Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Patchwork Math at Alden Lane Nursery

Hello Everyone,
It's been a whirlwind of activity under the oaks at Sew'n Wild Oaks for the past week.  I finally sat down long enough to catch my breath and create a post.
Yesterday was a big day with a full group of eager students in my Patchwork Math class. My class culminated Quilting in the Garden 2015 at Alden Lane Nursery in Livermore, CA.

The girls were busy learning and creating all day long.  Here is just a sample of some of the components they created after they learned the formulas.
 I love teaching in this spacious classroom as much as the girls enjoyed learning.

It's bright and airy with lots of room to spread out all of their quilting essentials.

We ate our lunch in the greenhouse.  How unique and fun is that!

My right hand woman, Gail (in purple) helped me with the class.  When you have over 20 students, it's always helpful to have and extra person helping.


If you look closely at this picture, you will see that Alex Anderson was a student in my class!  If you told me a few years ago that Alex would be taking one of my classes, I wouldn't have believed you.

Alex used her new fabric line FLUTTER, which will be available from RJR Fabrics in January.  The line comes in several different colorways.  You can check out a glimpse of the line HERE.

Hailey, the nursery's dog joined us in the afternoon for our group picture, and isn't a bit camera shy.

It was a day happily spent in the company of new and old friends.  Any day quilting with a wonderful group is a great day!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy First Day of Autumn

Hello Everyone,
Happy Autumn!  I'd like to know where this year has gone?  Shouldn't it be May and not September?

My cousin and her husband arrive today from North Carolina and I'm ready.  Cleaning....check.  Grocery shopping......check. Baking......check. Mouthwatering manicotti stuffed......check.  Hiking shoes all broken in.....check.  The last time my very physically fit, and active cousin came for a visit four years ago, I was not prepared to power walk everywhere we went.  I had a new pair of walking shoes, although comfortable, were not broken in properly.  Four weeks after she left, my toenails fell off of my big toes!  I kid you not. So bring it on Justine!  This year I'm ready to sprint up Half Dome with my toenails intact!   


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Georgetown Quilt Show 2015

Hello Everyone,
The last few days have been a whirlwind of activity and I'm finally getting around to posting the pictures from the quilt show in Georgetown, CA from last Saturday.  It was a beautiful day for a show.
Crystal blue sky, and no smoke from the fires that are ravaging California.  The set up began promptly at 7am.  Volunteer firemen, Needle Nellies, and their husbands have their assigned tasks, and the show is ready well before the 10am start time.

As the featured artist, I set up in the gazebo area.  By afternoon, Gail and I were very glad to be in the shade as the sun climbed higher in the sky, and the temperature heated up.

I was playing around with the panoramic setting on my phone, and was able to get a nice shot of most of the inside.


The 13 Needle Nellies outdid themselves this year.  The quilts were fabulous. Gail and I had a chance to see everything before the crowd arrived......and they showed up in large numbers to support the Needle Nellies and the volunteer fire department.

 Vintage Valentine pretty.

This year's opportunity quilt was Woodland Christmas by Bunny Hill Designs.  ALL of the proceeds from raffle ticket sales, go directly to the Volunteer Fire Department. Over the past several years, the Nellies have donated over $50,000!!! 

Next year.......insert drumroll here, the Opportunity Quilt is Toyland Tree by Sew'n Wild Oaks....that would be ME!

The incredible quilt the Nellies made brought a glisten of a tear to my eye.  One lucky winner is going to have an heirloom quilt gracing their home Christmas after Christmas.  I'll be posting a link so you can start buying your tickets now!  With your help, we can make this the biggest year yet for donations to the Volunteer Fire Department.

Thank you Nellies for inviting Gail and me back to your great show.  We look forward to seeing our friends in Georgetown every year. You girls do so much good for your mountain community. You are the BEST!


Friday, September 18, 2015

Welcome Fall

Hello Everyone,
Lesley, one of the co-owner of In Between Stitches always creates beautiful window displays for the shop.

I think this display is especially attractive because my sister Gail made the quilt!  The pattern is called Madrigal.  The original design has an appliqued basket in the center.  Gail has a strong aversion to applique, hence no basket.  I love the way it looks without it.  Great job Gail!


Attractive little tags are hanging above the quilt with meaningful words pertaining to Autumn.  This is also a good shot of the checked flange Gail used around her setting triangles.


