Sunday, June 30, 2019

This and that......

Once again I've been missing in action - we had Sam's cousin Trish and her friend Ruth visiting from Virginia on their cross country adventure. On Friday we took them to Crater Lake (national park) with a stop at a quilt shop along the way.
This is a picture of the Rogue River Gorge which is in Union Creek on the way to Crater Lake. It's the only one I took which is unfortunate because the scenery is beautiful but then I can go up there anytime to see it.

Here is Crater Lake - look how blue that water is and yes, that's snow in the foreground. The entire drive around the lake isn't open yet due to snow - perhaps early July. It is the deepest lake in the US at 1949 feet and one of the most clear lakes in the world. It's volcanic caldera was formed 7700 years ago after the eruption of Mount Mazama. The elevation at the water is 6,178 ft, it's over 7000 ft where we were standing.

Here's a Clark's Nutcracker sitting on a tree in front of the lake - many thanks to birder friend Yvonne for identifying it for me, she used to work at the park so is very familiar with the birds there.

And what's a trip to Crater Lake, or anywhere out Rt 62 without a stop at Becky's Café for pie.

I'm going to be starting a long term project - a hexxie (hexagon) afghan quilt. And I'm going to use all fabrics in my stash - what a novel idea. I have tons of beachy fabrics. I'm using the same coral seahorse fabric for all the flower centers and I have 9 different fabrics in sea glass greens for the petals. The white background is a white on white design with all things beach related, can't see it in the photo. Originally I planned on doing two rows of flower petals but that would have meant I had to buy more fabric and my goal is to not buy anything other than more white quilting thread for this project - I even have a package of free batting won at the quilt show in May. Yesterday evening I decided to hand sew one section to see how it went before I start cutting out fabric and making up little kits for each section. This will be am on the go project for when riding in the car or waiting rooms, etc.

Here's the backside so one can see the paper pieces used to create the hexagons. As a piece gets surrounded I take out the pieces of cardstock as they can be reused. I saw a trick of punching a hole in the paper to make it easy to put a needle under to pull it out. Hand sewing this was very fun yesterday evening.

Friday, June 21, 2019


 I finally finished the gingko wall quilt.  It's fairly large - approx. 32" x 52" but once up on the wall it's looking small for that big wall....and only a portion of the wall is visible in this picture. I need to re-hang art on the left side so there's not quite as much blank space. Maybe eventually get some other small art to add. The quilt matches perfectly with the linen charcoal gray sectional.

 I agonized over making this quilt. I'm not an art quilter. I'm not even a quilter. I piece quilt tops and have someone with a long arm machine quilt them. And I had no pattern to work from - I got inspiration from all things gingko on the internet.

Rather than put a binding on the quilt I faced it. For hanging I got help from a neighbor who is an experienced quilter. She suggested putting fabric triangle pieces on the back in the corners and a sleeve in-between and use a metal slat (not sure what it's called) to slide in those sleeves & corners. Sam drilled a hole with a slot toward each edge to slide over screws in the wall. It worked perfectly.

 I used gingko stencils as my guide for the golden leaves. I drew them on paper, scanned them and then resized them on the computer to make patterns. It's hard to tell but the gold fabric is a batik printed with gingko leaves - that was from my stash, the background fabrics mostly bought from Jordan Fabrics but a few picked up elsewhere. If you don't know of Jordan Fabrics it's a great online and brick & mortar store. So many online tutorials and free patterns too. What a treasure to have just a few miles from home.

I free motion stitched the gingko leaves using variegated thread. Then using a gray thread I quilted gingkos in the background and in some places echo stitched. On a small sample this was easy - not so easy on my actual quilt as it was a lot to work with at my machine, a lot to be able to move around under the needle. So, my stitching is pretty wonky, I was distressed seeing the quality of my stitching but once up on the wall it looks fine.

Will I do free motion stitching again?  Yes, but only on small items - maybe small art quilts, placemats, table runners - anything larger is too much for me with my machine.

