Thursday, February 1, 2018

Progress Report (Sutherlin, OR)

Time for a progress report!
Peek-a-boo!  I see you!
Dan saw his doctor last week and received good news.  His foot is healing on its own and he will not need surgery.  His next appointment is in another six weeks.  In the meantime, Dan will start putting weight on his foot, walking without the boot and finally without the crutches.  Yeah!  😁👍
Hitch and Dan enjoying some sun
It feels like Spring has come early to Oregon. We spent a couple of afternoons outdoors enjoying the sun.  Even Max came outside to soak up some sun.  Hitch keeps himself entertained by getting tangled in our chairs.  This time he found that it was more fun to tangle his leash around Dan's crutches.  
Max had his own entertainment with the turkeys.  For being such a nervous cat, he was quite brave by facing the big guys and following them around.  I had to keep calling him back and shooing away the turkeys.  They seemed just as curious about him.  Maybe they thought he would lead them to food?
Dusty managed to stay out of sight whenever I had my camera out.  I'll get him next time!
On The Cutting Board
Since we are here for another six weeks, I decided to get a few quilt tops done and save the quilting for summer.  The Peek-a-boo Bear at the top of the post has been my latest project.  I have made this quilt twice before.  The pattern is from Quiltmaker Magazine May/June 96 issue.  The appliqued bears are so cute!
When I saw the cloud fabric, I knew then that I had to make this quilt again using scraps for the sashing.  Little did I know what a headache this quilt would cause me!  I am not a big fan of quilt blocks on point.  I love the way they look.  I just don't like making them.  Because the blocks are on point, it is hard for me to visualize placing the pieces.

The first mistake I made was buying the cloud fabric that was directional.  I had to do a lot of fussy cutting.  I could not have the clouds going different directions, right?  The side triangles and corners were a bigger challenge.  I managed to mess up a few of them before I got the correct cut and all the clouds going the same direction.
Then I ran out of the white with stars for the sashing, but luck was with me.  I dug through my stash and I found some scraps of white fabric with hearts by the same designer.  I had just enough to finish the quilt.  Whew!
 Next, keeping track of the triangle squares position in the quilt turned into quite a challenge.  Since I don't have a design wall, I often use the floor or the bed depending on where the cats are sleeping.....of course.  I had figured out the direction of all the sashing, but managed to turn a few around a couple of times between moving from the floor to the sewing machine.  Yes, I had pinned them and no, I don't know how I managed to mix up them up.  Just a wee bit frustrating.😖
After several rip-its and a couple of days of time out, I finally got the quilt top assembled.  All I need to do is add a border before quilting!  Next time....if there is a next time, I am using a non-directional background!  The sashing.....well, I haven't figured that one out for next time.
I finished another block for the A to Zzzzz Snowman quilt.  This is another UFO I would like to finish before the end of the year.  I know I am probably trying to take on too many projects, but it keeps me happy and busy.
 Recently, I was reading one of my blogging friend's post about her quilt charity.  She is donating quilts to patients who pass away in the hospital.  Kat's only request for donations are for blocks that she sews together, quilts, and binds.  She also delivers the quilts to the hospital.  This month's request was for a 10.5 inch scrappy string blocks on a fabric foundation with no color restrictions.  I decided it was time to clean out my ever-growing scrap piles and made 12 blocks.  If you are interested in sending Kat some blocks, please click here to see what she is asking for in block donations for this month.
Would you believe those blocks barely put a dent in my scrap pile?  I have gone from two 2-gallon ziplock bags to six bags!  I save everything.  Strips leftover from quilt backings, small scraps from the mug rugs, and even the leftover bindings end up in the bags.   I really need to spend some time putting together more scrap quilts.  I better get back to the cutting board if I want to see that pile disappear!
Happy Quilting!

