I have not been good about posting, and I need to take time to catch up, but it won't be happening before Christmas, so this will have to do for now. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
First the good news. Our dear daughter-in-law is doing well and for that we are very, very grateful. She has been free from side effects from the pinpoint radiation. She and our son and their two children (two of our DGCs) and Hubby and I are going to Florida and spend some time at the Disney parks before Christmas. We will all be home to spend Christmas here. Hubby and I are going a week earlier and will go to the Florida Keys and explore some other places in Florida, and then meet up with them in Orlando. We have never been to the Keys, so are excited about going there.
I am not going to give many details about the following pictures. Suffice it to say that in time the entire project and its destination will be disclosed. I doubt that it will be seen here by the recipient, but just in case...
This quilt top is waiting for me to make a back for it, and then sandwich and quilt it and give it to a local charity group. The pattern is Play Time by Random Threadz.
Today would have been my Dad's 92nd birthday. He was taken from us much too young, at the age of 58. He was a very patient, good man, and I miss him to this day. I once asked him if he regretted not having a boy (my sister and I are the only children), and his reply always has stuck with me. "Of course not," he said. "I'm very content with my two daughters."
Now on to the main thing that has had me busy, but unmotivated to do hardly any sewing or anything creative. I have posted about our daughter-in-law learning that there was a tumor in her brain stem. It had metastisized there from her breast cancer. She has undergone radiation for the tumor and had some pretty severe complications. Yesterday she underwent a final pinpoint radiation treatment, and that went well, and hopefully she will be free of complications from that. Hubby and I have helped quite a bit with keeping our grandchildren, and we are very grateful that we live so close so that we can help.
Some time ago I mentioned that I had taken a Hawaiian Quilting class from quiltuniversity.com. I had completed the applique portion of it, but the hand quilting part was one thing I just had set aside and ignored. I finally finished it a week or so ago, and then made it into a pillow yesterday. My hand quilting needs serious improvement, and while I enjoyed it, I'm glad to have it completed.
I finished quilting the last Project Linus top that I had stashed. I need to get busy and piece some more, but first I want to work on a couple other things. A group of friends and I made lots of four patches using the Billie Lauder method. It was fun and we got some good-looking Project Linus quilts out of it.
On Thursday of this week our son and daughter-in-law got up and our son thought his wife was having a stroke. He rushed her to the hospital, and unfortunately the breast cancer had metastasized to her brain. She is upbeat and determined, but it is very, very scary. She is receiving 15 radiation treatments. She is such a sweetheart, and we are hoping for another victory over her cancer. Our son and DIL have two very dear children, a girl 11, and a boy 6. The children definitely need their mommy, and our son needs his wife. It is hard to think of anything else now. Fortunately, they live very close to us, so we can help with pretty much whatever they need.
I have been trying to get a few Project Linus quilt tops quilted, and this is one I did a couple days ago. This was such fun to do, starting with a small scrap in the center of the block and working out from there. I may have to do that again. I love the way it turned out, but part of it may be that I really love the sashing and border fabrics and binding that I had and used. I am trying very hard to use some of the stuff I have and I have been pretty successful.
I have posted before about our daughter-in-law having breast cancer and her brave fight against it. Yesterday was the annual Race for the Cure in Portland, and our other daughter-in-law put in a lot of work organizing a team called "Tonya's Team." There were about 80 who signed up for the team, although not all got to come do the walk. As a team, we all did the 5K (3.1 miles) walk together in downtown Portland. For the most part the weather cooperated and it was sunny and great walking weather. Toward the end of the walk we had a couple rain showers, but that didn't dampen our spirits. A huge crowd of people packed the waterfront park. I heard it estimated that with all the voluneers, organizers, runners, walkers, etc., there were over 40,000.
This picture is Tonya in her "survivor" shirt and cap with all the children on the team. There were several entire families there walking together. It was very inspiring. I didn't mention, but our son Kurt designed a great T-shirt that said "Team Tonya," and most of our team bought one.
This picture is Kurt and Tonya and their family.
What a great picture after all they have been through!
Below are hubby and I and our two sons and their wives and our four darling grandchildren. Have I ever mentioned that we have four darling grandchildren?? (tee hee)
After completing my landscape quilt, I decided I better get some machine quilting done and complete a Project Linus quilt. This is the latest that I've done. On the Connecting Threads website a few months ago they had a flying geese quilt-along, and I decided to use up some of my batiks making flying geese. I'm quite pleased with the results, and hopefully it's a quilt that someone will enjoy.
Well, after what seems like days of fussy cutting and miles of thread, my landscape wallhanging is complete. It measures about 38 by 44 inches. I have to say I now like it. I wasn't sure all the time I was working on it, but it turned out pretty well, I think. Despite being pleased with it, I don't think I will ever do another one. It is just not the type of thing I really enjoy working on.
