EQ. You will see the real ones as the week goes on.
Yesterday I got started with the center of the quilt and today I'll start making the pinwheel blocks.
So far, so good.
It was pretty gray and quite cold all day yesterday but the son came out in the evening just in time to get this photo. Not a bad way to end the day!
We arrived home Saturday afternoon after 2 days of driving. Driving is always tiring but coming home was much easier than the drive up when I was sick and coughing my lungs up the whole time.
Now, I've spent the weekend unpacking, doing laundry and going through mail. Chris also made favorite meal for my birthday and that's Thanksgiving dinner of turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes.
Fortunately I ended July with these projects all about 99% done do I finished them up in the first days of August. I still have to make a label for Groovy 3 and the 3 crochet projects will all be delivered to From The Heart sometime this month.
I made good progress on my 3 crochet projects and used up 5 balls of yarn
It's a little weird but I'm feeling kind of list-less for September! I don't have any specific gift deadlines that I'm aware of and I don't want to put a deadline on Red Sunset. I'll take a stab here are a goals list that I expect th change in the next week as I recover from my vacation mindset.
- start planning Christmas postcards
- make a new hiking backpack
- quilt Mom's quilt
- possibly load my flower applique quilt to start quilting
Mostly I just plan to work on whatever I'm in the mood for.
The last hike and stats
For our last hike of the trip we decided to do Cedar Swamp Mountain. Chris and I did this a couple of years ago but this time we wanted to take a different route. The trail we took up is called the Amphitheater Trail. It travels up between two mountains and along a spring. We crossed the spring about 20 times. Sometimes it was easy, like here.
Most of the time it was quite tricky, like here. A walking stick was very helpful. It was worth the effort because it was a beautiful trail that is hardly used. We only saw 2 other people on this trail.
The payoff came about halfway up when we reached the Amphitheater Bridge. It's huge at 245 feet in length and was finished in 1931.
Next we headed to the top of Cedar Swamp Mountain, found the plane wreck site nearby and headed down Sargent South Ridge.
We have done Sargent South Ridge Trail before and there's a great viewing ledge along the trail. The last time we went we had the view on the left. This time we were rewarded with the view on the right.
Our vacation came to and end Friday morning with me at the Visitor Center to be the first person in line to finally get my Senior Lifetime pass! This is a bargain at $80. I never have to pay at a National Park again.
You know I love some statistics so I calculated a few for the trip:
We had 8 rainout days in 4 weeks - a record
We each had about 4 solid sick days
We saw 5 moose, one bear, severa eagles and lots of loons, turkeys and hummingbirds
We hiked about 47 miles for a total elevation of over 8600 feet
We can't wait for next year!
Some sewing and a lot of hiking
Today the weather is warm and sunny but it's also very windy. My planned day of kayaking is probably going to be replaced with a lovely day of sewing. We expect rain tomorrow so I'll go into Bar Harbor with the boys again and shop while they enjoy some pub food. I could go with them to the pub but since I can't eat anything served in a restaurant and can't have beer, I'd rather walk around and do some shopping.
But today will be sewing because I'm hiked out for a couple of days. We did two pretty strenuous (and fun) hikes Sunday and Monday so my feet have called for a break.
I've got a lot of vacation photos today so I'll start with the one crafty photo with the progress of my quilt. I've got 3 block sets of the outer section of the quilt center done. I've roughly laid out some of the parts here so you can get an idea of how it will all go together. I'm still loving it.
Now on to the two hiking days.
Being the list maker and tracker that I am, I bought this map the first year we came to Acadia and started marking our hikes with an orange Sharpie. I also have a list by year in Google Keep. We are at the point where we are started to double some trails and I'm marking those in red. I'm happy to do all of the trails multiple times. But Ian has been a bit obsessed with doing new trails and we've added miles of orange to the map.
Since we have 2 cars here this year, he planned a 4.5 mile one-way trip for Sunday to knock out the A Murray Young Path and Gorge Trail. We dropped one car at the pink parking area and then all rode to the yellow parking area to start our trip on the Canon Brook Road.
What a beautiful trail! We learned later that this trail was laid out about 100 years ago and funded by the widow of A Murray Young because of his love for the park. Can you imagine what an effort it took to lay out miles of trails with granite blocks? A lot of the trail looked like this.
One thing is for sure, once you lay out a granite trail you don't ever have to do much trail maintenance!
