Skagit Valley Sprint

Skagit Valley Sprint

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Blissful Weekend of Camping

Okay, so maybe it wasn't all relaxation, it was actually a lot of work setting up camp, putting up tarps (in case it rains), cutting firewood and arranging everyone's campers for the opening weekend of hunting season (which begins next Saturday) The weather was spectacular with sunny, warm days and cold crisp evenings by the fire. It actually marks the last week of camping for us for the year (really the only camping we have done this year, unfortunately). We spend a week in the woods, all 11 of us (my entire family...Mom, Dad, Older Brother and his boys) by the fire, rising at dawn to frolic in the woods, walking for miles up game trails around the moutains, through the brambles, seeing all of nature, the way most people don't...for me it's new sights and sounds and all of God's glory not seen from a car window, but up close an personal and then returning to camp, dusty and tired to eat awesome food by a campfire (is it me, or does food just taste better when you are camping?) swapping stories of the day (and days past) and just enjoying the company of friend's and family.

To me, nothing beats this view, nothing beats these memories either! Both of my boys and my nephews have grown up doing this as I have...playing in the creek, getting muddy, dirty and then shooting pop cans with their Red Rider BB guns and finally attending hunter's safety class so they can join the big boys on the trail when they were finally old enough. Meanwhile, my mother, sister-in-law (and this year my best friend) and myself bake cobbler in dutch ovens, read, crochet, knit or stitch by the fire...(I've been known to hike along with the guys just because I love a change of scenery now and then)...or we head out in the car to pick chokecherries to be made into jam and syrup, it's absolute heaven!... and it happens again in just 4 more days of work...just 4 more days!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

All By Myself...

On this lovely Sunday, my husband was at work, the boys were at hunter's safety class and I had A LOT of time on my hands...alas, I was all by myself. After throwing together lunches, getting everyone up and out the door, I treated myself to a well-deserved nap (5:30 is NOT my idea of an ideal time to be awake, especially on a weekend) checked to see what you all have been up to, turned on iTunes and broke out the sewing machine.

You see, I have to keep it safely stored under my sewing desk...due my darling rambunctious black cocker,named VooDoo, who thinks it's great fun to chase the cat over the back of the couch, across my sewing desk and around the house...earlier this year, he missed the cat, but sent my sewing machine flying, thus breaking the flywheel and the computer! My DH insisted that I do something that I try to NEVER do and that is to pay full price for anything ESPECIALLY a sewing machine!'s a good thing that I love that dog!!! but I don't think I talked to him for a couple of days : )

Anyhoo...a dear swap-bot partner included some lovely scraps along with the 5" noodle that we were supposed to swap and I decided to put them to good use. And, to kill 2 birds w/1 stone, I put a 4" border around it to allow the addition of some applique flowers, leaves & vines from my new Piece O' Cake book. That way I haven't technically "started" any new quilts! By the time I got the wonky block done though, it was time to p/u my DH from work and wait for the phone call that announced that we have a new hunter in the family!

To finish out my somewhat productive day, I finally decided on a background for the dresdan quilt, but first I had to do a little searching on Ebay for some more fabric. Craft Warehouse only had a little over 2 yds of it and that will only be enough for 10 blocks, I would like at least 12, was hoping for 16-20...but 12 will do!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Unfinished Projects

Speaking of big stitch quilting...

I think this quilt might be a good one to try my hand at handquilting with perle cotton, what do you think? Sad to say it has been sitting around waiting to be quilted for a couple of years now and I solemnly vow before you all to get it quilted and on his bed BEFORE he graduates (in 5 So, does that mean that I need to get it quilted before I make a single wonky log cabin, or a zig zag quilt or finish my dresdan plates, or set up a block for nt applique from my new favorite book from Piece o' Cake? Hmmm...I might have to ponder that decision a bit more!! After all, I did make make copies of some of the flowers that I thought I could tackle and I purchased some fat quarters @ Craft Warehouse during lunch today all because I don't like what's in my stash anymore (now that I am getting a taste for designer fabric, thanks to the lovely fabrics you all are working with on and showing on your blogs) ...Oh, and now that you mention it, there is the yellow brick road that needs borders...and, and, and...I'm sure you can all identify with my plight! I think that I should have signed up for sew and tell to keep myself accountable : ) Perhaps, I should get this posted and plug myself into my iPod and get cracking at the sewing machine, after all it's not going to sew itself is it?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Look what came in the mail today!

