Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A trip to the North Cascades

It's funny how plans change and things work out for the best anyway.  Last weekend, the plan was to spend four days backpacking in the Olympics.  Unfortunately, the National Parks no longer allow backcountry camping without reservations and those reservations were long taken.  Consulting the books, AH and I decided to head north and spend a couple of blissful days hiking the North Cascades.  Summer only comes here briefly, but when it does we all know why we moved here in the first place.  There is simply nothing that feels better than standing on a trail experiencing the Cascades on a sunny day.  No wildlife was spotted, but the views were simply marvelous. 

We needed to go up there.

Mt. Pilchuck trail
The trail was filled with granite boulders to climb over.

Skyline Divide Trail

Beautiful Mt. Baker

Follow the trail to amazing views

Alpine rapture

Beautiful wildflowers
What a wonderful weekend.  I hope to get out again before the weather changes.  Let's hope for a pleasant fall.  

Monday, August 20, 2012

Visible and Invisible Marmots

Visible Marmot at Spray Park
 I was just reminded that I did not deliver on the marmot pictures.  That must be remedied.  This guy was running away from us at Spray Park on Mt. Rainier.  He was happily munching on his dinner while sitting in the middle of the trail.  This caused quite a traffic jam as all the hikers around him were doing their best to give him space and let him finish.  Turns out, this guy is quite a good eater and the park ranger on the trail slowly moved towards him to encourage him to finish up.  Mr. Marmot then took off at marmot speed towards us and really seemed confused, even for a large rodent.  Still that's about as close as I've been to one in recent memory.

Mist covered day at Eagle Peak on Mt. Rainer

Avalanche Lilies

Invisible marmot - to the right of the rock.

Deer at Eagle Peak

Wildflowers on Mt. St. Helens

View of the Crater at Mt. St. Helens
I'm putting up pictures of several hikes here.  I've been getting a lot of hiking in lately.  In fact I went yesterday but forgot my camera so no pictures of that hike. (Sunrise at Mt. Rainier).  But, we did see a bear yesterday and it was far enough away to be cool and not frightening.  CF took pictures of it, so I should be able to share some invisible bear pictures too.  For now, back to the work week and planning my backpacking trip this weekend.  I get to buy a shovel.  For making "catholes."  Yup.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Modern Block of the Month - Finished

Modern Block of the Month - Front

Quilting closeup


The rigorous cat testing process
I finally finished sewing the binding onto the Modern Block of the Month quilt.  It is hard to sew bindings onto quilts when it is warm outside because this is the one week of the year around here when I don't want to curl up with a quilt on my lap.  Nevertheless, I really wanted to finish this so I dug down deep, poured myself a gin and tonic, and finished this last night.

As you can see, I had some help:

It feels good to get some of these WIPs out and finished.  I also have been doing a lot of hiking lately but haven't been posting the pictures due to an outbreak of extreme laziness.  I have a marmot picture to share as well as some beautiful flowers so I will try to get organized and share those soon.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Forest Fantasy

Forest Fantasy
I mentioned several months ago that this would be the next quilt I'd be working on.  My good friend and hiking buddy, CF, picked out this pattern and asked that it be done in blues, greens, and browns.  I'm using Art Gallery Fabrics, mostly from the Nature Elements, Oval Elements, and Pure Elements lines and probably some random solids that I don't feel safe attributing to the Pure Elements line.  This is a pattern that requires a lot of prep work and cutting to start, but it will really come together quickly when the prep work is done.

There is, however, always significant opposition in letting the prep work go smoothly.

Pretty colors
 The first step is to strip piece and make 196 pairs of brown and colored fabric. Next, they come together to make squares like so...

98 squares
And, finally 98 squares come together.  The next step will be a sea of HSTs.  I know, I'm excited too.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Spiders, Snow, and Spools

 Snowballs!  Isn't it fun to think of snow during the winter?  No, no it isn't.  Thinking of snow reminds me of the 14 inches of snow we got here last winter that was accompanied by freezing rain and no power for six days.  But, who is keeping track of that sort of thing around here.  I went with circles and diamonds for the snow because, well, snowballs are round and freshly fallen snow sparkles like diamonds.  A very easy block to put together, but a block that I like quite a bit for its simplicity.
Spider Legs
 Grossest name for a quilt block ever.  Ever.  Every once in awhile I get these horrible looking spiders in the garage that look like black widow spiders but aren't.  They have the same body type and creepy looking spindly legs, but I've never tickled their bellies to see if there is an hourglass there.  This block is red for the red hourglass and is a block I like quite a bit.  Especially since it is in Badger colors.
The spool block definitely requires straight lines, or straightish lines as the case may be here.  Next, an update on the Forest Fantasy Quilt.