Thursday, January 31, 2013

Almost Time for Colors!

How many of you have had the opportunity to see a Colors Ceremony?  Every branch of the military marks the end of the day with a ceremony in it's own way.  When we lived in Everett we could often hear colors presented at the Everett Naval Base at sundown.  It was wonderful to hear the bugle tune - Evening Colors -  wafting up to our house in the late evenings.  We've also been in other places - particularly some marinas that have their own version.

Soon we'll have our own "flag" to present Colors at the Squash House!  Yesterday I finished the top for my Old Glory quilt.  I am so pleased with the entire quilt.  I love that fabrics from a variety of French General lines and The Morris Apprentice line played so well together.

Mr. Squash stood at attention while holding the quilt for me to photograph!  He is very proud of his service to the Army as a young enlisted man.  Check out his Crocs (you can enlarge the photo) - they are even in Camo!  Soon I'll load up the quilt on Vinnie and get it quilted and bound.  

I haven't quite decided what to work on next, but I'm sure I can find something in my growing stash!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Be Mine - February BOM Done!

I mentioned a while back that I have joined the Sweet Stitches Club by Kathy Schmitz through Shabby Fabrics.

I dove right in to the stitching as soon as it came.  I'm glad I did because right now I don't think my poor fingers could handle it!  Here is the finished block.  They are supposed to be made into individual pieces, but I am saving mine to put into a whole quilt. *Edit* - I should have mentioned the bird! It is a pre-printed applique that is simply fused on and is ever so cute!

I put a temporary halt on my Old Glory quilt.  The fabric I picked as background for the stars blocks just didn't do it for me.  I found a fat quarter in my stash that is perfect and am waiting for more to arrive in the mail soon - at least I hope it does - I haven't heard from the shop that they actually have it in stock as it was on sale.  If not, I have a backup fabric I can use. As soon as it comes, I'll be back in the zone!

Monday, January 21, 2013

In the Zone - Block Progress

I have been "In the Zone" since my last post - working furiously to finish the blocks for my Old Glory quilt.  Also, the dry and very cold weather we've had has seriously cracked the tips of my fingers, so being on the computer is agony in terms of typing.  So....I've stayed off the computer and sewn to my hearts content (and Mr. Squash's amazement)!
Yesterday I finished all the red blocks.  The photo above is the untouched version of the photo below.  Right now the only place my design wall fits is in the laundry room downstairs, so the light is less than optimal.  I don't know about you, but I love taking a photo of the initial layout of a quilt.  You can see more clearly what needs to be changed around to achieve balance.  
Because of the poor quality of this photo, it looks as though some of the blocks have a different background, but I assure you they are all made with the same background fabric.  This is the layout the pattern suggests.  I'll keep it, but will definitely exchange some of the blocks to make it look a tad better.
This Mini Flag block is the only single block pattern - the rest are made in three's - each with a different red, which makes moving them around easier while keeping the same layout.  Gosh, I hope that made sense!
By flipping the photo, you can see where the blue "stars" blocks will go.  The "stripes" blocks will have sashing sewn between them, while the "stars" blocks will all be together with a separate border.  

I'll be back soon with the blue blocks.  Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Last Day in Portland

We're in the big city one more day.  Why not stop at a couple of places that have been on the list for a while!
Bob's Red Mill Store has been on my list for some time now.  I've been buying their specialty flours and grains for many years and for some reason didn't realize they were a Northwest business!  Sorry I didn't take any photos in the store, but you can visit the link I provided and see all the wonderful items they carry.  I got several specialty flours and a few other goodies while we were there.
This is a very old mill stone.  Wouldn't it be fun to have one of these decorating your garden!  It might even bring good luck to both your baking and your garden!
At the top of Mr. Squash's list was VooDoo Donuts.  We had to wait in quite a line, but it was well worth it!
Here is our box of goodies - mild in comparison to other boxes we saw leave the shop!  Check out the maple bacon bar!  The others are old fashioned donuts - maple, chocolate and glazed.  As much as we'd like to, we won't eat them all at once!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wild Storm in Oregon

