Saturday, June 30, 2012

Celebrating 37 Years! (Birch Bay, WA)

We celebrated our 37th anniversary in Bellingham yesterday.  Actually, our anniversary is today, but with two major holidays - Canada Day and 4th of July - being celebrated starting this weekend, we decided we should get out and enjoy some sights on Friday.   
We ate lunch at a Greek restaurant, walked through an amazing park, and did a little shopping.  And, I got to shop at Trader Joe's!  My favorite grocery store.  I did a little stocking up on my favorite items...oh yea!
Dan found Whatcom Falls Park online and thought we should visit it while we were in Bellingham.  We were very surprised to find this little emerald jewel of a city park.  Neighborhoods surround the park giving easy access to families, joggers, and walkers to visit by taking one of the many paths leading into the park.
We felt like we were back in the North Cascades with the water, tall trees, the green vegetation, and silence all around us.  It was hard to believe there was a city bustling within walking distance.  Besides walking paths and play areas, we were able to view a fish hatchery, a small dam, natural waterfalls, and my favorite - this beautiful stone bridge.
One path took us to the Whatcom Falls and another took us along the Gorge.  If you happen to be in the area, this is a must see!
Along the Gorge Path
Along the Gorge Path

On The Cutting Board
I finished adding hearts to the scrappy squares quilt.  I decided to keep it simple and to not overdo the heart appliqué.  Now I need to find a backing.  I might try piecing a backing together for this one.  I have seen quite a few quilters doing this lately and I like the results.  The question is - can I pull it off and like what I did...hmm, well I guess I'll never know until I try.  Right?

Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Not So Wordless Wednesday (Concrete, WA)

Thursday is a short travel day for us.  We will be moving to Birch Bay near Blaine, WA which is just south of the Canada/US border.  I have never been to this part of Washington State so I am excited to visit this area.

Here are some more photos from our walks in the North Cascade National Park.  Enjoy!
Part of the Skagit River
Sun peeking through the tall trees
A very tall moss-covered Cedar
Moss covered pathways
Newhalem River
One lone mushroom
Ladder Creek
Ladder Creek Falls
Lacey looking Fiddleheads
Inside a burned out tree
Happy Trails!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Discovering More UFOs! (Concrete, WA)

On The Cutting Board

I finished the Bunny wall hanging.  I decided to do an echo quilt stitch.  This seemed to have straightened out the little ripples.  The kit included the green polka dot fabric for the binding, but I think my golden brown works better.

 I made the sleeve a little too long and I almost sewed the end into the binding.  I'll have to be more careful with measuring and make it a little looser.  I'll probably use an old wire clothes hanger so it doesn't bulk up when it is hanging.

Added a little rouge to the bunnies' cheeks and it was done!  All right!  One project done and two dozen UFOs to go...whew!
Project 1
I found the appliqué pattern of Sunbonnet Baby (female) in an old library book.  I wanted a boy to match Sunbonnet Baby, so I designed this little guy below.  I just love their little bellies!

Speaking of unfinished projects, I found two more UFOs in the bin while digging through my stash.  Uh oh!  I forgot I had these.  I really hate forgetting about my projects.  
Project 2
Well, I think I might combined these two into one scrappy quilt. 

Here's a few more photos from around the area....Enjoy!
New and fresh looking helicopter seeds
It's all about location
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Walks in the Rain (Concrete, WA)

We finally got a break in the rainy weather.  Not that it kept us from going outside, but we did not do much sightseeing since the clouds were hanging very low around us.
We dusted off our raincoats that we rarely wear in the south and went for a couple of walks around the RV park.  Walking in the rain is rather relaxing as long as it is a gentle rain, of course.  We did go through a couple of pairs of pants and shoes.  I think the soggy pants and shoes were worth the extra hassle of washing and cleaning.  It is so quiet here except for the wind in the trees and the rain on our roof.
The clouds started to lift yesterday and the sun finally peaked out.
We took advantage of the nice weather and spent some time driving around the surrounding areas.  We visited Baker Lake with low hanging clouds, but no rain.  By the second day, the sky was blue.  So we drove the mountain loop around Mt. Baker.
Baker Lake
Mt. Baker with clear skies
The best is yet to come!  The blackberries are getting nice and plump.  I can't wait to pick ripe berries from the bushes!  Yum!  I'm already enjoying fresh cherries and raspberries from the markets...delicious!
On The Cutting Board
I basted the bunny wall hanging so it is ready to quilt.  I'm trying to decide if I want to quilt it by hand or just do it on the machine.  Tough decision...well, I'll get back to that one.

