Marine Gradation

It turns out that we are spending our last week here in AZ with triple digit temperatures! It is just plain hot. Just had air on for an hour here and there, the ceiling fans work great. Today the winds crank up leading to red flag warnings. It is very dry as the last rain was back in February and that was not much. House is cleaned and most things are packed. Spouse cannot believe we are coming back with so much. Well a girl has to take some quilting stuff back you know :). Anyway I always find some cracks as he packs where something can fit.

Graduation

So cool to be on the island early and the other recruits are already training. You can hear the cadences and the rifle shooting in the distance. We found our parking spot by 0530 and yes people were lining up for a good seat for graduation. We ran into friends that came down for Abi and they said they would save us spots and we decided to go to raising of colors. Every military base throughout the world has this special event Friday morning at the same time 0745. Well we were quite early for this so we took a walk past 4th Battalion quarter and saw the female recruits working hard. Some doing drill and some doing ammo can lifts. We walked down to one of the rivers near by than run into the ocean. By the time we got back some people were sitting down. It was a beautiful ceremony with the Marine Band playing several selections. The commander of the base was there and gave a very personal speech. Quite the funny guy. I guess he will be leaving in June for reassignment. We then walked back to the parade deck where all the celebrations were held.

Such pageantry and tradition. Was a great program about an hour. My daughter said they could not look around so did not see anything. I guess that is why they encourage you to purchase the DVD.

Abi and my spouse not eating to take pictures and she wanted to get off the island quickly. Actually it went fast. Graduation over around 10 and we returned to our town house by 1030. The she changed, repacked some of her things, threw out some things and activated her cell phone. It was so funny that if felt so foreign to her. Even going out for lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings all the TV’s overwhelmed her. No TV or music for 13 weeks. A real culture shock. Then she was eyeing everyone’s uniform and what they were doing. She of course changed into civilian clothes. We also saw how much and how quickly she ate her food. She held open the doors for people behind her. We saw a lot of little details that were engrained into her.

She has a few more days prior to leaving for Camp Pendleton for her non-infantry training that will begin early in June. She has touched based with a lot of her friends. She has probably eaten things she missed but also has worked out. We came back to AZ. We both picked up a cold and hoping it will leave us prior to our west trip.

Happy nurses week to one of my daughters and Happy Teachers week to the other.

Welcome to new gals following my blog!

I am very close to finishing the hand quilting on my mom’s quilt. May start the borders on our trip.

Our first stop is Sedona on Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Advertisements

Marine Graduation week in review

This post will contain USMC topics. Seeing and appreciating the training and commitment of our military is truly a Blessing to the country. I was so honored to be on base to witness the above. I will share with you my past few days….

A break from quilting related things. Family events to cherish are so important as they never come around again. Many of you know my daughter recently joined the Marines and has spent 13 weeks in boot camp on Parris Island, SC. This is truly a challenge for her and I have to say she and some guardian angels watching over her. She overcame some sleep deprivation causing some hallucinations at the beginning due to forced lack of sleep-travel and bout of pneumonia mid-training. She described the “crucible ” their final exam as challenging but not as bad as she thought. My husband and I wrote to her almost every day along with other friends and family. Now it was time to travel to Parris Island and see our new Marine!

We left AZ Tuesday early am and arrived In Charleston early evening. Flights were uneventful. We met our second daughter who was able to attend at the airport. The eldest could not attend due to her teaching. We got our rental car and it seemed a little small. I mentioned we were picking up our Marine daughter and promptly he was kind enough to up grade our car to a new SUV. I was a bit worried as she had several bags to take home. We all just had our carry on’s. We rented a two bedroom townhouse in Beaufort about 15 minutes from base. Very cute place and convenient.

Wednesday

We decided to check out Parris Island. I should have made reservations for a behind scenes tour, but saw this too late and they were sold out. However we did get to the visitor center early enough and heard the last part of a briefing, were on standby for the tour and because it was a small group were were about to see the whole island and listened to the tour guide as he explained things. This is an open base and nothing was off limits except a recruit and drill instructor if they were “having a conversation”. We saw many recruits in different phases of training. Pictures were allowed but quite honestly everyone looks the same. We same running, obstacles, marching, snapping and shooting rifles. The guided tour was great. Afterwards we went to Subway on base for lunch. Next was the museum. It was fabulous and thoughtfully done. We knew that graduation practice was at 3pm and so we went to that. 5 platoons lined up on side and then them marching as they would graduation. Apparently they had practiced several times-hours already. This was really the first opportunity to see her and my daughter did get some close ups. ( she did see her sister, but they cannot smile or anything).

She in the last picture is in first row second from the end.