Mr. Squash and I are in Cannon Beach Oregon.  We have a great room with a fireplace and nothing but the Pacific Ocean outside our window.
This was the view from our window when we arrived yesterday afternoon.  Haystack Rock is a big attraction around these parts.  We knew there was going to be a huge storm but we were not prepared for just HOW huge!  There were times last night when we thought our room would go into orbit!  We've had the wind blow from some mighty storms at the Squash House, but it is entirely different when you're on the ocean with nothing to break the wind at all.  We woke to much less wind this morning, but the rain was still coming down in sheets!
We didn't let a "little" rain get us down and set out to explore the area after breakfast.  This was our first stop - Center Diamond Quilt Shop here in town.  This shop does not disappoint.  I remembered it well from a visit here about 12 years ago.  The owner has just about everything you could want, including some goodies I'd not seen before!  See those buttons at the cutting counter?  I lightened their stock just a bit (wink).
There was something around every corner!  I even did a little Christmas and birthday shopping!  That's Mr. Squash in the distance admiring a quilt on the wall.
Back in this corner were some Sashiko threads and books and all kinds of wonderful Japanese sewing things.  Sashiko is something I want to do but I'll wait until I have a few other "must do" projects out of the way.
The owner was doing inventory while we were there, but she kindly stopped counting to chat!  We even learned that she visits our neck of the woods every year.
After walking around Cannon Beach we decided to drive down to Tillamook and go through the famous Tillamook Cheese Factory.  We had lunch in their cafe (grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup - total comfort food), then toured around.  Today they were packing the large bricks of cheddar cheese.  There looked to be at least four and maybe six stations around the room where they cut the large bricks, loaded the pieces onto conveyor belts, ran them through the packaging area then sent them farther to the back of the room where I'm sure they were boxed and ready to ship.

On the way back down the stairs, what did I see but a quilt made to mark their Centennial!  I wasn't able to edit any of these photos but I'm sure you can click on the photo to enlarge it.
Check out the cute farmer here.  Mr. Squash was actually an Ag major in college and had to take 3 credits in dairy.  Must not have been enough, though, as his poor milk cow seems to have no face!
This was their "Little Loaf" cheese bus!  Check out the license plate!

Tomorrow we head to Portland.  We keep hearing that the snow levels are going to drop.  I have a feeling we'll be driving over the coastal range in a snowstorm - stay tuned!

If I don't respond to your comment right away it's because I am having trouble getting on my MSN email account - both away and at home.  I think there is going to come a point where I'll have to change my email address.  I'll let you know if that happens.

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Project - Old Glory

This weekend I began a new project that I have been wanting to start for some time now.  It's a quilt for my entryway quilt hanger for the 4th of July!  The pattern is called Old Glory from Yellow Creek Quilt Designs.
My quilt will look nothing like this!  I'm using a combination of reds from French General and blues from The Morris Apprentice by Barbara Brackman.  The setting fabric is French General Oyster Clochette.
I got five blocks done over the weekend and many more to go!  The setting fabric is all the same, it just looks a little darker on one side of this photo.  Most blocks of the red are done in 3's, but using different reds.
Here is a closeup of a spools block.
And a closeup here of the Nine in Nine Patch block.  I'll continue to show you my progress along the way!

In addition to sewing I just had to try this recipe for Gingerbread Biscotti from April over at Dimples and Delights.  My drizzling is a little globby in spots, but does not detract from the great taste of these delightful treats!

We'll be traveling beginning tomorrow, but I'll try and have a post or two from the road.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Back to Sewing

Thanks to everyone for their kind thoughts and sympathy over the loss of our dear Miss Sophie.  It hasn't been an easy time for us, but the friendship of everyone in Blogland has been of great comfort.

I have been spending some time back in my sewing studio and just finished a Valentine pillow!

 The pattern is called Nostalgic Christmas Pillows from my friend Lynn Wilder of Sew'n Wild Oaks blog.  Lynn is a very talented designer and has the most delightful blog!  But this isn't a Christmas pillow, you say.  Lynn has shown many different "holiday" styles for her design - the possibilities are endless!
 You can jump over to Lynn's blog and check out several of her posts on the pillow for ideas.  The lighting in our house isn't the best for photos right now. We have gray and cold skies, so I moved it around to try and get it in a good light.
I used Basic Grey's new Kissing Booth line for the most part.  I believe the gray houndstooth is the only fabric not in the line.  The back is done in the classic "envelope" style so all you have to do is open the envelope and slip in a pre-made pillow form!  It's a fun and relatively easy pillow to make and I got to learn how to make double flying geese - something I had never heard about before this project!

I am slowly getting back to blog reading and commenting.  Next week Mr. Squash and I plan to get out of the house for a bit and possibly drive to California for a week or so.

Best wishes to everyone for a great 2013!