New Year's Eve Eve

It's been a busy and harrowing couple of days, and I have a little bit of a tale to tell you today. If you've been following along, then you know we just returned from a trip to Bend, Oregon. Some good friends bought a house and relocated there just this past October.

Bend is a mid-sized resort town.  It started as a logging town ("logging", not "blogging") but is now identified as a gateway for many outdoor sports, including mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, rock climbing, white-water rafting, skiing, paragliding and golf. As you might guess, it's a vacation destination, and it's location in Central Oregon makes it a quick drive for much of the state looking a nice change of scenery.

It was snowing as we crossed over the Santiam Pass on Saturday, but the roads were clear.

We arrived at our friends' home late Saturday afternoon and walked to a restaurant close by for dinner that night. The next morning we went for a walk along the Deschutes River that runs through the middle of town. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Show me a body of water, and I'll show you some Canada Geese.

That image above was taken from a walkway that extends out into the water a little ways. You can see it in the image below that I snapped when we crossed a bridge over the river to the other side.

Look in the other direction, and this is what you see.

It was a nice day, although it was very, very cold. You can tell because any water that wasn't moving was frozen. The lighting was strange for the cattail image below, but I liked it anyway.

We didn't walk far. It was too cold, and that cold weather doesn't do my bum knee any good. We did a little bit of shopping. I think this is a good look for Mike. What do you think?

We were reading dire weather predictions while we were there, and sure enough, it was snowing like crazy when we awakened Monday morning. We were in our camper, but our truck is outfitted with studded snow tires, and so we weren't too worried about the trip home that day.

We followed behind this truck for a while, and I posted this image to Facebook, quipping that it was going to take some "Elfin Magic" to get us over the Santiam Pass that day. (Little did I know...)

We passed through Sisters, Oregon, home of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show and one of my favorite quilt shops, The Stitchin' Post. I've written a review of The Stitchin' Post right here. When we drive through Sisters, we never fail to stop here.

They had a good sale going on, but I didn't buy anything. (I know...I had Mike check my forehead to see if I was running a fever.) That accomplished, we continued on our way. Conditions were treacherous, but we felt on solid ground with our studded snow tires.

The heavily snow-laden branches gave us a clue that snow had been falling for a long time.

When we reached the summit, we were feeling pretty good about the trip up to that point.

The windshield wipers chose just about that moment to stop working, and that was something of a disaster. We pulled off into this snow park where folks were having a blast sledding and Mike investigated.

He turned the motor off while he got out to futz with them. He couldn't find anything wrong, and when he turned the engine back on, they were working again. Go figure. Anyway...on we went, passing access to the Pacific Crest Trail (for you Cheryl Strayed fans).

The sun came out and the road was starting to clear up some since the weather was much better on the western side of the Cascades. We passed Blue Lake

where the view was beautiful. We were commenting on the improved road conditions when Mike stated, "Yeah, but those shady areas are probably patches of ice." 

About a minute later, we came within feet of being involved in a very serious automobile accident. Sure enough, a big Chevrolet Yukon was coming up the hill in the opposite direction. We surmise that he must have accelerated just a little bit, but he had no traction devices on his vehicle and the rear end broke loose, spinning him into the oncoming lane of traffic (our lane). We were following behind a Toyota Sequoia that took the brunt of the collision. Being so close to the "action", we were certain we were going to hit the Toyota from behind. Mike said (calm as can be), "We're screwed." I just shut my eyes and braced for the impact. Miraculously, Mike was able to steer through the flying shrapnel and off into the snow at the side of the road, and we avoided colliding with the Toyota. Good grief. 

The folks in the Toyota were injured. The front seat passenger had hit the dashboard, but was out of the car and walking around, a big goose egg already visible on her forehead. The driver was fairly seriously injured and trapped in the car. His airbag had deployed and no doubt saved his life. There was, of course, no cell service in the area. Lots of people had stopped and folks were running up and down the hill trying to find a cell signal. We have Onstar, and Mike was able to call rescue vehicles. We could be of little help, and there were plenty of folks milling around. We gave the driver some water. Others provided blankets. We gave our information to one of the passengers in the Toyota since we witnessed the whole thing, and then we figured we could just move along. They can contact us if they need to. 

So. That happened. That's as close as I ever want to come to being in a serious accident. We are certain our studded snow tires saved us. We continued on our way, passing rescue vehicles along the way. We were fine, but that sure had our adrenals pumping. Mike was complaining about being drowsy just before it happened, and he was wide awake after that.

Fast forward to this morning, and we've been home and had a good night's sleep. I finished up my Quilting Snowladies this morning.

Before we left for Bend, I prepared the first block for my newest project, the Gingerbread Square quilt.

I'm doing the block in the upper left corner. It's something new for me. I first needed to trace out the design onto white fabric.

Here's where I'm doing something I've never done before. The design is first shaded and tinted with crayon. It's been a long time since I've done any coloring, and so I treated myself to a brand new box of Crayons. Do you remember the thrill of perfectly sharp and unbroken crayons? I sure do. I felt like a little kid opening this box.

