Saturday, September 23, 2017

Better Weather (Sutherlin, OR)

It rained quite a bit last week.  I'm happy to say the smoke has cleared out.  I'm hoping the rain continues over the wildfires and helps in putting them out.   The Timber Valley SKP is starting to look a little empty with so many of the people already heading south for the winter. 
Blue sky!
Dan has been busy with a large checklist that includes working on the motorhome, VA appointments, and dentist appointments.  While he checks things off his list, I have  been staying busy with a few different things.  I'm spending more time outdoors.  Rain or shine, I'm getting in my walks.
Turkeys for neighbors
The cats seem to like our new site.  Which is good because we are here for two months.  They get plenty of entertainment from the wildlife running around our rig.  Dusty and Hitch were having a stare down with a doe yesterday.  I thought I was going to be the one to break up this little stare-down when the doe was startled by a loud noise.  I think the cats high-fived each other and smirked, "yea! we showed her!" 😃
Dusty wore himself out
Max in the meantime, just loves rolling around on the cement pad and soaking up the sun.
Well, no slacking off for me!  I'm on a roll with quilts this month.
On The Cutting Board
After I agreed to sell two of the baby quilts just from posting them in FaceBook, I received a request for another baby quilt.  I'm almost done with it. 
A is for Apples and Ants - yes, a green ant
The customer wanted one with ABCs as the theme because the baby's mom is a teacher.  I just happened to have some ABC fabric.  Do you see the quilt block in the fabric above the bear's head?  Q is for quilts!  My kind for fabric!
B is for Bears and Balloons
I had a lot of fun embellishing this one.  I used crayons, embroidery thread, and permanent fabric ink.
C is for Clouds and Cars
One more photo taken a couple of days ago while getting it setup for pinning.
Well, I better get back to my ABCs!
Happy Quilting!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Smokey (Sutherlin, OR)

A lot has happened since my last post.  After leaving Blaine for the second time, I was hoping for blue skies and clean air in Monroe.  As you can see from the photo below through my bedroom window, that did not happen.  The wildfire smoke was even thicker in Monroe, but we still managed to get outside once in awhile.
Monroe, WA
A week later, we moved to Chehalis, WA.  We were pleasantly surprised to find clear blue skies and a very nice shady site considering that the campgrounds have been very busy this summer.  The cats loved our  new wooded site so much that we had to argue with them late at night that we were not going outside.  They did get to spend more time outside while we were there.
Max's new throne in Chehalis
We were able to get back into our walking routine.  This is a view of Mount St. Helens from one of the sites.  What a view!
Mt. St. Helens
The Thousands Trails park had some great trails going around the perimeter.  One of the trails led to their chapel in the woods.
The sky was so clear that we were able to view the 96%  eclipse from one of the campground's open fields.  We found out that being on I-5 wasn't such a great place to be during the eclipse with all the viewers traveling to and from Oregon that weekend.  It was bad enough that I-5 was moving at a snail's pace (southbound on Thursday and northbound on Tuesday), but Chehalis was getting an overflow of travelers trying to beat the interstate traffic caused quite a congestion for the town.  We finally decided to hideout in the campground until the traffic cleared out.
Dan was trying to get us moved down to Oregon in mid-August with no luck.  All the campgrounds were packed full of eclipse viewers.  The first openings was almost a week after the eclipse.  We are finally settled in Sutherlin, OR in the Escapees Timber Valley SKP.
.....and we are back in the wildfire smoke.  It was so smokey that the sun had a red tint to it during the day and we could not see beyond the first tree-line.  This lasted only the first few days of our stay.  It sounds like the fires are contained, but not completely out.  I hope this will be the end of wildfires for our firemen, the relief efforts, and for the locals involved.  It certainly has been a trying month for all between wildfires and Harvey.
I am actually finding it hard to adjust to our quiet surroundings after dealing with packed campgrounds since summer started.  Our new neighbors are very quiet and a little strange looking.
I'm slowly warming up to them.  They are fun to watch after all....  😄 🐰

Do you think he knows I am watching him?
I'm watching you...watching me
You should see the other neighbors....what a bunch of turkeys! 🦃🦃🦃  They keep alerting on the cats and gobbling to each other.  😆
On The Cutting Board
All right!  I quilted all four tops and I am adding the binding now.  Here are the other two that I promised to show you.  This is the first time I have tried the rounded corners.  I hope I gathered enough binding into the corners.  I'm a little worried that the corners will end up too tight or warped.  I'm working on this one tonight.   
I love the way this one came out.  It will make a cute newborn gift.  I want to make this quilt pattern again.  Maybe with different appliqués at the top.
I had enough teddy bear fabric leftover from another quilt to make a scrappy lap quilt using the Crazy 8 pattern.
I changed the fonts on the Bear Hugs.  I think it looks a lot better than the last one.
Okay, I could not resist showing off the black cats again....
....and the Showered with Love quilt as well.  Did I mention that I sewed this top by hand except for the border?  I need to put another kit together for more hand sewing outdoors.
I'm working on some new Happy Campers.  I recently had a request for a Yorkie peeking out the window.  I had to make the window a little bigger in order to keep the face from becoming one big blur of black thread.  I think this will work out well.
Well, plenty to do and more to plan so I better get back to it!
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hazy Daze (Monroe, WA)

