Secret projects have been gifted

December is the month where I sew for gifts that can’t be shown on the blog until they have been gifted.

I’ve been sewing this month….a lot! I’ll share a few pictures now that the gifts have been opened.

A pair of table toppers, made using Moda Christmas fabric on the front and a heavier cotton twill fabric on the back. It gives the topper a little more weight, plus it makes it reversible for “after Christmas” if the recipient chooses. The pattern came from Carole Carter on her blog “From My Carolina Home“. She has several free patterns and this is the Hexagon Table topper.

Christmas table topper
Hexagon shaped table topper

I varied a bit from the pattern with the strip widths and chose not to do the really narrow strip. They were quilted in the ditch except that last round was done with two rows of wavy line stitching.

Aprons – One for the son-in-law, one for my daughter, and one for the granddaughter –

Dad sized apron for son in law
Dad apron
Vintage apron style on the dress form
Vintage style apron
Kid sized apron
child apron

After the aprons came the pajama pants making. This year each grandchild got TWO pairs of pajama pants. I ordered coordinating long sleeve tshirts to go with the pajama pants. The paw print pair is fleece, the rest are cotton flannel. Some of the flannel prints GLOW in the dark.

My grandson seemed to really like the pajama pants from last year, and he was one of the first to put on those “gaming fabric” pajamas on Christmas. I prewashed and preshrank all the fabrics for the pajamas and the aprons. I washed with color catchers and one of those dark colors had a lot of “excessive” dye, so I gave both mom’s a few color catchers, and ordered them each a box on Amazon for “future washing”. It’s so hard to say which color ran because I prewashed together, but this is what the color catchers looked like after fabric was washed.

prewashing dark fabrics
Color catchers did the job

I was apprehensive about sewing with the fleece, but it was actually easier! No seams to worry about overcasting and raveling in the wash. I use a stitch on my Janome 8900 that is like an overcasting stitch –

Overcast stitch for my flannel projects
overcast stitch

It seems to give a nice finish to the inside of the pajamas.

Overcast stitching
overcast stitch

I had a lot of fun shopping “pre-black Friday” with my friend Nancy. We hit a 60% off on flannel & fleece at JoAnn Fabrics and were able to find things to suit each kid, ages 5 – 9 – 11- 13. The apron fabric for the son-in law (Star wars) and one daughter (Harry Potter) were perfect. They really seemed to like it. The vintage style apron for my daughter was a royal pain in the neck, calling for 1/4″ wide double fold bias binding tape. I used the 1/4″ on the pockets and around the bottom of the skirt, but had to get 1/2″ for the front of the apron and straps. Oh, by the way….the brand at Hobby Lobby is only 3 yards in the pack, and the Wright’s brand at JoAnn’s is 4 yards…..just an FYI. My friend Nancy listened to me moan as I was making that vintage style apron…and suggested I shred the pattern!!!! I zipped right through the rest of the projects, but I have to say, I am very glad I did that vintage apron first, or it might still be on the cutting table. I pressed myself to finish, so I could get on with the rest of the Christmas sewing.

Now that the gifts are given, I need to get back in my sewing room and clean up the cutting table. I have the oddest amounts of left over fleece and flannel and will be looking for clever ways to use the bits up. Any helpful suggestions appreciated!

Hopefully your Christmas projects were received with smiles too.

Travel adventures in Cabo San Lucas

Last post I talked about the adventure in travel while flying and new requirements for cruising. This post is about the fun adventures I had in one port of call, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

I sailed on the Grand Princess, beginning October 18, for a total of 18 days , 4 cruises. We went from San Pedro California to Cabo San Lucas on a 5 day cruise, round trip, then from San Pedro to San Diego California and Ensenada Mexico round trip for a 4 day cruise. We repeated each of those cruises a second time. This gave me an opportunity to try a variety of activities at each port of call.

On arrival in Cabo San Lucas Mexico for the first journey, I signed up for an excursion that was definitely a new adventure for me.

Booking through the cruise line, I boarded a bus that took me up the coast to a ranch, called Tierra Sagrada – Cabo Adventures, Todos los Santos, Playa Cerritos Sur Pecadero, Mexico. My adventure for the day was a CAMEL RIDE! Yes, a real camel!!

Camel ride Tierra Sagrado

Our camels were “tethered” together and we had someone walking along to make sure they behaved . Our ride was about 20 minutes long from start to finish, and there were lots of photo’s being taken by the resident photographer. I guess I was unprepared for purchasing the whole collection of photos, so I came away with just this one copy, but a lot of fun memories. I can officially say I was “kissed” by a camel, had an experience that I would encourage everyone to do! The excursion included a ride on the sandy beach and through the desert.

