Praying for peace in our world this year. Praying for you to experience kindness with every interaction you encounter. Praying for those who are alone to find happiness and joy. Praying for comfort for those who have lost loved ones and are feeling lonely. Praying for warmth in your hearts and home.
Cruising on the Caribbean Princess was wonderful. After spending so much time in ports, a sea day was most welcome. Sailing the St Lawrence brought some beautiful views. Relaxing onboard the ship and just being pampered was a lot of fun too. One of my favorite things on the sea day was meeting people at the Cruise Critic Meet & Greet. Heads of departments came to the Meet & Greet to say hello and answer questions about their area of expertise. The head of food services explained what they did on the 3rd night to vastly improve the waiting time for dinner. My afternoon was occupied by my favorite activity – Wine Tasting. I did snap a couple of shots of the “menu” of the wines we were tasting and enjoying. Not one was a clunker.
We started with a sparkling wine, Veuve Clicquot Brut from France, then Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough New Zealand . Followed by Shafer Red Shoulder Ranch Chardonnay from California. Next up was Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon from Sonoma Valley, Caro, from Mendoza Argentina and finishing with Caymus Cabernet Sauvignon from California. Each wine was distinctive and lovely for it’s particular type. I love to keep a list when I go “wine shopping” in my local stores.
Of course, like every evening on board, following the daily activities a nap and dressing for dinner is the best way to begin an evening. We joined many others at the Platinum and Elite cocktail party before dinner. We were dining at 7, so we had lots of time to enjoy the appetizers that are prepared just for the party.
When we arrive just before 7 at the dining room, we are immediately escorted to our table by the lovely Ingrid.
She always takes my sister by the arm and guides her to the same table, and makes certain she is comfortably seated, and her cane is tucked away by the curtains. Apparently, my sister remembered her from time spent on the ship during the summer and that really made a huge difference. Of course, we LOVE sitting at the same table, getting to know our wait staff, and they get to know us as well.
I love trying the wide variety of salads that appear on the menu. This night I had arugula and greens with watermelon, apple, goat cheese and a balsamic vinaigrette. Light and refreshing. We skip the appetizers or soup a lot of times because we were munching on appetizers at the cocktail party!
My sister made plans during the cocktail party on the sea day to meet up with a lady we met during the party. Kay and her travel companions had been having a nice visit together with us, and it turned out they were part of the Cruise Critic group we had met earlier in the day. When we arrived in Sydney, Nova Scotia, we met up with Kay near the “Big Fiddle”.
You certainly couldn’t overlook that meeting spot!
My sister was able to rent a mobility scooter in the port facility, and that made it so much easier for her to sightsee in the port area.
It had stopped raining before we disembarked. How lucky is that.
The sky was still a little grey, but, we actually saw the sun for a bit of time. The SYDNEY flag sign was another great “meeting point” in the port.
I had really looked over the map before the trip and knew this would be a great place to walk around the waterfront. There were several hotels, and restaurants close by. Daniel, the chef, had been chatting with our little group at the cocktail party the night before and he recommended a place to go to have lunch.
With my sister mobile on the scooter, it was really just about a 3 or 4 block walk, less than 10 minutes to the Governors Pub & Eatery. It was located at 233 Esplanade and delightful. We found a ramp from the parking lot for the scooter, but we were confronted with stairs!. My sister parked her scooter and used all her energy and will power to get up the stairs into the restaurant. I had gone up first inquiring about an entry for disabled, and was told there was none. Poor planning on our part for not researching ahead of time I suppose. Her determination did win out and we were seated once inside quite nicely and took all the recommendations for food into consideration.
I chose a Lobster Roll with Salad.
Both Anne & I sampled the bread with my sandwich and the breading on her fish, then we took away some of the carbs and just ate the filling. Both meals were huge and delicious, and we decided the only way to really finish was to get rid of the roll and the breading on the fish. Our new friend Kay enjoyed Poutine. Sorry, no photo of her food. I used the ladies room down the stairs, and of course, had to snap a photo or two on the way. What a building!
Those steps to the basement and the restrooms were STEEP, and the iron handrail was wobbly. I told my sister it would be better to take her scooter back to the port if she needed to use the facilities. Definitely a no go for the person with mobility issues.
Following lunch we enjoyed wandering around town a little bit before finding our way to the Sydney Waterfront boardwalk. The boardwalk was nice for walking along the waterfront and covered a lot of area. Views were great. This “aft view” of the Caribbean Princess is my favorite.
Walking back towards the ship, we were able to make a shopping stop in the port building where there were lots of vendors selling interesting local items. I came across an author from Cape Breton NS, and had a lovely chat. I purchased her book and she signed it for me.
This is Beatrice’s 5th book, and I enjoyed her conversation and the discussion about “what it takes” to be published. She told the story about struggling to get the book published and the big change she had to make at the ending of the story. I asked her how she would have ended it, had the publisher agreed. She said she would have let her character take a stand toward being an independent strong woman. I can’t wait to read it and see what she had to actually write in order to go to press. Beatrice MacNeil is from East Bay, Cape Breton Nova Scotia, about 22 km from Sydney.
Before long, it was time to board the Caribbean Princess, get ready for sail away and another nice evening on board. The view from our balcony was quite nice.
Before you knew it, our ship edged away from the dock and we were heading out for Halifax. Last looks at Sydney –
Time to dress for the cocktail party and for dinner. (More food…..sigh….)