Not claiming to be an artist of any kind...meaning, I've never taken a single art class in my life...I was wishing the directions had been a little more specific beyond "tint" and "shade" because this confused me some.

The picture with the pattern really was no help since I couldn't tell any difference between the areas that were supposedly tinted and the areas that were shaded.

It said to first completely color the "tinted" areas with white, and so I just forged ahead, the directions firmly planted in my mind and clear as mud.

My thinking is that by first coloring in white, the end result is a lighter shade than it would be without the white. 

When I was all finished with the coloring, I covered the piece with paper towels and heat set the color with my iron. Now that I've done this once and I get the idea, it should be easier when I do the next block. The iron kind of melts the wax into the fabric, and so essentially, you're dying the fabric with crayon.

And now it's all ready to stitch. I'll start on that later today or else tomorrow morning. I'm kind of excited about this project because I think it's going to be cute. By the way, can you see that I missed a section in the green sucker up there? I fixed that.

So today I need to make a quick trip to the grocery store. We have nothing in the fridge for dinner tonight or tomorrow. Also, the kids are coming up for a ham dinner on New Years Day, and so I need to pick up some things for that.

This being Tuesday, it's time to link up to:

Val's Quilting Studio

Today's theme is "Log Cabin Quilts". I haven't made a whole lot of log cabin quilts, although I've done some log cabin borders. Nevertheless, I do have one of my earliest creations to show you.  This was about my third or fourth quilt. Log Cabin blocks can be made in a variety of ways. The original patten for this quilt was called "Blue Betty" and I changed the name of mine to "Blue Moon". I mention this because apparently this layout is in the "Betty" style. At one time I could have linked to some information about the log cabin block that would have explained that term, but I have been unable to find it for you at this writing.

I wasn't very good about taking pictures of my quilts at the time, and so the picture above is how the quilt top looked before it was quilted. It went to my talented long arm quilter, Erin Davis, and when it came back, she'd done a beautiful job of quilting it. It passed Gracie's "cat scan". (Thank you to Sharon V. for that term.) In fact, Gracie posed so pretty on this quilt that she won a photography contest a few years back with her image below.

The blocks for this style are constructed by making strip sets, then cutting them into triangles, then sewing them back together. There are two ways of cutting the triangles, one going from light to dark, and the other from dark to light, and that creates the shadow and light pattern.

The hardest part of making this quilt was choosing the fabrics, and I wasn't very experienced doing that at the time. Thank goodness some women at my LQS helped me out.

Glad to be back blogging, as opposed to being in the hospital after that close call we had. I hope your weekend was less eventful.


Quilter Kathy said...

So glad you are safe and sound, and able to start a new project... it looks like lots of fun!

Vicki W said...

Wow, what an adventure!

Ann said...

Thank goodness for your snow tires. Love the new coloring project. Looks like a lot of fun. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

Love the gingerbread! Scary scary trip!

Teresa in Music City said...

Very scary indeed! We had a similar experience on our way back from retreat this past fall. Don't want to ever again!!!! Love your snowladies :) And looking forward to seeing your Gingerbread houses - I can still smell the heaven of opening a new box of Crayolas as a girl!!!

barbara woods said...

Glad you'll are o k. That pattern looks interesting!

Wendy said...

How exciting! Glad you're both all right.

Dana Gaffney said...

Wow, good for Mike to be able to steer clear of that especially with the trailer on the back, you guys are very lucky. Tinting is light and all over, while shading is for more detail and darker. Now that I taught you that, please tell me what Mike saw through the chameleon goggles, I absolutely would have had to buy those. The quilt and Gracie are stunning.

Janarama said...

Awesome pictures of the scenery! So happy that you and Mike are back home safe and sound after that close call. You had an angel or two watching over you that day, for sure. It's no wonder that picture of Gracie won an award. She's a beauty! I'll be watching how you progress with your coloring quilt ... such a unique technique.

CathieJ said...

I love that log cabin quilt. I enjoy working on them. I am going to bookmark this page to show my daughter as I plan to make her a quilt and I want her to pick the pattern. She likes geometric quilts.

Kate said...

Glad you made it home safe and sound. We visited Bend when we were in Oregon about 9 years ago. We made the drive from Bend back to the coast in the dark, not the most comfortable driving when you aren't used to mountain driving. I can't imagine driving those roads in snow and ice.

Your new project is going to be so pretty. I'll look forward to seeing how it come together.

Jeanie said...

Phew! My heart was beating fast as I read this. So grateful that you arrived safe and sound. Although that beautiful weather is stunning, it's also quite treacherous and needs to be treated with respect. Bet that Yukon driver will slow it down in the future. So now, sit down in the comfort of your warm home with your sweet kitties and stitch away!

Anonymous said...

Love that log cabin!!! Such a fascinating construction! That was quite the trip! I'm thankful you were able to side step that horrible situation! Now, onward to the 'normal' dailies! Happy New Year!

Marei said...

Glad to hear you made it back from Bend safely....I would hate to have to drive on our icy, below freezing, freeways to get over and see you in the "hostibal" as we say in our house. You KNOW I love that Blue Moon quilt. Still on my 'to do' list since seeing it last April. Maybe 2015 will be the year. Have a wonderful New Year's Eve with the family. Give my love to Mike.

