Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Fourth Quarter Goals 2020

#1-#4. Flannel scraps tops started from Martha's scraps
Last quarter, I had one finish which was the flounce leggings that I made for my granddaughters. This quarter, I'm rolling my list sans that one finish forward! It wasn't that I didn't work on projects; it was that I didn't get any more than one to the finish line!

I'm listing 15 projects. Projects one through four, are flannel tops that I made from Martha's leftover "adult" scraps. (I haven't started tops with her leftover "kid" flannel scraps!) Last quarter, I went to the Mt. Hood quilt guild's fabric sale and pick up some flannel to supplement the projects I had started. I was successful. The flannels I chose paired well with Martha's vintage scraps!

I now have three of the four tops completed as well as pieced three backs. I doubt that I'll work on the fourth top until after I quilt these three tops. I plan to develop my walking foot quilting skills when quilting the tops. Although, in the larger areas, I may try to slip in a little quilting with rulers!
#5-#12 projects 

Projects #5-#12 are listed below:
#5 is to finish quilting Unity. Last quarter I quilted five of the six full borders. I also have three half borders to quilt. Surely, I can finish this project this quarter! 

#6 is to stitch the hand dyed black fabric into a modern styled wall hanging with the red corduroy applique and other red accents. I thought about this project last quarter.

 #7 is to make a summer dress for the youngest granddaughter. I looked at the fabric last quarter.
#13-#16 projects
#8 is to stitch myself a dress. Originally, I planned to stitch a wrap dress. . .now, I'm not sure on the style. I'm still considering an empire waistline dress. I need to purchase a pattern!

#9 is cross stitching six Santa ornaments. I thought it would take me a couple weeks in the evening to complete these. I did complete the stitching. What is left is to cut the ornaments apart and add the hangers. Perhaps, this will be on of my first completions in the fourth quarter!

#10 is stitching the leftover tie fabrics from the tuffet project into a wall hanging. My plan is to machine piece the strings together into strip and to hand piece hexagon stars 
Flannel top #1 ready for basting

together out of the larger pieces. Last quarter, I pulled the pieces out the storage bag and fluffed them; but, I didn't do any stitching.

#11 is to stitch three camel back carry all bags. Nothing happened with this project last quarter. 

#12 is to stitch one and maybe two flounce leggings for the granddaughters. I actually finished this project!

Projects #13-#16 are below:
#13 is to quilt this top. It was one of the last tops my friend Martha made. I know of a high school graduate that would like it as a finished quilt. Last quarter, I pieced a back and pin basted it together. It is ready to be quilted. I'm planning a lot of in the ditch quilting with something in the sashing.

#14 is that little piece of embroidery that I thought wanted to be a pillow. It wanted to be a wall hanging. I decided it needed a word. It looked like Summer to me so I penciled in that word on the piece. I thought that I would get the word embroidered last quarter; but, it didn't happen!
Flannel top #2 ready for basting

#15 is Miss K's mermaid. I hope that we will be able to finish this project. Covid keeps us from working on it. 

#16 is the applique butterfly that I started September 2018 in a Susan Carlson class. Last quarter, I glue basted the butterfly and more than half of the background pieces. I've still a long way to go; but, I did make a lot of progress.

Since it is the last day of the month, I'll report that I trained 43 people in American Heart Healthcare provider CPR.

I also read a few books. Our local library has opened with restrictions. We can't go in; but, we can place a hold on a book. We are notified when it is available and then we schedule a time to pick it up. I've done this a couple of times and will keep doing it. I miss "browsing" and I miss sampling the books in the shelves!

This quarter, our book club read biography books of our choosing. One of the gals read and recommended "Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before" by Tony Horwitz. I enjoyed reading it too. I learned a lot of about Captain Cook and appreciated the author retracing Cook's
Flannel top #3 ready for basting
travel. I can't imagine being away from my home for three years, yet Cook did this two times successfully! 

"The Library Book" by Susan Orlean is about the Central Library in San Francisco burning in 1986. If you don't remember this story, it is probably because the Chernobyl Disaster happened two days later. The author includes the history of the library as well as provides a snippet of the activities there as well as the staff that manage those activities. It was an interesting read. I had just finished it when the fires in Oregon broke out. When I left for the day with my GO bag, I also took this library book with me. I thought how awful it would be if this book was burned in a fire!

"The Paris Seamstress" by Natasha Lester is written about two women in two different eras. The first era happens around World War II and the second era is modern day. I enjoyed learning about the high fashion houses. The author described how designs were taken from sketch to the garment both in Paris and then in New York. The making of flowers was an industry I hadn't heard of so I learned about that skill. If you liked the "The Lilac Girls," and "The Nightingale" you would probably like this book too.
Martha's pieced top ready for basting

"The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter" by Hazel Gaynor is a historical novel that follows Grace Darling, the daughter of a lighthouse keeper, through a portion of her life circa 1838. She helps her father save some ship wrecked people stranded on a rock near their light house during a storm. The other part of the book follows Matilda Emmerson Flaherty who leaves Ireland in disgrace and lodges with a relative who is the keeper at Rose Island Lighthouse circa 1938. The author did a great job of weaving the story line between the two and I recommend it to you too. You'll have to read it to find out how the two people are connected. 

