Monday, July 30, 2012

Quilt store shopping

We made a stop in Rupert Idaho, outside of Twin Falls for shopping at a store Idaho resident, Colene, emailed me about.  She claimed the store was awesome, and they did not disappoint.  

The Gathering Place is a large LQS with lots of room and a wonderful layout.  Best of all they had lots of sale fabrics.  I don't normally frequent quilt shops--my budget runs more towards JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart (the ones that still carry fabric), and of course thrift stores.

I found these fabrics, all on sale except the batik and the Moda black & white stripe.  I've been looking for a nice B&W stripe.  Colene had tipped me off to the back room for sale fabrics, but they also had some outside the front of the store.  I was amazed at the selection and quality of wool fabric they had...though I didn't buy any wool.  They also had lots of patterns for wools, so many of them done up for inspiration.  

I picked up this kitty words print at one of the Wal-Marts where we went grocery shopping for $2/yd.  The "greeter" alerted me to the sales in their fabric section when I walked in.  I must look like a quilter? 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Twin Falls

We took a southern Canadian route back to the U.S. along Crowsnest Pass.  It was a beautiful day, sunny, and we enjoyed the beautiful Canadian Rockies landscape.  Happened to go through Frank Slide area, which was quite a site, so many years after the rock slide.  Makes you kind of wonder what's holding the rest of rocks up on the mountain, but the waitress where we had lunch assured us that they monitor the mountain for any signs that there will be another slide.

Spent the night in Missoula where we caught this awesome sunset.  We were trying to get to Twin Falls for Dale to catch the air show there.  Had a couple of long days driving, but arrived in Twin Falls in plenty of time.  

We happened to catch some people getting ready to parasail off the Perrine Bridge, and so decided to wait and watch.  They didn't disappoint.  It was hard to catch them as it happened much too quickly.  Lots of preparation for a short ride!
We spent the afternoon checking out Shoshone Falls which seemed pretty spectacular despite claims that water levels are low due to irrigation.  
We're ready to start heading home and will make a beeline for Willard.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Lucky with only minor damage...

 On the way back from Banff Park, we stopped for a good walk at Siffleur Falls staging area.  Walked across the suspension bridge and followed a boardwalk which had been built to protect the eroding path, but the falls themselves were too far.
Although the day remained cloudy and it drizzled off and on all day, it was still beautiful.  Fields of wildflowers blooming all along the trail.

It was full day, as so many days are vacationing.  Getting ready to head out Dale discovers that the hail storm made a hole in our bedroom roof vent lid.  He fashions a repair with silicone and a piece of plastic since duct tape refused to stick to the plastic lid.  

Checking his repair down the road, he discovers it has pulled off, along with more of the lid.  We need to replace it and find one, reasonably priced, and after a bit of work Dale is able to remove the old one and replace it.  Nothing is ever just easy, but we still feel incredibly lucky to have sustained only minor damage in the storm.   

Glaciers, mountains, and bears, oh my...

We left our campsite at Crimson Lake and headed to Banff.  It was a gray, rainy, and drizzly day off and on.  It was about 130 miles to the Icefield Centre, along a scenic two lane highway.  
We drove alongside Abraham Lake, which was a beautiful milky turquoise color.  I've since learned it's due to rock flour or glacial flour.  My pictures need some touching up to make them more true to color.

A bit past this lake we came upon two bears playing alongside the road.  I made Dale turn around and I managed to snap a picture of this one before he retreated into the woods along with his buddy.
 Banff Park was expectedly congested with sightseers.  There were many bicycle riders, which made driving on the narrow two-lane road challenging.  We were so happy not to be towing the camper behind us.  Dale drove up to the Icefield Centre, while I ogled the scenery, and I drove back while he did the same. 

 A milky turquoise river from a high vantage point.  There were so many patches of wild flowers, Indian paintbrush, clover, and many more I'm not familiar with.  I took many pictures of wildflowers and want to do some fabric art in the style of Monika Whalen of My Sweet Prairie blog.

We also saw a fox on the way back but was it was too quick to get a good picture. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The wilder side...

We leave Leduc and take a secondary road south through farms on our way to Crimson Lake Provicial Park.  We want to get away from "parking lot" camping lifestyle, though it has its merits.  It's raining all day as we head south and west.

We are favored with a nice campsite which takes a bit of maneuvering on Dale's part to get the trailer in.  A respite from the rain and we set up and go check out the lake.  We manage to enjoy some sunshine at the lake, wading until Dale found a leech...eeeeekk!  A beautiful loon came close to us twice for lots of good looks and I like them even more since discovering that they eat leeches.

The wind started blowing and and it looked like our nice weather was about to  end.  We headed back to the camper, ate supper, and played cards until a storm interrupted our game.  It brought wind, rain, and then marble sized hail which quickly covered the ground at our campsite.  The hail and rain subsided and we heard some crackling and pops which we attributed to fireworks.  After a while, activity on the campground road, made us venture out to look.  Trees had snapped off and uprooted, crashing into campers, tents, vehicles!!

Directly in front of our campsite many trees had come down, one hitting this big RV.  Campground workers quickly moved the tree off the camper with their equipment.  We found out later from another camper that there was quite a bit of destruction, but fortunately no injuries.   
 The people in this campsite took off--too close for comfort.  We figured the worst was over, and we had nowhere else to go. 

Monday, July 23, 2012


Unfortunately, the place we wanted to stay, Pembina Provincial Park, was all booked up as we headed up to Edmonton.  We were fortunate to find a great, full services park in Leduc, just twenty minutes from the big city with lots of amenities.  