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Happy New Year! (Sutherlin, OR)

My plans were to post after Dan's next appointment on Thursday so I could give everyone an update.  After a month of sitting around and waiting, his appointment got moved to the end of January due to his doctor not being available this week.  Rather disappointing, we are ready to hear how his foot is healing.   At least, Dan was able to sit outside for awhile when we had a rare sunny day earlier this week.  The sun felt so good and warm.  Look at that gorgeous blue sky!
 It has been too foggy and overcast to get photos of birds, so I blew the dust off my Macro lens for some close-ups.
One thing I like about this weather is the moss and mushroom life that thrives here.  I love the textures and the different shades of green.
All I need is to find a fairy........ 
nope, no one here.  Ah well, I'll keep looking.
Speaking of fungi, the mold and mildew is under control!  We bought a de-humidifier and I have been using CLR Mold and Mildew killer on the window frames and in the closets.  The de-humidifier made the biggest difference.  I no longer need to wipe down the windows every morning and I'm not sneezing as much as I did before the de-humidifier.  Yes!!

On The Cutting Board
In the spirit of a new year, I decided to finally get out my largest UFO that has been with me since we started full-timing.  It is in the hoop and I'm ready to get it one year.  I want to put the last stitch into it by 31 December 2018.  I think this will be my last big quilt.  It is 72 x 72 inches and it is all batik fabric - front and back.
 I have found out that cat hair sticks very well to batik fabric.  Dusty can rub up against one of the pillows covered in batik and he can leave a grey streak of his fur across it.  Lots of fun keeping the pillows clean.  Keeping this big of a quilt cat hair free is going to be fun while quilting it.  We all know the magnetic pull fabric has to cats.  They can all be asleep in the bedroom and hear fabric being moved.  Soon I'm surrounded with helpers wanting to test out the fabric.  They are such good helpers! 😸😸😸
Max testing out fabric
I have been going through my storage areas looking at all my different projects.  I forgot that I had this bead kit.  Actually, I have three of them.  I thought about getting rid of them then I started working on this one.  
I had also forgotten how much fun cross-stitch projects can be and how fast they are when they are small.  It was such a nice change from my quilting projects that I decided to keep the other two and hopefully have them finished in time for next Christmas.  😊🤞
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

There's Good News (Sutherlin, OR)

And of course, there is bad news. I'll start with the good news. Dan saw his VA Podiatrist on Monday. The doctor did a comparison of the 3 week-old x-rays with the recent ones taken on Monday. He believes the fractures are healing on their own. Dan has three separate fractures in his left foot's Cuboid bone . No surgery necessary unless something shifts or it doesn't heal as expected.  We should know more in January at his next appointment.
Eastern Towhee
The bad news is no weight on the foot allowed and he should wear the boot as often as possible. 12 weeks total expected for healing. He is only into his third week.  It is going to be a long winter for Dan.  It is a good thing he likes to read and spend time on his computer.
Scrub Jay
Until Dan can walk on his foot again, we will probably be staying in Sutherlin, OR at the Escapees Co-op.  The people here have been wonderful by offering to help out with shopping and even driving Dan to his appointments.  
Scrub Jay
I'm happy to stay here for Dan's healing time.  I know this area fairly well and don't mind taking care of business on my own.  I had looked forward to spending our winter on the coast, but there will be plenty of time to do that in the future. 
Dusty:  "Birds?"  "Birds!!"
Plus, we are not too far away for Shaun to drive down during his holiday break.  I'm looking forward to his visit.
Bird - not sure what kind
For some different entertainment, I have been feeding the local birds.  Our feathered friends are keeping the cats and us happy with their bird calls and all their little shenanigans to eat more seeds than their pals.
Eastern Towhee - side view :)
We watched the turkeys run in circles around the scattered seeds trying to get the best spot for the feed.  They act like the turkey next to them is getting more, so they keep pushing each other over and no one eats!  They finally do get smart enough to stop though and when they do, they eat everything in sight.  I'm not putting out a lot of feed since they would eat the whole 25 lb bag in a day, but they are certainly funny to watch when they come by.
- and from the back
In-sync Quails?  The two males would scratch together......
Good!  You're getting the hang of it!
...then eat together.  
And again 1, 2, 3 and 1, 2, 3!
On The Cutting Board
I never heard back from the one customer wanting a second black cat quilt.  Which is fine.  I listed the quilt this week and I'm sure it will find a new home soon.
Between taking care of Dan, running errands, and keeping up with the motorhome,  I received a large custom order request on December 2.  The customer wanted to order 6 vintage trailers with family names.  I wasn't sure I could finish them in time for a Christmas delivery.
 I explained my tight schedule and this customer was so understanding and such a sweetheart that I could not say no.   I really did worry about the limited time for the first week.  Since the customer did not have special color requests or wanting extra embroidery, the work went very fast.
 I surprised myself by finishing all six within two weeks!  I mailed them yesterday.  Now, I know that I could finish six mug rugs in a two week time.
Having this Etsy shop has given me great opportunities to meet some wonderful people.  Not just customers, but some very talented artists as well.  It has been a wonderful experience.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

