Thursday, February 27, 2014

2014 is off to a Fantabulous Start!

Back from the excited as I was about going, it Far Exceeded my expectations. Someone asked me about the cruise the other day and said when I was describing it, I was positively glowing. Must have been the food. Much to update...

Good news first - my friend Edith won First Place in the block challenge! At least my block went to a good home!

I don't have a closeup, but Edith's block featured a beautiful mermaid appliqued to the fabric, swimming amongst fish and seaweed. She says she spent 3 days appliqueing everything down. It is a gorgeous block and she deserved to win. She won 16 blocks and the second place winner won 16 blocks.

The cruise was brought to you by Quilt Seminars at Sea, and I would cruise with them again in a minute. Everything was well organized and they did their best to make sure we had a good time. By the way - the whole ship wasn't quilting! Not all 2000 passengers were there to quilt - just 50-something of us! Our instructors were (L to R) Gyleen Fitzgerald, Paula Nadelstern, Sue Nickels, and Mary Sorenson.

I did all three classes with Paula. Edith and Mercidene also took classes with Sue to work on free motion quilting. Quilt cruises are really a fantastic concept...when we weren't in port, we had class, and on the days we were in port, we could do all the tours just like the regular folk. As our Cruise Director said, we could choose to do a little of it, a lot of it, or none of it at all.

Funny story - getting on the bus to the ship from the hotel, someone asked me if I was one of the instructors. I knew immediately she was talking about Gyleen, and I politely responded no, I wasn't Gyleen. Then as we were boarding the ship, someone else asked me the same thing, and I politely responded no again. When the third person asked me, I said, "Yes, yes I am. I look forward to seeing you in class!" I told Gyleen this when I met her and we had a good laugh! I only confessed because I wanted her to be aware when someone said, "Don't you remember? We met yesterday?"

And...I didn't gain any weight! Who goes on a cruise and doesn't gain weight? I wasn't trying not to...we were on vacation. I did make healthy choices (some of the time!), but I also enjoyed every meal. This was my favorite dessert:
It was a watermelon sorbet on a chocolate crust...delicious! All the food was excellent...there were a few could have been better dishes, but overall...A+.

I think I didn't gain weight because we danced just about every single night. They had an outstanding band. OMG -  let me introduce you to the B.B. King Blues All Stars. Their drummer on the left, whose name I am blanking on right now, Lil Rounds, female lead vocalist and seventh place finalist on American Idol in Season 8, and Larry Springfield, male lead vocalist, who won the 1991 Star Search competition. We ran into them one day after we were returning from a tour, and they were gracious and let us take photos.

Why yes, yes that is me with their sax player, the handsome and talented Tiger Rogers. He has dimples "you could eat soup out of" (apparently this is a saying. One of the women from Mississippi said that in describing him.)
Hmmm? Projects? Oh yes - I will probably never finish this, but this is a layout of the pieces of one block from the kaleidoscope class, and here is my completed ball from the Opulent Ornament class.
My ball was differently abled (had a huge dent in the side from travel), so I didn't want to spend a lot of time and energy on it.
All in all, a fantastic voyage. Al now wants to go on a cruise! This is the 100-year anniversary of the Panama Canal, so we have booked a November cruise! So much for no more trips than already planned. But I knew when I said it that it wouldn't happen!

My boss said dress for the job you want, not the job you have...Now I'm sitting in a disciplinary meeting wearing my Wonder Woman costume.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Fanciful Fish - Acquired Taste Much Better!

I like the new version better...what do you think?


So glad to have a block done! Now I can think about packing! I'm really excited about this cruise...can't wait to try something new!
Some people are like slinkies...really good for nothing, but they bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

An Acquired Taste

I always ask Al for input when I want an unbiased, layman's opinion. He has a good eye for color and what "doesn't look right," and he gives it to me straight, no chaser. Which is why I never ask whether or not an outfit makes my butt look big.

On the 26th, I'm taking an 11-day quilting cruise on Holland America, and taking classes with Paula Nadelstern.  I have been a long time admirer of her work, have all her books, just haven't completed any of her designs. No good reason, just haven't. For the cruise, there's a challenge where you have to complete a block with the theme, "Under the Sea." The block can be pieced, appliqued, whatever, and has to use a specific piece of fabric. The winner of the challenge gets all the blocks.

So fish are "Under the Sea." I asked Al what he thought of this block and he said, "What's it supposed to be?" "A fish!" "Yeah, it's all right. I guess it's an acquired taste." I laid out laughing! Like caviar!

In machine embroidery, there are two types of people...those who do a stitch out (practice) and those who wish they had. I actually am not in love with this block...this is my practice run. I will do it again with a different background fabric, and change up some of the thread colors, and submit one or the other.

In alcohol's defense, I've done some pretty dumb stuff while completely sober, too.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Made For Walking

Those under the age of 30 (40?) have no idea why this boot quilt has that title - LOL!  The Brown Sugar Stitchers have an exhibit at the Douglasville Art Center from January 25th through February 24th, and this is one of my entries. I haven't quite finished putting the binding on because I made a small (ha!!!) mistake...after I finished the boot, I measured from the top of the boot then from the bottom of the boot and cut it, but I forgot about the cuff! When I put the cuff on, the space from the top of the cuff is less than from the bottom of the boot. Ooops! So I'm looking at it now to try to think of what I can do to turn my lemons into lemonade. Thinking....(that's what the smoke is.)

I don't have a Twitter account, so I just go around announcing what I'm doing at random times...I've got three followers so far, but I think two are cops.