Friday, May 6, 2022

Quilt retreat Day Two -- get off your phone!

Is anyone having trouble getting my blog notification? Susan has been using the e-mail link on the blog, and it seems to be coming later in the day than usual. I'm not sure what is happening there, but hopefully, you are all getting the links OK. 

Day Two of the retreat has come and gone. OH MY --- what a great group of people. We have someone new on this retreat, and it's her first retreat with a small group. You always worry if the new person will fit into the mix, and I'm happy to report that she is just as crazy as the rest of us, and she has NOT been voted off the island!  Welcome to the crazy house, France! You're officially one of us!

While we didn't have an official ceremony or anything (we're not that crazy), it was hilarious at the dinner table yesterday. Well, actually, it was before that. First off, all six of us have participated or are currently participating in the virtual challenges by The Conqueror, which is super fun and all of us have a Fitbit. 

You can become friends with each other through the Fitbit app, so there was a flurry of activity as we all made sure that we were friends with each other. I struggle with some of that setup stuff, so it was good we were all together. 

And so this is what happened at dinner. 

At the dinner table

ALL of us were sitting at the table AFTER dinner and madly trying to get each other connected. France noticed this and popped up to get a picture. It was hilarious. You might think that it's sad that we were all on our phones, but we have been chatting to each other for two days now, and this seriously was a group activity!!! Thanks for the photo France!

I have not been taking my phone to the dinner table, but this was a special occasion!

The second thing that got us all going was Geocaching. Five of the six of us are geocachers, and France has chosen not to enter that "cult" for the moment. So we needed to make sure that all of us were connected as friends. We can see each other as we collect points for the latest Geocaching "competition." It's NOT a competition; it's a form of motivation to get out and do stuff. 

We didn't even know a new adventure had started until we were out caching yesterday. And four of the five of us who went out got bonus points and a virtual souvenir. Ronda did NOT, and well, that didn't go over well. We still have no idea why she didn't get the points since we all did the same thing, but at different times. 

We've now done the two caches close to the house, and we need more points, so a trip to Huntsville will be in order. 

Here's the cache we found yesterday. 

A geocache among the rocks

Hard to see? It's supposed to be. But there's a box stuck in that crevice. 

Susan and I went for a long walk while we were out, and there are numerous camps around this lake, so we daringly walked into one of the camps - Camp Mini Yo We. Many people were working getting it ready for the summer, and no one stopped us. So we walked right down to the lake. It's a beautiful camp. It's a vast property, and I can only imagine how much the land is worth!

Part of the obstacle course

Obstacle course, anyone? While I might be able to climb this, I don't think I could do the rope walk across the road. There is zip lining and, of course, all kinds of water activities. It's for kids and adults!!!

I wanted a picture of the Geocaching travel bug at the water. Thre's a small island out there which I'm sure many campers have swum to or kayaked to. 

The travel bug at the water

Sorry -- I didn't get a better picture of it -- but it's basically a tiny oar with a dog tag and a note attached. It's traveled 24 K since it started out in Czechia. My goal is to take it on a long trip to another body of water in a couple of weeks. 

Here's the oar hanging with the oars down by the water. I thought it was a fitting photo. I'll be posting those photos on the geocaching site for this trackable! 

The mini oar with its big brothers

OH -- and I took a picture of my progress on the Pacific Crest Trail. This is my virtual challenge. I'm almost 80% of the way and still have 112 days to complete it. I'll have no problem finishing on time as I've about 810 KM to go. WOW   -- I just checked, and I started this challenge on August 25 last year. I've been averaging 12.6 KM a day since then. WOW!!!!  I need to average about 7.6 KM daily to finish in the 365 days I scheduled. At my current pace, I'll finish in 64 days! I love watching the terrain/geography as I walk through these challenges, and I'm currently passing Mount Hood in Oregon. 

Progress on the Pacific Crest Trail

And now for the quilting. France finished one quilt top yesterday. Her goal is to make FOUR of these quilts while she is here. The next one is on the design wall, so we've set a goal for her -- finish by lunch! 

