New Blog To Follow Our Adventures!

Wanted to announce the new blog, titled, “Sailing on Mahi,” where you can follow our adventures if you wish.  Basically, we retired early, bought a blue water capable boat, will move aboard and travel the world on board Mahi, our Taswell 43 cutter rigged sailboat.

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I also have a Facebook page HERE, too, if you want to see where we are and follow our adventures.  Plan to seek out quilting arts as we travel and write about sewing projects to improve the interiors.  Will also sew on projects above deck, too.  Taking some beading supplies along, too.  You know I just have to create!

Also bringing along the Tablet PC and programs so I can continue to draw designs to be sold at Digitech Patterns.  This gal is going to try to piece and quilt with my industrial strength Sailrite machine.  :-)

I hope you will visit and follow the new blog and “like” my page on Facebook.  Hugs from Carla

Pam Wall, Cruising Consultant

pam-head-photoI want to introduce you to a wonderful, interesting, friend of mine named Pam Wall.  Her experience of setting off to sail the world with her husband, Andy, children Samantha (age 8) and son Jamie (age 4) aboard their Freya 39 sloop named Kandarik is truly inspiring!  After a long career with West Marine, Pam is now a Sailing and Cruising Consultant, extraordinaire!

Pam and kidsWhen I first started attending sailboat shows, I became aware of this incredible woman. Pam cruising seminars were always packed for a good reason- she knows her stuff, plus her engaging personality shines through.   She writes articles carried in many sailing magazines, she travels all over the US holding seminars, plus she has a special focus of teaching women how to sail and how to prepare for cruising.

img_0037Pam is who I turned to when I needed a sailboat broker referral.  She immediately put Joe and I in touch with Philip Thompson, at Dream Catchers Yachts, who has been an excellent broker, instrumental in helping us find our boat.  Pam has also helped Joe and I whenever we have questions about finding a surveyor, boat viewings, equipment, referrals for boat repairs, insurance, and numerous other topics.  Her consulting skills are second to none.

She has also become a very good friend along the way.  Pam is the most giving person I know.  Regardless of whether you plan to sail eventually or just want to read more about her incredible sailing adventure on her website, do me a favor and go on over to check her site out HERE.

Now for the quilting/beading tie in- Pam showed me a lovely pictorial quilt she has hanging on her bedroom wall.  Also, her sister is a bead artist extraordinaire!  I got to see her bead weaving collection, including many award winning necklaces.

Regards, Carla

Sailboat Quilt Project

One of the hardest things about going traveling by sailboat is missing your dear friends and family.  Barbara Kiehn is one friend I will especially miss.  She and I have collaborated on many award winning quilts over the years, long time blog readers may remember a few of them:

carlainthegarden41egypt6baby tulip2

frontkimono2kimonoblockkimono2

I decided that Ethan needs a new quilt for his new cabin berth, but time is short, so I asked Barb to help me design and put it together.  Yesterday was our work day at her house, and we were able to finish the sailboat blocks.  Of course, there is more work to do on this scrappy, red, white and blue quilt, so I will work on it whenever I can get a free minute.

Here are a picture of the blocks only, today I cut and fuse the flags at the top of the mast like shown in the top left block:

Sailboat block in progress

Barb and decided to make these topsy turvy sailboats, plus there will be scrappy pieced sashings in between each block.  Here is a sample from Barb’s quilt for what topsy turvy setting looks like:

Topsyturvysailing

So that is my WIP sailboat project for the boat.  Thank you shout out to Barb for her help, lunch yesterday, and for being such a wonderful friend.   Regards, Carla

Maze Quilt for Doug

I am busy working on a maze quilt for my friend, Doug.  Here is a picture:

Doug Maze quiltDoug loves it when I quilt quirky things into his quilt.  We decided to play off the mouse in a maze theme for this quilt.  The mice on the quilt are just plastic, but they provide a wealth of inspiration for this quilt.

Note the outer black border fabric which frames the quilt’s edges?  That is what I will design first.

Using Photoshop, I sketch ideas for this border.  I thought it would be interesting to have an overhead perspective of a mouse running around the border.  Once sketched, I redrew in Art & Stitch software for digitizing.  This is my first rough design:

Carla Mouse BorderI am working to a fast deadline, so I needed to get this border quilted up pronto.   This design is easy to place on the quilt and quilts up nicely as shown below.

 

Here is the mouse design quilted up: BarrettMouseBorder

Note the easy freehand “fingers” quilting on the edge of the quilt to fill the space.  Tip: Just quilt long skinny “U” shapes.  Fast and easy!