At the end, we learned a lot about the animals, and then took a nature walk thru the desert gardens to the restaurant, where we were served at a buffet some typical Mexican food. I really enjoyed everything I ate, and I also enjoyed the tequila tasting after the meal.

Meal at Tierra Sagrada Cabo adventures
Chicken Mole, pinto beans, caprese salad, green bean salad, broccoli, potatoes and a quesadilla

Chicken Mole is an interesting flavor, with a hint of chocolate. Some make mole with chocolate, and other recipes do not. This one was fairly rich, nutty, sweet, and earthy. I had not had Chicken Mole since I was in the 7th grade at a friend’s birthday party. All in all the food was delicious!

The tour company, Cabo Adventures did a great job with their facility out in the desert. Check out the offerings –

My second visit to Cabo San Lucas was also just as much fun, but a lot more activity. The excursion was also with Cabo Adventures, and I went prepared to “buy the photo pack” ! This time I was booked on an Electric Biking Beach Tour. (

We road out across the desert first and then back along the beach. These fat tire bikes could really get through the sand, especially with the electric motor the bike had. It was almost like riding a mini-bike. Out of our group, 2 ladies dropped out of the ride, as they didn’t feel confident or in control. I am overly cautious, and kept my speed down, so I didn’t spin out or spill. I got to see some video from one of the cruise ship employees on the ride when he spun out and crashed !. I think he was showing off for one of the dancers from the ship. I was without a doubt the only “senior citizen grandma” taking this ride, but I had a great time. This was much more “active” than the camel ride. They loaded us up with safety gear and we road for about 2 hours. It was definitely and adventure. It did take some “getting used to” riding these power assisted bikes. Other than starting off, you really didn’t have to pedal much, but as a person who rides bikes, it just came naturally for me to pedal. The bike had a throttle and a speed controller, and you could get going pretty fast. Laughing was part of the activity for sure.

This excursion included lunch and margaritas! While the meal may look the same, I made different choices, including ribs and a green salad.

Another wonderful lunch Tierra Sagrada Cabo Adventures

Our tour guide was making the margaritas, and liberally pouring them for us! It was a great way to relax after the exhilaration of the bike ride.

No visit to Cabo San Lucas can be without a view of the ARCH !!

The Arch in Cabo

Returning to the ship, I enjoyed some relaxing in the hot tub after the bike ride! Our ship stayed in Cabo overnight, and during the evening many people were out on shore, having dinner and enjoying the town. I pretty much had the pool area to myself!

relaxing on board

Early the next morning I got to see a wonderful sunrise from our balcony.

Dawn in Cabo

Little did I know there was a fishing tournament starting just past sunrise — promoted as “World’s Richest Tournament, the Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament“, hundreds of boats were milling around near the cruise ship and the rocks.

boat fishing challenge

At one point, the boats all took off in various directions, as fast as they could go!

Heading out to fish

It’s a high-profile yearly event where competitors put down astronomical entry fees to lure a marlin big enough to take the jackpot.

Since our ship stayed anchored overnight, I was able to enjoy the view of the rocks, while eating my breakfast….million dollar view !

Breakfast in Cabo

My sister and I found a great spot on the back of the ship to hang out and visit for the morning and still have a view of “the rocks”.

Anne and Mary in Cabo

All said and done, our visit to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, both times was a resounding success.

Check back later this week for some of the action from San Diego and Ensenada.

Travel challenges

Let me start by saying that I love to travel, and am usually fairly flexible with changes. I’m not such an old grandma that a few changes or hurdles will spoil my trip. Right now, you HAVE to be patient, and know that changes is the word and flexibility is key.

Do you remember those rubber toys, Gumby and his horse…..well, I feel like you must be as flexible as that toy to travel during this time.

I started this trip back on Oct 17, flying out of a small airport in Maryland to a much larger airport for a connecting flight. My morning began at 430 am, eastern time. I knew I was in for a long layover. I paced myself for that layover.

I knew that from the moment I went into airport I would be wearing a mask, until the end of my travel day. I felt safest wearing an N95 mask on the plane and around other people in crowds. BOY was that a great decision. I ordered my masks on Amazon and actually found some made in the USA . The face of the mask looks like a duck bill and my hubby said I look like Donald Duck. Tempted to use a pen and paint on some eyes!

My layover lasted until early evening when I boarded the next flight. I was heading to Los Angeles and it was about a 5 hour flight. All was great until I realized we were sitting on the taxi way for a long time. We ended up returning to the gate, waiting for a maintenance repair, then waiting again for a new flight crew. During this time, we were stuck in our seats, for more than two hours. I was glad I had downloaded the app on my phone for the airport shuttle service I was using. I was able to rebook my pick up at LAX ….twice. I was using a company called Primetime, and it was very easy to reschedue. It was nearly midnight, California time before I got to the shuttle. And it was close to 1 AM before I got settled into my hotel room at the Crowne Plaza in San Pedro. I do recommend both Primetime Shuttle from LAX and the Crowne Plaza if you are sailing out of San Pedro. I had a safe ride to the hotel and a good nights sleep and lovely breakfast at the hotel. I felt refreshed and ready to board the Grand Princess on October 18.