Dale spent Friday and Sunday at the race venue.  There were other races besides the Indy car race on Sunday.  Saturday we went to town and took in Muttart Conservatory.  A perfect place for intermittent rainy weather.  

The RV park operated by the Lions in Leduc was wonderful.  There was a multi-use path that went from the park around a lake, and beyond.  Lots of good birding, and raspberries and Saskatoon berries growing along the path.  

I had intentions of picking enough berries to freeze and take home for making jam, but the mosquitoes had other ideas!  I got enough to just cook down and make some berry marbled pancakes.  Had never tried Saskatoon berries--I thought they were choke cherries, but they were more similar to blueberries with a slightly more tart flavor.  
 We were treated to a beautiful sunset our last evening in Leduc, which belied the saying about red sky at night, sailor's delight, unless sailors like rainy weather which is what was coming our way.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

In Canada

We crossed into Canada, and our Tracfone promptly shut off and quit working.  We hadn't expected that, and I let friends and family know that we would be out of touch, by phone anyway.  

The drive into Canada is amazing.  I had never been through fields of canola blooming.  Dale had experienced it with the girls when they drove to Alaska.  Even with editing, my picture doesn't do it justice.  A Google search turns up lots of amazing photos.  

We stay a couple of nights in Lethbridge and take in a nature center, some shopping at Value Village, and the library for internet access.  A helpful man at the nature center gives us some tips of where to stay near Edmonton--our destination.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Finally camping...

After a week's delay, we finally headed out.  Dale had a lot of repairs to do in the camper.  The water heater tank blew out--a big crack/hole that he was able to get welded.  Then various connections failed but he was able to get them all fixed.

We headed to Colorado for a stop to visit the grandboys.  It was a short visit, but nice to see them.  They change so quickly.

Our first real camping was in Buffalo, Wyoming, Deer Park, which lived up to its name.  We saw several young fawns with spots, on our early morning walk.  

Next stop was Three Forks, MT.  We camped at Missouri Headwaters State Park.  A beautiful park without amenities, but the weather was great, so no need for electricity to run the A.C. We had a little visitor at our campsite.

 There were lots of signs for moose, but we didn't see any!  Lots of cedar waxwings feeding on berries near the river. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Last of Pat's...

Pat put this BQ3 pattern top together while she was here.  (She took another three tops home with her to finish, nine patch pizzazz blocks with ballerina fabric.)

I seriously wanted to keep this one.  The pantograph came out nice, and I had to remind myself that I have a lot of Asian prints that I can make into quilts and use this panto on.  

Found a perfect fabric for binding, and I have enough of the fabrics that Pat got to make the opposite of this quilt--exchanging the big and small squares--for another quilt.

I finally remembered to take my camera and binoculars with this time, and though we were busy talking and forgot on the way to town...we remembered on the way home.  The Swainson's hawk baby has grown a lot the past couple of weeks.  There is only one chick in the nest.  

The funny thing is the Kingbird which appears to have a nest just below the hawk nest.  I couldn't tell whether there was viable chicks in that nest...or perhaps the Swainson parent thought it was just too convenient a snack?   

Friday, July 06, 2012

A couple more of Pat's quilts...

Pat is a production she can turn them out!  I labor a lot longer making tops, and really prefer the quilting and binding process.  We make a good team.

 This cowboy boot quilt is for her niece who is expecting a baby boy.  We found the perfect backing for it in the stash, which just fit with the addition of borders.  There was not much room to spare on the sides, but I'm used to working with backings not much bigger than the top. 
 This BQ3 is for Pat's sister's grandson.  She also put another, larger, BQ3 together which I'm working on now.  I'm doing this dragon pantograph, and I may have second thoughts about letting it go, though Pat did make it for donation.  I do have a collection of oriental fabrics that I could put together and use this panto on.
She's leaving tomorrow.  I can't wait until she retires and moves to Willard!  Then we won't have to be in such rush!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Big finishes

I quilted Pat's niece's quilt.  I really liked the finished top, and I wasn't sure my freehand quilting would do it justice in the pieced birds portion.  But it's done, and on its way to the recipient.

This next quilt, I only did the quilting, and I do think it turned out nicely.  It's a panto, Forest Floor.  It's pretty dense, but really looks nice on the black background of the quilt with variegated King Tut thread.


Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The sweatshop is open!

Pat has been here since Saturday.  She got in before lunch, but we had lots of grocery shopping to do.  Needed to lay in supplies for our week of quilting!
 Before Pat arrived I got a baby quilt done for my friend Cybelle's grandniece.  Baby Carolina was welcomed home by two big brothers.  I used the BQ2 pattern to try it before going ahead with the king size quilt.

 Production is the name of the game, since Pat arrived.  I finished an I Spy quilt for Dr. Kaufman, from a top I pieced while at Bear Cabin Inn.  I was able to get both of these on the same backing.
 I quilted the I Spy while Pat finished the wedding quilt she had started at Bear Cabin.  Got those trimmed and bound, and started quilting on the top put together from the excess anniversary blocks at the AZ retreat.  They will be going to a fundraiser for Yetta's grandson.

I had this post nearly finished when a thunderstorm hit our area.  We turned everything off during the storm.  We got a dumping of two inches of rain!  Woo-hoo!  We really need it, and it's nice to be in this monsoon pattern.  Hope Colorado is getting some of the moisture.