Snowless snow day

Apparently the sympathetic magic worked – I woke up at 5:20 this morning to an automated phone call from my district declaring a snow day.

Except there is no snow.


I guess the storm split and went around our town.  But up in the hills it got white and icey, so the buses can’t safely get those kids down to the schools.  So the whole district stayed home.

My boys were devastated to discover that because their district is in a flatter part of town, they had to head out into the cold while mom stayed in her pajamas.  I was . . . not devastated . . . to have a quiet day to myself.


And I made the second snowflake for the January blocks of the Papercuts BOM. It is called Squall, so we will see what the evening brings!

Snow day, the sequel


We got another inch or two of snow over night, which combined with all the hills and the lack of equipment for snow means another snow day today for my district.

I am prepared!


The best part is that the kids’ district didn’t close, just has a late start.  So I’m going to get a few hours in the house all to myself!

During yesterday’s work reprieve I dug out a box with my youngest son’s quilt-in-progress that hasn’t seen the light of day in many, many months.  The pointed comments about chilly weather, upcoming birthdays, parental neglect, and brothers who already have quilts finally got to me.  Who knew a 10 year old could be so naggy?

When last seen, the Ocean quilt was in the process of having borders added to all the creature blocks. That was April of last year! So yesterday I finished that up.


I still have no design wall, but a bare floor area in the living room is working for now.

The idea my son and I worked out is that the blue stashing gets lighter as the quilt goes from creatures in the depths of the ocean to those on the sand.


Adding the sashing is easy enough, like the world’s thickest log cabin rounds.  (I love the fabric being added in the bottle picture above, because I think it looks like sea anemones.)


Some of the blocks still had the paper backing on them, so that gave me some Olympics TV time as I removed all of that.

At long last (I started this quilt in January, 2015) this project has reached the ready-to-quilt stage.  A big, sarcastic Finally! from my son is still ringing in my ears.


I am intimidated by the idea of doing detailed quilting on the creatures while wrestling all the bulk of a big quilt, so I’m going to try quilting them in smaller blocks and then attaching the blocks and putting on the backing.  It will definitely be more maneuverable under my sewing machine harp.  My current plan is to quilt just the creatures, and then, after assembling it, put the background quilting in so that the backing is quilted also. Fingers are crossed.

If I lose courage, I can always go work on the snow fort.




Sudden snow

A surprise snow day!   They sent us all home from school at noon, worried that the sudden snow was going to cause havoc for the buses later in the afternoon. So now I’m at home working on my Olympic wrap, and watching the Norwegians win every medal that requires a cross country ski. E236EF19-F7C2-4B60-8730-0A004EB8005E

I’ve passed the halfway mark on my own Olympic efforts, but unless we have a lot more snow days this week it is going to take an Olympic miracle.

Shore bird

Another finished block for the Oceans quilt, this time a little shore bird.  The pattern says plover – I thought it looks like one of the little birds we see in the dune grasses at Ocean Shores.


I gave it a sandy background since they stick to the beach.

The pattern is a free one on Craftsy.

And now I’m experimenting with how the blocks will be arranged in the quilt.  I need at least two more – my son wants dolphins and a shark.


We are home for yet another day due to weather – freezing rain this time – so I have time to sort through the fabric for suitable grays for dolphins.  The 10th day of school we’ve missed this year!

New mystery quilt started


Yesterday the first clue in Charlotte Hawkins’ new mystery quilt along was posted, and with the help of yet another snow day, I’ve started right in.

This quilt is called Surrounded By Scraps, and involved cutting a lot of small squares and rectangles that today I started chain piecing into 4 and 9 patches.

It is all about the 1 1/2″ squares for this first clue.


There is plenty of time to get all of this ironed and finish sewing as the next clue isn’t until February.  When we will probably still be out of of school . . .

These icicles are the only real sign that any melting is occurring.


A small finish


Despite the surprise extra days of leisure due to weather, there hasn’t been a lot of sewing lately – I’ve been on a knitting and spinning kick – but I do have one small sewing project I can check off the WIP list.