Some of it was quite steep. I always hike in the rear because I'm slower and I occasionally like to stop and look around. They keep an eye out and periodically stop to let me catch up. This photo was on the Gorge trail on the way down. When necessary, I am not ashamed to slide down a granite face on my butt and I swear by the durability of my REI hiking pants that are at least 6 years old with no rips.
At the top of Dorr mountain a kind hiker offered to take a group photo. That's Ian next to me, then Chris and Dave. Dave is an old college friend of Chris' so the stories have been non-stop. The views from Dorr are incredible as you can see behind us. The peak is at an elevation of 1270'.
The only mountain higher in this section of the island is Cadillac. This is the one that people flock to to watch the sunrise because it's where the sun rises first in the US. You have to make reservations to drive up Cadillac but plenty of people get up at 3 or 4 AM to hike up there in the dark.
Not me. I won't even get up that early to drive there. I value my sleep way too much. But in this photo you are seeing the North Ridge of Cadillac and we hiked that on my 60th birthday 2 years ago. I had to work really hard to get in shape for that adventure.
This is the South Ridge of Cadillac and we did that one last year. It's a lot longer because it's not as steep. It's also mostly bare granite and south facing so it can get really hot. We started very early so it wasn't so bad but I remember passing people as we went down about 11 am and the up hikers were panting.
Yesterday was a spectacularly beautiful day and I wanted to do a 3-mileish "easier" hike just to get some exercise. After much discussion, Ian and I agreed on the Norumbega loop. We have done this before but it's been a few years and we didn't remember it. It only goes up to 852 feet so how hard could it be?
Well, the first section (green arrow) is called the Goat Trail. That's a clue!
I actually love steep climbs and rock scrambles but you do get a work out. This was one of the easier sections of the climb where I could take a second to get a photo. We got our cardio in on this hike.
This hike turned out to be a really good one. It doesn't offer much for views but it has every possible trail type from ankle-breaker small rocks to grainge slabs to pine needles.
This is the root ball of a tree that had fallen over. That tree was just growing over the granite slab. Not a very stable base for tree roots.
At the base of the mountain we were treated to the Lower Haddock Pond. It's the water reservoir for the local town so no fishing or swimming is allowed. Only fish pee in this pond.
In my opinion, the .9 mile walk back to the car on the Norumbega Connector is the hardest part of the trail. It's flat but it all roots. You have to watch every step.
It was a fun trail that was maybe a little more effort than we expected so today we will enjoy a relaxing day of sewing and reading with our last lobster dinner of the trip. We don't leave until Friday but Dave leaves today and we want to have the last lobster dinner with him.
Chris and Ian are actually kind of tired of lobster. I could eat it every night but I will savor it tonight.
The loons are calling so it's time to go relax. I'll have my book review post tomorrow and that might be the last post until I'm home this weekend.
It's been a few days but since we have a stay-at-home rainy day today I thought I'd take some time to catch up. Weather-wise, this has been one of our more "interesting' vacations to Maine. We seem to have a rotation of bright-sunny, cloudy-but-still-outdoor, rain-indoor days. Today is the rain day, yesterday was absolutely perfect and Wednesday was cloudy but still nice for a long hike.
Today I'm going to start with the update on my projects because I know most of you don't care about my vacation photos.
On the crochet front I have mostly been working on the two blankets and only in the evenings after the Cribbage match is over. I'm at a point on the jacket where I need to be able to concentrate on the pattern instructions and that's not good to do when friends are around to talk with. I can do these blankets without any thought at all and I alternate between them.
This is my brother's (Tim) blanket and it's over half done at this point. I'm on skein 5 of 7. He'll definitely have this by the time cool weather hits Virginia.
This is a donation wheelchair blanket and it's moving along at a good pace too. I'm not quite halfway through this one. It's going to be a very nice, soft and warm blanket.
Today I'm working on cutting out the next set of fabrics for the Judy Niemeyer Tequila Lime quilt. I'm calling it Red Sunset after the gradient that I'm using to make it. It took me an afternoon to get the papers sorted, cut out and the colors planned. Today is all cutting. These pieces will finish the main section of the quilt and then I have a whole other set of papers for a border to bring this quilt to queen size.
I am still really enjoying working on it.
I thought I'd take a minute to answer a great question from Kristen. She asked if I wouldn't have the same quilting challenges that I had with the Summer Sunset quilt. If you remember, I had planned a lot of custom quilting on that quilt but there was so much bulk in the seams that it was really impossible to do that. It was that quilt that made me realize the genius of Judy Niemeyer designs.