Thanks, Janice from a Positive Outlook, for recommending this read. I do plan to read some of the books the author listed that read for background information while writing this book.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

A Bag of Flannel Scraps--A Second Project Starting With A Rectangle

Assortment of scraps in third group
The assortment of scraps in the third of the four flannel groups were ready for me to tackle next. As I sorted the scraps into like sizes, I again found four rectangles that measured a similar size--5 1/2 inches by 10 inches.

There were also a few three to four inch strips that I used to frame the rectangles. There wasn't enough of the strips to frame the entire rectangle. Nor was there enough fabrics to coordinate sections.

There was enough of a print fabric to cut four more rectangles. To make the ninth rectangle, I made a four patch and placed that different block in the center.

I reserved two solid greens and a large scale print fabric for possible borders. I've learned having chunks to make borders helps to unify the project. The remaining fabrics I string pieced for borders. Slowly, the piece began to evolve.
Beginning the framing process

Having a design wall helps the process move smoother. Once I had completed the frames and the string border, it was time to assemble the sections. The dark purplish fabric was the right length to separate the horizontal rows. I cut it into two inch strips and I had an inch and a half strip left to sprinkle into the string section. (I've also learned when constructing string borders, to leave the sections unstitched to make adding or sprinkling additional fabrics easier.)

The large print fabric was the perfect length for the outside border. The reserved green fabrics framed the top and bottom of the panel. There was just enough of the string border to stitch to the top of the panel.
The few leftovers
When I finished, the top measured 32 inches by 44 inches. I decided to put the black strips in the last project so I didn't use that fabric. The remaining fabrics from my first flannel top made into this top.

Our Mt. Hood Quilt Guild held a fabric sale last August. I was able to pick up a few pieces of flannel to help get this top and the other two flannel tops I had started from Martha's scraps to a 40 inch by 60 inch size. I used those few leftovers and made a couple more borders. I cut a binding and pieced a back.

Stitching those flannel fabrics of Martha's into a useable item with little waste was my goal. After all, I had rescued those bits from going to the landfill! I'm learning how to play with the various elements. What was fun about this project was how the light beige flannel made the project feel more modern to me! As I stitched this project, it let me know that it wanted to be my next book club quilt.
Pieced back

I had read "Wonderful Adventures of Mary Seacole in Many Lands" which is an autobiography. Mary, or Mother Secole as the military men called her, was a British-Jamaican nurse, healer and business women who set up the "British Hotel" behind the lines in the Crimean war. Her hotel was made of whatever she could find to build it and she provided many hot meals to the soldiers. It was an interesting read. 

Finishing this project will happen. I plan to finish quilting Unity and possibly another quilt first. I haven't quilted on Unity in a couple weeks as it was one of the projects packed when we were at the level two evacuation order. 

I am thankful that I have plenty of projects to keep me busy! I plan to share the other two tops and backs in a future post. I'll be linking up with Oh Scrap. Quilting IS more fun than housework!

Regarding COVID:
Worldwide: 36.2M confirmed; 990 deaths
United States: 7.08M confirmed; 204K deaths
Oregon: 32,314 confirmed; 542 deaths
In Oregon, last week we had the highest confirmed cases of COVID since recording the statistics began. The spike in cases has been attributed to people not social distancing over Labor Day weekend and youth not social distancing. In spite of the rise in cases, some school districts are considering opening the schools to students beginning October first. I hope that officials will continue the online studies as I am concerned for my granddaughters' safety. 

Finished top
Regarding the protests:
Protesting continues. Yesterday, there were two opposing protests scheduled. Police planned to keep the two groups from merging. The protests were mostly peaceful although police did confiscate paintballs, baseball bats and firearms during one traffic stop.

Oregon Fire update:
About one million acres have burned and 7,500 personnel have responded to fight the fires. The personnel does not include landowners, government employees, community members and forestland operators who contribute every day. Friday, it was reported that 2,600 people were staying in shelters the previous night. I don't have a number of homes destroyed. Nor do I know how many people were affected financially by the fires. Unfortunately, nine people died in the nine fires that burned our state. The Riverside fire which was the one closest to us is about 34% contained. Thursday, officials lifted the level one evacuation that we were under.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

In Between Projects or Activity While Under A Level 2 Evacuation--Post 1

Granddaughters on their first day of school
A couple days prior to the Riverside fire growing to the extent that areas came under evacuation levels, I reorganized a closet. This is a closet that has been stocked with hostess gifts, wrapping paper, craft making supplies for floral arrangements as well as lot of other stuff. I hadn't used some of the stuff in more than a decade. Last February, I had downsized about a quarter of what was stored. It was time to get more serious.