Many people will say that the restart of cruising is not without it’s struggles. Getting ready to sail involved using the new “Medallion App” and also getting a COVID test 48 hours prior to sailing. I ordered my test online using the link on the Princess Cruise Line website about 6 weeks before our cruise. It came quickly and I was ready to do the test the day before I flew. The challenge with the at home test was using a “device” that was flexible in terms of the camera and angles to avoid glare etc. Thankfully I had just ordered a small tablet and my husband was helpful holding it to get the best angle of my drivers license, the Abbott test card, and me, all in the same view. TRICKY!!! He was suggesting that next time we use a plug in camera that is easier to move around. The online Abbott test, using EMED went well….except when we lost internet signal in the middle of the test. Once it restored, everything worked well and in a few minutes I had the official letter that said my test was negative. I knew it would be, as I had a test that was done at a health center earlier in the week, and have been “isolating” for about 2 weeks prior. I didn’t want to risk exposure so close to the cruise. If you follow the cruise industry, you are aware that the rules put forth by the CDC have been changing weekly and you really have to be vigilant in staying up to date. Again, this is the challenge of travel and such a challenge for the restart of cruising. I love cruising enough to “act like GUMBY” and “be flexible”. (My husband said it is NOT worth the headaches)

We joined the Grand Princess on October 18, sailing for a total of 4 cruises, ending on November 5. That created a set of challenges as well, as some where along the line, our trips were not “linked” in the Princess personalizer on the website, or on the new “Medallion Class app”.

My sister and I arrived at the terminal independent of each other I was there and upon trying to check in for embarkation, my Medallion would not work.. Three supervisors later, they figured out the problem, and pomised it was going to be fixed by the time we got to the gangway. That added 45 minutes to the embarkation process, and a fair amount of stress. By the time my sister arrived we had it fairly sorted out and were able to board quickly.

Let’s talk about the Medallion App….and the devices and the little Medallion itself. I’ve used the Medallion before, on the Regal and the Crown, in 2018 and 2019. It worked reasonably on those ships. On this series of cruises it has been a giant failure. Thank goodness for people like Carrina and Elizabeth on this ship for trying to fix the “tech” failures of this program. Between my sister and myself, we have spent an hour, every day of the cruise dealing with some problem the medallion magically has. Think the new CEO of Princess, who developed this technology needs to have a look at the “error logs ” associated with our cruises! The nice lady at the customer service counter, Elizabeth, has made us her special project until we disembark. So far, she has sent a nice bottle of bubbly to our cabin, and gifted us EACH with a spa day, where we had massages! She has even come up to visit us in the cabin to help resolve issues, as it is challenging for my sister to walk a lot and stand at her counter for long periods of time.

The Princess Medallion replaces your traditional key card to enter the room. It is also a locater device, so the crew knows at all times where you are on board, and whom you have been in close contact with. You use it when shopping, buying drinks or coffee, and in the casino. You use it when you book tours, arrive in the dining room and so much more. The thing looks like an Apple Air Tag, and fits in those Apple watchbands. The APP is something you download to your cell phone or tablet and you can order (presumably) a drink right to your location from anywhere on the ship. I’ve been able to get that to work once. You also can use the television screen in the cabin to order snacks or drinks for delivery to the cabin. And if you are inclined, you can play games on the app, and gamble in your lounger by the pool or play bingo on your phone. So many things have been added to the app that in my humble opinion, it is well overloaded and just a total waste. My husband calls it programming BLOAT. Ours have stopped working, multiple times and led to much annoyance WHLE on the ship. PRE-Cruise, the app was a royal pain and equally frustrating, as information would just randomly disappear. Keep your fingers crossed that for the next six days we can keep it all working .

Speaking of working, I know that the crew members on board the Grand Princess are very happy to be back on board, and we are taking extra care to thank them for the lovely service they provide. When asked, each will tell you the story of how things were in their home countries, how the vacinne distribution is going etc. Many crew members we encountered in the last 2 weeks have been with Princess for more than 10 years, and these jobs provide for their families around the world, and are superior in pay to what they could earn at home. The level of service is amazing on Princess, and I highly recommend the cruise line if you are looking for a pleasant sailing experience. I’m certain that they will work out the bugs with the Medallion and the App in the near future.

Next post will be after I am home, when I can edit my photos and include them. I’ve had some great excursions, and can’t wait to share them with you.


