Friday, September 27, 2013

Fishing...Finally!

We've had a lean fishing year....which translates to no fishing at all so far.  Finally, Mr. Squash and I were able to go out on the Yakima River with a guide.  We just returned home yesterday and had a wonderful time!

At first the weather report said we would be rained on all day!  We prepared for the worst, but thankfully, it didn't affect just the area where we fished!  Most of the day was like this - partly cloudy and pretty crisp.
When it came time for lunch, our guide Mike anchored the boat on a nice stretch of the river and set up a table and chairs for lunch!  Now this is what we call living!  We had fried chicken, apples, a cucumber/squash salad that isn't in this photo, chips, cookies and cold water.  Everything was delicious!

Then it came time to get back in the boat and do some more fishing!  If you look closely, you'll see a nice cutthroat trout in the net!  Mr. Squash landed it beautifully and the guide netted it so he could release it back into the river.  The Yakima is a world class river, all catch and release.  We asked Mike how far away from home people came to fish the river.  He said he's had guests as far away as Japan and Austria!
One nice thing about going out with a guide - they net the fish, unhook it and put it back in the river!  Here's another nice fish Mr. Squash caught!
In addition to fish, we saw quite a bit of wildlife.  If you click on the photo above there is a small herd of bighorn sheep - all female here.
This large heron flew back and forth around us and he finally landed for a nice photo shoot.  In case you can't see him - he's on the right side of the photo.
This interesting wildlife is us taken on the Umptanum bridge.  I am layered up under my fishing waders which is why I look like a little doughboy!  We told the guide we really wanted a good photo to use on our Christmas card this year.  Hmmmm....maybe not this one (wink).

Monday, September 23, 2013

Two More Finishes and a Butterfly

It's been another busy week in the sewing room.  I now have another finish waiting to be quilted - or shall I saw waiting for Gracie May to mature enough that she won't jump all over the quilt while it's on the longarm!

This is a quilt by Jaybird called Fast Forward.  The brightly colored strips are actually a glazed chintz from the Netherlands!  I've had them for quite some time just waiting for the right quilt to show them off!  I was a bit scared of using such a deep purple to show them off, but I think it worked really well!
The chintz came in a jelly roll of sorts.  When I first opened the roll I was surprised to see they were 60 inches long!  I was even more surprised to find three different prints on each strip - bonus! They were separated by a small, neutral stripe.  I've never seen anything like it!  I must say I really enjoyed working with this fabric!  It holds it's shape and cuts so beautifully.  No fraying, either.
I also finished my October BOM from Kathy Schmitz.  Isn't it adorable?  The "Boo" flag is an iron-on applique.
Check out this gorgeous butterfly.  Can you guess what it is?
It's the new doorknocker on the Squash House!  Not only did we not have a doorbell, we didn't have a door knocker!  It was hard to hear if anyone was at the door if you were downstairs.  I saw this and crossed my fingers it would work - and it does!

We're doing some minor updates here and there around the Squash House - just in time to celebrate Autumn's arrival - my favorite time of the year.  As I finish them, I'll give you a peek.  The biggest update will be new living room furniture that will arrive sometime around Christmas.  It's always nice to add a new touch here and there, isn't it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

When a UFO Finish isn't really a UFO...

Most of you who have been with me for a while know that I like to finish what I start.  There have been a couple of quilts I've started and put back with no intentions of finishing for one reason or another, but for the most part I like to finish everything I start before heading to a new project.

Mr. Squash bought this pattern for me soon after we retired nearly 4 years ago.  I cut out the fabrics for the setting blocks and put them in a container while I began the stitching the embroidered blocks.  Not really a UFO, right?  Well, almost four years later I've finally finished!  It's from Crabapple Hill and called Flight of Fancy.  I changed up all the fabrics, as well as the embroidery colors from the original pattern found HERE. It measures 76 x 76.
I worked on the blocks in the evenings here and there.
The birds are stitched on an antiqued muslin - a total of 4 different colors of muslin.  The thread I used is the 2 strand Cosmos embroidery floss that come on a roll.  I always back my stitcheries with another piece of lightweight muslin.  It makes them more stable and hides any knots or thread jumps.
The bulk of the prints are an older print called Definitions by Faye Burgos.  I supplemented the rest from my stash.  The blues you see are really gray - my camera chose that - not me!
I'll back it in the geometric print you see and the binding will be the large polka dots.  This was a very satisfying finish as I do love embroidery!