Speaking of Gail, today begins the start of our Sister Act.  Thelma and Louise are headed to Georgetown this morning for the Needle Nellies annual quilt show tomorrow.  I'll be set up in the gazebo area with all of my quilts and product as the featured artist.  The weather is going to be wonderful, so come on by, say hello, and purchase a ticket to win their opportunity quilt called Woodland Christmas.  All proceeds go to the Volunteer Fire Department.  I know I'm going to buy a boatload of tickets to support them!  The money the Needle Nellies have provided over the years has helped save their community from forest fires.  It's a worthy event, and I'm honored to be part of the it.

On the fire front.....all evacuations have been removed for the Butte Fire!  Bless the firemen.  They are remarkable men and woman who worked tirelessly to snuff the monster out of existence.

There are so many good people in the world.  The Amador Valley Quilters donated FIFTY toddler and children's quilts to the evacuation center for the Valley Fire. I was speechless when I heard this. Those quilts are going to bring so much comfort to so many little children who have lost everything.  Thank you to my friends at AVQ.....your guild is amazing!


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Out of the Woods.....maybe?

Hello Everyone,

I've been receiving personal emails about the Butte fire which threated(s) the cabin, so here's an update.  I read the CalFire updates every day, and see that Arnold is still under Advisory Evacuation.

My friends have moved back to their lovely home, and remain vigilant, packed, and ready to leave in a moments notice.

The Butte Fire is now 45% contained.  There are 4,961 firefighters on the fire lines and in the air.  408 structures have burned.  Yesterday and overnight, the fire had minimal growth, thanks to the cooler weather and a little bit of rain, and the valiant work by the boots on the ground. 

In Between Stitches is gathering items together to take to the children and families in the Red Cross shelters.  You can read about HERE on their Facebook page.

I feel that our/your prayers have been answered.  I continue to pray for the firefighters and all of the displaced families and animals.

On another note, my nervous energy is focused on the quilt show in Georgetown on Saturday.  The birthday party for 40 people at my house on Sunday.  Then company which arrives next week from North Carolina.  Busy days ahead.



Monday, September 14, 2015

Fire Update

Hello Everyone,
Against our better judgment, we drove up to the cabin yesterday to get out the quilts  I couldn't take the anxiety any longer.  Our neighbor John knew something was up at our house since he had never seen me move so fast as I ran to the car!  You were right John. I wanted to get the quilts and 14 years of cabin journals......and say goodbye to the cabin.  We were expecting the worst and luckily we were wrong!  Our area is only under an Advisory Evacuation and hopefully that will be lifted soon.

As we made the two-hour trip to the mountains, all we could see was a huge blanket of smoke across the Sacramento Valley which completely covered the mountains.  As we got closer to the fire area, most of the cars coming down from the mountains had their lights on since the smoke was as thick as fog.

We saw many fire trucks and bulldozers along our way.  We were so glad for their presence.  We were expecting roadblocks so we had our property tax bill with us and our Homeowners Association membership cards so we could enter the area.  None of this were necessary as we saw only one roadblock along our journey.

As we drove into our little town, the smell of smoke was replaced by the smell of rain.  Not a lot of rain, but it was sprinkling!  Answered prayers maybe?

We didn't tell our three kids we were leaving until we were well out of town since we knew what would happen.  They were ready to start a caravan of utility vehicles and a moving van to take everything out of the cabin. It took some talking on the cell phone to keep them home and discourage them from coming with us.  We left Mazey home and told them someone needed to take care of her.  We felt it was okay for us old folks to breathe the smoke, but we didn't want Mazey to breathe it through her long snout.  We had masks.  If we put a mask on her she would eat it!

I knew what I wanted, the quilts and the journals.....that was all.....and that is what we took out.

Last night I sat and read through the journals. This is my favorite page and this is a good example of what the pages contain.

I remember this day in 2008 very well when I went for a walk in the woods with my granddaughter Harleigh.  This is also the day we heard her little brother laugh out loud for the first time.

I should have started counting the number of people who have written in the journals.  Many, many friends and family members have experienced happy times at the cabin and wrote down their thoughts, along with weather information, special hikes, and animal activities.  My oldest son wrote he would neither confirm nor deny what happened at the cabin during a bachelor party. The same son also wrote that the depth of the snow was equal to the height of a bottle of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.....and this wasn't during the bachelor party.

