Friday, October 20, 2017

Fall is flying by

I can't believe it's even Fall - let alone this close to Halloween!  It's been busy.  Just last week 4 intrepid Brookings quilters headed to Santa Clara for the Pacific International Quilt Festival.  And what a show it was!  Fabulous!

We traveled through Santa Rosa and saw the fire damage where it jumped across 101 several times.  Brookings was threatened by a fire this summer, but we definitely got lucky when the wind changed for our little town.  Our hearts go out to the whole community - we know first hand that everyone is affected.

I've been playing with my large collection of selvedges lately!  It all started with an UFO I needed to finish because almost everyone else was finished and I was a heartbeat away from being Queen of the UFOs!!  Gasp!  That's never good.

A small group banded together and decided to try a group fabrication - because, seriously, aren't they amazing!  We decided to start with a 'barn slice' as explained in an old copy of Quilting Today Magazine.

I helped a friend who couldn't finish hers (on the left) and made my section out of 'text' fabrics I've been playing around with. It reminded me of the deserted barns that have weathered to all grey.  Those narrow little strips led to more selvedge postcards.  And then selvedge Mummies on post cards!

Don't try to follow how my brain skips merrily from project to project!  Just go with the flow!

 I love this layout of selvedges.  Reminds me of old string quilts!

Riel Nason has a great Halloween book published showing her awesome selvedge Halloween quilts.  I fell in love with  "Mummy needs Fabric" and reduced it to a postcard size.

You would not believe how big of a mess results from these innocent little postcards!!  Selvedges everywhere!

I have a small group meeting here tomorrow and this afternoon I TORE our small condo apart looking for 2 Halloween hangings.  Nada!

 "Hello, Police!  I'd like to report a robbery.  No, they did not take our big screen or the 3 tablets/computers we own.  They took a Halloween four-patch and a wool hanging with 3 jack o'lanterns on it!!!  Oh, never mind, you're right - I'll probably find them when I get out the Easter decorations!!!! "  But don't you just hate it when you CANNOT find something when you 'know' just where you must have put it!!!

But while looking for them, I found some others I can substitute!!

"Witch and Famous" is a quilt I usually hang on the door.  The wind is roaring and pouring rain today and tomorrow ... it will be safer inside!

The original pattern had a complicated border ... but after listening to friends complain about it, I found this 'spooky' stripe in my stash and it was perfect ... and easy!!

  Small, Fall, Wall is an old fall quilt.  A reduction and less complicated version of an pattern put out by Red Wagon back in the day.  Linda Brannock actually came to a retreat and taught us!!  So lucky!

She told us, "Just because we make it that size, doesn't mean you have to!"  You could have heard a pin drop in that room.  Our minds were all grasping that fact and figuring out which pattern we were going to reduce first!!!

I ended up making 4(?) of these.  Everyone loved it and 'needed' one immediately!

 The pumpkins table runner was from a Cathy Ware class a few years ago.  Again I adapted the pattern, the tops of the pumpkins hung off the body of the runner and that was just too fussy for me!  My table is wider than usual and making the whole piece wider made it look better too!  Win-win!

Look at those cute pumpkins on top of it!  I got the fabric one at PIQF - itty-bitty yo-yos and buttons.  Who doesn't love those!
It's late and I must start heading for bed! Big day tomorrow:  I have to get up early and assemble Vampire doughnuts!!  [insert evil laugh here!] But I'll leave you with some eye candy from Portland Expo!  Enjoy!


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

October??? It was a top 10 day down on the beach!

I was at the Quilt Expo in Portland this weekend.  What a show!!  Amazing quilts everywhere.  Came home too tired to sew. :) but plan on getting to work on my quilts soon - while adding some ideas I found in Expo!

Today was a gorgeous day on the beach!  NO WIND!  That's pretty unusual!  It was in the 60s(?) at 5 pm.  We walked as far as we could - to the headland before the park.  The beach was wide and flat.  The sun was shining and the waves were gently lapping!  Perfection!

Our condo building is the last one on the left.  One of our favorite views.

Rick walking ahead for the 'shot'!

Wish you were here to enjoy this day with us.  We had fried zuchinni, baked potato and grilled steak for dinner.  Felt like a summer day.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Fire has left the County!

