Monday, November 12, 2018

The Week That Was

Waking up last Monday morning was perfectly normal and gave us no hint of what was to become of the week ahead.  By the end of the week, we would be through more than we could have imagined.

Our community has suffered greatly.  A city that has consistently been voted in the top safest cities in the country saw the latest mass killing.  So many families have been affected.  One of the young men happened to be the son of one of the gals in my husband's office.

Before we even had a chance to grieve that horrific news, the fires broke out and sent people fleeing their homes.  The first of the fires broke out on the road between our home and my mother's.  The winds were pushing it towards her home.  My sister and I both rushed to her place, expecting evacuation was quickly coming.  With firefighters in her back yard, we watched the flames quickly approach.  Thanks to a grove of avocado trees behind her fence, the forward advance of the fire stopped just shy of her home.



By daylight you can see the blackened hills with a few hotspots.


When I returned home the next morning a second fire was approaching our home from the other direction.  The winds were so erratic and switched directions, sending it to the beach before it reached us.  So many have lost their homes and some even lost their lives.



Due to the fire, a cable tower was lost and we were left living in a different era - no phones, no internet and no television!  We finally had everything restored last night.  Whew.  Those domino games were getting pretty heated.

On the positive side, we had a new baby arrive in the middle of all the chaos.  Oldest grandson and his wife had a darling little girl.



With so many roads closed as well as many shops under evacuation orders, I was able to spend some time in my quiet space.

The Quiltville Mystery fabric selection is out.  I don't want to use orange again this year so this is my fabric pull for this quilt.



My Gridster Bee blocks for Allison (IG quiltstudio62) were so much fun to make.  I'm looking forward to seeing this one finished.



I promised a picture of the Rapunzel costume that my granddaughter and I made together.  She looked gorgeous in it.



I'm hoping for a quieter week this week.  I am looking forward to catching up on blogs and IG too.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Minis and More

Another month of 2018 is coming to a close.  Time is moving too quickly.  The end of the month means it is time for the Minis and More Parade.  You can visit the parade at Michele and Sherri's blogs on November 1st.  They have both been great hosts month after month.

This month was a "choose your own" mini to make.  My choice, with Halloween, was to make Soma's (of Whims and Fancies) Witch's Hat paper pieced pattern.  Soma's detail to her designs is impeccable.



I always enjoyed doing dot to dot designs as a child and thought I would do the same on the cute background fabric, using the sewing machine.  It was definitely more challenging than with a pencil and more difficult to erase my mistakes.  lol



Our Sewing With Friends group is making table runners/toppers to swap this year.  Although this is a fall fabric with leaves and nuts, I do think it could also be used as a winter runner.  I found the pattern online somewhere, but I can't seem to locate it again.  That's the story of my life.



When we were back in Iowa, my cousin sent us home with a large bag of apples from their orchard to eat on the way home.  There were too many to eat so I prepped them and made apple pie filling to freeze.  I ended up with seven pie fillings.  We ate one and froze six.  The one we ate was delicious.  I wish we could grow good baking apples here.



The weekend was spent making a Rapunzel costume with my grand daughter.  I will share a photo of it when I can get one of her in it.  She is a perfect Rapunzel with blonde hair below her waist.  It turned out great and she loved it.  Our youngest grandbaby is going to be a bag of popcorn.  I loved this photo our daughter texted me  It looks like he is not quite sure about all of this.



Meanwhile, I have to share pictures of a Corn Hole game that our children gave me for my birthday.  It is fabulous and has details that are way over the top.  Our oldest son constructed it, but all participated in the process.  The kids collected lots of wine corks - many coming from our sommelier son in law.  All corks were cut in half!!  Do I detect a quilt pattern in the arrangement???  The wood was stained a Bordeaux color - very appropriate, I thought.

Not sure why the picture looks like a lopsided circle.  It is actually very round.  

I thought I had managed to get a shot with no glare so that must be a Halloween ghost I am seeing.  ;-)


He even included cup holders on the backside.....

See....round holes!


….and even a special compartment for the bean bags.



We are serious Corn Hole players here!!!

It seems like we get fewer and fewer trick or treaters each year.  I think we had six total - other than the grandchildren - last year.  How about you?

Happy Halloween.

Linking up with Mama Sparks World

Friday, October 26, 2018

On the Road Again....



 We've been on the road again.  We love to travel in the autumn months so we can enjoy the colors of the season.  Of course, the weather can prove to be challenging too.  This was a chilly trip with temps dipping into the teens and snow the first day out.  We travel the small highways so we can take in all the beauty around us, using interstates only when there is no other route.  Our country is so beautiful.
Can you help but sing.....OH BEAUTIFUL FOR SPACIOUS SKIES








..........FOR PURPLE MOUNTAINS MAJESTIES



Our final destination was my cousin's farm in Iowa, but we stopped in Kansas along the way to pick up three of our granddaughters to join us for their fall break.


