Monday, September 28, 2020

Cabin Cozy

Hello Everyone,

I've been working on my Cabin Cozy design during these first days of Fall.

Three rows completed, two more to go.  I ended up changing the layout which meant I had enough trees made, but I need to make more Bear Paw blocks.  All of the blocks finish at 7", more or less.

The fabric is called Folk Art Flannel IV by One Sister Designs, for Henry Glass Fabrics.  I was surprised how easy it is to work with the flannel.  I'm not pinning as much, as the fabric just sticks together.

Just when we thought it was beginning to look like Fall, we jumped back into Summer with very warm weather, and the dreaded wind.  We kept getting recorded calls from our power supplier warning us of a potential PSPS (Public Safety Power Shutoff).  Luckily for us, this was warning was cancelled yesterday afternoon.

Prior to the PSPS cancellation, we went into our fire preparation mode.  Both cars were filled with gas, along with our wallets with small bills.  We had our "bugger out" bag ready......just in case.  I can't wait for the arrival of rain and snow.

We had two cords of wood delivered, so we've been hauling and stacking.  We feel like two little squirrels getting ready for the seasonal change. The stack of wood looked like Mt. Everest!

Here's a picture of our nicely stained log home.  I'm showing you this, so you can see we live on a hill, and all of the wood needs to be carried down the hill.  It is exhausting.  You can just see the garage peaking out on the left-hand side of the picture.

This is what it looked like prior to and during the staining.  The cabin is now darker, with a hint of Chestnut.

This is the side deck off our our bedroom.  I need to take pictures of the main deck on the other side of the house.  

You can see that we are surrounded by trees.  It is a real worry during this time of year.  We love hearing the wind in the trees during non-fire season.  We love seeing the trees covered with snow in the winter. They give us so much shade, and are home to many little critters.  We sit on the deck and just stare at the trees wondering how they can grow so large and straight.  I hope they have a long, long life.



Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Happy Fall

 Hello Everyone,

I will getting back to my Cabin Cozy design this week.  I took a few days off to spend time with my family.  Birthdays, baseball games, and laughter with the kids both big and small, took priority in my life.

Since I haven't been quilting, I'm posting some of my favorite pictures celebrating Fall.

I have to get the pattern together for Peek-A-Boo Pumpkins.  I have this table runner out on my dining room table.

Things should get back to normal today with quilting, and business as usual.  But in these odd times, what is usual or normal anymore?   



Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Crossing the Pond

Hello Everyone,

My new "Crossing the Pond" pattern is heading to the printer today.

This picture is a rendering from my EQ8 software of the entire quilt.  After I quilt it, I will do a photo shoot, and post the pictures.  In the meantime, this image is going to be on the cover of the pattern. 

I love this quilt!  In the event of an evacuation due to fire, this quilt is going to be the second thing packed in the car.  Mazey will go into the car first, since she is my irreplaceable fur baby.

This was a very big project, designing, making, and writing the directions to make this heirloom quilt.  I worked on it tirelessly through potential evacuations, power shut-offs, and my role and obligations to Henry Glass Fabrics. 

My next, and last big step is trying to decide how I'm going to quilt it.  My wool batting just arrived, so I can't put this off any longer.

The quilt finishes at 82" x 82".  The blocks finish at 10".  When the sashing is added, the blocks are 16".  This quilt has everything from intense piecing, to applique, and my scallops are scalloped!  I pulled out all of the stops on this design.

The fabric is called "Journey to America" by Judie Rothermel for Marcus Fabrics.  The fabric commemorates the 400th anniversary of the crossing of the Mayflower.  My desire was to design a memorable quilt for a monumental event in the history of our country.

I've heard from many of you who had ancestors on the Mayflower.  It has been fascinating reading and reflecting on your comments.

I can't sit back and put my feet up yet, as my work is still cut out for me over the next few weeks.  I'll get the backing made, and then do minimal marking of the quilt.  Hopefully my free-motion mojo will kick in, and I'll set sail navigating my long arm across the expanse of the quilt.