When we left the cabin, I didn't say goodbye to it.  I just patted a few of the logs and walked away.  I have every faith in our firefighters are going to put an end to this horrible beast.  The fire is tough, but our firefighters are tougher!



Sunday, September 13, 2015

Smoky Update

Hello Everyone,
Thank you all so much for your heartfelt outpouring in your comments.  You have no idea how much I appreciate your concern.
I pulled this picture off the web this morning which was taken from a vantage point about 15 minutes from our cabin. 

This picture is the burn footprint from Saturday.  The fire is traveling southeast and has now burned over 100 square miles.

This is from Thursday/Friday.

It is my understanding from what I'm reading at different sites, that bulldozers are frantically making fire breaks around our little community.  This is no small task since the terrain is covered in huge pine tress and is very steep in most locations.

We are still remaining out of harms way and not venturing near the cabin to remove anything.  Roads are closing, and the smoke is chocking.  I read one account describing Arnold as a smoky ghost town.  Now about those looters.....they should be "fat quartered".



Saturday, September 12, 2015

Raging Inferno

Hello Everyone,
I'm deviating from my normal posts about quilting.  Every year we worry during fire season at the cabin.  This year, fire season is one of the most extreme we've experienced.  The Butte Fire is quickly approaching our area.  Our governor declared a state of emergency yesterday and the National Guard is being sent in to help.  As of last night, the fire doubled in size in one day to 65,000 acres and is only 5% contained.

As the crow flies, it is now about 10 miles away from our little Arnold community as indicated by the yellow arrow. Yesterday the fire was growing in all directions between 60-70 feet a minute!  Our 4-year drought is feeding the fire literally tons of dry fuel. 

The area in orange was under mandatory evacuation yesterday.  The area in yellow, my area, is still under advisory evacuation.  To make matters worse, some idiots (and I'd like to use a much stronger word here) are looting.  It's one thing to loose a home to the forces of Mother Nature, another to be plundered by some yahoos (insert language here unbecoming to a lady) taking advantage of the situation. 

Many are losing everything they own. Some ranchers in the area are struggling to get their large animals to safety. Luckily for us, the cabin isn't our primary home.....but it's our haven away from city life. It holds family memories of wonderful times together.  Hopefully it will survive this firestorm along with all of the other cabins in our area. 

Our firefighters are trying their best to keep everyone safe and are focusing on saving structures.  I am thankful for these brave men and women and I pray for their safety and the safety of those in our mountain community.

I'll keep you posted.  Right now I'm turning my nervous energy to cleaning and preparing for our company.  This house has never been cleaner!!!



Friday, September 11, 2015

Country Crossings

Hello Everyone,
The borders on are......and I gave it a KISS, as in keep it simple stupid.

In class the other day, we collectively decided to have a blue inner border.  When I got home and put it on my design wall, I tried it without the blue and really liked the look.  The red frames and contains the quilt while highlighting the blocks and the sashing.  Most of the fabrics in this quilt are from various Kansas Troubles collections all pulled from my stash.

Since the sashings look like they are twisted and crossing, I decided to name it Country Crossings.  I'm thinking about making this a skill building, long-term class at the shop.  I would simply start by introducing half square triangles and progressively introduce more complex components.

The center block is only HST. It appears to be much more complex than it really is.

This is my favorite block.  It is made from three different components.  Can you spot them?  There are 8 flying geese, 4 squares in a triangle, 1 square in a square, and a partridge in a pear tree.

The cutting instructions for five of the blocks are located HERE at The Quilt website.  I started writing the directions to this pattern while watching the start of football season last night.  Needless to say, not much was accomplished.

I'm pecking away at my lengthy to-do list.  I got some major items checked off yesterday, this quilt being one of them.  It has been so blasted HOT here in my area of California.  The temps have topped out at 107.  I know I'm going to cringe when I get my next electric bill.  The upstairs is about 15 degrees warmer than the downstairs, so I divide my day between the two.  In the morning I'm upstairs while it is still cool, by afternoon I migrate downstairs.  Normally we take Mazey to the dog park every day at 6pm.  Now we are there before 9am, and even at that early time, the sun is brutal.  This has totally thrown her off too.  We are all creatures of habit.

The game plan for today is try to stay cool as a cucumber (stupid phrase), and get more done around the house while getting ready for the show in Georgetown a week from this Saturday.  Last year, the show was cancelled due to fire.  So far so good this year!  Fingers crossed.