Friday, January 29, 2021

No Sewing Here!

Hello Everyone,

Not one speck of quilting has been happening at Wilder's Last Resort, but there's been a whole lot of shoveling and snow blowing.  We have one snow blower, which I call the Joeblower.  Mr. Joe can manhandle it up and down the driveway.  I use a shovel and push the snow to the right side of the garage. I can no longer hurl a shovel full of snow over the berm.  I mainly go out and pretend to help Mr. Joe, and give him moral support, and make sure he doesn't keel over from over exertion.

I took this picture of the back of the cabin two days ago.  Without putting on snowshoes yesterday, I couldn't make it down out back to show you an additional 2 feet of snow.  It's been a heavy, wet snow causing a lot of damage, and an area-wide power outage.  The entire town has been in the dark for days, which also means no Internet, phone, or TV.

I don't think we will be out picnicking on our deck in the near future.  While clearing the driveway on Tuesday, we heard a loud crack.  We went up the road to investigate, and found a tree on our neighbors deck, and wires across the road. Since our phone was working at the time, we were able to call and report the problem.  It was a bad situation.  As of yesterday, the lines were still down.  

A few hearty full-timers ventured out of their cabins to check out the damages yesterday.  Our neighbor ended up with a tree on top of his car.

We keep the red SUV in the garage, but the poor Jeep is left out in the elements.  Everyday I was brushing it off, and digging it out just in case we needed to use it. I finally gave up yesterday.  This is how much snow fell overnight Wednesday.  The red car had been out for just a few minutes, and was covered.

We had to get out of the woods, and get to our house in the Bay Area for our vaccine appointment today, Friday.  We had a small bag packed by the front door, and waited for the snow plow to come by all day Thursday.  The plows are having a difficult time getting through because of the downed trees and lines.  Finally, around 2pm, we heard the plow and that was our key to get out of Dodge.....if we could make it to the main highway.  It was a white-knuckled half mile, but we made it thanks to Mr. Joe's driving skills and 4-wheel drive.  

On another note, my sister decided to come up to her cabin on Tuesday to experience a really BIG winter storm.  Mother Nature did not disappoint!  Gail's cabin is about a mile away from me.  Did we go see Could we have driven over there.....probably not without getting stuck. It would have been a very difficult walk through the deep snow. 

Gail rents her cabin out, so she doesn't keep any food there.  All she had was what she brought up with her, which wasn't a great deal.  Last night I got through to her on the phone, and she said in a pinch she could break out her K-rations from her earthquake kit she carries in the car. Yum!

The storm is supposed to end today, so Gail won't have to boil her leather shoes for a tasty meal.  She should be able to get out on Saturday, and we will be back there to help her out.

So we will get our Fauci Ouchi's today, and head back to check on the cabin, and Gail tomorrow.  Power is supposed to be restored later on this afternoon.  What a week this has been!  We've had our entire Winter compressed into the last three days.


P.S. Gail just called while I was posting.  She said another 8-10" of snow fell in the night.  Time to break into those K-rations.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Down to the Sea in Ships

Hello Everyone,

I've quilted my way down to the ship - the halfway point in Crossing the Pond.....and then there are the borders.  Maybe I'm 1/3 of the way finished.

We had a hard freeze last night, and the garage where my long arm is located, was a balmy 37 degrees.  The garage reached heat wave status this afternoon at 42 degrees when the heater had been on for five hours.  In reality, I'm pretty warm.  I'm just like a little kid that needs to pee after I put on my snow bib, boots, and jacket.  I wear my fingerless mittens, and I'm good to go for a couple of hours at a time.

The morning was absolutely beautiful!  Crystal blue sky, and crisp mountain air.

By this afternoon, the biggest storm of the season started blowing in.  We are actually located in the blizzard zone on the weather map.  We have NEVER been in the blizzard zone for as long as I can remember.

When Mr. Joe heads out for firewood, I'm going to tie a rope around his waist just like Laura Ingalls Wilder did for her Pa.  We have a ton of fire wood on the front porch, so we should be good to go for a few days.

If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, I'm by the fire with my hot toddy and a good book.  We will have to dig our way out, and get to our vaccine appointment late Friday afternoon.  I pray the snow plows will be swarming the neighborhood.