In my last post I wondered if summer had gone already, and I am pleased to report that we have had a beautiful week, with weather in the 70s, and that will help us get a few tomatoes off our plants before it gets real chilly.
I am now doing the quilting on a Project Linus quilt, so that is something that I definitely enjoy doing.
Well, I am about as inconsistent with my blogging as anyone could be.
So far September has been quilt cool - more so than usual, and already some of the trees are changing color. Our summer was quite unusual - cooler than usual, with very few days that topped out over 90.
I think I may have mentioned (maybe not) that I was going to take a landscape quilting class. It was on two Saturdays in August. The picture below is the not-yet-finished result of that class. I am not yet decided on whether I even like it very much. It has been a very intense process, with LOTS of fussy cutting from several different fabrics, and then LOTS of gluing and then free-motion tacking down of the pieces with monofiliment thread, and then sandwiching and LOTS of quilting down the pieces. I have finally finished through that point, and still need to quilt the green between the fence posts, and the blue at the top. I can't see me doing this process again, as I have decided I am definitely more a traditional quilting/piecing person.
I have entered my Winter Wonderland embroidered/pieced quilt in the Quilting Gallery's Embroidery/Stitchery contest. The winner wins a nice basket of sewing goodies. So that's a long way of saying please have a look at the entries, and if you are so inclined, I would appreciate your votes. My entry is the last one. There are quite a few lovely quilts. The following is the link: http://tinyurl.com/24y9r87
We made a spontaneous quick overnight trip to Long Beach, WA on Sunday. It's probably 2-1/2 hours from home, and we hadn't been there for a long time. Other ocean beaches are closer, so we had stayed south of the border. We had such a nice time. We were disappointed when we went through Astoria though, that our favorite little fresh tuna fish and chips shop was closed.
The first picture is taken when we were walking along the beach, and the second is from the balcony of our room. The day was just beautiful!
We took a drive and saw this inlet with the tide out and a gaggle of geese working on getting their dinner.
We loved this picture taken along the Bear River. We wondered what those pilings had supported in days past.
This bridge crosses the very, very wide Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon to Washington. It is a pretty spectacular bridge. Toward the Oregon side, the bridge rises high above the water so that ships can go under, and then drops down again. At this particular point, I think the river is approximately 3 miles wide. It is a very treacherous area for ship navigation, and tugboats are hired to guide ships through what they call the Columbia Bar. There are many large sandbars, and they have to really know the deep channels of the river to keep from going aground on the sandbars. The tug operators are experts on the river navigation. The Columbia rolls on out a ways from Astoria to meet the Pacific Ocean.
Anyone who has looked at my blog knows that I love to do quilts for Project Linus, and though it's been a while, here is another one. This quilt actually is a mystery quilt pattern that some in my quilt guild did. As you can readily see, it is an extremely easy pattern, but I am real pleased with the way it turned out. I had intended it from the start to go to Project Linus, so chose fabrics that I thought would work for that purpose. We have been told that PL is most in need of quilts big enough for older children, and especially boys, since they get more for girls, and I think this quilt will fill that bill, as do most of mine.
On one of the blogs I was perusing the other day, I saw a block similar to this and decided that looked like fun, so out came just a small portion of my scraps, and I started in. It was fun, and I now have 11 more similar blocks to go with it. Now I need to sash them and put them all together and there will be another Project Linus quilt top.
Three of our DGC are coming over today, so I think maybe we will ride bikes and have a picnic. The summer is going much too quickly to suit me!
Last night we went to a youth football fundraiser at a restaurant here in town and saw so many people we know. Our fireman son was one of the servers. They had police and firefighters helping with serving, and the tips that they got, as well as 20% of the restaurant proceeds, went to the youth football program. Our grandson plays football, so of course we wanted to participate. It was fun to see so many we knew there.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. I think ours will be quiet and that sounds great to me.
A while back I mentioned that I had a quilt that I would show after it had been gifted. Well, now it has been given to DGD who turned 9. She seems pretty pleased, judging from her expression in the first picture. Her bedroom is done in red, black and white, so I knew I wanted to use those colors, and I didn't want to do anything real traditional. I thought circles would be perfect, and I'm pleased with the way it turned out.
The blocks with the random circles I designed myself, but the other blocks were from a pattern from the June issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.
Unfortunately, before the following picture no one told me I was having a very bad hair day.
I machine quilted the quilt with what I call scrolls. It seems to have become quite a favorite way of mine to do the machine quilting.
We've been home a week today, and it was so good to get home again. July was a very busy, but enjoyable month.