Another small project done

I decided to replace a very worn out small handbag that I have been using daily for at least 3 years. The bag is tattered on the corners, and has gone through the washer and dryer many times. I bought it for travel use at the local Eddie Bauer Outlet, on a whim, for less than $10. I’ve gotten more than my money’s worth out of it for certain.

With a trip coming up this weekend, I decided I could “MAKE” a new bag, but make it slightly LONGER than the original bag. One thing about the original I love was the outside pocket on the back that my big fat cell phone could slide into. I loved the 3 zipper pockets, but I know my sewing talents don’t go that far, and I am thrilled I got one zipper in, and made it work.

I’ve made quite a few things like this, only smaller, in the embroidery hoop. I’m limited on the length though, so I took the skills I learned from machine embroidery and came up with this bag.

New bag
front of the bag

I finally used one of those lace zippers I had on hand. (More than a year ago, my friend Nancy & I split an Amazon order). The zipper goes across the top. I made the bag substantially longer so my bigger wallet would fit in. I bought the wallet, handmade, from one of the ladies at the Assisted living facility where I used to volunteer and I just love it. I was always jamming it in the old bag.

Again, while making this project, I dug into the “leftover half square triangles” that I have sitting in a basket.

I decided that the pocket on the back of this bag could be divided, and my phone will fit on either side, and still have room for a pen or a mask or my ear buds.

pockets on the back

I ended up using the same woven strap from the old bag, as it is in pretty good shape. I can always make a fabric strap later if I choose. With so much white on the bag, I imagine it will be in the washer on a regular basis. The rings are “key ring overlap” style, so taking off the strap and replacing it should be easy.

When I was working on this, I was thinking “proto-type” for a bag done using some wonderful vinyl that I have. It looks and feels like suede, but I wanted to be sure I had worked out the process…when to attach the zipper, where to leave the opening for turning, how to attach the bits for the handle, how I wanted the pocket to work etc.

Overall, without a pattern I am quite pleased with the outcome.

I used Pellon 973 Fusible fleece on the back side of the main fabric, nothing on the back of the lining.

fusible fleece for the bag

Turning the bag thru the opening on the side of the lining was fairly easy, as the Pellon fleece is very soft and easy to work with. There are no “raw edges” on the bag to be bothersome. I quilted thru the outside bag fabric using one of the special stitches on my Janome 8900, and I think that helps give it some character too. It will certainly keep the fleece from shifting when it gets washed. (All the white means it will need washing on a regular basis!!)

close up of the quilting
Close up of the stitching

I still want to make another bag using the wonderful vinyl product, and have to “think through” the process of adding all those extra zipper pockets etc. But for now, my new purse kind of matches my sister’s bag I made yesterday.

The picture below is my old bag on top of the new one, and you can see how much bigger I made it.

Replacing the old bag

So, there you have it, a one day project! (Really just an afternoon of creating and having fun!)

What are you working on this week?? Any suggestions for adding multiple zippers in outside pockets?? I’m sure I can figure it out, but will spend my evening hunting through videos on you-tube looking at suggestions!

Another finish!!

I spent my afternoon on Sunday finishing up the bag for my sister. Yesterday’s post was about using the scraps. I have to report that this one used scraps in the finish too.

Where yesterday’s post left off, the outer part of the bag was quilted. Adding the boxed corners, using a 2″ square felt right. It makes the bag “wider” and will accommodate more than just her tablet. Not knowing the size of her device, I went for bigger.

2" box corner
Before the lining goes in.

I made nice wide handles and used the same Bosal In-R-Form in them.

Handles attached
handles attached

I like using the Bosal In-R-Form for bags as they have good shape.

I decided to put two pockets inside with the lining, one of which is divided. It is big enough to hold my cell phone and the other pockets might be useful for cords, power devices etc. I also added magnetic closure at the top as I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

Inside pockets Anne's bag
Pockets are so important

The bag came together fairly easily, and I wish now that I had made MY bag in this fashion!!

Finished bag

It turns out to be a very room bag. I put my tablet down inside and there is plenty of room to toss in a paperback book or a deck of cards, along with your wallet and other necessities. If she decides it is “too big” for her tablet, then she can use it as a tote bag or a big purse.

Plenty of room
Plenty of room for chargers and your wallet and other girly stuff.

This was fun to make for my sister and I told her if she doesn’t find it useful, then to pass it on to someone else!

The only yardage use in this project was 1/2 yard from my stash for the handles and the lining. Everything else was from the scrap storage. (The pocket fabric was leftover from my bag lining from yesterday!)

Do you enjoy sewing bags?? I learn something every time I make them. Yesterday’s lessons were to slow down and think the plan through. It was a good lesson for today, as it all came together nicely.

Using up some scraps

Last week I posted about my class project, the To the Nines pattern, where I had a “fat seam allowance”. Those discarded blocks have been turned into something useful! I decided to use them as the basis for my new “tablet sleeve” for my upcoming cruise. Hubby thinks the cover / added keyboard give it protection, but I wanted to make a cover / sleeve for the device.

