Painting A Cow

September 29, 2017

The hardest part of painting a cow, is getting her to stand still.  The paint, of course, can be purchased at Amazon.  No, I am not painting Agnes.  She is perfect just the way she is, just a perfect black cow.  (Well, she’d be a tiny bit more perfect if she were ‘in the family way’, but we are working on that.)

There is a trend lately, to join together sip wine and paint on canvas.  We might live in the country, but these opportunities come to us as well.  The art we paint, just has a bit more meaning to us, than say a rendering of Monet’s ‘Water Lillies’.  We joined together to paint cows.  (Oh, be still my heart).

A night out with My Loving Spouse to do something fun and different.  It was just what we needed.  We showed up to the Blue Rock Saloon.  My Loving Spouse with sharpened pencil in hand.I had a different set of tools.

I had never painted on canvas, so I was both a tad nervous and quite excited.  We were given some simple instructions.One of us had been practicing their reality cow rendering.

Then it was time to add some paint.  I am sure you’ve noticed that there is a disproportionate number of black AND WHITE cows in all cow art.  Black cows do not receive the recognition that they deserve.  You can be sure, that my art would reflect my cow.
My Loving Spouse on the other hand was just having fun.

What fun it was too!  If you get the chance to join together with friends or people you don’t even know, who become your friend when they pass you the black paint, to enjoy a night out painting, I highly recommend it.  If you get to paint cows, well, as they say in Ellensburg, that is ‘even better‘!


The Purple Quilt

May 11, 2017

Graduation time is coming and the purple quilt is done!  Our church has only a few graduating seniors this year, so I was happy to be able to contribute a quilt for this special girl.

The quilt started out as a ‘log cabin’ pattern, but then… I started making my own adjustments…until I liked it.  I love quilting my way!

This senior has plans for a major in musical theater, so I added a few treble clefs in the quilting.I used flannel strips for the backing.  I didn’t want them to look like a lot of left over pieces, so I put them on the diagonal.  (If one knows better, they might not do this, as flannel stretches, especially on the diagonal!  It did make it a bit harder to quilt, but I am still glad I did it.)  Sometimes it is good to not know ‘the rules’, just jump in and sew away!I think she will like it.  It was made with all the best of intentions, hopes and prayers….…and I am blessed.


New Baby Fish

April 13, 2017

There’s a new little fish in the family.

My family name is Fisher.

When you’re family name is Fisher, you are susceptible to things with fish on them…especially fabric.

I found darling fish fabric, while I was getting just a bit more purple fabric and I had to have it.  My nephew’s family had just welcomed the newest little fish and my Great Nephew carried, his Daddy’s, his Granddaddy’s and his Great Granddaddy’s initials.

I had to keep this new quilt simple, because I have too many other projects going, this comment alone, clearly defines me now as a quilter.  My goal was to sew this baby a quilt, easy, cute and get it in the mail.

I bought a bit of green bubbles to go with the fishes, a white on white and planned to use what else I had at home.

The width was decided by the size of my ruler (6 inches) to keep things simple.  I sewed these strips together and then cut them in to 6 inch tall strips.  I picked out some bright primary colored polka-dots and gingham for the other squares, cut them in 6 inch blocks, sewed them to white 6 inch blocks and ‘ta-da’!

I drew and cut out a card board fish.

I used this to trace and cut out 5 fabric fish and added them to a sea of blue.

I think it is easier to line up your applique and then trim off the excess after they’ve been sewn.

I got all ‘fancy’ and put the new little Fish’s initial’s on his quilt.

I love the yellow gingham binding!

and you know what?

I am blessed!

With love to them all

Joseph Solomon Fisher

John Stuart Fisher

Justin Stuart Fisher

Jacen Solomon Fisher



Pack A Quilter

March 27, 2017

My Loving Spouse and I figured out a vital truth on our trip to Cannon Beach last week.  Travel is better, if you pack a quilter.  Seriously, my need for fabric took us to places we would have never gone to otherwise.