JN specifically designs her quilts so that points do not meet at major seams. See the green circled areas? You can see that none of the points meet at a major seam line. The yellow arrow shows an area where points should meet but they are purposely designed not to meet together. Visually, you can't tell but for quilting it's wonderful. Even the diamond at the end of the sawtooth border (white circle) has a flat bottom so that there aren't 5 pieces joining at one point. The curved petals in the center also meet off kilter (orange circle) to reduce the bulk. It's really genius and I'm sure that other designers use this method now too.
Now on to vacation.
After my last post on Tuesday, we headed into Bar Harbor. The boys were headed to a local brewery restaurant and I, as the designated driver, was planning to walk around town and do some shopping. Well, I walked down to the harbor front and noticed people off in the distance walking on the "bar". It's never been low tide when I was down there so I immediately changed plans and headed that way. Bar Harbor gets its name from Bar Island and the land bridge that joins it to the town when the tide is low. This is the view from bar Island back to Bar Harbor. From this vantage the town looks kind of desolate but it's not. It's very busy and touristy and I'll try to get some photos the next time we go into town when I will actually do the shopping that I had planned. There's even a nice yarn shop there.
Because it rained Tuesday I put the brakes on any climbing hikes for Wednesday. You'll see why in just a minute. So we took a beautiful 5 mile hike along the Jordan Stream Path. We had low expectations and just did it to have a long walk. We were very pleasantly surprised by a beautiful hike and some great scenery along the path.
You've got to love a place that can have granite stepping stones!
Most of the property on this hike is outside Acadia on the Land and Garden Preserve. We could hear people with chainsaws doing trail maintenance and we were gifted with this treasure on the trail. The tree had died and one of the workers created this chainsaw sculpture for the hikers to find. We actually met the guy about a half mile down the trail where they were building a new bridge over the stream.
The Preserve is an absolute treasure thanks to the generosity of David Rockefeller.
My favorite sight on the walk was the Cobble Bridge that, I think, was built in 1917. It's stunning and one of the carriage trails for walking, horseback riding and cycling goes over the bridge. The whole walk reminded us of The Hobbit and it made for a great day.
Yesterday we were ready for a challenging hike and we really picked a good one! We started at Jordan Pond, one of the more popular places in the park. You really have to be there before 9 ( or after 2) to have a hope of getting a parking space. We try to get to our hikes between 7:30 and 8:30 to avoid the crowds and to get the best parking. We were too late to park at the Bubbles for the path that we really wanted to take but Plan B was perfectly fine.
We hiked up Spring Trail to Penobscot Mountain. Spring Trail is very steep for the first half and I had to turn on my inner monkey to climb with all of my limbs. The trail up most of the mountain isn't too steep, probably more mountain goat pace over bald granite. The payoff is 360 degrees of spectacular views. This is just one view looking over Little Long Pond. It was on the right side of that pond where we hiked the day before. That's the ocean beyond.
After Penobscot we hiked down the mountain a little and then back up to hit a second peak at Sargent Mountain. It's the second highest peak at 1373'. More amazing views awaited us there. I think that Sargent Mountain is a much more fun hike than Cadillac, the highest and more popular destination.
The yellow arrow points to an approximate location of our base camp.
Hiking down Sargent proved to be even more challenging because there were several areas with some streams running over the path. If it's mud that's not much of a problem but water on granite is a bit slippery. I slithered down bits of this path! I can attest that REI makes the strongest and most durable hiking pants ever.
Yesterday was the day I discovered that the tread on my boots is a little worn! I slipped 3 times and got this nice bruise on my wrist. I thought I was going to be able to ride this for a lot of pity points for a few days but no deal. It's pretty much cleared up today. It never did hurt, but it looked impressive for a few hours!
Weather forecasting here is hilariously wrong every day. It's a Maine feature. Today was supposed to be overcast with low wind. It was going to be a good day for kayaking. Instead we've had fog, rain and wind and it's turned into a quite nice sewing and reading day.
One of our friends left yesterday and we have another arriving tomorrow so Chris, Ian and I have a couple of quiet evenings. Things will be much more energetic tomorrow after Dave arrives. Ian is already planning our hike for tomorrow. No steep climbs after all of today's rain. Just a good long walk.
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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.