Of course, the cocktail party is followed by a nice walk to the dining room, and decisions about what to order. I chose this by delicious appetizer in lieu of salad at dinner.
No worries about all the eating (and drinking) on this day, because our walk in Sydney burnt off a few calories and exceeded my step/mileage goal for the day!!
Our next port is Halifax, and we would arrive bright and early. I had a tour scheduled and next travel post I will share my day!
I hope you are enjoying these travel blogs for this amazing trip from Quebec City Canada to Fort Lauderdale Florida. If you are enjoying, please hit the like and comment. I appreciate hearing from you. Next post will be about Halifax as soon as I edit more photos and get the narrative written. For all my quilting friends, more from the sewing room soon.
By the way….if you do want to comment, you must scroll down past all those terrible commercial advertisements. This is how the program ,Wordpress, allows me to publish my blog with out charging on their platform. I know they are typically awful ads, so please just scroll on by until you get to the comment block.
I’m working towards finishing another Autumn Jubilee project that I started in October. (If you are new here, the directions for this project came from the blog From My Carolina Home. ) The Cornucopia project was meant to be down as a wool project, but as I previously explained , I went with cotton. (If you haven’t read that post, go take a look).
I decided that my Cornucopia needed some quilting, so that was done, just casually outlining the cornucopia to the edge of the fabric. Nothing fancy. I decided the piece was due for some trimming and I squared it up to 18.5×18.5. I dug out more matching fabric and cut a piece about 19″ wide. I cut two pieces out of that about 12″ x 19″ each and hemmed one edge. I overlapped those two pieces for an “envelope style backing” for a throw pillow. I made sure to double tack where the two edges overlap, and trimmed and turned it right side out and gave it a good pressing.
Of course, it’s bigger than most of my other sofa pillows, so a quick order on Amazon and I have 18″ pillow inserts arriving today.
Other projects — I mentioned previously I needed to make a label for my “2 Season Quilt”, and I had that stitching on my embroidery machine while I was quilting the cornucopia. I used medium weight cutaway stabilizer in my hoop, tack down a piece of batting, and then float the label fabric, tacking it down with a basting stitch. I find having that piece of batting really gives some “teeth” to the embroidery.
When I design my labels, I use the free version of Embrilliance software. This label has 1/2 inch lettering and was done in my 8×8 hooped. I resized wording slightly smaller on the embroidery machine screen, then pulled in 2 different 4 x 4 hoop designs. I had to resize the designs slightly smaller to make everything fit in the 8×8 field. Those adjustments were done on the screen on the embroidery machine.
Once I trim all the jump threads on the label, I take a piece of lightweight fusible Pellon 911F, and with the glue side facing the pretty side of the label stitch around the edge, then slit the Pellon and turn the label out. Before turning the label I trim the seam to 1/4″, and go a bit closer with the stabilizer and batting that are in the back of the label. That keeps it less bulky in the seams. I also trim the corners.
I did trim with a rotary cutter and ruler in the 6th photo, but before turning, I took out my small scissors and trimmed away all the batting and stabilizer excess in the seam allowance, taking care to not trim the the label and pellon. I run my finger around the seam on the inside, poking the corners out and kind of rolling the edge of the seam in my fingers. Then off to the ironing board to affix it to the back of the quilt.
I put a pressing cloth over the label and really press for a good bit of time. Because there are 3 layers above the pellon (label, stabilizer & batting), it takes a bit of time for the heat to affix the label. Once it is fairly secure, I am ready to stitch it by hand to the quilt. The whole point of the pellon is to have a nice edge, without having to fold under etc. In the spots where it is peaking out along the edge, I will nudge it under with my needle when hand sewing the label down. The glue dots hold it fairly snug to the back of the quilt, so removal of the label would not be very easy.
I just love my Janome 11000 embroidery machine. I know I’ve said that before. I bought it used about 4 years ago, and have learned so much about formatting layouts on the machine screen, and it is just a workhorse. If you are ever in the “used market” and find this model, you won’t regret buying it.
Other projects I worked on recently were BOWL COZIES. My sister Cathi was visiting this summer and used the one I have and asked me for some. Funny story – in October I made her two bowl cozies, and I also made her two plate cozies…..and mailed them to her. A plate cozy is made in a similar fashion, just a bigger square of fabric/batting and less of a dart. I found a You Tube video with directions if you want to give it a try..
When I got home from my trip in November, she mentioned the package never arrived…sure enough, it was delivered…to her OLD address. I hope those people who live there now are enjoying her birthday gift! I was rushing to get it shipped, while my brain was already on my cruise. I pulled the wrong address off my phone when I typed the shipping label. SIGH! (It’s only been a year since she moved!!)
Anyway, I got busy and made more, but this time, I made 4 bowl cozies. Of course, because I was using fat quarters for the first sets, I didn’t have any more of the same fabric. This batch came from yardage, but I’m not certain how much of it was left. Someday I might make her some of those plate cozies too, but not this week!
When I made the these 4, I cut the fabric a bit larger than most patterns call for. I think I used 11.5″ squares making this set of 4. I did a little tack stitch in the center to keep them from pulling apart in the center. The quilting was done “before the pieces were sewn together and I noticed with mine that it likes to pull apart when washing. The tack stitch solved that. On the previous set I did a bit more elaborate quilting. But, when you are in a rush, necessity is the mother of invention. I managed to get all four of these made, assembly line style, rather than one at a time. So, if making cozies for gifts, that’s my pro tip. Also, I included a note, reminding her to use them like pot holders to hold the bowl and to NOT cook the cozy in the microwave. Even though I used all cotton everything…I don’t want to be responsible for a house fire!
