Saturday, September 19, 2009

Clever quilting friends

I belong to a small quilting group online - we are almost all from NW WA and live fairly close to each other. We get together for the Anacortes sew-ins, go on quilt shop safaries, meet at homes for small sew-ins and have great fun. One of the things we are doing this year is a month challenge block. Instead of doing a swap - we are each making our own blocks.

Each month - starting in August - someone in the group picks a 9" block pattern and we all make it, in our own colors, and in our own time. No time limit, no mailing, and we all end up with 12 blocks at the end of the year. I got to pick the block for September - and several others have signed up for the following months. Then after a person makes a block we post it to an album in our yahoo group. It is fun to see how the blocks are coming out, and the colors that are being chosen.

Here are the August blocks that have been made so far . . .

Some of the photos are wonky - but the blocks are all straight. I've seen several of them in person - they are all wonderful.

And here are the September blocks . . .

Aren't they are fabulous? I can't wait to see what kind of quilts come out of this.

I did this same challenge with another group about 10 years ago. We picked 12" blocks and made our blocks - then we had three months to finish the quilts and we had an online quilt show - it was great fun.

Here is my finished quilt. I chose to put star cornerstones in the sashing. They are fun and easy to make and add such spark to the quilt.

Some close-ups . . . before quilting . . .

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wonderful Wonderful Purple Pam!!!

Have you ever met someone that is just so sweet and wonderful and delightful and darling and purple???? Well I have, she is Purple Pam and I'm sure many of you know her. If you don't - then hop right over to her blog and visit - I'll wait until you get back.

Ok - back? Good - wasn't that fun? Now look what Purple Pam has done. One day about a week ago I got a package in the mail - I wasn't expecting anything, and when I looked at the return address I knew who it was - but could think of no reason why I'd be getting mail from Pam.

And look inside this package - a Layer Cake of Moda Snippets - all of them 30s reproduction fabrics - my all time favorites - for no reason at all - except that Pam wanted to make me smile.

I smiled so big I almost broke my face - I laughed - I giggled - I danced around the room - oh I had fun - and yes, I did smile.

Here are some of the pretty fabrics in the Layer Cake. There are 42 Ten Inch Squares. Each design is in several colors - those little clothes are just the cutest thing and have backgrounds in pink, orange, blue, etc., as do the flowers - and there are all sorts of colors of polka dots - don't you just love polka dots?!?

And because she is Purple Pam she included these half yard cuts of purple 30s fabrics - so I would think of her - you can be sure of that - I'll think of her whenever I see these fabrics in my projects. Now to think of quilts to make - so many choices - so much fabric. :-) I found a cute applique House on a Hill quilt, it would be perfect - so 30s - or maybe a basket block - or butterflies - oh the choices.

Thank you Pam - you will never know just how happy this makes me.

Let's go on a road trip - We've been to Concrete

Concrete, WA that is . . .

A very small town up in the mountains of Western Washington. The drive is leisurely and we decided to go there one sunny afternoon. So we packed a picnic and off we went. First - a little history about Concrete - because a town with a name like that MUST be very interesting.

How Concrete Got Its Name

Early settlers came to the Baker River in 1871, originally calling the settlement on the west bank "Minnehaha". In 1890 a post office was set up, and the name "Baker" was adopted. On the east bank of the river, the community that sprang up around the Washington Portland Cement Company (1905) was named "Cement City". After the Superior Portland Cement Company plant (1908) was built in Baker, it was decided to merge the two towns, and in 1909, after much discussion, the new community settled on the name "Concrete". The cement plants produced the concrete needed to build the high wall dams on the river.

Concrete Main Street Buildings

Prior to 1921, several fires destroyed most of the original wooden buildings which had lined Main Street. Since concrete was in ample supply, it was decided that subsequent commercial buildings would be made from this nonflammable material - so the town is now "concrete".

Lower Baker Dam

Completed in 1925 and raised to 293 feet in 1927, it was
the highest hydroelectric dam in the world at that time.

Superior Portland Cement Site
Now known as Silo Park, this was the site of Concrete's second cement plant, completed in 1908, and later operated by Lone Star Northwest until 1967. All the remains is an office building and the silos in Silo Park (the city park in Concrete).

Thimbleberries blooming. . .

The scenery along the river is gorgeous - we spent time driving along the river - and then stopped to have our picnic lunch and sit by the river.