Debbie said...

I enjoy your travels....but this one was a wild one. So glad all are safe.

WoolenSails said...

That is scary, driving in that, but I guess if you are used to it. I have no problem with the snow, it is the other drivers that scare me;) Love the new quilt, that is going to be fun to make.


Soapstone Quilts said...

We were in our first ever auto accident on 12/10...similar in that the driver coming from the other direction must have put on her brakes & her back end lost traction and she ended up across both lanes...DH did a mighty job trying to avoid her and almost pulled it off, but she was too close when she went sideways across our lane. Fortunately none of us was seriously hurt, but it was awful seeing her coming at us. We hope to get our repaired truck back in mid January. We were thankful to be in a truck rather than a smaller car or it probably woukd have been a very different story.

Cherry said...

So glad & thankful to hear you & Mike are back home safe & sound!! Thanks for sharing the beautiful scenery. All the best for 2015! I'll be back to link up tomorrow.

KatieQ said...

What a blessing that Mike is a good driver. It's scary to be that close to a major accident. Seeing your new crayon box made me smile. Getting new crayons was one of my favorite things about starting school each year.

Junebug613 said...

I'm so glad you and Mike were able to avoid the accident and were able to call for help for the injured. I have experienced a close call myself, so I know your hearts were pumping really good for a long while afterward. Crayons are one of those things we should never stop using. They are the most magical pieces of colored wax, aren't they? I can't wait to watch your project develop! Miss Gracie is such a pretty girl. I have yet to try any log cabin patterns.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

That elfin magic was with you all the way for sure - so glad that disaster was diverted for you.. Oh, I love the smell of a new box of crayons!!

Beth said...

Well, good grief. I went away for a night and you were on my mind and now I find out you were having loads of "excitement". When we heard about the big weather headed our way, I took our sweet dog and we treated ourselves to a hotel room the night before her chemo treatment, so no scary early morning car rides for us. (I am not the driver Mike is.) Not the ideal vacation, but sometimes you make your good times where you find them, and Nanny and I can have a good time just by being together.

Hey, I wanted to thank you for your 2014 round-up. Seeing everything you accomplished, especially all the completed projects from years past, really motivated me and I am just about to put the finishing touches on a wall-hanging that has been languishing for way too long. How does it feel to be an inspiration?

Michele said...

Whew! I'm very glad that both of you are ok. And of course the new box of crayons brings me all sorts of visions of possibilities. The gingerbread houses are going to be so adorable.

liniecat said...

Heavens thank goodness your both fine! Did you have the cats with you too?
That kind of weather would put me off the travelling although theres doubtless some stunning scenes to see along the way. Spot on tyres, thankfully.
Hadn't ever seen that crayon colouring technique and they appear to be normal crayons and not especially for fabric dyeing, so cheaper!!
Love those chameleon glasses lol
Wishing you health and happiness for 2015 and an endless supply of safe tyres!

Kate said...

Thank goodness it was a close call! I'm sure you've already realized this, since I'm behind on blogs, but take some Aleve or your pain reliever of choice. Tensing up like that will hurt even if you didn't hit anything. And massive kudos to Mike for managing to stop!

Diane Wild said...

I'm behind on blog reading but caught some of this on FB. Man, that was a close call. When you mentioned Cheryl S. I just heard an interview on NPR with her so I'm ordering her book at the library. Happy New Year, Barbara and Mike. Gracie & Smitty, too. Cheers.

LethargicLass said...

Thank goodness you two are ok! I was holding my breath while reading... I would be devastated if anything happened to you! *HUGS*

quiltzyx said...

Was Mike wearing the chameleon glasses at the time he so masterfully kept you from participating in that crunchy crash? Glad he was able to keep his cool & steer away from it.
The latest Snow Ladies look wonderful! And the new Gingerbread stitchery looks like it will be another fab one too!
I'm still up in NoCal with my sister & BIL - you may have read on FB that we were without power for about 18 hours yesterday. I found out this morning that the high winds blew a tree over onto some power lines just down the block from here. It was very strange - the power went out and on & out & on & out & on - maybe 6 or 7 times in a few minutes, almost like a loose connection, then was out for the count. It was chilly, but I had my President's quilt with me & Judy & Walter have quilts I made for them, so we just bundled up & lit some candles. It was funny, even Elizabeth, their cat, sat in front of the TV & stared at it, like "What's going on? Where's my show?" LOL

Judy1522 said...

So glad you are safe and didn't end up as part of the accident. The way some people drive in the snow is always to me the worst part of it. I was in Bend in October and went to a quilt shop called Sew Many Quilts that I thought was a nice shop. I never get to stop in the one in Sisters as nobody else in the car with me ever wants to stop. I think I will drive next time and then I can just stop when I choose to.

Brown Family said...

How Scary! I am so glad you had good snow tires and made it home safe!

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

Glad you got home safely. My inlaws had to travel thru snow and some ice, down in Texas/New Mexico this week. Scary, and they had to stop for closed roads.