Here is the reason I have 4 quilts waiting to go on my longarm!  She already ruined one project I had loaded to quilt.  I had to remove it from the frame, pick out the stitches and put it away until she's a bit older.  Gracie May thinks she is hiding under this little pad.  It usually sits at the door to the backyard off the dining room.  Gracie loves to watch what goes on out the glass door, and I thought she would like a little soft pad over the hardwood.  However, she loves to scoot around the room under it!  
Here is what Sasha lives for in the mornings!  She is a total fanatic over the foam on my morning latte!  Once I set it on the counter and walked away for just a moment.  When I returned she had licked all the foam off the top!  We try to satisfy them both with just  little finger full of "fluffies" each day.

Soon I'll have another finish to show you!

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Quilt and a Garden Tour

The days are getting shorter and cooling off just a smidgen and I'm beginning to feel a bit more energized now that Autumn is just 13 days away!  We've had a stellar summer - no rain to speak of and for the year our total is only a bit over 7 inches (I had to mention this for someone I know who is looking for a retirement city with not much rain - you know who you are.)
A while back I was feeling a bit down about something and ordered this little kit from Spring Green Country Sampler.  It sewed up in a jiffy using Moda Candy squares and a pattern from the Moda Candy Book!  I immediately felt great after finishing it - what a perfect pick-me-up!
Saturday Mr. Squash and I went to the annual Pond and Garden tour in our city which benefits Hospice.  Due to an errand we had to run that morning in another city, we were only able to see four of the gardens, but they were all fantastic and we got lots of ideas!  This is a cute little perennial garden in the front yard of the first home.  I recently had an old Yew removed from our side yard and need to fill in a large area.  I thought something like this would be perfect!
I liked the way this vegetable garden was laid out.  Along the edge were what appeared to be railroad ties or something similar.  They raised the garden just a tad. I am thinking about removing our raised beds and doing the same.
Here is another vegetable garden that had loads of ideas!  I didn't get too many pictures here and wish I'd gotten more.  See the white-framed panels in the back?  They are actually screens which are covering lettuce seedlings from our harsh, late-summer sun.  I'm sure when the weather cools off even more, they will be removed.  For now, the lettuce won't burn.  They were so clever - they made a solar panel out of used soda cans to heat water in the potting shed!
This is part of the same yard farther down from the vegetable plot.  How we would love to have this stream running through our yard!  The yard was massive - it went all the way to the house you see in the background.  There was a fire pit near the lawn chairs.
Again the same yard looking up from the stream.  On the other side of the bulkhead is a wonderful, pond-shaped pool!  The sweet potato vines along with the tall grasses made such a wonderful contrast!  I wish I'd taken photos of the pool!
On the other side of the pool was this great old door on their fence with little bird houses attached!  Mr. Squash and I have a similar window that we plan to attach to our back fence!  We were so surprised to see someone else with the same idea!
Here we are in the yard of one of Mr. Squash's fellow Red Cross volunteers.  I just loved the wire that was attached to the fence and the picture on it.  We have lots of this wire that we use to make tomato cages.  I've already figured out a couple of spots where we can do this on our fence.
This was the last yard we visited and so much fun!  They had build a miniature railroad throughout!
It weaved in and around shrubs, trees , rocks and plants.
The most fun thing were all the miniature people and animals!  Click on any of the photos to enlarge.  Here we have a fellow on the left whose been chased up a rock by a bear, and a group of hobos and their dog on the right sharing stories around a fire.  Mr. Crow is keeping watch above them.
Here comes the train!  You could sit in any number of areas to watch the train go round and round.
Oh, look....a Teddy Bear Picnic!
Look to the lower right here and you'll so the cutest little fairy and her house!
And here is the fairy's suitor sitting outside his gourd house!
This bear just caught dinner!
These fisherman are coming up empty because the bear above is catching all the fish!

I hope you enjoyed the garden tour - next year we plan to try and see them all!