The package arrived and the bowl fit! My sister sent me this photo with one of her bowls in it. I’m glad I upsized from the typical 10″ square. Who knew they made square bowls?
What are you working on in your sewing room? Are you distracted by holiday cooking and Christmas decorating this weekend?
Are you deep into the latest Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt? I am following along, watching and saving the clues. I can’t do it because I have TOO many UFO’s, on hangers, waiting for borders and quilting. And way to many other projects in baskets and boxes and bins to start something else new.
Watch for my next installment of “finishing up Autumn Jubilee“, and maybe finishing up binding on another project or two. (My 2nd cutting table is absolutely buried in stuff and the only way to make headway cleaning it up is to grab the stuff I can finish quickly and get them out of the way!)
I know most of the people who follow my page are here for the quilting, but I am still working through the photos from my Canada and Colonial America Cruise, and the next travel post is coming soon, with highlights from Sydney and Halifax on Nova Scotia.
Cruising on the Saint Lawrence in Canada brings you to some amazing ports. The perfect transportation was the Caribbean Princess cruise ship, leaving from Quebec City and heading all the way to Fort Lauderdale at the end of the season. Follow along for my views.
We visited Saguenay Canada on Saturday Oct 22, 2022. We turned off the St Lawrence and went up the Saguenay River. We docked about 7 am and were awoken by the activity on the dock. The ship was being greeted by musicians and dancers and reenactors. I wish I could have made good photos, but we were forward on the ship and the area they were performing was near the aft end of the ship. I will never forget the man with the megaphone asking us on board to “ask the captain” of the Caribbean Princess to blow the ships horns. The ship did comply when we left at 5 pm..
The port area for Saguenay was called La Baie. It had a lovely port facility and the area around the port was very walkable. Armed with google maps, I decided I would just walk around the port area, and find a Tim Horton’s, a local pharmacy and just wander and breathe in all the brisk air. There were beautiful walking and biking trails right along the Saguenay River.
Along the beach where the ship was docked there were lots of people out walking along the river bank.. It was fun to watch the beach disappear as the tide came in. I had a great “fall weather” walk, did lots of looking with my eyes instead of with my camera, breathing in the crisp air. So sorry for the lack of photos, but it was just a delightful day to walk along the river and enjoy the views.
The description for the port on the Princess info page said “The city of Saguenay, most known for its physical beauty and notable artist community, lies on the Saguenay River in Quebec, 200 km north of Quebec City. The city is divided into three boroughs (Chicoutimi, Jonquiere, and La Baie), with French being the predominant language spoken in each. Tourists can visit harbor villages in Chicoutimi, or make way to Jonquiere for enjoy scenic views and relaxing strolls through public parks. Saguenay is also home to a 163-ton aluminum bridge, built in 1950 as a unique replica that is a third the size of its steel counterpart.”
I, for one, just enjoyed strolling around La Baie. I could have taken an offered shuttle over to the larger city of Saguenay, but was content to just enjoy the area where we were docked. It was great for walking around, stopping for a coffee and just enjoying the fall foliage. I did get a “few” steps in while we were in port
This is what you do so you don’t gain weight eating all the wonderful food! GO WALK!
Sailing out of La Baie, as the sun was setting was amazing. The water was like glass. There were working ships going up and down the river, and it was amazing to be on a ship the size of the Caribbean Princess in a river. We slept through the arrival, but I enjoyed sitting on the aft of the ship with the few that wanted to enjoy this magnificent river and view.
I spent a good amount of time on the aft of the ship, just enjoying the sights as we sailed on the Saguenay River back towards the St Lawrence River.
The river was like absolute glass, and the sun set happened very quickly. (I have hundreds of photo’s, still and video, done with my cell phone and go-pro, but you don’t want to see them all.) Seriously, it was hard to pick just a couple to share.
Our next port was on Sunday, Oct 23, 2022 and we docked in Sept Illes. The description from the Princess website said “Named for its location facing an archipelago of seven islands and set at the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River, Sept-Iles is one of the sunniest regions in Quebec. This city is surrounded by unspoiled nature and is protected from the sea winds by the surrounding islands. Visitors can explore parks near the city such as Aylmer-Whittom where a miniature village can be seen filled with squirrels and various birds. There are also multiple beach fronts that stretch for miles across the coast for those interested in a little sun and bird watching. It is the ideal location for travelers looking to go on an outdoor adventure.”
Again, a wonderful port to just get off the ship and stretch your legs. Not a lot open near the port this late in the year, but you could feel how this port area was an attraction for the local population earlier in the season. I had fun again taking a long walk along the water and enjoying the views. Sept Illes was a working port, and also a fishing port. You will see that in some of the photos.
Just steps from our ship I was greeted with this wonderful artwork along the waterfront.
and from another angle –
I like this view the best….more artsy.
There was a wonderful walk along the water front. And I made a few more friends along the way!
I did wander through a dock area, but overall the Promenade was lovely.
As I continued along the walk, I just followed others ahead of me as we walked through a “yard” where fishing items were stored. I’m not sure how these baskets are used, but there were a lot of them stacked up.