We they practiced the whole program two times. You see they demand perfection. You also see they are wearing watches, they got them last week and for the first time they were able to know exact time. Of course then they were told when to be back or how long they had to do certain duties. There were two female platoons in this graduating class. So we were happy to see a glimpse of her and she looked good and quite thin but fit. Hair done up in a bun, which is regulation. They wash their hair in a sink not the shower and have hair gel to keep it in place. We learned she always had someone else to her hair usually the night before.

Thursday

Today is the day everyone looks forward to. Time with your new Marine and they also look forward to this day. We left our place early about 5:30 am. This is to get a parking spot and a spot on the running route. They call it a Mojo run or a motivational run. They run for the last time waits their platoon and ring a bell. You get to see the, actually twice from both sides of the street. Of course your Marine needs to tell you where they are in the formation. We had an idea from yesterday so we sat at on the appropriate side. Now remember it is dark. Then we saw some running and we got over to where they were going (pre Mojo) and we saw her. Did not get a great picture. They were doing warm ups on Parade deck which is the deck they will graduate from.

She is………………………………………..HERE

Then a few more pictures

Everyone including drill instructors run. With families lined up on both sides it was like a parade.

Now these pictures are there return back the same route. We did not see her in her usual spot. So we stayed out while other families did the bit of switch running across the road to opposite side.

Then we saw her…

Right…………….here

We found out later that she was in a winning group on field day and she won the sprinting competition. We unbeknownst to her she was selected in her platoon to print to the bells along the route, ring the bell, do some pushups and sprint back to the platoon. That is way she looked so tired.

After the run the next we headed to the all weather building which is were the Marines will march in and be given liberty from their drill instructors for what is call Family day.

We went to the building a got our seat and waited….waited….waited about 2 hrs along with countless other families. They had some videos and you could get up and walk around, but it was a long time. But finally they came…

She in there, but could not see her well because people in front on chairs stood up and would not sit down…oh well when they were dismissed she found us. She wanted to get out of there and eat! Well first we had to get her sea bag and take it to the car. She was also not allowed to ride in car per Drill Instructor so she would get her exercise in. So we also got our exercise as we did a lot of walking that day. 18800 steps to be exact.

Here she is with her McFlurry. After eating and a few stories she wanted to got to the MCX the base version of Kohl’s. Another walk to other side island. We had one other surprise for her. Her best friend and mom flew in and had just got on base so I had to come up with a story to get to where we were. We actually had them meet near the sign We Make Marines…we were taking her picture when they came up behind her and surprised her. p

Back to the MCX for them to eat something. We all talked and then she had to line up for graduation practice. We all watched another run and then left for the day.

Some other pictures of Parris Island

Yellow footprints they step on as recruits and the silver doors they go thru

Back packs…carried during crucible

I will save graduation for next time.

Managed to get some hand quilting done. Most of my other sewing stuff packed up or put away. I have one quilt for gals to pin for me and I will take it home to quilt.

Happy Quilting!

Blue and yellow

Two of my favorite colors together and yet I don’t think I have made anything with those colors. I was gifted some scraps with these colors and decided to do a mini scrap vortex layout for a purse. Today I pieced the scraps and have completed for the front and back. I like it very much. I don’t usually sew many purses, but decided to do one for me for spring. Tomorrow I will add the batting and practice some free motion quilting. I like the idea of sewing scraps and putting them to good use. I will be doing a class on the scrap vortex next year and this is perfect for those who don’t want to do a quilt. One could easily do a table runner or placemats.

This will be my final sewing project. We have a community guided quilt we will be doing this week…lasagna quilt pattern. I think there are about 4 bins full of 2.5 fabric strips. I sort of did a small table runner and it was quite fun and not stressful. I think the gals will love it.

We got a call from our Marine daughter yesterday. We were not sure if she would call but talked to her for 20 minutes. She is doing fine. The crucible was challenging, but walk back was not bad. She was going to head to subway to eat some real food. They did have a Marine Breakfast after the crucible, she had pancakes, French toast, cinnamon rolls, bacon and chocolate cake. Some people ate too much and payed for it later. Mostly classes this week and then Battalion inspection the last thing before graduation. She is looking forward to the down time. We will leave on Tuesday and return on Saturday. Looking forward to seeing her and the base she trained on. Her one sister is meeting us in Charleston at the airport. We also know her good friend and mom are coming to surprise her. We are all flying Southwest so hopefully they get all those engines inspected. This is one trip we need to get there and for Abi to return to Milwaukee for her 10 day leave.

Happy Quilting!

