Thursday, March 23, 2023

Not so good at "blog" New Year's Resolutions!

But, been busy!  We moved!!  I came home from our local guild retreat in Gold Beach to an eviction notice!!  90 days.  This has not been our dream apartment.  Love the space; love the view but management is crazy!!  There I said it!!

So DH got on the ball and found us a 'cottage' 2 bedroom, 2 bath, ground floor rental unit in Harris Heights.  Still in Brookings (celebrate!!)

Within a week we had signed the new lease; within 2 weeks we were moving!!  That IS a little fast for 70 year olds especially with a quilting hobby!  And I have to admit - looking at a vacant space needs more thought than we gave it!!  Storage went from awesome to "Oh, dear! That's small!"

But at 70, it IS time to seriously figure how many of my 10 years' worth of UFO (Unfinished Fabric Objects) I will really be able to make.  How much of a 40 year collection of stash will see the light of day?  Not enough to face moving it all again!

I packed us up with a lot of help of consulting friends; friends that lent their dollies (a life saver), a friend that just moved gave us her packing materials and boxes!  Heavenly present!!  And P, who came and packed my kitchen!!

The moving truck came, moved the boxes and the furniture with no problems.  But stash was in open bins, so - we had a stash caravan the next day!!  We moved the bins and also our books down to the garage.  At 10 am three quilting friends, all in their 70s (like us) with SUVs came over.  Hopped out of their vehicles; carried the bins and milk crates to their cars - stacked them - got more ...  In no time at all, the garage was empty.  Off they went to the new house, pulled up, hopped out of their cars, carried the bins into the house and placed them IN THE CUBICLES! Ta-Da!!

The whole thing only took 45 minutes - and that included visiting!!  It was awesome!  Finally, yesterday I paid them with the promises chocolate covered pretzels!  Finding the ingredients we moved and the energy to make them took me longer than expected!  Lasagnas were delivered to those other helpers.

I haven't sewn in the new house yet.  I have sewed on sewing days at guild and at P's house.  The sewing room is small.  And I'm half-ing everything!  Stash; tools; pre-cuts; UFOs; and trust me that's not easy - but needed.  I don't want a storage unit in that 'bedroom'  I want a sewing room!!!  NOW!

I promised the Woolies group they can meet at the new house in April.  I hope to have the sewing room issues finished by then.  We won't be able to have a twin bed in there when there is no company.  I can't even fit my sewing chair up to the sewing table with it in there!!!  I know that sounds silly - but seriously!!  It's true!

Funny story - my DH - after putting up with a quilter in the house for over 45 years actually wants to use the closet in that room!! (Peals of laughter!)  But, nope, he is serious.  So things are headed out.  No room in the rest of the house or the garage!  In fact, we're not sure we can get my car into the garage yet. So things are headed way OUT!!  Needless to say, the GoodWill staff knows me well.

There will be more updates and after pictures.  The before pictures are way too depressing!!

Sunday, January 22, 2023

The storms have moved on ...

Three weeks of storm after storm is TOO MUCH!  The 'last' storm was pouring rain with snowflakes mixed in!!  Not sleet - flakes slowly drifting down between the rain!!!  That's a first!  There were mini drifts of snow when it ended.  

I love being able to see my favorite view again - no weather fronts graying everything down.

Oops - wrong picture.  A Mike's Hard Lemonade semi!! "Over here!!"  That's my 'go to' bottled beer!

Here's our coastal view.

Who wouldn't love looking out at this (in good weather!)  Those trees really make it!

Crab season is finally up and running.  The ocean looks like a farmland community at night - boat lights look like farm lights in all quarters.  

It's not raining, but the temps have been low 50s.  I know I sound like a wimp when I say this ... I about froze today coming home at 5 - and it was 53 degrees!!  So-o much moisture in the air - there must be a chill factor working against us.