This yard we walked through was full of this giant baskets. I wish there was someone around to tell the story of how they were used.
Had it been the peak of summer – this place might have been open for a drink or bite to eat.
My walk continued along the waterfront for about a mile and I came across a museum with the Hermel exhibition. It was fascinating. Mylène Paquette’s legendary boat, Hermel was on display. Quebec mariner Mylène Paquette is the first person from the Americas to row solo across the North Atlantic. Her boat was amazing and this was an interactive museum with video displays around the boat. I can’t do it justice so I urge you to check this website – https://www.portsi.com/hermel-exhibition-site-opens/?lang=en . Mylene’s website – https://www.mylenepaquette.com/fr/traversee/ is worth a look and her amazing journey is shown in photo’s and video along with her journal.
I continued my walk along the waterfront all the way to Parc du Vieux-Quai, then returned along the same path to the ship. I went up to the first roadway, but there was really nothing open on this Sunday after the holiday season was over. I have to say, in warm summer weather I can imagine the area as being very active and busy. Even on this fall day the Parc du Vieux-Quai was busy with families out in the sunshine for the day, and a lot of “senior citizens” out and about, enjoying the lovely weather. Restaurants and bars were closed on the Sunday, but overall, a great place to walk. Walking back toward the ship, you could see the working port, and how vibrant the area was. Next time I visit, perhaps I will take a tour, but this was a relaxing time off the ship and fun for exploring on my own.
Once back on board, I was a bit chilly, and hungry, and took advantage of the great room service menu that Princess Cruise lines offers.
Before long, it was time to leave Sept Illes. The tugboat at the ready, as the ship prepares to leave the dock. You knew it was time to go as the sun began to set. It’ doesn’t get more beautiful than this –
The sun disappears quite quickly at 5 pm
Our next day is a sea day, and the highlight for me is meeting people at the Cruise Critic Meet & Great and going to a wine tasting!
If you have been following along, you know I left on a trip halfway thru October, and left my Autumn Jubilee 2022 quilt project partially made. Pattern details came out on Fridays on the blog From My Carolina Home so I couldn’t finish before I left.
Coming home from travels in early November, I was inspired by the fall colors along the way. Time to get my Autumn Jubilee projects finished.
The quilt along is the largest project, and I wanted to finish it first. When I stopped in October I had 8 blocks made and up on the design wall.
My method when I put the blocks together is to layout the pieces I want to use on my design board . I made my own design board by cutting a piece of foam core board, used some spray adhesive and covered in batting, and pretty tape around the edges. The blue tape was from another project, but it helped guide me for this size block. I keep the pattern info close so I don’t goof up the placement of the 16 pieces going in the block. I had baskets of pieces cut and ready to sew.
At first, I thought I would make the blocks into a table runner, but then, I set them 3 by 5 and it was just too wide for a table. It was plenty long, but I didn’t want to “unstitch” a whole row. I decided to “make 4 more blocks”, and ended up with this.
Then on to borders.
I deviated from the pattern at this point, because I didn’t want to cut up more yardage for the pieced border. Instead, I got out my “shoeboxes” of strings, and started making a string border or a “piano key” border. My method mimics Bonnie Hunter’s String Piecing on phone book paper. I decided how wide I wanted the border, and ripped out some phone book pages and trimmed them to that width with my paper cutter. I did a little math (gasp), measuring the diameter of the quilt and divided the length of the pages into it. That way, I knew I cut enough pages. My little local book phone book pages were about 9″ long. (Yes, we still get phone books here in Delaware, and I save them all on top of my sewing room cabinet).
When I make these blocks I do a lot of chain piecing, so when I go to the iron, I might have 6 or 8 blocks to press at once. Yes, the fabric hangs off the edge a bit, and I trim once all the blocks are made. Once trimmed, I take the paper off the back using my “purple thang” and a pair of tweezers. The paper comes off easily because you shorten the stitch length.
I sort them out into a pleasing arrangement, joining the ends and before you know it….I have enough to go completely around the quilt. I cut them to length, and attach to the quilt.
Because of the size, I either have to trim off a couple of inches or piece a backing. Giving it a little thought, I decided to dig in my bins and see what I could come up with. I came across some border print fabric that had been cut into 36″ widths. I did a little piecing and came up with a backing fabric that would turn this Autumn Jubilee quilt into a 2 season quilt.
I spent a couple of afternoons working on the quilting, using my walking foot. I used Superior Bottom line #653, tan, on top and a Superior bottom line # 622, silver on the back. The quilting shows better on the back of the quilt. It is simple but effective.
I selected fabric for the binding and made the 2 piece “binding with a flange” also known as Susie’s Magic Binding. It goes on by machine on the back, gets rolled to the front and “stitched in the ditch” of the flange by machine. I like the effect it gives the finished quilt.
Last job is to make a label for the quilt. I am happy with the colors and the fun of making this two season quilt. The thing I love most about this quilt is the Autumn colors and the scrappy feel of it. If you know me, you know that I never met a scrap I didn’t love, and I love being able to put them into a quilt that feels cohesive. Sewing is for my own joy with colors and patterns I love. If a loved one looks at the project and express an interest, I am happy to give it away. I did that a couple of years ago with a bag I made during Autumn Jubilee. A dear friend was enamored over the bag, so I gifted it to her. We can’t keep everything, but I do want to make certain that the gift is always welcomed. We all have such different tastes, don’t we?