Monday, September 14, 2020

Cabin Cozy

Hello Everyone,

My Bear Paw blocks for my new "Cabin Cozy" design just walked out of the cabin, and started walking up a tree right outside of my front door.

By the end of the day, some tree blocks found themselves outside with Mazey standing guard over them.  She didn't want any squirrels running off with any of the blocks.

I am using "Folk Art Flannel 4" designed by Janet Rae Nesbitt for Henry Glass Fabrics.  I've enjoyed working with this high-quality, 2-ply flannel.  As a general rule, I don't quilt with flannel.  My last two shipments from Henry Glass have been flannel, so now I'll have two flannel quilts to my name.

This is a view of our sun for the past two weeks.  It's just a big orange ball that reflects orange light on our world here in California.  It is other-worldly, dark, and depressing.  Our eyes and throats are burning, so we pretty much stay inside for most of the day.  The air is hazardous to unhealthy most days.  Poor Mazey hasn't gotten many walks or runs over the past two weeks.  If the air is bad for us, it has to be worse for her when she runs.

I just listened to the forecast, and it sounds like the winds are going to change and blow this smoke away.  The only problem is that it will then become Nevada's problem.

My sister Gail, and our cousin Melody will be here for dinner tonight.  If I remember, I'll take a picture and post the recipe of our delicious, Tuscan, garlic, shrimp pasta dinner.  This recipe gets a 4-star rating in my book.

I have to scoot and process my Etsy orders this morning.  Then I have a Quilt Guild meeting via Zoom.  Then I have to get to the grocery store.  Then I have to clean the house. I think I need help!


Saturday, September 12, 2020

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Hello Everyone,

I received my digital copy of QuiltMania yesterday, and here she is in all her glory!

She's not the centerfold, so she doesn't have a staple in her navel!  I was surprised to see her in a very contemporary setting.  I guess it's to showcase the fact that it works in this setting as well as on my log bed, in my log home.

The issue is #139, and is available online right now.  I'll get my paper copy soon, I hope.  Both the digital copy and the hard copy contain the pattern for her.

This pattern is an excellent use of scraps, since the blocks are made up of 1" strips.  I know you all have a ton of 1" strips.  I never throw anything away, and I incorporated many little pieces that probably should have been tossed out. Nothing goes to waste here.

I'll make a cup of coffee and sit down with my digital copy today, and pour through it.  Thank you QuiltMania for selecting my quilt to display in your gorgeous magazine. I am so honored.


Friday, September 11, 2020

Country Courthouse is Home

Hello Everyone,

Her journey across the pond to France has come to a conclusion.  Country Courthouse is home after being photographed for QuiltMania magazine.  If quilts could talk, I wonder what she could tell me about her travels.

I received a notice from QuiltMania that they were shipping her back via FedEx on Sept. 4th.  I received the box on the 8th.  It took less time to go from France to the west coast of the US, than a first class letter going 100 miles within the United States.  My Etsy orders are taking forever to ship, and it's becoming very frustrating.

The QuiltMania edition with my quilt, should be out any day now.  I can't wait to see it.  I keep checking my post office box every day, but so far no luck.  It will probably be delivered by the Pony Express a month from now.  Carrier pigeon maybe???

Thank you all for your delightful comments about our anniversary. Someone mentioned how interesting it is that random events can change the course of your life. In our case, that random event was the best thing that ever happened. The anniversary fun continued last night when our neighbors invited us over for dinner, complete with cake and four candles, one for each decade.

I'm sure that you've seen the horrific pictures of the fires, and the blanket of smoke over California.  We haven't seen the sun in days, maybe even weeks.  The temperatures have dropped from 100 degrees during the day to the low 70's. The smoke is keeping the temperatures down, but it is making for difficult breathing.  The rains can't come soon enough.  Pray for rain for California, and Oregon.

We are under this huge plume of smoke.


Thursday, September 10, 2020

I Do

Hello Everyone,

The two most intelligent words I ever said were "I do" to this wonderful man, Mr. Joe.

Yesterday, we celebrated our 48th anniversary with our best friends who we've known for 44 years.  I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate.