Sunday, January 24, 2021

Crossing the Pond Update

Hello Everyone,
Here's just a quick update on my machine quilting progress on Crossing the Pond.  Slowly but surely I'm working my way down the quilt.

This is the area that worried me the most, and had me completely stymied or flummoxed. I love the word flummoxed!  Now, I'm really happy with what I decided to quilt in this spot.  It's a very odd shape to fill with machine quilting.  I think this is really going to enhance the old-fashioned look of the quilt.  I had to draw this design until I was blue in the face, so I could cement the pattern and movement into my brain.  Everything you see is free motion, not computerized at all.

The snow is supposed to start in earnest this afternoon and throughout the night.  If I drop off the planet, it's because we've lost our power and Internet connection. 

Our power supplier, PG&E has set up camp in our one and only shopping area in town.  They are preparing for the worst, as we are also supposed to have 25 mile an hour winds along with 18" of snow on Wednesday.  Yikes! 

Keep sending your good vibes my way as I tipple while I stipple!



Saturday, January 23, 2021

Machine Quilting Crossing the Pond

 Hello Everyone,

  1. the action of delaying or postponing something.

So what have I been postponing?  I've been postponing machine quilting Crossing the Pond.  I had decided to send it out to a professional and have them quilt it......but I waited too long to make that decision, and the person I wanted to quilt it wasn't available in the timeframe that I needed it.

I've been machine quilting since 2006, the year I bought my no frills long arm.  For some reason, quilting this quilt scared the bejeebers out of me.  It's big, it's complicated, it has a lot of white space, and I couldn't figure out what to do.

I put on my big girl panties and tried to figure out something......because.....I have to ship this quilt to France for her photoshoot for QuiltMania magazine the 3rd week of February.

Snow day #1 - Friday, January 22nd.  I'm looking down at the house from the garage.

And, of course, I waited until the WORST possible time to start quilting it up in the garage.  This week is going to be a snowmageddon week here in the mountains.  The snow started yesterday, and should continue for 6 days!  I added up all of the potential inches of snow that we are supposed to receive, and it's almost up to 3 feet! Chances are we will loose power, and I'll have to run a heavy duty extension cord up to the garage to connect me to the generator.  Not to mention, it is supposed to drop into the low 20's tomorrow. 

So when you see this quilt in the May/June issue of QuiltMania magazine......think snow!  I'll try to post pictures of my progress throughout the week if we don't loose our Internet connection.

My goal this week is to discover if I can machine quilt with frostbitten fingers. My new mantra is, do not Procrastinate, do no Procrastinate, do not Procrastinate, do not Procrastinate.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Betsy's Blessing Tutorial Part Two

Hello Everyone,

In between working on the BOM for Marcus Fabrics, I've been working on Betsy's Blessing.  I still haven't decided how big or small I'm going to make this cutie.

You have to make a lot of strip sets, and half-square triangles for this little block.

I have a basket full of parts and pieces to make another 20 or so blocks.

Here's a tutorial to make the little sashing stars.
You will begin by cutting the following to make the sashing units.  
Cut a strip of yellow that measures 5" x width of fabric.  Then subcut it into 1-1/2" sections.
Cut a strip of red that measure 1" x width of fabric. Then subcut it into 1" squares

Draw a line on each one of the squares from corner to corner.  This is your stitching line.

Stitch directly on the line.

Trim the corners off 1/4" from the line.

Press each corner toward the red.

Now do the exact same procedure on the other corners.

Click HERE for the link to the first tutorial to make the blocks.  They are easy blocks to make, and you can use up a lot of scraps in the making.  I am only pulling fabric from my stash of Betsy Chutchian designs.  They all work so well together.

I don't know what I was thinking, but I decided to migrate the bookkeeping for my business to the online version of Quick Books on January 1st. I've been using the same software for 10 years.  You know that phrase about teaching an old dog new tricks?  Well, I'm not sure that it applies to this old dog.  I've been glued to my office chair for hours at a time.  I think I've finally got it figured out, and actually like the power of the new system.  The only problem is......when I loose my Internet connection, I'm up a creek without my accounting paddle.