Time to go on to finishing another project. What is happening in your sewing space?
As we walk, we come to the back side of the Fountain Monument of Faith facing towards Rue Sainte-Anne
Across the street is the Château Frontenac Hotel, and the 3 flags. The blue and white is the flag of the province of Quebec, the blue and yellow for Quebec City, and of course, the Canadian Red and White.
We walk several blocks and stop on Rue Donnacona, at L’École des Ursulines de Québec, (The Ursuline School of Quebec) and hear the story of the nun, Marie De L’Incarnation. “Marie of the Incarnation was an Ursuline nun of the French order. As part of a group of nuns sent to New France to establish the Ursuline Order, Marie was crucial in the spread of Catholicism in New France. Moreover, she has been credited with founding the first girls’ school in the New World.” (Source Wikipedia) She was declared a saint by Pope Francis in 2014. Our guide told us that she wished to be a nun as a young girl, but instead followed her parents wishes and married. Widowed at 19, she was then free to choose the convent. When she left France, she never returned. She had a son whom she kept in contact with by letters, but never saw again.
Further walking takes us to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, which was shrouded from site due to construction. This was the first Anglican Cathedral built outside of the British Isles. I would love to try and see it once the repair work is completed.
Our next destination in the Upper City was back to the hotel for tea. What a delight it was to enter the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac hotel and enjoy a lovely teatime .
Following our tea, we worked our way back down from the Upper City to the Lower City of Quebec. We walked along the curving street of Cote de la Montagne. It was interesting to see railings affixed to some of the buildings. It was quite steep.
Our tour guide suggested the next view back up the hill –
Our walking tour ended back at the port, where I boarded the Caribbean Princess once again. We walked a little over 4 1/2 miles on this walking tour, and I was ready for cocktails and dinner. We were to set sail at 5 pm for Saguenay.
I decided to “dress for dinner” in an outfit that seemed rather Canadian to me. And of course, it matched those nice throws the room steward put on our beds too!
We enjoyed the Elite cocktail party and went to the dining room for our reserved time. I can’t say anything nice about that night. Just know that many people, besides myself, were very upset about the terrible line and waiting more than half an hour to be seated. (If you know me, you know that logistics is my background and I could see all the ways this could be fixed while I waited in a line, tired from my excursion and very hungry. I have been on many cruises, and this was not the standard I was accustomed to.) My patience was shot, and I left the line, 30 minutes past our reservation time, and went to the buffet. That meal wasn’t satisfying, but at least I was seated. My sister stood in that line, with her cane for another 30 minutes. I waited until nearly 10 pm and went to the customer service desk and expressed politely how disappointed I was. The problem was resolved the following night, and the rest of the cruise there was no waiting. I love that the staff was able to solve the problem and make things right.
All in all, the walking tour was amazing, our guide was thorough, and the advice on comfortable walking shoes and coats was excellent. I would love to go back and explore Quebec City more in depth, spending a few nights at the Château Frontenac Hotel. Back on the bucket list. At 3 days in the city is needed to really explore on your own.
I will blog a bit more about our various ports as we made our way from Quebec City to Ft Lauderdale Florida, and hopefully you will find them as interesting as I did.
Our second day in port on the Caribbean Princess in Quebec City we woke to this view again from our balcony.
Just looking out to the lower and upper city from the ship was stunning. Even the area around the dock was lovely with the fall foliage in peak color. Our ship is docked on the St Lawrence River and will be sailing Northeast at the end of the day towards the Riviere Saguenay.
I was scheduled for an afternoon of exploration with the ship excursion – Old Québec Walking Tour & Tea at Château Frontenac. We were instructed to “dress in layers and wear good walking shoes”. The tour description was as follows on the Princess Cruise website ” A narrated walk to Place Royale via Place de Paris and rue Saint-Pierre.”
The tour guide meandered around the lower town, giving such a great history of the city, describing the various influences over the last 400 years. I love to look at the architecture of the buildings. She would point out the British and French influences as we walked along. One thing I noticed was the “waves” made of stone in the roads and sidewalks. Starting in the photo above you see the meandering sidewalk.
The area we were walking through was very interesting and you could see the banking influence on the city.
Ahhh….an explanation for the waves. My limited understanding is they showed where the shoreline had been over the years or flooding had occurred. Most of old town / lower town was built on fill. The explanation was simple, they needed more space at the bottom of the hill.
In the above photo, you see the “city walls” near the parked cars. The city wall was just 5 blocks in from the river/port. Looking back, after the tour, studying the city maps helped me to understand just how narrow a strip along the river the lower city is up against the city walls. During the tour we wandered all over the place, and it was difficult to get my bearings or understand just how narrow the lower city actually is.
In the photo above, you can see how the street changes from large stones to much smaller stonework. Le Priori Hotel is in the lower city and our tour guide talked a bit about how nice it was for a visit.
The mural was mesmerizing and it was wonderful to have our guide pointing out important figures and telling of their historical influence on the city, the province and the country.
Our tour description stated that “Place Royale is a handsomely restored square in the heart of Lower Town boasting 17th and 18th-century stone architecture. The site of Samuel de Champlain’s first settlement, the square is home to Notre Dame des Victoires, one of the oldest stone church still standing in North America.”