Our power was restored yesterday after a 48 hour shut down for safety reasons due to all of the fires burning around us, and the strong winds.  Power or not, we were still able to celebrate our 48th anniversary, as the power was restored three hours before dinner.

Those of you who been following me know the story of how we met.  Here it is again for those of you new to my blog.

Let's time travel back to July 1971, when I was a sophomore at Chico State College in Chico, CA.  At that time I had a small studio apartment that cost me $50/month during the summer and $100/month during the school year. That was a lot of money for someone working part-time and going to school.

I was dating an agriculture major/cowboy from Redding, and he started taking me to barn dances up and down the Sacramento Valley.  He suggested that I purchase some cowboy boots and Levis so that I'd "fit in" a little more at the barn dances.

I bought a pair of tall, English riding boots, because I didn't want to have pointy toes.  I also bought the tightest pair of jeans that I could squeeze my young, curvy body into.  The jeans were so tight I had to lay down on the bed to zip them up.

I was all dressed up in my best Western regalia when my date came to pick me up.  I thought we were going to a barn dance, but instead we went to watch a softball game in Bidwell Park.  Did I forget to mention that it gets really, REALLY, hot in Chico in the summertime.  It was about 110 degrees at the softball game.  I was dying and almost had a heat stroke.

My date brought me back to my apartment and dropped me off.  All I wanted to do was get my tight jeans and boots off and lay down in front of my swamp cooler.  Well, in the heat, my ankles got swollen.  I couldn't get my boots off which meant I couldn't get my pants off.  I couldn't call my date and ask him to undress me!  I had only lived in my apartment for a month, and I didn't know any of the neighbors.

There were about 20 apartments in my complex, and there was one light on in the entire place.  That light belonged to a rough and tumble "bad boy" type, with a hot Mustang and a motorcycle.  I could tell that he was a Veteran because of his camo-wearing friends.  Viet Nam Veterans weren't treated with the respect they deserved, and I have to tell you I was a little afraid.

I was desperate.  I summoned up my courage, and my boots, Levis and I walked down and knocked on the door of a stranger.  I was secretly afraid he was "entertaining" someone if you catch my drift.  The bad boy opened the door, and my heart was beating out of my chest.  I told him my name, and asked him if he could take my boots off.  He looked at me, laughed, and said he didn't like to undress women in the hallway, come on in.  I went in.

Now I could be mean and say part 2 tomorrow, but I'll finish the story.

We talked for hours, and hours.  He asked me out to a barbeque with his friends the next night. Bad Boy and I were engaged six months later.  Now I know inquiring minds want to know if he took my boots off.  Yes he did, and only the boots!

So if it hadn't have been for the boots, the Levis, and the Barn Dance I didn't go to that night, I wouldn't have spent the last 49 years with the Bad Boy.....A.K.A....Mr. Joe.

This is our engagement picture in January 1972.  How do you like that hair!!!  It took about two cans of Aqua Net hairspray a week to keep that "do" in place.  I take personal responsibility for global warming.

So there you have it, a love story that began in 1971.......and continues to this day.


Tuesday, September 8, 2020

The Changing of the Quilts

Hello Everyone,

I'm writing this Monday evening, and scheduling it to post Tuesday morning.  We keep getting calls from PG&E, and it sounds like our power will be shut off at 11pm Monday night.  Most likely my Internet will be out too.  

I used this old buggy and make shift box as a prop in my booth at quilt shows.  Since I haven't been vending at shows, I thought I should put this to good use holding quilts.

We are still putting the decks and front porch back together at the cabin after the week-long cabin staining.  It seemed to me like a good time to move the quilts around.  This quilt is called Scrappy Maple Leaves.  I don't think the book is still available.  This is my favorite quilt to display during the Fall.  I've taught it many times, and the results have been over the top gorgeous!

The chairs belonged to my parents, and I remember them at our home in Paradise during the 1950's.  They are that old, and my memory is that good!  I've enjoyed them for years.