I finally got busy and bound a quilt I started in 2020.  Road to Oklahoma - I brought the pattern to a NE retreat and everyone there loved it - so we made blocks and had a raffle - I didn't win!  20 years later (seriously!) I got it out during covid.  The block looks like this:  

Those star points facing into the center are tricky - they really go against the grain.

I was working with many 'time-outs' on this pattern.  I ripped out a lot of points going the 'wrong way'  In fact, I'd recommend sewing it as a 8pointed star block and a 16 patch alternate block! Just saying!

I quilted it myself on my DSM, my regular sewing machine, and then it went into time-out again.  I hate to waste my hands' workability on hand binding!  There is a 'flange' binding that sews on by machine on both sides.  I've been working on it.  It's tricky - sewing long lengths of two fabrics together.  Then ironing them before sewing them to the BACK of the quilt.  (Seam goes toward the smaller fabric!)

Then there are a lot of joins on both fabrics - don't want them at a corner ...


And, after sewing the binding onto the back of the quilt there's a slick way to join the ends.  Binding Clips work really well 'training' it into the correct position. I let it sit over night.  As you sew the 2nd side on, remove the clips as you get to them.  AND it's done!!  Just in time for 'show 'n tell' at tomorrow night's guild meeting.

I'm reading The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.  It started slowly for me, but now I'm hooked and reading it instead of TV!  Must go read!

Monday, January 9, 2023

Winter Storms

Being from Nebraska "winter storm" means snow, wind and freezing weather - it always comes from the North.

On the Coast of Oregon "winter storm" means wind, rain and fairly moderate temperature! And it comes from the South!!   Hard to get used to, even after 14 years out here.

And we've been having a doozy of a storm.  The ocean is wild!  Sportshaven Beach has giant logs and trees tumbling onto the beach!  Then the surf takes them  back out and piles them on a different part of the beach.  It's a gigantic tangle!  And the logs have been deposited by the waves up the beach, over the path and even over the cement sea walls! Best to watch from afar!!

Last night the furnace was on (it's not the quietest one we've ever had) but I heard rhythmic roars, I was afraid the furnace's end was near!   But it was the ocean  a mile away roaring!   

This morning it rained so hard on our bedroom windows I dreamt I was in a car wash!!  It's wild - but with our usual soft wind and pitter-patter rain in between bouts! This is our 3rd week with rain predicted every day. Hopefully, it's helping the drought out here.

It hasn't been constant bad weather - somehow, the storm is more active at night??  That seems weird, but not complaining!  We can see the sun, even if only momentarily, sometime during each day.  And I'll take it!

We been celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary!!  It's amazing how fast 50 years can go!?!  First we went to Palm Springs in October - flying into Palm Springs airport - delightful!  Then laying around in the sun, mainly!  Eating out, of course.  Heaven!

 We drove up to Portland Christmas Eve, avoiding all their crazy ice weather.  Christmas Evening, the Medford gang joined us.  DS is a pediatric nurse, and he could celebrate with us the 26th.  We were the "Intrepid 11" looking for a party!

December 26 we headed to OMSI to see the Marvel Comic Exhibit.  The Grandkids (5 - 16!) were all in Seventh-Heaven!  And of course, their parents are well-aware of the Heroes,  I enjoyed the graphics and watching them get excited.  We all voted for our favorite Marvel character. (Groot is even the name of the newest  family dog!?!)

Then, off to B&N.  As one of their Christmas presents, we had given the kids a GC there.  We bustled into a gigantic sale day with apparently everyone in Portland!!  But we had fun scrambling to see our favorite section; showing other family members books we thought they would like, and a couple of us holding place in line, it circled the entire store!  

DH was the coordinator, letting everyone know about where we were in line, rounding up stragglers when the line was getting close.  We split into 2 groups, paying for the families, not individual kids, trying not hold the line up any more than we did.  It was fun seeing the kids excited over what they got.  I highly recommend it, but not necessarily on a big sale day!

