Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Few Projects

As October exits here I find myself in awe at the speed this year has gone.  They do seem to be going faster and faster.  We would normally be turning the clocks back this weekend and I must say that I am quite happy that we are not.  It always feels like we are plunged immediately into winter. 

Our weather at this time of the year is often quite warm with the blowing of the Santa Ana winds.  Of course this also means fire season for us.  With the little rain that we received a few weeks back I have noticed a carpet of green grasses sprouting on the hillsides.  Hopefully, that will help keep the fire hazard down. 

I recall one Halloween when we had a terrible fire - from the hills to the ocean.  We were living in our previous home which happened to be the first house coming out of the hills.  There was nothing but hills in front of us.  The winds were blowing something dreadful.  I looked out the front window and saw a tiny "puff" of smoke at the top of the third ridge of mountains.  My husband was away camping with the boys and due back momentarily.  Our home had a wood shake roof - very bad in a high fire risk area.  I climbed up on the roof with a water hose and started to water it down.  Neighbors laughed because the fire seemed so far away.  In actuality it was perhaps 35 miles away.  That little "puff" grew into a raging fire swept at an incredible speed and we were given the mandatory evacuation order within two hours.  The television networks were filming in our front yard. 

My husband had arrived home by that time and he took over manning the hose while the children and I packed the car.  I had told them to just pack things we could not replace while I grabbed the photos and a few other special things.  We left for my in laws who lived about ten minutes away from us.  It was most interesting to see what was in the car that the children found irreplaceable - the American flag, the Bible, a snake, tortoise and the bowl of Halloween candy!!!!!!  We still chuckle about that.  Our home was spared, but many others lost theirs.  The fire burned through Malibu and finally stopped at the ocean. 

Halloween happened on November 1st that year amidst the ashes and putrid smell.  Of course that was when we had lots of trick or treaters.  These days we may see a dozen or so at the door.

In my attempt to catch up on some sewing that was on the back burner for the past month, I have made some good headway.  I finished the Christmas stocking and will need a couple more next Christmas with two new grandbabies due in 2012.

I worked on my Civil War blocks.  I think she saved the most challenging ones for when I was away.  I am still playing with the Confederate Rose.  I have made it twice already and it still is not the correct size.  I enlarged it as she said, but is not coming out right.  I think I will just sketch it out and use my own templates.

My September Birdie Stitches block is done and the October one will be finished shortly.

Don't ask me what this mask is suppose to be as I have no clue.  My grandson asked for it and I obliged.  I had never heard of the guy before so I can't remember the name.'s done!!!!

Lastly, I made another mug rug for a friend's birthday.

That was my week.  How about yours?


  1. That is a very interesting story about your house evacuation years ago and what the children wanted to bring with you in case the fire destroyed your home! Your projects all look very nice and I, too, have no clue who that mask is. Be sure to post and let us know the name when your grandson tells it to you again (and is probably amazed that you didn't recall it when he told it to you the first time)!!! I"m trying to get work done for my typing job and stuff around the house so I can go on my quilting trip Monday morning for 5 days. Time is flying....

  2. Thank heaven your home was saved - but that must have been very frightening indeed.
    Two more grandbabies!! Wow! So much to look forward to!
    I love your coffee mat - so cute! And I think your Civil War blocks will make a beautiful quilt. I love the colours and patterns - you are SO talented! I am making little aprons for the little ones, and bags to go with them with bean bags to play with, so my sewing room is a total mess right now. But fun too. And the Autumn quilt gets some attention in the evenings, so no time for snoozing right now around here....!

  3. What an adventure you had with the fire! My goodness and to have a wood roof as well! What a blessing that your family decided to prepare before it was too late. I guess those are the times when we build memories as a family.

    Your Christmas stocking is wonderful! Wow! I gave up after only making one of them so the rest of the kids will have to receive something else. Too much work!

    Also enjoyed seeing your Civil War blocks. I started out enjoying the quilt-along but got discouraged when some of the directions didn't turn out right. Maybe I need to give it another try. Your blocks are inspiring:)

  4. Time goes way to fast but I can see why with you, family and all of those awesome projects!

  5. That was an interesting story about the fire. I remember seeing that on TV all of the time.
    I love the mud rug you made for a friend.
    Your quilts are going to be beautiful,I am jealous of those that can be so crafty. I am all thumbs when it comes to sewing.