I have seen a couple of people refer to this as the 'Wildfire Season' and I now understand why.  It's not just the burn-ban or the threat of a wildfire, it is the smoke-filled air mixed with very high temperatures during the day.  
Blaine, WA
Our second visit to Blaine started out with fabulous weather, but during our last week, we started experiencing hazy days with smoke from Canada's wildfires.  We moved south to Monroe, WA on Tuesday only to find the smoke thicker here.  I haven't seen the local news lately, so I am not aware of wildfires nearby.  I would not be surprised to learn there are a few burning in Washington and in Oregon.  I can only hope that our brave firefighters stay safe and are able to get the wildfires under control soon.

In the meantime, I feel like I have gone a couple of rounds in a boxing ring.  It is hard for us to filter out the smoke during the night.  Every morning I wake up feeling like I have been punched in the face with my sinuses bruised and my eyes all puffy.  I feel really bad for those with respiratory problems.

Before the smoke moved in, we spent one afternoon walking through the Blaine Marine Park.  We like to take the walking trail instead of the sidewalk so we can view sea birds on the shores along with a nice view of the Peace Arch Park and White Rock, BC.
There are wild blackberry bushes along the trail with water fountains...
and artwork.
The trail ends at a public pier overlooking views across the bay to Semiahmoo Resort and Pt. Roberts.  
This last picture is looking inland towards Blaine.  What a view!
On The Cutting Board
I can actually say something good came out of me feeling bad.  I have been very focused on finishing a few UFOs.  I finished four quilt tops.  They are pinned, and ready to be quilted!  Below is the new Black Cat quilt that I am making for a customer's request.  She bought the last one I made, but she asked if I could make a larger lap quilt.
I made the top bigger and did not realize that I had made it bigger than the backing fabric I had already chosen for it.  I really did not want to go shopping for more fabric, so I decided to extend the backing with leftover fabric from the quilt.  Now, the customer can display the front or the back of her quilt!
Backing for Black Cat quilt
Below is a photo of the Showered with Love quilt.  Lots of scraps used in this one....and yet the scraps seem to be growing.....taking over my storage bin...I think their master plan is to take over the motorhome......  Okay, back to reality.  This quilt is pinned and ready for quilting.  I will show the other two quilts next time.
Showered with Love
I was so happy to finish four quilts that I took a picture of the four together.  Then, I really started looking at this pile and it suddenly dawned on me that I had no idea where I was going to store my new quilts.  Darn!  I thought I was being smart trying to use up my stash.  Instead, I have created a new problem.  I spent the next couple of hours going through my storage areas.  I have some space open up since I used up the last of my batting,  That helped a little.  
Then I came across two pillow forms and remembered that I had planned to make two more pillows for our dining room benches.  I had forgotten about them since we had the bench seats reupholstered.  Talk about a senior moment!  The quilts were put aside and I went to work on the pillow covers.  I had already finished the two appliquéd centers.  I just needed to add a border and quilt.  I kept the quilting simple and was done within a couple of weeks.
And now...I can finish my four quilts!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Warm Shoulders, Cold Feet (Birch Bay, WA)

We could not have asked for better weather while Shaun was visiting us.  We spent some time walking around Blaine one day.  Look at that beautiful sky!
We had read that Birch Bay had fireworks on the beach, but it wasn't clear where we were suppose to go to view the fireworks.
After talking to the Thousand Trails Rangers, we found out that the city of Birch Bay did not put on the display.  Instead of the city footing the bill, they invited the public to gather at the beach and shoot their own fireworks.  I like the description from one of the Rangers - "It's Insane!"  He also claimed over 40,000 visitors showed up to watch and participate.....and they don't wait until the 4th to start the show.  I'm surprised we were able to get any sleep with all the noise.  Even the cats got use to the loud snap, crackle, and pops throughout the nights.
We decided to walk from our site to the beach since it was only a mile away.  We thought it might be too crowded and chaotic, but it wasn't too bad.
The bay is sort of horseshoe shaped and we ended up somewhere in the middle so we could see fireworks going on both sides of us.  Plenty of beach area for everyone to spread out and enjoy the evening.
The next day was Shaun's birthday.  Instead of taking him out to lunch, we drove to the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.  It was turning into quite a hot day so this was a perfect way to beat the heat.  Sunshine to warm the shoulders and snow to keep the feet cool.
We saw two guys ski down a hill in shorts.  I wasn't fast enough to get photos of them...darn.  We did not see people sledding like we saw on our last visit.   I did see one lady taking full advantage of the day by sitting under an umbrella in a folding chair perched high and away from others.  Now, that is one way to relax while enjoying the surrounding beauty.
I wasn't expecting to see so much snow since the weather had been quite warm and the snow melt had the rivers flowing fast and furious.
We did a little climbing to see the views.  I'm quite happy to say that I managed to get up and down without falling once.  :)  Snow would not be good for my camera, I'm sure.
I was hoping for some blooming Heather photos at Heather Meadows Visitor Center, but no such luck.  The view was still spectacular.
We had brought sandwiches from the deli at the Market at Birch Bay.  Shaun found a snow-free, not to mention, dry picnic table to have our lunch.  So quiet... just the wind in the trees..
Who could ask for more?  Fresh mountain air, good company, fabulous views, and a delicious lunch.
On The Cutting Board
One of my friends suggested the next time I was in Lynden, I should visit two quilt shops that I did not know existed.  I had visited another one last year.  I'm quite surprised there are three quilt shops in this small town.