Our tour description was right on with our next few steps. “ make your way to Petit Champlain Street, a pedestrian-only street adjacent to the Place Royale featuring boutiques, shops, cafés and restaurants housed in 17th and 18th century buildings. Strolling musicians, jugglers and other street performers abound.” We didn’t see the jugglers and street performers, but we certainly saw the shops and cafe as we headed to the Funicular to go to the upper walled city.
This corner where I took the photo is just 3 blocks in from the river, at Rous Sous Le Fort and Rue de Notre Dame. You can see the track in the photo above for Funiculaire du Vieux-Québec. Our group was split into smaller groups to ride up. Our destination was the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac which dominates the city skyline.
Just a short ride to get to the Upper city.
The line was quite short and in moments about 10 of us rode up the hill. What awaited at the top will have to be in the next post, so check back in for another edition of the walking tour.
Just a couple of observations about the lower town of Quebec City. The sidewalks were narrow, some cobbled, some paved, some curb cuts. Many streets were pedestrian only, but some were not, and you had to be aware of parked and moving automobiles. The first part of this walking tour we were up and down many streets, and this tour was NOT for someone who had a challenge walking. The tour description was very clear about this. We encountered lots of uneven surfaces and steps. In a city that is 400 years old, this is not unexpected. Having taken the walking tour, then going back and studying maps and my photo’s, I would encourage anyone with moderate walking ability to explore the lower town of Quebec City. I would love to go back and spend several days poking around. Our guide was spectacular and shared so many pieces of the history of the city, and the changes it had undergone, and the efforts to preserve it for future generations.
I’ve been travelling and wanted to share some of my adventures on the Caribbean Princess Cruise I recently took. I’m going to break this into a series of posts because they will be mostly photos. Come along for the trip!
My trip began in the early morning on October 19, 2022 departing from the Salisbury Maryland regional airport. I took a short 30 minute flight to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The aircraft out of Salisbury is an Embraer ERJ-145, a small jet with a 2 & 1 seating configuration. I love to pick a seat on the left side and don’t feel crowded by a seatmate on this small aircraft. When I got to Philadelphia, I realized my inbound and outbound gate were the same, so no shuttling to another terminal, and I would re-board the same aircraft for the flight to Quebec City. I had a layover, long enough, to grab some breakfast at Qdoba in Terminal F.
I’m glad I had a hearty breakfast, because my next meal was in the late afternoon. My sister flew from Las Vegas, on a red eye, and arrived in the city before I ever left Philadelphia. She had a very long night! We were staying halfway between the airport and the port in Quebec City, and given the taxi fare for each of us just getting to the hotel, we were not interested in venturing too far out. The hotel location was chosen because it was one of the few where I could ensure a handicap accessible room, with 2 beds, in a building that was also accessible for my sister.
My sister and I walked from our hotel, Hôtel & Suites Le Dauphin Québec, to a place called Bières & Frites. It was the only place walkable in the vicinity other than Tim Horton’s which had closed early. Bieres & Frites, was not the healthiest choice for lunch/dinner, but it was delicious, from my point of view. My sister, not so much! I ordered a Hot dog with fries and she got the traditional Quebec Poutine.
Honestly, the look on her face was priceless! She did not enjoy Poutine at all. But….the beer was good~!~ And so was the bottle of wine and dessert we took back to the hotel for later in the evening. 🙂
We spent one night at Hôtel & Suites Le Dauphin Québec before boarding the ship. The hotel was excellent with a great coffee bar, self serve in the lobby, and a little breakfast box to enjoy in the morning. There was fresh fruit on offer in the lobby, and they did have menus for local restaurants offering delivery. In all, the room was perfect for a disabled person, and they were so kind to allow my sister to check in very early. Her overnight flight and early check-in allowed her to get a long nap before I arrived.
On departure, they summoned a taxi for us, and explained to the driver our destination at the port, in Old Quebec City. That trip was a delight, the driver acting almost as a tour guide as he navigated his way to the line up downtown in the port. The fare, for the 2 of us was less than each of us paid to go half the distance from the airport. Needless to say, we felt thankful to the hotel for contacting the right taxi company.
We were able to board the Caribbean Princess within a few minutes of arrival. My sister and I were sharing a handicap accessible cabin, A303, on deck 12 of the ship. We used the forward elevators and our cabin was just across from the elevator lobby. The cabin was massive. Plenty of room for someone using a wheelchair or a walker. Big restroom with a roll in shower and lots of grab bars, and a seat to use while showering. Storage was plentiful with a large wardrobe for hanging garments and shelving behind one door, as well as 4 drawers for each nightstand and 3 at the desk area. There were 3 glass shelves in the bathroom for toiletries, and shelves in the shower for your personal shampoos etc. My only storage issue was there were not enough hooks in the bathroom up high for hanging robes.PRO TIP – I always pack heavy duty hook magnets and used them on the back of the bathroom door and on the wall for various items. Only a couple of power outlets on the desk and another PRO TIP is to bring a cruise approved power supply with multi outlets and usb charging points.
The balcony was great, with a ramp for a wheelchair, was about 5 foot deep x 12 foot wide. It was the entire width of the cabin.
The best part of all, when entering the cabin, was we were on the starboard (right) side of the ship, facing the city. The view was amazing!