Scraps turn into treasures

This is my Arizona sewing set up. I have accomplished all my main projects so taking the scraps that were gifted to me at our retreat and making string squares for some unknown project. I had tried to sort them into color families, some are very nice strips for 4-patches and some larger pieces for whatever. This bag was mainly Browns or darker colors. Spent yesterday and today doing the bag and got about 60 5″ blocks. A fun sewing thing to do. Recently my allergies have gotten really bad. So staying indoors and keeping doors closed has helped with a minor switch in my meds. So perfect time to tackle these scraps. I also found a cute landscape pattern that I will adapt and use up some other batik scraps. I kitted that project to return to Wisconsin.

So in the wee hours of tomorrow, 2am east coast time my daughter will begin her crucible at Parris Island. Weather looks great. No new news from her so looks like she passed her combat warrior test. She was a bit worried as she did not do the initial one due to her pneumonia. But she is a strong girl so I had no doubts she could do it. By Saturday at 8 am the event is completed and she will be a Marine! oorah so they say. So keep her and all recruits in your prayers that they stay strong both physically and mentally and free from injury. This is truly a journey are young people go thru to protect our country. I am sure she will look at things quite differently. She even said the museum on Parris Island is very cool and interesting. So will be cool for her to take us thru it. I guess they spent over 2 hours there. As for me I will do some quilting, guild meets next to days, I will lap swim and due my biking riding to keep me occupied. Looking forward to seeing her transformation.

Happy Quilting!

New hand quilting project

I actually started handing quilting my “Sugar & Spice” quilt. This was a quilt our quilting guild did back in January. It is a fun pattern which we all used batiks. This is my first batik quilt. Took me forever to pick the colors. Backing is a fun owl pattern as this is a present for my mom. She loves hand quilting so I had to hand quilt it. Found out from others that batiks can be difficult to quilt. I however am not finding this to be a problem, I am doing a simple quilt design and it is coming right along. It is a nice project to do outdoors with our weather here and some gentle cool breezes. Meanwhile my home state is suffering with heavy snow and blizzard warnings. It has been a ruff month back home. So I am hoping to have main blocks quilted and maybe I can do hand quilting in the car on or Western swing of states prior to coming home.

So this is a very important week. Abi is getting close to completing her training. Past few letters are positive and applying the classroom things with actual events. She is really to get this whole thing behind her.

The crucible begins Thursday at 2am and ends around 8am on Saturday. Of course we are praying for her and all recruits in PAPA & KILO Companies for strength, wisdom and safety. We might even get a call on Sunday for her acknowledging her success. Lots of other testing early this week. So please remember them in your prayers!

I have also made some progress on my last charity quilt doing free motion quilting. Just started the border. This is a larger quilt so trying to get used to pushing it thru my machine. Goal is to have it completely done by end of this week.

Those of you who do machine quilting on your regular machine, I learned a lot from Superior Threads discussing thread and needles. Terrific site with great information.

Education

Check the above link and go to education. I ordered some thread and hope to try it out. I especially liked how to position thread, cone vs spool vs normal spool and how thread comes off the spool affecting the stitches and even adjusting the tension. They also recommend topstich needles only. They have a groove that thread lines up with. I already have switched to topstich needles 100/19 and thinner tread (poly) in the bobbin. Tomorrow I will try the things I have learned as I was having some issues with thread breaking.

Plan to do some hiking again this week, maybe Tuesday as tomorrow is in the 90’s. Last Friday it got that warm and I had to stop more frequently, especially with no breeze.

Welcome to many new followers. I post mostly my quilting adventures and some family events. Soon there will be some travel adventures, first one will be to Parris Island, SC and some Marine education for all!

Happing Quilting!!

Sunflower Quilters – Mirana Mystery

We had about half of our guild participate in this year’s challenge. Several basic blocks to work on our quilting skills. The group had fun sewing the blocks and even more fun putting them into a pleasing to the eye quilt. So here are the results. Each person had to choose a fabric color with their first name.

Had to get some outdoor pictures in Warm Arizona…

Many are now getting ready to return to their home but had wonderful times this year in sunny Arizona. Today we met as board members to plan next year.

I made several kits for snowbirds to take back home to make for our craft fair.

I am sorting my take home projects as well. I finished one baby quilt working on some free motion quilting. I have another medium size one to machine quilt as well as a table runner.

No pattern just scraps.

Happy Quilting to all!

1-2-3 finishes

I promise that I have been working on a few things. Here they are..

I machine pieced this last summer and have been hand quilting it over the weekend. It is a Bonnie Hunter pattern, “straits of Mackinac” fun to do but 9 blocks was enough for me.

Continued practice of machine free motion quilting. Blocks are from my mystery classes this past winter. Got them bonded today.

Watch for class pictures of quilt members “Mirana Quilts” coming soon as reveal is tomorrow, so fun to see how everyone finally designed their quilt.

Happy Quilting!