Then, off to Olive Garden for late lunch/early dinner.  The hotel the Medford gang  was staying had a pool - that was great each day to wear out the 'littles'.  Our Medford group headed home the 27th.  We stayed one more day.  

Our Maid of Honor and her husband had just moved to the Portland area days before Christmas!  We hadn't seen them in years.  So, on our anniversary, we met at a local pub and grill for lunch.  And drinks.  And sitting at the table until almost dinner talking and laughing! (No worries - we left a sizable tip!)  Great to get together and get caught up.

BUT wait there's more!!! My DH planned a surprise party at home.  On Jan 4 he told me we had to go to a restaurant party.  I suspected "Proof of Spouse" event.  You know, when you talk about your spouse and no one has met them?  So you have to prove it!!  50 is a BIG brag for having an 'imaginary' spouse!!  But, nope, I was wrong!  Small towns CAN keep secrets!  

He arranged a party celebrating our anniversary, with help from one of my friends to contact quilters!  "No presents, but Doni loves greeting cards..."  There were neighbors, (both) golfers; bowlers; bar mates (DH) and quilters and pool aerobics friends. (me)  We met at our favorite Chinese restaurant.  

Appetizers and wine were flowing.  We visited and met everyone.  Told stories .. Rick had snuck out our wedding album, no one had ever seen me as a brunette or Rick with a mustache!  We would have bet on some greeting card duplication - small town, you know.  But not a one!  And I loved seeing them.  We finished the night with a family serving of Orange Chicken - our favorite. 


Here are some pictures of our January decor.  Snowmen look a little out of place at the Coast.  But surprisingly, at home during storms!!  LOL!

Livingroom book shelves  On the right photo is a snowy day drawing created by my Great Grandmother! 

Over the River and Thru the Woods quilt.  That song is about Thanksgiving!  And I didn't put it up at Christmas, so, it looks wintery, so January it is!!

That wraps it up!  Have a safe winter, no matter what direction your storms come from!

Monday, January 2, 2023

Happy New Year! It's time for the 2022 Recap!


Good-bye 2022 Happy New Year! It's 2023

Let's start with good books this year.  Some of these books were published in 2022 - but I'm talking about books I've read.  I read 87.  That's a 'soft' number because I always find notes written about a book I read but didn't 'register'.

Some of my top Rated Books are:

6*!  Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt  An Octopus who lives in an Aquarium, maybe rules it??  Very entertaining.  Small town on the Coast - it sounded alot like 'home'!

5*  French Braid by Ann Tyler  She's one of my favorite authors.  So everyday, ordinary stories - but you can't put it down!

5*  My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan   Telling the story of a young American woman going to Oxford as a Rhode Scholar.  Very engaging 

John Sandford is a perennial favorite author for me and these are his latest books.

5*  The Investigator by John Sandford  Letty has grown up and is working as an investigator for the Senate?  I hope this is the first book in a new series.

5* Righteous Prey by John Sandford   Virgil Flowers joins Luke Davenport in an amazing story line.  And I love it when they pair up!

Of course, 2022 was filled with quilting too,   There were dog stockings; advent calendars, tree skirts and a fabric challenge made into a table runner.

Drawings of the new pets needing a stocking. The drawing was then turned into either a flap (don't ask) or sewn into a stocking.  Count so far:  5 stockings; 2 flaps.

This panel Advent Calendar was my second finished between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day.  Darn cute!

Cherrywood Lane

My Edyta Sitar Quilt Along: using her pattern Summer Village. She is a fantastic, organized fun leader.  I loved this project because it never got harder!! Three of us Brookings Quilters worked on it each week and all enjoyed it.

My version -  "Cherrywood Lane" was finished with some added trees and a skinny border.  You know I can't do something without changing it somehow. Fernwood Quilting long-armed it and I was thrilled with Lynette's quilting.  I entered in local shows.


