Thursday, August 11, 2016

Trying To Get Caught UP (Monroe, WA)

We moved from Blaine to Monroe on Monday.  I am still trying to get caught up with all the photos I took while we were in La Conner and I still have the surrounding area of Blaine and Mt. Baker National Park to show you!

The following street photos are from Anacortes, WA.  I love the old fashioned clocks I saw while walking down the street.  This one was around the corner from the main street, but it still made quite a statement in its royal blue colors.
Of course, I had to add a photo of the many beautiful older buildings.
This cute little guy greets Gere-a-Deli customers at the door.  We did not eat there, but what I saw looked inviting to eat.

Now, this is what I call upcycling!  Instead of being a fire hydrant, it re-hydrates people and their dogs.
We took Shaun to Washington Park in Anacortes when he came up to visit us.  There is one road that loops around to different scenic views.  Some people walk, but on this day it was cold and a little dreary so we stayed with driving the loop.
This is a combination I do not see very often.  Large flowering gardens with a view of the Anacortes Marina.  You can barely see the mountains in the background.  What a view and such a relaxing walk to take after shopping at the Farmer's Market.
Not too far from Anacortes is the Deception Pass.  As a child, we crossed this bridge often to go visit family in the Seattle area while living in Oak Harbor.  I never grew tired of the view.
Being able to walk across the bridge is even better.  Well, as long as you do not have a problem with heights and traffic whizzing by.
I did not see any whales, but we did see one lone Seal fishing along the cliff sides.
I had to toss one in of Max enjoying the warm days of summer.  The weather was perfect for getting out for walks and exploring the area.
The cats, of course, wanted us to stay home so they could enjoy the sun as well. We did spend quite a bit of time just sitting outdoors while we were in Blaine, WA.  Between visiting with other full-timers and chasing wandering cats, I tried to get caught up on my reading, a little quilting, and......

On The Cutting Board
a little more embroidery work on my "A to Zzzz Snowman" blocks.  I'm up to "C"!  
Only 23 more letters to go.  Lucky for me, some of the letters are combined into one block, so I better get back to them!
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

More Photos of La Conner (Blaine, WA)

I wanted to share more photos of La Conner.  We are in Blaine, WA and finally have decent WiFi for uploading photos.
We had to walk around town often to burn off the calories from all the delicious food we found to eat at the Calico Cupboard Cafe & Bakery. (sorry no photo)
Plus, this is a great place to window shop!  So many unusual art pieces from near and far.  I could have spent hours just looking in each shop.
Across the river is the Swinomish Indian Tribe Community.  They also own the land that our campground is located.
I just love a town that loved a strange looking dog so much that they have a statue of him and named the little square after him. 
Art work seems to be everywhere. In small squares and sidewalks....
on porches.....
and on old dock pilings
I fell in love with several old homes.  The wood work and paint colors are so inspiring!  I wish I could see the inside of the house in the photo below.
Okay, I had to have at least one photo of La Conner's famous bridge.
So, I will end my photo tour here for now.
On The Cutting Board
More Southwest Happy Campers in the making!  
I sort of let my needle get away from me on the peach one.  Lots of embroidery on that one!  Well, they are not going to get done if I stay on the computer, so back to the cutting board for more sewing!
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Getting A Quilt Fix (Blaine, WA)

While we were in La Conner, I had to visit the La Conner Quilt & Textile Museum.  I'm not sure what I enjoy seeing again - the quilt exhibits or this grand old Victorian mansion built in 1891.
I was only allowed to take photos on the first floor which included the old kitchen and a gift/fabric shop.  So, here are a few photos that I was able to take.
The parlor was filled with a weaving exhibit.  Of course, I had to get a photo of the cat.
The rest of the first floor was filled with Colonial Revival Quilts.
Each quilt's story was told by its maker accompanied by a photo of an old quilt that inspired them.
The second and third floor were filled with fiber art and quilts from Japan by Sachiko Yoshida and students using silk from old kimonos.  The fabric does not look easy to work with, but the results are amazing.  Since I could not take a photo, I borrowed photo from Pinterest.  You can find more work by Sachiko Yoshida online.
Sachiko Yoshida Flowering:
from Pinterest
One more photo of the couple with a vision for this beautiful home we are still able to enjoy - Mr. and Mrs. Gaches.
Photos of the Gaches and their home
Across the street from the museum, there is a small butterfly garden open to the public.  I did a quick walk through since I had already spent quite a bit of time in the museum.
I am in love with the gardens in the northwest.  So lush and vibrant!  Interesting flower below.  Does anyone know the name of this one?
Walking down the stairs to the main street, I noticed the big cherries on this tree.  Not quite ripe for picking, but a great photo op for a colorful scenic view of La Conner.
On The Cutting Board
Sales have slowed down, so I am getting caught up on my UFOs.  Three more Happy Campers are ready for edging and layering.
I spent one beautiful day basting the Lover's Knot quilt.  It is now in the hoop and getting a little attention each evening.  So nice to be back to hand quilting in a hoop.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Connecting With Pieced Quilting (Mount Vernon, WA)

I have been in a WiFi black hole for the past three weeks.  No cell phone service and very little internet connection.  Even satellite TV was iffy at times. The campground in La Conner is a great place to be if you want to get away from it all,
 I love La Conner for the scenic views, the small quaint towns, and the delicious food, but the charm of being disconnected from the world is short lived with me.  I'm happy to say we are sort of connected again even if it is on the slow side here in Mount Vernon.  We move tomorrow (Monday) back to Blaine, WA.  I hope to do some catching up in the next week with everything I have been doing lately.