With the help of my husband to unload the shelves, I sorted through the stuff. This time, I reduced what was there by about half. One of the items in the closet was a Necchi sewing machine. If it stitched, I decided that it was going to a place that it would be used.

My husband's dad purchased this machine for our daughters when they were about eight and 10 years old. They didn't sew on it much because they preferred to sew on my machine which had more features! I did remember that it had a nice stitch. I searched on line and found that this particular model (537-FA) was built in Taiwan between 1988 and 1996. My father-in-law purchased it as part of an overflow order for a school. In other words, school personnel decided that they didn't want all the the models they purchased. I estimated he made his purchase around 1992.

Parts and beginning of tune-up
Necchi is an Italian company that Janome purchased distribution rights to until 2012. Janome no longer distributes Necchi models. Interestingly, it appears that Necchi machines are still produced! Some early or vintage Necchi models are sought after. Through E-Bay and a Necchi sale site, I placed the value today of this machine between 50 and 75 dollars. This particular model was advertised as powerful enough to stitch easily through several layers of denim. (I believe that it can!)

It has lived in the box that it arrived in for most of its life! It hadn't stitched for at least 25 years. I decided to give it a tune up and test drive. If it sewed well, I planned to gift it to the granddaughters. They are a little younger than when my daughters received the machine; but, this machine could be a great match for them to start sewing on their own. I shared a first day of school photo of them.

I lifted the out of its box and reviewed the manual. While I could turn the balance wheel, I was unable to move the feed dogs. Machines need to be used. When they sit for years, as this one has, the lubricants become gummy causing the moving parts to become stuck in place.

I removed the bobbin case. I cleaned and oiled the hook before replacing it. Then, it was time to removed the covers. I was able to remove the top cover; but, the screw drivers in my tool kit did not fit the screw heads in the bottom of the machine. I oiled and greased the areas I could in the top of the machine. I still could not move the feed dogs. The machine was lint free.

Muscle power to remove screws
It was time to employ a bit of WD-40 and my husband to help remove the screws I could not. He did remove the screws. WD-40 is an amazing degreasing product. My dad introduced the product to me about 50 years ago when we were repairing a piece of farm equipment and a machine part refused to budge. He sprayed it. We waited a few minutes and he was able to remove the broken part. I've since learned that was about the time the product was released so he must have thought it was miraculous!

Before WD-40, we would have tapped out that stuck machine piece with a hammer and chisel which took time and a lot more effort!

Bob and I let the sprayed part sit to loosen the gum that had frozen them. While it sat, I readied a few fabrics for stitching. If the machine had a good stitch, I wanted to sew until I needed to fill a bobbin to find out how the bobbin winder worked.

Stitch tension test

As I've written before, my husband is all about forging ahead when there is a project in front of him. I'm cutting fabrics for a quilt back when I hear him exclaim, "I got it to move!" According to my watch, there were still 10 minutes remaining on the time we had agreed would be adequate to let the degreaser work. 

He was right. The balance wheel turned easily and the feed dogs also moved freely. I don't know who was the most excited, him or me! I finished oiling the machine. Together we replaced the covers. I tried a test stitch. It sewed well the first time!

Ready to stitch
I took the machine back to the studio and stitched a quilt back. It stitched great. Although, the reverse button was sticky. While I could push the button in to activate it, deactivating it took some maneuvering. I decided that I'd continue stitching making a point to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam to see if that function improved. Over time, that function improved to the point that it works great. 

I sewed four quilt backs and finished three scrap tops with this machine. It sewed well. However, I was unable to satisfactorily wind a bobbin. I couldn't figure out how to change the position of the rubber wheel that turns the spindle the bobbin sits on. The spindle turns intermittently instead of continuously.

First sewing-- a pieced back
I didn't try it; but, I might be able to wind the bobbin on my Singer featherweight. Winding a bobbin is an important function. I will be taking the machine in for an adjustment now that I know the sewing part of the machine functions well.

It will make a wonderful learning machine for the grand daughters. I have posted a photo of the first quilt back that I stitched. This quilt back is for the last quilt top that my friend Martha finished before she died. After I stitched the back, I cut a piece of batting, layered the three pieces and pin basted it together. I'm ready to quilt that project. I will save the other stitching this machine did for a future post! 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Re-Siding the Barn

Half the barn ready for siding
This is a mostly unrelated quilting post. We moved to this property 30 years ago last Labor Day weekend. There was a red barn with four stalls on the two acre plot. The previous owners had six horses, a plethora of chickens in a variety of chicken coops and a bunch of dogs that resided in the various kennels attached to the house. There were so many animals on the property, that there was little grass!