The Chetco Bar fire as left Curry County.  It's still moderately active inland but this week of rain has tamed it.  It's at 190,500 acres and 70% contained with the rains.  Many thanks to our Hero Firefighters and First Responders.  They are still here, mopping up and standing by.  The fire is threatening across the border in California.

Incident camp base.  Lots of pup-tents!!



It's beginning to feel a little more like normal here.  We can even leave the state and go to Crescent City for the pool Water Aerobics without our "Go" bags!! 

Last weekend was the big birthday bash!  Miss P and DH both celebrated their birthdays in Portland and then DH also celebrated in Talent!  A good time was had by all. AND a great deal of yummy food and especially birthday cake and pie and ice cream.  A little break from starting the Mediterranean Diet.  Soon!!

Miss P and I did manicures with light blue/teal polish.  It looked much better on her than on me.  I kept startling everytime I caught it out of the corner of my eye!! 

And believe it or not! DD wanted me to show her how to embroider.  Be still my heart.  We went to Michaels to get basic supplies and learned 3-4 stitches.

Cotton and Steel bugs - now with a distinct personality!!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

News from the West Coast Fire Front

The Chetco Bar fire in my area is currently not very active on our side, it's marching east.  The fire is enormous - 178,000 acres and only 10% contained. We've had 1,600 firefighters camping out in pup tents.  Our little town is only 7,000-ish!  Just yesterday they finally allowed the last areas that were evacuated to come back. Some were out of their houses for 2 weeks!! A quilting friend of mine was one of them.

Everyone is very tired and cranky from living in 'siege mode'. After we came back from being evacuated DH and I were hunkered down in our condo avoiding the smoke while having a broken AC! (5 days - we found out how much we depend on our usual ocean breeze). We had some borrowed fans and we didn't move about much.  It felt like hunkering down for the winter storms in NE.  Low light, can't go outside ... but it was hot!  Thanks so much for your inquiries as to how we're doing.
It seems like most of the US is fighting with Mother Nature - our fingers are crossed for the areas affected by fires, hurricanes and whatever else being thrown our way. 

I'm going to forget my troubles and quilt today. Quilting is a great stress reliever - I'm prescribing it for me!! I have to move my machine to the great room because I still have 2 twin beds in my sewing room.  Reluctant to put the extra mattress set back out in the storage area because of all the smoke.

BUT that means - tv and good speakers for music!!  More light - but my view today is smoke.  I can hear the ocean so I'm pretty sure it's still out there!!  :) DH just left for a golf outing - let the hullabaloo start!!

I went to the Dr this week.  That morning I was a fluffy senior in good health!  Then I got the new pneumonia shot.  All that fluffiness I offer and they put it right in my shoulder.  OMG!  My arm was tortured all day, then as it always happens with one part hurting - everything else got in the act.  When I went to bed (at 7:30! with a PM pill) I felt like a 94 yr old cripple.  Thank Goodness it was better when I woke up.  And better yet when I went to our "Woolies" meeting and laughed and sewed with friends.  I'm almost back to normal with just a little twinge when I touch it.  I'm certainly glad that I don't have to get another one of those!!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Fire continues

Now that was hard to write - the Fire Continues.  We did have fun with family and friends as we were on the road.  But it doesn't matter if you stay at home and weather it out, or whether you hit the road to get out of the way/smoke.  Nothing feels right.

So to remember some fun times - here are pictures, in no particular order (Really, they didn't load as selected!!)

Olive Garden birthday dinner for moi!

Since we were evacuated and couldn't go home after the eclipse.  I elected to stay at the new house and watch it from the deck with the kids.  99.3 - not totality but the shadows and the temperature cooling was awesome!  And the company wasn't bad either!!

This is what the Brookings cars looked like.  It was greasy, sticky soot everywhere.  And of course, we had water restrictions - so I didn't wash it until I was in Newport, running from the smoke.  R and I did a bang-up job!  Dawn dish soap; washing mitts and alot of water pressure.  Had to go over this beauty 3 times to get all the soot off.  Then we washed her car - easy peasy, just dusty.

First day of school pictures - I got to take them!!

My view Sept 1, 2017.  The fire is active near Selma; but the smoke is hanging around here.

