Monday, August 31, 2009

Auburn Wildfire

Yesterday, we were packing to spend three days on the coast at  Dancing Coyote Beach

We were married there, and love the whole Point Reyes National Seashore area.  We were going to take the kayaks, beach them in front of our cottage, and cool off from this awful heat wave.  Maybe some fresh oysters at Olema or Nick's....mmmmm.  

About 3 pm the sky.......... almost suddenly,  filled with an awful, low black smoke. It looked like a tornado was coming.  Garth took this photo from our backyard.  I went on the net and found out that there was a fire in town.

Then, we lost power (which, for us means  no cordless phone, a/c or water). We do have two corded phones and we received a reverse 911 call invoking mandatory evacuation.  Garth hitched up the trailer, we loaded some clothes, food, homeowner's insurance policy, passports (don't ask), medications, some jewelry, external hard drive, dog and cat food, cat box and Maggie and Missy.    We headed up I-80 and went to Ellen and Steve Johnson's house in Colfax and parked in their driveway ready to spend the night.  They had power, a/c, water....and most of all news!  At around 8:30 or so Garth determined that he was lifting our evacuation notice and we came home.  We started up the generator to get the refrigerator running and have a bit of light.  Power was restored somewhere  around midnight.  It is very hard for us to get our minds around all this. 
Here is where I am going for info. 

Now, here is the part that amazes me.  When you leave your home for what might be the last time, what do you take?   I have no idea why I took the passports, but..hey they are small.  On our way out the driveway, Garth stopped and ran back into the house and returned with a bunch of granola bars and a nice Cabernet Sauvignon  (good thinking).  My quilting friend, Elly, packed her new Janome and some quilts.  Since she was under voluntary evacuation, she and John and the pets eventually did not leave.  

What did I learn from all this?  First off, what is important to me:  my husband, my pets, the contents of my hard drive and a handful of jewelry.  Know your neighbors.  We live in the country, so that is almost a given.   Secondly:  You must have a cell phone that receives a signal where you are and a portable radio that can receive a signal.  We found that Garth's brother at Lake Tahoe and friends up in Colfax knew what was happening and we did not.  Had I not looked at the online news for those few minutes before we lost power, we would have been clueless and might have depended on rumor.   Finally:  take photos of items you own that are of value.    We are doing that this very day and will store them on a memory stick and online outside of the house.   Oh, and let's not forget that bottle of wine.
P.S.  By the way, I called to cancel our reservations this morning, and Janet at Dancing Coyote said she would send us a full refund.  That is another of the reasons we love this pretty place on the water.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Freddy Moran!

Yesterday was our Freddy Moran class. She was teaching the "Liberated Wedding Ring" technique. This is Freddy's quilt....Eighteen of us came at 10:00 am with our colorful scraps neatly folded and confined in their boxes and bags.....tidy workspaces.

A few hours later it looked like a technicolor fabric explosion.
The classroom was a fabulous mess!

Later, we had show and of the gals had made a "Freddy's House" quilt with "Freddy's Garden" blocks....just look!! The quilt, the quilter with the lady herself. Some of us are still on a high from yesterday.

By the way, Freddy was talking about her visit to the Sisters, OR Outdoor Quilt Show
where she had an opportunity to connect with the quilters from Gee's Bend
who had quite an impact on her. This is a collection I truly crave to see. I am also trying to find a dvd of the documentary about these incredible women. Last month, Garth and I were driving through Ashland, OR in the late afternoon enroute to our B&B. We drove past the Southern Oregon University Museum and Library.....there was a banner on the wall that was advertising "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibition. We had wi-fi where we were staying, so I went immediately online only to find that that very day was the last day of the show and it had closed. Someday!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

All Is Quiet

Grampa and the grandtwins, just pulled out of the driveway. Garth is taking the kiddos back home and will be visiting with his mother in the Bay Area. There was a lot of action around here for the last four days and the quiet is already seeping in. Time to get a grip on my sewing room and finish up three UFOs.

'This week I am taking Freddy Moran's "Liberated Wedding Ring" class. And,boy is it liberated! Not a digital maven, Freddy does not do email and has no website. To see Freddy's work, go to her photographer's website.
Here is a thumbnail photo of the pattern.
I will be spending the rest of the day pulling fabrics from my stash for the class. This qult is in Freddy Moran and Gwen Marston's second book, Freddy & Gwen Collaborate Again

I will report back on how fabulous the class was, so stay tuned.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

DH is home!!!