On The Cutting Board
And while I'm on the subject of feeling disconnected.  It has been a long time since I sat down and did some serious hand-pieced quilting.  Sales have slowed down in my shop and my inventory is overflowing with Mug Rugs, so I'm taking the quiet time to finish two retro quilts in 1930s design fabric.  I love this fabric so much that I have a Rubbermaid tub filled with just this fabric.
So far, all the work has been by hand.  From marking the fabric for cutting and for the quarter inch seam line to cutting each piece out with scissors (no multi-layered cutting here) and sewing the pieces together by hand.  
Still working on the Nine-Patch
Time consuming? Yes.  One of the best ways to stay entertained while disconnected?  Absolutely!  Okay, I cheated a little by listening to books on my iPod.

The thing is that I did not realize just how much I have been missing the process of making a quilt by hand.  The anticipation of marking/cutting the fabric and dreaming of what the quilt would look like while sewing the pieces together.  Granted, most of the pieces were cut out a long time ago, but it turned out the I was short a couple of blocks, so I did have to go back to the start with templates and pencil.

The feeling of seeing a top finished and knowing it all came together with no help from a machine is so satisfying.  If I do need to use a sewing machine, it will be to sew on borders.
 I finished the Lover's Knot top and I do believe that it is time to blow the dust off of my quilting hoop for a quiet time of hand quilting.  The nine-patch will take a little longer to finish since I am thinking it will need some applique work as well.  Hmmm...
Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Go West (Blaine, WA)

We have moved from central Washington to the west side of the Cascades.  Going over the North Cascades highway never gets tiresome.  Of course, we have only gone through this mountain pass a couple of times.
North Cascades Highway
We spent a couple of weeks in Concrete, WA.  We enjoyed eating at a few of their restaurants and viewing the first and longest all-concrete bridge built in 1918.  I could not get a good photo so click on the bridge link to see a photo.
Concrete's Historic Byway
Concrete is a small town not too far from Sedro-Woolley where they were celebrating "Blast From The Past" with a car show, a downtown street festival, a quilt show, and many other activities.  We could not have asked for nicer weather to enjoy the outdoors.
Despite the sunny day, I preferred the indoor activities a lot more.  I did mention a quilt show, right?
The "Blast of Baskets" quilt show was put together by Woolley Fiber Quilters (love their name!).  They did a fantastic job of displaying over 200 quilts inside the Three Rivers Inn Restaurant.
Not a whole lot of floor space, but enough to be comfortable for viewing quilts and taking photos. 
 It was hard to take straight on photos of the larger quilts, but I managed from different angles to get most of the quilt into the frame.
I'm posting only a small amount of the quilts that I enjoyed viewing.   To see more quilts, click on the Woolley Fibers Quilter's link above.
 I love this "COW-LENDAR".  I spent some time looking at each cow.  My favorite was the June Bride.
Below is the People's Choice.  I can see why.  Beautiful color combo and applique!
You know that I love to do most of my work by hand, so I really liked the little 'Hand' displayed on the name and description tag.  It made it a lot easier to find the handmade over machine work.
I wish I could have got better photos of the following embroidered quilts.  It was a little dark in this area.  I was so surprised to see the same pattern I had bought hanging in front of me!  While getting my nose close to the stitches (forgot my eyeglasses) and discussing the quilt with another guest, the assistant mentioned there was a second one further down the row in blue.  She could not decide which one she liked better.
Not just one, but two "A to Zzzz Snowman" Quilts!  Oh My!  I got stuck in my own loop when I kept going back and forth between the two.  Which one did I like better?
I finally took a photo of both to put them side by side when I got home.  I still can't say.  How about you?  Do you like one more than the other?  I love both of them, but for me to make this quilt in only one color would be a major challenge so I will stick with my multi-colors.  By the way, I have only finished the "A" block.  I have a lot of embroidery to do before this one is finished.
It is bad enough that I already own two quilt patterns with detailed snowmen to embroider.  Then I saw this one.  Isn't it adorable?
It is probably a good thing that I have not been able to find this pattern online.  The quilter named her quilt "I Can Build a Snowman".  So far, I haven't had any luck finding these cute guys online.
I like the way the quilter added sparkling snowflakes into her quilting.  It looks like they are falling all around the snowman.  I never thought to quilt over the embroidered design, but it seems to work quite well with this quilt.

On The Cutting Board
While in Concrete, I finished a few more Happy Campers.  The first one I finished was a custom made for a wonderful Camp Host back in Crescent Bar.  We used some fabric that she was using to decorate her motorhome.  Her sample fabric is a lovely piece with a fruit orchard theme with many colors.  We had no problem matching fabric colors from my limited stash.
I wanted to represent Florida in some of my Happy Campers so I came up with this design with a Flamingo and a palm tree.  The aqua stripes with the pink polka dot came out the best.  Now, I wish I had bought more than a fat quarter of this fabric.  I have just enough for one more in this size and a top for another camper.
Of course, the blue and yellow one looks pretty good as well.  Reminds me more of the sunny hot days of Florida.
I also made two new horse trailers.  Here's one of them.
And another bear with a dreamcatcher.  I was lost as to what I should make with this dark chocolate fabric.  I think I finally found the perfect match for it.
I plan to list the new Happy Campers in Etsy this week.  In the meantime, I am trying to finish a few UFOs that have been taking up space.  Time to get them done!
Happy Quilting!

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