Friday, September 27, 2013


Well, I have been intending to work on tidying my sewing room.  In only 7 weeks, friend Caro will be arriving from the Netherlands.  And I know she wants to do a bit of sewing while she is here [we manage to squeeze in a lot of sewing along with all our other activities while she is here!]

However, perhaps I am too easily distractable - no, not perhaps - I am quick to turn aside from my task and seeing what else is alluring.  In the quilt room I managed to find a pattern that Patty F., at Stone Soup Quilts, had given me to finish.  And also the required fabric pieces.  So here are some photos of a start at that quilt,

It is called "Streak of Lightening".  Patty just took left over 2 1/2" strips and cut the pieces.  Some were sewn together and I have been finishing up the rest of the fabric squares and strips.

Each block is made the same way.  For assembly, every other block is rotated 1/4 turn.  Voila.

I think I would especially like this using shirting prints for the light squares.  I have about 1/2 a drawer full of 2 1/2" squares - let me know if you would like me to send squares to you.  I do mean it, if you read this and send me a comment asking for them, I would be happy to send them to you.  It's quite fun.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Monday after

And so, to show you my bounty.  In Wenatchee, I did find a couple of things.  I tried to buy two other patterns, but this is a very small shop and she didn't have the patterns - just the samples.  So I will try to re-create them from memory.  And so, I found,
a cute little pattern - sorry about the flash, but it shows the picture best

Caro, what can you make with these cute little squares?

I did visit the Leavenworth quilt shop.  Again, they didn't have the patterns I was looking for, but did have a couple of cute ones, so what else does a girl do?  Buy them!
I love the one on the right with the embroidered, covered buttons.  I'd never thought about that - isn't it so cute?  The hotpad pattern is very easy for an RV friend to learn how.

And so to the accompaniment of internet radio (Radiotwee) I made some hearty fresh soup for supper:
onion, leeks, carrots, cabbage, barley and some left-over wurst.  [It was very easy Caro.]  Also, I made pear sauce, approx. 60 ounces - 3600 grams (however much that is in kg.)
It's now ready for the freezer.  And I still have at least that much left for other cooking plans.  Oh yummy.  Happy first week of Autumn, allemal.

Long Time gone, part II

So we arrived in Wenatchee.  Fruit picking was happening almost 24 hours per day.  It does bring up a very interesting thought regarding who is picking the fruit.  There certainly weren't many anglo-saxons lining up for the picking jobs - and there were 'help wanted' signs aplenty.  But some still want to whine about the influx of migrant workers.  Hmmmm.  And who will do the work?  Enough of that 'rant'.  So found two sights at one of our favorite state parks, Lincoln Rock.  Amazingly, even after the 'high' season, where reservations are required 9 months in advance (literally), we had to search for 2 together.
Really lovely, very well kept-up park, with grassy sites, with lots of lovely trees.  After a movie and popcorn evening, the next morning we headed up to Ohme Gardens.  It seems that Mrs. Ohme wanted a nice backyard, and so her husband began an effort to transform a hillside into something so unique.  Perched atop a rocky, barren hill, he hauled up dirt, plants and water from the Columbia River to transform it into a real show piece.  (I was impressed, can you tell?)
On the left (above) is a "before" scene. That is the Columbia River, and the green along the river are fruit orchards, aplenty.  Afterwards:

After a fun wander around, we headed into the town of Wenatchee and found a charming farmer's market, where we bought fruit (of course) and vegetables and a very nice lunch on the back deck.  I did find a quilt store, but will show you that in a bit.  We then headed up into the Cascade mountains, to the town of Leavenworth.  Another city that had been seeing itself dwindling, so re-made itself into a Bavarian outpost.  And now, a huge tourist draw.  We stayed in one of our favorite RV parks, right on the Icicle River.
[that really was about the BEST site in the whole park - weren't we so lucky?]  It turns out that there were 12 of us there for the week-end.  
Perfect spot for morning coffee.  On Saturday morning we headed to the very small town of Plain (about 30 minutes away) for their Saturday farmers market.  There may have been five stalls.

But we found flowers, fruit, vegetables and some even found some enormous cinnamon rolls.  I was able to get,

Small, new crop HoneyCrisp apples - perfect for lunch boxes

Bartlett and d'anjou pears (20 lbs)

a little taste treat
I suspect the 12 of us made a real difference in their sales.  Dinner that night included waldorf salad and a huge green salad, with the sweetest cherry tomatoes.  Makes my mouth water just remembering it.  And so Sunday we drove home, avoiding the storms of later in the day.  What a great journey.  [one more blog post to come]

Long Time gone

How I love all this traveling, but it also means (often) a lack of internet.  Thus Miss Blog here does not get update in a perfectly timely manner.  So, backing up to a couple of week-ends ago. . . . . . the delightful RV group had their September outing  north of here, outside Burlington.  Our camping site was on a big grass field, with electricity and water

A pretty setting.  Our "theme" for the week-end was games.  Those of us who were interested took pre-made bags, decorated them and made ourselves a game bag.
and later Miss Elaine taught some how to play Carcassone,
We also were learning "31", Hand and Foot, Five Crowns and Pinochle (Caro - you have another name for this game, but I cannot remember).  Saturday evening there was a 'round robin' for Hand and Foot (which is basically a version of canasta, if you remember that).  Each person was given an assigned seat and they started to play the game as usual, but every fifteen minutes, or so, at a given signal, folks put down their hands and moved to another assigned seat and started playing there, with that hand.  It sounds a bit chaotic, but it was HUGE fun.  No score-keeping, just playing.  It was fun.