After embarking, we both settled into the beautiful lobby area of the ship, and ordered cocktails. And, as was to be the situation for the rest of the cruise, my sister was constantly being greeted by lovely crew members who remembered her from her earlier sailing on board for 5 weeks over the summer.
When travelling with Princess cruise lines, the ships feel like home. We have both been on well over 20 sailings, some together and some not over the years. We’ve sailed several times over our birthdays, and I try to make it special for my sister. One thing I do is “decorate our cabin door” for her birthday. I try to find things that are easy to pack, and will go on the door with a few magnets. (It helps to find your cabin when you are out very late too)
Part of the benefits to sticking with a cruise line is their loyalty programs. We enjoyed every evening going to the Platinum and Elite cocktail party. There are always appetizers and special cocktails to enjoy before dinner.
The next best thing is we used the ship as our hotel for the night, and didn’t sail away until the following evening! That meant, we were able to dine aboard or off ship. We chose to dine onboard, at one of the ship’s specialty restaurants, The Crown Grill. We were celebrating Anne’s birthday when we boarded, so the venue was perfect and so was the meal.
We knew we were going to indulge and celebrate Anne’s birthday, and Princess Cruise Lines did not disappoint us with this delightful meal. The dessert for Anne’s birthday was just as lovely.
Wandering the ship after dinner, we stopped in the Good Spirits lounge, and my sister again encountered another friend in the crew. She brought a small gift to him, in the form of a Costco size bag of beef jerky. I’m sure there was a story there, but it was apparent to me he enjoyed seeing her and receiving the gift!
Our journey was only beginning and we had 14 days on board the Caribbean Princess. We sailed from Quebec City to Fort Lauderdale Florida, and I will be adding some of my adventures in upcoming posts.
Do you have a favorite cruise line or a favorite way to travel? Share your story in the comments.
Friday was “Week 2” of the Autumn Jubilee Quilt Along. Check the link for the pattern and block settings. Below is MY update. But first – I had pressing stitching to do!
I started on Friday morning with some fun sewing with my 6 year old granddaughter. When she arrived, she announced that she would like to “go sew”. Well, what grandma can say no to that, so off we went to my sewing room over the garage. When asked, she explained she wanted to make scarves for two of her dogs. You see, the last time she spent the night, we made a scarf for her newest dog, Tilly. So, scarves for 2 large male labs was on the agenda.
Not remembering sizes to cut, I looked to You Tube, and chose this video from Lorrie Nunemaker – https://youtu.be/rN63jQHP9DE . My granddaughter was diligent in watching from start to finish, where I was just there for some basics; sizes mostly. I brought out my tote of kid friendly fabric, and she chose 2 pieces. When asked, she explained that her dog Rudder, a very senior black Labrador, liked pink, and would be “happy to match the nightgown that grandma already made for me”. When asked, she said yes to putting the dog’s name on the scarf, like the lady in the video. So, after she ironed the fabric, with great emphasis on spraying it with water and getting out any wrinkles, I did the measuring and cutting. She helped me “find” the right numbers on the cutting mat. It was a tough explanation when I said the next press didn’t need quite so much water sprayed on the fabric. 😉 Watching the video with Lorrie, she observed that the pet names were put on the scarves, so of course, we did that as well. She sounded out the name and figured out what letters we needed, and keyed them in on the embroidery machine screen.
She iron, pinned, and stitched the triangular scarf for the dog. She understood the instructions to turn it right side out, pinned the gap and pressed, then top stitched to close the gap. She even helped me “squeeze the handle” on the kam snap setting tool. Of course, she selected the appropriate colors of snaps!! Before you know it, we were on to scarf # 2, with a short lunch break.
On this one, she explained that Rufus liked to play games and Red was his favorite color. Well, of course it was! Oh did she make me smile, and who’s to argue with a 6 year old about what her dogs do and don’t like! She remembered why we did each of the steps and asked after she turned and pressed the black scarf if she could sew it herself by hand. So, out came the needle & thread, and a demonstration about threading a needle with a needle threader and she closed it right up. We did top stitch around all 3 sides as well. Red snaps for this one and we were done in no time at all.
All that fun with a 6 year old, left me busy until nearly 3 pm, when I was able to get back on my own to the sewing room and start putting my blocks together for the #AutumnJubilee2022 quilt along.
I printed out the PDF that Carole provided in the blog post, and gathered my basket of pieces we worked on during week 1.
First block I kept out on the table so I could use it as a template –
Before dinner time, I had 8 blocks constructed and played around with a layout on the design wall.
Carole had a lot of layout suggestions on her blog post, and I love the one where you form a star and have a secondary pattern too.
Saturday I went to a local quilt show, and had more grandma duty, so I really only had time to work on 2 more blocks. There is “always tomorrow” to sew the remaining blocks. I do want to get them sewn and ready to assemble in the next 2 days. I have some travel plans beginning on Wednesday and will be gone for 2 weeks. You might get “one more Autumn Jubilee” post before I fly off for my next adventure.
My wrap up question to you is – Do you sew with children? How young and what types of things do you like to do with them?
I just love when I can take some time and work with my Janome 11000 embroidery machine. Early this week, I went to my monthly Embroidery Club. Our leader, Anna, is a whiz with all things embroidery. This month, she spent about an hour showing us her tips and techniques for successful embroidery on T-Shirts and other garments. She gave us a good lesson in marking our item to ensure we get the embroidery exactly where we want it to be.