I will be making a quilt for one of our graduating seniors this year and she likes purple.  I therefore need purple fabric.  Our fabric resources are low in Ellensburg.  Luckily, I have a patient husband, who is happy to drive to fabric stores.

‘Want to take a drive up the coast?’  

“Can we go to the quilt store?”

‘Of course!’

Going to quilt stores gets us off the beaten path and into the heart of the town.  Our first stop was Homespun Quilts in Astoria, Oregon.I found my first set of purples……and we asked where we should have lunch.

The Wet Dog…we were told.It was charming and I did have the Ale sample platter and yes, that is the Bad Ass Stout bratwurst you see…It was very yummy.  I had a Shandy, which is a beer with some soda, in other words, it is like a beer with training wheels.  My Loving Spouse had something darker, long past the training wheel stage.Quite possibly the Poop Deck Port…We had a great time and I recommend both the quilt store and the Wet Dog.

The next day, he wanted to drive down the coast.

“Can we go to the quilt store?”

‘Of course!’

Which is how we found ourselves at Jane’s in Tillamook, Ore.Jane’s took some time, because it was a little house transformed into a quilt store.  Fabric in every room!  (Even the bathroom!)  Oh, be still my heart!  I set My Loving Spouse in the back room, chatting with a couple of old gals and instructions to get lunch recommendations, while I adjusted the budget for fabric purchases, careful to only buy what I needed!

This picture is not all I needed…it is just some of what I bought.With the ‘old gals’ recommendation we set off for our lunch.  We would never have wandered down the pier without explicit instructions we received to turn left at the huge pile of oyster shells, we did find The Fish Peddler.  My Loving Spouse had the best clam chowder he ever ate and we both watched enthralled at the process of oyster harvesting.It was something!  Watching the shuckers get the oyster meat, they were fast and efficient.  They work on commission and as we tried to count how many oysters they shucked in a minute, we figure they shuck thousands in a day!  Makes my hands hurt just thinking about it.We left after a great time, with full bellies, a jar of oysters….and some fabric.

The morning we were leaving Cannon Beach, My Loving Spouse agreed to let me into one more quilt store, because I knew I still needed some more purple…We were packed up and ready to go…except the store wasn’t open yet.  This was a great stroke of luck, because instead of high tailing it out of town, we went where we hadn’t been yet, The Insomnia Coffee Co.It was delightful!They had art I understand….It was a delightful way to slowly spend our morning before heading for the farm.

The gal at the fabric store was equally lovely and what can I say….We cannot wait to go back…

You should travel with a quilter, if you need one, let me know.


Bob’s Quilt

January 31, 2017

Bob’s quilt is done.  The back is gray flannel, so it should be quite cozy.  The quilt is meant to be a lap quilt, for Bob to use when he does the nightly crossword puzzle.  I had some fun putting a “Bob” in the quilt.I put a heart as well, actually I put in two hearts, but one looks more like  cherry than a heart, so I am not showing that heart off.  Rack it up to my learning curve on the long arm quilter, which I am very fortunate to be able to use. I love, that with each step of a quilt it changes…I didn’t have a pattern, but I did have a picture.  (Source) I stopped before I went to far, to make sure it would ‘work’.  Quilts are lots of little pieces of math.  I am lucky to have a mathematical mind and easily able to figure these out.  It is a bit of an optical illusion.  There are no pinwheels squares, but it does look like it.I love my new design wall, that I got from our ‘free table’ at quilting.  A design wall is simply a glorified cheap vinyl table-cloth with flannel backing.  The flannel holds the fabric pieces up on the wall and off the floor where the dog hair resides.  This allows me to step back and rearrange squares easily.

I am quite excited to get it in the mail to Bob.  Here is my ‘ta da’ moment…Bob is currently 99.6 years old.  I hope he enjoys this quilt for a long time, even if he has been talking about ‘going home’ at 100.  I love Bob.  He is a special man….here is his Christmas card photo.  Time to get this quilt in the mail…

and I am blessed.