We had such a nice time at Disneyland/California Adventure with our kids and grandkids. It is such fun to go with family and enjoy with them the things that they enjoy so much. We also spent one day at Knott's Berry Farm with our older son and his family. That was great fun also. There were several roller coasters there, and I went on one, but was not too crazy about it. At California Adventure though, they had a big roller coaster that we all went on twice (yes, twice), and it was awesome! I surprised myself, believe me!
The first pic is of our 4 DGC.
This is a picture of our older son and his family.
And this would be our younger son and his family.
And here we are with our two sons. I guess I don't need to say that we're very proud of both of them and their families.
Why is it that we always have beautiful weather at home when we leave? It's in the 70s today there. A while back we had made plans to meet our kids and grandkids at Disneyland next week. We left home yesterday and came down to spend a few days visiting hubby's mother in Modesto, CA. It has reached 106 both yesterday and today. Thankfully, the weather further south where we're headed is a much more pleasant 70+. We looks forward to the time with our family this week. I'm sure I'll have pictures to post when we return home, or maybe before. Who knows?
After returning from Alaska and before heading south, I finished quilting the quilt I had referenced before that has not been gifted yet. I will put the label on when we get home next weekend. I am really looking forward to some time at home, and our budget needs some serious time to recover from our travels this July.
Well, it's been a while since I've posted, so best get busy. We got home from Alaska Monday morning at 5:00 a.m., so we kind of dragged ourselves around that day.
First, we have one more grandchild who hasn't been featured lately, so I want to do that now. This young man is the oldest of our four. He is quite an athlete and enjoys football first and foremost, but also basketball and baseball. The football picture is actually from 2009, when he made a great defensive play and sacked the quarterback for a safety. Football practice starts in August, and he is excited about that. His team's baseball season was disappointing, but besides football, he will be playing on a fall baseball team. His family went camping at Diamond Lake earlier this year, and this was the prize trout he caught. This lake sits in a most beautiful forested setting, with snow-capped mountains all around.
Now, about our trip to Alaska. We had such a wonderful time. To put it in a very brief nutshell, what an absolutely beautiful, spectacular, magnificent, and huge state! We flew into Anchorage, rented a car and put about 2000 miles on the car. We should have gotten an award for the most disgusting display of splattered bugs on the front of our car when we turned it in. Yuk! We went to Homer, Seward, Whittier, back to Anchorage, and then to one of the main highlights - Denali National Park. We took a long tour into the interior of the park and saw about 10 grizzly bears, several moose, a few caribou and a fox. As a huge bonus, Mt. McKinley poked her head out of the clouds several times for us. From Denali, we went to Fairbanks and enjoyed our time there. North of Fairbanks we got our first of several sightings of the Alaska pipeline. It is an impressive sight, to say the least. We took a different, and very scenic route back to Anchorage and from there flew home.
I better get busy and get another post in before June turns to July. DH and I are flying to Anchorage, Alaska on Tuesday, and will spend 12 days in Alaska. We have been before, but want to see some different things this time. It is such a magnificent awe-inspiring place. I sure wish by some miracle that Mt. McKinley would bring its head out of the clouds while we are there, but I understand sightings are rare, so it likely won't happen. Anyway, I hope to have some good photos to share from time to time.
I have been working hard on a quilt that has a deadline on it, and with this trip, and another to follow this one, I am feeling pretty pressured, but will somehow get it done in time, and then after it is gifted, I will post pictures. I also have another grandchild to feature, and will do that before too much more time passes.
Today was a Relay for Life in support of cancer survivors and to raise money for cancer research. It is a very special event lasting 24 hours, because cancer never sleeps. If I am not mistaken, it takes place in many cities. As I have mentioned in previous posts, our DDIL was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall. She has had surgery, chemo and radiation, and is now in remission. She was at this Relay, and the pictures I have are of her and the two children. Our son is a firefighter, and today was his day to work, so he missed out on the events. We were privileged to spend some time at the Relay, and it was a very touching, poignant event. A cure is desperately needed.
Our younger granddaughter, age 8, has played softball for three years, and really enjoys it. We love watching the little girls. This is the first year that the girls have pitched, so there are lots of balls thrown and not a lot of strikes. After the pitcher throws four balls, the coach comes in and pitches a maximum of three pitches. Prior to this year, they used pitching machines. This first picture shows our DGD after having connected with a pitch and placing it out in center field. The next picture is her on base. The third picture was taken a while back when she caught this big trout. She won the biggest fish competition among her family and friends.
Today she and I made cupcakes, and I've come to the conclusion that with her and her cousin, the favorite part of the process is licking the bowl.
Next grandchild feature will be our oldest, and he is our baseball, football and basketball player. So stay tuned...