Thursday, July 25, 2013

Quilted Strait

Last week when Mr, Squash and I were on the Washington Peninsula, we just had to stop in Port Gamble. It's a tiny little town on the mainland via the Edmonds/Kingston ferry, just before you get to the Hood Canal bridge.  It was once a small mill town and is now on the Historic Register.  Not only are there some wonderful little homes along the main road that have been preserved quite beautifully, there are a few shops to see as well.  Recently a former neighbor of ours toured the town and told me the next time we went through I just had to see the quilt shop!  Thanks, Shirley!
This view is from the parking lot.  Imagine having lived with this view in a mill town!
Here is the quilt shop.  It's called The Quilted Strait - love the name!  They are located in what was the Old Stables building.  My heart skipped a beat when I saw the barn quilts!  I must have one some day.
Here is the view walking in the door.
Something for everyone - including all my friends (you know who you are) who love polka dots! Believe me, there were a lot more bolts of dots scattered around.
Wonderful notions section.
Lovely Civil War section.
Wool!  Be still my heart!
Lots of bright colors and fun quilts displayed.
A parting shot looking past the cutting tables.  Just in case you're wondering, I did help out the local economy here!
If you've been wondering how Gracie May is doing - have a look!  She's made herself at home.  We all couldn't be happier!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Hurricane Ridge High

I know you've all heard of Rocky Mountain High - I even lived in the Rocky Mountains as a young woman and met John Denver in person in Vail - what a thrill in those days!  While Mr. Squash and I were on the Olympic Peninsula this last week we decided to take a drive up to Hurricane Ridge.  It had been a long time since either of us had been there.
Let me just say that we definitely got our "high" on this day!  The weather was sunny, not too hot and nearly clear for the 17 mile drive up the mountain!  Wildflowers were blooming everywhere and check out the Cow Parsnip on the walk up to the viewing point!
This plaque tells you just how high we were!  Not quite a Rocky Mountain High, but good enough!
Just look at the view!
I had to take two photos just to get the entire view in, and it still wasn't enough.
If you enlarge the photo by clicking on it, you'll see the entire Olympic Mountains and the name of each peak.
See that sort of bald spot on the lower left of this photo?  Mr. Squash and I have hiked in there up the Elwha River.  We went with Llama packers.  Occasionally we would have to lead a llama.  Mr. Squash had one named Ripper.  He was aptly named as another llama had taken a chunk out of one ear!  He also liked to spit - and Mr. Squash was the recipient of two of those spitting incidents!  Do you think we'll ever do that again??
This was taken on the other side of the ridge in front of a huge snowfield.
If you click on the photo and let your eyes settle on the photo, you'll see Victoria, B.C. and Vancouver Island in the mist at the top of the photo.  Down below is the city of Port Angeles.
We left for home the next day.  This is a parting shot from our room at the George Washington Inn.  We'd definitely stay there again!

Next post I'll show you a really great quilt shop we visited.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

On the Road Again!

I thought I would let you know that Mr. Squash and I are on the road for a few days.  Sasha and Gracie May are being looked after by their pet nanny, but we already miss them terribly!
We've come over to the Washington Peninsula just ahead of the annual Sequim lavender festival.  We didn't know it was going on until we tried to make reservations and found it pretty tight!  However, we landed at a most wonderful bed and breakfast half way between Sequim and Port Angeles.  It's called the George Washington Inn.  The inn was built by the innkeepers and is an exact replica on the outside of George Washington's home, Mt. Vernon.  Well, we were actually told he didn't have a portico out front, but it was added as a necessity because of the weather here.
 This is the back which is on a bluff directly over the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Directly across the way is Victoria, B.C.  (I'm not able to edit these photos on this computer, so I apologize for the darkness.)  This morning at breakfast we watched several bald and golden eagles play on the thermals coming off the bluff!
 The Inn also has their own lavender fields and participates in the festival!  This is the view from our second floor room!  The mountains are the Olympics.
This morning the sky had mostly cleared and I got a better photo looking out from the front porch of the Inn.  The house on the left is the lavender gift shop, and to the right is their lavender field.

We've had a nice time exploring the area here.  Next post I'll show you what we did today!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Garlic Harvest

Today I harvested the garlic I planted last fall.  Last year's crop was a total bust, so I'm very happy to say this year I got a total of 66 luscious bulbs!  

The bunch on the left is Dugansk and the bunch on the right is Chesnok Red - my favorites!  Both are hardneck varieties and if I store them well will take me through next spring unless I decide to cook for the masses!
In the Squash House tradition, I bundle them with twine, trim the roots a tad and hang them in the shade of our two Juniper trees for a couple of weeks to harden them off.  Then they will be stored in hanging baskets in our somewhat cool laundry room.
I also picked a few Jalapenpos.  They do well no matter what!
On the other hand, the tomatoes and zucchini are slow to start and pretty strange looking!  The zucchini is the new patio variety that doesn't get massively large and take over the garden.  They're right about that, but it also doesn't grow very big zucchini!  The tomato is very small to give you an idea.
Here is the main tomato bed.  The very huge one on the right is an indeterminate which will grow out of control if I allow it, and the rest are determinates, which hold a smaller size throughout the season.  In the back, just peeking out over a tomato, in front of the trumpet vine is the patio zucchini.  I don't know if it is because we had so much rain early on and then blistering heat, but I'm not getting a lot of joy out of most of what I planted this year.
These are the other two tomato plants - both indeterminates.
 I must admit the grapes look great this year.  I hope we get them before the birds take their pick!
The blueberries are producing very well, too.  Mr. Squash goes out every other morning and picks anywhere from two to 6 cups of these little morsels!  We have nine plants, and that's plenty!
Here you can see the perennial garden has wound down in the summer heat.  The only two things really making a show are the dwarf butterfly bush and to the right of that, the echinacea.  I do love how everything changes quite regularly, though!  Never a dull moment in the Squash House garden.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Heat Wave Sewing

A while back during our 100+ degree days it was pretty much a necessity to spend time inside unless you got up at the crack of dawn.  I am not a crack of dawn person, but I do admit to trying it for a few days.  While it was nice, I prefer my leisurely, retired person mode of getting up when I feel like it and beginning my day!
I have had fabric and patterns for two aprons for some time now and though this was the perfect time to make them.  This bright little number is the Four Corners Apron from Vanilla House Designs.  The reverse side is the darker blue print.  I used vintage buttons given to me by a dear friend!
This is also a reversible apron by Whimsicals called My Little Apron.  I used a new fabric line called Happy Go Lucky by Bonnie and Camille.  The pattern calls for rick rack around the pockets and bottom, but the print I used looks so much like rick rack that I thought I would let it speak for itself.
Here is the reverse folded over.  I love garment sewing!  It gives me a chance to practice all the skills my Lithuanian grandmother who was a men's tailor taught me.
We had a lovely Fourth of July - hope you did as well!  We walk a block and a half to the big park in town, wander around the booths, listen to music from the 100 year old bandstand and enjoy people watching!
This time I thought to bring our Picnic Quilt - Barefoot in the Park (one of my most favorite Supreme sewing gigs) - so we could have a nice spot in the shade to eat and relax!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day!

Mr. Squash, Sasha, Gracie May and I wish you all a wonderful Fourth of July with family, friends and good food!