Since I only had 4 orphan/discarded blocks, I knew I would have to make a few more. The tablet is about 8 x 12 and I was using 2.5″ squares. I ended up with 8 squares x 5 squares for the front of the bag, and the same for the back. I quilted it using Bosal In-R-Form for the batting.

Here is the result –

leftover 9 patches

I used a light fabric for the lining.

Snug fit

It is a fairly snug fit with my tablet. It isn’t going to fall out. There is some extra space along the top. Originally I was going to roll the top edge down to make a cuff, but then I decided the cord needed to go in too.

My husband suggested I add a velcro closure and handles, which I did AFTER the sleeve was made. Now, I guess it is a bag not a sleeve!

Handles added

Boy adding the velcro and handles after the bag / sleeve was already made was a pain in the neck!! Lesson to self….think the project all the way through before rushing through the creative process. I probably should have unstitched the top edge of the bag where the lining joins the outside and opened up the side seam….but that would have been too easy. Instead I fought with the narrow opening and my open arm on the sewing machine. I got it done…but I should have thought that through better.

Anyway, I think the colors of the bag go nicely with my lavender tablet.

new tablet
Lavender Tablet with keyboard

I showed my sister the bag I was making and it reminded her of the bag I made for her Kindle years ago. She gave the kindle away to one of the grandkids but still has the little bag. She has a tablet she will be bringing on our trip in a week, and I asked her if it had a sleeve or a bag. It does not, so I offered to make her one. When she sent me a photo of it, it looks like it is the same one I have and similar size. She asked for it to open on the long side like the Kindle bag. She also liked the short handles.

I went to work on her bag, last night after dinner, and pulled some left over half square triangles, and this is what the front panel of the bag will look like.

starting another sleeve

Those half square triangles were the abundance from Addison’s Quilt I made 5 years ago ! (I could have made two quilts with all those leftover blocks!)

I decided to “start bigger” with this bag, box the corners, and add a pocket inside for the charging cables and other “stuff” she might want to carry with it. Her device has the same detachable keyboard, but without having exact measurements, I am erring on the side of caution for size. My bag/sleeve could have been a bit bigger in hindsight.

I started by making two panels for the front and back of the project then stitched them together at what will be the bottom of the bag, then quilted it onto the Bosal In-R-Form. I used the same serpentine stitch with my walking foot for both bags. At the center bottom seam, I did straight stitch in the ditch and 1/4″ on either side of the seam.

my sister's tablet case in progress

When the sides are stitched together it will look something like this —

another tablet case

Of course, there will be handles, and lining and the bottom will be boxed . I think I will add a magnet purse style closure on the bag. It seems that magnetics and electronics aren’t a problem anymore, as the keyboard to my tablet attaches “magnetically”. (My husband loves that connection concept).

I hope to finish this second bag up today. I’ve picked out a print turquoise to go inside for the lining and the handles. She doesn’t want long handles, just something to slip over her arm, not her shoulder.

95% percent scraps used for both bags, just a little additional fabric from the stash for silly things like straps and pockets and lining. Between them both I only used one package of the In-R-Form that I had on hand. Very convenient.

I will take the bag for her tablet with me on my flight to California next Sunday. There simply is not enough time to mail it and ensure she has it before she travels to the port.

Tablet vs phone
Size matters!

I took a picture of my phone next to the tablet to show her how it would be so much easier to see.

Honestly she had forgotten she had it, so yesterday she charged it up and her daughter helped her get some things connected and running. I’m really glad she is bringing her tablet, and my mission is to help her learn to use it, to use her phone as a hot spot, and get all her a favorite websites loaded. She has a serious vision issue due to her stroke last year, and the size of the screen on the phone has been making things challenging for her this year. I hope using it daily on the cruise will reinforce the simplicity of using it when she is at home.

That’s it for today! Are you working with scraps? Have you ever gone full steam ahead like me, only to realize later how you “should have” done something differently?

Linking up to Oh Scrap – Quilting is More fun than housework!

Meeting a fellow blogger

This week I had the pleasure to meet in person a fellow blogger – Carole Carter, who writes the blog called From My Carolina Home. If you have followed me for long you know that I love her projects and often share links to what is happening on Carole’s blog.

Carole agreed to be a speaker at Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes Delaware and to teach a class. Normally she doesn’t travel this far, but she was able to tie it in with some other activities, so she made the exception.

Her presentation at the guild was delightful, inspiring and interesting. She made lots of sense in her methods for storing scraps, or what she calls “Scrap Dancing”. She really is a dynamic speaker and if your guild is looking for speakers, I would highly recommend Carole. Her personality bubbles, and her projects are so much fun. To help cut down on how much she had to pack, several of us brought projects that we had made using Carole’s patterns. It was fun to see them on the stage along with her projects.