Using a water erasable marking pen, and your grid that comes with your hoop is beneficial to getting centered. NOTE – keep the iron away until after you remove your marks!
Another trick she showed us was using a “hooping guide”. This hooping guide was made of foam core board and had pins in it. It was made specifically for her hoops, and really helped you line things up when the items were marked.
You set your outer hoop over the lines, place your item on the board, and push the tacks thru your markings to hold in place, then put your top hoop on. Really, a genius design. I think I will make a set of those boards!!
Another tip she gave us was to use spray basting to put our stabilizer (no show mesh) on the back of the shirt, and that kept it from shifting around while we worked to hoop the t-shirt. I used 505 spray and that worked for me. It’s a temporary adhesive, so you can trim away the excess after the stitching is done, and it doesn’t show through your shirt as a big rectangle. I’ve ironed on the fusible no show mesh stabilizer, then had to peel it off when the area covered was so much bigger that the area of stitching. Lastly, she reminded us to use a Ball Point needle (75/11) when doing t-shirts.
My first shirt turned out pretty well, but I realized too late, the crew neckline of the shirt is a bit “wonky”. So, I was a bit disappointed in the result, but feel like after I washed the shirt and actually wore it, no one but me would see what was so obvious while it was lying flat on the table.
So, do check the quality of the shirts you plan to work with. I have a dozen HANES t-shirts available to embroider (in the cabinet for 2 + years), so I wasn’t worried about ruining anything. One thing I observed is that the no show fusible mesh has a tendency to shrink a little and that is disappointing. An iron is helpful with these heavy t-s as they do wrinkle up in my washer quite a bit. I suppose after the are washed a few times, they will soften and look a bit better coming straight out of the clothes dryer.
After the club lesson, I decided the next day to do another one at home. Reinforce what I learned etc. Hooping t-shirts is a struggle to get things lined up, and I avoid doing them. I feel like I learned a few things with the demonstrations and having handy guides for measuring, and for hooping really help.
I like to color match my bobbin to my top thread, so I stitched all the blue elements first before switching to a red bobbin and red top thread.
I won’t refer to where this design came from because I have an annoyance with the digitizing of the shadow surrounding the words. If I was to stitch this out again, I would leave that off, because it just stitched poorly.
I do pre wash the tee shirts before stitching on them. They are 100% cotton and I don’t want them to shrink after the embroidery goes on. I do the same thing to dish towels or any other cotton garment. So say, it makes it look “used” if you are gifting. I think that washing them AFTER the embroidery is finished is helpful too, because you handle the heck out of the thing. If you gift it, you can tell the recipient that it is “freshly laundered and ready to wear”. Your iron is essential before stitching and after washing.
Here is my set up and I will explain as I go. I chose this design from Julia’s Needle Designs for my project.
I chose the 5×7 design you see above and loaded it in my machine. Because the size was larger than the final block, I used the options in my machine to slightly resize it, reducing it to 80% of the original size.
I created my wording for the block using fonts I have and setting it up in Embrilliance software on my computer. Once I had it saved, I imported it into my machine with the above design. I could see both designs on my screen and maneuver the placement until I was satisfied. Once all the “tech stuff” was done (very easily I might add), I got my fabric and hoop ready.
I hooped cutaway stabilizer in my 8×8 hoop. I cut a piece of Warm & Natural batting to the shape of the hoop, and used a tack down stitch to hold it in place.
I put pins around my hoop where the stabilizer is sandwiched in. This keeps your stabilizer from being pulled down into the hoop and really helps when you have a very dense design. I do NOT hoop my fabric. Instead, I place it where I want it to lay on top of the hoop. (The only thing hooped is the stabilizer).
Once it is positioned where I want it, I run another tack down stitch. You could use a shot of 505 spray, but with my machine and the tack down, it is unnecessary.
I also tack down my water soluble stabilizer on the top of the fabric. This keeps me from having edges get caught under the foot and making a big mess, and keeps me from putting pins inside my hoop to hold things. That just saves a headache.
One final thing I do before starting the stitching is to slip a piece of tear away UNDER my hoop. It will tack down with the first few stitches and won’t slide around. So, this set up has 1)water soluble stabilizer, 2)fabric 3)batting (all floating and tacked stitched), 4)hooped cutaway and 5) tear away floating under the hoop. This would work for a design with 30,000 stitches, but you can see looking at my screen, we only need to worry with 10,797 stitches.
The pumpkin border stitched out nicely,
and so did the wording.
All that may sound like overkill, but it does give a nice result. For now, I think I will leave it “in the hoop” and wait to see what the next step will be. I still have the opportunity to add more stitching if I decide, as long as I leave it in the hoop. That makes aligning easy! My machine will save the design for me to “edit” and add another element if I chose. Once you un-hoop, it is not so easy! I’ll wait on the trimming to see what happens next. Don’t you just love a bit of a mystery?
I hope you found my techniques and tips helpful if you are new to machine embroidery or if you are struggling with getting a good quality project done. Do let me know what your tips are for working with your embroidery machine.
Friday when you read this will be the next part of the quilt along! My bin is at the ready for me to sew and I can’t wait to see what we will do with those pieces we made last week and all the cutting we did.
I’m trying to fit all these projects in before I leave on a trip next week, and stay caught up. I’ll miss the rest of the month, but have enjoyed #AutumnJubilee2022 so far. Are you stitching along, or enjoying some of the books and recipes?
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