Boys playing at Whaleshead beach - race those waves!!

Gotta throw rocks.  Gotta skip rocks.  Gotta break rocks ... it's a Boyd thing!

I made these!  I was given pictures and suggestions by the designers D & K.  They helped steer the machine and correct any mistakes I'd made!!! Saber-tooth tiger on left.  Superhero bad guy on the right!!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Scary news from Brookings Oregon

View of Chetco Bar fire.  Taken by a drone by Thomas Creek Bridge - 4 miles north of us on 101.

The largest fire in the nation is bearing down on our little town.  100,000 acres and 14,000 firefighters trying to hold it at bay.  The Chetco Bar fire started with a lightening strike in the Kaliopsis Wilderness July 9.  But last week it doubled it's size every day after jumping a firebreak.

We were taking our little grandkids home from Camp Nana/Papa on Saturday before the emergency was known.  There was a lot of smoke and ash dropping out of the sky.  The light was so weird that it looked like we were on another planet.  The ocean was a chocolate color!

Thank goodness we got the boys home before the situation was serious.  But they filled our car with their car seats and suitcases.  So DH and I simply threw a couple of days' worth of clothes in a shared bag and off we went.

We dropped the boys and headed north to "eclipse country!"  Got to our DD's new house and discovered our condo had been evacuated!!  It kind of felt like Gilligan's Island - we were just off for a three day tour.  We were in Portland for 5 days before they moved our area back to a just "Be ready to evacuate" status. So we headed home to regroup and be prepared.

Now we have known tornadoes and Hurricane Gloria in NJ.  But have never been in a situation like this.  We have two medium cars - what do we need to pack?  Where do we start?

At first DH thought the boys had given him a chest cold. But finally I was able to convince him the smoke might have something to do with it.  So we needed to get out of the smoke, even though we were still only at Level 2.

Well, here's what we packed.  A week+ of clothing, medicines, those all powerful important papers.  My mom's ring, my wedding ring, a lifetime of photos, 2 paintings, 17 quilts (favorites and then good sizes we use). My sewing machine, his golf clubs, some food for the trip... Is it enough? Is it overkill??  All the way here I was lamenting what we didn't bring - no stash, my featherweight machine, favorite shirt in the laundry basket...

Just an aside - there are now 1600 firefighters in our little town.  Our heros.  The base camp is just pup tents on the south side of town. A 20something gal lives there - its her family home.  She recently send my hairdresser's daughter a text.  "You better get back here.  It's raining men!!!  I have an extra pair of  binoculars - there's men as far as I can see!!!  Hurry!"  LOL!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Still celebrating my "birthday month"!

The Newport show was a great success.  The traffic on the coast this summer has been epic!  More so in Newport than ever.  Is everyone coming out to check out Eclipse Viewing spots??  That would be okay since it means after next monday, the traffic will disappear?!?! Ha!

Shhh - it's Low Volume hung unadorned but it did hang straight!!  It's a miracle!

View from the Deck got a ribbon this year.  So it's safe to come visit - DH says life is easier if I get a ribbon!  LOL!

The show is in the Newport Recreation Center, Here we are looking down from the track at the main gym.  It's a great facility - next year I'm bringing my swim suit - the pool is finally finished and looks Great!!!

After the show, I went on to Portland and celebrated my birthday there - Olive Garden one night and Panera Bread salad the next night! Oh - and I picked up my new Ipad too! Did a little shopping but no quilt stores this round!

Tuesday bright and early Miss P and Mr M headed toward the coast with me!  We had a great "Camp Nana/Papa".  Lots of fun and beach time.  It was pretty grey ... but that just adds to the 'coziness!'  Papa played catch inside and out every day!  Inside is with water balls from the Dollar Store. They work great for kids inside and many a game has been made up with them.  We watched the Little League tournament while pitching in the house!!

We threw frisbees every evening after dinner.  Our best count was 20? without a drop.  Must work on that!

We were on top of the sea stacks ...

We were in front of our favorite driftwood elbow ...

We were crossing streams precariously ...

One day the bed-hair was so drastic we had no choice but to go to Open Swim at the Brookings Pool ...

We walked thru the Redwoods ...

Stopping along the way to explore ...