During the first few years that we lived here, we raised a couple beef cattle that we later slaughtered for meat for our freezer. We stored the hay and grain in the barn. There were about six chickens that escaped the move.They roosted in one of the stalls of the barn. The kids played in the barn when they were in elementary school. The grandkids have played in the barn too.

Rod setting up the skill saw 

Now, it is the place where the rototiller and lawn mower reside. Bob, my husband, has stored the extra siding, shingles and flooring used on the house in the barn. There is reclaimed fencing material from the previous owners and some leftover pieces of wood from previous projects that are stored in the barn. 

Bob has painted it "suburban red" about four times over the years. The first time it was due for a coat of paint, we talked about changing the color. We decided, however, the red barn seemed the best fit on the property so it has remained suburban red. Bob has patched the roof several times. There was the time that the tree blew over in a windstorm and a limb caused some damage. There never were gutters on the roof.

Over the years, nature's elements have deteriorated the siding to the point that the majority of the boards were rotten. It was time to replace the siding. He developed his plan. He first removed the rotten boards. Then he knew how much new wood he needed to order. 

Teamwork in placing the boards
He learned that the stalls were tacked to the outside walls so when the boards were removed, the panels would collapse. He shoveled away some of the dirt that had accumulated from many years of "organic compost" deposits from the horses.

He worked on half of the barn at a time. After he had ordered the wood from a local company who also delivered it, he and a friend spent a day installing the new wood. The third day, he stripped the other side of the barn and his friend arrived on the fourth day to finish the installment process.

He is waiting for the new wood to dry for a couple weeks so he can prime and paint it. The smoke from the Riverside fire stalled forward progress on the project because the air quality was rated hazardous for a week. It was unsafe to be outside. We will get it painted. 

Bob has purchased the primer and all the "suburban" red pain he needs to finish the project.  I plan to help with the painting; but, knowing my husband as I do, I wouldn't be surprised if the next nice day he starts the job whether I can be there or not! He can't be idle nor can he have an unfinished project staring at him!

Finished side waiting to dry before painting

It started raining late Thursday night and the air is clearing. I was surprised that after several hours of rain falling, the smoke was still visible. At any rate, he will get to wait for the wood to dry again before he can paint it. 

He'll be raking needles while he waits for the wood to dry. You can't tell from the photo, but that line of needles is about the height of his knees! Yesterday, he raked 192 wheelbarrow loads of needles. Bob said that this was the most that he has raked at one time. Those three days of high winds caused the needles to fall in great quantities. He has at least that many needles left to rake! Our air quality dropped from 292 to 30 from Friday to Saturday! 

Thursday, we brought the Tahoe home with our "important stuff." The quilts are stacked on the bed and the other "stuff" is back where it was. I'm planning to inventory the quilts. I've never counted them nor do I really know how many I have or have made over the years. With the quilts in one place, it is a good time to compile a list! My husband thinks there are 832 quilts (No way!); my youngest daughter's boyfriend estimates 172; (Still too many); my oldest daughter estimates 123; my youngest daughter estimated 100; my son-in-law estimates 65 and I said 50ish!

Quilts to inventory
Quilter, pattern maker, author and hand embroidery aficionado Bonnie Sullivan lost her home in Mill City to the Beachie Creek fire. She escaped with a backpack and the kindness of a stranger who gave her a lift to safety. The Salem Reporter compiled a special report about the area fires in their circulation area. Truly, firefighters saved many. We will never hear about all the lives they actually saved because there are just too many. Thank you God for having so many heroes available to help those that needed assistance! Neighbors are helping neighbors get back on their feet. There are still about 3000 people in shelters which could mean hotels from Medford to Portland because their homes are a pile of ash. There are still a few actual shelters that are open. Those that can return home have. 

The Estacada Community Watch has organized a welcome pantry to returning evacuees. Drive up and pick up a bag of groceries to help you as you learn which food supplies in your home are no longer edible. Often, you would hear about a particular organization taking this role. Rural Oregonians are an independent group who look after one another and who figure out ways to help themselves. Unfortunately, our governor has said little about these efforts to the media. 

Regarding COVID:

Bob raking needles dropped during the wind storm
Worldwide: 30.5M confirmed; 20.8M recovered; 953K deaths

United States: 6.82M confirmed; 3.69M recovered; 202K deaths

Oregon: 30,342 confirmed; 521 deaths

The media reported a case study indicated that there will be 400K COVID deaths in the United States before the end of 2020 if the infection trend continues at the current rate. While the President continues to claim there will be a vaccine available before the end of the year, the CDC continues to advocate wearing a mask and social distancing. CDC director Robert Redfield stated mask wearing would be more effective against COVID-19 than the vaccine.