We managed to avoid a storm Sunday late afternoon, as we headed east, through the Cascade Mountains, on the North Cascade Highway.  This roadway had been closed until Thursday, due to mudslides, but they had it clear and open by Sunday when we were traveling.

It is pretty spectacular.  This road is closed all winter, due to heavy snow, so it was great to get to see it (again) when it was dry.  We traveled on to a very small but popular tourist town of Winthrop.  It is based on an "old west" city.  Kind of fun.

They have a charming museum, made up of buildings moved to the site of the original homestead, up on a hill over-looking the Methow Valley,

We had visitors most mornings, including this mama and her twin fawns.  [just after I took this photo the second little one ran around the corner and they headed off.]  

After two days, we headed south.  We had a brief stop at a state park, Alta Lake, for our picnic lunch and then continued south toward Wenatchee.  That area is the tree-fruit growing capital of Washington state.  Pears and apple by the tons, literally.  [more on next blog entry - I have too many photos]

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday is a new week

Hello, hello, dear readers.  Somehow it seems that autumn is quickly approaching, although we are currently having a marvelous Indian summer.  Temperatures may even hit 90` by mid week.  Wow.  It was quite foggy this morning, but by noon, it was lovely sunshine and blue skies.

Today I was able (for the first time since March) -let me begin that sentence again, hearing my mother's voice in my ear - Today I chose to attend the monthly CTA meeting.  (Clothing and Textile Advisors).  If you aren't familiar, this is an organization that used to be part of the Washington State University Extension service.  However, when funding cuts were running amok, CTA was cut loose from Extension.  We now exist - a bit in limbo - as an independent statewide organization that supports the idea that sewing, in all its forms, is something that we want to see continue and flourish.  We teach classes, we hold sewing days which members of the public may join, we sew on four main service projects, have retreats, etc. etc. etc.  Unfortunately, King County does not have this program so I had to choose between Pierce Co. and Snohomish Co and I chose north.  Our monthly meeting are held at McCollum Park [Paine Field exit from I-5].

Today they handed out the materials for two Christmas projects.  We will make fleece hats,

and make Christmas stockings,
Before they are given to a local shelter for teens, they will be filled with appropriate goodies, e.g. toiletries, socks, toothbrush, etc, etc.  Last year we made 34 filled stockings and an equal number of hats.  The kids seem to like them.

This is a good organization and they are quite "giving" of their time.  Last year they donated more than 5000 hours sewing for community organizations, including pajamas, tote bags, walker bags and preemie quilts.  You may remember I have made those in the past.  So it is time to start thinking about Christmas.  Yikes!!!

In my own sewing room, what's new?  Well I tried something - kind of "what the heck".  I took some small 2 1/2" strips (perhaps about 20" long) and put them together in the 1600 quilt manner.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but it was kind of alright.  Perhaps a table topper?
It is about 2 ft. by 4 ft.  Just for fun!

I also made a very quick stop at Goodwill just because I could.  My friend Ronda always finds amazing treasures.  I'm not usually quite that successful, but often find something.  This time it was 2+ yards that might be a good back, for $3.99.  Not too bad.
And so it goes.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Tardy again

Sorry - life has been happening and I have not been blogging.

Some more babysitting for the sweet little ones:

Maybe it's because I had my first when we were living in England, but I "learned" that it's good for little ones to have their naps outside (under cover but lots of fresh air).  So when the weather is good enough, little Ms. L has a nap on the front porch.  She seems to rest well.  Ms. B and I played with Little People and sang "Wheels on the Bus" about 7000 times.  :-).

Then it was the holiday week-end and we headed out in Saskia (that's the name of the motorhome.  Actually it's Saskia, #2, as we had one before.)  We "camped" without any hook-ups with several friends, mostly in their rigs and, as we have before, had a great time.  Just lots and lots of coffee, campfires, games, and sorting out many of the "big" (and little) issues of the world.  Fun, fun.  To avoid traffic (and we did) we didn't come home until Tuesday.  Wednesday I took Saskia to a new (to us) RV repair place, much closer to our storage place.  Only 7.5 miles.  There was a recall for something related to the batteries.  But it was fixed (no charge, of course) and they did a courtesy "20 point" check.  Everything looks good.

Turns out that the Honda also had a recall - something related to the master switch for the electric windows - and got that done yesterday (Friday).  So with luck, all our motorized vehicles are all set for whatever comes next.

Today it's a wedding reception/open house.  However, we started the morning with some yard work.  [Yes, Caro, even I did some yard work!]
Fall blooming cyclamen

Winter blooming crocus just beginning

Lots of weeds pulled and bushes trimmed

Some new bark around the blueberry bushes
Been working really hard on cleaning the sewing room.  With luck I may even be able to post a photo - in the next few days.