Carole at the guild
During the guild meeting

We had the joy of going out to dinner with Carole and her husband on Monday night, and were joined by fellow blogger Pat and her husband. Pat’s blog is called Sunlight Through My Windows . I hope we didn’t bore the men while we talked blogging and quilting and other hobbies. It was fun getting to know the husbands. Pat & I are moderators for Carole on her facebook group, so we had lots to talk about.

On Tuesday, Carole taught a class for the guild, which I signed up for. It was a joy to be back “in a quilting class” after so long. Carole provided her pattern called “TO THE NINES” to the students, along with a special tool from Studio 180 for marking 1/4″ lines. We used it when we were making those flying geese. We also received several brands of batting samples in very nice booklets that we can refer back to the next time we are shopping or ordering.

We learned lots of techniques in the class, a speedy way to make flying geese, some fast methods for piecing 9 patches called webbing. Of course, only those speedy sewers and those that don’t talk in class get everything done, so I did come home with some unfinished sewing. Truth is, my 1/4 inch seam allowance got fat, and rather than ‘rip’ out seams, I decided to just make a bunch more at home so I could assemble my project. I was using my featherweight and my magnetic seam guide and I were not getting along. I finished up my sewing today. My first block looked pretty darn good!

Stars block
To The Nines pattern 36x36

These blocks went together pretty quickly using Carole’s methods for chain piecing and webbing. The top at this point is 36×36. A small inner border and a bit wider boarder will finish it off nicely. All the fabrics except the background came out of my scrap storage system. I have the sizes this pattern uses already cut and on hand, so once I decided on a focus fabric, I pulled things that I thought would blend prettily. My focus fabric had purple, lavender, and multiple shades of blue and greens.

This was pretty fun to do, and I needed a day where my brain could just focus on sewing and nothing else for a few hours.

Have you had a chance to take a class from a quilter you follow on line? What do you suppose I will do with those “9 patches” that came up just a little “short” ?? I think they are perfect size for pot holders!!!

Busy week wrap up

It HAS been a most busy week or two. I don’t feel like I have gotten much done but I have had my hands in the middle of a lot of “stuff”. Hubby had a train sale for his club and we spent several days getting things ready to go. We had to put cello sleeves on the boxes with small parts and he had to figure out pricing on every single item. I can “stick stickers” but didn’t have a clue about value without his explanation. They had a very large collection of HO trains that had been donated this year to DelMarVa Model Railroad Club.

pricing trains for sale

We had to be up early last Saturday morning and at the show by 7:30 to set up all the merchandise.

Train sale

Because we had all our items prices and sorted by types it was fairly easy to set up. The only problem was, not enough room on the table, and NOT enough customers. The sale was poorly attended and as a “vendor” highly disappointing. We had enough merchandise to fill 8 tables, but only had 2 reserved. In hindsight that was probably best. Attendance was dismal at best. We can only guess why….beautiful weather, advertising or people still afraid to spend a dime or go out out in public?

Anyway…I did have some fun this past week in spite of the weekend full of work. I had a gathering of the Queen Bees and we got to meet again at the local library for a day of sewing. FIRST time in 18 months that we could sit and sew together. We were a small but mighty group in a large space and just to hear the hum of the machines and the chatter was wonderful. It felt like old times.

For the bee, I took my squares to work on the blocks that Carole Carter requested for the SAFELIGHT QUILTS. I got a few blocks made to go along with the ones I already have finished. I think I should have enough done to stitch a top together fairly soon and get it in the mail to her. From Carole’s blog post – “This project is going to be ongoing for at least a few months, so if you have time to send a few blocks between now and December, we can use them. If you haven’t seen this project until now, my local guild area is making 60×84″ quilts for the beds at the Safelight Domestic Violence Shelter. We have just a dozen or so quilters, and we need 700 blocks. If you can help with making a few blocks, here’s a pdf of what we need for you to download – Safelight Quilt Blocks. ” The block I am making was originally called the Perkiomen Valley, and I have been making some of these off and on in the last few months. I tripped over a pile of half square triangles, already made, that will go in this block after they are trimmed. The rest is simple squares, and it does go together quickly. I cut the background neutral squares I needed when I was cutting a similar size for the class Carole is teaching at my guild on Tuesday. Having everything cut and in a basket, ready to sew means I can knock a few out at a time with out having to do a lot of planning. Our bee used this pattern a couple of years ago when Carole was collecting quilts for hurricane victims.

At the bee, one of our members was working on the cutest pattern from APQS. I have to say I was so enamored, I looked the pattern up on my phone and saved it right then! I can’t wait to see how hers turns out!

Free pattern

This free pattern is available at the APQS website.