Regarding the protests, last week the media has reported the protests continue although, the violence factor has not been organized. Last night, the protests resumed. The media cited air quality as the reason for the break. The first of September, the New York Times ran a story about the 100 days of protest in Portland. The people interviewed live outside of Portland. I appreciated the perspective.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Unity--Post 13 Quilting Border Six in Progress

Westalee circle template and spacer
Border five of the Unity quilt was the neutral squares. My plan was to use the Westalee circle template with a larger spacer to quilt the circle and fill in with pebbles. Unfortunately, the seams made it impossible to use the template. I even tried lowering the pressure on the foot even more than I had when stitching the previous circles.

I was bummed as I have tried to use templates in my quilting. The bulk of the seams continues to hamper my ability to use these templates. If there are no seams in the area, I can hold the templates and achieve a passable result.

I looked through my quilting supplies for a suitable template. An empty wooden spool looked like it fit the space as I had envisioned. The spool came from my great grandmother's sewing stash. I use her old thread to machine base the outside edge of the quilt sandwich. She was a great seamstress so putting a little of her into each of my projects makes me smile.

Marking the templates 

She grew up well to do. She fell in love with a bachelor farmer. When she married the farmer, she could boil water; but, that was the extent of her cooking skills because her family had a cook! 

Her husband taught her cooking basics. She quickly learned how to cook even the most intricate dishes. She cooked by feel. When people asked her for recipes, she shared the recipes. The results others cooked were never as good as tasty as what she cooked though. 

Word was that neighbor ladies had ridiculed her because she couldn't cook. The story was that when she shared her recipes, she purposely left out an ingredient so no one could replicate her success. It makes a good story; but, I remember her as a caring and giving person. I think she played around with quantities and ingredients. I think she used the recipe as a basic starting point because, I have her cookbook and a couple recipes she developed. Terms "base" as well as "substitutions" are noted in the margins.

Finished border section
But, back to quilting! I used a blue water erasable pen to draw the circles. I free motion quilted the circles and added pebbles. Once I finished a side of the border, I spritzed the circles with water. The lines disappear easily. I have completed one side of the border.

Because of the fire threat, I have packed this project along with my machine. When the fire threat has passed, I'll unload the car which currently holds the sewing machine and a couple in process quilt projects. I look forward to making progress on this project again! 

In the meantime, I'm linking up with Longarm Learning with Rebecca Grace Quilting.

On the fire front, the air quality is improving. We are rated "unhealthy" instead of "hazardous." Yesterday, I could actually see the tree line from our house which is about 500 feet away and which I haven't seen in a week! I'm still not walking outside because of the air quality. When my husband had to spend time outside when the air quality was hazardous, he pulled out his heavy duty mask!

I've found that simmering a few sprigs of lavender and rosemary sprigs from the garden throughout the day, helps cleanse the air inside the house. My smoke headache is much less since I've kept the herbs covered in water simmering in a saucepan on the stove. Sage would be a good add to the mix; but, I don't have access to a plant. My eye lashes are no longer matted together when I wake up either! We are okay. We haven't lost our home. Yes, the smoke makes breathing difficult; but the smoke will pass. Rain is forecasted for Thursday or Friday. 

My husband modeling his mask
The Riverside fire has burned 135,000 acres. There are now 500 firefighters working to contain the fire. Last night, the media reported that the firefighters are closing in on containment. We are still in a level two evacuation level which means be packed and ready to evacuate. The fire is still about a mile from us. Firefighters are working hard to keep this fire from merging with the Beechie Creek fire. A few days ago, firefighters pulled back from fighting the fire because they thought that it had merged. Realistically, I don't know how the fires haven't merged. Likely, God is holding them apart.

It is surreal to leave for work in the morning with the car packed with some "important stuff" and my GO bag. Being at work, where I can't check the wildfire evacuation map, feels disconcerting. Being able to return home at the end of the day, is miraculous. I worked yesterday and I work again today. If we do evacuate, we have a plan of where to meet and where to go.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Oregon Fire--The State Is Burning

Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 
The state of Oregon is on fire. Firefighters are trying to contain four major fires as well as a number of smaller fires. We have had dry, hot weather coupled with high winds. 

Over one million of acres have burned. Whole towns are destroyed. It took the governor three days to request assistance from the National guard. It took her four days to reach out to the President to request federal aid. I appreciate that the President spoke to her directly since it wasn't that many days ago that she publicly lambasted him sending federal officers to protect federal property during BLM protests. He told her that he would support federal aid packages to our area. 

News sources have reported air quality for the city of Portland is the worst in the world for cities of its size. Air quality where I live is worse than in Portland. During the day, it is dark like it is evening! 40,000 people have been evacuated; 500,000 people are on alert to evacuate. We are one of the 500,000.

View towards the fire at noon on September 10
It isn't known how all the fires started. Arson is suspected in some of them. Lightening started at least one fire. Firefighters are spending their time trying to save homes and ensure that people who were supposed to evacuate did. There are not enough firefighters to adequately cover all the fires. 

