2018 Finishes

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Potholders--Sixth Finish for 3rd Quarter Finish-A-Long 2018

Packets ready for potholders
Returning to Oregon time from Hawaii time was more challenging than I had thought! To keep my mind off of the jet lag, I decided to pull out an old project--one that included a pattern and one that didn't involve much decision making!!

Goal number ten on my 3rd Quarter Finish-A-Long list was to make four potholders. Years ago, I boxed these fabric packets thinking that I make potholders and use some scraps. As a bonus, I'd have a few gifts on hand.

When my oldest daughter was in high school, she selected the fabrics and the block pattern. She wrote a legend for the fabric grouping and placed it in the plastic bag with the fabric. She was great about encouraging me to stitch up my scraps! I stitched about half a dozen and then forgot about the box. As you know from my last post, she has been married for 11 years so high school was years ago!

Gold and red fabric from the stash via Miss K.
Last quarter, I put the potholders on my list thinking that there was enough fabric for four potholders in one bag.  The bag I picked was for block 44.

I made one block and then decided that I needed to supplement the fabrics as there was plenty of backing and blue fabric; but, only enough red fabric for one pot holder.

Miss K helped me choose fabric for the next two pot holders. Then, she helped me sew the parts for the blocks. This was what her blocked looked like before she went home.

I sure liked her low volume fabric choices! I chose one fabric combination on my own. I stitched the block which was about 8 1/2 inches before quilting.

Next, I layered the backing, batting and block to quilt it. In the box, I had two layers of batting cut as well as one layer of heat resistant batting. I had enough of these units cut to stitch five pot holders!
Layered ready to quilt

As I quilted, I thought it might be fun to quilt each of the four pot holders differently. The first potholder, I heavily quilted. It is quilted so much that it is more of a hot pad than a potholder!

I discovered that I wasn't all that excited about using the focus fabric as the center pinwheel. The pinwheel print fabric is the fabric that I used for the backing and the binding for all of the potholders.

For the second potholder, I quilted in the ditch and then added a continuous curve in the pinwheel design. For the first and second pot holder, I free motion quilted the pieces. I wasn't that excited about the low volume fabrics in the second and third potholder.

For the third potholder, I got out the walking foot. After I had quilted a majority of the ditches, I quilted an overall design of straight lines. I really liked this approach.

Finished potholders
For the fourth potholder, I quilted only in the ditch. I liked the contrast of these fabrics the best. I might teach another machine quilting class and these potholders might come in handy as samples.

I hand stitched the binding and what you can't see is a loop so the potholder could be hung. While it didn't take long to stitch the blocks, it did take some time to get these to the finish. Still, I plan to keep stitching a few potholders each quarter until I have used all the packages of scraps!

There is enough backing and blue fabric remaining to make several more potholders!!!! This was a good project to work on while I recovered from "Hawaii" time!

I used a half yard of fabric. I have now used 22 1/2 yards from my stash and I have 27 1/2 yards to go to achieve my goal of a net loss of 50 yards from my stash this year.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Hawaii Day 13-14

Catching the spray while sitting on the turtle
Day 13 was Amanda and James' 11th wedding anniversary. We started the day with a Starbucks coffee, bagels and cream cheese. Amanda found a type of cream cheese that was made from almond milk that I could eat too. It was great. I will try to find that same kind at home.

Making beaded bracelets 
Then we walked to the beach. This time, we walked the other direction. The older kids took a swim in the ocean. The younger ones stayed close to shore and the in-between kids did some body surfing! The swells were big enough that I opted to stay close to
the shore. Nicole spotted a turtle from the shore so that was cool for all of us to see. While snorkeling, Nicole saw fish and an eel.  The water at this beach wasn't as clear as at the previous beaches where we did snorkel.

Potato crusted fish entreé
After our beach experience, we went to the pool. The older kids went down the slide numerous times.  James took a couple runs too! Miss K and I hung out at the dive pool. She practiced a kneeling dive; she practiced lots of pencil dives and feet first surface dives. Her front crawl with side breathing has improved a lot! She even has a foundation for elementary backstroke.

Heke cooked in a casserole
Miss J would only practice what she already knew. I wasn't popular at all when I "encouraged" her to be like a cork screw and swim front/back/side or a deep sea diver to be on the bottom of the pool. She wouldn't do more than a couple deep water bobs or a couple bob for safety. She wouldn't try getting a breath on her own. Why bother when there will be a hand there to lift her up to the surface when she needs a breath. I sure get how she thinks!

