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:
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.