Monday, June 25, 2018

Jingle Progress Report and Secret Beach Discovery!

Good morning!  Just wanted to briefly -- yes, BRIEFLY -- organize my thoughts and task prioritization around my current works in progress.

Jingle BOM Still On the Design Wall, Borders Completely Assembled
As you can see, my Jingle BOM is still up on the design wall.  The diagonal set block borders have been completely assembled now and I just need to trim the excess fabric from the bottom border.  

Sewing the Last Block Seam...
And as I've been working on the block border, I've been thinking about what I want the inner border(s) to look like.  That predominantly gold print fabric in the photo is a FQ (fat quarter) from my stash circa 2013, when I first started this project, so there's no hope of finding any more of it now.  Also the print is too "muddy" from a distance to be my favorite final choice -- but I do like the idea of having some kind of metallic gold stripe in between the applique medallion and the Big Block Border.  And so...  Fabric shopping had to happen.  Shhh!

Kaufman Holiday Flourish 10 Stripe
Here's what I came up with.  It's Kaufman's Holiday Flourish Stripe, but I think it's from last year's collection (Holiday Flourish 10) and not from this year's collection by the same name (Holiday Flourish 11).  I hate trying to match colors when I'm shopping online, but hopefully this will look good with what's already on the wall.  I'm thinking of isolating one or more stripes for borders both inside and outside the diagonal block border...  We'll see what it looks like when it shows up in my mailbox.

Meanwhile, I've got another minor issue to contend with.  Many of my applique blocks have hand embroidered green chain stitch stems, and when I did that stitching I wove my thread tails through previous stitches to secure them.  However, when I agitated the blocks in the soapy Dawn bloodbath to resolve my dye bleed issue, those thread tails worked loose and are visible through the background fabric on the right side of my blocks.  

Loose Embroidery Thread Tails Need Securing
Look at those ridiculous stitches on the back of this block.  I was so worried about getting my stitches close enough together that they are piled up on top of one another, tighter than the weave of the background fabric!  Just another reminder that this is my first-ever applique project that I'm finally finishing -- and every new skill that is difficult at first becomes easier with time and practice!  I have decided to secure my embroidery thread tails on each applique block with a few hand stitches in regular cotton thread.  Also, I didn't remove any of the background fabric behind my applique with these blocks or with the center applique medallion.  I might not trim behind every leaf, but definitely behind the larger shapes to reduce bulk prior to quilting.  Trimming away backing and hand stitching thread tails in place should keep me busy while I await the arrival of my border print fabric.

Pineapple Log Cabin Blocks Still Waiting for Assembly
And of course, my pineapple log cabin blocks are still waiting to be released from their foundation papers and assembled into a quilt top, too.  I'm not sure which of these two quilts will go on the longarm machine first, to be honest.  Jingle has lots of opportunities to SID (Stitch In the Ditch) all of the pieced blocks and try my hand at custom quilting around the applique.  I'm not sure how I want to quilt my pineapple log cabin yet -- still kicking around some ideas in my head. 

No sewing got done last week, though -- we escaped to the beach for a few days while our teenagers were on a church choir trip.  We went to Bald Head Island, two miles off the mainland of North Carolina, and found the most tranquil, isolated beach you can imagine right near Cape Fear:

The Best Beaches Are EMPTY Beaches
No loud music.  No cigarette smoke.  No trash washing up on the beach.  Just empty sand as far as the eye can see, warm summer air with a cool ocean breeze, toes in the sand under my umbrella, and the rhythmic lullaby of crashing waves.  We had the whole beach to ourselves the whole time we were there.  Just what the doctor ordered!

My Sweetie Carrying Chairs Down to Our "Private Beach"
Having an empty beach all to myself is amazing to me.  Growing up in New Jersey, a day at the beach meant heavy traffic driving down to the Shore for the day -- Point Pleasant Beach -- and it was always VERY crowded, like this:

A Day at the Shore: Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey
See what I mean?  You can't even see the beach or the ocean in for the sea of people blocking your view.  But that's the kind of beach I grew up with, and that's the only kind of beach I knew before moving to the Carolinas.

