Monday, August 21, 2017


Up early and out the door of the hotel by about 4:30am on this day of the Eclipse - we are heading south to get as close to the center of shadow (Path f Totality) as possible.  We didn't know what to expect.  The media has been warning about 100's of thousands of people all heading for the center.

We made it to Stayton Oregon by about 7:00am where we found a Safeway with a Starbucks.  The parking lot was full and the lines were long, but everyone was having a great time.
While standing in line, we had conversations with people from the UK, some from Switzerland and overheard conversations that sounded like they were from South America. 

We drove around town for a while and settled on the corner of First and Cedar and set up our chairs in the back of the pickup.

Here's a screen shot from Nasa's site - the red line is the center of the Path of Totality going through Stayton.  We were just a little north of the center.

I brought my Improv quilt to work on the binding.  I thought it should go to view the eclipse with us because I had quilted a motif into that reminded me of the sun.

While waiting for the big event, I sat in the back of the pickup and worked on the binding of Improv quilt.

There were people set up all up and down the street to view the eclipse.

We set the thermometer in the bed of the pickup in the shade.  This was several hours before it started.

The first glimpse of the eclipse starting.

You could feel the temperature dropping and see the light changing as the moon covered more and more of the sun.

At totality it definitely was colder.
 I didn't try to take any pictures of the eclipse - you can go see the pictures the professionals took.  We just enjoyed the experience.  For me, I was overwhelmed with emotion at the wonder of it all. 
As the moon moved to completely cover the sun, the crowd erupted in cheers and clapping.  
During totality, when you could safely remove the eclipse glasses and look at the sun directly, I used my binoculars to get an amazing view of a moving aura that extended much farther than I could have imaged.  Around the edges of the moon you could see the bright orange flares of the sun. 
Our world became dark, there were stars in the sky and the street lights came on.  There was a calm quiet as the world stopped to experience the event.
It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I stole this image from the internet to give you an idea of what I saw.  It doesn't quite do it justice though.

I grabbed a quick shot of some of the crescent shaped shadows as we packed up to head out.

Immediately after totality people started leaving town.

We finally found the traffic nightmares we had been warned about.

Somewhere on I-5 northbound.

The lack of sleep finally caught up with Hailey on the way home.

It took us about 7 hours to get back home, twice as long as it should have.

This was the coolest adventure I've ever had - loved it.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


We left early on Sunday morning, heading south to Oregon.  We are aiming to get to the center of the eclipse shadow, just south of Salem.  It sounded like lots of people were headed for Eastern Oregon.  We opted for the west side because there are more roads and options.

We left at 3:50am

First stop, Starbucks in Tukwila

Next stop, picking up granddaughter, Hailey (8 yo) in Rochester.

We arrived in Clackamus at about 7:30am - there was no traffic to speak of.  We didn't know what to expect.  There was a lot of talk about massive migrations and traffic backups - that's why we left so early.  Clackamus is the closest place I could find a hotel five months ago.  They were either sold out everywhere or way overpriced.  We still had to pay $175 for this room, twice what it would normally cost.  We couldn't check in until 3pm, so we had some time to kill.

Well, what's there to do in Clackamus?  Not much...

We went for a walk at close by 3 Creeks Natural Area.  

On the way back out, we came upon a movie set.  They were filming a low budget alien spacecraft crash site.  We stayed and watched for a while (we didn't have anything else to do).  It was interesting.  They are a local group of guys that make these films and post them on youtube under the name Skargoz

Those are some of the parts of the spaceship crash in the background.

We watched the actors as they played the panicked astronauts running from the aliens.

With not much else to do, we went to the local mall and went to the movies.  Darrell and Hailey saw Despicable Me 3 (Darrell says he got a good nap in), while I went to see Dark Tower (being a big fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series I was a little disappointed - this movie has little to do with the books, but it's okay as a stand alone story - why do they do things like this?).

After the movies, we went to Fred Meyer to buy a thermometer for tomorrow then we drove around for a bit (there's not much to see in Clackamus) and finally checked into the room at 3pm.  Once settled in we went out for dinner at Red Robin, then back to the room for an early turn-in - gotta get up early tomorrow, too!

Saturday, August 19, 2017


 I took a few days off work to get things caught up and organized so we could leave early on Sunday heading for Oregon to view the solar eclipse on Monday.

I've been working on the binding for this huge quilt.  This is the back of Wallflower.

I finished the quilting on Improvisation #1, LA007. 

Putting the binding on Improvisation #1.

I finished putting the last border on Molly.  I had to buy a layer cake just to get a few more pieces of the tan fabric so I'd have enough fabric - they were all out of yardage.  Here it shows all those 10" pieces.

I made and loaded the back for Molly.  It will be ready to load the quilt and start on it once we get back home.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


I put the first stitches on the binding of the Wallflower Quilt.

The circumference is 398".

This may take a while.

Monday, August 14, 2017


I bought this cute panel and four charm packs of 2-1/2" squares and made this little quilt in a couple of hours.

I took it to work and got the binding finished.  

Saturday, August 12, 2017


I finished my Improv quilt from a class with Debbie Jeske.  I made a label and pieced it into the back and loaded it up on Eduard to quilt.

I'm using the Westalee Circle Ruler, I just purchased, for the first time.

There was a slight learning curve, hence I had to pick out half of the first circles I tried.

 The ruler is actually pretty neat and simple to use, once you figure it out.  The only thing I don't like is putting that big tack through your quilt.  It leaves a big hole.  Hopefully, it will disappear.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017


I was so happy to get this huge quilt finished! It has been on the machine for two weeks.  I recorded over 9-1/2 hours on the machine, which means I probably put in almost twice that much time on it.  

This is the Wallflower Quilt that I made from a kit from Craftsy.  It is 90" wide and 108" long.  That is about as big a quilt that will fit on my machine.  I hope to never get one that big again.

Let me know if you are interested in it.

I even got the binding made and sewn on - there will be a lot of time put in hand sewing it down on the back.  Later.

After I got it off the machine, I performed my monthly grease and clean. 

Waxing the rails.

Monday, August 07, 2017


I took a class at Gossypium Quilt Shop in Issaquah last Saturday.  It was "Improv Piecing" taught by Debbie Jeske.

I was intrigued and had a good time.

I was so excited about finishing the project that I designed a block while at work and then came home early one day and made the block.

I cut out the paper pieces and used those as templates for the parts of the block.

All of the blocks together.

 Today, I sewed the blocks together and put a border on it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


I've been waiting for some Kona cotton solid, Bluebell, to be delivered that I wanted to use as binding for the Solstice Quilt.  It took about a week and a half to come from Hancock's of Paducah.

It arrived yesterday, I put it (and the rest of the fabric I ordered) through the wash and dry.  This morning I went out early to the studio and made the binding.

I now have a satisfying project to work on while watching TV.  [I've been re-watching "The Game of Thrones"]

Once I finish the binding, I need to put it in the wash and hope the yellow chalk that I used to mark it comes out!

Monday, July 24, 2017


I heard a great idea a while back about using precut squares as the lead in and out while piecing (I don't know how to explain this).  I cut a group of leftover fabrics from a previous project into 3" squares and have been sewing them together as I piece other projects.

They finally came together into a small quilt, 35" by 45".

I put it on Eduard, my A-1 Longarm, (he finally gets a name) on Monday morning.  I set up a pantograph for the first time.  I used "Chinook" by Urban Elementz.  I was finished before dinner.  Yea!

I got out the thesaurus and looked for a name that meant something about lead-in or in-the-beginning and came up with "Prelude".  This is LA004.