The beads blend in with my yarn but I can still see them. Some people like contrasting beads but I like them to be more subtle. In between binding quilts, I’ve been knitting a few rows on this shawl. The yarn reads gray overall but the color is called Storm … I like the subtle variation. The pattern is Cobweb and I’m about to start the lacy part.
My railing is full of finished quilts. The one on the far left is my HeartStrings quilt finished before my trip but the others are all donation tops that I quilted and bound.
These blocks were by Nikki and I don’t know if she assembled the top or if Sue or her mom did.
These other three were ones I brought home from the last WI/MN sew in to finish.
There’s more binding on next week’s agenda as I work this month to finish up all the donation quilts I have here before our next sew-in the beginning of April.
I debated how to document/share my trip to Costa Rica, whether in one post or several and decided I’d do one post with three photo collages and then when I get all my photos sorted I’ll post a link to the online album for anyone interested in looking at more photos.
We flew into San Jose on Saturday the 22nd of February and spent the night at an airport Marriott before climbing on two buses for the drive to the remote location in Biolley. It took us 9 hours but we stopped a few times along the way to take some photos, stretch our legs, and eat.
Little did we know that our shower at the Marriott would be our last hot shower for days. The accommodations onsite were clean but very basic and while I shared a room with one person at the Marriott, there were 4 of us in the small room in Biolley sleeping in two sets of bunk beds. I felt lucky that two of the other women volunteered for the top bunks right away. We all shared a small bathroom with only cold water in the sink and shower.
Our work onsite was basically broken into two categories. Days where we were working outside, digging and filling trenches with rocks, gravel, and sand, and days we worked on the houses themselves – mixing cement and then sealing cracks and coating walls with it. It was a skilled task and while I can’t say I ever mastered it, I did improve.
Digging and hauling
Preparing the walls – both the interior and exterior walls had to be coated with this concrete mix along with sealing the seams between the concrete panels and coating the columns too. I understood it to be kind of similar to stucco or plastering and after all the walls are completed, they will painted so the surface while textured, has to be a consistent texture which was quite difficult.
The site we were working at will eventually have 42 homes. We were working on the first 3 homes and while I did some work at all 3, I spent most of my time working on house #1.
In addition to our time on site, we spent some time in the community. Both seeing sights and meeting people. Our last afternoon was spent at the school where the children performed local dances and played games with us.
It’s a beautiful country but the remote region we were in was one of the poorest. The mountain roads were unpaved, steep, and rocky and they grew much of their own food. We were all impressed with the community where the housing was being built and with the women in the associations working to build a better life for their families. There were other international volunteer organizations working within the community to help and it was very rewarding being a small part of it.
The drive back to San Jose took us 11 hours and we spent the night at the Marriott before flying home on Sunday, March 2nd. Two flat tires and some forgotten luggage made for a long day but we did stop for an hour and a half to visit one of the national parks and I got to swim in the Pacific Ocean.
I’m traveling again this month and volunteering at the library so I’ll have to work hard to get through my list this month.
⭐️Bind 9 HeartStrings quilts
⭐️Quilt and bind a UFO
⭐️Assemble black centered HS blocks
⭐️Finish framed 9 patch blocks
⭐️Finish knitting Cobweb shawl
I was happy to finish all the things on my list before this last trip except the binding on the HeartStrings quilts. I didn’t get any of them bound. March’s goals will be binding those and some piecing.
2014 Quilting and Knitting goals
✔️Quilt and bind January UFO – done
✔️Quilt and bind February UFO – done
✔️Piece blocks and assemble “I love coffee” top – done
✔️Quilt my Aunt’s top – done and shipped
✔️Quilt 9 HS tops – done
❌Bind ?# HS tops
✔️Finish knitting Boo Humbug scarf – done
✔️Piece 3 backs – done
✔️Make Pinwheels and Rails blocks – done
✔️Work on Herringbone shawl
✔️Start Framed 9 Patch blocks
✔️ Start knitting Heaven Scent shawl – finished and blocked!
✔️ Make set of 48 HS blocks – done
I’ve been out of touch this week as I traveled to a remote region of Costa Rica to build homes with Habitat for Humanity. I fly home tomorrow early so I’ll just leave you with this one photo of the amazing, above the clouds view of the start of our all day bus ride back to San Jose. I’ll be sharing more about the experience in a day or so.