It took us about four hours to drive from our home in Charlotte to Southport, North Carolina, where we left the car and took a ferry across the Cape Fear River to Bald Head Island.  The subtropical island is largely undeveloped, with 10,000 of its 12,000 acres untouched nature preserves: beaches, maritime forest, and salt marshes.  No cars are permitted on the island either and, in order to help sea turtle hatchlings find their way to the moonlight reflecting off the ocean, there is very minimal artificial nighttime lighting from humans anywhere near the shore.  So it gets DARK at night, and you can even see STARS!  To get from one beach to another, or to one of the pool clubs or restaurants, residents and vacation renters either ride bikes, walk, or zip around in golf carts.  We were able to rent a golf cart from the bed and breakfast where we stayed.

No Cars, Just Golf Carts!
So, is this my new favorite beach?  I liked that it was secluded and full of nature preserves, like Kiawah Island near Charleston, SC, but it had a more casual vibe -- didn't feel like I needed to get all dressed up to go out to dinner like I did at Kiawah.  On the other hand, Kiawah seemed to have more to do -- more variety of restaurants, shops, and activities scheduled throughout the summer.  We were only at Bald Head Island for three days and although we had a great time, we were ready to leave when it was time to go.

Do you have a favorite beach in the Southeast that I should try next time we're ready for a weekend getaway?  Please leave a comment and tell me all about it!  I still have not figured out an efficient workaround for replying to your comments since Blogger mucked with their comment notification system (I think this was needed in order to comply with new EU data privacy requirements?) but please know that I do read each and every comment and I love hearing from you, even if I can't figure out how to reply to you directly via email!

Have a wonderful week, and happy stitching.

I'm linking up with:


Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

no beach recommendations from me - I rarely go to any but I can tell that I would hate the NJ one - way too crowded - I like the solitude like the one you went to but I would only last a day or two also
looks like you have made great progress on your quilts while I have been somewhat away from blogland - it just took too long to load blogs on my phone or computer to read - I guess I was lucky to have WiFi to blog most of the time I was gone.

chrisknits said...

Our favorite beach is Daytona Beach Shores, right in front of our condo. It is never crowded, but cars are allowed on the beach. :( The only time it really gets crowded is July4th holiday, but that only means there might be 7 groups of people in front of the condo. All the commercial hotels are to the far north and slightly south of us. Other than that it is a wide, white, sandy beach with beautiful waves! The best part? There is a bathroom close at hand! LOL

Julie said...

Rebecca, there is a fix. Go to blogger settings, email, comment notification email. In that box use an email other than gmail. Save settings. The notification will come to that email that you wish to subscribe to post notifications. Subscribe. Test it yourself by leaving said self a comment on your blog. Once you've confirmed it, change it back to your former gmail only if that's what you were using.

Life is good once again.

Jill said...

Several nice projects from which to choose. I agree on the 2013 border fabric for the Jingle quilt. Not quite right. Sorry about your embroidered threads showing through. I love getting away to a beach. There is something relaxing about the water.

Chris said...

Best beach I was ever on was South East India an island just off the mouth of the Krishna River facing east to the Bay of Bengal one year after the tsunami. Is that specific enough? The only signs of humans was the people I was with. Twenty of us standing in a 30 ft boat, tiny lawn mower motor put putting and a boy bailing water out of the bottom and a guy pushing us away from the shore with a 10 foot pole. Pristine beach. Clear water. Sun sparkling. Everyone out for a splash in all their clothes.

Susie said...

Hi Rebecca love the quilt and the fabric you have chosen for the border.

It is lovely to find an empty beach. My DH and I usually manage to find an empty spot with no one in sight and after we have got settled and our Boys are off doing whatever someone comes along, usually another family and sets up camp within two feet of where we are! Yet the whole beach is still empty!!! It always happens and I think it is because people are so insecure these days that they just cannot be on their own and need to be within sight of other people.

DH and I are only children and I think because of that we got used to being on our own and so it does not bother us to not have people around. In fact I hate crowds and love the peace and quiet of no one else around but that is getting harder and harder to find.

Hugs, Susie x

Louise said...

New visitor to your blog, through Val's linkup. I'm in awe of both your Jingle and your pineapple block quilts! Wow, they are both so beautiful! Glad you found a deserted beach, too. I grew up in northern California, where the water is too cold to swim, so beaches are often empty. When we moved to NJ when I was in high school, I was shocked at the crowds :)

Glenda said...

Both quilts to be are lovely, not sure how you ahve the patience to make that amazing pineapple top???? But boy its beautiful. Your beach look a lot like ours in the FNQLD of Australia miles of beach and no one there, perfect for walking and dreaming. Ours are empty as you can not go in swimming though due to stingers or the crocs LOL Glad you were able to get away to your dream beach . Cheers Glenda

Adventurous Quilter said...