Now I am designing the rest of the quilt.  Think mouse traps, cheese, and similar themed motifs.

Hope you have enjoyed a sneak peek into Doug’s quilt.  I need to get this quilt done quickly for a couple of reasons- we have a contract on a boat in FL, and need to fly back there for the survey, sea trial and haul out.  Will be sharing more about the boat after the deal finalizes.

In the meantime, I would love to hear how YOU have been?  Do leave me a comment so we can chat.  Happy quilting, Carla

Boat Search Continues….

perfect-stormThe hunt for the right blue water capable sailboat for our family continues.  What is a blue water sailboat, you might ask?  It is a sailboat designed to cross oceans.  No, make that safely cross oceans.   The “safety” part is real big with my husband and I.   We want a boat that will take whatever Neptune throws at her.  Well, within reason.  I just remembered the end of the movie, The Perfect Storm.  Banish the thought of rouge waves, and let’s get back to the topic of buying the right boat.

11143295_10204312880322603_7261886614980938312_nSo far, our boat search has taken us to Florida for a week long, mad dash around the state looking at all types of potential sailboats.

Then we decided to treat young Ethan to a Disney Cruise from Miami to San Diego by way of the Panama Canal.  Yes, that’s right- Ethan gets Mickey, and we get to experience an engineering wonder.   That was fair.  Plus, we all had a blast on the cruise.  On the right is dear Ethan all dressed up for pirate night.  He makes an adorable pirate I might add.

Once we arrived to San Diego, the Southern Cal part of the boat search began.  We saw one boat we really liked, however, we waited too long to make an offer and someone else bought it the next day.   Oh well, live and learn.

This boat search trip was very helpful despite the disappointment of not acting fast enough and missing out.  This philosopher in me says it wasn’t the right boat for us.  However, we did learn what makes and model of boat we like and dislike for our offshore sailboat.

So what’s next?  We are narrowing down our search, working with our broker, and a trip back to Florida is in my future.    Stay tuned!!  Hugs, Carla

Realizing a Dream

Have you ever had a longtime dream?   Something you planned to accomplish and took tiny steps towards over many years in order to realize.  This could be retirement, or travel, or any number of dreams- both large or small.

capt joeMy dream is to sail the world in a bluewater sailboat.   I love the ocean, tropical islands, traveling, and learning about other cultures.  Sharing this dream with my husband, Joe, was part of the plan, so I gave him a copy of Herb Payson’s entertaining book, Blown Away.  Little did I know that reading Blown Away was all it took to get Joe on board with my idea.  Fabulous, partner with same dream…. check!

IMG_5016Next step is to learn more about “cruising,” which is the sailing term used when you leave home behind and travel by sailboat.  This included taking lots of sailing classes on subjects like how to actually sail, navigation, weather, anchoring, offshore sailing, sail repair, diesel repair, provisioning and outfitting your boat, and my favorite topic, safety.  After all, the goal is to come back alive, right?

Then, you have to think about the financial aspects of cruising, or how to pay for it.  In our case, we paid off our house, saved over a long time, and recently retired early (Joe) or are taking a sabbatical (Carla).  We also saved for our boat, too, which we are now searching for with help of a yacht broker.  Finally, we are at the point where everything is coming together.

bviEthan2aFour years ago, we had an unexpected blip in our sailing plans, the birth of our grandson Ethan. Circumstances led to our caring for him since birth, and finally adopting him last year.  We know many cruising couples who sail with children, so with safety in mind, we decided to include Ethan in our travel plans.   When he gets to school age, we plan to boat school him.  If we stay somewhere for a time (say, for hurricane season), we will place him into a local school in a foreign country.   What a wonderful opportunity he will have.

The topic of safety is hugely important to us.  Trust me, we plan to have every useful safety product sold on board.  More about this topic later, when I develop our sailing blog.  The new blog will be for anyone wanting to follow our sailing adventures.  For readers who enjoy the current blog, I hope to create while we sail, and post to this blog on topics relevant to quilting, beading, mixed media arts and artists I meet.

Once we buy our boat and outfit her, we plan to move aboard and set off.  A decade long dream finally realized.   Do you have a dream to share?  I would love to hear about yours.

Digital Design Draft

I like to draw on my tablet PC while watching TV in the evenings.  The following designs are first draft, meaning that I will go back and clean them up, and work with them further.

First I drew the center of the design:

Carladigital

Then, I decided to add more framing:

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Will let you know how the design progresses and changes as I work with it more.

Take care, Carla