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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Alison Glass Feathers QAL & S. Caribbean Cruise

I got a really slow start to this quilt-along (QAL). Most of the participants are finished and have their tops quilted! I didn't pay close attention to the pattern probably because I lost it misplaced it for a while. Once I found it, I thought the 2" strip bundles I purchased for the fabric would work fine. The first two sets of blocks went together fine. I quickly realize d, however, many of the others needs larger strips. I could have sewn together strips but I didn't want that look.

I sent for some fat quarters to make up the larger pieces. Hopefully now I have enough. I may sew on this at our sew day this month for the VBMQG because the other finishes I need to complete wouldn't be as easy there. Anyway, this is all I've sewn since we got back from our cruise. 

Speaking of our cruise, we had a wonderful time! We went to Aruba, Granada, Barbados, Bonaire, Antigua and Labadee. We had a fabulous snorkeling excursion in Antigua! I would do that again in a minute! Here are some of our pictures:

Here is our ship, Royal Caribbean's Legend of the Seas.

Here's my hubby, Rick, getting ready to crawl into a slave hut that slept 4 men to see how big it really is. He's thin but 6'2". When he laid down, he touched head to toe!

Here are salt piles ready to ship out all over the world. Bonaire claims to have the purest salt in the world which they say is highly coveted. In front are the salt's salt water with rocks piled up to contain it until it dries and the salt is all that's left. Some of them are purple, which means they are closer to being dried and ready to use.

Here we are (in the middle) with our fabulous dinner mates, on the left are Roger and Dobie from Tucson, AZ. On the right, Aileen and Graeme from Glasgow, Scotland. We had some great times with both couples and hope to stay in touch for future cruise get togethers and maybe a visit to Scotland one day. Who knows!

This is a beach in Granada one of Rick's student's mom recommended. She was raised in Granada. We loved it. The water taxi we took to get there was lovely as well.

Here is Rick in Mangrove tree roots on our walk back to the ship from Reflections Beach in Aruba.'s a bat with Rick's sunglasses...

On the right is the Excellence Catamaran. I highly recommend this excursion although it might be wise to avoid the rum punch...ask Rick. That's all I'll say about that! :) The people on board were from the Seaborne luxury line which was already docked once we arrived. They are waiting patiently for us to dock so we can come aboard.

Here is the lovely cove we docked in to snorkel. What a lovely spot this was. There were lots of beautiful fish and a lovely reef. Then we had a nice lunch with all kinds of drinks flowing merrily.

And here is us in front of the cat. Notice the lovely stairs that come down (to the right) to let you on and off. They are right in the center of the front of the cat. This was one of the best excursions we have taken on any cruise so far. The people were all so friendly, the guides were great, the food and booze plentiful and good. It was a blast! This, my friends, is what it's all about! 

Sue Nickels Class at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show 2014

Last week the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show was at the Hampton Coliseum.I took a class from 9 a, - 4 pm with Sue Nickels. We used Bernina 750s which were nice. I liked the  machine because so many of the features from my Pfaff Creative 4.0 were on it. I forgot my pillow and at 5' 2.75" I can never reach far. The machine is very tall and the reach was awful. I would have liked it inside a table with an adjustable chair but it's my own fault I forgot a pillow to boost me up! I always seem to do that. It's a thing...

Sue did a demo for us every 20 minutes or so. She never talked much more than 5 minutes at a time so we had plenty of time to stitch. Even then, she had more than we could complete. I like that she plans her classes to keep everyone busy the entire time no matter how fast they go. 

I have never taken a class with Sue before. I thoroughly enjoyed it. She was funny, caring, always able to answer any questions and had many tips and tricks that I had either never heard or that dispelled some I had heard over the years. He technique for starts and stops will help my immensely! I usually have that one or two stitches that just seem to jump all over the longer! She helped me tame that beast.

I will appologize right now for the color on these samples. For some reason my editing program and I cannot seem to get ont he same page and they are all over the place. Suffice it to say that all of these were stitched on a natural colored muslin. Use your imagination!

Sample #1 is one of my favorites. I have not yet filled in all the inner spaces but I love how nicely the echo quilting went and how rounded my feathers are for my first try, Sue's way. It really helps having a path for your stitching. I have never been able to quite figure out where to go next with feathers and often back track too much which causes thread build up.

#2 was fun but I have to work on the tiny stipple on the insides a bit. I had such a hard time seeing the thread with tone on tone, I may have to practice with more contrast for a bit first!

I love how #3 came out. It has a trickier path but now I can at least see where to go. I'll have to add some interior stitching and some echoing on the outside.

This last one, #4, is my favorite. Don't mind the darker lines on the interior grids. That will disappear. It was my first time using the Roxanne Silver Pencil to mark and I was a little  heavy handed! I love the nice curve of these feathers and how the extra stitching makes them stand out. I think I will put these samples into a small wall hanging in the near future. I love feathers. Wouldn't a small sampler be nice?