That quilt is looking fabulous 👌😍

Bonnie said...

Yea for pulling out an old applique project to finish. It's going to be spectacular. I still like the pineapple quilt. The colors are wonderful. I am not a great beach person -- even growing up (sometimes) in Southern California. We've gone to Destin on the panhandle of Florida and it was nice. That was 20 years ago so who knows what it is like now. We have a house in Nags Head where we spend off season times at. We rent it out during the summer. Because we tend to go in May and September/October the beaches aren't all that crowded. Traffic is pretty bad during July through Labor Day. But the beach isn't packed like NJ. I sure hope your fabric comes in soon and it will work with what you have.

Miaismine said...

Beautiful quilts - and empty beaches! Your work is lovely! That pineapple quilt - wow! It's gorgeous! Thank you for sharing!

Crystal_235 said...

Empty beach looks amazing.

Lori said...

Sounds like the perfect getaway!

Susie H said...

I am in love with that pineapple quilt. Maybe because a pineapple quilt is on my bucket list of quilts to do one day. Jingle is also coming together beautifully. My aunt lived in Belmar and I remember visiting during summers growing up. Yup! Looked just like that picture of Point Pleasant Beach. I would've liked your deserted beach too but I think something in between would be perfect. I still like to people watch!

Sharon - IN said...

Your quilts are lovely. Hopefully the strip fabric you ordered will be just what your Jingle quilt needs for that border. Releasing papers on that beautiful Pineapple quilt sounds like something to do while watching a movie. Quiet beaches! Oh how refreshing! I grew up going to Ocean City, MD and I never cared for the crowds. Take me to the mountains with a quiet walkway to a waterfall and I'm a happy girl!

Susan said...

Sorry, no beach recommendations from me, unless you want to come to CA. Both you're quilts are gorgeous - I think I'd tackle the holiday one first, so it's ready for Christmas.

Nancy said...

Your island trip sounds wonderful with such an open beach to yourselves. Your quilts are lovely. I especially like the pineapple quilt with all the color and tiny pieces. I think if I did such a quilt, I would buy the foundation fabric that stays in the quilt and prints in the inkjet printer. I can't imagine tearing out all the paper.

Marcy said...

I feel for you on the embroidery issue. I'm wondering if you could tack down those loose threads with a teeny bit of fabric glue. Way too much work for a problem.

Katie said...

We used to go to Ocean Grove! And then to Bradley Beach on Sundays when Ocean Grove was closed. Those were the days. Then Mom and Dad moved to Cape Cod. How I miss that place. We really haven't explored the North Carolina coast yet. It's about time! :-)

Mama Spark said...

This beach is so nice! Is there camping available there? We camped in the OBX last fall and the beach the campground was on was never very crowded (compared to the Lake MI beaches). I will put this one on our list of places to visit. I love your pineapple quilt and that applique one is amazing!

Bridie said...

Your Jingle quilt is gorgeous, I love that it's festive but not so festive you couldn't enjoy it all year round.

And your Pineapple Log Cabin is stunning, I love log cabin quilts but I've done so many I've got bored of them. This looks like a fantastic new twist to rejuvenate one of my old favourites . . .

Jo said...

Your pineapple log cabins are amazing

Rebecca Grace said...

Thanks, Bridie! My pineapple log cabin isn’t actually a new twist at all – it’s a reproduction of a quilt in the International Quilt Study Museum collection, circa 1890-1910: I love how fresh and modern an “old” quilt design becomes just from updating the color palette.

And Marcy -- you are a GENIUS! It was such a treat to see your glue suggestion when I checked my email this morning! That's the perfect solution for those loose thread tails, and so much more efficient than my plan to secure them all by hand with a needle and thread. THANK YOU!!!

Preeti said...

Oh Rebecca, I am sorry that those knots are causing you grief. Most folks won't even think about what is happening on the back but then you are a perfectionist. If something like this happened to me (as if I'd appliqué anything - too slow for an impatient soul like me) I'd use SF101 and iron the interfacing behind the appliqué blocks. That should tame all those unruly knots. Just my thought. However you choose to fix this issue, Jingle is show-worthy and ribbon worthy. And as far as the Pineapple Quilt is concerned, I have run out of adjectives - Breathtakingly Beautiful should do for now while I go consult a Thesaurus :-D

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