Garth arrived home after two weeks in visiting his brother and family in Montana. He took our 17' Casita trailer AND two of the grandkids. 10 year old twins Elio and Isabelle. We live in Northern California and Thompson Falls, Montana is a ways to go with two kids, but it turned out to be a wonderful time. The kids were good travelers and everyone had a good time at Uncle Johnny's and Aunt Cheryl's place. They have lovely home right on the banks of the North Fork of the Clark River. There was campfire by the river, inner tubing behind the boat, catching crawdads, paddling, picking huckleberries.... and any number of great things. If you are going to spend quality time with the grandchildren, do it before they get too old and have other interests. These years never come around again.
Picking Huckleberries in the rain.....

Catching crawdads........then eating them with

A picture is worth a thousand words!

Now starts the laundry, emptying the trailer and all that goes with the end of a trip.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Well....the time has come to list my finished quilts in my etsy shop. Three will be for sale, to begin with, and we will see how they sell. This is a little guy, 42 x 42. Maybe diagonally on the table with candles, etc, or as a wall hanging.

The one on the just below was fun to make....I did it just to see how it went together. An excellent stash-buster.
I didn't know if it would end up on someone's bed, over the back of the couch or on the wall, so I put a sleeve on it. It measures 68 x 49. It was professionally quilted, so zoom in on the wonderful feather work.

And then is my one of my favorites....great Turkey red fabric that I hoarded for a couple of years until I could find a quilt to put it in. Size is 74 x 74. I also made pillow cases from leftover fabric. I can see this in someone's guestroom.

So...the quilts will to up tomorrow.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Smoke, Carrie and Our Friend Marti

We live on one side of a lovely valley, but today it is hard to see across to the opposite ridgeline. The fires in California, especially in the neighboring county, are making their presence known with our air and our valley full of smoke.
The aerodynamics of it all elude me, but it has happened before. But still, when you live in the foothills and wake up at smelling smoke, you know there is wildfire....and you head for Google to see where the incident is located.
Here is the sunset...............and then a view of part of our backyard.
Tomorrow, I go to get my hair cut.....styled, that is. My super special stylist Ms. Carrie, owner of,
Hair Productions in Auburn, has offered to let me display some of my totes and bags in her shop! So I am figuring out how to make a little display for large bags that will not take up much space or get in the way.

Now, bad news...We received an email from the correspondence e-fairy at the Auburn Garden Club. Member and friend, Marti and her husband, Paul were in an auto accident. The newspaper....says that their car struck a tree, and then spun out of control, hit an embankment and landed on its roof. This how the first responders found them. He is doing well, but Marti will be in the hospital for some time. They were driving only 40 mph with their seat belts on. Two tons of steel just going just 40 mph can be a scary thing. People, please be careful.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Free Labor!

Our neighbors have the most adorable pygmy goats on their adjoining land. They have the goats because they are fun pets but also because they will eat brush. We live in a high-risk fire area and must keep 100 feet of defensible space around our house. Sometimes the little darlings will breach the fence and come on over and eat our weeds. We never complain! Speaking of labor, I had better get to work and organize my sewing room. By the way, for those of you in the S.F. Bay area, the American Craft Council show is on in the city this weekend. Too far for me... .

Friday, August 14, 2009

Break In The Heat!

There is a short break in the heat. Last night I did some watering then spent some time in the garden hammock and watched the solar lanterns come on.

This morning it was still cool which means coffee on the deck.
However, soon I am looking down at the garden.....which brings into view tons of weeds that really weren't there a few days ago. I am a gardener and this phenomenon has no scientific basis, but I bear witness to it. There will be no photo of the garden until it is looking better.

Yesterday, was my quilting mini-group day, only I was the only attendee! Summertime is hard for the five of us to be in one place at the same time. So, I put my quilting stuff away and made a bag instead.

Today, however,it is time to get to work on at least one of my ufos. I do not know why I started this quilt, but I can't seem to finish it. Garth looked at it and declared it "scary".
The blocks are those bright, fun 'Fresh Paint' fabrics from Marcus Brothers. All put together it makes my eyes ache. I have a pieced border to add, but it really needs something else or something different

Any ideas? Help!