One of the days in Iowa we headed to Dubuque and had a brisk walk on the Riverwalk.



We took the girls out to the Field of Dreams baseball field.  We should have taken our ball and mitts!


My cousin's farm happens to be in the middle of Amish country so a visit to their shops is always a must.  I always pick up my spices, nuts, pectins, grains and candies there.  Out of respect for the community, I will not include pictures, but it is great to see transactions made WITHOUT computers.  People can actually count out the change!




Harvesting of beans and corn was in full swing while we were there.  The farming techniques of the Amish are quite different from the large machinery used on my cousin's farm.


This is a photo of my grandparents home in town.  It is still a stunning looking home with the original leaded glass windows, wrap around porch and lovely bay windowed rooms.  My grandmother always had big pots of brilliant red geraniums on the pillars by the front entrances when the
weather allowed.   I wish I could pack the house up and move it to California. 


My grandparent's farm had a wooded area in it with the Wapsipinicon River running through it.  When my uncle took it over, he eliminated the farming land and planted various species of trees.  Each year he would plant 3-4,000 little sapplings.  I wish he could see how beautiful it has become.


He made sure to plant food for the wildlife too.  We saw turkey, deer and all sorts of birds when we visited.



This photo was taken just as the branch snapped.  Much laughter followed!
 The girls got to help with the harvest, even driving the combine for several hours.  It was payoff for getting up at 4:30 a.m to help feed the cattle!!


Look at these clouds over the farm! 
 ........FOR AMBER WAVES OF GRAIN



Coming home we headed across Nebraska and up into Wyoming.  While we did not encounter many cars, we did have to stop for these guys.  I wonder if they know Thanksgiving is quickly approaching.




While we traveled in a comfortable car, I could not help but think of the early settlers crossing in buggies.  We followed the Lewis and Clark trail for many miles and enjoyed seeing the spots we have read about.....Chimney Rock being one of them.


We stopped to visit Ft. Laramie and the Old Iron Bridge.  It proved to be a good spot for a photoshoot of my Seeing Stars quilt.  Guess I will have to name it Stars Over the Platte River.



I will be linking this post up with Soma's Wandering Camera series.  This was truly a wandering camera!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

So Dearly - Part 7

I am excited to share my seventh and next to last part of the Sew Dearly QAL today.  This is the last week to download this section's pattern for free so be sure to grab it.



Again, the individual parts were paper pieced.  Like a puzzle, they were all laid out.



The pieces were then sewn into sections and the sections were sewn together.


Only one more clue to go before the background is filled in for the completed image.



I'm sure that there would be time to join in with us if you want to sew along and be eligible for some fabulous gifts.  Each section of the pattern is available HERE.  Gosia has done a great tutorial for each part on her blog, Quilts My Way.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

October Days

Blogger is still misbehaving even after I have reset it several times.  If I do not reply to you, it is because I am not seeing your comments.  I tried comment moderation, but no comments came through so I have reverted back.  We will see how it goes.

Some old business first....I have drawn two names for my Words to Live By blog hop giveaway and have not received a reply to e-mails that I have sent.  Today I drew again and it is Pat from Life in the Scrapatch blog.  I have sent her an e-mail and I hope I finally have a winner.

It has been rather chaotic around the house as we have had painters working on all of the baseboards.  Nothing like having a washer and dryer in the middle of your living room.  Every room has had all the furniture pulled to the middle of the room.  It's an interesting way to live!



But....it has allowed extra time in my creative space.  I needed to keep Toby confined in the room with me so we had some good bonding time.

Fort Worth Fabric Studios had a Boo to You QAL that I joined.  I made a few changes, but really like the way it finally came out.  Of course, Toby had to inspect it too.




The Seeing Stars QAL is also culminating this month.  I was hoping to get it quilted before the reveal day on October 16th, but I don't think that will happen.  I do have the top all pieced.


I was one of the lucky winners in the weekly giveaways during the QAL.  This beautiful Portsmouth layer cake was a donation from https://www.greenfairyquilts.com/.  


My sister is the queen in our Gridster Bee this month and I love her idea for her blocks - black and white NYBeauty blocks with a splash of color.  Won't a quilt of all these blocks look fabulous?


October means another monthly marker for my square in a square (SIS) Temperature quilt.  Our September did not see the exceptionally high temps that we can normally expect, but the nights are cooling off a bit.  Only two more months to go.

  

October is a busy birthday month in our family.  We have ten birthdays, including my own.  There's no time for stale birthday cake!!!

We had one of our sons and his family for dinner Sunday night and we were treated to this night sky display during dessert.  A rocket was launched from Vandenberg AFB.  It created two sonic booms before returning to Vandenberg and landing as planned - a great accomplishment.  


Just to end with some super cuteness, I'll share this picture.  Our daughter's family got a new puppy and their older pooch loves the new companion.