A couple who were friends with my husband's family when he was a boy lost everything. They lived in Phoenix, Oregon which was one of the towns that was completely destroyed. 

He drove his wife to her hair appointment and took the dog along for a ride. When they returned home, their house and their neighborhood had burned. They had no warning. Starting over when you are in your mid-eighties would be hard. Their children are lending a hand, since they live in the area. Their children are also affected by the fire. The couple is thankful that they weren't hurt, that they are in a hotel, and that they are together. They are spending some time canceling water, electrical, internet, etc. services while considering their options.

Taking a photo of the contents
Some people, who have loved ones with medical issues, left the fire area and went to a motel. The Red Cross handed out hotel vouchers to level three evacuees until the motel/hotel accommodations filled. Then shelters were opened because people had no where to go. Because of COVID concerns, they had tried to avoid opening shelters. Many evacuees are staying with family in the area. The Salvation Army has also mobilized to help people that the fire has affected. Leadership from the Salvation Army Cascade unit stated that Oregonians are a resilient group. Many people who are eligible for assistance, have figured out how to help themselves and are too proud to accept assistance. 

Yes, daughter, the Oban is packed
The Riverside fire, which has burned more than 132,000 acres, is the fire that is affecting us. I haven't heard if lives were lost in this fire nor do I know how many homes have burned. 

This is a rural area so in addition to people evacuating, there are a lot of horses, cows, goats, chickens, pigs and ducks to evacuate too. Then there are the dogs and the cats that live with the people. Dogs and cats generally aren't allowed in a shelter. A number of people have RVs so they have evacuated in those; but, they need a place to park them. Some areas, like colleges and large shopping centers have been designated as parking shelters for that purpose. Police have had to place curfews in areas and they have increased patrols to stem area looting.

The screenshot photo is the fire levels at 1pm on Thursday, September 10. Our house is the tiny black dot on the border of yellow and green just above the second red point. When our status was green, which means level one prepare to evacuate, we talked about what we would pack. We made a plan. When our status went from green to yellow, we started packing the "important stuff." Yellow is level two and it means to be ready. Red is level three and means go now.

The load
We gave ourselves two hours to pack. Bob packed documents that we need to have on hand as well as items that were special to him. I packed pictures and quilts. While I was packing, the youngest daughter called and sent a list of items she wanted saved. Her dad took care of those items. Oban spirits, a couple pictures and her baby teeth were items on her list. We each packed a GO bag. At the end of two hours we stopped. We walked through the house to see if there was something else that needed to go with us. We didn't.

Bob then photographed each room of the house so we could remember what was there. One of his friends who lives near us, offered his shop as a place to store our "important stuff." I hesitate to call our stuff valuable because to us it is sentimental and irreplaceable. Bob drove the packed Tahoe to his friend's house. (Our GO bags sit by the back door ready to be loaded.)

View at 9AM on September 13
Friday, September 11, I packed the Unity quilt and butterfly projects I've recently blogged about. I also packed my Bernina and Featherweight machines. Then I drove with them to work. It was so weird to leave not knowing if I'd be able to return or have a house to return to ten hours later! It was challenging to be separate from Bob because people evacuating have brought freeways and well traveled thorough fares to a standstill at times. We had meeting places picked for several options.

We did pack sleeping bags and tarps, water, toilet paper and some food so if we had to camp, we could. We have our dog, Bailey, who we wouldn't want to be without us even though her presence limits our accommodation options. We had planned our evacuation destination to be our daughter's home in West Linn as she had invited us. Her area, however, was placed in a level one so if we are called to evacuate we may choose a friend's house instead. 

Most of Bob's friends have extended offers to us (which includes Bailey) to stay with them and to bring as much stuff with as we can/want. A number of my friends have offered to share what they have with us. Friends who live far away have texted, e-mailed and called to check in on us. No matter what happens to us, we know that we have a wonderful support system! 

At the end of my work day, I was able to return home! The fire continues to grow and the red area of the map has inched closer to us; but, the weather has improved. The strong winds have died down and the temperatures, instead of being in the upper 90s, are in the upper 60s. Rain is forecasted to fall tomorrow and throughout the week. 

Today (Sunday), the smoke index for our area is 502 with 300 as bad. We stay inside as much as possible. Late last night, officials updated the fire evacuation map. While we are still in a level two, the line moved so we are closer to being in a level one zone. We will stay in the be ready phase until the fire threat has passed.

The lion is supporting the police
Regarding COVID:

Worldwide: 28.6M confirmed; 19.3M recovered; 917K deaths

United States: 6.56M confirmed; 3.55M recovered; 196K deaths

Oregon: 28,865 confirmed; 499 deaths

College campus have scaled back in person classes because students failed to heed the social distancing guidelines and contracted the virus. In Oregon, the word is that the smoke from the area fires can make us more susceptible to contracting COVID. 