Here it is with the backing I got for it!
Suggestions all know where!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Day For Linus...

Yesterday was our day to quilt for Project Linus. We meet at Cabin Fever Quilt Shoppe down in town. They have been providing us with a classroom to use for the last two years. That is a significant contribution to our efforts to make quilts and blankets for children in crisis. We had a great potluck lunch (nobody says quilters are not foodies too) and a four hours of sewing together. At right snap of our leader, Sandy, who is the provides the enthusiasm and emotional glue that keeps us energized.

Two visitors from the Red Cross came to say thank you for our quilts. Their volunteers respond to disasters small and large carry our quilts in their vehicles.....A family sitting on the curb in front of their burning house will get age-appropriate 'blankies'......piles of quilts went to New Orleans. Well, if you are not familiar with the organization, please click here. If you sew....think about joining a group in your town.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Me and the Camera, or The Camera and Eye and etc Stuff.

I have never given much thought to taking pictures and I detest having my picture taken. When I launched my online shop, I uploaded photos of some of the bags I had made. The were awful! I got some advice both from friends , etsy and Garth's daughter, Renee. I think I can do much better now so I am going to take them all over again. Thanks everyone....

Meet my loves! Here is my husband, Garth and our Cockapoo of 14 years, Maggie. I believe when some men retire, they have a need for property and big toys. We have retired some ten years ago, and Garth has sculpted our property with this machine. The man makes the earth move!

This morning I made dogfood for Maggie. Yes, we make our own. She has Cushing's Disease and the special food from the vet is way too expensive. So we keep her healthy and well with good food and love. If your dog has this problem (not uncommon in smaller dogs) contact me, and we will give you the recipe.

I am trying to add to this blog while downloading an audio mac is getting a little wonky. So since I know how to come back ato the blog, but no idea how to get my books back I shall pause. Tomorrow is Project Linus sewing day, and I need to make a Tortellini Salad for the potluck (
We are having an anniversary party) and get my materials together to go sew for the kiddos.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Look....I'm On etsy Showcase

I signed up for a spot on etsy's 'Showcase'.....and lo and behold there I am! Right there on the web flashing around in cyberspace for all to see (well, not me....but the bags I have made to sell in my etsy shop). You don't have to go to etsy to see my bags. Some of them are on my Flickr Photostream...I put the gizmo on here...look to the lower right. If you do go....check back now and then since I am busily sewing away for fall and Christmas.

Into the garden:

I went out in the garden yesterday basically to see if there were any melons to pick. No melons, but the tomatoes are going nuts. I also brought in some peppers and cukes. There was a lot of basil, thyme and parsley, too.
There were a lot more of these yummy, sweet tomatoes. Between the garden and the kitchen I just couldn't help myself.

Garth is the real photographer here and my step-daughter, Renee, is a real pro and has given me some advice. I am getting better,

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Good Sunday Morning

This morning the usual deer were in Garth's garden...we have divided our property. Garth has the front garden planted with lavender, rosemary, agave and anything else the deer won't eat. (or don't eat much of). Our three acres is home to about 6 to 8 deer, and multiplying rapidly. The overcrowding is very sad (but that's for another blog (rant). Sorrry, lost my train...anyway I grabbed the camera and took a photo (through the window). The fawns still have spots, and they are adorable at that stage. to the sewing room to get to work on my current project. (wellll....I started it a while ago for my spring bedroom decour....still not done. But by NEXT spring I will be ready dress that bed. With this quilt....just needs binding.

The backing is an idea I got of one of the blogs I haunt.

The next project is to finish and bind my Log Cabin for fall. The fabrics really say autumn. My mini-group friend, Irene, made this quilt, and when I saw it finished I had to make it. Now I am happy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Come on in....

This Pinwheel quilt made with repro fabrics is my favorite of all....I call it my 'nap quilt'. There is a view of the back. I got this idea from one of your blogs of course! Missy definitely approves.

This is by far the largest quilt I have made. It is also the one I love most .It is a Pineapple, and took forever with all the squaring up and trimming. But there it is .... (no, I don't keep on the hammock, but thought it would make a good photo.

Come on in...I want to share my quilting life......This is the wonderful room Garth and I designed when we added on to our home. I can spend a lot of time here.