Then Friday night we went to A&J's house and had a cousins' sleep-over!  Miss E was the hit of the party.  Nana had to compete with Miss P for holding time.

Legos were very popular

But a new game of airplane was also invented!

Bedtime was delayed many times for books and giggles.  But memories were made!

It's no wonder that when we got home (sweet home) I was low energy! I had a long and complicated 'To Do' list.  I must say, it made a great bookmark!!  I sat and read and read and listened to the ocean.  Made smoothies and didn't share with anyone! Hopefully I'm fully recovered now because the little guys are coming for their first "Camp Nana/Papa" this week.  YIKES!  I'll let you know how it goes!

Enjoy these lazy (?) definitely crazy days of Summer!!

Monday, July 31, 2017

A summer finish!

Unfortunately for me - not an UFO.  But - zowie - what a stashbuster!! 

Presenting Shhh, it's Low Volume!  It's 64 x 82 which is one of my favorite size quilts. Good for couch quilts; twin size beds; and a good size to throw across the bottom of our kingsize bed to keep toes warm! It is based on the Swedish "Mini Plus" tutorial found but considerably bigger!  Mini-Plus link

I had gone a little crazy ... errr, I'd been collecting 'word' fabrics the last few years.  I was totally out of control - and I was saving them for 'something special'.  Yep, those beauties were simply stuffed into a bin and then a bin plus a box, and a bag!!!

I felt so-o good using them!!  I did go alittle crazy because I decided I wanted to show it at the Newport Quilt Show THIS coming weekend.  Every 3 or 4 years I swear I will never enter a quilt that isn't completely done!!  This was an off year!! LOL!  I did make myself finish the top by the deadline (they needed measurements!) and had just under a month to finish the quilting!  What could go wrong???

Well, there was a semi-unexpected visit from my son, his wife and their family:  Mr D (6 yr old); Mr K (4 yr old); and Miss E (3 weeks!!!) Yep, you read that right!  A Newborn debuting on the coast!  It took me days to get ready, child proofing on so many levels!  You can see the visit pictures in the prior post.  They were here, nothing was done then, who had the time or the energy??  Then, there were several days after the visit just sitting in the quiet with a cool drink!!! LOL!

Back to work.  I was, of course, making this up as I went!  Designing the DSM walking foot quilting using my favorite Crayola Markers!  And although the quilt is set in row, every other row is offset.  I had to connect up the columns through the sashing.

But TaDa! It was done a few days before it needed to be mailed, I bound it, I sewed on the sleeve, threw it in the wash AND the marker didn't come out! So I skipped the guild meeting and rewashed it several times.  What finally made it less noticeable was Oxy-Clean.  But it did fade it out at the same time.

Now I have to confess that the Crayola markers were not washable.  I have made this mistake before without consequences. These might have been old markers - they were hidden in a drawer for goodness knows how long!  And I raided my friends' stashes for more low volume fabrics. Some of them were not washed.  The marks that didn't come out were washed out some places but not others.  Sigh!

My friend asked me what I learned after this ... she thought it should be not to use Crayola Washable Markers, but one time out of a decade???  We decided I would test it before using them again.  And we'll see if I follow through! or even remember my vow!!

I do hate to send off quilts that are right off the machines.  I don't feel that they 'know their way home'.  I was pretty relieved when it arrived in Newport.  I leave Thursday for the show ... and am fighting a summer cold.  Crap!  I had plans for this week!!!

I have a problem.  I seem to cut, make half the number of blocks that I need OR double the number I need.  What's disturbing about this is that I figure it out in a notebook!!!  So I have 40ish extra pluses.

Our Mod Squad challenge this month was "Magic Three" so I picked 3 of the blocks and  pieced this together.  I'm not 'done' with low volume and this was a fun mini trial.  I had some number fabric that had a six and a five but not together.  I had to find the leftover fabric ... not as easy as you'd think!  But I wanted a '65' on this project.  I celebrate my 65th birthday next week!

This month at Mod Squad we had a 'play date'!  We went to the studio of one of our members and made silk handkerchiefs.  What fun! We dyed; stamped, embossed, painted ... dangerous knowledge for people with long lists of UFOs!

Miss P (10 yr old DGD) made us icons!  Presenting Beach Nana and Papa!

I think I'm holding my phone!