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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