I loved it so much that I got busy the next day and cut out all the applique pieces.

Wash your hands

My hubby and I debated about that faucet and I found some sparkly fabric to overlay on the faucet. Once everything was fused down on the background, I layered the piece with a bit of warm and natural batting and started the top stitching.

blanket stitching

It took a while to get around all those curvy hands but I had a great time doing it.

I managed to get around 3 hands before I gave up for the night. Doing the rest of the stitching took a bit of time on Friday afternoon. I find this a very fun project!

Now that I am finished with the top stitching around the fusible applique, I need to figure out a backing, do a bit of quilting to anchor everything and figure out a plan for hanging it. Considering using few hanging loops for a different look, or maybe put a rod pocket on the back. Not quite sure if I am giving it away or keeping it, but it is fun to make! I’m calling it the “reminder” banner.

Do you ever just see a project you jump into making? The only yardage used on this one is the 1/2 yard for the background. All the other pieces came out of my drawers of scraps. What the heck, I needed another project!!

Coming up this weekend is another Wings and Wheels airplane/car show. This time, the show is in our own community. My hubby has been waxing and polishing his shiny truck to enter in the car show, and I was asked again to help with the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation booth. We will be up bright and early for that, but no airplane ride for me this time. They asked me to consider to consider becoming a long term volunteer. They are such nice people and I had lots of fun when I flew in Panchito to the show in Hagerstown Maryland earlier in the month. I’ll be interested in seeing what their schedule is for next year and how it fits around my cruise schedule. I know this year they still have 2 other fall shows to do, and my cruise schedule conflicts. But, I am available on Saturday and was already planning to be at the airfield. This show is familiar to me as we have gone several times. Watch for some pictures (from the ground) next week!

Any fall festivals or community events in your area this weekend? Happy October!

Autumn Jubilee 2021 has begun

My all time favorite blogger, Carole Carter, has done Autumn Jubilee for at least six years. I told her recently that when she announces Autumn Jubilee, I feel like It’s the most WONDERFUL time of the year! Her blog, From My Carolina Home is so much fun to read. Beyond quilting, she is an avid gardener and cook, and enjoys several other types of crafts. And of course, she is a wonderful writer, and an avid reader, with book reviews monthly. She writes for a national blog, and she has had patterns published on some of my favorite shop websites. There is so much more to tell you, but I think you might have more fun exploring her blog on your own.

I want to encourage you to participate in Autumn Jubilee 2021. She has a wide range of projects planned and I am certain you will find something you enjoy. There is a button on the side of my blog near the bottom to link back to her blog as well.

Even more exciting for me, Carole is coming next Monday to Ocean Waves Quilt Guild in Lewes, Delaware to do a program and teach a class! It will be so nice to finally meet her in person after so many years of following her blog, and working on her mystery quilts and Autumn Jubilee projects. Since she is driving up from North Carolina, and has limited space to bring things, several of us are sharing “our versions” of her projects during the guild meeting. It was fun pulling them out, and making sure we had a good variety to bring for next Monday. (Now, many of you know that my Scrap Dance series are “just tops” and still need quilted…)

If you read today’s post on Carole’s page, you will see she gave cutting instructions for her Autumn Jubilee 2021 quilt along, which is table topper size. Time for me to go get into my Autumn Jubilee bin of fabrics that I save for these projects every year!

Here are a couple of projects I have done over the years with Carole’s Autumn Jubilee patterns –

Autumn Jubilee Tablescape
First Autumn Jubilee runner
4 finished Autumn Jubilee 2016 placemats

Edit – I forgot to ask – What is your favorite time of the year?


B25 Mitchell – the Panchito experience

Incredible experience with the Georgetown Aviation Museum volunteers and flying on the B25 Mitchell aircraft they maintain, named PANCHITO. For all the official details, check out their terrific website –

The original Panchito according to the above website – ” The B-25J, serial number 43-28147, was assigned to Captain Don Seiler of the 396th Bomb Squadron.  Capt. Seiler named his new plane “Panchito” after the feisty Mexican rooster from the 1943 animated musical “The Three Caballeros”.

Below are just a few pictures outside & inside the aircraft.

Below is some fun “flight information” about our flight from Georgetown, Delaware (GED) to Hagerstown Maryland (HGR) . Our “show time” was 0600 on Saturday morning, Sept 11, 2021. We helped with moving the B-25 out of the hanger, acting as spotters, and putting the other planes that are stored in front of it back into the hanger. My hubby went along and assisted too, but he didn’t go on the flight. By 7 am we were onboard and getting ready for take off.