These four placemats have joined their kin in a kitchen drawer, replacing some woven ones that were irretrievably stained.  A fun, quick project that used up a bunch of scrap strips and batting pieces.  I stitched each strip to the batting as I went along, so minimal topstitching was needed to keep the backing in place.  Of course, the tops lingered on the work table for a month before I actually got those backs sewn on . . .

Meanwhile, I’m still dunking fiber into dye pots.


And I’m completely obsessed with how the colors of handspun are coming together in my cardigan knitting project.


And then there is watching the snow fall – 8″ since it started last night.  A tremendous amount for where we live in Oregon!


Sledding the slopes


We are lucky enough to live close enough to Mt. Hood for day trips to play in the snow.  Yesterday we headed up to the White River Sno-park for some sledding.

There were a LOT of people with the same idea, but plenty of hills so everyone had room.

My husband and older son were the intrepid speed demons.  My younger son and I have the heart, but lack a lot of the coordination.

We didn’t always manage to keep sledder and sled together.

And some of the hills were a little intimidating. My younger son and I were exceedingly doubtful once we got up to the top of this one and realized we now had to go back down:dscn1813

And it turned out we were right to doubt our skills!


I preferred more sedate sledding when I could get away with it:


It was a pretty fabulous day.



Spinning our wheels


More snow yesterday paralyzed the city – it only takes an inch or two to do that around here as we aren’t used to it and are never prepared.  We knew it was coming thanks to the weather reports, so I ducked out from school a little early.  It took “only” two hours to get home because I abandoned the freeway early on to take side roads.  It was a white knuckle drive – at one point I slid right through an intersection when I tried to stop at a red light.

Some people spent the night in their cars, and there were students from the Portland and Beaverton school districts who didn’t get home until midnight.  My kids got home pretty much on time, but my husband’s commute lasted three hours.


They’ve already called off tomorrow in both our districts as the slush is refreezing into ice.  So the boys and I are officially on winter vacation!

While the boys went sledding and threw snow about, I spun yarn.

I had two different fibers in complementary colorways, one a merino/soy silk and the other a polwarth.


I loved them as singles., but when I plied them together I was just, meh.  So I stopped and switched to chain plying each one on its own.

The result is three smallish skeins of finished yarn.



From left to right, the chained merino/soy silk, chained polwarth, and the two ply.

They’ve since been soaked and thwacked and are now hanging to dry.

They’ll join my other spinning finish this week.  Years after I kettle dyed the red alpaca/wool fiber, it is all finally yarn as of a couple days ago.

I used the Andean plying method when I was down to the last bit on the last bobbin so I didn’t waste even an inch of the singles.

The finished yarn is a deep heathery red with touches of gray showing through.


Time to dive back into the stash for the next spin.

Sidetracked on a snow day


We knew about this snow day in advance – the predictions for first snow and then ice were so strong that the districts all around us called it the night before, despite the then dry and clear roads.

So I had it all planned.  Movies and games for the kids, and an all day marathon of sewing Christmas gifts for me.

Except when I went on Pinterest to look at the placemats that I’d saved so I could choose my next scrappy layout, I saw this:  Four Corners Quilt.  And the next thing I knew, I was madly sewing strips from a jelly roll.

My strips were actual a half jelly roll, with just 20 strips.  They were also really busy, so I added in some solids as well, to bring it up to 30 strips.  It meant adjustments to make the center square much bigger as I was still 10 short. (11 really – I found one under the sewing table after I finished.)

It was so fun and so fast zooming through the strips, jelly race style.  There were occasional oops moments: twice I’d apparently not gotten the right sides together, but those were quickly fixed in the first round of sewing.  I also learned at the end of that first go that I’d better start untwisting the lengths before I sewed the sides together.

When it was 16 strips wide, I cut it in half and then in half again. I didn’t have enough of any of the solids left to make the center square, so I tried a nine-patch.  img_7163

Not good.  So much busy did not need more added in the center.  So out came the seam ripper. I dug through my stash and found a fat quarter almost the same color chartreuse, and the second attempt was much more successful.


There are actually three possible little ones this quilt could be given to.  Maybe I need more jelly rolls?

And we have our first snow ball of the season!img_7165