Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend Picnic

I live about 3 hours from my parents and sister.  We decided to meet up about half way between us for a Memorial Weekend picnic.  We met at the Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge near Mound City, Missouri.  It was a nice place for a picnic.  There was nobody around (really, maybe 6 other cars drove through the whole time we were there).  We got to see some critters while we were here.



and snakes. My were there snakes.
Snake 02

Snake 01

And we took a family photo.
The Macs 01

I love this one. I snapped it before anybody was ready to prevent the camera from putting itself to sleep. Everybody looks so confused. It just makes me smile.
The Macs 02

Hope you and your family are able to spend some time together this holiday weekend.

Quilts of Valor

Today seemed like an appropriate day to reveal my block for the Quilt of Valor my bee is working on. 

Nikki gave us each a pattern and a bit of the red fabric.  We were to make the pattern and use the red.  Here's what I made.

Quilt of Valor Block 01

Look how perfect these points are! 
Quilt of Valor Block 02

Head on over to the bee's blog or our flickr group to see what the other blocks for this quilt look like. 

Sunday, May 30, 2010

More Pacific Northwest Flowers

sewbot's favorites
I know I've been slacking a little on the sewbot's favorites, so here's one for your viewing pleasure. 

Today I'm loving the flowers of the Pacific Northwest.  These two little guys were from around Portland, Oregon. 
Flower 07
Flower 06

I just couldn't stop taking pictures of beautiful flowers on our trip.  I feel I have to share them with you. 

Hope you don't mind.  :)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Portland, Oregon - Powell's Books

Powell's 03
Powell's Books is an awesome bookstore in Portland. They sell new & used books. It takes up a full city block and claims to be "the largest used and new bookstore in the world." It's quite the place.


Powell's 01

Now, this is a book column done right.

Powell's 02


Powell's 05

Powell's 04

Friday, May 28, 2010

Oregon Coast - Starfish Beach

I don't actually know the name of this beach. It's gorgeous though. It's a little bit north of the Sea Lion Caves, but before you get into the next town.  You can climb all over these rocks and find all sorts of creatures who came up with the tide and stuck around in puddles on the rocks.

This guy was the official host. He greeted us in the parking lot.
Starfish Beach 12

These things covered the rocks.
Starfish Beach 09

Starfish Beach 05

Starfish Beach 04

There were a ton of these green dudes stuck to the rocks. I'm not sure what they are.
Starfish Beach 10

There were a lot of these plant things.
Starfish Beach 08

I found a few of these little guys huddled together.
Starfish Beach 02

These guys were further up into the rocks. But once we found them, they were all over!
Starfish Beach 11

Starfish Beach 07

Starfish Beach 06

Starfish Beach 03

This was the find of the day. The Jason. :)
Starfish Beach 01
How fun is his face here? I love it. :)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Oregon Coast - Sea Lion Caves

The Sea Lion Caves are an awesome place to stop and visit.  It's a rookery that has an elevator built into it, so you can go down and check out all the sea lions hanging out on the rocks.  There's a fence separating you from them, so don't get too worried. 

Sea Lion Caves 05

Sea Lion Caves 04

There is also a little path you can walk out onto.  You can see down to the water where there are more sea lions.  Some loungin', some swimmin', some fighin'. 

Sea Lion Caves 10

Sea Lion Caves 09

Sea Lion Caves 08

From one of the lookout points, you could see this lighthouse.  Isn't it cool?

Sea Lion Caves 06

Don't think sea lions are the only things you'll see, either.  There were a ton of birds.

Sea Lion Caves 03

Sea Lion Caves 02
Sea Lion Caves 01

Last time we were here, we saw a coyote trying to steal eggs from some birds' nests.  Sneaky little devil.

In case you happen to be hungry, don't fret.  They have snacks there, too.  I recommend the popcorn. 

Sea Lion Caves 07

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Oregon Coast - Flying Dutchman Winery

Flying Dutchman is a winery in Otter Rock, Oregon.  Jason and I discovered it on our honeymoon and fell in love with their Coastal Blackberry.  It's super tasty!  When we were there the first time, we picked up one bottle and saved it for our first anniversary (much better than frozen wedding cake!). 

Flying Dutchman 01

This time, we got 2 bottles of the Coastal Blackberry, 1 bottle of the Syrah, and 1 bottle of the Raspberry Mist. 
Flying Dutchman 02
Because we flew out this time, we had to ship them home. Can't wait for them to get here. Those desert wines were so tasty. :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Oregon - Columbia River Gorge

We headed out to the Columbia River Gorge on one of our day trips outside of the city (Portland). 

This is the lodge there.  Pretty neat, eh?
Columbia River Gorge 01

This is the Vista House.  We didn't get to go inside because we were there too early.  Pretty, though isn't it?
Columbia River Gorge 08

This is what one does at the Vista House.  View things.
Columbia River Gorge 07

And what things does one view?  These things of course.Columbia River Gorge 06

This place was filled with all sorts of waterfalls.
Columbia River Gorge 02

Columbia River Gorge 03

Columbia River Gorge 04

Columbia River Gorge 05

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blogger Quilt Festival

Amy at Amy's Creative Side is once again hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  The quilt I'm going to share for the Spring 2010 festival is the Bastille Baby Quilt.

This quilt was made a few months ago for my sister-in-law's baby-boy-to-be (phew!  That's a lot of hyphens!).  Baby Bastille got his name because of his due date.  He's due on July 14th, Bastille Day.  Don't worry, the baby won't actually be named Bastille.  We just refer to him as that because his name hasn't been decided just yet.  The last baby to be born in the family we called Giblet, but he turned out to be a Lucas, so things will work out I'm sure.  :)

So, the Baby Bastille Quilt is one of my own designs.  I was inspired by Oh, Fransson's Canasta Quilts.  I wanted my blocks smaller, so I came up with 4 different block designs.  I did 3 of each block, giving me a total of twelve 10" (finished) blocks.  I added sashing in my design.  I also used the same fabric in each of the center blocks.

The final result:

Front - Full
Back - Full

I think the photograph below does a pretty good job of showing how much the quilting wrinkled when I washed it.  It was the most that has ever happened on one of my quilts.  I love it! 
Quilting Shadows

I think the back looks like an elephant's skin.
Back - Quilting

For the quilting on this one, I did a custom pattern.  Jason and I scanned in the fabric I used for the sashing.  We traced a few of the leaves and made templates for me to trace on the quilt. 
Leaf template

Here's a detail shot of one of the blocks on the front.  I did a 10" block with 4 rings around the focus fabric. 
Front - Detail

Here's a detail shot of the little guys I put on the back.  I did 5" blocks with only two rings around the center focus fabric. 
Back - Detail

It was a fun quilt to make.  I'm working on my first quilt-along using this pattern.  Look for it sometime in July (I hope). 

Thanks, Amy for putting together another festival.  It's fun to see what others are working on & your festival is a great place to see a lot at once.  :)