Regarding Portland BLM protests. . .Earlier in the week the media released a poll that said Oregonians were not pleased with Mayor Ted Wheeler's response, nor Governor Kate Brown's response nor President Trump's response to the protests. Oregonians also felt that riot was a better term for the gatherings rather than the word protests. The respondents views were that the protests hurt the BLM message. 

I don't know if the protests have continued because there hasn't been a media report regarding the protests for at least the last four days. The media is busy covering all the area fires. If the destruction has stopped, perhaps, there is a correlation for appearing in a news story and rioting. Our neighbor changed the lion's hat to a police hat. Evidence of police support is everywhere--in FaceBook posts, blue ribbons worn on clothing and sign boards posted outside of homes and businesses to name a few examples.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Unity--Post 12 Borders Four and Five Quilted

Skinny border four complete
For the second skinny border, I quilted it like I did the first skinny border. It was a little longer than the first skinny border so it took me more time to quilt. 

It wasn't until I was looking at the photo which showed both skinny borders that I realized how repeating the motif nicely framed the stars. Quilting this skinny border gave me the time to ponder and consider what to quilt in the adjoining border!

To start the pinwheel block border, I quilted a circle in the center of the block. Then I quilted the background. I repeated the use of quarter inch lines in the background. The lines give the pinwheels the illusion of movement.

Background lines
To stitch the lines, sometimes, I used the ruler. Sometimes, I used the foot to create the lines. Sometimes, the lines looked straight and sometimes they didn't. The bulk of the seams make it challenging to achieve the straight line. Also, moving the ruler to stitch the next line. . .well, sometimes, I did better than other times. I'm not sure how to get better results. I ripped some lines of stitching, replaced the lines of stitching and sometimes, I decided to leave the lines as they were.

Where I was stumped was how to quilt the red and the blue triangles of the pinwheel. I wanted to quilt a continuous curve because it would repeat the shape from the star legs from the previous border. I tried to talk myself out of quilting a continuous line. I thought it would be too plain. I thought the continuous line might not provide enough coverage. I thought about different ways to vary the continuous curve.

Completed block

In the end, I did quilt a variation of the continuous curve. Each curve is free motion quilted. I marked nothing. While I attempted to make the curves similar, they do vary. I like that the curves vary because it is the mark of my hand and not a computer. It is my artistry which means no one can quilt exactly like me! 

I liked the variation and would use it again. To finish, I stitched the same shapes around the circle. I liked the finished block. I liked how the straight lines gave motion in the whole border.

The next border to quilt is the neutral squares. I have a plan. Let's see how close I come to the vision in my head!

I'm linking up to Longarm Learning.

Portion of the finished border with the other quilted sections


Sunday, September 6, 2020

Behind the scenes with a virtual quilt show

The crew
Our Clark County Quilters guild has held an annual quilt show each April for 44 years. COVID canceled the April 2020 show. The committee moved the 45th annual show to November; but, COVID canceled the in person event. However, committee members decided to take the show virtual. The show will open November 12 at 7PM. The show will be available until the end of December 2020. What a great way to end an upside down year.

When we entered our quilts last February, we submitted an entry form and a photo. Sometimes the photos are of finished quilts. Sometimes the photos are of in process quilts. Sometimes, the photos are of a sketch and fabrics!

Signing in
I submitted an entry the latter way once myself. I was challenged to finish the project in time to hang in the show. I decided that for future entries, I wouldn't experience that kind of stress again! You can read about that entry here.

To take the show virtual, the committee needed a good photo of the finished quilts that we entered. They offered several opportunities for us to bring the quilts to them for a photographic session. They also shared tips for taking photos of our quilts if we chose to photograph the quilts on our own.

I use my cell phone camera to take photographs. I have one wall in the house that works for photographing small to medium quilts; but, the wall isn't a great color because it's a soft yellow. The lighting in the room always gives me a shadow. I also had one quilt that was too large to photograph on the wall. I signed up for the first opportunity to have my entries photographed.

The day was last Tuesday. We all wore masks and for the most part, we all stayed six feet apart. I snapped a few photos of the process. This guild year has been upside down due to the effects of COVID. I decided to post my experience in my blog today.

Karan and Deb hanging Star Patch
When I arrived, I signed in. There were three quilt stands set up to receive quilts. The committee was set up to have six quilts ready for photographing. It didn't take long for the ladies to have my entries up and ready to photograph.

Karan and Deb hung my larger entries. Jean hung the smaller ones. Bev and Sharry snapped the photos. I arrived at 8:55AM and was out the door at 9:15AM! 

I hope the day went as smooth for all the other people who came after me! When the virtual quilt show is available to view, I'll  share the link so you will be able to go to the show from the comfort of your home!

