Free Day Friday

The weather was so beautiful for our walk yesterday. Sue and I took advantage of the week of relatively dry weather to walk the Fanno Creek Trail, and it was lovely. For years we've walked this trail, and all along, there has been a beaver dam in one place along the trail. It's hard to find it in summer when the trees are filled in with greenery. In fall, it's easy to find.

It was hard to find a good view of it with so many sticks and brambles in the way. In any case, I always think a picture like this is better with sound, and so I took a video of the waterfall flowing over the dam.

If you can't see the video, then click right here

Tualatin Parks & Recreation has been working for years to restore these wetlands and to repair the integrity of the creek bank. After walking here through season after season and year after year, the improvement we've seen has been significant. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the creek tends to overflow its banks and then floods the park during our rainy season. Recently, I heard a story on NPR about cities that are working to attract beavers back to what was once their natural habitat. Apparently beavers and their dams actually can be beneficial to control flooding. The story I've linked to there actually takes place in the UK, but I know that there are other cities across the United States endeavoring to do the same thing. I mention this only because Sue and I spotted a second beaver dam on the trail yesterday. There is another creek nearby that feeds into Fanno Creek, and I have seen a beaver dam there as well.

So it was beautiful walking along yesterday. Most of the trees have lost their leaves now, and they are lying in piles on the ground. I like the red ones best.

This next image was a large-ish tree covered in pretty red berries. Sue thought this might be Mountain Ash. After looking up that link, I think she's right.

Of course I took pictures of every blooming thing, although at this time of year, not much is blooming. I believe this is viburnum. It was quite fragrant.

Growing right beside it, this rose was blooming.

After our walk, I picked up a few things at the grocery store, as I always do when I'm in town. I was lucky to find some chanterelle mushrooms at one of the upscale markets. We received some red chard in last week's CSA share. When I have red chard on hand, I always look to make Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto. We'll be having that for dinner tonight. Quite a while back, I wrote a little kitchen adventure about the risotto, and you can find the recipe right here. If you're able to find some chanterelle mushrooms, I can promise you it will be seriously one of the best things you ever eat. I'm making myself hungry just writing about it.

When I got home, I continued with my ongoing quest to use the jars of apple pie filling still in the refrigerator by making this apple pie for two. This isn't a good picture, but believe me, it went down just fine with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This is actually a pie for four...or a pie for two for two nights, which is our favorite way to eat it.

As for the apple pie filling, I'm down to three quarts. I'll be using one of them next weekend when we're expecting a house guest for a couple of days. Sue has offered to take one off my hands as well, and so there will be just one left. Never let it be said that sweet apple pie filling went to waste at the Three Cats Ranch. In fact, just perish that thought for good right now.

This morning I finished up my current hoop's worth of Hocuspocusville. Of the 12 blocks, this one has the most detail and, therefore, the most stitching. I'd say I'm about 60% done at this point.

Now it's hooped up for the next round of stitching. 

Today I'm going to get to work on the Happy Village quilt I mentioned in yesterday's post. Also, I'm experimenting with threads for when I quilt the Gingerbread Square quilt next month. I'm looking for a good pearlescent thread to quilt the snow. With that in mind, I recently went in search of something appropriate. I've purchased the smallest spools I can find to see how they perform and whether they give me the effect that I want. I purchased two spools, and then realized I had this one on hand. I believe I purchased this one from Superior Threads, although I don't find a brand name on it.

Technically, these are white metallic threads. It doesn't show in the picture, but they have just a little bit of sparkle to them.

One of the two I purchased was this one from Sulky.

And again, the sparkle doesn't really show up in the picture. It's wound on a small spool, and so that curl bothers me a little. I might need a thread stand for this one to allow it to unwind more on its way to the needle.

The other was this one...and I really didn't know what I was getting with this.

To be fair, it was advertised as being for bobbin work, couching, and serger...none of which have I ever done, and so what do I know? Nothing, that's what.

And clearly, this is simply not going to work for quilting. It's a very heavy thread, almost like embroidery floss. 

So I'll put that one in the box with the rest of my embroidery floss. I'm sure I'll use it at some point, but not for quilting.

And all of that thread talk to say that I'm going to spend some time experimenting with some snow motifs I have in mind for the Gingerbread Square quilt and see how these threads do. For that, I'll need to make up a few practice sandwiches. Aside from the risotto, there's really nothing else on the agenda. We're back to rainy weather, and so it's an NBS day (nothing but sewing). Can't beat that.

12 comments from clever and witty friends:

Pamela said...

It was such a beautiful day in Beaverton as well! I had a great time walking the trails near my daughters home with the grand-kids, saw some beaver dams and lots of local wildlife and gorgeous fall leaves!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Looks like you had a lovely walk - the leaf ground coverer is beautiful. A rose!! I just passed on all my specialty threads to a crazy quilter - just wasn't using them enough. I'm sure they don't have a shelf life, but would rather have someone use them.

Marei said...

Barbara that is indeed a mountain ash and I just learned this year that you can make jam/jelly from it!! One more project for you. Only criteria is the berries need to have had a freeze...either outdoors naturally or in your freezer...to develop the taste and make them less bitter. I've got berries on the tree in the park and was thinking about picking them but perhaps I'll leave them for the birds this year.

Lyndsey said...

Definitely Mountain Ash or Rowan. You can make Rowan jelly with the berries but they are poisonous when raw. Beavers have been reintroduced in several areas in the UK. It caused some controversy at first but that seems to have settled down now. Love the apple pie. It has to be my favourite dessert.

quiltzyx said...

Thanks for the waterfall video! It's wonderful that beavers are getting reestablished there. Love the fallen leaves shot. Such great colors.
Have fun practicing with all those threads. :)
Risotto and apple pie sounds like a lovely dinner to me - enjoy!!

WoolenSails said...

That looks like a beautiful place to walk. We saw a beaver nest in a hidden pond, but no Beavers came up.


claudia said...

The picture of the red leaves made me think that those colors would make a fabulous quilt. Can you imagine sleeping under all those beautiful colors! Hocuspocusville is coming along so fast!
I loved listening to the waterfall. It was ALMOST as good as being there.

Dana Gaffney said...

I love the changing leaves, we have a few here that turned brown when the branch broke in the hurricane :)

VickiT said...

Lots of pretty threads. I don't know what machine you have, but thought I'd give you a link to a Husqvarna video on couching. It does take a special foot (or in this case the kit has 2 different feet and those mounting 'arms' you will see in the video) but the thread you have shown is put into the special feet and a metallic or other type thread is what is used in the needle. The machine is put into Free Motion to the couching. Here is the video link to watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4c6p2Gb0ps

I have seen this done on quilts, although many were crazy quilts but I have seen others use couching on a regular quilt to add definition and sparkle too.

VickiT said...

I thought since I posted the other link to that video that I'd also post one showing Bobbin Work for you to see. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSQo-mEkfbk

For my Husqvarna machine, I had to buy a Specialty Bobbin Case so it could hold a little more thread and allow it to go through correctly. If I recall, the thread bypasses the regular thread path used for normal sewing.

Brown Family said...

I would be concerned about the curl on that second thread. The last one is definitely not for quilting. I have attempted Bobbin work before and I was not fond of it!

Kate said...

What a fabulous walk! We have a beaver family, complete with dam on the little stream down the road from us. They got busy a couple of years ago and built a dam that backed water up over the road, the city took that one out, but the beaver family stayed anyway.