Herb encrusted fish and scampi/shrimp fettuccine
Penne pasta with butter and parmesan 
For lunch we had salami sandwiches and most of the girls made a bracelet for an activity. Nicole and I made one too! We had an afternoon pool session too and then we came in to shower and get ready for our first and last dinner at the resort.

We went to the Humble Kitchen for dinner. We started with calamari, roasted cauliflower and broccoli and the steamed dumplings as appetizers. With a large group, it is fun to order several appetizers and have a taste of each! Miss K had a cheese quesadilla and Miss J had an avocado quesadilla.

Chicken wings
For the main entree, we all had something different. James had the ribeye steak. Bob had the shrimp and scampi fettuccine. Amanda ate the potato encrusted fish. Nicole ate the terrine cooked fish. I ate the herb encrusted fish. Miss J ordered the chicken wings and Miss K ordered the penne pasta with butter and parmesan cheese.

For dessert we ordered the chocolate soufflé and the pineapple upside down cake. The restaurant gifted us the chocolate cheesecake and a chocolate fudge cake because four of us were celebrating our anniversaries! (Amanda and James celebrating 11 years. Bob and I celebrating 38 years.)

Miss K ordered the ice cream cookie sundae and Miss K ordered the raspberry sherbet. They enjoyed their desserts!
Cheesecake and pineapple upside down cake
It was all good. I thought that the chocolate soufflé was the best! We even had a front row seat to watching a beautiful sunset.

After dinner, we went to the movie. Lilo and Stitch was playing which the girls thought was a big deal and they enjoyed seeing it.
Raspberry sorbet
Fudge cake topped with berries and chocolate 
Chocolate soufflé 
We spent day 14 with one more romp in the ocean.  We did have a turtle sighting on our walk to the ocean.

We had one last slide at the pool and then we packed.

At the pool, Bob actually was able to stay in a flat position coming out of the slide and touched his toes on the rock wall on the other side of the pool. He did it two times in a row! All the staff gave him a thumbs up! They also told him that they had only seen one other person do the same touch! He made the best splashes of all of us although Nicole and Amanda had some great rooster tails too!
Ice cream cookie sundae

We had a late check out on of the rooms and then we enjoyed the grounds for a few more hours. Miss K played more chess and Miss J watched the koi swim in the pond in between sessions on the swing.
Last time playing in the ocean

Catching a few more zzzzs between flights
We flew from Maui at 9:30 in the evening. We arrived in San Francisco about 6 in the morning. Both the kids slept on the plane. Miss K was asleep before the passengers were seated on the plane! Luckily, we had long layover in San Francisco and there was a bench that was perfect for some extra nap time! After about three hours, they both woke up and it was time to board the plane for our final leg of the journey.

Off to board the airplane for the last time
The girls were well rested. The adults. . .well, we could have used some sleep like they had! We returned to Portland a few minutes ahead of schedule. The two week vacation was over quickly!  The memories will last forever!

Bye until our next trip

Friday, August 10, 2018

Hawaii--Day 11-12

Pork nachos and bacon brussel sprouts
We started day 11 with a breakfast of bananas and a little bread; then, we went to the pool. Amanda, James and Nicole went to the Maui Winery to go wine tasting. The girls, Papa and I had a great time figuring out the kid slides and playing on the turtles, the whale and the dolphin in the kid part of the active pool. After about an hour of play, we got out for a water and snack break.  Then we took a walk to the ocean and walked in the water. When we returned, we needed more of a snack, so we picked up a slushy. Those were expensive but great! The food prices at the resort are expensive--about double what I would pay at home. We planned for that by purchasing items at a couple   grocery stores for lunches, breakfasts and one dinner. But, let's get back to the events of the day!
Sweet and spicy lettuce wraps

Miss K's Mac-n-cheese
James' choices for dinner
We read a couple chapters in the second Rabbits of London book. Then Miss J fell asleep before she could eat lunch. We had almond butter and guava pineapple jam sandwiches. After she woke up and ate, we went back to the pool for a few more hours. Amanda, James and Nicole had returned from the winery tour which they enjoyed. They also went to the pool.

We went to dinner at Three's Bar and Grill. Amanda saw this restaurant featured on Guy Fieri's show Diners, Drive ins and Dives. The food choices were varied and amazing.

Playing chess
The wok fried Brussel sprouts with bacon, the kalua pork nachos and sweet and spicy lettuce wraps appetizers were
delicious. Amanda had the Three's traditional ramen--the broth was delicious. Bob and I had fish (mahi-mahi ) and chips, Miss J and Miss K had a burger and Mac-n-cheese respectively. Nicole had flat bread salad and James had a variety of starters. Wow! it was all delicious!