Jean hanging New Beginnings
Speaking of virtual shows, a friend of mine shared a link to the Portland Society for Calligraphy show. Her name is Gema and her exhibit is towards the end. Pour yourself a cup of your favorite drink and enjoy the slide show. 

Regarding my projects, I'm making slow progress on the butterfly collage, the Santa ornaments and the Unity quilt projects. I'm far from a finish on any of those projects! 

Regarding COVID:
Worldwide: 26.9M confirmed; 17.9M recovered; 880K deaths
United States: 6.35M confirmed; 3.41M recovered; 191K deaths
Oregon: 27,601 confirmed; 475 deaths

Tuesday, my granddaughters have their first day of school. They are excited and they will be attending on line classes at least until the end of October.

Thursday, our Clark County Quilters board decided to continue
Bev taking a photo

holding Zoom general meetings until July 2020. Friday, the governor allowed swimming pools to re-open. I'm not sure how facilities will implement the restrictions; but, I'm glad the opportunity to swim again exists! It's been seven months since I've been swimming. I sure miss it.  

Regarding the protests:
For the 14th week, the protests continue. The man who was suspected of firing the shots that killed another man last weekend at the protests, died this week when police tried to arrest him. Last Monday night, 200 people protested outside of Portland mayor Ted Wheeler's condominium home demanding his resignation over his handling of the destructive aspect of the protests.  
Sharry taking a photo

The protest turned into a riot. Protestors started a fire in the street using a nearby picnic table as the fuel. They then broke 
the dental office windows of the business that occupied the lower level of the condominium building. Protestors tossed office supplies including a chair into the fire. 

Surrounding area police departments have not volunteered to help the Portland Police department because the city is choosing not to prosecute offenders that are arrested for misdemeanor offenses. What a mess!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Woven with Love--A 2010 Book Club quilt

Quilt Label
 "Woven with Love" is a quilt that I was inspired to finish in 2010 after reading the historical novel "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society." The book is about how residents coped with the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II. Author Annie Barrows lets us glimpse life though reading letters the residents wrote.

There are a number of characters in the novel and their story lines are interwoven. The interwoven theme was my inspiration. I decided to make a woven quilt. Imagine my delight when I tuned into an episode of "Fons and Porters Love of Quilting" show to see Marianne and Liz stitching a top with a woven quilt pattern! I looked for the pattern in their magazine; but, I wasn't able to purchase it. 

Fortunately, a member from The Quilt Show had a copy of the magazine and generously gave me the magazine. I had drafted the pieces. I was pleased to learn that had I not had the pattern, I would have been able to make it anyway!

I purchased the outer border fabric as well as the larger circle print. The circle print went on the back. The remaining fabrics came from my stash. I had the corn cob print fabric for many years and didn't find a use for it. This was the perfect project to use it since in the book, food became so scarce.

Close up view of quilting

Making the top went well and having the actual directions was great! Yes, it involved partial seams to make the blocks. When it was time to quilt the project, I thought about the friendship circles that were made. I decided to quilt circles across the quilt. Then I thought about how to draw circles. Once day, while I was emptying the dishwasher, I decided my plates, cup and saucer would make great templates! The large circle is the dinner plate, the medium circle is the luncheon plate.

I used a chalk pencil to draw the shape and eyeballed placement. I quilted with a variegated polyester thread using my walking foot.

When I had finished, I thought that it would make a wonderful gift for a baby. On the label, I included care information as well as leaving some space to insert the baby's name and birth information. I'm still waiting to gift the quilt; but, in the meantime, I get to enjoy it!

Back of quilt
For the backing, I pieced it using leftovers from the front. With this project, I started making a pillow case out of similar fabrics to store the quilt with the project. The pillow case also makes great gift wrap! For storing quilts, the pillow case makes it easy for me to pull the quilt that I want to display.

I wanted to bind the quilt with the teal green fabric; but, I didn't have enough. I remember realizing that I had exactly half of what I needed. At a small quilt group gathering, one of the members shared a binding technique that was one fabric on the front and another on the back.

I took notes on how to make the binding and that was how this quilt came into existence! In every quilt that I have made, I've tried something that was new to me. Sometimes there have been several new to me tries! 

I'm thankful for being part of the quilting book club group because I've stretched myself in ways I could not have imagined. I've learned techniques that I would not have attempted.

Finished quilt
I've become more confident with trying different techniques. I've also become better at figuring out what to do with the tries that failed. I've read books that I wouldn't have read on my own. I've participated in wonderful discussions about writers, plots and twists!

I'm posting this project now because I stitched it before I had started this blog. One of my goals this year is to document my book club quilts.

I'm also linking with Rebecca and longarm quilting today. I'm not a longarmer; but, Rebecca has encouraged domestic machine quilters to join her link. I'm learning a lot of tips from those that participate in the link up each week!