I couldn't pass up the chance to visit both shops.  The first shop is called Folktales.  The shop is in an older house that is so packed with fabric and anything else you can wish for that there is almost no place to move around.  On top of that, it was the first day of Row-by-Row.  Still, I had no problem navigating the narrow aisles filled with other quilters.  
The second shop is call Calico Country.  Located in a strip mall not far from Folktales and it is just as much fun to visit as the other two.  The staff is friendly and helpful.  I wanted to buy something from both shops.  I found some fat-quarters that will make great fillers. (above photo)

In between appliqueing quilt tops, I have been working on some new Happy Camper mug rugs.  The weather has been perfect for sitting outdoors with the cats and getting a little sewing done.
 I finished pinning two quilts today while spending time with the cats outdoors.  Hitch was a big help by jumping onto the table to give my head bumps.  My shop is almost empty so I really need to get into high gear and get all of these new projects done! 
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

From the Cascades to Puget Sound (Blaine, WA)

I'm back!  I can hear you now.  "Oh, were you gone?  Did not notice..."😄   Anyway, it has been a busy summer getting caught up with family and friends. 
Icicle River
 If we were not visiting, we were busy chasing cats around our sites.  The weather has been perfect for sitting outside for long periods of time.  So long that our cats were getting bored with exploring just our site and kept insisting on checking on our neighbors' sites.  Dusty was more adventurous as he decided he was a big boy now and can walk himself down to the end of the road to lay in the shade of some tall trees. 😾 We tried to explain to him that he had to be escorted.  Of course, he did not believe us, but he did allow us to follow him.  
.....Getting him to go home is a whole different story!🙀
Shaun and Dan checking out the Wenatchee River.
While we were still in Leavenworth, we spent a lot of time going back to places we have not seen in many...many years.
We were lucky to see a group of kayakers on our second visit to Icicle Road when we took our son Shaun for a tour of the area.  The river was still running swift and very cold from the snow melt in late June.
We moved to Blaine around the end of June.  This time when we moved to western WA, we drove over Stevens Pass (Hwy 2).  I can't remember the last time we drove over the mountains on Hwy 2.    The last two times we were in Washington, we took the North Cascades Hwy.  Just as magnificent as I remember it being.  I did not sew or read during that trip.
Beautiful gardens in the Peace Arch Park
Shaun joined us for the 4th of July and for his birthday after we moved to Birch Bay, WA.
View from US looking towards Canada
We took him to the Peace Arch Park on the US/Canada border.  We were able to walk into Canada and back within the park.  No passports needed.
View from Canada looking towards US
Below are border signs letting us know we will be crossing into Canada.  In the meantime, we watched a Canadian catering company stopped on the road to unload their goodies for an event in the park on the US side.  I love it!  What we could not figure out is how they keep people from walking across the border - going either way.  It looks like we can cross the street and just keep going north.  There must be cameras setup that we were not seeing.
Notice house in the background with flag
On The Cutting Board
So, between chasing cats, checking out local sights, and visiting with everyone, I have been getting in a little sewing.  I had a custom order for two Happy Campers that I needed to finish within two weeks.  
The customer was quite understanding that I needed extra time with everything going on this summer.  She wanted one with the Welcome sign.  Which is the second time this one has been requested.  Hmmm, maybe I should make a few more with Welcome signs.
The second one was with a flower box.  I forgot how much fun I have when I am planting my embroidered flowers in their window box.  I need to make more of them too!

I have another custom order for a Black Cat quilt.  The customer is not in a hurry for it, but I do plan to finish it before the end of August.  Here's a sneak peek of one playful cat messing up my quilt blocks.  Sounds familiar doesn't it?  I swear that no matter where the cats are sleeping, they can hear blocks being laid out and always show up to help me with the quilt design.
When my eyes cannot take anymore appliquéing black fabric, I work on this cute quilt from P.S. I Love You.
Sunbonnet Sue is standing at the top dropping hearts to Overall Sam at the bottom of the quilt.  I think I will call this quilt "Showered with Love".
I need to post again soon because I did not cover the 4th of July weekend, not to mention, all the photos I want to share with you. 😉  So, don't faint if I post within the week, okay?  Okay, well back to sewing!
Happy Quilting!

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