It Has Been One Of Those Weeks (Newport, OR)

Well, we managed to survive our four nights in the motel while our motorhome received its solar panels.  Now, we have plenty of power when we are dry camping. 
Solar panels being installed
Look at that innocent face.  Hard to believe that every night we were in the motel, this little guy turned into a banshee.  If the howling did not disturb us enough to please him, he would stand on my chest and nip at my chin or use his claws lightly on my cheek.  Just enough to make me roll over and cover my head.
Who me?
We packed up our cats and headed back to the coast.  This time we moved to Newport, OR.  All I can say is that I was very happy to be back in our motorhome and to get back to a normal routine with a couple of good nights of sleep, but little did we know that we were entering the SNAFU twilight zone this week.  It started with Dan falling off the ladder and landing on his bad ankle.  After four hours in ER, Dan has a sprained ankle with multiple fractures in his foot.  There's a chance he might need surgery to set the bones.  Hopefully, we will know more by the end of this coming week.
Shaun in Newport, OR
That was the beginning of a strange week for me.  After a sleepless night for both of us, I had to take the car to the Honda dealership to get the airbag recall replaced only to find out the part had not arrived.  So, I made another appointment for after Thanksgiving knowing our son Shaun would be here.

Wednesday, I was discovering mold growing on our wood panel walls and along the window frames.  About a quarter inch thick in some spots!   How fast does this stuff grow?  I have been using Lysol spray to kill the mold.  Usually I will spray some on a damp paper towel and saturate the area while cleaning away the mold, but the carpet in the corners also looked like it had mold so I started spraying the bedroom carpet.  The next thing we knew, an ear-piercing alarm sounded throughout our rig!  It was so loud that it was disorienting as to where the sound was coming from.  Not the smoke alarm.  We finally figured out it was the propane leak alert.  Wow!  There is no worry of ever sleeping through the motorhome's alarm system!
Yaquina Lighthouse
Thanksgiving day turned into a long one while waiting for Shaun.  He ran into very heavy holiday traffic and arrived after dark.  Which turned out to be a good thing because he noticed the dome light on in the car.  Yep, the light had been on since Tuesday when Dan had his accident and the battery was dead.  Lucky for us, Shaun had brought along a small car battery charger.  He had our car purring like a cat the next morning.
After dropping off the car, Shaun and I went to Yaquina Head Lighthouse to view the natural tidepools during low tide that I had checked the day before.  What I did not realize was that the tide wasn't going to be all that low and we could only walk the beach area.  At least, we had some beautiful weather and some gorgeous blue skies.
No tidepools today
The lighthouse did not open for a couple of hours, so I thought we would eat lunch at Izzy's while enjoying the view of the beach. OF course, it wasn't open!  We were too early because I miscalculated the low tide.  So, we ended up at Super Oscar's Mexican for burritos that were quite good and filling.  Just no view of the beach for Shaun and I to enjoy while we were eating.
Saturday was better despite the cold drizzle.  Shaun and I walked around the downtown area to view the marina,  and to see the sea lions.  The sea lions did not disappoint us with their entertaining barking 'move over' and 'stop moving, I'm trying to sleep here'.  Looks like they are quite happy with their new cement floats.  Beats the old wooden ones that were rotting away.
So, all in all, it has been a very strange week for us.  I can only hope that things will get better and Dan will not need surgery on his foot.  We will be leaving Newport early and heading back to Sutherlin for Dan's next appointment at the VA hospital in Roseburg.
On The Cutting Board
Before all the odd things started happening, I opened my shop with 21 new items with two of them being the quilts I showed in my last post.  Tis the season to find that unique gift, so I am hoping people will be stopping by my shop soon.
I have already mailed out four mug rugs since opening last Monday.
I hope the others will soon find a new home!
Well, time to catch up on my sleep so I have energy to do some more quilting.  It hasn't been that long, but I am already missing the touch of fabric and a needle in my hand.
Happy Quilting!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Back To The Oregon Coast (Florence, OR)