Woo hoo! It finally came!!

I bought this book about 4 years ago, loved it and then out of the goodnes of my heart, "borrowed" it to someone and then never saw it again, not a problem...but, rather than wait and wait and wait...I just decided to get another one! You all have inspired me to want to really learn needleturn applique, so here it is...I have done a little bit before and found through past projects (a dresden plate for my m-i-law, a ufo (okay, so I am missing just one block) & a grandmother's flower garden that I have recently started) that I like handstitching! After this, I may even try some big stitch handquilting w/perle cotton (no, I WILL try some and perfect some)! Actually, I can't wait to get started...did I mention that I really want to do the wonky log cabins? And, I am signed up on swap-bot to do a 5" noodle exchange?! I love getting treasures in the mail, whether it be a swap or somethin from Alibris or Ebay....

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Glorious Saturday!

Did I mention that Fall is one of my favorite times of year? It's sunny and bright outside my window this morning and is supposed to hit 90 this afternoon, but right now, it's a nice crisp 55 degrees, the grass is all dewey...I love it!

I took a half day off yesterday (mental health was the reason), I just couldn't bear to sit at work when my husband was home enjoying the day (and I could be enjoying it with him!) So, my Sgt. graciously let me go at 1pm and Earl & I took off in the car so he could show me a park that he discovered along the Snake River while on a motorcycle ride the day before. Alas, I didn't think to bring my camera...(something I almost NEVER forget) so, I can't share with you some of the sights along the way. I love old barns and there were a few of those (we were in amongst the wheatfields) there were old wooden grain silos, a grange hall and an old school house...

So, I included a barn picture that is from 2 winters ago that I took on the way home from skiing...sadly, it is no longer standing! Anyways, the park was interesting, we are always on the lookout for potential camping spots, not too sure this would be one of them, it was just downriver from Lower Monumental Dam, in the middle of ablsolutely NOWHERE, but just the same, it was a nice green spot on a hot afternoon in the middle of golden and brown fields that have just been harvested. So, we got out, had a look around, cooled our feeties off and headed home again.

And when I got home, I sat down and did a little sewing on my dresdan plates, made a little progress before dinner and then was lured into watching a dvd for the rest of the evening with my hubby, while the kids either went to the first football game of the season or practiced their newfound texting skills with some of their MANY (girl) friends! All in all, a very nice end to the day!

Hope you all enjoy your Saturday...I'm off to freeze peaches and then to get some more sewing done! TTFN...Andrea

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What I've been up to lately

Okay, so the finished quilt on the far left was made 3 years ago for a raffle when a co-worker needed a kidney transplant. A bunch of us ladies at work got together, did some fabric shopping, had a cutting day and then people took home projects to complete at home. I put the blocks and the quilt together, a generous friend donated the batting and the backing and a friend of a friend did the quilting for a huge discount...if I recall correctly, it brought in over $3,000!
The dresden plates are in search of a wonderful background...that I don't think I have found yet...most people I have asked think the turquoise is the one, but I am not sure that I love it...maybe it just needs to grow on me a bit...we shall see.
Ah, but now I have found my stash of polka dots, which leads to a whole new ballgame...I think I like the orange or is it the green? What do you think? I am not a person who picks a quilt by the fabric line or has to have the exact same colors as in the photo, I like to play and let the fabric speak to me, sometimes it seems like the fabric and I aren't on speaking terms...

And the hexagons are a portable quilt I started a year ago and have recently become interested again. And yet again, I am looking for just the right fabric for the next round of hexies which is a light color followed by a green, both of which I haven't picked out yet...but I love being motivated by trying to imagine what the next round will look like! Then when that's all said and done, we tackle the applique on the border...