  6. Pretty projects! Love the stocking.

  7. Interesting story about fire evacuation. We have fire season in Australia too. I know how it must have fell for you! I am scare of fire and never take it for granted. You projects are all lovely. I am sad to let the CWQ block overlaps for a long time. I do love your blocks.
    Happy Halloween to everyone - Hugs Nat

  8. I couldn't imagine living somewhere where fires are a threat (I guess I can put up with the cold here).
    My children loved the "Nacho Libre" mask! It is perfect.
    I can't believe how time is flying!!

  9. I'm so far behind on my civil war blocks. Your's look great, I like your layout choice in the Right Hand of Friendship block.

  10. Hello....I came here from your comment link at P {sorry...we lost power as I was typing this for nearly 2 hours and when I rebooted, your blog came back up}

    It's nice to meet you. I would have been scared out of my wits with fires and the legendary S. A. winds.

  11. You have been busy, Mary! Love your completed stocking!!!

  12. Hi Mary, what a story! I'm glad no fires have headed this way so far. We are finally getting a little rain now and then. I love your stocking and quilting!

    All I seem to have time for is paperwork. Sigh..

    One day...

    Thanks for dropping by. We are all sick with the flu at our house. I do hope to get some quilting in next month.

    Thanks for showing us your beautiful projects!


  13. That must have been terribly frightening at the time to have to leave your home like that. Glad all was well and your home was spared! Gotta laugh at what the kids took! Love your blocks too, especially your birdie! :0)

  14. I remember when the fires were so bad around S.D. and was so concerned about my grandchildren. My grandson has asthma and couldn't go outside at all.
    Glad your house was spared!

    As always, you are so very creative.....I don't know who that character is either, but it's nice you can do costumes for them!

  15. I agree this year did fly by! Your civil war blocks are amazing! Love your colors.

  16. yes its a scary time here when the winds blow and october and November are the months that bring fires....I remember that fire vividly!!!!
    love the birdie block!!!!

  17. I LOVE those Mug rugs! I think those have to be the coolest things ever invented:) I really love this pattern too!!!

    Not sure what the mask is of either but I like it! You did a great job on it!!

  18. I have to tell you.... I laughed when I was the mask.... scary and very much a boy thing.
    You've been busy. Love all your projects.

  19. I am so glad your home was saved. You are working on so many beautiful projects. Love your Christmas blocks and the cupcake mug rug is so cute.

  20. That must have been a worrying time as you watched the fire approach your home. Your blocks are lovely as is your stocking...that has just reminded me that I need to make another one for our latest grandson who has been born since last Christmas!

  21. That is one beautiful stocking. Love all your other projects too. You are an inspiration!

  22. We have relatives that live by San Fransisco and fire is a big issue in California. Thanks for sharing your fire story because it puts a face on the news. Your Christmas stock is beautiful.

  23. It does seem to me that time is speeding past. Seemed like yesterday and the kids were all little.Your projects are coming along nicely. Is the stocking counted cross stitch? It is very pretty and looks like it took lots of time.

  24. That fire story scares the wits out of me! Was it you that once told me that you threw things in the swimming pool when you had to evacuate? I have never experienced a bad fire but as a child my grandparents who lived just across the field were always having chimney fires. It always scared us kids to death!

    Your sewing projects are amazing! The Civil War one looks difficult to make. I FINALLY got the bindings on Miss T's quilt and my new Christmas quilt the weekend of the storm. YAY! Now I'm looking for some other UFO's to finish, well unless my poinsettia quilt kit gets here...... :o)

    We got 12 Trick or Treaters this year. Very slow year. I think there are more events for the kids to attend and it keeps them off the roads which is good. The only thing is that I have all that candy left over............

    I'm getting ready for our Tenn trip next week. I sure hope it's not as humid as last time, it was dreadful but well worth it as I love it there.

    Two new grand kids on the way?! How did I miss that?! What a blessing my friend!

    Mom and Dad are back in Florida doing well. It is very quiet here!!!

    Love to you and E!!!!! xoxox

  25. Lucky grandbabies to get special Christmas stockings from a very talented Grandma. The mug rug is so cute and tasty too!

  26. The cup cake needlework is so sweet.

    Had lots of trick & treaters here but we do not go along with it and in thr end kit became a nuisance. More and more like America every year.

    As children we called it duck apple night and ducked for apples in a bath of water.