Nicole's hand after she passed to her partner
The girls played a little lawn chess after we returned to the resort. Bob, Amanda, Nicole and I played one game of pinochle. No wonder Amanda and I had a hard time getting a marriage after seeing Nicole's hand after a pass back!

Day 12 started with a trip to Starbucks. Nicole and Bob picked up drinks for everyone. Miss J and Miss K wanted to start in the pool so after a breakfast of pull apart bread, bananas and an assortment of vegan banana type breads, Bob, Nicole and I went to the pool. Amanda and James went to the beach. Amanda did a little body surfing. She said body surfing was fun and that there was sand everywhere in her suit! We all swam in the Nalu "activity" pool. The kids love the turtles, the whale and the kid slides. I'm partial to the big slide--the Wailea Wipeout and have been many times. (I think that Bob and I are some of the oldest "kids" to take the slide!)

Bob and Nicole returned our car rental. The rest of us hung out some more at the pool. The girls had a snack--a smoothie and a slushy. Miss K and her dad decided to take a break. Miss J, Amanda and I applied a fresh application of sunscreen and we returned to the pool. We hung out in the dive pool for a while until our stomachs were ready for lunch! We ate almond butter sandwiches, chips, salsa, carrots and hummus. After lunch, Bob and Nicole returned form their errand--they also made a Costco run so we had supplies for dinner and another lunch.

Bob, Nicole and I went to the other five pools and swam in each one. We also sat in one of the hot tubs. The other pools had beautiful views of the ocean; but, we all decided the Nalu pool was the most fun. Maybe part of the reason it is the best pool is that our room is about 50 steps from it! Dinner was salami sandwiches. We watched the entertainment for the hotel luau which the kids enjoyed. There was also a performance of fire dancing which seen at nightfall looks amazing.

Nicole opened a special bottle of champagne that she had purchased at the winery in honor of Bob and my 38th wedding anniversary. It was delicious. The girls entertained us with some dancing. Not to be outdone by a four and a six year old, Bob and I busted a few moves. . .until I wiped out into the bed. . .must have been the champagne. . . .!!!!!

My sunburn is peeling; but, I'm tanning too. . .my legs are one shade darker than sheet white!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Hawaii--day 10-

Welcome sign at the resort
We arrived at the Wailea Beach Resort at about one in the afternoon on day 10 of our adventure.

It was too early to check in. So we toured the grounds and plotted our strategy as to what pool we were going to swim in first! Miss K found a huge Jenga game. She, Auntie and her mama played a couple of games. Once a room was ready, Nicole had all our luggage delivered to it. Then, it was time for us to head out to dinner.
View on our walk about

Miss K contemplating her next move

Mill House pond

View of the hills where the cattle graze
We ate at the Mill House restaurant. It is a farm to table sort of restaurant. The grounds are beautiful and the food was delicious!

Squash pizza, Farm salad and Taro leaf risotto

Ceviche and sweet potato chips

Bacon cheese burger, roasted broccolini and squash pizza

Hamburger, fries and catsup for Miss K

Chocolate pie is a great finish

I was most impressed with our waiter, Jared. Miss J has a dairy allergy and he was great about answering questions and filling us in on some of the history of the place. He provided great insight to how the dishes were prepared and made some suggestions that I'm glad we took.

While taking our orders for dessert, he fashioned a decoration out of a napkin and used
Napkin folded decoration
"Auntie's" glasses as the perfect accessory. We were all awed by his ability to remember what we ordered while entertaining us at the same time!

Best of all, he encouraged both girls to take a tour of the kitchen. Miss J liked watching the staff cook. When he asked Miss K her opinion, she said she liked it and that she was a cook too. Then she proceeded to tell him about her pasta and tomato soup recipe. After she finished her story, he replied that perhaps, they should add it to their menu to which she replied that the kids would like it!!!
Miss K striking a fashion pose in her mama's hat

We returned to the resort and our second room was ready. Miss K and Miss J wanted to go swimming so Auntie found which of the five pools were available to swim after seven in the evening. Amanda went too and lots of fun was had.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Hawaii--day 8-9

Miss J rocking Auntie's hat
We spent day 8 in Maui snorkeling at Black Rock Beach. I've learned it is easier to get in and out of the ocean when I put my fins on in the water. I snorkeled until Miss K was too cold and then we swam back to the shore. We didn't see any turtles, but we did see different varieties of fish. At one point, the fish were swimming all around us as we floated. The current the schools of fish created made my fins move which was an odd sensation!