I had fun playing with improv triangles - they make really clever NW trees.  I got carried away - Improv Forest and Improv Forestry.  There's a third top - possibly to be finished in 2023!  I'll keep you informed!


A Great-Nephew in Nebraska got married and I made a quilt for the happy couple. When my sister asked me to make a quilt, I asked what colors?  Grey.  Accent color?  Dark Grey!  What does she like?  Cows!  I cannot make an all grey wedding quilt.  BUT, she likes turquoise!  I can work with that!  I found a mostly grey cow fabric for the back.  I loved the finished quilt.  Fernwood Quilting long-armed it for me.  The couple loved it.  Mission Accomplished!


I try to make at least one Quilt Of Valor every year - and P and I fell in love with Plaid-ish, a free online pattern.  So, we precut the pieces and at retreat we made a 70 x 90 quilt with RW&B.  It was presented this summer - QOVs are always a big hit with our Veterans / Serviceman. 

My last finished quilt was "Peek A Boo" from Missouri Star Quilts.  So fun to make - P & I each made a top at an April Retreat.  Here mine is - almost finished.  No that's not Bling on a quilt made by me - It's the binding clips around the edges!!

For more on this quilt (and others) - see the story on my blog on April 28, 2022

This year has been less quilting. I'm 70 now and my hands and eyes take turns slowing me down.  Then when I was raring to go, my EverSewn machine broke down.  Living on the edge of the earth ... it took far too long to get it back to par. 

But I have high hopes for 2023 - doesn't everyone??  No matter how many finishes I make - I love my quilting time.  Look forward to finishing a few favorites and of course, any new quilt that catches my eye!  Happy New Year and here's to all the inspiration; colors; quilts and ideas ahead for us in 2023!


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ... The lists are getting longer!

We had a visitor on the rail this week.  And, NO! We do NOT feed the gulls!  But it wasn't convinced of that.  I was baking and there it landed - when I went to the sink to wash dishes - it walked around the corner of the deck so it could see me!  It took 3 days to convince it we had a 'don't feed the birds' policy!  I love it when they open their beak and let it wail while it's looking right at you!  "Yes, I'm talking to YOU!"

There are many 'challenges' to living in a small space.  Granted I'm not talking Tiny Houses here.  They lost me when a person living in one said, "You don't really need a closet ..."  Oh, I think we do!! 

Our apartment isn't huge - it has very usable space - and it does pay to be pretty organized and to know what needs to be closed to public viewing!!  Yes, we're definitely talking sewing room.

A plus - you can get it company-ready quickly - and its fun to decorate for holidays.

As you know, we have a Stas Gallery Wall (available on Amazon) that I love to change out.  

My favorite Christmas Wall Quilts and our "Papa" and "Nana" Stockings that travel with us to 'Christmas'.  Also our 5 grandchildren's stockings. Festive! Right?

I 'lost' my space for the Santa Hat when we moved.  So new spot:  I get a little giggle every time I walk in and see it.  After all, you don't know who will drop in unexpectedly for a snack!  

Did you see that Christmas "Drinking or Cookie" game?  You hang a Santa hat on a upper corner of your big screen TV.  Every time someone on screen is wearing it ... drink or eat a bite of cookie!!  You can do both, you know you want to!!

If you have Netflix - here's the favorite Christmas Movies:  some are new* and some are older but worth another viewing.

Santa Chronicles                *Love Hard (not porn, I promise! Charming)
HoliDate                            *The Noel Diary
The Holiday Calendar        *A Storm for Christmas (mini series)


I miss Prairie Schooler stitching designs.  I was absolutely hooked on the yearly Santa patterns.  I changed this 'poinsettia' Santa to Sunflowers.  It was the year of the Sunflowers, showing up everywhere in any media!!

Snowman box doubles as a winter storage box.  I store all the fabric decorations in the house.  Our humidity is so high even storage boxes in the garage get saturated.  Mold - not festive!!

I put off making Lobster fisherman Santa.  Living in the Midwest - just didn't know about yellow fisherman coats!  I do now!!