Quilt Instructions

At our quilting group, when someone brings in a new pattern, they name the pattern after the person who brought it in.  However, I think this should be called the Bob pattern.

This lap quilt is made up of 6.25 inch squares, 7 squares across by 9 squares down with a 2.5 inch border.

Instructions per square:

4.5 x 4.5 inch block

2.5 x 4.5 inch white strip

2.5 x 6.5 inch white strip

2.5 x 2.5 inch black square

The black squares are set at each end of a strip and sewn diagonal, cut at .25 inch at the seam, then turned flat and ironed.

Sew both strips onto the block making sure the diagonals are going the right direction.  In theory, the block should now be 6.5 x 6.5, but I preferred to trim my blocks evenly to 6.25 x 6.25 inches.  This allowed the blocks to go together so easily, nice and straight!  Happy quilting!


Snow Day (Sew Day)

January 18, 2017

Today, for the first time in 20 years, the Ellensburg Schools are closed due to weather.  It is not completely a ‘snow day’.  It is more of a ‘freezing rain, black ice, dangerous road condition’ day.  The highways are closed….everyone is being told to stay in.

I am really okay with this idea.  You might even say, I am a tiny, tad thrilled.  Zoe and I get our chores done.Alfalfa bales slide quite easily on the ice, so we just pull them out to the hungry cows.  The weather as ‘promised’ by my Sort-of-smart phone weather app, has warmed up.  Not to the promised 41, but 28, we’ll take it.  I scoop mounds of horse poop.  Team Off-spring, tackles de-icing the walk ways and filling up the wood stack on the porch.  We are all now officially warm, cozy and read to enjoy our day off!

Snow Day…Sew Day!

I am making a lap quilt for My Boyfriend, Bob.  Bob does not read the blog.  Bob is now 99 and I do not believe he has a computer.  Those of you who know Bob, better not tell him about the surprise.  It will be black, gray, red and white, my inspiration comes from Bob and his church suit, black suit, white shirt, red tie.I am sure he will like it.  I need to get it done, while it is still cold (haha) and rainy in California, so he can properly enjoy it.

I’m off to sew and I am certainly blessed.


Our Busy Season

The last 6-8 weeks have been our ‘busy season’.  This is what I tell myself.  It helps me to make sense of our reality, that while some of you on this second weekend in December, have Christmas trees and Christmas lights, we have pumpkins on the porch covered in snow. We’ve been sewing and sawing […]

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Dear BJ

Dear BJ, Do you remember the wonderful quilting pattern book you sent me?  Oh, I am sure you do.  You probably don’t know, that I do not usually follow patterns or instructions or directions…but I just, love that book!  That gal with a Bee in her bonnet, sure is creative. I used that book a lot […]

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The One Grammy Made

We are having a Granddaughter.  We are quite excited!  This little baby girl, like her big brother, THE Grandson, will not have any shortage of special blankets and quilts made for them with great love by their Mamma, their Grandma and their Grammy.  I’ve seen THE Grandson go to sleep with 3 blankets, one made by […]

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Finishing #3’s Quilt

Number Three Son was graduating from high school in Utah.  The end of high school for Team Offspring!  It seemed to me, that a graduation quilt was in order.  Starting the quilt was easy.  I had a Moda JellyRoll in my stash.  (For those of you who do not speak ‘quilting’ Moda is a very […]

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That Blue Quilt

I continue to be humbled at the far-reaching care and concern so many from this valley offer to others.  I’ll be honest,  it has been a long time, since I gave the catastrophe in Chernobyl much thought. The Children of Chernobyl, Ellensburg’s official state charity description: Humanitarian; host children from the Chernobyl region providing a health respite […]

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Betty Bibs Branches Out

Number Two Son’s simple words put everything in motion. “Hey, Mom, I bet you could sell your sewing in the Cave B tasting room.” ‘What?’ “Oh, yeah, you know, your bibs and table runners and stuff.  People like to shop when they are wine tasting.” ‘For bibs?’ “You’d be surprised.  A lot of folks come […]

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