After we snorkeled, we had a swim in the pool. The girls sure have improved their swimming skills!

Pineapple and assorted fruits for breakfast hasn't gotten old yet! We went to Ohana Tacos for lunch. In addition to delicious shrimp and fish tacos, the business is family owned and operated. Then we went on a shopping mission for me; but, I didn't find what I was hoping to buy. James drove us. I wanted to buy an embroidery kit for the girls; but, I wasn't successful.

Pool swimming
We did find a shave ice which everyone enjoyed on a hot day. Then it was back to the condo. I took a nap which felt great.

Bob and Nicole walked down to the ocean from where we are staying and saw a number of turtles. The approach is too rocky for me They made plans to snorkel there later; but, then saw a sign that that section of the beach was private.

Dinner was salad with refrigerator leftovers. Nicole purchased some lobster salad at the fish market and a round loaf of sourdough bread.

I'm generally not excited about lobster; but, that salad was delicious. (If I ever get to Maine, I might change my mind about lobster!) Bob hollowed the bread, stuffed it with brie and baked it until the cheese melted. That was a great addition to dinner!

Shave ice is a great way to cool off on a hot humid day
On day 9, We got up early and went to Napili Beach to snorkel. We arrived just in time to snag one of the last of the public parking spaces. This was a nice place to snorkel as it a little bay that it five to eight feet of water in a lot of places so it is easy to get around. James and Amanda saw octopi; Nicole saw an eel and we all saw lots of different types of fish. It was cool to see schools of the different varieties swimming near each other.

On the way back, we dropped off our snorkel gear. We also stopped for a coffee at the shop in the Napili Marketplace. James determined that this was the best coffee spot in the area. He taste tested a number of spots!
We finished the first "Rabbits of London" book

Once back at the condo, we spent some time in the pool. The girls' swimming skills are improving. Miss J can roll easily from her front to her back and Miss K is figuring out elementary backstroke and rotary breathing.

We had a huge salad for dinner and Bob barbecued chicken thighs that tasted a lot like the chicken that we had at the luau.  He even grilled some zucchini. Nicole added a bottle of wine that Jérôme had picked. Wow, it was a delicious meal.

Good bye to this view
The girls and I finished reading the first "Royal Rabbits of London" book. It was a chapter book and we read a few chapters of the book each day. We might get started on the second book tomorrow.

We played another round of pinochle. The first night, Bob and Amanda were the winners. This night, Nicole and I were the winners.

Tomorrow, we will have an early swim in the pool and then we will pack up as check out is at 11am. I've really enjoyed staying at Polynesian Shores and would recommend it to anyone coming to this part of Maui.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hawaii--Day 7

To begin this day, we had coffee and watched the sun color the sky over the ocean. After sunrise, we had a breakfast of papaya, pineapple, dragonfruit, banana and star fruit. We also had a variety of breads, granola and yogurt.

Breakfast platter
We took a road trip to Iao Valley and Iao Needle which is a state park. It was about an hour drive. We took a little hike around the park to see the water falls and the vegetation. It was cooler in the mountains and a little overcast so my sunburn didn't become any greater than it already was!

The "EE-OW" of the needle
Iao Valley was the site of a huge Hawaiian battle in 1790. So many warriors died that stories say that the rivers ran red with blood. Now it is about a half mile walk around the elements in the park which was a perfect distance for the girls.

I enjoyed the visit reading about the restoration of native plants that the volunteers have been doing the work for a number of years. Bob took a photo of a plant with red leaves because he thought it looked like a quilt. I think he may be right!
Possibly a future quilt project

Nicole taking in the scenery
We did see people taking a dip in some of the pools; but, we didn't try it. The water would have been cold!

The girls checking out the water
Taking a little rest
Returning home, the grands and I read a couple chapters in our book while the rest of the adults made lunch. We were reading, "The Royal Rabbits of London, " by
Santa Montefiore and Simon Sebag Montefiore.

Ready for dinner
I picked up this copy and the sequel in London when I was visiting Nicole earlier this year. It is a great story with an even better message.

We had salami sandwiches and watermelon for lunch. Most of us took a nap to be fresh for the luau experience. The kids swam off some energy in the pool and then they took several walks.

The luau was a great experience. There was plenty of informal activities before the food was served which was perfect for the girls. The dishes were delicious and the evening entertainment was terrific. It was a fun three hours!