I love Santa riding the reindeer!  The little sleigh was ugly, it got 'lost' in the move?!  This is much cuter!

This hanging Santa was gift from a friend.  She thought I'd like it and by golly, she learned how to make one!  She had a saw and she learned how to use it!!  I love getting it out every year!  Since we've moved to the coast (13 years???) we haven't had a Christmas Tree!  I never thought I would ever say that - but you learn to tuck your favorites around and it works!  

The lower left corner of the shelves in front of the Gallery Wall:

  That little house wall hanging was made many times.  "All Hearts Come Home for Christmas".  So true!  And the alphabet they used was purposely very primitive.  I actually marked it and sewed it from the back!  Probably good for my brain - had to keep track of the stitches you DIDN'T see - they made the letters!

This week has been filled with baking cookies and making 'candy'.  And we've been having trouble with taste-testing.  It's no longer taste-testing after the first cookie!  We're honestly not sure if we are sleeping better or in a sugar coma!!

Wishing you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Talk again soon!

Monday, December 12, 2022

Christmas Cards - Yay or Nay??

 It's that most wonderful time of the year ...  snow might be falling and the To-Do list is building up higher and higher!  AND it's 2 weeks to Christmas!!  Arrrrgh!

Let me admit, I LOVE Christmas cards.  Back in the day ... I sent 50 out every year, and we don't own a small business!  Over the last years, I've been switching correspondents to email greetings.  At first I thought I was cheating, but now it's a bonus!  More verbiage; more photo space; no stamps and cards to buy - what is the disadvantage?

I do miss getting actual mail.  But we live in Brookings OR.  It's a very small town on the edge of the Pacific.  Our mail comes/leaves once a day at 11 am.  That slows everything down to begin with.  Trust me - overnight Amazon used to be 3 days!  You don't want to know what it is now!!!

And have you looked at boxed Christmas cards this year!  Yikes!  12 basic cards are $20!  Yes, I broke down and bought some.  Not a huge selection in our town this year.  But, I'm offering to exchange e-cards next year with people on my list.

Here is my Christmas letter that's going out.


                                          Happy Holidays from the Boyds


It’s been a busy year, visits for sports and theatre productions.  Busy families and grateful Grandparents enjoying the chaos!! 

 A and family did some camping and road trips!!  This Fall everyone changed schools!  D is in Middle School, K in Elementary.  E is going to a Bilingual Kindergarten where Mom works.  

E’s school started a week later than the boys.  So, she got to come over to Brookings for Camp Nana/Papa.  D called on his new phone - once she figured out who was calling, she ratted us out – “I got a LOT of screen time, but don’t tell Mom.”  Which they immediately did!

 The Portland Gang was busier than usual.  P, (Freshman) played Varsity Tennis and now City Volleyball!  M is still playing baseball, he was Honorary Captain at the end of the season.  

But the highlight of 2022 was their Epic trip back to Nebraska and Chicago!  So-o much fun!  They’re still talking about it. Thanks to all for the great time!  L works from home for the Tennis Program, with their 3 dogs supervising.  J just switched jobs to work with At-Risk High School students just down the hill from their home.  He loves the job AND not missing the kids’ games, practices and events.

 R and I enjoy overlooking the Port and keeping track of all the hullabaloo going on down there.  Golfing and Quilting are still our favorite hobbies.  R  makes a mean Martini - Lemon Drop and Manhattan weekly!  We’re celebrating our 50th Wedding Anniversary this year!!  Holy Cow – that went fast!!  We hope the weather cooperates so we can gather the gang and celebrate in Portland after Christmas. 

 Wishing You the Best in 2023

More on Christmas and Big Anniversaries later.  Ho, Ho, Ho! until next time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Thanksgiving and keeping track of what we are doing, making, remembering!

 All in all, we probably don't Give Thanks often enough.  That's where a Gratitude Journal comes in handy.  I don't have an official journal, but this should do!!