Stats from FLIGHTAWARE.COM – 50 minute flight GED-HGR 7:06-7:56 , 151 miles, max altitude 5900

Once we landed, we got straight to work! We unloaded all the “gear” for the day from the aircraft. (Thankfully that stuff was loaded on Friday). There were 2 tables, 2 coolers, multiple bins of “retail sales items” and chairs, 2 EZ-UP tents, and lots of aircraft maintenance gear. We had just under an hour to get the tents set up and be ready to deal with passengers booked for the first flights of the day.

My main job was to check in the passengers and get the forms all signed, and to sell merchandise to people at the show. My friend Pete did the safety briefings and took them to the aircraft, and between flights he also worked at the tent selling things.

The B25 flights were scheduled, and sold in advance of the show, 6 passengers per flight. There were a total of 5 flights in Hagerstown.

After the passengers went out to the B25 for the last flight, we started packing up the “briefing tent”. Once it was airborne, we started packing up as much as we could, so when it landed, we could be ready for loading. One of the volunteers came from Pennsylvania, and had a pick up, so it made for much easier transport back over to the aircraft. We got a good workout handing up the equipment to one of the crew members once they landed and the passengers were all off the aircraft.

We were scheduled to “block out” of the spot at 4:45 and needed to be back over the DelMarVa Pennisula by 6 pm.

We got a nice tailwind flying back, and had to spend some extra time with low level flights while we waiting on our designated time for 3 fly-overs. We had to be over Mardela Springs at 6 pm, and Georgetown at 6:15 pm, then one more flyover on the south side of the Indian River Inlet.

STATS FROM FLIGHT AWARE – 1hr 31 minutes home with 3 fly overs HGR – GED dept 4:52 landing 6:23pm, max altitude 7240

My husband was “on the ground” at the 20th anniversary of 9/11 program in Georgetown, and he was monitoring our path on . While we were “getting close” I was able to send him a text message and tell him our “actual” ETA, which he shared with the MC. He knew we had these other fly-by’s, but wondered what we were doing looping around. 3 of the “loops” in the above picture were of fly-by’s, and the rest we were just “killing time and looking at the countryside”.

To see our return flight on Flight Aware .com, click link below and then hit the REPLAY button at the bottom-

All of my photos and videos are in an album you can see in my Panchito Flight Experience album here –

I would like to say, this was an incredible flight adventure for me. I think my last flight on board a military aircraft was in 1979, on board a C-141, flying from Incirlik Air Base Turkey to Athens AB, Greece. I was a “very new” Staff Sergeant at the time. In all the years between then and now, I worked at military bases, and spent 26 of those years at Dover AFB, and never got another military aircraft flight again. I spent a lot of time on the ground on the various planes, from KC-135, KC-10, C141, C130, C17 and C5, along with DC8, DC10, 747, and an Anotov 124, along with many planes belonging to our international partners. It was an incredible way to honor the 20th Anniversary of 9/11, and makes me think about all the military people I have known since then, that have done their duty for this great country.

I would like to thank my friend Pete, who asked me to help for the day, and the incredible people from the Delaware Aviation Museum Foundation who maintain and operate the B-25 Mitchell Panchito. The pilots, Sabrina and Calvin do so much more than just “fly”. Sabrina was there on Friday, working on reinstalling panels on the aircraft until after 8 pm. Calvin did all the arrangements for the bookings for the flights, loading the gear for the outbound flight, taking lunch orders and even towing the aircraft out of the hanger. A very young crew member was Connor, and he was handling every odd job sent his way, including assisting with fueling. On the ground in Hagerstown I got to meet Bill, aka The Janitor. He was a secondary crew member handling passengers in the back of the aircraft.

If you have an interest in flying on this WWII era aircraft, look at the events tab on the museum website – and pre-book and pre-pay. The “money shot seat” is the jump seat. It takes a good bit of effort to climb on board and maneuver into any of those seats. (My quads are telling me that today!!) The next event locally is at the Wings and Wheels Air Show, October 2, Delaware Coastal Airport in Georgetown Delaware. If you want to fly in this aircraft, I recommend you get yourself booked in advance! I usually go to this event with my hubby, as he likes to take his truck and show it at the “car show”. This year, you may find me at the B-25 tent or out and about the area. I often run into friends showing their vehicle or looking at some of the other great aircraft on display. Over the years I have shared photo’s, and the last time I went, my grandchildren really got to enjoy the planes, the cars, and of course, all the variety of vendors.

I hope you enjoy looking at the photos in the album, and in those videos, appreciate the “sound” of freedom that military aircraft make.

Have you ever done an “experience” flight such as this? Do tell….love your comments!

UPDATE — I’ve been advised that the “stats” in FLIGHT AWARE are not always “spot on”, so take what you see on that website with a “grain of salt”. The pilot informed me “ FlightAware’s altitude reporting is not accurate. We have proved that with flights we know and recorded our actual altitude against what FlightAware shows.” Our minimum altitude was above 1000 feet during the flyby’s.