Some lovely old stumps in the park . . .

And a fabulous old tree . . .

Flowers gone to seed along the river. . .

A view of the nearby mountains . . . runoff from the mountains keeps the two lakes behind the dams full of water. . .

Some buttercups growing beside the river . . .

And the open pastures are wonderful . . .

This hillside shows many layers of the different rocks in the area -
it was sliding down towards the road.

And here is Concrete's moment of fame - - -

On Octboer 30, 1938, a radio station from Seattle broadcast Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" radio drama.

Then on October 31, the next day - the New York Times reported wide-spread panic over the "War of the Worlds" radio broadcast.

At the point of the drama where the Martian invaders were invading towns and the countryside with flashes of light and poison gases, a power failure suddenly plunged almost the entire town of 1,000 (Concrete) into darkness. Some listeners fainted while others grabbed their families to head up into the mountains. Other more enterprising locals headed for the surrounding hills to guard their moonshine stills. On man was said to have jumped up out of his chair and, in bare feet, run the two miles from his home to the center of town. Some of the men grabbed their guns, and one businessman - a devout Catholic man got his wife into the family car, drove to the nearest service station and demanded gasoline. Without paying the attendant, he rushed off to Bellingham - (about forty-miles away) in order to see his priest for a last-minute absolution of sins. The distraught man reportedly told the gas-station attendant that paying for the gas "[wouldn't] make any difference, everyone is going to die!".

Because the phone lines (as well the electricity) were out, the town's residents were unable to call neighbors, family, or friends to verify that their fears were legitimate. Of course, the real story was not as fantastic as the fictional radio drama - all that had occurred was that the Superior Portland Cement Company's electrical sub-station suffered a short-circuit with a flash of brilliant light, and all the town's lights went dark. The more conservative radio-listeners in Concrete (who had been listening to Charlie McCarthy on another station), attempted to calm neighbors, reporting that they hadn't heard a thing about any "disaster". Reporters heard soon after of the coincidental blackout of Concrete, and sent the story out over the international newswire and soon the town of Concrete was known (if only for a moment) world-wide.

It was much calmer the day we visited - a few visitors stopped by the park for picnics, children rode their bikes in Silo Park and neighbors visited at the local store - and we had a fabulous time by the river.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Rednesday

I've never done this before - but I love red things in my kitchen - so thought I'd show you a few of my vintage red things and a few things that are not vintage - but are red.

Check out everybody's red stuff at It's A Very Cherry World, where Sue is our hostess!

My cousin gave me this cute spice rack - she has one just like it. We both like red in our
kitchens. We like a lot of things the same, though we didn't grow up near each other.

I found this little soap dish at a thrift/antique store and just couldn't leave it there.

It even has the little removable strainer insdie to keep the bar of soap dry.

A redword quilt I made for our first grandson. My friend Lois designed and drew

the teddy bears, one for each month and I made the quilt.

A snazzy red shopping tote that our daughter crocheted for me.
It really holds a lot of groceries.

I crocheted this darling little pincushion hat from a vintage pattern,
but used new materials.

An angel made from a vintage handkerchief - you can find the pincushion and the angel
over at my Artfire Shop - stop in and browse a bit.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Have you been to Causland Park in Anacortes, WA?

If not - then get yourself over there. You will be shocked and delighted with the park.

Don found it on September 5 when we went to Ancortes for a sew-in. I sew - he explores and shops. After the sew-in we drove to the park - it fills one city block and we drove around the whole thing - stopping so often so I could get "this great shot.

This park was built around 1920 - using native stone. Designed by Jack Lepage - from France - and built by local workers. It will astound and amaze you. Just the logistics of getting those stones up to the park must have been unbelievable. And then to form all the walls - what a feat!!! It took a year to build it, and originally was as a tribute to the soldiers who died in World War I. There is very little about the park on the internet - I would love to learn more. It is the only park like it in this country. Another was planned in another state but they ran out of money and the part that was started was later torn down.

I won't be making many comments in this post (are you shocked and surprised at that?) because the pictures speak for themselves. Click to enlarge - and get ready to be amazed!

The trees must have been very small when this park was built.

And a gazebo for plays, wedding and other celebrations.

Seating for the audience.

Even the inside ceiling is covered in rock.

The end!