The first journaling I did was a Quilt Journal of all the projects I made.  I started quilting in 1974 So - there's a lot!  The projects I made multiple times were shown once or in a pile!  I've made hundreds of Christmas stockings!!  Always a favorite!

I started my quilt journal because I thought I was losing my mind (not completely wrong!) and I wanted to remember the stories of my quilts when I was in the Rest Home!  I love looking at it.  Updating it when quilts are 'released into the wild!'  I highly recommend keeping one.  So easy nowadays, on the computer (in Word) - Voila!! A copy for anyone who wants one!

I don't like any of the commercial Quilt Diaries.  They get too specific in my view.  I'm a scrappy quilter - don't know the 'designers' names'.  I try to take a picture; year it was made, measure it and then write about why it was made, if someone said something about it ... things in my life. 

Best Buds
22 x 18

 I started with a photograph of Miss P and Mr M, 2 of my (5) grandchildren. LuAnn put it in Photoshop, she reduced it to lines and printed it on cotton fabric. During our class we colored the picture with fabric crayons, fabric markers and then painted fabric medium on it and picked border fabric. I have to admit, it was a year before I was brave enough to machine quilt it. I'm pleased with how it came out. Now for the next 3 grandchildren!!

Then I've started making email letters for family birthdays.  I love looking thru all the photos and reading old Blog posts.  It's so easy to take it for granted.

It all started when our DS, A turned 40.  40 memories (in no particular order).  They are not easy, but once you get started you end up with more than '40' memories.

12. On Folsom street you played "bye-bye" with Grandpa McGrew by climbing into the living room bookcase; waving bye-bye to him and shutting the sliding panel on yourself!!

Then to my DH for our 36th anniversary!  Remember to make it "G Rated" other family members will see it!

16.  Husker games, I have to admit, I'm a fair-weather fan, seriously!  Did you know I bribed the kids to go to the games in bad weather???  Oops, I thought you knew! Never mind!

Then my DD, L.  They all got a numbered list of my memories - it made for some "That's not how it happened!"  And "How did you know about that?" conversations

Some kids are 4-legged

Then, during COVID it was so hard to stay 'connected with our GKs'.  Email was our friend.  I started taking close-up pictures and sending them to the GKs to guess what it was.  They even sent some back!  I posted them on this blog and quite a few followers and friends played along.  But it did go longer than expected ... both COVID and the game.  After weeks and weeks, P turned to her mom complaining, "Nana sent me a picture of the dining room chair!"  Yes, but it was artistic!!

For guessing                  PS Always take solution picture at same time!

Even on a Mom's Day long ago, I gave my daughter a card for me!  Told her I wanted to hear from the kids 'why I quilted'!  The kids were a little young to write it themselves, so their mom 'took dictation'.  I'll never forget DGS, M's response:  "Who knows why Nana does anything!!"

Then I made Mom's Day and Dad's Day e-letters to send.

Other duties as assigned!

P and I have been active in the Quilting Sweatshop lately.  I put together the Monkey Business quilt top and handed it in for the Hospice.  When asked whether I wanted to bind it, I said I would so I could get a picture of it finished for my Quilt Journal.  SO now, I've been volunteered to show it and encourage quilters to keep track somehow!  (As my Mom always said, "No good deed goes unpunished!")

I had my QJ all up to date when I was "Honorary Guild Member" at the show in 2018.  Sadly, I haven't kept up, so this will be a good excuse to bring it up to date again.  How? You wonder:

Well, I'm a list - maker.  So each year in a designated notebook I write down all my finished projects and the size.  I always (I hope) take a picture of the project, with the recipient if possible.  Then when I have time (oh, sure!) I start the description page with what I remember.  Sometimes it's long, sometimes, short.  But it usually grows as I think on it.  Wish me luck!  AND if you don't have a journal in your life ... it's time to save those memories!!