Now that I've finished this project which has held me up in my creative life I'll move back to the looms and some other quilt/sewing projects.

(afterthought - noticed in the picture that the quilt looks like it's hung crooked - Sam used a level......I might have to double check it for level, if it's right then it's the couch or the floor that's off!!!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Out of the heat.......

We escaped the heat for 5 days while the A/C was out - just over the coastal range 80 miles the temp was in the 60's with a breeze...…..rather a stiff wind.  It was a wonderful getaway and just what we needed.  The A/C was fixed as of yesterday, ice maker also working again and computer files retrieved from the beginning of time to August 2017, I can live with that.

In the next day or so I expect to get the hanging sleeve on my gingko quilt so it can be hung over the couch - photo to come once done.  I have some napkins to serge, a shawl finished while on the coast to block and then hopefully back to the looms.....also some yardwork/garden to be tended which I started on this morning.

Photo is of the labyrinth we walked Sunday morning while on the coast in Bandon. I didn't get a good pic of the entire thing. For those of you who get the AAA magazine there's a photo of one of Denny's labyrinths inside the back cover.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

What the ??? I don't use profanity but you know what I mean......

This is how I'm feeling this morning.  105 degree temp yesterday and the A/C went out early evening, temp today predicted to be 103. This house gets no shade so it heats up. The A/C went out within the first month after we bought this house last summer but we had a one year home warranty compliments of our realtor so it was fixed - dual compacitor needed to be replaced.....that happened when the temps were well over 100 also.  Well here we go again. We did have the option to pay for another year of the home warranty so we did since the A/C and furnace are original to the house. Right now we're waiting for a call back to schedule a repairman. It would be great if it was the entire unit that needed replacing rather than just one more part. 

On the computer/lost data front - we did have a ghost image of my old computer in the safe deposit box from August 2017.  So, I have everything up until that date, I think...... The hard drive is still being analyzed to see if we can recover everything which would include the past two years.  Yep, going to have back up drives to my back up drives in the future......since the back up external hard drive failed in addition to the one in the computer. When did life get so complicated???

This is a picture I took recently when we took family to Wildlife Safari. This guy was just inches from my camera. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Life can suck at times........

I've been absent from my blog as life has gotten in the way and I don't have too much to share.  We did have family visiting and had a great time with them doing some fun activities like jet boat rides on the river, going to Wildlife Safari, the coast and just catching up. Sunday I made 2 batches of strawberry jam and one of strawberry/blueberry jam. This is the only photo I have to share at the'll see why below.

I have been working here and there on my gingko quilted wallhanging - only snippets of time but as of yesterday I've finally got the entire thing free motion quilted. Now I need to trim it up and add a facing onto it as I don't want a traditional quilt binding....then the hanging sleeve.

Disaster struck (why life sucks at times) Friday morning when my desktop computer wouldn't boot up - the computer that has my life on it. Long story short the hard drive failed...….automatic external  back-up drive also recently failed....and the power supply was going. So, I guess backing up my files on the external hard drive wasn't enough, I should have had a back up to that. This affects everything - personal files, business files & artwork, artwork, photographs, everything...….well, almost everything, I've got my weaving software files and embroidery machine files on the laptop that I back up on thumb drives. When something pops into my head that I may have lost tears come to my eyes, like all my photos of Bailey. So, new desktop computer bought but no files on it yet. IT guy at Sam's office worked on it but can't retrieve them off my old hard drive or back-up drive so they're now at a local computer store but no guarantee. We did have a ghost of the computer made 2 years ago in the safety deposit box so that's with Sam at work now with hopes he can pull files off that so then I will have only lost the last 2 years worth of files. Not good but way better than losing 25+ years worth. (No, my computer wasn't 25 years old, just files transferred from computer to computer over the years)

I did have some other pictures to share but they have been downloaded to the new desktop and that's at the office at the moment so I don't have access to them.

Maybe I'll get more time soon to create more that I'd like to share here but alas, more family coming to visit soon (a good thing) so it will be a while...….