Friday, September 30, 2022

Monthly Mini, Churn Dash SAL update, and Alaskan Adventures

Here is my monthly mini for September. With the cruise prep and participation, I didn't have time to make something from scratch, so I just quilted something that has needed it for quite a while.

This was loosely based on Lori D.'s Sajou SAL, found here. When I chose Abe to go in the center medallion, I didn't know he was going to end up on point. I couldn't leave him tipsy like that, so I reconfigured this quilt 2 or 3 times before I was satisfied with the outcome. This SAL was 4 years ago, and I am embarrassed to barely be getting the quilting done.

It was mostly ditch-stitching around the squares and border triangles, with echo quilting in the triangles, too. The center medallion received a little bit of hand quilting to outline Abe and his frame. You can see the quilting a bit better in this photo.

This finishes at 12 1/4" square.

I chose a splashy star print for the backing. 

A few years ago I had such a stack of unquilted mini quilts that I spent most of the year getting them quilted--almost reaching 50 in number. Dad's passing at the end of that year (2016) prevented my reaching that goal. I am beginning to wonder if I should not allow myself to make any new monthly minis until I have quilted the ones that are piling up around the sewing room now.

I am linking up with Wendy (The Constant Quilter blog), for our monthly mini parade. Check out her post for the links to the other mini makers. And while you are at it, look around her blog at her many beautiful quilts made using the potholder method. Then check out the latest issue of Quilt Mania (#151) for a lovely article about Wendy and her potholder quilts, written by the wonderful Cecile Denis of Patchwork Inspirations blog.

Just this week I completed the very last of my Churn Dash blocks for Chooky's Churn Dash SAL. I am toying with the idea of putting them on point.

I still have quite a ways to go with the switching around of blocks. Chooky commented that the left side all seemed quite dark. They are dark blocks on that side and I will see if I can balance that a bit more, but it also doesn't help that the window is on the right side of the design wall.
These are 9" blocks, and I am thinking of using 1 1/2" wide finished sashing. I have been going back and forth with myself about using neutral sashing and colored cornerstones, or the dark blue I originally bought for the sashing and maybe a red for the cornerstones. I was considering cheddar for the cornerstones with the blue sashing, but that would be such a predictable move for me.
This is going to end up being quite a large quilt if I set the blocks on point.

That concludes the quilty portion of this post, so if you don't want to read about my experience in Alaska, you can stop here.

Well, I survived my first cruise. I have never really wanted to cruise, but hubby has. We ended up going to the inside passage of Alaska, with a group of 10 friends, and we had a great time. Just a little outside of Juneau, we kayaked a total of 5 miles, going across Lake Mendenhall to the Mendenhall Glacier, and back to our docking point. A very cool (pun intended) experience. 
On the left we are the canoe in the foreground. On the right you can see the Mendenhall Glacier behind us.

At Icy Strait Point we caught one of the last gondola rides to the top of a mountain, because it was going to be dark soon. That prevented us from being able to zip line back down, but it was still quite an experience to get to the top and look back at the cruise ship, which looked like a toy boat from that vantage point.
Looking up to the mountaintop. And looking back down to our boat.
On the left I was getting harnessed up for zip lining, in the rain, in a rainforest. It was so fun. One of the platforms even went out over the ocean. I have to say, I don't like heights, so I have wanted to do this to challenge myself. I loved it, and would do it again in a heartbeat.
On the right was our group of brave souls who went snorkeling. It really wasn't cold--we had on fleece "bunny suits" under the dry suits, and Sitka is quite a temperate climate, so the water was near 50 degrees.
I will never forget the amazing sights we saw--starfish in a rainbow of colors and a variety of sizes (even got to hold one our guide pulled out for us), sea urchins everywhere, tiny crabs, several varieties of fish, and lots of shells, and seaweed. I would also do that again, if given the chance.

Our first full day at sea the waters were a little rough. We were out walking laps around the promenade deck when a friend took the photo on the left. You can tell balance was an issue by the wide stance of our feet. On the right we were stopped in Glacier Bay, in much calmer waters, in front of Margerie Glacier, which you can read about here. It was a stunning sight.
Overall it was a very positive experience. Hubby and I decided that we would not use the elevators, after the initial trip to get to our room. My Fitbit recorded between 30-40+ flights of stairs per day, and my record was 57 flights in one day. I am happy to say that I made it through a 7 day cruise without gaining an ounce. I have worked hard to get in better shape this year, and I didn't want to ruin it all in one week at sea.

On the drive home from the airport, we passed this sight on the freeway.  I guess it is getting to be that time of year. Break out the pumpkin spice everything!

Until next time, be creative and be kind!
Janet O.