Great Vacation in Charleston, South Carolina

For the last week, I have been on vacation with my husband in Charleston, SC. We havent’ seen that much of the south, and also wanted to go some place where there are beaches, and sun. 

                                               Folly Beach

                                             Isle of Palms Beach

Charleston is a beach lovers dream. We saw almost all of them, but Isle of Palms was my favorite beach. In each direction, I could see miles of sandy coastline, which never seemed to end. And in a historic place like Charleston, I like to think about the settlers who came many centuries ago and settled off the shores. It’s hard to imagine, what their reactions were to this new land. How will they survive here. It takes a lot of bravery and guts to take such a huge leap of faith. How many brought all their quilting supplies? I don’t doubt some did.

Everything was very lush, and there was lots of old trees with Spanish Moss hanging from them. Many palm trees, which I didn’t expect.

One of my favorite scenes is the long docks that go into the salt marshes, which were in the movie “The Notebook.” Many of the scenes from the movie were filmed in this area.

Each little town had it’s own personality. And coming from New York I was surprised at how clean everything was, even in the city. And no graffiti. American flags were everywhere to honor the veterans. 

This photo was taken on Sullivan’s Island. 

We visited with a friend of ours who recently moved to Daniel Island, and told us that coconut cake is a big thing there. The Penninsula Grill boasts The Ultimate Coconut Cake. Of course we tried it.

It was very large, and the best I can remember tasting. The server told us that a few days before Christmas, they make several hundred, because people send them as gifts. They cost $120.00 a cake plus special shipping.

Of course, I couldn’t leave without visiting at least one quilt shop.Five Eighth Seams, in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Quite a lovely quilting shop. And if you are ever in this area, check it out.

We ate lunch one day at Water’s Edge in Shem Creek. There are three small fins you can see in the photo below. We got a great surprise – some dolphins!!

I still can’t believe the week went so fast. On the last day we went for an hour and a half cruise on a small catamaran. Another activity, I highly recommend. Ask for Brian at Charleston Sailing Adventures. He shared with us many interesting facts and stories. Afterwards we docked nearby.

Afterwards, we went to California Dreaming and were greeted by a sign that gave all four of us a good laugh. (My friend from college who moved to Charleston and her nephew were with us).

I love these last two photos. One of them sums up what Memorial Day is about – seeing the flag of our nation everywhere, and feeling grateful about our freedom, and being thankful to all that serve our country.

And the sunset.

Before I sign off, check out the beautiful quilts and blogs at Blogger’s Quilt Festival, sponsored by Amy@Amy’s Creative Side. I entered a quilt in the hand quilted category. There is more information on my web site at the following URL, and photos. Most of all, enjoy all of the inspiring quilts and learn about their makers and designers. It’s just a really fun festival to participate in.

Lots of WIP’s to share this week. Happy Quilting!!

Bloggers Quilt Festival Spring 2015 Entry

I was so excited to see the hand quilting category in Amy Ellis’s Spring Bloggers Quilt Festival. Her blog, Amy’s Creative Side has been sponsoring this festival for several years. She runs the festivals during fall and spring quilt market. There are many wonderful online stores and vendors who offer prizes to the winners. 

I finished hand quilting this single size bed quilt in January, 2015. It took about a year to complete. I worked on it off and on.

Hand quilting is not as difficult as most people think. Once I got the hang of it, I really fell in love with it. It puts me in a very zen mood. It does take a long time to do, and I machine quilt most of my quilts. But I always have one on the side to do by hand. 

I like having something to hand sew when we’re watching TV, or listening to music. And, although it’s a bit cumbersome, it is portable!! I bring it to the pool in the summer, and work on it in the warm sunlight between swimming, reading, and visiting with my friends and neighbors.

The pattern I hand quilted on this piece is called the Bishop’s Fan. It’s one of my favorite patterns. The curves are very gentle, and it softens a quilt that is pieced using all straight seams or is angular. 

I try to make my stitches as consistent as possible. But this is hand work, and it’s not always perfect. The imperfections really do give it a hand made feel. Over the many years I’ve been hand quilting, my stitch length and spacing has soared – practice really helps.

It’s easy to see the fan shape in this photo. I mark the quilt before I begin the sewing using a template bought from a store, and use a number 2 pencil. I wash the quilt when it’s finished, and the pencil markings that haven’t worn off come right out in the wash. 

I used Prescencia Thread 60 wt., hand quilting thread, which is my favorite. I chose a neutral color that would show the stitches and pattern, but don’t scream with color and overshadow the fabrics and distract from the overall pattern of the quilt.

There are many types and brands of “quilting between needles.” I mostly use Colonial Needles, number 10. They also make a hybrid needle, which I use too. The eye is bigger, but the shaft of the needle is skinny, so it quilts through the three layers smoothly and easily.

It’s easy to see the stitches on the front and back in this photo. I love this backing with the little hearts.

I dedicated it to our cat Emma. She sleeps on it when it’s on the couch. We use it too for naps, and sometimes when we watch TV or read.

Check out all the beautiful quilts that other quilters have made. Click this link to link-up up with Amy’s Creative Side Bloggers Quilt Festival, Spring 2015. I promise you won’t be disappointed. The quilts can be entered into one or two of several categories during May 15 – May 21. You can vote for your favorites beginning on May 22. There are many great entries to inspire and delight you, and you’ll enjoy discovering new blogs and quilters.

Happy Quilting!!