First I want to thank all our Veterans today and to my husband who served in the USAF.
We left Sutherlin to go to Eugene for some repairs on the bedroom's slideout.  The air bladder that seals the slideout has been leaking air for the last two months.  Dan had slowed down the air loss, but it was time to get it replaced before winter set in.
The cats were not happy campers when we spent the night in a motel.  Because it was a last minute reservation, we ended up in a room at the end of the building with the staircase along our headboard's wall.  Every time someone went up or down the stairs the whole wall shook.  Dusty growled several times until he finally gave up and sat as far away from the wall as possible.  Hitch and Dusty slowly adjusted to their new surroundings while Max found a way to hide inside the bed.  He finally came out late that night to nuzzle me several times for reassurance then to eat and use the litter box.  Come morning, he was once again inside the bed.  We had fun lifting the bed to get him out when we were ready for checkout.

Don't tell the cats:  this coming Sunday night, we are going back to the same motel for another four nights while we get solar panels installed.  We have asked for a room away from the stairs.  I doubt that will make a difference for Max.  It will be a very long week for everyone.
Dusty and Hitch claiming their spots
Our two weeks in Florence has been nice if a little foggy and wet.  The best part about the weather has been the red mushrooms popping up.  We are not seeing as many of the red mushrooms as we have in the past.  This is the best grouping Dan spotted while on one of our walks.  
 We visited the South Jetty (South Beach) park to check out the beach that we could barely see and the dunes which were buzzing with lots of activity.  We found the fog had added drama to the sand dunes and to....
the beach.
We drove up Hwy. 101 and stopped at the overlook to view the Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Heceta Head Lighthouse
I never tire of seeing Oregon's rugged coast.  It's amazing what a little fog can do to change the atmosphere of a welcoming lighthouse to spooky feeling. 😊 I took this one a couple of days before Halloween. 
I noticed about four of these statues around Florence.  I took photos of the two sea lions in the downtown area.
Dancing with Sea Lions artwork
I found this article about 20 "Dancing with Sea Lion" statues that are scattered from Florence to Newport. I will be keeping an eye out for more when we come back to the coast.

On The Cutting Board
I have closed my Etsy shop for the next week while we wait on our motorhome.  I will have quite a few new items to list when I open back up on November 20.

I finished my True Lover's Knot.  All hand done with scissors, pencils, and needles.  No machine was used until I sewed on the binder.
It did take a couple of years from cutting out templates to quilting the layers, but I feel it is one of my best quilts.
I finished the binding on the other two and they too will be ready to be listed.  I was worried about binding the rounded corners.  I was very surprised by how easy it was and the corners are not curling from being too tight.
I love the way my playful cat quilt came out.  I tempted to keep it for myself!
I have also finished up quite a few new Happy Campers to be listed soon.  I just need to spend some time taking photos for the listings.
I have more mug rugs waiting to be embroidered so I will have something to do while sitting in the motel room when I'm not soothing nervous cats.
Happy Quilting!

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