Oh, and I prefer the lighter fusible webbing: Steam-A-Seam.  I did not have as much trouble getting the needle through the layers.  It still makes the fabric stiff, but it does not make my needle as sticky as the Steam-A-Seam2 does.

During our rain break, I also pulled out one of my tubs filled with fabrics.  I found just what I needed to add 16 more blocks to the True Lover's Knot quilt.
 I'm about halfway through the materials, but my templates are starting to show wear and tear.  The corners are starting to look rounded and the paper is pealing from the plastic template.  Next time, I will make two sets of templates.  I still need to make the off-white pieces as well.
Oh! and the little brass wheel - that is a 1/4 inch seam maker.  I stick my pencil in the hole and roll the wheel around the outside of the template.  This gives me a line to cut on without having to guess at my 1/4 inch seam.  Nice and neat!
Happy Quilting!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Textures of the North Cascades (Concrete, WA)

North Cascades
I feel like I have come home.  I spent a good part of my childhood growing up in the Pacific NW despite all of my Dad's Navy assignments.  Somehow, he always managed to get back to Washington State.
Stepping outside to feel the cool moist air that is filled with rich earthy smells of soil and trees brings back memories of camping with my parents and with Dan during our early years of marriage.
I don't remember seeing Cottonwood seedlings floating in the woods when we went camping many years ago.  Here in the national park, they were everywhere.  Giving the illusions of tiny fairies floating and swirling around in a magical forest….
                                            tickling my nose....sneezing..........a lot!
.....despite the hay-fever, I am enjoying every new discovery. 
Oh!  You bet I took a lot of photos.  Between waterfalls, moss covered trees, and wildflowers...oh yea, I have a few to share.  I have loaded them into our Webshots albums into 2 separate folders.  One folder has most of my Macro shots.  Our first day was perfect with the sun shining through the treetops giving me plenty of different photos.  I spent more time taking Macro shots then walking.
I uploaded two new albums to our Webshots:  Textures and Colors  and Views of the North Cascades
There are so many textures and different shades of green with occasional pops of brilliant colors from wildflowers that I felt it needed a separate folder.
Hitch and I were driving each other crazy.  I wanted to take pictures and he actually wanted to walk.  Usually, I can get a couple of shots in before Hitch wants to move on, but not in the mountains.  He was on the move the whole time.  "Are we going for a walk or what?  I want to go explore this area...come on!"  I think all the other cats wore out their sniffers because they were sleeping in every morning.
The last couple of days were perfect for water shots with overcast weather and an occasional sprinkle of rain.  So exhilarating!  We drove back up the pass and stop several times to view waterfalls.  The rivers are running deep and swift from all the snow runoffs.  Gorgeous!  Wish you were here!
Newhalem is a company owned town.  The Seattle City Light built the small town of Newhalem and maintains the dams on the west side of the North Cascades.   The town is small, but beautiful as they tried to keep much of Mother Nature present with large green areas filled with trees and flowers.  There is a small grocery store and the company’s old housing looks well-maintained and spacious.
They even have a gazebo built from recycled parts from Diablo's switchyard.  I like the shadows it makes, but not much cover when it rains.
Temple of Power Gazebo
By the way, if you are active duty, now is a good time to get an annual pass from the National Park Service.  They are free with proper ID information.  Go to

Blog Changes 
I really enjoyed my week away from the internet.  I got some more quilting done along with lots of sightseeing in the mountains.  I'm cutting back on my blogging.  I made a decision to change my blog posts to every three days instead of every other day.   So, my next post will be on Thursday.

On The Cutting Board
I finished two more Lover's Knot blocks.  I have one more yellow block cut out and ready to sew.  
 Gosh, I am loving the way these three look that I am going to be digging through my stash for more Aunt Grace's Reproduction fabrics.  These are 10.5 inches, so another 16 blocks will make a nice size lap quilt.
What do you think?  40x50 inches large enough?

Oh! and I started my 365Project again.  I probably will not be as diligent with a daily photo this second time around.
Moss on 365 Project
Happy Quilting!

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