If you don't hear from me for a few days, it's not because I didn't want to chat.  It's because our power is out for safety.  I'll be puttering around the house and working on a quilt or two.  Thank goodness for the generator!


Monday, September 7, 2020

Social Distancing

Hello Everyone,

The highlight of our Labor Day weekend was watching our grandson play in a baseball tournament in the hot, central valley of California.  The boys were playing at a private ball field in an almond orchard, across the street from a dairy farm.  I loved this sign!  It really gets the point across about social distancing. Someone has a great sense of humor at this, "if you build it, they will come" ball field.

Since we were across the street from a dairy farm, there were a lot of flies.....and I don't mean fly balls either!  This was the first time our grandson has played since February.  The first game of the season, he chipped his kneecap sliding into 3rd. To add insult to injury, he was tagged out.

He had some brilliant plays as catcher, and when he played 3rd base.  He had some not so brilliant plays in the outfield.  The ball just popped in and out of his mitt.....a couple of times.  Our son was holding his head in his hands.

The team is comprised of 11 and 12 year old boys.  What an assortment of shapes and sizes.  Some look like young men and are probably shaving, while others are still holding onto their baby fat in their faces.  There were flashes of the "Bad News Bears" movie throughout the day.  Everyone was a little rusty, and hesitant.  We wouldn't have missed this tournament for the world.  We love to support our grandson, and our son.  We love to cheer the team on no matter what the outcome.  The boys played their hearts out in the oppressive heat, while the fans melted into puddles in the stands. 

Now let's talk about oppressive heat. I read a headline last night about the "kiln-like" heat that California is experiencing.  Yesterday, on our 2-hour drive back to the cabin, the outside temperature registered 111 degrees.  It was 101 when we got back to the cabin, and this is very unusual at our elevation. We've only seen temps this high one other time in the past 20 years.

High winds are predicted for tonight through tomorrow.  That's just what we need during our current fire season.  We've received multiple calls from our power supplier that our power will most likely be turned off today and tomorrow for safety reasons.  We will crank up our generator during the day even though it's so noisy it will shake the fillings out of your teeth.  Over time, you do get used to it.

We will spend a bit of time today preparing for our "fire drill".  Most things are packed and ready to go from the last time this happened.  Mr. Joe will get the gas tanks topped off, and get money from the ATM.  We will have our bugger out bag by the front door tonight.  The fun just never ends living on the edge in California.


Friday, September 4, 2020

Folk Art Flannels

Hello Everyone,

In between all that is going on here at Wilder's Last Resort, my box of fabric arrived from Henry Glass & Company.  This means I'm putting on my Madam Ambassador hat. The box was full of Folk Art Flannels by One Sister Designs.  

The box contained 21 yards of flannel!  I think the cabin is going to have a new "cabiny" quilt on display.  The fabric is a very soft, 2-ply flannel.  My new design will be unfolding during this month.

I made a test block first to see how accurate I could make 1" HST with flannel.  I was pleasantly surprised that the technique of making 8 HST triangles at a time worked beautifully using 2-ply flannel.  The technique is located here in my Virtual Classroom.  I will try to get the other block that is in the design made today, before I proceed any further. 

I'm also writing the directions for my "Crossing the Pond" pattern.  There is a lot of attention to detail in that design.  I'm checking and double-checking every word and calculations on every page.  Luckily, my career prepared me for precise detail, the ability to make my own graphics, and tie it all together into a pattern. 

On another note, the painters should finish staining the cabin today.  Once the process is finished, and we get the decks put back together with everything in place, I will post pictures.  Now the cabin looks fresh, and squeaky clean. It looks like a new cabin.

Our grandson is supposed to play in a baseball tournament this weekend. The team hasn't played since February. The games are about a 1-1/2 hour drive away from us.  We plan on going even though it is supposed to be 110 degrees!  Hopefully we can find a tree to sit under. The first game is at 8am, so that game should be survivable,  The 10:30am game may be a different story.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if the games were cancelled.  If I get cold, I can wrap myself up in the 21 yards of flannel.......NOT!

Madam Ambassador