France's ISpy quilt

She's used novelty prints for a fantastic Ispy quilt. I never thought of doing that, but it's pretty neat!

Ronda is working on her temperature quilt. I really like this version of it. The petals are cool, and they represent the high and the low of each day. A number of them (Laura, Shelly, and Celeste (Ronda's daughter) are making this version of the temperature quilt. Only Celeste is up to date, and she's the newbie quilter!!!  There is way too much thought process to go into one of these quilts. I'm extremely happy to pass on it! Or let's say that there is ZERO FOMO on my part to ever make this type of quilt. 

Ronda's temperature quilt

I spent the entire day working on my "I can't believe it's a sweatshirt." This is where you take a sweatshirt and cover it with fabric and make it into a cardigan. The front and the two sleeves were done, but not the back. So I spent the entire day stitching the squares onto the back and redoing some of the other parts where I didn't think there was enough stitching. 

I thought I had taken a better picture, but I did not. This was a project that I started years ago, and it got "lost." However, I had located it several months ago when I was moving stuff around. It got moved to the current projects table, and I hope to get it finished this weekend. 

I need to cut it down the front to turn the sweatshirt into a cardigan, and I have the serger to serge it back up. The big question is - do I bind the ends of the sleeves and the bottom and the front opening, or do I wait until I'm home and use the cover stitch on the other serger? I'm not sure, and this would be an excellent chance to use the quilt binder attachment for the sewing machine. I'll have to think about that today and see what happens. 

I may just leave it and work on another project. NO -- I will make it into a cardigan today but will have to decide on the finishing. So it may get shelved today, and I'll finish it at home. 

It always seems that way -- I don't bring everything ended to finish a project while I'm here. But that's OK. Progress is being made. 

And it's funny about the sweatshirt as Claudette (not on the retreat, but we texted to compare notes) is in about the same position as I am on the sweatshirt, and she's planning on finishing hers as well!!!  Go for it, Claudette - you can do it!!!

But not to worry -- I have another big project with me that I may dig out and work on today. I'll see how it goes, but we also have to go and do the geocaching in Huntsville to get those points!!!  I was ready to go last night, but common sense prevailed!

I love quilt retreats, but I'm more looking at them as mini-vacations. If I get some quilting done, I get some quilting done. If I don't -- I don't really care! I managed to get in 13 KM of walking yesterday, located one geocache, and explored the neighborhood. I am more than a quilting machine!! GASP!!!  I have also ignored all sweets or most of them and eating pretty healthy, which is good news for my addictive behavior!

On that note -- I'm off to make breakfast!!!

Have a super day!!!



  1. I'm glad you look at retreats as vacations. I once retreated with someone who wouldn't go for a walk even once in 4d. She nagged and nagged "what are you going to make next" and wasn't happy that I didn't sew a ton. I was enjoying the beautiful lakeside mountain town we were at. I'm not sure we've had a conversation since then and that's OK.

    Cheers to another great day!!!

    1. OH MY -- that lady would not have been happy to be with us yesterday!!!! We truly are on vacation! Have a super day!!

  2. Hello Elaine,
    I found your blog from a magazine where you had a pattern published. I was interested in your website name, crazy quilter on a bike because I love riding my bike too. I've been following your blog for a while and see that you're also an avid walker and like challenges. I wondered if you know about volkssporting? Fun way to do walks and keep track all over the US , Canada and other countries. You can Google Canadian Volksport Association for more information about walks, and bikes too in your area. I also quilt, between walks and bikes, so I really enjoy your blog.
    Sharon F

    1. Hello Sharon!! You sound like a kindred spirit -- bikes/walking/quilting!!! So glad you reached out. I'm going to check out the Volksport Association. I don't think I've ever heard about that or I would have checked it out before. Thanks so much for the information and WALK on, with a seam ripper in our hands of course!!!! Have a super day!!!

    2. Hello Sharon!! You sound like a kindred spirit -- bikes/walking/quilting!!! So glad you reached out. I'm going to check out the Volksport Association. I don't think I've ever heard about that or I would have checked it out before. Thanks so much for the information and WALK on, with a seam ripper in our hands of course!!!! Have a super day!!!