Sunny Sunday

It was a beautiful day yesterday. Sunny and warm...sorry you back east snow people. I don't mean to rub it in. Here in the rainy Northwest, we relish a sunny day in February. Our weather has been very warm this winter, and it shows in a lack of snow pack. If we don't get some snow in the mountains, it's going to be a dry summer for the folks in the valley.

Mike and I got out for a walk. I took him some place he hadn't been before, but Sue and I walk this trail fairly frequently. It's the Cooper Mountain Nature Trail. Here's the route we took:

Sue and I walked this trail for the first time last April. I wrote a blog post about it with lots of pictures of wildflowers. You can see it right here. There weren't any wildflowers yesterday. Most green things have the good sense to keep their flowers to themselves right now, and so I didn't take many pictures. We saw a lot of this little green ground cover:

They're always working on the trail, restoring it to its natural state. Many of the trails in the park were logging roads at one time. This is a relatively new park, and well-used by its neighbors, including us. Yesterday, I noticed that some bird houses had been erected, this one right next to the trail.

It's a fairly strenuous hike, the first half all downhill...which of course means that the way out is all uphill. Fortunately, the steepest sections are followed by fairly level areas and switchbacks, and so one can walk it without feeling too wiped out in the end. Nevertheless, we were hungry when we finished, and so we stopped on the way home for some Subway sandwiches.

I had in mind to sew when we got home, but for whatever reason, I found that I could no longer stand the pile of printed off and torn out quilt patterns littering my closet shelf. Honestly, if it had been as tidy as the image below, I might have been able to bear it another day.

My patterns are stored in HUGE notebooks with plastic page protectors and index tabs. It all sounds well organized, but my pattern collection has outgrown my system of organization to the point that it's really not useful any more. I think the last three times I've attempted to organize them, I've sworn off printing any more patterns, purchasing any more patterns, or tearing out any more patterns. Do I listen to myself? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. And so it continues thus. Maybe this will be the time I swear off more patterns for good. (Now it's your turn to laugh.) Anyway...all of that to say that I didn't work on the Dream Machines quilt yesterday. No more spools.

The 4th challenge for Project Quilting was announced yesterday...something about "Hearts". For whatever reason, the theme does not appeal to me at all. It did get me organizing my patterns, looking for inspiration. I found a few things I could work with, but it isn't motivating me much. The recent passing of Valentine's Day has me fairly well burned out on hearts, I think, and so I probably won't make anything for this one. Don't hold me to that because I could change my mind before I finish writing this post. For now, I'm thinking I just want to continue on with the Dream Machines and finish that off before I get distracted with some other project.

Speaking of Valentine's Day, Mike and I went out for dinner last night at a very nice restaurant in our little town of Newberg called The Painted Lady. As members of several wine clubs, we usually grab a bottle of wine from our own wine cellar. Our wine cellar doubles as my sewing room. It's a good mix, don't you think? We grabbed a bottle of pinot noir on the way out the door.

It was a special Valentine's Day prix fixe menu. That's "fixed price" to you. I just like to to use my snotty French accent whenever possible. Here's the menu:

Mike and I perused the menu, making our choices, only to realize that there were no choices. We were served up the entire menu. Daunting, isn't it? Actually each course came with just a few bites. It was perfect. We had enough of each item to give us a really good taste, and yet, when we left at the end of the devil's food cake course, we didn't feel overly stuffed or uncomfortable. Did you see how quickly I glossed over that "devil's food cake" comment? Oh. My. Gosh. That was delicious.

Between organizing my patterns and stuffing my face, I started working on the 4th block for Lisa's Retirement Quilt. This one was created by her son Michael.

It's a pencil holder he made when he was in 7th grade. He was supposed to give it to his favorite teacher. I had it finished except for some of the embroidery when we left for dinner last night. Then I woke up at the butt crack of dawn this morning with it on my mind. I had to get up and finish it. Here it is rendered in fabric and floss:

The next one will be this one by Lisa's daughter, Sarah. Sarah drew this one out.

I'm considering using the technique I learned with the Candycane Square quilt blocks to first use crayon to color the white background fabric, and then embroider around those areas in black floss. I might change my mind, but that seems the most likely right now.

Today I'm getting my eyes examined. It's only been a year, but with all the embroidery work I do, I'm already noticing that my prescription needs to be bulked up a little. Then, my guild meeting is tonight. The speaker is Dawn White of First Light Designs. I haven't heard of her before, but just now I did an internet search and came up with her blog. She seems to be kind of a traditional quilter, and so I'm looking forward to seeing her trunk show. I've taken over writing blog posts about the meetings for our guild, and so you can bet I'll be telling you all about her trunk show too.

And that's about all I know for today. I've been moving kind of slow this morning...the side effect of arising at the butt crack of dawn. It's sunny again today, but very windy. I'll probably fill the bird feeders and then get back to work on my spools. I'm thinking my eyes are going to dilated when I get them checked, which means I won't be able to see anything afterward.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Andee said...

Yay for hiking and for organizing..I always feel great after getting organized!

Colleen Yarnell said...

LOL! I too have binders full of patterns what I do know is download patterns to my ipad. if I save it to a doc I upload it to my kindle library or my google docs. i also only buy digital patterns and up load them all. I dont buy alot though. I have an ipad stand by my sewing machine and can easily have the pattern in front of me and zoom in as needed. And with airprint can print pattern pieces as needed

Vroomans' Quilts said...

What a menu! I would have been happy with the rabbit (shameful) and the cake. I felt great after trimming my 6 notebooks down to just 2 - and hopefully later this year - down to just one. One has to be realistic.

quiltzyx said...

After your "little" walk, you two deserved that lovely dinner.
Boy am I glad I'm not a pattern collector! I have enough other crapola to fill any spaces I have, that's for sure.
I think the pencil block would look great in crayon!

Dana Gaffney said...

You made me very happy that I don't collect patterns, I have one binder from the early days which is probably full of really easy quilts. I had to read this twice "restoring it to it's natural state", you sent my mind into overdrive, LOL.

Tami C said...

That looks like a really nice nature walk, but I'd rather finish downhill instead of up! That dinner you had sounds wonderful. I would love to have a meal like that with a tasting portion of each dish. How wonderful!

KMSC said...

My husband and I will definitely hike the Cooper Mt Nature Trail and the Painted Lady restaurant sounds interesting. Thanks for the tips! I think you will enjoy Dawn White's presentation. She spoke at the guild to which I belong and I loved her presentation and trunk show. She also teaches at The Pine Needle quilt shop. BTW, your quilt is coming along nicely!

Kate said...

Your Valentine's dinner sounds like lots of good food and fun. The apple block turned out perfectly. Looking forward to seeing all the progress on your sewing machine quilt.

Lyndsey said...

With that heap of patterns no wonder you can usually find some inspiration. Although I'm not sure about stopping collecting more patterns after all is it possible to have too many? The dinner menu looks fabulous.

Brown Family said...

That looks like a great place to hike. I need to get out and start walking, however, we are expecting snow and Ice by Monday! I think the crayon idea is perfect tor the next block!

Your patterns remind me of my friends house! She is going through hers, too!