On another note, I called our health care provider, and now we have an appointment to get the first installment of the vaccine.  I am so excited to get this process started in the next couple of weeks.  When I called, I was on hold for 2 hours and 10 was worth the wait even though I had to listen to the recorded message about 1,000 times.

I hope you all have a great weekend.  Since everyday seems the same here in the mountains, everyday is the weekend.


Friday, January 8, 2021

QuiltMania Issue 141

Hello Everyone,

Yesterday, I received an advance image of my Heritage quilt pattern which is going to be in the next edition of QuiltMania magazine, issue 141.  This quilt was made by the Independence Hall Quilt Guild in Arnold, guild.

There will be more pictures of the quilt in the magazine, a story about the guild, and the directions for the pattern.  This will be coming to a newsstand within the next couple of weeks.

The quilt was made with scraps from my stash by this group of women in the classroom at Independence Hall.

A lot of hands, and sewing machines made quick work of this beauty.

We met twice to work on the quilt, and some of the girls took blocks, and worked on them at home.  At our second meeting, the blocks were squared, and then sewn together.

Mazey helped me put on the borders.....not!

The quilt was quilted by Debbie Coleman.

Raffle tickets were sold for the quilt, and all of the proceeds went to the scholarship fund to aid seniors at the local high school to advance their education.

Look for this cover at your local quilt shop or bookstore.

I've been at my computer for hours each day working on the block of the month for Marcus Fabrics.  No sewing for me.  I'm only working with images of the fabrics from a new line designed by Judie Rothermel.  I can't wait to get the fabric, and turn the blocks that I've created in the computer and on paper, into finished blocks. I'm creating detailed monthly cutting charts for quilt shop owners, and writing the pattern at the same time. 

Mr. Joe dragged me away from the computer yesterday when he saw that I was getting a bit frustrated, and needed to MOVE.  A brisk walk with Mazey was just what I needed to clear my brain, and focus my vision out into the forest.  Sometimes I can't see the forest for the trees. I guess I need to get out the chain saw.



Friday, January 1, 2021

Happiest of New Year's to YOU!

Hello Everyone,

Today I'm going to dig out one of my many UFO's, Betsy's Blessing, and enjoy working on it again. I will be churning out Churn Dash blocks while I'm watching the College Football Bowl games.

I love these little blocks!  I'm only using my stash of Betsy Chutchian fabrics, since they all work so well together. I put a little tutorial together which you can locate by clicking HERE.

So, dear readers, 2020 is now in our rear view mirror, and it's time for a reboot.  What lessons did we learn from last year?  I learned many things about myself, and I'll bet you did too.  I learned just how dear friends are, and I'll never take their hugs and smiles for granted ever again.  We've all had to learn to smile with our eyes, now that half of our faces are covered up.

I always knew how dear my family is, but now I profoundly realize just how loved they are.  I miss giving and receiving their hugs.  I miss seeing the interaction between all of them during family gatherings.  I miss it all.  When our son was dealing with Covid, there were many days filled with worry for his return to good health.  He is doing fine now, and so far, no other family members have contracted the virus.

I learned not to schedule every day with workshops, lectures, classes, and vending at quilt shows.  In 2019, I was always packing, and preparing to leave for an event.  I think I was gone more than I was home.  I have enjoyed being home for the past 9 months.  Yes, my income has taken a huge hit, but my piece of mind and happiness is priceless.  My Etsy shop has really kicked into high gear, and it has filled the financial void.

Next year I'm planning on hosting four Sew'n Wild Oaks quilt retreats.  I just have to walk down the street to Snowflake Lodge and I'm there!  Yes, there is a lot of planning involved to make it successful, but once that is done, I'm good to go.  I've missed the retreats soooooo much.  They are the happiest of times for all of us with so much laughter, sharing, eating, and yes, a lot of quilting!

Today, the first day of 2021 begins a new journey.  It's up to us to make it the best journey yet. It's up to us to see the best in everyone, be more tolerant, give more, and expect less.  We need to practice patience and civility.  Enjoy simplicity, and create harmony and peace in our homes. We can do this!  Our story begins at home.

Happy New Year!